Guest Post

The Circle of Fame: Apollo, the Corps de Ballet, and the Song of the Muses at Delphi

2020.06.11 | By Domenico Giuseppe Muscianisi §0. The Pythian movement of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo opens with a great scene of song-and-dance on Olympus (verses 182–206), where certain deities perform together. I will argue that choral melic poetry plays a prime role in this section of the Hymn: in fact, these verses share many features in diction and imagery with melic poetry, and in addition they describe a choral… Read more

Black Bile, Yellow Bile: An Essay on Warrior Dysfunctionality and the Prehistory of Greek Medicine

2020.05.28 | By Roger D. Woodard Ancient Indo-European warriors, possessed by combat rage, functioned properly as wielders of physical force and protectors of society; but such force was given to dark turns that could endanger society. Expressions of dysfunctional-warrior states meaningfully intersect with Greek medical notions of melancholía and suggest the nature of the prehistory of this diagnosis. Read more

Ecumenism and Globalism in the Reception of Ferdowsi and his Book of Kings: Evidence from the Bāysonghori Preface

2020.03.02 | By Olga M. Davidson The focus here is on two Persianate texts. The first is the monumental poem of a poet retrospectively named Ferdowsi, or ‘man of paradise’, who lived in the late 10th and early 11th century CE. The second text is in prose: it is a comparably monumental preface to a lavish new edition of the Shahnama that was commissioned in 1426 CE and published in… Read more

A Tale of Two Elgins

2020.02.12 | By Vivian Jin In the West, the name Elgin evokes the controversial removal of the eponymous Elgin Marbles, now housed in the British Museum; however, in China, cultural memory recalls a British general under whose supervision Anglo-French troops entered the Yuanming Yuan (“Garden of Perfect Brightness,” also known as the Old Summer Palace). Although the two acts cannot be attributed to the same individual—it was the seventh Lord… Read more

A piece of the Parthenon in Washington, DC

2019.10.04 | By Ted Widmer In 2013, I spent a happy week at the Center for Hellenic Studies, where I did research on the ways in which Americans read the Odyssey in the 19th century. In my research, I was attuned to the myriad ways in which Americans remembered ancient Greece, including their tendency to misremember it, or confuse it with other civilizations. The Washington Monument offers just one of… Read more