Herodotus

Notes on Xerxes and His Persian Empire

2017.08.03 | By Olga M. Davidson Adapted from notes written by Olga Davidson and originally published in The Glimmerglass Festival’s 2017 Program Book. The 2017 Glimmerglass production of Handel’s XERXES, directed by Tazewell Thompson, runs through August 18. Read more

“Life of Homer” myths as evidence for the reception of Homer

2015.12.18 | By Gregory Nagy This inquiry centers on the surviving texts of ‘Life of Homer’ narrative traditions, to which I refer simply as Lives of Homer. These Lives, I argue, can be read as sources of historical information about the reception of Homeric poetry. The information is varied and layered, requiring diachronic as well as synchronic analysis. The Lives portray the reception of Homeric poetry by narrating a series… Read more

Herodotus and a courtesan from Naucratis

2015.07.01 | By Gregory Nagy In the History of Herodotus, at 2.134–135, we read about a beautiful hetaira or ‘courtesan’ named Rhodōpis. This woman, according to the reportage of ‘some Greeks’ as opposed to others (metexeteroi . . . Hellēnōn), commissioned the building of the third and smallest of the three pyramids at the site now known as Giza. Herodotus says that this reportage is incorrect. Read more