Homo ludens at play with the songs of Sappho: Experiments in comparative reception theory, Essay Two

2019.01.16 | By Gregory Nagy This posting for 2019.01.16 is Essay Two of a long-term project that I started in the posting for 2019.01.08, which is Part One of that project. In Part One, I was analyzing various examples of ancient texts composed by male authors who playfully imitate Sappho by appropriating aspects of her songs in their own literary creations. Here in Part Two, I analyze further examples, and… Read more

Homeric problems and bibliographical challenges, Part 2: More on the performances of rhapsodes at the festival of the Panathenaia

2018.11.30 | By Gregory Nagy §0. This post, dated 2018.11.30, picks up from where I left off in Classical Inquiries 2018.11.22. Here again I am dealing with problems I have encountered in figuring out the historical circumstances of Homeric performances by professional reciters called rhapsōidoi ‘rhapsodes’ at the seasonally recurring festival of the Panathenaia in Athens. As before, my starting point centers on what I have already formulated in a… Read more

Learning to sing, and a dead master of song

2018.03.14 | By Gregory Nagy This essay recapitulates a part of a larger project concerning the craft of singing to the accompaniment of song—as the craft was practiced in Athens and its environs around the fifth century BCE (Nagy 2012). The focal point of interest is a red-figure painting, by an artist named Douris, on a drinking-cup produced between 490 and 480 BCE. I show here a line drawing of… Read more

The Timaeus-Critias as a re-weaving of the peplos presented to Athena?

2017.08.10 | By DM Hutchinson More than just a late dialogue concerning natural philosophy, the Timaeus contains a radical project of replacing the Gigantomachy as the charter myth of Athens. In agreement with Gregory Nagy, DM Hutchinson offers some additional considerations for why the Timaeus-Critias constitutes a new peplos to be presented to Athena during the Panathenaic festival. Read more

Plato on dithyramb as diēgēsis

2016.09.22 | By Marco Romani Mistretta The opening of the Iliad (I.01.12–42) is famously paraphrased in narrative form by Socrates in Plato’s Republic 3, 393d–394a. The paraphrase is meant to illustrate Plato’s distinction between purely ‘diegetic’ and ‘mimetic’ forms of poetic production. Read more