Wandering Poets and Other Essays on Late Greek Literature and Philosophy
This book presents a substantially revised version of some of the most important and innovative articles published by Alan Cameron in the field of late antique Greek poetry and philosophy. Much new material has been added to the account of the "Wandering Poets" from early Byzantine Egypt, and earlier judgment on their paganism is nuanced. The story of Cyrus of Panopolis and the empress Eudocia takes into account important recent work on the poetry of Eudocia. Several chapters discuss the date and identity of the influential poet Nonnus. The longest chapter reviews the celebrated story of the so-called closing of the Academy of Athens and the trip of its seven remaining philosophers to the court of the Persian king Chosroes, rejecting the fashionable current idea that they set up a new school at Harran on the Persian border. An entirely new chapter discusses a recently published papyrus containing poems of the Alexandrian epigrammatist Palladas, rejecting the editor's claim that Palladas wrote almost a century earlier than hitherto believed. A concluding chapter, never before published, reinvestigates the evidence for paganism in sixth-century Byzantium. Boldly and persuasively argued, and drawing on a profound knowledge of the period, the volume as a whole deepens our knowledge of the rich intellectual traditions of the late antique Hellenic world.
Wandering in Ancient Greek Culture
"Examining the act of wandering through many lenses, Wandering in Ancient Greek Culture addresses questions such as: Why did the Greeks associate the figure of the wanderer with the condition of exile? How was the expansion of the world under Rome reflected in the connotations of wandering? Does a person learn by wandering, or is wandering a deviation from the truth? In the end, this matchless volume shows how the transformations that affected the figure of the wanderer coincided with new perceptions of the world and of travel, and invites us to consider its definition and import today."--BOOK JACKET.
Greek Tragedy on the Move
Greek tragedy is one of the most important cultural legacies of the classical world, with a rich and varied history and reception, yet it appears to have its roots in a very particular place and time. The authors of the surviving works of Greek tragic drama-Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides-were all from one city, Athens, and all lived in the fifth century BC; unsurprisingly, it has often been supposed that tragic drama was inherently linked in some way to fifth-century Athens and its democracy. Why then do we refer to tragedy as 'Greek', rather than 'Attic' or 'Athenian', as some scholars have argued? This volume argues that the story of tragedy's development and dissemination is inherently one of travel and that tragedy grew out of, and became part of, a common Greek culture, rather than being explicitly Athenian. Although Athens was a major panhellenic centre, by the fifth century a well-established network of festivals and patrons had grown up to encompass Greek cities and sanctuaries from Sicily to Asia Minor and from North Africa to the Black Sea. The movement of professional poets, actors, and audience members along this circuit allowed for the exchange of poetry in general and tragedy in particular, which came to be performed all over the Greek world and was therefore a panhellenic phenomenon even from the time of the earliest performances. The stories that were dramatized were themselves tales of travel-the epic journeys of heroes such as Heracles, Jason, or Orestes- and the works of the tragedians not only demonstrated how the various peoples of Greece were connected through the wanderings of their ancestors, but also how these connections could be sustained by travelling poets and their acts of retelling.
Critical Moments in Classical Literature
Through a series of innovative critical readings Richard Hunter builds a picture of how the ancients discussed the meaning of literary works and their importance in society. He pays particular attention to the interplay of criticism and creativity by not treating criticism in isolation from the works which the critics discussed. Attention is given both to the development of a history of criticism, as far as our sources allow, and to the constant recurrence of similar themes across the centuries. At the head of the book stands the contest of Aeschylus and Euripides in Aristophanes' Frogs which foreshadows more of the subsequent critical tradition than is often realised. Other chapters are devoted to ancient reflection on Greek and Roman comedy, to the Augustan critic Dionysius of Halicarnassus, to 'Longinus', On the Sublime, and to Plutarch. All Greek and Latin is translated.
Most classical authors and modern historians depict the ancient Greek world as essentially stable and even static, once the so-called colonization movement came to an end. But Robert Garland argues that the Greeks were highly mobile, that their movement was essential to the survival, success, and sheer sustainability of their society, and that this wandering became a defining characteristic of their culture. Addressing a neglected but essential subject, Wandering Greeks focuses on the diaspora of tens of thousands of people between about 700 and 325 BCE, demonstrating the degree to which Greeks were liable to be forced to leave their homes due to political upheaval, oppression, poverty, warfare, or simply a desire to better themselves. Attempting to enter into the mind-set of these wanderers, the book provides an insightful and sympathetic account of what it meant for ancient Greeks to part from everyone and everything they held dear, to start a new life elsewhere--or even to become homeless, living on the open road or on the high seas with no end to their journey in sight. Each chapter identifies a specific kind of "wanderer," including the overseas settler, the deportee, the evacuee, the asylum-seeker, the fugitive, the economic migrant, and the itinerant, and the book also addresses repatriation and the idea of the "portable polis." The result is a vivid and unique portrait of ancient Greece as a culture of displaced persons.
The Orientalizing Revolution
The rich and splendid culture of the ancient Greeks has often been described as emerging like a miracle from a genius of its own, owing practically nothing to its neighbors. Walter Burkert offers a decisive argument against that distorted view, replacing it with a balanced picture of the archaic period "in which, under the influence of the Semitic East, Greek culture began its unique flowering, soon to assume cultural hegemony in the Mediterranean". Burkert focuses on the "orientalizing" century 750-650 B.C., the period of Assyrian conquest, Phoenician commerce, and Greek exploration of both East and West, when not only eastern skills and images but also the Semitic art of writing were transmitted to Greece. He tracks the migrant craftsmen who brought the Greeks new techniques and designs, the wandering seers and healers teaching magic and medicine, and the important Greek borrowings from Near Eastern poetry and myth. Drawing widely on archaeological, textual, and historical evidence, he demonstrates that eastern models significantly affected Greek literature and religion in the Homeric age.
Greek Mythography in the Roman World
By the Roman age the traditional stories of Greek myth had long since ceased to reflect popular culture. Mythology had become instead a central element in elite culture. If one did not know the stories one would not understand most of the allusions in the poets and orators, classics and contemporaries alike; nor would one be able to identify the scenes represented on the mosaic floors and wall paintings in your cultivated friends' houses, or on the silverware on their tables at dinner. Mythology was no longer imbibed in the nursery; nor could it be simply picked up from the often oblique allusions in the classics. It had to be learned in school, as illustrated by the extraordinary amount of elementary mythological information in the many surviving ancient commentaries on the classics, notably Servius, who offers a mythical story for almost every person, place, and even plant Vergil mentions. Commentators used the classics as pegs on which to hang stories they thought their students should know. A surprisingly large number of mythographic treatises survive from the early empire, and many papyrus fragments from lost works prove that they were in common use. In addition, author Alan Cameron identifies a hitherto unrecognized type of aid to the reading of Greek and Latin classical and classicizing texts--what might be called mythographic companions to learned poets such as Aratus, Callimachus, Vergil, and Ovid, complete with source references. Much of this book is devoted to an analysis of the importance evidently attached to citing classical sources for mythical stories, the clearest proof that they were now a part of learned culture. So central were these source references that the more unscrupulous faked them, sometimes on the grand scale.
Natural Born Heroes
When Chris McDougall stumbled across the story of Churchill's 'dirty tricksters', a motley crew of English poets and academics who helped resist the Nazi invasion of Crete, he knew he was on the track of something special. To beat the odds, the tricksters-starving, aging, outnumbered-tapped into an ancient style of fitness: the lost art of heroism. They listened to their instincts, replaced calories with stored bodily fat and used their fascia, the network of tissue which criss-crosses the body, to catapult themselves to superhuman strength and endurance. Soon McDougall was in the middle of a modern fitness revolution taking place everywhere from Parisian parkour routes to state-of-the-art laboratories, and based on the know-how of Shanghai street-fighters and Wild West gunslingers. Just as Born to Run got runners off the treadmill and into nature, Natural Born Heroes will inspire casual athletes to dump the gym membership for cross-training, mud runs and free-running.
Narrative and Identity in the Ancient Greek Novel
The Greek romance was for the Roman period what epic was for the Archaic period or drama for the Classical: the central literary vehicle for articulating ideas about the relationship between self and community. This book offers a reading of the romance both as a distinctive narrative form (using a range of narrative theories) and as a paradigmatic expression of identity (social, sexual and cultural). At the same time it emphasises the elasticity of romance narrative and its ability to accommodate both conservative and transformative models of identity. This elasticity manifests itself partly in the variation in practice between different romancers, some of whom are traditionally Hellenocentric while others are more challenging. Ultimately, however, it is argued that it reflects a tension in all romance narrative, which characteristically balances centrifugal against centripetal dynamics. This book will interest classicists, historians of the novel and students of narrative theory.