Margaret Alexiou, The Ritual Lament in Greek Tradition
Introduction to the Second Edition
Part I. Lament and ritual
Problems and method 1. Tradition and change in antiquity 2. From paganism to Christianity 3. Modern survivals Part II. Gods, cities and men
4. The ritual lament for gods and heroes 5. The historical lament for the fall or destruction of cities 6. The classification of ancient and modern laments and songs to the dead Part III. The common tradition
7. Antiphonal structure and antithetical thought 8. Conventions, themes and formulae 9. The allusive method Bibliography Abbreviations Bibliographical Supplement Plates
The timing could not be more perfect (téleios). It is a privilege, honor, and joy for me to welcome the second English edition of my Ritual Lament. A privilege above all else because two outstanding young scholars, Panagiotis Roilos and Dimitrios Yatromanolakis, have given freely of their expertise to bring about the completion (télos) of this revised edition, at just the same time as their Greek revised edition of the book is about to appear. There is honor too: the book that launched my career has brought me into contact with people and places, songs and tales, images and diverse texts, extending my horizons beyond England and Greece, to Harvard, and modern Greek studies in America, and now back home again. Without the friendship and support of Gregory Nagy, this cycle could not have run its full course. Finally, there is joy. As I pen these lines in my first year of retirement, I am putting the finishing touches to the indexes of my next book, After Antiquity. I look back on the Ritual Lament, and see the connections. What I saw then as pertaining mainly to death and lamentation, I now see as integral to Greek Language, Myth, and Metaphor (the subtitle of my book). Deepest thanks to my Dioskouroi, Panagiotis Roilos and Dimitrios Yatromanolakis.