We are pleased to feature the following publications and resources that highlight ancient Greek song culture and ritual contexts.
Anton Bierl, Ritual and Performativity: The Chorus in Old Comedy.
In this groundbreaking study, Anton Bierl uses recent approaches in literary and cultural studies to investigate the chorus of Old Comedy. After an extensive theoretical introduction that also serves as a general introduction to the dramatic chorus from the comic vantage point, a close reading of Aristophanes’ Thesmophoriazusae shows that ritual is indeed present in both the micro- and macrostructure of Attic comedy, not as a fossilized remnant of the origins of the genre but as part of a still existing performative choral culture.
Gregory Nagy, Plato’s Rhapsody and Homer’s Music: The Poetics of the Panathenaic Festival in Classical Athens.
This book examines the overall testimony of Plato as an expert about the cultural legacy of Homeric performances. Plato’s fine ear for language—in this case the technical language of high-class artisans like rhapsodes—picks up on a variety of authentic expressions that echo the talk of rhapsodes as they once practiced their art. Through Plato’s eyes, the “staging” of Homer in classical Athens can once again become a virtual reality.
Timothy Power, The Culture of Kitharôidia.
The Culture of Kitharôidia is the first study dedicated exclusively to the art, practice, and charismatic persona of the citharode. Traversing a wide range of discourse and imagery about kitharôidia–poetic and prose texts, iconography, inscriptions–the book offers a nuanced account of the aesthetic and sociocultural complexities of citharodic song and examines the iconic role of the songmakers in the popular imagination, from mythical citharodes such as Orpheus to the controversial innovator Timotheus, to that most notorious of musical dilettantes, Nero.
CHS & CIC Seminar: Ancient Greek Across the Curriculum
Every year the CHS and the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) cosponsor a seminar on Ancient Greece in the Modern College Classroom for faculty members in all fields. The seminar, taught by Gregory Nagy and Kenneth Scott Morrell, offers faculty members an opportunity to extend their knowledge of ancient sources and develop strategies for incorporating them into their courses. This year’s seminar on the Song Culture of Athenian Drama will take place July 23-29, 2012 at the Center in DC.
Homer Multitext Project
The Homer Multitext project, the first of its kind in Homeric studies, presents the textual transmission of the Iliad and Odyssey in a historical framework. It offers free access to a library of texts and images, a machine-interface to that library and its indices, and tools to allow readers to discover and engage with the Homeric tradition. To view the texts use the Manuscript Browser. (We suggest using Firefox or Safari, both freely available.)
The HMT team is currently putting the finishing touches on a new manuscript browser. Among other things, it will allow users to collate and compare manuscripts like never before!
As part of its educational mission, CHS offers free access to a distance learning course taught by Center Director Gregory Nagy. Concepts of the Hero in Greek Civilization provides an engaging introduction to the major themes of ancient Greek myth, cult, and poetics. All readings are in translation and include the epics of Homer, seven tragedies, two Platonic dialogues, and the dialogue On Heroes by Philostratus. We invite you to learn more about this course and our current theme by exploring the selected resources below. Then access all the content from 2010 via our recent blog post on kleos@CHS.
Dialogue 17: Sophocles (High Res Video | Low Res Video)
Dialogue 18: Sophocles (High Res Video | Low Res Video)
Reading: Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, Oedipus Tyrannus (SB2).
(Please note: High resolution video is better for downloading, lower resolution video is optimized for viewing in browser window.)