The Epic City: Urbanism, Utopia, and the Garden in Ancient Greece and Rome

  Giesecke, Annette. 2007. The Epic City: Urbanism, Utopia, and the Garden in Ancient Greece and Rome. Hellenic Studies Series 21. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies.

In Memory of Hakapoua, Wes Mere, and Koha

Hēdea Dōra


This book stems from a sense of lasting awe before the marvels of the natural world. It stems from walks in the woods, along the resounding sea, and through lushly planted gardens. It stems also from the wondrous painted landscapes in Roman houses and villas on the Bay of Naples, from Lucretius’ impassioned, often painterly discourse on Nature, the stark beauty of the Athenian Acropolis, and the timeless allure of the Homeric epics, all vivid expressions of a utopian ideal.

I owe a debt of deepest gratitude to Gregory Nagy for his enthusiastic support of this project. I am grateful also to the many individuals at the Center for Hellenic Studies who had a hand in the shaping of this book, particularly to Leonard Muellner for his generous guidance, Jill Curry Robbins for her efforts in obtaining and assembling illustrations, Ryan Hackney for his apt criticism, and Jennifer Reilly for managing the numerous and complex details of production. To Matthew O’Reilly I owe a growing fascination, as well as continuously evolving understanding, of “the frame” and its properties. Finally, I am grateful beyond words to Donald Dunham for everything.