CHS Open House: ‘Monster Menageries of Homer and Hesiod’, with Yiannis Petropoulos
Liberally populating ancient Greek poetry, monsters cannot be taken for granted and should not be treated as preposterous irrelevancies. Their function, ‘meaning’, and the way in which Homer and other poets describe or fail to describe them are of particular theological/religious, anthropological, and compositional interest. In this talk I shall examine basic traits of a number of Homeric and Hesiodic monsters (terata, pelora) and touch on the apophatic (negative, privative) language of wonder, abomination and estrangement with which they are often evoked.
To watch the event live, simply tune in to this blog post at the appropriate time. To participate in the live Q&A, please visit the associated event page on Google+ here
The webcast will be recorded and available for later viewing via the video frame below. View the list of forthcoming events and access a complete list of videos featuring previous Visiting Scholars on the Scholars page here at Hour 25.
To prepare for this discussion, participants might like to read the following focus passages:
Hour25 Focus Passages-Monster Menageries – Yiannis Petropoulos
Members of Hour 25 can start and continue the conversation associated with this event in this Forum thread.
Griffin, Jasper: ‘The Epic Cycle and the Uniqueness of Homer’, The Journal of Hellenic Studies Vol. 97 (1977) 39–53 (The Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies), available on JSTOR.
Davies, Malcolm: ‘Description by Negation: History of a Thought-Pattern in Ancient Accounts of Blissful Life’,Prometheus 13 (1987), 265–84
Yiannis Petropoulos is Professor of Ancient Greek Literature, Democritean University of Thrace, and Director of the Center for Hellenic Studies in Greece.
In 2013 he was Visiting Professor of Classics, University of Sao Paulo (USP), Brazil, and is currently Research Fellow, Biblioteca Mindlin in the same university, working on monsters in early Brazilian ethno-history.
His latest book is Kleos in a Minor Key: The Homeric Education of a Little Prince, CHS-Harvard University Press, 2011, available to read online for free at CHS Publications.
His next book, which is in its final stages of preparation, is entitled Residents of the Via Negativa: Homer’s Cyclopes and other monsters.
Picture credit: Series: The Labors of Hercules, pl. 11
Nicolo Van Aelst (Flanders, 1527-1612), Antonio Tempesta (Italy, Florence, 1555-1630), Italy, 1608
Los Angeles County Fund (65.37.17)