Forthcoming Publication – Poetry as Initiation: The Center for Hellenic Studies Symposium on the Derveni Papyrus

The Center for Hellenic Studies is pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of Poetry as Initiation: The Center for Hellenic Studies Symposium on the Derveni Papyrus by Ioanna Papadopoulou and Leonard Muellner, eds. in March 2014 through Harvard University Press.
The Derveni Papyrus is the oldest known European “book.” It was meant to accompany the cremated body in Derveni Tomb A but, by a stroke of luck, did not burn completely. Considered the most important discovery for Greek philology in the twentieth century, the papyrus was found accidentally in 1962 during a public works project in an uninhabited place about 10 km from Thessaloniki, and it is now preserved in the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki.
The papers in Poetry as Initiation discuss a number of open questions: Who was the author of the papyrus? What is the date of the text? What is the significance of burying a book with a corpse? What was the context of the peculiar chthonic ritual described in the text? Who were its performers? What is the relationship of the author and the ritual to the so-called Orphic texts?
Leonard Muellner is Professor of Classical Studies at Brandeis University and Director for IT and Publications at Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies. Educated at Harvard (Ph.D. 1973), his scholarly interests center on Homeric epic, with special interests in historical linguistics, anthropological approaches to the study of myth, and the poetics of oral traditional poetry. His recent work includes “Grieving Achilles,” in Homeric Contexts: Neoanalysis and the Interpretation of Oral Poetry, ed. A. Rengakos, F. Montanari, and C. Tsagalis, Trends in Classics, Supplementary Volume 12, Berlin, 2012, pp. 187-210, and “Homeric Anger Revisited,” Classics@ Issue 9: Defense Mechanisms, Center for Hellenic Studies, Washington, DC, September, 2011.
Ioanna Papadopoulou is the E.U. Fellow in Multi-Disciplinary Research/IT and Publications at the Center for Hellenic Studies and an Associate at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (PHI/ Groupe de Philosophie ancienne et médiévale).  She is the Editor of the CHS-iMouseion Project and of the CHS-Derveni Papyrus Project (with L. Muellner and G. Nagy). She is the author of Le Chant de Pénélope (Paris, Belin, 1994). She is the editor of Pensées Présocratiques, II and III, Revue de philosophie ancienne (2005,2 – 2006, 1).