Rowman and Littlefield | Greek Heroes in and out of Hades

Greek Studies: Interdisciplinary Approaches

Foreword by Gregory Nagy, General Editor

DovaGreek Heroes in and out of Hades, by Stamatia Dova, is a breakthrough in literary and cultural research on the ancient Greek world. Her brilliant analysis of Odyssey 11.465-540 radiates outward into a systematic reading of a wide range of seemingly unrelated passages, which all “add up” beautifully in the end, giving us a cohesive picture of heroic character as defined by the heroic figures themselves when they are speaking in their own personae.

Professor Dova’s work encompasses the foundational concepts of the hero not only within the cultural context of Greek epic, lyric, and tragic poetry, but also through a richly nuanced study of the theme of katábasis and its transformations. Her methodical discourse on Odysseus and Heracles as agents of successful transition to and from Hades illuminates the poetics of mortality in a variety of texts.

A high point is her chapter on the Alcestis of Euripides, which is a singularly intelligent and creative new reading of that play in the light of her new insights into Classical heroism.

—Gregory Nagy


Building on the foundations of scholarship within the disciplines of philology, philosophy, history, and archaeology, the Greek Studies: Interdisciplinary Approaches series published by Rowman & Littlefield concerns not just the archaic and classical periods of Greek traditions but the whole continuum—along with all the discontinuities—from the second millennium BCE to the present. The aim is to enhance perspectives by applying various disciplines to problems that have in the past been treated as the exclusive concern of a single given discipline. Besides the crossing-over of the older disciplines, as in the case of historical and literary studies, the series encourages the application of such newer ones as linguistics, sociology, anthropology, and comparative literature. It also encourages encounters with current trends in methodology, especially in the realm of literary theory.

As part of its mission of bringing together a variety of research interests centered on Hellenic civilization and sharing them with a wider audience, the Center for Hellenic Studies offers free access to over 100 books and articles. Gregory Nagy has dedicated over four decades studying the Greek Hero. In addition to professor Dova’s publication, you may enjoy: