Book Review: Inventing Homer: The Early Reception of Epic by Barbara Graziosi

How do ancient sources represent the figure of Homer? This question launches Graziosi’s study, which reaches back to the sixth and fourth centuries BC, cataloguing how ancient sources describe, debate, and imagine the poet “Homer.” The book is divided into six chapters, each tackling a different issue around Homer: his birth, name and place ofContinue reading “Book Review: Inventing Homer: The Early Reception of Epic by Barbara Graziosi”

Book Review: “All that You’ve Seen Here is God” by Bryan Doerries

“All That You’ve Seen Here is God” is a collection of four ancient Athenian tragedies—Prometheus Bound and Sophocles’ Ajax, Philoctetes, and Women of Trachis—translated and introduced by Bryan Doerries. In addition to being a translator, Doerries is a writer and director who founded Theater of War and co-founded Outside the Wire. Both are theater projectsContinue reading “Book Review: “All that You’ve Seen Here is God” by Bryan Doerries”

Book Review: “Thucydides: On Justice, Power, and Human Nature” by Paul Woodruff

One of my current work projects is this collection of selected passages from Thucydides, summarized and translated by Woodruff. It is not a scholarly work in the traditional sense, featuring a stated thesis, supported by analysis of evidence. The scholarship lies in the curation and translations, which present an argument about what Thucydides’ preoccupations andContinue reading “Book Review: “Thucydides: On Justice, Power, and Human Nature” by Paul Woodruff”

Why does war continue?

Among the extant complete (ish) plays of Euripides, five (Bacchae, Alcestis, Medea, Andromache, and Helen) feature these lines in the Chorus’ final stanza: «πολλαι μορφαι των δαιμονιων,πολλα δ’αελπτως κραινουσι θεοι» “many are the forms of superhuman forces,gods bring to pass many unexpected things” In Euripides, as in Homer, we are constantly confronted, within their narrativesContinue reading “Why does war continue?”

Book Review: “The Power of Thetis and Selected Essays” by Laura Slatkin

“The task of hearing as Homer’s audience did requires the apparently paradoxical task of listening for what is unspoken.” Originally published in 1992 and reprinted in 2011 with six essays, The Power of Thetis explores the ways the Iliad engages, via the relationship between Thetis, Achilles, and Zeus, a traditional motif—goddesses who seek immortality forContinue reading “Book Review: “The Power of Thetis and Selected Essays” by Laura Slatkin”

Book Review: The Archaeologist and Selected Sea Stories by Andreas Karkavitsas

In December, Penguin Classics will release a new translation by Johanna Hanink of Andreas Karkavitsas’ 1904 novella The Archaeologist, along with four of his short stories. The Archaeologist can be understood as fable, allegory, and parable for Greek speakers, especially those invested (in one way or another) in the Greek nation-state at the turn ofContinue reading “Book Review: The Archaeologist and Selected Sea Stories by Andreas Karkavitsas”

Homer in Late Antiquity

Being fascinated with the evolution of Greek identity, Homeric reception, and the relationship between the two, I’ve been eager to learn more about Aelia Eudocia (401-460), poet, saint, empress. Her story, as I have learned it, intrigues: Born into a pagan Greek family in Athens, she was named Athenais after her city’s patron goddess. HerContinue reading “Homer in Late Antiquity”

Book Review: Greek Gods for Kids by Monica Roy

Greek Gods for Kids by Monica Roy, which I received from NetGalley for review, is an illustrated introduction to the Olympian pantheon and a few of the most enduring narratives and heroes associated with it. I enjoyed the strong lines and bold colors of the illustrations and found the content to be fluidly organized, effectivelyContinue reading “Book Review: Greek Gods for Kids by Monica Roy”

Language as Cultural Consciousness

“O Helen, Tyndareus’ daughter, the very essence of loveliness, off-shoot of Erotes, ward of Aphrodite, nature’s most perfect gift, contested prize of Trojans and Hellenes, where is your drug granted you by Thon’s wife which banishes pain and sorrow and brings forgetfulness of every ill? Where are your irresistible love charms? Why did you notContinue reading “Language as Cultural Consciousness”

Book Review: “How the Wonders of the World Were Built” by Ludmila Henkova

Can you name the seven wonders of the ancient world? I’m a bit chagrined to admit that I indeed struggle. Somehow, I always seem to forget about the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus… If you’re like me, or you have young readers in your life who are curious about the ancient world, How the Wonders of theContinue reading “Book Review: “How the Wonders of the World Were Built” by Ludmila Henkova”