Fall 2023 MASt Seminar (Friday, October 20)

In the aftermath: Surviving the Bronze Age Collapse and looking back to look forward—Papers and Summary of the Discussion held at the Fall 2023 MASt Seminar (Friday, October 20) Dedicating the Fall 2023 MASt seminar to the memory of Diane Harris Cline §1. The MASt team fondly dedicates this seminar… Read more

MASt – Fall Seminar 2021 (Friday, December 17)

MASt – Fall Seminar 2021 (Friday, December 17): Summaries of Presentations and Discussion §1. Rachele Pierini opened the Fall session of the MASt seminars by welcoming the participants to the December meeting. In addition to the regular members of the MASt network, colleagues and students who have already attended previous… Read more

MASt Seminar Summer 2022 (Friday, July 8)

MASt – Summer Seminar 2022 (Friday, July 8): Summaries of Presentations and Discussion §1.1. Rachele Pierini opened the Summer session of the MASt seminars by presenting the different structure of the July event, which hosted the mentor(s) and mentee session. During… Read more

Song 44 of Sappho and the Role of Women in the Making of Epic

2015.02.27, rewritten 2024.02.14 | By Gregory Nagy At H24H 4§20, I formulate this “take-away” from that analysis: “Song 44 of Sappho is an example of epic as refracted in women’s songmaking traditions.” And I simply give a reference there to an earlier analysis that I had attempted, in a book entitled Homeric Questions (Nagy 1996). [The hyperlink directs to an open access version of the book on the CHS website.] I now think that the… Read more

Song 44 of Sappho revisited: what is ‘oral’ about the text of this song?

2016.08.31 rewritten 2024.02.13 | By Gregory Nagy The phraseology that we see in Song 44 of Sappho reveals the same kind of formulaic structure that we see at work in the Homeric Iliad and Odyssey. Such a structure, in the case of Homeric poetry, indicates that this poetry originated from traditions of oral performance. So also in the case of the songmaking exemplified by Song 44 of Sappho, there is… Read more

The Fragmentary Muse and the Poetics of Refraction in Sappho, Sophocles, Offenbach

2009 rewritten 2024.02.11 | By Gregory Nagy [[This essay originally appeared in 2009 in  Theater des Fragments: Performative Strategien im Theater zwischen Antike und Postmoderne (eds. A. Bierl, G. Siegmund, Ch. Meneghetti, C. Schuster) 69-102. In this expanded online edition, the page-numbers of the print edition will be indicated within braces (“{” and “}”). For example,… Read more

Pausanias as novelist: a micro-sample

2018.07.20 | By Gregory Nagy §0. In this post, dated 2018.07.20, I have put together a working retranslation of the sad story of Komaithο, priestess in love, as retold by Pausanias at 7.18.8–7.20.2. Some essential parts of this story have already been paraphrased at §1 in the post for 2018.07.13, but now I need to look at the whole story. And, for that, I need to share my working translation,… Read more

Some imitations of Pindar and Sappho by Horace

2015.12.31 | By Gregory Nagy Horace’s imitations of Sappho in Ode 4.1 and of Pindar in Ode 4.2 show his deep understanding of archaic Greek lyric poetry. Particularly striking is his visualization of Icarus in Ode 4.2 as a negative model for such poetry. The artificial wings of Icarus are seen as a foil for the natural wings of the swan, the sacred bird of Apollo, who is god of… Read more

Homo ludens in the world of ancient Greek verbal art

Rewritten in Classical Continuum 2023.12.29 from Classical Inquiries 2015.10.15 | By Gregory Nagy Mosaic showing theatrical masks of comedy and tragedy, from the Baths of Decius on the Aventine Hill, Rome, 2nd century CE. [image by antmoose, CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons This essay is dedicated to my… Read more