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A History of the Proverb in Greece and Rome

What is a “proverb”? What is a “sententia”? What is a “saying”? To many readers, the question may seem superfluous, and the answer rather obvious, if even one of the greatest scholars of proverbs, namely Archer Taylor, declared that “an incommunicable quality tells us this sentence is proverbial, and this one is not.” To all of us, in fact, proverbs, sententiae, sayings, and many more (maxims, apophthegms, aphorisms, and so… Read more

Five essays, ready for newer annotations, centering on theories about oral traditions: Orality and literacy – Essay Two

Essay 2. Orality and literacy revisited 2022.1.9 | By Gregory Nagy A slightly rewritten version of an essay originally published 2017 in Classical Inquiries, https://classical-inquiries.chs.harvard.edu/orality-and-literacy-revisited/. §1. I am surprised that I have never been asked the question: since Albert Lord was your mentor, and since you count yourself among… Read more

Odyssey 24

By Gregory Nagy | 2022.12.30 This essay, posted 2022.12.30 in Classical Continuum, is a “preprint” and pre-edited version of a text submitted to the Oxford Critical Guide to Homer’s Odyssey, edited by Joel P. Christensen, forthcoming. Figure 48a. “Mercury Conducting the Souls of the Suitors to the Infernal Regions” (1805). Read more

Sacred Space as a Frame for Lyric Occasions

By Gregory Nagy | 2022.12.29 Introduction The three terms sacred space and frame and lyric occasions in the title of this essay all need to be questioned for their meanings, which depend in each case on the overall meaning of the title that combines these terms. As for the word… Read more