Ajax: Un héros qui vient de loin

This book, made available with the permission of Giampiero Scafoglio, focuses on the character of Ajax, an important hero in the Homeric Iliad and the so-called Epic Cycle. In the “Cyclic” Little Iliad, he is even the protagonist of an ethically dubious episode: the ‘judgment of arms’, with its tragic… Read more

Ancient Greek heroes, athletes, poetry Part III: Epilogue

2023.01.02 | By Gregory Nagy Epilogue §0. The book had started with Hippolytus the Charioteer and now ends with Achilles the Charioteer. By now we have seen the supreme prestige of charioteering as a primary form of athletics at the Olympics and at other Panhellenic festivals—most notably at the festival… Read more

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, §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

Text and reperformance: do you really need a text for your reperformance?

posted 2021.06.24, to be reperformed 2021.06.30 | By Gregory Nagy §0. This presentation offers friendly criticism of the views of classicists who use such terms as "text" and "reperformance" without fully taking into account various comparative perspectives that have for some time been made available by way of typological descriptions of "live" performance as observed and analyzed in a wide variety of ethnographical studies. Read more