Disintegration and Reintegration of Society in Archaic Greek Poetry
Gregory Nagy, Francis Jones Professor of Classical Greek Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature, Department of the Classics, Harvard University & Director, Center for Hellenic Studies (Washington, DC), Harvard University, and Keith Stone, Postdoctoral Fellow in Comparative Study of Ancient Texts, Instructional Design, and Research Publications, Center for Hellenic Studies (Washington, DC), Harvard University, as respondent
Synopsis of the lecture:
The disintegration of society as a nightmare scenario is beautifully metaphorized in a most memorable passage composed by Sophocles in his Oedipus Tyrannos. Other passages of classical Greek literature, on the other hand, reveal also an optimistic reverse side, as it were, featuring hopes for a reintegration of society. A stellar example is a brief poem about the wedding of Kadmos and Harmonia, which is echoed in another most memorable passage—this one, from The Bacchic Women of Euripides. Other relevant examples will be adduced, including a brief poem from the Greek Anthology.
Short bio of the lecturer & the respondent:
Gregory Nagy is the Francis Jones Professor of Classical Greek Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University. Since 2000, he serves as Director of the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, DC. He is also the leading founding member of CHS in Nafplio, Greece, and has served as President of the CHS Greece Board of Directors for several years. See Gregory Nagy's bio.
Keith Stone earned his PhD in 2013, in Harvard University’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (Hebrew Bible). His dissertation has been published as Singing Moses’s Song: A Performance-Critical Analysis of Deuteronomy’s Song of Moses (Boston: Ilex, 2016). Within ancient Israelite literature, religion, and history, his research focuses on the dynamics of performing in traditional settings, particularly within traditions linked to founders. Among his secondary interests are Northwest Semitic languages and inscriptions, land ideology, the psychology of abuse and trauma in biblical texts, and ancient Greek myth and hero cult.