TAPA Issue 131

I. The American Philological Association Presidential Address 2001

  • Julia Haig Gaisser, "Teaching Classics in the Renaissance: Two Case Histories," 1-21

II. Papers

  • Dianna Rhyan Kardulias, "Odysseus in Ino's Veil: Feminine Headdress and the Hero in Odyssey 5," 23-51

    As Odysseus journeys home, from submerged identity back to wholeness and reintegration, from the languishing dangers of exotic vice back to the bed of Penelope, even from death back to life, various devices and disguises demonstrate his epithet polutropos. One maneuver remains unappreciated: his brief aquatic debut wearing a veil (Od. 5.333-462). In Odyssey 5 Odysseus undergoes a rite of passage that features cross-dressing. Ino's loan symbolically separates him from the world of war and fantastic adventures and prepares him to return to human society, and the Homeric veil is an especially appropriate garment to mark the end of Odysseus' liaisons with goddesses and to serve as a talisman against his erotic involvement with Nausikaa. Paradoxically, Odysseus' resumption of mature masculine identity depends on transvestism, a ritual behavior that magically readies him for interactions and negotiations with the mortal women who will facilitate his return.

  • Deborah Beck, "Direct and Indirect Speech in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter," 53-74

    Important themes of the Homeric Hymn to Demeter include the conflict between male and female perspectives and the love between mothers and daughters. This paper enlarges upon previous discussions of the centrality of the mother-daughter relationship of Demeter and Persephone in the Hymn to Demeter by examining representations of speech acts in the poem, particularly those appearing in scenes where this relationship is prominent. The Hymn uses direct and indirect speech in complementary ways to emphasize the relationship of Persephone and Demeter, and more generally of mothers and daughters as opposed to their male relations, as a key theme of the poem.

  • Hardy C. Fredricksmeyer, "A Diachronic Reading of Sappho fr. 16 LP," 75-86

    Previous interpretations of Sappho fr. 16 LP share a "synchronic" perspective, by which I mean that they draw on the poem's images without regard for their temporal sequence in the progress of the poem. Yet there is a need in interpreting poetry designed for oral performance, such as Sappho's, for "diachronic" approaches that treat images sequentially and thereby take account of the actual listening process: as the narrative unfolds the audience revises its impressions of what precedes while anticipating what lies ahead. My proposed "diachronic" interpretation resolves the apparent conflict between antithetical judgments about the character of Sappho's Helen.

  • Ariana Traill, "Knocking on Knemon's Door: Stagecraft and Symbolism in the Dyskolos," 87-108

    This paper shows how Menander individualizes a stock element of the skene by making one of its doors function as a symbol of the play's misanthropic title character. Knemon's door serves as an object with which other characters may interact when he is not onstage, to which they transfer emotions felt towards him, and through which they challenge both his rejection of the community and his over-valuation of isolation. It thus serves as a device to translate the play's symbolic conflicts into physical actions. These physical actions reveal the convergence of Old Comic and late tragic stagecraft conventions, as illustrated by several Aristophanic door-knocking scenes and one scene from Euripides' Helen.

  • Alessandro Pardini, "A Homeric Formula in Catullus (c. 51.11-12 gemina teguntur lumina nocte)," 109-18

    This paper shows that Catullus 51.11-12 gemina teguntur lumina nocte is a close translation of a Homeric formula, amphi de êsse kelainê nuks ekalupse. This reference explains the seemingly bold transferred epithet gemina, determines the meaning of the whole sentence and its role in the poem, and gives a chance to appreciate some aspects of Catullus' refined poetic technique.

  • Basil Dufallo, "Appius' Indignation: Gossip, Tradition, and Performance in Republican Rome," 119-42

    Cicero's prosopopoiea of Appius Claudius Caecus at pro Caelio 33-34 has been under-appreciated for all that it can tell us about the dissemination of information and the function of performance in Roman society. Cicero here co-opts the informal and marginal network of gossip from within the formal information system of judicial procedure. In transforming gossip, Cicero adapts conventions of not only mime and comedy (emphasized by previous scholars) but also aristocratic funeral ritual, carmina, historical drama, and oratory itself. The importance of these elite-sponsored performance traditions to both reproducing and recreating Roman culture emerges powerfully through Cicero's own performance as Appius.

  • Robert A. Kaster, "The Dynamics of Fastidium and the Ideology of Disgust," 143-89

    This paper contends that we can best grasp the emotion-language of another culture not by seeking lexical "equivalents" in our own language but by interpreting the little dramas to which all emotion-language refers: the sequences or "scripts" of perception, evaluation, and response that we enact when experiencing emotion. Taking as its test case fastidium -- a term for "aversion" that can be glossed by a broad range of English "equivalents" -- the paper first argues that nearly all experiences represented as fastidium can be understood with reference to one of two "scripts": the aversion of a "per se reflex"or the aversion of "deliberative ranking." The final section of the paper then draws out some implications of this analysis for our broader understanding of Roman mentality and culture.

  • Daniel S. Richter, "Plutarch on Isis and Osiris: Text, Cult, and Cultural Appropriation," 191-216

    In the de Iside Plutarch tells us that his text is intended in some sense as an exegesis of Plato's Timaeus. This paper asks why Plutarch chose the ostensibly Egyptian myth of Isis and Osiris as the vehicle for his most mature and developed thoughts on the divine and on the structure of the universe. Scholars have long assumed that early imperial Egyptomania motivated Plutarch's "Egyptianizing" of Plato. I suggest, however, that Plutarch's de Iside was motivated less by Egyptomania than by an unwillingness to accept what he saw as the culturally derivative status of Greece which an Egyptian origin of Greek religion implies. On my reading, the de Iside is an appropriative text which has as one of its central aims the demonstration of the priority of Greek philosophy over Egyptian cult.

  • Donald Lateiner, "Humiliation and Immobility in Apuleius' Metamorphoses," 217-55

    Apuleius' Metamorphoses pictures provincial Greek urban elites enjoying the discomfiture of others below them. The novel illustrates pleasures in reminding the younger, the poorer, the disfigured, slaves, and beasts of their inferiority. This paper describes those techniques of enforcing and displaying superiority, especially embarrassment and laughter. It also surveys the victims' responses. These usually end with their disempowered silence and stillness. Apuleius analogizes immobility to objectification as statues and to death-like experiences. Powerful perpetrators and victims engage in structured Roman spectacles: brutality and vulnerability establish a grim world. An ever-darkening canvas culminates in the final salvation. Lucius yet again delusionally thinks he has escaped.

  • Michael Roberts, "The Last Epic of Antiquity: Generic Continuity and Innovation in the Vita Sancti Martini of Venantius Fortunatus," 257-85

    The Vita Sancti Martini (VSM) of Venantius Fortunatus, composed between 573 and 576 CE, is a long narrative poem in four books of dactylic hexameters, belonging to the subgenre of hagiographical epic. In this paper, taking my starting point from Fortunatus' own account of his Christian literary antecedents, I analyze the affiliations of the VSM with the conventions of Latin epic; situate the poem in the context of late Latin narrative poetry, both sacred and secular; and identify the qualities that differentiate the VSM from its predecessors and mark Fortunatus' particular contribution to the epic tradition. The VSM is an epigrammatic, epideictic epic of rhetorically refined meditation.

III. Presidential Panel 2001

  • Julia Haig Gaisser, "Traditional Specialties at the Turn of the 21st Century: A Janus View," 287-88
  • Eleanor Dickey, "What Good is a Rebellious Teenager? Classics and Linguistics in the Twentieth Century," 289-96
  • Ann Ellis Hanson, "Papyrology: Minding Other People's Business," 297-313
  • David Potter, "Roman History and the American Philological Association 1900-2000," 315-27
  • Michael C. J. Putnam, "The Loom of Latin," 329-39

IV. Paragraphoi

  • Helen H. Bacon, "Plato and the Greek Literary Tradition," 341-52
  • Charles Henderson, Jr., "Quorum pars parva fui," 353-62

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