Nicholas Rynearson, “Courting the Erinyes: Persuasion, Sacrifice and Seduction in Aeschylus’ Eumenides”
At the end of the Eumenides,Athena draws on the discourses of propitiatory sacrifice and amatory persuasion in order to successfully persuade the Erinyes to give up their wrath and accept cult honors in Athens. Athena thus founds the cult of the Semnai with an act of rhetorical propitiation and, through the erotic element of her persuasive speech, offers the Erinyes the surprising role of beloved objects, who will be “wooed” by the Athenians in imitation of her own gentle persuasion.
Emily Kratzer, “A Hero’s Welcome: Homecoming and Transition in the Trachiniae”
The nostos (“homecoming”) of Heracles in Sophocles’ Trachiniae figures as the triumphal return of a victorious athlete. Under ideal circumstances, nostos culminates in the joyous remarriage of husband and wife, but in Trachiniae, reversals that befall Heracles and Deianeira transform the hero’s triumphant nostos into a spectacle of death. While the failed nostos motifheralds disaster and effects a decisively bleak atmosphere throughout the play’s much-discussed ending, it also nods toward a more positive tradition concerning Heracles’ own end, since both vase-painting and early poetic accounts portray Heracles’ apotheosis—featuring marriage to Hebe and reception into Zeus’s household—as a homecoming.
Bernd Steinbock, “Contesting the Lessons from the Past: Aeschines’ Use of Social Memory”
Against tendencies of viewing the orators’ historical allusions as empty rhetorical phrases or manipulative cover-ups for Realpolitik this study of historical paradigms in the debate over the Peace of Philocrates argues that the past constituted political capital in its own right. Using theories of social memory, it contextualizes Aeschines’ and his opponents’ historical examples within the Athenian memorial framework and thus tries to gauge their ideological and emotive weight. Drawing on family memories, Aeschines effectively challenged the Athenian master narrative by linking the rejection of a reasonable Spartan peace offer to the traumatic memories of total defeat and the terror regime of the Thirty.
Ismene Lada-Richards, “‘Body Genres’: Ovid’s Changing Forms and the Metamorphic Bodies of Pantomime Dancing”
This article reads Ovid’s foregrounding of the human body in the Metamorphoses side by side with the most flamboyant public discourse of Augustan Rome where the body was similarly privileged as a medium of communication, namely pantomime dancing, an expression-filled dance form predicated on the mute delineation of character and passion. Ovid’s body-centered poetic vision is informed by the haunting materiality of the staged, dancing body, whose electrifying language had a searing effect on his literary imagination. Reading the Metamorphoses through the lens of pantomime dancing illuminates the profound, albeit underexplored, symbiosis of dance and poetry in Augustan Rome.
Elizabeth Mazurek, “Homer and the Epic Cycle in Ovid Heroides 16-17”
This essay discusses the Cypria and the Iliad as important background texts for Ovid Heroides 16-17, the correspondence of Paris and Helen. It argues that Paris and Helen offer different literary perspectives of their potential elopement and its cause—the Judgment of Paris—which reflect the Cypria and the Iliad, respectively. These letters thus dramatize a narrative cause and effect between Cypria and Iliad at the same time that they underscore stylistic and thematic contrasts between the two poems.
Emily Pillinger, “Inuenta est blandae rationis imago: Visualizing the Mausoleum of the Flavii”
The North African mausoleum of the Flavii family hosts a remarkable verse inscription that interrogates the normal relationship between writing and architecture by exploring a range of spatial and temporal dynamics. The poetry invites its audience to “visualize” the monument through a process that includes viewing the building’s architectural language, reading the inscribed poetry as “literature,” and constructing mental images in response to both stimuli. This visualization process, which also requires the audience to imagine the voices of various different characters involved in commissioning, constructing and commenting on the monument, enacts a powerful form of commemoration.
Dana Fields, “The Reflections of Satire: Lucian and Peregrinus”
The Death of Peregrinusis ostensibly an attack on the eponymous sham philosopher and holy man, but when one looks more closely at how this attack is constructed, other targets emerge. This article argues that Lucian carries out his satire in terms that lead the reader back to his own authorial persona and implicate him in the same desperate striving for fame. But Lucian is not simply undermining himself nihilistically; instead the work becomes a satire on the culture of agonistic display in which both figures were so deeply invested.