April 2011 Archives

CNES Grads Shine at CAMWS

From our Director of Graduate Studies, Professor Nita Krevans:
Just back from Grand Rapids, Michigan, where our graduate students gave a range of wonderful papers. (I also heard presentations from several former Minnesota students, including Eric Fanning and Tom Kohn, and from Chris Nappa.) For those who were not at the meeting and could not make the practice session, I've appended a list of the student papers and links to the abstracts below. Congratulations to all the presenters; I hope you enjoyed giving your papers as much as I enjoyed hearing them in their official, public versions.

Cicero Reading Polybius: The Role of Polybius in the De Re Publica. Aaron L. Beek (University of Minnesota)

Death, Friendship, and the Republic: The Dour Settings of Cicero's De Amicitia. Andrew Willey (University of Minnesota)

Poetic Failure/Poetic Flight: The Myth of Daedalus in Horace's Odes. Cynthia A. Hornbeck (University of Minnesota)

Sex, Lies, and Visual Aids: Longus and the Art of Deception. Don M. Burrows (University of Minnesota)

The Cougar in Maiden's Clothing: Callirhoe as Phaedra. Anna E. Beek (University of Minnesota)

Reflections on an Encounter: Hermaphroditus and Salmacis in Ovid's Metamorphoses Book IV. Elizabeth A. Warner (University of Minnesota)

Purest Springs of Fire: Giants and Callimachean Poetics in Pythian 1 and 8. Christine E. Lechelt (University of Minnesota)
A panel discussion in Classical and Near Eastern Studies

Friday, April 29th, 2:00-5:00pm, 140 Nolte

Literate societies, ancient and modern, produce texts of many kinds. Most texts exercise little cultural authority and are read only for brief periods of time, by small groups of individuals, and for limited purposes. But some texts achieve - or are accorded - broad significance and enduring authority. They cease to be merely writings and are transformed into scripture, which is read, studied, and attributed profound meaning of various sorts.

CNES brings together three influential scholars to discuss the phenomenon in early Judaism and the Hellenistic world during the centuries surrounding the turn of the era. Robert Lamberton (Washington University) studies how texts of Homer's poems were established, used, and interpreted in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Benjamin Wright (Lehigh University) examines the production, authorization, and reception of the Septuagint, the Greek Translation of the Hebrew Bible. Molly Zahn (University of Kansas) investigates the rewriting or reworking of biblical books as evidenced in the Dead Sea Scrolls. All three processes transpired more or less simultaneously in different parts of the ancient Mediterranean world. Each instantiates a phenomenon of establishing, authorizing, receiving, and interpreting texts that eventually attained the status of scripture.

Conventional disciplinary boundaries have tended to keep the study of ancient Greek and Hebrew literature separate. But these texts were all generated within the intersecting cultural frameworks of the ancient Mediterranean world, suggesting that new knowledge may be gained by examining them together. We expect that the panelists' areas of inquiry will not only prove mutually illuminating, but yield insights applicable to other literatures and other moments in history.


Robert Lamberton, Department of Classics, Washington University in St. Louis

Benjamin G. Wright III, Department of Religion Studies, Lehigh University

Molly M. Zahn, Department of Religious Studies, University of Kansas


Andrew Gallia, Department of History, University of Minnesota

Alex Jassen, Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies, University of Minnesota

The three panelists will each make a brief presentation based on their published work, selections of which are posted below. Participants and attendees are encouraged to read some of these selections in preparation for the panel discussion. For each panelist, one article or book chapter is highlighted as most important for apprehending his or her subject of inquiry.

Robert Lamberton
Lamberton, Homer in Antiquity.pdf
Lamberton Homer Encyclopedia entries.pdf

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