Authorship and Greek Song: Authority, Authenticity, and Performance

Studies in Archaic and Classical Greek Song, Vol. 3


Authorship and Greek Song is a collection of papers dealing with various aspects of authorship in the song culture of Ancient Greece. In this cultural context the idea of the poet as author of his poems is complicated by the fact that poetry in archaic Greece circulated as songs performed for a variety of audiences, both local and “global” (Panhellenic). The volume’s chapters discuss questions about the importance of the singers/performers; the nature of the performance occasion; the status of the poet; the authority of the poet/author and/or that of the performer; and the issues of authenticity arising when poems are composed under a given poet’s name. The volume offers discussions of major authors such as Pindar, Sappho, and Theognis.

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Egbert J. Bakker (PhD 1988, Leiden) is the Alvan Talcott Professor of Greek at Yale University. His books include The Meaning of Meat and the Structure of the Odyssey (Cambridge, 2013) and Poetry in Speech: Orality and Homeric Discourse (Ithaca, 1997).

Contributors are: Egbert J. Bakker, Nicholas Boterf, Leanna Boychenko, Christopher Carey, Jesús Carruesco, Sarah Harden, Jacqueline Klooster, Vayos Liapis, Richard P. Martin, Irene Peirano-Garrison, Elisabetta Pitotto, Amedeo Raschieri, Eva Stehle, and Laura Swift.
"Insgesamt lässt sich an den Beiträgen des Bandes die aktuelle Forschungsdiskussion zum Thema Autorschaft in der Archaik gut nachvollziehen. (...) Vielmehr bieten die durchweg spannenden und qualitätvollen Beiträge en gros Rekonstruktionsversuche einer performativen Ästhetik archaischer Dichtung. Diese Rekonstruktionsarbeit einer uns auf den ersten Blick unwiederbringlich verlorenen Erfahrung ist der größte und verdienstvollste Ertrag dieses Sammelbandes." - Markus Hafner, in: Gnomon 7.90.2018
"This volume then appears as an important and very welcome contribution to the study of the archaic and classical Greek song. With their wealth of suggestions, strong critical engagement with the ancient sources, knowledge of the research of other scholars who have preceded them on such matters, and careful philological approach, the authors of these essays open new and stimulating perspectives on Greek song. Their essays encourage further scholarship in engaging with poetic texts, in order to reconstruct the socio-political contexts of their origins and reperformances, and the survival of their authors’ background and aims as the ‘seal’ of authority that transmits ethical and cultural values to future generations throughout the Greek world." - Antonietta Provenza, in: Greek and Roman Musical Studies Vol. 7 (2019)
Professional classicists (graduate students and scholars) interested in Greek poetry and questions of authorship in the ancient world