Eris vs. Aemulatio

Valuing Competition in Classical Antiquity


Competition is everywhere in antiquity. It took many forms: the upper class competed with their peers and with historical and mythological predecessors; artists of all kinds emulated generic models and past masterpieces; philosophers and their schools vied with one another to give the best interpretation of the world; architects and doctors tried to outdo their fellow craftsmen. Discord and conflict resulted, but so did innovation, social cohesion, and political stability. In Hesiod's view Eris was not one entity but two, the one a “grievous goddess,” the other an “aid to men.” Eris vs. Aemulatio examines the functioning and effect of competition in ancient society, in both its productive and destructive aspects.

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Cynthia Damon, Ph.D. (1990), Stanford University, is Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Among her publications are a critical edition of Caesar’s Civil War and an English translation of Tacitus’ Annals.

Christoph Pieper, Ph.D. (2008), Bonn University, is University Lecturer of Latin at Leiden University. Among his publications are a monograph on the 15th century-poet Cristoforo Landino and a volume on the value of antiquity in antiquity (in the Penn Leiden Colloquia-series).
''The obvious point of reference for this collection, as its editors recognise, is Fisher and van Wees’ volume (Swansea, 2011) and some of the new chapters interact closely with their predecessors. The recent volume is considerably more literary and the exploration of the layers of competition hidden in a given text, managed without losing sight of historical context, is a significant strength of many chapters and the book as a whole. Overall this is a welcome and valuable contribution to the study of Greek and Roman rivalry that offers meaningful competition for existing and future scholarship.'' Joe Whitchurch, in Latomus 79: 511-514 (2002)
1 General IntroductionCynthia Damon and Christoph Pieper

Part 1 Eris Reimagined

2 Hesiodic Eris and the MarketRuth Scodel

Part 2 Ambivalence, Critique, Resistance

3 Agonistic Excess and Its Ritual Resolution in Hero Cult: the Funeral Games in Iliad 23 as a mise en abymeAnton Bierl
4 Certare alterno carmine: the Rise and Fall of Bucolic CompetitionYelena Baraz
5 Stasis, Competition, and the ‘Noble Lie’: Metic Mettle in Plato’s RepublicGeoffrey W. Bakewell
6 Competition and Innovation in Aristotle, Politics 2Inger N.I. Kuin
7 Aristotle’s Poetics and skenikoi agonesOliver Taplin
8 Paradoxes and Anxieties of Competition in Hippocratic MedicineRalph M. Rosen

Part 3 Multivalence, Displacement, Innovation

9 Sleights of Hand: Epigraphic Capping and the Visual Enactment of Eris in Early Greek EpigramsDeborah Steiner
10 Roman Architects and the Struggle for Fame in an Unequal SocietyChristopher Siwicki
11 Political Competition and Economic Change in Mid-Republican RomeSeth Bernard
12 Mihi es aemula: Elite Female Status Competition in Mid-Republican Rome and the Example of Tertia AemiliaLewis Webb
13 The Poetics of Strife and Competition in Hesiod and OvidCharles T. Ham
14 Demosthenes versus Cicero: Intercultural Competition in Ancient Literary CriticismCasper C. de Jonge
15 Competition and Competitiveness in Pollux’s OnomasticonAlexei V. Zadorojnyi
All interested in the literature, history, philosophy and material culture of ancient Greece and Rome, and anyone concerned with the mechanisms and evaluation of competition and rivalry in ancient societies.
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