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Genre in Archaic and Classical Greek Poetry: Theories and Models

Studies in Archaic and Classical Greek Song, Vol. 4


Edited by Margaret Foster, Leslie Kurke and Naomi Weiss

Genre in Archaic and Classical Greek Poetry foregrounds innovative approaches to the question of genre, what it means, and how to think about it for ancient Greek poetry and performance. Embracing multiple definitions of genre and lyric, the volume pushes beyond current dominant trends within the field of Classics to engage with a variety of other disciplines, theories, and models. Eleven papers by leading scholars of ancient Greek culture cover a wide range of media, from Sappho’s songs to elegiac inscriptions to classical tragedy. Collectively, they develop a more holistic understanding of the concept of lyric genre, its relevance to the study of ancient texts, and its relation to subsequent ideas about lyric.

Denis Michael Searby


The Hellenistic and early Imperial evidence of χρεία (chreia) in the sense of anecdote is summarized with the aim of completeness. The special rhetorical sense of this common Greek word is discussed, and a new explanation of the semantic derivation is offered: it is suggested that the sense of anecdote derives from the earlier sense of dealings rather than utility. The proposal that Metrocles or the Cynics invented the micro-genre of chreiai is strongly criticized. It is to the Socratics more generally we should look for its origins, if the genre must be supposed to have originated among philosophers, which is not certain.

On the Building of a Narrative

The Ver Sacrum Ritual

Karin W. Tikkanen


The ver sacrum ritual remains a riddle in the early history of the Apennine peninsula. Several ancient Roman as well as Greek sources use the ritual in explaining Samnite movements across the peninsula, as ritual group expulsion of settlers sent out to colonize new lands. In short, this becomes the narrative ‘plot’ of archaic colonization.

The ritual is however described very differently in the different sources, with regard to detail and to the plot elements involved in the tale. This article explores the various layers in the rendering of the ritual, and the different voices that take part in forming the ver sacrum narrative. With this perspective the ver sacrum becomes an expanded testimony of a tradition, used by different authors to stress various elements of their own historical reports.

Crises and the Roman Empire

Proceedings of the Seventh Workshop of the International Network Impact of Empire (Nijmegen, June 20-24, 2006)


Edited by O. Hekster, G. de Kleijn and Daniëlle Slootjes

This volume presents the proceedings of the seventh workshop of the international thematic network 'Impact of Empire', which concentrates on the history of the Roman Empire and brings together ancient historians, archaeologists, classicists and specialists on Roman law from some 30 European and North American universities. The seventh volume focuses on the impact that crises had on the development and functioning of the Roman Empire from the Republic to Late Imperial times. The following themes are treated: the role of crises in the empire as a whole; the relationship between crises and the Roman economy; modes in which crises influenced the presentation of emperors, and the impact of crises on and reception in (legal) writings.