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The 28th Annual Runciman Lecture: ‘Poor the house on Homer’s shores’ - Ancient epic and modern Greek song

King's Building, Strand Campus, London

7 Feb

Contexts for the composition of the Iliad and Odyssey have been debated vigorously, at times acrimoniously, since antiquity. The oral-traditional nature of Homeric verse, as explored by Milman Parry, Albert Lord, and others over the last century, has answered some long-standing questions while giving rise to many others. This talk looks to song traditions of modern Greece, especially Crete, for insights regarding the crafting, transmission, and reception of heroic epics in a changing world.

Richard P. Martin is the Antony and Isabelle Raubitschek Professor in Classics at Stanford University.  He received both his A.B. in Classics and Celtic Languages and his Ph.D. in Classical Philology from Harvard University.  Prior to his appointment at Stanford, Professor Martin taught Classics for eighteen years at Princeton University. His current work concerns Homeric religion; Old Comedy; and ancient poetry in performance. To interpret Greek poetry in the light of performance traditions and social practices, he makes use of comparative materials ranging from fieldwork on oral traditions in contemporary Crete to studies in medieval Irish literature.

Introduced by Professor Gonda Van Steen, Director of the Centre for Hellenic Studies at King’s College London. The lecture is preceded by Orthodox Vespers in the Chapel at 17:15. The event is sponsored by Matti Egon and the late Nicholas Egon. 

This event is free, please register your interest. 

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Runciman_Richard P Martin
Richard Martin

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