Hellenic Studies Announcements, October 2008
- Workshop - Friday, October 3, 1:30 p.m. George Karamanolis: "Greek Humanism in the Late Renaissance"
<Posted on 09/26/2008 09:58>
George Karamanolis (University of Crete; Visiting Fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies)
Respondent: Anthony T. Grafton (Department of History)
Scheide Caldwell House, Room 103
Given the importance of classical Greek in the formation of Renaissance humanism, the role of Byzantine Greek intellectuals (such as Chrysoloras, Argyropoulos and Bessarion) in Renaissance culture has often been rightly emphasized. There has been much less interest, however, in the role that later Greek intellectuals played once Renaissance humanism became a mature movement. Figures like Mathaios Debaris, Leonicos Thomaeos, Iason Denores, Maximos Margounios, Frangiskos Portos and others, hardly ever appear to qualify as humanists, although they were engaged in projects similar to those of Bembo, Poliziano, Crusius, Erasmus, or Zabarella. Such projects included preparing editions of classical authors, composing Greek and Latin epigrams, or taking part in contemporary theological and philosophical debates. This paper argues that the refusal to name these later Greek intellectuals "humanists" stems from unjustified assumptions. Their intellectual profile can only be appreciated if we realize that they too are guided by the ideals and trends of Renaissance humanism.
George Karamanolis is lecturer in Ancient Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy and Social Studies at the University of Crete. He studied Classics in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (B.A. and M.A.), Late Antiquity at King's College, London (M.A.), and Ancient Philosophy at Oxford (D.Phil.). From February 2003 to October 2004 he was fellow of the Centro per lo studio dei papiri ercolanesi in Naples. His research interests lie especially in Hellenistic philosophy and the philosophy of Late Antiquity. In his doctoral thesis he examines the debate among Platonists in late antiquity concerning the merits of Aristotelian philosophy (published as Plato and Aristotle in Agreement? Platonists on Aristotle from Antiochus to Porphyry, Oxford 2006). He is co-editor with Anne Sheppard of Studies on Porphyry (London 2007), and is engaged in the edition of a Herculaneum papyrus of Chrysippus, On Providence. He is currently researching the status of ethics in ancient philosophy. [last updated 2008]
- Lecture - Sunday, October 5, 4:00 p.m. Anthony T. Grafton: "Greek Books and their Readers: From Antiquity to the Renaissance"
<Posted on 09/08/2008 10:13>
Anthony T. Grafton (Department of History)
Location: McCormick Hall, Room 101
Sponsored by the Council of the Friends of the Princeton University Library and co-sponsored by the Program in Hellenic Studies.
- Lecture - Thursday, October 2, 4:30 p.m. Alicia Walker: "Classical Myth and Female Morality in Medieval Byzantium: The Case of the Veroli Casket"
<Posted on 09/26/2008 09:39>
Department of Art & Archaeology Lecture
Alicia Walker (Washington University; Visiting Fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies)
106 McCormick Hall
- Lecture - Wednesday, October 15, 4:30 p.m. Olga Taxidou: "Utopia and Failure in Modernist Performance: The Craig/Stanislavski 'Hamlet' and the Brecht/Berlau 'Antigonemodell 1948'"
<Posted on 10/13/2008 13:08>
Olga Taxidou is a Professor of English at the University of Edinburgh. She is the author of, among other books, Tragedy, Modernity, and Mourning and Modernism and Performance: Jarry to Brecht, and the co-editor of Modernism: An Anthology of Sources and Documents and its complimentary volume A Dictionary of Modernism. She also is well-known for her adaptations of Greek tragedies, which have been performed in Edinburgh, Moscow, Warsaw, Sarajevo, and elsewhere. Her work focuses on the relations between modernist experimentation and classicism. In particular, she has been interested in exploring how theories of tragedy have been reconfigured within the project of modernity, from Nietzsche to Brecht.
Chancellor Green 105
Sponsored by the Departments of English and Comparative Literature, along with the Program in Theater and Dance, The Lewis Center for the Arts, and the Program in Hellenic Studies.
- Lecture - Tuesday, October 14, 6:00 p.m. Nikolaos Panou: "And so ye shall in princely vertues shine: Greek 'Mirrors for Princes' in the Ottoman Balkans"
<Posted on 10/07/2008 13:02>
Nikolaos Panou (Post-Doctoral Fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies)
Respondent: Maurizio Viroli (Department of Politics)
Scheide Caldwell House, Room 103
This paper discusses crucial, yet little-studied, aspects of early modern Greek moral and political thought. Its geographical setting is Bucharest, the capital of the semi-autonomous principality of Wallachia, as it had evolved in the first half of the long and critical reign of Constantin BrÃ¢ncoveanu (1688-1714). A manuscript group of ethico-political treatises, written in Greek and produced under the auspices of the Wallachian ruler by the Pontic scholar and professor Sevastos Kyminitis (1632-1702), provides the context for an investigation into the conceptual and rhetorical mechanisms that conditioned the complex relationship between political realities and their linguistic representations in the pre-Phanariot era. By selectively examining these texts, known today as "mirrors for princes," this paper shows that despite the peculiar nature and radical precariousness of sovereignty [=vassalage] in the Ottoman-controlled region north of the Danube, a concrete need had emerged at the end of the seventeenth century that called for the exploration of new notional territories, the adoption of discursive practices, and the acquisition of theoretical tools that could secure a deeper and more effective understanding of the workings of power on the one hand, but also of man and his place in the world on the other.
Nikolaos Panou (npanou@Princeton.EDU) holds a B.A. in Greek language and literature from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and a Ph.D. from Harvard University in Comparative Literature, with a dissertation on early modern discursive representations of sovereignty in the Ottoman Balkans. His research draws on interdisciplinary methodological principles, combining literary criticism, political theory, and socio-cultural history, and covers a wide range of textual sources from ancient and modern Greek, Byzantine, Romanian, Perso-Ottoman, and European (especially French) literary and philosophical traditions. He has written on the history of Greco-Romanian relations and on early modern Greek literature and historiography, and has organized a conference on modern Greek satire and a Greek silent film festival. He is currently working on a critical edition, with English translation and commentary, of a group of hitherto unpublished ethico-political treatises by the late seventeenth-century philologist, philosopher, and theologian Sevastos Kyminitis. [last updated 2008]
- Lecture - Tuesday, October 7, 6:00 p.m. Ali Yaycioglu: "Competing Sovereignties? Provincial Power-Holders and the Ottoman Empire (1792-1830)"
<Posted on 10/03/2008 14:53>
Ali Yaycioglu (Post-Doctoral Fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies)
Respondent: Molly Greene (Department of History and Program in Hellenic Studies)
Scheide Caldwell House, Room 103
Towards the end of the eighteenth century, Ottoman provinces had come under the control of different individuals and families who constituted similar political and economic formations. Although these individuals and families operated under the Ottoman institutional imperial umbrella, they did not belong to the imperial elite and establishment. They were rather products of provincial realities, local networks and constituencies. This paper focuses on these types of Muslim provincial elites and the institutional formations developed under their leadership. The regional focus is Ottoman Epirus, Macedonia, and Danubian Bulgaria. After comparing and contrasting a number of power-holders in these regions, this paper suggests that by the end of the eighteenth century, several of these power-holders came to negotiate the basis of the Ottoman imperial system, challenging the imperial order through different strategies and mechanisms. As a result of these provincial challenges, they were able to establish sub-sovereignties in the provincial units under their control. By discussing the coexistence of these two sovereignties, imperial (the central state) and provincial (the power-holders), this paper presents a new framework to understand how an early modern empire operated in its provinces.
Ali Yaycioglu received his Ph.D. (2008) in History and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University, with a dissertation on "The Provincial Challenge: Regionalism, Crisis and Integration in the Ottoman Empire, 1792-1812." He earned his B.A. at the Middle East Technical University, majoring in International Relations in 1994, and continued his studies at Bilkent University in History (M.A., 1997) and McGill University in Islamic Studies (1996-1998). His central research interest is how imperial systems and nation-states operate in provinces. More specifically, he focuses on the relationship among central authority, provincial elites, and local communities in Ottoman Greece, Bulgaria and central Anatolia from the late eighteenth century to the end of the Ottoman Empire. He contributed to the Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire (New York, 2008) and the Encyclopédie de L'Empire Ottoman (Paris, forthcoming). His two articles, "An Unruly Crimean Prince in the Turbulent Balkans at the turn of the Nineteenth Century: The Story of Cengiz Mehmed Geray Sultan" (with Hakan Kirimli) and "Was the Sened-i Ittifak (1808) a Failure?" have recently been submitted for publication. [last updated 2008]
- Davis Center Lecture - Friday, October 3, 10:15 a.m. Molly Greene: "Documents for the Pirates: The Use of Consular Authority in the Early Modern Mediterranean"
<Posted on 10/03/2008 11:04>
Molly Greene (History Department)
211 Dickinson Hall
- Workshop - Friday, October 10, 1:30 p.m. Kevin Kalish: "The Poetics of Obscurity: A Recently Edited Poem on the Sacrifice of Isaac (P. Bodmer 30)"
<Posted on 10/03/2008 11:49>
Kevin Kalish (Department of Comparative Literature)
Scheide Caldwell House, Room 103
The Sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22) has been rewritten and imagined anew in many mediums and languages, from Jewish and early Christian art and literature to modern writers, such as Kierkegaard and Auerbach. The late fourth/early fifth century "Codex of Visions" from the Bodmer Papyri offers a new take on this subject. Though composed in epic verse and drawing upon the language and imagery of ancient Greek epic and tragedy, the poem nonetheless serves as a hymn in praise of Abraham. The poem delights in obscurity as it employs complex symbolism and alludes to both classical poets and contemporary Christian ones. This paper attempts to explain this intriguing poem and offers a new interpretation of its symbolism. Moreover, this poem raises larger questions about the deliberate obscurity in Christian poetry of late antiquity and early Byzantium.
Kevin Kalish is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Comparative Literature at Princeton University. He is currently completing a dissertation that explores the melding of classical and Christian literary traditions in the anonymous poems from the Bodmer Papyri. His research interests include Greek and Latin literary culture in late antiquity and early Byzantium; the intersection of theology and poetry; and the classical tradition and reception of antiquity in the Middle Ages. [last updated 2008]
- Conference - Thursday, October 16 "Arts of the East - Byzantine Studies in Princeton"
<Posted on 06/17/2008 11:50>
Sponsored by the Index of Christian Art and co-sponsored by the Program in Hellenic Studies with the support of the Stanley J. Seeger Hellenic Fund, The Department of Art & Archaeology, Princeton University and Firestone Library.
Spaces are limited and registration is required. To register please contact Robin Dunham (firstname.lastname@example.org) before October 9th, 2008.
Please visit the conference website for more information.
- Workshop - Friday, October 17, 1:30 p.m. Michael Paschalis: "Iliadic Themes in Cavafy, Kazantzakis, and Seferis"
<Posted on 10/13/2008 12:43>
Michael Paschalis (University of Crete; Visiting Fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies)
Respondent: Constanze Güthenke (Department of Classics)
Scheide Caldwell House, Room 103
In comparison with the Odyssey, the appeal of Homer's Iliad to twentieth century Greek writers was limited. In addition to the well-known Odyssean 'Ithaca', Constantine Cavafy wrote five poems inspired by the Trojan war. These compositions are individual pieces of mourning for the deaths of Sarpedon, Patroclus, Hector, and Achilles. Taken together, however, they make up that fatal chain of deaths which marks the course of events in the last third of the Iliad, continuing beyond Homer's epic to include the destiny of Achilles. Nikos Kazantzakis displayed a life-long interest in Homer's Odyssey, with the exception of two projects he undertook rather late in life: the translation of the Iliad (in collaboration with Ioannis Kakridis) and the novelistic re-writing of the same epic in KapetÃ¡n MichÃ¡lis (Freedom or Death). Kazantzakis considered Kapetán Michális 'the epic novel of Crete,' and the Iliad is the book's most important intertext. Like Kazantzakis, George Seferis turned to the Iliad rather late, while continuing his long engagement with Odyssean themes. Seferis directly alludes to the Iliad in several later works. This paper discusses the choice and uses of Iliadic material by each of these three Greek writers and attempts to trace the common ground.
Michael Paschalis is Professor of Classics at the University of Crete. He has published articles on Hellenistic and Roman poetry (epic, bucolic, lyric, and didactic), Senecan drama, historiography, the ancient novel, the reception of the Classics, and modern Greek literature. He is the author of Virgil's Aeneid: Semantic Relations and Proper Names (Oxford 1997) and the editor of Rethymnon Classical Studies: Horace and Greek Lyric Poetry (Rethymnon 2002); Roman and Greek Imperial Epic (Herakleion 2005); Pastoral Palimpsests: Essays in the Reception of Theocritus and Virgil (Herakleion 2007). He co-organizes RICAN (Rethymnon International Conferences on the Ancient Novel) and has co-edited the volumes: Space in the Ancient Novel (Groningen 2002), Metaphor and the Ancient Novel (Groningen 2005), and The Greek and the Roman Novel: Parallel Readings (Groningen 2007). He has also co-edited The Reception of Antiquity in the Byzantine and Modern Greek Novel (Athens 2005) and is preparing a book on Cretan Renaissance poetry and an edition of Seferis's translations of André Gide. [last updated 2008]
- Workshop - Monday, October 20, 4:30 p.m. Kostis Smyrlis: "Law and Reality in Byzantium: Right of Private Ownership and the State, Tenth to Fifteenth Centuries"
<Posted on 10/14/2008 15:28>
Kostis Smyrlis (New York University; Visiting Fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies)
Respondent: John Haldon (Department of History and Program in Hellenic Studies
Room 103, Scheide Caldwell House, Princeton University
Defining the character of Byzantine state largely depends on understanding how and under what conditions the empire's resources were distributed between the state, the aristocracy and the Church, and the rest of the population. It is especially important to determine the emperor's rights over the main source of wealth, land, as opposed to those of individuals and institutions. Indeed, the extent to which the right of private property was respected in medieval Byzantium has been debated, with some scholars arguing in favor of its continued validity and others suggesting that the state's practices led to a severe erosion of that right. This paper examines how the evolution in the organization of state finances and the fisc's changing attitude towards land had an impact on the right of private property. This is done through an analysis of the evidence on the Byzantine state's confiscation practices, largely consisting of archival documents dating from the late eleventh to the fifteenth century.
Kostis Smyrlis is assistant professor at the History Department, New York University. Working on the middle and late Byzantine period (tenth to fifteenth century), he has focused on the economy, the land regime and the conflict between the Roman tradition and medieval realities. He is the author of La fortune des grands monastéres byzantine, fin du Xe-milieu du XIVe siécle (Paris 2006). Since 2001, he has participated in the edition of Archives de l'Athos, an ongoing series which publishes medieval documents kept in the monasteries of Mount Athos; he is co-publisher of Actes de Vatopédi II, de 1330 á 1376 (Paris 2006) and Actes de Vatopédi III, de 1377 á 1500 (forthcoming). His current research interests include the examination of the taxation system and the finances of the late Byzantine state (twelfth to fifteenth century). [last updated 2008]