Video

“The Lives of Homer” and “Life of Ferdowsi” Myths

The combined research of Nagy and Davidson on ancient “Life of Homer” and medieval “Life of Ferdowsi” narratives respectively has shown that the traditional “biographies” about these two poets, as transmitted by a vast variety of communities, can be studied as sources of historical information about the reception of Homer and Ferdowsi. Even though the stories about these poets’ lives are myths, the actual uses of the various different myths… Read more

The Lives of Homer as Aetiologies for Homeric Poetry

"My describing the Lives of Homer as aetiologies converges with the general direction of my argumentation, which is, to show that the narratives of these Lives are myths, not historical facts, about Homer. To say that we are dealing with myths, however, is not at all to say that there is no history to be learned from the Lives. Even though the various Homers of the various Lives are evidently… Read more

The Psychology of Alcibiades

"In this lecture I make the argument that Plutarch's portrait of the fifth-century Athenian statesman, Alcibiades, shares many character traits with the contemporary construct of the psychopath, namely, grandiosity, low emotional affect, instrumental aggression, and chameleon-like versatility. Moreover, Alcibiades' conduct as a leader, again as described by Plutarch, can help us appreciate our own contemporary ambivalence toward psychopathic leadership in the fields of politics and beyond." Read more

Homeric Questions with Leonard Muellner

Today there is no agreement about what the Homeric Question might be. Perhaps the most succinct of many possible formulations is this one: “The Homeric Question is primarily concerned with the composition, authorship, and date of the Iliad and the Odyssey.” Not that any one way of formulating the question in the past was ever really sufficient. Who was Homer? When and where did Homer live? Was there a Homer? Read more