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University Seminars Program
Onassis Series In Hellenic Culture

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Onassis Series In Hellenic Culture

In this series, Oxford University Press will publish books based on original scholarly material presented within the University Seminars Program. Each book will be authored by an Onassis Senior Visiting Scholar.

Professor Alain Bresson, University of Chicago

Alain Bresson is Professor in the Department of Classics at the University of Chicago. He is an historian of the ancient world with particular interests in the ancient economy, the Hellenistic world, and the epigraphy of Rhodes and Asia Minor. His books include L'économie de la Grèce des cités, La cité marchande, Recueil des inscriptions de la Pérée rhodienne, and, as editor, five more books on matters of economics, civic life, writing and public power, and the history of the family. In addition to his Onassis series book on the origins of coinage, he is currently working on a new handbook of the economies in the classical world (in collaboration with Elio Lo Cascio and Francois Velde), and preparing the English translation of his book on the economy of Greek cities.

About the Book:
Why Coinage? The Origins and Development of Coinage in Ancient Greece
Coins are familiar to all of us, so familiar that coinage may seem to be almost co-existent with human life or civilization. Yet, this very familiar means of payment has a history, and we are fortunate enough to be able to determine when and where it all began: around 600 BCE, in Western Asia Minor, in a Greco-Lydian context. This book will propose a new explanation for the origins and development of this particular form of money. What circumstances made coinage possible? What made it necessary? How was it maintained? What were the main phases of its development? These are the questions to which this book will provide startling new answers.

Dr. Simon David Goldhill, University of Cambridge

Dr. Simon David Goldhill is Professor of Greek at the University of Cambridge, Fellow of Kings College and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the author and editor of 21 books and numerous articles on Ancient Greece. He has held visiting Professorships at Universities in Europe and the US and has offered numerous lectures as a keynote speaker in international conferences or in the framework of prestigious named lectures at Universities around the world.

About the Book:
Sophocles and the Language of Tragedy
Sophocles and the Language of Tragedy has three aims. First, it analyzes the extraordinary language of Greek tragedy in the hands of Sophocles: it looks at the flickering ironies that run through his tragedy, at how he constructs searing and destructive dialogue, how he experiments with the chorus' lyric voice. Second, it explores how Sophocles enters the critical language of tragedy from the nineteenth century onwards: what did the chorus mean for German philosophers? How did English schoolmasters understand the angry Electra? What did the word "tragedy" mean for Nietzsche or Hegel or Wagner? The third enquiry, however, is to explore the relation between these first two areas – a problem that is at the cutting edge of current critical concerns: how much is the understanding of Sophocles determined by a specific historical and cultural context? Is Sophocles really different for every generation? This book opens a new vista on Sophocles' tragedies, on the reception of tragedy, and on what it means to be a modern reader of ancient Greek drama.

Sophocles and the Language of Tragedy
Simon Goldhill
ISBN13: 9780199796274
ISBN10: 0199796270
Hardback, 336 pages
Feb 2012
Price: $35.00
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Dr. Edith Hall, King’s College, London

Edith Hall was awarded her doctorate at Oxford in 1988, which won the Hellenic Foundation Prize for the best thesis in ancient Greek studies and was published as Inventing the Barbarian. She has subsequently held posts and the universities of Reading, Cambridge, Oxford, and Durham, and is currently a Professor of Classics at King's College London. She is also co-founder with Oliver Taplin of the Archive of Performances of Greek & Roman Drama at the University of Oxford, and has been involved in several professional productions of ancient Greek drama. Her publications include an edition of Aeschylus′ Persians, Greek & Roman Actors (with Pat Easterling), Greek Tragedy and the British Stage (with Fiona Macintosh), The Theatrical Cast of Athens, The Return of Ulysses: A Cultural History of Homer′s Odyssey, and Greek Tragedy: Suffering under the Sun, in addition to several co-edited volumes on ancient culture and its reception.

About the Book:
Adventures with Iphigeneia: From the Black Sea to the Global Village
The heroine of Euripides′ now neglected tragedy Iphigenia among the Taurians is the nearest thing to a “quest heroine” in ancient drama: intelligent, courageous, and specially loved by the goddess Artemis, she secures her escape, with her brother Orestes, from the remote corner of the Black Sea, in the land of the Taurian barbarians where they have both been stranded. Adventures with Iphigeneia will examine the cultural impact of her remarkable tragedy from its first performance in the penultimate decade of the fifth century BCE to the third millennium.

Adventures with Iphigenia in Tauris
A Cultural History of Euripides' Black Sea Tragedy

Edith Hall
ISBN13: 9780195392890
Hardback, 384 pages
Forthcoming November 2012
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Frank L. Holt, University of Houston

Professor Frank L. Holt has taught ancient history at the University of Houston for thirty years, where he has earned seven teaching awards, including two University Teaching Excellence Awards and the inaugural Distinguished Leadership in Teaching Excellence Award. His many published books include Lost World of the Golden King: In Search of Ancient Afghanistan, The Alexander Medallion: Exploring the Origins of a Unique Artefact, Into the Land of Bones: Alexander the Great in Afghanistan, Alexander the Great and the Mystery of the Elephant Medallions, and Thundering Zeus: The Making of Hellenistic Bactria.

About the Book:
The Treasures of Alexander the Great
The Treasures of Alexander the Great will examine the material fortune of the world’s most successful conqueror. According to many economists and historians, young Alexander amassed more riches more rapidly than any other individual in history, an economic boon said to be matched only by the massive exploitation of the New World by the major powers of early modern Europe. As Frank L. Holt will argue in this book, there may be no better means to understand the values and legacy of the enigmatic Alexander than to see how he managed these resources.

Professor David Konstan, New York University

David Konstan is Professor of Classics at New York University and Professor Emeritus of Classics and Comparative Literature at Brown University. Among his books are Roman Comedy (1983), Sexual Symmetry: Love in the Ancient Novel and Related Genres (1994), Greek Comedy and Ideology (1995), Friendship in the Classical World (1997), Pity Transformed (2001), The Emotions of the Ancient Greeks (2006), "A Life Worthy of the Gods": The Materialist Psychology of Epicurus i> (2008), and Before Forgiveness: The Origins of a Moral Idea (2010). He was president of the American Philological Association in 1999, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

About the Book:
Beauty: The Fortunes of an Ancient Greek Idea
The nature of beauty has been plagued with one important problem. On the one hand, beauty is associated with erotic attraction; on the other, it is the primary category in aesthetics, and it is widely supposed that the proper response to a work of art is one of disinterested contemplation. Beauty: The Fortunes of an Ancient Greek Idea will provide a thorough investigation of ancient Greek notions of beauty and, in the process, shed light on the problems of modern aesthetics and on how we ought to appreciate the artistic achievements of the classical world itself. A study of the ancient Greek idea of beauty shows that, even if Greece was the inspiration for modern aesthetic ideals, the Greek view of the relationship between beauty and desire was surprisingly consistent – and different from our own.

Professor Emerita Mary Lefkowitz, Wellesley College

Mary Lefkowitz, a graduate of Wellesley College and Radcliffe College (Harvard University), taught at Wellesley from 1960-2005. She has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, several honorary degrees, and a National Humanities Medal “for outstanding excellence in scholarship and teaching.” An Honorary Fellow of St. Hilda’s College, Oxford, she is a Trustee of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. Dr. Lefkowitz has written articles and books about the ancient Greek poet Pindar, women in Greek and Roman antiquity, and fictional biography and history in the ancient world. Her book Greek Gods, Human Lives seeks to restore the gods to their ever-important role in ancient narratives. She is known outside the academic world for Not out of Africa, her best-selling analysis of contemporary fictions about ancient history, and Black Athena Revisited, which she co-edited with Guy M. Rogers. Dr. Lefkowitz has appeared on national radio talk shows, on CBS television’s 60 Minutes, and was the subject of interviews in The Boston Globe and The Washington Post. History Lesson, her book about the intellectual issues raised by the Black Athena controversy, is “a clear-eyed look at the perils--and promise--of contemporary academic life” (Booklist).

About the Book:
Euripides and the Gods
Many modern readers believe that in his dramas Euripides was questioning the nature and sometimes even the existence of the gods, and that his plays are deeply ironic and designed to reveal the flaws in the traditional religious beliefs of his own time. This book will argue that this characterization is misleading, and that rather than seeking to undermine ancient religion, Euripides is describing with a brutal realism what the gods are like, and reminding his mortal audience of the limitations of human understanding. Like Homer in the Iliad, Euripides in his dramas is making a statement about the nature of the world and human life, terrible and dispassionate.

Professor Henry Maguire, Johns Hopkins University

Henry Maguire is a Professor in the History of Art Department of Johns Hopkins University. Before receiving this post in 2000 he was at the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for over 20 years. He was Director of Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks (Harvard University) from 1991-6. His current research includes Byzantine secular art and literature, mosaics of the Basilica of Eufrasius at Porec, and medieval sculpture in Venice. He is the author of numerous publications including Art and Eloquence in Byzantium, Earth and Ocean: The Terrestrial World in Early Byzantine Art, and the forthcoming San Marco, Byzantium, and the Myths of Venice (co-edited with Robert Nelson).

About the Book:
Nectar and Illusion: the Reception of Nature in Byzantine Art and Literature
Byzantine attitudes toward terrestrial nature were complex and ambivalent. On the one hand, Byzantine literature and art celebrated nature as a reflection of the glory of its Creator and as the cradle of the Incarnation; on the other hand, the Byzantines viewed the natural world as fleeting and corruptible, and mistrusted it as a distraction from spiritual reality and the permanent rewards of their faith. This book will explore the contradictions created by the Byzantine reception of nature, in both the verbal and the visual arts.

Nectar and Illusion
Nature in Byzantine Art and Literature

Henry Maguire
ISBN13: 9780199766604
Hardback, 224 pages
In stock July 2012
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Professor William Murray, University of South Florida

William Murray is the Mary and Gus Stathis Professor of Greek History at the University of South Florida. He was the founding director of the university’s Interdisciplinary Center for Hellenic Studies, served two terms as chair of the department, and currently serves as director of the university's Ancient Studies Center. He has taught as a visiting scholar at the University of Haifa (in 1997), the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (1986; 1996-96), and was selected a National Lecturer by the Archaeological Institute of America annually between 1989 and 2007, when he held the Institute’s Charles Elliott Norton Lectureship. His scholarly interests embrace all aspects of ancient seafaring, from ships and sailing routes to trade and ancient harbors, to naval warfare and weaponry. In pursuit of these interests over the past thirty years, he has been involved in numerous archaeological projects in Greece, Israel and Turkey, both on land and underwater. He is author (with Ph. M. Petsas) of Octavian's Campsite Memorial for the Actian War, the compiler of "Epirus and Acarnania" for the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, and is currently working with Konstantinos Zachos to recreate full-sized warship rams from the Battle of Actium.

About the Book:
The Age of Titans: The Rise and Fall of the Great Hellenistic Navies
Thanks to Olympias, a full-scale working model of an Athenian trieres (trireme) built by the Hellenic Navy during the 1980s, we roughly understand the physical properties of the trireme navies that defeated Xerxes at Salamis and helped build the Athenian Empire of the High Classical Age. The Age of Titans picks up the story of naval warfare and naval power after the Peloponnesian War, following it into the fourth and third centuries BCE when Alexander's successors built huge oared galleys in what has been described as an ancient naval arms race. This book will represent the fruits of more than thirty years of research into warships "of larger form" (as Livy calls them) that weighed hundreds of tons and were crewed by 600 to 1000 men and more. The book will argue that concrete strategic objectives, more than simple displays of power, explain the intense arms race that developed among Alexander's most powerful successors and drove the development of a new model of naval power. The model's immense price tag was unsustainable, however, and during the third century the big ship phenomenon faded in importance, only to be revived unsuccessfully by Antony and Cleopatra in the first century BCE.

The Age of Titans
The Rise and Fall of the Great Hellenistic Navies

William Murray
ISBN13: 9780195388640
ISBN10: 019538864X
Hardback, 384 pages
Nov 2011
Price: $45.00
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Professor Claudia Rapp, University of California at Los Angeles

Claudia Rapp studied at the Freie Universität Berlin and at Oxford University and since 1984 has been a Professor in the History Department at UCLA, where she teaches Late Antique and Byzantine history. Her research interests are the social relations within Byzantine Christianity, the construction of authority (especially of holy men and of bishops), and the uses of writing. She has held fellowships at the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, Dumbarton Oaks, Utrecht University, and All Souls College, Oxford, and lectured in Tokyo, Melbourne, Harvard, Oxford, Leiden, Berlin, and Spoleto. She is the co-editor of three books, and author of Holy Bishops in Late Antiquity (2005) and more than thirty articles.

About the Book:
Ritual Brotherhood In Byzantium
Among medieval Christian societies, Byzantium is unique in preserving the text of a church ritual for "brother-making" (adelphopoieia, adelphopoiesis), in which two men, who are often married, are pronounced by the prayers of a priest to be "brothers." They are expected to remain on friendly terms, and have access to one another's households as quasi-family members. Both the ritual and its application are well attested from the late eighth century to the fifteenth century and beyond. Dr. Rapp's book will consider all aspects of ritual brotherhood and its application throughout Byzantine history, shedding light on the evolution of a social institution over several centuries.

Professor Tim Whitmarsh, Corpus Christi at the University of Oxford, UK

Tim Whitmarsh is the E.P. Warren Praelector and Tutor in Classics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He received his doctorate, which won the Hellenic Foundation prize in 1998, from the University of Cambridge; since then he has held positions in Cambridge and Exeter, before moving to Oxford in 2007. He is the author of Greek Literature and the Roman Empire, Ancient Greek Literature, The Second Sophistic, and Returning Romance, as well as over 50 articles, and has edited several collections of essays. He has lectured all over the world, written for the Times Literary Supplement and the London Review of Books, and appeared on BBC radio.

About the Book:
Hellenism, Orientalism, and the Invention of the Novel
Who invented the novel? Where did it come from? Is this the one literary genre that we cannot blame on the Greeks? These questions go back at least to the seventeenth century, to the redoubtable French polymath and future bishop Pierre­­-Daniel Huet, who credited the invention of the form to “orientals”; and, what is more, they have an obvious resonance in our age, in which the controversies stirred by Black Athena are still alive. But are they the right questions to ask? This book will argue that the earliest novels were indeed products of the contact zones between Greece and the East; but to understand these origins, the book will propose, we need to radically rethink, that is to say denationalize, our sense of what Greek culture actually was in the Hellenistic and early imperial periods.

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