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Lyric and the Sacred -27-28-29-30/06-01/07/2018, Spetses (Greece)


Lucia Athanassaki (University of Crete) and André Lardinois (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen) announce the 5th Open Conference which they are co-organizing on behalf of the Network for the Study of Archaic and Classical Greek Song. The conference will take place on the island of Spetses in Greece from June 27th to July 1st 2018. The topic of the conference is ‘Lyric and the Sacred’.

We see two conflicting trends in the study of the sacred in Greek lyric poetry today. The emphasis on the performance of this poetry in the last decades, on the one hand, has suggested that a great number of the surviving songs and song-dances may have been composed for performance in the Panhellenic and local sanctuaries of the gods whom they honoured. Many of them bear unmistakable traces of the strong impression these performances in sacred locales made or were expected to make on all those who were involved, i.e. poets, performers and audiences. On the other hand, scholars have also drawn attention to the fictional element in descriptions of the divine in songs that in all likelihood were composed for more secular occasions, notably for the symposium. Epinician poetry but also recent finds in other genres, such as Sappho’s Brothers or Kypris song, have shown that it is not always easy to distinguish between these types of song.

FECHA/DATE/DATA: 27-28-29-30/06-01/07/2018

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Island of Spetses (Spetses, Greece)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Lucia Athanassaki (University of Crete); André Lardinois (RadboudUniversiteit Nijmegen); Network for the Study of Archaic and Classical Greek Song

INFO: web - ;


- Estándar/standard/standard: 50 euros

- Dos días/two days/due giorni: 30 euros

- Un día /one day/un giorno: 15 euros

Se ruega enviar un email con el formulario de inscripción a /please send an email with the registration form to /sono pregati di inviare una e-mail con il formulario di registrazione a

Formulario de inscripción/registration form/formulario di registrazione


Wednesday, June 27


Thursday, June 28

08.45-09.00Introduction: Lucia Athanassaki and André Lardinois

Session 1: The many gods of Greek lyric poetry

Moderator: Timothy Power (Rutgers)

09:00-09:45Gabriella Pironti (Paris), “Polytheism in Greek lyric poetry”

09:45-10:30Michael Lipka (Patras), “Communicating gods: Sappho’s Aphrodite, Alcaeus’ Apollo and Pindar’s Muses”

10:30-11:15Anton Bierl (Basel), “The sacred in the aesthetic texture of Greek lyric songs: a survey”

11:15-11:45 Coffee break

Session 2: Songs for Female Deities

Moderators: Mary Lafer (Sao Paulo) and Stelios Panayotakis (Crete)

11:45-12:30Kate McLardy (Melbourne), “Sappho, Aphrodite and delicate Adonis”

12:30-13:15Pura Nieto (Brown), “The sacrality of song: female divine presence in Pindar’s poetry”

13:15-14:00Giuliana Ragusa (Sao Paulo), “Aphrodite in Bacchylides: the deity in a world of melos and eros”

14:00-15:00 Lunch

15:00-18:00 Break

Session 3: Religious Songs on Lesbos

Moderator: John Petropoulos (Komotini)

18:00-18:45Barbara Kowalzig (New York), “Myth, cult and the maritime world of Mytilene”

18:45-19:30Mary Bachvarova (Salem, OR), “Sappho’s theory of mind”.


Session 4: Sacrifice and Symposion

Moderator: Jenny Strauss Clay (Virginia)

19:45-20:30Pavlos Sfyroeras (Middlebury, VT), “Song and/as sacrifice: on the sacrificial pragmatics of song”

20:30-21:15Vanessa Cazzato (Nijmegen/Tokyo), “Make-believe with the sacred at the symposium”

21:30- Dinner

Friday, June 29

Session 5: Divine Authority in Lyric Poetry

Moderators: Konstantinos Spanoudakis (Crete) and Nancy Felson (Athens, GA)

09:00-09:45Dennis Alley (Cornell), “Rhetoric and authority in Pythian 4”

09:45-10:30Agis Marinis (Patras), “Divine inspiration in Pindaric epinicians and cultic songs”

10:30-11:15Saskia Willigers (Amsterdam), “The sacred in narrative: lyric Muses and their narrative function”

11:15-11:45 Coffee break

Session 6: Songs and Ritual

Moderators: Andrew Ford (Princeton) and Zacharoula Petraki (Crete)

11:45-12:30Claude Calame (Paris), “Forms of melic poetry as ritual acts referring to the divine”

12:30-13:15Thomas Hubbard (Austin, TX), “Cultic competition and erotic allure in Alcman’s Louvre Partheneion”

13:15-14:00Carmine Catenacci (Chieti), “From ritual to indecorous symposion: contextualizing Hipponax.”

14:00-15:00 Lunch

14:30-18:00 Break

Session 7: Greek Elegy and the Sacred

Moderator: Ewen Bowie (Oxford)

18:00-18:45Lawrence Kowerski (New York), “To seem to be a god among men: poetic persona and the sacred in the Theognidea”

18:45-19:30Charles Stocking (London, ON), “Sacred power and political subjects in early Greek elegy”

19:30-19:45 Break

Session 8: Songs on Stone

Moderator: Eva Stehle (Maryland)

19:45-20:30Cameron Pearson (Warsaw), “From sacred space to oral poetry: an inscription’s part in poetic culture”

20:30-21:15Don Lavigne (Lubbock, TX), “Poets, Muses, epigram?”


Saturday, June 30

Session 9: Divine Colours, Sounds and Places in Pindaric Poetry

Moderators: Willy Cingano (Venice) and Melina Tamiolaki (Crete)

09:00-09:45Richard Martin (Stanford), “What color is the Pindaric sacred?”

09:45-10:30Amy Lather (Winston Salem, NC), “Sacred soundscapes and Pindar’s eco-poetics”

10:30-11:15Stefano Fanucchi (Pisa), “City of the gods: the mapping of cultic space in Pindar”

11:15-11:45 Coffee break

Session 10: Myth and Cult in Pindar and Bacchylides

Moderators: G. B. D’ Alessio (Napoli) and Eleni Papadoyannaki (Crete)

11:45-12:30Enrico Emanuele Prodi (Venice), “Situating the sacred: myth, song, locality and performance in Pindar’s Hymns”

12:30-13:15Smaro Nikolaidou-Arabatzi (Komotini), “Presence and absence of the sacred in the extant dithyrambic Odes”

13:15-14:00Renaud Gagné (Cambridge), “Singing the edge: Hyperboreans in Pindar and Bacchylides”


14:30-18:00 Break

Session 11: Songs on Paros

Moderator: Anastasia-Erasmia Peponi (Stanford)

18:00-18:45Greg Nagy (Harvard), “‘Sacred Space’ as a frame for lyric occasions: The case of the Mnesiepes Inscription and other possible cases”

18:45-19:30Cecilia Nobili (Milan), “Pythian or Delian? Paros and Apollo from Archilochus to Pindar”

19:30-19:45 Break

Session 12: Indo-European and Near Eastern Backgrounds of Greek Religious Songs

Moderator: David Sider (NYU)

19:45-20:30Almut Fries (Oxford), “‘Sing now the measures of the Paianes’ (Pi. Pae. 6.121-2): praising Apollo the Indo-European way”

20:30-21:15Ian Rutherford (Reading), “Greek Hymns and the Near East: is there any connection?”

21:30- Dinner

Sunday, July 1

Session 13: Divine Lyrics in Attic Drama

Moderator: Michel Briand (Poitiers)

09:00-09:45Angus Bowie (Oxford), “How ‘sacred’ are the lyrics of Aristophanes?”

09:45-10:30Athena Kavoulaki (Rethymno), “Hymnal scenarios, ritual interchangeability and sacred philia in the context of choral lyric”

10:30-10:45 Break

10:45-12:00Lyric and the Sacred: roundtable discussion

Moderators: Lucia Athanassaki and André Lardinois

12:00-13:00 Lunch

13:00 - Departure

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