Though the official purpose of hosting symposia in ancient Greece changed from the Archiac period to the Hellenistic Age, its association with luxury remained constant, while the focus on display of personal wealth grew more important. The introduction of the reclining posture from the aristocratic symposia of the Near East in the 7th century BCE was the catalyst for the increase in Greek symposiasts’ engagement in indulgent extravagance and desire to be distinguished as individuals among peers. Although drinking and homosexual love are essential to the symposium, this thesis paper will examine symposia through written sources, visual representations, surviving furnishings, and architectural settings.
My purpose in this paper is to consider Heroides X in the context of funeral elegy and lamentation ritual in the ancient world. Ovid’s epistle, written in Ariadne’s voice, transports us to the moment of her desertion on Naxos. Through Ariadne’s telling of her own experience, Ovid both invites a sincere empathetic response and plays an intellectual game involving genre. Heroides X functions both as an erotic love poem and as a funerary lament by Ariadne for her own death, the latter of which is apparent through Ovid’s knowing use of gendered conventions of mourning. Focusing on this under-explored aspect reveals a further dimension of rhetorical intricacy to the text, allowing the elegiac form, Ariadne’s experience and description of her abandonment, the emphasized contrast between untroubled past and miserable present, and Ariadne’s shifting between inertia and hysteria to be understood as informed by Greco-Roman lamentation rituals.
The goal of this document is to investigate the performative and musical aspects of Fragment 1 of Sappho’s poetry, also called by the unofficial title Ode to Aphrodite. Research into the identity of Sappho, the music of Ancient Greece including instruments, meter, melody, and theory, and a translation of the fragment all combine to create a reconstruction of an Ancient Greek song.
This thesis looks into the character of Eros that Diotima presents in Socrates’ speech by beginning to explore his nature, and connecting it to Diotima’s female identity and the way that she embodies femininity within the text. I work through her speech, looking at both the specific language and the more general metaphors and myths using feminine language in her description. By connecting Eros to Diotima’s femininity and female nature, I attempt to illustrate that her version of Eros is not only dependent on the language that she uses, but also how the language is dependent on her female identity. Socrates’ character, and the fact that he does not change the format or perspective of Diotima in his account of her lesson, begins to show how the words she uses to describe Eros cannot be separated from her female identity, and how, therefore, Eros is tied to Diotima’s femininity.
I intend to examine ancient Greek views on abortion, evidenced by critical political, philosophical, and medical figures of the day, shaped by mythology and playwrights, and illustrated through surviving academic texts and popular literature. With reference to the original works of Hippocrates, Plato, and Aristotle, among others, and through the synthesis and analysis of modern scholars, such as Konstantinos Kapparis, John Riddle, and Ludwig Edelstein, I aim to present an in-depth examination of the complex framework that shaped ancient Greek views on abortion which continue to resonate so strongly in the contemporary debate.