Cover Page


A Companion to Classical Receptions

Praise for A Companion to Classical Receptions

“It is impossible in a short review to do justice to every single contribution of this multifaceted volume. One of the many attractive features of this collection is that it offers not only innovative essays about the reception and translation of the most read authors of antiquity … but also expands the horizon of the reception studies by introducing into the discussion untraditional themes and providing original approaches to the concepts frequently discussed in the context of reception.”

The Classical Outlook

“This volume is an essential introduction to reception studies for both school and university students. Written in an accessible and engaging manner with useful sections for further reading.”

Journal of Classics Teaching

“… importantly, this volume exemplifies the recent boom in reception studies, and its potential to critique our subject and methodology.”

Greece and Rome

“Hardwick and Stray’s Companion pushes lingering worries about elitism and irrelevance right off the table. It offers bold reasons to treat classical studies as the cosmopolitan glue of the postmodern world. The book sparkles with the excitement that makes A Companion to Classical Receptions such an eye-opening delight.”

Times Literary Supplement

“A spectacular volume from the massive series of Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World. The editors have pulled in a wider splay of trades and topics than any of their companions’ companions or their own now mushrooming rivals can boast.”

Bryn Mawr Classical Review

“There is sufficient careful scholarship, critical analysis, and contextualisation in this collection to warrant the claim that it provides a sophisticated and far-ranging overview of this burgeoning and dynamic field.”



This series provides sophisticated and authoritative overviews of periods of ancient history, genres of classical literature, and the most important themes in ancient culture. Each volume comprises between twenty-five and forty concise essays written by individual scholars within their area of specialization. The essays are written in a clear, provocative, and lively manner, designed for an international audience of scholars, students, and general readers.



A Companion to the Roman Army

Edited by Paul Erdkamp

A Companion to the Roman Republic

Edited by Nathan Rosenstein and Robert Morstein-Marx

A Companion to the Roman Empire

Edited by David S. Potter

A Companion to the Classical Greek World Edited by Konrad H. Kinzl

A Companion to the Ancient Near East Edited by Daniel C. Snell

A Companion to the Hellenistic World

Edited by Andrew Erskine

A Companion to Late Antiquity Edited by Philip Rousseau

In preparation

A Companion to the Punic Wars

Edited by Dexter Hoyos


A Companion to Classical Receptions

Edited by Lorna Hardwick and Christopher Stray

A Companion to Greek and Roman Historiography

Edited by John Marincola

A Companion to Catullus

Edited by Marilyn B. Skinner

A Companion to Roman Religion

Edited by Jörg Rüpke

A Companion to Greek Religion

Edited by Daniel Ogden

A Companion to the Classical Tradition Edited by Craig W. Kattendorf

A Companion to Roman Rhetoric

Edited by William Dominik and Jon Hall

A Companion to Greek Rhetoric

Edited by Ian Worthington

A Companion to Ancient Epic

Edited by John Miles Foley

In preparation

A Companion to the Latin Language Edited by James Clackson

A Companion to Greek Mythology

Edited by Ken Dowden and Niall Livingstone

A Companion to Sophocles Edited by Kirk Ormand

A Companion to Aeschylus

Edited by Peter Burian

A Companion to Archaic Greece

Edited by Kurt A. Raaflaub and Hans van Wees

A Companion to Julius Caesar

Edited by Miriam Griffin A Companion to Ancient History

Edited by Andrew Erskine

A Companion to Byzantium Edited by Liz James

A Companion to Ancient Egypt

Edited by Alan B. Lloyd A Companion to Ancient Macedonia

Edited by Joseph Roisman and Ian Worthington

A Companion to Sparta Edited by Anton Powell

A Companion to Greek Tragedy Edited by Justina Gregory

A Companion to Latin Literature

Edited by Stephen Harrison

A Companion to Ovid

Edited by Peter E. Knox

A Companion to Greek and Roman Political Thought

Edited by Ryan K. Balot

A Companion to the Ancient Greek Language

Edited by Egbert Bakker

A Companion to Hellenistic Literature

Edited by Martine Cuypers and James J. Clauss

A Companion to Vergil’s Aeneid and its Tradition

Edited by Joseph Farrell and Michael C. J. Putnam

A Companion to Horace

Edited by Gregson Davis

A Companion to Greek Art

Edited by Tyler Jo Smith and Dimitris Plantzos

A Companion to Families in the Greek and Roman World

Edited by Beryl Rawson

A Companion to Tacitus

Edited by Victoria Pagán

A Companion to the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East

Edited by Daniel Potts

Title Page



David W. Bebbington is Professor of History at the University of Stirling. He is the author of The Mind of Gladstone: Religion, Homer and Politics, 2005.

Sarah Annes Brown is Chair of the Department of English, Communication, Film and Media at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, England. As well as numerous articles and chapters on various aspects of classical reception, she is the author of The Metamorphosis of Ovid: From Chaucer to Ted Hughes (1999) and of Ovid: Myth and Metamorphosis (2005), and is preparing a volume of essays, Tragedy in Transition (co-edited with Catherine Silverstone). Her current projects include an article on Pygmalion and Queer Theory and a monograph on transhistoricism.

Felix Budelmann is a Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford. He is the author of The Language of Sophocles: Communality, Communication and Involvement (2000). His research interests include Greek drama and lyric, and their reception. He is currently working on a Greek lyric anthology.

Bryan E. Burns is Assistant Professor in the Department of Classics, Wellesley College. He is an archaeologist specializing in Aegean prehistory, with publications on interregional exchange in the Late Bronze Age and Archaic periods. His research interests also include the construction of the prehistoric and classical body in the modern arts and scholarship.

Gregson Davis is Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature, and current Dean of Humanities at Duke University, Durham, NC. A native of Antigua in the anglophone Caribbean, he attended Harvard College (AB magna cum laude in Classics, 1960), and the University of California at Berkeley (PhD in Comparative Literature [Latin, Greek, French] in 1968). His publications on both Greco-Roman and Caribbean literary traditions include: Polyhymnia: The Rhetoric of Horatian Lyric Discourse (1991) and Aimé Césaire (1997).

Freddy Decreus is a philologist, specializing in the reception of classical Antiquity during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He works at the University of Ghent, where he is responsible for courses in Latin Literature, Literary Theory, Comparative Literature and Theatre History. His publications have addressed classical tragedy and the modern stage, mythology and modern painting, postmodernism and the rewriting of the classics, and feminism and the classics.

Catharine Edwards is Professor of Classics and Ancient History at Birkbeck College, University of London. Her book Writing Rome: Textual Approaches to the City (1996) focuses on ancient literary responses to Rome but also considers aspects of later responses. With Michael Liversidge, she edited Imagining Rome: British Artists and Rome in the Nineteenth Century (1996). She is also the editor of Roman Presences: Receptions of Rome in European Culture 1789–1945 (1999).

Chris Emlyn-Jones is Emeritus Professor in Classical Studies at the Open University, Milton Keynes. Publications include editions and commentaries on a number of Platonic dialogues published by Bristol Classical Press: Euthyphro (1991, 2nd edn, 2002), Laches (1996), Crito (1999) and Gorgias (2004). Forthcoming (2007) is an edition, translation and commentary of Plato Republic Books 1–2 (Aris and Phillips). He has also published on Homer (Homer: Readings and Images, 1992, ed. with L. Hardwick and J. Purkis). He is currently working on a study of style, form and culture in Plato.

Ahmed Etman is Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature, Faculty of Arts, Cairo University; Chairman of the Egyptian Society of the Graeco-Roman Studies (ESGRS); Chairman of the Egyptian Society of Comparative Literature (ESCL). He has written a number of plays including: Cleopatra Adores Peace (1984, English tr. 2001, Italian 1992, Greek 1999, French 1999); The Blind Guest Restores his Sight (French tr. 2005); Al-Hakim Does Not Join the Hypocritic Procession (1988, Spanish tr. 2006); The Goats of Oxyrhynchus (2001 English and French tr. forthcoming); The Wedding of Libraries Nymph (2001, French and Italian tr. forthcoming); A Beautiful Woman in the Prison of Socrates (2004 French and English tr. forthcoming).

Michael Ewans is Professor of Drama and Research Facilitator in the School of Drama, Fine Art and Music at the University of Newcastle, Australia. He is the author of Janáek’s Tragic Operas (1977), Wagner and Aeschylus (1982), Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck (1989) and the Everyman Classics complete set of accurate and actable translations of Aeschylus and Sophocles in four volumes, with theatrical commentaries based on his own productions. His most recent book, Opera from the Greek (2007) contains eight case studies in the appropriation of material from Greek tragedy and epic by composers from Monteverdi to Mark-Anthony Turnage. An edition of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, The Women’s Festival and Frogs will appear in 2011 from Oklahoma University Press, and will be followed shortly by Achamians, Knights and Peace.

Barbara Graziosi is Senior Lecturer in Classics at Durham University. She is the author of Inventing Homer (2002) and co-author, together with Johannes Haubold, of Homer: The Resonance of Epic (2005). Together with Emily Greenwood she hasedited Homer in the Twentieth Century: Between World Literature and the Western Canon (2007). She is currently working, together with Johannes Haubold, on an edition and commentary of Iliad 6 for the Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics.

Emily Greenwood is Associate Professor in Classics at Yale. She is the author of Thucydides and the Shaping of History (2006) and various articles on the reception of Classics in the Caribbean. She is co-editor, with Barbara Graziosi, of Homer in the Twentieth Century: Between World Literature and Western Canon (2007) and, with Elizabeth Irwin, of Reading Herodotus: Studies in the Logoi of Book 5 (2007). Her latest book Afro-Greeks: Dialogues between Caribbean Literature and Classics in the Twentieth Century was published in 2010.

Edith Hall After holding posts at the universities of Cambridge, Reading, Oxford and Durham, Edith was appointed, in 2006, to a joint chair in Classics and Drama at Royal Holloway, University of London. She is also co-founder and co-director of the Archive of performances of Greek & Roman Drama at Oxford. Her books include Inventing the Barbarian (1989), Greek Tragedy and the British Theatre (2005, with Fiona Macintosh), The Theatrical Cast of Athens (2006) and The Return of Ulysses (2007).

Lorna Hardwick teaches at the Open University, Milton Keynes, where she is Professor of Classical Studies and Director of the Reception of Classical Texts Research Project. She is the author of many articles and books on Greek cultural history and its reception in modern theatre and literature, including Translating Words, Translating Cultures (2000) and New Surveys in the Classics: Reception Studies (2003). She is particularly interested in how Greek and Roman material has been used in postcolonial contexts and is currently working on a monograph on the relationship between classical receptions and cultural change.

Stephen Harrison is Fellow and Tutor in Classics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and Professor of Latin Literature in the University of Oxford. He is the author of a commentary on Vergil Aeneid 10 (1991) and of Apuleius: A Latin Sophist (2000) and editor of several volumes including Texts, Ideas and the Classics (2001), A Companion to Latin Literature (2005) and Living Classics (2009).

Thomas Harrison is Rathbone Professor of Ancient History and Classical Archaeology at the University of Liverpool. He is the author of Divinity and History. The Religion of Herodotus (2000) and The Emptiness of Asia. Aeschylus’ Persians and the History of the Fifth Century (2000), and the editor of Greeks and Barbarians (2002) and (with Ed Bispham and Brian A. Sparkes) The Edinburgh Companion to Ancient Greece and Rome (2006). He is now working on a study of the modern historiography of ancient Persia.

Johannes Haubold is Leverhulme Senior Lecturer in Greek Literature at Durham University. He is the author of Homer’s People: Epic Poetry and Social Formation (2000) and co-author, with Barbara Graziosi, of Homer: The Resonance of Epic (2005). He specialises on Greek epic and its relationship with Near Eastern literatures. Together with Barbara Graziosi, he is currently writing a commentary on Iliad 6.

David Hopkins is Professor of English Literature in the University of Bristol. Among his recent publications are (edited, with Paul Hammond) the Longman Annotated English Poets edition of John Dryden (5 vols, 1995–2005) and (edited, with Stuart Gillespie) vol. 3 (1660–1790) of The Oxford History of Literary Translation in English (2005). He has a special interest in English/classical literary relations in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Rosalind Hursthouse After twenty-five years in the Philosophy Department of the Open University, Rosalind Hursthouse returned to her home department at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, where she is now Professor. She wrote two course books on ethics for the Open University, Beginning Lives (1987) and Ethics, Humans and Other Animals (2000), as well as her definitive On Virtue Ethics (1999), and has published numerous journal articles on ethics and Aristotle.

Miriam Leonard is Lecturer in Greek Literature and its Reception at University College, London. Her research explores the intellectual history of classics in modern European thought from Hegel to Derrida. She is author of Athens in Paris (2005) and co-editor with Vanda Zajko of Laughing with Medusa: Classical Myth and Feminist Thought (2006). She is currently writing a short book on How to Read Ancient Philosophy (forthcoming 2008) and working on a project on Greeks, Jews and the Enlightenment. She is also editing a collection on Derrida and Antiquity.

Fiona Macintosh is Director of the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama and Fellow of St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford. Her publications include Dying Acts: Death in Ancient Greek and Modern Irish Tragic Drama (1994) and with Edith Hall, Greek Tragedy and the British Theatre 1660–1914 (2005). Her edited volumes include Medea in Performance 1500–2000 (2000), Dionysus Since 69: Greek Tragedy at the Dawn of the Third Millennium (2004), and Agamemnon in Performance, 458 BC to AD 2004 (2005).

Marianne McDonald is Professor of Theatre and Classics in the Department of Theatre at the University of California, San Diego, a member of the Royal Irish Academy, and a recipient of many national and international awards. Her published books include: Euripides in Cinema: The Heart Made Visible (1983); Ancient Sun, Modern Light: Greek Drama on the Modern Stage (1992); Sing Sorrow: Classics, History and Heroines in Opera (2001). Her performed translations include: Sophocles’ Antigone (1999); Euripides’ Children of Heracles (2003); Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus and Oedipus at Colonus (2003–4); Euripides’ Hecuba, 2005; Sophocles’ Ajax, 2006; and versions: The Trojan Women (2000); Medea, Queen of Colchester (2003), The Ally Way (2004), and also … and then he met a woodcutter (2005: after Noh), which was awarded the San Diego Critics Circle award for ‘Best Play of 2005’.

Pantelis Michelakis is Senior Lecturer in Classics at the University of Bristol. His research interests are in early Greek literature and culture as well as in Greco-Roman drama and its ancient and modern reception. He is the author of Achilles in Greek Tragedy (2002) and Euripides’ ‘Iphigenia’ at Aulis (2006). He has also co-edited twocollections of essays, Homer, Tragedy and Beyond: Essays in Honour of P. E. Easterling (2001) and Agamemnon in Performance, 458 BC to AD 2004 (2005).

Joanna Paul is Lecturer in Classical Studies at the University of Liverpool, having completed her doctoral thesis, ‘Film and the classical epic tradition’, at the University of Bristol in 2005. She is publishing articles on various aspects of cinematic receptions of antiquity, including adaptation and translation, and the films of Federico Fellini. Her current research project concerns modern receptions of Pompeii and its destruction.

James I. Porter is Professor of Classics at the University of California, Irvine. He is author of Nietzsche and the Philology of the Future and The Invention of Dionysus: An Essay on the Birth of Tragedy (both 2000) and editor, most recently, of Classical Pasts: The Classical Traditions of Greece and Rome (2006). He has just completed The Origins of Aesthetic Inquiry in Antiquity: Matter, Experience, and the Sublime (forthcoming), and is at work on a sequel volume, Literary Aesthetics after Aristotle, in addition to a study on the reception of Homer from antiquity to the present.

Cashman Kerr Prince is Associate Professor of Classics, Wellesley College. He is trained in Classics and in Comparative Literature, holding degrees from Wesleyan and Stanford Universities as well as the Université de Paris VIII. He works on early Greek poetry, including didactic, larger questions of Greek poetics, and the reception of classical texts primarily in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

James Robson is Senior Lecturer in Classical Studies at the Open University, Milton Keynes. His research interests include Aristophanes, humour theory, translation and Greek sexuality: he is co-editor of Lost Dramas of Classical Athens: Greek Tragic Fragments (2005) and author of Humour, Obscenity and Aristophanes (2006) and Aristophanes: An Introduction (2009). He is co-author of Ctesias’ History of Persia: Tales of the Orient (2010) and is currently working on books on Greek Language and Classical Athenian sex and sexuality.

Hanna M. Roisman is the Francis F. Bartlett and K. Bartlett Professor of Classics at Colby College, Waterville, Maine. She specializes in Early Greek Epic, Greek and Roman tragedy, as well as in Classics and Film. In addition to numerous articles and book chapters in her various fields, she has written Nothing Is As It Seems: The Tragedy of the Implicit in Euripides’ Hippolytus (1999), Sophocles: Philoctetes (2005). She is co-author with Fred Ahl of The Odyssey Re-Formed (1996), and with C.A.E. Luschnig, of Euripides’ Alcestis: A Commentary for Students (2003). She has also co-edited with Joseph Roisman several issues of the Colby Quarterly on Greek and Latin literature. She is currently working on the translation with notes, introduction and interpretative essay to Sophocles’ Electra.

Seth L. Schein is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Davis, and works mainly on Homeric epic, Attic tragedy, and institutional receptions of classical literature and culture. He has written The Iambic Trimeterin Aeschylus and Sophocles: a study in metrical form (1979), The Mortal Hero: an introduction to Homer’s Iliad (1984), and Sophokles’ Philoktetes: Translation with Notes, Introduction and Interpretive Essay (2003), and he edited Reading the Odyssey: Selected Interpretive Essays (1996). Currently he is working on an edition with commentary of Philoktetes and a translation of Aeschylus’ Oresteia.

Christopher Stray has been Honorary Research Fellow in the Dept of Classics, University of Wales, Swansea, since 1989, and is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Classical Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London. His publications include Classics Transformed: Schools, Universities, and Society in England 1830–1960 (1998) and articles and books on the history of Classics, institutional slang, and examinations. He is currently working on an edition of the correspondence of Sir Richard Jebb and on a study of Classics in nineteenth-century Cambridge.

Gonda Van Steen is Cassas Chair in Greek Studies at the University of Florida. Her first book, Venom in Verse: Aristophanes in Modern Greece (2000) was awarded the John D. Criticos Prize by the London Hellenic Society. She has also published articles on ancient Greek and late antique literature, on the reception of Greek tragedy, on Greek coinage, and on post-war Greek feminism. Her most recent books are Liberating Hellenism from the Ottoman Empire (2010) and Theatre of the Condemned: Classical Tragedy on Greek Prison Islands (forthcoming 2010).

Betine van Zyl Smit taught at the University of the Western Cape, the Rand Afrikaans University and Stellenbosch University in South Africa for more than thirty years. One of her main research interests is the reception of Greek and Roman literature in South Africa. She was appointed as a senior lecturer in the Classics Department of the University of Nottingham in 2006.

Elizabeth Vandiver is Associate Professor of Classics at Whitman College, Walla Walla, and received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. She has published two books, Heroes in Herodotus: The Interaction of Myth and History (1991), and the first English translation of Cochlaeus’ biography of Luther in Luther’s Lives: Two Contemporary Accounts of Martin Luther (2002). Her third book, Stand in the Trench, Achilles: Classical Receptions in British Poetry of the Great War (2010) is published in the series Classical Presences. She has published articles on a variety of topics, including Catullus; Livy; classical reception; and translation.

Angeliki Varakis is Lecturer in Drama in the department of Drama, Film and Visual Arts at the University of Kent, Canterbury. She has a number of publications including ‘Research on the Ancient Mask’, Didaskalia (2004) and ‘The use of Mask in Koun’s stage interpretations of Birds, Frogs and Peace’ in Hall and Wrigley 2007 forthcoming Aristophanes in Performance 421 BC–2005 AD: Peace, Birds, Frogs and has written the commentary and notes for the Methuen Student Edition of Antigone (2006) and Oedipus the King (2007). She has actively participated in a series of practice-based research projects involving the mask.

J. Michael Walton is Emeritus Professor of Drama at the University of Hull and was founder/director of the Performance Translation Centre. He was General Editor of Methuen Classical Dramatists from 1988 to 2002, a series which includedthe whole of Greek Tragedy and Comedy in translation in thirteen volumes, with three further compilations including one of Roman Comedy. Twelve of his translations (several in collaboration with Marianne McDonald) from Greek and Latin are currently in print and have been performed widely in Britain and Ireland, America, Greece and Cyprus. The more recent of his seven books on Greek theatre include Euripides our Contemporary (2009), Found in Translation: Greek Drama in English (2006) and The Cambridge Companion to Greek and Roman Theatre, which he has edited with McDonald (2007).

Ruth Webb is Honorary Research Fellow at Birkbeck College, London, and Professeur Associé at the Université Paris X. She has published articles on post-classical Greek rhetoric and performance and is author of Ekphrasis, Imagination and Persuasion in Ancient Rhetorical Theory and Practice (forthcoming) and Demons and Dancers: Performance in Late Antiquity (forthcoming).

Nurit Yaari is Senior Lecturer and chair of the department of Theatre Studies at Tel Aviv University, Israel. She has published a book, French Contemporary Theatre 1960–1992 (1994), and edited several books in English and Hebrew: On Interpretation in the Arts (in English, 2000), The Man with the Myth in the Middle: The Theatre of Hanoch Levin (with Shimon Levy, in Hebrew, 2004) and On Kings, Gypsies and Performers: The Theatre of Nissim Aloni (in Hebrew, 2006). Her articles are published in international journals focusing on Ancient Greek theatre and its reception and on Israeli theatre. Since 1997 she has served as Artistic Consultant and Dramaturg for the Khan Theatre of Jerusalem.

Vanda Zajko is Senior Lecturer in Classics at the University of Bristol. Her recent publications include a chapter on women and myth in The Cambridge Companion to Greek Myth (2007), an essay entitled ‘Hector and Andromache: Identification and Appropriation’ in C. Martindale and R. Thomas (eds), Classics and The Uses of Reception (2006), Laughing with Medusa: Classical Myth and Feminist Thought (ed. with Miriam Leonard, 2006) and Translation and ‘The Classic’ (ed. with Alexa Lianeri, 2008).


The editors would like to thank the contributors for their scholarship and flair. We also thank Al Bertrand of Blackwell for instigating the project along with Hannah Rolls and (especially) the energetic Graeme Leonard for their expertise in bringing the book to fruition. Special thanks to Carol Gillespie for her invaluable help at all stages of the work, and especially for keeping the contributors happy and the editors sane.

Figure 0.1 The Sea God. 1977. Collage with mixed media on board. Photograph courtesy of Romare Bearden Foundation.

Art © Romare Bearden/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Figure 0.2 Odysseus Leaves Circe. 1977. Collage on masonite. Photograph courtesy of Romare Bearden Foundation.

Art © Romare Bearden/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY