About the lecture

In this talk, Professor Martin shows how studying the Homeric epics in tandem with the Erotokritos, the masterpiece of the 17th-century Cretan Renaissance, can be mutually illuminating as regards the construction and performance of long narrative poems in Greek.

The talk will explore interpretive possibilities offered by work on oral traditions, as begun by Milman Parry and adapted to later Greek poetry by James Notopoulos, Roderick Beaton, Gregory Sifakis, and others.

New approaches to Greek heroic and romantic narratives, including Byzantine and early modern poems, will be sketched out, pinpointing some long-term stable elements found throughout the corpus.



About the speaker

Richard P. Martin teaches Greek and Latin literature at Stanford, where he has held the Antony and Isabelle Raubitschek professorship in Classics since 2000. Previously, he taught for eighteen years at Princeton University. His research focuses primarily on Homeric poetry and on the comedies of Aristophanes, with other interests in ancient religion, mythology, and medieval Irish literature. He has done fieldwork in western Crete to supplement text-based studies of contemporary oral poetic traditions in Mali, Kyrgyzstan, Egypt, and India.

Born and raised in Boston, he received an A.B. in Classics and Celtic Studies and Ph.D. in Classical Philology from Harvard University. His books include Mythologizing Performance; The Language of Heroes: Speech and Performance in the Iliad; Classical Mythology: The Basics; Myths of the Ancient Greeks; and Healing, Sacrifice, and Battle: Amêchania and Related Concepts in Early Greek Poetry. He represents Stanford on the Managing Committee of the ASCSA.