The Hesiodic Catalogue of Women and Archaic Greece

The Hesiodic Catalogue of Women and Archaic Greece

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This book examines the extant fragments of the archaic Greek poem known in antiquity as Hesiod's Catalogue of Women. Kirk Ormand shows that the poem should be read intertextually with other hexameter poetry from the eighth to sixth century BCE, especially Homer, Hesiod, and the Cyclic epics. Through literary interaction with these poems, the Catalogue reflects political and social tensions in the archaic period regarding the production of elite status. In particular, Ormand argues that the Catalogue reacts against the 'middling ideology' that came to the fore during the archaic period in Greece, championing traditional aristocratic modes of status. Ormand maintains that the poem's presentation of the end of the heroic age is a reflection of a declining emphasis on nobility of birth in the structures of authority in the emerging sixth century polis.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1 b/w illus.
  • 1139950304
  • 9781139950305

Table of contents

1. Introduction: the Hesiodic Catalogue of Women; 2. The Catalogue and the mystery of the disappearing hedna; 3. Marriage, identity, and the story of Mestra; 4. Atalanta reflects the Iliad; 5. Then there was the one who was Alkmene; 6. The marriage of Helen and the end of the Catalogue; 7. Epilogue: women, middling discourse, and the polis.
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Review quote

'... [a] strenuously argued and very convincing book ... Ormand imbues the Hesiodic Catalogue with an energetic, coherent emotional life, and somewhat sorrowful political purpose, to a degree that I can hardly imagine being surpassed.' Eve A. Browning, Bryn Mawr Classical Review
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About Kirk Ormand

Kirk Ormand is Professor of Classics at Oberlin College. He is author of Exchange and the Maiden: Marriage in Sophoclean Tragedy (1999) and Controlling Desires: Sexuality in Ancient Greece and Rome (2008), and editor of A Companion to Sophocles (2012). He has published articles on Homer, Sophocles, Euripides, Ovid, Lucan, the Greek Novel, and Clint Eastwood. He is the recipient of the Basil Gildersleeve Prize from the American Journal of Philology, the Barbara McManus Prize from the Women's Classical Caucus of the American Philological Association, and the John J. Winkler Memorial Prize. Ormand has traveled extensively in Greece, and held the post of Whitehead Professor of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens during the 2007-8 academic year. He also held a Solmsen Fellowship at the Center for the Study of the Humanities, University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1999-2000.
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