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Visiting Lecturer in Classics: Professor Victor Castellani (University of Denver, USA)
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The Classics Programme will host the vist of Professor Victor Castellani (University of Denver, USA) who will present the following lectures: Wednesday, 23 August 2017, 17:00 (Public Evening Lecture) Topic: In the Cyclops’ Cave: Odysseus and his Gods (illustrated) Abstract: In Odyssey Book 13 after ten long years between victory at Troy and homecoming to Ithaca the hero meets Athena face-to-face. Finally!, he complains. Where have you been all this time? In fact, just as the wily goddess has even now teased and challenged him in disguise before revealing her true self, she has been with him throughout his adventures without his conscious awareness. (She often stands by her mortal protégés secretly, subtly, so they must pass her continual tests and continue to deserve her attention.) Three of Athena’s Olympian brothers—Hermes, Apollo, and Hephaestus—also support this uniquely ingenious hero in several ways and under diverse forms, conscious though they all are that Uncle Poseidon detests Laërtes’ son, especially since he blinded and taunted the Cyclops Polyphemus. In Book 9 Odysseus, telling his boastful story in first person, describes how he defeated and escaped the Sea-and-Horse God’s monstrous son. On his own! By looking into otherwise perplexing details of his account we can see how he triumphed not without considerable inspiration and even material support from those children of Zeus. Vase paintings confirm this reading, as you will see! The same divine quartet will be the returned hero-and-husband’s indispensable allies in his battle against unholy Suitors of his wife Penelope in Book 22. In this instance, however, Odysseus, who certainly recognizes Athena under her successive disguises, seems to be aware of the aid of all four. Thursday, 24 August 2017, 14:10 (Classics Research Colloquium) Topic: Lysistrata, Athens, and Athena (illustrated) Abstract: Athena is uniquely important in Aristophanes’ earnest comedy Lysistrata. She is Parthenos, Maiden inhabitant of her grand temple on the Athenian Acropolis, and Polias, protectress of her eponymous city-state. The drama takes place at the approach to that lofty temple, the Propylaea. However, Athena is not only a public, political patroness who, the men of Athens believe, endorses them and their warfare. Indeed she really opposes the self-destructive battling of Greek against Greek; she is also Erganē, who practices women’s domestic “works” that include several actions on stage and in imagery of the play as she emboldens Panhellenic wives to join in Lysistrata’s campaign of Reconciliation. These energized women achieve their leader’s desired victory by applying several of Athena’s powers arts and skills. so that the playwright may wishfully bring the opposing sides in the Peloponnesian War together under the shared patron goddess’s majesty. All together hymn Athena at the end in diverse dialect. The title character appears to be married. “Lysistratē” may thus suggest a contemporary priestess of the goddess, a matron named Lysimachē. Perhaps we must understand smart Lysistrata just to be an inspired spokeswoman of the goddess; on the other hand, Athena herself, daughter of Metis and mistress of many disguises, may intervene among men under a brilliant mortal woman’s guise. What ought we spectators see at the end of the play? Where is Lysistrata? The Colloquium will be followed by a Prize-Giving Ceremony for Classics Students. All lectures will take place in the Committee Room, Classics Department, Room GO 12A, Ground Floor, MTB, Howard College Campus. Everybody is welcome to attend! For further questions, please contact: Dr Elke Steinmeyer Classics Programme University of KwaZulu-Natal Durban 4041 South Africa Tel: +27 31 260 1306 Fax: +27 31 260 7286 Email: steinmeyere1@ukzn.ac.za
Notice Details
Category Research
Posted Monday, August 21, 2017
By Elke Steinmeyer
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From UKZN
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