Minos and the Moderns

Cretan Myth in Twentieth-Century Literature and Art

Minos and the Moderns

Minos and the Moderns considers three mythological complexes that enjoyed a unique surge of interest in early twentieth-century European art and literature: Europa and the bull, the minotaur and the labyrinth, and Daedalus and Icarus. All three are situated on the island of Crete and are linked by the figure of King Minos. Drawing examples from fiction, poetry, drama, painting, sculpture, opera, and ballet, Minos and the Moderns is the first book of its kind to treat the role of the Cretan myths in the modern imagination.Beginning with the resurgence of Crete in the modern consciousness in 1900 following the excavations of Sir Arthur Evans, Theodore Ziolkowski shows how the tale of Europa-in poetry, drama, and art, but also in cartoons, advertising, and currency-was initially seized upon as a story of sexual awakening, then as a vehicle for social and political satire, and finally as a symbol of European unity. In contast, the minotaur provided artists ranging from Picasso to Durrenmatt with an image of the artist's sense of alienation, while the labyrinth suggested to many writers the threatening sociopolitical world of the twentieth century. Ziolkowski also considers the roles of such modern figures as Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud; of travelers to Greece and Crete from Isadora Duncan to Henry Miller; and of the theorists and writers, including T. S. Eliot and Thomas Mann, who hailed the use of myth in modern literature.Minos and the Moderns concludes with a summary of the manners in which the economic, aesthetic, psychological, and anthropological revisions enabled precisely these myths to be taken up as a mirror of modern consciousness. The book will appeal to all readers interested in the classical tradition and its continuing relevance and especially to scholars of Classics and modern literatures.

Restoring the Minoans

Elizabeth Price and Sir Arthur Evans

Restoring the Minoans

How do archaeologists and artists reimagine what life was like during the Greek Bronze Age? How do contemporary conditions influence the way we understand the ancient past? This innovative book considers two imaginative restorations of the ancient world that test the boundaries of interpretation and invention by bringing together the discovery of Minoan culture by the British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans (1851–1941) and the work of the Turner Prize–winning video artist Elizabeth Price (b. 1966). Featured essays examine Evans’s interpretation and restoration of the Knossos palace and present fresh photography of Minoan artifacts and archival photographs of the dig alongside beautiful, previously unpublished watercolors and drawings by the archaeological illustrators and restorers who worked on the site: Émile Gilliéron père(1850–1924), Émile Gilliéron fils (1885–1939), Piet de Jong (1887–1967), and others. An interview with Price explores how her attraction to the Sir Arthur Evans Archive became the basis for her commissioned video installation at the University of Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum and offers insight into her creative practice. Exhibition dates: October 5, 2017–January 7, 2018

Pastoral Palimpsests

Essays in the Reception of Theocritus and Virgil

Pastoral Palimpsests


Gilgamesh among Us

Modern Encounters with the Ancient Epic

Gilgamesh among Us

The world's oldest work of literature, the Epic of Gilgamesh recounts the adventures of the semimythical Sumerian king of Uruk and his ultimately futile quest for immortality after the death of his friend and companion, Enkidu, a wildman sent by the gods. Gilgamesh was deified by the Sumerians around 2500 BCE, and his tale as we know it today was codified in cuneiform tablets around 1750 BCE and continued to influence ancient cultures—whether in specific incidents like a world-consuming flood or in its quest structure—into Roman times. The epic was, however, largely forgotten, until the cuneiform tablets were rediscovered in 1872 in the British Museum's collection of recently unearthed Mesopotamian artifacts. In the decades that followed its translation into modern languages, the Epic of Gilgamesh has become a point of reference throughout Western culture. In Gilgamesh among Us, Theodore Ziolkowski explores the surprising legacy of the poem and its hero, as well as the epic’s continuing influence in modern letters and arts. This influence extends from Carl Gustav Jung and Rainer Maria Rilke's early embrace of the epic's significance—"Gilgamesh is tremendous!" Rilke wrote to his publisher's wife after reading it—to its appropriation since World War II in contexts as disparate as operas and paintings, the poetry of Charles Olson and Louis Zukofsky, novels by John Gardner and Philip Roth, and episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Xena: Warrior Princess. Ziolkowski sees fascination with Gilgamesh as a reflection of eternal spiritual values—love, friendship, courage, and the fear and acceptance of death. Noted writers, musicians, and artists from Sweden to Spain, from the United States to Australia, have adapted the story in ways that meet the social and artistic trends of the times. The spirit of this capacious hero has absorbed the losses felt in the immediate postwar period and been infused with the excitement and optimism of movements for gay rights, feminism, and environmental consciousness. Gilgamesh is at once a seismograph of shifts in Western history and culture and a testament to the verities and values of the ancient epic.

Ovid and the Moderns

Ovid and the Moderns

"The reasons for the conspicuous popularity of Ovid--his life as well as his works--at the turn of the new millennium bear investigation.... This book speaks of the new bodies assumed in the twentieth century by the poems and tales to which Ovid gave their classic form--including prominently the account of his own life, which has been hailed by many writers of our time as the archetype of exile.... I intend to suggest some of the reasons for Ovid's appeal to different writers and different generations."--from the Preface Theodore Ziolkowski approaches Ovid's Latin poetry as a comparatist, not as a classicist, and maintains that the contextualization of individual works helps place them in a larger tradition. Covering the period 1912-2002, Ovid and the Moderns deals with the reception of Ovid and of Ovid's works in literature. After beginning with a discussion of Giorgio de Chirico's Ariadne paintings of 1912 and the Hofmannsthal-Strauss opera Ariadne auf Naxos, Ziolkowski considers European literary landmarks from the High Modernism of Joyce, Kafka, Mandelstam, and Pound, by way of the mid-century exiles, to postmodernism and the century's end, when a surge of interest in Ovid was fueled by a new generation of translations. One of Ziolkowski's conclusions is that the popularity of Ovid alternates in a regular rhythm and for definable reasons with that of Virgil.

Liberalism Ancient and Modern

Liberalism Ancient and Modern

Revered and reviled, Leo Strauss has left a rich legacy of work that continues to spark discussion and controversy. This volume of essays ranges over critical themes that define Strauss's thought: the tension between reason and revelation in the Western tradition, the philsophical roots of liberal democracy, and especially the conflicting yet complementary relationship between ancient and modern liberalism. For those seeking to become acquainted with this provocative thinker, one need look no further.

A Complete Dictionary of the Greek and Roman Antiquities

Explaining the Obscure Places in Classic Authors ... Also an Account of Their Navigations, Arts and Sciences, and the Inventors of Them; with the Lives and Opinions of Their Philosophers

A Complete Dictionary of the Greek and Roman Antiquities


Origines Kalendariae Hellenicae

Or, The History of the Primitive Calendar Among the Greeks, Before and After the Legislation of Solon

Origines Kalendariae Hellenicae