Erika Zimmerman Damer
In the Flesh deeply engages postmodern and new materialist feminist thought in close readings of three significant poets—Propertius, Tibullus, and Ovid—writing in the early years of Rome's Augustan Principate. In their poems, they represent the flesh-and-blood body in both its integrity and vulnerability, as an index of social position along intersecting axes of sex, gender, status, and class. Erika Zimmermann Damer underscores the fluid, dynamic, and contingent nature of identities in Roman elegy, in response to a period of rapid legal, political, and social change.
Recognizing this power of material flesh to shape elegiac poetry, she asserts, grants figures at the margins of this poetic discourse—mistresses, rivals, enslaved characters, overlooked members of households—their own identities, even when they do not speak. She demonstrates how the three poets create a prominent aesthetic of corporeal abjection and imperfection, associating the body as much with blood, wounds, and corporeal disintegration as with elegance, refinement, and sensuality.
Dieter Gunkel and Olav Hackstein
In Language and Meter, Dieter Gunkel and Olav Hackstein unite fifteen linguistic studies on a variety of poetic traditions, including the Homeric epics, the hieratic hymns of the Ṛgveda, the Gathas of the Avesta, early Latin and the Sabellic compositions, Germanic alliterative verse, Insular Celtic court poetry, and Tocharian metrical texts. The studies treat a broad range of topics, including the prehistory of the hexameter, the nature of Homeric formulae, the structure of Vedic verse, rhythm in the Gathas, and the relationship between Germanic and Celtic poetic traditions. The volume contributes to our understanding of the relationship between language and poetic form, and how they change over time.
Dieter C. Gunkel, Joshua T. Katz, Brent Vine, and Michael Weiss
The renowned Indologist and Indo-Europeanist Stephanie W. Jamison has now been honored with this extensive collection of essays by colleagues and students from around the world. The contributors represent a virtual who’s-who of Indo-Iranian and Indo-European scholarship and have produced contributions on everything from Vedic (e.g., Joel Brereton, George Cardona, Paul Kiparsky, Thomas Oberlies) to later Sanskrit (e.g. James Fitzgerald, Hans Henrich Hock, Ted Proferes) to Iranian (e.g. Mark Hale, P. Oktor Skjærvø) to other Indo-European languages (e.g. Dieter Gunkel, Martin Joachim Kümmel, Alan Nussbaum, Don Ringe, Michael Weiss). The volume also includes posthumously published articles by Lisi Oliver and Martin West. In all, these scholars have provided a worthy and rich tribute to a scholar whose own rich scholarship has been so vital to numerous subfields of linguistics, literary, religious, and cultural studies.
Elizabeth P. Baughan
In Couched in Death, Elizabeth P. Baughan offers the first comprehensive look at the earliest funeral couches in the ancient Mediterranean world. These sixth- and fifth-century BCE klinai from Asia Minor were inspired by specialty luxury furnishings developed in Archaic Greece for reclining at elite symposia. It was in Anatolia, however—in the dynastic cultures of Lydia and Phrygia and their neighbors—that klinai first gained prominence not as banquet furniture but as burial receptacles. For tombs, wooden couches were replaced by more permanent media cut from bedrock, carved from marble or limestone, or even cast in bronze. The rich archaeological findings of funerary klinai throughout Asia Minor raise intriguing questions about the social and symbolic meanings of this burial furniture. Why did Anatolian elites want to bury their dead on replicas of Greek furniture? Do the klinai found in Anatolian tombs represent Persian influence after the conquest of Anatolia, as previous scholarship has suggested?
Bringing a diverse body of understudied and unpublished material together for the first time, Baughan investigates the origins and cultural significance of klinai-burial and charts the stylistic development and distribution of funerary klinai throughout Anatolia. She contends that funeral couch burials and banqueter representations in funerary art helped construct hybridized Anatolian-Persian identities in Achaemenid Anatolia, and she reassesses the origins of the custom of the reclining banquet itself, a defining feature of ancient Mediterranean civilizations. Baughan explores the relationships of Anatolian funeral couches with similar traditions in Etruria and Macedonia as well as their “afterlife” in the modern era, and her study also includes a comprehensive survey of evidence for ancient klinai in general, based on analysis of more than three hundred klinai representations on Greek vases as well as archaeological and textual sources.
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