Resemblance and Reality in Greek Thought : Essays in Honor of Peter M. Smith book cover
1st Edition

Resemblance and Reality in Greek Thought
Essays in Honor of Peter M. Smith

Edited By

Arum Park

ISBN 9780367875053
Published December 12, 2019 by Routledge
290 Pages

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Book Description

Resemblance and Reality in Greek Thought follows the construction of reality from Homer into the Hellenistic era and beyond. Not only in didactic poetry or philosophical works but in practically all genres from the time of Homer onwards, Greek literature has shown an awareness of the relationship between verbal art and the social, historical, or cultural reality that produces it, an awareness that this relationship is an approximate one at best and a distorting one at worst. This central theme of resemblance and its relationship to reality draws together essays on a range of Greek authors, and shows how they are unified or allied in posing similar questions to classical literature.

Table of Contents



By Sue Guiney


Introduction: Resemblance and Reality as Interpretive Lens

By Arum Park and Mary Pendergraft

Part One

Poetry: Verbal Resemblance as Incomplete Reality

Chapter 1: Mētis on a Mission: Unreliable Narration and the Perils of Cunning in Odyssey 9

By Peter Aicher

Chapter 2: Little Things Mean a Lot: Odysseus’ Scar and Eurycleia’s Memory

By Jeffrey Beneker

Chapter 3: Failure of the Textual Relation: Anacreon’s Purple Ball Poem (PMG 358)

By T. H. M. Gellar-Goad

Chapter 4: Reality, Illusion, or Both? Cloud-Women in Stesichorus and Pindar.

By Arum Park

Chapter 5: Neither Beast Nor Woman: Reconstructing Callisto in Callimachus’ Hymn to Zeus

By Keyne Cheshire

Part Two

Greek Tragedy: Reality, Expectation, Tradition

Chapter 6: Necessity and Universal Reality: The Use of XPH in Aeschylus

By David C.A. Wiltshire

Chapter 7: The Arms of Achilles: Tradition and Mythmaking in Sophocles’ Philoctetes

By Sheila Murnaghan

Chapter 8: The Bad Place: The Horrific House of Euripides’ Heracles

By Derek Smith Keyser

Chapter 9: The "Hymn to Zeus" (Agamemnon 160-83) and Reasoning from Resemblances

By Edwin Carawan

Part Three

Greek Prose: Reality and Appearances

Chapter 10: Stereotypes as Faulty Resemblance: Humorous Deception and Ethnography in Herodotus

By Mark C. Mash

Chapter 11: The Rational Religion of Xenophon’s Socrates

By David Johnson

Chapter 12: Wives, Subjects, Sons, and Lovers: Phthonos and Resemblance in Xenophon’s Cyropaedia

By Norman Sandri

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Arum Park is Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Arizona. Her research focuses on Archaic and Classical Greek poetry, but she has published on a wide range of authors, including Hesiod, Pindar, Ovid, and Longus. Her current book project, supported by a 2012-13 fellowship from the Center for Hellenic Studies, treats the concepts of truth, gender, and genre in Pindar and Aeschylus.


 With sophistication and originality evident throughout, Resemblance and Reality in Greek Thought presents fourteen studies of a dichotomy pervasive in Greek literature and thought and refracted in Roman epic. The authors study, inter alia, the artistry of spaces constructed within the antimony, inconsistencies in the Greek literary and philosophical tradition, ambiguities within the Greek language itself, and philosophical challenges to the Theory of Forms. This is an altogether original and well-crafted book.

- Professor Victor Bers, Yale University, USA