University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Cambridge Classical Reception Seminar Series  > Coming down with the Classics: a case report (Aristophanes, Lucian, C.M. Wieland et al.)

Coming down with the Classics: a case report (Aristophanes, Lucian, C.M. Wieland et al.)

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This paper deals with the canonisation of Greek Tragedy and various resonances of this process in later literature – particularly in the work of the German writer, poet, publicist, literary critic, translator and classical scholar Christoph Martin Wieland (1733-1813).

For both poets and their audiences, exposure to the poetic achievements of the past may result in the following side-effects: moderate to blind admiration, anxiety, misreading, parrotism (most common), fetishizing, idolatry, inferiority-complex, irreverence (common), abuse, mania, necrophilia (less common), suicidal tendencies (rare cases).

My main interest will be the coincidence of these symptoms in the so called ‘Abderite disease’ (ἀβδηριτικὸν πάθος), an epidemic of acute Classicism first caused by the performance of Euripides’ Andromeda in the theatre of Abdera at an unknown date.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Classical Reception Seminar Series series.

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