Blog

The Institute’s final event of 2019 will take place on Wednesday 4 December, starting at 7.30 pm in the in the library of the Institute (Dionysiou Aiginitou 7, ground floor, Ilisia. Metro: Megaro Moussikis). Independent scholar Emma Hilliard will give a lecture entitled, Dreams, Ghosts, and Gods: The Apparition Topos in Roman Epic.

"In the world of epic poetry, supernatural apparitions loom large. Traditionally these episodes are sorted into three major literary topoi: the dream topos, the ghost topos, and the divine messenger topos. Such categorization, however, denies the complex and highly syncretistic model of ancient thought on supernatural beings. I propose a new “apparition topos” as a more flexible means of interpretation, one which allows space for different types of manifestation more clearly to inform one another. The utility of this topos is demonstrated in a discussion on the Neronian poet Lucan and his complicated relationship with Virgil, Latin literature’s most important epicist. My findings show the merits of applying a new, holistic way of looking at epic apparitions that situates ghosts, dreams, and gods as related phenomena worthy of close comparison."

Since this is our final event of 2019, we will be serving seasonal refreshments after the lecture. So please join us next Wednesday evening for what promises to be a most interesting presentation.

Jonathan Tomlinson
Assistant Director