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Thomas Schmitz (Bonn/Stanford) "Aristophanes' Frogs and the Emergence of Reading-Culture in Fifth-Century Athens"

Aristophanes' Frogs contains the first known reference to someone reading a poetic text by himself, for his own pleasure. The play was performed at the very end of the fifth century BCE, a pivotal moment for the development of Greek reading culture. The talk will explore some of the facets of the emerging reading culture. Moreover, it will argue that the Frogs has closer ties to the culture of reading and writing than meets the eye.
Thomas Schmitz studied Classics, French, and Comparative Literature in Bonn, Paris, and Harvard. After being an assistant professor at Kiel University, he has held positions as full professor of Greek in Frankfurt (1999-2003) and Bonn (2003-current). His main interests are Hellenistic and imperial Greek literature, the reception of classical antiquity in modern European literatures, and modern literary theory. His most recent  publications include an edited volume on genre in classical literature and articles on Callimachus, Plutarch, and the Second Sophistic. He is currently completing a commentary on Sophocles' Electra and preparing a book-length study on the reader in Greek literature. He is very excited about his first extended stay on the American West coast.



Wednesday, January 28, 2015. 05:00 PM


Bldg. 110, Rm. 112


Department of Classics




Talk at 5:00pm. Reception at 6:00pm.