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Open Access Journal: Berkeley Undergraduate Journal of Classics

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[First posted in AWOL 12 November 2013, updated 13 August 2021]

Berkeley Undergraduate Journal of Classics
e-ISSN 2373-7115
Berkeley Undergraduate Journal of Classics
The Berkeley Undergraduate Journal of Classics is committed to the progress and proliferation of scholarship in the field of Classics and to providing a common medium through which undergraduates from all relevant disciplines can actively engage in one another’s work. In order to establish a channel for interdepartmental exchange and collaboration, we seek to publish exceptional papers and translations from a wide range of fields pertaining to Classics and the world of the ancient Mediterranean.

Volume 8, Issue 1, 2021


Articles

The Princess, The Pauper and The Perpetrator- A Trinational Electra in the Twentieth Century

The Electra myth has been a popular subject throughout the centuries for dramatists. The three great ancient Greek tragedians (Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides) each created his own version of the myth, and these plays have been and continue to be translated or adapted into various languages. In contradiction to the famous phrase “lost in translation,” adaptations may incorporate political or cultural aspects of the country in which they are conceived, giving them even greater substance and meaning. The purpose of this paper, in turn, is two-fold. I begin by presenting and exploring the differences among the three Greek versions of the ancient tragedians and their implications. However, the majority of this paper focuses around three twentieth-century adaptations of each of the playwrights’ versions (namely, Jean Giraudoux’s French Électre, Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s German Elektra, and Eugene O’Neill’s...

Medea: Incarnate Queen of Disorder

A poem on the original queen of disorder and a part of whose spirit lives in all mothers and wives.

‘The Realm of Truth Confronting its Shadowy Other’? The Reality of Elite Self-Distancing Narratives in Classical Literature

This paper presents an oppositional analysis between representations of elite and non-elite spaces in classical literature, focussing on elite residences (Section I) and the common Roman barbershop (Section II). Its aim is to highlight the ancient literary elite’s selective deployment of the urban as a tool for reinforcing the divide between elite and non-elite. My main ancient sources are Achilles Tatius and Plutarch, and secondary literature (particularly from Tim Whitmarsh and Jerry Toner) is cited throughout the piece. It deals with issues of narrative authority, truth, and – although not explicitly framed in this term – 'fake news', a topic which of course has been at the fore of public discourse in recent years.

Indo-European Poesy and the 'Ship of State' in Aristophanes's "The Frogs"

Among several Indo-European poetic and literary inheritances from which Aristophanes draws in his play The Frogs, a crucial one seems to have been overlooked thus far, which ties together seemingly disparate beats and motifs in the play.  This is the metaphor analogizing poets to carpenters, their craft (poems) to ships, and recitation/composition as sailing, which besides its appearance in other branches of the Indo-European languages, is attested in other places in the Greek corpus too, especially in the works of Pindar.  Tying this inherited poetic trope in with the metaphorical “ship of state” (attested in the lyric poets, tragedians, Plato, etc.) and the on-the-ground importance of Athens’s naval culture and service to its polity makes the trope into more than just a technique for poetic embellishment, but rather, a crucial element in interpreting the literary and political significance of these aforementioned seemingly...

Woman of Tiryns

This painting, reproduced from a Mycenaean fresco from Tiryns (c. 1300 B.C.E) in watercolor, depicts a woman in a style quite characteristic of Bronze Age Greece, holding a pyxis, or an ivory box.

The Indo-European Religious Background of the Gygēs Tale in Hērodotos

The first “short story” included in the Histories of Hērodotos narrates the rise of the Mermnad dynasty of Lydia through an act of assassination and usurpation by their founder, Gygēs. To make a long tale short, the Lydian king Kandaulēs, being obsessed with his wife, contrives to show her naked to his bodyguard Gygēs. After catching him in the act, the queen confronts Gygēs and forces him to choose between murdering his master or being killed himself. He takes the former option and establishes himself and his descendants as rulers of Lydia up to the time of Kroisos. In the commentary of Asheri, Lloyd, and Corcella, this story is characterized as a “court tale,” but is further analyzed neither with respect to its oral-historical background nor its motivic structure. This paper will argue that the Gygēs narrative reflects a far more ancient, Indo-European ideology representing the sovereign power as a goddess wedded to the sovereign...

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