Callimachus: Hymn to Athena

Callimachus: Hymn to Athena

Course Description: This course offers an introduction to Hellenistic poetry and Callimachus through a close reading of his fifth hymn, known as The Bath of Pallas, which is set at a religious festival in Argos for the purpose of cleaning the cult statue of Athena. The poem is written in elegiac couplets and relates the myth of the blinding of the famous seer Teiresias. Callimachus is considered the greatest of the Hellenistic poets, whose learned cosmopolitan poetry had a profound influence on golden age Roman poets. This is a great opportunity to read one of the most neglected of all major Greek poets, but will also be valuable for those who want to understand better the nature of Latin poetry.


Level: This course is open to those who have completed a basic Greek course.

Textbook: Instructor will provide materials.

Sections capped at: 5 students. If the course is sold-out, please fill out this waiting-list form.

Tuesdays, 6pm U.S. Eastern Time


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Nicholas Swift

Nicholas Swift has an M.A. in Classics from the University at Buffalo. He was a graduate student fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, DC (2008) and a regular member of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (2011-2012). He was writing a dissertation on the geographer Strabo before leaving to teach at Nichols School in Buffalo, NY. He has published articles on Greek linguistics and literature, including "The Origin of the Greek Alphabet" for Brill's Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics. He is also a painter and avid chess player.