Telamonian Ajax: The Myth in Archaic and Classical Greece

ISBN : 9780198864769

Sophie Marianne Bocksberger
272 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Dec 2021
Oxford Classical Monographs
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Telamonian Ajax provides a complete overview of the development of Telamonian Ajax's myth in archaic and classical Greece. It is a systematic study of the representations of the hero in all kinds of media, such as literature, art, or cultic practice, establishing how and why the constitutive elements of Ajax's myth evolved by examining the way the literary works and visual representations in which he features were influenced by the historical, socio-cultural, and performative contexts of their receptions. Bocksberger's study focuses on three main loci of reception: the Panhellenic figure of Ajax, through a study of early Greek hexameter poetry and archaic art; archaic and classical Aegina; and archaic and classical Athens. By following in the footsteps of Ajax, this study offers a journey across the archaic and classical history of the Saronic Gulf, and exemplifies the manner in which the respective priorities of art, cult, and politics could be negotiated through the re-configuration of a mythological figure. This book establishes the outline of Telamonian Ajax's pre-Homeric gesta in order to understand how it was received in early Greek hexameter poetry, especially in the Iliad. Moreover, it investigates the important political role the hero had in the context of Atheno-Aeginetan rivalry in the sixth and fifth centuries BCE in order to show the profound impact the historical context had on the shaping of his myth.


1:Ajax from Salamis
2:Ajax in Aegina
3:Ajax in Athens
Appendix: Translations of Epigraphs

About the author: 

Sophie Marianne Bocksberger read Classics, English Literature, and Old French at the University of Lausanne, after which she studied at the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa. She received a scholarship from the Berrow Foundation to write a DPhil in Classics at the University of Oxford, which she completed in 2016. She has taught at Oxford (Somerville College and Brasenose College) since then. In 2018, she was awarded a fellowship by the Swiss National Fund, and in 2019 she became an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Freie Universität Berlin. She is currently working on ancient dance.

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