Twelfth Groningen Workshop on Hellenistic Poetry. Drama and Performance in Hellenistic Poetry

Wednesday 19 – Friday 21 August 2015


The Department of Greek and Latin at the University of Groningen (Netherlands) hereby announces the twelfth workshop in the series “Workshops on Hellenistic Poetry” to be held in Groningen on Wednesday 19 – Friday 21 August 2015. The theme of this workshop will be Drama and Performance in Hellenistic Poetry.

Although the remains of dramatic poetry from the Hellenistic period are scanty, the notion of ‘performance’ is present in many Hellenistic poems. A clear example is the extended messenger speech in Lycophron’s Alexandra, but one may also think, for instance, of the so-called mimetic hymns of Callimachus, in which a ritual scene is enacted, the poems of Theocritus, in which we find perfoming shepherds, but also the enactment of domestic and urban episodes, and the mimiambs of Herondas. In other genres, such as Callimachus’ Aetia or Hellenistic epigram brief monologues or dialogues of people or objects also contain hints of performance. In this workshop we should like the speakers to address questions related to this idea of performance in Hellenistic poetry. On may, for instance, investigate how the notion of performance would increase the religious or moral impact of Callimachus’ hymns by evoking a priest(ess) addressing an audience in awe of the gods or goddesses concerned, the effects of the double layers of performance in Theocritus 15, where the ladies performing in the poem’s dramatic framework attend the performance of a song for Adonis, or the influence of drama on the epic Argonautica of Apollonius Rhodius. Central to each paper should be questions related to the elements of drama and performance (real or imagined) in a given poem or genre.

     The purpose of these workshops is to enable scholars working on Hellenistic poetry to present parts of their research to a group of specialists before publication. The workshops are organized once in every two years and focus on a certain author or aspect of Hellenistic poetry. The first ten workshops have focused on Callimachus (1992), Theocritus (1994), Genre in Hellenistic Poetry (1996), Apollonius Rhodius (1998), Hellenistic Epigram (2000), Callimachus (2002), poets “Beyond the Canon” (2004), “Nature and Science in Hellenistic Poetry” (2006), “Gods and Religion in Hellenistic Poetry” (2008), “Hellenistic Poetry in Context”(2010) and “Past and Present in Hellenistic Poetry” (2013). Possible themes for subsequent workshops are: Hellenistic poetry and modern literary criticism; the influence of Hellenistic on later Greek poetry; Hellenistic poetry in a Graeco-Egyptian context (further suggestions are always welcome).

Scholars who wish to contribute a paper to the workshop are requested to send an e-mail to with the title of their paper and a brief abstract (1 page) by 1 November 2014 and, when their offer is accepted, to send a PDF of the complete text of the paper by 1 May 2015, so that it can be distributed among the participants well before the workshop. During the work­shop itself there will be time for a short introduction (ca. 10 minutes) followed by extensive discussion of the paper (ca. 35 minutes). The papers will be published in a volume of the series Hellenistica Groning­ana by Peeters (Leuven). The papers should not be longer than 20 pages.

Those who wish to take part in the discussions without contributing a paper or to act as a respondent are requested to send an e-mail to before 1 April 2015.

Possibly there will be funds to cover (1) part of the travel expenses for speakers whose universities are not able to pay their fare and (2) a three nights’ stay at the University Guesthouse or a hotel in Groningen for all speakers. Other participants (including the respondents) will have to provide their own funds and pay a fee of 100,- Euro to cover the costs of tea, coffee, lunches and documentation (50,- Euro for students).

Not only senior scholars, but quite emphatically also young scholars working on dissertati­ons in the field of Hellenistic poetry are invited to offer papers or to take part in the discussions in  these workshops or act as respondents.


The organizing committee:

Prof. Dr. Annette Harder

Dr. Remco Regtuit

Prof. Dr. Gerry Wakker


Afdeling Grieks en Latijn

Oude Kijk in ‘t Jatstraat 26

9712 EK Groningen

The Netherlands