Thalia Delighting in Song: Essays on Ancient Greek Poetry

Thalia Delighting in Song: Essays on Ancient Greek Poetry

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Emmet I. Robbins
Edited by Bonnie MacLachlan
Phoenix Supplementary Volumes
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2013
World Rights
352 Pages
ISBN 9781442613430
Published Mar 2013
Online discount: 15%
 $33.95    $28.86
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442668218
Published Jun 2013
Online discount: 27%
Full purchase $33.95

Emmet I. Robbins earned an international reputation as a scholar of ancient Greek poetry, possessing a broad cultural background and a command of many languages that allowed him to present sensitive and informed readings of poets from Homer to the tragedians. Thalia Delighting in Song assembles for the first time his work from 1975 through 1999, reflecting his close reading of the Greek texts and his firm grasp of their literary, historical and mythological contexts.

Among the essays included in this volume are important reflections on the poetry of Homer, Alcman, Sappho, Pindar and Aeschylus. Also featured are Robbins' writings that situate Greek texts in their wider contexts, comparing Greek poetry and modern opera, for example, or assessing the enduring influence of myth in the Indo-European traditions, accounting for links between Greek literature and the poetry, sagas and songs of several other cultures. Thalia Delighting in Song ensures that the next generation of Classicists will continue to benefit from the insights of one of the foremost scholars in the field.

Emmet I. Robbins (1939–2011) was chair of the Department of Classics at the University of Toronto.

Bonnie MacLachlan is an associate professor emerita in the Department of Classical Studies at Western University.

Publications of Emmet Robbins


Public Poetry: Alcman, Stesichorus, Simonides, Pindar, Bacchylides

The Education of Achilles

Achilles to Thetis: Iliad 1.365–412

Alcman’s Partheneion: Legend and Choral Ceremony

‘Every Time I Look at You . . .’: Sappho Thirty-One

Who’s Dying in Sappho Fr. 94?

Sappho Fr. 94: A Further Note

Sappho, Aphrodite, and the Muses

Heracles, the Hyperboreans, and the Hind: Pindar, Ol. 3

Intimations of Immortality: Pindar Ol. 3.34–9

The Broken Wall, The Burning Roof and Tower: Pindar, Ol. 8.31–46

The Gifts of the Gods: Pindar’s Third Pythian

Jason and Cheiron: The Myth of Pindar’s Fourth Pythian

Cyrene and Cheiron: The Myth of Pindar’s Ninth Pythian

Pindar’s Oresteia and the Tragedians

Nereids with Golden Distaffs: Pindar, Nem. 5

The Divine Twins in Early Greek Poetry

Famous Orpheus

To Be Redeemed from Fire by Fire: the Deaths of Heracles and Siegfried



“There is no other book I know of that can teach the reader so much about what it means to read Greek lyric poems literately, sensitively, and passionately as Thalia Delighting in Song. These essays are among the very best writings on Greek lyric poetry from the last decades of the twentieth century, and to read through them all is not only profoundly instructive, but also profoundly moving. Robbins’s close readings and deft interpretations of individual poetic texts in his scholarly essays work splendidly together with his general articles on a number of Greek lyric poets: taken together, they provide both a larger framework and a detailed specification of the themes that Robbins has so acutely and sensitively identified. Thalia Delighting in Song is a wonderful book.”

Glenn W. Most, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, and John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago

Thalia Delighting in Song is a major contribution to research. The writing is beautifully clear and easy to read, and the book has many delightful twists.”

David A. Campbell, Department of Greek and Roman Studies, University of Victoria