Casey Due examines the figure of Briseis, the concubine of Achilles in theIliad, as an example of the traditional artistry enabled by a complex and self-contained oral poetic system. Briseis' lament for Patroclus inIliad 19 hints at her role in the larger epic tradition. Due argues that Briseis' role in theIliad is enormously compressed, both in relation to theIliad and the entire tradition of the epic cycle. Through a close reading of Homeric passages, Homeric Variations on a Lament by Briseis shows how theIliad refers to expanded and alternative traditions about Briseis even while asserting its own version of her story.
Casey Due is Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Houston. She holds a B.A. in Classics from Brown University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Classical Philology from Harvard University. Her teaching and research interests include ancient Greek oral traditions, Homeric poetry, Greek tragedy, and textual criticism.
Chapter 1 Introduction: Variations on Briseis Chapter 2 1. Briseis and the Multiformity of the Iliad Chapter 3 2. Prize Chapter 4 3. Girl Chapter 5 4. Wife Chapter 6 Conclusion: Tradition and Innovation Chapter 7 Afterword: Elegizing Briseis in Augustan Rome