COLLOQUIUM: Manon Brouillet, EHESS, "The Singer and the Meat: Epic Performance and Sacrifice in Ancient Greece"

Thursday, April 18, 2019 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm

402 Cohen Hall 

In the Odyssey, Demodokos' performances are framed by the consumption of meat. Indeed, the two known settings of the epic performances, symposia and religious festivals, were characterized by consumption of meat and libations that renewed the social body and the relationship with the gods. Likewise, while the epic song aims at creating a bound with the gods, the audience of the performance is transformed into a community whose cohesion is necessary for the circulation of kharis.

This talk questions the link between the epic performance and the sacrifice as two ritual events, crucial for the construction of the social community by the means of renewing a bond with the gods.

Brouillet (PhD EHESS, Paris) is currently a Fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies. She specializes in Homeric epics, and combines historical and philological reading with anthropological questioning. Ethnological fieldwork in Burkina Faso with traditional singers leads her to propose a new insight on the relationship between singer, audience, and the gods. She takes the Iliad and the Odyssey as crucial events in the ongoing experiment of Greek polytheism.

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