Two Lectures: “Exploring Greek Tragedy: ‘The Persians’ of Aeschylus” & “Cultural Exchange Between the Phrygians and Greek”

This week we get a little dirty… with the dust of long-crumbled empires.  Our first lecture pertains to the ideological (i.e. religious) and material exchange between the ancient Greeks and their neighbors to the East: the enigmatic Phrygians.  I talk about their capital city named Gordion, their culture, their religion and their impacts on the Greek (and consequently the Roman) worlds.


Berndt-Ersöz, Susanne. 1998. “Phrygian Rock-Cut Cult Façades: A Study of the Function of the So-Called Shaft Monuments.” Anatolian Studies 48: 87-112.

Bremmer, Jan. 2004. “Attis: A Greek God in Anatolian Pessinous and Catullan Rome.” Mnemosyne IV 57 (5), 2004: 534-573.

Cox, D. H. 1966. “Gordion Hoards III, IV, V, and VII,” American Numismatic Society, Museum es 12: 19-55.

Cook, J.M. 1962. The Greeks in Ionia & the East. London: Thames & Hudson.

Darbyshire, G., S. Mitchell, and L. Vardar. 2000. “The Galatian Settlement in Asia Minor,” Anatolian Studies 50: 75-97.

Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art. 2000. “Phrygia, Gordion, and King Midas in the Late Eighth Century B.C.” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.… (October 2004)

DeVries, Keith. 1990. “The Gordion Excavation Seasons of 1969-1973 and Subsequent Research.” American Jour-nal of Archaeology 94 (3): 371-406.

Emlyn-Jones, C.J. 1980. The Ionians & Hellenism. London : Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Garstang, John. 1943 “Hittite Military Roads in Asia Minor: A Study in Imperial Strategy with a Map.” American Journal of Archaeology 47 (1): 35-62.

Gimbutas, Marija Alseikaitė. The gods and goddesses of Old Europe: 7000 to 3500 BC myths, legends and cult images. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974.

Henrickson, Robert C., and M. J. Blackman. 1999. “Hellenistic Production of Terracotta Roof Tiles among the Ce-ramic Industries at Gordion,” Oxford Journal of Archaeology 18 (3): 307-326.

Henrickson, Robert. 1995. “Hittite Pottery and Potters: The View from Late Bronze Age Gordion” The Biblical Archaeologist 58 (2): 82-90.

Jackson, Peter. 2002. “Light from Distant Asterisks: Towards a Description of the Indo-European Religious Heritage.” Numen 49 (1) 61-102.

Larson, Jennifer. 2007. Ancient Greek Cults: A Guide. New York and London: Routledge.

Marsh, Ben. 1999. “Alluvial Burial of Gordion, an Iron-Age City in Anatolia.” Journal of Field Archaeology 26 (2): 163-175.

Miller, Naomi F., Melinda A. Zeder, Susan R. Arter. 2009. “From Food and Fuel to Farms and Flocks: The Integra-tion of Plant and Animal Remains in the Study of the Agropastoral Economy at Gordion, Turkey.” Current Anthro-pology 50 (6): 915-924.

Özkayad, Vecihi. 1997. “The Shaft Monuments and the ‘Taurobolium’ among the Phrygians.” Anatolian Studies 47: 89-103
Prag, A. 1989. “Reconstructing King Midas: A First Report.” Anatolian Studies 39: 159-165.

Roscoe, Will. 1996. “Priests of the Goddess: Gender Transgression in Ancient Religion.” History of Religions 35 (3): 195-230.

Roller, Lynn E. 1987. “Hellenistic Epigraphic Texts from Gordion,” Anatolian Studies 37: 103-33.

——–. 1994. “Attis on Greek Votive Monuments: Greek God or Phrygian?” Hesperia: The Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens 63 (2): 245-262.

——–. 1991. “The Great Mother at Gordion: The Hellenization of an Anatolian Cult.” The Journal of Hellenic Studies 111: 128-143.

——–. 1984. “Midas and the Gordian Knot.” Classical Antiquity 3: 256–271.

Sams, Kenneth. 1974. “Phrygian Painted Animals: Anatolian Orientalizing Art.” Anatolian Studies 24: 169-196.

University of Gent. 2006. “Pessinous Excavation Project.”… (accessed 21 November 2011).

University of Pennsylvania. 2010. “Digital Gordion.”… (accessed 19 November 2011).

Vermaseren, Maarten. 1977. Cybele and Attis: The Myth and the Cult. London: Thames and Hudson.

——–. 1991. “The Great Mother at Gordion: The Hellenization of an Anatolian Cult.” The Journal of Hellenic Studies 111: 128-143.
Voigt, M. Mary. 2003. “Celts at Gordion: The Late Hellenistic Settlement,” Expedition 45:. 14-16.

Voigt, M. Mary, and Robert C. Henrickson. 2000. “Formation of the Phrygian State: The Early Iron Age at Gordi-on.” Anatolian Studies 50: 37-54.

Young, Rodney S. 1956. “The Campaign of 1955 at Gordion: Preliminary Report.” American Journal of Archaeology 60 (3): 249-266.

——–. 1963. “Gordion on the Royal Road.” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 107 (4): 348-364.

——–. 1962. “The 1961 Campaign at Gordion.” American Journal of Archaeology 66 (2): 153-168.

——–. 1966. “The Gordion Campaign of 1965.” American Journal of Archaeology 70 (3): 267-278.

——–. 1968. “The Gordion Campaign of 1967.” American Journal of Archaeology 72 (3): 231-241.

——–. “Old Phrygian Inscriptions from Gordion: Toward a History of the Phrygian Alphabet.” Hesperia: The Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens 38 (2): 252-296.


The second lecture of the week – probably the shortest one I’ve done so far – pertains to Aeschylus’ quasi-historical tragedy “The Persians” – here I try and put to rest the debate as to whether this play was meant to rub defeat in the Persians’ faces, or whether it was a warning to the rapidly expanding Athenian empire not to follow down the same path as their enemies…


Aeschylus (Phillip Vellacott, trans.), Prometheus Bound, the Suppliants, Seven against Thebes, the Persians.  (Penguin Classics, 1984).

Craig, J. D. “The Interpretation of Aeschylus’ Persae.”  The Classical Review, Vol. 38, (1924): 98-101.

DeVries G. J. “Le Theme des Perses.” Mnemosyne, Vol. 13, (1947): 317-320.

Erkelenz, M.  “Inspecting the tragedy of empire: Shelley’s Hellas and Aeschylus’ Persians.” Philological Quarterly Vol. 76 (1997): 313-37.

Favorini, Attilio. “History, Collective Memory, and Aeschylus’ ‘The Persians.’”  Theatre Journal Vol. 55, (2003): 99-111.

Sheppard J. T. “Notes on Aeschylus Persae.” The Classical Review, Vol. 29, (1915): 33-35.

Winnington-Ingram, R.P. “Zeus in the Persae.”  The Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol. 93 (1973): 210-219.

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