Pauline LeVen

Assistant Professor

Born in Monaco and raised in France, Pauline LeVen studied at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris), the Sorbonne and Princeton University, and earned a joint PhD from both in 2008. She was a Fulbright student in 2001–02 and the Phi Beta Kappa Sibley Fellow in Greek Studies in 2007–08.

The book based on her dissertation (The Many-Headed Muse: Tradition and Innovation in Late Classical Greek Lyric Poetry, forthcoming with Cambridge University Press) is a study of the extant corpus of Greek songs composed between about 440 BC and 320 BC. Combining close readings of little-studied texts with attention to their intellectual and cultural context, it examines Greek literary history between the classical and Hellenistic periods and argues against the idea of the demise of mousikê in the late classical period.

In addition to lyric poetry and musical culture, LeVen’s research interests include the ancient novel, the anecdote as a narrative form and cultural practice, ancient literary criticism and performance. Her next book project is devoted to musical myths and to questions of musical aesthetics.

Selected Recent Publications

  • “Aristotle’s Hymn to Virtue and Funerary Epigraphy,” in Literary Epigraphy, ed. by P. Low and P. Liddell (Oxford: 2013)
  • "The Colours of Sound: Poikilia in its Aesthetic Contexts,” Greek and Roman Musical Studies 1 (2013): 229–242.
  • “Reading the Octopus: Authorship, Intertexts and a Hellenistic Anecdote (Machon, fr. 9 Gow),” special issue of AJP 126.1 (2013): 23–35.
  • “‘You Make Less Sense Than a (New) Dithyramb’: Sociology of a Riddling Style”, in J. Kwapisz, D. Petrain and M. Szymansk (eds.) 2012. The Muse at Play. Riddles and Wordplay in Greek and Latin Poetry. Berlin, 44-64.
  • “Musical Crisis: Musical Anecdotes and Competition” in Poesia, musica e agoni nella Grecia antica, proceedings of the IVth Moisa conference, Lecce October 2010, ed. by D. Castaldo and A. Manieri (Congedo, Galatina. Rudiae. Ricerche sul mondo classico 22-23, 2012): 681-92.
  • “Timotheus’ Eleven Strings: a New Approach (PMG 791, 229–236)”, CP (2011): 245–54.
  • “New Music and Its Myths: Athenaeus’ Reading of the Aulos Revolution,” JHS 140 (2010): 35–47

Download cv here

LeVen photo

LOA 2014-15


Field Greek Literature and Language

Specialism Greek Poetry (especially Lyric), Ancient Novel, Ancient Literary Criticism, Musical Culture

Current courses Fall: Helen after Troy; Performance and Society in Ancient Greece, Spring: Introduction to Homeric Poetry; Readings in Ancient Myths, Fiction and Science-Fiction

Contact details

305 Phelps Hall

Phone (203) 432-0983

Fax (203) 432-1079