The book based on her dissertation (The Many-Headed Muse: Tradition and Innovation in Late Classical Greek Lyric Poetry, under contract 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, LeVen’s research interests include the technical prose of the classical period, musical culture, and the ancient (and modern) novel. Her next book project is devoted to anecdotes as narrative and cultural practice.
Selected Recent Publications
- "New Music and Its Myths: Athenaeus’ Reading of the Aulos Revolution," JHS 140 (2010): 35–47
- "Timotheus’ Eleven Strings: a New Approach (PMG 791, 229–236)", CP (2011): 245–54.
- "‘You Make Less Sense Than a (New) Dithyramb’: Sociology of a Riddling Style", in The Muse at Play. Riddles and Wordplay in Greek and Latin Poetry" ed. by J. Kwapisz, D. Petrain and M. Szymanski (forthcoming, de Gruyter)
- Commentary on paeans of Isyllus, Philodamus of Scarpheia, Aristonous, Erythraean Paeans, in a volume of texts and commentaries on Hellenistic poetry, ed. by D. Sider (to be published by Michigan University Press)
- "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 (forthcoming)
Hesiod and Homeric Hymns
Spring 2013, M-W 2.30-3.45 pm
This advanced level course will focus on the hexameter poetry of Hesiod (with a special focus on the Theogony) and the Homeric Hymns to Apollo, Aphrodite, and Hermes. We will start by reading approximately 60 lines per session, working our way up to 150 by the end of the semester. Assignments will consist in preparing the assigned reading in Greek, and reading articles addressing interpretive issues and history of literature.
Sessions will be devoted to close reading and discussion of points of language, style, and metrics, as well as larger issues of narrative technique, poetics, myth and aitiology, religion, and hymnic genre.
Introduction to Homer: the Odyssey
Spring 2013, M-W-F 10.30-11.20am
You only need three semesters of Greek to start reading Homer in the original! The goal of this class is to familiarize students with the language of Homeric poetry (dialect, morphology and meter), as well as its narrative technique and the characterization of its main protagonists.
We will read the whole of the Odyssey in English, and four books (1, 6, 9 and 21) in Greek, starting with a few dozen lines per session and working our way up to 75 lines per session. Assignments will consist in preparing the assigned reading in Greek, and occasionally reading articles addressing interpretive issues.