Gregory Nagy

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Gregory Nagy (1942) is the Francis Jones Professor of Classical Greek Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University, and is the Director of the Center for Hellenic Studies, Washington, DC. He specializes in Homer and archaic Greek poetry.

Born in Budapest, Hungary, Nagy was educated at Indiana University and Harvard University, where he studied Classical Philology and Linguistics, receiving his Ph.D. in 1966. He has held positions at Johns Hopkins University and since 1975 in Harvard University. Nagy has served as Chair of the Harvard University Classics Department and as President of the American Philological Association.

He is a strong proponent of the use of technology in teaching, and in the teaching and use of student writing in the core curriculum.



  • Greek Dialects and the Transformation of an Indo-European Process, Harvard University Press, 1970. Review: Wyatt (1972).
  • with Fred W. Householder, Greek: A Survey of Recent Work, The Hague: Mouton, 1972; 2nd ed., annot., 2008, HTML.
  • Comparative Studies in Greek and Indic Meter, Harvard University Press, 1974, HTML.
  • The Best of the Achaeans: Concepts of the Hero in Archaic Greek Poetry, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979; 2nd ed., rev., 1999, HTML (CHS), HTML (JHU).
  • Greek Mythology and Poetics, Cornell University Press, 1990, HTML.
  • Pindar's Homer: The Lyric Possession of an Epic Past, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990, HTML (CHS), HTML (JHU). Review: Rosen (1991).
  • Poetry as Performance: Homer and Beyond, Cambridge University Press, 1996, HTML. Reviews: Usher (1997), Pelliccia (1997, response).
  • Homeric Questions, University of Texas Press, 1996, HTML (CHS), HTML (Stoa). Reviews: Usher (1997), Pelliccia (1997, response).
  • Plato's Rhapsody and Homer's Music: The Poetics of the Panathenaic Festival in Classical Athens, Harvard University Press, 2002, HTML.
  • Homeric Responses, University of Texas Press, 2003, HTML.
  • Homer's Text And Language, University of Illinois Press, 2004, HTML.
  • Homer: The Classic, Center for Hellenic Studies, 2009, 641 pp, HTML. Review: Sickle (2012). Covers the classical era of Homeric reception (in four sections: the age of Virgil, Callimachus, Plato, and Pheidias).
  • Homer: The Preclassic, University of California Press, 2010, HTML. Based on the Sather Classical Lectures of spring 2002; covers the preclassical era of Homeric reception (in two sections: the Dark Age and the Bronze Age). The online version contains updated annotations stemming from 2010 and thereafter; these annotations track relevant new debates or discoveries.
  • Short Writings, Vol. 1, Center for Hellenic Studies, 2012, HTML.
  • Short Writings, Vol. 2, Center for Hellenic Studies, 2012, HTML.
  • The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours, Harvard University Press, 2013, EPUB.
Edited books
  • editor, with Thomas J. Figueira, Theognis of Megara: Poetry and the Polis, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985, HTML.
  • editor, with Victor Bers, The Classics In East Europe: From the End of World War II to the Present, American Philological Association Pamphlet Series, 1996.
  • editor, with Nicole Loraux and L. Slatkin, Postwar French Thought, Vol. 3, Antiquities, New Press, 2001.
  • editor, Greek Literature, Taylor and Francis, London, 2001; 9 vols., Routledge, 2002.
  • editor, with Anna Stavrakopoulou, Modern Greek Literature: Critical Essays, Routledge, 2003, 190 pp.

Selected essays[edit]

  • "The Professional Muse and Models of Prestige in Ancient Greece," Cultural Critique 12 (1989), pp 133-143.
  • "Early Greek Views of Poets and Poetry", in The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism, vol. 1, ed. G. Kennedy, Cambridge University Press, 1989, pp 1-77; 1993.
  • "The Crisis of Performance", in The Ends of Rhetoric: History, Theory, Practice, eds. J. Bender and D.E. Wellbery, Stanford University Press, 1990, pp 43-59.
  • "Distortion diachronique dans l'art homérique: quelques précisions", in Constructions du temps dans le monde ancien, ed. C. Darbo-Peschanski, Paris, 2000, pp 417-426. (French)