Host or Parasite? Mythographers and their Contemporaries in the Late Classical and Hellenistic Periods

The department hosts the Spring 2015 Langford Conference February 20 and 21.

Host or Parasite? Mythographers and their Contemporaries in the late Classical and Hellenistic Period

Spring Langford Conference, Florida State University

February 20-21, 2015

FSU Alumni Center (Feb 20) and Turnbull Center (Feb 21)

Organized by John Marincola and Allen Romano

(download Poster (pdf 3.11 MB))


Between the earliest prose myths and the flurry of mythographic activity in the late Hellenistic into the Imperial period, a diverse range of authors and works might be labeled in some way “mythography”. The category of mythography has, in practice, been defined as much by what it is not (poetry, history, philosophy, science) as by what it is; inclusion in the large category defined by content (myths in prose) risks minimizing important differences in form and the varying circumstances of production which shaped individual “mythographic” works. In this conference, we consider the question of difference by approaching late Classical and Hellenistic “mythographers” through the interconnections and relationships with the literary activities and genres of their time. What differentiates various writers whose work might be characterized as mythography? What relationships (if any) did this mythographic activity have with other literary activities, other writers, and other sorts of writing or performance? Where the traditional focus in studying many mythographers is on their sources or the use of mythographers as sources for later works (frequently poetry or other, later mythographers), by focusing on contemporaries and non-mythographic genres, we seek to situate these figures more firmly in their particular and, possibly, idiosyncratic intellectual worlds.

Schedule: (program (pdf 31.79 kB))

Friday, Feb. 20, 2015

FSU Alumni Center, Rendina Room

8:15 am Breakfast
9:00 Welcome: Daniel Pullen
Introductory Remarks: Allen Romano
9:15-10:30 Andrew Ford (Princeton University), ‘Mythographic Discourse among Non-Mythographers: Pindar, Plato and Callimachus’
10:30-11:00 Coffee
11:00-12:15 Nita Krevans (University of Minnesota), ‘Callimachus and the Mythology of Place’
12:15-1:30 Lunch
1:30-2:45 René Nünlist (Universität zu Köln), ‘Mythographical Questions as Seen Through the Eyes of a Hellenistic Critic’
2:45-3:15 Coffee
3:15-4:30 Robert Fowler (University of Bristol), ‘Myth(ography) and the Peripatos’


Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015

Turnbull Conference Center

8:15 Breakfast



Luigi Battezzato (Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale), ‘Medea among the Mythographers’
10:30-11:00 Coffee
11:00-11:45 Jessica Wissmann (Universität Osnabrück), ‘Does Mythography Care about Good or Bad?’
12:15-1:30 Lunch
1:30-2:45 Ken Dowden (University of Birmingham), ‘Vergil the Mythographer’
2:45-3:30 Coffee and Concluding Discussion, John Marincola