CONF: APGRD Lectures

Seen on the Classicists list (please direct any queries to the folks mentioned in the item and not to rogueclassicism):

The Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama (APGRD) would like to invite you to two upcoming events in the Lecture Theatre, Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St Giles, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3LU.

Martin Crimp (Playwright) will give a lecture at 2.15 pm, Monday 7 February, on:

‘Sophocles at the Tennis Court: On writing Cruel and Tender, a version of Sophocles’ Women of Trachis’.

Professor Christian Biet (Paris X-Nanterre) will give a lecture at 2.15 pm Monday 7 March on:

‘"Senecan" theatrical cruelty in England and France in the late 16th and early 17th centuries: audience, citizens and chorus’.

The events are free and everyone is welcome to attend.

Achilles’ Grave Found?

Another tenuous claim … this time from Today’s Zaman:

Achilles, the mythological warrior in Homer’s “Iliad,” will reunite with his wooden horse 5,000 years after he used it to capture Troy.

Claims that the grave of Achilles, the son of sea goddess Thetis, may be located in the Osmancık district of Çorum have aroused researchers’ interest in the district. The Municipality of Osmancık has proposed a TL 1 million project to develop the district’s tourism potential. The project has been submitted to the Central Black Sea Development Agency (OKA), and if it is approved, a miniature version of the Trojan Horse will be erected next to the alleged grave of Achilles in Adatepe.

The tomb of the legendary warrior Achilles is located in the Osmancık district of Çorum, claims Cevdet Seraçer, an author and researcher from Osmancık who quit his career as a lawyer to dedicate his life and energy to this study. Seraçer translated Homer’s “Iliad” into Turkish and spent many years trying to locate the grave of Achilles. In his book titled “Tarihsel Doku İçinde Unutulan Kent Osmancık” (A City Forgotten in Historical Texture: Osmancık), which he wrote using Cevat Şakir Kabaağaçlı’s works, he claims that Achilles’ grave is located in Adatepe in the heart of the district. “Hermes, the helper, led them down the dank ways. Past the streams of Oceanus and the White Rock, past the gates of the Sun they sped and the land of dreams, and soon they came to the mead of asphodel, where dwell the souls, the phantoms of men outworn. There they found the soul of Achilles son of Peleus, and the souls of Patroclus, and of noble Antilochus, and of Aias, who in face and form was goodliest of all the Danaans after the noble son of Peleus,” he quotes from Homer to prove his claim. He says that the mead of asphodel refers to Osmancık and the White Rock is a mountain rich in marble near Adatepe.

Without any major objection, this claim has found a sizable number of followers in Osmancık, and a small-scale tourism sector has developed in the district. To boost this potential using certain landscaping and cultural elements and promote the district’s tourism potential, the district’s municipality is now planning to build a Trojan Horse near Achilles’ grave. The municipality has already submitted a TL 1 million project to OKA, and if approved, renovation of the hill will start and a miniature version of the Trojan Horse will be built next to the grave. Part of the hill will be used as a popular excursion spot using the wooded area. Moreover, the roads to the hill will also be renovated.

Osmancık Mayor Bekir Yazıcı stated that they have prepared a very comprehensive project. “We have considered our options as to what we can do with Achilles’ grave in our district. We seek to make our district more attractive by landscaping this touristic and historical site,” he said.

Now I won’t poopoo the idea that someone might find something which might appear to be Achilles’ tomb — clearly there was some sort of touristy type thing in antiquity which was visited by various folks (e.g. Alexander). But we also know that there was a hero cult for Achilles in the Black Sea area (see, e.g., Guy Hedreen, “The Cult of Achilles in the Euxine” Hesperia 60, 313–330 … there’s a good summary in the relevant section of Wikipedia), which presumably would be associated with a tomb of some sort. Outside of that, it seems somewhat anachronistic to associate the Trojan Horse with Achilles at all, doesn’t it? (or am I wrong in thinking the Horse came after Achilles’ death?)