GUEST BLOG: ‘Putting the female body on the line: from Carolina Bianchi and Pippa Bacca to Thecla’

This guest blog was written by MA student Ischa Beernaert, as part of his assessment for the UGent MA course ‘Gender and antiquity’, lectured by our research coordinator Evelien Bracke and inspired by a guest lecture by postdoctoral researcher Julie Van Pelt.

September 22nd 2023 – I went to see a performance at the KVS (Royal Flemish Theatre) in Brussels by Carolina Bianchi, a Brazilian director, playwright and actress based in Amsterdam. The title of the work: ‘The Bride and the Goodnight Cinderella’ or originally ‘A Noiva e o Boa Noite, Cinderela’.

The play starts off with Bianchi stepping onto the stage, armed with a big binder. She sits down at a tiny desk, pours herself a drink, takes a nip and starts delving into the contens of the binder: five-hundred pages of research that she conducted for the sake of her performance on the topic of femicide, sexual violence and anti-female terror. The material incorporated both fictional narratives and real, lived experiences, drawing from the stories and testimonies of women who experienced sexual assault; through history and space, from characters of Boccacio’s Decamerone to a Brazilian football player who had his girlfriend dismembered and fed to his rottweilers in 2010. [1] Bianchi skillfully narrates these different stories and so weaves a compelling and heart-wrenching tapestry of female, sexually mutilated bodies and corpses. The red thread through this narrative tapestry is the story of an Italian performance artist called Giuseppina Pasqualino di Marineo (also known as Pippa Bacca) which she starts recounting after having sipped from her drink again.

Pippa Bacca and female body-performance

In 2008, on International Women’s Day (8th of March), together with her trusted friend and fellow artist Silvia Moro, Pippa Bacca embarked on a performance called “Brides on Tour”. The performance consisted of hitchhiking (separately) from Milan to Tel-Aviv through several war-torn Balkan countries while wearing white wedding dresses. The aim was to celebrate a symbolic marriage between peoples yearning for peace, represented and facilitated by th

e two brides who offer themselves as messengers of this marriage, sealed by trust. On the road, the two performed symbolic acts and gestures with the women that they would encounter, for example washing their feet or embroidering new elements onto their wedding dresses together. The struggle of women in wartime was the focal point of their journey.

The premise of “Brides on Tour?” was: if one has faith in humanity, if one trusts, one is rewarded for it. This had ultimately led Pippa to get into the car of her own murderer. While Silvia Moro successfully completed the journey, Pippa Bacca was tragically raped and killed in Gebze (Turkey) during the third week of the performance.

A sentence from the press release that was issued by the artists themselves before their actual departure is in many ways telling for the underlying ideas of the performance: “La scelta del viaggio in autostop è una scelta di fiducia negli altri esseri umani, e l’uomo, come un piccolo dio, premia chi ha fede in lui.” “The choice to hitchhike is a choice of trust in other human beings, and man, like a small god, rewards those who have faith in him.” (From the press release of Pippa and Silvia’s departure on March 8, 2008, my translation.)

Not only does this sentence expose the definite Christian undertone of the endeavor, it also shows how the performers were very aware of the physical danger that they would put themselves through. The ‘reward’ of the ‘piccolo dio’ being a safe passage to Tel Aviv. The imminent physical danger was essential to Bacca’s overarching message of trust and the choice to undertake the journey in a wedding dress, symbol of bodily integrity and purity, even added to this matrix of physical danger. Bacca and Moro consciously and very aware of the fact that their political and social commentary would not work otherwise, put their bodies on the line, with tragic femicide as the result.

Carolina Bianchi frames Pippa Bacca’s performance within a larger network of feminist/female performance-art and artists which grew during the ‘60s and ‘70s in the wake of the second wave of feminism and postmodernism. In an analysis of this artistic sub-genre, Forte defines it as a movement wherein ‘[…] women use[d] performance as a deconstructive strategy to demonstrate the objectification of women and its results.’ [2] Central to this act and to this strategy was the physical body of the performing woman. A lot of the performances which would later be considered feminist performance-art put the concrete female body as the central point of investigation within their performance. The artists put
their own bodies at risk in order to uncover the underlying gendered politics which govern the view of the female: their own bodies become the evidence. [3] Another specific feature of the female performance art is the blurring of the distinction between reality and performance as the case of Pippa Bacca painfully shows. An example of such a performance is ‘Rhythm 0’ by Marina Abramović. In this 6-hour performance an audience was invited to do whatever they wished to the body of Ambramović, using seventy-two objects (ranging from feathers to a gun).

Art critic Thomas McEvilley was present at a showing of the piece and in a testimony [4] he recounts how the audience stripped Ambramović from her clothes, slashed her skin with a razor, how they committed all sorts of sexual assaults and how someone even pointed a loaded gun at Ambramović’s head before being stopped by other members of the audience. Further examples of feminist body-performances are ‘Rape Scene’ by Cuban artist Anna Mendieta and ‘Action  Pants:Genital Panic’ by Austrian artist Valie Export. [5]

All these female artists willingly expose themselves to real (sexual) violence, misogyny and possibly even death. In doing so they problematize the sexual violence itself, the ‘male gaze’ [6], the objectification of women and ultimately,  emicide. In a similar way Pippa Bacca’s performance unveiled these underlying structures. “Seguendo le orme delle artiste degli anni ‘60 e ’70 Bacca si è messa in gioco in una rappresentazione autentica di corposoggetto e non ha avuto paura di esporlo, di condividerlo, di offrirlo in una eucaristia politica che ha i toni dell’enunciazione e non della contestazione.” “Following in the footsteps of the artists of the 1960s and 1970s, Bacca put herself on the line in an authentic representation of the body and was not afraid to expose it, to share it, to offer it in a political Eucharist that has the undertones of enunciation and not of conflict.” (Giulia Di Santo – Il corpo di Pippa Bacca, 2022, p. 485, my translation)

In one gulp, Bianchi eventually finishes the glass she poured herself at the beginning of the performance and with it she finishes the story of Pippa Bacca. She recounts that a few weeks after the rape and subsequent death of Pippa, the Turkish police returned the camera with which Pippa had filmed her whole trip to her family. Looking through the footage, the family discovered that the killer had used Bacca’s camera a few days after he had murdered her to make videos of another bride: the sequences that appear are those of the wedding of a family member of the murderer. A smiling, dancing bride and joyous bridesmaids are central to the murderer’s recording. While telling this horrifying epilogue to the story, the eyes of Bianchi roll back into her head as she collapses on the stage floor.

The audience learns that at the beginning of the piece, Carolina Bianchi spiked her own drink with a date rape drug called ‘Goodnight Cinderella’. What unfolds in the next hour and a half of the play is a quasi-psychedelic trip in which
a group of actors (personal friends of Bianchi nota bene) perform a choreography with Bianchi’s lifeless, intoxicated body: a surreal depiction of the physical and mental hell one goes through when experiencing or having experienced rape. Its imagery defies the imagination, at least, my imagination; one of a male who has not been personally exposed to any form of sexual threat, let alone assault. Soundscapes of Bianchi herself are woven into this choreography, recounting once  again stories of femicide. By intoxicating herself, Bianchi consciously puts herself in the tradition of Bacca and Ambramović.

During this second part of the performance, Bianchi questions whether all these stories or performances she talked about have brought any sort of relief. Has Pippa Bacca’s suffering led to anything? Was it a bodily sacrifice for a transcending, greater and global good or just a violent, sexual, local crime committed against a woman? Why can it not be both? What is there to take away from all this harm inflicted on women? What solace is to be found? How do we interpret it?

Bianchi’s answer to these questions is what really struck me. At one point Bianchi’s unconscious, semi-naked body is laid out on the hood of a car which is rolled onto the stage. Its license plate reads: ‘FUCK CATHARSIS’, telling for the way Bianchi tackles these questions.

From the second part of the performance it becomes clear that for Bianchi there is no possible solace, no relief, there is no conclusion or interpretation to be made, there is only the real, palpable pain that was inflicted on these women. The never ending testimonies of female bodily harm are neither cathartic, nor empowering, nor denigrating, nor do they bring answers or resolve, they just are. It is Bianchi’s view that whenever we try to interpret or make sense of the physical horror inflicted on women, whether during a performance or in real life (as we have seen, the boundary between the two is not always clear-cut), the trauma that lies behind it is dismissed to a degree. For example, to interpret Bacca’s
performance and its outcome either as a commendable act of feminism or as a naive act of temerity, is to dismiss the physical trauma and anger behind it. Bianchi argues that catharsis is on the side of the violator.

Bianchi resists to interpret or resolve the trauma in order to recognize the pain for what it is. What is important to her is that ‘[t]he trauma does not end at the end of the play”. [7] In its essence, the performance is a plea to postpone or resist any kind of resolvement when it comes to these stories (i.e. catharsis).

Thecla as a female body-performance

During the performance I could not stop thinking of other female bodies “at risk” closer to my own world as a student of Latin and Greek literature: Antigone, Alcestis, Iphigenia, Perpetua and Felicitas… I tried to use Bianchi’s performance and the stories told in it as a lens through which I could reread or reexamine these figures and their stories. Maybe I could approach some of these ancient narratives as body-performances in line with Bacca and Ambramović? Quickly my attention was directed to the story/performance of/by Thecla since, at least to me, it shows a lot of similarities with the stories that Bianchi recounts in her performance.

The earliest record of the story of Thecla is a 2nd-century Greek apocryphal text called Acts of Paul and Thecla. In this text, Thecla, a noble virgin woman who is supposed to marry her fiance Thamyris, disbands this engagement upon hearing the teachings of the apostle Paul. In doing so, she breaks all social conventions, choosing virginity, an ascetic lifestyle and Christianity over marriage and the community. From that point on Thecla willingly and knowingly places her body in direct jeopardy for the sake of her (spiritual) convictions. Even though she is continuously being prosecuted for her decision, she persists. First, she is condemned to be burnt alive at the stake, if it wasn’t for a godsent storm. Later she encounters a man who tries to rape her and lastly she is put through violent and public sexual assaults in an arena; stripped of her clothing and tied naked by the feet between two bulls. Just before being ripped in half, another miracle saves her from death. Thecla puts her bodily integrity on the line and is repeatedly met with sexual violence in the process. The real, bodily risk is also exactly what makes her decision to follow Paul admirable to Christian readers of the text. And although Paul puts himself through similar risks, the sexual, bodily component, the objectifying gaze is never present.

In this, you could say, body-performance avant la lettre, Thecla unveils the objectification of women, its results and the way in which it complicates the expression of her religious beliefs by putting her body at risk. But again the question is, and this is also the question that was at the center of Carolina Bianchi’s performance: what do we take away from this story (these stories) of (sexual) violence against women? What do we take away from this performance?

The trauma of Thecla: make it make sense

The modern scholarship on the Acts of Paul and Thecla is divided on the interpretation of the text and especially on the interpretation of Thecla and the physical trauma she has to endure. In the 80’s an early gender-critical approach to the text was explored which highlighted the female, disruptive elements in the text. [8] These elements were interpreted as evidence of the text’s tendency to resist the patriarchal structures at the time. Thecla was read as ‘[an] elite female heroine who defied household and city by refusing to marry and by undergoing, yet concurring physical distress and sexual aggression.’ [9] From this focus they even argued that the text must have been written by women within ‘women-centered communities’ (it originally being a folktale, an oral story told by women, for women). This interpretation tries to resolve Thecla’s trauma by identifying it as ‘female empowering’.

In more recent years however and mostly under the impulse of Rosie Andrious, a different reading has risen to the fore which disregards this female focus and alternatively lays its emphasis on the masculine rhetorics within the story; the sexual violence, objectification of Thecla and her silencing: “The ideological structure within the narrative proclaims Thecla as an object to be owned and desired (meanwhile, the only desire she is permitted is her ‘spiritualized’ desire for
Paul). In this way, Thecla is shown to be at the disposal of powerful men, and this treatment establishes hers (and woman’s) place in the world.” (Rosie Andrious – Saint Thecla: Body Politics and Masculine Rhetoric, 2020, p.123-124)

This view is radically different from the aforementioned. Andrious, highlighting the misogynistic undertones of the narrative structure, bluntly summarizes Thecla’s story as ‘[a] sadistic journey of shame and exposure [which] has given her [Thecla] the necessary credentials to carry out the orders of a male apostle.’ [10] How could Thecla’s story then, in any way, be female empowering? In Andrious’ view the anti-female terror in the story of Thecla is emblematic of the underlying patriarchal structures which not only govern the narrative, but are of paramount importance to the story. Ultimately, this interpretation too is some sort of solution: an attempt to make sense of the violence.

Resisting catharsis

Albeit very different from each other, both of these interpretations try to interpret the sexual violence, they try to resolve it. The interpretations serve as some kind of catharsis, or at least they reveal the urge of seeking one. They explain and try to make sense of the trauma. However, what if we actively try to not make sense of it and recognize it for the absurd violation it is, and only for that? Where does such a perspective take us in our experience of the story?

Central to this approach is the question of how we choose to read these sacrifices of the female body, from Thecla to Bacca? Where lies the catharsis in these stories, in these performances? When does the offering of the body stop, the pain, the lingering danger and risk? Carolina Bianchi’s performance offers an interesting new perspective. To postpone or resist a catharsis could provide a new way of reading the stories: experiencing them for the pain they entail and the pain only. ‘FUCK CATHARSIS’, at least for a moment and let us see where the pain takes us.


[1] Article of The Guardian on the murder of Eliza Samudio.

[2] Forte 1988, p. 218.

[3] For more on the importance of the physical body in female performance art, see ‘Bodies of Evidence: Feminist Performance Art’ by Erin Striff.

[4] The full testimony: “It began tamely. Someone turned her around. Someone thrust her arms into the air. Someone touched her somewhat intimately. The Neapolitan night began to heat up. In the third hour all her clothes were cut from her with razor blades. In the fourth hour the same blades began to explore her skin. Her throat was slashed so someone could suck her blood. Various minor sexual assaults were carried out on her body. She was so committed to the piece that she would not have resisted rape or murder. Faced with her abdication of will, with its implied collapse of human psychology, a protective group began to define itself in the audience. When a loaded gun was thrust to Marina’s head and her own
finger was being worked around the trigger, a fight broke out between the audience factions.”

[5] For Anna Mendieta’s performance see here. For more on the performance by Valie Export, see here.

[6] In feminist theory, the male gaze is the act of depicting women and the world in the visual arts and in literature from a masculine, heterosexual perspective that presents and represents women as sexual objects for the pleasure of the heterosexual male viewer. Eaton 2008, p. 873-874.

[7] Originally: “Het trauma stopt niet aan het einde van de voorstelling” – Bianchi aan De Standaard.

[8] In the 80’s no less than three monographs were written on the topic; independently reaching similar conclusions. In 1980 The Revolt of the Widows: The Social World of the Apocryphal Acts by Davies, in 1983 The Legend and the Apostle: The Battle for Paul in Story and Canon by MacDonald and in 1987 Chastity as Autonomy: Women in the Stories of Apocryphal Acts by Burrus.

[9] Matthews 2001, p.40.

[10] Andrious 2020, p.192.

Image of Pippa Bacca hitchhiking by RV through De Morgen.

Image of ‘Rhythm 0’ by Donatelli Sbarra / Courtesy of the Marina Abramović Archives.

Image of The Cadela Força Trilogy – The Bride and The Goodnight Cinderella (CAROLINA BIANCHI) by Christophe Raynaud De Lage, protected by copyright.

Icon of St. Thecla, see here.

Andrious, R. (2020). Saint Thecla: Body Politics and Masculine Rhetoric. London: T&T Clark.
Antmen, A. (2010). Performing and Dying in the name of World Peace: From Metaphor to Real Life in Feminist Performance. Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities, 2(1), 59-64.
Burrus, V. (1987). Chastity as Autonomy: Women in the Stories of Apocryphal Acts. Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press.
Davies, S.L. (1980). The Revolt of the Widows: The Social World of the Apocryphal Acts. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.
Davis, S. J. (2015). From Women’s Piety to Male Devotion: Gender Studies, the “Acts of Paul and Thecla”, and the Evidence of an Arabic Manuscript. The Harvard Theological Review, 108(4), 579-593.
Di Santo, G. (2022). Il Corpo di Pippa Bacca. In: Mayor de la Iglesia, E., Gorgojo Iglesias, R. & García Valdés, P. (eds.), Voces disidentes contra la misoginia. Madrid: Dykinson, 473-488.
Eaton, A.W. (2008). Feminist Philosophy of Art. Philosophy Compass, 3(5), 873-893.
Forte, J. (1988). Women’s Performance Art: Feminism and Postmodernism. Theatre Journal, 40(2), 217-235.
MacDonald, D.R. (1983). The Legend and the Apostle: The Battle for Paul in Story and Canon. Philadelphia: Westminster.
Marcheschi, E. (2019, October 5). Nel corpo, oltre il corpo: Pippa Bacca e il viaggio che continua. Arabeschi.

Matthews, S. (2001). Thinking of Thecla: Issues in Feminist Historiography. Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, 17(2), 39-55.
Striff, E. (1997). Bodies of Evidence: Feminist Performance Art. Critical Survey, 9(1), 1-18

Blog: History on Repeat: Tradition, Innovation and the Ancient World Winter School

— This blog post was written by Dr Julie Van Pelt, postdoctoral fellow of the FWO.


An academic job comes with a variety of responsibilities, and the organisation of academic events can be among them. Like most of my colleagues, I do not have any formal training in event coordination, but sooner or later, a researcher’s innate event planning skills will be put to the test – and developed. I have had several opportunities for the development of this ‘transferable skill’ in the past, and last summer a question from a colleague gave me the opportunity to capitalize on this experience. The colleague was Dimitri Van Limbergen, a postdoctoral researcher from my faculty’s Archaeology Department. The question was whether I would be prepared to join him as a fellow organiser of the next U4/ENLIGHT Ancient World Winter School, which would take place (or, at the time of writing this blog, has taken place) between 14 and 18 March 2023, in Rome. You guessed it – I said ‘yes’.[i]

Organisers Dimitri and Julie toasting to the success of the Winter School

The Ancient World Winter School is a collaborative event between the Classics Departments (or equivalent) of a number of member universities of the ENLIGHT network (formerly of the U4 Network)[ii] that knows quite a history already. For the purposes of this blog post, I looked into that history and learned from a trustworthy source about its consecutive yearly organisation since its first edition in 2010.[iii] Each of the editions thus far organised was attended by delegates from the various departments hosting research on the ancient world at Ghent University.[iv] The goal of the Winter School is, and has always been, to offer beginning PhD students a first conference(-like) experience; to give them an opportunity to present their research in a 20-minute paper and develop their overall conference and presentations skills in a friendly environment. PhD students from any discipline related to the ancient world are welcome. Yet, to enhance the conference-like setting, presenters are invited to choose their topic in line with an overarching theme. This year’s central theme: ‘The old and the new: tradition and innovation in Antiquity’. While the credit for this excellent theme must entirely go to my co-organiser Dimitri, who suggested it, it happened to have a strangely symbolic aptness for me since I myself attended the 2015 edition of the Winter School, also held in Rome, as a PhD student. My ‘old’ role as participant would now be transformed into the ‘new’ one of organiser. Moreover, Dimitri and I agreed that, while it was imperative to keep the ‘tradition’ of the Winter School alive in a post-Covid world, after a cancelled (2020) and two online editions (2021, 2022), we also wanted to approach the task of designing the programme with a healthy dose of ‘innovation’.

With my former colleague Klazina Staat at the U4 Winter School 2015 in Rome.

I have fond memories of my participation in the 2015 Winter School. The impressive venues (on the famous Via Omero with its national academies including the Academia Belgica), the excellent company (picture on the left), the eternal city (ah, Rome!). In academic terms, I was an infant then, having started my PhD training only a few months earlier. The Winter School is where I gave my first ever research presentation. I remember being nervous, and having learned my presentation entirely by heart. I still experience a certain amount of nerves when giving presentations – but, I no longer brave to give them entirely from memory. Is that a pity? Looking back today, I realize that, although I had a lot to learn, not least about my topic and research in general, I should probably also take inspiration from my old, younger self. Should we not continue to cherish some of the qualities that the former versions of us, more naïve perhaps, possessed, but which have been dulled somehow by years and experience?

Familiar faces at the Ancient World Winter School 2023: Emma Huig, PhD student at the Novel Saints research centre working on Italogreek hagiography, and Nicolò D’Alconzo, postdoc at Novel Echoes, who gave a keynote lecture in Rome.

But so much for this trip down memory lane – fast forward again to 2023. The Winter School’s location and theme did not only facilitate personal reflections on an individual’s journey through life but also serious academic work. Our week in Rome was devoted to discussing the ways in which change was introduced, acknowledged, and handled in Greco-Roman and late antique society (and beyond), the tension between the ‘old’ and the ‘new’, and the various mechanisms, agents, and motivators of continuity and change in textual and material culture. All of these issues were approached within an interdisciplinary framework. The success of these discussions was first and foremost a result of the fact that the overall quality and coherence of the papers presented by the PhD students was utterly commendable. In addition, three expert scholars from various disciplines (archaeology, linguistics, and literature) gave inspiring keynote lectures that offered in-depth knowledge and advanced methodologies to conceptualize tradition and innovation in the ancient world and today. The programme also comprised two excursions. During both, the group was in the excellent hands of archaeologist Alice Poletto (BSR, Rome), who guided the visits to various monuments, in the city and at the archaeological site of Ostia Antica, which embody historical transformation and the tension between old and new. Finally, an original element was added to the classic format of the Winter School in the form of a workshop on conference and presentation skills for Phd students.

Alice Poletto guiding us at the impressive site of Ostia Antica.

Together, the various lectures, presentations, and excursions, both stimulating and refreshing, but also the workshop, lunches and group dinner, in the company of good colleagues and friends, made for a most delightful programme. It counts as a bonus that, without having to travel much, we were able to enjoy a small ‘tour of Europe’ during the various days spent at the Academia Belgica, the Royal Netherlands Institute (KNIR), and the Swedish Institute in Rome, all conveniently located on the Via Omero 8, 12 and 14, respectively. We are grateful to all three institutes for the warm welcome we received. Above all, it was most enjoyable to see that the participating PhD students got on so well, and that they were so passionate, not only about their own research, but about engaging with and learning from that of others as well. As the entire event presented an undeniable flashback to my own early days as a PhD student some eight years ago, this ‘next generation’ embodied the continuous flow of time, while bringing before my eyes the ‘younger selves’ from whom I felt we should do well to take inspiration. Fittingly, the scholarly discussions about things old and new, and about the ways in which communities have historically dealt with change and the passing of time, seemed to suggest precisely that humans, individually and collectively, go through cycles of adherence to tradition and radical innovation, of deaths and rebirths, of optimism and pessimism, of isms- and post-isms, over and over again. Must history repeat itself, then? Never, I believe, in the exact same way. To that end, it is only paramount that we maintain an active and involved relation with the past, with future generations and with our own, personal journeys.[v]


Teaching a workshop on conference and presentation skills for Phd students at the Academia Belgica.

[i] Warm thanks to Dimitri for the smooth and enjoyable collaboration.

[ii] Participating universities in this year’s AWWS other than Ghent University: the Universities of Groningen, Göttingen, Uppsala and Tartu. In 2018, the original U4 network (Ghent, Groningen, Göttingen, Uppsala) was expanded by the entry of the University of Tartu and became the ‘U4 Society’. In 2020, the U4 Society was absorbed by the ENLIGHT structure, with four extra partner universities.

[iii] The identity of my mysterious but trustworthy source can be revealed here: prof. Danny Praet (Department of Philosophy, Ghent University), who was closely involved with the organization of the Winter School since its first beginnings until recent years. The first edition was held from 1-5 February 2010 in Athens, with the theme ‘Identity and Cultural Transfer in Antiquity’. Since then, the Winter School has rotated between Athens, Rome, Istanbul, Palermo, and Naples.

[iv] The Department of Literary Studies (the Latin and Greek sections), the Department of Linguistics (the Latin and Greek sections), the Department of History, the Department of Archaeology, and the Department of Philosophy and Moral Sciences.

[v] I am grateful to the Ghent University Doctoral Schools and ENLIGHT, whose generous funding have made the 2023 edition of the Ancient World Winter School possible.

Blog: All Roads Lead to Novels: A brief account from the voices of two ICAN VI travellers

— This blog post was written by Drs Claire Rachel Jackson and Mara Nicosia, postdoctoral researchers in the Novel Echoes project.


The sixth International Conference on the Ancient Novel (ICAN VI), which was hosted in Ghent at the end of September of last year, brought together 150 scholars from around the globe. These scholars all shared an interest in ancient novels and their study, but there is more. This conference had a meaningful subtitle: ‘roads less travelled’. This brief phrase was meant as an invitation to scholars who study either the transmission (both eastward and westward) of the novels or any topic that relates to the novels in less traditional ways. Therefore, for four days, a wide range of subjects was presented at the beautiful Thagaste monastery in Ghent city centre, where the conference was held, creating productive and energizing discussions among the participants, both in person and online. Here are the accounts of two travellers, describing their own path through these roads less travelled.


Traveller One: the experienced novel scholar. Claire Rachel Jackson

Claire giving her talk on ‘Obscenity, chastity, and fiction: novel receptions in Photius’ Bibliotheca’

For a conference about roads less travelled, ICAN VI brought back a lot of memories of somewhere I’d been before. When I began studying the ancient novel, first as an undergraduate during a module on the origins of the modern novel at the University of Warwick and then as a postgraduate student at Cambridge, I’d found references in footnotes to the International Conferences on the Ancient Novel, but the snippets of information were tantalisingly elliptical. The one that stuck in my mind particularly was the mention of conference attendees going for a swim during the meeting to escape the heat, which, given that I undoubtedly read this in a cold library, sounded almost unbelievably idyllic. I’d still been at school during the fourth meeting, in Lisbon in 2008, but when ICAN V came around in 2015 I was a PhD student working on concepts of fiction in the ancient novel and eager to share my research with others in the field. In fact, I was so desperate to attend that when I got an email letting me know that my abstract had been accepted I was so excited that I began hyperventilating – only problem being that I was recovering from a bad chest infection and needed an inhaler to stop me from passing out. Occupational hazard!

Swimming through ICANs past

My main memories of ICAN V are the size and the heat, the jetlag and the excitement, the diversity of papers and the encounters with people I only knew from citations. The conference took place in a Hyatt hotel in Houston at the end of September, and I felt like I’d left the UK in the autumn only to arrive in summer. Despite taking place in a large hotel full of novel scholars, the atmosphere allowed both for bigger and inclusive discussions and more intense one-on-one meetings. There were a number of simultaneous panels going on throughout, and I remember sitting with a cup of coffee and the programme trying desperately to decide what to attend when everything sounded so interesting. While there were a number of papers about texts which fall squarely within the novelistic canon (including my own paper on fiction in Longus), I was particularly taken with those which tackled what was at least to me much more unfamiliar territory, including early modern receptions of the ancient novel, the novel in imperial epic, and interactions with hagiography. In a strange bit of foreshadowing, I attended a panel organised by the ERC-funded Novel Saints project in Ghent and ended up talking to some of the participants, not expecting in the least that I’d end up working with them on the subsequent Novel Echoes project a few years later… (And yes, there was swimming between papers, albeit on the sixth-floor outdoor pool of the hotel surrounded by Houston skyscrapers, but it still felt appropriate somehow.)

ICAN present

By contrast, ICAN VI in Ghent felt very different. Both were wonderful intellectual experiences but they came at very different times in my life. From a Hyatt hotel thousands of kilometres away from where I was based, now I was headed to a monastery across the city I was living in. Whereas at ICAN V in Houston I had felt very much like a tiny fish in a big pond, in Ghent I felt like I knew more of the people involved. This was both because I was further along in my career and had more opportunities to meet other scholars in the intervening period, and also because I’d been involved in reviewing abstracts and putting together the programme, which made papers and people feel oddly familiar. It also felt more intimate in part due to the experience of having lived through the global pandemic. While the Houston conference was a large event by any metric, this was perhaps not especially unusual in the pre-Covid world. ICAN VI, however, had to be postponed for a year due to the pandemic restricting our ability to gather a truly international group of scholars. This decision, although difficult at the time, paid off hugely, since September 2022 found travellers from as far away as California and Tokyo being able to meet in-person in Ghent. Yet the pandemic also made the experience all the more precious to be able to see old friends again and meet new colleagues, given how we’d all been forced apart for the last few years.

ICANs future?

Opening Speech by Koen De Temmerman

But even though I was technically a seasoned traveller of the ICAN pathways, the conference was full of reminders of just how diverse the routes were by which we came together, and just how many new directions there were to cover. Ingela Nilsson, in the first keynote session of the conference, discussed her own experiences of attending ICAN for the first time at the third meeting in 2000, where her work on the Byzantine novels perhaps felt like a road less travelled for some attendees. This personal reflection on her own history with ICAN allowed her to probe at the limits of the term novel, and to think more about the porousness of the form within and across antiquity and modernity. By contrast, the second keynote session took the form of a roundtable about future directions for study of the novel. Convened by Tim Whitmarsh, the session brought together a variety of scholars, not just those working on novels, to discuss theoretical frameworks such as ecocriticism, race, and cognitive studies and their value for future novelistic studies. As the ensuing discussion proved, such approaches are not valuable only for how they can open up new aspects of these ancient texts, but also for how they generate dialogue across and between different texts and time periods. This was paralleled by the conference as a whole, with its diversity of papers on early Christianity, interactions with texts and cultures beyond the traditional Greco-Roman sphere, and Byzantine fiction. At the end of the Houston ICAN, I recall one venerable attendee noting that Lucian had not been mentioned as much as they expected, a reminder that no one conference can cover everything in detail, especially not a topic as broad-ranging and diverse as the novel. Yet between the two conferences, as well as in the scholarship done as a result of ICAN, it is clear that the roads less travelled are opening up a variety of new pathways, in literature and life.


Traveller Two: the first-time ICANer. Mara Nicosia

Mara giving her talk on ‘Greek novels in Syriac? The contribution of rhetorical teaching’

Since the beginning of my postdoctoral appointment as a member of the ERC project Novel Echoes in April 2021, I have heard my teammates talk about the organisation of ICAN and their plans for it. In all honesty, I did not know what to expect, as I had only attended conferences in my field since the beginning of my academic career. I am a scholar in Syriac studies, with a broad interest in Aramaic linguistics and Semitic philology, so I had never anticipated that I would stumble upon the novels. However, given that the only place where one finds short excerpts from Heliodorus’ Aethiopica in Syriac is the ninth-century rhetorical treatise written by Antony of Tagrit, and given that my research revolves around this very treatise, it was easy for me to be captivated by the Greek novels. However, my line of research places me at the fringes of the topic and it was quite hard for me to imagine that those who dedicated their lives to studying the novels would be interested in my research. It was during ICAN VI that I had the opportunity to change my mind and realize how the discipline was far more welcoming than I had anticipated. Moreover, I realised that many people were occupying a similar position to me on the “fringes” of the topic and that the subtitle of the conference, “roads less travelled”, was meant to invite us in.

Fringe in the centre

The number of topics that touched upon languages other than Greek and Latin was quite astonishing: from the Armenian reception of the Alexander Romance (Yvona Trnka-Amrhein) to the reception of the Novels in Syriac rhetoric (myself) and eastern hagiography (Simon Ford and Marion Pragt), to Persian (Cameron Cross) and Ethiopian (Steven Smith) receptions, as well as Japanese translations of the novels (Saiichiro Nakatani). There was a paper on the Talmudic seafarer stories compared with Greek paradoxographies (Monika Amsler) and a study of Meroitic reliefs of ritual killings of captives compared with similar scenes in the novels (Christopher Cochran).


Boats and beer

Naturally, not all the time was spent at the conference venue.  The programme involved an opportunity for boat tours on the Schelde and Leie rivers, sightseeing in Ghent’s iconic historical city centre, a trip to Ghent’s famous castle – the Gravensteen – and of course no Belgian conference would be complete without a chance to taste Belgian beer, brewed in the very heart of Ghent!

After four days of conference, we came to realize that the beautiful vessel of the Greek novels is far richer than we had anticipated. We found ourselves amazed by the innumerable lines of inquiry that all our individual avenues of research open up, once brought together in one place. Moreover, ICAN allowed us to benefit from the discussion with “veterans” of the discipline and their expertise, to draw a map for future travellers and explorers of the novel world.

Blog: Teaching Near Eastern rhetoric: the nostos of a BA Class and its awkward teacher

— This blog post was written by Dr Mara Nicosia, postdoctoral researcher in the Novel Echoes project.

This story does not start on a battlefield, where valiant heroes are fighting, killing, and plotting to burn down a whole city, nor does it tell the deeds of a group of men, lost at sea, doomed to roam around for ten years. However, it does start at one famous setting from Odysseus’ nostos, namely at the feet of the moody volcano Etna, where the landscape is as black as the lava that covers it. I was born and raised there, although I left to seek knowledge at the feet of that other volcano that once famously covered in burning lapilli a whole city. I studied oriental languages in Catania first and Naples later, and from the University of Naples “L’Orientale” I got my Ph.D.

When I came to Ghent last year, I had already done my fair share of moving around Europe, having lived in both Paris and Madrid. During my travels, I kept on working on Semitic languages, eager to share my research with as many unfortunate souls as possible. The study of these languages in general, and my research subject in particular, are not too common or well-known; therefore, I always share as much as I can: through talks, classes, or blog posts, I try to raise awareness of the existence of “roads less travelled” and languages less famous but equally important. The occasion to teach my research presented itself when I was offered to co-teach a first-semester BA-course on Ancient Rhetoric: having worked for many years on Syriac and Arabic rhetoric, I immediately agreed. However, it was only when I started preparing for the lectures that I realized that I would have to start from the very beginning: what are Semitic languages? Where are they spoken?

Since the students in my course do not read Semitic writings or have much of an idea of what happened in the Ancient and Medieval Near East, and I had no adequate course book, I decided to write an (informal) handbook myself. I have always had a hard time cherry-picking the really important subjects from the pool of information that I gathered over the past six years, but one thing I knew for sure was that I would have to start from zero, from the “where, when, how, and what”. I started to line up data on the history, writing system, attestations, and number of speakers of all the Semitic languages, both ancient and modern, taking care of giving an overview of the vastness of the topic. Needless to say, the students, who came from various disciplines, from modern languages and literatures to communication, classics, and archaeology, were overwhelmed by my first lesson. Nevertheless, they all turned up for the next class!


The first part of the journey, or: The one where I went from “I think they hate this” to “I think they are listening”

Map of the Oshroene region, from Wikipedia

I felt that that was the moment our journey together really began. My first action was to prepare the setting: after the death of Alexander the Great, in 323 BCE, the Greek-ruled Seleucid Empire (321-64 BCE) took over a large part of it and started ruling over the Syrian and Mesopotamian regions, among many others. In the 2nd century BCE, this large imperial compound lost control over a region called Osrhoene, where a local ruling dynasty, the Abgarids, was established (133 BCE). However, with time, the political geography around the Osrhoene changed and the region found itself squeezed between the Parthian Empire on the eastern borders and the Roman Empire on the western. Eventually, the latter succeeded in declaring Edessa, the capital city of Osrhoene, a Roman colonia in 212 CE. The Romans did not impose a restrictive language policy on the area, allowing the pre-existing massive Greek influence to keep acting undisturbed on the Near Eastern Aramaic-speaking communities. Greek was the lingua franca of the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire, whereas Latin was employed in military and legal matters. The local language of the city of Edessa (modern-day Şanlıurfa, in south-eastern Turkey), was a variety of Late Aramaic, which came to be known as Syriac: Syriac turned into the literary and religious language of a large branch of Eastern Christianity and reached as far as India and China.

The frame itself sounds engaging, doesn’t it? What is even more catchy is that, despite the massive influence exerted by Greek sciences, philosophy, literature, and educational pattern, even though rhetoric was one of the basic subjects of Syriac education, even though classical rhetorical devices were employed from the very beginning of Syriac literature… we have to wait until the 9th century to learn how the subject was taught and to have a proper handbook of rhetoric in Syriac. But the surprises are not over: although Syriac rhetoric was imbued with Greek models, it was not based on Aristotle’s Rhetoric! Rhetoric in Syriac followed an autonomous, well-established, and highly syncretic tradition: the author of our 9th-century handbook, Antony of Tagrit, based his text on both the pagan and the Christian past and he quoted both Greek and Syriac authors. More importantly, Antony’s handbook is the only Syriac text in which we find the translation of two excerpts from Heliodorus’ Aethiopica. Wait, there is more: although the vast majority of Aristotle’s philosophical essays were translated into Syriac, we do not have a manuscript with a Syriac translation of Rhetoric. It existed for sure, but we do not have it.

Incipt of Antony of Tagrit’s Rhetoric, Saint Mark monastery’s manuscript 230, 14th century,

I decided to show my students a sample of Syriac manuscripts of Antony of Tagrit’s Rhetoric. I knew they could not read them, but I had an ace up my sleeve: the oldest of these manuscripts is kept in an Egyptian monastery, surrounded by the sands of the desert, and my sister (who is incidentally a colleague of mine) managed to visit it a few months earlier. I showed many of the pictures she had taken, we chatted about the history of the transmission of Syriac manuscripts, wandered around monastic libraries, and, all of a sudden, I realized that we had reached our first harbor safely. I came to realize that my students were intrigued and wanted to know more, although until the day before they had no clue of the existence of these topics. It was time to rest and let all the information settle down to prepare for the last part of our journey.


The second part of the journey or: The one with the final battle and the reaching of the destination

It was now time to sail toward the Arab side and I feared I would lose helm control. I have always struggled with Medieval Arabic philosophy, and I knew my class would struggle too. To ease the topic on all of us, I decided to take the scenic route and started our journey from the core of the Arabian Peninsula, where Old Arabic varieties are attested from the 3rd century CE. I took them to meet the Prophet Muḥammad, follow his conquests, and witness the expansion of the ʼUmmayyad caliphate first and the ʽAbbasid caliphate after. It is during this latter reign that we encountered the Greek-to-Arabic translation movement, a moment of cultural splendor during which an imposing number of Greek texts were translated into Arabic. However, we learned that these translations were realized through Syriac intermediaries, and discovered that it is thanks to the early-11th-century manuscript of the Arabic version of Aristotle’s Rhetoric that we know of the existence of a Syriac version. Isn’t it fantastic? The Arab editor stated that he used two Arabic translations and a Syriac one to put together his version!

Incipt of the Arabic translation of Aristotle’s Rhetoric, BnF manuscript arabe 2346, ca. late 10th-early 11th century,

We then turned to the commentary tradition and encountered the works of Avicenna (ca. 970-1037) and Averroes (1126-1198). We discussed how the technical vocabulary of rhetoric changed with time, and how it went from being full of loanwords from Greek (via Syriac) to being completely Arabized. In the same way, the contents progressively got more and more target-oriented, with examples coming from the Quran. It was bumpy sailing, but somehow, we managed to see the end of it. When we were finally spotting land from afar, we indulged a few more moments to read and compare a handful of passages from some of the texts we had mentioned. I was particularly delighted by the subsequent discussion since, despite my unsteady lead, my students offered me clever points of view and hypotheses! I was amazed by the power of Near Eastern rhetoric to bring modern students together, despite their former lack of training on the matter.

When the course finished, we finally landed by the time of the Christmas holidays, and the students were safely returned to their homes. I realized there is hope for lesser-known subjects like mine and that we should not stop teaching them. These students have restored my hopes for the future of my discipline and I am glad I took this journey with them. I look forward to the next chapter, the one where I take a new class on a new trip, hoping to always have the wind in our back and the favor of the gods.

Blog: Shame – and all the bad it can do, between Homer and now

— This blog post was written by Dr Tine Scheijnen, postdoctoral researcher.

Saturday night tears 

Over the past weekend, I found myself weeping in front of the telly again. Dr Who (I will let you guess which season I’m watching) was unable to rescue one of his companions, and as his heart was broken from grief, so was mine. I like hero stories; especially ones which move me like this. What makes it even better is that this is my job. I am a literary scholar. When I recently came across the question whether “maybe stories are just data with a soul”, it immediately struck me as true. For me, they are. I work to unravel narrative methods and textual techniques, but I also allow myself to be drawn into the story. Personal involvement fuels my interpretation. Text-based argumentation and personal reader-perspective together open up dialogue, and dialogue keeps literature alive. 

screenshot of Brené Brown TED-talk (1:07)

So what is it about heroes that makes them so appealing? I do not think it is their ability to transform, to fly wearing a cape, or to lift an entire building. Admittedly, all of this helps: it makes them supernatural, extraordinary, worth talking about. But would we read their story, or watch it, or tell it to others with equal eagerness and joy if it all went flawlessly, without effort, and always resulted in a happy ending? There is appeal in that single tear rolling down the Doctor’s cheek when he has to say goodbye. The perfectly imperfect hero. Although he is not above pain and heartbreak, he keeps trying. What would be the point if there were nothing to lose? Ancient heroes already sighed to each other: “if (…) we were forever to be ageless and immortal, I should not fight among the foremost, nor should I send you into battle” (Homer’s Iliad 12.322-325).(1) Vulnerability provides meaning. When we read hero stories, we recognize this implication. In countless different definitions of heroism across cultures, eras, and ideologies, this element keeps popping up. Heroes can and sometimes do get hurt. In that one detail, they are like us. We can relate. And from that connection, personal involvement starts: we sympathize, admire, judge; we feel and we learn what they inspire. That is what gives a soul to the story, and to my data. 

I heard the quote about stories are data with a soul from Brené Brown, Professor of Social Work at the University of Houston, whose famous TED talks are all over the internet. She talks about very different stories than I do. Yet her theory about contemporary human functioning and one of my favorite ancient hero stories are not so different, and make for interesting conversation partners. What she studies may explain my reader sensation and a centuries-old feeling that literature taps into: the power of vulnerability.(2)  

Always be the best? 

Brené Brown explores the inextricable link between vulnerability and human connection. Indispensable in achieving this is the courage to deal effectively with emotions such as shame and guilt. Her basic message is that human beings are wired to feel connected to others; but that nowadays we often struggle to connect, because of shame: “I am unworthy; I am no good; I am not enough”. These fears have sadly become modern-day essentials (you may think of unrealistic body expectations for fashion icons or publication pressure in academia as examples), but they are much older than that. In fact, they could already apply to one of the key texts from Mediterranean literature: Homer’s Iliad, written down somewhere in the eighth century BCE after a long oral tradition had already shaped it. His heroes are tied up in a fierce battle – not just with swords and blood and slaying each other to survive, but with reputation and self-worth. To give you an idea: one of the Greek heroes was sent into war with the explicit instruction from his father to “always be the best” (Iliad 11.783-784). There is even a verb for it: aristeuein (from the Greek aristos – “best”). No pressure (!) Don’t we all recognize this today? I know I do: “most successful in battle” can easily be replaced by “(slightly) taller”, “(a bit) more retweeted”, “(I really should be) sportier”, and so on. Brown calls it the fear of “never enough”. The urge to seek our self-worth in external parameters (e.g. social media, money, or material stuff) may render us less satisfied with ourselves and thus, according to Brown, lonelier and unhappier. From that point of view, peer pressure is a killer. Homer knew this already. 

I probably don’t need to introduce you to Hector. The big bulwark of the Trojan defense, skilled general, and hope-bringing prince is one of the Iliad’s most memorable heroes. In one of the central episodes of the epic, he is killed by Achilles. But what actually drove Hector towards his death, was shame: peer pressured shame resulting in sorrow, heartbreak, and a city destroyed. For Hector was a beloved husband and proud young father. As a warrior he was valiant, yet no match for Achilles. Why, then, did he ride out to face him? His wife confronts him with this question. Hector replies: “I feel dreadful shame before the Trojans (…) if like a coward I skulk away from the battle” (Iliad 6.441–443). Moreover, as a general, Hector has made mistakes; the kind that costs thousands of lives: he ignored strategic advice and made a wrong move on the battlefield, resulting in a high number of casualties for his army. When the moment comes, he would rather face Achilles than his fellow Trojans: “Since I have brought the army to ruin through my blind folly, I feel shame before them” (Iliad 22.104-105). Homer allows his audience this glimpse of Hector’s thoughts, to explain to them (and us) his deeply human emotional struggle. Having made this terrible mistake, he finds himself unworthy. He dreads what people might think of him: “perhaps some other man, baser than I, may say: ‘Hector, trusting in his own might, brought ruin on the army’. So will they say” (ibid. 106-108). Hector has a fear of not belonging, because of what happened. Brené Brown defines shame precisely as such a fear of disconnection. And Homer shows us the worst that could happen if that feeling wins.  

Shame on you 

There is nothing positive about shame. While guilt, in Brown’s definition, is an assessment of our behavior (“I did something bad”), shame instead focusses on our person (“I am bad”). The former, she argues, can be mended by learning from the mistake; although uncomfortable, guilt probes us to do better next time. Shame allows no room for improvement. It is a purely destructive sentiment. As Brown underlines, shame thrives when it is kept silent.(3) Shame is at its most effective when we don’t dare to talk about it. It keeps us lonely and away from others. This is Hector’s symbolical position, just before his confrontation with Achilles: he stands alone outside the city gates. From the top of the ramparts, his father calls out: “Hector, my dear child, I pray, do not face that man alone with no one to aid you (…) But come inside the walls, my child, so that you may save the Trojan men and Trojan women” (Iliad 22.38-39; 56-57). Priam tells his son that he is not alone, and that he could achieve more if he were to rejoin his community. He actually invites Hector to retreat and do better another time. Hector’s mother agrees: “Ward off that foeman from inside the wall, and do not stand to face him” (Iliad 22.84-85). Hector, however, does not respond. It is as Brown says: shame causes this desperate feeling of not being worthy of love or connection. As a result, we may show self-destructive behavior.(4) In this case, shame has Hector paralyzed outside the city walls. The opportunity to save his city (to do better after having learnt from his previous mistake – as guilt would have prompted him to do) does not outweigh the shame his heroic self-worth has suffered. And it will end badly. Homer, literary master as he is, describes the rest of the scene with a blood-curdling sense of pathos. When Achilles appears (a terrible sight of shining armour), Hector falters and runs. The narrator extensively delays his flight with twists and turns, dialogues between the gods, and imagery we could all relate to (remember those dreams where you try to run, but can’t move? That was Hector).(5) Finally, the gods trick Hector and he stops. Realizing his doom, he summons all of his courage to die with honour. Homer creates an emotional thriller in this scene. In a movie (well, not Troy from 2004, for Petersen deletes the fleeing part – perhaps it was deemed too shameful?), there would be suspenseful music, zooming in on Hector’s labored breathing or his fearful eyes contrasted with Achilles’ threatening approach, a dramatically slowed-down close-up of Hector’s final stand. As a reader (or viewer), we are emotionally drawn into the story. Who would not feel for Hector, admire his last moments, and meanwhile realize that the emotional rollercoaster he experiences, from shame over doubt into terror and acceptance, is deeply human? This episode is more than good story-telling; it functions as a mirror to us all.  

Because you are worth it 

The Meeting of Hector and Andromaché, by Alfred John Church 1895

Of course, we could interpret this scene from multiple angles. When you read the episode in its entirety (which I recommend), you will notice how rich it is: heroic ideal, parental sorrow, and a desperate thirst for revenge – not to mention divine interventions – also determine the events around Hector’s death. But shame is a thread (and a threat) deliberately woven into the scene. Several Iliadic scholars have tried to understand how shame would have functioned from a Homeric perspective. Dodds defined it as an emotion completely triggered by the external judgment of others: “anything which exposes a man to the contempt or ridicule of his fellows, which causes him to ‘lose face’, is felt as unbearable” (1951: 18).(6) Cairns suggests that shame “is, or perhaps better springs from, an internal state of conscience which is based on internal standard and an awareness of the values of society” (1993: 144).(7) The question I try to answer is decidedly different from that of Dodds or Cairns. My own reading starts from a 21st-century definition of the emotion of ‘shame’, as Brené Brown believes we experience it today. Her theory may not precisely be what Homer meant when he wrote his story thousands of years ago, but it can help us to understand how Homer’s Iliad may still appeal to readers of today.  

Brené Brown brings a positive message: if we can rise above our shame and accept our imperfections – in short, if we can believe that we are “worth it” – then we can wholeheartedly connect with others. According to Brown, this is the challenge of the 21st century. According to Homer, the greatest heroes of his time faced the same struggle. In this blog, we have adopted a reader perspective – a continuously useful way to provide old stories with a fresh interpretation. Brown’s book came into my life because I sought inspiration for personal growth. However, there is no clean differentiation in my library between “books I use for literary research” and “books I read for leisure”. Even if I structured my shelves that way, what I have learned from Brown’s book has inadvertently influenced my reading of the Iliad. This is what readers do all the time: we draw our own messages from ancient writings. Homer touches the heart and teaches through the exploration of emotion. To allow him to do that, today and even tomorrow, is what keeps literature alive. 



(1) Throughout, I use the Loeb Iliad translation (Murray & Wyatt 1924-1925), slightly adapted.

(2) For what follows, I mainly rely on Brown’s 2012 book Daring Greatly (translated into Dutch as De kracht van kwetsbaarheid). 

(3) If you want to read more: the entire third chapter of Brown’s Daring Greatly is dedicated to the concept of shame.

(4) I read Brown’s book in its Dutch translation. This is my own paraphrase of a quote I found on page 78. 

(5) Iliad 22.199-201.

(6) Dodds, E.R. [1951] 1964. The Greeks and the Irrational. Berkeley: University of California Press.

(7) Cairns, D.L. 1993. Aidōs: The Psychology and Ethics of Honour and Shame in Ancient Greek Literature. Oxford: Clarendon Press.