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Karen Bassi
Regents of the University of California, Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA 95064-1077)
Facing Death in Ancient Greek Tragedy

Research and writing leading to publication of a book on attitudes toward death in ancient Greek tragic drama.

Studies of death in Greek tragedy have a long history in Classical scholarship, complemented by anthropological and archaeological work on ancient Greek views of the afterlife, death rituals, and funerary monuments. Although the idea that Greek tragedy offers readers and viewers insight into how to live with the knowledge that they will die seems obvious, there is no sustained treatment of the ways in which tragedy both exposes and responds to the contingencies of human mortality. Imitating the Dead: Facing Death in Ancient Greek Tragedy will be the first book to make the link between these contingencies and the emergence of tragic drama in Greece. It will also be the first to bring Greek tragedy to bear on questions of prolonging life in contemporary American culture. Positioning Greek tragedy within the long history of confronting death as a "condition of national life," and intended for a broad, educated audience, the book is inspired by the NEH Initiative on the Common Good.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Classical Literature; Classics; Theater History and Criticism

Awards for Faculty

Research Programs

$42,000 (approved)
$42,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2017 – 6/30/2018