Friday, 13 October 2017

Monster Books – Part 1

The Institute of Classical Studies is holding a free public event entitled Why do we need Monsters? on Tuesday 17th October. To celebrate this, we set out on our very own quest through our labyrinthine library, hunting out the monsters, beasts and creatures lurking amidst our book shelves. Check out the list below for the spoils (books) we’ve amassed - whether you’re interested in art, literature, language or history, we’ve tried to find something you might like to add to your reading list. Keep watch for part 2 next week for more terrible tomes!

The Dragon Devouring Cadmus' Companions, Hendrick Goltzius

The origins of monsters: image and cognition in the first age of mechanical reproduction, Wengrow, D
Professor Wengrow looks at the production and transmission of images of monsters across ancient societies, such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and China, and explores the relationships between image, cognition and early state formation. Professor Wengrow will be speaking at the Why do we need Monsters? event on ‘What is a monster, and do we really need them?’ so why not go along to hear more?

Composite creatures from Syria, as discussed by Professor Wengrow

Monsters and monstrosity in Greek and Roman culture, Atherton, C (ed.)
This collection of five essays explores monsters in a whole range of contexts, covering: the representation of Polyphemus in the Odyssey; the depiction of monsters, ogres and demons in Old Comedy; the liminal role of monsters, especially in ritual contexts; the status of Talos, the bronze giant of Crete; the role of animals and beasts in Roman religion.

Creatures of speech: lion, herding and hunting similes in the Iliad, Lonsdale, S. H.
Homer is famous for his similes, but have you noticed how many lions there are in them? This book looks at such similes in the Iliad, examining the recurring themes, the contexts in which they are used, and how they relate to the surrounding narrative.

Herakles and the sea-monster in Attic black-figure vase-painting, Ahlberg-Cornell, G
In this book, Ahlberg-Cornell looks at the depiction of Herakles fighting with a sea-monster (variously Nereus or Triton) in over 130 black-figure vase paintings, exploring the development and significance of this theme. Illustrations of all the vases are included.

One of the vases depicting Herakles struggling with the sea-monster

Spectacles of empire: monsters, martyrs, and the Book of Revelation, Frilingos, C. A.
Frilingos looks at the Book of Revelation (including its seven-headed beast) and how it uses the spectacle and theatricality central to Roman life to engage its audience.

The beasts, birds, and bees of Virgil : a naturalist's handbook of the Georgics, Royds, T. F. 
This book surveys the animals – from horses and goats to gadflies and weevils - of Virgil’s Georgics.

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