Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Monsters Display in the Library

We've been celebrating monsters this past week at the Institute of Classical Studies. In honour of this, Deputy Librarian, Paul Jackson, has put together a display of monster-related rare books.

Why not venture down to the library to explore some of the treasures from our collection?

Map featuring sea monsters by Gerhard Mercator (see below for detail)

The books on display include:

Homer's Odyssey, translated by Henry Cotterill and illustrated by Patten Wilson

The Sirens, illustrated by Patten Wilson

Geography of Ptolemy, with maps and monsters as imagined by Gerhard Mercator

Detail from map by Gerhard Mercator showing a sea monster

Peintures antiques et inédites de vases grecs tirées de diverses collections, complete with illustrations
Heracles struggling with the sea-god, Nereus by James Millingen

The display also includes images and descriptions of the Sphinx; a depiction and analysis of the Centaurs battling the Lapiths on the Parthenon Frieze; two dictionaries, open to definitions for monstrum and τέρας; images and translations of Odysseus escaping the deadly Scylla and Charybdis; Dryden's translation of Virgil's Polyphemus, the one-eyed giant, and more.

The display will be available to view until the end of October.

If you want more monsters in your life, don't forget to check out part 1 and part 2 of our monster books reading list.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Monster Books - Part 2

The Institute of Classical Studies is holding a free public event entitled Why do we need monsters? on Tuesday 17th October. In honour of this, we went on a heroic hunt for the monsters, beasts and demons hidden away in our library. The fruits of our Herculean labours can be found below - whether you’re interested in art, literature, language or history, there’s something for you. In case you missed part 1, you can find it here.

Monsters and monstrosity in Augustan poetry, Lowe, D
Dr Lowe looks at how poets, such as Ovid and Virgil, reinvented the monsters of Greek myth to explore political, social and aesthetic developments in Rome. The monsters discussed include the Centaurs and the Minotaur in their role as hyper-masculine, brutish beast-men, and the desirable, but dangerous, Medusa. Dr Lowe will be speaking at the Why do we need Monsters? event on ‘Real monsters in ancient Rome’, so why not go along to hear more?

Mythical monsters in classical literature, Murgatroyd, P
Want to know more about Sirens, Cyclopes and Vampires? This book covers the representation of all your favourite monsters in literature, from the ancient world all the way up the to the 21st century.

This reference book details the gods, demons, angels, spirits and semi-divine heroes who feature in the bible. The entries include discussions of the name’s meaning and etymology; the individual’s role outside the bible; the individual’s role in Biblical texts; bibliographical information.

The fish-tailed monster in Greek and Etruscan art, Shepard, K
In this book, Shepard discusses the depiction of the merman, the hippocamp and the ketos in Greek and Etruscan art across a range of media, including tomb paintings, jewellery and monuments.

The animal part: human and other animals in the poetic imagination, Payne, M
This book examines how verse writers, from antiquity to the present day, have explored animal experiences and suffering, and communicated them to a very different kind of beast in their human audience.

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.