Prof. Phiroze Vasunia (University College London) in collaboration with the National Hellenic Research Foundation and the Institute of Classical Studies
In many cultures, prose comes after verse. Masters of Greek prose such as Herodotus and Plato were acutely self-conscious of the poets and poems that preceded them and they sought to fashion a medium that would hold its own against the great verse compositions of the past. In the ancient world and later, numerous theories were put forward to explain the ‘invention’ of prose, and intellectuals across many centuries argued over its evolution and its relationship to poetry. This lecture explores the lively history of attitudes to Greek prose (mainly in relation to Plutarch and Herodotus), the theories of its origins, and the arguments over its status and value.