Modern and Classical Languages
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Thomas Coward

Thomas Coward

Thomas Coward

Assistant Professor

Archaic & Classical Greek poetry and music, especially lyric and drama; Greco-Roman Literary History; Ancient Scholarship; Papyrology and Fragmentary Literary Texts.

Thomas R.P. Coward is Term Assistant Professor of Classics at George Mason University, VA. He teaches both ancient Greek and Latin literature and culture in the original and in translation. He studied at Durham, Bologna, and at King's College London. His main interests are Greek poetry and music, ancient scholarship, fragmentary literary texts, and difficult and obscure authors. 

The revised version of his PhD thesis, (Pindar and Greek Lyric Poetry: A Tradition of Innovation) is being prepared for Oxford University Press. Together with Dr Rosa Andújar (KCL, UK) and Dr Theodora Hadjimichael (Warwick, UK), he has edited and contributed to the volume Paths of Song: The Lyric Dimension of Greek Tragedy, which will be published by De Gruyter in 2018. He is also co-editing with Dr Enrico Emmanuele Prodi (Ca Foscari, Italy) a volume entitled, Didymus and Greco-Roman Learning, which will be published as a BICS Supplement. His next project will be a study of intellectual life and learning on the island of Rhodes (168BC-AD44). 

Current Research

Thomas Coward is interested in the ways in which literary cultures and genres interact with one another, and the manner in which literary and material evidence allows us to see how cultures and individuals perceived and manipulated their world and their place within it. His main interests are Greek poetry and music, ancient scholarship, fragmentary literary texts, and difficult and obscure authors.

His book in progress (in preparation for Oxford University Press), Pindar and Greek Lyric Poetry: A Tradition of Innovation, explores Pindar’s dependence upon former traditions of lyric poetry and music, the shaping of his poetic strategy, and how this makes him distinctive. The monograph considers to what degree these influences would have been perceptible to his listeners and what their expectations and experiences would be. Using theories of allusion, intertextuality, and musicology, it shows poets and poetry interacting in a predominantly song-performance culture, and provides a means for understanding the unique and innovative qualities that Pindar brought to lyric poetry. Challenging several assumed interactions and proposing new ones, and examining several features of his poetry, he explores the balance that Pindar strikes between tradition and innovation, and convention and originality. It presents Pindar as a literary and musical historian, commentator, and innovator through the tacit or explicit appropriation of the conventions and distinctive features of his predecessors and contemporaries. The monograph as a whole considers Pindar’s engagement with Greek song-culture. 

Developing his work on poetry, ancient scholarship, and fragmentary texts, Thomas Coward plans to direct his future research towards a project entitled Intellectual Life and Learning on Rhodes (ILLR), consisting of a monograph and two articles, which is the first intellectual and cultural history of the island of Rhodes (168 BC-AD 44). Using actor-network/social network theory and intellectual history with literary and material evidence, ILLR will examine Rhodes’ role in the development of poetry, scholarship, philosophy, oratory, and heritage studies, the individuals involved in these activities, and their legacy. He anticipates that the project will demonstrate Rhodes’ pivotal and under-appreciated role as an important intersection within the ancient knowledge economy of the Mediterranean, and Rhodes’ part in the creation of the Classics and Greco-Roman culture. 

Selected Publications

Books

Andújar, R., Coward, T.R.P., and Hadjimichael, T.A. (2018) (eds.), T.A., Paths of Song: The Lyric Dimension of Greek Tragedy (Trends in Classics Supplementary Volume 57; De Gruyter).

Coward, T.R.P., Pindar and the Greek Lyric Poetry: A Tradition of Innovation (in preparation for OUP).

Coward, T.R.P. and Prodi, E.E. (eds.), Didymus and Greco-Roman Learning (BICS Suppl., scheduled for publication in 2020).

Articles

‘The Robes of Alcman’s and Pindar’s parthenoi’ in Harlow, M., Nosch, M.-L., and Fanfani, G. (eds.) Spinning Fates and the Song of the Loom: The Use of Textiles, Clothing and Cloth Production as Metaphor, Symbol and Narrative (Oxbow, 2016): 43-60.

‘Aristophanes of Byzantium’ in The Literary Encyclopedia

‘‘Stesichorean’ Footsteps in the parodos of Aeschylus’ Agamemnon’ in Andújar, R., Coward, T.R.P. and Hadjimichael, T.A. (2018) (eds.), Paths of Song: The Lyric Dimension of Greek Tragedy (De Gruyter).

Reviews

Breglia, L. and Moleti, A. (eds.), Hespería: tradizioni, rotte, paesaggi (Tekmeria 16. Paestum: Pandemos, 2014) in Journal of Hellenic Studies 136 (2016): 192-3.

Gentili, B., Catenacci, C., Giannini, P., and Lomiento, L. (eds.), Pindaro: Le Olimpiche (Scrittori Greci e Latini;Fondazione Lorenzo Valla: A. Mondadori, 2013) in Journal of Hellenic Studies 135 (2015): 185-6.

Agócs, P, Carey, C. and Rawles, R. (eds.), Reading the Victory Ode (Cambridge, 2012) in Journal of Hellenic Studies 134 (2014): 159-60.

West, M.L., Hellenica. Selected Papers on Greek Literature and Thought. Volume II: Lyric and Drama. (Oxford, 2013) in Classical Review 64.2 (2014): 347-9.

 

Expanded Publication List

Books

Coward, T.R.P (ed.) (2016), Selecta Scholia Vetera in Hesiodi Opera Omnia (FIRB project website).

Andújar, R., Coward, T.R.P., and Hadjimichael, T.A. (2018) (eds.), T.A., Paths of Song: The Lyric Dimension of Greek Tragedy (Trends in Classics Supplementary Volume 57; De Gruyter).

Coward, T.R.P., Pindar and the Greek Lyric Poetry: A Tradition of Innovation (OUP, proposal submitted 07.2016, monograph in preparation).

Coward, T.R.P. and Prodi, E.E. (eds.), Didymus and Greco-Roman Learning (BICS Suppl., scheduled forpublication in 2020).

 

Articles

‘The Robes of Alcman’s and Pindar’s parthenoi’ in Harlow, M., Nosch, M.-L., and Fanfani, G. (eds.) Spinning Fates and the Song of the Loom: The Use of Textiles, Clothing and Cloth Production as Metaphor, Symbol and Narrative (Oxbow, 2016): 43-60.

‘Aristophanes of Byzantium’ in The Literary Encyclopedia [Submitted 03.17, Accepted 07.17]

‘‘Stesichorean’ Footsteps in the parodos of Aeschylus’ Agamemnon’ in Andújar, R., Coward, T.R.P. and Hadjimichael, T.A. (2018) (eds.), Paths of Song: The Lyric Dimension of Greek Tragedy (De Gruyter).

‘Spartan Musico-Poetic Culture in Greek Lyric Poetry’ [Submitted to Mnemosyne 05.17]

Vivat obscuritas! The Differing Difficulties of Pindar and Lycophron’ [Submitted to JHS 05.17]

‘Poetry and Performance on Hellenistic Rhodes’ in Leventhal, M. and Nelson, T. (eds.), Hellenistic Poetry beyond Callimachean Aesthetics [Submitted 06.17]

 ‘Some new fragments of Aeschylus, Aristomenes, Aristophanes of Byzantium, Callistratus, and Aristarchus (P.Oxy. 5160 col.ii.20-40)’ [Submitted to ZPE 07.17]

‘Πίνδαρον ἐκ Πινδάρου σαφηνίζειν: Understanding Pindar in the scholia to Pindar’ in Clément-Tarantino, S., Vallat, D., and Jolivet, J.-C. (forthcoming), Poétique(s) des commentaires antiques in Latomus (in preparation) [In preparation]

‘Beautiful, Dirty, Rich Corinth in Greek Poetry’ in Hodkinson, S., Gallou, C. and Cavanagh, W. (eds.), Luxury and Wealth in the Archaic to Hellenistic Peloponnese (Classical Press of Wales)

‘How Ancient Critics use the Lyric Poets in the Scholia to Pindar’ in Cingano, E. (forthcoming), Commentaries on Greek texts. Problems, methods and trends of ancient and Byzantine scholarship. (Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura).

‘Introduction’ and ‘Appendix: A checklist of Didymus’ fragments’ in Coward, T.R.P. and Prodi, E.E. (eds.), Didymus and Greco-Roman Learning (BICS Suppl. scheduled for publication in 2020).

‘Weighing the Options: How to Approach a Fragment (Pind. 169a S-M) with Direct and Indirect Traditions’ in Alexandrou, M., Carey, C., and D’Alessio, G.B. (eds.), Song Regained: Working with Greek Poetic Fragments (Sozomena Vol. XX; Berlin; Boston: De Gruyter, In preparation).

 

Reviews

Bakker, E.J. (2017) (ed.), Authorship and Greek song: authority, authenticity, and performance (Studies in archaic and classical Greek song, 3. Leiden; Boston: Brill) in BMCR.

McNelis, C. and Sens, A. (2016), The Alexandra of Lycophron. A Literary Study (Oxford) in Classical Review (2017).

Finglass, P. and Kelly, A. (eds.), Stesichorus in Context (Cambridge) in Journal of Hellenic Studies 137 (2017).

Breglia, L. and Moleti, A. (eds.), Hespería: tradizioni, rotte, paesaggi (Tekmeria 16. Paestum: Pandemos, 2014) in Journal of Hellenic Studies 136 (2016): 192-3.

Gentili, B., Catenacci, C., Giannini, P., and Lomiento, L. (eds.), Pindaro: Le Olimpiche (Scrittori Greci e Latini;Fondazione Lorenzo Valla: A. Mondadori, 2013) in Journal of Hellenic Studies 135 (2015): 185-6.

Agócs, P, Carey, C. and Rawles, R. (eds.), Reading the Victory Ode (Cambridge, 2012) in Journal of Hellenic Studies 134 (2014): 159-60.

West, M.L., Hellenica. Selected Papers on Greek Literature and Thought. Volume II: Lyric and Drama. (Oxford, 2013) in Classical Review 64.2 (2014): 347-9.

Curtis, P., Stesichoros’ Geryoneis (Mnem. Suppl. 333; Brill, 2011) in Journal of Hellenic Studies 133 (2013): 163-5.

Education

Ph.D., King's College London, Classics Research (2016)

M.A., King's College London, Classics (2012)

B.A. (Hons), College of St Hild and St Bede, Durham University, Classics (European Studies) (2010)