JENNY STRAUSS CLAY
William R. Kenan, Jr.
Professor of Classics
Office: B024 Cocke Hall
Office Phone: 924-3008
Philology is that venerable art which requires of those who honor her
one thing above all: to turn aside, to take one's time, to become still
and slow.... Precisely for this reason, she is more necessary today
than ever, precisely on this account, she attracts and enchants us most
powerfully, in an age of "work," which is to say, haste, the unseemly
and sweating hurry that wants to be "done" with everything right away,
even with every old and new book. She herself will not so easily be
done with anything, she instructs reading well, that means, slowly,
deeply, carefully, regardfully, looking forward and backward, with
second thoughts, with doors left open, reading with delicate fingers
F. Nietzsche, Morgenröte
The focus of my scholarly work has been on archaic Greek poetry, more
specifically, what I call the theology of the early Greek poets, that
is, their views on the relations between gods and men. I also dabble in
other areas of Greek and Latin poetry and am interested in problems of
interpreting literary texts. I believe firmly that texts can tell you
how they want to be read, if you listen long and carefully enough.
I am pursuing several projects centering on the Iliad, including a commentary on the 23rd book and a study of Homer’s presentation of the Trojan battlefield. I am now working on a new project: "Mapping the Catalogue of Ships."
- Homer's Trojan Theater, Cambridge University Press, 2011.
- Hesiod's Cosmos. Cambridge University Press, 2003.
- The Wrath of Athena: Gods and Men in the Odyssey. Princeton University Press, 1983. Reprint, Rowman and Littlefield, 1996.
- The Politics of Olympus: Form and Meaning in the Major Homeric Hymns. Princeton University Press. 1989.
- Locke's Questions Concerning the Law of Nature, with Robert Horwitz and Diskin Clay. Cornell University Press, 1990.
- Mega Nepios: Il destinatorio nell'epos didascalico. The addressee in Didactic Epic. Special issue of Materiali e discussioni per l'analisi dei testi classici 31 (1993). Co-edited by A. Schiesaro, P. Mitsis, and J. Strauss Clay.
I received my degrees from Reed College, the University of Chicago and the University of Washington and have taught at the University of California at Irvine and at the Johns Hopkins University before coming to Virginia. I have a daughter named Andreia and like traveling, especially around the Mediterranean, and gardening.