An Editorial Tribute to Professor Menelaos Christopoulos, with Bibliography

  Papachrysostomou, Athina. 2023. “An Editorial Tribute to Professor Menelaos Christopoulos, with Bibliography.” In “Γέρα: Studies in honor of Professor Menelaos Christopoulos,” ed. Athina Papachrysostomou, Andreas P. Antonopoulos, Alexandros-Fotios Mitsis, Fay Papadimitriou, and Panagiota Taktikou, special issue, Classics@ 25.

Reflecting on a distinguished academic career marked by scholarly rigor, intellectual passion, and unwavering dedication to the field of Classical Studies, the editors and the contributors of this volume pay tribute to our distinguished colleague and dear friend Menelaos Christopoulos upon his retirement, following the International Conference that was held in his honor at the University of Patras in June 2023. As he gracefully concludes his eminent career as Full Professor of Ancient Greek Literature, it is with profound admiration and deep appreciation that we present him with this honorary volume, celebrating his remarkable contributions to the study, preservation, and dissemination of ancient Greek language, texts, and culture.
Personally, I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to write the editorial for this special collection, as the Director of the Center for the Study of Myth & Religion in Greek & Roman Antiquity, a Center that was founded and peerlessly directed for many years by Professor Menelaos Christopoulos. This honorary volume stands as a testament to the profound impact Professor Christopoulos has had on students and colleagues alike, as well as on the field of Classics at large. Hence, it is with a genuine sense of respect and admiration that I take on the responsibility of composing this brief editorial note, summarizing the outstanding contributions and legacy of our dear colleague. May this volume serve as a fitting homage to his extraordinary career and inspire future generations of scholars in their pursuit of excellence.
Besides honoring the remarkable achievements of Professor Christopoulos, this honorary volume stands as a testament to the collaborative spirit and intellectual richness fostered by a community of distinguished scholars. On behalf of the editors, I extend my sincere gratitude to each and every one of our esteemed contributors, who have generously shared their expertise, insights, and research within these pages. Their diverse perspectives and scholarly endeavors have further enriched the tapestry of classical studies, amplifying collective knowledge and paving the way for new avenues of exploration.
This honorary volume brings together an array of thirty-six thought-provoking essays that encompass a wide range of topics within the field of ancient Greek literature. From in-depth analyses of Homeric, tragic, comic, historiographic, philosophic, rhetoric, bucolic, and medical texts to explorations of mythical influences, Orphic evolution, and Greek paganism, this volume presents a multifaceted exploration of Greek antiquity, corresponding to the diversity and extensiveness of Professor Christopoulos’ research over the years. The perspectives offered by the contributors shed new light on the enduring legacy of Greek antiquity, sparking fresh dialogues and inviting further exploration in the realms of literature, philosophy, history, and beyond.
As we delve into the vast expanse of scholarship within the pages of this honorary volume, it is impossible to overlook the profound impact of Professor Christopoulos on the very topics and areas of scholarship that are explored herein. His pioneering research, groundbreaking publications, and enduring passion for Greek antiquity have not only shaped the discourse within our field but have also inspired the contributors of this volume.

Biography of Menelaos Christopoulos

Menelaos Christopoulos was born in 1956 in Athens, where he attended Peiramatiko School and Moraitis School. His formative years were marked by a deep fascination with the ancient world, which propelled him to pursue a rigorous education steeped in the foundations of Greek antiquity. With the support of a prestigious scholarship from the State Scholarships Foundation (“IKY”), he embarked on his academic journey, earning his bachelor’s degree in Classics from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. It was during this time that his extraordinary aptitude and passion for Greek antiquity began to shine, foreshadowing the remarkable path he would forge in the field.
For his postgraduate studies Menelaos Christopoulos went to Paris. He first pursued a maîtrise de philosophie at Université de Paris X – Nanterre, and then a diplôme d’études approfondies (DEA) at Université de Paris IV – Sorbonne, where he also carried out his doctoral dissertation titled Les divinités de la musique dans la poésie homérique et archaïque. His dedication and scholarly competence were evident, as he successfully defended his doctoral dissertation in July 1983, marking a significant milestone in his academic journey. His thesis was subsequently published in Greek, in Athens, two years later, in 1985.
In that pivotal year, Menelaos Christopoulos embarked on a remarkable professional journey, assuming the esteemed position of permanent researcher at the Academy of Athens, at the Center for Ancient Greek and Latin Literature. This influential role would shape his academic trajectory for over a decade, from the year of his appointment until 2001.
Simultaneously, during the vibrant mid-late 1980s and early 90s, Menelaos Christopoulos delved into postdoctoral research at the renowned Centre Louis Gernet d’Études Comparées sur les Sociétés Anciennes, where he had the extraordinary privilege of collaborating with distinguished scholars such as Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Marcel Detienne, Nicole Loraux, Francois Lissarrague, and many others. This intellectually stimulating environment nurtured his profound insights and contributed to his multifaceted understanding of Greek antiquity.
Drawing inspiration from his namesake, the legendary seafarer and adventurer, Menelaos Christopoulos directed his postdoctoral studies towards exploring the captivating realm of the sea as portrayed in Greek literary texts, as well as through archaeological and epigraphic sources spanning the eighth to the fifth century BCE. His research encompassed diverse aspects of maritime life, ranging from nautical symbolism to seafaring practices, shedding light on the profound significance of the sea within Greek culture. To support his scholarly endeavors, Menelaos Christopoulos was granted a prestigious scholarship from the acclaimed Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation. This invaluable support enabled him to dedicate himself wholeheartedly to his research, facilitating his significant contributions to the field of classical studies.
In the year 1992, a significant milestone awaited Menelaos Christopoulos, as he was elected Assistant Professor of Ancient Greek Literature at the Department of Classics & Philosophy of the University of Cyprus.
But in 2001 Menelaos Christopoulos found his true academic “home,” as he embarked on a new chapter at the Department of Philology of the University of Patras. Our department became a sanctuary for his scholarly pursuits, providing an environment conducive to his intellectual growth. Initially appointed as an Associate Professor, his exceptional scholarship propelled him further, culminating in his appointment as a Full Professor of Ancient Greek Literature in 2011.
Throughout his tenure at the University of Patras, Professor Christopoulos’ presence and expertise have been instrumental in shaping the academic landscape and nurturing generations of aspiring classicists. His unwavering commitment to the study and dissemination of ancient Greek literature has left an indelible mark on both our department and the broader scholarly community. Professor Christopoulos’ impact on our academic department cannot be overstated, as he played a truly pivotal role in its development and growth during its nascent period. Throughout his impressive twenty-three-year presence within our academic community, Professor Christopoulos consistently demonstrated his determination and passion for advancing the field of ancient Greek literature. His invaluable contributions encompassed a wide range of areas, from his exceptional teaching and mentorship of students to his significant scholarly achievements that enriched the academic discourse. Beyond his academic prowess, Professor Christopoulos also played a vital role in the administrative landscape of our department. His vision, leadership, and keen insights guided us through various challenges and paved the way for continued growth and excellence. His tenure as Head of our Department from 2010 to 2015 exemplified his exceptional organizational abilities and his resolute commitment to fostering an environment that nurtured both intellectual inquiry and professional development. Even beyond his time as the Department Head, Professor Christopoulos’ influence and contributions have continued to shape our academic community. His presence and expertise have been a source of inspiration and guidance, leaving an enduring legacy that continues to resonate with faculty, staff, and students alike.
On a personal note, I would like to briefly reflect on the profound connection I have had with Professor Christopoulos since 2009, when I joined the Department of Philology at the University of Patras. Professor Christopoulos was the first who believed in me, offering invaluable guidance and mentorship during my initial steps as an academic. Throughout our joint academic journey, Professor Christopoulos and I worked closely on numerous research projects (organizing conferences, co-editing collected volumes, etc.), always challenging conventional boundaries. Beyond our professional relationship, a bond of friendship and mutual respect has developed. We have shared not only intellectual pursuits but also personal triumphs and challenges, forging a connection that extends beyond the confines of academia.
Professor Christopoulos’ thirst for intellectual exploration and engagement knew no bounds. Even during his sabbaticals, he continued his academic odyssey, embracing new opportunities and expanding his scholarly horizons. In 2016, fueled by a generous funding grant from the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation, Professor Christopoulos embarked on a journey to the United States. During his time in the States, Professor Christopoulos was invited to deliver lectures at prestigious institutions such as the University of Washington, Harvard, Yale, Ohio University, and Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia. His expertise and profound insights captivated audiences, fostering intellectual dialogue and further establishing his reputation as a distinguished scholar.
Beyond his teaching responsibilities and administrative duties, Professor Christopoulos actively immersed himself in numerous academic pursuits over the years. He enthusiastically participated in notable research programs, such as the Karatheodori project. Moreover, his passion for ancient Greek tragedies and comedies extended beyond the classroom, as he engaged with theatrical organizations to bring these timeless works to life on stage. Professor Christopoulos’ expertise spread beyond academic settings as well. His profound knowledge and eloquence earned him invitations to speak on radio broadcasts and television shows, where he shared his insights with a broader audience, thereby cultivating a deeper appreciation for classical literature and culture.
His relentless dedication to academic pursuits, his involvement in diverse research programs and collaborations with theatrical organizations, as well as his engagements with media platforms exemplify his commitment to advancing the field of classical studies. His multifaceted contributions have not only enriched scholarly discussions but have also disseminated the beauty and relevance of ancient Greek literature to a wider audience.
Most notably, Professor Christopoulos forged a profound connection with the Centre for Odyssean Studies—a proof of his enduring passion for the Homeric epics and their timeless themes. The roots of this connection can be traced back to his formative years as a student in the 1970s, when he avidly listened to the Centre’s International Conferences on the radio. The young Menelaos, who once tuned in to the Centre’s conferences as a student, grew up to assume the esteemed role of the Centre’s fifth Director in 2011. This personal and professional journey exemplifies the transformative power of education and the profound impact that dedicated scholars like Professor Christopoulos can have on the academic community. As the current Director of the Centre for Odyssean Studies, Professor Christopoulos carries on the legacy of its founder, Yiannis Kakrides, as well as his predecessors, M. Sakellariou, Ph. Kakrides, and D. Maronites. His zeal ensures the continuity and growth of the Centre, promoting ongoing research, scholarly exchange, and the exploration of the multifaceted world of the Homeric epics.
Yet one of his most significant contributions to the field of classical studies came in the form of the foundation of the Center for the Study of Myth & Religion in Greek & Roman Antiquity in 2004. This groundbreaking initiative stands as a testament to Professor Christopoulos’ visionary approach to scholarship. Notably, it is the sole academic Center of its kind in Greece. The Center is affiliated with the Department of Philology of the University of Patras, and its primary objective is to foster and advance scientific research on myth and religion in Greek and Roman antiquity. Through a comprehensive range of activities, including basic research, doctoral dissertations, conferences, videoconferences, seminars, lectures, teaching, and the creation of specialized databases, the Center provides a vibrant and nurturing environment for scholarly exploration. A noteworthy publication associated with the Center is its esteemed electronic journal, aptly named Electra. This journal serves as a platform for further enhancing the scholarly dialogue surrounding myth and religion in Greek and Roman antiquity.
Since its inception, the Center has organized a series of International Conferences. The inaugural conference took place in 2007, and to date, the Center has successfully hosted seven International Conferences (including the one convened in June 2023 to honor Professor Christopoulos upon his retirement). These conferences have not only provided a forum for academic exchange but have also yielded outstanding collected volumes focusing on key thematic areas of classical interest. These publications stand as lasting testaments to the Center’s dedication to producing scholarly works of exceptional quality and significance. The Center for the Study of Myth & Religion in Greek & Roman Antiquity, adhering to Professor Christopoulos’ legacy, will continue to shape the landscape of classical studies, endorsing groundbreaking research, facilitating interdisciplinary collaborations, and promoting a deeper understanding of ancient myth and religion.
Professor Christopoulos’ prolific publishing career is a testament to both his assiduousness and intellectual prowess. So far, he has authored an impressive collection of eleven monographs; the latest appeared in November 2023 by Lexington Books (Rowman and Littlefield: Lanham) and is titled Strange Instances of Time and Space in the Odyssey. In addition to his monographs, Professor Christopoulos has also made significant contributions as a co-editor of nine collected volumes, further enriching the scholarly discourse. Apart from his substantial contributions in the form of monographs and co-edited volumes, Professor Christopoulos has also penned some thirty articles and contributions in collected volumes and conference proceedings. These scholarly publications showcase his breadth of knowledge, analytical rigor, and innovative insights into various aspects of classical studies. Professor Christopoulos’ extensive publication record reflects his ceaseless dedication to advancing our understanding of classical literature and culture. His works not only contribute to academic discourse but also serve as invaluable resources for researchers, students, and enthusiasts in the field.
Whether it was research, teaching, authoring books and papers, taking over the headship of the Centre for Odyssean Studies, or breaking new ground with the Center for the Study of Myth & Religion in Greek & Roman Antiquity, throughout the years, Professor Christopoulos has stood as an unwavering pillar of dedication, wisdom, and inspiration, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of all who have had the privilege of crossing paths with him.
Beyond his professional accomplishments, Professor Christopoulos possesses a rare combination of warmth, humility, and compassion. He has always been a mentor, a confidant, and a true friend, readily offering a listening ear, sage advice, and earnest support. His ability to connect with people on a personal level has made him not just a respected colleague but a beloved member of our academic community.
All in all, Professor Christopoulos’ legacy is one of innovation, resilience, and collaboration. His visionary thinking, tireless efforts, and unwavering determination have propelled the Department of Philology to new heights, and his exceptional leadership has fostered an environment of excellence, camaraderie, and continuous learning.

The editors and the contributors of this volume express our deepest gratitude for his invaluable impact, his unfaltering support, and his enduring friendship. May retirement bring him well-deserved joy and fulfilment, as he embarks on a new chapter of life alongside his loving wife, Anastasia, and his multi-talented daughters, Eleni and Margarita. Their support and devotion have undoubtedly shaped Menelaos Christopoulos into the remarkable individual he is today. May their journey be filled with love, laughter, and cherished moments.

– Patras, September 2023

Academic publications by Professor Menelaos Christopoulos

Ι. Monographs

Christopoulos, M. 1985. Οι θεότητες της μουσικής στην ομηρική και αρχαϊκή ποίηση [The Divinities of Music in Homeric and Archaic Poetry]. Athens.
———. 1996. Πλουτάρχου Γρύλλος (Περί του τα άλογα λόγω χρήσθαι) [Plutarch’s Gryllus (Bruta animalia ratione uti)]. Αthens.
———. 1997. Εις Ποσειδώνα [To Poseidon]. Athens.
———. 1997. Θαλασσινά επεισόδια της Οδύσσειας [Maritime Episodes in the Odyssey]. Athens.
———. 1999. Διογένους Λαερτίου Ιππαρχία. Εισαγωγή-Μετάφραση-Σχόλια [Diogenes Laertius’ Hipparchia: Introduction, Translation, Commentary]. Athens.
———. 2000. Μυθικά θέματα με δραματικό προσωπείο. Μελέτες για την τραγωδία και την κωμωδία [Mythical Themes Wearing Masks: Studies on Tragedy and Comedy]. Athens.
———. 2002. Δεύτερη σοφιστική. Η πνευματική παραγωγή των αυτοκρατορικών χρόνων [Second Sophistic: The Spiritual Production of the Roman Imperial Period]. Athens.
———. 2002. Mιμήσεις πράξεων. Αφήγηση και δομή στις τρaγωδίες των κλασικών χρόνων [“Mimeseis Praxeon”: Narrative and Structure in the Tragedies of the Classical Period]. Athens.
———. 2007. Views of Helen in Epic and Drama. Athens.
———. 2007. Ομηρικά Επιγράμματα. Εισαγωγή, Μετάφραση, Σχόλια [Homeric Epigrams: Introduction, Translation, Commentary]. Athens.
———. 2023. Strange Instances of Time and Space in the Odyssey. Lanham.

II. Collected volumes

Christopoulos, M., and A. Tsakmakis, eds. 1997. ‘Ορνιθες. Όψεις και αναγνώσεις μιας αριστοφανικής κωμωδίας [The Birds: Aspects and Readings of an Aristophanic Comedy]. Athens.
Christopoulos, M., E. Karakantza, and O. Levaniouk, eds. 2010. Light and Darkness in Ancient Greek Myth and Religion. Lanham.
Christopoulos, M., and M. Paizi-Apostopolopoulou, eds. 2014. Crime and Punishment in Homeric and Archaic Epic. Ithaca.
Christopoulos, M., A. Bierl, and A. Papachrysostomou, eds. 2017. Time and Space in Ancient Myth, Religion and Culture. Berlin.
Christopoulos, M., and M. Paizi-Apostopolopoulou, eds. 2020. The Upper and the Under World in Homeric and Archaic Epic. Ithaca.
Christopoulos, M., A. Antonopoulos, and G. Harrison, eds. 2021. Reconstructing Satyr Drama. Berlin.
Christopoulos, M., A. Papachrysostomou, and A. P. Antonopoulos, eds. 2022. Myth and History: Close Encounters. Berlin.
Christopoulos, M., M. Meyer, and A. Papachrysostomou, eds. 2023. Unveiling the Hidden Face of Antiquity: Mysteries and Cryptic Cults. Vienna.
Christopoulos, M., and M. Paizi-Apostopolopoulou, eds. 2024. Human and Non-Human in Homeric and Archaic Epic. Ithaca.

IΙΙ. Articles in periodicals, collected volumes, and proceedings

Christopoulos, M. 1987. “Kivôtos, une approche. L’idée de l’arche dans la mythologie hellénique.” Tropis 2:101–110.
———. 1989. “Le mât du navire. Realité et imaginaire en Grèce ancienne.” Tropis 3:123–134.
———. 1991. “The Spell of Orpheus.” Metis 6:205–222.
———. 1992. “Orgia aporrheta: Quelques remarques sur les rites des Plyntéries.” Kernos 5:27–39.
———. 1991. “Kéleuste, aulète, trieraulète. Son musical et manoeuvres des bateaux.” Tropis 4:5–17.
———. 1994. “Poseidon Erechtheus and Erechtheis Thalassa.” In Ancient Greek Cult Practice from the Epigraphical Evidence, ed. R. Hägg, 123–130. Stockholm.
———. 1996. “Le départ de l’île de Calypso. Quelques remarques sur le texte de l’Odyssée.Kernos 9:271–279.
———. 1996. “Linon carpasion. Mystère et realité.” In Chypre hier et aujourd’hui entre Orient et Occident, ed. F. Métral, M. Yon, and Y. Ioannou, 61–67. Travaux de la Maison de l’Orient 25. Lyon.
———. 1996. “Πίνδαρος και Ρόδος. Ο 7ος Ολυμπιόνικος” [“Pindar and Rhodes: The 7th Olympic”]. In Ρόδος 24 αιώνες. Πρακτικά Διεθνούς Συνεδρίου [Rhodes 24 Centuries: Acts of an International Conference], 156–169. Athens.
———. 1997. “Ομηρική και θουκυδίδεια θάλασσα. Παρατηρήσεις στην ‘Αρχαιολογία’ του Θουκυδίδη” [“Homeric and Thucydidean Sea: Some Remarks on Thucydides’ ‘Archaeology’”]. Ιστορικά 27:419–428.
———. 2001. “Nostos by Sea and Poetic Structure in the Odyssey.” In Eranos: Proceedings of the International Symposium on the Odyssey (2–7 September 2000), ed. M. Paizi-Apostolopoulou, 93–105. Ithaca.
———. 2003. “Discours odysséen de Protée. Narrations traditionnelles et innovations narratologiques.” Kernos 16:35–41.
———. 2004. “Παράσταση πλοίου και Σκύλλας σε όστρακο της συλλογής Χάρη Τζάλα” [“Representation of a ship and Skylla in a vase fragment of the Harry Tzalas Collection”]. Αρχαιολογία 93:111–116.
———. 2006. “Auleios thyra et culte religieux. La rencontre du public et du privé.” Kernos 19:257–266.
———. 2007. “Contests without Rewards. Musical Contests in the Odyssey and the Homeric Hymn to Hermes.” In Contests and Rewards in the Homeric Epics, ed. M. Paizi-Apostolopoulou, A. Rengakos, and Ch. Tsagalis, 146–155. Ithaca.
———. 2007. “Quelques remarques sur Hélène dans l’Odyssée. À la recherche des innovations mythographiques et narratives.” Gaia 11:101–120.
———. 2007. “Helen and Politics.” In The Contribution of Ancient Sparta to Political Thought and Practice, ed. C. Buraselis, N. Birgalias, and P. Cartledge, 179–201. Athens.
———. 2009. “Odyssean Kybernetai: All Skilful, All Dead. Observations in the Helmsman’s Role in the Odyssey.” In Antiphilesis. Studies on Classical, Byzantine and Modern Greek Literature and Culture in Honour of J.-Th. Papademetriou, ed. E. Karamalengou and E. Makrygianni, 57–66. Stuttgart.
———. 2010. “Thetis’ Journey from Epic to Drama: Euripides and the End of the Trojan Myth.” In Parachoregema: Studies on Ancient Theatre in Honour of Professor Gregory M. Sifakis, ed. S. Tsitsiridis, 127–137. Herakleion.
———. 2010. “Dark-Winged Nyx and Bright-Winged Eros in Aristophanes’ ‘Orphic’ Cosmogony. Birds, 693–703.” Ιn Light and Darkness in Ancient Greek Myth and Religion, ed. M. Christopoulos, E. Karakantza, and O. Levaniouk, 207–220. Lanham.
———. 2011. “Casus belli: Causes of the Trojan War in the Epic Cycle.” In “Reflecting on the Greek Epic Cycle,” ed. E. D. Karakantza, special issue, Classics@ 6.
———. 2014. “Odysseus, Diomedes, Dolon and Palamedes. Crimes of Mystery and Imagination.” In Crime and Punishment in Homeric and Archaic Epic, ed. M. Christopoulos and M. Paizi-Apostolopoulou, 153–166. Ithaca.
———. 2015. “Démarate. Un roi bâtard.” Ktèma 40:219–223.
———. 2017. “Strange Instances of Time and Space in Odysseus’ Return.” In Time and Space in Ancient Myth, Religion and Culture, ed. A. Bierl, Μ. Christopoulos, and A. Papachrysostomou, 3–8. Berlin.
———. 2019. “Formes de violence dans le monde d’Ulysse.” Dialogues d’Histoire Ancienne 45.1:13–22.
———. 2020. “Patroclus and Elpenor. Dead and Unburied.” In The Upper and the Under World in Homeric and Archaic Epic, ed. M. Christopoulos and M. Paizi-Apostolopoulou, 163–173. Ithaca.
———. 2020. “Sleeping with the Enemy. Foreign Female Captives in Greek Drama.” In Festschrift K. Synodinou, ed. E. Gasti, 869–885. Ioannina.
———. 2021. “The Invention of the Lyre in Sophocles’ Ichneutai.” In Reconstructing Satyr Drama, ed. A. P. Antonopoulos, M. M. Christopoulos, and G. W. M. Harrison, 449–454. Berlin.
———. 2022. “Historicizing Homer’s Myth in the Homeric Epigrams.” In Myth and History: Close Encounters, ed. M. Christopoulos, A. Papachrysostomou, and A. Antonopoulos, 3–11. Berlin.
———. 2023. “Dionysus’ Katabasis and the Mysteries of Lerna.” In Unveiling the Hidden Face of Antiquity: Mysteries and Cryptic Cults, ed. M. Christopoulos, M. Meyer, and A. Papachrysostomou. Vienna.
———. 2024. “Skylla. Childish, Female, Monstrous.” In Human and Non-Human in Homeric and Archaic Epic, ed. M. Christopoulos and M. Paizi-Apostolopoulou. Ithaca.
Menelaos Christopoulous holding a lyre
Professor Christopoulos at the closing of the International Conference held in his honour at the University of Patras in June 2023, holding a replica of an ancient Greek lyre constructed by the luthier Nikolaos Bras. The picture was taken by Professor George W. M. Harrison (Carleton University), following a musical recital for ancient Greek lyre performed by the composer and lyrist Dr Nikos Xanthoulis (Academy of Athens).