Jonathan L. Ready

Jonathan L. Ready

Professor, Classical Studies

Adjunct Professor, Folklore and Ethnomusicology 

Education

  • B.A., Yale University, 1998
  • M.A., University of California, Berkeley, 2000
  • Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2004

Research areas

  • Greek language and literature
  • Homeric poetry
  • Narrative theory and folkloristic approaches to ancient texts

About Jonathan L. Ready

My research interests are in ancient Greek culture and literature with an emphasis on Homeric poetry. I come at the Homeric epics from the perspectives offered by narrative theory and folkloristics. My first book, Character, Narrator, and Simile in the Iliad (Cambridge UP, 2011), is the first large-scale examination of similes spoken by Homeric characters. I argue that similes function as sites and mechanisms of competition not only between the characters but also between the characters and the narrator. My second book, The Homeric Simile in Comparative Perspectives: Oral Traditions from Saudi Arabia to Indonesia (Oxford UP, 2018), uses detailed analyses of modern oral poetries and oral traditions to offer a new take on how our Homeric poets put together their similes and a new take on how our Homeric poets strove to show their competence as performers: success was not just a matter of standing apart from but of standing with their fellow poets, of doing what other Homeric poets were doing. My third book, Orality, Textuality, and the Homeric Epics: An Interdisciplinary Study of Oral Texts, Dictated Texts, and Wild Texts (Oxford UP, 2019), explores the complex history of Homeric texts long before the emergence of standardized written texts. I co-edit the Yearbook of Ancient Greek Epic (Brill) with Christos Tsagalis of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and Christos and I also co-edited Homer in Performance: Rhapsodes, Narrators, and Characters (Univ. of Texas Press, 2018).

Several of my articles and book chapters are available on Academia.edu.

Courses taught

  • Survey of Greek Literature I (Poetry) and II (Prose)
  • Classical Drama
  • Classical Epics
  • Ancient Greek Culture
  • Beginning Greek I and II
  • Advanced Greek (Homer)
  • Advanced Greek (Aristophanes)
  • Greek Prose Composition

Books

Orality, Textuality, and the Homeric Epics
Orality, Textuality, and the Homeric Epics

An Interdisciplinary Study of Oral Texts, Dictated Texts, and Wild Texts

Jonathan L. Ready
2019

The Homeric Simile in Comparative Perspectives
The Homeric Simile in Comparative Perspectives

Oral Traditions from Saudi Arabia to Indonesia

Jonathan L. Ready
2018

Selected publications

Books

Orality, Textuality, and the Homeric Epics: An Interdisciplinary Study of Oral Texts, Dictated Texts, and Wild Texts (Oxford UP, 2019).

The Homeric Simile in Comparative Perspectives: Oral Traditions from Saudi Arabia to Indonesia (Oxford University Press [Oxford], 2018).

Character, Narrator, and Simile in the Iliad (Cambridge University Press [New York], 2011).

Articles and Book Chapters

“The Epiphany at Iliad 4.73-84,” Hermes 145 (2017): 24-40.

“The Textualization of Homeric Epic by Means of Dictation,” TAPA (formerly Transactions of the American Philological Association)145.1 (2015): 1-75.

“ATU 974 The Homecoming Husband, the Returns of Odysseus, and the End of Odyssey 21," Arethusa 47.3 (2014): 265-85.

“Omens and Messages in the Iliad and Odyssey: A Study in Transmission,” in Between Orality and Literacy: Communication and Adaptation in Antiquity (Orality and Literacy in the Ancient World, vol. 10), ed. Ruth Scodel (Brill, 2014): 29-55.

"Zeus, Ancient Near Eastern Notions of Divine Incomparability, and Similes in the Homeric Epics," Classical Antiquity 31.1 (2012): 56-91.

"Comparative Perspectives on the Composition of the Homeric Simile," in Orality, Literacy, Performance in the Ancient World (Orality and Literacy in the Ancient World, vol. 9), ed. E. Minchin (Brill, 2012): 55-87.

"Why Odysseus Strings His Bow," Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 50.2 (2010): 133-157.

"The Comparative Spectrum in Homer,” American Journal of Philology 129.4 (2008): 453-496.

“Toil and Trouble: The Acquisition of Spoils in the Iliad,” Transactions of the American Philological Association 137.1 (2007): 3-43.

“Homer, Hesiod, and the Epic Tradition,” in The Cambridge Companion to Archaic Greece, ed. H. A. Shapiro (Cambridge University Press, 2007): 111-140.

"Iliad 22.123-128 and the Erotics of Supplication," Classical Bulletin 81.2 (2005): 145-164.

"A Binding Song: the Similes of Catullus 61," Classical Philology 99.2 (2004): 153-163.