13th Moisa Research Seminar on Ancient Greek and Roman Music – Riva del Garda, 2-7 July 2018

13th Moisa Research Seminar on Ancient Greek and Roman Music

Riva del Garda, 2-7 July 2018

For the fifth year, the Moisa Research Seminar will take place in early July in Riva del Garda (Italy), under the auspices of the Arion Society. Following the customary format originated in Corfu in 2004, the programme will comprise morning sessions devoted to the study of the particular text or topic, and a series of evening lectures on other issues of interest.


In previous years, the texts and topics examined in the morning sessions have included the Pseudo-Plutarchan De Musica, Music in Comedy, Music and Women, Music in Plato’s Laws, Aristotle’s Politics, Athenaeus’ Deipnosophists, the Pseudo-Aristotelian Problems, Aristoxenus’ Elementa harmonica and later Aristoxenian musical handbooks.


The Seminar is open to students and colleagues from all disciplines, and we are always glad to welcome new additions to our diverse and interdisciplinary group.

We do not expect background knowledge of Greek and Roman music theory, or ancient languages; all ancient sources will be discussed starting from English translations.



In 2018, we shall focus on Music and Rhetoric in Dionysius of Halicarnassus, looking especially at De Compositione verborum as well as shorter treatises on individual orators, against the wider Aristotelian and Aristoxenian background of Dionysius’ works.


We will mostly work on the Loeb editions of Dionysius literary essays (Critical Essays vol. 1–2), but additional passages from other works will be circulated on separate handouts at the seminar. A recent Italian translation with commentary has been published by Donadi and Marchiori, and can be found online: https://www.openstarts.units.it/handle/10077/9611.


The morning seminars (10am–1pm) will be led by Prof. Andrew Barker (University of Birmingham), Prof. Egert Pöhlmann (University of Erlangen), and Prof. Eleonora Rocconi (University of Pavia).


The afternoons are free for swimming, sight-seeing, sleeping or further discussion in informal contexts.


The evening lectures start at 6 pm, and aim at providing an overview of the most recent developments in the field of ancient Greek and Roman Music, as well as a chance to improve current projects thanks to the feedback and questions of the audience.

This year, we will welcome the following speakers:


02.07.2018                        Kostantinos Melidis (University of Cyprus)

‘Muse ληκυθίζουσα: Callimachus, fr. 219 (ed. Pfeiffer)’

03.07.2018                         Sean Gurd (University of Missouri)

‘Music, Hearing, Literature, and the Nature of Evidence’

04.07.2018                         Stefan Hagel (Austrian Academy of Sciences)

‘The irrational interpretation of hexameter rhythm: how rational is it?’

05.07.2018                         Spencer Klavan (University of Oxford)

‘Hearing the Logos: Speusippus, Diogenes of Babylon, and the epistēmonikē aisthēsis

06.07.2018                         Sylvain Perrot (University of Strasbourg)

‘The soundscape of late Euripides’ dramas and the reception of New Music’


Both morning sessions and evening lectures will take place in the local Conference Centre (http://www.rivadelgardacongressi.it/it/centro-congressi), in a seminar room that overlooks Garda lake. In this inspiring space, all participants will sit around a large table – a setting that encourages the open exchange of ideas that is so typical of, and vital for, this Seminar.


The fee for participation is 70 euros. All participants should register on the following Eventbrite page: https://moisaseminar2018.eventbrite.co.uk


The Arion Society is an independent, non-profit research organisation, so all contributions are important to keep the event running.

However, we believe that nobody should be prevented from joining us because of financial constraints; so if the fee represents an obstacle, please get in touch with the organiser (Tosca Lynch, tosca.lynch@jesus.ox.ac.uk) and we can discuss this confidentially.


For any other information, please get in touch with the organisers at the following email addresses:



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