The Johns Hopkins University Press
FOR THE BEST ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN
THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHILOLOGY
IN 2005 HAS BEEN PRESENTED TO
CHARLES C. CHIASSON
THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT ARLINGTON
for his contribution to scholarship in "Myth, Ritual, and Authorial Control in Herodotus' Story of Cleobis and Biton (Hist. 1.31)," in AJP 126, no. 1:41–64.
In this article Chiasson has enriched our understanding of the depth and literary artistry of Herodotus' Histories. His sophisticated literary analysis links the well-established features of Argive initiation ritual in the story of Cleobis and Biton to a theme of archaic myth whose presence in the episode has been previously unnoticed: the association of mothers with the death or mortality of their sons. The mother of Cleobis and Biton, like Thetis and Hecuba in the Iliad and Metanira in the HymntoDemeter, is inadvertently and tragically responsible for the mortality of her male offspring; the normal passage of the youths to manhood is cut off by their premature death, but in recognition of their remarkable accomplishment, they are posthumously awarded the status of adult male citizens. Drawing on insights from both narratology and cultural studies, Chiasson demonstrates that Herodotus has woven mythical and ritual elements together in a network of associations that gives point to the episode of Solon and Croesus and is paradigmatic for the Histories as a whole.
Judges for the Johns Hopkins University Press
Julia Haig Gaisser, Chair Eleanor Winsor Leach Peter Burian
The Eighteenth Annual Gildersleeve Prize of $1,000 will be awarded for the best article to appear in the Journal in 2006. Instructions about nominations will be printed in the Winter 2006 (127.4) issue of the Journal.