Claude Calame

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Claude Calame (born in Lausanne 1943) is a Swiss writer on Greek mythology and the structure of mythic narrative from the perspective of a Hellenist trained in semiotics and ethnology as well as philology. He is a professor of Greek language and literature at the University of Lausanne and Director of Studies at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, in Paris.[1]

Among his works, several have been translated into English.

  • Les Chœurs de jeunes filles en Grèce archaïque, 2 vols. (Rome:L'Ateneo and Bizzarri), 1977. Tr. as Choruses of Ancient Women in Greece: their morphology, religious roles and social functions (Lanham, MD:Rowman and Littlefield), 1996. In Spartan feminine liturgies Calame detected initiative scenarios in rites of passage interpreted as survivals of archaic "tribal' initiations.
  • The Craft of Poetic Speech in Ancient Greece (Cornell), 1995.
  • I greci e l'eros (Rome), 1992; tr. as L'Éros dans la Grèce antique, (Paris:Belin), 1996 and The Poetics of Eros in Ancient Greece (Princeton), 1999.
  • Thésée et l'imaginaire athénien, (Lausanne:Payot "Sciences humaines"),1991, 2nd ed. 1996, examines the emergence of a complex new interpretation of archaic traditional materials in the sixth and fifth centuries BCE: "his analysis brings to light how ritual and institutional elaboration accompany the emergence of a national heroic mythology" observed Philippe Borgeaud in an extended review of the revised edition .[2]
  • Mythe et histoire dans l'antiquité grecque: la création symbolique d'une colonie (Lausanne:Payot), 1996. Tr. as Myth and history in ancient Greece: the symbolic creation of a colony, 2003
  • Poétique des mythes en Grèce antique, (Paris:Hachette), 2000 Tr. as Greek Mythology : Poetics, Pragmatics and Fiction, 2009
  • Philippe Borgeaud, Claude Calame and André Hurst, "L’Orphisme et ses écritures. Nouvelles recherches", Revue de l'histoire des religions 4/2002
  • Masks of Authority: Fiction and Pragmatics in Ancient Greek Poetics, (Cornell, "Myth and Poetics Series"), 2005, collects articles first published between 1986 and 1997.


  1. ^ Université de Lausanne: Claude Calame: link to curriculum vitae
  2. ^ Borgeaud in History of Religions (41.1 [August 2001:81-84]) sketched Calame's developed methodological position for an Anglophone readership.