Prof. Dr. Jonas Grethlein



Jonas Grethlein © Marsilius-Kolleg der Universität Heidelberg

Foto © Marsilius-Kolleg 
der Universität Heidelberg
Seminar für Klassische Philologie
Universität Heidelberg
Marstallhof 2-4
69117 Heidelberg

Zimmer: Sandgasse 7, ZG 010

Telefon: 06221-54 2262

Mittwoch 14-15 Uhr


Publikationen  -   Curriculum vitae   -   ERC Project "Experience and Teleology in Ancient Narrative"


  • Mein Jahr mit Achill. Die Ilias, der Tod und das Leben. Munich 2022.
  • The Ancient Aesthetics of Deception. The Ethics of Entchantment from Gorgias to Heliodorus. Cambridge 2021.
  • Aesthetic Experiences and Classical Antiquity. The Significance of Form in Narratives and Pictures. Cambridge 2017.
  • Die Odyssee. Homer und die Kunst des Erzählens. Munich 2017 (English translation in preparation for Princeton UP).
  • Experience and Teleology in Ancient Historiography. Futures Past from Herodotus to Augustine. Cambridge 2013.
  • The Greeks and their Past. Poetry, Oratory, and History in the Fifth-Century BCE. Cambridge 2010 (paperback 2013).
  • Littells Orestie. Mythos, Macht und Moral in Les Bienveillantes. Freiburg 2009 (Paradeigmata 9).
  • Das Geschichtsbild der Ilias. Eine Untersuchung aus phänomenologischer und narratologischer Perspektive. Göttingen 2006 (Hypomnemata 163).
  • Asyl und Athen. Die Konstruktion kollektiver Identität in der griechischen Tragödie. Stuttgart/Weimar 2003 (Drama. Beiträge zum antiken Drama und seiner Rezeption. Beiheft 21).

Edited Volumes

  • Together with L. Huitink, A. Tagliabue: Experience, Narrative, and Criticism in Ancient Greece. Under the Spell of Stories. Oxford 2019.
  • Together with A. Rengakos: Griechische Literaturgeschichtsschreibung. Traditionen, Probleme und Konzepte. Berlin/Boston 2017.
  • Together with C. Krebs: Time and Narrative in Ancient Historiography. The “Plupast” from Herodotus to Appian. Cambridge 2012 (paperback 2016).
  • Together with A. Rengakos: Narratology and Interpretation. The Content of Narrative Form in Ancient Literature. Berlin/New York 2009 (paperback 2016) (Trends in Classics - Supplementary Volumes 4).



  • "In the Philostratus trap. An enactive and embodied perspective on the Imagines and their enargeia." JHS (forthcoming).
  • "Heideggers Griechen, 'Deutsche in Togen'?" In: International Yearbook of Hermeneutics (forthcoming).
  • “Establishing a new genre: Thucydides and non-historiographic memory.” In: P. Low (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Thucydides. Cambridge (forthcoming).
  • “Thisbe’s intrigue. A plot between deception and illusion (Heliod. 1.15-17).” In: I. Repath, T. Whitmarsh (eds.) Reading Heliodorus. The Jewel in the Ring. Oxford (forthcoming).


  • "Mimesis and experience. A Platonic perspective on Ricoeur's Time and Narrative." Poetics Today 42/3: 361-380.
  • “Author and characters. Ancient, narratological, and cognitive views on a tricky relationship.” Classical Philology 116/2: 208-230.


  • "The universal in the particular. A core dilemma of historicism in antiquity." In A. Turner (ed.), Reconciling Ancient and Modern Philosophies of History (pp. 123-146). Berlin/ Boston 2020:123-146.
  • “Epitome und Erzählung. Die Rekapitulation am Ende der Odyssee.” Poetica 50: 169-192.
  • “Plato in therapy. A cognitivist reassessment of the Republic's idea of mimesis.” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 78/2: 157-170.
  • “Representation delimited and historicized. Metalepsis in ancient literature and vase-painting.” In: S. Matzner, G. Trimble (eds.) Metalepsis. Ancient Texts, New Perspectives. Oxford 2020: 25-57.


  • “Odysseus and his bed. From significant objects to thing theory in Homer.” Classical Quarterly 69/2: 467-482.
  • “Am Anfang war das Epische”. In: T. Serrier, E. François (eds.) Europa. Die Gegenwart unserer Geschichte. Darmstadt 2019: 339-353.
  • “Zeit, Antike.” In: E. von Contzen, S. Tilg (eds.) Handbuch historische Narratologie. Berlin 2019: 170-180.
  • together with L. Huitink, A. Tagliabue: “Narrative and Aesthetic Experience in Ancient Greece: An Introduction.” In: J. Grethlein, L. Huitink, A. Tagliabue (eds) Experience, Narrative, and Criticism in Ancient Greece. Under the Spell of Stories. Oxford 2019: 1-14.
  • “World and Words. The Limits to Mimesis and Immersion in Heliodorus’ Ethiopica.” In: J. Grethlein, L. Huitink, A. Tagliabue (eds) Experience, Narrative, and Criticism in Ancient Greece. Under the Spell of Stories. Oxford 2019: 127-147.
  • “Platon in Therapie.” Merkur 843: 48-59.
  • “‘Stories Embroidered Beyond Truth’: Reading Herodotus and Thucydides in Light of Pindar’s Olympian 1.” In: J. Baines, H. van der Blom, Y. S. Chen, T. Rood (eds.) Historical Consciousness and the Use of the Past in the Ancient World. Sheffield 2019: 313-329.
  • “Das Postfaktische. Sophistische Betrachtungen zu einem postmodernen Erbe.” Zeitschrift für Ideengeschichte 13/2: 113-122.


  • “The dynamics of time. Herodotus’ Histories and contemporary Athens before and after Fornara.” In: T. Harrison, L. Irwin (eds.) Interpreting Herodotus. The Present in the Past. Oxford 2018: 223-42.
  • “Helenas Droge. Erfahrung und Erzählung in der Odyssee.” Jahrbuch der Bayerischen Akademie der Künste, 2018: 203-216.
  • “More than minds. Experience, narrative, and plot.” Partial Answers 16/2, 2018: 279-290.
  • “The eyes of Odysseus. Gaze, desire, and control in the Odyssey.” In: A. Kampakoglou et al. (eds.) Gaze, Vision, and Visuality in Ancient Greek Literature. Berlin/New York 2018: 33-60.
  • “Ornamental and formulaic patterns. The semantic significance of form in early Greek vase-painting and homeric epic.” In: N. Dietrich, M. Squire (eds.) Ornament and Figure in Graeco-Roman Art. Rethinking Visual Ontologies in Classical Antiquity. Berlin/New York 2018: 73-96.
  • “Truth, vividness, and enactive narration in ancient Greek historiography.” In: T. Blank, F. Maier (eds.) Die symphonischen Schwestern. Stuttgart 2018: 69-86.
  • “Homeric motivation and modern narratology. The case of Penelope.” CCJ 64: 70-90.
  • “Die Antike - das ‘nächste Fremde’? ” Merkur 824, 2018: 22-35.


  • “Lessing’s Laocoon and the ‘as-if’ of aesthetic experience.” In: M. Squire, A. Lifschitz (eds.) Rethinking Lessing’s Laocoon: Antiquity, Enlightenment, and the ‘Limits’ of Painting and Poetry. Oxford 2017: 307-326.
  • together with L. Huitink: “Homer’s vividness. An enactive approach.” JHS 137, 2017: 67-91.
  • “The best of the Achaeans? Odysseus and Achilles in the Odyssey.” In: A. Markantonantos, C. Tsangalis (eds.) The Winnowing Oar. New Perspectives in Homeric Studies. Berlin 2017:121-142.
  • “Literary history! The case of ancient Greek literature.” In: J. Grethlein, A. Rengakos (eds.) Griechische Literaturgeschichtsschreibung. Traditionen, Probleme und Konzepte. Berlin/Boston 2017: 11-29.
  • “Au commencement est l’épopée.” in: E. François, Th. Serrier (eds.) Europa, notre histoire. L’héritage européen depuis Homère. Paris 2017: 319-332.
  • “Sloterdijks Odyssee.” Zeitschrift für Ideengeschichte XI/3, 2017: 121-127.


  • “Lucian’s response to Augustine. Conversion and narrative in Confessions and Nigrinus.” Religion in the Roman Empire 2/2, 2016: 256-278.
  • “Minding the middle in Heliodorus’ Ethiopica. False closure, triangular foils, and self-reflection.” Classical Quarterly 66/1, 2016: 316-335.
  • “Sight and reflexivity. Theorising vision in Greek vase-painting.” In: Michael Squire (ed.) Sight and the Ancient Senses, vol. 4 of The Senses in Antiquity. Durham 2016: 85-106.
  • “Ancient Historiography and ‘Future Past’.” In: A. Lianeri (ed.) Knowing Future Time In and Through Greek Historiography. Berlin 2016: 59-78.


  • “Vision and reflexivity in the Odyssey and early vase-painting.” Word & Image 31/3, 2015: 197-212.
  • “Aesthetic experiences, ancient and modern.” New Literary History 46/2, 2015: 309-333.
  • “Is narrative ‘the description of fictional mental functioning’? Heliodorus against Palmer, Zunshine, & Co.” Style 49/3, 2015: 259-283.
  • “Die Tragödien der Shoah.” In: D. Rupnow, I. Roebling-Grau (eds.) “Holocaust”-Fiktion. Kunst jenseits der Authentizität. Munich 2015: 113-131.
  • “Social minds and narrative time. Collective experience in Thucydides and Heliodorus.” Narrative 23, 2015: 123-139.


  • Together with M. Squire: “‘Counterfeit in character but persuasive in appearance’. Reviewing the ainigma of the Tabula Cebetis.” Classical Philology 109/4, 2014: 285-324.
  • “Future past. Time and teleology in (ancient) historiography.” History & Theory 53/3, 2014: 309-330.
  • “Time, tense, and temporality in ancient Greek historiography.” In Oxford Handbooks Online: Classical Studies 2014:
  • “Das Erzählen in der Kommunikation des Evangeliums. Ein literaturwissenschaftlicher Blick auf Christian Grethleins ‘Praktische Theologie’.” In: M. Domsgen, B. Schröder (eds.) Kommunikation des Evangeliums. Leitbegriff der Praktischen Theologie. Leipzig 2014: 231-246.
  • “The value of the past challenged. Myth and ancient history in the attic orators.” In: C. Pieper, J. Kerr (eds.) Valuing the Past in the Greco-Roman World. Proceedings from the Penn Leiden Colloquia on Ancient Values VII. Leiden 2014: 326-354.
  • “Theophilos. Edition, introduction, commentary, and translation.” In: H.-J. Gehrke (ed.) Fragmente der griechischen Historiker V. Brill Online 2014.
  • “Das homerische Epos als Quelle, Überrest und Monument.” In: O. Dally, T. Hölscher, S. Muth, R. M. Schneider (eds.) Medien der Geschichte - Antikes Griechenland und Rom. Berlin/Boston 2014: 54-73.
  • “The many faces of the past in archaic and classical Greece.” In: K. Raaflaub (ed.) Thinking, Recording, and Writing History in the Ancient World. Chichester 2014: 234-255.


  • “Choral intertemporality in the Oresteia.” In: M. Hopman, R. Gagne (eds.) Choral Mediations in Greek Tragedy. Cambridge 2013: 78-99.
  • “Democracy, oratory, and the rise of historiography in fifth-century Greece.” In: J. P. Arnason, K. Raaflaub, P. Wagner (eds.) The Greek Polis and the Invention of Democracy: A Politico-cultural Transformation and its Interpretations. Chichester 2013: 126-143.
  • “The presence of the past in Thucydides.” In: M. Tamiolaki, A. Tsakmakis (eds.) Thucydides’ Techniques. Between Historical Research and Literary Representation. Berlin/Boston 2013: 91-118.
  • “Zeit, Erzählung und Raum in Augustins Confessiones.” In: F. Kragl, C. Schneider (eds.) Erzähllogiken in der Literatur des Mittelalters und der frühen Neuzeit. Heidelberg 2013: 45-69.
  • “Von Platon zu Avatar.” Sinn und Form 65/3, 2013: 351-361.


  • Together with C. Krebs: “The historian’s plupast. Introductory remarks on its forms and functions.” In: J. Grethlein, C. Krebs (eds.) Time and Narrative in Ancient Historiography. The “Plupast” from Herodotus to Appian. Cambridge 2012: 1-16.
  • “Homer and homeric history.” In: J. Marincola, L. Llewellyn-Jones, C. Maciver (eds.) Greek Notions of the Past in the Archaic and Classical Eras. Edinburgh 2012: 14-36.
  • “Myth, morals, and metafiction in Jonathan Littel’s Les Bienveillantes.” PMLA 127/1, 2012: 77-93.
  • “A slim girl and the fat of the land in Theocritus, id. 10.” CQ 62/2, 2012: 603-617.
  • “The use and abuse of history in the Plataean debate (Thuc. 3.52-68).” In: J. Grethlein, C. Krebs (eds.) Time and Narrative in Ancient Historiography. The “Plupast” from Herodotus to Appian. Cambridge 2012: 57-75.
  • “Xenophon’s Anabasis from character to narrator.” JHS 132, 2012: 23-40.
  • “Die Griechen-Barbaren Dichotomie im Horizont der conditio humana.” Heidelberger Jahrbuch 54: Menschen - Bilder, 2012: 135-147.
  • “The flower of virginity between metaphor and metonymy.” In: H. Hatry (ed.) Not a Rose. Milan/New York 2012: 133.


  • “Die Fabel.” In: B. Zimmermann (ed.) Handbuch der Altertumswissenschaften. Griechische Literatur. Munich 2011: 321-325.
  • “Divine, human, and poetic time in Pindar, Pythian 9.” Mnemosyne 64, 2011: 383-409.
  • “Herodot und Xerxes. Meta-Historie in den Historien.” In: R. Rollinger, B. Truschnegg, R. Bichler (eds.) Herodot und das persische Weltreich. Wiesbaden 2011: 103-122.
  • “‘Historia magistra vitae’ in Herodotus and Thucydides? The exemplary use of the past and ancient and modern temporalities.” In: A. Lianeri (ed.) The Western Time of Ancient History. Historiographical Encounters with the Greek and Roman Past. Cambridge 2011: 247-263.
  • “The rise of Greek historiography and the invention of prose.” In: A. Feldherr (ed.) Oxford History of Historical Writing. Oxford 2011: 148-170.
  • “Sandalenfilme aus den Grünbein-Studios? Zum Verhältnis von Antike und Moderne in den Gedichten von Durs Grünbein.” Poetica 43/3-4, 2011: 411-439.


  • “Beyond intentional history. A phenomenological model of the idea of history.” In: L. Foxhall, H.-J. Gehrke, N. Luraghi (eds.) Intentional History. Spinning Time in Ancient Greece. Stuttgart 2010: 327-342.
  • “Experientiality and narrative reference. With thanks to Thucydides.” History and Theory 49, 2010: 315-335.
  • “From imperishable glory to history. The Iliad and the Trojan War.” In: K. Raaflaub, D. Konstan (eds.) Epic and History. London 2010: 122-144.
  • Together with A. Rengakos: “Introduction.” In: J. Grethlein, A. Rengakos (eds.) Narratology and Interpretation. The Content of Narrative Form in Ancient Literature. Berlin 2010: 1-11.
  • “The narrative reconfiguration of time beyond Ricœur.” Poetics Today 31, 2010: 313-329.
  • “‘Narrative Referenz’. Erfahrungshaftigkeit und Erzählung.” In: T. Breyer, D. Creutz (eds.) Erfahrung und Geschichte. Historische Sinnbildung im Pränarrativen. Berlin/New York 2010: 21-39.
  • “S. S. officers as tragic heroes? Jonathan Littell’s Les Bienveillantes and the narrative representation of the Shoah.” Style 44, 2010: 566-585.
  • “Historisches Fieber.” Ruperta Carola 1/10, 2010: 26-30.
  • “Homer – die epische Erinnerung an ‘unvergänglichen Ruhm’.” In: K.-J. Hölkeskamp, E. Stein-Hölkeskamp (eds.) Erinnerungsorte der Antike. Die griechische Welt. Munich 2010: 386-399.


  • “How not to do history. Xerxes in Herodotus’ Histories.” AJPh 130, 2009: 195-218.
  • “Philosophical and structuralist narratologies – worlds apart?” In: J. Grethlein, A. Rengakos (eds.) Narratology and Interpretation. The Content of Narrative Form in Ancient Literature. Berlin/New York 2009: 153-174.


  • “Eine herodoteische Deutung der Sizilischen Expedition (Thuc. 7.87.5f.).” Hermes 136, 2008: 129-142.
  • “Memory and material objects in the Iliad and the Odyssey.” JHS 128, 2008: 27-51.
  • Ilias und Odyssee. Anfänge der europäischen Literatur.” In: Zeit der Helden. Die ‘dunklen Jahrhunderte’ Griechenlands 1200-700 v. Chr.. Karlsruhe 2008: 332-339.


  • “Diomedes Redivivus. A new reading of Mimnermus fr 14 W2.” Mnemosyne 60, 2007: 102-111.
  • “Epic narrative and ritual. The case of the funeral games in the Iliad.” In: A. Bierl, R. Lämmle, K. Wesselmann, C. Auffarth (eds.) Literatur und Religion I. Wege zu einer mythisch-rituellen Poetik bei den Griechen. Berlin/New York 2007: 151-177.
  • “The hermeneutics and poetics of memory in Aeschylus’ Persae.” Arethusa 40, 2007: 363-396.
  • “The poetics of the bath in the Iliad.” HSCPh 103, 2007: 25-49.
  • “Variationen des ‘nächsten Fremden’. Die Perser des Aischylos im 20. Jahrhundert.” Antike und Abendland 53, 2007: 1-20.


  • “How old is Nestor?” Eikasmos 17, 2006: 11-16.
  • “Individuelle Identität und Conditio Humana. Die Bedeutung und Funktion von GENEH im Blättergleichnis in Il. 6, 146-149.” Philologus 150, 2006: 3-13.
  • “The manifold uses of the epic past. The embassy scene in Hdt. 7.153-163.” AJPh 127, 2006: 485-509.
  • “Nam quid ea memorem. The dialectical relation of res gestae and memoria rerum gestarum in Sallust’s Bellum Jugurthinum.” CQ 56, 2006: 135-148.
  • “The unthucydidean voice of Sallust.” TAPhA 138, 2006: 299-327.


  • “Eine Anthropologie des Essens. Der Essensstreit in der Ilias und die Erntemetapher in Il. 19, 221-224.” Hermes 133, 2005: 257-279.
  • “Gefahren des λόγος. Thukydides’ Historien und die Grabrede des Perikles.” Klio 87/1, 2005: 41-71.
  • “Sophokles und Athen. Überlegungen zum Oidipus auf Kolonos.” Freiburger Universitätsblätter 169, 2005: 47-75.


  • “Aeschylus’ Eumenides and legal anthropology.” In: D. Leao (ed.) Nomos. Direito e sociedade na Antiguidade Clássica. Madrid 2004: 113-125.
  • Logográphos und Thuc. 1.21.1.” Prometheus 30, 2004: 209-216.


  • “Aesch. Eum. 475.” Philologus 147, 2003: 347-351.
  • “Die poetologische Bedeutung des aristotelischen Mitleidbegriffs. Überlegungen zu Nähe und Distanz in der griechischen Tragödie.” Poetica 35, 2003: 41-67.


  • “Aesch. Suppl. 498.” Lexis 19, 2001: 171-174.
  • “Aesch. Suppl. 946-949.” Lexis 19, 2001: 175-182.

Book Reviews

  • “Experience and history – the reach and limits of phenomenological approaches to history. A review essay on David Carr, Experience and History. Phenomenological Perspectives on the Historical World.History & Theory 58/2, 2019: 302-312.
  • “G. A. Gazis, Homer and the Poetics of Hades, Oxford, 2018.” Classical Philology 114/3, 2019: 517-520.
  • “D. Bransome, Textual Rivals. Self-Presentation in Herodotus’ Histories, Ann Arbor, 2013.” The American Historical Review, 2015:1088-1089.
  • “L.F. Garcia, Homeric Durability. Telling Time in the Iliad, Cambridge, MA, 2013.” AJPh 135/3, 2014: 481-496.
  • “B. Dignas, R.R.R. Smith (eds.), Historical and Religious Memory in the Ancient World, Oxford, 2012.” JHS 133, 2013: 222-223.
  • “R. Scodel, Epic Facework. Self-presentation and Social Interaction in Homer, Swansea, 2008.” Mnemosyne 64, 2011: 481-485.
  • “R. H. Sternberg, Tragedy Offstage. Suffering and Sympathy in Ancient Athens, Austin 2006.” Gnomon 81, 2009: 275-277.
  • “C. Traulsen, Das säkulare Asyl in der Alten Welt, Tübingen 2004.” Theologische Literaturzeitung Juni, 2005: 618-620.
  • “J. McGlew, Citizens on Stage. Comedy and Political Culture in the Athenian Democracy, Ann Arbor 2002.” Gnomon 76, 2004: 643-645.
  • “T. Kindt, H.-H. Müller (eds.), What is Narratology? Questions and Answers Regarding the Status of a Theory, Berlin/New York 2003.” iaslonline, 2004.
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