Book Launch: AI in Greek and Roman Epic

The death of Talos, an ancient automaton (an artificial giant) made of bronze, depicted on a krater from the 5th century BC, now in the Jatta National Archaeological Museum in Ruvo di Puglia, Italy. Wikipedia, common license.

We celebrate the publication of the collected volume Artificial Intelligence in Greek and Roman Epic, edited by Andriana Domouzi and Silvio Bär.

Time and place: Aug. 21, 2024 4:15 PM – 6:00 PM

Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas, University of Oslo

Everyone talks about Artificial Intelligence (AI) these days, and in many ways, it appears that we stand at the threshold of a new era that prompts us to reconsider, redefine and reinvent our relation to computer technology and what follows with it. However, although no one could even have dreamt of all the possibilities available to us today (and of all the challenges we face), our ancestors, too, had ideas about what non-human, «artificial» thinking and corresponding inventions and innovations might look like.

There is ample evidence for such thinking in ancient Greek and Roman antiquity. Andriana Domouzi (University of Athens) and Silvio Bär (University of Oslo) have recently edited a volume comprising seventeen chapters written by a group of internationally renowned scholars that offers the first scholarly exploration of concepts and representations of AI in ancient Greek and Roman epic. Contributors look at how Hesiod, Homer, Apollonius of Rhodes, Moschus, Ovid and Valerius Flaccus crafted the first literary concepts concerned with automata and the quest for artificial life, as well as technological intervention improving human life. Inter alia, they explore the representations of Pandora in Hesiod, and Homeric automata such as Hephaestus’ wheeled tripods, the Phaeacian king Alcinous’ golden and silver guard dogs, and even the Trojan Horse. Later examples cover AI in the Argonautica of Apollonius and Valerius Flaccus, and Pygmalion’s ivory woman in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Furthermore, the volume also looks at conceptualizations of AI by epic poets, the cyborg potential of the epic hero and the literary implications of ancient technology. Finally, the volume concludes with chapters on the reception of ancient literary AI in contemporary film and literature.

Artificial Intelligence in Greek and Roman Epic has been published by Bloomsbury and is now available for purchase. We celebrate the publication of our volume and invite everyone interested in the topic to join us at the event. The two editors will introduce the volume, and some of the contributors will briefly present their chapters. Thereafter it will be possible to ask questions and to order the book at a discount (for attendees only).

The event is open to the general public, and everyone interested is happily invited to attend. For those wishing to attend via Zoom, please send an email to Silvio Bär in order to receive the login details. (For those wishing to attend in person, no registration is required.)

After the event, we will head to Café Eckers for celebration drinks and further informal discussion. Everyone is welcome to join in (pay your own expenses).


Silvio Bär

Book Launch: AI in Greek and Roman Epic – Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas (

Legg igjen en kommentar

Din e-postadresse vil ikke bli publisert. Obligatoriske felt er merket med *