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College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Classics

Faculty - John C. Franklin, Associate Professor

John Franklin

John C. Franklin, Associate Professor

Area of expertise

Early Greek literature and cultural history, Near Eastern interface, music archeology

Contact Information
Email: john.franklin@uvm.edu
Phone: (802) 656-0649
Office: Room 304, 481 Main Street
Office Hours: On sabbatical Fall 2013–Spring 2014

I teach Greek and Latin language and literature, especially epic, lyric and comedy, with occasional escapades into the Ancient Near East, and music archeology.

Much of my research has dealt with early Greek cultural history at the Near Eastern interface(s), focusing especially on the interaction of poetic/musical traditions, always in hopes of elucidating broader issues. My undergraduate background, in music composition and electronic music (B.M. new England Conservatory 1988), remains an influence: the history of ancient music technology, both physical and conceptual, is crucial to my research.

In my doctoral thesis (Terpander: The Invention of Music in the Orientalizing Period, University College London, 2002) I argued that vestiges of the Mesopotamian tonal system can be detected in the earliest layers of Greek musical evidence. Most of my publications have resulted from trying to elucidate the historical and cultural circumstances behind this connection. Eventually I will bring it all together in a book called The Middle Muse: Mesopotamian Echoes in Early Greek Music, now 10 years overdue for a contract with OUP. Why? The last 8 years have been consumed by another book that grew out of the first, provisionally called Kinyras: The Divine Lyre. Here I hope to harmonize the Greco-Roman material for Kinyras, the mythical priest-king of pre-Greek Cyprus, with Near Eastern evidence for the divinization of temple lyres, like the Divine Kinnaru who was worshipped at Ugarit.

I have also 'recomposed' music in ancient Greek style for two plays, the Libation Bearers of Aeschylus (1999, London Festival of Greek Drama) and Aristophanes' Clouds (2000, Edinburgh Fringe). Musical selections from these are included on my CD, The Cyprosyrian Girl: Hits of the Ancient Hellenes, along with other 'impressions' of ancient music. I have also developed a Virtual Lyre for the Reaktor platform, which lets me incorporate microtonal tunings into various studio projects.

I am married to Glynnis Fawkes, an archeological artist and illustrator. We have two children, Sylvan, f.k.a. Thomas (9) and Helen (7). They all keep me going somehow.

I'm also a huge analog modular synthesis buff.

Link to my external website: http://www.kingmixers.com/

VIDEO: “South-Slavic Heroic Melody: Towards a New Method of Analysis”, Singers and Tales in the 21st Century: The Legacies of Milman Parry and Albert Lord (December 3–5, 2010, Harvard (see above).

VIDEO (by Max Freedlund): “Unveiling UVM’s Ancient Greek Kithara”, with Tanner Lake and John Butterfield, Feb. 15, 2013, UVM.

Selected Publications

"Diatonic Music in Greece: A Reassessment of its Antiquity," Mnemosyne 56.1 (2002), 669-702.

"Harmony in Greek and Indo-Iranian Cosmology", The Journal of Indo-European Studies 30.1/2 (2002), 1-25.

"The Language of Musical Technique in Greek Epic Diction", Gaia. Revue interdisciplinaire sur la Grèce archaïque 7 (2003), 295-307.

""Once More the Poet': Keats, Severn and the Grecian Lyre", Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome 48 (2003), 227-240.Republished in The Keats-Shelley Review 18 (2004).

"Structural Sympathies in Ancient Greek and South Slavic Heroic Singing", in Hickmann, E./Eichmann, R. (eds.), Musikarchäologische Quellengruppen: Bodenurkunden, mündliche Überlieferung, Aufzeichnung. Studien zur Musikarchäologie 4 (Rahden, 2004).

"Hearing Greek Microtones", in Hagel, S./Harrauer, Ch. (eds.), Ancient Greek Music in Performance. Wiener Studien Beiheft 29 (Vienna, 2005),9-50 (with CD selections).

"Lyre Gods of the Bronze Age Musical Koine", The Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions 6.2 (2006), 39-70.

"'A Feast of Music': The Greco-Lydian Musical Movement on the Assyrian Periphery", in Collins, B. J./Bachvarova, M./ Rutherford, I. (eds.), Anatolian Interfaces: Hittites, Greeks and Their Neighbors. (Oxford, Oxbow, 2007), 193-203.

"The Global Economy of Music in the Ancient Near East", in Westenholz, J. G. (ed.), Sounds of Ancient Music (Jerusalem, Keter Press, 2007), 27-37.

"'Song-Benders of Circular Choruses': Dithyramb and the 'Demise of Music'", in Wilson, P./ Kowalzig, B. (eds.), Song Culture and Social Change: The Contexts of Dithyramb (Oxford, OUP, 2013),213–36.

'Cyprus, Greek Epic, and Kypriaka', in Y. Maurey/E. Seroussi/J. Goodnick Westenholz, Yuval. Studies of the Jewish Music Research Centre. Vol. 8: Sounds from the Past: Music in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean Worlds (Jerusalem, in press).

"Sweet Psalmist of Israel: The Kinnor and Royal Ideology in the United Monarchy", in W. Heimpel (ed.), Strings and threads: a celebration of the work of Anne Draffkorn Kilmer (Winona Lake, Ind., 2011), 99–114).

“Music”, “Aulos” and “Phorminx” in Finkelberg, M. (ed.), The Homer Encyclopedia (Oxford, Blackwell, 2011), s.vv.

"Remembering Music in Early Greece", in S. Mirelman (ed.), The Historiography of Music in Global Perspective (Piscataway, NJ, Gorgias Press), 9-50.

"Kinyras and the Musical Stratigraphy of Early Cyprus", for proceedings of Musical Traditions in the Middle East: Reminiscences of a Distant Past, (12/09), University of Leiden (12/2009).

"The Lesbian Singers: Towards a Reconstruction of Hellanicus' Karneian Victors", in D. Castaldo/A. Manieri (eds), Poesia, musica e agoni nella Grecia antica (2012), 720–64.

"Divinized Instruments and Divine Communication in Mesopotamia", in Jiménez Pasalodos, R. (ed.), Music & Ritual: Bridging Material & Living Cultures (in press)

"Ethnicity and Musical Identity in the Lyric Landscape of Early Cyprus", Greek and Roman Musical Studies 2 (in press).

Work in Progress

Kinyras: The Divine Lyre (in progress, Oxford University Press).You can read Glynnis's graphic epyllion based on this book here

The Middle Muse: Mesopotamian Echoes in Early Greek Music (in progress, Oxford University Press).

The Stormy Seas of Cyprus: The Poetics of Eastern Wandering between Greek and Cypriot Epic

The Marvellous March of Mopsos.

"A Musical Maze for Asklepios? An Archaeoacoustic Assessment of the Thymele at Epidauros".

"The ‘Asiatic Kithara’: Hellanicus, Euripides, and the Archaeology of Music".

"Amphion at Delphi: Making Musical History with Aristotle and Callisthenes".

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