Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2003.01.30
Roilos and Yatromanolakis on Wright on Alexiou. Response to 2003.01.10
Response by Panagiotis Roilos and Dimitrios Yatromanolakis, Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University (firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com)
We read Dr. Diana Wright's review with a lot of interest. We are intrigued by her statement about the "close comparison" she made between the new edition and the original one. Dr. Wright focuses particularly on pages 14-17. It seems, though, that she did not even read and compare the few pages she is commenting on.1 Just an example from her selection of quotations:
"From the third century . . . a law from Gambreion in Asia Minor . . . specified that the dress worn by women at funerals should be dark, not [del.: the usual] white, and that it should not be soiled [add.: (and presumably torn)]. Women are selected as the chief offenders, [add.: and are to be condemned] and punished for disobedience . . .." (2002, 16-17)
The full passages as actually printed in both editions are as follows:
"From the third century B.C. ... a law from Gambreion in Asia Minor ... specifies that the dress worn by women at funerals should be dark, not the usual white, and that it should not be torn. Women are selected as the chief offenders, and are to be punished for disobedience by the gynaikonomoi with exclusion from the state festival of the Thesmophoria and from sacrifice to any god for a period of ten years" (1974).
"From the third century B.C. ... a law from Gambreion in Asia Minor ... specifies that the dress worn by women at funerals should be dark, not white, and that it should not be soiled (and presumably torn). Women are selected as the chief offenders, and are to be condemned and punished by the gynaikonomoi at the purifications before the festival of the Thesmophoria, with exclusion from sacrifice to any god for a period of ten years" (2002).
This is perhaps enough to show what Dr. Wright means by "close comparison". Other changes introduced, for example, in pages 14-17 (the specific pages she focuses on) should have been quoted by her.
However, we are most grateful for her points discussed in her footnotes 7 and 4 (concerning the special size of the Greek "large, breast-shaped" lemons [sic], and recent developments in Greek funeral rites, that is, the possible use of "disposable packets with napkins and plastic forks specifically for the kolluba served at the fortieth-day and one-year commemorations" [sic]).
1. Another example of her hasty approach to the book is the fact that she states that it consists of 320 pages, instead of the actual number of pages (which is 293).