Christopher Faraone

Christopher Faraone

Christopher Faraone (Ph.D. Stanford University, 1988) is the Frank Curtis Springer and Gertrude Melcher Springer Professor in the Humanities, and Professor in the Department of Classics and the College. He works primarily on ancient Greek religion and poetry. He is co-editor of Magika Hiera: Ancient Greek Magic and Religion (1991), Masks of Dionysus (1993), Initiation in Ancient Greek Rituals and Narratives: New Critical Perspectives (2003), Prostitutes and Courtesans in the Ancient World (2005), and Animal Sacrifice Revisited: Issues of Violence, Solidarity, and Centrality in a Greek and Roman Religious Practice (2011). He is author of Talismans and Trojan Horses: Guardian Statues in Ancient Greek Myth and Ritual (1992), Ancient Greek Love Magic (1999), and The Stanzaic Architecture of Ancient Greek Elegiac Poetry (2008).


Department of Classics
1115 E. 58th St
Chicago, IL 60637

office: Classics 25C
tel.: 773-702-8520
fax: 773-702-9861

Curriculum Vitae

Honors and Awards

  • Loeb Foundation Grant (Spring 2009)
  • Scholar in Residence, Getty Research Center (Winter 2009)
  • Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study (Autumn 2008)
  • University of Chicago Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching (2007–2008)
  • Senior Fellow, Franke Institute for the Humanities, University of Chicago (2002–2003).
  • Guggenheim Fellowship (April–Dec. 1997)
  • NEH Fellowship for University Professors (1995–96)
  • Junior Fellow, Center for Hellenic Studies (1991–92)
  • Director, NEH Grant for “Masks of Dionysus” Conference (August 1990–February 1991)
  • ACLS Grant for Recent Recipients of the PhD (January–July 1990)
  • NEH Summer Stipend (July–August 1989)


Monographs (author)

  • The Stanzaic Architecture of Archaic Greek Elegy (Oxford University Press, 2008)
    • Notices and reviews: Bryn Mawr Classical Review 00.08.30 (2008); Greece & Rome 56 (2009) 97; American Journal of Philology 130 (2009) 291–94; Journal of Hellenic Studies 129 (2009) 136–38.
  • Ancient Greek Love Magic (Harvard University Press, 1999); paperback 2000; modern Greek edition (Papadema, 2004); French edition, (Editions Payot et Rivages 2006).
    • Notices and reviews: Chronicle of Higher Education, (November 26, 1999) A26; The New Republic (Aug. 21, 2000) 44–48; Classical Review 50 (2000) 476–78; BMCR 00.02.19 (2000); Phoenix (2001) 165–68; The Historian (2001) 677–78; Journal of the History of Sexuality 10 (2001) 542–45; Religious Studies Review (April 2002) 112; Les études classiques 70 (2002) 395–96; Classical World 96 (2003) 219–21; American Journal of Archaeology 107 (2003) 682–84; Ancient Philosophy 23 (2003) 415–16; Greece & Rome 50.2 (2003) 272–73.
  • Talismans and Trojan Horses: Guardian Statues in Ancient Greek Myth and Ritual (Oxford University Press, 1992).
    • Reviews: NY Rev. of Books (Dec. 17,1992) 47ff.; Classical Review 43 (1993) 312–13; “Review Feature” in Camb. Arch. Rev. 4 (1994) 270–89; Jour. of Early Chr. Stud. 2 (1994) 340–44; Recommended in Harv. Div. Bull. 23 (1994) 30; Am. Hist. Rev. (April 1994) 530–31.

Monographs (co-editor)

  • (with Fred Naiden), Ancient Victims, Modern Observers: Reflections on Greek and Roman Animal Sacrifice (Cambridge, forthcoming 2011)
  • (with Laura McClure) Prostitutes and Courtesans in the Ancient World (Madison 2006).
    Reviews: BMCR (electronic) 2006.05.40, Journal of Roman Studies 97 (2007) 279–81
  • (with David Dodd) Initiation in Ancient Greek Rituals and Narratives: New Critical Perspectives (Routledge 2003).
    Reviews: CR 57 (2007) 152–55. The press did not send out review copies until May 2006.
  • (with Thomas Carpenter) Masks of Dionysus (Cornell University Press, 1993; second printing 1996).
    Reviews: TLS (April 1993) 8; JHS 115 (1995) 186–87; CR 45 (1995) 75–76; History of Religions (1996) 73–76; Gnomon 69 (1997) 389–398.
  • (with Dirk Obbink) Magika Hiera: Ancient Greek Magic and Religion (Oxford University Press, 1991; paperback 1996).
    Reviews: BMCR 2 (1991) 208–222; CW 86 (1993) 259–60; CR 42 (1992) 89–90.

Articles in Refereed Journals

  • “Muses and Titans: How the Hesiodic Poets Individuate Deities and Divine Agency in the TheogonyCahiers des mondes anciens (forthcoming 2011).
  • “Curses, Crime Detection and Conflict Resolution at the Festival of Demeter Thesmophoros” Journal of Hellenic Studies (forthcoming 2011).
  • “The Stanzaic Architecture of Isidorus, Hymns 2 and 4 (SEG 8.549 and 51)” Classical Quarterly (forthcoming 2011).
  • “Magical and Medical Approaches to the Wandering Womb in the Ancient Greek World” Classical Antiquity 30 (2011) 1–32.
  • “An Athenian Tradition of Dactylic Paeans to Apollo and Asclepius: Choral Degeneration or a Flexible System of Non-Strophic Dactyls?" Mnemosyne 64 (2011) 206–31.
  • “A Blinding Curse from the Fountain of Anna Perenna in Rome” Studi e Materiali di Storia delle Religioni 76 (2010) 65–67.
  • “Notes on Some Greek Amulets” ZPE 172 (2010) 213–19.
  • “A Greek Magical Magical Gemstone from the Black Sea: Amulet or Miniature Handbook?” Kernos 23 (2010) 79–102.
  • “Stopping Evil, Pain, Anger and Blood: The Ancient Greek Tradition of Protective Iambic Incantations” Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies 49 (2009) 73–102.
  • “Mystery Cults and Incantations: Evidence for Orphic Charms in Euripides’ Cyclops 646–48?” Rheinisches Museum 151 (2008) 127–42.
  • “Amulets for Shortness of Breath and the Detection of Thieves: Notes on Some Recently Published Magical Gemstones” ZPE 160 (2007) 158–9.
  • (with Joseph Rife) “A Greek Curse against a Thief from the North Cemetery at Roman Kenchreai” ZPE 160 (2007) 141–57.
  • “Gli incantesimi esametrici ed i poemi epici nella Grecia antica” QUCC 84 (2006) 11–26. (appeared in 2008)
  • “Stanzaic Structure and Responsion in the Elegiac Poetry of Tyrtaeus” Mnemosyne 59 (2006) 19–52.
  • “Curses and Blessings in Ancient Greek Oaths” Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religion 5 (2006) 140–58.
  • “A Skull, a Gold Amulet and a Ceramic Pot: Evidence for Necromancy in the Vigna Codini?” MHNH: Revista Internacional de Investigación sobre Magia y Astrología Antiguas 5 (2005) 27–44.
  • “Exhortation and Meditation: Alternating Stanzas as a Structural Device in Early Greek Elegy” Classical Philology 100 (2005) 317–36.
  • “Catalogues, Priamels and Stanzaic Structure in Early Greek Elegy,” Transactions of the American Philological Association 135 (2005) 249–65.
  • (with B. Garnand and C. Lopez-Ruiz) “Micah’s Mother (Judges 17:1–4) and a Curse from Carthage (KAI 89): Evidence for the Semitic Origin of Greek and Latin Curses against Thieves?” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 64 (2005) 161–86.
  • “Orpheus’ Final Performance: Necromancy and a Singing Head on Lesbos” Studi Italiani di Filologia Classica 97 (2004) 5–27, reprinted in Italian as “L’ultima esibizione di Orfeo: negromanzia e una testa cantante a Lesbo” in G. Guidorizzi and M. Melotti (eds.), Orfeo e le sue metamorfosi: Mito, arte, poesia (Rome 2005) 65–85.
  • “Twisting and Turning in the Prayer of the Samothracian Initiates (Aristophanes Peace 276–79)” Museum Helveticum 61 (2004) 30–50.
  • “Hipponax Frag. 128W: Epic Parody or Expulsive Incantation?” Classical Antiquity 23 (2004) 209–45.
  • “In the Horn of an Ox: A Curious Hexametrical Curse from Hellenistic Cyrene (SGD 150)” MHNH: Revista Internacional de Investigación sobre Magia y Astrología Antiguas 4 (2004) 51–62.
  • (with E. Teeter) “Egyptian Maat and Hesiodic Metis” Mnemosyne 57 (2004) 177–208.
  • “New Light on Ancient Greek Exorcisms of the Wandering Womb” Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 144 (2003) 189–97.
  • “The Undercutter, the Woodcutter, and Greek Demon Names Ending in -tomos (Hom. Hymn to Demeter 228–29)” American Journal of Philology 122 (2001) 1–10.
  • “Handbook or Anthology?: The Collection of Greek and Egyptian Incantations in Late Hellenistic Egypt’ Archiv für Religionsgeschichte 2 (2001) 195–214.
  • “Curses and Social Control in the Law Courts of Classical Athens” Dike: Revista di storia del diritto greco ed ellenistico (1999) 99–121, reprinted with minor changes in D. Cohen (ed.) Demokratie, Recht und soziale Kontrolle in klassischen Athen, Schriften des Historischen Kollegs Kolloquien 49 (Munich 2002) 77–92.
  • “Salvation and Female Heroics in the Parodos of Aristophanes’ LysistrataJournal of Hellenic Studies 117 (1997) 38–59.
  • “Taking the Nestor’s Cup Inscription Seriously: Conditional Curses and Erotic Magic in the Earliest Greek Hexameters” Classical Antiquity 15 (1996) 77–112.
  • “The ‘Performative Future’ in Three Hellenistic Incantations and Theocritus’ Second IdyllClassical Philology 90 (1995) 1–15.
  • “Deianeira’s Mistake and the Demise of Heracles: Erotic Magic in Sophocles’ TrachiniaeHelios 21 (1994) 115–35.
  • “Response” in “Talismans and Trojan Horses: Guardian Statues in Ancent Greek Myth and Ritual, a Review Feature” Cambridge Archaeological Review 4 (1994) 287–89.
  • “Three Notes on Greek Magical Texts” Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 100 (1994) 81–85.
  • “Molten Wax, Spilt Wine and Mutilated Animals: Sympathetic Magic in Early Greek and Near Eastern Oath Ceremonies” Journal of Hellenic Studies 113 (1993) 60–80.
  • “The Wheel, the Whip and Other Implements of Torture: Erotic Magic in Pindar Pythian 4. 213–19” Classical Journal 88 (1993) 1–19.
  • “Aristophanes Amphiaraus Frag. 29 (Kassel-Austin): Oracular Response or Erotic Incantation?” Classical Quarterly 42 (1992) 320–27.
  • “Sex and Power: Male-Targetting Aphrodisiacs in the Greek Magical Tradition” Helios 19 (1992) 92–103.
  • “Binding and Burying the Forces of Evil: The Defensive Use of ‘Voodoo Dolls’ in Ancient Greece” Classical Antiquity 10 (1991) 165–205.
  • “Aphrodite’s KESTOS and Apples for Atalanta: Aphrodisiacs in Early Greek Myth and Ritual” Phoenix 44 (1990) 224–43.
  • “An Accusation of Magic in Classical Athens (Aristophanes Wasps 946–48)” Transactions of the American Philological Association 119 (1989) 149–61.
  • “Clay Hardens and Wax Melts: Magical Role-Reversal in Vergil’s Eighth EclogueClassical Philology 84 (1989) 294–300.
  • (with R. Kotansky), “An Inscribed Gold Phylactery in Stamford, Connecticut” Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 75 (1988) 257–66.
  • “Hermes without the Marrow: Another Look at a Puzzling Magical Spell” Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 72 (1988) 279–86.
  • “Hephaestus the Magician and the Near Eastern Parallels for the Gold and Silver Dogs of Alcinous (Od. 7.91–4)” Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies 28 (1987) 257–80.
  • “Callimachus Epigram 29.5–6 (Gow-Page)” Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 63 (1986) 53–56.
  • “Aeschylus’ Hymnos Desmios (Eum. 306) and Attic Judicial Curse Tablets” Journal of Hellenic Studies 105 (1985) 150–54.

Articles or Chapters in Collaborative Works

  • Preface to “Rites” section in A. B. Stallsmith (ed.), Cults and Rites in Ancient Greece: Essays on Religion and Society by Michael H. Jameson (Cambridge forthcoming 2011).
  • “Gender Differentiation and Role Models in the Worship of Dionysus: The Thracian and Thessalian Pattern” in A. Bernabé (ed.) Redefining Dionysus (Madrid forthcoming 2012).
  • “The Problem of Dense Concentrations of Data for Cartographers (and Chronographers) of Ancient Mediterranean Magic: Some Illustrative Case Studies from the East” in M. Piranomante et al. (ed.) Contextos màgicos/Contesti magici (Rome forthcoming 2012).
  • “Text, Image and Medium: The Evolution of Greco-Roman Magical Gemstones” C. Entwistle and N. Adams (eds), Gems of Heaven: Recent Research on Engraved Gemstones in Late Antiquity, British Museum Research Papers no. 179 (forthcoming 2011).
  • “Magic and Medicine in the Roman Imperial Period: Two Case Studies” in G. Bohak, S. Shaked, and I.J. Yuval (eds.) Continuity and Innovation in the Magical Tradition (2011) 135–57.
  • “Boubrôstis, Meat Eating and Comedy: Erysichthon as Famine Demon in Callimachus’ Hymn to Demeter” M.A. Harder, R.F. Regtuit, and G.C. Wakker (eds.), Gods and Religion in Hellenistic Poetry, Hellenistica Groningana 16 (Leuven 2011) 61–80.
  • “Hexametrical Incantations as Oral and Written Phenomena” in A.P.M.H. Lardinois, J.H. Blok & M.G.M. van der Poel (eds.) Sacred Words: Orality, Literacy and Religion, Orality and Literacy in the Ancient World 8 (Leiden 2011) 191–204.
  • “Rushing and Falling into Milk: New Perspectives on the Orphic Gold Tablets from Thurii and Pelinna” in R. G. Edmonds (ed.) Further along the Path: Recent Studies in the Orphic Gold Leaves (Cambridge 2010) 304–24.
  • “Kronos and the Titans as Powerful Ancestors: A Case Study of the Greek Gods in Later Magical Spells” in J. N. Bremmer and A. Erskine (eds), The Gods of Ancient Greece (Edinburgh 2010) 388–405.
  • (with Amina Kropp) “Inversion, Adversion and Perversion as Strategies in Latin Curse-Tablets” R. Gordon and F. Marco Simón (eds.), Magical Practice in the Latin West: Papers from the International Conference held at the University of Zaragoza, 30 Sept. – 1 Oct. 2005 (Leiden 2009) 381–98.
  • “Does Tantalus Drink the Blood, or Not?: An Enigmatic Series of Inscribed Hematite Gemstones” in U. Deli and C. Walde (eds.), Antike Mythen: Medien, Transformationen und Konstruktionen (Berlin 2009) 248–73.
  • “A Socratic Leaf-Charm for Headache (Charmides 155b–157c), Orphic Gold Leaves and the Ancient Greek Tradition of Leaf Amulets” in J. Dijkstra, J. Kroesen and Y. Kuiper (edd.) Myths, Martyrs, and Modernity. Studies in the History of Religions in Honour of Jan N. Bremmer (Leiden 2009) 145–66.
  • “Family and Household Religion in Ancient Greece” in J. Bodel and S.M. Olyan (eds.) Household and Family Religion in Antiquity: Contextual and Comparative Approaches (London 2008) 210–18.
  • “The Rise of the Demon Womb in Greco-Roman Antiquity” in M. Parca and A. Tzanetou (eds.) Finding Persephone: Women’s Rituals in Greece and Rome (Bloomington 2007) 154–64.
  • “Magic, Medicine and Eros in the Prologue to Theocritus’ Eleventh Idyll” in M. Fantuzzi and T. Papanghelis (eds.), Brill’s Companion to Greek and Latin Pastoral, Mnemosyne Supplement (Leiden 2006) 75–90.
  • “The Priestess and the Courtesan: Female Leadership in Aristophanes’ Lysistrata” in C.A. Faraone and Laura McClure (eds.), Prostitutes and Courtesans in the Ancient World (Madison 2006) 207–23.
  • “The Masculine Arts of Ancient Greek Courtesans: Male Fantasy or Female Self-Representation?” M. Feldman and B. Gordon (eds.) The Courtesan’s Arts: Cross-Cultural Perspectives (Oxford 2006) 209–220.
  • “When Necromancy Goes Underground: Skull- and Corpse-Divination in the Paris Magical Papyri (PGM IV 1928–2144)” in P. Struck and S. Johnston (eds.) Mantikê: Studies in Ancient Divination (Leiden 2005) 255–86.
  • “Introduction to Prayers, Hymns, Incantations and Curses” and “Greek Prayers and Curses” in S. I. Johnston (ed.) Religions of the Ancient World: A Guide (Harvard University Press, 2004) 349–50 and 362–65.
  • “The Collapse of Celestial and Chthonic Realms in a Late Antique ‘Apollonian Invocation’ (PGM I 262–347),” in R. Abusch, A.Y. Reed and P. Schäfer (eds.) Heavenly Realms and Earthly Realities in Late Antique Religions (Cambridge University Press, 2004) 213–32.
  • “Playing the Bear and Fawn for Artemis: Female Initiation or Substitute Sacrifice?” in D. Dodd and C.A. Faraone (eds.), Initiation in Ancient Greek Rituals and Narratives: New Critical Perspectives (London 2003) 43–68.
  • Thumos as Masculine Ideal and Social Pathology in Ancient Greek Magical Spells” in S. Braund and G. Most (eds.) Ancient Anger: Perspectives from Homer to Galen, Yale Classical Studies 32 (Cambridge 2003) 144–62.
  • “From Magic Ritual to Semiotic Game: The Transformation of Neo-Assyrian Love Spells in Classical and Hellenistic Greece” in A. Panaino and G. Pettinato (eds.) Ideologies as Intercultural Phenomena, Melammu Symposia 3 (Ravenna 2002) 61–74.
  • “A Drink from the Daughters of Mnemosyne: Poetry, Eschatology and Memory at the End of Pindar’s Isthmian 6” in J.F. Miller, C. Damon and K.S. Myers (eds.), Vertis in usum: Studies in Honor of Edward Courtney, Beiträge zur Altertumskunde 161 (Munich/Leipzig 2002) 259–70.
  • “Agents and Victims: Constructions of Gender and Desire in Ancient Greek Love Magic” in M.C. Nussbaum and J. Sihvola (eds.) The Night of Reason: Erotic Experience and Sexual Ethics in Ancient Greece and Rome (Chicago 2002) 400–426.
  • “The Ethnic Origins of a Roman-Era Philtrokatadesmos (PGM IV 296–434)” in P. Mirecki and M. Meyer (eds.) Magic and Ritual in the Ancient World (Leiden 2002) 319–43.
  • “A Collection of Curses against Kilns (Homeric Epigram 13.7–23)” in A.Y. Collins and M. M. Mitchell (eds.) Antiquity and Humanity: Essays on Ancient Religion and Philosophy Presented to Hans Dieter Betz on his 70th Birthday (Tubingen 2001) 435–50.
  • “Hymn to Selene-Hecate-Artemis from a Greek Magical Handbook (PGM IV 2714–83)” in M. Kiley (ed.) Prayer from Alexander to Constantine (London 1997) 195–99.
  • “The Mystodokos and the Dark-Eyed Maidens: Multicultural Influences on a Late-Hellenistic Incantation” in M. Meyer and P. Mirecki (eds.) Ancient Magic and Ritual Power, Religions of the Graeco-Roman World 129 (Leiden 1995) 297–333.
  • “Introduction” to T.H. Carpenter and C.A. Faraone (eds.) Masks of Dionysus (Ithaca, New York 1993) 1–10.
  • “The Agonistic Context of Early Greek Binding Spells” in C.A. Faraone and D. Obbink (eds.) Magika Hiera: Ancient Greek Magic and Religion (Oxford 1991) 3–32.

Books in Progress

  • Writing Greek Amulets in Roman Imperial Times
  • The Play of Hexametrical Genres in Ancient Greek Epic: Incantations, Oracles and Hymns
  • The Poetics of Catalogues in the Hesiodic Theogony


  • Review of L. Watson, Arae: Curse Poetry of Classical Antiquity (Liverpool 1992) in Classical Philology 88 (1993) 336–40.
  • Review of J. Fontenrose, Didyma: Apollo’s Oracle, Cult and Companions (Berkeley 1988) in Classical World 83 (1990) 530–31.
  • Review of H.D. Betz (ed.) The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation,Vol. 1 (Chicago 1986) in Classical World 80 (1987) 325–26.

Graduate Seminars

  • “Health and Healing in Ancient Greek Rituals and Thought” (with James Redfield)
  • “Eros in Archaic and Classical Greece” (with James Redfield)
  • “Ancient Greek Hymns” (3x)
  • “Greek and North Semitic Religious Inscriptions” (with D. Pardee, Oriental Institute)
  • “Text, Image and the Representation of Ritual” (with Gloria Pinney and Laura Slatkin)
  • “Ancient Hebrew and Greek Wisdom Literature” (with John Collins and Laura Slatkin)
  • “Ancient Greek Magic”
  • “The Homeric Hymns” (with James Redfield and Bruce Lincoln)
  • “Hesiod Theogony” (with Bruce Lincoln)
  • “The Greek Magical Papyri” (with Hans Dieter Betz)
  • “Oracles and Divination in the Ancient World” (with Bruce Lincoln)
  • “Greek Religion in its Historical Context” (with Jonathan M. Hall)
  • “Orphism” (with David Martinez)

Most Recently Taught Courses

  • Study Abroad Program in Rome
  • Intermediate Greek
  • Health and Healing in the Ancient World
  • Greek Thought and Literature
  • The Religions of Greco-Roman Egypt
  • Greek Poetry Survey
  • Study Abroad Program in Barcelona
  • Greek Elegy