Jonas Grethlein

  • University of Heidelberg
  • Professor of Greek Literature

Jonas Grethlein is Professor in Greek Literature at Heidelberg and currently the director of the ERC project ‘Experience and Teleology in Ancient Narrative’. His more recent publications include Littells Orestie (Rombach 2009); The Greeks and their Past (CUP 2010); Experience and Teleology in Ancient Historiography (CUP 2013). Grethlein is interested in making ancient material fruitful for modern aesthetics, the theory of narrative and the theory of history. He has for example argued that the newly awakened interest in aesthetic experience can benefit from an engagement with the reflections embedded in ancient narrative (New Literary History 2015). Ancient historiography in particular illustrates that narrative is more than a means of representation, that it has the capacity to make the past present (History & Theory 2010; 2014). In two further papers, Grethlein uses Heliodorus’ novel Aithiopica to challenge the fashionable thesis that mind-reading is at the core of our response to narrative. Like much modern paralittérature, the ancient novel is plot-driven and highlights the salience of time for narrative (Style 2015; Narrative 2015).