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Dr Christian Keime

Dr Christian Keime

Eugenie Strong Research Fellow and

Director of Studies in Classics,

Girton College

Girton College
Cambridge CB3 0JG

Office Phone: 01223 760350 (College) 01223 335158 (Faculty)

Research Interests

Plato (Symposium, Crito, Protagoras, Republic); Homer; Hesiod; ancient epistemology; ancient theories of eros.

Research Supervision

Recent areas supervised include: Ancient Philosophy (Presocratic Philosophers, Plato, Aristotle, Greek and Roman Ethics); Greek Literature (Lysias, Xenophon, Herodotus, Euripides); Ancient and Modern Aesthetics; Greek Language; Latin Language.

Key Publications

  • Keime 2018 : 'The speech of Eryximachus in Plato’s Symposium (185e6-188e4): Problems and philosophical function of a medical praise,' Dialogues d'Histoire ancienne, 2018/2 (44/2): 87-109.

[In the Symposium, Eryximachus portrays erôs as paradoxically deprived of desire and pleasure. What does this portrait owe to the medical tradition the orator claims to draw on? Although the Hippocratic Corpus never fails to recognize that desire and pleasure are essential to the nature of erôs, it provides the grounds for Eryximachus' implausible account: the ideal of health and good mixture (krâsis) on which the doctor bases his praise. With regard to this ideal, neither pleasure nor desire is really praiseworthy. In order to display the virtues of erôs, the doctor must distort its essence.]

  • Keime 2017 : 'L’allégorie de la caverne ou le lecteur au miroir', in C. Hunzinger, G. Mérot, et G. Vassiliadès (eds) Tours et détours de la parole dans la littérature antique, Bordeaux, 2017: 49-61

[In the Republic, the Allegory of the Cave does not only refer to the paideia of the philosopher and to the theory of knowledge propounded by Socrates in Book 6. It is also a critical image of the discussion carried out by Socrates with his companions, and of the written dialogue offered by Plato to his reader. Thanks to this metatext, Socrates' audience and Plato's readers are prompted to consider how to interpret the teaching on justice conveyed by the dialogue.]

  • Keime 2016 : 'Lector in dialogo. Implied reader and interpretive cooperation in Plato’s Symposium', in M. Erler and M. Tulli (eds) Plato’s Symposium, selected papers from the X Symposium Platonicum, Sankt Augustin, Akademia Verlag, 2016: 52-8

[In the Symposium, the various characters represented around Diotima and Socrates (Socrates as a youngster, Agathon, Alcibiades, Aristodemus and Apollodorus) can be viewed as 'implied readers' (W. Iser) whose function is to express a particular view on the philosophical lesson in erôs uttered by Diotima and retold by Socrates. By presenting these different approaches to the philosophical lesson, Plato may engage his reader in an 'interpretive cooperation' (U. Eco) and prompt us to interpret Diotima’s theory of love correctly.]

  • Keime 2015a : 'The Role of Diotima in Plato’s Symposium', in G. Cornelli (ed.), Plato’s Styles and Characters: Between Literature and PhilosophyBeiträge zur Altertumskunde [Contributions to Classical Studies], De Gruyter, Berlin-Boston, 2015: 379-400

[By delivering his theory of erôs through the mouth of Diotima, Socrates provides a lesson in communication that prompts the reader to interpret correctly his theory: (1) he shows that the dialectician must adapt his teaching to his addressees, (2) he brings out the limits of a lesson on erôs delivered in the form of a didactic monologue, and (3) Plato vindicates the necessity of teaching through reported dialogue, whether orally or in writing.]

  • Keime 2015b : 'Dans la caverne du dialogue: une lecture métadiscursive de l'allégorie platonicienne' in Le mythe de la caverne aujourd’hui, Paris, Ellipses, 2015 [early version of Keime 2017]
  • Keime 2014 : 'La fonction de Diotime dans le Banquet de Platon (201d1-212c3) : le dialogue et son double' in Études Platoniciennes 11, 2014, online: http://etudesplatoniciennes.revues.org/535 [early version of Keime 2015a]

Upcoming events

Bridging Binaries LGBTQ+ tour

Apr 25, 2020

Museum of Classical Archaeology, Faculty of Classics

Bridging Binaries LGBTQ+ tour

May 16, 2020

Museum of Classical Archaeology, Faculty of Classics

Bridging Binaries LGBTQ+ tour

Jun 06, 2020

Museum of Classical Archaeology, Faculty of Classics

Athens: Economy & Democracy Conference (in honour of P. Millett)

Jul 09, 2020

Faculty of Classics and Downing College, Cambridge

Upcoming events

RSS Feed Latest news

New Collection Videos

Mar 31, 2020

The Museum of Classical Archaeology is pleased to announce the first in a series of short videos on objects in the collection, featuring the Faculty's own Prof Caroline Vout.

Building Closure

Mar 20, 2020

The Faculty Building is closed from 5 pm on Friday 20 March until further notice.

Coronavirus guidance

Feb 06, 2020

A link to the College and University guidance on the Coronavirus is available here

CREWS: Visiting Fellowship focused on the study of ancient writing systems

Jan 22, 2020

Details of how to apply for this Visiting Fellowship are now available online. The deadline for applications is 5pm GMT on Monday, 17th February 2020

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