2016.12.30 / updated 2018.09.20 | By Gregory Nagy
The funeral that Achilles arranges here for Patroklos in the Iliad is in some ways a preview of the funeral that the Achaeans will arrange for Achilles himself beyond the time-frame of the Iliad. A high point of the funeral in Iliad 23 is a spectacular chariot race arranged by Achilles to honor his dead comrade Patroklos. But an earlier high point is a comparably spectacular cremation of his friend’s body. But this cremation of Patroklos, as a ritual, is far from perfect: it is in fact polluted, and the pollution will make Achilles look bad, at least for the moment. The polluted thoughts of the hero, as evidenced by his dragging the corpse of Hector behind his speeding chariot, will drive him to extremes that will challenge the cosmic order. But the Master Narrator of the Iliad will remedy the pollution, and the remedy will take the form of actually narrating the grim story. In the process of this narration, a great lesson will be learned about life, death, and a hoped-for recovery of life.
The funeral that Achilles arranges here for Patroklos in the Iliad is in some ways a preview of the funeral that the Achaeans will arrange for Achilles himself beyond the time-frame of the Iliad. A high point of the funeral in Iliad 23 is a spectacular chariot race arranged by Achilles to honor his dead comrade Patroklos. But an earlier high point is a comparably spectacular cremation of his friend’s body. But this cremation of Patroklos, as a ritual, is far from perfect: it is in fact polluted, and the pollution will make Achilles look bad, at least for the moment. The polluted thoughts of the hero, as evidenced by his dragging the corpse of Hector behind his speeding chariot, will drive him to extremes that will challenge the cosmic order. But the Master Narrator of the Iliad will remedy the pollution, and the remedy will take the form of actually narrating the grim story. In the process of this narration, a great lesson will be learned about life, death, and a hoped-for recovery of life. [[GN 2016.12.30.]]
Q&T 1.23.58–64 via H24H 8§6
subject heading(s): preparing for the funeral of Patroklos; dysfunctionality in myth vs. functionality in ritual; post-heroic age
While the Trojans are mourning Hector in Troy, I.23.001, Achilles and his fellow Achaeans have all returned to the ships beached at the Hellespont, I.23.001–002, and the hero now calls on the Myrmidons, whose leader he is, to perform special funerary rituals in mourning for Patroklos. The Myrmidon warriors are to mourn Patroklos while driving their chariots around his dead body three times, I.23.007–009, I.23.013–014, after which they are to unharness the chariots and join in a funeral feast arranged by Achilles. The ritual act of mourning while driving, as performed by the Myrmidons, is described overall as a góos ‘lament’, I.23.010, for which Achilles himself is the principal performer, as signaled by the verb arkhein ‘lead off [in performing]’, I.23.012. The words of his lead-off lament are quoted at I.23.019–023. In this lament, Achilles addresses the dead Patroklos and repeats to him at I.23.20–23 the two deeds that he had promised at I.18.334–337 to perform before the funeral could take place. First, Achilles had promised to bring back, together with the dead body of Hector, the armor that Hector had stripped from the dead body of Patroklos, and now he reiterates that promise, adding two ghastly details about the dead body of Hector: he has dragged the corpse behind his chariot and intends to feed it to the dogs, I.23.021. And, second, Achilles had also promised to slaughter twelve captive Trojan youths on the funeral pyre of Patroklos and then to cremate their bodies together with the body of Patroklos himself, I.23.022–23. After repeating these promises to Patroklos within the wording of his quoted lament, I.23.020–023, Achilles now prepares for the funeral feast—but not before displaying the dead body of Hector, lying face down in the dust, I.23.024–026, next to the stand where the dead body of Patroklos is lying in state. Then, after the Myrmidons unharness their chariots, I.23.026–027, they sit down next to the ship of Achilles in order to partake of the feast, I.23.028, and the slaughter of the sacrificial animals to be eaten at the funeral feast gets underway, I.23.029–034. Nothing is said here about cooking the meat. Instead, the last thing said about this funeral feast of the Myrmidons is that the blood flowing from the mass slaughter of sacrificial animals is streaming all around the corpse of Patroklos, I.23.034. It seems as if the Myrmidons were feasting on raw meat, just as their leader Achilles had expressed the ghastly desire to cut up the mortally wounded Hector and to eat him raw, I.22.346–347. See the comment on I.22.346–348. Meanwhile, the leaders of the Achaeans come to the ship of Achilles and persuade him, with some difficulty, to leave behind the funeral feast of the Myrmidons and to come along with them to the headquarters of Agamemnon, I.23.035–038, where the order is given to prepare for Achilles some hot water for him to wash off all the blood that still covers him, I.23.039–041. Evidently, Agamemnon is preparing for an all-Achaean feast to be attended by Achilles, who is now expected to wash up before the feast begins. And it is only at this moment that we see for the first time that Achilles is still covered in gore. The blood of all the Trojans he has slaughtered on the battlefield is still on him and with him. Already before, Achilles must have been covered in gore when he had hosted the feast for that sub-set of Achaeans who were his own people, the Myrmidons. Back then, neither Achilles nor any of his Myrmidons had washed off the human blood of the killing fields before the shedding of the animal blood at the sacrifice that preceded their funeral feast. But now, for the all-Achaean feast, Achilles is expected to wash up. Not surprisingly, Achilles refuses, declaring at I.23.043–044 that he will remain covered with gore and will refrain from washing off the blood until he performs three sacred tasks. He now names these tasks at I.23.045–046: first, he will cremate Patroklos, I.23.045, and, second, he will make a tumulus that will be a sēma ‘tomb’ for Patroklos, I.23.045, and, third, he will at an earlier point cut off a long lock of his own hair as a sacrifice to be burned on the funeral pyre of his friend, I.23.046. That said, however, Achilles goes on to urge Agamemnon to continue with the plan for an all-Achaean feast, I.23.048—provided that the Achaeans follow up on their nighttime feasting by going out next morning in order to gather firewood for constructing the funeral pyre that will be used for the cremation of Patroklos, I.23.049–053. The Achaeans proceed to indulge in their feasting and then return to their shelters for a night’s sleep, I.23.054–058, while Achilles goes off without having had anything to eat, mourning Patroklos, and he finds a solitary spot on the beach, where he lies down, exhausted, and falls into a deep sleep, I.23.059–064. What will happen next, at I.23.071-076, is the apparition of the spirit of Patroklos. Before commenting on the apparition scene, however, I must pause to note that the narrative has already indicated five salient points of dysfunctionality in the preparations of Achilles for the funeral of Patroklos:
Point 1. The intent of Achilles to slaughter twelve captive Trojan youths as a human sacrifice is understood to be ritually incorrect. See the comment on I.23.163–183. And the fact that he will go through with it and will actually perform the deed will in retrospect be understood to be morally incorrect as well. See the comment on I.23.163–183. In myth, human sacrifice is a pollution, both ritually and morally. And such pollution is typical of what can perhaps best be described as a traditional pattern of dysfunctionality in myth—as opposed to functionality in ritual, where animal sacrifice is understood to be a salvific replacement of human sacrifice. As we see from the myth of Pelops as narrated in Pindar’s Olympian 1, for example, the slaughtering of Pelops is a dysfunctional sacrifice in the heroic world of myth, but it becomes an aetiology for the functional sacrifice of rams in the post-heroic world of ritual as practiced in Olympia during the archaic and Classical periods and beyond (detailed analysis in PH 116–135). In this connection, I offer a working definition of aetiology (background in PH 118, 125–130; 141–142; 386; 395–397; also Nagy 2011a §68): an aetiology focuses on a foundational catastrophe in the mythologized past that explains and thus motivates continuing success in the ritualized present and future.
Point 2. The dragging of Hector’s corpse by Achilles is likewise understood to be ritually incorrect, and such incorrectness is in this case noted by Homeric poetry, which signals also the moral incorrectness of mistreating a corpse. See the comment on I.23.163–183. Here I invoke a general principle at work in myths about ancient Greek heroes: whenever heroes commit deeds that clearly violate moral codes, such deeds are not condoned by the heroic narrative. See H24H 1§52, where I work out an analysis of such a principle, to be summarized in this formulation: the pollution of a hero in myth is relevant to the worship of that hero in ritual. Especially relevant to this formulation, as we will see in later comments, are myths that aetiologize rituals of seasonally recurring athletic competitions: the ritual of competing in an athletic event is thought to purify the original pollution of the hero in myth (analysis in H24H 7a §14).
Point 3. The intent of Achilles to feed Hector’s corpse to dogs and birds is clearly understood to be a blatant abomination both ritually and morally. In this case, however, Achilles will never get to perform such a horrific deed.
Point 4. There is something wrong about the funeral feast of the Myrmidons as arranged by Achilles. The blood of sacrifice is not offset here by any mention of cooking the meat to be eaten.
Point 5. Achilles is ritually incorrect in not purifying himself of human blood before he undertakes the three ritually correct actions of cutting his hair, cremating the body of Patroklos, and entombing his bones.
All five of these points, as we will see retrospectively in the anchor comment at I.23.184–191, are examples of pollution. [[GN 2016.12.27.]]
subject heading(s): arkhein ‘lead off [in performing]’
This word arkhein ‘lead off [in performing]’ refers here to the performance of lament as song correlated with dance, and Achilles is the lead performer here. The stylized dance that is correlated here with the singing of lament includes the choreographed parading of Myrmidons riding in their chariots around the corpse of Patroklos. [[GN 2016.12.29 via BA 112, 117.]]
subject heading(s): potheîn ‘long for’; hero cult; cult hero
The Myrmidons, led by Achilles, ‘feel a longing’ for Patroklos as they mourn him here in lament, and this ‘longing’ is expressed by way of the verb potheîn ‘long for, desire’. The wording here evokes the feelings of those who worship cult heroes, as we see especially at I.02.703 and I.02.709: see the comments on I.02.695–709 and also on I.17.685–690. [[GN 2016.12.29.]]
subject heading(s): ex-arkhein ‘lead off [in [performing]’; góos ‘lament’
The word ex-arkhein ‘lead off [in performing]’ refers here to the same performance that was signaled at I.23.07, and Achilles remains the lead performer of lament as sung and danced by the Myrmidons. The specific form of ‘lament’ here is specified as góos. [[GN 2016.12.29 via BA 112, 116.]]
subject heading(s): sēma ‘tomb’
The sēma ‘tomb’ that will be made for Patroklos is visualized as a tumulus. [[GN 2016.12.29 via PH 209; GMP 215.]]
Q&T via BA 81
subject heading(s): akhos ‘grief’; a man of constant sorrow
The word akhos ‘grief’ here at I.23.047, indicative of lament, is embedded in the actual words of lamentation performed by Achilles at I.23.043–053. The grief that Achilles feels for Patroklos, he says, will never go away: Achilles is now a man of constant sorrow. See especially the comment on I.18.015–073; also the comment on I.09.249–250. [[GN 2016.12.29 via BA 81, 94, 112, 117; HTL 132.]]
Q&T I.23.065–092 via H24H 8§6
subject heading(s): apparition of psūkhē ‘spirit’ of Patroklos; cremation; entombment
At I.23.065, the psūkhē ‘spirit’ of the dead Patroklos appears to Achilles while the hero sleeps. Achilles is instructed by the ghostly spirit of Patroklos to cremate his corpse, I.23.070–071 / I.23.076, and to construct a tomb that will be shared by the two heroes after Achilles too is dead, I.23.083–084, 091–092. [[GN 2016.12.20 via GMP 89, 226.]]
I.23.071–076 / anchor comment on: what the psūkhē ‘spirit’ of Patroklos really wants for itself—and for Achilles
subject heading(s): psūkhē ‘spirit’; cremation; entombment; Ōkeanos; Hādēs; Gates of Hādēs; Gates of the Sun
On the surface, what the psūkhē ‘spirit’ of Patroklos wants is a proper funeral for the corpse of Patroklos. But what does the psūkhē really want for itself? I ask the question this way in order to highlight a basic fact about the use of the word psūkhē in Homeric diction: as a disembodied conveyor of identity after death, the psūkhē is distinct from the body once the body is no longer alive. In view of this distinction, the answer to the question I just posed is partly evident—but also partly mystical. Here is my formulation of the answer: what the psūkhē really wants for itself is to be reunited with the body, and such a reunion must be achieved by way of a proper funeral. The part that is mystical about this formulation is the fact that the very idea of a proper funeral is a ritual construct that fits the mythological construct of the psūkhē. The ritual must be done right, and then the myth of the psūkhē will turn out to be right. So, it is imperative for Achilles to get things right in preparing a proper funeral for Patroklos. And how will Achilles make sure that the funeral of Patroklos is a proper funeral? Most important, there must be a ritually correct entombment, I.23.071, and a vital part of this entombment will be the actual cremation of the corpse, I.23.070–071 / I.23.076. Before cremation of the corpse, the psūkhē as a ‘spirit’ that used to belong to the body will be haunting the world of the living, but, after cremation, there will be no more haunting, I.23.075–076. So, what will happen to the psūkhē after cremation of the body? It is often assumed by readers of these verses at I.23.071-076 that the psūkhē as ‘spirit’, once the body is cremated, will now simply join the other psūkhai or ‘spirits’ who are already in Hādēs, and that will be the end of that. But the original Greek wording does not say that. In my opinion, what it really says gets misunderstood. What follows is a reinterpretation of I.23.071–076, divided into ten points:
Point 1. I start with evidence from Homeric poetry about the underworld known as Hādēs. I argue that Hādēs is a zone of transition for the psūkhē ‘spirit’ as it journeys from the Far West to the Far East. In this mystical zone, psūkhai can get lost along the underworld pathways leading from west to east, and then they will wander around, but they can also find the way, and, from the very start, the right way can be achieved by way of cremation. There will be much more to say about Hādēs in comments on the Odyssey. For now, however, it is enough to say at least this much more on the basis of the internal evidence of I.23.071–076: without a proper cremation and entombment, the psūkhē of Patroklos will not achieve safe passage through Hādēs. I make a special point here of saying through Hādēs and not to Hādēs. As I will argue further in comments on the Odyssey, Homeric poetry treats Hādēs as something that is transitional, not eschatological. In the Iliadic passage that is now being analyzed, I.23.071–076, even the psūkhē ‘spirit’ is something that is ultimately transitional in its own right.
Point 2. At I.23.073, it is said that the psūkhē ‘spirit’ of Patroklos is not allowed by the other psūkhai ‘spirits’ to join them ‘on-the-other-side-of [huper] the river [potamos]’ (ὑπὲρ ποταμοῖο), and that is why it is then said at I.23.074 that the psūkhē of Patroklos is left to wander all over the realm of Hādēs. The point is, the psūkhē of Patroklos is already in Hādēs, wandering around, and thus his psūkhē is not being excluded from Hādēs by the other psūkhai. Rather, as I argue here, the psūkhē of Patroklos is being excluded from joining other psūkhai who are no longer wandering around in Hādēs.
Point 3. And why are these other psūkhai no longer wandering around? It is because they have already found the way to get to the other side of the potamos ‘river’, I.23.073. And what is ‘the river’ here? In terms of Homeric poetry, this river must be the world-enclircling fresh-water stream named Ōkeanos, which as we saw in the comment on I.07.421–423 is a boundary delimiting light from darkness, wakefulness from sleep, life from death. The sun rises from the Ōkeanos at sunrise in the Far East, as we see at I.07.421–423, just as it sets into it at sunset in the Far West, as we see at I.08.485–486. And the movement of the sun both into and out from the Ōkeanos in the Far West and in the Far East respectively is envisioned as a cosmic model for an alternation between darkness and light, between sleep and awakening, between death and revival from death.
Point 4. This model is most relevant to what is meant when the psūkhē ‘spirit’ of Patroklos says at I.23.073 that the other psūkhai ‘spirits’ do not allow his spirit to join them ‘on-the-other-side-of [huper] the river [potamos]’ (ὑπὲρ ποταμοῖο). In this case, I argue, the circular cosmic river Ōkeanos is imagined as separating the dead from the living in the Far East, where the sun rises, not in the Far West, where the sun sets.
Point 5. Correspondingly, the pulai ‘gates’ of Hādēs mentioned at I.23.071 are situated in the Far East, where the sun rises, not only in the Far West, where the sun sets. In support of this interpretation, I note that the pulai ‘gates’ of Hādēs at I.23.071 can be seen as a by-form of the pulai ‘gates’ of Hēlios the Sun, mentioned at I.24.012. See also the anchor comment at I.08.367 on: Gates of Hādēs. (Further analysis in GMP 225–226.)
Point 6. If, then, the Gates of Hādēs are the Gates of the Sun, then I can make more sense of what the psūkhē ‘spirit’of Patroklos is saying at I.23.071, where this spirit expresses its desire to pass through the Gates of Hādēs. I argue that the psūkhē of Patroklos here is seeking passage through the gates of Hādēs that are situated in the Far East, where the sun rises, not through the gates that are situated in the Far West, where the son sets. See also the anchor comment at I.08.367 on: Gates of Hādēs.
Point 7. Similarly, the psūkhē ‘spirit’ of Patroklos seeks to cross the world-encircling cosmic river in the Far East, not in the Far West. Whereas the other side of the river in the Far West is the zone of Hādēs from the standpoint of the living, the other side of the same river in the Far East is a mystical place beyond the zone of Hādēs—from the standpoint of the dead who are still wandering around in Hādēs but who seek a renewal of life. As the psūkhē of Patroklos says at I.23.074, his spirit is still wandering around in the zone of Hādēs. And that is because his body has not yet received the ritual of cremation, which as we will now see will lead to a recovery of life after death.
Point 8. The scenario that I have put together here is based not only on the internal evidence of the wording at I.23.071–076 and elsewhere in Homeric poetry. It is based also on the comparative evidence of cognate Indic traditions centering on rituals of cremation as correlated with myths about a recovery of life after death. There is a detailed survey in the essay “Patroklos, Concepts of Afterlife, and the Indic Triple Fire,” GMP 85–121 (the essentials can be found at pp. 87, 115–121). In terms of Indic ritual and myth, cremation leads to a reunion: once the cremation takes place, the spirit without body and the body without spirit can now be reunited, and, this way, the dead can now be revived after death. Further, such a revival results in the reunion of the revived dead with the already revived pítṛ-s or ‘ancestors’. It is most relevant to note here that the Indic word pítṛ– ‘ancestor’ is cognate with the Greek word Patro– in the name Patrokléēs, which means ‘he who has the glory [kleos] of the ancestors [pateres]’: thus the role of Patroklos in instructing Achilles about the vital importance of cremation is in and of itself a deeply traditional theme. (On theme, see the Inventory of terms and names.)
Point 9. On the basis of both the internal and the comparative evidence that I have assembled so far, my formulation about the the ritual of cremation as visualized in myth can now be extended. In this extended formulation, I start with a scenario that reconstructs the initial phase of what happens to the psūkhē after the body is successfully cremated:
After a successful cremation, the psūkhē will cease wandering around in Hādēs and will now find its way out. The psūkhē will cross the world-encircling river in the Far East and pass through the Gates of Hādēs, which are the Gates of the Sun, just as the sun passes through these same gates when it rises at sunrise.
Point 10. I now continue with a scenario that reconstructs the next phase of what happens to the psūkhē after the body is successfully cremated. In this case, I find no internal evidence in Homeric poetry, and so I turn to the comparative evidence of Vedic poetry in Indic traditions, which show at least the broad outlines. From here on, since I now rely primarily on the Indic comparanda, I will no longer say psūkhē but simply ‘spirit’, which can serve as an adequate translation for both the Greek word and the corresponding Indic word, mánas-. This Indic word refers to the breath of life that leaves the body at death and is destined to be mystically reintegrated with the body after cremation. That said, I resume the scenario:
After finding its way out of the lower world, the spirit follows the path of the sun and joins the rising sun at sunrise, ascending into the skies and seeking to be reunited there with the body. Meanwhile, the body has already been vaporized by way of cremation, and its fumes ascend into the skies, seeking to be reunited there with the spirit.
Such a prospective reunion of spirit and body is the secret of immortalization after death, and the key to that secret is the ritual of cremation. [[GN 2016.12.26 via GMP 85–121, 226.]]
subject heading(s): therapōn ‘attendant, ritual substitute’; therapontes (plural) of Ares; endukéōs ‘continuously, uninterruptedly’
The spirit of the dead Patroklos is recounting how Peleus had entrusted Patroklos as a therapōn to Achilles. On the adverb endukéōs ‘continuously, uninterruptedly’, see the anchor comment at O.07.256. Here the adverb may be highlighting an idea of continuity, linked with the ritual process of serving as a therapōn. [[GN 2017.05.30.]]
subject heading(s): the dreaming Achilles responds to the apparation; cremation; entombment; cutting of hair; mistreating the corpse of Hector
Achilles responds to the apparition in his dream, I.23.094–096, declaring to the spirit of Patroklos that he intends to do exactly what this spirit has instructed him to do. But the hero’s declaration here is interwoven with a question that he asks of the spirit: why do you appear to me and instruct me to do things that I already intended to do? This interwoven question at I.23.094–096 is most curious, since it is patently unjustifiable. I argue that the things intended by Achilles fail in more than one way to match the things intended by the psūkhē of Patroklos. There are two main reasons for making this argument:
First, Achilles intends to do more than the two things that Patroklos instructs him to do. As we saw at I.23.045–046, Achilles intends not only to cremate Patroklos and to entomb him but also to cut off a long lock of his own hair as a sacrifice to be burned on the funeral pyre of his friend. And he intends to do even more than that. As we saw in the lament of Achilles where he addressed the dead Patroklos, he repeats to him there at I.23.20–23 the two deeds that he had promised at I.18.334–337 to perform before the funeral could take place: first, Achilles had promised to bring back, together with the dead body of Hector, the armor that Hector had stripped from the dead body of Patroklos, and, second, he had also promised to slaughter twelve captive Trojan youths on the funeral pyre of Patroklos and then to cremate their bodies together with the body of Patroklos himself. And there is even more: as we have seen at I.22.326–330, at I.22.354, and at I.22.248 (together with I.22.354), Achilles intends to expose the body of Hector to be devoured by dogs and birds, after having degraded the corpse by dragging it behind his chariot. But the fact is, the spirit of Patroklos had not spoken to Achilles about any of these other things.
And here is the second reason for arguing that the interwoven question of Achilles at I.23.094–096 is not justifiable: the fact is, Achilles had never spoken about any intent to have himself entombed together with Patroklos when the time comes for his own funeral. The idea of such a double entombment came from the psūkhē of Patroklos. [[GN 2016.12.27.]]
subject heading(s): the awakened Achilles reacts to the apparition; psūkhē ‘spirit’
While Achilles is still dreaming, he asks Patroklos to embrace him, I.23.097–098. With these words, Achilles finishes his speech to the spirit of Patroklos. Now the Master Narrator can take over, and he narrates how Achilles, having finished speaking to Patroklos, then reaches out to embrace him, I.23.099. But no contact can be made, since Patroklos is merely a psūkhē ‘spirit’, I.23.100, which recedes like a wisp of smoke and disappears beneath the earth, I.23.100–101. Now Achilles is jolted out of sleep, and he reflects ruefully on what he just experienced, I.23.101–106: this psūkhē ‘spirit’—he now refers to Patroklos this way at I.23.104 and I.23.106—is just an eidōlon ‘likeness’ of Patroklos and is devoid of any phrenes ‘senses’, and yet he looked just like the real Patroklos, I.23.107. The surprise expressed by Achilles here in reacting to the realistic appearance of Patroklos recalls an earlier point in the narrative: when the psūkhē of Patroklos is first sighted at I.23.065, already in that first moment of its apparition, it is pictured as life-size, I.23.066—so, it is not a miniature version of the self. In other traditions, as reflected in vase-paintings dated mostly to the late sixth century BCE, the size of such a psūkhē ‘spirit’ is in fact miniaturized. See the comment on I.24.014–121. [[GN 2016.12.27.]]
subject heading(s): firewood for the funeral pyre
Now that the spirit of Patroklos has departed and Achilles has reacted to the evanescence of this spirit, morning comes. It is time for the Achaeans to gather the firewood that will be used to construct the funeral pyre for the cremation of Patroklos. [[GN 2016.12.28.]]
I.23.113 / anchor comment on Meriones as therapōn of Idomeneus
subject heading(s): therapōn ‘attendant, ritual substitute’
Meriones is consistently marked as the therapōn of Idomeneus, just as Patroklos is the therapōn of Achilles. Though Meriones as a therapōn of Idomeneus is a ritual substitute for that king of all the Cretans, this recessive member of the pair does not die for that dominant member. We see here a radical contrast with Patroklos, who does in fact die for Achilles. Meriones stays alive, destined to become a dominant hero in his own right. And a dress-rehearsal, as it were, for this status of eventual dominance is the role of Meriones as a competing chariot driver in the chariot race of Iliad 23. It is Meriones who competes in that race, not Idomeneus. [[GN 2016.08.04 via Nagy 2015.05.01.]]
subject heading(s): therapōn ‘attendant, ritual substitute’
See anchor comment at I.23.113 on Meriones as therapōn of Idomeneus. [[GN 2016.08.04 via Nagy 2015.05.01.]]
I.23.125–126 / anchor comment on: tomb of Achilles, part 1
Q&T via HPC 150
see also anchor comment at I.23.245–248…256-257 on: tomb of Achilles, part 2
see also anchor comment at O.24.076–084 on: tomb of Achilles, part 3
The anchor comment here at I.23.125–126, combined with the anchor comments at I.23.245–248…256-257 and at O.24.076–084, add up to an overall commentary on the three direct references that are made to the tomb of Achilles in Homeric poetry. In the first reference here, at I.23.125–126, it is already made clear that the place for constructing the funeral pyre that will cremate the corpse of Patroklos will be the same place where the tomb for Patroklos will also be constructed—and that this tomb will ultimately enclose not only the bones of Patroklos but also the bones of Achilles. This place is described as a lofty aktē ‘promontory’, I.23.125, and ērion is the word for the ‘tomb’ that will be prepared after the cremation, I.23.126. It is specified that this tomb is intended for entombing not only Patroklos but also Achilles, when the time comes for his own funeral, I.23.126. So, we now see that Achilles has heeded the instructions of Patroklos to make a tomb for the two heroes to share. And, as we will see when we reach the anchor comment at I.23.245–248…256-257, this tomb will be incomplete until Achilles is entombed together with Patroklos. Ultimately, this tomb will belong primarily to Achilles. [[GN 2016.12.26.]]
subject heading(s): funeral procession for Patroklos; cutting the hair
At the place where the firewood is gathered for the funeral pyre, Achilles organizes a funeral procession of the Myrmidons in honor of Patroklos. The Myrmidons are in in full battle gear as they make their appearance at the event: in the forefront are their chariot drivers and chariot riders, parading in their chariots, followed by the masses of infantry, I.23.132–134. Then they all cut their hair, placing the sheared locks on the body of Patroklos, lying in state, I.23.135–136. Achilles presides over the entire event as the chief mourner, I.23.136–137. [[GN 2016.12.28 via H24H 14§26a.]]
subject heading(s): making the funeral pyre; Achilles cuts his hair; post-heroic age
Now the making of the funeral pyre may begin. And, in preparation, Achilles will cut his own golden-blond hair, I.23.141, placing into the lifeless hands of Patroklos the long lock that he shears off, I.23.152–153. (What follows is epitomized from H24H 12§26a.) The long unshorn hair of Achilles had ostentatiously signaled his pre-adult status. Once his hair is cut short, he can become an adult. In this Homeric scene, as we see Achilles standing on the heights of the promontory that will become the setting for the tumulus that encloses his own body, he wistfully looks out over the seas of the outer Hellespont, fixing his gaze toward the far west, in the direction of his native land of Thessaly, and longing for the river Sperkheios that flows through that distant land: it was to the waters of that river, which he will never live to see again, that he had hoped to sacrifice his long hair after he came of age and was ready to cut it, I.23.142-153. But now Achilles cuts his long hair prematurely and unseasonally as he stands there on the promontory, I.23.142. Meanwhile, the Myrmidons led by Achilles will anticipate his example, likewise cutting their hair, I.23.135-136. (At H24H 14§26a, I need to clarify what I say about I.23.135–136: it is only the Myrmidons, not the Achaeans en masse, who cut their hair here.) This ritual gesture of cutting the hair in mourning for Patroklos will later be extended after Achilles himself is killed: what then happens at his own funeral is that all the Achaeans, not only the Myrmidons, will join in the same gesture: as we learn at O.24.046, all the Danaoi=Achaeans will cut their hair for Achilles. But now, at I.23.138–153, Achilles himself will show the way by cutting his own hair, thus prefiguring what all the Achaeans will do en masse at his own funeral. Do as I do. Achilles shows the way to mourn him later by now cutting his own hair in mourning for his other self Patroklos. Moreover, this same ritual gesture of cutting the hair in response to the death of Achilles becomes an aetiology for explaining why it is that Greek men of the post-heroic age customarily wear their hair short, not long—except for such notable counter-examples as the Spartans. In a work of Philostratus, On Heroes (51.13), we read the following succinct formulation of an aetiology for this generalized Greek custom: ‘no longer could they [= the Achaeans] consider it a beautiful thing to grow their hair long, in the time after Achilles’ (οὐδὲ κομᾶν ἔτι μετὰ τὸν Ἀχιλλέα καλὸν ἡγούμενοι). In the wording of this aetiology, it is as if the death of Achilles were the single reason that explains why adult men of the post-heroic age no longer wore their hair long. It is as if all the ‘sons of the Achaeans’ were now ready to shift from pre-adult to adult status—once Achilles was dead and buried. The term ‘sons of the Achaeans’—as the Achaean warriors are conventionally described in the Iliad (I.01.162 and so on)—implies a pre-adult status for all those ‘boys’ who fought in the Trojan War. But now those fighting ‘boys’ of the heroic age have reached a post-heroic maturity that inaugurates a post-heroic age. [[GN 2016.12.28.]]
subject heading(s): attendance at the cremation of Patroklos is restricted
So far, the preparations for cremation, with all the preliminary rituals, have been open to all the Achaeans. But now Achilles urges Agamemnon to send them away to their dinners. So, attendance at the cremation will be restricted. Only the kind of person who was a kēdeos ‘mourning-relation’ for Patroklos may attend the event, I.23.160. Other than these men, only the agoi ‘leaders’ of the Achaeans are also allowed to attend, I.23.160. But there is something odd about the exclusion of the Achaean masses from participating in the cremation. This exclusion, as we are about to see, can be connected with five signs indicating that the ritual of cremation for Patroklos was about to be somehow compromised, even polluted. [[GN 2016.12.28.]]
subject heading(s): cremation of Patroklos
Now the cremation proceeds to the finish. The kēdemones or ‘mourning-relations’ who stayed behind may now complete the task of making a mighty funeral pyre, I.23.163–164, and then they place the corpse of Patroklos on top of the pyre, I.23.165. What follows next is a spectacular array of sacrificial offerings that are also placed on the pyre, to be burned together with Patroklos, I.166–178. The offerings include sacrificial animals that are ritually slaughtered before being placed on the pyre: included are sheep and cattle at I.23.166, horses at I.23.171–172, and dogs at I.23.173–174. And then, the last and most important of the sacrificial offerings are the twelve Trojan youths that Achilles had already promised to slaughter as a human sacrifice: Achilles will now personally cut their throats and leave their bodies to be cremated alongside Patroklos, I.23.175–178. Then, to finish off the ritual of cremation, Achilles addresses Patroklos, picturing him in the realm of Hādēs, I.23.179. Achilles boasts again, as he had done before, that he has done everything that he has promised to do, I.23.180—but the only one of those things that he now mentions here specifically is the sacrifice of the Trojan youths, I.23.181–182. There is something very wrong here, and the Master Narrator knows it. Already at I.23.176, where he highlights the moment when the Trojan youths are killed before being cremated, the Master Narrator says about Achilles: ‘and he had bad intentions in in his mind’ (κακὰ δὲ φρεσὶ μήδετο ἔργα). By intending things that look bad for his victims, he is making himself look bad. See also the comment on I.22.395–405, with reference to I.22.395. So, what makes Achilles look bad here? For an answer, I repeat what I already said at Point 1 in the comment on 1.23.01–064: the killing of the Trojan youths as a form of human sacrifice is in retrospect understood to be morally wrong. In myth, human sacrifice is a pollution. And such pollution is an instance of dysfunctionality in myth as opposed to functionality in ritual, where animal sacrifice is understood to be a salvific replacement of human sacrifice. And the idea that something is polluted in the thinking of Achilles when he slaughters the youths is linked to something else in his train of thought as he goes on to say one more thing about this killing: at least the bodies of the youths were devoured by the fire of cremation, I.23.183. But then he adds in the same train of thought: by contrast, the body of Hector will be devoured by dogs, I.23.183. So, Achilles expresses here once again a ghastly intention that he has expressed so many times before. But, this time, the expression becomes the final moment in the ritual of cremation for Patroklos. And to bring the whole ritual of cremation to such a conclusion is I think a sign of pollution. Here I find it relevant to epitomize what I already said at Points 2 and 3 in the comment on 1.23.01–064 about the mistreatment of Hector’s corpse by Achilles: both the dragging of the corpse and the intent to feed it to dogs and birds are signs of pollution. [[GN 2016.12.28.]]
I.23.184–191 / anchor comment on: the salvation of Hector’s body
subject heading(s): beau mort (a dead body made beautiful by way of a beautiful death, une belle mort)
As we will now see, the gods are well aware of the ongoing pollution, and they counteract it by way of purification, which takes the form of preserving the body of Hector from the mistreatment intended by Achilles. Right after Achilles declares once again at I.23.183 that he will expose his enemy’s body as prey to be devoured by dogs, the Master Narrator firmly contradicts him at I.23.184: no, the dogs will not be devouring the body of Hector. And why? Because the gods will not allow it. Aphrodite herself is keeping the hellish hounds away from the corpse, I.23.185–186. And the goddess is applying to Hector’s skin a salve that is ambrosio– ‘immortalizing’, thus keeping it intact and saving the beautiful flesh from any disfigurement—no matter how many times Achilles will drag the corpse behind his speeding chariot, I.23.186–187. (On the word ambroto-/ambrosio– in the sense of ‘immortalizing’, not ‘immortal’, see the relevant comment on I.16.670.) So, the goddess of sexual beauty has kept the naked body of Hector beautiful to the point of becoming sexually attractive: Hector is now the definitive beau mort, the beautiful corpse, since his dead body has been made beautiful by way of a beautiful death, une belle mort. (See HC 4§266, with bibliography on the French terminology; see also the relevant comment on I.17.050–060.) For the first time here at I.23.184–191, we see that the body of Hector was never even disfigured—despite the horrific visions of disfigurement that the Master Narrator allowed to be imagined at I.22.395–405 and even later at 1.23.1–64. (See especially the comment on I.22.395–405.) Now, all those darkly horrific visions of ugliness recede in the beautiful light of divine intervention. Not only does Aphrodite apply her immortalizing salve to Hector’s flesh, I.23.186–187, but Apollo does even more, enveloping the hero’s entire body in a divine glow that will shield it from all decay and pollution, I.23.188–191. And by now we can see that the action of the gods in perfectly preserving the dead body of Hector is an act of perfect purification that counteracts the self-pollution of Achilles in mistreating the corpse. We have already seen that the polluted thoughts of Achilles had even compromised the ritual of cremation for Patroklos. But now we will see that the saving of Hector’s body by the gods will lead to an overall purification that will in the course of time counteract not only the specific pollution of mistreating the corpse of Hector but also the overall pollution that has compromised the ritual of cremating the corpse of Patroklos. And the gods will accomplish this overall purification by saving Hector’s body as a ritually idealized corpse that is worthy of a ritually ideal cremation—which will actually take place in Iliad 24. Even before we reach the narration of that ideal cremation in Iliad 24, eight points need to be made already now about the picturing of Hector’s body as a ritually idealized corpse here at I.23.184–191:
Point 1. The etymology of the noun sōma, conventionally translated as ‘body’, is relevant to the ritual idealization of Hector’s corpse in Iliad 23. To make this argument, I start by returning here to the basic idea that Hector’s corpse is ideal because it was saved for a ritually ideal cremation—and thus saved from the horrors of exposition to dogs and birds.
Point 2.That said, I propose that this idea of something that is saved matches the etymology of sōma, which I explain as an action-noun derived from a verb that survives as sōzein in classical Greek prose, meaning ‘save’. This relatively late form of the verb, sōzein, is already attested in Homeric poetry (as at O.05.490: σώζων), though the dominant use of the same verb in this poetry preserves an uncontracted (and thus older) shape of the root, which is sa(w)o- (as at I.24.035: σαῶσαι). The contracted (and thus newer) shape of the root, which is sō-, occurs normally in the “weak” metrical positions of the Homeric hexameter (that is, in the second long of a sequence long-long, which derives from a sequence long-short-short), but there is already an attestation of this same shape in a “strong” metrical position (that is, in the first long of a sequence long-long or in the long of a sequence long-short-short): in this case, the root is attested in the adjective sōs, meaning ‘safe or ‘saved’, at I.22.332 (σῶς ἔσσεσθ’). Similarly, the root of the noun sōma is attested in a “strong” metrical position throughout its occurrences in Homeric hexameter. In terms of my proposal, then, sōma was an action-noun derived from a contracted form of its verb-root: so, from sō-, not from sao-. As an action-noun derived from a verb meaning ‘save’, it would have originally meant ‘saving’ —and then later became concretized to mean ‘the thing saved’. Here is a semantic parallel: the action-noun sperma, derived from the verb-root sper- meaning ‘sow’, originally meant ‘sowing’—and then later become concretized to mean ‘a thing that is sown’, that is, ‘seed’. An ideal corpse, then, in terms of the etymology I propose, is a thing that is saved.
Point 3. In Homeric diction, this word sōma as applied to heroes refers to a ‘body’ that is already dead but needs to be saved from mistreatment or from dangers in general. The clearest example is at I.22.342: Hector, mortally wounded by Achilles and already on the verge of death, is making a final plea to Achilles, asking him to show mercy not to the dying Hector but to the dead Hector that he will be after he has died, and this dead Hector is called here the sōma of Hector. To say it another way, Achilles is asked to show mercy to the sōma of Hector after Hector is already dead and his body is already a corpse. That is why Hector is pleading for his sōma to be returned to Troy, where the Trojans can arrange for it to have the proper ritual of cremation, I.22.342–343. Such an arrangement is anticipated already at I.07.079–080.
Point 4. By making this plea, Hector is at the same time pleading for his body not to be exposed as prey for dogs to devour, I.22.339: ‘don’t let the dogs at the ships of the Achaeans ravage me’ (μή με ἔα παρὰ νηυσὶ κύνας καταδάψαι Ἀχαιῶν). Here the future corpse of Hector is starkly equated with the present self of Hector. He is not even saying here, ‘don’t let the dogs devour my body’, but instead he says more simply, ‘don’t let the dogs devour me’. This idea of the dead body as the self has already been highlighted in the comment at I.01.003–005.
Point 5. As for the outcome of Hector’s plea here, I have already analyzed in the comment on I.22.346–348 the savage response of Achilles, who declares his certaintly that, yes, he will expose Hector’s corpse as prey for dogs and birds to devour, I.22.248 (also I.22.354). But I concentrate here only on the wording of the original plea that provoked the response. In terms of this wording, the sōma is something that needs to be saved for cremation and thus saved from harm. The sōma must be saved. It needs salvation. And, ideally, the sōma is in fact saved. That is the ritualized ideal that we see reflected in the etymology, to be interpreted as ‘the thing that is saved’.
Point 6. I find it relevant to add, however, that Homeric diction can also turn the meaning of sōma upside down: in two contexts, I.03.023 and I.18.161, sōma refers to a carcass that is being devoured by a ravenous lion that holds on to it and won’t let go. For wild animals, then, the sōma is something that must be saved for devouring. For humans, by contrast, the sōma is something that must be saved from being devoured by wild animals—and thus saved for cremation.
Point 7. In Homeric poetry, the saving of the corpse for cremation translates into a salvation of the self by way of cremation. Hector’s cremation in the heroic age, as we will see it described in Iliad 24, will become a model for all cremations in the post-heroic age. And this cremation of Hector in Iliad 24 will undo the pollutions that had compromised the cremation of Patroklos in Iliad 23. These pollutions will be purified by way of narrating the cremation of Hector, which will be done right and which will therefore be free of pollution. In the future, as the cremation of Hector demonstrates, there will be no more polluting of cremation as a ritual, as there had been at the cremation of Patroklos. No longer will there by any human sacrifices. No longer will the mistreatment of corpses be condoned. The polluting of rituals like cremation in the heroic age of myth will be superseded by the purifying of these same rituals in the post-heroic age of ritual, which is the era of the Homeric present, when rituals can be done right.
Point 8. The rituals of the post-heroic age include not only the aristocratic and vastly expensive practice of cremation. They include also the wildly popular medium of epic performance as exemplified by the Homeric poetry of the Iliad. If epic performance is ritualized, which is what I argue, then the actual narration of all the events that supposedly took place in the heroic age is a ritual in and of itself. And, as a ritual, epic performance can be a form of purification in its own right. Whatever events are narrated in Homeric poetry, the performance of these events, good or bad, is purified simply by way of being narrated. It is in this context that we can view the five salient points of dysfunctionality in the preparations of Achilles for the funeral of Patroklos, as listed in the comment on 1.23.01–064. In retrospect, all five of these points show examples of pollution. And all five of these examples can ultimately be counteracted by the purifying power of narration in epic performance. Epic narration can purify pollution. [[GN 2016.12.29.]]
I.23.245–248…256–257 / anchor comment on: tomb of Achilles, part 2
see also anchor comment at I.23.125–126 on: tomb of Achilles, part 1
see also anchor comment at O.24.076–084 on: tomb of Achilles, part 3
The tomb of Patroklos, called tumbos here at I.I.23.245, will also become the tomb of Achilles when his time comes to die. It is to be built on a small scale until Achilles is entombed there as well, I.23.245–246. But then, with the entombment of Achilles together with Patroklos, the size of the tomb will become spectacular in both height and width, I.23.246–247. So, this tomb will be incomplete until Achilles is entombed together with Patroklos—at which point it becomes truly the tomb of Achilles. So, instead of saying here that the tomb of Patroklos will also become the tomb of Achilles, it would be more accurate to say that the tomb of Patroklos will simply belong to Achilles. The spirit of Patroklos, when he appeared to Achilles and instructed him to construct a tomb for the two of them, was really pointing the way for Achilles to have a tomb of his own. There now follows at I.23.248 a pointed reference to the Achaeans of the future who will be sailing past the promontory on top of which the tomb is located and marveling at the sight of the structure, which is called a sēma ‘tomb at I.23.257. This visualization, as we will see in the anchor comment at O.24.076–084, makes it all the more clear that the tomb of Patroklos will in fact turn into the tomb of Achilles. [[GN 2016.12.31.]]
subject heading(s): agōn ‘competition’
An agōn, as here at I.23.258, is literally a ‘coming together’ for competition; so, by extension, the word comes to mean ‘competition’. For more on the meaning and the etymology, see H24H 21§1. Here at I.23.257–258 is where the so-called Funeral Games for Patroklos will commence. And they will end at I.24.001. See the comment on that verse. The ritual practice of athletic competition as a compensation for death is amply attested in Greek tradtions: see H24H 8a §§1–14. Here at I.23.258 the agōn can now begin to compensate for the death of Patroklos. [[GN 2016.12.31.]]
Q&T via H24H 7§3
subject heading(s): sēma ‘sign, signal; tomb’
|326 σῆμα δέ τοι ἐρέω μάλ’ ἀριφραδές, οὐδέ σε λήσει. |327 ἕστηκε ξύλον αὖον ὅσον τ’ ὄργυι’ ὑπὲρ αἴης |328 ἢ δρυὸς ἢ πεύκης· τὸ μὲν οὐ καταπύθεται ὄμβρῳ, |329 λᾶε δὲ τοῦ ἑκάτερθεν ἐρηρέδαται δύο λευκὼ |330 ἐν ξυνοχῇσιν ὁδοῦ, λεῖος δ’ ἱππόδρομος ἀμφὶς |331 ἤ τευ σῆμα βροτοῖο πάλαι κατατεθνηῶτος, |332 ἢ τό γε νύσσα τέτυκτο ἐπὶ προτέρων ἀνθρώπων, |333 καὶ νῦν τέρματ’ ἔθηκε ποδάρκης δῖος Ἀχιλλεύς. |334 τῷ σὺ μάλ’ ἐγχρίμψας ἐλάαν σχεδὸν ἅρμα καὶ ἵππους, |335 αὐτὸς δὲ κλινθῆναι ἐϋπλέκτῳ ἐνὶ δίφρῳ |336 ἦκ’ ἐπ’ ἀριστερὰ τοῖιν· ἀτὰρ τὸν δεξιὸν ἵππον |337 κένσαι ὁμοκλήσας, εἶξαί τέ οἱ ἡνία χερσίν. |338 ἐν νύσσῃ δέ τοι ἵππος ἀριστερὸς ἐγχριμφθήτω. |339 ὡς ἄν τοι πλήμνη γε δοάσσεται ἄκρον ἱκέσθαι |340 κύκλου ποιητοῖο· λίθου δ’ ἀλέασθαι ἐπαυρεῖν, |341 μή πως ἵππους τε τρώσῃς κατά θ’ ἅρματα ἄξῃς· |342 χάρμα δὲ τοῖς ἄλλοισιν, ἐλεγχείη δὲ σοὶ αὐτῷ |343 ἔσσεται· ἀλλὰ φίλος φρονέων πεφυλαγμένος εἶναι.
|326 I [= Nestor] will tell you [= Antilokhos] a sign [sēma], a very clear one, which will not get lost in your thinking. |327 Standing over there is a stump of deadwood, a good reach above ground level. |328 It had been either an oak or a pine. And it hasn’t rotted away from the rains. |329 There are two white rocks propped against either side of it. |330 There it is, standing at a point where two roadways meet, and it has a smooth track on both sides of it for driving a chariot. |331 It is either the tomb [sēma] of some mortal who died a long time ago |332 or was a turning point [nussa] in the times of earlier men. |333 Now swift-footed radiant Achilles has set it up as a turning point [terma plural]. |334 Get as close to it as you can when you drive your chariot horses toward it, |335 and keep leaning toward one side as you stand on the platform of your well-built chariot, |336 leaning to the left as you drive your horses. Your right-side horse |337 you must goad, calling out to it, and give that horse some slack as you hold its reins, |338 while you make your left-side horse get as close as possible [to the turning point], |339 so that the hub will seem to be almost grazing the post |340 – the hub of your well-made chariot wheel. But be careful not to touch the stone [of the turning point], |341 or else you will get your horses hurt badly and break your chariot in pieces. |342 That would make other people happy, but for you it would be a shame, |343 yes it would. So, near and dear [philos] as you are to me, you must be sound in your thinking and be careful.
(Epitomized from H24H 7§§3–6.) I concentrate here on the use of the word sēma in two verses, I.23.326 and I.23.331, concerning the sēma or ‘sign’ given by the hero Nestor to his son, the hero Antilokhos, about the sēma or ‘tomb’ of an unnamed hero. I divide my analysis into four parts:
The two verses come from a passage where Nestor gives instructions to Antilokhos about the driving skills required for a charioteer to make a left turn around a landmark. As we will now learn from the context, this landmark is meant to be used as a turning point in the course of a chariot race that is being planned as the culminating athletic event of the Funeral Games for Patroklos in Iliad 23. In the words of Nestor, this landmark is either a sēma, ‘tomb’, of an unnamed hero of the distant past, I.23.331, or it was once upon a time a ‘turning point’, a nussa, I.23.332, used for chariot races that must have taken place in such a distant past. As I will argue, the master narrative of the Iliad shows that this sēma or ‘tomb’ is to be understood as the tomb of Patroklos himself, which he will share with Achilles once Achilles too is dead. To understand this is to understand the sēma or ‘sign’ given by the hero Nestor.
The sēma that is the ‘tomb’ of the unnamed hero at I.23.331 is also a ‘sign’ of that hero’s cult, as signaled by the sēma or ‘sign’ that is conveyed by the speaker at I.23.326. That is what I once argued in an essay entitled “Sēma and Noēsis: The Hero’s Tomb and the ‘Reading’ of Symbols in Homer and Hesiod” (GM 202-222). As I pointed out in that essay, we know from evidence external to Homeric poetry that the tomb of a cult hero could be used as the actual turning point of a chariot race: in the historical period, starting with the adoption of chariot racing in the athletic program of the Olympics (this adoption has been dated at around 680 BCE), the turning-point of chariot-races could be conceptualized as the tomb of a hero, whose restless spirit was capable of “spooking” the horses at the most dangerous moment of the chariot-race, the left turn around the turning point. (GMP 215-216, with reference to Pausanias 6.20.15-19).
According to the wording of Nestor, however, there seem at first to be two different interpretations of the landmark that he is showing to Antilokhos: what is being visualized is either a tomb of a cult hero from the distant past or it is a turning point for chariot races that must have taken place in such a distant past. The landmark is an ambivalent sign. At least, it seems ambivalent, short range, on the basis of Nestor’s wording in this passage. Long range, however, on the basis of the overall plot of the Iliad, this wording will lead to a fusion of interpretations. And the sign that seemed at first to be ambivalent will become clear. Long range, the tomb of the unnamed hero from the distant past becomes the same landmark as the turning point of a chariot race from the distant past. That is because the unnamed hero from the distant past becomes a named hero from the immediate present of the Iliad. That hero is Patroklos, and he died just now, as it were, in Iliad 16.
But Patroklos dies not only in the present time of the Iliad. He also did die a long time ago, from the standpoint of later generations who are listening to the story of the Iliad. So, the storytelling of the Iliad makes it possible for the athletic event of a chariot race from the distant past to become the same thing as the athletic event of a chariot race that is being held right now, in the same immediate present time of the story, in Iliad 23. And, as I argue, this race is intended to honor Patroklos as a future cult hero. See also the comment on O.11.119–137. [[GN 2017.06.08.]]
subject heading(s): therapōn ‘attendant, ritual substitute’
See anchor comment at I.23.113 on Meriones as therapōn of Idomeneus. [[GN 2016.08.04 via Nagy 2015.05.01.]]
subject heading(s): ozos Arēos ‘attendant of Ares’
See anchor comment at I.12.188.
subject heading(s): therapōn ‘attendant, ritual substitute’
See anchor comment at I.23.113 on Meriones as therapōn of Idomeneus. [[GN 2016.08.04 via Nagy 2015.05.01.]]
subject heading(s): therapōn ‘attendant, ritual substitute’
See anchor comment at I.23.113 on Meriones as therapōn of Idomeneus. [[GN 2017.01.02.]]
BA = Best of the Achaeans, Nagy 1979/1999.
GMP = Greek Mythology and Poetics, Nagy 1990b.
H24H = The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours, Nagy 2013
HC = Homer the Classic, Nagy 2009|2008
HPC = Homer the Preclassic, Nagy 2010|2009
HQ = Homeric Questions, Nagy 1996b
HR = Homeric Responses, Nagy 2003
LSJ = Liddell, H. G., R. Scott, and H. S. Jones. 1940. A Greek-English Lexicon. 9th ed. Oxford.
MoM = Masterpieces of Metonymy, Nagy 2016|2015
PasP = Poetry as Performance, Nagy 1996a
PH = Pindar’s Homer, Nagy 1990a
See the dynamic Bibliography for AHCIP.
Inventory of terms and names
See the dynamic Inventory of terms and names for AHCIP.