Chariots on the Lelantine plain and the art of taunting the losers,…

Chariots on the Lelantine plain and the art of taunting the losers, Part 2: Enter Theseus

2018.05.22 | By Natasha Bershadsky §0. In 506 BCE Athens defeated Chalcis in battle and annexed the lands of the Chalcidian hippobotai. The ritual confrontations between the hippobotai and the Eretrian hippeis, and any attendant chariot-riding, must have come to an end. Intriguingly, however, it is possible to show that the young Eretrian democracy attempted to harness the power and prestige of the obliterated aristocratic tradition, rerouting the chariots onto… Read more

Chariots on the Lelantine plain and the art of taunting the losers, Part 1: Riding into the reenactment

2018.05.17 | By Natasha Bershadsky §0. This inquiry reconstructs the role of chariots in ancient Greek ritual reenactments of primordial battles fought over the Lelantine plain on the island of Euboea from ca. 750 to 506 BCE (the so-called “Lelantine War”). It also considers the possibility of a homoerotic connection between the Euboean charioteers and apobatai, operating in the framework of their progression toward full adulthood. §1. I start this… Read more

Achilles and the Apobates Race in Euripides’ Iphigeneia in Aulis

2018.03.26 | By Thomas Scanlon An exploration of the figure of Achilles in Euripides’ Iphigeneia in Aulis in relation to its historical context, particularly the Peloponnesian War. The Chorus §1. In the parodos of Euripides’ Iphigeneia in Aulis the chorus of Chalcian women describe Achilles among a list of Greek heroes at Aulis waiting to set sail for Troy (206–230). Achilles appears in this relatively long passage as running in… Read more

The failed apobatic adventure of Pandaros the archer: A bifocal commentary on Iliad 5.166–469

2015.05.20 | By Gregory Nagy Prelude The image below is a detail from a Corinthian Hydria, dated somewhere between 575 and 550 BCE. Walters Art Museum, Accession Number 48.2230. Off to our left, we see the charioteer of Achilles, Automedon (labeled ΑΥΤΟΜΕΔΟΝ in a right-to-left writing), standing on the platform of Achilles’ chariot. In the center, we see Achilles (labeled ΑΧΙΛΛΕΥΣ left to right) about to inflict a mortal blow upon… Read more

The Upgrading of Mērionēs from Chariot Driver to Chariot Fighter

2015.05.08 | By Gregory Nagy Over twenty-one apobatic chariot teams are depicted on the Panathenaic Frieze of the Parthenon. Image: section XXXI from the south frieze.  Introduction In my posting of 2015.05.01, I analyzed the Homeric passage at Iliad 17.608–625 where a hero named Koiranos is killed while driving the chariot of Idomeneus, king of the Cretans. After the killing, which happens at verses 610–612, the hero Mērionēs suddenly appears… Read more

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