Feeling pain and delight while hearing a song in Odyssey 8

An Experiment in the Making of a Homer Commentary

2015.05.27 | By Gregory Nagy Taking a Shortcut in Analyzing the First Song of Demodokos in Odyssey 8 Detail from folio 12r of Venetus A: Διὸς δ’ ἐτελείετο βουλή ‘and the plan of Zeus started moving toward its fulfillment’. What triggers this programmatic declaration at the beginning of the Iliad is the fact that the narrative starts with the quarrel between Agamemnon and Achilles. §1. This posting, 2015.05.27, continues where… Read more

Who is the best of heroes, Achilles or Odysseus? And which is the best of epics, the Iliad or the Odyssey?

2015.04.10 | By Gregory Nagy §1. In H24H, I speak about the complementarity of the Homeric Iliad and Odyssey in foregrounding respectively Achilles and Odysseus as the best hero among all the Achaeans who came to fight in the Trojan War. (In this context, the ‘Achaeans’ are the Homeric prototypes of the historical Greeks, also known as ‘Argives’ and ‘Danaans’.) Here is the way I describe that complementarity: 9§12. A… Read more

A Roll of the Dice for Ajax

2015.03.13 | By Gregory Nagy Background §0.1. In the Homeric Iliad, the hero Ajax is second best in comparison with Achilles; in the Homeric Odyssey, he is second best in comparison with Odysseus. In the Iliad, it is made explicit that Achilles is ‘the best of the Achaeans’, while Ajax is only the second best. In Chapter 2 of my book The Best of the Achaeans (1979; 2nd ed. 1989),… Read more

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