Previewing a concise inventory of Greek etymologies, Part 1: Introduction by Gregory Nagy 2016.01.15 to the shape of things to come

2016.01.15 | By Gregory Nagy The title (or, better, subtitle) in the second line here, just like other titles that sound like this, replicates the wording for the title of a work of science fiction by H. G. Wells (1933). But here the work is not science fiction but science in the European sense of the word. In the online journal named Classics@, published by the Center for Hellenic Studies… Read more

Weaving while singing Sappho’s songs in Epigram 55 of Posidippus

2016.01.07 | By Gregory Nagy Epigram 55 of Posidippus, a poet who flourished in the third century BCE, refers to the songs of Sappho. That is what I argued already in my postings for 2015.11.19 and 2015.12.03. This epigram, as we can see from those postings, is about a girl named Nikomakhe whose happy young life was sadly interrupted by a premature death. Nostalgically, the words of the epigram recall… Read more

Some imitations of Pindar and Sappho by Horace

2015.12.31 | By Gregory Nagy Horace’s imitations of Sappho in Ode 4.1 and of Pindar in Ode 4.2 show his deep understanding of archaic Greek lyric poetry. Particularly striking is his visualization of Icarus in Ode 4.2 as a negative model for such poetry. The artificial wings of Icarus are seen as a foil for the natural wings of the swan, the sacred bird of Apollo, who is god of… Read more

Pindar’s Homer is not “our” Homer

2015.12.24 | By Gregory Nagy I argue that the figure of Homer in the lyric songmaking of Pindar is envisioned as the poet of all epic, not only of the Iliad and the Odyssey as we know them. At the core of my argumentation here is the earliest reconstructable meaning of the word kuklos (κύκλος) as applied to the Epic Cycle. In terms of such an application, kuklos refers to… Read more

Life of Homer myths as evidence for the reception of Homer

2015.12.18 | By Gregory Nagy This inquiry centers on the surviving texts of ‘Life of Homer’ narrative traditions, to which I refer simply as Lives of Homer. These Lives, I argue, can be read as sources of historical information about the reception of Homeric poetry. The information is varied and layered, requiring diachronic as well as synchronic analysis. The Lives portray the reception of Homeric poetry by narrating a series… Read more