Archive

A pseudo-Homer gets exposed by Homer

2015.06.24 | By Gregory Nagy My point of departure here is a detailed study by Jonathan Ready concerning a theory that is meant to explain how Homeric poetry was made: supposedly, this poetry was first written down by way of dictation, and the text that resulted from the dictation became the archetype for the Homeric Iliad and Odyssey as we know them. Read more

An unnamed woman’s lament as a signal of epic sorrow

2015.06.17 | By Gregory Nagy In Odyssey 8, Odysseus sheds tears both times when he hears the two songs of Demodokos about the Trojan War, paraphrased at verses 72–83 and 487–498. As I argued in what I posted for 2015.06.10, Odysseus is weeping because he recognizes that the stories told in these songs are signals of a sorrow felt by himself and even by Achilles. Read more

Feeling pain and delight while hearing a song in Odyssey 8

2015.06.10 | By Gregory Nagy This posting of 2015.06.10 continues from where I left off in the posting of 2015.06.03, where I was focusing on the audience’s reception of the first song of Demodokos. The song, as we saw, is paraphrased at verses 72–83 of Odyssey 8; and the reception, as we also saw, is described at verses 83–92, which I translated and analyzed in the previous post. Read more

To trace a thread of thought starting from a Homeric song that seems to have no ending

2015.06.03 | By Gregory Nagy This posting of 2015.06.03 continues from where I left off in the posting of 2015.05.27, where I was focusing on the first song of Demodokos, contained in verses 72–83 of Odyssey 8. In that earlier posting and in the even earlier posting of 2015.04.10, I described this song as a micro-epic that refers to the macro-epics of the Homeric Iliad and Odyssey. Read more

An Experiment in the Making of a Homer Commentary

2015.05.27 | By Gregory Nagy This posting, 2015.05.27, continues where I left off in a previous posting, 2015.04.10. There I translated and then analyzed the text of the first song of Demodokos, contained in verses 72–83 of Odyssey 8, which I described as a micro-epic that refers to the macro-epics of the Iliad and the Odyssey. Read more

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

2015.05.20 | By Gregory Nagy 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