Equine Poetics

Horses are nearly ubiquitous in the early recorded poetries of the Indo-European world, and one particular facet of this presents a perfect starting point for our discussion: a reconstructible Proto-Indo-European poetic expression describing horses. For the earliest poetries of Greece, India, and Iran not only treat horses in ways that… Read more

The Tears of Achilles

It might seem paradoxical to approach the question of heroism in the Iliad by way of Aphrodite, thus giving sustained attention to episodes where the majority of the action occurs within the walls of Troy. Yet it is also a way to examine fundamental values of the Homeric universe. By initially abandoning… Read more

Achilles Unbound: Multiformity and Tradition in the Homeric Epics

Our Iliad consists—to quote a well-known Homeric formula—of “winged words” (ἔπεα πτερόεντα). An image in a Bronze Age fresco from Pylos suggests that as early as Mycenaean times, poetry in performance was conceived of as being in flight (Plate 1).[1] As we have seen, the nature of the Iliad—as a poem… Read more

Homeric Imagery and the Natural Environment

The imagery of archaic Greek lyric offers our most promising comparandum for Homeric treatments of flowers and erotic bodies; accordingly, I would like to consider relevant images from the lyric corpus before turning to the Homeric images that will form the focus of my study.[1] The bodies decked… Read more

The Cypria

I begin with two small points of detail concerning passages that presuppose our fragment. The Euripidean scholion[2] is obviously thinking of the lines from the Cypria. Observe in particular its use of βάρος, κουφίσαι, and the rare adjective Ἰλιακός (see my notes on verses 4, 5, and 6). The… Read more