By Gregory Nagy

On the eclipse of Ajax as a most eligible suitor of Helen

2021.06.14 | By Gregory Nagy §0. In fragments from Hesiodic poetry, we read that the hero Ajax was one of many heroes who came together in Sparta to compete with each other as rival suitors of Helen, who was being “given away” as a bride by not only her mortal would-be father Tyndareos but also by her semi-immortal twin brothers Kastor and Polydeukes (Castor and Pollux). Though he entered the… Read more

How a Classical Homer occasionally downgrades the heroic glory of Ajax in order to save it: Part 3

2021.06.07 | By Gregory Nagy §0. Here in Part 3 of my three-part essay, I take up the argument I introduced at the end of Part 2 (Nagy 2021.06.01, linked here): in “our” Iliad and in “our” Odyssey, the heroic glory of Ajax needs to be safeguarded—but it cannot be completely vindicated. (Hereafter, I will stop using quotation marks in referring to these two epics, which I have also been… Read more

How a Classical Homer occasionally downgrades the heroic glory of Ajax in order to save it: Part 1

2021.05.24 | By Gregory Nagy §0. In this essay, as in two previous essays posted in Classical Inquiries( (Nagy 2021.05.10, linked here, and 2021.05.17, linked here), I posit again the idea of a “Classical Homer,” that is, the Homer of “our” Iliad and Odyssey as reflected in the textual tradition that has survived down to our own time. The myths represented by this Homer of ours correspond, more rather than… Read more

How even a Classical Homer might save from harm the heroic glory of Ajax

2021.05.17 | By Gregory Nagy §0. Going beyond what I attempted in the previous essay, where I tried to show that Pindar’s version of Homer might save from harm the heroic glory of Ajax (Nagy 2021.05.10, linked here), I will now try to show that “our” version of Homer might also be viewed as such a source of salvation—even though “our” Homer differs from Pindar’s Homer by shining relatively less… Read more

How Pindar’s Homer might save from harm the heroic glory of Ajax

2021.05.10 | By Gregory Nagy §0. In this essay I attempt to explain, though only in its barest outlines, Pindar’s poetic project of picturing ‘Homer’ as a potential savior of the glory deserved by Ajax, hero of Salamis—despite this Homer’s generally indiscriminate taste, it is claimed, for greedily savoring all the delicacies of all the myths cooked up for him by way of epic poetry—I use the word ‘myths’ here… Read more