By Gregory Nagy

Text and reperformance: do you really need a text for your reperformance?

posted 2021.06.24, to be reperformed 2021.06.30 | By Gregory Nagy §0. This presentation offers friendly criticism of the views of classicists who use such terms as "text" and "reperformance" without fully taking into account various comparative perspectives that have for some time been made available by way of typological descriptions of "live" performance as observed and analyzed in a wide variety of ethnographical studies. Read more

What on earth did Helen ever see in Ajax, her former suitor?

2021.06.21 | By Gregory Nagy §0. In our Homeric Iliad, there is a scene, traditionally known as the Teikhoskopiā or ‘View from the Walls’, where Helen of Sparta, described here as daughter of Zeus, is looking down from where she is standing, high up on the walls of Troy, and, as we view her, she in turn is viewing from up there, from her lofty vantage point, the leaders of… Read more

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