By Gregory Nagy

Pausanias tries to visualize the three ‘Graces’ of Orkhomenos in Boeotia

2021.03.20 | By Gregory Nagy §0. I focus here on a time in history when the traveler Pausanias, who lived in the second century CE, visited the proud old city of Orkhomenos in the region of Boeotia. As we read in his report of that visit, he took a special interest in the traditional myths and rituals of the city’s inhabitants concerning goddesses worshipped there as the three Kharites or… Read more

Olympism, Culture, and Society: On Pindar’s poetic lessons about heroic Olympism in myths about Herakles

2021.03.12 | By Gregory Nagy §0. In our modern world—or, as some would think of it, in our postmodern world—we find it difficult to achieve any consensus about the meaning of the term “culture” as featured in the title of this essay. As for the term “society,” even experts in the social sciences cannot seem to agree on a unified definition. Nevertheless, most of us can at least sense, however… Read more

A sampling of comments on Pindar Olympian 14: highlighting Thalia as one of the three ‘Graces’

2021.03.06 | By Gregory Nagy §0. The Three ‘Graces’ or Khárites, personifications of kháris, a noun often translated in a generalizing way as ‘grace’, are reverently addressed in a victory ode of Pindar, Olympian 14, as presiding goddesses of the city of Orkhomenos in Boeotia, named Erkhomenós (feminine gender) in the local dialect (Ἐρχομενοῦ, line 3). A young man named Asōpikhos (line 17), a native son of this city, is… Read more

Some variations on the theme of a recomposed performer in ancient Greek prose and poetry

2021.02.27 | By Gregory Nagy §0. This essay is inspired by a most admirable comment made in an article by Johanna Hanink (2015) about nostalgic attempts, in the early fourth century BCE, at recovering the charisma associated with the former glory days, as it were, of the Athenian Empire as it once had flourished, during most of the fifth century. At one point in her article, in referring to the… Read more

About Euripides the anthropologist, and how he reads the troubled thoughts of female initiands

2021.02.20 | By Gregory Nagy §0. I have long admired what I would call the anthropological insights of Euripides into aetiologies, that is, into myths referring directly to rituals that frame these myths. Of course the very idea of applying even the term “anthropological” to the life and times of Euripides is inaccurate in its anachronism, but the actual insights of Euripides into the interweavings of myth and ritual—as anthropologists… Read more