By Gregory Nagy

On ‘connecting the dots’—metonymically—between a shield and a garland presented to Achilles

2021.04.03 | By Gregory Nagy §0. In a book titled Masterpieces of Metonymy (Nagy 2016|2015, hereafter abbreviated as MoM), I showed line drawings of black-figure pictures painted on two vases, both of Athenian manufacture and both dated to the earlier years of the sixth century BCE. In both line drawings, we see a picturing of the hero Achilles, who at this very moment is reaching out to receive his Shield—as… Read more

On visualizing heavenly origins for particularized icons in the Greek-speaking world of today

2021.03.27 | By Gregory Nagy §0. I recall here the happy occasion of my most recent viewing, in the year 2014, of the famous ancient Myrtiá (Μυρτιά) or ‘Myrtle Tree’ growing on the hallowed grounds of an old monastery, now a nunnery, in Palianí (Παλιανή), not much more than 20 kilometers southwest of Iráklio (῾Ηράκλειον), the ‘City of Herakles,’ on the island of Crete. This enormous old tree, the myriad… Read more

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