Plato commentary

A sampling of comments on Iliad Rhapsody 18

2016.11.25 / updated 2018.09.20 | By Gregory Nagy The centerpiece of Iliad 18 is the shield of Achilles, envisioned as a work of art that defines the universe. The divine artisan Hephaistos makes this shield by way of metalwork, but Homeric poetry reconfigures the artistry of this metalwork by way of verbal art. And the artistry of Homeric poetry will now create or re-create a cosmos that is meant to… Read more

Plato on dithyramb as diēgēsis

2016.09.22 | By Marco Romani Mistretta The opening of the Iliad (I.01.12–42) is famously paraphrased in narrative form by Socrates in Plato’s Republic 3, 393d–394a. The paraphrase is meant to illustrate Plato’s distinction between purely ‘diegetic’ and ‘mimetic’ forms of poetic production. Read more

A political term in a paraphrase of Homer by Plato

2016.09.21 | By David Elmer The verb ep-eu-phēmeîn (ἐπευφημεῖν) at I.01.022 is virtually a hapax legomenon in the Homeric corpus: it occurs only here and in Achilles’ repetition of the line when he recounts for Thetis the poem’s opening scene, I.01.376. It is an exceptional, one-off substitute for ep-aineîn (ἐπαινεῖν) ‘approve’, the expected term, within the Iliad’s “grammar of reception,” for the collective approval of an audience in scenes of… Read more