2021.07.05 | By Gregory Nagy
§0. This essay picks up from where I left off in a succession of two previous essays (Nagy 2021.06.14, linked here, and Nagy 2021.06.21, linked here). In both those essays, I concentrated on evidence that I gathered from the surviving fragments of the Hesiodic composition known as The Suitors of Helen. On the basis of that evidence, I ended the second of the two essays by starting to think further about the implications of what we read in “our” Homeric Iliad about the single most important Achaean hero who, it is said clearly in the Hesiodic Suitors of Helen, was never a suitor of Helen in Sparta. That hero was Achilles, the best of the Achaeans in our Homeric Iliad. In the essay here, I offer some further thoughts about the idea of Achilles as a “non-suitor,” especially as reflected in Iliad 9, where the love of Achilles for Briseis, a captive woman whom he ‘won by the spear’—so he describes her—is contrasted with the love, which Achilles sarcastically questions, of Agamemnon and Menelaos for ‘their wives’.
§1. There is an irony here, and I think that it provokes the sarcasm I sense in the wording of Achilles. For my analysis of this irony, I start by quoting from the relevant words of the hero. He is speaking here to Odysseus, who is one of three emissaries sent by Agamemnon in an attempt to persuade Achilles to rejoin his fellow Achaeans in fighting the Trojan War:
τί δὲ δεῖ πολεμιζέμεναι Τρώεσσιν
Ἀργείους; τί δὲ λαὸν ἀνήγαγεν ἐνθάδ’ ἀγείρας
Ἀτρεΐδης; ἦ οὐχ Ἑλένης ἕνεκ’ ἠϋκόμοιο;
9.340 ἦ μοῦνοι φιλέουσ’ ἀλόχους μερόπων ἀνθρώπων
Ἀτρεΐδαι; ἐπεὶ ὅς τις ἀνὴρ ἀγαθὸς καὶ ἐχέφρων
τὴν αὐτοῦ φιλέει καὶ κήδεται, ὡς καὶ ἐγὼ τὴν
ἐκ θυμοῦ φίλεον δουρικτητήν περ ἐοῦσαν.
And why is there a need for them to wage war against the Trojans / I mean, why is there such a need for the Argives [= Achaeans]? / Why did he [= Agamemnon] bring here this mass-of-fighting-men, having gathered them together, / why did he do it, that son of Atreus? Was it not because of Helen with the beautiful hair? /9.340 So, is it that the only ones, among all mortal men, who love their bedmates / are the sons of Atreus [= Agamemnon and Menelaos]? I am talking this way because any man who is noble and sensible / loves his own woman and takes care of her, just as I loved this one [= Briseis], / loved her with all my heart, though I won-possession [ktâsthai] of her by way of the spear.
The wording of Achilles here refers indirectly to the Oath of the Suitors, which is attested directly elsewhere in the Hesiodic Suitors of Helen (F 204.78–85), as also for example in Stesichorus F 190 (via the scholia A for Iliad 2.339) and in the Library of “Apollodorus” (3.10.9). As Achilles says here in referring to the Oath, Agamemnon assembled the Achaeans to fight the Trojan War by invoking the oath that they had taken when they were suitors of Helen and when they solemnly swore that they would all band together and lead their masses of fighting men to war in order to recover Helen if she were abducted by any man from the man who would be chosen as her bridegroom. And here is the irony: Achilles, as we read in the Hesiodic Suitors of Helen (F 204.87–92), never took the Oath, since he was not a suitor of Helen. So why is he fighting in the Trojan War? It is because, as we know from sources other than our Homeric Iliad (the best-known such source is Scroll 1 of the Achilleid by Statius, who lived in the first century CE), Achilles was tricked by Odysseus into joining the Trojan War—tricked by the same trickster-hero who is now trying to persuade him to rejoin the war.
§2. And the irony deepens. As we also know from the Hesiodic Suitors of Helen (F 198.1–8), the suitor who contrived the Oath of the Suitors was the same trickster-hero Odysseus: he had planned not to offer any wedding-presents in competing with the other suitors, and, instead, he contrived a two-sided angeliē ‘proposal’ (F 198.7) that resulted in his marrying Penelope as his own bride while all the other Achaeans—except for Achilles—were tricked into marrying Helen collectively. I say they were “tricked” because the only beneficiary of Helen’s sexual favors was Menelaos.
§3. The irony deepens further, as I will now argue. Here I turn to a most problematic passage in the Hesiodic Suitors of Helen (F 197.3–5), where we read that Agamemnon took on the role of suitor in proposing to the would-be mortal father of Helen, Tyndareos, that she should be married off to Menelaos. If I have interpreted this passage accurately in the previous two essays, the motive of Agamemnon in replacing Menelaos as the official suitor of Helen can be explained in terms of the power-dynamics of gift-exchange. Tyndareos was giving away as bride the notionally priceless gift that was Helen—I say “priceless” because she was really the daughter of Zeus—and, to match that gift, the counter-gift of the most successful Achaean suitor needed somehow to rival in value the notional pricelessness of Helen. Thus the superior wealth of the dominant brother Agamemnon—with all the power and prestige that came with this wealth—was needed to supplement the relatively inferior resources at the disposal of the recessive brother Menelaos. That is why the two brothers, these sons of Atreus, combined their material resources in their suit to win Helen as a bride. But the suitor who made the decisive proposal, Agamemnon, already had a wife: she was Clytemnestra, twin sister of Helen. Helen and Clytemnestra had the same mother, but the father of Clytemnestra was the mortal Tyndareos, by contrast with the immortal father of Helen, Zeus. Given this set of mythological circumstances, we should not be surprised that the hero who claimed the prestigious role of leading the expedition to Troy in order to recover Helen after this daughter of Zeus was abducted by the Trojan prince Paris/Alexandros was the former suitor-in-chief, Agamemnon, not Menelaos. And although Agamemnon arrogated to himself the role of taking back a woman who had been taken away from his brother, he was not inhibited by a sense of shame when he arrogantly took away from Achilles the woman loved by that hero. We circle back to the sarcastic question of Achilles: ‘So, is it that the only ones, among all mortal men, who love their bedmates are the sons of Atreus?’ Implied is this question: What kind of a love is this, shared as it is by the two brothers in their quest, led by the dominant brother, to recover the bedmate of the recessive brother?
§4. The irony deepens ever further, I venture to add. I follow up on what I have already noted about the words of Achilles, quoted above, that are spoken in reply to Odysseus, who is one of three emissaries delegated by the over-king Agamemnon to offer compensation that would supposedly induce the best of the Achaeans to re-enter the Trojan War. In the larger context of what I have quoted, I now note in addition that Achilles is rejecting not only the overall offer of Agamemnon. The best of the Achaeans is also detailing for explicit rejection the part of the offer where Agamemnon had expressed his willingness to give away as bride to Achilles one of three daughters of his, whichever one of them Achilles chooses to marry (9.144–147, 286–289). In terms of the offer, Achilles would be a non-suitor, that is, he would not even be obliged to give a wedding-gift in return for the gift of a bride. And the word here for a non-suitor bridegroom-to-be is expressed by way of the word anaednos, meaning ‘without being obliged to give a wedding-present’ (ἀνάεδνον at 9.146, 288). This negativized adjective is derived from the noun hedna / eedna, meaning ‘wedding-presents’, which is to say, gifts that a suitor is expected to offer to the father of the woman whom he proposes to win as his bride. We find a striking example of this noun in the Hesiodic Suitors of Helen (F 204.45), where Ajax as a suitor of Helen is offering gifts to the would-be mortal father of the bride, Tyndareos: δίδου δ’ἄρα ἕδνα ἐ̣[ο]ι̣κότα ‘he [= Ajax] was offering wedding-presents [hedna] that were quite seemly’. So, I think the irony here is this: the exemption offered by Agamemnon to Achilles—which is, that the best of the Achaeans would not be obliged to offer hedna / eedna ‘wedding-presents’ to the over-king who is offering him one of his own three daughters as bride—can be seen as an insult. I paraphrase here: You, Achilles, even if you are a supreme warrior, could not possibly afford to give me, Agamemnon, sufficient counter-gifts to match the gifts that I as the wealthiest of all Achaeans can give you. So, there would be no point in your attempting to offer counter-gifts, and I am letting you accept my gifts without my receiving counter-gifts in return. And not only do I give you, as my gift, one of my daughters as bride (9.144–147) but I also give you, as an additional gift, territory in the Messenian Gulf for you to dominate (9.147–157). End of paraphrase. But then Agamemnon goes on to say, and now I have to restart my paraphrase: Once you, Achilles, accept all my gifts, your acceptance will prove that I, Agamemnon, am superior to you, over-king that I am (9.158–161).
§5. But Achilles will of course reject Agamemnon’s offer. The best of the Achaeans will refuse to marry into the family of the over-king and thus be turned into his vassal. And this rejection will become a visible sign of Agamemnon’s unintentional self-disqualification in his claim to be superior to Achilles. For Achilles to accept such an offer would have undermined his own superiority as best of the Achaeans. It is unimaginable that he would have accepted, even though the trickster-hero Odysseus, in repeating the wording of Agamemnon, had concealed the over-king’s claim of superiority (9.158–161) by skipping that part of Agamemnon’s wording, repeating instead only the parts where the over-king offers one of his daughters as bride (9.144–147, repeated at 9.286–289) and makes his added offer of territories for Achilles to dominate (9.147–157, repeated at 9.289–299).
§6. I have yet to consider the kinds of hedna / eedna ‘wedding-presents’ that suitors would conventionally offer to the fathers of their prospective brides. Looking for examples, I turn back once again to the Hesiodic Suitors of Helen, and, this time around, I start by considering the gifts that are being offered by the hero Menestheus, king of Athens, in his effort to win Helen as his bride. We see here that his gifts are meant as eedna ‘wedding-presents’ (F 200.4: ἔεδνα). Also, in this same context, we see a verb that refers to his act of offering eedna: the word is eednōsasthai (F 200.7: ἐεδνώσ[ασθαι]) in the sense of ‘win [as his bride] by way of offering wedding-presents’. The gifts being offered in this case are described specifically as treasures from the hero’s palace (F 200.4–6), and such treasures are his possessions. Now the verb used to express the possessing of such possessions is ktâsthai (F 200.5: ἔκτητο), which I will hereafter translate with the general meaning of ‘possess’ or ‘win possession of’, but this general meaning must be contrasted with the specific meaning of a noun that is derived from the verb—a noun that we see being used here in the same context of courtship. The noun is ktḗnea (F 200.9: κτήνεσσι). Although it is derived from the verb ktâsthai, which as I have just noted has the general meaning ‘possess’ or ‘win possession of’, the noun ktḗnea means—here and elsewhere in Greek—not ‘possessions’ in general but ‘livestock’ in particular. And a more accurate translation of this noun, used mostly in the plural, would be ‘herds of cattle and/or flocks of sheep’ (I follow here the interpretation of attested contexts as analyzed in the etymological dictionary of Pierre Chantraine [revised 2009 by his successors], under the heading κτάομαι). In the case of the narrative we are now considering, where the hero Menestheus of Athens is offering gifts in his suit to become the bridegroom of Helen, I note with the greatest interest that the word referring to the actual wedding-gifts that he offers is this noun ktḗnea, which as we have just seen means specifically ‘herds of cattle / flocks of sheep’ (again, F 200.9: κτήνεσσι).
§7. There is a comparable detail to be noted elsewhere in the Hesiodic Suitors of Helen. In another fragment, we read that Odysseus has come to the conclusion that he could never possibly match, in his own quest as suitor of Helen, the value of the sumptuous wedding-gifts being offered by Menelaos—gifts that have been merged, if I have interpreted the overall narrative accurately, with the even more sumptuous gifts being offered by the supremely wealthy Agamemnon. And, in this context, the word that refers to the sumptuous wedding-gifts that will in fact win Helen as bride for Menelaos is the noun ktênos, which is a rare second-declension derivative of the verb ktâsthai ‘possess, win as a possession’. We may compare ktḗnea, the commonly-used third-declension derivative of the same verb. Just like the plural noun ktḗnea, this singular noun ktênos means not ‘possessions’ in general but ‘livestock’ in particular. And, here again, a more accurate translation of this noun, would be ‘herds of cattle and/or flocks of sheep’ (once again I follow the interpretation of Chantraine , under the heading κτάομαι). Here are the relevant words in the Hesiodic Suitors of Helen:
ἤιδεε γὰρ κατὰ θυμὸν ὅτι ξανθὸς Μενέλαος /
νικήσει, κτήνωι γὰρ Ἀχαιῶν φέρτατος ἦεν·
‘You see, he [= Odysseus] knew in his heart that the one with the golden hair, Menelaos, / would be the winner, since he [= Menelaos], when it comes to herds-of-cattle-and-flocks-of-sheep [ktênos], was the winningest [phertatos] of all the Achaeans.’
Hesiod F 198.5–6
§8. As we see from this Hesiodic passage, the merged wedding-gift presented by Menelaos in concert with his brother Agamemnon took the form of livestock, that is, what they gave was herds of cattle and flocks of sheep, and they had more livestock to herd as gifts than any other Achaean. So, livestock was the primary form of currency, as it were, in gift-exchanges where the bridegroom-to-be presents wedding-gifts to the father of the bride-to-be. And the most explicit example of such pastoral currency in ritualized courtship is this narrative in the Hesiodic Suitors of Helen about the eligibility of Ajax as suitor:
Αἴας δ’ ἐκ Σαλαμῖνος ἀμώμ̣ητος πολεμ̣ι̣σ̣τὴς
45 μνᾶτο· δίδου δ’ ἄρα ἕδνα ἐ̣[ο]ι̣κότα, θαυματὰ ἔργα·
οἳ γὰρ ἔχον Τροιζῆνα καὶ ἀγ[χ]ίαλον Ἐπίδαυρον
νῆσόν τ’ Αἴγιναν Μάση̣τά τε κοῦρ̣ο̣[ι] Ἀχαιῶν
καὶ Μέγαρα σκιόεντα καὶ ὀφρυόεντα Κό̣ρ̣ινθον,
Ἑρμιόνην Ἀσίνην τε παρὲξ ἅλ̣α̣ ν̣αιετα̣ώσας,
50 τῶν ἔφατ’ εἰλίποδάς τε βόας κ[α]ὶ̣ [ἴ]φ̣ι̣α̣ μ̣ῆ̣λα
συνελάσας δώσειν· ἐκέκαστο γὰρ ἔγ̣χεϊ μ̣α̣κρῶι̣.
Ajax, coming from Salamis, a faultless warrior, /45 was-a-suitor [mnâsthai] (of Helen). He was offering wedding-presents [hedna] that were quite seemly, (showing that) his deeds were awesome. / You see, people who held (the territories of) Troizen, also Epidaurus by-the-sea, and the island of Aegina, and Masēs—yes, people who were sons of the Achaeans / and who held also Megara, with its shady [palatial-] halls, and Corinth, with its looming citadel, / also Hermione and Asine, situated beyond the sea, /50 —the shambling cattle and sturdy sheep of all these people / he said he would herd together and offer them all as presents. That is how dominant he was, with his long spear.
Hesiod F 204.44–5
Here the eligibility of Ajax as suitor of Helen is to be measured by considering the value of the wedding-gifts he offers, which are explicitly defined as herds of cattle and flocks of sheep.
§9. The very idea of livestock as a form of exchange in return for women in ritualized courtship is of course offensive to our modern sensibilities, and I make no excuses for this idea, even if I must accept the reality that such materialistic exchanges were a fact of life in pre-monetary phases of the ancient world—and that we see traces of such phases reflected in epic traditions. That said, however, I also see signs of transcendence in the Homeric Iliad. A prime example, I think, can be found in the wording of Achilles as quoted in Iliad 9, where we see him rejecting Agamemnon’s gift of one of his daughters. I focus here on the hero’s use of the verb ktâsthai, which I have been translating as ‘possess’ or ‘win as a possession’. First, we will consider the purely materialistic sense of this word, but then we will see a transcendent sense.
§10. In the wording of Achilles, as also in the wording of Homeric diction in general, the word ktâsthai can be used with reference to ‘winning as a possession’ either livestock or women:
First, the livestock: Achilles says that he could raid cattle or sheep to his heart’s content, wherever he is, and, in this context, the adjective ktētoi ‘ready to be won as possessions’, derived from the verb ktâsthai, is used synonymously with lēïstoi ‘ready to be raided, plundered’:
ληϊστοὶ μὲν γάρ τε βόες καὶ ἴφια μῆλα,
κτητοὶ δὲ τρίποδές τε καὶ ἵππων ξανθὰ κάρηνα,
ἀνδρὸς δὲ ψυχὴ πάλιν ἐλθεῖν οὔτε λεϊστὴ
οὔθ’ ἑλετή, ἐπεὶ ἄρ κεν ἀμείψεται ἕρκος ὀδόντων.
Ready-to-be-raided [lēïstoi] are cattle and sturdy sheep, / and ready-to-be-won-as-possessions [ktētoi] are tripods and horses with their golden manes, / but the life of a man cannot be returned to him, either won-back-in-a-[counter-]raid [lēïstē] / or [at first] captured [in a raid], / once it [= the life] has passed away through the barrier of one’s teeth.
Second, a woman: Achilles refers to Briseis, a woman whom he made his bedmate after capturing her on a raiding adventure, as douriktētē ‘won as a possession by way of the spear’ (Iliad 9.343, as quoted above at §1).
§11. And now we come to the transcendence. As we saw in Iliad 9.337–343, Achilles says he loves Briseis while questioning whether Agamemnon and Menelaos really love their bedmates. And the irony here is that Helen as wife, courted by Agamemnon and married by Menelaos, was won as a possession by way of a superabundance of livestock given as a wedding-gift.
§12. The love of Achilles for Briseis is of course a vast poetic theme, centering on the idea of this hero’s eligibility as a most attractive potential bridegroom who is doomed never to marry. I have analyzed at some length a number of variations on this theme in The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours (Nagy 2013), especially in “Hours” 4 (§21) and 5 (§§20–22, 89–91, 97, 98–103, 106–110), and I have already mentioned at §10 in the second of my two other relevant essays (Nagy 2021.06.21, linked here) the hero’s status as an idealized bridegroom. A most telling piece of evidence in this regard comes from lyric rather than epic tradition: in the songs of Sappho (Fragment 105b), as we read in Himerius Orations 9.16, the generic bridegroom was conventionally visualized as Achilles himself. Such a poetic theme, explored further in a relevant book by Marco Fantuzzi, Achilles in Love (2012), helps us appreciate more deeply the significance of the words spoken by Achilles about Briseis in Iliad 9—how he ‘won her as a possession by way of the spear’. And, if we compare the hero Achilles once again to Ajax in that second hero’s role as not only the second-best of the Achaeans but also arguably the second-best of the suitors who sought to be the bridegroom of Helen, we can now see in a new perspective, I think, a relevant description of Ajax in the Hesiodic Suitors of Helen, as quoted above: there he is, pictured as dominating vast stretches of territory ‘by way of the spear’, which is a sign of the power he has to herd vast numbers of cattle and sheep as wedding-presents offered to match the notional pricelessness of Helen. Such power, I think, is a retroactive visualization of Ajax as a cult hero who is worshipped in the territories that he dominates, where many different local populations bestow on him vast numbers of cattle and sheep to be sacrificed in the context of his many different local hero-cults, as I have argued already at §§4–9 in the first of my two other relevant essays (Nagy 2021.06.14, linked here).
§13. Such a pastoralist view of the hero is visible throughout the Homeric Iliad, as I have shown in The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours (Nagy 2013) in “Hour” 24 (§§24–29), where I argue that words like stathmos, klisiē, and sēkos refer not only to the battle-stations (sometimes translated as ‘tents’) of the Achaean heroes fighting in the Trojan War but also to the pastoral stations of herdsmen who attend to the sacrificing of cattle and sheep by worshippers of cult heroes. A detail in my argumentation there that I need to highlight here is the picturing of Achilles as well as Ajax as a pastoralist. They are both dominant ‘by way of the spear’, but their dominance can take the form of herding, even raiding. I said “raiding” because, as we have seen, both Achilles and Ajax are pictured as occasional raiders. In the case of Achilles, we can even see that he ‘won as his possession’ the woman Briseis in the context of a raid (as we know from the wording of Achilles himself when he narrates at Iliad 1.366–392 how Briseis and other women were captured). Achilles raids not only cattle and sheep: he raids also women.
§14. Granted, then, the love of Achilles for Briseis may not strike us as all that romantic—or even all that courtly. But the expression of love cannot be denied. And even though we may feel initially repelled by the idea that cattle, say, can become a currency, as it were, for actually thinking about love, I can think of situations even in the post-ancient world where cattle can be seen as a medium for expressing at least an onset of feelings that lead to love. In a somewhat playful frame of mind, I cite as an example a paragraph from Jane Austen’s Emma, published in early 1816, where we find a seventeen-year-old girl, Harriet Smith, revealing confidentially to Emma Woodhouse some guarded feelings about an onset of love. The girl muses about the loving way her would-be mother-in-law speaks to her about a pretty little Welsh (“Welch”) cow that the girl already fancies as a symbol of future happiness in the household of the Martin family, where she would live happily as the future wife of a young farmer, Mrs. Martin’s son, who already loves Harriet. This paragraph about Harriet’s reveries comes from Volume 1, Chapter 4:
But the Martins occupied her thoughts a good deal; she had spent two very happy months with them, and now loved to talk of the pleasures of her visit, and describe the many comforts and wonders of the place. Emma encouraged her talkativeness—amused by such a picture of another set of beings, and enjoying the youthful simplicity which could speak with so much exultation of Mrs. Martin’s having “two parlours, two very good parlours, indeed; one of them quite as large as Mrs. Goddard’s drawing-room; and of her having an upper maid who had lived five-and-twenty years with her; and of their having eight cows, two of them Alderneys, and one a little Welch cow, a very pretty little Welch cow indeed; and of Mrs. Martin’s saying as she was so fond of it, it should be called her cow; and of their having a very handsome summer-house in their garden, where some day next year they were all to drink tea:—a very handsome summer-house, large enough to hold a dozen people.”
§15. Epilogue. With this essay, I bring my ongoing series of posts about the Hesiodic Suitors of Helen to a close, at least for now. In closing, I need to record my special debt to the essays of Ettore Cingano (2005) and Laura Slatkin (2011), whose insights have helped me appreciate more fully the poetics of the Suitors.
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Nagy, G. 2009|2008. Homer the Classic. Printed | Online version. Hellenic Studies 36. Cambridge, MA and Washington DC. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_Nagy.Homer_the_Classic.2008.
Nagy, G. 2010|2009. Homer the Preclassic. Printed | Online version. Berkeley and Los Angeles. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_Nagy.Homer_the_Preclassic.2009.
Nagy, G. 2011a. “Asopos and his multiple daughters: Traces of preclassical epic in the Aeginetan Odes of Pindar.” In Aegina: Contexts for Choral Lyric Poetry. Myth, History, and Identity in the Fifth Century BC, ed. D. Fearn, 41–78. Oxford. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:Nagy.Asopos_and_His_Multiple_Daughters.2011.
Nagy, G. 2011b. “A Second Look at the Poetics of Reenactment in Ode 13 of Bacchylides.” In Archaic and Classical Choral Song: Performance, Politics and Dissemination, ed. L. Athanassaki and E. L. Bowie, 173–206. Berlin. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:Nagy.A_Second_Look_at_the_Poetics_of_Re-Enactment.2011.
Nagy, G. 2012. “Signs of Hero Cult in Homeric Poetry.” In Homeric Contexts: Neoanalysis and the Interpretation of Homeric Poetry, ed. F. Montanari, A. Rengakos, and Ch. Tsagalis, 27–71. Trends in Classics Supplementary Volume 12. Berlin and Boston. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:Nagy.Signs_of_Hero_Cult_in_Homeric_Poetry.2012.
Nagy, G. 2013. The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours. Cambridge, MA. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_NagyG.The_Ancient_Greek_Hero_in_24_Hours.2013. 2nd ed. paperback, 2020.
Nagy, G. 2015. Masterpieces of Metonymy: From Ancient Greek Times to Now. Hellenic Studies 72. Cambridge, MA, and Washington, DC. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_Nagy.Masterpieces_of_Metonymy.2015.
Nagy, G. 2015.03.13. “A roll of the dice for Ajax.” Classical Inquiries. https://classical-inquiries.chs.harvard.edu/a-roll-of-the-dice-for-ajax/.
Nagy, G. 2015.12.24. “Pindar’s Homer is not ‘our’ Homer.” Classical Inquiries. https://classical-inquiries.chs.harvard.edu/pindars-homer-is-not-our-homer/.
Nagy, G. 2016.05.05. “Longinus and a theological view of Zeus as god of the sky.” Classical Inquiries. https://classical-inquiries.chs.harvard.edu/longinus-and-the-theological-view-of-zeus-as-god-of-the-sky/.
Nagy, G. 2017. “A Sampling of comments on the Iliad and Odyssey. https://chs.harvard.edu/curated-article/gregory-nagy-a-sampling-of-comments-on-the-iliad-and-odyssey/.
Nagy, G. 2017.09.28. “A sampling of comments on Pindar Nemean 7.” Classical Inquiries. https://classical-inquiries.chs.harvard.edu/a-sampling-of-comments-on-pindar-nemean-7/.
Nagy, G. 2017.12.09. “On a new book by Richard P. Martin, draft of a Foreword written by an admiring editor.” Classical Inquiries. https://classical-inquiries.chs.harvard.edu/on-a-new-book-by-richard-p-martin-draft-of-a-foreword-written-by-an-admiring-editor/.
Nagy, G. 2017.12.21. “A sampling of comments on Pausanias 1.8.2–1.13.8.” Classical Inquiries. https://classical-inquiries.chs.harvard.edu/a-sampling-of-comments-on-pausanias-1-8-2-1-13-8/.
Nagy, G. 2021.05.10. “How Pindar’s Homer might save from harm the heroic glory of Ajax.” Classical Inquiries. https://classical-inquiries.chs.harvard.edu/how-pindars-homer-might-save-from-harm-the-heroic-glory-of-ajax/.
Nagy, G. 2021.05.17. “How even a Classical Homer might save from harm the heroic glory of Ajax.” Classical Inquiries. https://classical-inquiries.chs.harvard.edu/how-even-a-classical-homer-might-save-from-harm-the-heroic-glory-of-ajax/.
Nagy, G. 2021.05.24. “How a Classical Homer occasionally downgrades the heroic glory of Ajax in order to save it: Part 1.” Classical Inquiries. https://classical-inquiries.chs.harvard.edu/how-a-classical-homer-occasionally-downgrades-the-heroic-glory-of-ajax-in-order-to-save-it-part-1/.
Nagy, G. 2021.06.01. “How a Classical Homer occasionally downgrades the heroic glory of Ajax in order to save it: Part 2.” Classical Inquiries. https://classical-inquiries.chs.harvard.edu/how-a-classical-homer-occasionally-downgrades-the-heroic-glory-of-ajax-in-order-to-save-it-part-2/.
Nagy, G. 2021.06.07. “How a Classical Homer occasionally downgrades the heroic glory of Ajax in order to save it: Part 3.” Classical Inquiries. https://classical-inquiries.chs.harvard.edu/how-a-classical-homer-occasionally-downgrades-the-heroic-glory-of-ajax-in-order-to-save-it-part-3/.
Nagy, G. 2021.06.14 “On the eclipse of Ajax as a most eligible suitor of Helen.” Classical Inquiries. https://classical-inquiries.chs.harvard.edu/on-the-eclipse-of-ajax-as-a-most-eligible-suitor-of-helen/.
Nagy, G. 2021.06.21. “What on earth did Helen ever see in Ajax, her former suitor?” Classical Inquiries. https://classical-inquiries.chs.harvard.edu/what-on-earth-did-helen-ever-see-in-ajax-her-former-suitor/.
Nagy, G. 2021.07.05. “How are the epic verses of the Hesiodic Suitors of Helen relevant to Achilles in our Homeric Iliad?” Classical Inquiries. https://classical-inquiries.chs.harvard.edu/how-are-the-epic-verses-of-the-hesiodic-suitors-of-helen-relevant-to-achilles-in-our-homeric-iliad/.
Nisetich, F. J. 1989. Pindar and Homer. American Journal of Philology Monographs in Classical Philology, 4. Baltimore.
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Slatkin, L. 2011. The Power of Thetis and Selected Essays. Hellenic Studies 16. Cambridge, MA and Washington, DC. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_Slatkin.The_Power_of_Thetis_and_Selected_Essays.2011.
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Woodford, S., and M. Loudon. 1980. “Two Trojan Themes: The Iconography of Ajax Carrying the Body of Achilles and of Aeneas Carrying Anchises in Black Figure Vase Painting.” American Journal of Archaeology 84:25-40.