A sampling of comments on Pindar Isthmian 8

2017.10.05 | By Gregory Nagy Pindar’s Isthmian 8 highlights the hero Achilles, who is for us defined primarily by the Homeric Iliad—though he had been a prominent figure also in other epic traditions, as we see for example in the surviving plot-outline of the Aithiopis, ‘the song of the Ethiopians’, which was an epic belonging to a body of poetry commonly known as the epic Cycle. Also highlighted in Isthmian… Read more

Variations on a theological view of Zeus as god of the sky

2016.05.12 | By Gregory Nagy The theological view of Zeus as simply the god of the bright sky, which is when the weather is ‘good’, gets more complicated when the weather turns ‘bad’, that is, when this god gathers clouds to make rain either with or without thunder and lightning. At such moments, Zeus is the nephelēgereta or ‘cloud-gatherer’ (Iliad 1.511, etc.). When the weather turns ‘bad’, is it necessarily… Read more

Things noted during five days of travel-study in Greece, 2016.03.13–18

2016.03.24 | By Gregory Nagy During the five full days of contact time for myself and the participants of the 2016 Harvard Spring Break travel-study program, I tried each day to focus on three things to see at each ancient site we visited. Wherever it was possible, I used as my primary ancient source the reportage of the ancient traveler Pausanias, who flourished in the second century CE and whose… Read more