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Thinking comparatively about Greek mythology XIX, a post-Mycenaean view of Hēraklēs as a performer of his Labors

2019.12.20 | By Gregory Nagy §0. For my brief essay here, TC XIX in Classical Inquiries, I return to an analysis, started at §4 of TC V, 2019.08.22, centering on a myth that tells how the hero Hēraklēs succeeded in clearing the stables of Augeias, king of Elis. These stables had been clogged with vast accumulations of manure produced by the king’s countless cattle. But now the hero single-handedly diverts… Read more

About writings and rewritings by scribes: an e-dialogue with Hana Navratilova

2019.12.12 | By Gregory Nagy §0. In the second illustration for my posting in Classical Inquiries 2019.11.22, I showed a picture of the ancient Egyptian divinity Thoth, who is the god of scribes and, more generally, of writing and wisdom. The picture shows him in the act of writing. This picture is a photograph of a three-dimensional model created in modern times as a re-enactment of a two-dimensional picture painted… Read more

About what kinds of things we may learn about mythology by reading about rituals recorded by bureaucratic scribes

2019.11.22 | By Gregory Nagy §0. This essay centers on a scribe working in the Mycenaean palace at Pylos who wrote a Greek-language text about protocols involving rituals. The scribe’s text, written on a tablet of clay in a form of writing known as Linear B, was accidentally preserved because this tablet, along with hundreds of other such tablets, was baked solid by a great fire that destroyed the palace… Read more

Thinking comparatively about Greek mythology XVII, with placeholders that stem from a conversation with Tom Palaima, starting with this question: was Hēraklēs a Dorian?

2019.11.15 | By Gregory Nagy §0. On a most memorable day, 2019.11.08, a special event took place at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, DC. The event, organized by Rachele Pierini, a current Fellow at the Center, was a far-ranging informal conversation about any and all things Mycenaean. The participants, besides the organizer, included a genial guest who was visiting the Center, Thomas G. Palaima; also participating were Roger… Read more