Aphrodite

A scenario for exchanges of comments on a planned monograph about the ancient reception of Sappho

2019.03.08 | By Gregory Nagy As the title of this posting for 2019.03.08 indicates, I am planning to produce a monograph about the ancient reception of Sappho, and part of the plan is to organize a system for exchanging comments about this monograph, the text of which is I think not yet ready for publication in print. In this posting, I attempt to get the conversation started by making selected… Read more

Musings about a scene pictured by the Achilles Painter

2019.02.14 | By Gregory Nagy §0. On the cover of an earlier posting of mine for Classical Inquiries, Nagy 2019.01.31, we see a facsimile of a picture painted on an Attic white-ground lekythos, dated somewhere around 440–430 BCE, by an artist who is known to art historians as the Achilles Painter. In that posting, which was all about Sappho, I never explained why I chose that picture for the cover.… Read more

More on the love story of Phaedra and Hippolytus: comparing the references in Pausanias and Euripides

2018.08.03 | By Gregory Nagy In the posting for 2018.06.21, I highlighted a painterly vision in the narrative of Pausanias about the erotic passion felt by Phaedra for Hippolytus. In that vision, Phaedra is viewing Hippolytus exercising naked. And the agent of the vision is the goddess Aphrodite. In the present posting, for 2018.08.03, I compare another painterly vision—this time, in the poetry of Euripides. In this vision, Phaedra is… Read more

A placeholder for the love story of Phaedra and Hippolytus: What’s love got to do with it?

2018.06.21 | By Gregory Nagy §0. When Phaedra sees Hippolytus for the very first time, she is already falling in love with him. That is what Pausanias seems to be saying as he retells the myth. The ancient Greek word that he uses in this context is erasthēnai, which is conventionally translated as ‘fall in love with’. I think, however, that this translation can be misleading—unless the relevant contexts are… Read more

Helen’s mixed feelings for Alexander in Iliad 3: the cognitive, pragmatic, and emotional significance of third-person pronouns

2016.05.02 | Anna Bonifazi The way in which Helen recalls Alexander at Iliad 3.406–412 contributes a great deal to the cognitive and emotional characterization of the speech, and in particular to the expression of Helen’s mixed feelings towards Alexander. The speech reenactment by the Homeric performer shows a careful choice of third-person pronouns, which contribute to the depiction of Helen’s complex emotionality at that moment of the poem. Read more

Once again this time in Song 1 of Sappho

2015.11.05 | By Gregory Nagy I argue here in this posting for 2015.11.05 that the expression dēute (δηὖτε) as used at lines 15 and 16 and 18 in Song 1 of Sappho refers not only to some episodically recurrent emotion of love as experienced by the speaker but also to the seasonally recurrent performance of the song on festive occasions that I reconstruct back to the earliest attested phases of… Read more