Posts Tagged by Ariadne
|March 29, 2018||By Gregory Nagy listed under By Gregory Nagy|
2018.03.29 | By Gregory Nagy
Was the Ariadne of myth a cult hero or a goddess? In this essay, which is a draft of a Foreword that I am preparing for an online book by Robert T. Teske about Ariadne, my ultimate answer has to be this: Ariadne was both a female cult hero and a goddess. When we examine what we know about the rituals as well as the myths concerning this complex figure of Ariadne, rooted in traditions that go back all the way to the glory days of the Minoan-Mycenaean civilization that flourished in the second millennium BCE, we find that the idea of her death is central to her very identity. The death of Ariadne, consistently caused by the goddess Artemis in the many myths that survive into the first millennium BCE, defines her as a cult hero whose hero cult is linked to the myths about such a death. As I argue in this essay, such an identity of Ariadne as a cult hero in the historical period of the first millennium BCE is prefigured by her earlier identity as a goddess in the prehistoric period of the second millennium BCE.
|February 1, 2018||By Gregory Nagy listed under By Gregory Nagy, Pausanias commentary, Pausanias reader|
2018.02.01 | By Gregory Nagy
I continue from where I left off in Classical Inquiries 2018.01.25. I focus here on another Athenian myth, as mentioned by Pausanias at 1.20.3, about the abandonment of Ariadne by her lover Theseus and about her seduction or—in terms of the mention made by Pausanias—her abduction by the god Dionysus. Pausanias at 1.20.3 mentions the myth as he sees it represented on a wall painting located inside the sacred precinct of the god Dionysus. According to the myth, Ariadne had slept with Theseus and is still asleep as Theseus quietly leaves her and sails off to Athens. Now Dionysus approaches from afar, preparing to seduce or abduct Ariadne. In the close-up from a modern painting of this myth, we see Ariadne asleep in the foreground, while Theseus is already sailing off in the background.
|January 18, 2018||By Gregory Nagy listed under By Gregory Nagy, Pausanias commentary, Pausanias reader|
2018.01.18 | By Gregory Nagy
I continue from where I left off in Classical Inquiries 2018.01.11. I focus here on the details given by Pausanias at 1.17.3 describing a monumental wall painting in the sanctuary of Theseus. Depicted on this wall painting is the hero Theseus, who has just emerged from a deep-dive to the bottom of the sea. He is triumphantly holding in one hand the Ring of Minos and, in the other, the Garland of the sea-goddess Amphitrite, bride of Poseidon. The ring had been thrown into the sea by Minos, who challenged Theseus to recover it, while the garland was given to Theseus by Amphitrite, who had saved the hero from drowning and had thus made it possible for him to recover the ring. For the cover illustration, I have chosen a comparable mythological scene that was carved into a gem. It is a modern work of art. At the center is the hero Theseus, who is being carried along the sea-waves on the back of a dolphin and who is holding triumphantly a ring in one hand and a garland in the other—a garland of stars, it seems. This miniaturized scene as carved into a gem is comparable to the monumentalized scene that Pausanias saw painted on a wall in the sanctuary of Theseus.
|July 4, 2017||By Gregory Nagy listed under Homer commentary|
2017.07.03 | By Gregory Nagy
Now that Odysseus is back home in Ithaca, it is time for his son Telemachus to return home as well. The goddess Athena now travels to Sparta, where she will initiate the return of Telemachus back home to Ithaca.
|September 24, 2015||By Gregory Nagy listed under By Gregory Nagy|
In the posting for 2015.09.17, I showed what can be reconstructed as a Minoan-Mycenaean version of Ariadne. Here in the posting for 2015.09.24, I now turn to later versions, as reflected especially in the visual arts of the sixth and fifth centuries BCE. In these later versions, we can see more clearly the connectedness of Ariadne with idea of thalassocracy—an idea inherited from Minoan-Mycenaean civilization.
|September 17, 2015||By Gregory Nagy listed under By Gregory Nagy|
The concept of “the Cretan Odyssey”—or, better, “a Cretan Odyssey”—is reflected in the “lying tales” of Odysseus in the Odyssey. These tales give the medium of Homeric poetry an opportunity to open windows into an Odyssey that we do not know. In the alternative universe of a “Cretan Odyssey,” the adventures of Odysseus take place in the exotic context of Minoan-Mycenaean civilization as centered on the island of Crete.