On the idea of dead poets as imagined by T. S. Eliot, compared with ideas about reperformance, Part II

§0. In Part II of this essay, continuing now from Part I (Nagy 2021.04.17), I return to what T. S. Eliot said (1919 [1975]:38) about the poet he was in his youth—and about any aspiring poet in general: “the most individual parts of his work,” he said, “may be those in which the dead poets, his ancestors, assert their immortality most vigorously.” In Part I, I applied this idea of… Read more

Apollonius of Rhodes and Homeric Anger

2020.07.24 | By Stan Burgess §0. There have been many recent studies of various aspects of anger in Greek culture, from Homer through the Hellenistic period, and beyond. However few have examined the role anger plays in the Argonautica. There right away a striking curiosity concerning anger stands out. Apollonius of Rhodes avoids the most common term of his day for anger, ὀργή. Through the Classical period and into the… Read more

Black Bile, Yellow Bile: An Essay on Warrior Dysfunctionality and the Prehistory of Greek Medicine

2020.05.28 | By Roger D. Woodard Ancient Indo-European warriors, possessed by combat rage, functioned properly as wielders of physical force and protectors of society; but such force was given to dark turns that could endanger society. Expressions of dysfunctional-warrior states meaningfully intersect with Greek medical notions of melancholía and suggest the nature of the prehistory of this diagnosis. Read more

Can we think of Centaurs as a species?

2019.05.03 | By Gregory Nagy §0. Ιn three previous essays posted in Classical Inquiries, 2019.04.26, 2019.04.19 and 2019.03.22, I analyzed myths about Centaurs. Since they were pictured as half-man and half-horse, we could nowadays think of them as monsters. And, in terms of what we see in pre-classical and classical representations of Centaurs, such monsters were exclusively male, exhibiting the shaggy hormonal characteristics of exaggerated human maleness. Accordingly, Centaurs could… Read more

Learning to sing, and a dead master of song

2018.03.14 | By Gregory Nagy This essay recapitulates a part of a larger project concerning the craft of singing to the accompaniment of song—as the craft was practiced in Athens and its environs around the fifth century BCE (Nagy 2012). The focal point of interest is a red-figure painting, by an artist named Douris, on a drinking-cup produced between 490 and 480 BCE. I show here a line drawing of… Read more