Posts Tagged by Artemis
|November 1, 2018||By Gregory Nagy listed under By Gregory Nagy, H24H||
2018.11.01 | By Gregory Nagy
§0. On October 27, 2018, eleven men and women were killed, and more were injured, at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the city of Pittsburgh. It was widely reported about the massacre that the man who had opened fire on his victims was at the same time shouting his hatred for Jews, and that this hate was fueled by anger over the help offered by members of Tree of Life to fellow humans—in this case, to those suffering from the misery of dispossession. It was also widely reported that the words disseminated on “social media platforms” by the indicted shooter showed his anger and hatred toward immigrants and, by extension, toward those who tried to help them. What troubles me deeply, and I am hardly alone, is that these words of anger and hatred match closely the words of politicians who incite anger and hatred. What troubles me even more deeply, however, is that some public thinkers will try to rationalize such incitement by claiming that all politicians, “on both sides,” incite anger and hatred. I simply cannot live with myself if I do not speak up, right now, against this kind of rationalization. In speaking up, however, I will use words that are not mine: instead, they come from the ancient world of Greek civilization. Resounding in my heart are words crafted by the Athenian poet Aeschylus in conveying the essence of Artemis, the goddess who helps the helpless.
|August 10, 2018||By Gregory Nagy listed under By Gregory Nagy, H24H, News|
2018.08.10 | By Gregory Nagy
§0. The picture on the cover makes me think about heroes, athletes, and poetry. What we see is an Amazon, riding on horseback, engaged in mortal combat with a male adversary. As I have shown in previous postings about Amazons, especially in my comments on Antiope, queen of the Amazons, in Classical Inquiries 2017.10.18, these female warriors were considered to be not only heroes but even cult heroes. Also, Amazons were paragons of athleticism, which we see amply displayed in the many surviving references in the visual arts, as here, to their expertise in riding horses. The athleticism of these Amazons is typical of heroes in general, both male and female, who are figured by poetry as models in the mythical past for athletes in the historical present of the ancient Greeks.
More on the love story of Phaedra and Hippolytus: comparing the references in Pausanias and Euripides
|August 3, 2018||By Gregory Nagy listed under By Gregory Nagy, H24H, Pausanias reader||
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 viewing her own self, but this self is now transformed. Phaedra sees herself as Artemis the Huntress. The agent of Phaedra’s vision is still the goddess of sexuality, but the object of this vision is the goddess of sexual unavailability. In the painting I have chosen as cover for this posting, Hippolytus looks just like Artemis the Huntress, and the white space I artificially interpose to separate him from the glowering Phaedra can be seen as a symbol of her frustration.
|July 20, 2018||By Gregory Nagy listed under By Gregory Nagy, Pausanias commentary, Pausanias reader||
2018.07.20 | By Gregory Nagy
§0. In this post, dated 2018.07.20, I have put together a working retranslation of the sad story of Komaithο, priestess in love, as retold by Pausanias at 7.18.8–7.20.2. Some essential parts of this story have already been paraphrased at §1 in the post for 2018.07.13, but now I need to look at the whole story. And, for that, I need to share my working translation, which is also available in the larger context of A Pausanias Reader in Progress. Also, in the post here, I will add to my translation some comments highlighting what I argue are novelistic aspects of the story. For my argumentation, I will be using such words as novelistic, novel, and even novelist, having in mind some remarkable similarities I see between the micro-narrative I have selected from the writings of Pausanias the traveler on the one hand and, on the other, the kinds of macro-narratives that have shaped the genre known to Classicists as the ancient Greek erotic novel.
|July 13, 2018||By Gregory Nagy listed under By Gregory Nagy||
2018.07.13 | By Gregory Nagy
§0. The remarks in this post, dated 2018.07.13, pick up from where I left off toward the end of the posting dated 2018.07.06. There I drew attention to a valuable article by Giampiera Arrigoni (1983), who explores a wide variety of ancient Greek stories about amorous encounters that take place in sacred spaces. The story of one such encounter, noted in her article (pp. 15–16, 45–48), is narrated by the first-person speaker in the First Cologne Epode of Archilochus F 196a W, which has been my focus of attention in the two postings that I just cited. In those postings, we saw that there was a sad ending that awaited the two young women who had figured in the story that is told by the first-person narrator of the Cologne Epode. Now, in the present posting, we will see a comparable story about another young woman, a priestess of the goddess Artemis, who experienced premarital sex inside the sacred precinct of that goddess. In both stories, I will argue, what we see is a desecration in myth, by way of sex, and a corresponding sacralization of sex by way of ritual. Such sacralization, I will further argue, is viewed as a resacralization—in terms of the myth.
|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.