How myths that connect the hero Philoctetes with the goddess Chryse are related to myths about a koúrē ‘girl’ named Chryseis

2021.08.16 | By Gregory Nagy §0. In two previous essays posted in Classical Inquiries (Nagy 2021.08.02 and 2021.08.09, linked here and here), I analyzed myths that connect the hero Philoctetes with the goddess Chryse, arguing that these myths can be traced back to Aeolian traditions. Here I go further by arguing that such myths are related to another myth—this one is featured prominently in the Homeric Iliad—about a koúrē ‘girl’… Read more

Glimpses of Aeolian traditions in two different myths about two different visits by Philoctetes to the sacred island of the goddess Chryse

2021.08.09 | By Gregory Nagy §0. The cover illustration for this essay is a drawing, made in the early nineteenth century of our era, which copies with some clarity and flair a picture painted on a vase manufactured in Athens in the fifth century BCE and now housed in Vienna. A follow-up illustration, immediately below the drawing, is a photograph of this ancient painting, and further below is an overall… Read more

Sappho’s Aphrodite, the goddess Chryse, and a primal ordeal suffered by Philoctetes in a tragedy of Sophocles

2021.08.02 | By Gregory Nagy §0. The common thread, as it were, for this essay is the meaning of the epithet poikiló-thronos gracing the goddess Aphrodite in line 1 of Sappho’s Song 1. The persona of Sappho is addressing the goddess here, and I now interpret the epithet—hardly for the first time—as ‘[you] who wear [your] pattern-woven dress’. But how is such a ‘dress’ to be imagined if we think… Read more