On a fable about the hawk as a strongman

2019.06.21 | By Gregory Nagy §0. In what is generally agreed to be the earliest attestation of a fable in Greek literature, we read about a hawk that has just captured another bird. The fable is embedded in the Hesiodic Works and Days, lines 202–212, where the captor is boastfully saying to his captive that he has the power to do anything with his prey. Since the hawk is a… Read more

Homeric Ainoi in Latin Literature, Part I: Homer

2018.10.19 | By Miriam Kamil §1. I was a Teaching Fellow in the 2017 run of Greg Nagy’s annual course at Harvard, The Ancient Greek Hero. In this class, we examined the use of riddles in Homeric epic. The students learned about a sort of riddle called αἶνος, transliterated as ainos. Related to the verb αἰνέω (aineō) ‘to praise’, the word means, ‘praising speech’, or more basically, ‘speech act’.[1] But… Read more

Lelantine War, Eretria and Chalkis, and the Contest of Homer and Hesiod

2018.06.01 | By Gregory Nagy This post is about a poetic competition or Certamen ‘Contest’ that took place, story has it, between Homer and Hesiod. In all attested versions of the story, Hesiod won and Homer lost. In some versions, as we will see, the setting for Hesiod’s victory was memorialized in the city-state of Chalkis, located on the island of Euboea, and this detail is relevant, as we will… Read more