Posts Tagged by Homer
|October 19, 2018||By Miriam Kamil listed under Guest Post, H24H||
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’. But not all ainoi appear as praise. They can also manifest as instruction, a warning, or a fable. What unites these as ainoi is their possession of an encoded message. Thus a speech act with an encoded message can be viewed as an ainos in the sense of ‘riddle’. In class, we also drew a distinction between ainos as a genre, under which heading we find, for example, the praise poetry of Pindar, and ainos as a literary device. The Ancient Greek Hero course and this essay are both concerned with the latter, with how speeches with hidden messages appear in a genre outside of praise poetry, Homeric epic.
|June 1, 2018||By Gregory Nagy listed under By Gregory Nagy||
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 also see, to stories about a protracted conflict involving Chalkis and a rival city-state, Eretria, which was located on the same island of Euboea. Such a conflict, which historians date as ongoing from around 750 to 506 BCE, is commonly known as the Lelantine War. The ancient historian Thucydides (1.15.3) draws attention to the grand dimensions of this protracted conflict, observing that many other city states got involved and took sides by making alliances with either Eretria or Chalkis. Such conflicting alliances, it can be argued, correspond to conflicting appropriations of Homeric and Hesiodic poetry by city-states that sided with Eretria and Chalkis respectively. Thus the Lelantine War can even be viewed as a stylized conflict between “team Homer” and “team Hesiod” respectively.
|December 9, 2017||By Gregory Nagy listed under By Gregory Nagy|
2017.12.09 | By Gregory Nagy
Presented here is a preliminary draft of a Foreword I am writing for Richard P. Martin’s new book, Mythologizing Performance, to be published by Cornell University Press in early 2018.
|September 15, 2016||By Gregory Nagy listed under Homer commentary|
2016.09.15/ updated 2018.09.11 | By Gregory Nagy
There is a pronounced shift in mood in Rhapsody 10. Unlike the narratives in the rest of the Iliad, this narrative focuses on how heroes behave at nighttime, as distinct from daytime. What dominates now is a poetics of ambush, which is a different kind of warfare. And a prime exponent of such poetics is the wolfish figure of Dolon. My comments here on Rhapsody 10 are mere supplements to the extensive commentary of Dué and Ebbott 2010.
|September 7, 2016||By Gregory Nagy listed under Homer commentary|
2016.09.07 | By Gregory Nagy
In this posting I experiment with a special feature in my ongoing comments on the Homeric Iliad: the anchor comment. The topic, this time, is the idea of an ‘Aeolian’ Homer.
|August 4, 2016||By Gregory Nagy listed under Homer commentary||
2016.08.04/ updated 2018.09.08 | By Gregory Nagy
A high point here in Rhapsody 6 is a tearful scene of farewell for Andromache and Hector. The loving wife will never again see her husband alive. The scene is justly admired for its artistic portrayal of this tragically doomed couple, but the verbal artistry extends even further: also to be most admired here is the remarkable precision of poetic language in representing lament as it was actually performed in ancient Greek song culture.