Posts Tagged by Homer
|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.
|July 1, 2016||By Gregory Nagy listed under Homer commentary||
2016.07.01/ updated 2018.08.16 | By Gregory Nagy
The narrative of Rhapsody 2 now follows up on the dire consequences of the quarrel between Achilles and Agamemnon as narrated in Rhapsody 1. Achilles has already withdrawn from the war because of his anger. So, now that this greatest hero of the Achaeans is out of the picture, what will happen next? How will the absence of Achilles affect the story of the Trojan War? Many new doubts and fears set in, and the resolve of the Achaeans is harshly tested. There is negative talk, and there are omens. Thus the story of the Trojan War, as told and retold countless times in the distant past, must now be retold yet again, and Rhapsody 2 will set the terms for the retelling still to come. For setting the terms, Rhapsody 2 will need a new Catalogue of Ships, now happening in the tenth year of the war, as a replacement for any old Catalogue that would have logically happened already in the first year. This new Catalogue is of course not really new: rather, it is the oldest possible Catalogue that is now being renewed for the newest possible retelling of the Trojan War, reconsidered in the glaring light of the grim consequences facing the Achaeans now that Achilles has withdrawn from the war. With these consequences in view, the Catalogue will reassess all the Achaean heroes involved in the Trojan War. Of special interest will be the role of Protesilaos, who had been the first Achaean to die in the war, as a model for Achilles. As the Master Narrator notes most ruefully, Protesilaos is now terribly missed by his fellow warriors. So too will Achilles be missed.