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

A sampling of comments on Iliad Rhapsody 10

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… Read more

A sampling of comments on Iliad Rhapsody 6

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… Read more