Just to look at all the shining bronze here, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven: Seeing bronze in the ancient Greek world

2016.02.18 | By Gregory Nagy In Odyssey 4, as soon as the young hero Telemachus arrives as a visitor to Sparta, home of king Menelaos and his queen Helen, he feasts his eyes on all the shining splendor of their royal palace. As he takes it all in, he cannot resist saying out loud that he has never before seen anything quite so dazzling. My essay here is about the… Read more

What is on Homer’s mind?

2016.02.11 | By Gregory Nagy In the verbal art of Homeric poetry, we find two passages where Homer actually says that he has something on his mind. The first something is the good ship Argo in Odyssey 12.70 and the second something is the hero Odysseus himself in Odyssey 9.10. Read more

Pindar’s Homer is not “our” Homer

2015.12.24 | By Gregory Nagy I argue that the figure of Homer in the lyric songmaking of Pindar is envisioned as the poet of all epic, not only of the Iliad and the Odyssey as we know them. At the core of my argumentation here is the earliest reconstructable meaning of the word kuklos (κύκλος) as applied to the Epic Cycle. In terms of such an application, kuklos refers to… Read more

Life of Homer myths as evidence for the reception of Homer

2015.12.18 | By Gregory Nagy This inquiry centers on the surviving texts of ‘Life of Homer’ narrative traditions, to which I refer simply as Lives of Homer. These Lives, I argue, can be read as sources of historical information about the reception of Homeric poetry. The information is varied and layered, requiring diachronic as well as synchronic analysis. The Lives portray the reception of Homeric poetry by narrating a series… Read more