Posts Tagged by Phaedra
|December 12, 2018||By Gregory Nagy listed under Guest Post||
2018.12.12 | Introduced by Gregory Nagy
It is such an honor for me to be given the opportunity of introducing a set of poems by Agathí Dimitroúka (Αγαθή Δημητρούκα), presented here in Modern Greek. The editor of Classical Inquiries, Keith Stone, tells me of plans to commission translations of these exquisite poems into other languages, including English, but for now the pristine charm of the poetry can already be savored in the original Greek. The poetic power of the words crafted here by my friend Agathí can best be appreciated from a diachronic point of view, since she connects so artfully the classical legacy with the dynamic presence of modern Hellenism. Of course it is hard for me to choose favorites, because I so treasure every part of this cohesive set of poems, but I cannot resist highlighting one of them: it is the poem about the doomed love of Phaedra for Hippolytus, where the wording of our poet evokes not only the ethereal poetry of Euripides but also the down-to-earth prose of Pausanias—on both of which sources I offer background here. We see clearly in this poem of Agathí Dimitroúka—as also in all her poetry—her passionate engagement with the uncompromising beauty of life as a fusion of pain and delight.
|August 10, 2018||By Gregory Nagy listed under By Gregory Nagy, H24H, News|
2018.08.10 | By Gregory Nagy
§0. The picture on the cover makes me think about heroes, athletes, and poetry. What we see is an Amazon, riding on horseback, engaged in mortal combat with a male adversary. As I have shown in previous postings about Amazons, especially in my comments on Antiope, queen of the Amazons, in Classical Inquiries 2017.10.18, these female warriors were considered to be not only heroes but even cult heroes. Also, Amazons were paragons of athleticism, which we see amply displayed in the many surviving references in the visual arts, as here, to their expertise in riding horses. The athleticism of these Amazons is typical of heroes in general, both male and female, who are figured by poetry as models in the mythical past for athletes in the historical present of the ancient Greeks.
More on the love story of Phaedra and Hippolytus: comparing the references in Pausanias and Euripides
|August 3, 2018||By Gregory Nagy listed under By Gregory Nagy, H24H, Pausanias reader||
2018.08.03 | By Gregory Nagy
In the posting for 2018.06.21, I highlighted a painterly vision in the narrative of Pausanias about the erotic passion felt by Phaedra for Hippolytus. In that vision, Phaedra is viewing Hippolytus exercising naked. And the agent of the vision is the goddess Aphrodite. In the present posting, for 2018.08.03, I compare another painterly vision—this time, in the poetry of Euripides. In this vision, Phaedra is viewing her own self, but this self is now transformed. Phaedra sees herself as Artemis the Huntress. The agent of Phaedra’s vision is still the goddess of sexuality, but the object of this vision is the goddess of sexual unavailability. In the painting I have chosen as cover for this posting, Hippolytus looks just like Artemis the Huntress, and the white space I artificially interpose to separate him from the glowering Phaedra can be seen as a symbol of her frustration.
|July 13, 2018||By Gregory Nagy listed under By Gregory Nagy||
2018.07.13 | By Gregory Nagy
§0. The remarks in this post, dated 2018.07.13, pick up from where I left off toward the end of the posting dated 2018.07.06. There I drew attention to a valuable article by Giampiera Arrigoni (1983), who explores a wide variety of ancient Greek stories about amorous encounters that take place in sacred spaces. The story of one such encounter, noted in her article (pp. 15–16, 45–48), is narrated by the first-person speaker in the First Cologne Epode of Archilochus F 196a W, which has been my focus of attention in the two postings that I just cited. In those postings, we saw that there was a sad ending that awaited the two young women who had figured in the story that is told by the first-person narrator of the Cologne Epode. Now, in the present posting, we will see a comparable story about another young woman, a priestess of the goddess Artemis, who experienced premarital sex inside the sacred precinct of that goddess. In both stories, I will argue, what we see is a desecration in myth, by way of sex, and a corresponding sacralization of sex by way of ritual. Such sacralization, I will further argue, is viewed as a resacralization—in terms of the myth.
|July 6, 2018||By Gregory Nagy listed under By Gregory Nagy|
2018.07.06 | By Gregory Nagy
§0. The brief remarks in this post, dated 2018.07.06, pick up from where I left off in the post that is dated 2018.06.30. In my more lengthy remarks there, at §10, I started to argue that the erotic activity as narrated by the first-person speaker in the so-called First Cologne Epode of Archilochus, F 196a W, is ultimately not an act of desecration but rather an act of sacralization, sanctioned within a sacred space. I continue the argumentation here by analyzing situations where a narrated desecration in terms of myth can function as a sacralization in terms of ritual. In both the visual and the verbal arts, I argue, a khlaina or ‘cloak’ that covers a given depiction of erotic activity can function as a symbol of such sacralization.
Sacred Space as a frame for lyric occasions: The case of the Mnesiepes Inscription and other possible cases
|June 28, 2018||By Gregory Nagy listed under By Gregory Nagy||
2018.06.30 | By Gregory Nagy
The three terms sacred space and frame and lyric occasions in the primary title of this presentation all need to be questioned for their meanings, which depend in each case on the overall meaning of the title that combines these terms. As for the words case and cases in the secondary title, they refer to specific examples that give context to my questioning of the three highlighted terms of the primary title. The questioning is meant to provoke some friendly debate, and the questioned terms can become the main subject for the debate itself. In the spirit of such friendly debate, I will now proceed to question the highlighted terms of the primary title, going in reverse order: lyric occasions, frame, and sacred space. Of these three terms, as we will see, the third of them is relevant to the illustration placed on the cover of this post.