Posts Tagged by Phoenix
|October 19, 2018||Posted 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.
[Essay continues here…]