Olympus as mountain and Olympia as venue for the Olympics: a question about the naming of these places

2019.07.06 | By Gregory Nagy §0. The question is, can we connect the name for Mount Olympus with the name for Olympia, the place where the festival of the Olympics was traditionally celebrated every four years? Aiming for a unified answer to this question, which seems simple only on the surface, I will collect here seven facts that may lead to a satisfactory formulation showing a genuine connectedness between the… Read more

Sensations of agony and ecstasy while indexing a book about ancient Greek heroes

2019.06.28 | By Gregory Nagy §0. Authors who opt to write their own general index for their own book are conventionally instructed to concentrate on those things that their readers will want to look up in the book. Having just finished writing such an index for a second edition (2020) of my book The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours, the first edition for which (2013) had only an index… Read more

Are Zeus and Hērā a dysfunctional couple?

2018.07.27 | By Gregory Nagy A sampling of comments on the Iliad and Odyssey includes an attempt of mine to analyze a scene in Iliad 14 where Hērā has a sexual encounter with Zeus on the heights of Mount Ida. In my comments on the wording of the goddess at the moment when she initiates her encounter with the god, at verses 200–210, I argue that this wording “derives from… Read more

Trying to read the Will of Zeus

2016.05.26 | By Gregory Nagy For almost fifty years now, I have been consistently translating the Homeric expression Dios boulē, which we find at the beginning of the Iliad (1.5), as ‘the Will of Zeus’, not as ‘the Plan of Zeus’. To put it in terms of what I have published, I have been consistent in using the expression ‘the Will of Zeus’ instead of ‘the Plan of Zeus’ in… Read more

Cataclysm and Ecpyrosis, two symmetrical actions of Zeus as sky-god

2016.05.19 | By Gregory Nagy The question is: what happens when humanity itself is threatened with either flooding or conflagration on a cosmic scale? To express such cosmic afflictions in Greek terms, I have in mind here situations where all of humanity is being threatened with either cataclysm or ecpyrosis. So, to rephrase the question: what happens when Zeus or the gods in general choose to afflict humans with the… Read more