This continues my review of Elizabeth Belfiore's amazing book. Part One can be found here.
Chapters 2-6 examine in detail five of the extant plays in each of which harm to philoi is important in a different way.
In Chapter 5; "Sleeping with the Enemy", Belfiore discusses much misalliance and mis-yoked marriages. I can understand these topics as a class issue, but what I don’t understand and a modern audience can’t understand it the Ancient Greek abhorrence to marriage with barbarians. “Greek custom held that while a man might keep a concubine in a separate establishment, he should never bring her into contact with his legitimate wife. “
Speaking of misalliance, Belfiore gives a very clear explanation of the will of Zeus for Troy. Staring with the marriage of Peleus and Thetis; “The marriage of Peleus and Thetis is brought about by Zeus (Iliad 18.432-34 and Kypria fragment 2) as part of his plan to cause the Trojan War (Proclus’s summary of the Kypria and Kypria fragment 1). She marries Peleus against her will (Iliad 18.432-34) following a violent struggle with her future husband (Apollodorus, library 3.13.5). At the wedding celebration, Eris provokes a dispute among three goddesses that leads, by way of the Judgment of Paris to the Trojan War (Proclus’s summary of the Kypria and Kypria fragment 1) As a result of this war, human impiety is punished (Kypria fragment 1), Troy is destroyed, the demi-gods are either destroyed or settled in the Blessed Isles, and mortals and gods are separated (Hesiod fragment 1 and Hesiod Op 156-171)
I noted an interesting phrase in Belfiore’s wonderful work “Neoptolemus, killed Priam at an altar for which Apollo caused him to be killed Delphi.” Really? As if Apollo, famous for his comment that man is as insubstantial as leaves on a tree, cared about Priam? Isn’t it more likely that Neoptolemus’ death had more to do with his hereditary role in the god/hero antagonism of his father and Apollo? Wasn’t Apollo’s fear of demi-goddess and gluttony of the Delphians responsible for Neoptolemus being slain on the altar at Delphi?
Something else that specifically made me stop was the following. I wanted to share was Belfiore’s formula for supplication. Her primary example is the advice Danaus gave his daughters in Aeschylus’ tragedy “The Suppliants”. Supplication may occur at a sacred place or at the knees of the supplicated individual. The suppliant carries hiketeria; suppliant branches. She crouches by and makes contact with the altar, sacred object, or with the knees, right hand, or chin of the person she supplicates. To accept a suppliant, the person supplicated uses his right hand to grasp the suppliant’s left wrist and raises her formally for what is technically called the anastais. Another gesture that often accompanies the anastais is leading the suppliant to a place suitable to a guest. She crouches by…the knees…right hand … chin of the person she supplicates; made me think immediately of Thetis beginning a favor from Zeus for her son Achilles. "She sat herself down before him, and with her left hand seized his knees, while with her right she caught him under the chin, and besought him" (Iliad 500) The scene is made famous in Jupiter and Thetis an 1811 painting by the French neoclassical painter Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. The painting is used on the cover of The Power of Thetis by Laura Slatkin. In response Zeus neither raised her up nor led her like an honored guest to the circle of gods sitting apart from the Lord of Olympus. All he did was nod "his immortal head" at which point "the pair had thus laid their plans, they parted – Zeus to his house, while the goddess left the splendor of Olympus, and plunged into the depths of the sea." (Iliad 1.503) So maybe this was not a case of supplication. The next scene that comes to mind is Priam begging Achilles to release the body of his own son Hector. “ Tall King Priam entered without their seeing him, and going right up to Achilles he clasped his knees and kissed the dread man slaughtering hands that had slain so many of his sons. “ (475) Sort of reminiscent of Odysseus’ supplication of Arête in the Odyssey. Homer describes the tragic king in terms more common to typical supplicants elsewhere in epic, “ As when some cruel derangement [atē] has befallen a man that he should have killed someone in his own country, and must flee to a great man’s protection in a land [dēmos] of strangers, and all marvel who see him, even so did Achilles marvel as he beheld godlike Priam.” After some tear jerking conversation, Achilles  “left his seat and raised the old man by the hand (said)…sit now upon this seat” Then Achilles and his servants served him dinner (625) and put him to bed (645) with a promise of protection shook his hand good night (670). Belfiore's examples are much clearer in tragedy, but these were the thoughts I had along the way.
Appendix A examined the remaining 32 extant plays. While B & C studied lost and fragmental plays. All of this is incredible research and an amazing resource!