Saturday, March 16, 2013

TFBT: Week Zero CB22x

These are random notes from my readings for “Week Zero”  of Harvard’s CB22x on-line  “The Ancient Greek Hero” course in conjunction with EDX

Introduction to Homeric Poetry Nagy 0§31. “…Greeks, given such alternative Homeric names as Achaeans, Argives, Danaans, all three of which are used interchangeably.”  I’ve read several papers that said the names were not interchangeable.

Introduction to Homeric Poetry Nagy 0§46. “Homeric song oscillates from one emotion to another. Here is the way the rhapsode describes his audience: As I look down at them from the platform on high, I see them, each and every time, crying or looking terrified, filled with a sense of wonder at what is being retold. Plato Ion 535e “  Plato’s twenty thousand friendly faces fascinates me like the 100,000 waiting in the dark of Paris for Lindberg or the two or three weeping faces at the finale of my recital of Eddie Foye upon the stage of the Iroquois Theatre.  

Iliad 1:132 You shall not overreach  The Titans are accused of this often.  I need to look up the Greek and better understand this word.

Iliad 1:283 Achilles, who in the day of battle is a tower of strength to the Achaeans."  I love Nagy’s translation of the phrase “tower of strength”

Iliad 1:343 Agamemnon is mad with rage and knows not how to look before and after

Iliad 1: 476 when the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared they again set sail for the army of the Achaeans. Apollo sent them a fair wind,  so they raised their mast and hoisted their white sails aloft. As the sail bellied with the wind the ship flew through the deep blue water, and the foam hissed against her bows as she sped onward. When they reached the wide-stretching army of the Achaeans. Beautiful!  And ironically when I compared Nagy’s translation to the hardcopy of Lattimore, the previous owner of the book had highlighted the exact same phrase.

In his Intro to Homeric Poetry Professor Nagy compares Patroclus' death to the sacrifice of a cow at section 12. Interesting! I will look forward to that reading too. As I recall it takes a god and two mortals to bring him down. Plus I think by then he is disarmed and naked.

Iliad 1:424 refers to feasting on the banks of the great river Ocean. Isn't that how the Odyssey started too?

I am enjoying re-reading the Iliad. 1: 189 refers to Achilles’ shaggy chest. He usually is portrayed as a pretty boy and the youngest of the Greek heroes, hence Brad Pitt in the latest movie. I will read more closely this time for his physical description. Also, he could see Athena and no one else could. I will be interested in seeing if he always has the sight.


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