Thursday, April 18, 2013

TFBT: Random Notes from Hour Four of "The Ancient Greek Hero"

Here's a little irony for you; several passages of the suitors speaking.  The first is the suitors words to the disguised Odysseus after beating another beggar in a fight the suitors found very amusing.  The second is a prophecy.
  • Odysseus 18:111 “May Zeus grant thee, stranger, and the other immortal gods what thou desirest most, and the dearest wish of thy heart..."
  • Odysseus 22:143 “So spoke Antinous, and his word was pleasing to them. Then first arose Leiodes, son of Oenops, who was their soothsayer... “Friends, it is not I that shall string it; let another take it. For many princes shall this bow rob of spirit and of life, since verily it is better far to die than to live on and fail of that for the sake of which we ever gather here, waiting expectantly day after day." 
Next some "prayers" by Penelope to virgin huntress goddess Artemis the murderess of Niobe's daughters.  Atsma at  says, "Artemis was the goddess who brought sudden death to infants, girls and women, for she was not only the protector of girls, but also by contrast their destroyer."
  • Odyssey 18:201 “Would that pure Artemis would even now give so soft a death,”
  • Odyssey 20:60 “Would that even so those who have dwellings on Olympus would blot me from sight, or that fair-tressed Artemis would smite me, so that with Odysseus before my mind I might even pass beneath the hateful earth” 
 Odysseus 20:45  For shame” replied the owl-visioned goddess Athena, “Why anyone else would trust a worse ally…Am I not a goddess and Have I not protected you throughout our ordeals?”  Apparently Odysseus knew the favors of the gods are fickle.

I’m still tracking Homer’s use of “Achaeans”; Odysseus 20:145, 20:275, 21:415, 22:90. The Bard as Narrator hasn’t used Argives or Danaans yet.


  1. How do you think, was the demise of Silver Age humans work of Artemis and Apollo alone?
    I can imagine Artemis complaining to a friend at some time in early Bronze Age (before Deukalion's flood):
    "The first race of humans kindly died of their own because they were all male and so couldn't reproduce. The second race, however, could sustain itself indefinitely. So, when the Father wished to get rid of 'em, he called my brother and me to shoot every person. I wasn't overjoyed. I do not mind euthanizing one or two females, or five, or even two dozens. But when we are talking of thousands at a time, this is too much. Dad said, however, that if we refused to do the job, he would use flood or wildfire and not only humans but all terrestrial life would perish. Thinking of my favourite animals, I took the bow and so did Apollo. After that, however, I had muscle fever for several days and nightmares for many nights. So, if the Father decides to obliterate the current humans, I'll tell him to resort to flooding!

  2. Maya,

    Someone once described to me a rather chilling re-enactment of the "Niobe" of Aeschylus. There was some small building on the stage, at the beginning of the fatal scene, the Twins appeared on the roof and rather unemotionally slaughter the Niobids below in the courtyard. At one point Apollo nudges Artemis and points out a girl hiding behind a container in the corner.