Sunday, September 8, 2013

TFBT: Random Notes from 2.CB22.1x

Professor Nagy reports that 36,000 people in 170 countries signed up for the version of this course.  So far 9,000 for round two.  I am still loving every minutes of “The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours” the online class from Harvard through edX.

Iliad 3:105 “ Moreover, you shall bid Priam come, that he may swear to the covenant himself; for his sons are high-handed and ill to trust, and the oaths of Zeus must not be transgressed or taken in vain. Young men’s minds are light as air, but when an old man comes he looks before and after, deeming that which shall be fairest upon both sides.”   Now there is a complement to us gray-hairs.  (Sorry young men!)  But I wanted to share, that in my community, when I started getting gray hair, the high school kids started getting even more respectful.  I got used to being call “Sir.”

Iliad 3:155  Homer referring to the elders of Troy; they said softly to one another, “There is no way to wish for retribution, that Trojans and strong-greaved Achaeans should endure so much and so long, for the sake of a woman so marvelously and divinely lovely.”  Talk about super-human beauty!

Iliad 3:236 Helen speaking from the ramparts describing to her father-in-law Priam the Achaean (Greek) warriors below; “but there are two whom I can nowhere find; Castor the breaker of horses and Pollux the mighty boxer; they are children of my mother, and own brothers to myself. Either they have not left Lacedaemon, or else, though they have brought their ships, they will not show themselves in battle for the shame and disgrace that I have brought upon them.” She knew not that both these heroes were already lying under the earth in their own land of Lacedaemon.  How heart-breaking for Helen and how human that she thinks the worse of her brothers.

Iliad 6:145 “High-hearted son of Tydeus, why ask me of my lineage? Men come and go as leaves year by year upon the trees. Those of autumn the wind sheds upon the ground, but when spring returns the forest buds forth with fresh vines. Even so is it with the generations of humankind, the new spring up as the old are passing away.”  Glaucus words so remind me of Apollo’s comments about mankind to his Uncle Poseidon insignificant mortals, who are as leaves are, and now flourish and grow warm with life, and feed on what the ground gives, but then again fade away and are dead... “(21.462-66)

 Iliad 6:356 Homer speaking of Paris and Helen “…both of whom Zeus has doomed to be a theme of song among those that shall be born hereafter.”  Paris doesn’t seem to care much about his reputation in Troy or in eternity.  Helen on the other hand seems shamed in every scene by her “doom”.

“What is amazing in Homer is the purity of the works he produced, the depth and breadth and the contrasts. Mostly its seems without voicing an opinion, but rather the illustration of an observation.”  CB22.1x-participant Iain Davie.

Gregory Nagy; “he (Iphidamas son of Antenor) died because he wanted to get into the action, he wanted to get into the kleos of the Achaeans. Not the kleos of the Trojans --the kleos of the people whom he was fighting! It's as if you're ready to give up your life to get into the medium of your enemy.
Jeff Emanuel: And he died for this one line.
Gregory Nagy: He died for this one line, to be a bit player.



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