Sunday, April 23, 2017

TFBT: Random Quotes

Been hanging out in airports during myriad moments in the last two weeks.  Finally had a chase to read many essays I'd filed away.  Here are random quotes I found interesting.
Juno’s (Hera’s) hatred transcends space and history, and it readily makes enemies of neutrals.”

“In contrast with Achilles, the hero of the Iliad—who declares at one point that he hates “like the Gates of Death” the man who says one thing but means another—the hero of the Odyssey has no scruples about lying to get what he wants…. But all this made him (Odysseus) unbearable to my father”   A FATHER AND SON’S FINAL ODYSSEY  by Daniel Mendelsohn

When we were getting ready for the welcome cocktail party, he started to put on a brown polyester shirt, which I snatched from his hands and threw over the balcony railing into the Aegean. “Daddy! It’s a Mediterranean cruise! Mom must have packed something blue or white!” “What? A shirt is a shirt!”  Mendelsohn

There was no way I was going into Calypso’s cave. “What are you talking about?” my father exclaimed when I told him. “You have to go! Seven-tenths of the Odyssey takes place there!” “Seven-tenths?” I had no idea what he was talking about. “The epic is twenty-four books long—” “Math, Dan! Math. Odysseus spends ten years getting home, right?” I nodded. “And he spends seven years with Calypso, right?” I nodded again.  So, in theory, seven-tenths of the Odyssey actually takes place there! You can’t miss it!” Mendelsohn

we saw the sea, always the sea, with its many faces, glass- smooth and stone-rough...and sometimes an impenetrable purple, the color of the wine that we refer to as red but the Greeks call black. Mendelsohn

The apostrophe marks a juncture at which a significant step is taken by Patroclus away from the boundaries set by Achilles, and closer to his doom.   Revisiting the Apostrophes to Patroclus in Iliad 16, by Emily Allen-Hornblower

And indeed when Bellerophon was brought down to the Aleïan Plain and was moving about in blindness because of his fall, Pegasus was traveling up and down. Tzetes  scholia on Lycophron 17   Is it possible that Bellephron's fall from the shoulders of imagination and inspiration manifest (Pegasus) to this plane is indicative of his lose of second sight?  

Ixion’s attack on Leto consort of Zeus (Lêtô gar hêlkêse, Dios kudrên parakoitin), is given by Homer as the transgression.  ".  Iliad 6.201: Did Bellerophon Wander Blindly?  I thought it was Hera. The author is thinking of the Giant Tityusm.  Please see below;

 "I [Odysseus in Haides] saw Tityos (Tityus) also, son of the mighty goddess Gaia (Gaea, Earth); he lay on the ground, his bulk stretched out over nine roods. Two vultures, one on each side of him, sat and kept plucking at his liver, reaching down to the very bowels; he could not beat them off with his hands. And this was because he had once assaulted a mistress of Zeus himself, the far-famed Leto, as she walked towards Pytho through the lovely spaces of Panopeus."  Homer, Odyssey 11. 580 ff

In sum, Bellerophon’s blindness reported by the Tzetzes scholia in conjunction with the B scholia to 165 reporting that Bellerophon spied on heaven is consistent with various features of stories involving other characters punished for seeing the divine illicit and then disclosing it. Iliad 6.201: Did Bellerophon Wander Blindly? 

"Paramonos, son of Euhodos, from Piraeus, Athenian ephebe. Having felt joy together with many others many times in my few years, I lie here below, struck by deep sleep. Occupying a place among the stars together with Kastor and Pollux, I am a new Theseus." quoted by Chaniotis in his notes,  To Encounter a Hero: Localization and Travel in Hellenistic Hero Cults, Ellen Bradshaw Aitken 





Friday, April 7, 2017

TFBT: Zielinski’s Law and Others

 Lately I have been going through some old notes. Okay, well actually as Maya can probably tell you, a thousand plus notes. Mostly quotes or links I don’t want to lose track of, again! Naturally I think all these little gems are amazing and fascinating, but I picked out just a few, you all might find interesting
Where one hero throws a rock at another, we should expect Aeneas to win the encounter.” Nagy_Best-of-the-Achaeans.   As to the victor using a rock, I think Athena is the best example;

As (Ares) spoke he struck (Athena) on the terrible tasseled aegis—so terrible that not even can Zeus’ lightning pierce it. Here did man-slaughtering Arēs strike her with his great spear. She drew back and with her strong hand seized a stone that was lying on the plain—great and rugged and black— [405] which men of old had set for the boundary of a field. With this she struck Arēs on the neck, and brought him down” Iliad 21.400 ff

The first example I found in the Iliad (assuming Nagy is focusing his assumption on this tale of battles and duels) is I Book Seven; 

“Hector did not cease fighting; he gave ground, and with his brawny hand seized a stone, [265] rugged and huge, that was lying upon the plain; with this he struck the shield of Ajax on the boss that was in its middle, so that the bronze rang again. But Ajax in turn caught up a far larger stone, swung it aloft, and hurled it with prodigious force. [270]” 

 However just a few lines later we hear, “the good herald Idaios said, “My sons, fight no longer, [280] you are both of you valiant, and both are dear to Zeus who gathers clouds; we know this; but night is now falling, and the requests of night may not be well ignored.”  Which means Hector threw the first stone and did not win.   

Examples proving Nagy’s point are;

  • ·      The gruesome “stone”-triggered  fate of Diores, son of Amarynkeus at 4.519,
  • ·      At 5.580 “Antilokhos hit the charioteer and attendant [therapōn] Mydon, the brave son of Atymnios,”
  • ·      Hector at 8.320 when “ with a loud cry … seizing a great stone made straight for Teucer”
  • ·      12.379Ajax son of Telamon killed brave Epikles, a comrade of Sarpedon, 380]hitting him with a jagged stone”
  • ·      14.409   Ajax son of Telamon struck Hector with a stone and he did fall to earth and bite the dust.

Etc., etc.  Plenty enough to prove Nagy’s point.  But as he points out, Aeneas always seems to be the exception to this rule. 

Zielinski’s Law; Homeric narrative always moves forward. Homer represents simultaneous actions as sequential and rarely notes simultaneity.    
Lots of debate on this law, scholars looking for the slightest nuance to make it invalid and others slightly changing the meaning of words to insure the laws validity. In short it is a good rule of thumb and explains incongruities in other poems of the era.

Zeus…the tragedians did not present him on stage.”  This rule is quite controversial.  Of the surviving plays by the three great playwrights; Aeschylus, four single plays and one trilogy, seven plays of Sophocles survive and Euripides' eighteen or nineteen.  In none of these does Zeus appear on stage.  But the argument is he could have in some of the lost plays.  Hmm; lack of evidence as evidence.  I don’t think so.    Ken Dowden in Zeus, argues that “It looks as though a rule is upheld: tragic Zeus does not appear on stage, but comic Zeus can.  Of course, his argument for a comic Zeus on stage is based on “the excellent Roman comedy of Plautus…based on a lost Greek play”, so our missing evidence used again as evidence.   

All that said, am I right? Zeus never descends to earth in the Homeric present?

Winkler’s Law; wherever in Homeric poetry a female character is described with beautiful ankles, (she) is about to save a male character.”    I have no reference for Winkler’s Law and can’t find it by googling it. So far my searches on the word in Perseus (καλλίσφυρος) aren’t providing it to be true. 
Here’s the first text I found using the Perseus word study tool;

abode beside his wedded wife, the fair Cleopatra, daughter of Marpessa of the fair ankles, child of Evenus, and of Idas that was mightiest of men that were then upon the face of earth; who also took his bow to face the king [560] Phoebus Apollo for the sake of the fair-ankled maid.

The beautiful ankled women above; Marpessa of the fair ankles, daughter of Evenus and wife of Idas.  Yes Marpessa saves Idas, but not now, rather twenty years before in another story.[1]

Next example is: book 5, card 313: ... Ζεφύρῳ εἴξασκε διώκειν. τὸν δὲ ἴδεν Κάδμου θυγάτηρ, καλλίσφυρος Ἰνώ, Λευκοθέη, πρὶν μὲν ἔην βροτὸς αὐδήεσσα  the West Wind to drive. But the daughter of Cadmus, Ino of the fair  ankles, saw him, even Leucothea, who of old was a mortal of human speech, [335] Which does follow Winkler’s Law,

Heracles, in myth or in the Hymn that ends shortly thereafter

Next; Homeric Hymn (2) to Demeter “ἑστήκει πανάφυλλον: ἔκευθε δ᾽ ἄρα
ταναοῖσι κομήσειν ἀσταχύεσσιν ἦρος“ At this point in the hymn there is no
male character to rescue even if trim-ankled Demeter.was in the mood to do

Conclusion; Winkler’s Law, doesn’t seem to work.

[1] (Apollodorus, The Library 1.7.9) But Idas came to Messene, and Apollo, falling in with him, would have robbed him of the damsel. As they fought for the girl's hand, Zeus parted them and allowed the maiden herself to choose which of the two she would marry; and she, because she feared that Apollo might desert her in her old age, chose Idas for her husband.125

Thursday, April 6, 2017

TFBT: Quotes and Links, Part XXV

I can't believe it!  After re-posting quotes I find interesting for quite a while, I finished. 

 "A Roman...praising...called him the last of the Greeks, implying...Greece produced no great man after him" Plutarch on Philopoemen
"A momentous discovery that destroyed the prejudice of the blind academics who had mocked him (Schliemann) Troy by Nick McCarty

"A cult image or sanctuary must always be given a friendly greeting...even if one is simply passing by."

"3000 Oceanides...and as many again are the rest of the Rivers." (Theogony 337) Were there that many rivers in the world that Hesiod knew?

"[Herakles] struck her (Hera) beside the right breast w/a tri-barbed arrow... the pain he gave her could not be quieted." Iliad 5. 382

"...this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead." Philippians 3:13 I love "straining forward"

"...I put my lips to the hands of the man who has killed my children.”So he spoke, and stirred in the other a passion of grieving' Iliad

"...he is tired of life, and thinks of nothing but how he may once more see the smoke of his own chimneys." Odyssey 1.58

"(Thou art) a greater evil than thy monster-bearing mother"

"(The gods feasting on Mt. Olympus) is striking that for the gods this situation seems to be an invention of epic" Tobias Anthony Myers

"(Priam) has children" (XX 183)’An ironic understatement!’" Best of the Achaeans, Gregory Nagy.

"(Of Darius) Did you know...that Alexander used his rival's treasure chest to store Homer's poems?" The Club Dumas by Reverte

"(Helen) knew not that both these heroes (her brothers) were already lying under the earth in their own land of Lacedaemon". Iliad 3.244

"(Cronus) kept devouring his own sons; whilst a grief not-to-be-forgotten possessed (his wife) Rhea” J.Banks

"(Aristotle's) ethical works include self-love as a kind of philia”

“Who could think the Trojans would migrate to evening lands?" Aeneid 3.188

“What a man sows on the field of battle, he has the right to reap in history.”Adventures in Czarist Russia, Alexandre Dumas

“Trust not in Dis!" Seneca

“Troy would be torn down through Achilles’ lineage".

“They chose to inhabit an unfertile land and rule rather than sow a plain and be slaves to others."  Herodotus

“The Zeus of Homer does not feel perfectly secure; he threatens too much..."  J.A.K. Thomson"

“The Oracle in its reply said that they would fare well if they took counsel with the majority." Pausanias [1.43.3]

“the one who is most terrifying, but, for humans, also most gentle." (Bacchae 861) Yeah, that accurately describes the effects of wine.

“The ire of the goddesses was kindled against Troy,". Nice phrase

“The fatal hope of the war being quickly ended...I fear rather that we may leave it as a legacy to our children”. King Archidamas

"Raptured Ganymede’s honors."  Nice euphemism for rape and immortality

"Paradoxical and dangerous power... accrues to even the potential breaker of taboos”.

"Myth is...a magnificent and concerted attempt to respond in secular form to the question of the good life.” Luc Ferry

"Inflamed by Fury he started to devise the way he could avenge the death of his father."

"If Aphrodite comes in smaller doses, no other god is so desirable. "Medea  630-31

"I fear Greeks bringing gifts."

"Fear symbolized by the fallen hydria consistently shown on visual representations of the death of Opheltes”Corinne Ondine Pache,

"(Like the sickle before it) The thunderbolt is yet another child of Gaia”.  .