Homeric Greek | Odyssey 1.158–168: Ionic forms, metrical slots, and precious fabrics as exchange goods
|July 5, 2018||Filled under Featured, Homeric Greek, Reading Homer||
We are pleased to share this segment in the CHS series on reading Homeric epic in ancient Greek. In each installment we read, translate, and discuss a small passage in the original Greek in the most accessible way. If you’ve ever dreamed of reading Homer in the original, here is your chance to do so with teachers who have spent a lifetime thinking about this poetry. With their guidance even new readers can enjoy “the poetry of grammar and the grammar of poetry” that make Homeric epic so exquisite and rewarding.
In this segment Gregory Nagy (Harvard University), Leonard Muellner (Brandeis University), and Douglas Frame (CHS), read a second part of a commentary on Odyssey 1.158–168, discussing differences between Ionic forms in Homer and their Attic counterparts, formulas in particular metrical slots, and the gift-giving of precious woven fabrics.
Odyssey 1.158–168, with hyperlinks to Perseus
‘ξεῖνε φίλ᾽, ἦ καὶ μοι νεμεσήσεαι ὅττι κεν εἴπω;
τούτοισιν μὲν ταῦτα μέλει, κίθαρις καὶ ἀοιδή,
ῥεῖ᾽, ἐπεὶ ἀλλότριον βίοτον νήποινον ἔδουσιν, 160
ἀνέρος, οὗ δή που λεύκ᾽ ὀστέα πύθεται ὄμβρῳ
κείμεν᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἠπείρου, ἢ εἰν ἁλὶ κῦμα κυλίνδει.
εἰ κεῖνόν γ᾽ Ἰθάκηνδε ἰδοίατο νοστήσαντα,
πάντες κ᾽ ἀρησαίατ᾽ ἐλαφρότεροι πόδας εἶναι
ἢ ἀφνειότεροι χρυσοῖό τε ἐσθῆτός τε. 165
νῦν δ᾽ ὁ μὲν ὣς ἀπόλωλε κακὸν μόρον, οὐδέ τις ἡμῖν
θαλπωρή, εἴ πέρ τις ἐπιχθονίων ἀνθρώπων
φῇσιν ἐλεύσεσθαι: τοῦ δ᾽ ὤλετο νόστιμον ἦμαρ.
 Homer. The Odyssey with an English Translation by A.T. Murray, Ph.D. in two volumes. Cambridge, MA., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd. 1919.