Under discussion: What’s in a name?

I was fascinated by the recent CHS Open House discussion about names as micronarratives, and in particular how the name of a son can reflect a main characteristic of the father. One example mentioned was Telemakhos “he who fights at a distance.” I was wondering what other examples the community could find, and maybe try to explore some of these questions: Read more

Video—CHS Open House with Gregory Nagy and Guests on the Odyssey, Kingship, and Nestor

Professor Gregory Nagy (Harvard University) Professor Leonard Muellner (Brandeis University), Douglas Frame, and Allie Marbry, join for a CHS Open House Discussion. Questions discussed included: How is kingship depicted and does it reflect the historical situation? If Nestor is 'never at fault' does that affect how we can understand his role in the Odyssey? Is Odysseus the last of the epic heroes, and if so, what about Telemakhos' generation? Read more

In Focus: Odyssey 1, lines 1–10

|1 That man, tell me O Muse the song of that man, that versatile [polu-tropos] man, who in very many ways |2 veered from his path and wandered off far and wide, after he had destroyed the sacred citadel of Troy. |3 Many different cities of many different people did he see, getting to know different ways of thinking [noos]. Read more

Community Discussion: Fostering Civil Dialogue

In this clip Professor Nagy responds to a question about whether or not heroes can hope to achieve something that is beyond their portion or fate [huper moiran]. Nagy argues that within the ancient Greek song culture, the poetic phrase "beyond fate" can be equivalent to saying something is "beyond tradition." This idea becomes especially clear when Achilles and Aeneas, "two men who were by far the best," face off… Read more

Under discussion: “That Man!”

The active interaction among the bard, internal audience and the external audience in a Homeric performance intrigued me. I wondered how the external audience, in the 5th century BCE, processed such a complicated narrative (Homeric Iliad and Odyssey). How did they kept them near and dear to their song culture? Read more