Topic for Discussion

Emotions from Greek Antiquity

"Oh to clasp your tender limbs, a mother’s fondest [most philos] joy! Oh to breathe your fragrant breath! ... Kiss your mother now for the last time, nestle to her that bore you, twine your arms about my neck and join your lips to mine!" Recent Book Club discussion prompted me to think about how human emotions were depicted in some of the readings from Greek antiquity. Read more

Hēraklēs and the Sea

During his numerous and formidable adventures Hēraklēs had to face the sea and to brave storms. In this post we are exploring some of Hēraklēs’ maritime journeys. He assembled large fleets for distant expeditions. While on one of his labors he also set up the Pillars of Hēraklēs, very far away from Greece. And he traveled in the golden cup-boat of Helios. Read more

Mothers and sons in epic | Part 2: Mortal mothers

In part 2 we see the difficulty of being a mortal mother of a hero. Unlike some of the examples we looked at featuring divine mothers, these sons do not rely on their mothers or ask them for help, and the mothers seem to have no control over events or their sons’ lives. But as with the divine mothers, some are caring while others act unlovingly to their sons. Read more

Mothers and sons in epic | Part 1: Divine mothers

In these posts we are looking at the way the relationship between mothers and sons is portrayed in Homeric epic. In this first post we look at some divine mothers: Aphrodite, mother of Aeneas, and Thetis, mother of Achilles; Hera and Hephaistos, and the role Thetis played in caring for Hephaistos. Does their own immortality shape the care they have for their children? Is there a difference between mothers whose… Read more

Divine Deceiver: Hermes in the Homeric Hymns

"I will swear a great oath by my father’s head and vow that neither am I guilty [aitios] myself, neither have I seen any other thief [klopos] of your cows —whatever cows may be; for I know them only by hearsay [kleos].” Following the recent posts "Divine Doppelgänger: Hermes and Odysseus" and “The Divine Doublet: Odysseus and Hermes," I became intrigued to learn more about Hermes as deceiver, as portrayed… Read more