Topic for Discussion

Divine Doppelgänger: Hermes and Odysseus

"When she [= Kalypsō] had thus spoken she led the way rapidly before him, and Odysseus followed in her steps; so the pair, goddess and man, went on and on till they came to Kalypsō’s cave, where Odysseus took the seat that Hermes had just left." What is the significance of this line? After all, to sit in Hermes’ seat implies, to me, that Odysseus is taking Hermes’ place within… Read more

Spring for the ancient Greeks

"Winter made fun of Spring and mocked her... Spring replied, 'Indeed, that is exactly why mankind would be glad to get rid of you, whereas even the mere mention of my name is enough to bring them pleasure. By Zeus, there is no name more pleasant than mine! That is why they think fondly of me when I am gone and give thanks when I appear again.’" Following our previous… Read more

Snow for the ancient Greeks

"And if one were to tell of the wintry-cold [kheimōn], past all enduring, when Ida’s snow [khiōn] slew the birds...but why should we bewail all this?" Many areas in the northern hemisphere are currently experiencing heavy snow and cold temperatures. So we are sharing some passages on the subject from the ancient Greek texts. Read more

Performance of epic | Part 2: Rhapsodes

"Homeric poetry was performed at the Panathenaia by rhapsōidoi, ‘rhapsodes’ ... The rhapsodes narrated the Iliad and Odyssey in relay, following traditions of rhapsodic sequencing: each rhapsode waited for his turn to pick up the narrative where the previous rhapsode left off." In this post we share a selection of passages that describe the repertoire, performance, and skills of rhapsodes. Read more

Performance of epic | Part 1: Aoidoi in epic poetry

"...the Muse impelled the singer to sing the glories of men, starting from a thread [of a song] that had at that time a glory reaching all the way up to the vast sky." In Homeric poetry, there are several examples of singers performing. So in this post we will focus on the singer [aoidos] as featured in epics themselves. How does epic depict the role of singers and their… Read more