Topic for Discussion

Kassandra, Self-Proclaimed Goddess

A guest post by Bill Moulton Ah, ah! Oh, oh, the agony! 1215 Once more the dreadful ordeal [ponos] of true prophecy whirls and distracts me with its ill-boding onset. Do you see them there—sitting before the house—young creatures like phantoms of dreams? Children, they seem, slaughtered by their own… Read more

Prototypical Art

In the forum, we observed that Doric and Mycenaean elements came back quite openly in the geometric art of the Homeric age. The decorative band of alternating “triglyphs” and “metopes” on the sides of the Middle Geometric kraters were recognized as a memory of the wooden constructions in ancient Doric temples, and Mycenaean elements return in the images of animals. What is missing is the memory of the Minoan element,… Read more

Thersites: An Unbridled Tongue

He is one of those bit players in Homer who are so unforgettable. Caustic, repulsive, and comedic all at the same time, Thersites has always been the source of controversy. Who was he? And was he intended to be dangerously insurrectionist or only entertaining? It is an often overlooked aspect of the Thersites story that he was said by post-Homeric tradition to have been a cousin of Diomedes. Along with… Read more

Heralds and Messengers

“Then they would have hacked at one another in close combat with their swords, had not heralds, messengers of gods and men, come forward, one from the Trojans and the other from the bronze-armored Achaeans—Talthybios and Idaios both of them honorable men; these parted them with their staves…” I have become interested in the role of the herald. Does this carry a special status and have particular responsibilities? Is a… Read more

Nestor’s Epic Success?

Nestor in the Odyssey is home in Pylos. He got a safe nostos, he is surrounded by his beloved wife and his children: six boys and several daughters and daughters-in-law. He seems ageless. In this passage from the Sourcebook, a wonderful scene with his guests and family is shown. The setting is perfect. The sacrifice is detailed beautifully. Athena herself is present. The guest of honor is Telemachus. The scene… Read more