Word Study

Core Vocab: sōphrōn, sōphrosunē

This time the Core Vocab word is sōphrōn [σώφρων] ‘moderate, balanced, with equilibrium’; sōphrosunē [σωφροσύνη] ‘being sōphrōn’. In H24H, Gregory Nagy discusses the word as it relates to worshippers of Dionysus and as a metaphor describing the pilot of a ship in the Homeric Hymn (7) to Dionysus. Here are some other passages where the word appears. Read more

Core Vocab: mēnis

In the gloss provided by Gregory Nagy in H24H and the associated Sourcebook, mēnis is summarized as "superhuman anger, cosmic sanction". Following the Kosmos Society Book Club discussion about Leonard Muellner's The Anger of Achilles: Mênis in Greek Epic, we became interested in finding out how the word was used in other texts, so it seems appropriate to choose this for the next Core Vocab discussion. To whom is the… Read more

Core Vocab: ponos

"He was seen and noted by swift-footed radiant Achilles, who was standing on the spacious stern of his ship, watching the sheer pain [ponos] and tearful struggle of the fight." This next exploration of Core Vocabulary—taken from terms in H24H and the associated Sourcebook—features ponos [πόνος], glossed as ‘ordeal, labor, pain’. Read more

Core Vocab: koros

"But let there be such wealth as brings no distress, enough to satisfy a sensible man. For riches do not protect the man who in his insatiability [koros] has kicked the mighty altar of Dikē into obscurity." This month's Core Vocab term is koros: ‘being satiated; being insatiable’. I wondered how negatively koros was presented in the texts, and whether there was any difference between genres. And what kind of… Read more

Servitude | Part 1: Female servants in Homer

In Homeric poetry, apart from family members there are other members of the household [oikos] who are described by many different Greek words, and carry out differing roles. We were interested in understanding what those words would have meant and how servitude was portrayed, in the context of ancient Greek song culture of the Iliad and Odyssey. We start our exploration with female slaves/servants. Read more