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Core Vocab: phrēn, phrenes

This month's Core Vocab word is phrēn, plural phrenes, which is given the definition 'physical localization of the thūmos'—the seat of thinking and emotion, or the midriff. Read on to find Achilles with his lyre, consultations with the seer Teiresias, derangement, and a death scene. Then join me in the forum to share further examples and explore how the term is used in the ancient Greek texts. Read more

Core Vocab: thūmos

Our next exploration of Core Vocab terms is about thūmos [θυμός] ‘heart, spirit’ (designates realm of consciousness, of rational and emotional functions). Here Professor Nagy explains the meaning a little further: "The word thūmos, which I translate here as ‘heart’, expresses in Homeric diction the human capacity to feel and to think, taken together. ... In other Homeric contexts, on the other hand, thūmos is pictured as the vital force… Read more