Homer

Exploring Bread

The point tore through the ambrosial robe which the Graces had woven for her, and pierced the skin between her wrist and the palm of her hand, so that the immortal blood or ikhōr, that flows in the veins of the blessed gods, came pouring from the wound; for the gods do not eat bread nor drink wine, hence they have no blood such as ours, and are immortal. Iliad… Read more

Helen

Finding Helen in texts is frustrating. Many contradictory facts may be encountered. Who was Helen? What about her life, her power, her birth, her beauty? Was she hated or was she loved? If we were to write a short biography, it might read like this: Helen was the daughter of Leda and Tyndareus/Zeus, and Clytemnestra, Castor and Polydeuces' sister. Penelope was her cousin. She married Menelaos king of Sparta, was… Read more

Errant Brothers

I was reading Gregory Nagy's translation of the Sappho Brothers poem (“But you are always saying, in a chattering way, that Kharaxos will come in a ship full of goods”), and it made me think of Works and Days, in which Hesiod seems to have a similar concern about his brother Perses (“my father and yours, you inept Perses, used to sail around in ships, lacking a genuine livelihood.”) I… Read more