Odysseus

Hair, part 1 | Male hair: descriptions

"Beautiful were the locks of hair as they waved in the breeze surrounding him." How did the ancient Greeks view hair? There are many passages in which it is mentioned or described, and this series of blog posts will explore different aspects of how it is featured in some of the texts. In this first post, we are looking at physical descriptions of men's hair. Read more

Core Vocab: mētis

Following on from our discussion of biā / biē it seems natural to continue with another, contrasting Core Vocab word: mētis [μῆτις] glossed by Gregory Nagy as ‘artifice, stratagem, cunning intelligence’. It's a word I immediately associate with Odysseus, and in particular his cunning ploy with the Cyclops. But to which other heroes, and in what contexts, does it also appear? Read more

Video: CHS Open House | Odysseus and the Poetics of katábasis, with Stamatia Dova

"The psūkhē of the fleet descendant of Aiakos knew me and spoke piteously, saying, ‘Resourceful Odysseus, noble son of Laertes and seed of Zeus, what deed of daring will you undertake next, that you venture down to the house of Hādēs among us inept dead, who are but the spirits of them that can labor no more?’ We were pleased to welcome Stamatia Dova, Hellenic College Holy Cross, to record… Read more

Homeric Ithaca

I visited the northwestern corner of Kefalonia on the way to joining the Classical Greece for Students and Alumni tour, led by Gregory Nagy. I first learned of this place when I came across the book Odysseus Unbound by Robert Bittlestone, an amateur classicist. Bittlestone took on the ancient question of where the Odyssean Ithaca might have been located. How exact were the geographical descriptions in Odyssey? The geography and… Read more

Homeric Greek | Odyssey 1.93–98: Variants in Telemachus’ visits, Nestor, and Athena

We are pleased to share this segment in the CHS series on reading Homeric epic in ancient Greek. In each installment we read, translate, and discuss a small passage in the original Greek in the most accessible way. In this segment, Gregory Nagy, Leonard Muellner, and Douglas Frame read Odyssey 1.93–98. Topics include: a Cretan variant in the scholia, nostos as a song about homecoming, a journey as initiation, the… Read more