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Questions tagged [greek-language]

Questions about works of literature that were originally written in the Greek language, regardless of whether they were written or published in Greece or elsewhere.

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Meaning of Hesiod's line "reproaching the sons whom he himself begot..."

In Theogony lines 207 to 209, Hesiod says (English translation by Richard Caldwell, 1987): reproaching the sons whom he himself begot; he said they strained in wickedness to do a great wrong What ...
Aueriga's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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What evidence supports Calypso's island being Gozo (Malta)?

In the Odyssey, the island where Calypso lives is called Ogygia, but what real Mediterranean island is this? One long-standing theory has it as Gozo, the second island of Malta: Ogygia or Phaeacia ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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In search of: The Lexicon of Exekias/Ezekias

I caught part of a TV segment that was featuring classical sources, the narrator mentioned one text he referred to as "The Lexicon of Exekias" I jotted it down, thinking it would be easy to ...
Arash Howaida's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
164 views

Do we have (non-biblical) literary allusions referring to person as a "χριστός"?

A great starting place for Greek literature is always Perseus Tufts, and the entry for "χριστός" returned these dictionary entries and textual allusions. As expected, we see entries for the ...
Arash Howaida's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
65 views

Does Nicanor's account of Alexander survive?

I came across allusions to a source in one of the volumes of the Ante-Nicene Fathers, relevant summary by Oxford: The learned Roman scholar and antiquarian M. Terentius Varro decided to take matters ...
Arash Howaida's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
475 views

On Some Grand Lines in a Greek Tragedy

I recently asked this question on Christianity SE, but it received no answers. It was suggested that I ask it here with the greek-language tag: In his essay "The Syllabus" (which refers to ...
DDS's user avatar
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1 answer
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is it possible to adapt ancient graeco-roman prosodic styles, forms, principles, modifications into modern verses? [closed]

is it possible to adapt ancient graeco-roman prosodic styles, forms, principles, modifications into modern verses? does anybody know good authors who write in vernacular or modern languages with greek ...
jacklhoward's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
268 views

Catharsis in Medea

Catharsis is defined by Aristotle as a pure release of supressed emotions. It generally occurs at the end of the play or at the resolution, when the audience undergoes a powerful experience of a range ...
user19792's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
262 views

Greek Alexander Romance - Plot device or other function of Alexander's surreptitious stealing of Persian drinking cups?

In one of the more common form factors of the Greek Alexander Romance (by Pseudo-Callisthenes), we have this passage, located in Book II, 15: As they began to drink more deeply, Alexander had an idea:...
Arash Howaida's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
764 views

Who is the 'pale Titan-woman' in Swinburne's 'Ave atque Vale'?

For those fond of intertextual references, 'Ave atque Vale' by Algernon Charles Swinburne, an English poet's lament for the French poet Charles Baudelaire, is something of a goldmine, being absolutely ...
Tom Hosker's user avatar
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Did Lord Byron fluff his Greek in his poem beginning 'Maid of Athens, ere we part'?

One of Lord Byron's most famous poems appears, in the earliest editions of his works, under the simple title of 'Song', but is now more widely know by its first line, 'Maid of Athens, ere we part'. ...
Tom Hosker's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
151 views

Unabridged version of the Alexander Romance

It would appear that there is a myriad of different versions of the Alexander Romance, varying by period and geography. For my purposes, an English translation of the Greek account will be sufficient. ...
Arash Howaida's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
238 views

Who are the '12 children of Aiolos Hippotadês', as introduced in Book 10, The Grace of the Witch, of Homer's Odyssey?

Below is an excerpt of Book 10, The Grace of the Witch, of Homer's Odyssey We made our landfall on Aiolia Island, domain of the Aiolos Hippotadês, the wind king dear to the gods who never die- an ...
Abhiraj Mallangi's user avatar
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1 answer
216 views

What is the "black sphinx" in Greek magical papyrus IV?

In the Greek magical papyri (Papyri Graecae Magicae or PGM), lines 2307–2314 of papyrus IV were translated into English by Hans Dieter Betz as follows: The hair of a virgin cow, the seed of Pan Fire ...
Arash Howaida's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
48 views

Short form of dedication in Greek? "Αφιερωμένο σε~" -> "Στον ~" or something else?

Note: I am asking this question here because a number of other questions have suggested that there is no Greek StackExchange and that these questions should be asked in Literature StackExchange. If I ...
mig81's user avatar
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Tebtunis Papyri - The Land Survey

I'm trying to find an English translation of The Land Survey within the Tebtunis Papyri. Thanks! I've included the section I'm particularly interested in which is designated as "61(b) 237f" ...
ed huff's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
576 views

Why is this line about prophecy in book 2 of the Odyssey thought to be "spurious"?

In my translation of the Odyssey by Emily Wilson, she translates part of a speech concerning prophecy by Eurymachus at the end of book 2 as this: You know many ancient forms of wisdom, but if you ...
Matt Thrower's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Euripides - Were his Argonautical works considered canon?

After reading his work "Medea", I'm left wondering how the immediate audience and subsequent generations thought about it. Namely, whether it was accepted straight away as part of this wider ...
Arash Howaida's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
493 views

In Homer's Odyssey, how can the one-eyed Cyclops have multiple brows?

When Odysseus meets the Cyclops, the text never explicitly states that he has only a single eye. However, the unfolding action in which Odysseus and his crew blind the Cyclops by pushing a stake into ...
Matt Thrower's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
152 views

Euripides - mystai or evidence of higher-ranked status?

Euripedes has quite an extensive catalog on the so-called mystery cults. In the wiki, it does state the tragedian had some involvement in a mystery cult: He served for a short time as both dancer and ...
Arash Howaida's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
124 views

What are "inward meats" in Homer?

In both the Iliad and the Odyssey there are many mentions of "inward meats," such as: When the thigh-bones were burned and they had tasted the inward meats, they cut the rest up small, put ...
gorignak's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
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Why are sea creatures Sirens "in a meadow" in The Odyssey?

The Odyssey offers this description of Sirens from wise Circe: The Sirens bewitch everybody who approaches them. There is no homecoming for the man who draws near them unawares...For with their high ...
DVK's user avatar
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3 votes
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Meaning of "For if women become so bold..." from "Orestes"

In the play Orestes by Euripides, what is meant by the following, from line 567? "For if women become so bold as to murder their husbands, taking refuge in their children, hunting down pity with ...
ed huff's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
468 views

Where did Euripides say "keep a balance in your life"?

I've seen this attributed to Euripides in various places: The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live ...
bertday's user avatar
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1 answer
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Meaning of "lovers" in Hector's monologue in the "Iliad"

In the twenty-second book of the Iliad, where we see the inner monologue of Hector before fighting against Achilles, there is this interesting metaphor(?) which I couldn't give a nice explanation to: ...
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1 vote
1 answer
217 views

English translation of Corpus Hippiatricorum Graecorum

I'm trying to find a translation of HIPPIATRICA, Hippiatrica Berolinensia, preferably an interlinear Greek/English version. I'm especially interested in chapter 20 and references to the Greek word &...
ed huff's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
188 views

Translation of a phrase in Julius Pollux's "Onomasticon"

Could anyone provide a translation of "τὸ δὲ συναμφότερον φάτνας. καὶ σύμπας μὲν ὁ τῶν ὀδόντων στοῖχος φραγμὸς ὀνομάζεταi" from the Onomasticon by Julius Pollux (2.93)? I'm particularly ...
ed huff's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
101 views

Did the play “Prometheus the Fire-Bringer” provide an aetiology for a festival honouring Prometheus?

The Wikipedia article on the lost play Prometheus the Fire-Bringer attributed to Aeschylus tells us: Finally, Athenaeus wrote of a contemporary Athenian festival dedicated to Prometheus: Aeschylus ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
200 views

What evidence confirmed a late date for Aeschylus’ “The Suppliants”?

The Wikipedia article on the play The Suppliants by Aeschylus tells us: It was long thought to be the earliest surviving play by Aeschylus due to the relatively anachronistic function of the chorus ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
173 views

How could the old woman's lover become rich, if it goes against the play's comic project?

I just finished reading Pluto by Aristophanes. The comic project of the play is to obtain a more fair distribution of richness which is at the beginning given only to dishonest people (or to people ...
mattiav27's user avatar
  • 307
11 votes
1 answer
704 views

Would the chorus leader typically speak/sing along with the chorus in classical Greek plays?

I had assumed that the chorus leader would speak along with the chorus. He is a part of it, after all. However, when I asked my literature professor on a whim he wasn't completely sure. Doing my own ...
bobble's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
145 views

Why was it necessary to put out Patroclos' pyre with wine in the Iliad?

In Book XXIII of the Iliad, after Patroclos' body has been burnt, Achillês tells the Greeks to put out the pyre with wine: Now the people were all gathering round Agamemnon. They made such noise and ...
Mithical's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
139 views

What does this passage about the sun and Hera mean in the Iliad?

In Book XVIII of the Iliad, after Patroclos's body has been recovered, there's this passage about the sun setting: Then the Achaians were glad indeed to draw back the body of Patroclos out of the ...
Mithical's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
225 views

Why is it so important to Aias that he die in the light as opposed to the mist in "The Iliad"?

In Book XVII of The Iliad, when Patroclus is killed and Zeus has turned the tide to the favor of the Trojans, we have this statement by Aias: Aias and Menelaos also saw that the victory was passing ...
Mithical's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why are all of these things described as "ambrosial" in "The Iliad"?

In Book XIV of The Iliad, when Hera is preparing to distract Zeus on Mount Ida, her preparations are described: She closed the doors, and first she washed every speck and stain from her lovely body ...
Mithical's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
60 views

What does it mean when Scully's translations of Sophocles use center-aligned text?

Short version: I am reading The Complete Plays of Sophocles, translated by Robert Bagg & James Scully. In both of Scully's translations (Aias and Philoktetes), though none of Bagg's, sections of ...
bobble's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
461 views

Why does Odysseus decide to leave without Philoktetes?

I am reading James Scully's translation of Philoktetes (also known as Philoctetes), in The Complete Plays of Sophocles, translated by Robert Bagg & James Scully. At one point, after getting ...
bobble's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
164 views

Purpose of the stage direction "Burst of light, fading. Distant rumbling." in "Philoktetes"

I am reading James Scully's translation of Philoktetes (also known as Philoctetes), in The Complete Plays of Sophocles, translated by Robert Bagg & James Scully. There was a stage direction which ...
bobble's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
108 views

Why does the chorus pray to Rhea in "Philoktetes"?

This is from James Scully's translation of Philoktetes (also known as Philoctetes), in The Complete Plays of Sophocles, translated by Robert Bagg & James Scully. After Neoptolemos tells ...
bobble's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
170 views

On what basis are lines attributed to the whole chorus or just the chorus leader?

I was cross-referencing my translation of Aias*, James Scully's from The Complete Plays of Sophocles (translated by Robert Bagg & James Scully), with a free online translation by Ian Johnston. I ...
bobble's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
809 views

Why is Philoktetes specifically hunting "doves"?

I am reading James Scully's translation of Philoktetes (also known as Philoctetes), in The Complete Plays of Sophocles, translated by Robert Bagg & James Scully. Twice it is mentioned that the ...
bobble's user avatar
  • 9,854
4 votes
2 answers
417 views

Why are "doves" used in this simile from "Aias"?

This is from James Scully's translation of Aias (also known as Ajax), in The Complete Plays of Sophocles, translated by Robert Bagg & James Scully. Son of Telamon, rock of Salamis towering up ...
bobble's user avatar
  • 9,854
7 votes
1 answer
305 views

How is Aias's initially informal reintroduction speech reflected in the original text?

I am reading James Scully's translation of Aias (also known as Ajax), in The Complete Plays of Sophocles, translated by Robert Bagg & James Scully. When Aias enters for the second time, during the ...
bobble's user avatar
  • 9,854
6 votes
1 answer
364 views

What does it mean when the chorus speaks "severally" in "Aias"?

I am reading James Scully's translation of Aias (also known as Ajax), in The Complete Plays of Sophocles, translated by Robert Bagg & James Scully. Eleven different times, per the search function ...
bobble's user avatar
  • 9,854
5 votes
1 answer
160 views

What does it mean to "graze on the fizzy air"?

This is from James Scully's translation of Aias (also known as Ajax), in The Complete Plays of Sophocles, translated by Robert Bagg & James Scully.                      Dear boy may you be ...
bobble's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
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English translation of Hermias' commentary on Plato's "Phaedrus"

Does there exist an English translation of the Commentary on Plato's Phaedrus (In Platonis Phaedrum Scholia) by Hermias of Alexandria?
ed huff's user avatar
  • 341
3 votes
1 answer
171 views

What does "reet fain" mean in Poseidon's message to Agamemnon in the Iliad?

In Book XIV of The Iliad, when Poseidon is encouraging the Greeks while the Trojans are attacking their ships, he says this to Agamemnon while disguised: But the famous Earthshaker kept no blind man'...
Mithical's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
282 views

Why is Helen's speech here in the Iliad described as being given "warmly"?

In Book VI of The Iliad, when Hector has come to try to get Paris to fight, Helen chips in with her point of view: Hector answered nothing, but Helen said warmly: "Brother dear, I am ashamed; I ...
Mithical's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
653 views

What does Nestor's love of a "good horse" have to do with anything?

In Book IV of The Iliad, there's a part where King Agamemnon is going through the soldiers and talking to everybody. He speaks to Nestor at one point: He passed on to Nestor, and found him among his ...
Mithical's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
388 views

Which ancient Greek politician punched a teacher for failing to carry his copy of Homer?

When I first studied the Iliad in middle school, I remember a story about about a politician in Athens punching a traveling tutor for the sin of not carrying his copy of Homer on him at all times. ...
William Grannis's user avatar