Questions tagged [greek-literature]

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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2
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1answer
51 views

Where does Tomyris promise to retreat?

I'm trying to understand this passage in Herodotus's Histories (Book 1 chapter 208): So these opinions contended; and Cyrus set aside his former plan and chose that of Croesus; wherefore he bade ...
3
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1answer
201 views

Translation of Onomasticon by Julius Pollux of Naucratis

Is there an English translation of the Onomasticon by Julius Pollux of Naucratis?
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98 views

Has any writer claimed that Hector, not Achilles, is the true hero of the Iliad?

From his farewell to his wife Andromache in Book VI to the splendid description of his funeral with the which the epic concludes, Hector exhibits many of the hallmarks of the archetypal protagonist of ...
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723 views

What does “branch of Ares” mean in book II of “The Iliad”?

I have been reading the Iliad in the Penguin Classics edition (translated by Emile Victor Rieu and Martin Hammond), and in the second book, when Homer is naming the groups of Achaeans and Trojans, the ...
6
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2answers
606 views

Meaning and addressees of Hector's threats

The scene: Zeus and Apollo have just revived Hector who received a near-fatal blow from a boulder thrown by Ajax. Apollo and Hector then lead a refreshed Trojan onslaught on the Greeks, compelling ...
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52 views

Oribasii Collectiones Medicae in Greek/English

I'm seeking a Greek-English translation of Oribasii Collectiones Medicae. I'm specifically looking for the section describing the setting of a dislocated limb where an interesting Greek verb (...
4
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1answer
526 views

Vultures and wives? What does this expression mean?

Extract from Pope's translation of the Iliad, Book XI, describing Agamemnon's rampage during the third battle: Wide o’er the field with guideless fury rolls, Breaking their ranks, and crushing out ...
3
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1answer
158 views

Is Ant-Man a Myrmidon?

The Myrmidons, the soldiers from Achilles's homeland of Thessaly who are under his command in the Iliad, get their name from myrmex or ants. Achilles himself is the arch-Myrmidon. In Shakespeare's ...
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2answers
95 views

Why does Aristotle reckon that the secret to humor is surprise?

Supposedly, Aristotle said: The secret to humor is surprise. Why does Aristotle reckon that the secret to humor is surprise?
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2answers
282 views

What does Heraclitus mean by “if you do not expect the unexpected”?

I lit upon this quote on p. 177 in National Geographic's photo book Sublime Nature, that I riffled through based on recent posts. Goodreads has it. I don't know any philosophy, and don't understand ...
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27 views

Homer’s characterization of Penelope

Is Penelope in Homer's Odyssey a strong or weak character? What does her character reveal about Homer’s characterization of women in general?
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267 views

Examples of Zeus's Immoral Nature [closed]

In The Odyssey, Zeus happily allows Poseidon to turn a ship into stone, killing everyone aboard. I think it's safe to say most people alive today would consider this immoral. What are some other ...
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211 views

Can the Odyssey be consumed independently of the Iliad?

The Odyssey is largely a sequel to the Iliad, both of them being attributed to Homer and describing events which are roughly part of a single overall story (Odysseus first fighting in the Trojan War ...
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146 views

Does the Greek or Latin “Corpus Hermeticum” exist online anywhere in text format?

Looking for the original latin or greek Corpus Hermeticum online somewhere in text format (i.e. not a PDF). Does such a thing exist?
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Was the Moon an emissary for the Gods in greek mythology?

I'm an astrology student and, in order to better understand the explanation for the meaning of certain phenomena, I'm investigating greek mythology. Right now, I'm trying to understand why void moons....
4
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1answer
342 views

What manuscript was the first printed edition of the Odyssey based on?

The Wikipedia article about the Iliad says that this work was first printed in Florence in 1488/89. The Wikipedia article about the Odyssey does not mention when this epic was first printed, but it ...
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2answers
903 views

How did the Greeks anger Pallas Athena?

During the Iliad several of the gods take sides in the war between the Greeks and the Trojans. For example, Ares, Apollo and Aphrodite side with the Trojans, while Pallas Athena, Hera and Poseidon ...
3
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207 views

Why did Archilochus affiliate the hedgehog with just knowing one big thing?

Letters to a Law Student: A Guide to Studying Law at University. (2017 4 ed). p 50. In an observation that is now so clichéd, you won’t be able to believe how much I hate myself for repeating it, ...
4
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1answer
212 views

What does “Do you think falsehood is less powerful than bile or a rabid dog?” mean in Marcus Aurelius's Meditations?

So I'm reading Gregory Hays's translation of Marcus Aurelius's meditations and there's a section I'm fairly stuck on. The full section (book 6, section 57) is: Honey tastes bitter to a man with ...
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126 views

Is Odysseus a hero in the Odyssey?

Is Odysseus a hero in the Odyssey? From what I’ve read, the answer seems to be a pretty clear yes. The definition of an Ancient Greek hero seemed to revolve around pure talent and ability to fight. ...
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2k views

What does Athena’s statement to Zeus at the beginning of The Odyssey reveal?

I was told to analyze this passage in book 1 of The Odyssey, having read only books 1-4: And sparkling-eyed Athena drove the matter home: “Father, son of Cronus, our high and mighty king, surely he ...
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187 views

Aesop's ambiguous fables

I've been reading through some fables of Aesop's. I notice that some of them draw an explicit moral, but I don't know whether these were edited in later. For example, this version of "boy and ...
4
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1answer
150 views

Why did Andromache call the men of Sparta ‘devious plotters and the master of lies’?

Why does Euripides put the following speech into the mouth of Andromache, in his play of the same name? Andromache: (Breaking into a rage) Inhabitants of Sparta, most hated men on earth, devious ...
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Why is Seamus Heaney's “The Cure at Troy” so often quoted in political contexts?

The Cure at Troy is Seamus Heaney's translation and adaptation of Sophocles's Philoctetes set during the Trojan War. It seems to be very often quoted by politicians: most recently by British prime ...
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1answer
130 views

Looking for an Aeschylus quote mistranslated from Polish

I am working through a book of poetry by Tadeusz Miciński, a Polish writer who was active toward the end of the 19th century. The book is called "W mroku gwiazd" or "In the Twilight of the Stars" and ...
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1answer
541 views

What does the riddle at the end of Plato's Republic book 5 mean?

In the latter half of The Republic, book 5, Socrates and Glaucon are discussing the difference between knowledge of things things that exist and ignorance about things that don't exist. They suppose ...
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102 views

Are there any surviving works of Ancient Greek playwrights/poets excluding the more well known ones? [closed]

I'm interested in the Ancient Greek plays/poetry right now. Are there any extant works from Greek poets/playwrights that aren't well known currently? This is, of course, excluding Aristophanes, ...
4
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1answer
166 views

In which act/scene of Antigone (Sophocles) is this passage?

I just stumbled on this translation of Antigone by F. L. Lucas where it says: Wonders there are many, but there is no wonder wilder than man - Man who makes the winds of winter bear him, ...
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1answer
200 views

What are the other (aside from the Iliad) classical sources for the saga of Troy?

I recently read the Iliad, and I was surprised by how many of the events surrounding the fall of Troy that I had heard about here and there were left out. What are the oldest extant sources for the ...
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70 views

Where in the Republic does an Athenian businessman castigate “Socrates for his pursuit of abstract knowledge”?

Source: Intelligence and How to Get It: Why Schools and Cultures Count (2009). p. 49.   Second, the Confucian tradition, of which Japan and Korea are a part, has little use for the idea that ...
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193 views

How does anacrusis simulate a ship's pushing back from dock?

[ Source : ] Interestingly, anakrouein or anacrusis is also found in Greek poetry, where the first syllable is not accented. Being the sea-faring people as they were, starting a poem with anacrusis ...
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150 views

Why did Maximou behave in this way towards Digenis Akrites?

In Digenes Akrites, why did Maximou challenge Digenis to a second duel immediately after being defeated once? Also, did Maximou offer herself to Digenis after their duel or did he force himself on her?...
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145 views

Hegel on Antigone

According to this article: According to Hegel's account of Greek tragedy, the conflict is not between good and evil but between goods that are each making too exclusive a claim. What is Hegel's ...
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1k views

Where was the Odyssean Ithaca?

It's well known that the home of Odysseus, as described in Homer's Odyssey, was the island of Ithaca. There's a modern-day Greek island called Ithaca, and according to Wikipedia: Modern Ithaca is ...
2
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1answer
284 views

Maximou - female warrior in Greek literature?

Who is the female warrior Maximou? Is it true that she never lost a battle? Was she a typical Amazon who lacked beauty? Read about her in a magazine which called her a relative of someone called ...
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3answers
5k views

Where was Homer born?

I hope not to ask a very silly question. As the title says, I want to know the place where Homer was born. According to some quick searches on the web, he was born in Ionia. But it seems strange for ...
9
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881 views

Why does the portrayal of fate in the Odyssey differ from that of the Iliad?

In the Iliad, fate and the will of the gods are two distinct concepts. This is shown when Zeus is tempted to save his son, Sarpedon, from his predestined death in battle, though he ultimately chooses ...
3
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1answer
123 views

What/who are the exact sources of inspiration, deriving from Antiquity, for Fables, written by La Fontaine?

I know that La Fontaine's Fables is heavily inspired by Greco-Roman classic literature, especially Aesop's fables, but I'm sure there are other sources of inspiration for La Fontaine's 12 books of ...
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789 views

Can 'peripeteia' be a positive change too?

"Peripeteia" is an unexpected reversal of circumstances or a turning point. In tragedy, this sudden change of circumstances is usually a negative one. Is it possible for peripeteia to be a ...
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2k views

Why does the Iliad start “in the middle”?

The Iliad starts at kind of an odd spot. It starts by describing the argument between Agamemnon and Achilles (Akhilleus in my translation) over the women they have acquired from raids. It mentions off-...
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1answer
829 views

Why is Nausicaa named 'burner of ships'?

Nausicaa in the Odyssey is the princess of a race of seafarers. She and her people are beloved of and descended from Posidon/Neptune. Nausicaa herself is directly descended from both sides as her ...
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1answer
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About Sappho's “Hector and Andromacha” poem

In a relatively short while, I'll have to write a blog post on this poem, so I've been doing some research into the sources. The first is P.Oxy. 1232, an image of which is the following. A later ...
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173 views

About Sappho's epigram for the little girl Aithopia: first line (manuscript tradition and experts' take), and authorship

Background and research As I am planning to post this poem on my blog relatively soon, I was doing some research on the first line. From what I had written previously, I seem to have found two ...
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1answer
178 views

Who put forward this completion to Sappho 94, and what is it actually supposed to read?

In Sappho 94 (τεθνάκην δ' ἀδόλως θέλω), there is this tercet at ll. 25-27, which is very incomplete, which Edmonds doesn't even have, and which Bibliotheca Augustana and Campbell p. 69 both read: ...
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392 views

About l. 3 of the second stanza of Sappho's Ὠδὴ εἰς Ἀνακτωρίαν (Ode to Anactoria)

A long time ago, I translated all of Sappho's poems. In doing so, I had to reconstruct some parts of the texts, and do some amateur level criticism. One example of such work lies in the poem sometimes ...
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1answer
194 views

Why is the oath sworn to Dolon by Hector a “bootless” one?

In this question I asked abouth the following oath "May Jove the thundering husband of Juno bear witnes that no other Trojan but yourself shall mount those steeds, and that you shall have your ...
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3answers
299 views

What is a bootless oath?

In Book X (10) of The Illiad Hector (edition: Britannica Great Books of the Western World (The Illiad and The Odessey together), rendered into English prose by Samuel Butler) swears the following oath ...
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1answer
968 views

Are there any recorded discrepancies between The Odyssey as oral tradition and The Odyssey as Homer transcribed it?

The Odyssey began as oral tradition, and was later transcribed by someone we now call "Homer." Disregarding the Homeric Question concerning the identity of the person who transcribed these works, it ...
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2answers
13k views

Was Odysseus considered unfaithful to his wife in the Odyssey?

Penelope is portrayed throughout the story to be virtuous when it comes to men, meaning that she holds out hope for her husband's safety 20 years after she saw him and had no other relationships in ...
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2answers
3k views

Did Homer base the Iliad and the Odyssey on mythology?

Homer's two epic poems follow the story of the Trojan War through various perspectives. Did Homer make up the stories, or was there some kind of historical/mythological predecessor that he retold (or ...