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Questions tagged [greek-literature]

For questions about Greek literature: works of literature which were originally written in the Greek language.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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 positive one ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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Are there recorded instances of asexuality in the body of ancient Greek writings?

I've been reading through a fraction of Ancient Greek literature, lately, and an odd thought occurred to me. In nearly every work of Greek literature that is tangentially related to sexuality (which, ...
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In the Iliad, why does Homer list every captain involved in the Trojan war?

In book two of the The Iliad (which you can read online), Homer does something that I find strange: he interrupts the story to list the name of every captain involved in the Trojan war: And now, O ...
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Who first referred to Odysseus as Ulysses?

When I was in high school, Homer's Iliad, Homer's Odyssey, and Virgil's Aeneid were taught as a trilogy of sorts. Was Virgil the first Roman to refer to Odysseus as 'Ulysses' or was there another (...
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Are Endymion and Hyperion by John Keats intended to be related pieces?

Hyperion and Endymion are poems by the famous poet John Keats, both based on Greek mythology. Hyperion talks about the Titan's despairing after their defeat by the Olympians, and was written in 1818-...
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How many sailors from Odysseus' crew survived the Odyssey?

It's been a long time since I've read it, maybe 20 years. Of course, Odysseus survives, but does anyone else? How many sailors did he start with, and how many made it home with him (or safely departed ...
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How did Edith Hamilton become interested in transcribing her famous Greek myths?

Edith Hamilton is probably the most famous modern-day writer of Greek myths, but how did she become interested in transcribing these myths?