Request Inspection Copy

If you are an Academic or Teacher and wish to consider this book as a prescribed textbook for your course, you may be eligible for a complimentary inspection copy. Please complete this form, including information about your position, campus and course, before adding to cart.

* Required Fields

To complete your Inspection Copy Request you will need to click the Checkout button in the right margin and complete the checkout formalities. You can include Inspection Copies and purchased items in the same shopping cart, see our Inspection Copy terms for further information.

Any Questions? Please email our text Support Team on text@footprint.com.au

Submit

Email this to a friend

* ALL required Fields

Order Inspection Copy

An inspection copy has been added to your shopping cart

Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours 2ed

by Gregory Nagy Belknap Press: An Imprint of Harvard University Press
Pub Date:
01/2020
ISBN:
9780674241688
Format:
Pbk 656 pages
Price:
AU$74.99 NZ$78.25
Product Status: In Stock Now
add to your cart

Other Available Formats:

What does it mean to be a hero? The ancient Greeks who gave us Achilles and Odysseus had a very different understanding of the term than we do today. Based on the legendary Harvard course that Gregory Nagy has taught for well over thirty years, The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours explores the roots of Western civilization and offers a masterclass in classical Greek literature. We meet the epic heroes of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, but Nagy also considers the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, the songs of Sappho and Pindar, and the dialogues of Plato. Herodotus once said that to read Homer was to be a civilized person. To discover Nagy's Homer is to be twice civilized.


 

Acknowledgments


Introduction


I. Heroes in Epic and Lyric Poetry


Introduction to Homeric Poetry


Hour 1: The Homeric Iliad and the Glory of the Unseasonal Hero


The Meaning of Kleos


The Kleos of Achilles as Epic ‘Glory’


A Much Shorter Version of Epic ‘Glory’


The Immortalizing Power of Kleos as Epic ‘Glory’


The Meaning of Hora


The Need for Heroes to ‘Script’ Their Own Death


Herakles as a Model Hero


The Labors of Herakles


Herakles and the Meaning of Kleos


Herakles and the Idea of the Hero


Achilles and the Idea of the Hero


Achilles and the Meaning of Kleos


Hour 2: Achilles as Epic Hero and the Idea of Total Recall in Song


The Meaning of Memnemai


Phoenix and His Total Recall


The Idea of Kleos as a Medium of Total Recall


The Idea of Kleos as Epic Narrative


An Epic Tale Told by Phoenix


The Form of Epic Poetry


To Sing the Klea Andron, ‘Glories of Men’


The Klea Andron, ‘Glories of Men’, as Heroic Song


The Concept of a Speech Act


Back to the Epic Tale Told by Phoenix


The Emotions of Fear and Pity


The Story of Meleager and Kleopatra


Plato’s Reading of the Iliad


The Epic Choice of Achilles


Hour 3: Achilles and the Poetics of Lament


The Meaning of Akhos and Penthos


A Man of Constant Sorrow


Achilles and Penthesileia the Amazon


The Essentials of Singing Laments


A Conventional Gesture in Women’s Laments


A Typological Comparison of Laments


The First Lament of Andromache


What Achilles Sang


The Song of Kleopatra


Hour 4: Achilles as Lyric Hero in the Songs of Sappho and Pindar


The Meaning of Aphthito-


The Imperishable Glory of Achilles in a Song of Pindar


The Lyric Glory of Achilles


The Imperishable Glory of Hector and Andromache in a Song of Sappho


Achilles as a Bridegroom


Achilles as a Focus of Lament


The Unfailing Glory of Achilles


Contrasting the Artificial and the Natural


The Unwilting Glory of Achilles


Achilles as a Model for Singing Lyric Songs of Glory


Models of Lament


Hour 5: When Mortals Become ‘Equal’ to Immortals: Death of a Hero, Death of a Bridegroom


The Meaning of Daimon


The Expression ‘Equal to a Daimon’


Apollo as Divine Antagonist of Achilles


Ares as Divine Antagonist of Achilles


Achilles as Ideal Warrior and Ideal Bridegroom


The Historical Background of Sappho’s Songs


Transition to Sappho’s Songs


Ares and Aphrodite as Models for the Bridegroom and the Bride


Song 31 of Sappho


Song 1 of Sappho


The Ritual Background of Song 1 of Sappho


The Maiden Song of Alcman


A Typological Comparison of Initiation Rituals


Song 16 of Sappho


Another Song of Sappho


Back to Song 16 of Sappho


Back to Song 31 of Sappho


Epiphany and Death


Eros and Ares


Ares as a Model for Achilles


Achilles the Eternal Bridegroom


Briseis as a Stand-in for Aphrodite


The Merging of Identity in Myth and Ritual


Distinctions between Real Death and Figurative Death in Lyric


Apollo as Model for Achilles


Fatal Attraction


Hour 6: Patroklos as the Other Self of Achilles


The Meaning of Therapon


Patroklos as Therapon


Anatolian Origins of the Word Therapon


Early Greek Uses of the Words Therapon, Theraps, Therapeuein


The Therapon as Charioteer


The Therapon as a Ritual Substitute


Ares as Divine Antagonist of Patroklos and Achilles


The Therapeutic Function of the Therapon


Patroklos as the Other Self of Achilles


Ramifications of the Idea of Another Self


Simone Weil on Sacrificial Substitution


Hour 7: The Sign of the Hero in Visual and Verbal Art


The Meaning of Sema


The Sign of the Hero at a Chariot Race


The Sign in the Visual Arts


Selected Examples of Signs in the Visual Arts


Hour 7a. Myth and Ritual in Pictures of Chariot Scenes Involving Achilles


Hour 7b. Apobatic Chariot Racing


Hour 7c. Apobatic Chariot Fighting


Hour 7d. Distinctions between Chariot Fighting and Chariot Racing


Hour 7e. Homeric Poetry at the Festival of the Panathenaia in Athens


Hour 7f. Signs of Alternative Epic Traditions as Reflected in Athenian Vase Paintings


Hour 7g. The Apobatic Moment


Hour 8: The Psychology of the Hero’s Sign in the Homeric Iliad


The Meaning of Psukhe


The Psukhe of Patroklos in the Iliad


The Psukhe of Patroklos in the Picture Painted on the Münster Hydria


Achilles and Patroklos as Cult Heroes of Apobatic Chariot Racing


An Athletic Event at Eleusis


Achilles and Demophon as Cult Heroes of Festivals


Achilles as a Model of Rhapsodic Performance


Achilles and Patroklos as Cult Heroes of a Poetic Event


The Prefiguring of Achilles by Patroklos


Heroic Immortalization and the Psukhe


The Psukhe as Both Messenger and Message


A Fusion of Heroic Myth and Athletic Ritual


Back to the Glory of the Ancestors


Back to the Meaning of Patroklos


Hour 8a. About the Ritual Origins of Athletics


Hour 8b. The Meaning of Athlos / Aethlos


Hour 8c. Back to the Panathenaia


Hour 8d. Patroklos as a Model for Achilles


Hour 8e. The Mentality of Re-enactment at Festivals


Hour 9: The Return of Odysseus in the Homeric Odyssey


The Meaning of Nostos


The Roles of Odysseus


The Complementarity of the Iliad and the Odyssey


The Heroic Mentality of Achieving Nostos


A Nostos in the Making


Echoes of Lament in a Song about Homecoming


Hour 10: The Mind of Odysseus in the Homeric Odyssey


The Meaning of Noos


The Interaction of Noos and Nostos


The Hero’s Return to His Former Social Status


The Hero’s Return from the Cave


The Return to Light and Life


The Journey of a Soul


Hour 11: Blessed Are the Heroes: The Cult Hero in Homeric Poetry and Beyond


The Meaning of Olbios


Signs of Hero Cult


Different Meanings of the Word Olbios for the Initiated and for the Uninitiated


How a Homeric Hero Can Become Truly Olbios


The Death of Odysseus


A Mystical Vision of the Tomb of Odysseus


Two Meanings of a Sema


An Antagonism between Athena and Odysseus


Conclusion: The Seafarer Is Dead and the Harvest Is Complete


Hour 12: The Cult Hero as an Exponent of Justice in Homeric Poetry and Beyond


The Meaning of Dike


An Occurrence of Dike as ‘Justice’ in the Odyssey


The Golden Generation of Humankind


Hesiod as an Exponent of Justice


Metaphors for Dike and Hubris


The Silver Generation of Humankind


Two Further Generations of Humankind


Hesiod in the Iron Age


Back to Hesiod as an Exponent of Dike


A Reconnection of Generations in an Orchard


II. Heroes in Prose Media


Hour 13: A Crisis in Reading the World of Heroes


The Meaning of Krinein


A Story about the Meaning of Olbios in the Histories of Herodotus


Another Story about the Meaning of Olbios in the Histories of Herodotus


Variations in Discriminating between the Real and the Unreal


Variations in Discriminating between Justice and Injustice


Heroes as Exponents of Justice in Poetry after Homer and Hesiod


Hour 14: Longing for a Hero: A Retrospective


The Meaning of Pothos


Testimony from the Heroikos of Philostratus


Longing for Protesilaos in the Homeric Iliad


The Sacred Eroticism of Heroic Beauty


The Beauty of Seasonality in a Modern Greek Poem


The Beauty of the Hero in Death


A Beautiful Setting for the Beautiful Cult Hero


Paroxysms of Sentimentality in Worshipping Cult Heroes


Back to the Tumulus of Achilles


Longing for Achilles: You’re Going to Miss Me


Longing for Patroklos: I’ll Miss Him Forever


Hour 15: What the Hero ‘Means’


The Meaning of Semainein


What Protesilaos ‘Means’


The Mystery of a Cult Hero


What Herodotus ‘Means’


More on the Mystery of a Cult Hero


Back to the ‘Meaning’ of Protesilaos


Initiation into the Mysteries of a Cult Hero


The Descent of an Initiand into the Nether World of a Cult Hero


A Brief Commentary on the Text about the Descent


The Oracular Consultation of Heroes


An Initiation for the Reader


The Personal Intimacy of Experiencing a Heroic Epiphany


Ritual Correctness in Making Mental Contact with the Cult Hero


How the Cult Hero Communicates


More on the Oracular Consultation of Heroes


Coming Back Once Again to What the Hero ‘Means’


The Cult Hero as a Medium


III. Heroes in Tragedy


Introduction to Tragedy


Hour 16: Heroic Aberration in the Agamemnon of Aeschylus


The Meaning of Ate


The Oresteia Trilogy of Aeschylus in the Larger Context of His Other Tragedies


The Ate of Agamemnon in Epic and Tragedy


An Ainos about a Lion Cub


Predators as Agents of Dike


Predators as Agents of Deeds Contrary to Dike


A Sequence of Symbols


The Symbolic Wording of the Watchman


Three Further Examples of Symbolic Wording


Hour 17: Looking beyond the Cult Hero in the Libation Bearers and the Eumenides of Aeschylus


The Meaning of Time


The Agenda of Athena


Pouring Libations for Cult Heroes or for Ancestors


What Stands in the Way of a Ritually Correct Libation by Electra


Transcending the Spirit of Vendetta


A New World Order for Athens


Hour 18: Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus and the Power of the Cult Hero in Death


The Meaning of Kolonos


More on the Meaning of Colonus


How to Imagine Colonus


Colonus, Land of Running Horses


Further Perspectives on the Meanings Connected to the Word Kolonos and to the Name Kolonos


Oedipus as Cult Hero at Colonus


The Mysterious Death of Oedipus


Scenarios for Dying and Then Coming Back to Life


The Mystification of the Hero’s Tomb in the Oedipus at Colonus


Personalizing the Death of Oedipus


Hour 19: Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus and Heroic Pollution


The Meaning of Miasma


The Pollution of Tyrants


A Look inside the Psukhe of Oedipus


The Pollution Caused by Oedipus


Oedipus as Savior


A Second Look inside the Psukhe of Oedipus


Purifying the Pollution in Tragedy


The Reaction of Oedipus to His Own Pollution in the Oedipus Tyrannus


Hour 20: The Hero as Mirror of Men’s and Women’s Experiences in the Hippolytus of Euripides


The Meaning of Telos


Two Contexts of Telos for Hippolytus


Hippolytus as a Cult Hero in Athens


Hippolytus as a Cult Hero in Trozen


Comparing the Trozenian and the Athenian Versions of the Hippolytus Tradition


Two Conventional Patterns of Thinking about Hippolytus as a Cult Hero in Trozen


Hippolytus in Epidaurus


Euripides Recapitulates a Trozenian Ritual


Love Song and Song of Laments


The Trouble with Hippolytus


The Complementarity of Artemis and Aphrodite


From Native Trozenian Ritual to the Drama of Athenian State Theater


Empathy for Female and Male Experiences


The Death of Phaedra


Epilogue: The Death of Phaethon


Hour 21: The Hero’s Agony in the Bacchae of Euripides


The Meaning of Agon


The Agon of Pentheus


The Meaning of Pathos


Staging the Dismemberment of Pentheus


The Staging of Dionysus


The Subjectivity of Dionysus


Staging the Bacchants


Staging Pentheus


A Divine Prototype for the Passion of Pentheus


Tracking Down the Origins of Tragedy


Hope for a Reassembly of the Body after Its Dismemberment


IV. Heroes in Two Dialogues of Plato


Hour 22: The Living Word I: Socrates in Plato’s Apology of Socrates


The Meaning of Daimonion


The Subversive Threat of ‘the Superhuman Signal’


What Happens to Socrates after Death


A Heroic Timing for the Death of Socrates


Socrates and Achilles


An Odyssean Way for the Journey of Socrates


The Swan Song of Socrates


Hour 23: The Living Word II: More on Plato’s Socrates in the Phaedo


The Meaning of Theoria


The Symbolism of Theoria in Plato’s Phaedo


The Garlanding of the Theoric Ship


Revisiting another Theoria


Theorizing about Theoria


Socrates, Master of Poetry as well as Dialogue


A New Way to Imagine Immortalization after Death


V. Heroes Transcended


Hour 24: The Hero as Savior


The Meaning of Sozein and Soter


Theseus as a Savior for the Athenians


A Metaphorical Use of the Word Sozein by Plato’s Socrates


A Metaphorical Use of the Word Sophron in an Archaic Hymn


Achilles as Saved Hero and as Savior Hero


Achilles, Hero of the Hellespont


Three More Glimpses of Heroic Salvation


The Living Word of Plato’s Socrates


Core Vocabulary of Key Greek Words


Abbreviations


References


Index Locorum

“[Nagy’s] analysis is fascinating, often ingenious… This book is a valuable synthesis of research finessed over thirty years… Complemented by a free online sourcebook, edited by Nagy, containing translations of all the ancient texts discussed, like an ancient hero it will provide a lasting legacy beyond the hora of its publication.” - Francesca Wade, The Times Literary Supplement


 


“There’s a vital subject at the heart of the book - more vital perhaps now than ever, since the concept of the ‘hero’ has been so overused and distorted in the 21st century that it scarcely has any meaning anymore, applying equally to Armed Services employees working in an accounting office in Qatar and elementary school teachers doing what they’d be fired if they didn’t do. Nagy exuberantly reminds his readers that heroes - mortal strivers against fate, against monsters, and, as we’ll see, against death itself - form the heart of Greek literature, the vital counterweight to the gaudy gods and goddesses who so often steal the limelight. He surveys the incredible feast of Greek literature from Homer and Hesiod to the tragedians (his extended analysis of Euripides’ Hippolytus, for instance, is a wondrous highlight of the book’s final marches) and overlays on top of that feast a neat but thin conceit of ‘hours’ characterized by certain ancient Greek concepts like Kleos, Memnemai, Akhos, Penthos, and Aphthito. The comprehensiveness of his coverage allows him to bring in every variation on the Greek hero, from the wily Theseus to the brawny Hercules to the ‘monolithic’ Achilles to the valiantly conflicted Oedipus, and that same sweep puts him in a perfect position to spot the linking factors and expound on them.” - Steve Donoghue, Open Letters Monthly


 


“The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours is Gregory Nagy’s MOOC book. The massive open online course is one of the most significant developments in higher education in years and Nagy is one of the foremost Homerists of his generation, so the book deserves attention both as an academic publication and as a pedagogical experiment. Scholars already familiar with Nagy’s work will not find radically new insights here. What they will appreciate is a systematic and exceptionally lucid statement of the research he has carried out over the past four decades… One of the greatest achievements of Nagy’s research is that it powerfully illuminates the relationship between myth and cult.” - Barbara Graziosi, Times Higher Education


 


“Backed by formidable learning and a vast ecumenical sweep embellished with details - yet written in a winningly readable informal style - The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours offers to us penetrating considerations of the ways in which Greek classics continue to make themselves felt in our lives even today.” - M. S. Nagarajan, The Hindu


 


“This volume is a summation of the insights of a scholar who has devoted his life to these materials, and who has a deep, learned, and personal vision of the ancient Greek psyche, its values, and its manifestations in song and prose. The result is a stimulating tour of ancient Greek literature.” - P. Nieto, Choice
Gregory Nagy is Francis Jones Professor of Classical Greek Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University and Director of Harvard's Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C.