Topic for Discussion

Divine Deceiver: Hermes in the Homeric Hymns

I read with great interest and enjoyment the recent posts by Jacqui Donlon “Divine Doppelgänger: Hermes and Odysseus” and by Bill Moulton: “The Divine Doublet: Odysseus and Hermes“, and became intrigued to learn more about Hermes as deceiver, as portrayed in the Homeric Hymns. Although the longer hymn is number 4, there is another, much shorter, hymn dedicated to Hermes, number 18. So I’ll start with that one: …He [=… Read more

The Divine Doublet: Hermes and Odysseus

His story starts in a cave far from the company of the blessed gods in the care of a daughter of the Titan Atlas. His story often ends in a cave too. In between, he slays a giant shepherd with an unusual number of eyes, is connected with the slaughter of sacred cows, smells the aroma of broiling steak but does not partake, and is involved in meals with appropriate shares for each honored… Read more

Divine Doppelgänger: Hermes and Odysseus

When she [= Kalypsō] had thus spoken she led the way rapidly before him, and Odysseus followed in her steps; so the pair, goddess and man, went on and on till they came to Kalypsō’s cave, [195] where Odysseus took the seat that Hermes had just left. [καί ῥ᾽ὁ μὲν ἔνθα καθέζετ᾽ ἐπὶ θρόνου ἔνθεν ἀνέστη Ἑρμείας] Kalypsō set meat and drink before him all kinds of food to eat… Read more

Spring for the ancient Greeks

After our previous post about snow and winter, we were inspired by this delightful fable from Aesop: Χειμὼν καὶ ἔαρ. Χειμὼν ἔσκωψε εἰς τὸ ἔαρ καὶ αὐτὸ ὠνείδισεν ὅτι εὐθὺς φανέντος ἡσυχίαν ἄγει ἔτι οὐδείς, ἀλλ’ ὁ μέν τις ἐπὶ λειμῶνας καὶ ἄλση γίνεται, ὅτῳ ἄρα φίλον δρέπεσθαι ἀνθέων καὶ κρίνων, ἢ καὶ ῥόδον τι περιαγαγεῖν τε τοῖς ἑαυτοῦ ὄμμασιν, καὶ παραθέσθαι [ἣ] παρὰ τὴν κόμην· ὁ δὲ ἐπιβὰς νεὼς… Read more

Snow for the ancient Greeks

And if one were to tell of the wintry-cold [kheimōn], past all enduring, when Ida’s snow [khiōn] slew the birds; [565] or of the heat, when upon his waveless noonday couch, windless the sea [pontos] sank to sleep—but why should we bewail all this? Aeschylus Agamemnon 563–567, adapted from Sourcebook[1] Many areas in the northern hemisphere are currently experiencing heavy snow and freezing temperatures. So we are sharing some passages… Read more