Open House | Epic narrative, twins, and heroes with Professor Nagy and Douglas Frame


Follow-up conversation with Professor Gregory Nagy (Harvard University) and Douglas Frame

The community was very excited to welcome back Professor Gregory Nagy and Douglas Frame. You may watch the video below or on our YouTube channel.

Several strands came up throughout the conversation, but here are some of the main topics:

  • Twins seen through the prism of Indo-European vs Near Eastern traditions, and Nestor [1:51]
  • Patroklos as the therapōn of Achilles or as a ritual stand-in [13:36]
  • Diachronic and historical ways of looking at the continuity of traditions, and the relationships between the languages that influenced the epic poetry of Ancient Greece [17:10]
  • Protesilaos and Achilles [31:48]
  • Relationship between Alcibiades and Socrates [34:06]
  • Alexander, kingship, epic, and history [35:34 ]
  • Herakles, heroic madness, and twin healers in Iliad: Podaleirios and Makhaon [47:11]
  • The term ‘legend’ and sacred narrative [53:36]
  • Myth vs history, the kleos of the ancestors [56:27]

Members can continue to discuss these themes in the Forums.

And, in conjunction with the readings of the Book Club, as we look forward to the next visit we might think of discussion topics focusing on some of these issues, for example:

  • How is kingship depicted and does it reflect the historical situation?
  • If Nestor is ‘never at fault’ does that affect how we can understand his role in the Odyssey?
  • Is Odysseus the last of the epic heroes, and if so, what about Telemakhos’ generation?

For further videos please visit the Watch page.