Book Club | August 2022: Hymns of Callimachus

At libations to Zeus what else should rather be sung than the god himself, mighty for ever, king for evermore, router of the Pelagonians, dealer of justice to the sons of Heaven? For August we will be reading the Hymns of Callimachus. There are six surviving hymns: 1. to Zeus 2. to Apollo 3. to Artemis 4. to Delos 5. The Bath of Pallas 6. to Demeter According to the… Read more

Travels in Greece: The Sacred Sites

When one visits the famous ancient sites of Greece, one soon realizes that most of these were built at places sacred to one or more of the ancient Greek gods—Zeus, Hera, Apollo, Athena and Poseidon among them. It seems the gods were a real presence to the ancient Greeks, influencing how they lived their everyday lives, their political decisions, and their world view. They seem to have believed they could… Read more

Divine Gifts

Francesco Hayez: Odyssseus at the court of Alcinous Pierre Judet de La Combe in his book Homère (2017) evokes the gifts of the gods which are ambiguous and double-edged. One example he mentions is Demodokos: 62 The herald came near, bringing with him a singer, very trusted, 63 whom the Muse loved exceedingly. She gave him both a good thing and a bad thing. 64 For she took away from… Read more

Book Club | August 2019: Apollodorus Library, 3.8–3.16

When Thetis had got a babe by Peleus, she wished to make it immortal, and unknown to Peleus she used to hide it in the fire by night in order to destroy the mortal element which the child inherited from its father, but by day she anointed him with ambrosia. But Peleus watched her, and, seeing the child writhing on the fire, he cried out; and Thetis, thus prevented from… Read more

Fathers and Sons in Epic and Lyric

What is the role played by fathers and sons in ancient Greek epic and lyric? Are fathers good role models? Do they show or teach their children how to behave or function? What kind of relationships do we witness in the texts?  Are immortal and mortal fathers portrayed in similar ways? A strong link seems to bond fathers and sons. Of course, the relationship between gods and their sons is very… Read more