Mothers and sons in epic | Part 2: Mortal mothers

In part 1 we looked at divine mothers in epic. Now in part 2 we see the difficulty of being a mortal mother of a hero. Unlike some of the examples we looked at featuring divine mothers, these sons do not rely on their mothers or ask them for help, and the mothers seem to have no control over events or their sons’ lives. But as with the divine mothers,… Read more

Mothers and sons in epic | Part 1: Divine mothers

In these posts we are looking at the way the relationship between mothers and sons is portrayed in Homeric epic. In this first post we look at some divine mothers: Aphrodite, mother of Aeneas, and Thetis, mother of Achilles; Hera and Hephaistos, and the role Thetis played in caring for Hephaistos. Because Aphrodite’s and Thetis’ sons have mortal fathers, their sons are also mortal, and will die. Both these mothers… 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

Under discussion: What’s in a name?

~ A guest post by Sarah Scott ~ I was fascinated by the recent CHS Open House discussion about names as micronarratives, and in particular how the name of a son can reflect a main characteristic of the father. One example mentioned was Telemakhos “he who fights at a distance”, which so aptly describes Odysseus both for his being away at Troy for so much of Telemakhos’ early life, and… Read more