Complex Context in the Iliad

Permanent Link:

Material Information

Title: Complex Context in the Iliad Epithets, Gnomai, and Paradeigmata
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Leahy, Jenica
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2012
Publication Date: 2012


Subjects / Keywords: Homer
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: In this thesis, I show that scholars have not understood the complexity of oral formulaic and traditional elements. Homer uses these elements as sophisticated literary tools, making intertextual connections. Even the most banal, formulaic elements do not limit the poet, but are used to create a much more elaborate context and deeper meaning. They foreshadow important scenes, create interesting juxtapositions of characters and events, and provide a deeper character development. I map the complexities of these traditional and formulaic elements through close readings of the Iliad, looking specifically at epithets (Chapter 1), gnomai (Chapter 2), and paradeigmata (Chapter 3). I show that the oral Homeric poet is limited to the use of contextless formulaic elements or to the use of elements that have meaning only within a narrow situational context. The poet gives epithets meaning beyond the literally adjectival, gives gnomai context outside of a particular character interaction, and connects paradeigmatic details with the surrounding scene and distant scenes to draw parallels and create literary subtext. The poet grants contextual meaning to that which seems irrelevant and widens the application of that which seems narrowly applicable.
Statement of Responsibility: by Jenica Leahy
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2012
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Shaw, Carl; Rohrbacher, David

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2012 L4
System ID: NCFE004616:00001

Permanent Link:

Material Information

Title: Complex Context in the Iliad Epithets, Gnomai, and Paradeigmata
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Leahy, Jenica
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2012
Publication Date: 2012


Subjects / Keywords: Homer
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: In this thesis, I show that scholars have not understood the complexity of oral formulaic and traditional elements. Homer uses these elements as sophisticated literary tools, making intertextual connections. Even the most banal, formulaic elements do not limit the poet, but are used to create a much more elaborate context and deeper meaning. They foreshadow important scenes, create interesting juxtapositions of characters and events, and provide a deeper character development. I map the complexities of these traditional and formulaic elements through close readings of the Iliad, looking specifically at epithets (Chapter 1), gnomai (Chapter 2), and paradeigmata (Chapter 3). I show that the oral Homeric poet is limited to the use of contextless formulaic elements or to the use of elements that have meaning only within a narrow situational context. The poet gives epithets meaning beyond the literally adjectival, gives gnomai context outside of a particular character interaction, and connects paradeigmatic details with the surrounding scene and distant scenes to draw parallels and create literary subtext. The poet grants contextual meaning to that which seems irrelevant and widens the application of that which seems narrowly applicable.
Statement of Responsibility: by Jenica Leahy
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2012
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Shaw, Carl; Rohrbacher, David

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2012 L4
System ID: NCFE004616:00001

This item is only available as the following downloads:

Full Text


COMPLEX CONTEXT IN THE ILIAD : EPITHETS, GNOMAI AND PARADEIGMATA BY JENICA LEAHY A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Humanities New College of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts in Classics U nder the co sponsorship of Dr. Carl Shaw and Dr. David Rohrbacher Sarasota, FL May 2012


ii Dedication It only seems appropriate to dedicate this thesis to my little niece Nora, born April 8, 2012, about two weeks before the completion of this thes is. In the words of my mom, "Both my daughters are birthing their babies!" One's just cuter than the other.


iii Acknowledgments Thanks to the understanding of family and friends (including, but not limited to, Mum, Dad, Bethany, Delaney, Lauren, Allie, Ilene, Alex, Bridget, Jaspar, Gabi, and Mary) in this stressful time. Thanks to Professors Shaw and Rohrbacher for your co sponsorship of this thesis, and for working it through its awkward stages to its (hopefully) more polished completion. Thanks to Professor Langston for joining my committee on such late notice. Thanks to Aislinn and Ross for encouraging me to read Ong all that time ago and for inspiring my thesis topic. (Thanks also for those Settlers of Catan breaks, which lasted way longer th an they should have.) Thanks especially to Matt, for his continued interest and last minute edits (even though he admits that he's never read the Iliad ), and for understanding my coffee addiction, and for putting up with my grumpiness. I promise I'll be l ess grumpy now, but not necessarily less addicted to coffee.


iv Table of Contents Dedication ...ii Acknowledgments .....iii Table of Contents ......iv Abstract Introduction ....1 Chapter 1: Epithetic Use in the Iliad ..10 ¤1 Epithetic Character Development and Comparison and Contrast14 ¤2 Epithetic Foreshadowing ..30 ¤3 Conclusion37 Chapter 2: Gnomic Use in the Iliad ....38 ¤1 Gnomic Comparison and Contrast43 ¤2 Gnomic Foreshadowing49 ¤3 Gnomic Character Development ...56 ¤4 Conclusion65 Chapter 3: Paradeigmatic Use in the Iliad .....67 ¤1 Paradeigmata of Book 20: Aeneas and Achilles..71 ¤2 Paradeigma of Book 4: foreshadowing deaths of Patroclus an d Hector..79 ¤3 Paradeigma of Book 17: composing the deaths of Hector and Hyperenor..82


v ¤4 Paradeigma of Book 23: comparing Nestor and Achilles86 ¤5 Conclusion89 Conclusion ....9 0 Bibliography .....92


vi Abstract In this thesis, I show that scholars have not understood the complexity of oral poetry's formulaic and traditional elements. Homer uses these elements as sophisticated literary to ols, making intertextual connections that span throughout the works. Even the most banal, formulaic elements do not limit the poet, but are used to create a much more elaborate context and deeper meaning. They foreshadow important scenes, create interestin g juxtapositions of characters and events, and provide a deeper character development. I map the complexities of these traditional and formulaic elements through close readings of the Iliad looking specifically at epithets (Chapter 1), gnomai (Chapter 2), and paradeigmata (Chapter 3). In the Introduction, I discuss scholarship's view that the Homeric poet is limited by oral tradition to the use of meaningless, contextless formulaic elements or to the use of elements that have meaning only within a narrow s ituational context. In Chapter 1, I focus on epithets' nuanced ability to foreshadow, develop characters, and compare and contrast. The poet grants epithets meaning beyond the literally adjectival. In Chapter 2, the focus shifts to a similar use of gnomai in the Iliad where the poet grants to gnomai context outside of a particular character interaction. In Chapter 3, I discuss paradeigmata The poet connects paradeigmatic details with the surrounding scenes and distant scenes to draw parallels and create a literary subtext. I show that epithets, gnomai and paradeigmata have context, relating to more than a straightforward interaction between characters. The poet grants contextual meaning to that which seems irrelevant and widens the application of that whi ch seems narrowly applicable.


1 Introduction In the middle of the twentieth century, Milman Parry 1 and Albert Lord forged a new picture of oral poetics, uncovering the presence of traditional formulae as a primary building block in the formation of the Ilia d and the Odyssey 2 The two found that the poet composed with metrically based units that made every oral performance of the Homeric epics "new" while also continuing the epics' tradition. 3 A formula is considered, "a group of words which is regularly empl oyed under the same metrical conditions to express a given essential idea." 4 The most prominent type of formula found in the Homeric epic is the epithet, a unit consisting of a noun and an adjective (i. e. "swift footed Achilles," !"#$% & % ,). Formulae extend to phrases such as "with winged words" ( # !'$ !(')"'*($), which appears in Homer prior to a character's s peech, always at the end of a line. 5 These formulae also work on a larger scale, including entire lines and type scenes, which are not formulaic in meter, but are formulaic in theme. 6 Type scenes are set formats for particular thematic units of the plot, f or example, arming scenes, sacrificing scenes, visits from the gods, etc. 1 More on Parry and his theory of epithets in Chapter 1. 2 Parry's papers collected in The Collected Papers of Milman Parry Parry, 1971. Lord, 1960. 3 "For him [Homer], as for all bards, composition was a process of memory. He had to remember the words, the expression, the sentences he had heard from other bards who had taught him the traditional style of heroic poetry. He had to remember the place or places which traditional words and expressions occupied in the complex mould of the hexameter And he had to remember the place or the places which enabled him to combine these words and expressions into complete sentences and lines of six dactylic feet embodying the ideas proper to the narration of the deed of heroes" (Parry, 1971, 195). 4 Parry, 1971, 272. 5 Parry, 1971, 414 18. Parry sees the use of this formula as practical, used when repetition of a character's name would be clumsy. 6 See Edwards, 1992 for more on type scenes.


2 Parry and Lord suggest that, because the poet transmits the epic through the use of memorized formulae, his artistic innovation is severely limited. The traditional and formulaic el ements are signs of less sophisticated poetry, resonating only in their immediate context (i.e., not creating intertextual references), 7 or not resonating with a context at all. 8 For example, in Book 1, when Achilles sits on the beach after withdrawing fro m battle, the poet calls him, "swift footed Achilles," 9 though the hero remains separate from battle, not moving at all. The formulaic epithet appears to have no meaning in the given context. In this thesis, I will show, however, that scholars have not und erstood the complexity of these formulaic and traditional elements. Homer uses them as sophisticated literary tools, making intertextual connections that span throughout the works. Even the most banal, formulaic elements do not limit the poet, but are used to create a much more elaborate context and meaning, a context that assumes the poet's interpretation of the epic's events, not just his narration of them. 10 These formulaic and traditional elements foreshadow important events. They create interesting juxt apositions of characters and events. And they provide a deeper character development. I will map the complexities of these traditional and formulaic elements through close readings of the Iliad looking specifically at epithets (Chapter 1), gnomai (Chapter 2), and paradeigmata (Chapter 3). 11 7 Lack of context can also be looked at in terms of a fixed context Epithets have meaning as "essential ideas," but the units relate only to themselves, not to the surrounding plot. A fixed context is related to epithets' traditional role, not their role in the epic. See Ong's discussion of Analytic versus Aggregative (1 982, 38 39) and Denny's discussion of Ong (1991, 78 79). 8 Tie to an immediate context to be discussed below through the lens of Ong. Ong speaks in terms of a tie to situation. 9 Il 1.489 10 See De Jong, 1989. 11 My examples come exclusively from the Iliad for the sake of time and space. Unless otherwise noted, all English translation of the Iliad from Lattimore. Lattimore's


3 Walter J. Ong, influenced by the theories of Parry and Lord, argues that any meaning that the oral poet gives to traditional elements is meaning only within an immediate context, 12 stating that orality limits the poet's m ind, not just his creative abilities. Ong translates the framework of poetic composition into a framework for the mind's operation, suggesting that requirement for memorization affects the non literate mind, not just the products that the non literate mind makes: "Technologies are not mere exterior aids but also interior transformation of consciousness." 13 As an example of the influence that the lack of writing has both on the poet's mind and on his composition, Ong notes that the individual cannot take his knowledge out of its immediate context (what Ong calls the "human lifeworld" or "human action context"). 14 Only with the arrival of writing can the human mind separate its knowledge from straightforward situation and background, creating complex connections based on conceptual grouping rather than on a situational context. 15 As a result, the products of an oral culture, such as poetry, are strongly rooted in narrative. 16 translation proves useful as it follows the correct line numbers. However, outside of the quotes from Lattimore, I stick to the commonl y spelled names of well known characters and also to the common epithetic translations, since Lattimore varies the translation of epithets for the sake of meter. 12 Of epithets, Ong (1982) argues that the context is fixed, aggregative (38 39). 13 Ong, 1982, 82. 14 "In the absence of elaborate analytic categories that depend on writing to structure knowledge at a distance from lived experience, oral cultures must conceptualize and verbalize all their knowledge with more or less close reference to the human life world, assimilating the alien, objective world to the more immediate, familiar interaction of human beings." Ong, 1982, 42. 15 See also Luria, 1976, 48 99. Luria sees this functional grouping of objects as an inability to generalize and abstract. 16 Ong (198 2) gives the example of the catalogue of ships in the Iliad saying that even this list is based in a situational context: "the names of persons and places occur as involved in doings" (42).


4 Denny's discussion of decontextualization is a reformulation of Ong's discussion of situat ional knowledge given above. 17 He argues that an individual's ability to decontextualize knowledge distinguishes orality from literacy, proposing decontextualization as the only separation between the oral mind and the literate mind. Oral cultures do not co nnect units of knowledge to each other, but rather connect all knowledge to a situation or background. Literate cultures "isolate information from its context in the everyday situation," 18 while oral cultures, as Ong writes, connect knowledge to the "human action context." Parry, Lord, Ong, and Denny all comment on the poet's use of context, noting that the poet either composes with empty, contextless formulae or composes with material that cannot be separated from its immediate, straightforward, situational context. These compositional elements are seen as a necessary result of a lack of writing. My analysis moves beyond these arguments. Confirming decontextualization as present in the Homeric epics, I will show how the poet decontextualizes traditional and formulaic elements from their metrical positions and immediate situational contexts so as to recontextualize them into a broader and more complex context of literary subtext. The poet strategically places epithets, gnomai and paradeigmata so that they spe ak outside the straightforward narrative of their contexts, connecting them instead with seemingly unrelated scenes and details. The units become disconnected from their expected 17 "Decontextualizing is the handling of information in a way that either disconnects other information or backgrounds it" (Denny, 1991, 66). While Denny agrees that oral cultures use background rather than decontextualizing, he disagrees with Ong that the oral mind is barred from, "rationality, logic, generalizing abstr action, insubstantial abstraction, theorizing, intentionality, causal thinking, classification, explanation, and originality" (Denny, 1991, 81). 18 Denny, 1991, 79.


5 situational use to help build a theme not discovered in a reading provided by Parry, Lord, and Ong's methods. 19 The poet links scenes for rich intertexts by having epithets, gnomai and paradeigmata interact with other, often quite distant, passages in the Iliad Epithets, gnomai and paradeigmata add levels of meaning to the straig htforward storyline, recontextualized in a wider, non sequential context, acting as more than empty formulae or situational detail. The poet creates a sophisticated and complex literary work, giving context to what appears contextless (ornamental epithets, paradeigmatic details) and widening the context of that which appears tied to a particular situational context (particularized epithets and gnomai ). This analysis gives value to the poet's skill of memorization. The poet's memorization does not limit his creativity, but rather enables it. The success of literary devices such as foreshadowing, character development, and comparison and contrast depend on the poet's recollection of particular epithets, gnomai and paradeigmata He does not recall simply to ke ep the story moving, but he recalls in a way that builds the story's richness. 20 In order to prove the art and complexity of the oral Homeric poet, I must first prove that epithets gnomai and paradeigmata are remnants of the oral tradition within a transc ribed document. Oral elements are those that are marked as handed down from the pre literate performances. That which is "oral" is strictly the product of a non literate culture, 21 and is either formulaic (a metrical essential idea that Parry discusses), 22 o r 19 This linking of contexts for the development of a theme separate from those contexts also proves the ability of the oral poet to make deductions and inferences, what Luria argues to be another impossibility for the illiterate mind. (Luria, 1976, 100 16.) 20 See Edwards, 1987, 21 22. 21 For an understanding of the difficulty in defining "oral poet ry," see Finnegan, 1992, 16 24.)


6 traditional, or a mixture of both. "Traditional" is often used as a synonym for "oral." The practice of oral poetry is itself a cultural tradition. "Traditional" is less specified than "formulaic," denoting cultural phenomenon more than narrow cultural u nits of thoughts or themes. Because of the difficulty in defining traditional, I make sure to remain in the lines of previous scholarship in marking epithets, gnomai and paradeigmata as traditional. 23 The most noted form of oral poetic structures found in the Homeric works, epithets, are a starting point for the understanding of Homeric formulae. An epithet is a concise unit of an adjective and a noun, for example "swift footed Achilles" or "Hector of the shining helm," with metrical restrictions placed upo n its use. Epithets are both formulaic and traditional, units of thought formed in meter often with a clear history of pre Homeric use. In Chapter 1, I show epithets' literary abilities are not limited by their formulaic and traditional natures to resonanc e only within a narrow context. I start by showing how epithets are, by nature, decontextualized units, valid character descriptions that are not narrations of the character's words and actions, but are marked as distinct from the background of plot. Then, I provide an exposition of Parry's view of epithets, showing that Parry either sees epithets as having no context, or sees them as having a limited situational context. This view of epithets' context is uncovered in Parry's distinction between ornamental and particularized epithets. Next, I provide examples of epithets being used to develop the characters in the Iliad often through methods of 22 Here, formula defined in accord with Parry: "a group of words which is regularly employed under the same metrical conditions to express a given essential idea." Parry, 1971, 272. 23 See Parry, 1971, 1 190 for epithets, Lar dinois, 1995, 57 59 for gnomai Austin, 1978 for paradeigmata


7 comparison and contrast. The poet uses a variety of methods to develop characters. For example, the poet juxtapose s two epithets within a single line to develop nuances in the relationship of those two character traits. The poet also uses a particular epithet in a particular scene so as to draw connections with the details of that scene and reveal nuances of the chara cter. Next, I show how epithets are used for foreshadowing. Repeated epithetic use joins scenes with similar content to create a subset of the straightforward plot. In Chapter 2, I analyze Homer's use of gnomai in the Iliad showing that gnomai are able t o reach beyond a limited situational context. Gnomai are both formulaic and traditional. A gnome is a proverb or, more technically defined, a generalizing statement about a particular action ." 24 It is an expression that can be applied to many particular oc casions, even when situationally spoken with a specific intent in a narrow context. For example, when Iris addresses the anger and stubbornness of Poseidon, she says that, "The hearts of the great can be changed." 25 This phrase, though composed for a specif ic occasion, can be applied generally to a number of occasions. Gnomai are regularly repeated in a formulaic manner. For example, in Book 11 of the Iliad Nestor says, [T]he persuasion of a friend is a strong thing." 26 Later, in Book 15, Patroclus speaks t he same gnome 27 Traditionally speaking, gnomai often form around core cultural themes, as in Iliad 17.32 ("Once a thing has been done, the fool sees it"), 28 which follows the 24 Lardinois, 1995, 12. Italics in the original. 25 Il. 15.203 26 Il 11.793 27 Il 15.404. While Patroclus' repetition could be read as occurring because Patroclus in this passage purposefully rec alls the words of Nestor, he directly repeats the gnome not the entirety of Nestor's speech. 28 Homer, The Iliad 206, 17.32.


8 traditional theme of !+,'+,.%. Although the two terms are not present in the gn ome the infinitive !$,/'-* lies directly before the gnome and the theme of "suffering brings learning" still resonates. 29 I show that gnomai are able to reach beyond a situational context because they are already marked as distinct from plot in their proverbial and philosophical natures. I discuss Lardinois' view of gnomai and show how he limits the application of gnomai to an immediat e situational context. Providing examples of gnomai that are decontextualized from their narrow contexts, I show their application to broader and more nuanced contexts. The poet uses gnomai in a variety of ways, as tools to link scenes and characters so as to compare and contrast and reveal future nuanced plot ramifications. The poet also uses gnomai as tools to develop characters by tracking a character's reaction, disobedience, or obedience to a gnome 's call to action. In Chapter 3, I turn to paradeigmata which are digressive myths 30 or experiential stories told for didactic purposes. 31 In Book 24 of the Iliad Achilles tries to convince Priam to eat by using the story of Niobe as a paradigm. 32 Achilles' story is both didactic and digressive. Digressions are "anecdotes which describe action outside the time of the poem." 33 Not once does a paradeigma in the Iliad refer to an event that occurred earlier 29 Lardinois, 1997, 215 16. 30 While paradeigmata often recount known myths, some paradeigmata refer to historical or mythological s tories that perhaps do not have a pre Homeric origin. Furthermore, the traditional stories that paradeigmata do employ are often altered so as to fit the epic's context (See Willcock, 1964). Thus, I talk of paradeigmata as traditional elements through thei r participation in the traditional phenomenon of digression. Digression is seen as a markedly oral occurrence. (Nagy argues for the traditional nature of paradeigmata even when Homer seems to morph the myth so that it might fit in his narrative. This view depends upon Nagy's reevaluation of "myth." Nagy, Poetry as Performance 1996, 113 46.) 31 See Willcock, 1964; Austin, 1978. 32 Il. 24.601 19. 33 Austin, 1978, 74.


9 in the story. The stories of paradeigmata occur either before the start of the epic or are completely removed from the timeline of the epic on account of their mythic quality. Another quality of digressions is their verbosity, the inclusion of details that seem irrelevant to the story. Despite not chronicling the events of the Trojan War, paradeigmata often receiv e more description than the battle scenes. The inclusion of such digressions exemplifies the oral poetic style, for oral poetry is believed to display verbosity. Relevancy is sacrificed for "fluency, fulsomeness, volubility," 34 which are all required for su ccessful memorization. This fluency can result in detailed, supplementary digressions such as paradeigmata the details of which have little to no relevancy to a context, but simply serve to amplify a paradeigma 's rhetorical value. So, digressions are, "th e hallmark of the oral style, the example par excellence of the poet's amor pleni ." 35 I show how paradeigmata connect to contexts beyond the immediate didactic and rhetorical situation of a particular character interaction. Engaging with modern scholarachip I argue instead that paradeigmata 's rhetorical value and storytelling method mark them as distinct from the plot sequence and prime paradeigmata to be decontextualized from the immediate character interaction for use in a broader, more nuanced, context. As in the previous chapters, I show the poet's variety of uses of paradeigmata to create literary richness. For example, the poet connects minute details of a paradeigma to the surrounding scenes and distant scenes to parallel events and characters and con nects a paradeigma 's characters in nuanced ways to the Iliad 's characters so as to emphasize character development. 34 Ong, 1982, 40. 35 Austin, 1978, 71.


10 Chapter 1: Epithetic Use in the Iliad In the Iliad "swift footed Achilles" both sits with his feet at rest in Book 1 and uses his feet in speed to chase Hector in Book 22. 36 The unit "swift footed Achilles" is qualified as an epithet, a metrical formula consisting of an adjective and a noun. Of the two contrasting uses of "swift footed Achilles" mentioned above, Milman Parry qualifies the oc currence in Book 1 as ornamental and that in Book 22 as particularized. The ornamental epithet is without context and used for the sake of versification while the particularized epithet has meaning, but only in so far as its literal adjectival meaning rela tes to an immediate situational context. I, however, will argue in this chapter that Parry does not understand the complexity of the Homeric poet's use of epithets. I will show how the poet uses epithets as sophisticated literary tools, developing characte rs, comparing and contrasting characters, 37 and foreshadowing plot. The poet makes intertextual connections that give context to ornamental epithets and enrich the context of particularized epithets. Milman Parry's distinction between two types of epithets, the ornamental and particularized, is defined by each epithet's relation to its context: "the particularized epithet, which concerns the immediate action, and the ornamental epithet, which has no relation to the ideas expressed by the words of either the sentence or the whole passage in which it occurs." 38 The ornamental epithet serves as an empty formula, "entirely 36 Il 1.489, 22.229 37 Epithetic character development and comparison and contrast are treated under the same section (¤1). Because epithets are by nature character descriptions, it follows that the majority of their uses result in character development. The poet juxtaposes/contrasts epithets for deeper character development. 38 Parry, 1971, 21. Parry believes that part of the ornamental epithet's lack of connection to the text, lack of meaning, comes from the audience's indifference after the repeated


11 dependent on its convenience in versification." 39 Parry lays out complicated rules for ornamental epithets, showing that metrical length (i.e., the amount of syllables and number of short and long vowels) and grammatical case (i.e., nominative or accusative) determine in which sedes of the line they occur. 40 As such, only certain epithets can be used in certain places to fill out the meter of a lin e. In contrast, the role of the particularized epithet depends on the poet's motivations: "It is when the poet wanted to include an adjective for its sense rather than for its convenience that the influence of metre ceased to dictate the use of an epithet of a given measure." 41 To determine the poet's motivations, to determine if an epithet is particularized, one looks at the context, "the actions of the moment." 42 Parry, however, defines an epithet's context, meaning, and resonance in the epic too narrowly. The epithet interacts only with its immediate line, only in so far as its literal adjectival meaning connects to that line and interacts with straightforward plot. "Swift footed Achilles," for example, takes on a particularized role when Achilles runs in p ursuit of Hector. Meaning is defined in terms of an immediate, straightforward, and plot based use of the epithet. Once the epithets become familiar to the aud ience, they lose their meaning, for the audience now reads the epithets as formulae used for the sake of versification (Parry, 1971, 129 30). Parry writes, "[I]f we could know that Homer's audience had heard the expression often enough, there could be no d oubt that the function of the epithet was ornamental" (Parry, 1971, 156). The oral poetic tradition involves the use of formulae and those formulae's repetition. Thus, the oral poetic tradition, with its repetition of epithets, brings about purely ornament al uses, according to Parry. 39 Parry, 1971 22. 40 Parry, 1971, 17 21. See Edwards, 1987, 37 38 for an intriguing discussion of the poet's direct address in Book 16 of Patroclus without an epithet. "This is clearly not done for metrical reasons, but to inc rease poignancy." 41 Parry, 1971 155. 42 Parry, 1971 156.


12 context, so no room remains for the epithet to participate in nuanced and sophisticated literary subtexts. Contrary to Parry's theories, by nature epithets are v alid character descriptions that are not simply accounts of the character's words and actions. 43 Epithets give concrete descriptions of characters apart from the characters' situational words and action, summarizing these words and actions, creating a concr ete and concise portrayal, which is otherwise developed purely through situational description. The Homeric epics do not include lengthy character description but do include many scenes of character action and character speech. Epithets, filled with meanin g even in their conciseness, markedly consolidate characters' actions and speeches. For example, Achilles' epithets include "swift footed" ( !"#$% & % i.e. Iliad 1.84), "son of Peleus" ( 012 $ .% 3 %& % i.e. Iliad 24.338), "godlike" (,'.'4&'2.%, i.e. Iliad 1.131, and # .%, i.e. Iliad 1.7 ), "blameless" ( ( 56*, i.e. Iliad 2.674), "born of a god" ( #-.7'* ) % i.e. Iliad 1.489), "sacking" (!(.24!.),.%, i.e. Iliad 8.372), "destructive" ( 2."%, i.e. Iliad 24.39), "great hearted" ('7+,3.%, i.e. Iliad 17.214). These epithets define important aspects of Achilles' character: his warring strength ("swift footed," "sacking"), his relationship with his father ("son of Pe leus"), and his standing above other heroes and above the average man ("blameless," "greathearted," "born of a god," "godlike"). Furthermore, the specific epithets "swift footed Achilles" ( !"#$% & % ) and "Hector of the shining helm" ( &.)3,$4.2.% ) summarize the two heroes' essences. Not only is Achilles fast, but he is also swift to act, swift to be roused to anger. So, he quickly withdraws from battle when Agamemnon offends him and only rejoins when angered at 43 See Edwards, 1987, 82.


13 Hector's killing of Patroclus. Such quickness is contrasted with the most common epithet of Hector, "Hector of the shining helm." Hector's epithet centers on his station as soldier through mention of his armor. Hector is proud of his statio n, and realizes the significance of such a role. So, in Book 6, Hector tells his wife that he must return to the fight. Furthermore, Hector's mind is emphasized in the mention of the head's protective armor. Thus, Hector is proud in his duty and sound mind ed in acting out that duty, contrasted with Achilles who is wild and quick to rage. 44 "Swift footed Achilles," then, denotes more than Achilles' speed, and "Hector of the shining helm" comments on more than the physical character of Hector's armor. A single epithet is thus pregnant with meaning, for it summarizes numerous words and actions. Filled with meaning in this way, an epithet interacts with the epic beyond its literal adjectival meaning. While Ong argues that, "Without a writing system, breaking up thought [i.e. breaking up epithets]is a high risk procedure," 45 I will show that the poet has indeed broken up thought in his literary use of epithets. They relate beyond metrical position and immediate, plot based, context. The poet uses epithets to devel op nuances of characters, often through methods of juxtaposition. Furthermore, the poet's use of epithets is not limited to character development, but it also develops themes and narrative subtexts through foreshadowing. Instead of being tied to meaningles s formulae or tied to an epithet's straightforward meaning within a particular situation, the poet develops and expands context through a non situational focus. 44 Redfield, 1994, 28, "Achilles' acts are always true to his shifting vision of himself; Hector has placed his life at the service of others." 45 Ong, 1982, 39.


14 ¤1 Epithetic Character Development and Comparison and Contrast 46 Epithets develop nuances of cha racters by juxtaposing two character traits of a single individual. In Book 1 of the Iliad the epithet "swift footed Achilles" ( !"#$% & % ) in succession with the singularly occurring "Achilles, born of a god" ( #-.7'* ) % ) sets up a juxtaposition between two aspects of Achilles' character. The epithets speak outside of this particular line and interact with their surrounding scene to emph asize the subtext of the interaction between Achilles' warlike nature and his divine nature. Achilles is seen more than both warrior and divinity, for the poet develops a nuanced relationship between warlike Achilles and divine Achilles. First, I will show the independent meanings of the two epithets created in this scene. Lines 488 92 read: But that other still sat in anger beside the swift ships, Peleus' son divinely born [ #-.7'* ) % ], Achilleus of the swift feet [ !"#$% & % ]. Never now would he go to assemblies where men win glory, never more into battle, but continued to waste his heart out sitting there, through he longed always for the clamour and fighting. 47 "Achilles, born of a god" occurs nowhere else but in this instance. The epithet often applies to other heroes, 48 but not with the same force as when here applied to Achilles, for Achilles indeed springs from a goddess. The epithet is introdu ced soon after Achilles' appeal to Thetis 49 and directly before Thetis' journey to Olympus. 50 This epithet's placement between these scenes involving the gods, particularly the goddess from whom Achilles is sprung, shows how Achilles' birth separates him fro m many of the other 46 See note 37 for the reason behind the joining of these two literary categories. 47 Homer, The Iliad 10, 1.488 92. 48 Patroclus ( Il. 1.337), Odysseus ( Il. 4.358), Ajax son of Telamon ( Il. 4.489), Briseis ( Il. 9.106), Euaimonides ( Il. 11.810), Menelaus ( Il. 23.294). 49 I l. 1.357 430 50 Il. 1.493 530


15 characters. Since he is "Achilles born of a god," he is able to appeal to the world of the gods for honor outside of fighting. With his divine nature in mind, Achilles reacts against Nestor's earlier urgings when Nestor spoke: Nor, son of Peleus, think to match your strength with the king, since never equal with the rest is the portion of honour of the sceptered king to whom Zeus gives magnificence. Even though you are the stronger man, and the mother who bore you was immortal. 51 Achil les need not listen to Nestor, for he uses his connection with the divine world to receive honor, though he himself does not hold the power of the king of Argos. Line 489 holds the last instance in Book 1 of "swift footed Achilles." 52 Because "swift footed Achilles" occurs in the narrator's speech, it lies especially separate from the actions of the plot, and the irony of its placement rings clear. Its final use in Book 1 occurs in a passage dedicated to Achilles' steadfastness in his retreat from battle. H ere "swift footed Achilles" sits motionless, separate from the din of the battle. The successive placement of these two epithets adds another level of significance to their use, introducing the epic long interaction between Achilles as "born of a god" and Achilles as "swift footed." Agamemnon states his belief in Book 1 that "Achilles born of a god" enables the speed and warring abilities of "swift footed Achilles." Agamemnon says to Achilles: [A]nd if you are very strong indeed, that is a god's gift. 53 T he surrounding scene further reveals that Achilles' relationship with the divine allows his withdrawal from battle without consequence, for Thetis appeals to Zeus on behalf of 51 Homer, The Iliad 6, 1.277 80. 52 Other instances in Il. 1.84, 121, 148, 215. 53 Homer, The Iliad 4, 1.178.


16 Achilles and his honor. 54 "Achilles, born of a god" allows "swift footed Achilles to put his feet to rest with little consequence. The interplay between these aspects of Achilles' character continues, for Thetis grants Achilles armor from Hephaestus so that he can return to the battlefield; 55 the messenger of the gods, Iris, visits Ach illes and urges him to show himself in battle to scare the Trojans; 56 Zeus sends Athena to fill Achilles with ambrosia before he returns to the battlefield. 57 The gods, and specifically Thetis, interact directly with "swift footed Achilles." After the use of his swift feet culminate in his chase of Hector, the gods on Olympus call Thetis to persuade Achilles to ransom the body of Hector. 58 Zeus knows that only Achilles' divine mother possesses the ability to persuade Achilles. 59 Thus the divine birth of "Achill es, born of a god" aids in ceasing the anger of "swift footed Achilles." Epithets in Book 6 also express nuances of a character by means of the juxtaposition of two characteristics, this time of Hector. The occurrence of the warlike epithet "Hector of the shining helm" ( &.)3,$4.2.% ) amongst the familial scenes of Book 6 comments on the relationship between heroic Hector and familial Hector. A familial scene backgrounds this use of Hector's warlike epithet, not because the epithet is out of place and meaningless, used sim ply for metrical reasons, but because the poet seeks to develop the relationship between two aspects of Hector's character. While the straightforward narrative of Book 6 seems to develop Hector in his familial role, the 54 Il. 1.505 06 55 Il. 18.138 47 56 Il. 18.196 201 57 Il. 19.349 56 58 Il. 24.93 140 59 Il. 24.73 76


17 placement of the epithet deviates fr om the direct reading of the plot to further develop the character of Hector. "Hector of the shining helm" is the most frequent epithet of Hector in the Iliad but its frequency does not rid the epithet of meaning. The poet uses this epithet exclusively fo r Hector, 60 other than one time for Ares. 61 This one use of the epithet for Ares directly connects Hector with the war god and comments on his warring abilities. Hector becomes a warrior among warriors. "Hector of the shining helm" also points to Hector as the defender of Troy, a key role of Hector within the epic, for the helmet is a weapon of defense. So, Andromache, at the death of Hector, mourns the loss of Troy's defender: My husband, you were lost young from life, and have left me a widow in your house and the boy is only a baby who was born to you and me, the unhappy. I think he will never come of age, for before then head to heel this city will be sacked, for you, its defender, are gone, you who guarded the city, and the grave wives, and the innocent children. 62 Thus, Hector's most common epithet points to significant aspects of his character, his warlike nature and his role as Troy's defender. The juxtaposition of "Hector of the shining helm" in Book 6 63 with a scene in which Hector's familial role, n ot his warrior role, holds significance develops a contrast between these two aspects of Hector's character. This contrast is forcefully realized when "Hector of the shining helm" meets with his son, Astyanax, and scares Astyanax with his warrior appearanc e: 60 Il. 2.816, 3.83, 5.68 0, 8.158, 11.315, 12.230, 15.246, 17.96, 18.21, 19.135, etc. 61 Il. 20.38 62 Homer, The Iliad 304 5, 24.725 30. 63 Il. 6.116, 263, 342, 359, 440, 520


18 So speaking glorious Hektor held out his arms to his baby, who shrank back to his fair girdled nurse's bosom screaming, and frightened at the aspect of his own father, terrified as he saw the bronze and the crest with its horse hair, nodding dread fully, as he thought, from the peak of the helmet. Then his beloved father laughed out, and is honoured mother, and at once glorious Hektor lifted from his head the helmet and laid it in all its shining upon the ground. Then taking up his dear son he t ossed him about in his arms, and kissed him. 64 One encounters the warrior nature of Hector in the context of family. Griffin writes: The function of armour is to terrifybut not to terrify one's own children, so that from one point of view we can see Homer here turning a regular and constant feature of heroic verse into something human and unexpected; and, more specifically, putting to a new use the regular formulaic title Hector of the flashing helmet', &.)3,$4.2.% From another, we see that the Hector who carries out a man's task of defending his wife and child must, in doing so, become alien and terrifying to his own son. 65 The epithet becomes a reality in the narrative, not an empty modifier. Here, th e only warrior described as "of the shining helm," the defender of Troy, sheds his defense once in the walls of Troy for the sake of those he defends. Before the scene with Astyanax, two deviations away from "Hector of the shining helm" bring irony and c ontext to Hector's story. While the audience perhaps expects the repeated use of "Hector of the shining helm," the poet uses the unexpected to create subtext. In line 318, Hector receives the name "Hector dear to Zeus" ( 8+ 942.% ). This epithet occurs soon after the wom en of Troy make an appeal to Athena in her temple on behalf of Troy. 66 The epithetic use sheds irony upon the scene. While perhaps dear to some of the gods and therefore expecting some amount of favor, the audience is told that 64 Homer, The Iliad 75 76, 6.466 74. 65 Jasper Griffin, 1980, 7. 66 Il. 6.297 311


19 Athena does not listen to the prayers of the Trojan women. 67 The second deviation, occurring in line 398, brings context to Hector's story. Instead of "Hector of the shining helm," Hector receives the label "Hector of the bronze helm" ( :$2&.&.)3;(<%) The epithet occurs in the context of the history of Andromache, how Andromache was given to Hector in marriage: Andromache, the daughter of high heated E‘tion; E‘tion, who had dwelt underneath wooded Plakos, in Thebe below Plakos, lord o ver the Kilikian people. It was his daughter who was given to Hektor of the bronze helm. 68 The epithet sticks out amidst the occurrences of "of the shining helm," still a warlike epithet, and still an epithet about Hector's armor, but nonetheless unique. "Hector of the bronze helm" connects with "bronze armored Achaean" [ :$2&.:-(=*6* ] to enrich Hector's appeal to Andromache. Hector speaks of the possibility of Andromache being taken captive by the Achaeans: But it is not so much the pain to come of the Trojans that troubles me, not even of Priam the king nor Hekabe, no t the thought of my brothers who in their numbers and valour shall drop in the dust under the hands of men who hate them, as troubles me the thought of you, when some bronze armoured [ :$2&.:-(=*6* ] Achaian leads you off, taking away your day of libery, in tears; and in Argos you must work at the loom of another, and carry water from the spring Messeis or Hypereia, all unwilling, but strong will be the necessity upon you. 69 Here, a reader encounters another scene of Andromache's departure from her family, but this departure shows her as a war captive. Her captor, an Achaean, receives the epithet "bronze armored," a connection with "Hector of the bronze helm." Because of the similarit y of these epithets, the audience connects the two scenes relating to 67 Il. 6.311 68 Homer, The Ili ad 74, 6.395 98. 69 Homer, The Iliad 75, 6.450 58.


20 Andromache's departure. This connection allows the audience to ponder the differences of the two scenes, one a scene of the giving away for marriage, the other a scene of the taking away as captive. Thus, the change away from "of the shining helm" serves the further development of Hector's story. Epithets develop characters by juxtaposing traits of a single character. They also develop and contrast two separate characters by juxtaposing t hose characters' epithets. So the epithets in line 7 of Book 1 of Agamemnon and Achilles set up a contrast between the two. The juxtaposition of the epithets causes them to reach outside their particular line and introduce a subtext of the quarrel between Agamemnon and Achilles, showing that the anger of the two characters stems from the clash of their character traits. Lines 5 7 of Book 1 read: [A]nd the will of Zeus was accomplished since that time when first there stood in division of conflict Atreus' son the lord of men and brilliant Achilleus. 70 The "division of conflict" in line 6 continues into line 7, as the epithets in 1.7 introduce a contrast between the two characters. Griffin writes, "The contrast is made, elegantly and suggestively, in the ve ry first naming of the twothe one identified by his titles and rank, the other by his personal quality." 71 This contrast continues in Book 1, for the epithets of Agamemnon focus on his kingship and status, and the epithets of Achilles in Book 1 focus on hi s qualities. Besides his patronymic ( ()'>#1% ) which itself portrays Agamemnon's kingship via Atreus' kingship, Agamemnon receives the epithets "lord of men" ( *$? ( *#) ) "broad ruler" ( / ) &)'46* ), 72 "most honored" ( &5#-;(' ), 73 and 70 Homer, The Iliad, 1, 1.5 7. 71 Griffin, 1980 52. 72 Il. 1.102


21 "ruler" ( &)'46* ). 74 The epithets of Achilles in Book 1 focus more on his qualities. Achill es' patronymic echoes his heroic nature via Peleus' heroism. Besides the epithet in line 7, "godlike" ( # .%), and his patronymic, Achilles is described in Book 1 as "swift footed" ( !"#$% & % ), 75 "dear to Zeus" ( 8+ 942.%) 76 "most terrible of all men" ( !+*(6* # &!$72.% ( *#) ), 77 "born of a god" ( #-.7'* ) % ) 78 This contrast in types of descriptors expects the development of a conflict of interest between Agamemnon and Achilles. The conflict is portrayed in the first epithets the characters use to address one another, the same epithets u sed by the poet in line 7, quoted above. In line 59, Achilles addresses Agamemnon as "son of Atreus." When Agamemnon first directly addresses Achilles, he calls him "godlike." 79 Furthermore, Agamemnon and Achilles put a negative spin on the other's descript ors. In line 121, Achilles says, "Son of Atreus, most lordly, greediest for gain of all men," 80 and Agamemnon says to Achilles, "Not that way, good fighter though you be, godlike Achilleus, strive to cheat." 81 Achilles recognizes that Agamemnon is indeed kin g, but recognizes also that this kingship gives him the means to be greedy and the means to steal honor from others. Achilles disagrees with this misuse of power. Agamemnon recognizes the heroic qualities of Achilles, yet he claims that this fighting power cannot grant 73 Il. 1.122 74 Il. 1.130 75 Il. 1.58 76 Il. 1.74 77 Il. 1.146 78 Il. 1.489 79 Il. 1.131 80 Homer, The Iliad 3, 1.121. 81 Homer, The Iliad 3, 1.131 32.


22 everything to Achilles. His fighting power does not grant him the authority to stop Agamemnon's kingly rampages. 82 This disagreement is further clarified as the two attack what the epithets emphasize. Achilles attacks Agamemnon's misuse of ki ngly power. To Agamemnon, Achilles says, Never, when the Achaians sack some well founded citadel of the Trojans, do I have a prize that is equal to your prize. Always the greater part of the painful fighting is the work of my hands; but when the time comes to distribute the booty yours is far the greater reward, and I with some small thing yet dear to me go back to my ships when I am weary from fighting. 83 Here Achilles states the injustice that Agamemnon does not fight and yet still receives honor. Achille s even goes so far as to call Agamemnon cowardly for not fighting: You wine sack, with dog's eyes, with a deer's heart. Never once have you taken courage in your heart to arm with your people for battle, or go into ambuscade with the best of the Achaians. 84 Furthermore, Achilles has no intention to give honor to Agamemnon in the way that Agamemnon desires it. Achilles says, So must I be called of no account and a coward if I must carry out every order you may happen to give me. Tell other men to do these things, but give me no more commands, since I for my part have no intention to obey you. 85 As he does not pardon Agamemnon's abuse of power, Achilles does not respect his authority. 82 Il. 1.130 39 83 Homer, The Iliad 4, 1.163 68. 84 Homer, The Iliad 5, 1.225 27. 85 Homer, The Iliad 6, 1.293 96.


23 The value that Achilles gives to heroism, which many of his epithets em phasize, motivates him to negatively judge Agamemnon's use of his kingship. As the swift footed, godlike son of a hero, Achilles judges based on qualities of heroism. Thus, Achilles feels defeated and seems to give up on the heroic system when his expectat ions of how the world should work do not take place. Achilles says in the embassy scene of Book 9, But I will speak to you the way it seems best to me: neither do I think the son of Atreus, Agamemnon, will persuade me, nor the rest of the Danaans, sinc e there was no gratitude given for fighting incessantly forever against your enemies. Fate is the same for the man who holds back, the same if he fights hard. We are all held in a single honour, the brave with the weaklings. A man dies still if he has done nothing, as one who has done much. Nothing is won for me, now that my heart has gone through its afflictions in forever setting my life on the hazard of battle. 86 Despite his own fighting and Agamemnon's lack of fighting, Agamemnon still receives th e greater honor. To Achilles, honor now means nothing, perverted by Agamemnon's greed. Because heroism did not win the quarrel, Achilles alters the perspective he held in Book 1. Agamemnon's perspective on kingship also motivates expanded attacks on Achi lles. Agamemnon believes that he has no need of Achilles because of his own authority. Perhaps Achilles' warring abilities would win power for all of the Achaeans, but Agamemnon need not depend on Achilles. As king, Agamemnon has multiple subjects willing to give him honor: Then answered him in turn the lord of men Agamemnon: "Run away by all means if your heart drives you. I will not entreat you to stay here for my sake. There are others with me who will do me honour, and above all Zeus of the counsels To me you are the most hateful of all the kings whom the gods love. Forever quarrelling is dear to your heart, and wars and battles; 86 Homer, The Iliad 103, 9.314 21.


24 and if you are very strong indeed, that is a god's gift." 87 Here Agamemnon attacks Achilles' heroism and Achilles' kin gship. Agamemnon attests that Achilles' strength arises simply as a gift from the gods, a result of Achilles as "born of a god". Agamemnon's position rings clear when he attacks Achilles as king of the Myrmidons. Agamemnon does not see Achilles' worth, for Achilles does not live up to kingship, loving too dearly fighting and quarrelling. Furthermore, Agamemnon as king of Argos holds more power than the king of the Myrmidons. Thus, Agamemnon calls upon Zeus using the epithet "counselor Zeus," a kingly epithe t. Agamemnon expects "counselor Zeus" to stand on the side of the more powerful and the more kingly king, expecting "counselor Zeus" to give him honor. Because of their varying outlooks, Agamemnon threatens with his kingship and Achilles threatens with hi s strength. Agamemnon says, What do you want? To keep your own prize and have me sit her lacking one? Are you ordering me to give this girl back? Either the great hearted Achaians shall give me a new prize chosen according to my desire to atone for the girl lost, or else if they will not give me one I myself shall take her, your own prize, or that of Aias, or that of Odysseus, going myself in person; and he whom I visit will be bitter. 88 Agamemnon appears thoroughly shocked that Achilles would give o rders to the king, that Achilles would seek honor when the king has none. Thus, Agamemnon threatens with his ability to use his authority for his own benefit, and he will not be stopped. Achilles himself does not stop the ruler, but allows the two heralds of Agamemnon to come and 87 Homer, The Iliad 4, 1.172 78. 88 Homer, The Iliad 3, 1.133 39.


25 take Briseis. 89 However, Achilles threatens with his strength and heroism if Agamemnon goes any further. He says, With my hands I will not fight for the girl's sake, neither with you nor any other man, since you take her away who gave her. But of all the other things that are mine beside my fast black ship, you shall take nothing away against my pleasure. Come, then, only try it, that these others may see also; instantly your own black blood will stain my spearpoint. 90 Achilles allows Agamemnon to use his power of authority only a little. If Agamemnon oversteps the boundaries any more, Achilles with his strength will seek to destroy Agamemnon's misuse of power. So, Achilles had to be held back by Athena from acting out in rage a gainst Agamemnon. 91 This contrast of the epithets of Book 1 and the following development of the "division of conflict" between Agamemnon and Achilles receives a summary in the speech of Nestor. Nestor addresses Agamemnon's kingship and Achilles' strength, urging the two not to overstep their boundaries. Nestor addresses the roles of the two characters, the role of hero and the role of king, and recognizes both Achilles and Agamemnon to have stepped outside of their roles. Nestor concludes his speech, sayin g, Do you also obey, since to be persuaded is better. You, great man that you are, yet do not take the girl away but let her be, a prize as the sons of the Achaians gave her first. Nor, son of Peleus, think to match your strength with the king, since never equal with the rest is the portion of honour of the sceptred king to whom Zeus gives magnificence. Even though you are the stronger man, and the mother who bore you was immortal, yet is this man greater who is lord over more than you rule. Son of Atreus, give up your anger; even I entreat you to give over your bitterness against Achilleus, he who 89 Il. 1.324 50 90 Homer, The Iliad 6, 1.298 303. 91 Il. 1.188 218


26 stands as a bulwark of battle over all the Achaians. 92 Nestor recognizes the dichotomy between strength and power that Agamemnon and Achilles have set. Nestor does not deny that Agamemnon holds power and that Achilles holds strength, but he cautions against misuse. Agamemnon practices kingly power without practicing kingly justice. Achilles practices his heroic strength, but forgoes submission for his de sire for heroic glory. Nestor recognizes that the quarrel centers on the gaining of honor, but further recognizes that equal honor cannot be distributed to hero and king. Still, Nestor grants some validity to both Agamemnon's and Achilles' positions, using the patronymics of both, recognizing Agamemnon's history of kingship and Achilles' history of heroism, even while he warns the two against excessive behavior. Thus this scene in Book 1 has a concentrated focus on the quarrel of Agamemnon and Achilles, wit h both the epithets and the dialogue setting up the quarrel. The epithets in line 1.7 set up the contrast between Agamemnon and Achilles, a contrast that foreshadows the dialogue in Book 1. Besides juxtaposing character traits for the sake of character dev elopment, epithets develop characters by associating epithets with details of the surrounding scene. The epithet "breaker of horses" does more than show Hector's ability to tame horses, developing the character by its placement in the scene as a hero of Tr oy and a hero of civilization. In Book 22, Hector's epithet "breaker of horses" interacts with the surrounding chase scene to develop Hector as Trojan specific hero. Achilles chases Hector around the city of Troy. 93 In lines 161 and 211 of Book 22, in the p eak of the chase scene, Hector receives the epithet "breaker of horses" ( % !!"#$.%) This epithet 92 Homer, The Iliad 6, 1.274 84. 93 Il. 22.131 366


27 describes Hector only three other times in the Iliad, 94 but often describes the Trojans. 95 Already, then, the epithet used for Hector emphasizes his association with the Trojans. The epithet also in and of itself associates Hector ge nerally with civilized man, not just with civilized Troy. Civilized man tames the wild horse. Thus, "Hector, breaker of horses" stands as the hero of civilized Troy. One recognizes this association with the Trojans and, by extension, Trojan civilization, by way of the mentions of the city's surroundings. The closeness of "Hector, breaker of horses" to descriptions of the city allows the epithet to speak outside of its particular line. The mention of the laundering place of the Trojan woman develops Hector as a hero of the city: Besides these [springs] in this place, and close to them, are the washing hollows of stone, and magnificent, where the wives of the Trojans and their lovely daughters washed their clothes to shining, in the old days when there was peace, before the coming of the sons of the Achaians. 96 This passage alludes to the exhortation Hector gave to his wife Andromache in Book 6 while inside the walls of the city and while surrounded by civilization. Hector urged his wife: Go therefore b ack to our house, and take up your own work, the loom and the distaff, and see to it that your handmaidens ply their work also; but the men must see to the fighting. 97 The duty of the civilized woman focuses on domestic affairs. "Hector, breaker of horse s," the Hector of the city, the Hector of Troy, echoes in the mention of these domestic duties of the civilized woman. Hector runs for his life near to this scene of proper city life. 94 Il. 7.38, 16.717, 24.804 95 Il. 2.230, 3.127, 4.333, 7.461, 8.110, 12.440, 17.230, 23.180, etc. 96 Homer, The Iliad 266, 22.152 56. 97 Homer, The Iliad 76, 6.490 93.


28 "Hector, breaker of horses" also echoes in the mention of the city wall s and the city roads. Achilles chases Hector around the walls of Troy, the walls that Hector had recently protected: They raced along by the watching point and the windy fig tree always away from under the wall and along the wagon way. 98 Zeus, mourning a t this chase of Hector, also mentions the walls of Troy. Zeus' speech hints at the irony of this chase, as the one who recently burned sacrifices in the citadel of Troy, honoring the gods, now receives no return of honor outside of the city: Ah me, this is a man beloved whom now my eyes watch being chased around the wall; my heart is mourning for Hektor who has burned in my honour many thigh pieces of oxen on the peaks of Ida with all her folds, or again on the uttermost part of the citadel, but now the bri lliant Achilleus drives him in speed of his feet around the city of Priam. 99 As the chase continues, one encounters in this scene Hector's separation from the city, symbolic hints at his coming death. Such hints of Hector's death are an example of epithet ic foreshadowing. The chase of the Trojan hero starts around the walls of the city. Hector seeks to protect himself with the Trojans' battlefield shields, the defenses of the city, but Achilles drives him farther away from the walls: [S]o Hektor could not lose himself from swift footed Peleion, if ever he made a dash right on for the gates of Dardanos to get quickly under the strong build bastions, endeavoring that they from above with missiles thrown might somehow defend him, each time Achilleus would get in front and force him to turn back into the plain, and himself kept his flying course next the city. 100 "Hector, breaker of horses," associated with the Trojans via his epithet, becomes separated from the city at his death by swift footed Achilles. 98 Homer, Th e Iliad 266, 22.15 46. 99 Homer, The Iliad 266, 22.167 76. 100 Homer, The Iliad 267, 22.193 98.


29 Hector's tie with the city and with civilization strengthens more with the presence of "swift footed Achilles" in this scene. While both are warriors, this scene develops Achilles as a wild warrior, and thus brings out in relief the civilized associations of Hector. As seen above, Achilles strives to go away from the city into the plain while Hector seeks to remain near the walls and the bulwarks. "Swift footed Achilles" finally uses in the epic his animal like speed to chase, and is twice in this scene dir ectly compared in simile to animals. Achilles is likened to a relentless hawk swooping upon a dove 101 and to a dog chasing a fawn. 102 "Swift footed Achilles" embraces animal instinct while "Hector, breaker of horses" seeks to tame the animal instinct. In cont rast to these similes comparing Achilles to animals, directly after line 161, after the occurrence of "Hector, breaker of horses," the poet launches into a simile comparing the chase to a chariot race in which a great prize is at stake. 103 This simile emphas izes the civilization in which Hector takes part. While this simile, like the similes of Achilles mentioned above, still emphasizes the intensity of the chase scene, it does so not through comparison with animal instincts but through comparison with games developed by civilized man, through a game dependent on tamed horses. As the two men in line 161 "run for the life of Hektor," 104 Hector's life becomes parallel to this prize of the chariot race. His life becomes tied to the games of civilized man, not the r ampage of wild animals. Thus, in his last moments, the epic emphasizes Hector as a man of civilization, particularly as a man of Troy. The epithet "Hector, breaker of horses" interacts with the 101 Il. 22.139 42 102 Il. 22.189 92 103 Il. 22.162 65 104 Homer, The Iliad 266, 22.161.


30 images of the city and the similes to develop the character o f Hector beyond the epithet's direct adjectival value. Because of this emphasis on Hector as the civilized hero of Troy, it seems right for Hector's death to be akin to the fall of the city itself. Of his death, the poet speaks: It was most like what woul d have happened, if all lowering Ilion had been burning top to bottom in fire. 105 ¤2 Epithetic Foreshadowing Epithets help to develop characters beyond the direct adjectival meaning. They also add foreshadowing to the epic through interaction across scenes The use of the epithet !(.24!.),.%, or "sacking Achilles," demonstrates an epithet's ability to speak outside of its immediate situation and create a dialogue across distant scenes of the Iliad with the result of foreshadowing. The plot of the Iliad does not include any sacking of cities by Achilles, since for the majority of the epic Achilles sits solemnly in his tent. The epic ends prior to the actual fall of Troy. Three out of these four instances of "sacking Achilles" in the Iliad 106 occur in a context of Zeus' interactions with Thetis. 107 This similar context of various uses draws the epithets out of their immediate scenes to build a subtext discussing Zeus' obligations to Thetis. Because of this connection to his promise, when Zeus mentions "sacking Achi lles" in Book 24, the audience anticipates Zeus' words to Thetis. In Book 8, Athena speaks to Hera concerning Zeus' lack of help towards her and towards the Achaeans. Athena says: 105 Homer, The Iliad 271, 22.411 12. 106 Il. 8.372, 15.77, 21.550, 24.108 107 The fo urth instance occurs in line 550 of Book 22 in a battle scene. Here, Agenor debates whether or not he should run from "sacking Achilles."


31 Yet now Zeus hates me, and is bent to the wishes of Thetis who kissed his knees and stroked his chin in her hand, and entreated that he give honour to Achilleus, the sacker of cities [ !(.24!.),.%] 108 Athena recognizes that Zeus is tied to his word to Thetis. Until Zeus brings honor to "sacking Achilles," he will not let Athena enter the battle, for her actions would rid Achilles of honor. In Book 15, Zeus speaks forth to Hera his plans for the outcome of the lives of Hector and Patroclus, blocking Hera, and all the Olympians, from involvement in the war. At the end of this speech, Zeus remembers his promise made to Thetis, also naming "sacking Achilles": Before this I am not stopping my anger, and I will not let any other of the immortals stand there by the Danaans until the thing asked by the son of Peleus has been accomplished as I undertook at the first and bent my head in assent to it on that day when embracing my knees immortal Thetis supplicated honour for Achilleus, sacker of cities [ !(.24!.),.%] 109 "Sacking Achilles" is associated with Zeus' promise to Thetis. Zeus will grant honor to "sacking Achilles," as he promised Thetis. This association with the promise continues in Bo ok 24. At line 108 of Book 24, Zeus uses "sacking Achilles" when he addresses Thetis after her arrival on Olympus: You have come to Olympos, divine Thetis, for all your sorrow, with an unforgotten grief in your heart. I myself know this. But even so I will tell you why I summoned you hither. For nine days there has risen a quarrel among the immortals over the body of Hektor, and Achilleus, stormer of cities [ !(.24!.),.%] They keep urging clear sighted Arge•phontes to steal the boy, but I still put upon Achilleus the honour that he has, guarding your reverence and your love for me into time afterwards. 110 108 Homer, The Iliad 93, 8.370 72. 109 Homer, The Iliad 176, 15.72 77. 110 Homer, The Iliad, 293, 24.104 11.


32 In this scene, the gods wish to convince Thetis to visit her son and to urge him to ransom the body of Hector. Now, with the fourth use of "sacking Achilles," "the thing asked by the son of Peleus," 111 which Zeus referenced in Book 15, has indeed occurred. Achilles has killed the hero of the Trojans and has been granted honor for such a deed. Thus, though he did not before allow the wishes of the gods, here Zeus concedes to their wishes and brings forth the ransom of Hector's body. 112 As the uses of "sacking Achilles," the uses of "greathearted Priam" foreshadow by recollection of past epithetic use. The epithet "greathearted Priam" ('7$2<(6) ) foreshadows the requirement of Priam's courage in Book 24. This epithet describes Priam thrice in the Iliad once in Book 6 and twice in Book 24. Overall in the epic, "greath earted" serves as a common epithet of heroes and of peoples (along with '7+,3.% ). 113 As such, "greathearted" receives an association with heroic courage, what one might not expect from old king Priam. As the uses of "greathearted Priam" show, Priam is call ed to a different kind of courage than courage necessary in the battlefield. The epithet's meaning is not out of context in this passage, but its use expects Priam's supplication. The use of "greathearted Priam" in Book 6 foreshadows its uses in Book 24. H ector calls Priam "greathearted" during his visit inside the walls of Troy while speaking to his mother, Hecabe: 111 Homer, The Iliad 176, 15.74. 112 Wishes of the gods seen in Il 24.22 64. Interestingly, Homer mentions that Hera and Athena do not desire the ransoming of Hector's body. Here, Hera desires honor of Achilles, when before Zeus read her actions as taking honor away from Achilles. 113 '7$2<(6): of heroes Il. 2.547, 5,468, 6.233, 13.189, 16.257, 23.175, etc. of peoples Il. 8.523, 13.302, 13.656, 19.278, 21.55, etc. '7+,3.%: of heroes Il. 2.518, 2.706, 4.479, 5.25, 5.565, 6.145, 14.454, 15.440, 16.818, 17.214, 23.694, etc., of peoples Il. 1.123, 2.541, 5.27, 9.549, 13.699, etc.


33 So go yourself to the temple of the spoiler Athene, while I go in search of Paris, to call him, if he will listen to anything I tell him. Ho w I wish at this moment the earth might open beneath him. The Olympian let him live, a great sorrow to the Trojans, and high hearted [ '7$2<(.)] Priam, and all of his children. 114 Hector acknowledges the pain "greathearted Priam" suffers and will suffer because of Paris and because of the war. Hector's words and his use of the epithet "greathearted Priam" look forward to the pain "great hearted Priam" must face in Book 24. By Book 24, Priam has already experienced many of the sufferings Hector mentions, and the pain of these sufferings continues to play a vital role. In order for the pain to somewhat subside through the ransom of Hector' s body, the gods call Priam to use his great heart in bravery to supplicate Achilles. Zeus says to Thetis, Then I will send Iris to Priam of the great heart [ '7$2<(.)] with an order to ransom his dear son, going down to the ships of the Achaians and bringing gifts to Achilleus which might soften his anger. 115 Zeus repeats the epithet in line 145 when he gives his orders to Iris Further, Hecabe, scared for the life of her husband, puts a negative spin on his great heartedness. Hecabe uses 0 (.) reminiscent of !"# $%&'(): How can you wish to go alone to the ships of the Achaians before the eyes of a man who has slaughtered in such numbers such brave sons of yours? The heart [ 0 (.) ] in you is iron. 116 The pain that Hector knew would come to greathearted Priam is the same pain that causes Hecabe to urge "greathearted Priam" to subdue his bravery. Yet, Priam's great heartedness urges him forth to the hu t of Achilles, and Achilles too recognizes this bravery, repeating the words of Hecabe: 114 Homer, The Iliad 72, 6.279 83. 115 Homer, The Iliad 293, 24.117 19. 116 Homer, The Iliad 294, 24.203 05.


34 How could you dare come alone to the ships of the Achaians and before my eyes, when I am the one who have killed in such numbers such brave sons of yours? The heart [ 0 (.) ] in you is iron. 117 So, the "greathearted Priam" of Book 6 practices his great heartedness at the conclusion of the epic, as the words of Hector in Book 6 predicted. The epic long role of "Achilles, son of Peleus" and "Peleion" also foreshadows the s upplication and ransom scene of Book 24. Such a role of "Son of Peleus" and "Peleion" is reflected in these epithets' occurrences in Book 24. The use of these two epithets in Book 24 foreshadows Priam's entrance into Achilles' hut and his appeals to Achill es' relationship with his father, Peleus. The repeated use of the epithets is not for the sake of versification, but introduces a nuanced meaning in the ending scenes. This foreshadowing comes into view as the first occurrence of "Peleion" in Book 24 in line 338 directly references Priam's approach to Achilles. Zeus says to Hermes, [S]o guide Priam inside the hollow ships of the Achaians, that no man shall see him, none be aware of him, of the other Danaans, till he has come to the son of Peleus. 118 The se epithets become more concentrated as Priam approaches the hut of Achilles, 119 for "son of Peleus" replaces earlier uses of "Achilles" in similar lines. This replacement expects Priam's appeals concerning Peleus. Not using the epithet, Zeus says in lines 1 53 54: [S]uch an escort shall I send to guide him, Arge•phontes who shall lead him inside the shelter of Achilleus. 120 117 Homer, The Iliad 300, 24.519 21. 118 Homer, The Iliad 297, 24.336 38. 119 Il. 24.406, 431, 448, 458, 465 120 Homer, The Iliad 293, 24.153 54.


35 Again not using "son of Peleus," Zeus repeats the above thought in lines 182 83. The first occurrence in Book 24 of "Son of Peleus" in lin e 338, already quoted, includes a similar train of thought, yet now uses the epithet. So too in line 448: But when they had got to the shelter of Peleus' son. 121 The last occurrence of either of these two epithets takes place in line 465 where Hermes directl y calls Priam to appeal to Achilles by means of Peleus: But go you in yourself and clasp the knees of Peleion and entreat him in the name of his father, the name of his mother of the lovely hair, and his child, and so move the spirit within him. 122 After th is concentration of "son of Peleus" and "Peleion," when he "has come to the Son of Peleus," Priam starts his appeals concerning Achilles' father: But now Priam spoke to him in the words of a suppliant: "Achilleus, like the gods, remember your father, one w ho is of years like mine, and on the door sill of sorrowful old age. And they who dwell nearby encompass him and afflict him, nor is there any to defend him against the wrath, the destruction. Yet surely he, when he hears of you and that you are still livi ng, is gladdened within his heart and all his days his hopeful that he will see his beloved son come home from the Troad." 123 After Priam first meets Achilles, "son of Peleus" and "Peleion" disappear for the remainder of the epic. So the tension from the ep ithets' escalation releases at the first words of Priam, the appeal to Peleus. After this dismissal of Achilles' patronymic epithets, after a tender scene of mourning and supplication, the return of Achilles' warlike epithets calls both Priam and the aud ience to remember the hostile nature of Achilles. The poet brings "swift footed" back into the narrative, not for metrical reasons, but to recall Achilles' fierceness. From 121 Homer, The Iliad 299, 24.448. 122 Homer, The Iliad 299, 24.465 67. 123 Homer, The Iliad 24.485 92.


36 Book 24 line 459 through line 558, starting when Priam first enters the gates of Ac hilles' hut, "swift footed Achilles" does not appear. In fact, this common epithet only appears once from Book 24 line 139 through line 558. 124 However, when Achilles grows angry at the extensive supplication, the epithet forcefully reenters: Then looking d arkly at him spoke swift footed Achilleus: "No loner stir me up, old sir. I myself am minded to give Hektor back to you. A messenger came to me from Zeus, my mother, she who bore me, the daughter of the sea's ancient. I know you, Priam, in my heart, an d it does not escape me that some god led you to the running ships of the Achaians. For no mortal would dare come to our encampment, not even one strong in youth. He could not get by the pickets, he could not lightly unbar the bold that secures our gat eway. Therefore you must not further make my spirit move in my sorrows, for fear, old sir, I might not let you alone in my shelter, suppliant as you are; and be guilty before the god's orders." 125 The introduction of this epithet back into the narrative comes at an appropriate time. Both Priam and the audience are reminded of Achilles' potential anger and his overpowering strength. Having moved on from his mourning, when Achilles "had taken full satisfaction in sorrow" 126 and having already urged Priam to release his mourning for the time being, 127 Priam continues his supplication: Do not, beloved of Zeus, make me sit on a chair while Hektor lies yet forlorn among the shelters; rather with all speed give him back, so my eyes may behold him, and accept the ransom we bring you, which is great. You may have joy of it, and go back to the land of your own fathers, since once you have permitted me to go on living myself and continue to look on the sunlight. 128 124 Il. 24.458 125 Homer, The Iliad 301, 24.559 70. 126 Homer, The Iliad 300, 24.513. 127 Il. 24.549 51 128 Homer, The Iliad 301 24.553 58.


37 Annoyed by continued supplication, "swift footed Ac hilles" responds in anger. Achilles moves from mourning and returns to his warring nature, and the audience is shown such a shift both in the dialogue and in the shift of epithets. "Swift footed Achilles" frightens Priam while "Achilles, son of Peleus" all ows Priam to supplicate the hero. ¤3 Conclusion In this chapter, I have shown how the epithet in the Iliad both plays more than an ornamental role and also extends beyond Parry's definition of a particularized role. Uses of the epithet that seem meaningle ss gain context and those that seem straightforwardly adjectival in meaning build subtexts of the epic's plot. The poet decontextualizes epithets from their particular lines and connects them with other epithets and other scenes to create unexpected subtex ts by introduction into broader contexts and applications. "Hector of the shining helm" does not simply describe Hector's armor, but the epithet's interaction with the scene develops the juxtaposition between Hector as warrior and Hector as husband and fat her. "Son of Peleus" does not only provide Achilles' line of ancestry, but looks forward to the scene of Priam's supplication. The poet is neither limited by the formulaic nature of epithets nor by their literal adjectival meanings, decontextualizing from these literal, line based meanings to create more nuanced and more complex epithetic implications.


38 Chapter 2: Gnomic Use in the Iliad The characters of the Iliad use gnomic expressions to advise and censure within a particular context. Gnomai functio n as proverbs that apply a general statement to a specific situation. For example, when Menelaus seeks to warn the Achaeans of Priam's sons, he says, "Always it is, that the hearts in the younger men are frivolous." Previous scholarship has tended to stres s gnomai 's role in the Iliad as tied to these straightforward interactions between characters. Although a gnome resonates in its immediate context based on its speaker's motivations, I will argue in this chapter that gnomic use also reaches beyond its stra ightforward role and immediate context. The Homeric poet uses gnomai as sophisticated literary tools by relating them to broader and more nuanced contexts through foreshadowing, character development, and comparison and contrast. In his dissertation "Wisd om in Context: the Use of Gnomic Statements in Archaic Greek Poetry," Lardinois defines a gnome as: a generalizing statement about a particular action ." 129 He discusses both the traditional aspects of archaic Greek gnomai such as set structures and themes, and the innovation present in the gnomic tradition. 130 He writes how traditionality does not bar the speaker from innovation: In order to comprehend how a saying can be traditional and newly created at the same time, it is important to realize that traditi onality in societies like archaic Greece, in which most verbal art was still produced orally, hardly ever means a precise and verbatim repetition of words from the past. 131 Partly because gnomai are rooted in tradition, but not dictated by tradition, Lardin ois acknowledges a gnome 's connection to its context, its ability to be manipulated, and thus 129 Lardinois, 1995, 12. Italics in original. 130 See my Introduction and Lardinois, 1997, 215 16 for further details. 131 Lardinois, 1995, 24.


39 its ability to interact with the situation in which it is spoken. 132 In his interpretation, he distinguishes between three types of contexts to which a gnome can re late: the discourse context ("the immediate linguistic surrounding of the gnome: what kind of words or phrases accompany it"), the social context ("refers to the relationship between the speaker of the gnomic expression and his or her addressee"), the narr ative context ("interaction between poet and audience: how do gnomes spoken by the poet himself or by one of his characters relate to the narrative as a whole and to the audience"). 133 This third category of context reveals that Lardinois recognizes the abil ity for a gnome (to speak in Parry's terms) to have a particularized use. When looking at the three gnomai in the Iliad spoken directly by the narrator, he notes that all three speak to the same theme, that of the will of the gods, and that the three relat e to each other and to other gnomai so as to create a discourse between the poet and his audience. 134 In these instances, Lardinois shows that gnomai can reach beyond their particular scenes and connect with other gnomai to create a comprehensive and nuanced theme. While Lardinois alludes to the resonance of gnomai outside immediate situations, acknowledging their ability to take on an active role in the epic, he is quick to announce, "It would be foolish to argue that every gnome in this poem [the Iliad ] has reference beyond the immediate situation in which it is used." 135 Lardinois does not conclude that gnomai are irrelevant traditional digressions, but in the majority of cases, he does limit 132 Lardinois, 1995, 1 2. 133 Lardinois, 1995, 3. 134 Lardinois, 1995, 157 61. 135 Lardinois, 1995, 39.


40 their application to a confined scene, a narrow situational setting 136 The gnomai take on subtlety of meaning only when their speakers innovate their structural details (i.e. changing the number of addressee from singular to plural) 137 or when a certain type of gnome is placed in a certain type of speech. 138 Even then, the sub tlety communicates on the level of plot, a discourse between the characters within a particular situation. A gnome 's nuanced meaning enters in only in so far as its speaker innovates for the sake of subtle application. The poet's innovation is brushed to t he side. As a result of this interpretation, the majority of Lardinois' work on Homeric gnomai is a technical categorization of gnomai into categories of verb number and speech types: 139 "It is the nuanced interplay between speech genres, gnome types and dis course features which produces distinctive speech moments in the Homeric epics, that help to define characters and generate so much of the enjoyment of the narrative." 140 The subtlety is in terms of a "speech moment," a specific instance within the plot. Thi s discussion of subtlety in regard to character interactions goes hand in hand with what Ong says concerning the agonistic tone of oral interactions: Many, if not all, oral or residually oral cultures strike literates as extraordinarily agonistic in their verbal performance and indeed in their lifestyle. Writing fosters abstractions that disengage knowledge from the arena where human beings struggle with one another. It separates the knower from the known. By keeping knowledge embedded in the human lifewor ld, orality situates knowledge within a 136 Some ex ceptions that Lardinois notes are those of the narrator ( Il 16.688 90. 20.265 66. 21.264), perhaps due to the fact that the narrator's voice separates the gnomai from the plot. The distinction is between a gnome that functions on the level of the characte rs and that which functions as a discourse the poet has with his audience. Lardinois, 1995, 161. Lardinois cites Andersen, 1987, 3 7. 137 See Lardinois, 1995, 82 116. 138 See Lardinois, 1995, 117 38. 139 See Lardinois, 1995, 48 152. 140 Lardinois, 1995, 152.


41 context of struggle. Proverbs and riddles are not used simply to store knowledge but to engage others in verbal intellectual combat. 141 The necessity of a connection to a "lifeworld" brings with it a competitive tone So, when speaking proverbs, the heroes of the Iliad strive to show their dominance in their subtlety of manipulating the proverbs. Indeed, Lardinois' discussion of proverbs leaves a reader with just such an impression. For example, he writes that Achille s' use of first person singular gnomes shows his "preoccupation with his standing in the world," 142 and Nestor's use of gnomai show his authority, and Odysseus' use shows his trickery. 143 The characters use gnomai to give weight to their words and to their pos itions. In contrast to Lardinois and Ong, I argue that gnomai 's proverbial and philosophical nature primes them to speak outside of a specific character interaction. Gnomai 's proverbial nature can be seen in their generalizing effect. They generalize the experience of men into the experience of man. Lardinois, interpreting Aristotle's definition of gnomai in the Rhetoric states: Aristotle discusses how from a multitude of observations a generality can be surmised which is not yet the generality sought by science, because it is unreasoned, but one based on experienceWhen confronted with a new experience, a whole set of previous experiences is brought into play. They are collected and interpreted in light of this new experience.Perhaps it is therefore bett er to speak in the case of gnomai as generalizing statements instead of simply general statements. 144 As general statements, gnomai are not firmly set in the flow of sequential plot events. They resonate beyond the lifeworld of the Homeric characters, apply ing to the specific 141 Ong 1982, 43 44. 142 Lardinois, 1995, 140. 143 Lardinois, 1995, 142 47. 144 Lardinois, 1995, 9 10.


42 characters towards whom they are directed, but also applying to other situations in the epic. As such, gnomai link scenes for intertextual development. Gnomai 's philosophical nature also encourages their application to broader contexts. Gnomai provide the means for philosophical musings by the characters of the Iliad 145 The characters, with the generalized action of a gnome comment on the fundamentals of reality and existence. For example, in Book 9, Achilles gives a string of gnomai wh ich show his present state of mind, his thoughts on fate, death, and honor. Addressing the embassy, he says: Fate is the same for the man who holds back, the same if he fights hard. We are all held in a single honour, the brave with the weaklings. A man dies still if he has done nothing, as one who has done much. 146 A gnome's role in the Iliad of expressing a character's thoughts points to its separateness from the rest of the dialogue in the epic 147 Because of this separateness and expression of a charact er's thoughts, through gnomai the poet can plot changes in characters, since gnomai provide pinpointed and concise descriptions of characters' thoughts at specific points in the epic. In this chapter, I will show gnomai 's ability to relate to broader and more nuanced contexts than the context of an immediate character interaction. I wish not to focus on the subtle manipulations by a speaker in the narrative situation, but to show how gnomai need not be tied to the human lifeworld. I will show that gnomai a re agents of literary development that reach outside of the immediate context of straightforward, agonistic, 145 Ong sees philosophy as a result of writing, not as present in oral poetry. Ong, 1982, 14 15. 146 Homer, The Iliad 103, 9.318 20. 147 This is similar to Dewey's view o f proverbs: "The proverb is a sanctioned vehicle for expressing one's thoughts and intentions, without fear of public censure, and with little risk of being misunderstood" (Dewey, 1980. 83).


43 character interactions. The poet links gnomai in one scene with other gnomai and other scenes to create nuances in characters, to foreshadow events in the epic, to compare and contrast characters' views, and to parallel seemingly distinct events in the plot. The poet develops gnomic context through what is the Iliad 's unified whole. ¤1 Gnomic Comparison and Contrast First, I will show how gnomai 148 lin k scenes for comparison and contrast. Similar gnomai spoken by Hector in Book 6 and by Achilles in Book 9 link the two scenes, contrasting the heroes' views on fate. The similar gnomai speak outside of scene specific character interactions to create a subt ext of interaction between Achilles and Hector. Speaking to Andromache after he sees her weeping about his departure back into battle, Hector states: [B]ut as for fate, I think that no man yet has escaped it once it has taken its first form, neither brave man nor coward. 149 Here Hector acknowledges a man's inability to escape fate, whether that man be brave or cowardly. Similarly, Achilles states in Book 9: Fate is the same for the man who holds back, the same if he fights hard. We are all held in a single honour, the brave with the weaklings. 150 Achilles, like Hector, acknowledges the equality that fate brings to both brave men and cowardly men. The similarity in syntax of these two gnomai emphasizes the similarity in subject. Three identical words appear in the two gnomai in the same order: )$ &$& & % and 1 ;,2"% The Greek of Hector's gnome reads: 148 For a list of the gnomai in the Iliad See Lardinois, 1995, Ape ndix A.1. To see how Lardinois categorized gnomai see Lardinois, 1995, 42 48. 149 Homer, The Iliad 76, 6.488 89. 150 Homer, The Iliad 103, 9.318 19.


44 "#$ # 2 3 (-*+ 91!'937 /*.* # '*$( *#) / % #% $ / # 4 4 # &'()$ 1 ) ( 5 !) ($ 7/*1($. 151 And the Greek of Achilles' gnome reads: 6 ;1 "# /*.*(&$ 7 8 +2$ (-% !.2'4@.: 1 # 4 89 (- 9 : 4 %#% : # 4 &$ 7 # &'()* : 152 The gnomai in their similarity influence a connection between the two scenes, bring ing about a reflection on the characters' relationships to fate. Book 9 shows Achilles begrudgingly accepting the equality of fate and honor. Achilles speaks the gnome after the embassy offers him the long list of gifts from Agamemnon. Achilles refuses the gifts, still stung by Agamemnon's misuse of power. Achilles states: But I will speak to you the way it seems best to me: neither do I think the son of Atreus, Agamemnon, will persuade me, nor the rest of the Danaans, since there was no gratitude given for fighting incessantly forever against your enemies. Fate is the same for the man who holds back, the same if he fights hard. We are all held in a single honour, the brave with the weakling. 153 Achilles contrasts his fighting and bravery with the lack of fighting and lack of bravery of Agamemnon, as he contrasted them in Book 1: Always the greater part of the painful fighting is the work of my hands; but when the time comes to distribute the booty yours is far the greater reward, and I with some smal l thing yet dear to me go back to my ships when I am weary with fighting. 154 With the background of Book 1 recalled, Achilles is seen to be resentful of the equality that fate brings. He, as the brave man, the man who fought hard, was dishonored so that th e coward, Agamemnon, might receive what only a brave man deserves. Similarly, Hector deals with a cowardly man, but he does not display a begrudging attitude towards 151 Il. 6.488 89 (my emphasis). 152 Il. 9.318 19 (my emphasis). 153 Homer, The Iliad 103, 9.314 19. 154 Homer, The Iliad 4, 1.165 68.


45 fate. Hector expresses his anger at the lack of fighting of Paris soon after he speaks the gnome in Book 6. Hector says to Paris: Strange man! There is no way that one, giving judgment in fairness, could dishonour your work in battle, since you are a strong man. But of your own accord you hang back, unwilling. And my heart is grieved in its thought, when I hear shameful things spoken about you by the Trojans, who undergo fighting for your sake. 155 Like Achilles, Hector recognizes the injustice of his fighting while his brother so often stays back from battle, but Hector's gnome is not spoke n in anger. Instead, he uses the gnome to bring comfort to Andromache. For Hector, fate's unavoidability acts as a comfort, not an injustice. Neither Hector, as the brave man, nor Paris, as the coward, will escape fate. However, by way of contrast, such a realization does not hinder Hector from fighting, while Achilles, on the other hand, withdraws from battle, angered at the equality fate brings. In a way, Achilles and Hector engage in discourse with one another, though scenes apart. Another example of gn omai's role of joining scenes for comparison and contrast occurs by way of a gnome of Achilles and a gnome of Priam. The similar themes of the two gnomai draw the gnomai outside of their specific scenes to contrast Achilles and Priam's attitudes toward fav or from the gods. Achilles looks with expectation for rewards, while Priam looks back and gives thanks for reward. In Book 1, after Athena urges Achilles not to storm in anger against Agamemnon, Achilles speaks a gnome : If any man obeys the gods, they lis ten to him also. 156 He wishes to honor the gods with his obedience so that they might later grant his wishes. Priam's gnome reflects his gratitude towards the gods. After he learns from Hermes, 155 Homer, The Iliad 77, 6.521 25. 156 Homer, The Iliad 5, 1.218.


46 disguised as a young boy, that the gods protected the body of He ctor, Priam speaks a gnome : [S]urely it is good to give the immortals their due gifts. 157 Priam recalls how Hector never forgot to grant to the gods their due gifts of honor, and reflects how Hector's remembrance of the gods reaped a reward. The speeches of the two characters in which these gnomai occur similarly display the characters' attitudes towards the gods' favor. Achilles, even before he honors the gods, sees himself as deserving of reward. When Athena first appears, Achilles states: Why have you come now, o child of Zeus of the aegis, once more? Is it that you may see the outrageousness of the son of Atreus Agamemnon? 158 Already, Achilles expects the goddess to stand on his side, coming to punish Agamemnon. Priam, on the other hand, does not expe ct the protection of Hector's corpse. Rather, he acknowledges the possibility of a worse punishment on the corpse than Achilles in reality afflicted. Priam asks Hermes: [C]ome, tell me the entire truth, and whether my son lies still beside the ships, or whether by now he has been hewn limb from limb and thrown before the dogs by Achilleus. 159 While Priam was not expecting the benefit of giving to the gods, when the benefit is received, he looks back in thanks. In addition to these examples of comparison and contrast, similar gnomai link the disagreement of Achilles and Agamemnon with that of Poseidon and Zeus, affecting a comparison of the affairs of men with the affairs of the gods. Such a comparison is not 157 Homer, The Iliad 299, 24.425 26. 158 Homer, The Iliad 5, 1.201 03. 159 Homer, The Iliad 298, 24.407 09.


47 developed through the straightforward plot, but through subtle connections that the gnomai bring to light. When Zeus sends Iris to tell Poseidon to withdraw from the fighting, Poseidon speaks a gnome : But this comes a horrible distress in my heart and soul whenever one wishes to quarrel with wrathful w ords with one equal and furnished in joint fate. 160 Achilles' gnome in Book 16 recalls this gnome of Poseidon, for the two are parallel and occur in a similar context. Achilles speaks to Patroclus about Agamemnon: But this comes a horrible distress in my h eart and soul whenever indeed a man, who has advanced in strength, wishes to deprive a similar one and to take away from him a gift of honor. 161 Achilles answers Patroclus, who has urged Achilles to give up his anger by sending him into the battle, like Ir is urges Poseidon to stand down. Both gnomai speak of equality of rank and the injustice of quarreling with one equal in rank. When asked to release their anger, Poseidon and Achilles respond with corresponding thoughts. The similarity of the syntax of th e two gnomai emphasizes the similarity of their content. The Greek of Poseidon's gnome reads as follows: ( 22 5 ("# 2 $ 8 & :.% &)$#4 1* &$ 7 ,3 & % &+*'; !!" ( 2 < 8 ;" .).* &$ 7 ; 9 !'!)6/*.* $ 6 ; = *'-&'4'-* 1 ,/2 = ;:.26(. ;-* 1 !/';;-* 162 The Greek of Achilles' gnome reads: ( 22 5 ("# 2 $ 8 & :.% &)$#41* &$ 7 ,3 & % &+*', ; !!"(' # ) ( & ; .* ( ) ) 1 ,/2 = ;-* ( /);$&$ 7 7/)$% < A ( 9'2/;,$, > (' &)+('B !).C'C<& = : 163 160 Il 15.208 10. My translation, for the sake of having a literal t ranslation that brings out the similarity of the two gnomai 161 Il. 16.52 54. My translation, for the sake of having a literal translation that brings out the similarity of the two gnomai 162 Il. 15.208 10. All Greek text from Homeri Opera 1920. 163 Il. 16.52 54


48 Because the first lines of the gnom ai are identical, Achilles' gnome immediately parallels the two gnomai for comparison and contrast of the two situations. The remaining lines continue in similar strains, both led by ; !!"(' both speaking of a man who wishes ( 1 ,/2 = ;-* ) to quarrel with or deprive one who is equal ( ; .* ) or who is in equal ( ; 9 ) fate. The gnomai connect the dispute of Zeus and Poseidon with the dispute of Agamemnon and Achilles In Book 19 in the scene of Achilles' renouncement of his anger and withdraw from battle, the audience recalls that Poseidon gave in to the wishes of Zeus: Still [ ( 22 2 ] this time I will give way, for all my vexation. 164 Rightly then, the audience anticipates Achilles to surrender. And so he does, introducing his relinquishment with ( 22 5 as did Poseidon: Still [ ( 22 5 ] we will let all this be a thing of the past; and it was not in my heart to be angry forever. 165 After he agrees to do Zeus' bidding, Poseidon withdraws from the battle, di ving back into the ocean. The narrator states: The shaker of the earth spoke, and left the Achaian people, and went, merging in the sea, and the fighting Achaians longed [ !",';$* ] for him. 166 So too the Iliad recounts Achilles' withdraw from battle and the loss this brings to the Achaeans. Achilles predicts that the Achaeans will long for him: [S]ome day longing [ !., ) ] for Achilleus will come to the sons of Achaians, all of them. Then stricken at heart though you be, you will be able 164 Homer, The Iliad 178, 15.211. 165 Homer, The Iliad, 190, 16.60 61. 166 Homer, The Iliad 179, 15.218 19.


49 to do nothing, when in their numbers before man slaughtering Hektor th ey drop and die. 167 Furthermore, both Poseidon and Achilles are both urged to reenter the battle. After his gnome Poseidon tells Iris to warn Zeus not to favor Troy to the point of sparing it, or else Poseidon will not hold back his anger. 168 Later, Zeus doe s take his protection away from the Trojans, urging Poseidon and the other gods to reenter the fight: You have seen, shaker of the earth, the counsel within me, and why I gathered you. I think of these men though they are dying. Even so, I shall stay he re upon the fold of Olympos sitting still, watching, to pleasure my heart. Meanwhile all you others go down, wherever you may go among the Achaians and Trojans and give help to either side, as your own pleasure directs you. 169 In the prior book, Agamemno n apologizes to Achilles for taking his prize away, and asks him to reenter the fight: I am willing to make all good and give back gifts in abundance. Rise up, then, to the fighting and rouse the rest of the people. 170 As Zeus urges Poseidon back into bat tle, so Agamemnon urges Achilles back into battle. So, the quarrel of the gods and the quarrel of men resolve similarly. ¤2 Gnomic Foreshadowing Gnomai link scenes for comparison and contrast and also foreshadow coming events. Hector uses a gnome which is identical to a gnome used by the narrator when the narrator discusses the fate of Patroclus. This identical use links the two speeches and foreshadows Hector's death. Hector's gnome reaches outside the situational context in which he speaks to create a su btext of the plot. While Patroclus fights, the narrator says: 167 Homer, The Iliad 5, 1.240 43. 168 Homer, The Iliad 178 79, 15.212 17. 169 Homer, The Iliad 241 42, 20.20 25. 170 Homer, The Iliad 235, 19.138 39.


50 But Patroklos, with a shout to Automedon and his horses, went after Trojans and Lykians in a huge blind fury. Besotted: had he only kept the command of Peleides he might have got clear away from the evil spirit of black death. But always the mind of Zeus is a stronger thing than a man's mind He terrifies even the warlike man, he takes away victory lightly, when he himself has driven a man into battle as now he drove on the fury in the he art of Patroklos. 171 The narrator predicts the death of Patroclus, remarking how both the will of Zeus and Patroclus' eagerness for the fight will lead to his demise. Hector speaks this same gnome in Book 17, recalling the narrator's speech. Addressing Glau kos, Hector defends his strength in battle, saying he does not hold back from fighting out of fear: [N]ow I utterly despise your heart for the thing you have spoken when you said I cannot stand in the face of gigantic Aias. I am not one who shudders at attack and the thunder of horses. But always the mind of Zeus is a stronger thing than a man's mind. He terrifies even the warlike man, he takes away victory lightly, when he himself has driven a man into battle. Come here, friend, and watch me at work ; learn, standing beside me, whether I shall be a coward all day, as you proclaim me, or whether I stop some Danaan, for all of his fury, from his fighting strength and from the defense of fallen Patroklos. 172 Hector repeats the narrator's gnome as well as the two lines the narrator speaks after the gnome The parallelism of these gnomai invites the audience to compare the speeches in which the gnomai occur. Hector speaks of his own zealousness in war as the narrator spoke of Patroclus' zealousness. The parallelism of these gnomai and of the speeches points to the imminence of Hector's death. Instead of simply functioning as an address to Glaukos, Hector's speech recalls the narrator's speech by the repetition of the gnome and also by Hector's bragging. H ere, Hector is proud of his eagerness in fighting, pointing to 171 Homer, The Iliad 202, 16.684 91 ( gnome in my italics). 172 Homer, The Iliad 209, 17.173 82.


51 his own death, for Patroclus, too, was a zealous fighter and, after his "blind fury," died as was fated by Zeus. Hector ironically predicts his own death in mentioning in 17.182 the fall of Pat roclus. While specifically foreshadowing Hector's death through the death of Patroclus, the narrator also comments generally on the ruin that fury in battle brings. Neither of the two fighters was wary in battle, disdaining the words of their comrades. Ach illes warned Patroclus to only go as far as the ships: You must not, in the pride of fury of fighting, go on slaughtering the Trojans, and lead the way against Illion, for fear some one of the everlasting gods on Olympos might crush you. Apollo who works f rom afar loves these people dearly. You must turn back once you bring the light of salvation to the ships, and let the others go on fighting in the flat land. 173 The narrator in the above passage reminds the reader of Achilles' warning. So, too, Hector was warned by Glaukos, and speaks the gnome in response to Glaukos' warnings. Both did not heed a friend's warning, and continued fighting in fury, and both subsequently died. By connecting the gnomai the poet develops this nuanced theme in the straightforwar d plot. Like the repetition of a gnome discussed above, the similarity of a gnome that Achilles speaks in Book 18 to that which he speaks in Book 24 connects scenes with the result of foreshadowing. Achilles' gnomai concerning the will of Zeus, since they both occur in the context of his mourning at his distance from his father, allow Achilles' words in Book 18 to apply to the situation of Book 24, thereby enabling the expectation of Priam's successful supplication. Considering the loss of Patroclus, Achil les says in Book 18: 173 Homer, The Iliad 191, 16.91 96.


52 But Zeus does not bring to accomplishment all thoughts in men's minds. 174 The gnome comments on the superiority of the will of Zeus over the will of men. The gnomai that Achilles speaks in Book 24 also speak of the will of the god: Su ch is the way the gods spun life for unfortunate mortals, that we live in unhappiness, but the gods themselves have no sorrows. There are two urns that on the door sill of Zeus. They are unlike for the gifts they bestow: an urn of evils, and urn of bles sings. If Zeus who delights in thunder mingles these and bestows them on man, he shifts, and moves now in evil, again in good fortune. 175 While the first gnome speaks of what Zeus denies men and the gnomai in Book 24 speak of the favors and evils Zeus bes tows, both acknowledge the superiority of the god's will over the will of men. What Zeus bestows and what Zeus wishes will take place. The gnome of Book 18 occurs in the context of Achilles' musings concerning his father, thus adding broader context to Ac hilles' musings in Book 24. In Book 18, Achilles reflects on both his own death away from his father and also on Patroclus' death away from his father: Ah me. It was an empty word I cast forth on that day when in his halls I tried to comfort the hero Men oitios. I told him I would bring back his son in glory to Opous with Ilion sacked, and bringing his share of war spoils allotted. But Zeus does not bring to accomplishment all thoughts in men's minds. Thus it is destiny for us both to stain the same so il here in Troy; since I shall never come home, and my father, Peleus the aged rider, will not welcome me in his great house, nor Thetis my mother, but in this place the earth will receive me. 176 Achilles acknowledges that Zeus brought to accomplishment Patroclus' death away from Menoitios and that Zeus will bring to accomplishment Achilles' death away from Peleus. 174 Homer, The Iliad 227, 18.328. 175 Homer, The Iliad 301, 24.525 30. Lardinois categorizes as two gnomai: 525 26 and 27 30. 176 Ho mer, The Iliad 227, 18.324 332.


53 When Achilles states the gnomai in Book 24, he similarly makes reference to his father, for he remarks how the life of his father is filled wi th sorrow from Zeus: But even on him [Peleus] the god piled evil also. There was not any generation of strong sons born to him in his great house but a single all untimely child he had, and I give him no care as he grows old, since far from the land of my fathers I sit here in Troy, and bring nothing but sorrow to you and your children. 177 Both gnomai comment on the superiority of Zeus' will in the context of Achilles' mourning his distance from his father. Zeus brings pain to Achilles, for Achilles wil l die away from Peleus, and Zeus brings pain to him, for Peleus has no other son besides far off Achilles to care for him in his old age. At the scene of Priam's supplication, Achilles' gnome recalls his history of mourning at his distance from his father. Thus, when Priam urges Achilles to remember Peleus and relates his old age to that of Achilles' father, the audience expects the appeal to be a success. Priam even directly mentions Achilles' absence from Peleus and the joy Peleus would receive at a homec oming of Achilles: Achilleus, like the gods, remember your father, one who is of years like mine, and on the door sill of sorrowful age. And they who dwell nearby encompass him and afflict him, nor is there any to defend him against the wrath, the dest ruction. Yet surely he, when he hears of you and that you are still living, is gladdened within his heart and all his days he is hopeful that he will see his beloved son come home from the Troad. 178 With such mentions of Peleus, Achilles mourns and grant s Priam Hector's body. Gnomai in Book 1 also demonstrate an ability to foreshadow. The gnomai drawn from the situational background of Book 1, relate to the situation of Book 2 and foreshadow the deceit of Agamemnon by a dream. The first gnome of the Ili ad spoken by Achilles, reads: 177 Homer, The Iliad 301, 24.538 42. 178 Homer, The Iliad 300, 24.486 92.


54 No, come, let us ask some holy man, some prophet, even an interpreter of dreams, since a dream [ ? *$) ] als o comes from Zeus who can tell why Phoibos Apollo is so angry. 179 Achilles addresses Agamemnon, urging him to search out the anger of Apollo, but the gnome stretches out of this immediate context, foreshadowing Agamemnon's dream in Book 2: Now to his [Ze us'] mind this thing appeared to be the best counsel, to send evil Dream [ ? *'-).* ] to Atreus' son Agamemnon. He cried out to the dream and addressed him in winged words: "Go forth, evil Dream [ ? *'-)' ] beside the swift ships of the Achaians. Make your way to the shelter of Atreus' son Agamemnon." 180 It is Zeus who sends Dream to deceive Agamemnon. While in Book 1, Achilles already knows the reason for the gods' anger. However, that knowledge of Achilles ought not to affect my reading. In my reading, the gnome 's context is not that which is straightforward, not the anger of the gods in regard to the taking of Chryses' daughter. Achilles strives to manipulate Agamemnon with this gnome but the gnome is not limited to such a use. The gnome leaves the immediate context and foreshadows Agamemnon's deception in Book 2. Achilles' gnome spoken to Agamemnon in Book 1 foreshadows a dream coming from Zeus to Agamemnon in Book 2. Not only do the gnomai of Book 1 fore shadow the occurrence of the dream, but they also foreshadow the success of the dream's deceit. Near the end of Book 1, Hera expresses her anger towards Zeus, since Zeus intends to show favor to Achilles. To calm Hera, Hephaestus tells a story of his own d isobedience towards Zeus and how such disobedience only brought harm. Hephaestus speaks of the difficulty of fighting against Zeus, including a gnome in his speech: 179 Homer, The Iliad 2, 1.62 64 ( gnome in my italics). 180 Homer, The Iliad 13, 2.5 9.


55 Have patience, my mother, and endure it, though you be saddened, for fear that, dear as y ou are, I see you before my own eyes struck down, and then sorry thought I be I shall not be able to do anything. It is too hard to fight against the Olympian There was a time once before now I was minded to help you, and he caught me by the foot and threw me from the magic threshold, and all day long I dropped helpless, and about sunset I landed in Lemnos, and there was not much life left in me. 181 Hephaestus' story and gnome leave the audience at the end of Book 1 reflecting on the hopelessness of f ighting against Zeus. When Book 2 tells the audience that it is Zeus, the Olympian, who sends Dream to deceive Agamemnon, the effect is an expectation of the deception's success. As Achilles said, dreams come from Zeus, and as Hephaestus spoke, one cannot defeat the Olympian. Thus, Agamemnon will not defeat the deception of the dream. After the dream leaves, the narrator states: So he [Dream] spoke and went away, and left Agamemnon there, believing things in his heart that were not to be accomplished. 182 I n addition to the above examples of gnomic foreshadowing, gnomai also foreshadow Achilles' response to Agamemnon's abundant offering of gifts in Book 9. The poet, drawing a gnome out of the immediate situation of the embassy scene to connect with the quarr el in Book 1, parallels the two scenes and thus creates an expectation of Achilles' refusal of the embassy's gifts. Agamemnon, after listing the prizes he intends to give to Achilles, states a gnome in Book 9 that recalls his quarrel with Achilles in Book 1: All this I will bring to pass for him, if he changes from his anger. Let him give way. For Hades gives not way, and is pitiless, and therefore he among all the gods is most hateful [ # :,-;(.% ] to mortals. And let him yield place to me, inasmuch as I am the kinglier and inasmuch as I can call myself born the elder. 183 181 Homer, The Iliad 12, 1.586 93 ( gnome in my italics). 182 Homer, T he Iliad 13, 2.35 36.


56 In Book 1, in the midst of their quarrel, Agamemnon used # :,-;(.% to describe Achilles: To me you are the most hateful [ # :,-;(.% ] of all the kings whom the gods love. 184 The gnome Agamemnon uses while trying to reconcile evokes Agamemnon's past hatred towards Achilles. Agamemnon uses the gnome as a warning, telling the embassy that Achilles will again become # :,-;(.% to him if he does not stand down and return to battle. Agamemnon remarks on his authority as king as he did in Book 1: Go home then with your own ships and your own companions be king over the Myrmidons. I care nothing about you. Even as Phoibos Apollo is taking away my Chryseis. I shall convey her back in my own ship, with my o wn followers; but I shall take the fair cheeked Briseis, your prize, I myself going to your shelter, that you may learn well how much greater I am than you, and another man may shrink back from likening himself to me and contending against me. 185 Agamem non appeals to his greatness as he appeals to his greater kingliness in Book 9. So, the gnome of Book 9 recalls the quarrel of Book 1, emphasizing Agamemnon's remaining hatred toward Achilles. The remainder of hostility in Agamemnon looks forward to Achil les' denial of Agamemnon's apology. Agamemnon's attitude of hostility kept Achilles from reconciling in Book 1, so too it keeps Achilles from reconciling in Book 9, and Achilles forcefully states: I will join with him [Agamemnon] in no counsel, and in no action. 186 ¤3 Gnomic Character Development 183 Homer, The Iliad 100, 9.157 61 ( gnome in my italics). 184 Homer, The Iliad 4, 1.176. 185 Homer, The Iliad 4, 1.179 87. 186 Homer The Iliad 104, 9.374.


57 Gnomai connect scenes and prompt the audience to home in on particular character developments. They create subtlety in the traits of the characters, not only in the characters' speech acts. For example, similar gno mai allow the audience to track the path of Achilles' reentrance into battle, remarking on his reasons for reentrance and ultimately on the lesson that Achilles learns about his rage. The gnomai mark key scenes of this path of reentrance. In Book 11, Nesto r speaks to Patroclus, urging him to try to convince Achilles to reenter the battle, or at least to convince Achilles to allow Patroclus to fight. Nestor states: Who knows if, with God helping, you might trouble his spirit by entreaty, since the persuasi on of a friend is a strong thing. But if he is drawing back from some prophesy known in his own heart and by Zeus' will his honoured mother has told him of something, let him send you out, at least, and the rest of the Myrmidon people follow you, and y ou may be a light to the Danaans. And let him give you his splendid armour to wear to the fighting, if perhaps the Trojans might think you are he, and give way from their attack, and the fighting sons of the Achaians get wind again from hard work. Ther e is little breathing space [ ( *+!*'3;-% ] in the fighting You, unwearied, might with a mere cry pile men wearied back upon their city, and away from the ships and the shelters. 187 Repeating the words of Nestor, Patroclus speaks the same gnome and many of the same lines of Nestor when he asks Achilles to let him enter the fighting: Give me your armour to wear on my shoulders into the fighting so perhaps the Trojans might think I am you, and give way from their attack, and the fighting sons of the Achaians get wind again from hard w ork. There is little breathing space [ ( *+!*'3;-% ] in the fighting We unwearied might with a mere cry pile men wearied back upon their city, and away from the ships and shelters. 188 187 Homer, The Iliad 138, 11.791 802 ( gnome in my italics), 2471 #/ ( 2 ( *+!*'3;-% !.2/.-. 188 Homer, The Iliad 190, 16.40 45 ( gnome in my italics), 2471 #/ ( 2 ( *+!*'3;-% !.2/.-.


58 The narrator does not simply repeat dialogue so as to spark his memory, to keep the flow of the plot, but he u ses the repetition of Nestor's speech specifically by the character Patroclus for a distinct purpose. 189 Patroclus' own speaking of the gnome emphasizes the use of the gnome in relation to Achilles' reentrance into battle. Achilles reenters because Patroclus first entered. The effect of Iris' repetition of this gnome to Achilles in Book 18 is a recollection of Patroclus' entrance. Iris, with Zeus' bidding, urges Achilles to show himself in battle so as to scare the Trojans. Iris speaks: Yes, we also know we ll how they [the Trojans] hold your glorious armour. But go to the ditch, and show yourself as you are to the Trojans, if perhaps the Trojans might be frightened, and give way from their attack, and the fighting sons of the Achaians get wind again after hard work. There is little breathing space [ ( *+!*'3;-% ] in the fighting 190 The gnome's repetition adds significance to the scene with Iris, recalling Patroclus' entrance and asserting Achilles' reasons for reentering the battle. With Iris' repetition of the gnome the audience recalls the gnome's u se in relation to Patroclus' entrance into battle. Nestor spoke the gnome while urging Patroclus to convince Achilles to send him into battle. Patroclus then spoke the gnome urging Achilles to send him into battle. Achilles decides to reenter the battle be cause Patroclus first entered and was then slain, faced with "little breathing space in the fighting." The use of the gnome at the moment of Achilles' reentrance evokes Achilles' reasons for reentering. 189 See Ong, 1982, 39 41. 190 Homer, The Iliad 224 25, 18.197 201 ( gnome in my italics), 2471 #/ ( 2 ( *+!*'3;-% !.2/.-.


59 This recollection of Achilles' reasons for reenterin g continues in Book 19 with a gnome that Odysseus speaks. Trying to convince Achilles to eat before returning to battle, Odysseus says: There is no way the Achaians can mourn a dead man by denying the belly. Too many fall day by day, one upon another, a nd how could anyone find breathing space [ ( *$!*'5;'-' ] from his labour? No, but we must harden our hearts and bury the man who dies, when we have wept over him on the day, and all those who are left about from the hateful work of war must remember food and drink, so that afterwards all the more s trongly we may fight on forever relentless against our enemies. 191 Odysseus' gnome recalls the gnomai from Book 11, 16, and 18, speaking a similar idea as well as using the verbal form [ ( *$!*'5;'-' ] of "breathing space" [ ( *+!*'3;-% ] found in the three prior gnomai The use of this gnome looks back on the uses o f the similar gnome "there is little breathing space in the fighting." Achilles' desires to enter are perhaps legitimate. However, Odysseus urges Achilles to tame his eagerness for war, even though his dearest companion was slain. He urges Achilles not to mourn too much, not to lose sight of eating and not to forget his fellow Achaeans. Indeed, when Achilles does enter, his passions take him too far. His desire for revenge leads him to dishonor Hector's corpse and to cause a quarrel among the gods. 192 Odysse us rightly predicts that Achilles' reentrance into battle will lead to the abuse of his passions. Achilles learns his lesson when in Book 24, like Odysseus urged, he himself urges Priam not to over mourn: But bear up, nor mourn endlessly in your heart, f or there is not anything to be gained from grief for you son; you will never 191 Homer, The Il iad 237, 19. 225 32 ( gnome in my italics), !"(' &/* (-% ( *$!*'5;'-' !"*.-. 192 Il. 24.1 54


60 bring him back; sooner you must go through yet another sorrow. 193 The repetition of the gnome shows Achilles desired to enter battle so as to revenge his companion and shows how t his path of reentrance based on rage only went so far, not raising Patroclus from the dead. So, Achilles learns his lesson and urges Priam not to take his own passions too far. Gnomai further develop the character of Achilles, demonstrating a change of hea rt through a change in his response to gifts. The gnomai Achilles speaks in the embassy scene of Book 9 resonate beyond their immediate situation to Achilles' acceptance of the gifts in Book 19 and of the ransom gifts of Priam in Book 24. That which Achill es speaks in Book 9 applies to the character in the distant scenes of Book 19 and Book 24. Speaking to the embassy, Achilles speaks a gnome : [C]attle and sheep are things to be had for the lifting, and tripods can be won, and the tawny high heads of horses but a man's life cannot come back again, it cannot be lifted nor captured again by force, once it has crossed the teeth's barrier. 194 Considering the inevitability of fate, Achilles counts prizes as futile. However, in Book 19, Achilles says to Agamemnon' s return offer of gifts: Son of Atreus, most lordly and king of men, Agamemnon, the gifts are yours to give if you wish, and as it is proper, or to keep with yourself. But now let us remember our joy in warcraft, immediately, for it is not fitting to stay here and waste time nor delay, since there is still a big work to be done. 195 Here, although entering back into battle, where fate brings death to many a man, Achilles does not consider the futility of gifts, and leaves the giving entirely up to Agamemnon. 193 Homer, The Iliad 301, 24.549 51. 194 Homer, The Iliad 105, 9.406 09. Lardinois cat egorizes as three gnomai: 406, 407, and 408 09. 195 Homer, The Iliad 236, 19.146 50.


61 Later in the epic, Achilles again is offered gifts, this time by Priam, in exchange for the body of Hector, and Achilles willingly accepts them. 196 These two successful exchanges of gifts mark a change of heart in Achilles, with the recollection of the gnom e in Book 9. Achilles knows that his fate draws closer, and yet receives the gifts. When Thetis tells Achilles to ransom the body of Hector, she reminds her son of his fate: [Y]ou will not be with me long, but already death and powerful destiny stand clo sely above you. But listen hard to me, for I come from Zeus with a message. He says that the gods frown upon you, that beyond all other immortals he himself is angered that in your heart's madness you hold Hektor beside the curved ships and did not redeem him. Come, then, give him up and accept ransom for the body. 197 Achilles' response to Thetis' bidding is simply: So be it. He can bring the ransom and take off the body, if the Olympian himself so urgently bids it. 198 Achilles knows his fate and still fr eely accepts the urgings of Zeus, willingly taking the ransom. He acts against the words of his own gnome this time not remarking on the futility of gifts in light of impending death, but remarking on the power of Zeus. The gnomai Odysseus speaks in Book 19 also develop the character of Achilles. Not immediately taken to heart by Achilles, when later referenced by Achilles, the gnomai invite the audience to recognize the settling of Achilles' anger. The gnome Odysseus speaks in Book 19 reaches beyond Odys seus' situational motivation to persuade Achilles and, in the scenes to follow, shows a change in Achilles. Odysseus 196 Il. 24.552 95 197 Homer, The Iliad 293, 24.131 37. 198 Homer, The Iliad 293, 24.139 40.


62 urges Achilles to eat before he enters back into battle, and urges him to allow the Achaeans to eat. In gnomai Odysseus speaks of the stre ngth food can bring to a man: For a man will not have strength to fight his way forward all day long until the sun goes down if he is starved from food. Even though in his heart he be very passionate for the battle, yet without knowing it his limbs wil l go heavy, and hunger and thirst will catch up with him and cumber his knees as he moves on. But when a man has been well filled with wine and with eating and then does battle all day long against the enemy, why, then the heart inside him is full of c heer, nor do his limbs get weary, until all are ready to give over the fighting. 199 After hearing these gnomai Achilles still refuses to eat, weighed down by sorrow and eagerness for revenge: [A]t some other time rather you should busy yourself about the se things, when there is some stopping point in the fighting, at some other time when there is not so much fury inside of my heart. But now as things are they lie there torn whom the son of Priam Hektor has beaten down, since Zeus was giving him glory, and then you urge a man to eating. No, but I would now drive forward the sons of the Achaians into the fighting starving and unfed, and afterwards when the sun sets make ready a great dinner, when we have paid off our defilement. But before this, for me at least, neither drink nor food shall go down my very throat, since my companion has perished and lies inside my shelter torn about with cutting bronze, and turned against the forecourt while my companions mourn about him. Food and drink mean noth ing to my heart but blood does, and slaughter, and the groaning of men in the hard work. 200 In line 200 quoted above, Achilles says "at some other time," setting up Priam's supplication scene in which Achilles offers food to Priam. The speech even referenc es Priam in Book 19, line 203 ("son of Priam"). Because of the son of Priam, Achilles does not wish to eat or drink. Until he rests from the revenge he brings on Priam's son, 199 Homer, The Iliad 236, 19.162 70. Lardinois categorizes as two gnomai: 162 66 and 167 70. 200 Homer, The Iliad 237, 19.200 14.


63 Achilles will not eat and will not obey the gnomai Odysseus speaks. Before this r evenge on Priam's son, food appears as futile to Achilles. Achilles' words in Book 24 recall these gnomai and the speech from Book 19 when in Book 24 he urges Priam to eat. The gnomai resonate outside of his interactions with Odysseus and apply to his int eractions with Priam. Achilles speaks the story of Niobe to Priam, using her as an example of one who ate in the midst of mourning. Addressing Priam: Your son is given back to you, aged sir, as you asked it. He lies on a bier. When dawn shows you yoursel f shall see him as you take him away. Now you and I must remember our supper. For even Niobe, she of the lovely tresses, remembered to eat, whose twelve children were destroyed in her palace. Come then, we also, aged magnificent sir, must remember to eat, and afterwards you may take your beloved son back to Ilion, and mourn for him; and he will be much lamented. 201 When he urges what Odysseus urged in his gnomai the audience recognizes a turning of the action and a falling of Achilles' anger. Achille s now sees it as fit to eat, having taken his revenge, having had enough of mourning. The time without fury that Achilles spoke of in lines 201 02 of Book 19 has come. Furthermore, the audience recognizes this turning action as the narrator focuses with la vish description on the feast that Achilles and his companions prepare: So spoke fleet Achilleus and sprang to his feet and slaughtered a gleaming sheep, and his friends skinned it and butchered it fairly, and cut up the meat expertly into small pieces, an d spitted them, and roasted all carefully and took off the pieces. Automedon took the bread and set it out on the table in fair baskets, while Achilleus served the meats. And thereon they put their hands to the good things that lay ready before them. 202 201 Homer, The Iliad 302, 24.599 603, 618 20. 202 Homer, The Iliad 302 03, 24.621 27.


64 Ach illes "make[s] ready a great dinner" as he predicted in Book 19. 203 Achilles and Priam now pour drink and food down their throats, which Achilles said he would not do until his fury subsided. So Priam speaks in similar language to that of Achilles in Book 19 : Now I have tasted food again and have let the gleaming wine go down my throat. Before, I had tasted nothing. 204 Achilles' practicing of Odysseus' gnomai outside of the context in which Odysseus spoke the gnomai invites the audience to see a shift in th e plot, a shift away from the wrath of Achilles. A gnome that Nestor speaks to Agamemnon in relation to Agamemnon's deceit by Dream develops Agamemnon as a selfish character. The application of a gnome in Book 1 beyond its immediate situation, along with t he narrator's remarks concerning Agamemnon's respect of Nestor, join to show how such a respect is present only when Agamemnon is praised. Dream in Book 2 takes the form of Nestor, the very man who in Book 1 sought to persuade Agamemnon to return Briseis t o Achilles. Addressing Achilles and Agamemnon in Book 1, Nestor spoke the gnome : Do you also obey, since to be persuaded is better 205 Here, Nestor took on an advising role, telling both Agamemnon and Achilles to renounce their anger, supporting his advice with the above gnome In Book 2, Nestor again takes on such a role, in so far as Dream comes in the guise of Nestor. The narrator tells the audience: Dream stood then beside his [Agamemnon's] head in the likeness of Nestor, 203 Homer, The Iliad 225, 19.208. 204 Homer, The Iliad 303, 24.641 42. 205 Homer, The Iliad 6, 1.274 ( gnome in my italics).


6 5 Neleus' son, whom Agamemnon h onoured beyond all elders beside. In Nestor's likeness the divine Dream spoke to him. 206 This information concerning Agamemnon's favor towards Nestor explains why Dream successfully persuades Agamemnon. However, Agamemnon was not so easily won over in the quarrel of Book 1, hearing words from Nestor that derided his authority as king and that brought favor to Achilles, words not pleasing to Agamemnon. In Book 2, Dream in the form of Nestor tells Agamemnon that Zeus favors him and, in effect, that he will so on defeat the Trojans: Listen quickly to what I say, since I am a messenger of Zeus, who far away cares much for you and is pitiful. Zeus bids you arm the flowing haired Achaians for battle in all haste; since now you might take the wide wayed city of the Trojans. 207 After Dream leaves, the audience is told that Agamemnon believed: [T]hat on that very day he would take Priam's city. 208 Dream flatters Agamemnon, so Agamemnon obeys. Agamemnon honors the gnome of Nestor concerning the benefit of persuasion in so far as the persuader brings welcome advice. ¤4 Conclusion In this chapter, I have shown how the gnome in the Iliad plays more than a straightforward proverbial role, speaking to the audience beyond proverbial advice that is framed in a particular sit uational interaction of characters. The subtlety in meaning of proverbial expressions is not limited to nuanced manipulation for the sake of characters' combat. Gnomai act as more than a straightforward interaction between a speaker and 206 Homer The Iliad 13, 2.20 22. 207 Homer, The Iliad 13, 2.26 30. 208 Homer, The Iliad 13, 2.37.


66 his addressee. Suc h complex use of gnomai has been shown in examples of comparison and contrast, foreshadowing, and development of characters, accomplished through the poet's decontextualization of gnomai from their immediate, straightforward roles. The poet's use of a simi lar word or theme in one gnome with that in another gnome enables the gnomai to speak outside of their contexts. The traditional, repeated nature of gnomic themes aids their creative use rather than limiting it, as does a gnome 's widely applicable proverbi al nature. So, Achilles' attitude towards fate is contrasted with Priam's, Hector's death is foreshadowed through connection with Patroclus' death, and Achilles' perspective on the futility of gifts in light of his fate is seen to shift near the end of the epic. The poet's use of gnomai marks the Iliad as a timeless work, rather than marking it as a product of a long past oral culture.


67 Chapter 3: Paradeigmatic Use in the Iliad Similar to their use of gnomai characters in the Iliad use paradeig mata for didactic purposes within immediate character interactions. Paradeigmata allow for instruction since they apply a general lesson behind an experiential story or myth to a particular character's situation. For example, when Nestor at the funeral gam es of Patroclus tells of his past victories, he aims to encourage the younger men to similar deeds. 209 As with its treatment of gnomai scholarship 210 reads paradeigmata as resonant only in the immediate context of their application (i.e., Nestor's paradeigma serves only as an encouragement for the younger men). Furthermore, the rhetorical motivation of paradeigmata leads to a reading of paradeigmatic details as contextless rhetorical flourishes. I, however, will argue that paradeigmatic use reaches beyond the straightforward context of a character's rhetorical motivations. The Homeric poet gives context to paradeigmatic details, connecting the details to the surrounding scenes and to distant scenes with the result of foreshadowing, character development, and co mparison and contrast. Scholarship has long been interested in paradeigmata 's role in the Homeric epics. Unlike the approach to ornamental epithets, scholars point to paradeigmata 's meaning in the Homeric epics. This tendency in the scholarship stems from the very definition of paradeigmata for they play an active role in their didactic goal. However, scholarship often defines paradeigmata too narrowly. Willcock defines a paradeigma as, "a myth introduced for exhortation or consolation. You must do this, because X, who was in 209 Il. 23.625 50 210 See the treatment of Willcock, 1964, Austin, and Lardinois below.


68 more or less the same situation as you, and a more significant person, did it.'" 211 Willcock rightly recognizes the paradeigma 's rhetorical role, but, in using the term "myth," he rids other stories of their paradeigmatic role. Lardinoi s defines paradeigmata more broadly, saying they "relate one particular event to another particular event." He excises the necessity of a mythic quality, taking on Austin's definition: The paradigmatic stories are drawn from personal experience, family his tory, or myths outside the Trojan legend. They are rhetorical devices whose intention is always persuasive; they are either hortatory (or dissuasive) or apologetic. That is, they are a form of argument directed by one person to another to encourage him to, or to deflect him from, some action, or they are offered by someone as self defence for his pursuing a certain course. Some may be both hortatory and apologetic. 212 What qualifies a story as paradeigmatic is its didactic aim, not the content of its story. I follow Austin's broader definition, recognizing that the essence of a paradeigma lies in the speaker's motivation, not in the story's form. Indeed, the speaker's motivation in even the most mythic of paradeigmata complicates the definition of myth. In or der to successfully persuade, to successfully relate a myth to the present, the speaker in the Iliad often changes the story significantly. In the story of Niobe, Achilles adds to the traditional myth the paradeigma 's most vital rhetorical element, that is Niobe's eating. Of this paradeigma Willcock states: What makes the story important and the starting point of discussion is the fact that it is more than improbably that there was any legend at all that Niobe had eaten food after her children had been k illed. The detail is irrelevant to the universal story that she was turned into stone, and it does not recur in any version after Homer.The situation is not that Homer has chosen a suitable mythological example as an encouragement to Priam rather he has i nvented it 213 211 Willcock, 1964, 142. 212 Austin, 1978, 74. 213 Willcock, 1964, 141 (Willcock's emphas is).


69 The myth loses some of its traditional elements for the sake of persuasion. The traditional story is sacrificed so that Achilles might persuade Priam. 214 As Achilles seeks foremost to apply a myth to the present, his use of a paradeigma demonst rates Lardinois' definition. As a story with a didactic aim, the paradeigma seeks application to a specific character's situation based on the speaker's motivation. I will argue, as I argued with gnomai that this application goes beyond the scene of par ticular persuasion and beyond the evident motivation of the speaker. 215 Indeed, their marked form primes paradeigmata to speak within a broader context. Paradeigmata are separate from the background of plot in their didactic aim and in their foreign subject matter. A paradeigma implies a general lesson from a particular story and seeks to apply that general lesson to another particular situation. Like gnomai paradeigmata require an "ainetic" reading. 216 Nagy defines $ @ *.% as "authoritative speech" and "a marked speech act made by and for a marked social group." 217 So, paradeigmata 's didactic aim separates them from the rest of the epic's dialogue. Their foreign subject matter also distinguishes paradeigmata from the plot's events. The speaker does not simply give straightforward commands in his didactic motivations, but he gives a story, oftentimes both of distant times and characters. The speaker seeks to draw attention to his speech by using a paradeigma by using a story for application. Both the addressee and the audience recognize something distinct about the speech in its didactic storytelling. 214 So, in the Introduction, paradeigmata defined as oral remnants in terms of their participation in the category of digression, not in their specific subject matter. 215 Held (1987) recognizes this extended use. He shows how Homer positioned parallels b etween paradeigmatic speeches "for the purpose of underscoring Achilleus' ethical and intellectual development" (245). Held tracks a development of Achilles' character through the medium of paradeigmata 216 Lardinois, 1995, 116. 217 Lardinois, 1995, 27 28. Na gy, 1990, 147 50, 424 33.


70 This marked quality is reflected in the absolvable nature of paradeigmata At the end of his paradeigmatic Nio be story, Achilles says: Come then, we also, aged magnificent sir, must remember to eat, and afterwards you may take your beloved son back to Ilion, and mourn for him; and he will be much lamented. 218 Both directly before and directly after he speaks his pa radeigma Achilles relates the lesson that his paradeigma implies. 219 Neither Achilles nor the progression of the Iliad 's story requires the paradeigma While the paradeigma adds rhetorical power to Achilles' speech, the narrative flow of events would not be lost with the removal of the paradeigma Though applying to and supplementing the sequence of plot, a paradeigma is still separate from the plot with the result that it is primed to relate outside of its immediate situation. Scholarship's limitations on p aradeigmata extend further than the argument that they speak only within an immediate contextual interaction between characters. Austin also argues that paradeigmatic details are contextless, since they serve only as rhetorical flourishes. He seeks to unco ver why paradeigmata include so great an amount of detail for events of the past, especially in relation to the details in the retelling of the events of the Trojan war, itself, 220 attributing this detail and their length to the paradeigmatic speeches' inten t of persuasion. The details amplify the story so as to add persuasive force. The length, and epic greatness adds power. Austin says: "The length of the [ paradeigmatic ] anecdoteis as relevant as its intent. The expansion of the anecdote is a 218 Homer, The Iliad 302, 24.618 20. 219 See note 218 for Achilles' end comment. Beginning comment: "Now you and I must remember our supper" (Homer, The Iliad 302, 24.601). 220 Austin, 1978, 72 73.


71 form of ampli ficatio a heightening of the subject, and so itself a form of persuasion." 221 This explanation of paradeigmatic detail, however, points to the lack of context of the details of paradeigmata Their relevancy is sacrificed for the situational goal of persuasio n. The detail amplifies the speech's persuasive value, but the details do not speak in and of themselves. The oral category of digression is seen to tie the poet to irrelevancy. In this chapter, I will show how the poet is not limited by paradeigmata 's rh etorical motivations. The poet uses paradeigmata outside of the immediate and contextual motivations of characters. The details of the paradeigmatic speeches reach beyond the speaker's persuasive goals to join the paradeigmata to other contexts so as to ap ply the paradeigmata 's content to seemingly unrelated contexts. The poet succeeds in linking characters and events that are not mentioned within the paradeigmata to the story of the paradeigmata for parallels that result in foreshadowing of events, compari son and contrast of characters and the events of characters' lives, and nuanced character development. ¤1 Paradeigmata of Book 20: Aeneas and Achilles 222 The paradeigmata of Book 20 display all three of these literary devices, comparison and contrast, fores hadowing, and character development. First, these paradeigmata serve to contrast, for the details in the slight variations in the paradeigmata that Achilles and Aeneas speak in Book 20 contrast the two characters' attitudes to the 221 Austin, 1978, 78. 222 Because of the smaller number of paradeigmata than of epithets and gnomai (29 in total. See Lardinois, 1995, 113, footnote 132), I have found it better to group the paradeigmata by occurrences in the text rather than by literary device.


72 gods' aid. 223 The details a re not irrelevant, but rather necessary for such a contrast. Apollo comes down into battle and asks Aeneas why he shies away from fighting Achilles. 224 Aeneas responds to the urgings of Apollo with the paradeigma : Since this will not be the first time I sta nd up against swift footed Achilleus, but another time before now he drove me with the spear from Ida, when he came there after our cattle the time he sacked Lyrnessos and Pedasos. But Zeus rescued me when he put strength inside me and made my knees quick. Otherwise I should have gone down at Achilleus' hands, and those of Athene who goes before him and makes light before him, who then was urging him on with the brazen spear to destroy Leleges and Trojans. 225 Aeneas' story of personal experience seeks to per suade Apollo not to send him to fight against Achilles. Aeneas fears another battle with god favored Achilles, even though when the two first met in combat, Zeus saved Aeneas from Achilles' hands. Aeneas' paradeigma hints at an attitude of submission to th e gods. Aeneas fully acknowledges the potentiality of his death at the hands of Achilles, for Aeneas uses the particle &' in line 94. 226 He recognizes the battle can turn quickly and easily with the involvement of a god. Battle is fickle, moved by man's stre ngth, and god's will. Achilles' paradeigma spoken to Aeneas when the two see each other on the battlefield, speaks of the same instance as Aeneas' paradeigma but the variations in his 223 This contrast of characters is also a development of the characters. 224 Il. 20.79 85 225 Homer, The Iliad 243, 20.89 96. / 4 7 5 ) A !) ($ !.#=&'.% *( 2 :-2 $ .% ;(<;.$, ( 22 2 B #1 &$ 7 22.(' #.3) 7 9"C1;'* 1 ? C #1% > (' C.3; 7 1 !<23,'* D '(/) = ;, !/);' # 4 D3)*1;; & &$ 7 0<#$;.* : $ / ( 5 ) 1 4 E' % 8 )5;$, 2 > % .1 );' /*.% 2$-A1)+ (' 7. A *$ 0 & 2 1 #+1* E & :'); 7 :-22 $ .% &$ 7 ,<*1% F % !)";,'* 8 A ;$ (4,'9+.% : # 2 1 &/2'3'* # 7:'B :$2&' 4 G D/2'7$% &$ 7 F) $% 1 *$4)'-* 226 See note 225 directly above.


73 storytelling reveals Achilles as primarily acknowledging his own stre ngth in battle and secondarily acknowledging the aid that the gods provided him. The variations help to contrast the two characters, creating a subtext apart from a superficial understanding from the plot of Aeneas' fear and Achilles' confidence. Achilles says: Another time before this, I tell you, you ran from my spear. Or do you not remember when, apart from your cattle, I caught you alone, and chased you in the speed of your feet down the hills of Ida headlong, and that time as you ran you did not tu rn to look back. Then you got away into Lyrnessos, but I went after you and stormed that place, with the help of Athene and of Zeus father, and took the day of liberty away from their women and led them as spoil, but Zeus and the other gods saved you. 227 Achilles speaks of Aeneas' cowardice, how Aeneas ran and did not look back. Achilles also flaunts his own brave action in contrast to Aeneas cowardice, speaking of his chasing and storming and capturing. While Achilles acknowledges the aid the gods' prov ided him, his focus is on his doing and his fighting. Achilles emphasizes himself with his use of 1 7 H in line 191 and his abundance of first person singular verbs and participles. 228 Aeneas speaks of Zeus as the actor, 229 while Achilles acknowledges the gods' help in a prepositional phrase, not providing any details to the extent of their aid. 230 However, w hen Achilles addresses the gods' help of Aeneas, he speaks of the gods as the 227 Homer, The Iliad 245, 20.187 94. B #1 4 ;/ 7/ 91&$ 7 22.(' #.3) 7 9.C $ ;$. 0 / / = > (' !/) ;' C. !. A *.* 1 "*($ ;' A $ &$( 2 I #$46* )/6* ($:/';;!"#';;&$)!$246% ; ("(' # 2 3 ('($().!$24@'. 9'576* # *,'* # 2 1 % D3)*1;; & E !/&937'% : $ / ( 5 ) 1 7 H ( ) !/);$ ',.)1,' 7 % ; ,<* = &$ 7 87 !$ ()4 21B+#$% # 4 73*$ &$% 1 2'5,').* 0 $) ( !.5)$% 0 7.* : ( ( 5 ) ; 4 E' % 1 ))5;$(. &$ 7 ,'. 7 2 2.. 228 See note 227 directly above. Six in total: 91, ;' A $ !/);$ ',.)1,' 7 % ( !.5)$% 0 7.* 229 See note 225. Lines 92 93. 230 See note 227. Line 192.


74 actors. 231 Achilles conceitedly brushes off the gods' help in his own successes while emphasizing the help the gods brought to Aeneas. Achilles expands on Aeneas' paradeigma sayin g "Zeus and the other gods" saved Aeneas, not just Zeus. Achilles wishes to emphasize that Aeneas did not escape because of his own strength, but fully because the gods granted him great aid. Achilles diminishes Aeneas' strength and emphasizes his own. T his contrast in the characters' attitudes continues in Book 20. As seen above, Achilles acknowledges the help of the gods, but gives more credit to his own fighting. Directly after his paradeigma Achilles says: I think they [the gods] will not save you no w, as your expectation tells you they will. No, but I myself urge you to get back into the multitude, not stand to face me, before you take some harm. Once a thing has been done, the fool sees it. 232 Achilles makes light of any claims Aeneas might have of the gods' favor, hinting that claims of strength are of greater worth than claims of an immortal's partiality. Aeneas, however, responds by listing his genealogy, starting his genealogy with a mention of his and Achilles' immortal descent. Aeneas says: Yo u and I know each other's births, we both know our parents since we have heard the lines of their fame from mortal men; only I have never with my own eyes seen your parents, nor have you seen mine. For you, they say you are the issue of blameless Peleus and that your mother was Thetis of the lovely hair the sea's lady; I in turn claim I am the son of great hearted Anchises but that my mother was Aphrodite. 233 Aeneas quickly acknowledges the importance of lineage, especially when that lineage involves t he gods. Aeneas references the words Apollo spoke after Aeneas' paradeigma 231 See note 227. Line 194. 232 Homer, The Iliad 20.195 98. 233 Homer, The Iliad 20.203 09.


75 Apollo reminded Aeneas that his descent from Aphrodite was a greater claim than Achilles' descent from Thetis. 234 Thus, when Aeneas lists his genealogy from Aphrodite in response to Achilles' paradeigma he emphasizes his immortal lineage instead of emphasizing his battle tactics. Achilles, focusing on strength instead of relationships to the gods, is shocked when a god does rescue Aeneas from the fighting: Can this be? Here is a stra nge thing I see with my own eyes. Here is my spear lying on the ground, but I can no longer See the man, whom I was charging in fury to kill him. Aineias was then one beloved of the immortal gods. I thought what he said was ineffectual boasting. 235 Besides serving to contrast Aeneas and Achilles, these paradeigmata work with the surrounding scenes of Book 20 to focus on a particular plot development, to discuss the gods' aid in battle, for the paradeigmata take part in a scene in which the gods' involvement in war is emphasized. The paradeigmata compare the conflict between Aeneas and Achilles with a conflict among the gods, drawing nuanced parallels. At the beginning of Book 20, Zeus urges the gods into the fighting: [G]o down, wherever you may go among the Achaians and Trojans and give help to either side, as your own pleasure directs you. For if we leave Achilleus alone to fight with the Trojans they will not even for a little hold off swift footed Peleion. 236 The gods may aid wherever they please; they may aid Aeneas; they may aid Achilles. Zeus' call for the gods to enter the fighting affirms Aeneas' paradeigma for Aeneas acknowledges the unpredictable outcome of battle based on the gods' intervention. Zeus' words invite the following clamor: So spoke the son of Kronos and woke the incessant battle, and the gods went down to enter the fighting with purposes opposed. 234 Il. 20.104 07 235 Homer, The Iliad 248, 20.346 48. 236 Homer, The Iliad 242, 20.24 27.


76 Hera went to the assembled ships with Pallas Athene and with Poseidon who embraces the earth, and with generous Hermes, who within the hea rt is armed with astute thoughts. Hephaistos went the way of these in the pride of his great strength limping, and yet his shrunken legs moved lightly beneath him. But Ares of the shining helm went over to the Trojans, and with him Phoibos of the unsho rn hair, and the lady of arrows Artemis, and smiling Aphrodite, Leto, and Xanthos. 237 The poet sets up a division among the gods, naming those in favor of the Trojans and those in favor of the Greeks. Aeneas' paradeigma further sets up this division, con necting Aeneas' past experience to the present conflict between the gods. The paradeigmatic details interact with the context in such a way so as to set up the conflict between Aeneas and Achilles as a conflict among the gods. The victory of a particular m an points to the victory of a particular god. Aeneas mentions the conflict between Achilles and himself and also between Zeus and Athena, being specific in his detail. The specificity is not simply to add amplification for rhetorical value, for the use of Zeus' name in the context of the paradeigma connects the present division of the gods to Aeneas' past experience. In this passage, Apollo, who addresses Aeneas, receives the epithet 8& % 3 %& % !"226* or "son of Zeus," in lines 82 and 103. Apollo, the son of Zeus, also reminds Aeneas that he can claim Aphrodite as his mother, naming her as 8& % &.5)1% 9).#4(1% or "daughter of Zeus." 238 The son of Zeus reminds Aeneas of his direct descent from Zeus himself. In his paradeigma Aeneas tells how Zeus once saved him from Achilles, for Zeus strengthened Aeneas for the fighting. Since it was Zeus who originally saved Aeneas, when the son of Zeus drives Aeneas to fight Achilles a second time, and when Aeneas' familial relation to 237 Homer, The Iliad 242, 20.31 40. 238 Il. 20.105


77 Zeus is recalled, the present scenario connects with Aeneas' par adeigma This time, Apollo and Aphrodite, gods in favor of the Trojans, fight for Aeneas. The connection is further created when the poet says that Apollo, son of Zeus, [I]nspired enormous strength [ /*.% ] in the shepherd of the people. 239 In his paradeigma Aeneas tells how Zeus strengthened him: But Zeus rescued me when he put strength [ /*.% ] inside me and made my knees quick. 240 Both gods give /*.% to Aeneas. Aeneas escaped Achilles before because of the strength Zeus gave him. Apollo's words and actions associate him with the role of Zeus in Aeneas' paradeigma Hera's response to Aeneas' paradeigma points to the epic long quarrel of the gods. Hera, in favor of the Greeks, responds negatively to this correlation, taking it as a challenge. Directly after Apollo strengthens Aeneas, Hera addresses Poseidon and Athena: Poseidon and Athene, now take counsel between you and within your hearts as to how t hese matters shall be accomplished. Here is Aineias gone helmed in the shining bronze against Peleus' son, and it was Phoibos Apollo who sent him. Come then, we must even go down ourselves and turn him back from here, or else one of us must stand by Ac hilleus in courage, but let him know that they love him who are the highest of the immortals, but those who before now fended the fury of war, as now, from the Trojans are as wind and nothing. 241 Hera is threatened by the words of Aeneas and Apollo, for Aeneas' paradeigma shows the aiding by Zeus as superior to the aiding by Athena, a god in favor of the Trojans as superior to a god in favor of the Greeks. Hera, as a goddess in favor of the Greeks, does 239 Homer, The Iliad 20.110. 240 Homer, The Iliad 20.92 93. 241 Homer, The Iliad 20.115 24.


78 not wish the events of Aeneas' paradeigma to take pl ace again. Thus, when Poseidon comes to Hera explaining his pity for Aeneas, a reader senses a tinge of disapproval in Hera's response: Shaker of the earth, you yourself [ $ / ( & % ; ] must decide in your own [ ; 9 ;] heart about Aineias, whether to rescue him or to let him go down, for all his strength, before Peleus' son, Achilleus. For we two, Pallas Athene and I, have taken numerous oaths and sworn them in the sight of all the immortals never to drive the day of evil away from the Trojans. 242 Hera emphasizes that Poseidon's decision is his own, using words of his personal agency ( $ / ( & % ; and ; 9 ;) Hera purposefully separates herself from Poseidon's decision, for she recognizes that to save Aeneas is to support the conquests of Zeus and Apollo. Along with contrasting and developing the characters of Aeneas and Achilles and comparing the conflict b etween the gods with the conflict between Aeneas and Achilles, the paradeigmata of Book 20 also foreshadow. Aeneas' paradeigma provides two possible scenarios, his own rescue by the gods and Achilles' more likely rescue. When the gods rescue Aeneas in the battle in Book 20, the audience is invited to anticipate a later victory by Achilles with the aid of the gods. This victory comes in Achilles' battle with Hector. The paradeigma applies beyond its immediate situation. As the gods were in conflict over the battle in Book 20, so they are in conflict over the battle between Hector and Achilles. Zeus, who urged in Book 20 for the gods to aid wherever they pleased, here calls out again for the gods' involvement: Ah me, this [Hektor] is a man beloved whom now my eyes watch being chased around the wall; my heart is mourning for Hektor who has burned in my honour many thigh pieces of oxen on the peaks of Ida with all her folds, or again on the uttermost 242 Homer, The Iliad 247, 20.310 15.


79 part of the citadel, but now the brilliant Achilleus driv es him in speed of his feet around the city of Priam. Come then, you immortals, take thought and take counsel, whether to rescue this man or whether to make him, for all his valour, go down under the hands of Achilleus, the son of Peleus. 243 Athena, who Aeneas says in his paradeigma "goes before him [Achilles] and makes light before him," 244 responds to these words of Zeus, saying she would disapprove if he decides to save Hector. Athena, previously barred by Zeus from being involved in the battle, here rec eives his consent to rejoin the fighting. Zeus says: Act as your purpose would have you do, and hold back no longer. 245 With Athena freed from her previous oath, she joins the battle on the side of Achilles. She literally "goes before" Achilles to Hector w hile Achilles catches his breath from the chase. With this entrance of Athena into battle on behalf of Achilles, the paradeigmata of Book 20 are recalled. The effect is the anticipation of Achilles' victory, for here he has the aid of Athena, what he was l acking in Book 20. So, too, when Hector realizes the goddess aids Achilles, he is forced to face the reality of his approaching death: No use. Here at last the gods have summoned me deathward. I thought De•phobos the hero was here close beside me, but he is behind the wall and it was Athene cheating me, and now evil death is close to me, and no longer far away. 246 As Aeneas' paradeigma foretold, when Athena sides with Achilles, the two are hard to fight. ¤2 Paradeigma of Book 4: foreshadowing deaths of Patroclus and Hector 243 Homer, The Iliad 266, 22.168 76. 244 Homer, The Iliad 243, 20.94 95. 245 Homer, The Iliad 266, 22.185. 246 Homer, The Iliad 269, 22.297 300.


80 As the paradeigmata of Book 20 foreshadow Achilles' victory, so a paradeigma spoken in Book 4 foreshadows the deaths of both Hector and Patroclus with its account of warriors' reckless fighting. The specific mention of fighting charact erized as reckless and the use of the word (' :"% are not irrelevant details, but rather they connect scenes to predict the death s of Patroclus and Hector. Agamemnon goes around to his troops and individually urges them on to fighting and valor. 247 When Agamemnon sees Sthenelos and Diomedes, he admonishes Diomedes for standing back from battle, speaking a paradeigma about Tydeus, Dio medes' father. Agamemnon speaks of Tydeus' valor and strength. 248 The king challenges Diomedes to act the same. While Diomedes is stunned by the king's words and remains silent, 249 his companion, Sthenelos, speaks out, also using a paradeigma : Son of Atreus, do not lie when you know the plain truth. We two claim we are better men by far than our fathers. We did storm the seven gated foundation of Thebe though we led fewer people beneath a wall [ (' :"% ] that was stronger. We obeyed the signs of the gods and the help Zeus gave us, while those others died of their own headlong stupidity [ ( ($;,$24 = ;-* ] Therefore, never liken our fathers to us in honour. 250 Sthenelos is offended by the words of Agamemnon and claims his and Diomedes' valor to be greater than that of their fathers. Sthenelos also points to his and Diomedes' consideration of the gods' will and signs. He contrasts this consideration to "headlong stupidity" that brought death to their fellow warriors. The affairs and words of Hector recall this paradeigma for Hector ignores an ill omen and later speaks of his recklessness in doing so. In Book 12, Hector and a group of 247 Il. 4.223 400 248 Il. 4. 370 400 249 Il. 4.401 02 250 Homer, The Iliad 46, 4.404 10. ( Paradeigma in italics)


81 men strive to get past the Greek wall [ (' :"% ], 251 like Sthenelos and Diomedes went past the Theban wall. While Hector and his team debate their battle strategy, an ill omened sign appears: As they were urgent to cross a bird sign had appeared to them, an eagle, flying high and holding to the left of the people and carrying in its talons a gigantic snake, blood coloured, alive still breathing, it had not forgotten its warcraft yet, for writhing back it struck the eagle that held it by chest and neck, so that the eagle let it drop groundward in pain of the bite, and dashed it down in the midst of the battle and itself, screaming high, winged away down the wind's blast. And the Trojans shivered with fear as they looked on the lithe snake lying in their midst, a portent of Zeus of the aegis 252 The Trojans read this bird and snake as a sign from Zeus. Unlike Sthenelos and Diomedes, however, Hector does not submit to this warning. After Poulydamas urges Hector to heed to the sign, to consult an interpreter, Hector says to him: [Y]ou tell me t o put my trust in birds, who spread wide their wings. I care nothing for these, I think nothing of them, nor whether they go by on our right against dawn and sunrise or go by to the left against the glooming mist and the darkness. No, let us put our trust in the counsel of great Zeus, he who is lord over all mortal men and all the immortals. One bird sign is best: to fight in defense of our country. 253 While Hector claims that he heeds the gods' counsel, he does not heed the gods' signs. Sthenelos emphasizes how he and Diomedes heeded the gods' signs. Later, while Achilles pursues him, Hector recalls the words of Poulydamas, who urged him to consider the omen: Ah me! If I go now inside the wall [ ('4:'$ ] and the gateway, Poulydamas will be first to put a reproach upon me, since he tried to make me lead the Trojans inside the city 251 Il. 12.198 252 Homer, The Iliad 143, 12.200 09. 253 Homer, The Iliad 1 43, 12.237 43.


82 on that accursed night when brilliant Achilleus rose up, and I wou ld not obey him, but that would have been far better. Now, since by my own recklessness [ ( ($;,$24 = ;-* ] I have rui ned my people. 254 Again referencing a wall like in Sthenelos' paradeigma Hector uses ( ($;,$24 = ;-* to describe hi mself, the same word Sthenelos used to describe his companions who died. Because of the connections with the paradeigma and Hector's situation, the audience anticipates the impending death of Hector. Similarly, the affairs of Patroclus are joined with the situation in Sthenelos' paradeigma Near the scene of Patroclus' death, the narrator speaks: But Patroklos, with a shout to Automedon and his horses, went after Trojans and Lykians in a huge blind fury [ ( +;,1 ] Besotted: had he only kept the command of Peleides he might have got clear away from the evil spirit of black death. 255 The narrator predicts Patroclus' death, making the predict ion stronger with the use of ( +;,1 the third person singular aorist passive form of ( +6, which is the same verb from which ( ($;,$24 = ;-* is derived As Sthenelos' companions died on account of their recklessness, so will Patroclus and Hector die. ¤3 Paradeigma of Book 17: comparing the deaths of Hector and Hyperenor As the above paradeigma parallels characters with the result of foreshadowing Patroclus' and Hector's deaths, a paradeigma in Book 17 parallels characters with the result of comparing the similar effects of the characters' deaths. Because Menelaus includes the epithet "breaker of horses" in his paradeigma Hector becomes connected to Hyperenor, the character in the paradeigma The epithetic detail serves as a mark of comparison. In Boo k 17, Menelaus, striving to protect the body of newly fallen Patroclus, 254 Homer, The Iliad 22.99 104. 255 Homer, The Iliad 16.684 87.


83 speaks a paradeigma When Euphorbos notices the body, he rushes over to Menelaus and seeks to fight him for the body. In response to the words of Euphorbos, Menelaus speaks a paradeigm a about Euphorbos' brother, Hyperenor. He starts his speech: Father Zeus, it is not well for the proud man to glory. Neither the fury of the leopard is such, not such is the lion's nor the fury of the devastating wild boar, within whose breast the spir it is biggest and vaunts in the pride of his strength, is so great as goes the pride in these sons of Panthoos of the strong ash spear. Yet even the strength of Hyperenor, breaker of horses, had no joy of his youth when he stood against me and taunted m e and said that among all the Danaans I was the weakest in battle. Yet I think that his feet shall no more carry him back, to pleasure his beloved wife and his honoured parents. So I think I can break your strength as well, if you only stand against m e. No, but I myself tell you to get back into the multitude, not stand to face me, before you take some harm. Once a thing has been done, the fool sees it. 256 Menelaus threatens and warns Euphorbos with the mention of his previous battle victory. He relat es Euphorbos' current threats of strength to the threats that Hyperenor once spoke, implying the immanence of a similar victory over Euphorbos, a victory that soon takes place. The subtext of the paradeigma stretches beyond the situation with Euphorbos, p aralleling Hector with Hyperenor. As seen above, Menelaus calls Hyperenor "breaker of horses." Soon after the paradeigma Hector is seen to strive to catch Achilles' horses. Apollo speaks to Hector: While you, Hektor, run after what can never be captured, the horses of valiant Aiakiades; they are difficult horses for mortal man to manage, or even to ride behind them for all expect Achilleus, who was born of an immortal mother, meanwhile Menelaos, the warlike son of Atreus, stands over Patroklos and ha s killed the best man of the Trojans, Euphorbos, Panthoos' son, and stopped his furious valour. 257 256 Homer, The Iliad 206, 17.19 32. Paradeigma in italics.


84 The mention of horses draws a parallel between Hector and "Hyperenor, breaker of horses," for here Hector strives to tame horses, but is called away because of the recent death of Euphorbos. As Hyperenor was inept, so is Hector, unable to capture the horses of Achilles, unable to tame them, though himself referred to five times in the Iliad as "breaker of horses," twice prior to this instance. 258 Here, "Hector, breaker of horses" is proved inept in the face of his future champion, for only Achilles is able to tame these horses. The comparison between Hector and Hyperenor continues, as Hector fears that his pride brings his downfall, as Hyperenor's bragging prove d to be his downfall. About to face Achilles, Hector says: Now, since by my own recklessness I have ruined my people, I feel shame before the Trojans and the Trojan women with trailing robes, that someone who is less of a man than I will say of me: "He ktor believed in his own strength and ruined his people." 259 So, Menelaus said that Hyperenor boasted "in the pride of his strength," warning Euphorbos not to take on the same spirit of pride. The parallelism made between the two characters brings a compari son of the events of the two characters' deaths. As Menelaus prevented Hyperenor to return home, so Achilles has all the intentions to prevent the return of Hector's body. After Hector pleads with Achilles to return his body to Troy, Achilles says: No mor e entreating of me, you dog, by knees or parents. I wish only that my spirit and fury would drive me to hack your meat away and eat it raw for the things that you have done to me. So there is no one who can hold the dogs off 257 Homer, The Iliad 207, 17.75 81. 258 Il. 7.38, 16.717, 22.161, 22.211, 24.804 259 Homer, The Iliad 265, 22.104 07.


85 from your head. 260 Further more, the audience is invited by Menelaus' paradeigma to dwell on the effect Hector's death has on his family. Menelaus' paradeigma tells how Hyperenor was never to return to his wife, his mother, or his father. With Hector paralleled with Hyperenor, this same result of Hyperenor's death can be tied to the death of Hector. Indeed, the Iliad develops this result of Hector's death, focusing on the pain his death brings to Hector's own wife, mother, and father. In Book 6, Hector's wife urges him not to return to battle, for she fears his harm. 261 Again, the fears are emphasized as Hector prepares to face Achilles. Both Priam and Hecabe shout at Hector from inside the walls of Troy. In anticipation of his fight with Achilles, Hecabe pleads with him: Do not go out as champion against him [Achilles], o hard one; for if he kills you I can no longer mourn you on the death bed, sweet branch, o child of my bearing, nor can your generous wife mourn you, but a big way from us beside the ships of the Argives the runnin g dogs will feed on you. 262 Priam pleads similarly, asking Hector to pity his aged father, asking Hector to reflect on how his death would affect his family: Come then inside the wall, my child, so that you can rescue the Trojans and the women of Troy, neit her win the high glory for Peleus' son, and yourself be robbed of your very life. Oh, take pity on me, the unfortunate still alive, sill sentient but ill starred, whom the father, Kronos' son, on the threshold of old age will blast with hard fate, after I have looked upon evils and seen my sons destroyed and my daughters dragged away captive. 263 260 Homer The Iliad 270 71, 22.345 49. 261 Il. 6.405 439 262 Homer, The Iliad 264 65, 22.85 89. 263 Homer, The Iliad 264, 22.56 62.


86 When Priam finally succeeds in ransoming Hector's body, and when he brings the body back to Troy, the poet again focuses on the pain brought to Hector's family. Bot h Hecabe and Andromache utter speeches of mourning. 264 ¤4 Paradeigma of Book 23: comparing Nestor and Achilles A paradeigma that Nestor speaks also makes parallels, thereby developing Achilles as a greater hero than Nestor through the correspondences the pa radeigma makes with the scene of Achilles' slaying of Hector. The details of Nestor's past endeavors, read first as the irrelevant ramblings of an old man, draw connections between Achilles and Nestor. After Hector's death, at the funeral games of Patroclu s, Nestor states: I wish I were young again and the strength still unshaken within me as once, when great Amarnyngkeus was buried by the Epeians at Bourprasion, and his sons gave games for a king's funeral. There was no man like me, not among the Epeians nor yet of the Plyians themselves or great hearted Aitolians. At boxing I won against Klytomedes, the son of Enops, at wrestling against Angkaios of Pleuron, who stood up against me. In the foot race, for all his speed, I outran Iphiklos, and with the spea r I out threw Polydoros and Phyleus. It was only in the chariot race that the sons of Aktor defeated me, crossing me in the crown, so intent on winning were they, for the biggest prizes [ ',2$ ] had been left for the horse race. Now these sons of Aktor were twins; one held the reins at his leisure, held the reins at his leisure while the other lashed on the horses. This was I, once. Now it is for the young men to encounter in such actions, and for me to give way to the persuasion of gloomy old age. But once I shone among the young heroes. Go now, and honour the death of your companion with contents. I accept this [gift] from you gratefully, and my heart is happy that you have remembered me and my kindness, that I am not forgotten for the honour that should be my honour among the Achaians. May the gods, for what you have done for me, give you great happiness. 265 264 Il. 24.723 59 265 Homer, The Iliad 285 86, 23.629 50. ( Paradeigma in italics)


87 This paradeigma comes after Achilles flatters Nestor with a gift from the games. T hough Nestor is unable to fight because of his old age, Achilles still wishes to bestow a gift upon him. Nestor's paradeigma seems a response filled with bragging, a response expected after such praise from Achilles. However, through its allusions, the pa radeigma develops a subtext, flattering Achilles, not just Nestor. Nestor recounts his victories in past funeral games, his victories in boxing, wrestling, racing, and spear throwing. Nestor also recounts a defeat that he faced, his loss in the chariot rac e. Indeed, Nestor elaborates most on this event. The mention of the chariot race serves to recall the chase scene in Book 22. When Achilles chases Hector around the walls of Troy, the poet provides a simile for the chase: [T]hey ran from the life of Hekto r, breaker of horses. As when about the turnposts racing single foot horses run at full speed, when a great prize [ ',2.* ] is laid for their winning, a tripod, or a woman, in the games for a man's funeral, so these two swept whirling about the city of Priam in the speed of their feet, while all the gods were looking upon them. 266 The chase of Hector is compared to a ch ariot race, and the "great prize," ',2.* is referenced by Nestor's use of the "biggest prizes," ',2$ in relation to the chariot race he once took part in. Nestor's paradeigma further recalls this simile, for, like Nestor's chariot race was played in funeral games, so the chariot race of the simile is "in the games for a man's funeral." The recollection of this simile of the chase of Hector builds the heroic qualities of Achilles. Hector's life is the ',2.* to be won. When Achilles slays Hector, he becomes the winner of the chariot race in the simile; he wins what Nestor could not. Nestor's 266 Homer, The Iliad 266, 22.161 66.


88 bragging is transferred onto the person of Achilles. When Nestor says above in line 288, There was no man like me," and then recounts his defeat in the chariot race, his paradeigma names Achilles as the greater hero, as the winner of the "biggest prizes," as the man who stands above the rest. Nestor "once shone among the young heroes." That job is now for Achilles to fulfill, as he indeed has done in his winning of the prize of Hector's life. The recollection of the simile, the transfer of the words of the paradeigma onto Achilles, also emphasizes the beginning of the end of Achilles' winning of glory. Achilles as the highest hero, which Nestor once was, has reached the pinnacle of his glory. He recognizes Nestor's worth, and so bestows a gift on him, but the gift is for past glory winning: This [two handled jar], aged sir, is yours to lay away as treasure in memo ry of the burial of Patroklos; since never again will you see him among the Argives. I give you this prize for the giving; since never again will you fight with your fists nor wrestle, nor enter again the field for the spear throwing, nor race on your feet; since now the hardship of old age is upon you. 267 Nestor himself knows his victory days ended long ago. By still recognizing Nestor, Achilles seems to reflect on his own falling of heroism. Indeed, for the rest of the epic, there is a falling action f rom Achilles' heroic actions in the midst of battle to his solemnity after battle. In Book 23, Achilles does not participate in the war games, not winning more glory for himself. Rather, Achilles acts as the games' organizer. The games reflect upon the pas t victories of Achilles, for Achilles bestows prizes he won in battle: Now the son of Peleus set in place a lump of pig iron, which had once been the throwing weight of Eetion in his great strength; but now swift footed Achilleus had slain him and taken 267 Homer, The Iliad 23.618 23.


89 th e weight away in the ships along with the other possessions. 268 Achilles builds what glory he can from victories he has won, aiding remembrance of his heroism, as he added remembrance to the heroic work of Nestor. As Book 24 shows, Achilles focuses on his nearing death. In his visit with Priam, Achilles mourns the fate of his dying far from his father, Peleus, reminded earlier by Thetis of his nearing death: [Y]ou will not be with me long, but already death and powerful destiny stand closely above you. 269 Achilles knows his chance for glory is coming to a close, knowledge that his connection to Nestor's paradeigma emphasizes. ¤5 Conclusion As I have show, the Homeric poet uses the digressive property of paradeigmata to his advantage, decontextualizing the details to create foreshadowing, character development, and comparison and contrast. While Ong would perhaps categorize paradeigmata as a result of the verbosity of oral poetry, which mnemonic necessity brings about, 270 and while Austin sees the verbosity a nd the details of paradeigmata as a result of their rhetorical status in the plot, 271 I see paradeigmatic details as both relevant and untied to a particular interaction between characters. I have shown how the poet connects seemingly irrelevant details to w ider contexts for the sake of literary development. 268 Homer, The Iliad 289, 23.825 29. 269 Homer, The Iliad 293, 24.132 32. 270 Ong, 1982, 39 41. 271 Austin, 1978, 78.


90 Conclusion In this thesis, I have shown how Homer's use of epithets, gnomai and paradeigmata in the Iliad develops literary meaning outside immediate situational context and beyond a contextless use of oral formulae and traditions. I have disputed the scholars Parry, Lord, Ong, Lardinois, and Austin, all of whom limit the poet in his ability to create nuance. I have shown that ornamental epithets and paradeigmatic details have meaning and context and that particularized epithets and gnomai relate to more than a straightforward, superficial context. The poet grants contextual meaning to that which seems irrelevant and widens the application of that which seems narrowly applicable. I have shown that the poet decontextualizes these oral elements from the background of the straightforward plot for use in a broader, subtler context. This decontextualization and subsequent recontextualization brings nuance to surface level readings of the plot seen in the tra ditional elements' ability to foreshadow events and characters' actions, to compare and contrast characters and parallel scenes, and to develop characters more deeply. I have shown how these literary developments are accomplished through a variety of metho ds, such as the juxtaposition of epithets, the use of gnomai with similar theme by different characters, and the joining of paradeigmatic details with both the surrounding scene and distant scenes. My analysis provides a newfound appreciation of both Home r and, by extension, the oral poetic mind. I argued against the assumptions of limitations on the oral poet, assumptions which are believed to arise from the separation between orality and literacy. The poet's limitations in the framework of orality limit his complexity of thought. However, I argued that the poet is even capable of decontextualizing, what some see as


91 the only separation between orality and literary. Specifically, the Homeric poet can deeply develop plo t and characters through the decontextu alization of even the most formulaic and traditional elements from straightforward plot and the subsequent recontextualization into a literary subtext. I have shown how past scholars regulate their reading of Homer with a narrow definition of context, dem onstrating instead how we ought first to expect complexity of context. Rather than allowing an understanding of tradition and its supposed limited context to dictate discoveries of literary development, I have first assumed the validity of the poet's autho rship, and thus have demonstrated his complexity of thought. The orality of the Homeric epics does not remove the Iliad from the category of literature, for the complexities assumed of the cannon of Western literature have consequently been proven in Homer once granted an equal chance to speak.


92 Bibliography Austin, Norman, "The Function of Digressions in the Iliad ," Essays on the Iliad Ed. John Wright (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1978), pp. 70 84. De Jong, Irene J.F., Narrators and Focalizers: The Presentation of the Story in the Iliad (Amsterdam: B.R. GrŸmer Publishing Co., 1989). Denny, J. Peter, "Rational thought in oral culture and literate decontextualization," Literacy and Orality Ed. David R. Olson and Nancy Torrance (Ca mbridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), pp. 66 89. Dewey, Kim E., Paroimiai in the Gospel of John," Semeia 17 (1980), pp. 81 99. Dundes, Alan, "On the Structure of the Proverb," The Wisdom of Many: Essays on the Proverb Ed. Wolfgang Mieder and Alan D undes (New York and London: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1981), pp. 43 64. Edmunds, Lowell, Myth in Homer: A Handbook (Highland Park, NJ: Mill Brook Press, 1993). Edwards, Mark W., "Homer and Oral Tradition: The Type Scene," Oral Tradition 7, no. 2 (1992), pp 284 330, (accessed Apr. 9, 2012). Edwards, Mark W., Homer: Poet of the Iliad (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987). Finnegan, Ruth, Oral Poetry: Its nature, sign ificance and social context (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1992).


93 Foley, John Miles, Homer's Traditional Art (University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999). Foley, John Miles, The Singer of Tales in Performan ce (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1995). Greene, William Chase, "The Spoken and the Written Word," Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 60 (1951), pp. 23 59. Griffin, Jasper, Homer on Life and Death (Oxford: Oxford University Pr ess, 1980). Hainsworth, J.B., The Flexibility of the Homeric Formula (London: Oxford University Press, 1968). Harris, Roy, The Origin of Writing (London: Duckworth Publishers, 1986). Havelock, Eric, "The Alphabetic Mind: A Gift of Greece to the Modern Worl d," Oral Tradition 1, no. 1 (Jan., 1986), pp.134 50, (accessed January 10, 2012). Havelock, Eric, "The Alphabetization of Homer," Commu nication Arts in the Ancient World Ed. Eric A. Havelock and Jackson P. Herschbell (New York: Hastings House, Publishers, Inc., 1978), pp. 3 21. Havelock, Eric, The Muse Learns to Write: Reflections on Orality and Literacy from Antiquity to Present (New Ha ven and London: Yale University Press, 1986). Havelock, Eric, "Oral Composition in the Oedipus Tyrannus of Sophocles," New Literary History 16, no. 1 (Autumn, 1984), pp. 175 97. Held, George F., "Phoinix, Agamemnon and Achilles: Parables and Paradeigmata," The Classical Quarterly 37, no. 2 (1987), pp. 245 61.

PAGE 100

94 Homer, Ed. Mortimer J. Adler, Great Books of the Western World Vol. 3, The Iliad and Odyssey of Homer Tran. Richmond Lattimore (Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 1994), pp. 1 306. Homer, Homer i Opera (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1920). Kerby, Anthony Paul, Narrative and the Self (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1991). Lardinois, AndrŽ, "Modern Paroemiology and the Use of Gnomai in Homer's Iliad ," Classical Philolog y 92, no. 3 (Jul., 1997), pp. 213 34. Lardinois, AndrŽ, "Wisdom in Context: The Use of Gnomic Statements in Archaic Greek Poetry" (PhD diss., Princeton University, 1995). Logan, Robert K., The Alphabet Effect: The Impact of the Phonetic Alphabet on the Dev elopment of Western Civilization (New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1939.) Lord, Albert B., "Homer and Huso II: narrative inconsistencies in Homer and oral poetry," Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association 69 (1938), pp. 439 45. Lord, Albert B., The Singer of Tales (Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 1960). Luria, A.R., Cognitive Development: Its Cultural and Social Foundations Tran. Martin Lopez Morillas and Lynn Solotaroff, Ed. Michael Cole (Cambrid ge, MA and London: Cambridge University Press, 1976). Martin, Richard P., The Language of Heroes: Speech and Performance in the Iliad (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1989.

PAGE 101

95 Morrison, James V., Homeric Misdirection: False Predictions in the Ili ad (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1992.) Nagy, Gregory, The Best of the Achaeans: Concepts of the Hero in Archaic Greek Poetry (Baltimore and London: The John Hopkins University Press, 1979). Nagy, Gregory, Homeric Questions (Austin: Univers ity of Texas Press, 1996). Nagy, Gregory, Poetry as Performance: Homer and Beyond (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996). Narasimhan, R., "Literacy: its characterization and implications," Literacy and Orality Ed. David R. Olson and Nancy Torrance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), pp. 177 97. Olson, David R., "From Utterance to Text: The Bias of Language in Speech and Writing," Harvard Educational Review 47 (1977), pp. 257 81. Ong, Walter J., Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word (London and New York: Routledge, 1982). Parry, Milman, The Making of Homeric Verse: The Collected Papers of Milman Parry Ed. Adam Parry (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971). Redfield, James M., Nature and Culture in the Iliad : Th e Tragedy of Hector (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 1994). Russo, Joseph, "How, and What, Does Homer Communicate?: The Medium and Message of Homeric Verse," Communication Arts in the Ancient World Ed. Eric A. Havelock and Jackson P. Herschbell (New York: Hastings House, Publishers, Inc., 1978), pp. 39 52.

PAGE 102

96 Snell, Bruno, The Discovery of the Mind: The Greek Origins of European Thought Tran. T.G. Rosenmeyer (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1953). Taylor, Arthur, "The Wisdom of Many and th e Wit of One," The Wisdom of Many: Essays on the Proverb Ed. Wolfgang Mieder and Alan Dundes (New York and London: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1981), pp. 1 9. Thalmann, William G., Conventions of Form and Thought in Early Greek Epic Poetry (Baltimore and Lo ndon: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984). Thomas, Rosalind, Literacy and Orality in Ancient Greece (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992). Willcock, M.M., "Mythological Paradeigma in the Iliad ," The Classical Quarterly 14, no. 2 (Nov., 1964), pp. 141 54.