CLAS 203 Lecture Notes - Preface, Neoptolemus, Thrinacia
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CLAS203 Lecture 34 Notes
Saw in Iliad that the Heroic Ideal is exemplified by Achilles
Questions to think about:
o Who is the best of the Achaeans?
Odysseus or Achilles?
o Two different modes of agon (competition)
Odysseus competes with metis (mind);
Achilles competes with bie (strength)
o Would bie be able to overcome the challenges faced by Odysseus?
o Odysseus’ epithets point to his “manyness”
Of many (polu-) wiles (metis)
A great cunning intelligence
He will devise a stratagem (mechanos) to escape any snare
The man of many turns (tropos comprehends the full amphiboly
of “turns” – clever turns of mind, figures (tropes) of speech, and
endless actual turns of the wanderer
o The repetition of the prefix polu- indicates the versatility, adaptability, and
mutability, that equip Odysseus for an unstable world
The structure of Odysseus’ Apologoi (stories/tales):
o Twin emphasis on the dangers of lingering beyond the time of one’s departure,
and of being eaten alive (forgetting nostos – returning home)
Three offices of Xenia:
To protect and house the guest;
To feed the guest;
To ensure the guest’s departure at their appointed time
o Explanation of the arrangement of Odysseus’ adventures
Opposite of proper xenia
They confront him with the two extreme versions of bad hospitality, the
ultimate perversion of Xenia
Defines the proper duties of Xenia through antipodal examples
o Improper xenia hinders/prevents nostos (returning)
Why tell these tales to the Phaeacians?
o Odysseus arrives at Aeolus (King and master of the winds), where they are
welcomed and stays. After one month, Odysseus wants to leave, receives a
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