3. Shifting Surfaces of Art and Nature: Flowers, Deception, and the Ποικίλον

I would now like to consider how Homeric associations of flowers, seduction, and deception interacted with the general characteristics of the Greek flora. As we shall see, we get a clearer sense of the origins of the relevant Homeric images when we consider them alongside a further set of Homeric images that associate seduction and deception with the concept of the ποικίλον. In wider Greek culture this concept is associated with objects with a many-colored, shifting appearance. [1] These objects are commonly the products of human manufacture; but they might also be elements of the natural environment. [2] The Homeric poems echo such associations of the ποικίλον; but they also present more specific associations of the root ποικιλ- with seductive, deceptive bodies, which closely parallel the associations of the floral images we discussed in the last chapter. Since flowers and ποικίλος objects are found in very similar circumstances in the Homeric poems, we can use one to aid our understanding of the other. In particular, we shall see that the qualities associated with the ποικίλον point us towards the particular characteristics of the Greek flora that form the basis for Homeric associations of flowers, seduction, and deception: the Homeric floral imagery of seduction and deception responded to the diverse, shifting surfaces of flowers in the Greek spring.
There are a number of parallels between the associations of flowers and those of the root ποικιλ- in Homeric poetry. Firstly, like flowers in the Homeric images that we have been discussing, the root ποικιλ- is associated with items derived from the natural environment. [3] But these ποικίλος items, as with the flowers in Aphrodite’s robes at Cypria fr. 4 Bernabé, have often been translated from the realm of nature to that of culture. Aphrodite’s robes are dipped in the sorts of flowers that would have been familiar to early audiences from the Greek natural environment, but those flowers, or at least their scents, are thereby incorporated into items of craftsmanship—the robes prepared by the Graces and Seasons. The root ποικιλ- carries similar associations, as we see from Iliad 10.30, where Menelaus dons a ποικίλος leopard’s skin. The reference may well be to the animal’s dappled coat—as at Euripides Bacchae 249, where Pentheus catches sight of Tiresias ἐν ποικίλαισι νεβρίσι (“in dappled fawnskins”), a costume that he has donned in honor of the god Dionysus. [4] But presumably, unlike the wild attire of a (would-be) bacchant Menelaus’ garment has been prepared in some way and thus brought over from the realm of nature to the realm of culture: this is not an item directly sourced from the natural environment. [5]
In other passages the lexeme ποικίλος is associated with visually impressive objects crafted by human or divine hands. Such associations are for instance suggested by descriptions of the (παμ)ποίκιλοι robes woven by Athena (Iliad 5.735), Sidonian women (Iliad 6.289), or Helen (Odyssey 15.105). [6] In one such passage the adjective ποικίλος describes what appear to be floral motifs; and this would suggest the compatibility of the two concepts, flowers and the ποικίλον. If the ancient authorities are correct in their explanations of the rare lexeme θρόνα, it refers at Iliad 22.441 to floral motifs woven into a tapestry. [7] The relevant passage describes Andromache’s weaving θρόνα ποικίλ’ (apparently, “elaborate flowers”) as Hector faces death outside the walls of Troy:
ἀλλ’ ἥ γ’ ἱστὸν ὕφαινε μυχῷ δόμου ὑψηλοῖο
δίπλακα πορφυρέην, ἐν δὲ θρόνα ποικίλ’ ἔπασσε.
Iliad 22.440–441
But she was weaving a tapestry in a nook of her high house,
Double and crimson, and she was scattering elaborate flowers on it.
In still other passages the root ποικιλ- denotes the finery that adorns seductive, deceptive bodies, thus creating a clear parallel with the floral imagery that we discussed in chapter 2. In the Hymn to Aphrodite Aphrodite sports both παμποίκιλοι necklaces (88–89) and flowery earrings (κάλυκας, 87), a fact that once more suggests the compatability of flowers with the concept of the ποικίλον. [8] The necklaces and earrings form part of the jewellery with which the Graces adorn her for the seduction of Anchises (cf. line 65), much as the Graces and Seasons prepare her for the seduction of Paris (Cypria fr. 4 Bernabé). And as with that scene from the Cypria, these adornments lure a mortal into danger. The seductive, deceptive charms of Aphrodite’s appearance and speech induce Anchises to take the dangerous step of accepting a goddess as a sexual partner.
Firstly, Aphrodite’s dazzling appearance rouses Anchises’ desires. The nar-rator delays description of her robes and her jewelry, including her flowery earrings and παμποίκιλοι necklaces, until she comes face to face with the Trojan prince (85–90). Listeners are thereby encouraged to imagine how he will react to these adornments. [9] In particular the adjective παμποίκιλοι, with its connotations of bright, shifting appearances and its intensifying prefix, suggests the dazzling, overwhelming impact of Aphrodite’s jewelry on the young man. Line 91, which follows the description of her adornments, makes explicit the nature of Anchises’ reaction. He is seduced by Aphrodite’s charms: Ἀγχίσην δ’ ἔρος εἷλεν (“desire seized Anchises,” 91). [10]
Her appearance also contributes to a deception. She takes on the guise of “an untamed maiden” (παρθένῳ ἀδμήτῃ, 82) and thereby attempts to conceal her identity. [11] She does not at first succeed in convincing Anchises that she is a mortal: he surmises that she is one of the gods (92–106). But she backs up her disguise as a maiden with a lying tale to match: she describes her mortal upbringing and claims to have been abducted from the dance by Hermes to be his bride (108–142). The combination of her disguise and her words overcome Anchises’ resistance. He proclaims her a “woman equal to the gods” (γύναι εἰκυῖα θεῇσι, 153), and immediately afterwards the two make love.
In accepting Aphrodite as a partner Anchises exposes himself to danger. Anchises explains these dangers immediately after they make love and Aphrodite reveals her identity: a man fears being left “without vigor” (ἀμενηνόν) from sex with a goddess (188). [12] But as Anchises explains in lines 186–187, he was deceived by Aphrodite: at first he believed that she was a goddess, but she “did not speak the truth”: οὐ νημερτὲς ἔειπες, 187. As we have seen, as a consequence of her efforts at deception he was willing to accept her as a woman equal to the gods (153). If this were the case, there would be no danger from a sexual encounter with her: after all, the narrative describes Anchises himself as “like a god in his physique” (δέμας ἀθανάτοισιν ἐοικώς, 55) and as “possessing the beauty of the gods” (θεῶν ἄπο κάλλος ἔχοντα, 77). Aphrodite’s godlike attractions would simply place her on a par with this Trojan prince. Aphrodite, then, has not only seduced Anchises but also succeeded in deceiving him. [13]
We have, then, one more instance where an erotic body is associated with flowers and with the seduction and deception of a mortal, but the erotic body in question is also associated with the concept of the ποικίλον: Aphrodite wears both flowery earrings and παμποίκιλοι necklaces. The term ποικίλος is likewise associated with a seductive, deceptive body in the Διὸς ἀπάτη from Iliad 14: the adjective describes Aphrodite’s Girdle of Desire, the most important of the accoutrements that Hera dons in preparation for her encounter with Zeus. [14] With its help Hera succeeds not only in seducing her husband but also in deceiving him. When he makes love to her, he realizes neither that she is wearing Aphrodite’s girdle nor that she has ulterior motives in seducing him: after their lovemaking, the god Sleep will incapacitate Zeus and thus allow Poseidon to aid the Greeks on the battlefield. In this way, while Aphrodite’s flowery accoutrements in Cypria fr. 4 hide dangers that are planned by Zeus (namely, the destruction of Paris’ city, Troy), Hera’s charms imperil Zeus’ own plans to favor the Trojans.
Unlike Aphrodite in the scenes that we have studied, Hera carries out most of her preparations without the help of fellow goddesses: lines 166–186 offer a detailed description of her scented unguents, robes, and jewelry as she carries out her toilette behind closed doors. Nevertheless she appeals to Aphrodite for the Girdle of Desire, which is described as ποικίλος twice in six lines. Aphrodite takes it off...
Ἦ, καὶ ἀπὸ στήθεσφιν ἐλύσατο κεστὸν ἱμάντα
ποικίλον, ἔνθα τέ οἱ θελκτήρια πάντα τέτυκτο·
ἔνθ’ ἔνι μὲν φιλότης, ἐν δ’ ἵμερος, ἐν δ’ ὀαριστὺς
πάρφασις, ἥ τ’ ἔκλεψε νόον πύκα περ φρονεόντων.
Iliad 14.214–217
She spoke and loosened from her chest the embroidered,
Elaborate girdle, where all beguilements had been fashioned;
On it there was love, desire, and lovers’ words,
Misleading speech, which steals the mind of even the wisest. [15]
… and instructs Hera in its use:
“τῆ νῦν, τοῦτον ἱμάντα τεῷ ἐγκάτθεο κόλπῳ
ποικίλον, ᾧ ἔνι πάντα τετεύχεται· οὐδὲ σέ φημι
ἄπρηκτον γε νέεσθαι, ὅ τι φρεσὶ σῇσι μενοινᾷς.”
Iliad 14.219–221
“There now, lay this elaborate girdle on your bosom,
In which all things have been fashioned; I say that you
Will not return without achieving that which you desire in your heart.”
Decked out with this girdle and with her other accoutrements, Hera arouses Zeus’ desires from the moment he sees her: ἴδε δὲ νεφεληγερέτα Ζεύς. / ὡς δ’ ἴδεν, ὥς μιν ἔρως πυκινὰς φρένας ἀμφεκάλυψεν (“cloud-gathering Zeus saw her. / And as he saw her, just then desire covered his close wits,” 294–295). But like the seductive bodies associated with flowers in Homeric poetry, Hera’s body is also deceptive. The deceptive qualities of Hera’s appearance in her meeting with Zeus are anticipated in line 217, where the girdle of desire is described. Its ποικίλον appearance is strongly associated with deception: “it steals the mind of even the wisest” (ἔκλεψε νόον πύκα περ φρονεόντων). When she dons the girdle, Hera takes on its deceptive powers; accordingly, Zeus is deceived by her appearance. It is not that Zeus makes a mistake about who is before him: he is well aware that his visitor is Hera. Nevertheless he shows no awareness that she has prepared her body for seduction rather than for a long journey: as we shall see, in self-centered fashion he describes his own desires; and yet he makes no mention of Hera’s appearance. Nor does he realize that Hera has donned a magical love-charm in preparation for their meeting. With this charm her appearance has deceptive qualities: she has the look of Hera, but she has, in fact, borrowed the seductive powers of Aphrodite.
Hera enhances the effect of her adornments with the help of deceptive words, which further enflame Zeus’ desire. When Zeus asks her where she is heading, she replies with the intention of tricking him (δολοφρονέουσα, 300): she is going to reconcile Oceanus and Tethys, who have long stood apart from lovemaking; she has only stopped by to inform him of this fact (301–311). She makes no mention, of course, of her real plans: she hopes that Zeus will insist on having sex with her, thus allowing Sleep to lull him into a post-coital slumber. Suspecting nothing, but taking his cue from Hera’s mention of lovemaking, Zeus makes a crass attempt to impress on her the urgency of his desire: he lists all the lovers that he has wanted less than he wants her at this moment (313–328). Again trying to trick him (δολοφρονέουσα, 329), Hera plays the coy lover and suggests that they retreat indoors (330–340). But Zeus can brook no delay: he promises to conceal their bodies in a golden cloud (342–345) so that they can make love there and then. As with Aphrodite in her Homeric Hymn, then, Hera’s appearance and speeches both seduce and deceive a potential sexual partner. [16]
From the evidence presented thus far, we see that the concepts of flowers and the ποικίλον are compatible with one another. But more specifically we observe a parallelism in the role of floral imagery and the ποικίλον in Homeric descriptions of erotic encounters: both are associated with seductive, deceptive bodies. Given the similar function of flowers and the ποικίλον in these scenes, we would expect that they convey similar concepts.
And indeed the concepts associated with the ποικίλον resemble certain characteristics of flowers in the Greek natural environment. As we saw at the head of this chapter, the root ποικιλ- is often associated with many-colored, shifting appearance. And when we bear in mind the characteristics of the Greek flora set out in my Introduction, we see that flowers would have been well suited for conveying such notions. The Greek spring landscape is strewn with many-colored carpets of flowers, which reflect the exceptional floral diversity of Greece. [17] Greek flowers also suggest the kind of shifting appearance that Detienne and Vernant associate with the adjective ποικίλος. The Greek spring is remarkable both for the sudden changes to the appearance of the landscape, caused by the brilliant blooming of its flowering plants, and for the equally sudden disappearance of those flowers. [18]
In addition to the characteristics of particular flowers, such as the Narcissus tazetta or N. papyraceus in the Hymn to Demeter, early audiences could draw on these more general characteristics of flowers to conceptualize the deceptive qualities of the erotic bodies described by the Homeric poets. It is not that Greek flowers are intrinsically deceptive. [19] But the many-colored, shifting qualities of spring landscapes offered a model for listeners to understand the mechanics of deception in the scenes that we have studied. The sudden, brilliant, short-lived blooms of Greek spring flowers provided a ready parallel for the cosmetically enhanced appearance of seductive bodies: that is, they would have helped audiences to envisage a particular kind of deception, based around attractive appearances. Like the Greek landscape, these bodies present attractive, short-lived surfaces. [20]
And like spring flowers on the Greek landscape, the attractive surfaces of these and other erotic bodies in the scenes that we have studied mask the more regular appearance of the gods and mortals in question. In spring, the arid landscape of Greece gives a fleeting impression of lush fertility. [21] Similarly, the erotic bodies of Homeric poetry mask their more regular appearance behind an attractive outer surface and thus beguile the viewer. Hyacinthine hair hides the regular appearance of the middle-aged Odysseus, much as a meadow of hyacinths spreads an attractive, colorful surface over the otherwise bland landscape. Hera or Aphrodite beautify themselves with a view to seducing a particular lover on a particular occasion. In this way, these erotic bodies possess the shifting qualities associated with the concept of the ποικίλον, which takes the place of floral imagery in episodes such as the Διὸς ἀπάτη.
Taking our cue from the concepts associated with the ποικίλον, then, we have come to understand how the Homeric poets were able to draw on the characteristics of flowers in the Greek natural environment to give their audiences a sense not only of the attractions of erotic bodies associated with flowers but also of their deceptive qualities. In accordance with the analyses of metaphor by George Lakoff et al., they thus used more concrete concepts drawn from the environment to help their audiences to understand more abstract concepts such as eroticism and deception. Listeners could picture the deceptiveness of erotic bodies in terms of the attractive, fleeting qualities of flowers in the world around them.


[ back ] 1. By analogy, the term ποικίλος can also suggest quickly changing mental states. See Detienne and Vernant 1978:18–19: it is associated with the “shimmering, shifting movement” of both deceptive appearances and mental states; see also Winkler 1990:167: “[i]t designates the quality of having many internal contrasts whether perceived by the eye or the mind.”
[ back ] 2. For associations of the ποικίλον with manufactured products, see Bolling 1958, duBois 1995:183–184, Snyder 1997:91–95, Naiden 1999:181–182, Hamilton 2001, Jackson 2002, Rinaudo 2009:25–46; for its associations with items from the natural environment, see Frontisi-Ducroux 1975:71, Giannini 2009:65–72, and n4 below.
[ back ] 3. Frontisi-Ducroux 1975:71, Giannini 2009:65–70.
[ back ] 4. LSJ s.v. ποικίλος A.1: “many-coloured, spotted, pied, dappled.” LSJ cites this passage of the Bacchae, in addition to a number of other passages of archaic and classical poetry that describe the dappled hides or skins of animals. See also Snell 1955–2010 s.v. ποικίλος 1: “naturgegeben: mehrfarbig gemustert, von Fell/Schuppenzeichnung im Tierreich.”
[ back ] 5. See also Odyssey 19.288, where the term ποικίλος is used of a fawn-skin on a brooch. In that passage the lexeme may refer to the object’s workmanship but could also evoke the dappled skin of a real animal (cf. Morris 1992:28).
[ back ] 6. Duigan (2004) reads Athena’s refusal to accept Hecuba’s offering of Sidonian robes at Iliad 6.288–311 as an example of her cunning ability to see through beguiling appearances. On that reading, the παμποίκιλοι robes would be associated with an (unsuccessful) deception. For associations of the root ποικιλ- with deceptive appearances, see below.
[ back ] 7. For the floral associations of the lexeme θρόνα, see the scholium to Theocritus 2.59 (Ὅμηρος … τὰ ῥόδα παρὰ τὸ ἄνω θορεῖν ἐκ της γῆς, “Homer [uses] thróna for roses, from leaping [thoreîn] up from the ground”: Wendel 1966:283) and Hesychius s.v. θρόνα and τρόνα, which Latte (1966) and Hansen and Cunningham (2009) understand as references to Iliad 22.441. Winkler (1990:172–174) is unusual among modern scholars in seeing Iliad 22.441 as a reference to “drugs.” In interpreting the lexeme in this way, he responds to the meaning of θρόνα in its Theocritean context, to the association of Andromache’s weaving at 22.441 with the verb πάσσω, and to the use of that same verb in connection with drugs elsewhere in the Iliad (4.219, 5.401, 900, 11.515, 830, and 15.394). He does not however take into account the explanations of the Homeric usage by the ancient authorities cited above. Nor is it clear how we could understand θρόνα at Iliad 22.441 in the context of Andromache’s weaving without some reference to decorative motifs. Other scholars accept a floral meaning of θρόνα at Iliad 22.441 without arguing for allusions to drugs in that passage: Jouanna 1999:108 (“plantes à fleurs”), Chantraine 1984–1990 s.v. θρόνα (“ornements tissés d’une étoffe, fleurs”), Beekes 2010 s.v. θρόνα (“‘flowers,’ as a decoration in woven tissues and embroidery”). Bolling (1958) offers a way to reconcile Theocritus’ usage of θρόνα to mean “drugs” and the translations of the lexeme by Hesychius and by the scholiast to Theocritus: Andromache’s flowers are a protective charm (cf. magical drugs) for Hector; see Rissman 1983:4–5 (discussed in n14 below) for a similar reading of the term ποι⎦κιλόθρο⎣ν’ at Sappho 1.1 Voigt, an epithet that may well have been inspired by the Homeric formula θρόνα ποικίλ’. For a second association of the root ποικιλ- with flowers in Sappho, see fr. 168c Voigt, where the verb ποικίλλω is used of the “many-wreathed earth”: ποικίλλεται μὲν / γαῖα πολυϲτέφανοϲ.
[ back ] 8. For this interpretation of the term κάλυκας, see Faulkner 2008 ad loc., who suspects that the earrings resemble flower buds. Similar imagery is found in Hymn 6, where the Seasons decorate Aphrodite with flowery earrings “of yellow copper and precious gold” (ἄνθεμ’ ὀρειχάλκου χρυσοῖό τε τιμήεντος, line 9). The hymn is a tale of seduction in miniature: after these preparations, the Seasons lead Aphrodite before the gods, each of whom instantly desires her as his wife (14–19).
[ back ] 9. See Faulkner 2008 on Hymn to Aphrodite 81–90: the postponement of the description of the necklaces until the meeting with Anchises “allows the audience to join more actively in [his] reaction of amazement at seeing the goddess.”
[ back ] 10. Such effects may be reinforced by Aphrodite’s speech (108–142), which we shall discuss below. Following the speech we hear that Ὣς εἰποῦσα θεὰ γλυκὺν ἵμερον ἔμβαλε θυμῷ / Ἀγχίσην δ’ ἔρος εἷλεν (143–144). The phrase Ἀγχίσην δ’ ἔρος εἷλεν, “and desire seized Anchises,” is repeated from line 91. Two different translations are possible for lines 143–144, depending on the way in which we understand the aorist participle εἰποῦσα: either “by speaking thus the goddess cast sweet desire in his heart, / and desire seized Anchises” or “having spoken thus …” If the former, her tale of abduction from the dance further rouses his desires; if the latter, she casts desire into his heart (γλυκὺν ἵμερον ἔμβαλε θυμῷ, 143) after finishing her speech, much as Zeus casts desire into her heart at line 53 (γλυκὺν ἵμερον ἔμβαλε θυμῷ). For Zeus’ manipulation of Aphrodite in the hymn, see n13 below.
[ back ] 11. The fact that Aphrodite has somehow concealed her appearance can be seen from Anchises’ contrasting reactions to her before and after their lovemaking. Aphrodite takes on the form of a maiden “lest, perceiving her with his eyes, he should take fright” (μή μιν ταρβήσειεν ἐν ὀφθαλμοῖσι νοήσας, 83). And while Anchises does not at first accept her disguise, he does not take fright at her appearance. Rather, on first encountering her “he wondered” at her (θαύμαινεν, 84). But later in the poem, Aphrodite reveals her true form, and her new appearance elicits a different reaction: “he took fright when he saw the neck and beautiful eyes of Aphrodite” and had to look away (ὡς δὲ ἴδεν δειρήν τε καὶ ὅμματα κάλ’ Ἀφροδίτης / τάρβησεν τε καὶ ὄσσε παρακλιδὸν ἔτραπεν ἄλλῃ, 181–182).
[ back ] 12. On the dangers of sex with a goddess in the hymn, see also Giacomelli 1980, Segal 1986:43–44, and Clay 2006:183. In a Homeric context, the adjective ἀμενηνός suggests a threat not merely to Anchises’ manhood but also to his life: see Chapters 8 and 9 below on the “heads without vigor” (ἀμενηνὰ κάρηνα), as the dead are described at Odyssey 10.521, 536, 11.29, 49.
[ back ] 13. In addition, the seduction of Anchises is part of a plan of Zeus to deceive Aphrodite herself: irritated by her boasting that she has made gods sleep with mortals, Zeus decides to have his revenge by casting desire for a mortal in her heart (45–52). Aphrodite later acknowledges that she has been led astray (lines 253–255). For the plans of Zeus in the Hymn to Aphrodite, see Clay 2006:152–201; on the deception of Aphrodite in the hymn, see de Jong 1989. For further discussion of the Hymn to Aphrodite, see Chapter 5 below.
[ back ] 14. For the equivalence of the associations of the lexeme ποικίλος in this scene and those of flowers in other scenes that we have studied, see Rissman 1983:4–5. Rissman suggests that Sappho, in giving Aphrodite the epithet ποι⎦κιλόθρο⎣ν’ (1.1 Voigt; cf. n7 above), alludes both to descriptions of the goddess’ flowery clothing, such as Cypria fr. 4 Bernabé, and specifically to the ἱμάς ποικίλος of Iliad 14.219–220, which Rissman interprets as a “love charm” (p. 4). On that reading, Sappho, herself an archaic Greek recipient of the Homeric poems, treats the Homeric images of flowers and of the ποικίλον as belonging to the same system of imagery and as possessing similar connotations.
[ back ] 15. πάρφασις carries connotations both of “persuasion” and of “deception.” This is clear from its context in Iliad 14 and from other usages of the lexeme. At 14.217, πάρφασις “steals” rather than simply “persuades,” and it wins over “even the wisest”: reason, then, is insufficient defense against its charms. At Iliad 11.793 and 15.404 a longer form of the lexeme, παραίφασις, is used of the “persuasion” that a comrade might bring to bear on Achilles (not necessarily through deceit). Odyssey 16.287 and 19.6 use the related verb πάρφημι of misleading words to the suitors: when they ask where the weapons from the hall have gone, Telemachus is to claim (falsely) that he has removed them for fear that they will be blackened with smoke or that the suitors will wound one another (16.288–294, 19.7–13).
[ back ] 16. For further discussion of the Διὸς ἀπάτη, see Chapter 4.
[ back ] 17. For the many-colored carpets of flowers in the Greek spring, see Strid and Tan 1997–2002 1:xx, Baumann 1993:10, Voliotis 1984. For the floral diversity of Greece, see Hughes 2014:17–18, Baumann 1993:10, Huxley and Taylor 1977:6. Some of our Homeric scenes indeed carry suggestions of floral diversity: the Hymn to Demeter lists elaborate catalogues of flowers that Korē and her companions are picking (6–8, 426–428); Aphrodite’s robes are dipped in many kinds of spring flower (Cypria fr. 4 Bernabé).
[ back ] 18. On the sudden bloom of Greek flowers, see Motte 1971:10, Braudel 1972:233, Huxley and Taylor 1977:21, 24, Polunin 1980:30–31, 37; see also Höhfeld 2008:39 on the Troad. For the brief duration of these blooms, see Polunin 1980:30-31, Voliotis 1984:135, and Baumann 1993:10.
[ back ] 19. Such perceptions of flowers were nonetheless possible. For the idea that flowery surfaces could be perceived as deceptive, see Chirassi (1968:91) on flowery meadows. According to Chirassi, the attractive, seductive surfaces of meadows were believed to hide death and violence. He states that “L’ ἱμερτὸς λειμών diventa l’ingannevole luogo del supplizio, l’obbligato passagio al compimento di un atto finale di morte” (“The desirable meadow becomes the deceptive locus of torment, the necessary passageway to the completion of the final act of death.”). For associations of flowery meadows with death in Homeric poetry, see Chapter 8 below.
[ back ] 20. Duigan (2004:79) suggests that the manufacture of brilliant, attractive jewelry to adorn the bodies of women was inspired by “[t]he colourful flowers of Greece,” which might also adorn the bodies of women.
[ back ] 21. Baumann 1993:10: “The Greek region … gives an impression of desert; only in spring does the ground become bedecked for a short period with a carpet of multicoloured flowers.”