Fighting Words and Feuding Words: Anger and the Homeric Poems

Chapter Two. Forms and Formulae

Kôtos in Its Noun Forms

{32|33} The formal details concerning the noun kótos are straightforward. The substantive kótos is attested six times in the Iliad and the Odyssey, each time in the accusative case. [1] Each of these instances occurs at the hephthemimeral caesura, in other words, always in the second hemistich of the verse and preceding the bucolic diaeresis. This particular placement of kótos is in accord with a well- known feature of formulaic style, namely that word end is typically found in this verse position. [2] These citations avoid the other positions in which a word shaped ⏑⏑ can be found. [3] I exclude from this set of instances the only other form of the noun found in our manuscripts of Homer, the dative singular at Il. 14.111: [4]

πείθεσθαι, καὶ μή τι κότῳ ἀγάσησθε ἕκαστος.

This line is anomalous with respect to Calchas’s definition. Besides presenting the only place in Homer where a form of kótos other than the accusative occurs, this is also one of the few places where the manuscript tradition gives the editor a choice of readings between khólos and kótos. For now I note that for Il. 14.111, few editors concern themselves with the question of whether khólōi is to be preferred to kótōi. From the point of view of frequency of use, kótōi seems to be the lectio difficilior. But, as I will show, Calchas’s definition provides a better solution for this textual problem. For, though khólos is often used to signify the particular kind of anger that is caused by offensive speech, kótos is never so used. The reading most consistent with Homeric style in the Iliad and the Odyssey is khólōi. Indeed, Eustathius reads khólōi, which suggests that he had a clear understanding of the difference between these two forms of anger. {33|34}

There are significant grammatical and phraseological features to be observed with reference to the noun kótos in the accusative case. For ease of reference, I reproduce below the lines in which these forms appear (as presented in Appendix 1):

Group 1
Il. 8.449 ὀλλυσαι Τρῶας, τοῖσιν κότον αἰνὸν ἔθεσθε
Il. 16.449 υἱέες ἀθανάτων, τοῖσιν κότον αἰνὸν ἐνήσεις
Od. 11.102 λήσειν ἐννοςίγαιον, ὅ τοι κότον ἔνθετο θυμῷ
Od. 13.342 πατροκασιγνήτῳ, ὅς τοι κότον ἔνθετο θυμῷ

Group 2
Il. 1.82 ἀλλά τε καὶ μετόπισθεν ἔχει κότον, ὄφρα τελέσσῃ
Il. 13.517 Δηὶφοβος· δὴ γάρ οἱ ἔχεν κότον ἐμμενὲς αἰεί

From these lines emerge the following features relating to the verse syntax of kótos.

A. In Groups 1 and 2, the dative object of the verb governing kótos explicitly points to the object of anger (toîsin, hoi, toi), except in Calchas’s definition (Il. 1.82), where tact or fear suppresses the implicit object (moi) of the kótos of the basileús (“king”). (See point B below.)

B. In each of the lines in both Groups 1 and 2, the figure who is either the subject or the object of anger is specifically named: Trôas, huiées athanátōn, ennosígaion, patrokasignḗtōi, Dēíphobos. Calchas’s definition (Il. 1.80-84) emerges as the one exception to this formal tendency. So as to avoid mentioning his own role in the matter, Calchas has deliberately put his words in a general form and deletes his own name. In this case, as in point A above, the exception is motivated by the rhetorical context, a feature highlighted by the way that the poet fills out the line with particles and an adverb. The formulaic anomaly is thus a product of narrative rhetoric. This point is important, since modern readers are often inclined to see either Calchas or Achilles or both as deliberately provoking Agamemnon. In this passage, Calchas tries to avoid angering Agamemnon by suppressing the name of the subject and object of kótos.

D. Group 1 has a dative object placed immediately before kóton, the main verb occurring immediately thereafter. {34|35}

E. Group 2 is subjective, because its focus is on the person who has kótos; and Group 1 is objective, because its focus is on the entity against whom kótos is directed.

F. Each line in Group 1 involves the kótos that a god is “placing on” (with forms of títhēmi) or “inspiring in” (cf. Cunliffe on enhíēmi with the dative) a mortal or mortals, while in Group 2 the kótos is that of mortal against mortal.

Discussion of Phrases Based on the Noun

In my consideration of the formulaic contexts for the substantive kótos, I continue to focus on the way in which the various examples support or fail to support the features that Calchas associates with kótos in Il. 1.74-83.

Κότος + αἰνóς

Given the prevalence of ainós with these highly charged words relating to war, is there anything that can be said about the two occurrences of kóton ainón? In her discussion of ákhos, F. Mawet (1979, 316) says that “l’épithète caractéristique d’ákhos est ainón … Cette adjectif confère aux substantifs qu’il qualifie un aspect d’épouvante et d’horreur.” Can her observations cast light on the use of ainós with kótos? This question is in part methodological, so I turn to a point of method beyond the lexicography of single words:

When a poet’s units of expression are not single words but metrically fixed groups of words, and when these groups of words have existed before him in a tradition, any single word has maintained or acquired in time a sense which is more rigid, resonant, and intricate than it might be for a poet who lacks such a medium.

(Muellner 1976, 15)

In the first instance, Hera and Athena are being chided by Zeus for pursuing their violence against the Trojans, a violence rooted in kótos:

τίφθ’ οὕτω τετίησθον, Ἀθηναίη τε καὶ Ἥρη;
οὐ μέν θην κάμετόν γε μάχῃ ἔνι κυδιανείρῃ
ὀλλῦσαι Τρῶας, τοῖσιν κότον αἰνὸν ἔθεσθε.

(Il. 8.447-49) {35|36}

Then why are you two so upset, Athena and Hera? It can’t be that you were worn out in the man-glorying battle, destroying Trojans, against whom you have set a terrible kótos .

Hera throws this phrase back at Zeus in Book 16, when she compels him to abandon Sarpedon:

πολλοὶ γὰρ περὶ ἄστυ μέγα Πριάμοιο μάχονται
υἱέες ἀθανάτων, τοῖσιν κότον αἰνὸν ἐνήσεις.

(Il. 16.448-49)

Many are the sons of the immortals in battle about the great city of Priam, against whom you will incite terrible kótos .

In each of these passages, the speaker sets the kótos against the background of the actual fighting by referring to the battle itself (mákhēi in Il. 8.448 and mákhontai in Il. 16.448). And in each case kótos is used as a kind of argument that the battle itself is only the immediate environment within which the conflict is played out. Kótos is thus employed as Calchas used it in Il. 1.73-84, as a limiting term that puts the immediate context in perspective, a perspective that, in the light of Zeus’s ironic criticism of Hera and Athena, refers to the origin of the war. [

Thus kótos is here related to the Trojan War not as effect to cause but as background to foreground. The war is the backdrop from which the rigors of kótos emerge. On the mortal level, Hera and Athena inspire a kótos ainós among the Trojans; and it is of further significance for Calchas’s definition that Zeus alludes to the exhausting duration of the struggle: ou mén thēn kámetón ge (Il. 8.448). On the immortal level, Hera succeeds, in Book 16, in turning the tables on Zeus, when kótos ainós (Il. 16.449) comes to be a potential threat among the gods precisely because their sons fight in the Trojan War. But does grief motivate kótos here? No: kótos does not arise out of concern for death in battle. Indeed, Hera had already pointed out that Zeus’s sentimental attachment to Sarpedon posed a serious threat to divine order:

αἰνότατε Κρονίδη, ποῖον τὸν μῦθον ἔειπες.
ἄνδρα θνητὸν ἐόντα, πάλαι πεπρωμένον αἴσῃ,
ἂψ ἐθέλεις θανάτοιο δυσηχέος ἐξαναλῦσαι.

(Il. 16.440-42)

Most terrible [ainótate!] son of Kronos, what a word this is you speak! A man, being mortal, long since doomed by fate—that’s whom you wish to save from thunderous death.

In speaking to Zeus, Hera most often addresses him with the vocative phrase ainótate Kronídē (6 times); only Hera uses this formula in speaking to Zeus. [
11] In {36|37} this case, given the threat that his concerns for Sarpedon have initiated, it is understandable that Zeus should be one possessed of ainós to the superlative degree. In Hera’s assessment, the threat Zeus poses is to one of the basic aspects of fate: the time assigned for an individual’s life, here indicated by an ancient formula (pálai peprōménon aísēi, Il. 16.441). In consequence, the gods, subject to fate as they are, would deeply resent Zeus’s invoking of special privilege to save his darling. [12] I conclude that the association of kótos with ainós may suggest a formulaic linkage of the phrase’s two elements (kótos and ainós) with matters that continue without interruption until they reach a télos. In other words, the formula kóton ainón is consistent with Calchas’s definition.

Κότος + ἔχω

In Appendix 1, Group 2, Il. 1.82 and Il. 13.517 (also cited above) suggest, especially in the light of Calchas’s definition, that kótos has characteristically an extended power of duration. This observation is consistent with the use of the verb ékhō indicating the persistence of the state of anger. That ékhō has this function with kótos can be supported by glancing at Group 6 (in Appendix 1), where we find the phrase that the formula kekotēóti thumôi occurs four times.

The duration of kótos emerges as an issue in both lines cited as Group 2 (Il. 1.82 and 13.517). Both these lines indicate explicitly that duration is a characteristic of kótos. The first line (Il. 1.82) is from Calchas’s speech, where Calchas seems particularly worried about this kind of anger especially because it cannot be finished in a day’s time, as I demonstrated through a discussion of metópisthe and télos (see my Introduction and Chapter 1). Because the second example (Il. {37|38} 13.517) seems puzzling, it needs special treatment here. For, although that line points to the length of kótos (through emmenès aieí), the cause of that anger remains ambiguous in its immediate narrative context. To address this problem, I will first look at other passages where duration is explicitly put forward as a mark of kótos, and then return to Il. 13.517 so as to provide a solution to the problems it seems to pose.

Κóτος + θυμóς

In the last section, we looked at the formula kekotēóti thumôi in Od. 19.71 (the other attestations of this phrase occurring at Il. 21.456, Od. 9.501, and Od. 22.477). A review of the passages cited above in Group 1 (Appendix 1) also indicates that kótos is linked with thumós in the phrase kóton éntheto thumôi (Od. 11.102 and Od. 3.342). Indeed, there are other formulaic contexts in which kótos and thumós are related. For example, kótos is semantically linked to thumós in a phrase like (Il. 14.191) ēé ken arnḗsaio kotessaménē tó ge thumôi (“or would you deny [me] out of kótos in your heart”). {38|39}

Syntax, Context, and Meaning

I conclude my examination of Groups 1 and 2 by reviewing syntactic features of these lines that indicate the formulaic coherence of phrases involving kótos. For all the examples in Group 1, the entire section of the line after the caesura (including the kótos phrase) is a complete clause. Furthermore, with the exception of Calchas’s line (Il. 1.82), all the lines in Groups 1 and 2 can be schematized in a way to show a formular style supported by the syntax:

{TARGET of kótos} + kóton + {PREDICATION}

Here the details that fill in the structure distinguish among the culturally important differences between gods and men: gods actively dispense kótos (as shown by the verbs títhēmi and híēmi), while mortals only hold or maintain it, as can be seen schematically in Table 2.1.

Table 2.1. Distinctions between mortals and gods in regards to kótos

GODS τίθημι [no marker]
MORTALS ἔχω μετόπισθε
    ἐμμενὲς αἰεί

In the following simile, for example, Odysseus and Diomedes are seen to press on relentlessly against Dolon:

ὡς δ’ ὅτε καρχαρόδοντε δύω κύνε, εἰδότε θήρης,
ἢ κεμάδ’ ἠὲ λαγωὸν ἐπείγετον ἐμμενὲς αἰεὶ {40|41}
χῶρον ἀν’ ὑλήενθ’, ὁ δέ τε προθέῃσι μεμηκώς,
ὥς τὸν Τυδείδης ἠδ’ ὁ πτολίπορθος Ὀδυσσεὺς
λαοῦ ἀποτμήξαντε διώκετον ἐμμενὲς αἰεί.

(Il. 10.360-64)

As when two sharp-toothed dogs, at the sight of prey—either a deer or a hare—press on emmenès aieí through the forested space, and it rushes ahead shrieking, thus did those two, Diomedes and city-sacking Odysseus, cut him off from the host and pursue him emmenès aieí .

Here the phrase emmenès aieí forcefully presents the characteristic tenacity of the hunting dogs; indeed, the phrase emmenès aieí (“steadfastly without ceasing”) is embedded in both parts of the simile. This simile, like an ecphrastic tableau, presents the generic pursuit of prey by predator in order to visualize the pursuit of Dolon by the Achaeans. There is, we might say, something basic being claimed for the running down of Dolon. It is not merely that aieí conveys the force of “always,” but that “always” conveys the notion of an innately predisposed activity. Even though the actual event is merely a single instance of pursuit during a hunt, the scene is presented as continual. [

A similar concern drives the use of the phrase emmenès aieí in the Cyclops episode of the Odyssey. Odysseus and his companions are turning the stake in Polyphemus’s eye, when, through a simile, the narrative pictures the turning and pushing motion:

ὀφθαλμῷ ἐνέρεισαν· ἐγὼ δ’ ἐφύπερθεν ἀερθεὶς
δίνεον, ὠς ὅτε τις τρυπῷ δόρυ νήιον ἀνὴρ
τρυπάνῳ, οἱ δέ τ’ ἔνερθεν ὑποσσείουσιν ἱμάντι
ἁψάμενοι ἑκάτερθε, τὸ δὲ τρέχει ἐμμενὲς αἰεί.

(Od. 9.383-86)

They pushed [the stake] in the eye; but I lifted from above and turned it, as when a man pierces with an auger the ship’s timber, and from beneath they whirl it around with a strap, laying hold of it on each side, and it revolves emmenès aieí .

The turning of the stake is presented as emmenès aieí, as an event in process, one that is continual and relentless. In this last passage, the particular turning motion of the trúpanon (“auger”) may apply to the immediate action of the shipwright in the simile. But the generic force of the phrase works well here just as it does in the Dolon episode. The force of emmenès aieí is generic and produces an image of the drill running deeply forever into the timber.


The phrase emmenès aieí points to the long-lasting nature of the action being described. Penelope’s use of this phrase emphasizes the long-standing and relentless exploitation of her oîkos by the suitors. So too the Achaeans’ pursuit of Dolon is magnified by the simile in which predator hunts down its prey in a vision rooted in nature. These examples corroborate the conclusion I came to above in Chapter 1, namely, that the kótos in Il. 13.517 specifically refers to just such a context of extensive duration, where that anger term highlights the extraordinary duration of the conflict between the rivals for Helen.

Kótos in its Verbal Forms: The Boundaries of the Aorist

Discussion of phrases

Khalepós and derivatives

This picture of anger should be expanded to include ópis and its derivatives that Watkins neatly correlates with mênis. [42] Kótos also occurs with ópis (another word for anger):

ὅτε δὴ ἄνδρεσσι κοτεσσάμενος χαλεπήνῃ
οἳ βίῃ εἰν ἀγορῇ σκολιὰς κρίνωσι θέμιστας,
ἐκ δὲ δίκην ἐλάσωσι, θεῶν ὄπιν οὐκ ἀλέγοντες.

(Il. 16.386-88)

Since he [Zeus] had kótos and came to be enraged against the mortals who had made judgments violently in the community, crooked judgments, and because they drove out justice, and did not revere the ópis of the gods.

Kótos and ópis serve here to underscore the severity of Zeus’s wrath, precisely because of their relationship to terms such as díkē. [
43] Compare this with Hermes’ warning to Calypso that she must send Odysseus home or face the anger of Zeus:

οὕτω νῦν ἀπόπεμπε, Διὸς δ’ ἐποπίζεο μῆνιν,
μή πώς τοι μετόπισθε κοτεσσάμενος χαλεπήνῃ.

(Od. 5.146-47)

Thus dispatch [him] now, and revere the wrath of Zeus, lest in the future, out of kótos , he come to be angry.

This passage seems almost distilled so as to contain the most ominous of Homeric words for anger (especially ópis, mênis, and kótos). [
44] Hermes might well muster the strongest possible warning, since Calypso is hardly eager to send off Odysseus; she even makes excuses (Od. 5.140-43) and resents being cheated of her mortal pet (Od. 5.119). Hence he alerts her in detail about Zeus’s anger down to what is according to Calchas (Il. 1.82) a chief defining characteristic of kótos, the matter of time: metópisthe.

Both passages show how the concept of anger is refined to a specific meaning through the use of marked terms to focus the thematic value of more generic {44|45} words such as khalepaínō. In each of these cases, Zeus’s kótos is thematized as the motivation causing him to “bear it ill” (khalepaínō). The second passage also alludes to Zeus’s power but in a context where kótos plays a prominent part, a feature I will be examine closely in my analysis of the phrase kekotēóti thumōi.

A Whole Line Formula: hērṓōn, toîsín te kotéssetai obrimopátrē

The repeated phrase kotéssetai obrimopátrē occurs in arming scenes where Athena has just taken up her spear, with the form kotéssetai focussing the description of her spear through a specification of its function. [46] After putting her helmet on and climbing into her chariot, Athena takes up her spear just before Hera grabs the reins to drive the two goddesses to Zeus in order to persuade him that Ares should be stopped:

ἐς δ’ ὄχεα φλόγεα ποσὶ βήσετο, λάζετο δ’ ἔγχος
βριθὺ μέγα στιβαρόν, τῷ δάμνησι στίχας ἀνδρῶν
ἡρώων, οἷσιν τε κοτέσσεται ὀβριμοπάτρη.
Ἥρη δὲ μάστιγι θοῶς ἐπεμαίετ’ ἄρ’ ἵππους·
αὐτόμαται δὲ πύλαι μύκον οὐρανοῦ, ἃς ἔχον Ὧραι,
τῇς ἐπιτέτραπται μέγας οὐρανὸς Οὔλυμπός τε,
ἠμὲν ἀνακλῖναι πυκνὸν νέφος ἠδ’ ἐπιθεῖναι.
τῇ ῥα δι’ αὐτάων κεντρηνεκέας ἔχον ἵππους.

(Il. 5.745-52 = Il. 8.389-96)

She climbed on the blazing chariot, and she took up the spear, heavy, great, massive; with it she subdues the ranks of men, of heroes, those against whom she, whose father is powerful, has kótos . And Hera quickly struck the horses with the whip. And the sky’s doors creaked on their own, those maintained by the Horai, to whom are entrusted the great sky and Olympus, to open up the thick cloud or to close it again. And right through there they drove their goaded horses.

These lines occur in a doublet [
47] each pointing to the kótos of Athena, but in neither case is it clear why this particular kind of anger is highlighted when Athena {45|46} takes up her speech. Can it be that kótos belongs to the generic force of Athena in epic, every bit as much as her spear or her helmet? [48]

Yes, as can be seen from a pair of lines that themselves seem to be a unit:

βριθὺ μέγα στιβαρόν, τῷ δάμνησι στίχας ἀνδρῶν
ἡρώων, οἷσίν τε κοτέσσεται ὀβριμοπάτρη.

These lines in their balance and verbal artistry help us to go further into the sense of obrimopátrē. Note the repetition of initial syllables sti barón and stí khas, and the framing of the couplet by the repetition of the initial syllable bri- of bri thú in o bri mopátrē, [
49] in each case the symmetry being reinforced by the sequence –ī-/-i-. In other words, the structure of this couplet draws on the traditional convention of ring-composition, with the asyndetic string of adjectives and the resonance of brithú with obrimo- at the beginning and end of the structure. [50] Do these two lines have the earmarks of a ritual or cultic collocation signifying Athena? [51] In each of these cases (Il. 5.746-47, Il. 8.390, and cf. Od. 1.100), Athena’s role as tamer of the ranks of men is pointed to by a generic statement, [52] signaled by the subjunctive and the gnomic te. [53] Furthermore, in neither case does the kótos referred to have an immediate referent in the narrative’s context: in Iliad 5 Athena and Hera are angry at Ares, not at the stíkhas andrôn; and Iliad 7 emphasizes the goddesses’ anger at Zeus, not at the Trojan mortals. Finally, in the beginning of the Odyssey, Athena’s attempt to help Telemachus does not motivate her kótos in any direct sense.

Before leaving the wrath of Athena, look more closely at the way that her kótos can be said to correspond with Calchas’s definition. The passages from the Iliad are doublets in which Hera and Athena prepare to assist the Greeks, who are being routed by the Trojans in fulfillment of the Diòs boulḗ (“the plan of Zeus”). In the first passage Hera outfits the chariot (Il. 5.729-32); then Athena arms (Il. 5.733-47); finally, the arming scene is completed by her assumption of her énkhos described in this traditional couplet. [57] But why are the stíkhas andrôn hērṓōn deserving of her violence? Perhaps the answer lies in the meaning of kótos, which functions as the term for a long-term anger. In this case the reference is to the war at large. That the two goddesses are motivated by such a general concern is clear in the words of Hera, spoken just before the arming and the preparation of the chariot:

ὢ πόποι, αἰγιόχοιο Διὸς τέκος Ἀτρυτώνη,
ἦ ῥ’ ἅλιον τὸν μῦθον ὑπέστημεν Μενελάῳ,
Ἴλιον ἐκπέρσαντ’ εὐτείχεον ἀπονέεσθαι,
εἰ οὕτω μαίνεσθαι ἐάσομεν οὖλον Ἄρηα.

(Il. 5.714-17)

O,Atrutone, child of aegis-bearing Zeus, vain was that profound promise we made to Menelaus, that having sacked well-built Ilium we would return, seeing that we now let deadly Ares rage.

The promise (hupéstēmen) alluded to here was made in the form of a mûthos, a term Richard Martin has clearly shown refers to an authoritative speech-act by one in power. [
58] So this promise by Hera and Athena to Menelaus is a serious matter, even though it is outside the immediate context; indeed, the content of the promise is succinctly phrased: they are to sack Troy (Ílion ekpérsant’ euteíkheon) and to return home (aponéesthai), the effective reference of the pair of phrases being the Iliad and the Odyssey themselves. [59]

In summary, the promise to Menelaus functions as a cause of the two major Homeric traditions that culminate in our Iliad and Odyssey, so that this passage refers to a point near the outbreak of the war and the allegiances and promises made at the war’s inception. If the promise is to be fulfilled, it will be at a level appropriate to kótos, an anger that temporally and geographically goes beyond any individual’s local concerns. The doublet at Il. 8.391 has a similar value, where kótos refers to Athena’s generic propensity to subdue human beings, also manifest in Od. 1.101, when she is about to visit Ithaca. For the moment, remember that the two Iliadic examples of this formula allude to the hatred of Athena and Hera for the Trojans. Once again, kótos refers to the roots of the basic conflict of the poems, the feud-like aggression that we call the Trojan War. {47|48}

Let me return to the epithet of Athena used with kótos. Note that the epithet itself, obrimopátrē, is used in two other places in the Odyssey, each having to do with anger. The anger of Athena occurs significantly in Nestor’s account of the failed nóstos that he tried to provide Odysseus and the others. [60] One of the causes of the failure is the mênis of Athena:

τῶ σφεων πολέες κακὸν οἶτον ἐπέσπον
μήνιος ἐξ ὀλοῆς γλαυκώπιδος ὀβριμοπάτρης,
ἥ τ’ ἔριν Ἀτρεḯδῃσιν μετ’ ἀμφοτέροισιν ἔθηκε.

(Od. 3.134-36)

Many of them reached a horrible end because of the deadly mênis of the greyeyed one whose father is powerful (obrimopátrēs), and she made strife between the Atreids.

This mênis is aimed at Oilean Ajax for raping Cassandra in Athena’s sacred domain, so her wrath ends up providing a source of strife among the Atreids. In the Odyssey, Athena is called obrimopátrē (“she whose father is powerful”) immediately as Zeus’s lightning bolt falls at the feet of the contenders, the members of the house of Odysseus and the surviving relatives of the suitors:

καὶ τότε δὴ Κρονίδης ἀφίει ψολόεντα κεραυνόν,
κὰδ δ’ ἔπεσε πρόσθε γλαυκώπιδος ὀβριμοπάτρης.

(Od. 24.539-40)

And then the son of Kronos cast off a smoldering bolt, and it fell at the feet of the grey-eyed one, whose father is powerful.

Here Athena’s role as the “daughter of the powerful father” (obrimopátrēs) is highlighted because she has just, on her own, tried to squelch the battle between the two rival groups (Od. 24.529-35), but it takes the lightning bolt of Zeus to get Odysseus to back off, at which point Athena discloses that the real issue is the anger of Zeus:

διογενὲς Λαερτιάδη, πολυμήχαν’ Ὀδυσσεῦ,
ἴσχεο, παῦε δὲ νεῖκος ὁμοιίου πτολέμοιο,
μή πώς τοι Κρονίδης κεχολώσεται εὐρύοπα Ζεύς.

(Od. 24.542-44)

Laertes’ son, descended of gods, craft-ridden Odysseus, hold it! Stop the contention of balanced war, lest wide-browed Zeus, the son of Kronos, be in a state of khólos .

Thus Athena here prevents the khólos of her father against Odysseus, whom she is trying to protect. Indeed, this activity resembles those instances of mênis that {48|49} are mentioned only as potential and “le but est toujours de ne pas la provoquer.” [

Thus, we have the epithet obrimopátrē alongside three different forms of anger, khólos, kótos, and mênis, so it is worthwhile to summarize the connection between the epithet and its possible congeners. The first term of the possessive compound obrimo-pátrē points to the semantics of force. In particular, o-brimo- is to be set alongside forms like brímē (-i-), bríthō (-i-), if we accept the short -i- of obrimopátrē as coming in by analogy with adjectives in -imos, such as álkimos, [62] and if we accept the initial o-. [63] There are thematic reasons for making these moves as well. The following lines from Homeric Hymn 28 show Athena’s power to quake Olympus, almost a gloss on the Homeric couplet under discussion:

σείσασ’ ὀξὺν ἄκοντα· μέγας δ’ ἐλελίζέτ’ Ὄλυμπος
δεινὸν ὑπὸ βρίμης γλαυκώπιδος

(Homeric Hymn 28.9-10 [Allen 1936, 88])

Shaking her sharp spear; and great Olympus was shaking terribly beneath her, “the powerful grey-eyed one.”

The elements analogous to the Homeric lines include the suppression of the name Athena, the use of the epithet glaukṓpidos (“grey-eyed”) together with a form based on bri-, indicating force, and the spear as a metonymic identification of her force. In addition, Zeus is mentioned at the end of this passage. [
64] The power of Athena in such passages is related to anger, if we accept a connection between obrimo- and the anger sense of words like brīmáomai. [65] Finally, note that by comparing the instances of the epithet obrimopátrē, we see that kótos is contrasted with both mênis and khólos, because the latter two have specific reference within the immediate narrative context, whereas the form based on kótos is rooted in Athena’s mythic relationship with mortals and the basic issues of the Trojan conflict. It is becoming, thus, increasingly clear that kótos is a marked term in Homeric diction, one that demands a reference point beyond the current conflicts of the narrative’s action.

Zeus’s kótos resembles Hera’s kótos for the Trojans, [70] to which Zeus refers when he addresses Athena and Hera in these words:

τίφθ’ οὕτω τετίησθον, Ἀθηναίη τε καὶ Ἥρη;
οὐ μέν θην κάμετόν γε μάχῃ ἔνι κυδιανείpῃ
ὀλλῦσαι Τρῶας, τοῖσιν κότον αἰνὸν ἔθεσθε.

(Il. 8.447-49)

Then why are you two so upset, Athena and Hera? It can’t be that you were worn out in the man-glorying battle, destroying Trojans, against whom you have set a terrible kótos . {50|51}

Zeus characterizes Hera’s motivation for kótos, without citing an explicit source. Now set this passage beside another earlier section where Zeus characterizes the wrath of Hera as not kótos but khólos.

δαιμονίη, τί νύ σε Πρίαμος Πριάμοιό τε παῖδες
τόσσα κακὰ ῥέζουσιν, ὅ τ’ ἀσπερχὲς μενεαίνεις
’Ιλίου ἐξαλαπάξαι ἐυκτίμενον πτολίεθρον;
εἰ δὲ σύ γ’ εἰσελθοῦσα πύλας καὶ τείχεα μακρὰ
ὠμὸν βεβρώθοις Πρίαμον Πριάμοιό τε παῖδας
ἄλλους τε Τρῶας, τότε κεν χόλον ἐξακέσαιο.

(Il. 4.31-36)

Bold one, how many evils have Priam and the children of Priam done to you, that you rage incessantly against them to sack the well-built citadel of Ilium? I suppose if you had arrived at the gates and great walls and had eaten Priam and the children of Priam and the rest of the Trojans raw, then you would have cured your khólos .

Here and in Il. 8.447-49 Zeus challenges female divinities who are supporting the Greeks. And in both cases he suggests that anger has gone far enough. But in the passage from Iliad 4 (Il. 4.31-36), immediately after the duel between Paris and Menelaus, Zeus cites Hera’s khólos; in Il. 8.447-49 he refers to a kótos shared between Hera and Athena.

Are khólos and kótos, at least in this doublet, to be taken as synonyms? On the contrary, these two passages, when read together, reproduce the concern felt by Calchas for the anger of the basileús; the parallels corroborate Calchas’s definition in the following manner.

On this interpretation, this doublet is hierarchically ordered. Just as Calchas first explicates the danger of the khólos of the basileús, so in the first scene of this pair, Homer has Zeus focus on Hera’s khólos. In the second scene, Zeus confronts the queenly goddesses with the limits of their kótos, even as Calchas emphasized the severe danger that Agamemnon’s kótos would mean for the prophet.

Support for this last point is available in the controversial passage in which the second line of Group 3 occurs:

πρόσσω ἱέμενοι, ἐπὶ δ’ Ἕκτορι κέκλετο θυμός·
ἵετο γὰρ βαλέειν· τὸν δ’ ἔκφερον ὠκέες ἵπποι.
ὡς δ’ ὑπὸ λαίλαπι πᾶσα κελαινὴ βέβριθε χθὼν
ἤματ’ ὀπωρινῷ, ὅτε λαβρότατον χέει ὕδωρ
Ζεὺς, ὅτε δή ῥ’ ἄνδρεσσι κοτεσσάμενος χαλεπήνῃ,
οἳ βίῃ εἰν ἀγορῇ σκολιὰς κρίνωσι θέμιστας,
ἐκ δὲ δίκην ἐλάσωσι, θεῶν ὄπιν οὐκ ἀλέγοντες·
τῶν δέ τε πάντες μὲν ποταμοὶ πλήθουσι ῥέοντες,
πολλὰς δὲ κλιτῦς τότ’ ἀποτμήγουσι χαράδραι,
ἐς δ’ ἅλα πορφυρέην μεγάλα στενάχουσι ῥέουσαι.
ἐξ ὀρέων ἐπὶ κάρ, μινύθει δέ τε ἔργ’ ἀνθρώπων·
ὣς ἵπποι Τρῳαὶ μεγάλα στενάχοντο θέουσαι.

(Il. 16.382-93)

[Achilles’ horses] pushing forward, and his spirit drove [Patroclus] against Hector. For he was eager to shoot; but the swift horses carried him away. Just as under a storm the whole dark earth is oppressed on an autumn day, when Zeus pours down the fiercest torrent, since with kótos he bears it ill against those men, who violently make crooked judgments in the public space, and who then drive out justice, not heeding thus the consideration of the gods. Their rivers, all of them, are jammed in their flow, and the ravines cut through many a hillside, and greatly roaring they flow to the purple sea, straight down from the mountains, and human affairs are diminished. Thus the Trojan mares loudly groaned in their rushing.

Zeus’s kótos here results in the destruction of mortal culture in a broad sense: minúthei dé te érg’ anthrṓpōn (“and the works of mortals are diminished”). [
76] This theme is in perfect accord with Agamemnon’s prediction that Troy will fall because of the breaking of the oaths; the mention of Zeus’s kótos here is a clear allusion to the kótos of Zeus Xenios. In fact, this destructive anger of Zeus is also referred to by Aeneas in his exhortation to Pandarus (Il. 4.168). [77] {52|53} [78] Finally, the relevance of the simile to its context is striking, given the kótos of Zeus in Book 4, as we have just studied it. Zeus’s storm, instigated by a community’s violation of díkē, causes the river to rush and flood, signaling the diminution of the érga anthrṓpōn; so too Patroclus pursues Hector and the Trojan horses who are pushed to the breaking point. The simile provides a reference to the kótos that will finally engulf the Trojans, even though within the Patrocleia, Troy comes to have the upper hand. [79]

So Zeus’s kótos, stemming as it does from a violation of a divinely sanctioned human institution, must not take precedence over his plan with regard to Achilles. Thus his kótos is not stressed. In fact, it is only directly mentioned once in the Iliad and then only by Agamemnon, who often doubts his own ability to read divine facts. Instead, the kótos against the Trojans is handled by Athena and Hera as in, for example, Il. 8.448-49 and Il. 18.367. Meanwhile, the passages where Zeus has kótos point to the traditional history outside the Iliad‘s plot.

The next passage, the third example of kotessámenos in Group 3, is the last line of a conversation between Zeus and Hera just before Hephaestus is asked by Thetis to make the shield of Achilles. As the two gods watch the ritual preparation of the body of Patroclus (Il. 18.343-55), Zeus suggests to Hera that there must be some connection between Hera and the birth of the Achaeans for events are moving so in their favor that Achilles is about to return to battle. Such words—tokens of praise—ring hollow in the funereal context, but Hera’s rejoinder makes use of kótos in a way that clarifies how she perceives this anger. Kótos, as we remember from Calchas’s definition, needs to have its télos, which in the case of Ilium, means the destruction of the city of Priam. So Hera emphasizes the need for a télos in life’s endeavors. Why, even mortals need to have a télos (Il. 18.362)! Furthermore, while Zeus is king of the gods, the elder sister and wife of Zeus should be able to weave evils against those for whom she has kótos:

πῶς δὴ ἔγω γ’, ἥ φημι θεάων ἔμμεν ἀρίστη,
ἀμφότερον, γενεῇ τε καὶ οὕνεκα σὴ παράκοιτις
κέκλημαι, σὺ δὲ πᾶσι μετ’ ἀθανάτοισιν ἀνάσσεις,
οὐκ ὄφελον Τρώεσσι κοτεσσαμένη κακὰ ῥάψαι;

(Il. 18.364-67)

How is it that I, who boast to be the best of the goddesses, in two ways, both by birth and because I am your wife, and you rule over all the immortals—how {53|54} ought I not weave evils for the Trojans, kotessaménē (“seeing that I am enraged”)?

We see here the major themes of kótos engaged by Hera to make her point about her prerogatives regarding the Trojan War. Her right to make trouble for the Trojans through kótos is parallel to Zeus’s role as ánaks (Il. 18.366), and it is also related to her authority as the theáōn arístē (“best of the goddesses”). As far as kótos goes, the queen’s role is as important as the king’s in determining anger’s victims. [

Kótos in its Verbal Forms: The Reduplicated Perfect

Discussion of Phrases

The repeated phrase kekotēóti thumôi (“with a heart full of wrath”) refers the narrative to the larger significance of the Trojan War outside the Iliad’s specific concern with the quarrel between Achilles and Agamemnon. When kótos occurs in the Iliad it can refer to the fall of Troy, or to the events that lead up to the fall, or to the cause of Troy’s destruction. When it occurs three times in the Odyssey, its reference is to that poem’s overarching concern with the potential fall of the house of Odysseus.

Let me begin with the one occurrence of kekotēóti thumôi from the Iliad. Here Poseidon recalls for Apollo that they both served the Trojans in the building of the wall:

νηπύτι’, ὡς ἄνοον κραδίην ἔχες· οὐδέ νυ τῶν περ
μέμνηαι, ὅσα δὴ πάθομεν κακὰ Ἴλιον ἀμφὶ
μοῦνοι νῶι θεῶν, ὅτ’ ἀγήνορι Λαομέδοντι
πὰρ Διὸς ἐλθόντες θητεύσαμεν εἰς ἐνιαυτὸν
μισθῷ ἔπι ῥητῷ · ὁ δὲ σημαίνων ἐπέτελλεν.
ἤτοι ἐγὼ Τρώεσσι πόλιν πέρι τεῖχος ἔδειμα,
εὐρύ τε καὶ μάλα καλόν.

(Il. 21.441-47)

Foolish one, how unthinking is your heart! And you do not even remember those very things that we suffered, the number of ills, around Ilium, we two alone of the gods, when we slaved for man-leader Laomedon, having arrived here from Zeus, for a year’s time and for set pay. And he made it clear and he gave the orders. Yes, it was I who built the wall around the city for the Trojans, both wide and truly good.

Thus, Poseidon builds a wall for Troy and Apollo tends the flocks (Il. 21.44649). But Laomedon cheats the gods:

νῶι δέ τ’ ἄψορροι κίομεν κεκοτηότι θυμῷ,
μισθοῦ χωόμενοι, τὸν ὑποστὰς οὐκ ἐτέλεσσε.

(Il. 21.456-57)

But we two gods went on back with a thumós full of kótos , angry for the payment, which he had promised us but had not delivered.

One could hope for no more explicit explanation of the meaning of kótos than that displayed by this scene. The failure of Laomedon to meet the agreed-upon fee (misthòs rhētós, Il. 21.445) is parallel to the earlier breaking of the oaths in {55|56} Iliad 3-4; the connection with télos is continued in etélesse, in its special meaning of “pay.” Here and in Iliad 4, contracts or oaths are violated or left unfulfilled, with the further implication in this passage that a promise (hupostás, Il. 21.457) has been broken. Moreover, the promise and contract, whose dissolution provokes kótos, takes place in the context of human work, the building of a city’s fortifications and the resolution of conflict through a duel between the most interested parties. Kótos turns out to be a political term, such that, even when the gods are involved, the center of attention is human culture, the activities of human actors in the real world. [
87] Furthermore, the kótos is lodged between two members of two different levels related to each hierarchically, as they are within Calchas’s definition. Compare here, for a parallel that supports this reading, the passage in Group 6, from Odyssey 19, where Melantho thinks that, as the social superior, she can berate her supposed inferior, the disguised Odysseus. Instead he gets the best of her by invoking the kótos both of Penelope (her true superior in the household) and of a soon-to-be-revealed Odysseus. So too Laomedon mistreats two gods who are in thralldom to him but who are, in fact, superior to him by virtue of their divinity. Thus the gods’ epiphany in the Iliad is parallel to the inversion of social roles effected by Odysseus’s disguise. [88]

Another example of the profound nature of an action performed in a state described as kekotēóti thumôi occurs at Od. 22.477. Melanthius is the last man killed in the battle in Odysseus’s hall:

χεῖράς τ’ ἠδὲ πόδας κόπτον κεκοτηότι θυμῷ.
οἱ μὲν ἔπειτ’ ἀπονιψάμενοι χεῖράς τε πόδας τε
εἰς Ὀδυσῆα δόμονδε κίον, τετέλεστο δὲ ἔργον.

(Od. 22.477-79)

His hands and feet they cut-off in their state of kótos . But having washed their own hands and feet, they went to Odysseus’s house, and the deed had reached its télos .

The hero’s destruction of the suitors, thus, is capped by a reference to kótos and the explicit notation that the télos (“goal”) of Odysseus’s effort has been reached. The emphasis is on the completion of the action with the pluperfect tetélesto (Od. 22.479). Calchas’s definition here finds its validity in action, where the télos is marked by an act of extreme violence motivated by kótos, not by any particular hatred against Melanthius but rather by the desire to conclude the entire kótos. With this passage in mind, one need not wonder at Calchas’s fear of kótos. For the violence displayed here is that of a long-standing anger that has accrued throughout the entire nóstos of Odysseus, so that when the basileús has kótos its fulfillment is on record even before the final, terrible moment.

Thus far we have seen how the phrase kekotēóti thumôi occurs in passages that highlight a deep-seated rancor bringing out themes that Calchas had earlier told us were crucial for kótos, especially the hierarchic sense of the term and its focus on the télos of its activity. The remaining two instances of the phrase can be handled quickly now that we have this background. First let us look at kótos as it effects Melantho, the namesake of her brother, the ill-fated Melanthius. [93]

δαιμονίη, τί μοι ὧδ’ ἐπέχεις κεκοτηότι θυμῷ;
ἦ ὅτι δὴ ῥυπόω, κακὰ δὲ χροḯ εἵματα εἶμαι,
πτωχεύω δ’ ἀvὰ δῆμον; ἀναγκαίη γὰρ ἐπείγει.
τοιοῦτοι πτωχοὶ καὶ ἀλήμονες ἄνδρες ἔασι. {57|58}
καὶ γὰρ ἐγώ ποτε οἶκον ἐν ἀνθρώποισιν ἔναιον
ὄλβιος ἀφνειὸν καὶ πολλάκι δόσκον ἀλήτῃ,
τοίῳ, ὁποῖος ἔοι καὶ ὅτευ κεχρημένος ἔλθοι·
ἦσαν δὲ δμῶες μάλα μυρίοι, ἄλλα τε πολλὰ
οἷσιν τ’ εὖ ζώουσι καὶ ἀφνειοὶ καλέονται.
ἀλλὰ Ζεὺς ἀλάπαξε Κρονίων· ἤθελε γάρ που∙
τὼ νῦν μήποτε καὶ σύ, γύναι, ἀπὸ πᾶσαν ὀλέσσῃς
ἀγλαḯην, τῇ νῦν γε μετὰ δμῳῇσι κέκασσαι·
μή πώς τοι δέσποινα κοτεσσαμένη χαλεπήνῃ
ἢ Ὀδυσεὺς ἔλθῃ· ἔτι γὰρ καὶ ἐλπίδος αἶσα.

(Od. 19.71-84)

Now why are you, bold as your are, abusing me in this way, your thumos filled with kótos ? Is it that I am squalid, and that I wear trashy clothes on my skin, and that I beg throughout the community? Yes, necessity is compulsion. Such are beggars and vagrants. For, in fact, I once inhabited a house among men, a wealthy man and a rich home, and I was often generous to the beggar, whatever kind he might be and with whatever need he came; and there were very many servants and other things with which one lives well and is called wealthy. But Zeus, son of Kronos, has brought it to ruin. For so was he willing. Therefore now do not lose everything, my good woman, all your radiance, with which now you are outstanding among the maids, lest your mistress—having come to have kótos take it ill, or lest Odysseus come home. For there is yet a measure of hope.

Why should Odysseus claim that Melantho’s upbraiding (enénipe, Od. 19.65) is done kekotēóti thumôi? Melantho had already insulted Odysseus in Book 18 (Od. 18.321-36), so we might be tempted to say that her antagonism against him refers to something that seems to transcend their momentary encounter. But a reason more firmly in keeping with the value of kótos is at hand. Odysseus identifies this anger as kótos partly because he observes that there is no immediate cause for, say, a khólos that Melantho might direct against the beggar. Instead, his suggestion that the anger is kótos points to a kind of class bias that he detects in her: as a servant she thinks of herself as better than a beggar and thus wants him to sleep outside (éxelthe thúraze “go out to the door,” Od. 19.68). Her anger turns out to be based on a violation of social decorum. From this perspective, to act in this manner is to risk losing her pâsan aglaiēn (“all her bright-radiance,” Od. 19.81-82), [
94] or her privileged status (têi nûn te metà dmōêisi kékassai “by which you are outstanding among the servants,” Od. 19.82). The social context of kótos in this situation is precisely in accord with the terms of Calchas’s definition: she is kotessaménē against a “worse man.”

Odysseus further emphasizes the notion of kótos by suggesting that she will reap what she sows: Penelope as queen is capable in her turn of having kótos against a woman of lower class. Now we have seen that Odysseus, in his disguise as a beggar, chides Melantho for abusing him by trying to expel him from Penelope’s presence (Od. 19.66-69). At this point, Odysseus explains his {58|59} circumstances by the vicissitudes of fortune (Od. 19.71-80) and the compulsion of necessity (Od. 19.73) together with the will of Zeus (Od. 19.80), all of which is to prepare the ground for his claim that Melantho had better be careful lest she incur the wrath of her mistress; that wrath is kótos in part because it is the wrath of a superior against an inferior, in particular, of a queen against her servant. Thus it is not surprising that Odysseus the beggar suggests to Melantho that Odysseus the king might return. Finally, he asserts that even if Odysseus does not return, Telemachus is now old enough to take over (Od. 19.86-87). In these ways, this passage underscores the notion that the basileús can come to have kótos and that whatever Melantho does, she is on the bottom rung of the hierarchical ladder, with respect to Odysseus and Penelope.

Thus, if kótos is important for Odysseus’s revenge against the suitors, the narrative marks it as such, beginning with the insult of Melantho. Indeed, the potential kótos of Penelope against Melantho is completed by the kótos of the house of Odysseus against Melanthius at the end of Book 22.

From Group 6 of Appendix 1, one last dramatic example puts into relief the phrase kekotēóti thumôi (“with a thumôs filled with kótos”). In Book 9 of the Odyssey, Odysseus confronts the Cyclops at just that moment when he reveals his name, so as to prompt Polyphemus’s recollection of a seer’s prophecy. Since we have seen the phrase kekotēóti thumôi occur as a dramatic climax to the killing of the suitors, what similarity between Polyphemus and the suitors is here being exploited? In particular, does the term kótos indicate something about the relationship between Odysseus and the Cyclops that can be triggered by using kekotēóti thumôi? {59|60}

Just before Odysseus reveals his name, he and the survivors among his crew are almost free of the Cyclops when Odysseus feels the need to taunt him:

ἀλλ’ ὅτε δὴ δὶς τόσσον ἅλα πρήσσοντες ἀπῆμεν,
καὶ τότε δή Κύκλωπα προσηύδων· ἀμφὶ δ’ ἑταῖροι
μελιχίοις ἐπέεσσιν ἐρήτυον ἄλλοθεν ἄλλος.

(Od. 9.491-93)

But when we had traversed the sea twice as far, even then I addressed the Cyclops; but around me my companions with soothing words restrained me one from one side, another from another.

But they fail in their attempt to stop Odysseus from continuing his taunt:

“σχέτλιε, τίπτ’ ἐθέλεις ἐρεθιζέμεν ἄγριον ἄνδρα;
ὅς καὶ νῦν πόντονδε βαλὼν βέλος ἤγαγε νῆα
αὖτις ἐς ἤπειρον, καὶ δὴ φάμεν αὐτόθ’ ὀλέσθαι.
εἰ δὲ φθεγξαμένου τευ ἢ αὐδήσαντος ἄκουσε,
σύν κεν ἄραξ’ ἡμέων κεφαλὰς καὶ νήια δοῦρα
μαρμάρῳ ὀκριόεντι βαλών· τόσσον γὰρ ἵησιν.”
ὣς φάσαν, ἀλλ’ oὐ πεῖθον ἐμὸν μεγαλήτορα θυμόν,
ἀλλά μιν ἄψορρον προσέφην κεκοτηότι θυμῷ.

(Od. 9.494-501)

“Fool, why do you wish to enrage the wild man? Even now he has shot a missile seaward and has lead our ship again to the shore. Look, we believe we’ll die here. And if he hears someone’s call or someone addressing him, he will crack together our heads and the ships timbers, with a shot from a sharp boulder. For he can throw this far.” Thus they spoke, but they did not move my great thumôs , but I spoke back to him with my thumós filled with kótos .

Their question is a good one. What motivates Odysseus’ bravado here? From the point of view of character, Odysseus’s provocative trickster persona consistently cannot resist “claim[ing] authorship of the deed.” [
97] But is kótos consistent with the kind of anger that such a scene entails? Furthermore, is there an implicit contrast between the kótos of Odysseus at Od. 9.500 and the khólos of the Cyclops just before he launches his treacherous missile? [98] Is the meaning of kótos that we have been tracing, based on Calchas’s definition, consistent with what happens here?

The answer lies partly in the thematics of kótos. First, the Cyclops has violated principles in such a way that he comes to represent the class of mortals who make skholiàs thémistas (“crooked judgments”). Second, the revelation of Odysseus’s name thrusts to the foreground of the scene the seer who had predicted Cyclops’s fate (Od. 9.507-21).

But Polyphemus disdains the terms of Odysseus’s argument (“nḗpios eis, ō xeîn” “You are a fool, stranger,” Od. 9.273). Polyphemus flaunts his vice as a virtue both by addressing Odysseus as a xeínos and by making explicit his own peoples’ defiance of the rules. In light of the passage from Iliad 16, the defiance of the Greek institution of xenía and suppliancy by the Cyclops as well as the participation in this act of húbris by the entire nation of Cyclopes may be enough to launch kótos as a justifiable reaction against Polyphemus.

These indications of the appropriateness of kótos to the Cyclops’s story in the Odyssey are capped at the end of the scene, immediately after Odysseus’s companions have tried to persuade him not to provoke the Cyclops. In refusing their advice, Odysseus, as he narrates this scene, identifies kótos as the driving force behind revealing his name to Polyphemus:

ὥς φάσαν, ἀλλ’ οὐ πεῖθον ἐμὸν μεγαλήτορα θυμόν,
ἀλλά μιν ἄψορρον προσέφην κεκοτηότι θυμῷ.

(Od. 9.500-501)

Thus they spoke; but they did not sway my great heart; but I spoke back at him with a thumós full of kótos .

The formula here points to a wrath larger than the crew’s appeal to reason can counteract; it is the kind of wrath that Calchas fears coming from his own irate king. Remember that Odysseus, qua character, is presented as doing something very foolish by Odysseus, qua narrator, who motivates the act through the notion {61|62} of kótos. In contrast to Polyphemus, who is motivated in his rage by mere khólos, Odysseus as captain of his crew is committed to his action because of a kótos, which must reach its télos. The Cyclops’s khólos (Od. 9.480-86), which leads to his violent attack, cannot be more different from Odysseus’s verbal assault. Odysseus, as presented in the narrative in the Phaeacian court, acts out of a kótos fueled by the Cyclops’s extravagant violation of xenía, just as he is to punish the suitors later: in both cases the action is taken kekotēóti thumôi. [
100] But there is more. Polyphemus’s recollection of the seer’s prophecy introduces terms even more consistent with the notion of kótos. The prophecies are palai -phata thésphata (Od. 9.507) (“anciently spoken decrees”), and they come to have a télos (“completion”) in the future ( tel eutēsesthai opís , Od. 9.511), thereby recalling Calchas’ met ópis then tel éssēi (Il. 1.82) (“he will accomplish it in the future”). Finally, Odysseus, the narrator, by presenting his authority in this way mirrors the relationship of Calchas to Agamemnon in Book 1: Odysseus is the basileús (“king”) who can be driven by kótos, in contrast to the one recalling the prophecy, who is an anēr kheírōn (“a lesser man,” cf. Il. 1.80) and—in the calculations of the Odyssean narrative—the lowest creature on the social scale. [101]

To summarize, the phrase kekotēóti thumôi is used in both the Iliad and the Odyssey to refer to the outer limits of anger: in the Iliad, Poseidon’s and Apollo’s kótos seals the fate of the city of Troy because of Laomedon’s broken promise, as in the Odyssey the mutilation of Melanthius, kekotēóti thumôi, signals the kótos of Odysseus’s struggles with the suitors over who is to be the basileús; and the struggle of Odysseus (as beggar) with Melantho, the sister of Melanthius, continues the discourse of the Odyssey regarding the kingship of Odysseus—it is the anger of the king that Melantho, and the suitors, should fear. Moreover, the use of this phrase in the Cyclops episode shows the way that kótos crystalizes the thematics of authority as it distinguishes between Polyphemus and the returning hero, with the Cyclops’s uncivilized response to the institution of hospitality punished by the kótos of Odysseus.

Kótos in its Verbal Forms: The Present Stem and Isolated Forms

The present stem (notably all in the Iliad, as seen in Appendix 1, Groups 7, 8, and 9) shows a series of various forms that tend to cluster at major line breaks. For example, kotéonte and kotéousin are at line-end in Group 7, while the main caesura serves a function similar to line-end in Group 8 (see below). The remaining two instances of the present stem (Group 9) are unique in both form and placement. {62|63}

Discussion of Words and Phrases

In Appendix 1, Groups 7-9, my collection of the present tense verbal forms related to kótos shows a surface phraseology of striking variety. Yet, despite the differences among these kótos -phrases, the Iliad displays these examples with a regularity of placement that argues for their traditional status. It has been shown that phrases at the end of the line are related to those at the main caesura. [109] To put this in terms of the Homeric traditional phrase, a phrase set at line-end is formulaic with the same phrase at the caesura. Compare, for example,

Il. 3.350 = 17.46 Ἀτρείδης Μενέλαος ἐπευξάμενος Διὶ πατρί
Il. 4.23 = 8.460 σκυζομένη Διὶ πατρί, χόλος δέ μιν ἄγριος ᾕρέι

where the phrase Diì patrí occurs either at the end of the line or at the main caesura. [
110] So too for the verbal forms of kótos, when the stem and desinence exhibit the same form of metrical patterning as Diì patrí, with the present form of the verb occurring at the end of the line or at the main caesura. In fact, the pattern depends on the underlying structure of these forms. To elaborate, setting aside the two participial forms (at Il. 10.517, Il. 23.391), the present form occurs either at the end of the line or at the main caesura. In this way, the present dual participle (for imperfect) kotéonte (Il. 3.345) and the present kotéousin (Il. 14.143) are related to the imperfect kotéonto (Il. 2.223) and the present participle kotéontos (Il. 1.181); further, even the present participle kotéōn (Il. 4.168) is drawn into the group despite its being shorter by one syllable than the other forms, as is revealed by the placement of the form at caesura and line-end. Thus, the set of verbal forms presented by kotéō behaves in the systematically elegant manner characteristic of Homeric practice, despite the variety of forms that it displays. {63|64}

Discussion of Context

Furthermore, oath-taking provides a serious context for justifying kótos. To elaborate, mishandling thémistes (“judgments”) can lead to the kótos of Zeus (Il. 16.386-87), and, in a similar fashion, Odysseus’s use of the formula kekotēóti {64|65} thumôi (“with a thumós filled with anger”) suggests a connection with the world of prophecy and authority. So too the oaths here provide the lofty context for which kotéonte is apt, a use consistent with the function of kótos once the oaths have been violated (Il. 4.168, Il. 5.177). Indeed, the classification of the present forms of kotéō as iterative-intensive is most appropriate for the anger of Paris and Menelaus, the two agents of anger in the conflict between the Trojan and the Mycenaean lords. In short, this occurrence of kotéō carries an enormous weight with reference to the origin of the war and the abiding enmity of Paris and Menelaus. But the term’s force might have been easily missed; were we not told at the beginning of the poem, in a way that now seems programmatic, that a clear distinction exists between khólos and kótos.

In the previous example, it would be difficult for anyone to question that Paris and Menelaus are angry with each other, so that the particulars of that anger—the abduction of Helen, the violation of xenía—are underscored by the poet’s use of kotéonte. In the next example, Apollo’s kótos against Athena in Il. 10.517, no specific reason is given for the anger of Apollo against Athena, and the commentaries do not deem the term itself worthy of explication. But spurred on by Calchas’s definition, we cannot help but wonder why the term is used here. Might Apollo’s kótos be said to rely on a motive to the side of the immediate battle?

That this kótos is consistent with antagonisms outside the immediate context is clear from the conflict in Il. 23.383-91, where Apollo and Athena are engaged in helping mortals. At this point in the horse race, the mares of Diomedes are about to gain on the horses of Eumelos, when Apollo intervenes:

καί νύ κεν ἢ παρέλασσ’ ἢ ἀμφήριστον ἔθηκεν
εἰ μὴ Τυδέος υἷι κοτέσσατο Φοῖβος Ἀπόλλων,
ὅς ῥά οἱ ἐκ χειρῶν ἔβαλεν μάστιγα φαεινήν.

(Il. 23.382-84)

And now he [Diomedes] would have driven past him or he would have made the contest a draw, had not Phoebus Apollo had kótos against the son of Tydeus, who threw from his hands the gleaming whip.

Apollo comes in from out of the blue here and his “anger” at Diomedes seems unmotivated had we not known that kótos itself tends to seem unmotivated. The driving force for this kind of anger comes from the conflictual history of the two parties. In this case, Ameis-Hentze (at 383) points us to Il. 2.766, where we find out an important detail about the horses of Eumelos:

Ἵπποι μὲν μέγ’ ἄρισται ἔσαν Φηρητιάδαο,
τὰς Ἔυμηλος ἔλαυνε ποδώκεας ὄρνιθας ὥς,
ὄτριχας οἰέτεας, σταφύλῃ ἐπὶ νῶτον ἐίσας·
τὰς ἐν Πηρείῃ θρέψ’ ἀργυρότοξος Ἀπόλλων

(Il. 2.763-66) {65|66}

The mares of the son of Pheres were by far the best, those which Eumelus drove, swift footed, bird-like, alike in coat and age, even along their backs in a line; these mares in Pereia were bred by Apollo of the silver bow.

Thus to understand the anger of Apollo in Book 23, one must understand the rivalry between the mares of Eumelos, ultimately Apollo’s, and the mares of Diomedes. We further see that Apollo’s kótos is answered by Athena’s kótos:

οὐδ’ ἄρ’ Ἀθηναίην ἐλεφηράμενος λάθ’ Ἀπόλλων
Τυδείδην, μάλα δ’ ὦκα μετέσσυτο ποιμένα λαῶν,
δῶκε δέ οἱ μάστιγα, μένος δ’ ἵπποισιν ἐνῆκεν·
ἡ δὲ μετ’ Ἀδμήτου υἱὸν κοτέους, ἐβεβήκει

(Il. 23.388-91)

Nor did Apollo in his confounding of the son of Tydeus escape Athena’s notice, but very quickly she hastened after the shepherd of the people and gave him his whip, and inspired his horses. And she in turn, having kótos , made her approach against the son of Admetus.

Here Eumelos, the son of Admetus, is the object of Athena’s rage, [
114] while Diomedes is the object of Apollo’s rage. In each case kótos is seen as a response to the other god helping a mortal. So where Athena helps Diomedes steal the Trojan horses, Apollo (kotéōn) joins the Trojan host; where Apollo hurts Diomedes, Athena (kotéousa) attacks Admetus’s son. Thus, by means of the implicit loyalties of the gods, this passage positions the anger of kótos as a reciprocal social force and one that is consistent with Calchas’s definition. It is impressive to see that kótos is an unseen but crucial motivating force behind the conflict in this scene, because in an understated way it confirms the information from Calchas that kótos is worse than khólos, that it can be operational even where no obvious motivation impels loyalties towards aggression. Since, in this passage, no specific source is indicated for kótos, we have to search elsewhere for the source of such conflict here, just as we have had to assume that the source of strife between Menelaus and Paris motivates their duel in Book 3. In the latter case, the discord between Paris and Menelaus is so much a part of the tradition as we know it that we do not have to search for it for long, whereas to know that Apollo raised Eumelus’s horse belongs to those best versed in the tradition, the performers and the audience of Homeric narrative.

The kótos that gods have with one another comes about in the context of human conflict and can cross generational boundaries, as does the kótos of Apollo in defense of Eumelos, the son of Admetus. Apollo, against the Greeks and on behalf of the Trojans, has kótos in regard to Athena, who in turn has kótos against the Trojans on behalf of the Greeks. Moreover, the connections have ultimately led us to Helen. The divine-mortal nexus positions kótos at the center of the system of anger represented in the Homeric poems.

Two forms remain to discuss. Though each occurs only once, they both continue of kótos entailed in Calchas’s definition. For convenience I reproduce here the lines in question from Appendix 1 (Group 10):

Group 10 (Isolated forms)
Il. 5.191 ἔμπης δ’ οὐκ ἐδάμασσα· θεός νύ τίς ἐστι κοτήεις
Il. 3.220 φαίης κε ζάκοτόν τέ τιν’ ἔμμενοι ἄφρονά τ’ αὔτως

As to the first example, Diomedes is in his aristeia when Aeneas tries to get Pandarus to shoot down the rampaging warrior. The passage contains not merely the form kotēeís but also a number of other anger terms, beginning at Il. 5.17778:

εἰ μή τις θεός ἐστι κοτεσσάμενος Τρώεσσιν
ίρῶν μηνίσας· χαλεπὴ δὲ θεοῦ ἔπι μῆνις.

Unless some god has come to have kótos against the Trojans angry over offerings; anger of a god is difficult to deal with. {67|68}

This passage is to be compared to Il. 5.184-86:

εἰ δ’ ὅ γ’ ἀνὴρ ὅ φημί, δαḯφρων Τυδέος υἱός,
οὐχ ὅ γ’ ἄνευθε θεοῦ τάδε μαίνεται, ἀλλά τις ἄγχι
ἕστηκ’ ἀθανάτων, νεφέλῃ εἰλυμένος ὤμους.

But if this is a mortal as I declare, the brilliant son of Tydeus, he still does not rage so apart from a god, but someone of the immortals has stood near him, covered as to his shoulders with a cloud.

The above two examples provide a context for Diomedes’ anger in Il. 5.190-91:

καί μιν ἔγωγ’ ἐφάμην Ἀιδωνῆι προïάψειν,
ἔμπης δ’ οὐκ ἐδάμασσα· θεός νύ τίς ἐστι κοτήεις.

And I thought to hurl him to his doom, but still I did not defeat him; now it is a god that has kótos.

The tangle of anger words here is worth unraveling. Aeneas and Pandarus are operating in the realm of speculation and hypothesis, just as were Achilles and Calchas when Calchas went through the possible kinds of anger that might result from his revelation of Agamemnon’s folly in Iliad 1. If this passage is consistent with the meanings that I have outlined for kótos, we should take kotessámenos (Il. 5.177) as causal—“some god, because he or she has kótos against Trojans, has mênis over hierá” (Il. 5.178). That is to say, the kótos drives the mênis forward. [
117] The difficulty in which the Trojans find themselves leads Pandarus to speculate about what possible explanation can account for Diomedes’ success and the failure of his bow. Such remoteness is available most easily through the culturally based notion of kótos, one that we have seen calls to mind the social rupture that has caused the war. The most powerful reading for Pandarus’s allusion to the kótos of a god is that he recognizes what Aeneas denies: it is not so much that rituals have been violated, but rather that the foundations on which those rituals are built have been irreparably damaged. In effect, Pandarus dismisses Aeneas’s speculation about a god, hierōn mēnisas (“angry over sacrificial offerings”) and points to a much more horrifying prospect: that things are going wrong now because of kótos. [118]

Finally, I will examine here one of the most famous passages in the Iliad, as influenced by the concept of kótos. The words are those of Antenor as he describes Odysseus:

ἀλλ’ ὅτε δὴ πολύμητις ἀναḯξειεν Ὀδυσσεύς,
στάσκεν, ὑπαὶ δὲ ἴδεσκε κατὰ χθονὸς ὄμματα πήξας,
σκῆπτρον δ’ οὔτ’ ὀπίσω οὔτε προπρηνὲς ἐνώμα,
ἀλλ’ ἀστεμφὲς ἔχεσκεν, αίδρεï φωτὶ ἐοικώς·
φαίης κε ζάκοτόν τέ τιν’ ἔμμεναι ἄφρονά τ’ αὔτως.

(Il. 3.216-20)

But whenever many-minded Odysseus darted up, he would stand, and he would look down with a gaze fixed on the ground, then he gesticulated with the staff neither backwards nor forwards, but he would hold still, like a man with no clue; you’d say he was deep in kótos , and with no mind at all.

Kirk’s summary of the content of this scene omits that Odysseus’s character is typed as zákotos:

Not just any fool, but one who has kótos. That is to say kótos is not the anger of the fierce warrior, violent, extravagant in gesture and speech; rather Odysseus’s anger is masked with silence; it is an anger that plays the fool so as to catch its victim off guard. As it turns out this is the anger of feud. [
121] The intensive prefix zá-, highlights how Odysseus is characterized by this kind of anger, an anger that Achilles is only once said to have. For Achilles’ anger, as we have seen in Book 1, does not fix its eyes on the ground nor does it keep still. When Achilles’ anger is kótos, it is so only in the fantasy of Agamemnon as he imagines Achilles at home with a successful nóstos:

Μυρμιδόνεσσιν ἄνασσε· σέθεν δ’ ἐγὼ οὐκ ἀλεγίζω
οὐδ’ ὄθομαι κοτέοντος·

(Il. 2.180-81)

Rule over the Myrmidons; I can hardly care about you, nor can I worry about your kótos .

But Achilles is to have no nóstos nor is he to have the privilege of being a powerful ánaks. The anger that Calchas has told us is the prerogative of kingship can only belong to Achilles in Agamemnon’s worst nightmare. Yet, as Antenor tells us, it is a part of Odysseus’s personality to have this kind of anger, the kind {69|70} drenched in the gore in Ithaca when Odysseus’s soldiers destroy the last suitor, kekotēóti thumôi (Od. 22.477). [


[ back ] 1. These and subsequent examples are gathered together in Appendix 1, in an order reflecting my presentation.

[ back ] 2. See O’Neill 1942. Thus kótos follows Beekes’s useful explanation of the causes of word localization in the Homeric line: “Rule 2: Word end desired at O’Neill’s position 8” (Beekes 1972, 2).

[ back ] 3. O’Neill 1942: Table 2.1 shows that, for words shaped ⏑⏑, position 8 is greatest in frequency (36.7% for the Iliad) against position 4 (19.4%), followed by positions 2, 6, and 10. The point here is that kótos is regularized in this position. This is one example of the paradigmatic features of Homeric formular practice (Martin 1989, 165); Parry puts the point succinctly, when he talks about the way Homer uses mênis (Parry 1971, 433), “The word is sufficiently uncommon, and yet … its position is prescribed.” Groundbreaking work in localization and formulas has been undertaken in Visser 1987, 1988.

[ back ] 4. See Eustathius at Il. 1.82; I will cover Il. 14.111 with the other exceptions in a separate study on khólos and kótos in the manuscript tradition. See above p. 14 and n. 23 below; also p. 33 and p. 124, n. 4. For Diomedes’s speech, see Lowenstam 1993, 84-85 and Lohmann gives it brief mention (1970, 93-94).

[ back ] 5. The stative value will be important in establishing the force of Calchas’s meaning, and I will return to this topic below.

[ back ] 6. Compare here also Od. 19.71, daimoníē, tí moi hōd’ epékheis kekotēóti thumôi? (“Lady, why thus do you hold a vehement grudge against me?”).

[ back ] 7. As for its usage with anger terms, ainós occurs also with khólos (Il. 22.94) but only once in the Iliad and Odyssey; but see H. Dem. 350, 354; it is also found with mênis in the H. Dem. 350-51, and 410. See Watkins 1977a, 192 and Mawet 1979, 316. Ainós is the only epithet shared by khólos and kótos (cf. Paraskevaides 1984, 69). See also its use with with khōomai (Il. 8.397 and Il. 20.29) and ménos (Il. 17.565).

[ back ] 8. For phúlopis see Il. 4.15, 65; Il. 5.496; Il. 6.105; Il. 11.213; Il. 16.256; Il. 16.677; Od. 24.475; and for dēiotḗs see Il. 3.20 [= 7.40, 51]; Il. 13.207; Il. 13.603; Il. 15.512; Il. 22.64; Od. 11.516; Od. 12.257; Od. 22.229. Cf. LfgrE s.v. ainós, B.1.

[ back ] 9. See note 7 above.

[ back ] 10. It is tempting to think of kótos and khólos as representing a binary pair that can manifest itself in different ways across the Homeric texts. In this regard it is significant that tetíēsthon at Il. 8.447 plays the role that khólos did in Calchas’s definition. For tetíēsthon as anger, see Slatkin 1991, 98-99 n. 10: “In Homer the formula tetiēménos êtor (“disturbed at heart”) when it is used to describe the gods always means “angry.” In Iliad 16, Hera warns Zeus about the divine anger of the athanátoi, as Calchas warned Achilles of Agamemnon’s royal kótos. See Richardson 1993 at 24.23-30 and the literature there for the controversy surrounding allusions to the judgment of Paris in the Iliad. Cf. 1990, 18-20. If Calchas’s definition of kótos is accepted, this anger term provides more evidence for such an allusion to the distant beginning of the conflict.

[ back ] 11. Cosset 1990, 7-8.

[ back ] 12. See Alcman (Page) 1.13-14 and Palmer 1950 with Watkins 1983, 39.

[ back ] 13. For kótos and feud see Chapter 5.

[ back ] 14. On the importance of ákhos to the thematics of the Iliad, see Nagy 1979, 69-93 with Mawet 1979, 293-349. We will return in Part II to the subject of ainós as an epithet shared by both khólos and kótos.

[ back ] 15. “Dans quelques cas, ἐπί souligne le sentiment qui provient de tel ou tel événement …” Chantraine 1953, 106 (§151).

[ back ] 16. See, for example, epíkotos stásis in Pindar, Frag. 109.4 (Snell-Maehler) and epikótea mḗdea in Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound 601; cf. aràs epikótous in Aeschylus, Seven against Thebes 786, with epikótōs in Prometheus 163; these may be an extension of epí with accusative signifying “duration” (cf. Chantraine 1953, 111 [§156]).

[ back ] 17. Ékhō thus strengthens the perfective sense of the perfect participle kekotēóti. Such an example shows an early stage in the development of ékhō as an auxiliary with a participle to give a perfect sense. Cf. LSJ s.v. ékhō IV. The notion of duration is also part of ékhō’s perfectivizing function (LSJ s.v. ékhō, IV.2 and A.8). In Homer, khólos is never the object of any form of ékhō. On kekotēóti, see Chantraine (1973a, 428 [§204]).

[ back ] 18. Important for understanding télos is Ambrose 1963 and 1965, with the study of Waanders 1983.

[ back ] 19. See Muellner 1992, 18-19, and above Chapter 1.

[ back ] 20. See also Il. 9.436, 14.50, 14.207, 406, 15.155, 16.206, etc. On thumós in the dative see Sullivan 1980, 142-44. On thumós with verbs for anger see now Caswell 1990, 39-40, who senses the importance of kótos (see §56 on “unusual ways of describing anger”); Caswell is in agreement with Jahn (1987) in seeing synonymity for the major terms for consciousness (thumós, phrēn, kēr, prapídes, kradíē, êtor) in Homeric poetry. For Caswell (1990, 50) thumós is identified as the “neutral bearer of emotion”; see also 39. This encourages us to see thumós as playing little role in the definition of kótos and khólos. Cf. Clarke 1999.

[ back ] 21. For the poetics of such a dichotomy, cf. Watkins 1970.

[ back ] 22. See, for example, Il. 4.161: eí per gár te kaì autík’ Olúmpios ouk etélessen, / ék te kaì opsè teleî (“For if in fact the Olympian has not accomplished it, he will accomplish it at length, even if late”).

[ back ] 23. The nature of kótos is important to the force of Athena’s claim at Od. 13.342. However we see the rhetorical force of Athena’s statement in this passage (cf. Clay 1983, 44), her voice is made even stronger when she introduces the kótos of Poseidon into her speech. Note that this passage is one of the few (cf. Il. 14.111 and Il. 24.584) that show a variant reading of khólos for kótos. Kótos is also used of Poseidon’s wrath against Odysseus at Od. 11.102. Here compare Poseidon’s kótos at Odysseus’s treatment of Polyphemus with his khólos at his grandson’s death in battle (Il. 13.206). We will see that the death of one’s phíloi (“one’s nearest and dearest”) is a typical source of khólos. Thus, for kótos to be styled as Poseidon’s anger in the Odyssey is an indication of the particular character of the god’s wrath; indeed, the actions of Odysseus, in this case, are seen as the fulfillment of a prophecy. (For a general discussion, cf. Düntzer 1872.) Furthermore, Odysseus’s actions, in violation of xenía, are related to transgressions that lead to kótos, as in the lengthy duration of the anger of Poseidon (predicted by Teiresias at Od. 11.100-103). In the light of what is to be said about kótos and notions such as dikē, I quote J. Lidov (1977, 235n.9): “What is important is that in the Odyssey Homer sets Poseidon’s angers in a context that gives them a moral value,” where I read “moral” as a term that points to violations of a social code that threaten the social order.

[ back ] 24. Cf. Ebeling’s immitto for entíthesthai and eniénai.

[ back ] 25. Cf. Il. 10.361, 364; Od. 9.386, 21.69. P. Chantraine discusses this phrase in an article on sigmatic compounds (1975, 83-85). Emmenés is composed of en + ménos with en indicating “que le sujet est rempli de ménos” (84). Originally there is no connection to ménein: “mais il n’est pas impossible que le vieux composé emmenès aieí ait subi dans cette formule l’ influence de ménō …” (84).

[ back ] 26. The careful reader will note the place of khōomai in Calchas’s definition. Since the matter is complex, I will turn to that term for anger in a separate study. It must suffice to say for now that khōomai is often coupled with khólos. For a discussion of the richness of Homer’s vocabulary for anger, see my Introduction and n. 18 below.

[ back ] 27. It should be kept in mind here that khólos never occurs with emmenès aieí, as noted above.

[ back ] 28. Chantraine (1975) cites Aratos 339: Lagōòs emmenès ḗmata pánta diṓketai and, using J. Martin’s translation, “le Lièvre (constellation) sans arrèt, continuellement échappe à la poursuite” (83). The hunting image is transferred to the description of the stellar night. The parallels to the hunting simile in Iliad 10 include the image of the hare as well as the use of diṓketai.

[ back ] 29. For the translation see Russo et al. 1992 ad loc. to the effect that “the verb governs both tóde dôma and the two infinitives, which are consecutive or final”; but see Merry 1892, who takes dôma as the direct object of esthiémen (citing the parallel in Od. 4.318) with an intransitive main verb: “you who have set yourselves to eat and drink this house …” This latter version is compatible with LSJ’s rendering, s.v. kráō (Α).

[ back ] 30. On the development, see Chantraine 1927, 21-24; 1973, §289.

[ back ] 31. The locus classicus for reticence in naming is the opening of the Odyssey. See Clay 1983, 26-29, 54-68. “The omission of the hero’s name from the prologue … points to an important thematic component of the Odyssey” (29). I expand this observation to include, besides Clay’s comment on the thematics of the Odyssey, the parameters of Homeric style, where naming conventions can be highly formal: see Muellner 1976, 74-75 n.9, outlining another restriction on naming. Furthermore, names can also be spoken when they ought not be: see Lycaon’s disastrous use of Hector’s name at Il. 21.95-96, the close of his supplication to Achilles; cf. Odysseus’s boast to Polyphemus (Od. 9.504-5).

[ back ] 32. Note that the suppression of the dative object coincides with the expression tó ge thumôi, one of the only three expressions signifying a (physical or mental) location for kótos. On the way pronominal usage can be tied to the social context of the speech, see Muellner 1992, 126 and 1975, 74-75 n. 9.

[ back ] 33. For the notion of “family” in understanding the intricate patterns of traditional language, see Nagler 1974, especially Chapters 1 and 2. Valuable use has been made of this concept by Kahane 1994, esp. 13-14.

[ back ] 34. On nucleus and periphery see Bakker 1991 and for metrics Visser 1987 and 1988. The systematic analysis of language as to relationship between center and periphery is originally developed in Prague school linguistic theory. In Homeric study, the new applications of the model to formulaic theory appear to veer off from Parryan formulaics, but it remains premature to assess the theoretical implications of this model. A promising connection can be made to Nagler’s (ultimately Wittgenstein’s) notion of “family” (cf. Nagler 1974, 15 for an important quotation from the Philosophical Investigations); cf. Nagler 1966, 457.

[ back ] 35. Il. 2.599, Il. 2.195, Il. 3.413, Il. 4.391, Il. 6.205, Il. 9.538, Il. 15.68, Il. 20.253, Il. 21.479, Il. 23.482, Il. 24.55; Od. 12.348, Od. 16.25.

[ back ] 36. Il. 4.501; Od. 8.227.

[ back ] 37. See Nagy 1974, 35-36, 99. See also the use made of this observation in Muellner 1976, 45-46.

[ back ] 38. See Watkins 1977a, 191-92.

[ back ] 39. The point of method here is stated by Nagy 1976b, 211 n. 21: “In studying the semantic range of forms in formulaic diction, it is methodologically important to distinguish derived forms from basic forms, since the two will not have the same range of applications.”

[ back ] 40. See note 38.

[ back ] 41. See the important qualification of Turpin 1988 with Muellner 1992, 136-35; and now see Muellner 1996.

[ back ] 42. Watkins 1977a, 203; the connection has been furthered in his later work, especially 1987a. I will return to this word in my discussion of khólos below.

[ back ] 43. On the metaphors of “crooked” vs. “straight” and dikē, see Nagy 1990a, 184; cf. 311-12, where the tradition of correlating natural phenomena with human events is elucidated.

[ back ] 44. On the derivation of epopizéō < opid- see Watkins 1977a, 204; and on the implications of a word for anger coming from a word of perception (*h 3 ek w ), see pages 204-9 and Part II below.

[ back ] 45. On the omission of names as a stylistic feature: Muellner 1992, 126 and 1976, 74-5 n. 9; cf. Clay 1983, 26-29.

[ back ] 46. Irmscher 1950, 32; Arend 1933, 95; Nagler 1974, 55; this arming is singled out by Armstrong in one of the classic studies of type-scenes (1958, 342 n. 11). Although he refrains from analyzing it with the other arming scenes that he studies (“it is a special arming”), he notes that the spear in being described as brithù méga stibarón is equivalent to Achilles’ spear (Il. 16.141, Il. 19.388) and to that of Patroclus (Il. 16.802).

[ back ] 47. On the differences between the two scenes see Fenik 1968, 73-74 and Kirk 1990 at Il. 5.747.

[ back ] 48. Stanford emphasizes that the line is generic, as can be seen from the use of generic te with the gnomic aorist. His translation is “heroes, whoever are of the kind that she is accustomed to be angry with” (Stanford 1947-1948 at 1.101).

[ back ] 49. At the level of a narrative sequence or a speech we could call this “ring composition.” However, at the level of a short, epigrammatic sequence this kind of closure has many parallels; in the Indo-European realm see the Irish dúnad (cf. Murphy 1961, 86).

[ back ] 50. On the possessive compound obrimopátrē, see Chantraine DELG 2:864 (“au père puissant”), with his discussion of óbrimos at p. 772 (s.v.); and Frisk II, 345. Brithù méga stibarón occurs three other times in the Iliad (Il. 16.141 = 19.388, 16.802) each of which refers to the spear of Achilles, wielded in Book 16 by the doomed Patroclus. This asyndetic formula primarily applies to Achilles and Athena, presenting us with another collocation that links the gods with Achilles, besides the well-known association of the gods and Achilles through mênis (see Watkins 1977a, 189, “En effet le seul humain pour lequel le substantif mênis est prédiqué dans le corpus homérique et hésiodique est précisément Achille [4 fois sur 12 dans l’Iliade; dans l’Odyssée mênis apparaît 4 fois, dans Hésiod et les Hymnes 3 fois, toujours à propos d’ un dieu]”). Cf. now Muellner 1996 for full treatment of the role of mênis between gods and mortals.

[ back ] 51. See Burkert 1985, 141-49 on Athena’s martial aspects, her “primitive ferocity.”

[ back ] 52. On stíkhas andrōn, Kirk (1990 at 5.745-7) doubts that “subduing the ranks of heroes” is traditional. Yet stíkhas andrōn often occurs in places where a leader is putting subordinates in line; cf. Agamemnon at Il. 3.196; or where, as does Diomedes in Book 5, a warrior is decimating the stíkhas andrōn (Il. 5.166). The collocation implies hierarchical relations.

[ back ] 53. On the syntax of toîsin see Chantraine 1953, 168, with reference to the variant hoîsin. In either case the generic nature of the statement is clear.

[ back ] 54. Frisk 1960-1970, s.v. óbrimos, “das ὀ- macht grosse Schwierigkeiten.” See ópatros and óbrimopátrē in Sommer 1948, 141-49.

[ back ] 55. See note 54.

[ back ] 56. For the wrath of Athena see Clay 1983, especially 46-53; Athena’s anger has special significance for the Odyssey. Clay 1983, 46-53; see Irmscher 1950, 69-71.

[ back ] 57. The usual pattern for the last three items is shield, helmet, and spear (Armstrong 1958, 344). But as Armstrong points out (342 n. 11), Athena’s arming substitutes her aegis for the shield. That her aegis presents an ecphrastic display makes it an allomorph of the warrior’s shield.

[ back ] 58. Martin 1989, 28. Kótos is linked with promises in Il. 21.456-57, where Poseidon and Apollo, cheated by Laomedon, are kekotēóti thumōi, misthoû khōoménoio, tòn hupostàs ouk etélesse . The notion of promising points to the future as much as does the unfulfilled télos. That payment and debt are intimately bound up with the notion of feuding is stressed by Black-Michaud 1975, 80-85.

[ back ] 59. Such a neat one-line summary of both poems (the Iliad = Ílion ekpérsant’ euteíkheon [“having sacked well-walled Ilium”]; the Odyssey = aponéesthai) occurs also earlier at Il. 1.19: ekpérsai Priámoio pólin, eû d’ oíkad’ hikésthai. Cf. Il. 2.453-54; Il. 1.151; Od. 2.342-43, etc. For a partial list of such passages, cf. Walsh 1999: 160-161. This kind of self-reference is an important feature of the Homeric poetic technique of allusion.

[ back ] 60. See Frame (1978, 82, 99, 110-11) for the name “Nestor” presenting a transitive meaning: “he who brings [his people] home.”

[ back ] 61. Muellner 1992, 128, with examples (p. 127) Il. 15.122, Od. 5.146-47, H. Aphr. 290, Il. 16.711, Il. 5.444; cf. now Muellner 1996.

[ back ] 62. Chantraine DELG II, s.v., (772); and DELG I s.v. brímē and briarós (196).

[ back ] 63. Chantraine DELG II, s.v. óbrimos.

[ back ] 64. Frisk’s caution on this passage (“sehr fragliche Konjektur,” s.v. brimē) is not relevant, since the variant hup ’ ombrímēs would yield the same result for our purposes.

[ back ] 65. See Frisk on brimē-, Frisk 1960-1970: I.269.

[ back ] 66. The only loquitur formula including a kótos-form is at Od. 9.501, where the kótos-phrase is circumstantial rather than causal. Significantly this passage occurs in the apologue, where Odysseus as narrator may be thereby expressing an interest by so identifying his anger.

[ back ] 67. The one exception might be Il. 4.168.

[ back ] 68. See Group 3, Appendix 1. The mortals referred to in Group 3 are twice explicitly the Trojans and once a hypothetical group of men, analogous to the Trojans, who have violated thémis.

[ back ] 69. See my discussion of Il. 4.164-68 above, p. 23-25.

[ back ] 70. See O’Brien 1993 for the wrath of Hera in the Iliad. O’Brien argues that the wrath of Zeus and Hera are opposed, the latter serving as the model for Achilles’ savagery, while Zeus’s khólos is part of a process which leads ultimately to Zeus’ “divine pity” (1993, 77-111).

[ back ] 71. As Kirk 1990 suggests at Il. 8.457-62.

[ back ] 72. On cannibalism in this passage and elsewhere in the poem see O’Brien 1993, 78-81; and see her Chapter 4, “Hera’s Iliadic Venom and its Source,” for Hera’s rage.

[ back ] 73. I will return to this important concept in Chapter 6.

[ back ] 74. Cf. Il. 16.384-92, especially 392: minúthei dé te érg’ anthrōpōn (“and the works of mortals are diminished”).

[ back ] 75. Il. 4.51-57, and note atéleston (“unfulfilled”) at 57.

[ back ] 76. In the Iliad the basis of kótos is Paris’s original choice, which is mentioned only once at the end of the Iliad (24.27-30). The referents of sphin are Hera, Athena, and Poseidon (Il. 24.25-26). See Reinhardt 1938 for an influential discussion of Homer’s minimal reference to the judgment of Paris, with a crucial reevaluation in Stinton 1990, 18-20. Richardson 1993 at Il. 24.23-30 presents a strong argument for the judgment of Paris as “part of the original poem.” From a traditionalist’s point of view the evidence for the thematics of kótos suggests that the judgment of Paris is fundamental to the long history of Homeric performance. See also Griffin 1978, 15 and n. 49.

[ back ] 77. Note that Nagler (1974, 149-50) shows the mythic resonance of this passage; flood myths tend to suggest provocations by errant human beings of gods charged with maintaining order. See also Lloyd-Jones 1983, 6 with the literature cited there.

[ back ] 78. Janko 1992, at Il. 16.384-93 points to the agricultural context for this destruction; I take érg’ anthrṓpōn as metonymic for the culture of those who have thwarted themis.

[ back ] 79. On interaction of storm similes with their context, see Petegorsky 1982, Chapter 1. On the simile, see Janko 1992 at Il. 16.384-93, who compares Il. 21.522-24, “where a Trojan rout is likened to a city destroyed because of the gods’ anger; here the Trojans are linked with wrong doing, and the poet comes near to an open justification of Troy’s fall.”

[ back ] 80. On the notion of “plan” and its importance to oral composition, see Thornton 1984, Chapter 3.

[ back ] 81. On the anger of Hera, see above n. 74.

[ back ] 82. Chantraine 1927, 8; so too Monro 1891, 32 (§28).

[ back ] 83. Although kotéō is usually understood as denominative, it is good to keep in mind that: “le problème de la distinction entre les déverbatifs à vocalisme o et les dénominatifs de substantif à vocalisme o ne se pose pas au niveau de grec” (Chantraine 1973b, 240 [§287]). The paucity of occurrences of the noun kótos, and then only in the accusative case, and the seeming antiquity of the verbal forms make a plausible case for a deverbative development of this root. This issue is relevant to the etymology of kótos (see Chapter 6).

[ back ] 84. O’Neill 1942, 145, Table 18.

[ back ] 85. In addition to these references, see also Onians 1951, 49-56, where Onians relates both khólos and kótos to the thumós. Important for the meaning of thumós in Homer are Jahn 1987, with the earlier work of Böhme 1929, 19-23 and Sullivan 1980. See also Claus 1981, 37, with Renehan 1984. Thumós eventually changes from meaning “seat of anger” to “anger”, see LSJ, s.v. thumós ΙΙ.4; cf. Webster 1957, 153, 154; with Thalmann 1986, Il. 494-506, where the variety of emotions that the thumós can feel is made clear: “The thumós … can feel anger, fear, zeal, love … and battle fury … it is probably also aroused by hatred, sudden shock, and envy, and it plays a part in premonition” (499). On anger and thumós see also Bremmer 1983, 54-55, and on thumós and Homeric psychology Adkins 1970, 15-19, as well as Harrison 1960, 66-68; 71-72; 74-75; cf. Caswell 1990. Further references can be found at Sullivan 1988, 69 n. 73. M. Clarke’s Flesh and Spirit in the Songs of Homer (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1999) appeared too late to include in my discussion.

[ back ] 86. Here we can apply the notion of nucleus and periphery, as presented by Visser 1987, 1988, and Bakker 1991, Bakker and Van den Houten 1992. The linguistic feature of center and periphery can be traced to Prague School linguistics.

[ back ] 87. Cf. Il. 16.392

[ back ] 88. Il. 21.457 presents the same kind of cluster of anger words that obtains in Od. 5.146-47. The kótos determines the depth of the anger in both these cases, and the other anger term functions to mark the emotional level accompanying the kótos. It is important to remember that of all the anger words used in such clusters, khólos is never used with kótos.

[ back ] 89. The use of etélesse in line 457, responding to misthoîo télos in line 450, suggests the goal implicit in kótos. For the use of télos and time see Ambrose 1965, 53; for a contrary view, see Waanders 1983, 53 (§41); 43 (§34). Whichever lemma we choose, the poetic relationship of télos and kótos is certain.

[ back ] 90. That this move into ancient Trojan history happens in Book 21 is no accident, since in this book we have Achilles fight with the river, “the climax of the Iliad on its mythic level of organization” (Nagler 1974, 152), especially in its presentation of disorder on a massive scale. Poseidon’s conflict with Apollo over Laomedon’s swindle is another sign of this pervasive abnormality.

[ back ] 91. Compare how Eurymachus describes Antinoos’s perfidy: not so much that he wanted to marry Penelope as “in order that he himself be king in the community of well-built Ithaca” (Od. 22.52). On the mixed blessing of Odysseus’ return as king see Nagler 1990, 231-35.

[ back ] 92. Throughout the punishment of Melanthius, the verbs are plural with no named subject: êgon (474), támnon (476), exerúsan (476), kópton (477), kíon (479); note too the participle aponipsámenoi (478) and the infinitive dásasthai (476). Far from the act of an individualistic hero, the destruction of the suitors is portrayed as an act of the oîkos as a whole.

[ back ] 93. On the meaning of the names, see Vidal-Naquet 1981, 153; on a connection between “black” and anger, see Padel 1995, Chapter 5, but note that this feature is relevant to khólos and not kótos. On the mythological valence of “black” see Fontenrose 1960, 233-246; there may be an implicit contrast between the servile family of Dolius and king Odysseus being worked out along the lines of Calchas’s opposition of khólos to kótos. Moreover, a name like Mélanthos can be associated with Poseidon, cf. Usener 1948, 221. More on darkness and anger can be found in Sullivan 1988, 44-48 (with a focus on phrénes) and Slatkin 1991, 90-98, as applied to Thetis and Demeter.

[ back ] 94. With a play on her name Melanthṓ (“the dark one”) and aglaíē (“bright-radiance”).

[ back ] 95. I know of no other case where brother and sister in Greek literature are so named. Again see Vidal-Naquet (n. 13).

[ back ] 96. I use “equals” loosely to mean characters that are not socially positioned in a hierarchical relationship.

[ back ] 97. Heubeck and Hoekstra 1989 at 9.500-5.

[ back ] 98. Od. 9.480: ho d’ épeita khólōsato kēróthi mâllon (“When he came to be the more angry in his heart”). On this formula, see Part II.

[ back ] 99. Muellner 1976, 88 argues that the relationship of these words is “not only etymological but still felt.” On institutions of reciprocity see Donlan 1982, Schwartz 1982 and 1985.

[ back ] 100. It is worth noting that of the four passages in Group 6, each involves a télos: for Il. 21.456, see Il. 21.450 (mistoîo télos “the time for payment”) and 455 (tòn hupostàs ouk etélesse “[the payment] which he promised he did not accomplish”); for Od. 9.501, see Od. 9.512 (teleutḗsesthai opíssō “to be fulfilled in the future”); for Od. 22.477, see Od. 22.479 (tetélesto de érgon “and the deed was accomplished”). The concept télos is also implicit in the context of Od. 19.71 and Od. 19.88-89.

[ back ] 101. There is an implicit ethical claim on Odysseus’ part when he uses kótos here; this claim is in tension with a reading of the poem that questions the violations of xenía by Odysseus and his crew in the Cyclops’s cave. That tension is part of the effect of the narration presented by Odysseus as the narrator of his own tale in the Phaeacian court. The context of the tale as understood by an audience, perhaps even the one in Phaeacia, might call this narrative into question, if it critically evaluates Odysseus’ crew’s uninvited feasting in Cyclops’s cave. It is precisely these kinds of complex social questions that kótos brings to mind.

[ back ] 102. Chantraine 1973a, §164.

[ back ] 103. Chantraine 1973b, §281; see also Monro 1891, §39, p. 41.

[ back ] 104. Chantraine 1973b, §289, with Monro 1891, §39.

[ back ] 105. Chantraine 1973a, §164.

[ back ] 106. Although Chantraine and the handbooks so classify it (Chantraine 1973b, §289; Monro 1891, §39, 41). On kotéō as denominative, see Chantraine 1928, 24, deriving ketkotḗōs < kotéō based on the thematic noun.

[ back ] 107. Chantraine 1973b, §288, with examples.

[ back ] 108. Chantraine 1973b, §287.

[ back ] 109. For interchange between phrases placed at line-end and caesura Nagy 1974, 66, 94; see Muellner 1976, 63, for the notion of the metrical transposition of formulas from line end to caesura.

[ back ] 110. Cf. previous note.

[ back ] 111. See Chantraine 1973a, §163.

[ back ] 112. Jamison 1981, 180-81, with Jamison 1977, Chapter 8, 285-287. Jamison goes on to point out that these replacements generally involve “words of emotion or mental activity … to stress the subject’s involvement in the action.”

[ back ] 113. Compare the way that Glaucus and Diomedes in Book 6 discover their common bond in xenía. It is worth suggesting that kótos is a kind of reverse xenía. In the final chapter of Part I, kótos will emerge as a way of talking about feud. See Black-Michaud 1975 for an introduction to the literature on feuding; W. I. Miller elaborates on the distinction between feuds and other kinds of violence (1990, 180-81); his definitive discussion of the feud in Icelandic saga has as yet no parallel in Homeric studies, for its systematic analysis of vengeance and feud in a narrative tradition (Miller 1990, especially 179-220). See also Byock 1982.

[ back ] 114. The prepositional phrase met’ Admḗtou huión follows ebebḗkei, leaving kotéous(a) without an explicit object; that object may indeed be Apollo but the result of the kótos is her aggression against Eumelos. This kind of ambiguity, we will see, is what we can expect from the anger of feud, where the focus is on the loyalties of the victim, and not the victim as an individual. On the syntax see Chantraine 1953, 118 (§167).

[ back ] 115. On the legend of Admetus and Apollo see Dale 1954, vii-xiii. This passage should be added to the list of sources found there.

[ back ] 116. Apollodorus 3.10.8 gives us Eumelus’s name as a suitor of Helen.

[ back ] 117. Indeed, Muellner (1996, 48-51) sees the use of mênis here as “generic,” because “it is not possible to claim with confidence … [that] mênis is a sanction for the violation of the reciprocal exchange in connection with the abduction of Helen.” It is now possible to make such a claim with the confidence provided by what we have found out about kótos, that it can typically bring to mind the abduction of Helen; indeed, its reference outside the immediate context is liable to make it seem “generic,” when its reference is quite particular, namely, the motivation for the entire Trojan War.

[ back ] 118. For a parallel to this scene see Achilles’ suggestion in Iliad 1 that Apollo’s plague is caused by some ritual violation (Il. 1.64-67, with the anger word ekhṓsato [64]). Here too Calchas needs to correct the erroneous interpretation of Achilles, as I think Pandarus in Iliad 5 tries to change Aeneas’s immediate and incorrect suggestion. I will analyze khṓomai in a subsequent study, but let me say now that it should be read as closely related to both khólos and mênis, so that it is in essence a different kind of anger from kótos.

[ back ] 119. See now Slatkin 1991.

[ back ] 120. Kirk 1985 at Il. 3.216-23.

[ back ] 121. See again Black-Michaud 1975 and my remarks at the end of Part I, below.

[ back ] 122. The scene at the wall continues by telling us that Odysseus’ silence anticipates a rhetorical flourish: all’ hóte dḕ ópa te megálēn ek stḗtheos eíē / kaì épea niphádessin eoikóta kheimeríēisin … (Il. 3.221-22) “But when he sent his voice forth from his chest and words like winter snows …” The Achillean hero, relying on khólos and mênis, is presented in bold opposition to Odysseus and his reliance on voice (ópa, 221) and words (épea, 222) as well as disguise (polúmētis, 216, “many-minded,” masquerading as áphrōn [220]—perhaps the most self-reflexive trick of mênis).