Bakker, Egbert J. 2005. Pointing at the Past: From Formula to Performance in Homeric Poetics. Hellenic Studies Series 12. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_BakkerE_Pointing_at_the_Past.2005.
Chapter 8. Remembering the God’s Arrival
ὅν τε θεοὶ κατὰ δῶμα Διὸς τρομέουσιν ἰόντα·
καί ῥά τ᾿ ἀναΐσσουσιν ἐπὶ σχεδὸν ἐρχομένοιο
πάντες ἀφ᾿ ἑδράων, ὅτε φαίδιμα τόξα τιταίνει.
Λητὼ δ᾿ οἴη μίμνε παραὶ Διὶ τερπικεραύνῳ,
ἥ ῥα βιόν τ᾿ ἐχάλασσε καὶ ἐκλήϊσε φαρέτρην,
καί οἱ ἀπ᾿ ἰφθίμων ὤμων χείρεσσιν ἑλοῦσα
τόξον ἀνεκρέμασε πρὸς κίονα πατρὸς ἑοῖο
πασσάλου ἐκ χρυσέου· τὸν δ᾿ εἰς θρόνον εἷσεν ἄγουσα.
τῷ δ᾿ ἄρα νέκταρ ἔδωκε πατὴρ δέπαϊ χρυσείῳ
δεικνύμενος φίλον υἱόν, ἔπειτα δὲ δαίμονες ἄλλοι
ἔνθα καθίζουσιν· χαίρει δέ τε πότνια Λητώ,
οὕνεκα τοξοφόρον καὶ καρτερὸν υἱὸν ἔτικτεν.
as he moves through Zeus’s hall, all the gods trembling at his coming,
as they jump to their feet as he gets closer,
all from their seats, when he strings his brilliant bow.
But Leto alone waits calmly at Zeus’s side who delights in thunder:
Look, she has unstrung the bow and closed the quiver;
and taking it with her hands from his strong shoulders,
she hangs the bow on his father’s pillar,
from a golden peg, and himself, she leads him to a throne;
and to him his father has offered nectar in a golden goblet,
and drinks a toast to his dear son; and thereafter all the other gods,
they there sit down; scene of joy for Lady Leto,
since she bore a bow-bearing and powerful son. 
The Hymn starts, as we see, with a description of Apollo’s arrival on Olympus. The central element is the god’s bow, which is so frightful as to make the assembled gods jump to their feet. The only ones to remain calm are Leto, his mother, and his father Zeus. Leto calmly takes her son’s bow, hangs it on a peg, leads him to Zeus, who offers him nectar. After this, peacefulness returns and everyone sits down. Order has been restored and a new, young, powerful god has just been integrated into the Olympic pantheon.
The Discourse of Remembrance
μνήσομαι ὥς μ᾿ ἀσύφηλον ἐν Ἀργείοισιν ἔρεξεν
Ἀτρεΐδης ὡς εἴ τιν᾿ ἀτίμητον μετανάστην.
the disgrace that he wrought upon me before the Argives,
the son of Atreus, as if I were some dishonored vagabond. (Transl. R. Lattimore)
The possibility of retrieving pieces of information is not at issue here; Achilles speaks about his strong physical reaction when he relives the quarrel. The swelling of his κραδίη (‘heart’) in the present situation is no different from the condition of that organ back then, at the moment of Agamemnon’s insult.
Be men, friends, and remember ferocious strength
μᾶλλον ἐπὶ Τρώεσσι θόρον, μνήσαντο δὲ χάρμης
they rushed even more at the Trojans, and remembered battle 
This “remembrance” (or “forgetting”) of battle has of course nothing to do with the retrieval of a piece of knowledge, a fact or concept from memory, or with difficulties in doing this. The verbal roots mnē and lath are used here not merely to designate a state of mind in the present but the conscious, physical experience that leads to decisive, immediate action. If you “remember” your strength, you are physically strong; if you “forget” it, you are weak. In the same way one can “remember” one’s ἀρετή (“manly strength”), “remember” to stand guard, or to eat and drink.  And the only time that the “abstract” noun mnēmosunē is used in the Homeric epics (Iliad VIII 181), it does not designate “memory” in our sense, but the urge for the Trojans to throw fire into the Greek ships.
Phoenix’s “memory” of the race is not the recall of a fact or experience from the past, but an attentive perception from a privileged vantage point; and the “truth,” ἀληθείην, of his account as referee is not an objective relation between his account and “reality,” but a special state of mind, both in seeing and in speaking. Phoenix’s mind (later on I will speak of noos) is supposed to be free of lēthē (‘forgetfulness’). 
αὖτις δ᾿ αὖ Λητώ τε καὶ Ἄρτεμιν ἰοχέαιραν,
μνησάμεναι ἀνδρῶν τε παλαιῶν ἠδὲ γυναικῶν
ὕμνον ἀείδουσιν, θέλγουσι δὲ φῦλ᾿ ἀνθρώπων.
and then also of Leto and Artemis showering her arrows,
remembering men and women of past days
they sing a ὕμνος, and they enchant the race of humans.
The sequence in the performance of these Maidens (first a hymn proper to the god, then a “hymn” in an extended sense, remembering the heroic world) strikingly captures the epic practice that seems to be inscribed in the last line of our Hymn. The noun aoidē is here the direct grammatical object of the verb mimnēiskomai, when in ritual, formulaic fashion, “another aoidē” is announced after the poet has said farewell to the god in the previous line:
Usually, ἄλλης . . . ἀοιδῆς is taken to be another hymn to the same divinity, to be sung on a future occasion.  This would mean that the verb μνήσομ᾿(αι) is future in terms of temporal deixis, referring to a time other than the present moment. There are various strong reasons for rejecting this reading that apply equally to the other recurrent closing phrase μεταβήσομαι ἄλλον ἐς ὕμνον. First, the idiomatic usage of allos “other” suggests “the rest of the song” rather than “another song”;  This means that the aoidē in question is the self-same song that the poet is presently singing, which brings the ritual phrase much closer to the singing of the Delian Maidens as well as to the traditional poetics of the Homeric Hymns as proems: the “remainder of the song” would be the epic story at hand.  The verbs μνήσομαι and μεταβήσομαι, in other words, do not refer to another, future, occasion, but to the present performance; they could be called performative (“I will now proceed to/I will now enact the remainder of the song”).  In the case of μνήσομαι, such a performative reading is underscored by the semantics of the root –mnē that I just reviewed: remembering is making present.
The Discourse of Proximity
ἦλθε κακόν· νῦν αὖτέ σ᾿ ἐρύσατο Φοῖβος Ἀπόλλων
the evil came near you, but now once more Phoibos Apollo has saved you.
As we saw in the previous Chapter, in contexts such as this one, the aorist carries the augment much more frequently than when a past event is referred to. On this basis, recapitulating the discussion of the previous Chapter, I propose that originally the function of augment was quite different from the marking of past tense. Augment, I argue, was originally a deictic suffix used on the aorist stem, the verbal form for the completeness of an action, and it would signal that an action is completed in the speaker’s presence. Thus augment was originally, just as –ι, a prefix connected with proximity, perhaps identical to the prefix ἐ- in the deictic ἐkei`no~. For practical purposes, we might say that augment in Homer has often the effect of present perfect tense in English.
χειμάρρῳ, ὅς τ᾿ ὦκα ῥέων ἐκέδασσε γεφύρας·
τὸν δ᾿ οὔτ᾿ ἄρ τε γέφυραι ἐεργμέναι ἰσχανόωσιν,
οὔτ᾿ ἄρα ἕρκεα ἴσχει ἀλωάων ἐριθηλέων
ἐλθόντ᾿ ἐξαπίνης ὅτ᾿ ἐπιβρίσῃ Διὸς ὄμβρος·
πολλὰ δ᾿ ὑπ᾿ αὐτοῦ ἔργα κατήριπε κάλ᾿ αἰζηῶν·
ὣς ὑπὸ Τυδεΐδῃ πυκιναὶ κλονέοντο φάλαγγες
Τρώων, οὐδ᾿ ἄρα μιν μίμνον πολέες περ ἐόντες.
winterflowing, which quickly has smashed the dikes:
Neither can the dikes, solidly packed, contain it any longer,
Nor can the walls hold it, the banks of the flourishing vineyards,
In its sudden flash flood, when Zeus’s rain weighs heavy on it;
And many of the lovingly made works of young men have crashed down beneath it:
Thus by Tydeus’s son dense phalanxes were dispersed
Of the Trojans; and they could not withstand him, numerous as they were.
Seeing, Thinking, Achieving
οὐ γάρ πως πάντεσσι θεοὶ φαίνονται ἐναργεῖς
for the gods do not manifest themselves in full evidence to all.
This extract gives us the religious basis of the later stylistic notion of ἐνάργεια (which will concern us in the next Chapter): a god’s full, unmediated presence.  This presence is possible through a human’s special faculties of cognition, which find their essential expression in Homeric Greek in the lexical root no. The negated verb of that root is used for Telemachos; the affirmative will be used four lines later for his father, who does see and recognize Athene. It is due to his noos, his capacity to noēsai, that Odysseus is able to “see,” in more than just a perceptual sense. Noos and noēsai denote, in epic Greek, a special awareness of the beyond, of the metaphysical. He who has noos is able (to repeat Vernant’s formulation) to “decipher the invisible.” In fact, noos and the cognitive faculty of noēsai are very much in the semantic sphere of the verbal roots –mnē and of the negation of its notional opposite lath.  The verbal idea lath is not only the notional opposite of –mnē, but also of noē. And its negative, οὐ λαθέσθαι, “not be unaware,” is equivalent to either verbal idea. So mnēsasthai and noēsai are two sides of one and the same coin; both are the lexical expression of Vernant’s mythical conception of “memory” as a seeing beyond, a piercing of the surface appearance of things.
οἵ μευ φέρτεροι εἰσι νοῆσαί τε κρῆναί τε.
And they are more powerful than I to devise and accomplish.
The two major senses of noēsai, accomplishment and seeing with special clarity, come together in a usage of noēsai that has to do with the very enactment of the epic events. Many times the course of events is essentially due to a character who was able to noēsai. The most characteristic moments when this happens are the conspicuous “if not” or reversal situations in the battle narrative of the Iliad, of which we have seen a representative example in Chapter Six above: if so and so had not performed the profound act of noēsai, then epic would not have been the same, or would not even have existed. The crucial formula is εἰ μὴ ἄρ᾿ ὀξὺ νόησε, “if he/she had not seen sharply,” which enacts the epic tale as the consequence of a moment of penetrating vision. 
Just like a Noēma
φόρμιγγι γλαφυρῇ πρὸς Πυθὼ πετρήεσσαν,
ἄμβροτα εἵματ᾿ ἔχων τεθυωμένα· τοῖο δὲ φόρμιγξ
χρυσέου ὑπὸ πλήκτρου καναχὴν ἔχει ἱμερόεσσαν.
ἔνθεν δὲ πρὸς Ὄλυμπον ἀπὸ χθονὸς ὥς τε νόημα
εἶσι Διὸς πρὸς δῶμα θεῶν μεθ᾿ ὁμήγυριν ἄλλων·
αὐτίκα δ᾿ ἀθανάτοισι μέλει κίθαρις καὶ ἀοιδή.
the hollow lyre, all the way to Pytho rich in rocks,
clad in clothes immortal and fragrant; his lyre
under his golden plectrum gives an enchanting sound.
From there up to Olympos from the Earth like a thought,
he goes to Zeus’s hall and the assembly of the other gods.
Immediately song and the lyre are on the immortals’ minds.