Greek Mythology and Poetics

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Chapter 9. Phaethon, Sappho’s Phaon, and the White Rock of Leukas: “Reading” the Symbols of Greek Lyric

In the arcane Greek myths of Phaethon and Pinion there are latent themes that help resolve three problems of interpretation in Greek poetry. The first of these problems is to be found in the Parthaneion of Alcman (PMG 1). It concerns a wondrous horse conjured up in a simile describing the beauty of the maiden Hagesikhora, center of attention in the song-and-dance ensemble:

δοκεῖ γὰρ ἤμεν αὔτα
ἐκπρεπὴς τὼς ὥπερ αἴτις
ἐν βοτοῖς στάσειεν ἵππον παγὸν ἀεθλοφόρον καναχάποδα
τῶν ὑποπετριδίων ὀνείρων

Alcman PMG 1.45-49

For she appears
outstanding, as when someone
sets among grazing beasts a horse,
well-built, a prize-winner, with thundering hooves,
from out of those dreams underneath the rock.

So the problem is, what is the meaning of ὑποπετριδίων? I translate ‘underneath the rock’ following the scholia of the Louvre Papyrus, which connect this adjective with πέτρα = pétrā ‘rock’ and quote the following passage from the Odyssey,

πὰρ δ’ ἴσαν Ὠκεανοῦ τε ῥοὰς καὶ Λευκάδα πέτρην {223|224}
ἠδὲ παρ’ Ἠελίοιο πύλας καὶ δῆμον ὀνείρων

Odyssey xxiv 11-12

And they passed by the streams of Okeanos and the White Rock [Leukàs pétrā]
and past the Gates of the Sun and the District of Dreams.

This interpretation has been rejected by Denys Page, who argues: “The reference to [Odyssey] xxiv 11f is irrelevant; nothing is said there about dreams living ‘under rocks’.” [1] Instead, Page follows the Etymologicum Magnum (783.20), where we read ὑποπτεριδίων ‘sustained by wings’, so that the wondrous horse being described would be something ‘out of winged dreams’; in support of this interpretation, Page adduces passages where dreams are represented as winged beings (e.g. Euripides Hecuba 70). [2] All the same, Page retains the reading ὑποπετριδίων in his edited text, so that we are left to assume some sort of ad hoc metathesis of ὑποπετριδίων to ὑποπτεριδίων, as if the local Laconian dialectal pronunciation of the word for ‘wing’ were petr– rather than pter-. Other experts, though hesitantly, go along with the interpretation ‘under rocks’, allowing for some vague notion of dreams abiding underneath some mysterious rock in the Laconian poetic imagination. [3] In the most accessible chrestomathy of Greek lyric, the editor chooses to take ὑποπετριδίων at face value: “the dreams are those of siestas taken underneath a shady rock’. [4]

In the instance of Ἠελίοιο πύλας ‘Gates [púlai] of the Sun’, there is a thematic parallelism between púlai ‘gales’ and Homeric Púlos ‘Pylos’. As Douglas Frame has demonstrated, the royal name Néstōr and the place-name of King Nestor’s realm, Púlos ‘Pylos’, are based on mythological models. [6] I should stress that Frame’s arguments are used not to negate a historical Nestor and the historical Pylos, but rather to show that the kernel of the epic tradition about Nestor and Pylos was based on local myths linked with local cults. The clearest example is a story, represented as Nestor’s own tale within the Iliad, that tells of the hero’s retrieving the cattle of Pylos from the Epeians (XI 671-761). Frame argues convincingly that the retrieved cattle are a thematic analogue to the Cattle of the Sun. [7] The etymology of Néstōr, explained by Frame as ‘he who brings back to light and life’, is relevant. [8] We have already noted the association of words built out of the root *nes- with the theme of sunrise. [9] In fact, the entire plot of Odysseus’ travels is interlaced with diction that otherwise connotes the theme of sunset followed by sunrise. To put it more bluntly, the epic plot of Odysseus’ travels operates on an extended solar metaphor, as Frame argues in adducing the internal evidence of Homeric theme and diction. [10] Likewise, when Nestor returns the cattle to Pylos, it is implicit that Pylos is the Gate of the Sun and an entrance to the underworld. [11] There are survivals of this hieratic connotation in the local Pylian lore of classical times (Pausanias 4.30.2-3). [12] In a Homeric allusion to the myth about Herakles’ descent into the underworld and his wounding of Hades (Iliad V 395-404), the name Pylos actually serves to connote the realm of the otherworld rather than any realm of this world: {225|226}

ἐν Πύλῳ ἐν νεκύεσσι

Iliad V 397

in Pylos, among the dead

Hades himself is the pulártēs ‘gate-closer’ (Iliad VIII 367, etc.). In short, the thematic associations of Púlos imply that the Gate of the Sun is also the Gate of the Underworld, and thus we have a parallel to the context of Ἠελίοιο πύλας ‘Gates [púlai] of the Sun’ in xxiv 12. Accordingly, a Homeric expression like πύλας Ἀίδαο περήσειν ‘pass by the gates of Hades’ (V 646; cf. XXIII 71) implies that the psūkhaí ‘spirits’ of the dead traverse to the nuclei-world through the same passage traveled by the sun when it sets.

In the instance of Λευκάδα πέτρην ‘White Rock [Leukàs pétrā]’ (Odyssey xxiv 11), we find no parallel in Homeric theme and diction. All we can say about the White Rock at this point is that its collocation with δῆμον ὀνείρων ‘District [dêmos] of Dreams’ (xxiv 12) seems parallel to the {226|227} expression ὑποπετριδίων ὀνείρων ‘from dreams underneath a rock’ in Alcman’s Partheneion (PMG 1.49).

About Phaon himself we have no reports beyond the meager fragments gathered in Sappho F 211 V. It appears that he was an old porthmeús ‘ferryman’ who was transformed into a beautiful youth by Aphrodite herself; also, the goddess fell in love with this beautiful Phaon {228|229} and hid him in a head of lettuce. Besides specifically attesting the latter myth in Cratinus (F 330 Kock), Athenaeus (69d-e) also cites striking parallels in Eubulus (F 14 Kock) and Callimachus (F 478 Pfeiffer), where we see that Adonis, too, was hidden in a head of lettuce by Aphrodite. This thematic parallelism of Aphrodite and Phaon with Aphrodite and Adonis becomes more important as we come to another myth about the second pair.

According to the account in Book VII of the mythographer Ptolemaios Chennos (ca. A.D. 100; by way of Photius Bibliotheca 152-153 Bekker), [20] the first to dive off the heights of Cape Leukas was none other than Aphrodite herself, out of love for a dead Adonis. After Adonis died (how it happened is not said), the mourning Aphrodite went off searching for him and finally found him at ‘Cypriote Argos’, in the shrine of Apollo Eríthios. She consults Apollo, who instructs her to seek relief from her love by jumping off the while rock of Leukas, where Zeus sits whenever he wants relief from his passion for Hera. Then Ptolemaios launches into a veritable catalogue of other figures who followed Aphrodite’s precedent and took a ritual plunge as a cure for love. For example, Queen Artemisia I is reputed to have leapt off the white rock out of love for one Dardanos, succeeding only in getting herself killed. Several others are mentioned who died from the leap, including a certain iambographer Charinos, who expired only after being fished out of the water with a broken leg, but not before blurting out his four last iambic trimeters, painfully preserved for us with the compliments of Ptolemaios (and Photius as well). Someone called Makēs was more fortunate: having succeeded in escaping from four love affairs after four corresponding leaps from the white rock, he earned the epithet Leukopetrās. We may follow the lead of Wilamowitz in questioning the degree of historicity in such accounts. [21] There is, however, a more important concern. In the lengthy and detailed account of Ptolemaios, Sappho is not mentioned at all, let alone Phaon. From this silence I infer that the source of this myth about Aphrodite and Adonis is independent of Sappho’s own poetry or of later distortions based on it. [22] Accordingly, the ancient cult practice at Cape Leukas, as described by Strabo (10.2.9 C452), may well contain some intrinsic element that inspired lovers’ leaps, a practice also noted by Strabo (ibid.). The second practice seems to be derived from the first, as we might expect from a priestly institution that becomes independent of die social context that {229|230} had engendered it. Abstracted from their inherited tribal functions, religious institutions have a way of becoming mystical organizations. [23]

The sexual clement inherent in the theme of a white rock recurs in a myth about Kolonos. Poseidon fell asleep in this area and had an emission of semen, from which issued the horse Skīrōnítēs:

Others say that, in the vicinity of the rocks at Athenian Kolonos, he [Poseidon], falling asleep, had an emission of semen, and a horse Skúphios came out, who is also called Skīrōnítēs.

The name Skironites again conjures up the theme of Theseus, son of Poseidon, and his plunge from the white rocks of Skyros. [
34] This Attic myth is parallel to the Thessalian myth of Skúphios ‘Skyphios’:

Πετραῖος τιμᾶται Ποσειδῶν παρὰ Θεσσαλοῖς, …ὅτι ἐπί τινος πέτρας κοιμηθεὶς ἀπεσπερμάτισε, καὶ τὸν θορὸν δεξαμένη ἡ γῆ ἀνέδωκεν ἵππον πρῶτον, ὃv ἐπεκάλεσαν Σκύφιον

Scholia to Pindar Pythian 4.246

Poseidon Petraîos [= of the rocks] has a cult among the Thessalians…because he, having fallen asleep at some rock, had an emission of semen; and the earth, receiving the semen, produced the first horse, whom they called Skúphios.

There is a further report about this first horse ever:

Φασὶ δὲ καὶ ἀγῶνα διατίθεσθαι τῷ Πετραίῳ Ποσειδῶνι, ὅπου ἀπὸ τῆς πέτρας {232|233} ἐξεπήδησεν ὁ πρῶτος ἵππος

Scholia tο Pindar Pythian 4.246

We may note that, just as Poseidon obtains sexual relief through the unconsciousness of sleeping at the white rocks of Kolonos, so also Zeus is cured of his passion for Hera by sitting on the white rock of Apollo’s Leukas (Ptolemaios Chennos by way of Photius Bibliotheca 152-153 Bekker). At Magnesia, those who were hieroí ‘sacred’ to Apollo would leap from precipitous rocks into the river Lēthaîos (Pausanias 10.32.6). This name is clearly derivable from lḗthē ‘forgetfulness’. In the underworld, Theseus and Peirithoos sat on the θρόνος τῆς Λήθης ‘throne of Lḗthē’ (Apollodorus Epitome 1.24; Pausanias 10.29.9). I have already quoted the passage from the Cyclops of Euripides (163-168) where getting drunk is equaled with leaping from a proverbial white rock. We may note the wording of the verses that immediately follow that equation, describing how it feels to be in the realm of a drunken stupor:

ἵν’ ἔστι τουτί τ’ ὀρθὸν ἐξανιστάναι
μαστοῦ τε δραγμὸς καὶ παρεσκευασμένου
ψαῦσαι χεροῖν λειμῶνος, ὀρχηστύς θ’ ἄμα
κακῶν τε λῆστις

Euripides Cyclops 169-172

Again, we see the theme of sexual relief and the key concept lêstis ‘forgetting’.

In short, the While Rock is the boundary delimiting the conscious and the unconscious—be it a trance, stupor, sleep, or even death. Accordingly, when the Suitors are led past the White Rock (Odyssey xxiv 11), they reach the dêmos oneírōn ‘District of Dreams’ (xxiv 12) beyond which is the realm of the dead (xxiv 14).

The thūmós ‘spirit’ of one who dies is visualized as traveling to the far west and, like the sun, plunging into Okeanos (xx 63-65). [49] Bordering on the Okeanos is the land of the Aithiopes (Iliad I 423-424, XXIII 205-207). Just as the Okeanos flows both in the extreme east and in the extreme west, so also the land of the Aithiopes is located in the two extremities (Odyssey i 23-24). This instance of coincidentia oppositorum, a mythological theme where identity consists of two opposites, [50] is reinforced thematically in Odyssey xii 1 and following. In this passage there are two opposite places that add up to the same place. From the overall plot of the Odyssey, we know that Odysseus is wandering in the realms of the extreme west when he conies upon the island of Aiaie (x 135). It is from Aiaie, island of Circe, that Odysseus is sent on his way to the underworld by traveling beyond the sea until he and his men reach the Okeanos (xi 21-22). [51] Later, on the way back from the underworld, the ship of Odysseus leaves the Okeanos and returns to Aiaie, which is now described as situated not in the extreme west hut in the extreme east. In fact, Aiaie now turns out to be the abode of Eos and sunrise (xii 1-4). [52] The head-spinning directional placements of mythical Okeanos in the epic tradition lead to confused and divergent localizations in later traditions. I cite for example Pindar Pythian 4.251, where the Argonauts reach the Red Sea by way of Okeanos. On rational grounds, Herodotus ridicules the concept of an Okeanos surrounding Earth (4.36.2), and he uses the name to designate the seas in the vicinity of Gades/Cadiz (4.8.2), thus clearly distancing himself from the mythical sense of ‘cosmic river’ and approaching the still-current geographical sense of ‘ocean’.

From the standpoint of Homeric diction, however, the Okeanos is a potamós ‘river’ (Iliad XVIII 607, Odyssey xi 639; cf. Hesiod Theogony 242); it surrounds the Earth, and for that reason the macro- and microcosmic visual themes on the Shield of Achilles are actually framed by a pictorial Okeanos along the circular rim (Iliad XVIII 607-608; cf. Hesiodic Shield 314). To repeat, the Sun plunges into the Okeanos (Iliad VIII 485) and rises from it (Iliad VII 421-423, Odyssey xix 433-434); ultimately, all rivers and streams flow from it (Iliad XXI 195-197). With such a thematic heritage from the Iliad and Odyssey, it is not surprising that the name Okeanos came to designate the ‘ocean’ in post-Homeric times.

From the standpoint of epic in general, the more obscure Eridanos is thematically parallel to Okeanos. In fact, Eridanos is the “son” of Okeanos, according to Hesiod (Theogony 337-338); this relationship would be insignificant, since Okeanos sired several major rivers, [54] if it were not for other special features of Eridanos. Besides the distinction of being mentioned straightaway in the first line of the catalogue of rivers (Theogony 338 in 338-345), Eridanos gets the epithet bathudī́nēs ‘deep-swirling’, which is otherwise reserved for Okeanos himself in the Theogony (133; also Works and Days 171). [55] There is another example of Eridanos in a variant verse of the Iliad. For the context, I cite the following verses describing the birth of the magic horses of Achilles:

τοὺς ἔτεκε Ζεφύρῳ ἀνέμῳ ἅρπυια Ποδάργη
βοσκομένη λειμῶνι παρὰ ῥόον Ὠκεανοῖο

Iliad XVI 150-151

There survives a variant reading for Ὠκεανοῖο ‘Okeanos’ in this passage, namely, Ἠριδανοῖο ‘Eridanos’. We may note the thematic parallelism of Ōkeanós/Ēridanós here with the Thoríkios pétros ‘Leap Rock’: [
57] wondrous horses were born at, either place, and the name Skīrōnī́tēs conjures up a mythical White Rock. [58]

I conclude from such parallelisms between Eridanos and Okeanos that, the fall of Phaethon into the Eridanos is an analogue to the fall of the sun into the Okeanos at sunset, as in Iliad VIII 485. There is also a genealogical dimension to this mythological analogy: just as Phaethon is the son of Helios, so also Eridanos is the son of Okeanos (as in Theogony 337-338). In a pseudo-rationalist story of the mythographer Dionysius Scytobrachion (ii/i B.C.), who seems not concerned with the ties that bind myth to ritual and to the general notion of the sacred, Helios himself is cast in the role of plunging to his death in the Eridanos (Dionysius F 6 Rusten, by way of Diodorus 3.57.5).

It does not necessarily follow, however, that the Phaethon myth merely represents the sunset. I sympathize with those who are reluctant to accept the theory that “Phaethon’s fall attempts to explain in mythical terms why the sun sinks blazing in the west as if crashing to earth in flames and yet returns to its task unimpaired the following day.” [61] One counterexplanation runs as follows: “Phaethon’s crash is an event out of {239|240} the ordinary, a sudden and unexpected calamity, occurring once and not daily.” [62] In such matters, however, I would heed the intuitively appealing approach of Lévi-Strauss. A myth, he concedes, “always refers to events alleged to have taken place long ago.” [63] Nevertheless, “what gives the myth an operational value is that the specific pattern described is timeless; it explains the present and the past as well as the future.” [64] Accordingly, I find it unnecessary to entertain the proposal, based only on naturalistic intuition, that the Phaethon myth represents the fall of a meteorite. [65] The meteorite explanation, as also the sunset explanation, operates on the assumption that the message of the Phaethon myth is simply a metaphorical expression of some phenomenon that occurs in the sky. I disagree. The Phaethon myth presents a problem, not a solution. Furthermore, this problem addresses the human condition, not just celestial dynamics. We may consider again the analogues of the Phaethon myth from British Columbia. In the Bella Coola version, the boy is angry because other children laugh at him for claiming that his father is the sun. In the Kwakiutl version, Born-to-be-the-Sun, as yet unaware of his true identity, weeps when his playmate laughs at him for not having a father. The parallel Angst of Phaethon, ridiculed by his youthful friend, is well known from Ovid’s treatment:

erubuit Phaethon iramque pudore repressit

Ovid Metamorphoses 1.755

Phaethon blushed and in his shame held back his anger

We must not confuse the code of a myth with its message. Whatever its message, the Phaethon myth operates on a code of solar behavior combined with human behavior. For example, the theme of riding across the sky counts as a solar function for Helios but as a human deed for Phaethon. Phaethon may re-enact what Helios does because his father is the Sun, but he fails in his solar role because his mother is human. The Phaethon figure projects a crisis of identity. He seeks proof that his father is really the Sun, according to what he suspects, what his own name suggests, and what his mother actively affirms. This dilemma is fundamental to the myth dramatized by Euripides. Phaethon’s mother, Klymene, assures him that Helios rather than Merops is his real father, and that Phaethon is entitled to one request {240|241} from Helios. She promises Phaethon that, if his request is granted, he will have proof that his origin is divine (θεοῦ πέφηκας Euripides Phaethon 48). Phaethon wavers (51) but finally decides to go to Helios (61-62). His one request, to drive the chariot of Helios, is of course granted by his father. Ironically, however, this proof of his divine nature, inherited from his father, leads to fiery death. His death in turn is proof of his human nature, inherited from his mother. The self-delusion of Phaethon is that he overrated the relationship with his father. His real identity is composed of two ingredients, part “father” = immortal, part “mother” = mortal, but his imagined identity is all “father,” that is, he imagines that he can function as an immortal since his father is immortal. His imagined identity impels him to assume the solar role of his father, but his real identity, part mortal, destines him to fail and die. Viewed from a standpoint outside the myth, Phaethon’s real identity is indeed that of the Sun, by way of hypostasis. Inside the myth, however, this identity is simply Phaethon’s imagination, and his real identity is only partially solar. The self-delusion of Phaethon is comparable to that of another tragic figure, Oedipus. The delusion of Oedipus is that he underrated the relationship with his wife. His real identity is both “husband” and “son” of the same woman, but his imagined identity is only “husband.” [66] A basic distinction between the delusions of Phaethon and Oedipus is that one forgets his real identity whereas the other is unaware of it. Forgetting that his mother is human, Phaethon tries to be the Sun. Not knowing who his mother is, Oedipus marries her. In both cases, the imagined identity is then tragically shattered.

Aside from telling us about the dilemma of being human, the Phaethon myth also tells us something about the mystery of the sun. A priori, we expect Helios the sun-god to be immortal. In the diction of Greek epic, he is counted among the ranks of the immortal gods. Yet the movements of the sun suggest the theme of death and rebirth. With the waning of day, the old sun submerges beyond the horizon into the west Okeanos; then, after night has passed, a new sun emerges from the east Okeanos with the waxing of another day. Given the inescapable fact of human mortality, the fundamental dichotomy of man vs. god extends into the dichotomy of man = mortal vs. god = immortal, as we see throughout Greek epic diction: athánatoi ‘immortals’ is a synonym of theoí ‘gods’. Accordingly, it becomes inappropriate to associate any inherent death/rebirth of the sun directly with Helios the sun-god, who {241|242} must be immortal. The Phaethon myth fills a gap. At sunset, when the sun undergoes a process naturally suggestive of death, it is personified not as Helios the sun-god but as Phaethon, child of the immortal Helios, also child of a mortal. The father Helios represents the divine permanence of the sun’s cycle, while his child Phaethon represents the mortal aspect of the sun’s alternating death/rebirth cycle. This dichotomy accommodates the traditional veneration of Helios as sun-god, still reflected in Homeric diction. We may contrast the contrivance of Dioiiysius Scytohrachion (F 6 Rusten, by way of Diodorus 3.57.5): no longer concerned with any inherent divine element in the sun, he imagines Helios himself in the role of Phaethon, and we are left with a secularistic allegory about sunset,

Traditional poetic diction presents traces, albeit indirect, of the manner in which such abductions were envisaged. For a clearer impression, though, let us first examine the following verbs that designate the events:

  • Aphrodite abducts Phaethon, Theogony 990: anereipsamènē ‘snatching up’
  • Eos abducts Kephalos, Euripides Hippolytus 455: anḗrpasen ‘snatched up’
  • Eos abducts Tithonos, Hymn to Aphrodite 218: hḗrpasen ‘snatched’
  • Eos abducts Kleitos, Odyssey xv 250: hḗrpasen ‘snatched’
  • Eos abducts Orion, Odyssey v 121: héleto ‘seized’ {242|243}

There is another abduction that is parallel to these, that οf Ganymedes. The parallelism is explicit in the Hymn to Aphrodite, where Aphrodite herself cites the fates of Ganymedes (202-217) and Tithonos (218-238) as a precedent for the fate of Anchises. We may note that, when the gods abduct Ganymedes for Zeus, it is for the following reason: κάλλεος εἵνεκα οἷο, ἵν’ ἀθανάτοισι μετείη ‘on account of his beauty, so that he may be with the immortals’ (Iliad XX 235). Similarly, when Eos abducts Kleitos, it is for the following reason: κάλλεος εἵνεκα οἷο, ἵν’ ἀθανάτοισι μετείη ‘on account of his beauty, so that he may be with the immortals’ (Odyssey xv 251). These thematic parallelisms of Ganymedes/Tithonos and Ganymedes/Kleitos are important because the verb used in the Iliad to designate the abduction of the Ganymedes figure is anēreípsanto ‘snatched up’ (XX 234), aorist indicative corresponding to the aorist participle anereipsamènē ‘snatching up’, which designates the abduction of the Phaethon figure (Theogony 990). Furthermore, in the Hymn to Aphrodite the verb used to designate the abduction of Ganymedes is anḗrpase ‘snatched up’ (208). Only, the subject here is more specific than the general theoí ‘gods’, subject of anēreípsanto ‘snatched up’ in Iliad XX 234:

ὅππῃ οἱ φίλον υἱὸν ἀνήρπασε θέσπις ἄελλα

Hymn to Aphrodite 208

where the wondrous gust of wind [ áella ] snatched up [ anḗrpase ] his son

Not only bere but also in every other Homeric attestation of anēreípsanto ‘snatched up’ besides Iliad XX 234, the notion ‘gusts of wind’ serves as subject of the verb. When Penelope bewails the unknown fate of the absent Telemachus, she says that it was thúellai ‘gusts of wind’ that anēreípsanto ‘snatched up’ her son (Odyssey iv 727). When Telemachus bewails the unknown fate of the absent Odysseus, he says that it was hárpuiai ‘snatching winds, Harpies’ that anēreípsanto ‘snatched up’ his absent father (i 241). The identical line is used when Eumaios bewails the unknown fate of his absent master Odysseus (xiv 371 ) .

The meaning of thúella ‘gust of wind’ is certain (cf. ἀνέμοιο θύελλα VI 340, etc.). As for hárpuia ‘snatching wind, Harpy’, there is further contextual evidence from the only remaining Homeric attestation of the verb anēreípsanto ‘snatched up’. When Penelope prays that Artemis smite her dead and take her thūmós ‘spirit’ straightaway, she adds:

ἢ ἔπειτά μ’ ἀναρπάξασα θύελλα
οἴχοιτο προφέρουσα κατ’ ἠερόεντα κέλευθα, {243|244}
ἐν προχοῇς δὲ βάλοι άψορρόου Ὠκεανοῖο

Odyssey xx 61-65

or, after that, may a gust οf wind [thúella]
carry me off, taking me down the misty paths,
and may it plunge me into the streams of the backward flowing Okeanos.

As precedent for being snatched up by a gust of wind and cast down into the Okeanos, she invokes the fate of Pandareos’ daughters:

ὡς δ’ ὅτε Πανδαρέου κούρας ἀνέλοντο θύελλαί

Odyssey xx 66

as when gusts of wind [thúellai] seized [anélonto] the daughters of Pandareos

We may compare the use of anélonto ‘seized’ here with that of héleto ‘seized’ when Eos abducts Orion (Odyssey v 121). After further elaboration in the story of the daughters of Pandareos, the central event is presented with the following words:

τόφρα δὲ τὰς κούρας ἅρπυιαι ἀνηρείψαντο

Odyssey xx 77

then the Harpies [hárpuiai ‘snatching winds’] snatched up [anēreípsanto] the girls

The prime significance of this contextual survey is that it establishes how Phaethon, Kephalos, Tithonos, Kleitos, Orion, and Ganymedes were abducted in the poetic imagination: they were snatched away by a gust of wind. The imagery is most explicit in the story of Ganymedes. The immediate agent of the abduction is a gust of wind, and Ganymedes’ father does not know where the áella ‘gust of wind’ has ‘snatched up’ his son, anḗrpase (Hymn to Aphrodite 208). We should observe, however, that the ultimate agent is Zeus himself, who is the subject of the verb hḗrpasen ‘snatched’ designating the abduction of Ganymedes (Hymn to Aphrodite 202-203). As compensation for the abduction of Ganymedes, Zeus gives to the boy’s father a team of wondrous horses (Hymn to Aphrodite 210-211), who are described as having feet of wind (ἀελλοπόδεσσιν 217). In this instance, both themes, of taking and giving in return, center on the element of wind.

We come now to the association of Phaethon with Aphrodite in Theogony 988-991. It arises, I propose, from a sexual theme implicit in a solar transition from death to rebirth. In the logic of the myth, it appears that the setting sun mates with the goddess of regeneration so that the rising sun may be reborn. If the setting sun is the same as the rising sun, then the goddess of regeneration may be viewed as both mate and mother.

Within the framework of the Greek hexameter, we may have expected at least one position, however, where the name of Eos could possibly have been combined with thugátēr Diós ‘Daughter of Zeus’:

    D. *—⏔—⏔—⏔— | θυγάτηρ Διὸς Ἠώς

And yet, when Ἠώς ‘Dawn’ occupies the final portion of the hexameter and when it is preceded by an epithet with the metrical shape ⏑⏑—⏑⏑, this epithet is regularly ῥοδοδάκτυλος ‘rosy-fingered’ (or ‘rosy-toed’), not θυγάτηρ Διός = thugátēr Diós ‘Daughter of Zeus’. I infer that the epithet θυγάτηρ Διός = thugátēr Diós ‘Daughter of Zeus’ in position D must have been ousted by the fixed epithet ῥοδοδάκτυλος ‘rosy-fingered’, as in the familiar verse {247|248}

ἦμος δ’ ἠριγένεια φάνη ῥοδοδάκτυλος Ἠώς

Iliad I 477, etc.

when early-born rosy-fingered Dawn appeared…

The archaic parallelism of Eos and Aphrodite suggests that Aphrodite became a rival of Eos in such functions as that of Diòs thugátēr ‘Daughter of Zeus’. From the comparative evidence of the RigVeda, we would expect Eos to be not only mother but also consort of the Sun. There is no such evidence in Greek epic for either Helios or any hypostasis such as the Phaethon figure. Instead, the Hesiodic tradition assigns Aphrodite as consort of Phaethon, while Eos is only his mother (Theogony 986-991). In other words, the Hesiodic tradition seems to have split the earlier fused roles of mother and consort and divided them between Eos {248|249} and Aphrodite respectively. This way, the theme of incest could he neatly obviated.

So long as the Dawn is present, the day waxes. Once the Sun reaches noon, however, the Dawn ceases and the day wanes. This vital role of Eos is explicit in Homeric diction (e.g. Iliad XX 66-69). Implicitly, the Sun is united with the light of Dawn until noon; afterwards, the Sun descends into the Okeanos, only to be reborn the next day. In the story of Eos and Kleitos a parallel death and rebirth are implied. The sequence of events, to repeat, is abduction/death followed by preservation. [96] In the {252|253} Orion story (Odyssey v 121-124), on the other hand, the sequence is the inverse: abduction/preservation followed by death. [97] We may note that Orion’s relation to the Dawn is the inverse of the Sun’s. Translated into the symbolism of celestial dynamics, Orion’s movements are accordingly astral, not solar, and we see an astral representation of the Orion figure already in Homeric poetry (v 274; Iliad XVIII 488). [98] Like the Sun, the constellation Orion rises from the Okeanos and sets in it (v 275, Iliad XVIII 489), but, unlike the Sun, it rises and sets at nighttime, not daytime. In the summer, at threshing time, Orion starts rising before Dawn (Hesiod Works and Days 598-599). In the winter, at ploughing time, Orion starts setting before Dawn (Works and Days 615-616). In summer days the light of Dawn catches up with the rising Orion, and he can be her consort in the daytime. [99] In winter days the light of Dawn arrives too late to keep Orion from setting into the Okeanos. One related star that does not set, however, is Arktos (v 275 = Iliad XVIII 489). The Arktos ‘Bear’ watches Orion, dokeúei (v 274 = Iliad XVIII 488), and the verb dokeúei implies doom. In Homeric diction it is used when marksmen or savage beasts take aim at their victims (Iliad XIII 545, XVI 313, XX 340). [100] As for the Arktos ‘Bear’, the name implies the goddess Artemis. [101] In other words, the astral passages of Odyssey v 273-275 and Iliad XVIII 487-489 implicitly repeat the theme of Orion’s dying at the hands of Artemis, explicit in Odyssey v 121-124. [102] The latter passage involves two goddesses, a beneficent Eos and a maleficent Artemis. [103] We may contrast the passage about Kleitos, involving an ambivalent Eos who is both maleficent and beneficent (Odyssey xv 251-252). [104] The theme of death is implicit in hḗrpasen ‘snatched’ (251), while the theme of preservation is explicit in ἵν’ ἀθανάτοισι μετείη ‘so that he may be with the immortals’ (252).

Similarly, Aphrodite is ambivalent in the Hesiodic passage about Phaethon (Theogony 989-991). Again, the theme of death is implied in anereipsaménē ‘snatching up’ (990). The epithet daímōn ‘supernatural being’ (991), on the other hand, implies divine preservation, as we see from the context of daímōn in Works and Days 109-126. [105] We may {253|254} compare, too, the preservation of the hero Erechtheus by Athena in Iliad II 547-551, where the goddess is explicitly described as Diòs thugátēr ‘Daughter of Zeus’ (548). The preservation of both Phaethon and Erechtheus is represented in these passages in terms of hero cult. [106] If the hero is situated in a sacred precinct and if he is propitiated at set times, then he İs being treated like a god and it follows that he must be like a god; thus he must be in some sense alive. [107] From the standpoint of myth, he is explicitly dead, but from the standpoint of cult, he is implicitly reborn and thus alive. Myth has it that, like Phaethon, Erechtheus, too, had once been struck dead by the thunderbolt of Zeus (Hyginus 46). It is clear that Erechtheus has an underworld phase, in that he is described as hidden in a χάσμα…χθονός ‘chasm of the earth’ (Euripides Ion 281). Similarly, the adjective múkhios ‘secreted’ describing Phaethon in Theogony 991 implies a stay in the underworld, as we see from the usage of múkhios ‘secret place’ in Theogony 119. As for Aphrodite, the goddess who abducted Phaethon and made him múkhios, she herself is known as Mukhíā in the context of one of her cults (as at Gyaros: IG XII v 651; cf. Aelian De natura animalium 10.34). [108] Another such cult title of Aphrodite, again implying an underworld phase, is Melainís ‘the dark one’ (Pausanias 2.2.4, 8.6.5, 9.27.5). In the Phaethon myth preserved by Euripides, even the mother’s name Kluménē connotes the underworld. The masculine equivalent, Klúmenos, was a euphemistic epithet of Hades himself, as in the epichoric cults of Hermione (Pausanias 2.35.9). Behind the Hermionian precinct of Khthoníā ‘the chthonic one’ is the ‘Place of Klúmenos’, and in this place is a γῆς χάσμα ‘chasm of the earth’ through which Herakles brought up the Hound of Hades (Pausanias 2.35.10). Accordingly, I am inclined to view Phaethon’s Kluménē as a hypostasis of chthonic Aphrodite.

From Menander F 258K, we infer that Sappho spoke of herself as diving from the White Rock, crazed with love for Phaon. The implications of this ¡mage are cosmic. The “I” of Sappho’s poetry is vicariously projecting her identity into the goddess Aphrodite, who loves the native Lesbian hypostasis of the Sun-God himself. By diving from the White Rock, the “I” of Sappho does what Aphrodite does in the form of Evening Star, diving after the sunken Sun in order to retrieve him, another morning, in the form of Morning Star. If we imagine her pursuing the Sun the night before, she will be pursued in turn the morning after. There is a potential here for amor uersus, a theme that haunts the poetry of Sappho elsewhere:

καὶ γὰρ αἰ φεύγει, ταχέως διώξει

Sappho F 1.21V

for even if she now flees, soon she will pursue

Sappho’s special association with Aphrodite is apparent throughout her poetry. The very first poem of the Sapphic corpus is, after all, an intense prayer to Aphrodite, where the goddess is implored to be the summakhos ‘battle-ally’ of the poetess (F 1.28 V). The “I” of Sappho pictures herself and Aphrodite as parallel rather than reciprocal agents:

ὄσσα δέ μοι τέλεσσαι θῦμος ἰμέρρει, τέλεσον

Sappho F 1. 26-27 V

and however many things my spirit [thūmós] yearns to accomplish [verb teléō , active], I pray that you [Aphrodite] accomplish [verb teléō , active]

The figure of Sappho projects mortal identity onto the divine explicitly as well as implicitly. I cite the following examples from one poem:

πόλ]λακι τυίδε [ν]ῶν ἔχοισα
σε θέᾳ σ’ ἰκέλαν ἀρι-
γνώτᾳ, σᾷ δὲ μάλιστ’ ἔχαιρε μόλπᾳ
ε]ὔμαρ[ες μ]ὲν οὐ[κ] ἄ[μ]μι θέαισι μόρ-
φαν ἐπή[ρατ]ον ἐξίσω-

Sappho F 96.2-5, 21-23 V

Many times turning your attention [nóos] in this direction
you, a likeness of the well-known goddess.
And it is in your song and dance that she delighted especially.
It is not easy for us
to become equal in lovely shape
to the goddesses

As a coda to this poem, the last two verses, which I interpret as proclaiming Sappho’s ‘lust for the sun’, amount to a personal and artistic manifesto. The (h)abrosúnā ‘luxuriance’ of Sappho transcends the banal discussion of Athenaeus, who quotes these two verses. For Sappho, (h)ábrōs ‘luxuriant’ is the epithet of Adonis (F 140 V), as also of the Kharites ‘Graces’ (128 V), on whose chariot Aphrodite rides (194 V). At Sappho F 2.13-16 V, (h)ábrōs (14) is the adverb describing the scene as Aphrodite is asked to pour nectar. The use of (h)ábrōs ‘luxuriant’/(h)abrosúnā ‘luxuriance’ in Sappho reminds us of the Roman neoterics and their allusive use of lepidus/lepos in expressing their artistic identity. As for Sappho’s ‘lust for the sun’ and ‘love of (h)abrosúnā [luxuriance]’, these themes combine profound personal and artistic ideals. In verses preceding the coda, the words of Sappho perhaps alluded to Phaon as an old man, compared with Tithonos. Or perhaps Phaon was son of Tithonos. We do hear of a myth where Phaethon is son of Tithonos (Apollodorus 3.14.3); just as Phaethon was son of Ēṓs ‘Dawn’, perhaps Phaon was son of the Lesbian cognate, Aúōs ‘Dawn’ mentioned in the same poem, Sappho F 58.19. The expression ἔσχατα γᾶς φέροισα[ ‘[she], taking to the ends of the earth’ in the following {261|262} verse 20 of this poem, along with ἔμαρψε ‘snatched’ in the following verse 21, remind us of Okeanos/Eridanos and Harpies.

In short, there is a mythical precedent for an aging lady to love Phaon. The implicit hope is retrieved youth. After Aphrodite crossed the strait, she became a beautiful goddess again, conferring youth and beauty on Phaon, too (again, Sappho F 211 V). For all these reasons, perhaps, Sappho loves Phaon. {262|263}


[ back ] 1. Page 1951.87.

[ back ] 2. Page p. 87.

[ back ] 3. Wilamowitz 1897.252n2.

[ back ] 4. Campbell 1976.203. I infer that the editor had in mind passages like Hesiod Works and Days 588-589.

[ back ] 5. For a survey, sec Page 1955.116-119. For some, including Page, such idiosyncrasies mean that the passage is an insertion and does not intrinsically belong where it is found in the text. I disagree, believing that the epic genre consists of several subgenres, and that each subgenre has its idiosyncrasies in theme and diction. For a survey of the principle that each epic subgenre (such as that of similes) has its own distinctive archaisms as well as innovations, see Householder and Nagy 1972.741-743.

[ back ] 6. Frame 1978.81-115.

[ back ] 7. Frame pp. 87-90, 92. Just as Nestor brings his cattle back to Pylos, so also another figure, Melampous, on whose solar significance see Frame pp. 91-92.

[ back ] 8. See p. 218.

[ back ] 9. See p. 218. Cf. also pp. 92ff., with reference to Frame’s (1978) demonstration of the traditional theme that represents sunrise as symbolically parallel with a return to consciousness, the Greek word for which is nóos.

[ back ] 10. Note esp. Frame pp. 75-76, 78 on Odyssey xiii 79-95, where the ‘return’ of Odysseus coincides with sunrise, at which point the hero can finally awaken from the deathlike sleep that had held him for the duration of his nighttime sea voyage homeward. Cf. p. 218. Also Segal 1962.

[ back ] 11. Frame pp. 92-93.

[ back ] 12. For details, see Frame pp. 90-91.

[ back ] 13. This epithet serves as a counterexample to the argument of Page 1955.117 that in Homeric poetry Hermes functions as psychopomp only in Odyssey xxiv. Cf. also Whitman 1958.217-218 on Iliad XXIV.

[ back ] 14. As for the epithet ἀμενηνῶν ‘without vital force [ménos]’ applied to ὀνείρων ‘dreams’ here at Odessey xix 562, we may note that it is applied in the Odyssey exclusively to the dead throughout its other attestations (νεκύων ἀμενηνὰ κάρηνα at x 521, 536; xi 29, 49).

[ back ] 15. This passage must have belonged to the introductory anapests play (scholia A to Hephaestion περὶ ποιημάτων 6.3).

[ back ] 16. Corinthian settlers called the entire territory Leukas, after Cupe Leukas; cf. Strabo 10.2.8 C452.

[ back ] 17. Wilamowitz 1913.25-10.

[ back ] 18. For a discussion of the restoration <μὴ>, see Wilamowitz pp. 30-31n2; following Wilamowitz, Dieterich 1913.vii retracts his earlier reading without <μὴ>.

[ back ] 19. Wilamowitz pp. 33-37.

[ back ] 20. Westermann 1843.197-199.

[ back ] 21. Wilamowitz 1913.28.

[ back ] 22. Pace Wilamowitz 1913.28.

[ back ] 23. For an articulate discussion of this general tendency, see Jeanmaire 1939, esp. p. 310 on the Mysteries.

[ back ] 24. Pace Wilamowitz 1913.27.

[ back ] 25. By way of Plutarch, De mulierum uirtutibus 255a-e.

[ back ] 26. See the commentary of Jacoby FGH 262 F 7, p. 16.

[ back ] 27. Gruppe 1906.585. The basic meaning of skîros ‘hard rock’ (whence ‘chalk, gypsum’) survives in the variant reading for Iliad XXIII 332-333, preserved by Aristarchus (Scholia Townley). Nestor is telling about a landmark, an old tree trunk (XXIII 326-328), with this added detail:

λᾶε δὲ τοῦ ἐκάτερθεν ἐρηρέδηται δύο λευκώ

Iliad XXIII 329

and two white rocks are propped up on either side

In the vulgate, at Iliad XXIII 331-333, the image of two white rocks propped up on a tree trunk is described as either a sêma ‘tomb’ or a nússa ‘turning post’ belonging to a past generation (quoted at p. 215). Instead of the two verses 332-333, describing the alternative of a turning post, Aristarchus reads the following single verse:

ἠὲ σκῖρος ἔην, νῦν αὖ θέτο τέρματ’ Ἀχιλλεύς

or it was a skîros, but now Achilles set it up as a turning point

In the Tabulae Heracleenses (DGE no. 62.19), 144), skîros designates a rocky area unfit for planting, on which trees grow wild. For a useful discussion of words formed with skīr-, see Robert 1885.

[ back ] 28. Pausanias tells us (1.33.8) that the specific name of Skiron’s while rock was Molouris, and that it was sacred to Leukothea, the White Goddess (on whom see N 1985a.79-81). It is from the Molouris that Leukothea flung herself into the sea with her “son” Melikertes (Pausanias 1.44.7). At the top of Molouris was a shrine of Zeus Aphesios, the ‘Releaser’ (Pausanias 1.44.8).

[ back ] 29. As for the agency of Lykomedes (Lukomēdēs) in the plunge of Theseus (Heraclides by way of Pausanias 1.17.6; scholia to Aristophanes Ploutos 627), we may compare the agency of Lykourgos (Lukoûrgos) in the plunge of Dionysus (Iliad VI 130-1-11). We may note, too the words describing what happened to Dionysus after he dove into the sea: Θέτις δ’ ὑπεδέξατο κόλπῳ ‘and Thetis received him in her bosom’ (VI 136). For the ritual significance of the wolf theme, see Jeanmaire 1939.581.

[ back ] 30. For a detailed discussion, see Jeanmaire pp. 324-337. We may note in general the parallelism between the procedure of initiation (ritual) and the story of death (myth). Cf. N 1986a. For a pathfinding work on the theme of rebirth in the Odyssey, see Newton 1984.

[ back ] 31. DELG 444.

[ back ] 32. The leap of Kephalos into the sea was at first probably localized in Thorikos and only later transposed to Cape Leukas. For a discussion of the political motivations for such a mythographical transposition, see Gruppe 1912.373.

[ back ] 33. The reading Σκιρωνίτης is preferable to Σκειρωνίτης, as we know from the evidence of vase inscriptions; see Kretschmer 1894.131ff.

[ back ] 34. Gruppe 1912.372 argues that Kolonos marks one of the places claimed to be the spot where Theseus descended into the underworld.

[ back ] 35. The rock associated with Skyphios is the Pétrē Haimoníē: Apollonius Argonautica 3.1244 and scholia. Note, too, the Argive custom of sacrificing horses by throwing them into the sea (Pausanias 8.7.2); see Nilsson 1906.71-72.

[ back ] 36. For an appreciation of the contextual nuances in δηὖτε ‘one more time’, I recommend as an exercise in associative esthetics the consecutive reading of the passages cited by Campbell 1976.266, with reference to the triple deployment of δηὖτε at Sappho F 1.15,16,18V.

[ back ] 37. If plunging is symbolic of sexual relief, it follows that the opposite is symbolic of sexual frustration:

ἀναπέτομαι δὴ πρὸς Ὄλυμπον πτερύγεσαι κούφῃς διὰ τὸν Ἔρωτ’. οὐ γὰρ ἐμοὶ […]θέλει συνηβᾶν

Anacreon ΡΜG 378

I flutter up toward Olympus on light wings on account of Eros. For he […] refuses to join me in youthful sport.

[ back ] 38. Note the association of wine with the shade from a rock in the following words of Hesiod: εἴη πετραίη τε σκιὴ καὶ βίβλινος οἶνος ‘let there be a shade under the rock and wine from Biblos’ (Works and Days 589; see further at 592-596).

[ back ] 39. Euphemism for female genitalia.

[ back ] 40. Cf. p. 153.

[ back ] 41. West 1966.427.

[ back ] 42. Fragments edited by Diggle 1970.

[ back ] 43. For attestations of the same myth beyond Euripides, cf. Diggle pp. 3-32.

[ back ] 44. Boas 1910.123, 125, 127; also Boas 1898.100-103.

[ back ] 45. For detailed comparisons with the Greek myth, see Frazer 1921 2:388-З94, appendix xi: ‘Phaethon and the Chariot of the Sun.”

[ back ] 46. Roben 1883.440: Allabendlich stürtzt der Sonnengott im Westen nieder und allabendlich erglänzen das Firmament und die Berge in roter Glut, als sollte die Welt in Flammen aufgehen. Es branchte nun bloss dieser regelmässig wiederkehrende Vorgang als einmaliges Ereignis aufgefasst und der Sonnengott Helios-Phaeihon zu dem Heros, dem Sonnenkind Phaethon, hypostasiert zu werden und der Mythus war fertig. Paraphrased at p. 239.

[ back ] 47. See pp. 225ff.; also pp. 92ff, 126, 203, 218, 225.

[ back ] 48. On the circularity of the Okeanos: pp. 238ff; cf. N 1979a.194, 206.

[ back ] 49. The passage is quoted at pp. 243-244. Cf. N 1979a.194-195.

[ back ] 50. See also p. 214 above; cf. Kliade 1963.419-423, 428-429.

[ back ] 51. Cf. Frame 1978.57-60, who also discusses the thematic intrusion of a northerly direction into the narrative.

[ back ] 52. See also Frame pp. 68-73.

[ back ] 53. Diggle 1970.27-32.

[ back ] 54. Theogony 337-345. Some of the rivers in this catalogue are real while others are only mythical; see West 1966.259-263.

[ back ] 55. I propose to study elsewhere the application of bathudī́nēs to Alpheios (Hesiod F I93.9 MW and to Skamandros/Xantos (XX 73, XXI passim).

[ back ] 56. More on Harpies at pp. 243ff.

[ back ] 57. See p. 231.

[ back ] 58. See p. 231.

[ back ] 59. Murr 1890.17.

[ back ] 60. See Dieterich 1913.27. For a more familiar reference to the underworld Eridanos, see Virgil Aeneid 659 (also Servius on Aeneid 6.603). The name Eridanos also figures in the the myths about Herakles in the far west; Pherecydes FGH 3 F 16-17, 74.

[ back ] 61. Diggle 1970.10n3, paraphrasing and rejecting thee formula of Robert 1883.440, quoted at p. 236n46.

[ back ] 62. Diggle p. 10n3

[ back ] 63. Lévi-Strauss 1967.205.

[ back ] 64. Lévi-Strauss p. 205.

[ back ] 65. Diggle 1970.10n3.

[ back ] 66. I benefit here from the discussion of Lévi-Strauss 1967, who treats the Oedipus problem from several vantage points, including Freud’s, I should note that my use of the terms “overrate” and “underrate” differs from that of Lévi-Strauss.

[ back ] 67. For a more detailed discussion of Hesiod Theogony 986-991, see N I979a.191.

[ back ] 68. It is pertinent to note here the argument that Kalypso is a hypostasis of Aphrodite herself, in the aspect Melainís ‘the black one’: see Güntert 1909, esp. p. 189. For a definitive treatment of the Kalypso figure, see Crane 1988.

[ back ] 69. Cf. p. 238.

[ back ] 70. Kretschmer 1894.208-209.

[ back ] 71. See pp. 243-244.

[ back ] 72. Cf. 238-239, 244-245.

[ back ] 73. Cf. pp. 98-99. For more· on Odyssey x 190-193, see N 1979a.320-321.

[ back ] 74. Güntert 1923.36n1. The semantics of the form Ēridanós are pertinent to the work of Boedeker 1984.

[ back ] 75. For more on Indic sun-gods, see pp. 93ff.

[ back ] 76. Schmitt 1967 ch. 4.

[ back ] 77. Schmitt pp. 160-173.

[ back ] 78. I disagree with Schmitt’s statement that Eos is Daughter of Helios (pp. 172-173). Technically, she docs appear as Daughter of the Sun in Theogony 371-374, but here the name of her “father” is Hyperion; as for Helios, he is her “brother” (ibid.). For the image of Eos as Daughter of the Sun, we may compare the special image of Uṣas as Daughter of the Sun-God Sūrya in the RigVeda (2.23.2), as distinct from the usual image of Uṣas as Daughter of the Sky-God Dyaus, divá(s) duhitár– (RigVeda, passim); the noun dyáus ‘sky’, personified as the Sky-God Dyaus, is cognate of Greek Zeús.

[ back ] 79. We may note, too, that Odyssey xxiii 216 is the only place in either the Iliad or the Odyssey where a solar deity has a chariot team.

[ back ] 80. For the morphology of Lampetíē, see N 1970.43-44n121; also Frame 1978.135-137 οn Indic Nā́satyau.

[ back ] 81. The Indic noun márya– may be pertinent to the semantics of Greek mérops, as discussed at p. 198n120.

[ back ] 82. Wikander 19S8.22-30, 81-85, esp. p. 84.

[ back ] 83. Diggle 1970.148-160. The passage is quoted in N 1979a.199-200.

[ back ] 84. See p. 249.

[ back ] 85. So Diggle 1970.158-160.

[ back ] 86. On the divine aspects of Helen in Homeric diction and on the relationship of Diòs thugátēr/thugátēr Diós ‘Daughter of Zeus’ to Diòs koûroi ‘sons of Zeus’, see Clader 1976.

[ back ] 87. For a pathfinding survey, see Boedeker 1974.

[ back ] 88. Other examples; Athena/Odysseus (Odyssey xiii 369), Aphrodite/Alexander (Iliad III 374), Aphrodite/Aeneas (V 312).

[ back ] 89. See p. 242.

[ back ] 90. See p. 242.

[ back ] 91. For further details on this difficult passage concerning the daughters of Pandareos, Odyssey xx 66-81, see N 1979a.195 §25n2.

[ back ] 92. Further discussion at N p. 201 § 37n3.

[ back ] 93. More detailed discussion at N pp. 201-203.

[ back ] 94. N pp. 191-192, As for the Tithonos 31017 in the Hymn to Aphrodite, the sequence is suspended: abduction = presentation, with no death ensuing. Appropriately, Tithonos therefore never rises from the Okeanos, as would a reborn Sun. Whenever Eos rises, she leaves Tithonos behind (Iliad XIX 1-2 vs. Odyssey v 1-2; Hymn to Aphrodite 227, 236).

[ back ] 95. Frame 1978.91-92. Suffice it here to note the suggestive verses at Odyssey xv 235-230.

[ back ] 96. See immediately above.

[ back ] 97. See p. 252.

[ back ] 98. More detailed discussion in N 1979a.201-203.

[ back ] 99. This theme is pertinent to the name Ōríōn (Ōaríōn), which seems to be connected with óar ‘wife’, óaros ‘companionship, keeping company’, etc.

[ back ] 100. Survey of contexts in Ν 1979a.202 §39n1.

[ back ] 101. The argument is presented at N p. 202.

[ back ] 102. On the implications of the Orion myth for the fate of Odysseus in the Odyssey, see N pp. 202-203. See also p. 207n15 above.

[ back ] 103. See p. 251.

[ back ] 104. See p. 242.

[ back ] 105. Further details at N 1979a.190-192.

[ back ] 106. N pp. 190-192.

[ back ] 107. Rohde 1898 1:189-199. The rationalizations about priest-kings in Farnell 1921.17 amount to an exercise in euhemerism.

[ back ] 108. Cf. also Güntert 1909.185 on the mystical function of the word mukhós ‘secret place’ and its relation to the name Kalupsṓ in the Odyssey.

[ back ] 109. Diggle 1970.15n3.

[ back ] 110. See pp. 228-229.

[ back ] 111. See pp. 229-230.

[ back ] 112. See p. 235.

[ back ] 113. See esp. Güntert 1909 and 1923.273. For the problem of the Aśvin-s (on whom see also pp. 112-113), see immediately below.

[ back ] 114. On whom see pp. 97ff.

[ back ] 115. In the Greek tradition, we have seen that Eos can be represented as the sister of Helios (Hesiod Theogony 371-374). See p. 248.

[ back ] 116. More on the Aśvin-s at pp. 92-93, 112-113.

[ back ] 117. The adjectives makhá– and súmakha– in Indic poetry serve as epithets denoting the heroic aspect of both men and gods.

[ back ] 118. For more on this characteristic of the Divine Twins, see Davidson 1987.103-104; cf. Wikander 1957.

[ back ] 119. A central point argued by Güntert 1923.

[ back ] 120. Frame 1978.134-152; see pp. 92-93, 112-113 above; see also Güntert p. 268.

[ back ] 121. For a discussion of the Indic equivalent to the Greek Okeanos beyond the horizon, see pp. 98ff.

[ back ] 122. See Güntert 1923.260-276.

[ back ] 123. On the Old English traditions about the twin brothers Hengest, cognate of German Hengst ‘stallion’, and Horsa, as in latter-day English horse, who reportedly led the Saxons in their invasion of the British Isles, see Ward 1958.54-55 and Joseph 1983. On the Iranian Lohrāsp and Goshtāsp, a Dioscuric father-son dyad in the Shāhnāma of Ferdowsi, where the element –āsp is cognate with Indic áśva– ‘horse’, see Davidson 1987.

[ back ] 124. See pp. 238-239, 244-245.

[ back ] 125. For details and discussion, see Calame 1977 1:326-330, 2:124-125, who also argues that the theme of radiant horses is a sacred symbol for the dawn, a cult topic shared by the figure of Helen with the Leukippides, who in myth are consorts of the Dioskouroi, brothers of Helen.

[ back ] 126. See p. 230.

[ back ] 127. See p. 232.

[ back ] 128. The son of Klymene and Kephalos is named as Iphiklos (Nostoi F 4 Allen).

[ back ] 129. See p. 232.

[ back ] 130. See p. 229.

[ back ] 131. Scherer 1953.78-84, 90, 92, 94.

[ back ] 132. Güntert 1924.266-267. See pp. 255ff.

[ back ] 133. Both Wilamowitz 1913.37n3and Diggle 1970.15n1 find this statement incomprehensible.

[ back ] 134. See again Frame 1978.150-162 on the epithet of the Aśvin-s, Nā́satyau, which he interprets as ‘they who bring back to life and light’; for the Aśvin-s as Evening/Morning Star, see pp. 255-256.

[ back ] 135. For a similar effect, we may compare the opposition of active faciam ‘that I do’ and passive fieri ‘to be done’, both referring ю the verbs odi et amo Catullus 85.

[ back ] 136. Cf. Hamm 1957 §241.

[ back ] 137. This interpretation differs from that of e.g. Campbell 1982.101, who reads τὠελίω (τὸ ἀελίω), agreeing with τὸ λάμπρον. Even if we were to accept the reading τὠελίω, we could theoretically interpret the crasis along the lines of τῶ ἀελίω = τὠελίω (cf. e.g. πω ἔσλον = πὦσλον at Alcaeus 69.5 V; cf. Hamm p. §91e).

[ back ] 138. See pp. 229ff.