Hippota Nestor

  Frame, Douglas. 2009. Hippota Nestor. Hellenic Studies Series 37. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_Frame.Hippota_Nestor.2009.

Endnotes, Part 2

EN2.1 (Endnote to n2.62)

{329|331} The terms mē̂tis and bíē, denoting “intelligence” and “strength,” are explicitly opposed to each other only once in Homer (μήτι τοι δρυτόμος μέγ’ ἀμείνων ἠὲ βίηφι, “by intelligence the woodcutter is much better than by strength,” Iliad 23.315), but the opposition between them matches up well with a contrast between the two heroes of the Iliad and the Odyssey, Achilles and Odysseus, and this gives the opposition a particular resonance. Indeed the first song of Demodokos in Odyssey 8 tells of a quarrel at Troy between Achilles and Odysseus, and this quarrel, according to the scholia, was over whether Troy would be taken by strength or artifice; although the scholia do not use the words mē̂tis and bíē, but a variety of other synonyms, the word mē̂tis clearly suggests itself for Odysseus, and the word bíē follows naturally enough to complete the contrast with Achilles (cf. Nagy 1979:45–46 and 46n2 on the scholia to Odyssey 8.75 and 77). Wilson 2005:10, following Cook 1995, interprets the contrast between mē̂tis and bíē in terms of “restraint” and a “lack of restraint,” and this interpretation, I think, is valid. On the other hand, I resist deriving the contrast between Achilles and Odysseus (and a more abstract opposition between mē̂tis and bíē) from the Indo-European twin myth as Wilson 2005:16 proposes on the basis of Wikander 1957. The opposition between “incitement” and “restraint” that I see operating in the Indo-European twin myth has at its core the notion of “bringing back to life,” and this function, belonging to the immortal twin, is what translates into “incitement”; in terms of Indo-European derivation “incitement” does not go with mē̂tis (which contains the root *ma-, having to do with “measurement”), but nóos. It is true that in a contrast between mē̂tis and bíē, bíē can be seen as a “lack of restraint” on the warrior’s part. In the Indo-European twin myth, by contrast, the warrior twin embodies restraint, and his restraint is not moral but physical (cf. n2.62 on alkḗ rather than bíē as the appropriate term to express this twin’s restraint). When translated into the dynamics of the chariot race, as in Nestor’s race against the Epeian twins, restraint resides in the twin {331|332} controlling the horses around the turning point (ὃ μὲν ἔμπεδον ἡνιόχευεν, / ἔμπεδον ἡνιόχευ’, “the one steadfastly held the reins, / steadfastly held the reins”). It might be objected that Nestor, who in my interpretation operates within the framework of the twin myth when he first becomes a horseman in his battle with the Epeians, does not appear at all restrained in this battle, but sweeps ahead “like a dark whirlwind.” This objection, however, misses the contrast between Nestor’s battle and his chariot race, as I reconstruct the latter; in his chariot race Nestor does not keep his horses under control and crashes at the turning point, whereas in his battle he controls his horses and successfully returns from Bouprasion to Pylos (for the turning point as a point of contrast between the chariot race and the battle see §5.1 below). The opposition between “incitement” and “restraint” that I reconstruct for the Indo-European twin myth does not preclude that these categories may be inverted along the lines of the opposition between mē̂tis and bíē in a particular situation for a particular reason. The twin myth itself was not a rigid construct that could only be applied in one way. I suggest that in the case of two Homeric heroes on the Trojan side, Hector the warrior and Polydamas the counselor, the twin myth is in fact inverted. Hector and Polydamas are not twins, or even brothers; Hector is the son of Priam, and Polydamas is the son of a Trojan elder, Panthoos (see Iliad 3.146 for Panthoos). But the Iliad treats Hector and Polydamas as virtual twins, saying that they were born on the same night, and contrasting them as warrior to counselor (Iliad 18.249–252):

τοῖσι δὲ Πουλυδάμας πεπνυμένος ἦρχ’ ἀγορεύειν
Πανθοΐδης· ὃ γὰρ οἶος ὅρα πρόσσω καὶ ὀπίσσω·
Ἕκτορι δ’ ἦεν ἑταῖρος, ἰῇ δ’ ἐν νυκτὶ γένοντο,
ἀλλ’ ὃ μὲν ἂρ μύθοισιν, ὃ δ’ ἔγχεϊ πολλὸν ἐνίκα.

To them wise Polydamas, Panthoos’s son, began to speak;
for only he saw ahead and behind;
he was Hector’s companion, and they were both born in one night,
but one of them was better with words, and the other was far better with the spear.

This passage occurs in the last of four episodes in which Polydamas counsels caution and restraint; in these episodes Hector twice takes his advice (Iliad 12.61–80 and Iliad 13.726–748) and twice, when Polydamas counsels outright retreat, rejects it (Iliad 12.210–250 and Iliad 18.254–309; for the {332|333} episodes cf. Dickson 1995:133–142). In the last episode Hector is determined to face Achilles and not to retreat behind the walls of Troy, and the Trojans are persuaded by him; the poet comments pointedly on their mistake in following Hector rather than Polydamas (Iliad 18.310–313):

ὣς Ἕκτωρ ἀγόρευ’, ἐπὶ δὲ Τρῶες κελάδησαν
νήπιοι· ἐκ γάρ σφεων φρένας εἵλετο Παλλὰς Ἀθήνη.
Ἕκτορι μὲν γὰρ ἐπῄνησαν κακὰ μητιόωντι,
Πουλυδάμαντι δ’ ἄρ’ οὔ τις ὃς ἐσθλὴν φράζετο βουλήν.

So Hector spoke, and the Trojans shouted their approval,
foolish men, for Pallas Athena took their wits from them.
For they approved Hector, who gave them bad advice,
but no one approved Polydamas, who devised good counsel.

If we analyze the relationship between Hector and Polydamas in terms of “incitement” and “restraint,” Hector, the warrior, is clearly “incitement,” and Polydamas, the counselor, is clearly “restraint.” What is more, Polydamas is characterized in terms of nóos. In Iliad 13, when Polydamas urges Hector to call a council, Hector heeds his advice (to no avail since his counselors have all been killed or wounded; Iliad 13.726–787); Polydamas prefaces his advice with the following passage in which he identifies himself as the man of nóos as opposed to Hector, the man of war (Iliad 13.726–735):

Ἕκτορ ἀμήχανός ἐσσι παραρρητοῖσι πιθέσθαι.
οὕνεκά τοι περὶ δῶκε θεὸς πολεμήϊα ἔργα
τοὔνεκα καὶ βουλῇ ἐθέλεις περιίδμεναι ἄλλων·
ἀλλ’ οὔ πως ἅμα πάντα δυνήσεαι αὐτὸς ἑλέσθαι.
ἄλλῳ μὲν γὰρ ἔδωκε θεὸς πολεμήϊα ἔργα,
ἄλλῳ δ’ ὀρχηστύν, ἑτέρῳ κίθαριν καὶ ἀοιδήν,
ἄλλῳ δ’ ἐν στήθεσσι τιθεῖ νόον εὐρύοπα Ζεὺς
ἐσθλόν, τοῦ δέ τε πολλοὶ ἐπαυρίσκοντ’ ἄνθρωποι,
καί τε πολέας ἐσάωσε, μάλιστα δὲ καὐτὸς ἀνέγνω.
αὐτὰρ ἐγὼν ἐρέω ὥς μοι δοκεῖ εἶναι ἄριστα.

Hector, you are intractable in not heeding words of persuasion.
Because the god has given you warlike deeds beyond others {333|334}
you also wish to know more than others in council;
but you will not be able to take everything to yourself.
For to one man the god has given warlike deeds,
to another dance, to a different man the kithara and song,
and in the breast of another far-seeing Zeus puts a good mind,
and many men reap the benefit of it,
and he saves many, and he knows it most of all.
But I will speak as seems to me to be best.

Similarly in Iliad 18, when Hector refuses to retreat inside the walls of Troy, he rejects Polydamas’s noḗmata, “thoughts,” in doing so (νήπιε μηκέτι ταῦτα νοήματα φαῖν’ ἐνὶ δήμῳ, “foolish man, no longer reveal these thoughts among the people,” Iliad 18.295). In the case of Polydamas nóos is clearly associated with “restraint,” and this can be seen as an inversion of the twin myth; Polydamas’s “restraint” is a foil to Hector’s “lack of restraint,” which is a key element in his tragedy (cf. Redfield 1975:143–153, who calls Polydamas Hector’s “alter ego”; cf. also Taplin 1992:156–160 and Parker 2000:300). Hector’s “lack of restraint” is also an inversion, for Hector, the defender of Troy, is the ultimate defensive warrior, as his name, from the verb ékhō, may also suggest (for this verb’s Homeric meaning “to hold back, hold in check, resist” see Cunliffe 1924 s.v. no.19; for the verb’s meaning “hold, protect,” with which the Homeric poets interpret the name, see §1.14 above). Polydamas, as the Trojan counselor, has something in common with Nestor, the Greek counselor, and from a certain point of view their relation to nóos is similar: both, amid reverses on the battlefield, urge calling a council with an almost symbolic use of the word nóos (for Polydamas, see Iliad 13.732, quoted above; for Nestor, see Iliad 14.61–62, discussed in §1.36). Nestor also provides a comparison for Polydamas’s “restraint”: just as Polydamas is cast in the role of restraining Hector, Nestor plays this role in relation to Agamemnon and Achilles in Iliad 1, and more pointedly in relation to Diomedes in Iliad 8 (for this episode see §2.77).

EN2.2 (Endnote to n2.125)

My interpretation of the name Menélaos as “he who incites the warfolk” is consistent with the fact that Homeric laós, by a wide margin, refers to one’s own “warfolk” and not to the enemy’s; the interpretation “he who withstands the warfolk” is not consistent with this fact. I count 174 examples in the Iliad and 42 examples in the Odyssey in which unmodifed laós (this excludes instances of laòs Akhaiō̂n, laòs Trōikós, and the like) can be identified as one’s {334|335} own as opposed to the enemy’s laós; I count only nine counterexamples: seven in the Iliad (2.799, 7.342, 9.420=9.687, 11.309, 16.377, 18.153) and two in the Odyssey (11.500 and 518). Even as object of the verb ṓlese, “destroyed/lost,” laós refers to one’s own people in all five instances of the relevant phrase: Agamemnon (Iliad 2.115, 9.22), Hector (Iliad 22.104, 107), and Odysseus (Odyssey 24.428) are all said to destroy or lose their own laós; even in Odyssey 9.265, when Odysseus, referring to the fame of Agamemnon, says that “he destroyed many laoí” (apṓlese laoùs / polloús), the phrase must be regarded as highly ambiguous (see Pazdernik 1995:365 for the comparison with Iliad 9.22). The most striking of the counterexamples are in the Odyssey: in Odyssey 11.500 Achilles says that since he is no longer as he once was when “I slew the best laós” (péphnon laòn áriston) he cannot protect his father; later in the same passage Odysseus, telling Achilles how his son Neoptolemos distinguished himself at Troy, says that he could not name “how many laós he slew” (hósson laòn épephnen, Odyssey 11.518). In both of these examples the phrase “I slew/he slew the laós” does not stand alone; the phrase “defending the Argives,” amúnōn Argeíoisin, modifies the subject, making it clear that laós is the enemy. As noted in n2.125 Benveniste 1969, vol. 2, 90 argues that laós refers to a “people” in relation to its leader, as in the stock Homeric phrase for a leader, poiména laō̂n “shepherd of the warriors/people”; the laós that belongs to a leader is of course his own laós and not the enemy’s, and this largely explains the one-sided Homeric usage. The phrase poiména (poiméni) laō̂n occurs 43 times in the Iliad and six times in the Odyssey. Including the occurrences of this phrase I count 132 examples in the Iliad and 23 in the Odyssey in which laós is used of a “people” in relation to its leader or leaders. I draw particular attention to 17 examples in the Iliad and one in the Odyssey in which there is a contrast between a “leader” or “leaders” on the one hand and those who “follow” on the other hand (Iliad 2.365, 578, 675, 708, 818; 4.91, 202, 430; 5.486; 11.796; 13.108, 492, 495, 710; 15.311; 16.551; 20.383; Odyssey 6.164). In ten of these examples the verb hépomai “follow” is used of the laós; in five examples the noun hēgemṓn or the verb hēgemoneúō is used of the leader(s); in Iliad 4.429–430 the noun hēgemṓn and the verb hépomai both occur. In line with this usage proper names containing the word laós express what a leader does for his own people, not what he does to an enemy’s people: Agélaos, Ekhélaos, and Ne(s)élaos are clear examples (cf. also Homeric Erúlaos, “he who saves the warfolk”). Of other Homeric names with laós I note in particular Laomédōn, which also has to do with leading one’s own people (for médōn as “leader” cf. the formulaic phrase hēgḗtores ēdè médontes). The name Laodámas is a possible counterexample in that the verb dámnēmi is used of “subduing” an enemy. {335|336} Indeed Iliad 11.309 (one of the nine counterexamples listed above) provides an example in which the passive of dámnēmi occurs in connection with the noun laós: after Hector kills ten hēgemónes he proceeds to kill a mass (plēthús) of other warriors, whose number is compared to waves driven on by the wind; the simile concludes: ὣς ἄρα πυκνὰ καρήαθ’ ὑφ’ Ἕκτορι δάμνατο λαῶν, “thus many heads of the laoí were subdued by Hector.” But the verb dámnēmi is also used in the sense of “subduing” and “controlling” one’s own people, as in Odyssey 3.305–306, telling how Aigisthos during Menelaus’s long absence “devised evils at home, killing the son of Atreus, and the people were subdued by him,” Αἴγισθος ἐμήσατο οἴκοθι λυγρά, / κτείνας Ἀτρεΐδην, δέδμητο δὲ λαὸς ὑπ’ αὐτῷ. As in such later Greek names as Dēmodámas and Astudámas (Fick-Bechtel 1894:89), the idea in Laodámas is the “control” of what is one’s own; the verbal element is no harsher than in e.g. Iliad 5.893, where Zeus says that he barely “subdues” Hera with his words: τὴν μὲν ἐγὼ σπουδῇ δάμνημ’ ἐπέεσσι). In post-Homeric Greek Alcaeus fr. 364 LP provides an instance of the verb dámnēmi with the object laós that cuts both ways: ἀργάλεον Πενία κάκον ἄσχετον, ἀ μέγαν / δάμναι λᾶον Ἀμαχανίᾳ σὺν ἀδελφέᾳ, “Poverty, a hard, unbearable evil, who with her sister Helplessness subdues the great laós”: on the one hand the meaning of the underlined phrase is not simply “controls the people,” as I argue is the case in the name Laodámas; on the other hand the laós in question is not an enemy warfolk, but one’s own people. We may judge how alive the meaning of a name like Agélaos, “he who leads the warfolk,” is in Homer from the collocation of the verb ágein with the object laós in four passages of the Iliad (2.580, 4.407, 9.338, 10.79), and perhaps also from a passage of the Odyssey in which a suitor named Agélaos acts to summon the laós when Odysseus arms for the final battle with the suitors (cf. Haubold 2000:123–124 on Odyssey 22.131–134 and 22.241–254). Although I have considered only Homeric evidence for the word laós I think that this evidence is representative of Mycenaean Greek as well. Benveniste 1969, vol. 2, 95 cites Mycenaean lawagetas, “leader of the warfolk,” as confirmation of his view that a laós is a people in relation to its leader. It is possible that Mycenaean la-wo-qo-no equals Lāwoqhonos/Laophónos, “he who kills the warfolk,” but the name is not in fact attested in later Greek; see Ventris and Chadwick 1956:425, and Heubeck 1969:537. Still more uncertain is the interpretation of Mycenaean ra-wo-qo-ta as Lāwoqhontās, “killer of the laós.” Ventris and Chadwick, in the first edition of Documents, hesitated about this interpretation because of the ambiguity of the syllables qo-ta in the Linear-B writing system (1956:425, cf. 94–95); in the second edition, 1973:579, they replaced uncertainty with a reference to Heubeck 1969, but Heubeck adds no new evidence. The feminine {336|337} name Laophóntē that Ventris and Chadwick cite as a parallel to the proposed Mycenaean masculine name Lāwoqhontās, which in later Greek would have been Laophóntēs, has an uncertain claim to existence: in “Apollodorus” 1.7.7 the manuscript reading is Leophóntē, of which Laophóntē is an emendation; the only actual occurrence of a feminine name Laophóntē, in the scholia to Apollonius of Rhodes 1.146 (it belongs to Leda’s mother), is emended by Wilamowitz 1926:137 to Laophónē for both grammatical and metrical reasons (Greek has no feminine agent suffix – to match the masculine agent suffix –tēs of the proposed name Laophóntēs, and if Pherekydes, the scholiast’s source, took the name from a hexameter source, the form Laophóntē is impossible). It must be noted, however, that the emended form Laophónē would provide a feminine equivalent of the name Laophónos discussed above as a possible interpretation of Mycenaean la-wo-qo-no. The Mycenaean names are possible, and it is thus also possible that the Homeric collocations péphnon laòn and laòn épephnen in Odyssey 11 preserve something old, but the weight of the Homeric evidence is against this. Another explanation of the Mycenaean names, though not very likely, may be suggested. Heubeck 1954:24 (= 1984:252) explains Hermes’ epithet Ἀργεϊφόντης as ἀργός, “shining, nimble,” and φον < *ghen-, ‘flourish’ (cf. εὐθενέω, “thrive”). Chantraine 1999 is skeptical of the root not only in Ἀργεϊφόντης (see s.v.), but also in the verb εὐθενέω (see s.v., where such other names as Κρεσφόντης and Πολυφόντης are mentioned and rejected for this interpretation). In compounds with laós, on the other hand, the positive sense of the root may perhaps recommend it. It remains to draw attention to the collocation órnuthi laoús, “stir up the warriors,” in Iliad 15.475 and 19.139 (ἀλλ’ ὄρσευ πόλεμόνδε καὶ ἄλλους ὄρνυθι λαούς, “but stir yourself to war and stir up the other warriors,” 19.139). The collocation is the basis of a name, Orsílaos, which does not occur in Homer, but is attested later of a Boeotian (Collitz-Bechtel 1884–1915 no. 2565 line 57; cf. Orsélaos, also Boeotian, in IG VII 2062–2063, and see Bechtel 1917:353). The meaning of Orsílaos, “he who stirs up the people,” is very close to what I take to be the meaning of Menélaos.

EN2.3 (Endnote to n2.145)

In his commentary on Theogony 954 West 1966 cites Hesiod fr. 43a.65 MW, which “appears to refer to local Gigantes slain by Heracles alone.” It is not clear how Heracles’ role in any such local battle would relate to his role in the well-known battle at Phlegrai. Regarding the battle at Phlegrai “Apollodorus” 1.6.1 says that Zeus obtained the help of Heracles when he learned that victory could only be achieved with the help of a mortal; West {337|338} cites as probable allusions to Heracles’ participation in the gigantomachy Hesiod Theogony 954, in which Heracles is the subject: ὄλβιος, ὃς μέγα ἔργον ἐν ἀθανάτοισιν ἀνύσσας, “fortunate man, who, having accomplished a great deed among the immortals”; and Hesiod Shield of Heracles 27–29:

πατὴρ δ’ ἀνδρῶν τε θεῶν τε
ἄλλην μῆτιν ὕφαινε μετὰ φρεσίν, ὥς ῥα θεοῖσιν
ἀνδράσι τ’ ἀλφηστῇσιν ἀρῆς ἀλκτῆρα φυτεύσαι.

The father of men and gods
wove another scheme in his mind, to beget
for gods and grain-eating men a defender from destruction.

West comments that “there are no other allusions to the Gigantomachy in literature before Xenophanes; in art it appears at the end of the seventh century” (West 1966 on Theogony 954). West comments on Theogony 50, which juxtaposes the race of men and giants in the same line, that “the Giants are themselves men in the fifth century” (in Euripides Heracles 853 they are called ἀνοσίων ἀνδρῶν, “unholy men”). West says further that “in Homer the Giants occupy an intermediate position between men and gods: the Laestrygonians are οὐκ ἄνδρεσσιν ἐοικότες, ἀλλὰ Γίγασιν [‘not like men, but like Giants’], Odyssey 10.120, and like the Cyclopes and Phaeacians, the Gigantes are ἀγχίθεοι [‘close to the gods’], Odyssey 7.206, though mortal (7.59–60). Later, mankind is said to have sprung from the blood of Giants.” The giants are called “big” (megálous) in Theogony 185, but West ad loc. comments that “great size is not a prominent feature of the Giants in Greek myth”; cf. also Mayer 1887:3–6. West comments on Theogony 186, in which the giants are described as having long spears, that “in early literature and art the Giants are regularly represented with full armour of the human type…. Only later are they reduced to fighting with boulders and tree-trunks.” {338|341}