Calame, Claude. 2009. Poetic and Performative Memory in Ancient Greece: Heroic Reference and Ritual Gestures in Time and Space. Hellenic Studies Series 18. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_CalameC.Poetic_and_Performative_Memory_in_Ancient_Greece.2009.
III. Creation of Gender and Heroic Identity between Legend and Cult: The Political Creation Of Theseus By Bacchylides
1. Sexual social relationships and spatial-temporal representations
1.1. Enunciation of representations of gender
1.2. Temporalities between line and circle
2. Narrative movements in time and space
2.1. Essay on semio-narrative analysis
The narrative action of Bacchylides’ Dithyramb 17 begins with the usual situation of “Lack” ; it brings on the break in equilibrium which is necessary to the confrontation of the two protagonists of the action. Both are presented at the beginning of the narration, a Subject and an Anti-subject both manipulated by a specific Sender. First Theseus borne toward Crete by the vessel itself (naûs . . . ágousa, lines 1-2) with the help of Athena, then Minos whose heart is led astray, indirectly manipulated by Aphrodite. The victim of the break in equilibrium between the two (semio-narrative) Subjects of the narrative is the young Athenian woman Eriboia, on whom Minos, motivated by erotic desire, unjustifiably tries to lay his hands.
The heroic test thus no longer involves bringing back the ring Minos flung into the depths of the sea, but being received in the “benevolent sanctuary of the sea” (line 85). The test is accomplished against Minos’ plan, first thanks to the help of dolphins (dear to Apollo), then by the benevolence of the daughters of Nereus engaged in a choral dance (khóroi, line 107), and finally thanks to the protection of Amphitrite, wife of Poseidon.  The narrative Performance thus consists of a victory over necessity (anágkē, line 96). It develops in contrast to the waiting of Theseus’ young companions, who are obliged to follow Minos toward Crete for a while longer, separated from the itinerary (and the narrative program) of which Theseus is the protagonist (and the Subject)!
The glorifying conclusion of the plot is thus first marked by the two gifts of Amphitrite to Theseus: a purple garment (aïṓna porphuréan, line 112) and a crown given by Aphrodite to Poseidon’s spouse at her own marriage. Brought back from the depths of the sea, the red garment and crown of roses in some ways take the place of the ring that Theseus was supposed to bring back according to the narrative contract established by Minos. Seen from the narrative’s logic, this first element of Sanction confirms the reorientation of the plot and its focus on Theseus, subject of the narrative action. The crown evokes the matrimonial union of the divine father of Theseus with Amphitrite, the young daughter of Nereus, while the purple garment echoes the kálumma given by the Nereids to the very young mother of Theseus at her union with the god (lines 35-38). 
2.2. From ordeal to tribal initiation ritual
Anne Pippin Burnett, summarizing the different interpretations given to Theseus’ dive, concludes: “Theseus left the ship a boy but returns a man, prepared for a form of marriage with Ariadne, and prepared also to assume his father’s duties when he gets back to Athens.” 
2.3. Erotic images
2.4. Aphrodite and marriage
3. From the Aegean Sea to the banks of the Sepik: comparisons
3.1. Masculine tribal initiation: the Iatmul
3.2. Puberty rites for girls: the Abelam
4. The practices of enunciative poetry
4.1. Time and space recounted in the spatial-temporal frame of enunciation
In concluding the Dithyramb, choral groups of the Keans are thus called upon to rejoice the heart of Delian Apollo, who is invoked directly. But the mention of “choirs,” in the plural, leaves unresolved several ambiguities concerning the precise relationship between this reference to the uttered enunciation and the cultural and historical reality of the “performance” of Bacchylides’ poem.
4.2. Signature, aition, and poetic genre
4.3. The poetic legitimization of a maritime “empire”
4.4. Symbolic births from the sea and iconography
|Earth-mother: Athena||: :||Sea-mother: Amphitite|