The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours

  Nagy, Gregory. 2013. The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013. Abridged edition 2019.

Hour 14. Longing for a hero: a retrospective

The meaning of pothos

14§1. The key words for this hour are the noun pothos and its variant pothē, which both mean ‘longing’ or ‘yearning’ or ‘desire’, and the verb derived from this noun, which means ‘long for’ or ‘yearn for’ or ‘desire’. As we will see, such longing can be directed toward the sacred. In fact, as we have already seen in Hour 5 Text M, the longing can be directed toward the gods, with whom worshippers feel a need to establish a physical closeness (Dio of Prusa 12.60-61). And now we will see that this same kind of longing can be directed toward the cult hero.

Testimony from the Hērōikos of Philostratus

14§2. The first relevant text that I will quote in this hour comes from a work composed in prose, known as the Hērōikos (sometimes translated as ‘On Heroes’). The author is Philostratus, who is dated to the early third century CE. For historical background on the author and on his work, I cite the introduction by Jennifer Berenson Maclean and Ellen Aitken to their edition and translation of the Hērōikos. [1] To understand the application of this background to my book about heroes, I cite my “Prologue” to the text of Berenson Maclean and Aitken. [2] Here I simply give the bare essentials.
14§3. This work by Philostratus, the Hērōikos, is staged as a dialogue between a Phoenician traveler and the groundskeeper of a garden that is sacred to the cult hero Protesilaos, who is mentioned briefly in Iliad II – in a part of the epic that is commonly known as the Catalogue of Ships. We will turn to that men- {387|388} tion in a few minutes. But first, I concentrate on the relevance of the work of Philostratus.
14§4. As we learn from the dialogue between the Phoenician and the groundskeeper, these two characters meet outside the garden of Protesilaos. The Phoenician has been sailing from Egypt and Phoenicia toward a destination that he cannot reach, since unfavorable winds have prevented him from sailing on. So, he is delayed at the harbor of a city by the sea. This city, by the name of Elaious, which means ‘the land of olive trees’, is on the coastline of a narrow stretch of sea known as the Hellespont, which separates Europe from Asia. At Elaious, which is situated on the European side of the Hellespont – the side known as the Chersonesus – is the sacred garden of the cult hero Protesilaos, and there is a tumulus in that garden, overlooking the seascape of the Hellespont. This tumulus is the tomb that contains the body of Protesilaos, and, as we will see later, this tumulus containing the body of Protesilaos faces the tumulus containing the body of Achilles – a matching tomb that is situated on the Asiatic side of the Hellespont. The tumulus of Protesilaos, framed in the setting of a fertile garden, is a marvel to behold, and the visiting Phoenician is charmed by the sacred beauty of it all. He found out about this beautiful place after he had disembarked from his ship – and the first person he encountered was the groundskeeper of the garden of Protesilaos (6.5-6). They start talking, and we can track their dialogue from the start at Hērōikos 1.1 and following. From the start, they are talking about Protesilaos and his sacred garden. As they keep talking, they are approaching the garden and, the next thing you know, the groundskeeper suggests to the Phoenician that he should come along and enter the garden together with the groundskeeper, so that they may continue the dialogue there. The Phoenician happily accepts. The wording of the offer and the acceptance (Hērōikos 3.3) will be quoted later in the larger context of Text D.
14§5. The Phoenician, who is portrayed as a fluent speaker of Greek, is never given a name in the dialogue, nor is the groundskeeper, who is consistently addressed by the Phoenician simply as the ampelourgos or ‘vineyard-worker’. From here on, I too will refer to this Greek groundskeeper simply as the Ampelourgos.
14§6. In an early phase of their dialogue (Hērōikos 6.3), the Phoenician tells the Ampelourgos about a dream he had after he arrived at the seaport of Elaious but before he disembarked: he dreamed that he was reading (ana-gignōskein) a part of the Iliad that he describes as ‘the Catalogue of the Achaeans’ – which is {388|389} what we know as the Catalogue of Ships, Iliad II 484-760. The dream is significant, since it is in this part of the Iliad that the story of Protesilaos is told, however briefly, by Homeric poetry. We will get to that story in a few minutes. In his dream, as the Phoenician is reading (ana-gignōskein) the Homeric Catalogue, he is visited by apparitions: the spirits of the Achaeans come to him, and he invites them all to join him on his ship (again Hērōikos 6.3). This dream of apparitions temporarily frightens the Phoenician as he wakes up and proceeds to disembark from the ship.
14§7. It turns out that this dream is relevant to a story that is built into the dialogue. The Phoenician is passionately interested in Greek heroes – not only as epic heroes whose stories are told in Homeric poetry but also as cult heroes who mystically communicate further stories to those who worship them in places that contain their bodies. And the hero Protesilaos, as the Phoenician will learn from the Ampelourgos, fits both these categories of hero: Protesilaos is an epic hero, as we see him in the Homeric Iliad, but he is also a cult hero who is worshipped in the setting of the garden that is sacred to him – a garden marked by a tumulus that contains his body. As an epic hero who was the first Achaean to die in the Trojan War, as we will soon see, he is a significant character in the story of that war; and, as a cult hero who communicates with his worshippers, as we will also soon see, he is an independent teller of the story, possessing psychic powers that enable him to know things that ‘Homer’ could never know – because, well, Homer had never heard these things. So, when the Phoenician expresses his passionate interest in heroes, he is interested not only in the story about Protesilaos but also in the story by Protesilaos, that is, he is interested in the story as told by Protesilaos himself. And the one person who can tell the Phoenician that second kind of story is the Ampelourgos, as a true worshipper of the cult hero.
14§8. In the text I am about to quote, the Ampelourgos comments on the dream of the Phoenician, which I have already summarized (Hērōikos 6.3). This dream must have been sent by the gods, says the Ampelourgos, and the Phoenician must have interpreted it correctly (6.7). According to this interpretation, the Phoenician’s dream about inviting all the Achaeans who had fought in the Trojan War to board his ship is linked with this man’s direct engagement with the story of Protesilaos. And his engagement with that story, just like his engagement with the Catalogue of Achaeans in the Iliad, shows a passionate interest in heroes. I will now quote the wording that expresses the Phoenician’s passionate {389|390} interest in learning the story as told by Protesilaos himself to the Ampelourgos. In this wording, I highlight the fact that the Phoenician uses the word potheîn, showing how he ‘longs’ or ‘yearns’ or ‘desires’ to hear the full story:

Hour 14 Text A

|6.7 {Ampelourgos:} “My guest [xenos], [3] you have arrived here truly by the will of a god, and you are interpreting your dream in a sound way. So, let us go ahead with the story [logos], so that you will not say that I am morally careless by distracting you from it.” |7.1 {Phoenician:} “So, now, I see that you understand the things that I am longing [potheîn] to learn. For I do need to hear what this relationship [sunousiā] is that you have with Protesilaos, and what he is like when he comes to you, and whether he knows anything similar to what the poets know about the events at Troy – or whether he knows anything about them that the poets don’t know. |7.2 When I say ‘about the events at Troy’ I mean: about the assembly of the [Achaean] army in Aulis – and about the heroes themselves. I want to know something about each one of them, one by one. Were they beautiful, as they are said to be in song? Were they manly and intelligent? I am talking like this because I’m wondering how he [= Protesilaos] could narrate the story about the war that happened at Troy when he never had a chance to fight in the war to the finish, having been the first of all the Greek forces to die at Troy, as they say, right at the beginning, as soon as he stepped off [his ship].”
Philostratus Hērōikos 6.7-7.2 [4]
14§9. The momentary doubt that the Phoenician expresses here about the ability of the cult hero Protesilaos to know things that go well beyond what this hero had experienced in life is instantly corrected by the Ampelourgos, who {390|391} says that Protesilaos, once he was dead, acquired a consciousness that made connections not only with his own experiences in life but also with the experiences of all the other heroes of his time (Hērōikos 7.3). Then the Ampelourgos goes on to explain about this mystical kind of consciousness:

Hour 14 Text B

|7.4 At any rate, among those who critically examine Homer’s poems, who will you say has read [ana-gignōskein] them in such a way as Protesilaos has read them and sees all the way through [di-horân] them? |7.5 Besides, my guest [xenos], before Priam and Troy there wasn’t even any epic recitation [rhapsōidiā], nor was there any singing about events that had not yet taken place. I say this because the art of composing poetry back then about oracular utterances [manteîa] and about, say, Hēraklēs, son of Alkmēnē, was only starting to take shape and had not yet reached a stage of maturity, and there was no Homer yet, so there was no Homer to do any singing. Some say that it was only when Troy was captured, while others say it was eight generations later, that he [= Homer] applied himself to practicing the art of poetry. |7.6 But, in spite of all that, Protesilaos knows all the things of Homer, and he sings of many Trojan events that took place after the hero’s own lifetime, as also of many events that have to do with Greeks and Persians.
Philostratus Hērōikos 7.4-6 [5]
14§10. So, metaphorically, the consciousness of the cult hero Protesilaos can ana-gignōskein, ‘read’, all the events of the heroic age, or even events that happened after that age. And, for this hero, the medium for telling stories does not depend on the medium of poetry, which supposedly had not even developed into a full-fledged form of art until later, that is, during the time of the Trojan War, or until even later. This medium of the cult hero can tell these stories because the cult hero is himself the medium.
14§11. The passionate interest of the Phoenician in the cult hero Protesilaos is {391|392} symmetrical with another passionate interest of his, and, once again, this interest is expressed by way of the same word potheîn: once again, the Phoenician ‘longs’ or ‘yearns’ or ‘desires’ to hear the full story. And, in this other case, the object of his passionate interest is Achilles himself. When the Ampelourgos starts to recount for the Phoenician the stories about Achilles, he says that he will at first confine himself to those stories that are linked to the Trojan War and to the environs of Troy in general (Hērōikos 22.1). In this same context, the Ampelourgos also says that only later will he tell those other stories about Achilles that are linked to the cult place called Leuke, the White Island, and in fact those other stories are duly narrated at a later point (54.2-57.17). For the moment, I too will confine myself to the stories that are linked to Troy. In the passage that I am about to quote, the Ampelourgos is about to tell the story of a contest that took place between Protesilaos and Achilles himself over a shield that both heroes claimed as a war prize (23.1, with reference to 13.3-14.1, 14.3-4, 23.24-25). I am about to quote the part of the dialogue where the Ampelourgos is beginning to tell the Phoenician the story about this shield – a story that involves both Achilles and Protesilaos. This story, as originally communicated by the conscious spirit of Protesilaos to the Ampelourgos, is eagerly awaited by the Phoenician:

Hour 14 Text C

|23.1 {Ampelourgos:} “So, now, let us take up, my guest [xenos], the story of the shield – about which, as Protesilaos says, Homer and all the other poets knew nothing.” |23.2 {Phoenician:} “I am longing [potheîn] for the story you are about to recount about it [= the shield], Ampelourgos! I think it will be a rare occasion when I will ever hear it again.”
Philostratus Hērōikos 23.1-2 [6]
14§12. So, the Phoenician is longing to hear about both heroes, Achilles as well as Protesilaos. Both of these heroes are for him objects of longing and desire. And as we will now see, such longing translates into a desire to worship a cult hero. {392|393}

Longing for Protesilaos in the Homeric Iliad

14§13. In the Homeric Iliad, as we read in the Catalogue of Ships, Protesilaos died an unseasonal death and is sorely missed by his community in his native Thessaly. The natives of this land ‘long’ for the hero, and this ‘longing’ is expressed by way of the verb potheîn:

Hour 14 Text D

|695 And then there were those that held Phylake and Pyrasos, with its flowery meadows, |696 precinct of Demeter; and Iton, the mother of sheep; |697 Antron upon the sea, and Pteleon that lies upon the grass lands. |698 Of these men the Arēs-like Protesilaos had been leader |699 while he was still alive, but now he was held down by the black earth that covered him. |700 He had left a wife behind him in Phylake to tear both her cheeks in sorrow, |701 and his house was only half completed [hēmi-telēs]. He was killed by a Dardanian warrior |702 while he was leaping out from his ship [on Trojan soil], and he was the very first of the Achaeans to make the leap. |703 Still, his people were not without a leader, though they longed [potheîn] for their leader. |704 But now his people were organized [kosmeîn] by Podarkes, attendant [ozos] of Arēs. |705 He [= Podarkes] was son of Iphiklos, rich in sheep, who was the son of Phylakos, |706 and he [= Podarkes] was the blood brother of Protesilaos, the one with the great heart [thūmos]. |707 But he [= Podarkes] was younger, Protesilaos being both older and more Arēs-like, |708 yes, that hero [hērōs] Protesilaos, the Arēs-like. Still, his people were not |709 without a leader, though they longed [potheîn] for him [= Protesilaos], noble [esthlos] man that he was.
Iliad II 695-709 [7] {393|394}
14§14. As we see from this passage, the people of Protesilaos are said to feel a pothos or ‘longing’ for him (Iliad II 703, 709). What we see here, I argue, is an indirect reference by Homeric poetry to the hero cult of Protesilaos.

The sacred eroticism of heroic beauty

14§15. Why is Protesilaos so dearly missed by his people? As we will now see from Philostratus, this longing is associated with the beauty of the cult hero, who is not only estheticized but also eroticized. And this eroticism, as we will also see, is felt to be sacred. Here is the way this sacred eroticism is introduced at a very early point in the Hērōikos of Philostratus:

Hour 14 Text E

|2.6 {Phoenician:} “So, Ampelourgos, do you live a reflective way of life?” {Ampelourgos:} “Yes, together with the beautiful [kalos] Protesilaos.” |2.7 {Phoenician:} “What do you have in common with Protesilaos, if you mean the man from Thessaly?” {Ampelourgos:} “I do mean that man, the husband of Laodameia. And I say it that way because he delights in hearing himself described that way.” |2.8 {Phoenician:} “So, then, what is he doing here?” {Ampelourgos:} “He lives [zēi] here, and we work the land [geōrgoumen] together.” |2.9 {Phoenician:} “Has he come back to life [anabiōnai], or what?” {Ampelourgos:} “He himself does not speak about his own experiences [pathos plural], stranger [xenos], [8] except, of course, that he died at Troy because of Helen, but then came to life [anabiōnai] in Phthia because he loved Laodameia.” |2.10 {Phoenician:} “And yet it is said that he died after he came to life [anabiōnai] and persuaded his wife to follow him.” |2.11 {Ampelourgos:} “He himself also says these things. But how he returned after this too, he does not tell me even though I’ve wanted to find out for a long time. He is hiding, he says, some secret [aporrhēton] of the Fates [Moirai]. And his fellow warriors also, who were there in Troy, still appear [phainontai] on the plain, holding the pose [skhēma] of fighting men and {394|395} shaking the crests of their helmets.” |3.1 {Phoenician:} “By Athena, Ampelourgos, I don’t believe [pisteuein] it, although I wish these things were so. But if you are not attending to the plants, nor irrigating them, tell me now about these things and all that you know about Protesilaos. After all, you would please the heroes if I would go away believing [pisteuein].” |3.2 {Ampelourgos:} “Stranger [xenos], [9] the plants no longer need watering at midday, since it is already late autumn and the season [hōrā] itself waters them. So, I have leisure to relate everything in detail. Since these matters are sacred to the gods and so important, may they not escape the notice of those humans who are cultivated [kharientes]! It is also better for us to sit down in the beauty of this place.” {Phoenician:} “Lead the way; I will follow even beyond the interior of Thrace.” |3.3 {Ampelourgos:} “Let us enter the vineyard, Phoenician. [10] For you may even discover in it something to give cheer [euphrosunē] to you.” {Phoenician:} “Yes, let us enter. I think a sweet scent is being breathed out [ana-pneîn] from the plants.” |3.4 {Ampelourgos:} “What are you saying, ‘sweet’? It is something godlike [theion]! The blossoms of the uncultivated trees are fragrant, as are the fruits of those that are cultivated. If you ever come upon a cultivated plant with fragrant blossoms, pluck rather the leaves, since the sweet scent comes from them.” |3.5 {Phoenician:} “How diverse [poikilē] is the beauty [hōrā] of this place you have here, and how lush have the clusters of grapes grown! How well-arranged are all the trees, and how ambrosial [ambrosiā] is the fragrance of the place! And, I think that the walkways [dromoi] that you have left untilled are pleasing, but, Ampelourgos, I think you live luxuriantly [truphân], since you use so much uncultivated land.” |3.6 {Ampelourgos:} “The walkways [dromoi] are sacred, guest [xenos], for the hero strips down and exercises [gumnazetai] there.”
Philostratus Hērōikos 2.6-3.6 [11] {395|396}
14§16. There are many details here that will be relevant to the discussions ahead, and I offer a brief inventory that can be used for the analysis that follows:

– The cult hero Protesilaos is beautiful (2.6).
– Phthia in Thessaly is where he was born, but he is buried in Elaious, the city overlooking the Hellespont (2.7).
– The cult hero helps the worshipper geōrgeîn, work the land’, and that land is sacred to him (2.8). Working the land or geōrgiā, ‘agriculture’, was considered a sacred activity, as we saw in Hour 12§36. [12] We may compare the title of Virgil’s classic poem on working the land, the Georgics.
– Protesilaos experienced a resurrection after death (2.9). Such myths about coming back to life are central to the mysteries of hero cult.
– More than that, Protesilaos experienced two resurrections, though the worshipper has not been initiated into the mysteries of the second of the two experiences of the cult hero (2.10). There can be gradations of initiation into the mysteries. It is implied here that the degree of the initiation of the Ampelourgos is not as high as that of other worshippers. [13]
– The cult hero manifests himself in epiphanies, signaled by the word phainesthai, ‘appear’ (2.11). I offered a working definition of epiphany in Hour 5§38. When heroes from the heroic past appear in the world of the present, what they are doing is making epiphanies. As we can see from the behavior of Protesilaos, an epiphany is like a temporary resurrection. {396|397}
– The garden of the cult hero is a model of seasonality, the word for which here is hōrā (3.2).
– The breeze carrying the aroma of flowering plants is the breath of the hero (3.3). [14] I note the metonymy here. I use the term metonymy here in line with my working definition in Hour 4§32: metonymy is an expression of meaning by way of connecting something to something else that is next to that something or at least near to it, thereby establishing contact.
– The beauty of the garden in general and of the vineyard in particular is pictured as hōrā, ‘seasonality’. We may say that the hōrā is the beauty. And such beauty is poikilē, ‘varied’ (3.5): that is, the beauty of nature is never the same, always changing from one delightful vision to the next. [15] So, hōrā, ‘seasonality’, is a kind of dynamic perfection.
14§17. I focus on the use of the word hōrā in this text (3.2, 3.5). It is the ‘perfect time’ for the epiphany of Protesilaos (3.5). The beauty of the garden is linked to the presence of the cult hero, who delights in the natural beauty by manifesting himself in epiphanies, showing off his own beauty as an exercising athlete (3.6). I return to my working definition of this word hōrā: ‘season, seasonality, the right time, the perfect time’. As we saw in Hour 1§§26-29, hōrā is a basic concept related to the concept of the goddess Hērā, the immortal exponent of seasonality, and to the concept of the human hērōs, ‘hero’ (plural hērōes), the mortal exponent of seasonality.

The beauty of seasonality in a Modern Greek poem

14§18. In Modern Greek, the word oréos / oréa means ‘beautiful’, directly descended from the ancient Greek hōraîos / hōraíā, an adjective derived from the noun hōrā. This inherited link in meaning between the beauty and the seasonality of hōrā is captured in a poem of Giorgos Seferis, where the sensuous experience of marveling at natural beauty is expressed by way of the Modern Greek adverb oréa, corresponding to the neuter plural of the ancient Greek adjective, hōraîa (ὡραῖα): {397|398}

Hour 14 Text Fa

Στὸ περιγιάλι τὸ κρυφὸ
| κι’ ἄσπρο σὰν περιστέρι
| διψάσαμε τὸ μεσημέρι·
μὰ τὸ νερὸ γλυφό.
Πάνω στὴν ἄμμο τὴν ξανθὴ
| γράψαμε τ’ ὄνομά της·
| ὡραῖα που φύσηξεν ὁ μπάτης
| καὶ σβήστηκε ἡ γραφή.
Mὲ τί καρδιά, μὲ τί πνοή,
| τί πόθους καὶ τί πάθος,
| πήραμε τὴ ζωή μας· λάθος!
| κι’ ἀλλάξαμε ζωή. [16]
Giorgos Seferis, ´Arnisi (῎Αρνηση, from the collection Στροφή, 1931)

This poem Arnisi, which means ‘denial’, was made famous in Modern Greek popular culture after it was set to music by Mikis Theodorakis. His song, known by the same name ´Arnisi, was composed in Paris in 1961; it is part of a set of songs known as Epiphánia (᾿Επιφάνεια), and it has remained enormously popular up to the present moment. [17]

Here is my translation:

Hour 14 Text Fb

At the shoreline the secret one | and white like a dove | we thirsted at noon. | But the water was salty. || On the sand, golden-blond, | we wrote down her name. | Beautiful, the way the sea breeze exhaled, | and the writing was wiped out. || With what heart, with what breath, | what longings and what passion, | we seized our life – no, wrong! | – and we changed life.

Here is my translation again, but this time I have inserted some of the original Modern Greek words, along with their ancient Greek counterparts (each ancient Greek word is transliterated, and preceded by the sign “<” to indicate that the corresponding Modern Greek word is actually descended from the ancient counterpart): {398|399}

Hour 14 Text Fc

At the shoreline the secret one | and white like a dove | we thirsted at noon. | But the water was salty. || On the sand, golden-blond, | we wrote down her name. | Beautiful [ὡραῖα < hōraîa], the way the sea breeze exhaled, | and the writing was wiped out. || With what heart, with what breath [πνοή < pnoē], | what longings [πόθους < pothous] and what passion [πάθος < pathos], | we seized our life [ζωή < zōē] – no, wrong [λάθος] ! | and we changed life [ζωή < zōē]. [18]
14§19. The sense of longing for something ineffable in a natural setting is expressed here by way of the Modern Greek word pothos, direct descendant of ancient Greek pothos, which is the key word for this hour. In the poem of Seferis, the context is an exclamation: τί πόθους καὶ τί πάθος, ‘what longings [pothous] and what passion [pathos]!’. The Modern Greek πόθους here is a direct descendant of the ancient Greek accusative plural pothous, corresponding to the nominative plural pothoi, ‘longings’.
14§20. The longing conveyed by ‘we thirsted at noon’ (διψάσαμε τὸ μεσημέρι) in stanza 1 is picked up by ‘Beautiful [ὡραῖα < hōraîa], the way the sea breeze exhaled’ (ὡραῖα που φύσηξεν ὁ μπάτης) in stanza 2 and by ‘we seized our life – no, wrong!’ (πήραμε τὴ ζωή μας· λάθος!) in stanza 3. Then the longing is intensified: ‘With what heart, with what breath [πνοή < pnoē], | what longings [πόθους < pothous] and what passion [πάθος < pathos]’ (Mὲ τί καρδιά, μὲ τί πνοή,
| τί πόθους καὶ τί πάθος).

The beauty of the hero in death

14§21. With this Modern Greek point of comparison in place, I return to Text E, Philostratus Hērōikos 2.6-3.6, where the sensuous and charismatic beauty of the cult hero is made explicit. Such an idea of beauty is generated, as we saw in that text, by the idea of the hōrā, ‘seasonality’, of the hero. But the hero becomes seasonal only in death. It is death that makes the hero become a cult hero. Before {399|400} death, as we have seen ever since Hour 1, the hero is unseasonal. Only after death can the hero be truly seasonal – and eligible for the description olbios in the sense of ‘blessed’. That is how the cult hero’s worshippers can become olbioi in the sense of ‘prosperous’ by virtue of being connected to the hero’s local earth. And that is also how the worshippers can themselves become ‘blessed’ through the blessings of such prosperity. We saw that sense already in Odyssey xi 137, as first quoted in Hour 11 Text J, when we first considered the stylized sēma of Odysseus.
14§22. A perfect example of heroic beauty in death is Achilles himself. As we saw in Hour 5§108, Achilles in death is pictured as le beau mort, ‘the beautiful corpse’, by virtue of dying la belle mort, ‘the beautiful death’. And such a beautiful death, as we can now also see, is basic to the idea of a cult hero.

A beautiful setting for the beautiful cult hero

14§23. In the Homeric Iliad, the picturing of Achilles as a beautiful corpse highlights the unseasonality of the hero at the moment of his death, as when the goddess Thetis and her fellow Nereids lament the future death of her beloved son in war: in this context, as we have seen in Iliad XVIII 54-64, quoted in Hour 4 Text G, the hero Achilles is compared to a beautiful seedling that dies prematurely while it is still in full bloom. This idea of a premature death for a beautiful plant as a model for the premature death of a beautiful hero can be re-enacted in hero cult, as we can see from a most suggestive passage that I am about to quote from the Hērōikos of Philostratus. In this passage, I highlight the word that refers to the beautiful natural setting where the cult hero Protesilaos is buried. That word is kolōnos:

Hour 14 Text G

|9.1 Listen to such stories now, my guest [xenos]. Protesilaos lies buried not at Troy but here on the Chersonesus. This large tumulus [kolōnos] over here on the left no doubt contains him. The nymphs generated [phuein] these elms [that you see here] [19] around the tumulus [kolōnos], and they wrote, so to speak, the following decree concerning these trees: |9.2 “Those branches that turn toward Ilion [= Troy] will blos- {400|401} som early and will then immediately shed their leaves and perish before their season [hōrā] – for this was also the life experience [pathos] of Protesilaos – but a tree on its other side will live and prosper.” |9.3 All the trees that do not stand around the tomb [sēma], such as these trees [that you see right over here] in the grove, have strength in all their branches and flourish according to their particular nature. [20]
Philostratus Hērōikos 9.1-3 [21]
14§24. The word kolōnos, which refers two times here in the Hērōikos (9.1) to the tomb of Protesilaos and which I translate as ‘tumulus’, is a prominent elevation in a local landscape. As we can see, such a kolōnos is a landmark that can be imagined as the sēma, ‘tomb’, of the cult hero. And we see this word sēma also used here in the same text I just quoted (9.3). That said, I concentrate on one detail about the vegetation surrounding this kolōnos or sēma of Protesilaos. It is said that the elm trees planted around this tomb wilt on one side and flourish on their other side. So, the vegetation around the tomb re-enacts here the heroic oscillation of unseasonality and seasonality as experienced by the hero Protesilaos himself: he was unseasonal in life but now he is seasonal in death. So, the beautiful setting of the kolōnos, ‘tumulus’, of Protesilaos re-enacts the beautiful death of the hero.
14§25. This kolōnos of Protesilaos, situated on the European coast of the Hellespont, is matched by the kolōnos of Achilles himself, which is symmetrically situated on the facing Asiatic coast:

Hour 14 Text H

|51.12 This tumulus [kolōnos], my guest [xenos], which you see standing at the brow of the promontory [aktē], was heaped up [ageirein, ‘pile stones together’] by the Achaeans who came together at the time when he [= Achilles] was mixed together with Patroklos for their joint burial, having provided for himself [= Achilles] and for that one [= Patroklos] {401|402} the most beautiful of funeral rites. And this is the origin of the custom of singing his name in praise when people celebrate the bonds of love between friends. |51.13 Of all mortals who ever existed, he [= Achilles] was buried in the most spectacular way, what with all the gifts that Greece [= Hellas] bestowed upon him. No longer could they [= the Achaeans] consider it a beautiful thing to grow their hair long, once Achilles was gone. Whatever gold or other possession each of them had brought to Troy or had taken away from the division of spoils [= spoils taken at Troy] was now collected and heaped up on top of the funeral pyre, right then and there. The same thing happened also later when Neoptolemos came to Troy. He [= Achilles] received another round of glorious gifts from his son and from the Achaeans who were trying to show their gratitude [kharis] to him. Even as they were getting ready to sail away from Troy, they would keep throwing themselves on top of the place of burial and believe that they were embracing Achilles. [22]
Philostratus Hērōikos 51.12-13 [23]
14§26. I must note that this tomb of Achilles, which is called kolōnos, ‘tumulus’, here (51.12; also at 53.10, 11), is also called his sēma, ‘tomb’ (53.11; also 51.2, 52.3). We see the same pattern in the case of Protesilaos: this hero’s kolōnos, ‘tumulus’, as it is called in the Hērōikos (9.1, twice), is also called his sēma, ‘tomb’ (9.3). That said, I return to the text I have just quoted concerning the kolōnos, ‘tumulus’, of Achilles, and I highlight the wording that describes two details that I propose to analyze:
14§26a. Commenting on the post-heroic era that follows the death of Achilles, the Ampelourgos says: ‘no longer could they [= the Achaeans] consider it a beautiful thing to grow their hair long, once Achilles was gone’ (Philostratus Hērōikos 51.13). [24] The wording connotes an aetiology, as if the death of Achilles {402|403} were the single reason that explains why adult men of the post-heroic age no longer wore their hair long – except for such notable counter-examples as the Spartans. As we saw in Hour 13§19 when we viewed line drawings of the statues of the Argive youths Kleobis and Biton, the wearing of long hair was a distinctive sign of pre-adult status. Even in the Iliad, the long hair of Achilles ostentatiously signals his pre-adult status, as we can see from the scene describing the funeral of Patroklos, where Achilles cuts off his long blond hair as he stands at the funeral pyre of his best friend (XXIII 141). It is at this same place where the tumulus to be shared by Patroklos and Achilles will be built when the time comes for the funeral of Achilles himself (XXIII 126). In this Homeric scene, as Achilles is standing on the heights of the promontory that will become the setting for the tumulus that houses his own body, he wistfully looks out over the seas of the outer Hellespont, fixing his gaze toward the far west, in the direction of his native land of Thessaly, and longing for the river Sperkheios that flows through that distant land: it was to the waters of that river, which he will never live to see again, that he had hoped to sacrifice his long hair after he came of age and was ready to cut it (XXIII 142-153). But now Achilles cuts off his long hair prematurely and unseasonally as he stands there at the Asiatic promontory that will become the setting for the tumulus that houses his body (XXIII 142). [25] And now the comrades of Achilles follow his example and likewise cut off their hair (XXIII 135-136). So, also in the wording that I have just highlighted from the Hērōikos of Philostratus, we see a reference to this ritual of coming of age: now that Achilles is dead, adult males of the future will be wearing their hair short, no longer long. It is as if all the ‘sons of the Achaeans’ were now ready to shift from pre-adult to adult status – now that Achilles is dead and buried. So, now, the huies Akhaiōn, ‘sons of the Achaeans’, as the Achaean warriors are regularly called in the Iliad (I 162 and so on) have reached a post-heroic maturity that inaugurates a post-heroic age.
14§26b. I have also highlighted in the text I quoted a minute ago from the Hērōikos of Philostratus a detail about the reaction of the Achaeans to the death of Achilles: how they embraced the tumulus of Achilles, as if they were embracing the hero himself. The wording of this reaction, as we will now see, provides a telling commentary on an aspect of hero cult that will seem at first to be quite alien to our modern sensibilities. {403|404}

Paroxysms of sentimentality in worshipping cult heroes

14§27. The Achaeans, as we saw in Philostratus Hērōikos 51.12-13, quoted in Text H, heap up a kolōnos, ‘tumulus’, in order to honor their greatest hero, and then they perform a ritual gesture that centers on this tumulus: ‘they would keep throwing themselves on top of the place of burial and believe that they were embracing Achilles’. [26] We see here a gesture of ritual metonymy: touching the tumulus of the cult hero is the next best thing to touching the hero himself. Once again I use here the term metonymy in line with the working definition I offered in Hour 4§32: metonymy is an expression of meaning by way of connecting something to something else that is next to that something or at least near to it, thereby establishing contact. In this case, the contact is expressed by way of an intensely sentimental gesture: the Achaeans embrace the tumulus of Achilles as if to embrace the hero himself. This way, the Achaeans get in touch with Achilles.
14§28. Similarly in the case of the cult hero Protesilaos, his worshippers desire physical contact with him when he appears to them in an epiphany. The Ampelourgos describes such a sensual epiphany:

Hour 14 Text I

|11.1 {Phoenician:} “So, the passionate love [erōs] that he used to have in loving [erân] Laodameia – how is it going for him these days?” {Ampelourgos:} “Oh, he is still very much loving [erân] her, and he is still being loved [erâsthai] right back by her, and they relate to each other just like a couple that has just come out, all hot [thermoi], from a honeymoon chamber.” |11.2 {Phoenician:} “And do you embrace him when he comes to you [in the garden] – or does he elude you by going up in a puff of smoke, the same way he eludes the poets?” [27] {Ampelourgos:} “Actually, he takes pleasure [khairein] when I embrace him and lets me kiss [phileîn] him and put my arm around his neck.” |11.3 {Phoenician:} “Does he come to you often or just once in a while?” {Ampelourgos:} “Oh, I guess it’s about four or five times a month that I get to have my share of him, whenever he feels like planting one of the plants you see here, or when he harvests one of them, or when he does some cuttings of blossoms [anthos plural]. When somebody is a lover of garlands {404|405} [philo-stephanos], he will have sweeter-smelling blossoms to show for it [in the garlands he wears] whenever he [= Protesilaos] is all over those blossoms [anthos plural].” |11.4 {Phoenician:} “You’re talking about a very convivial hero [hērōs]: he must be quite the bridegroom!”
Philostratus Hērōikos 11.1-4 [28]
14§29. So, every time Protesilaos makes contact with his worshipper by appearing in an epiphany, it is as if this hero had just finished having sex on his wedding night with his ever-loving bride Laodameia. With his generative power, Protesilaos makes the garden flourish when he comes to visit, and he can animate the blossoms that are used to plait the garlands worn by brides and grooms when they get married: the hero’s presence is ‘all over’ these blossoms – that is, he is surrounding them, he is ‘all around them’ (peri auta). Also, the overriding presence of Protesilaos in the blossoms of flowers is signaled by the aroma of these blossoms, which is metonymically the breath of the hero himself:

Hour 14 Text J

|10.1 {Phoenician:} “Why don’t you describe [dia-graphein] him to me and share what he looks like.” |10.2 {Ampelourgos:} “With pleasure [khairein], my guest, I swear by Athena. He was about twenty years old at most when he sailed to Troy. He teems in his life force [bruein] with the luxuriant [habron] fuzz on his cheeks, and he smells sweeter than myrtles in autumn. [29] Radiant eyebrows frame the look of his eyes, since whatever is charming [epi-khari] is near and dear [philon] to him.”
Philostratus Hērōikos 10.1-2 [30] {405|406}
14§30. Such intense sentimentality gives an erotic as well as esthetic touch to the practice of worshipping heroes. At first, this erotic touch may seem quite alien to us, but a second look may make things less unfamiliar. The sacral eroticism of Protesilaos reminds me of a parallel in modern popular culture. I am thinking here of the “Krishna phase” in the musical career of George Harrison, culminating in a song he sang to the Indic hero-god Krishna: the title of the song, recorded in 1970, is “My sweet lord,” and the wording of the song displays the same kind of sentimentality that we just saw in the texts I quoted from the Hērōikos of Philostratus. In particular, the singer of “My sweet lord” declares that he is longing to see an epiphany of Krishna, so that he may be physically united with the hero-god: “I really want to see you, I really want to be with you”:

The melody of Harrison’s song was faintly reminiscent of an earlier song, sung by female singers about a male object of desire. Originally recorded in 1963 by the Chiffons, this song is called “He’s so fine”:

This is not the time or the place to dwell on the litigation that enveloped George Harrison over perceived similarities between the older and newer songs, but one thing is for sure, to my mind: there is no trace of sacral eroticism in the song of the Chiffons.

Back to the tumulus of Achilles

14§31. Moving southeast from the kolōnos, ‘tumulus’, of Protesilaos, situated on the European side of the Hellespont, I return to the kolōnos of Achilles, situated on the other side, in Asia Minor. In Text H, Philostratus Hērōikos 51.12-13, we have already read a description of this tumulus of Achilles. Now we will read a passage that follows that description. In this next passage from the Hērōikos, we will learn of a seasonally recurring custom observed by Thessalians who sailed to Troy and performed sacrifice at the tomb of Achilles. In this description, the word kolōnos refers, once again, to the tomb of Achilles:

Hour 14 Text K

|53.8 The Thessalian sacrificial offerings [enagismata] that came regularly to Achilles from Thessaly were decreed for the Thessalians by the oracle at Dodona. You see, the oracle ordered the Thessalians to sail to Troy each year to sacrifice [thuein] to Achilles and to slaughter some sacrificial victims as for a god, while slaughtering other victims as for the dead. |53.9 From the very beginnings, the following was the proce- {406|407} dure: a ship sailed from Thessaly to Troy with black sails raised, bringing twice seven sacred delegates [theōroi], one white bull and one black bull, both tame to the touch, and wood from Mount Pelion, so that they would need nothing from the city [= New Ilion]. [31] They also brought fire from Thessaly as well as water drawn from the river Sperkheios for libations. As a consequence [of these practices], the Thessalians were the first to institute the custom of using unwilting garlands [stephanoi amarantinoi] for the funerary rituals [kēdos plural] [in honor of Achilles], in order that, even if the wind delayed the ship, they would not wear garlands [stephanoi] that were wilted [saproi] or past their season [ex-hōroi]. |53.10 And evidently they found it necessary to put into the harbor at night and, before touching land, to sing from the ship a hymn [humnos] to Thetis, which is composed of these words:
Thetis, sea-blue, Thetis consort of Peleus, | you who bore the great son | Achilles. The part of him that his mortal | nature brought him | was the share of Troy, but the part of him that from your immortal | lineage was drawn by the child, the sea [pontos] has that part. | Come, proceed to this steep tumulus [ kolōnos ] | in the company of Achilles [to receive] the offerings placed over the fire. | Come, proceed without tears in the company of Thessaly, | you sea-blue Thetis, you consort of Peleus.
|53.11 When they approached the tomb [ sēma ] after the hymn [humnos], a shield was banged upon as in battle, and together with rhythmic coordination they cried alala while calling upon Achilles. When they had garlanded [ stephanoûn ] the summit of the tumulus [ kolōnos ] and dug sacrificial pits on it, they slaughtered the black bull as to one who is dead. |53.12 They also called upon Patroklos to come to the feast, so as to gratify [= make kharis for] Achilles. |53.13 After they slit the victim’s throat and made this sacrifice [enagizein], they evidently proceeded to go down to the ship, and, after sacrificing [thuein] the other bull on the beach again to Achilles and having begun the offering by taking from {407|408} the basket and by partaking of the entrails for that sacrifice [thusiā] (for they sacrificed [thuein] that sacrifice [thusiā] as to a god), they sailed away as dawn approached, taking the sacrificed animal so as not to be feasting in the enemy’s territory. [32]
Philostratus Hērōikos 53.8-13 [33]
14§32. I draw special attention to the ritual offering of stephanoi, ‘garlands’, of blossoms for the dead Achilles in the course of this detailed description of the sacrifices that are being offered to him as a cult hero: it is specified, as we have just read, that the garlands must be amarantinoi, ‘unwilting’. Technically, the blossoms that form the circles of these garlands come from the name of a flower known as amaranton or ‘amaranth’, which literally means ‘unwilting’ (from the verb marainesthai, meaning ‘wilt’). The blossoms of the flower amaranth that are plaited into garlands mimic eternity, since the blossom of the amaranth is observably slow in wilting, unlike the blossoms of most other flowers. This ritual gesture of offering ‘unwilting garlands’ to the hero is relevant to the kleos aphthiton of Achilles in Iliad IX 413, which as we have seen in Hour 4§§38-40, is the ‘unwilting glory’ of epic poetry. Verbs and nouns derived from the verb phthi-n-ein, which I had translated up to Hour 4§39 simply as ‘perish’, convey the idea of wilting in contexts referring to the vitality of plants. [34] So, Achilles himself ‘wilts’ like a beautiful plant, if we interpret phthi-n-ein as ‘wilt’ in a passage of Pindar that I had first quoted in Hour 4: {408|409}

Hour 14 Text L = Hour 4 Text A

|56 Even when he [= Achilles] died, the songs did not leave him, |57 but the Maidens of Helicon [= the Muses] stood by his pyre and his funeral mound, |58 and, as they stood there, they poured forth a song of lamentation [thrēnos] that is famed far and wide. |59 And so it was that the immortal gods decided |60 to hand over the man, genuine [esthlos] as he was even after he had wilted [phthi-n-ein] in death, to the songs of the goddesses [= the Muses]. |61 And this, even now, wins as a prize the words of song, as the chariot-team of the Muses starts moving on its way |62 to glorify the memory of Nikokles the boxer.
Pindar Isthmian 8.56-62

Whereas Achilles ‘wilts’, the kleos or ‘glory’ of his song will never ‘wilt’. The song is notionally eternal.

14§33. In the ritual of the Thessalians as described in Philostratus Hērōikos 53.9 and as quoted in Text K, we saw that the worshippers of Achilles offer him stephanoi amarantinoi, ‘unwilting garlands’. A stephanos or ‘garland’, as we have already seen, is a circle or ‘crown’ (as in Latin corona) of plaited blossoms to be placed on the wearer’s head of hair – and also, in Hērōikos 53.11 as also quoted in Text K, on the summit of the kolōnos, ‘tumulus’, that houses the body of Achilles. As I noted earlier, the blossoms of the flower amaranth that are plaited into garlands mimic eternity, since the blossom of the amaranth is observably slow in wilting, unlike the blossoms of most other flowers. And the ritual function of garlands, as circles of blossoms, is to express the idea of eternity. This idea is made explicit in a song of Bacchylides, who, like his rival Pindar, was active in the first half of the fifth century BCE. In the part of the song that I am about to quote, the ritual garlanding of a victorious athlete is equated with an affirmation of eternity, and this eternity is pictured as the circle of blossoms that adorn the garland of athletic victory:

Hour 14 Text M

[…] the blossoms [ anthea ] nurture a fame [ doxa ] that is polu- phantos (made visible [ phainein ] to many) in the recircling of time [ aiōn ] – a fame meant for only a few mortals, lasting forever [ aiei ].
Bacchylides Ode 13 lines 61-63 [35] {409|410}
14§34. The ritual tradition of making a garland by linking blossoms together into a circle is relevant to the linking that we see here between the adverb aiei, ‘forever’, and the noun aiōn in the sense of a ‘life’ or a ‘life-force’ that keeps coming back to life by way of a ‘recircling of time’. In fact, the adverb aiei, ‘forever’, is the old locative singular of this noun aiōn, and this locative means literally ‘in a recircling of time’, signaling an eternal return. [36] As for the anthea, ‘blossoms’, at line 60 here, they are identical with the blossoms that are linked together into the garland mentioned at an earlier point in the song (line 55, not quoted here). As for the doxa, ‘fame’, at line 61, which is ‘nurtured’ by the blossoms of this garland, it is identical with the kleos, ‘glory’, of song or poetry, as mentioned in the passage that immediately follows this one:

Hour 14 Text N

And when the dark blue cloud of death covers over these few [= the victors], what gets left behind is |65 an undying glory [ kleos ] for what they did so well, in accord with a destiny [aisa] that cannot be dislodged.
Bacchylides Ode 13 lines 63-66 [37]
14§35. Just as the blossoms of the garland nurture the eternal doxa, ‘fame’, of those few mortals whose athletic victories are celebrated at festivals, so also they nurture the eternal kleos, ‘glory’, of those mortals – a glory conferred by song or poetry. The medium of song or poetry is its own message, which is glory. This glory is compared to a garland, a circle of blossoms all linked together, and this circle is eternal. [38]
14§36. So, also in the ritual of the Thessalians as described in Philostratus Hērōikos 53.9-13 and as quoted in Text K, the ‘garlanding’ (53.12 stephanoûn) of the tumulus of Achilles and the wearing of the ‘unwilting garlands’ (53.9 stephanoi amarantinoi) that crown the heads of the participants are both signs of eternity, since the ritual itself is meant to be recycled year after year into eternity.

Longing for Achilles: you’re going to miss me

14§37. The people of Protesilaos are not the only ones who feel pothos, ‘longing’, for their hero. So, too the people of Achilles, who are all the Achaeans, will feel {410|411} pothos, as Achilles himself predicts within his own epic. Here is how he says it, and what he says is framed in a mighty oath:

Hour 14 Text O

|232 “This could be the last time, son of Atreus, that you will be hurling insults. |233 And here’s another thing. I’ll tell it to you, and I will swear on top of it a great oath: |234 I swear by this scepter [skēptron] that I’m holding here, this scepter that will never again have leaves and branches |235 growing out of it – and it never has – ever since it left that place in the mountains where it was cut down. |236 It will never flourish again, since the bronze implement has stripped it |237 of its leaves and its bark. Now the sons of the Achaeans carry it around, |238 holding it in their hands whenever they act as makers of judgments [dikaspoloi], judging what are and what are not divine laws [themis plural], |239 which they uphold, taking their authority from Zeus. This is going to be a big oath. |240 So, here is what I say, and I say it most solemnly: the day will come when there will be a longing [ pothē ] for Achilles, and it will overcome the sons of the Achaeans, |241 overcome them all. When that day comes, there is no way you will be able, no matter how much grief you feel [akh-nusthai], |242 to keep them away from harm. And that is the time when many will be killed at the hands of Hector the man-killer, |243 dying as they fall to the ground. And you will have in your insides a heart [thūmos] that will be all torn up for you, |244 feeling angry about the fact that you have not at all honored the best of the Achaeans.” |245 Thus spoke [Achilles] the son of Peleus, and he threw the scepter [skēptron] to the ground, |246 that scepter adorned with golden studs driven into it. Then he sat down.
Iliad I 232-246 [39]
14§38. In the master narrative of the Iliad, it is of course the Achaean warriors at Troy who will be longing for Achilles, once he withdraws from the Tro- {411|412} jan War. Beyond the Iliad, however, it will be all Greeks throughout all time who will be longing for this hero, once he is dead. The eternity of such longing is fueled by the eternal force of the oath taken by Achilles here at verses 240-244 of Iliad I, and this mighty oath is backed up by the skēptron, ‘scepter’, that the hero holds in his hands at verse 234 – and that he then throws defiantly to the ground at verse 245.
14§39. When Achaean kings make dikai, ‘judgments’, at a council of kings, as I pointed out in Hour 13§30 and §36, the protocol is for each king to hold the skēptron, ‘scepter’, when it is his turn to speak. That is what Achilles himself is saying here about the scepter in verses 237-239 of Iliad I, as quoted in Text O: ‘Now the sons of the Achaeans carry it [= the scepter] around, |238 holding it in their hands whenever they act as makers of judgments [dikaspoloi], judging what are and what are not divine laws [themis plural], |239 which they uphold, taking their authority from Zeus’. So, the gesture of Achilles when he holds the scepter as he makes his oath has the effect of authorizing this oath. And his added gesture of defiantly throwing down the scepter after he finishes making his oath has the further effect of making the oath permanent, since no one else will now hold the scepter at this council of kings. That is because the oath of Achilles is so powerful that it has made the scepter too powerful for any other speaker to hold at this moment. It is a chicken-and-egg relationship that is typical of mythmaking: the scepter, which authorizes the speaker to speak, is now in turn further authorized by the great oath spoken by the speaker – an oath that confers upon the scepter the same eternal authority that the oath has conferred upon itself by virtue of being performed in the Homeric Iliad.
14§40. We can see the results of this further authorization at a later point, when Agamemnon brings the same scepter to an assembly at verses 46-47 of Iliad II, and now this skēptron, ‘scepter’, is described as aphthiton, ‘unwilting’, at verse 46. Such an exalted description shows the permanent cosmic power of this mighty object. The skēptron is a sacred object that signals eternal ratification, which is expressed in its genealogy as described in Iliad II 100-108: there we are told that the skēptron as held primarily by Agamemnon as the over-king of the Achaeans had been passed down to him from Zeus himself, who had given it to Hermes to pass on to Pelops and then to Atreus and then to Thyestes and then to Agamemnon. [40] This skēptron is of divine workmanship: originating from something natural, a wooden growth, it has become galvanized into something divinely artificial, an object that is gilded by the divine artisan Hephaistos {412|413} himself, as we read in Iliad II 101-102. So, the fact that this skēptron will never again sprout leaves or grow a bark, as the oath of Achilles affirms, validates it as a divine object of eternity. Just as the kleos or poetic ‘glory’ of Achilles is aphthiton, ‘unwilting’, in Iliad IX 413, so also the skēptron by which he swore his mighty oath in Iliad I 233 will be described later in Iliad II 46 as aphthiton, ‘unwilting’, in its own right – because it affirms for all eternity the oath of Achilles, which affirms for all eternity that there will be, as we read in verse 240 of Iliad I, a great pothē, ‘longing’, for him as the very best of the Achaeans.

Longing for Patroklos: I’ll miss him forever

14§41. The model for the way that Achilles will be sorely missed by all Greeks throughout all time is the way that Patroklos, once he is killed, is missed by Achilles in the Iliad. That is why Patroklos as the substitute for Achilles becomes momentarily ‘the best of the Achaeans’ when he is killed, as one of his Achaean comrades says in announcing the grim news of the hero’s death:

Hour 14 Text P

|687 Once you see it with your own eyes |688 you will know that the god is letting roll down from above a pain [pēma] upon the Danaans [= Achaeans], [41] |689 and victory now belongs to the Trojans. He has just been killed, the best of the Achaeans, |690 I mean, Patroklos, and the Danaans [= Achaeans] will have a great longing [pothē].
Iliad XVII 687-690 [42]
14§42. And this great longing for Patroklos, to be felt by all his Achaean comrades, is felt most deeply and intensely by Achilles himself, who performs his own personal lament for Patroklos by expressing the great longing that he feels for his other self:

Hour 14 Text Q

|319 But now there you are, lying there, all cut up, while my heart |320 is wanting, though I have drink and food [in my shelter], |321 because of my longing [pothē] for you. There is nothing I could possibly suffer {413|414} that would be worse than this, |322 not even if I were to hear news that my father died |323 – who is now in Phthia weeping gently |324 about losing the kind of son that he has, and here I am, this son that I am, in a foreign district [dēmos], |325 and I am waging war here for the sake of that dreadful Helen |326 – or if I heard news that my dear son died, the one who is being brought up in Skyros – |327 if in fact godlike Neoptolemos is still living.
Iliad XIX 319-327 [43] {414|415}


[ back ] 1. Berenson Maclean and Aitken 2001. Available on line at
[ back ] 2. Nagy 2001a. Also available on line at
[ back ] 3. Now that the Phoenician has entered the sacred garden of Protesilaos, he is no longer a stranger to the Ampelourgos, who has become his host. That is why, in contexts that come after Hērōikos 3.3, quoted in Text E, where the Phoenician first enters the garden, I translate xenos no longer as ‘stranger’ but as ‘my guest’; here I follow the principle articulated by Berenson Maclean and Aitken 2001:17n19.
[ back ] 4. |6.7 {Ἀ.} Κατὰ θεὸν ἥκεις ἀληθῶς, ξένε, καὶ ὑγιῶς ἐξηγῇ τὴν ὄψιν. περαίνωμεν οὖν τὸν λόγον, μὴ καὶ θρύπτεσθαι με φῇς διάγοντά σε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ. |7.1 {Φ.} Ἃ ποθῶ μαθεῖν, ξυνίης δή γε· αὐτὴν γὰρ τὴν ξυνουσίαν, ἥτις ἐστί σοι πρὸς τὸν Πρωτεσίλεων, καὶ ὁποῖος ἥκει καὶ εἴ τι παραπλήσιον τοῖς ποιηταῖς ἢ διηγνοημένον αὐτοῖς περὶ τῶν Τρωικῶν οἶδεν, ἀκοῦσαι δέομαι. |7.2 Τρωικὰ δὲ λέγω τὰ τοιαῦτα· τήν τε ἐν Αὐλίδι ξυλλογὴν τοῦ στρατοῦ καὶ καθ’ ἕνα τοὺς ἥρως εἰ καλοί τε, ὡς ᾄδονται, καὶ ἀνδρεῖοι καὶ σοφοὶ ἦσαν. τὸν γὰρ πόλεμον, ὃς περὶ τῇ Τροίᾳ ἐγένετο, πῶς ἂν διηγοῖτο μήτε διαπολεμήσας αὐτὸν ἀποθανών τε πρῶτος τοῦ Ἑλληνικοῦ παντὸς ἐν αὐτῇ, φασί, τῇ ἀποβάσει;
[ back ] 5. |7.4 τὰ γοῦν Ὁμήρου ποιήματα τίνα φήσεις οὕτως ἀνεγνωκέναι τῶν σφόδρα βασανιζόντων Ὅμηρον, ὡς ἀνέγνωκέ τε ὁ Πρωτεσίλεως καὶ διορᾷ αὐτά; |7.5 καίτοι, ξένε, πρὸ Πριάμου καὶ Τροίας οὐδὲ ῥαψῳδία τις ἦν, οὐδὲ ᾔδετο τὰ μήπω πραχθέντα, ποιητικὴ μὲν γὰρ ἦν περί τε τὰ μαντεῖα περί τε τὸν Ἀλκμήνης Ἡρακλέα, καθισταμένη τε ἄρτι καὶ οὔπω ἡβάσκουσα, Ὅμηρος δὲ οὔπω ᾖδεν, ἀλλ’ οἱ μὲν Τροίας ἁλούσης, οἱ δὲ ὀλίγαις, οἱ δ’ ὀκτὼ γενεαῖς ὕστερον ἐπιθέσθαι αὐτὸν τῇ ποιήσει λέγουσιν. |7.6 ἀλλ’ ὅμως οἶδεν ὁ Πρωτεσίλεως τὰ Ὁμήρου πάντα, καὶ πολλὰ μὲν ᾄδει Τρωικὰ μεθ’ ἑαυτὸν γενόμενα, πολλὰ δὲ Ἑλληνικά τε καὶ Μηδικά.
[ back ] 6. |23.1 {Ἀ.} Ἄγε δή, ὦ ξένε, τὴν ἀσπίδα ἤδη ἀναλάβωμεν, ἣν ὁ Πρωτεσίλεως Ὁμήρῳ τε ἠγνοῆσθαί φησι καὶ ποιηταῖς πᾶσιν. |23.2 {Φ.} Ποθοῦντι ἀποδίδως, ἀμπελουργέ, τὸν περὶ αὐτῆς λόγον, σπάνιον δὲ οἶμαι ἀκούσεσθαι.
[ back ] 7. |695 Οἳ δ’ εἶχον Φυλάκην καὶ Πύρασον ἀνθεμόεντα |696 Δήμητρος τέμενος, Ἴτωνά τε μητέρα μήλων, |697 ἀγχίαλόν τ’ Ἀντρῶνα ἰδὲ Πτελεὸν λεχεποίην, |698 τῶν αὖ Πρωτεσίλαος ἀρήϊος ἡγεμόνευε |699 ζωὸς ἐών· τότε δ’ ἤδη ἔχεν κάτα γαῖα μέλαινα. |700 τοῦ δὲ καὶ ἀμφιδρυφὴς ἄλοχος Φυλάκῃ ἐλέλειπτο |701 καὶ δόμος ἡμιτελής· τὸν δ’ ἔκτανε Δάρδανος ἀνὴρ |702 νηὸς ἀποθρῴσκοντα πολὺ πρώτιστον Ἀχαιῶν. |703 οὐδὲ μὲν οὐδ’ οἳ ἄναρχοι ἔσαν, πόθεόν γε μὲν ἀρχόν· |704 ἀλλά σφεας κόσμησε Ποδάρκης ὄζος Ἄρηος |705 Ἰφίκλου υἱὸς πολυμήλου Φυλακίδαο |706 αὐτοκασίγνητος μεγαθύμου Πρωτεσιλάου |707 ὁπλότερος γενεῇ· ὁ δ’ ἅμα πρότερος καὶ ἀρείων |708 ἥρως Πρωτεσίλαος ἀρήϊος· οὐδέ τι λαοὶ |709 δεύονθ’ ἡγεμόνος, πόθεόν γε μὲν ἐσθλὸν ἐόντα.
[ back ] 8. Before the Phoenician actually enters the sacred garden of Protesilaos, he is still a ‘stranger’ to the Ampelourgos; only after he enters, which happens at Hērōikos 3.3, quoted in Text E, does the Phoenician become a ‘guest’ to the Ampelourgos, who then becomes his host. That is why, in contexts that come after Hērōikos 3.3, where the Phoenician first enters the garden, I translate xenos no longer as ‘stranger’ but as ‘my guest’; here I follow the principle articuated by Berenson Maclean and Aitken 2001:17n19.
[ back ] 9. On my translation ‘stranger’ here, see the next note.
[ back ] 10. Here is where the Phoenician finally enters the sacred garden of Protesilaos. From now on, he is no longer a stranger to the Ampelourgos, who has become his host.
[ back ] 11. |2.6 {Φ.} Ἀλλ’ ἦ φιλοσοφεῖς, ἀμπελουργέ; {Ἀ.} Καὶ σύν γε τῷ καλῷ Πρωτεσίλεῳ. |2.7 {Φ.} Σοὶ δὲ τί καὶ τῷ Πρωτεσίλεῳ κοινόν, εἰ τὸν ἐκ Θετταλίας λέγεις; {Ἀ.} Ἐκεῖνον λέγω τὸν τῆς Λαοδαμείας, τουτὶ γὰρ χαίρει ἀκούων. |2.8 {Φ.} Τί δὲ δὴ δεῦρο πράττει; {Ἀ.} Ζῇ καὶ γεωργοῦμεν. |2.9 {Φ.} Ἀναβεβιωκὼς ἢ τί; {Ἀ.} Οὐδὲ αὐτὸς λέγει, ὦ ξένε, τὰ ἑαυτοῦ πάθη, πλήν γε δὴ ὅτι ἀποθάνοι μὲν δι’ Ἑλένην ἐν Τροίᾳ, ἀναβιῴη δὲ ἐν Φθίᾳ Λαοδαμείας ἐρῶν. |2.10 {Φ.} Καὶ μὴν ἀποθανεῖν γε μετὰ τὸ ἀναβιῶναι λέγεται, ἀναπεῖσαί τε τὴν γυναῖκα ἐπισπέσθαι οἱ. |2.11 {Ἀ.} Λέγει καὶ αὐτὸς ταῦτα, ἀλλ’ ὅπως καὶ μετὰ τοῦτο ἀνῆλθε πάλαι μοι βουλομένῳ μαθεῖν οὐ λέγει, Μοιρῶν τι ἀπόρρητον, ὥς φησι, κρύπτων. καὶ οἱ συστρατιῶται δὲ αὐτοῦ οἱ ἐν τῇδε τῇ Τροίᾳ ἔτι ἐν τῷ πεδίῳ φαίνονται μάχιμοι τὸ σχῆμα καὶ σείοντες τοὺς λόφους. |3.1 {Φ.} Ἀπιστῶ, νὴ τὴν Ἀθηνᾶν, ἀμπελουργέ, καίτοι οὕτω βουλόμενος ταῦτα ἔχειν. εἰ δὲ μὴ πρὸς τοῖς φυτοῖς εἶ, μηδὲ ὀχετηγεῖς, ἤδη δίελθέ μοι ταῦτά τε καὶ ὅσα τοῦ Πρωτεσίλεω γιγνώσκεις· καὶ γὰρ ἂν χαρίζοιο τοῖς ἥρωσιν, εἰ πιστεύων ἀπέλθοιμι. |3.2 {Ἀ.} Οὐκέτ’, ὦ ξένε, κατὰ μεσημβρίαν τὰ φυτὰ πίνει, μετόπωρον γὰρ ἤδη καὶ ἄρδει αὐτὰ ἡ ὥρα· σχολὴ οὖν μοι διελθεῖν πάντα. μηδὲ γὰρ λανθάνοι τοὺς χαρίεντας τῶν ἀνθρώπων θεῖα οὕτω καὶ μεγάλα ὄντα. βέλτιον δὲ καὶ ἐν καλῷ τοῦ χωρίου ἱζῆσαι. {Φ.} Ἡγοῦ δή, ὡς ἑψομένου καὶ ὑπὲρ τὰ μέσα τῆς Θρᾴκης. |3.3 {Ἀ.} Παρέλθωμεν ἐς τὸν ἀμπελῶνα, ὦ Φοῖνιξ, καὶ γὰρ ἂν καὶ εὐφροσύνης τι ἐν αὐτῷ εὕροις. {Φ.} Παρέλθωμεν, ἡδὺ γάρ που ἀναπνεῖ τῶν φυτῶν. |3.4 {Ἀ.} Τί λέγεις ἡδύ; θεῖον· τῶν μὲν γὰρ ἀγρίων δένδρων αἱ ἄνθαι εὔοσμοι, τῶν δὲ ἡμέρων οἱ καρποί. εἰ δὲ ἐντύχοις ποτὲ φυτῷ ἡμέρῳ παρὰ τὴν ἄνθην εὐώδει, δρέπου τῶν φύλλων μᾶλλον, ἐκείνων γὰρ τὸ ὀδωδέναι. |3.5 {Φ.} Ὡς ποικίλη σοι ἡ ὥρα τοῦ χωρίου, καὶ ὡς ἐκδεδώκασιν ἱλαροὶ οἱ βότρυς, τὰ δένδρα τε ὡς διάκειται πάντα καὶ ὡς ἀμβροσία ἡ ὀσμὴ τοῦ χωρίου. τοὺς δρόμους δέ, οὓς ἀνῆκας, χαρίεντας μὲν ἡγοῦμαι, τρυφᾶν δέ μοι δοκεῖς, ἀμπελουργέ, τοσαύτῃ γῇ ἀργῷ χρώμενος. |3.6 {Ἀ.} Ἱεροί, ξένε, οἱ δρόμοι, γυμνάζεται γὰρ ἐν αὐτοῖς ὁ ἥρως.
[ back ] 12. See also Bershadsky 2011:23.
[ back ] 13. For an attempt at reconstructing the myths about a double resurrection of Protesilaos, see Pelliccia 2010-2011:175-199, especially pp. 178-180 on a relevant passage in Aelius Aristides 3.365 and on the scholia for that passage.
[ back ] 14. On the breath of the hero as a breeze carrying the aroma of the blossoms that flourish in this garden, see also Bershadsky 2011:16.
[ back ] 15. On the sense of poikilos, ‘varied’, as ‘never the same’, see HC 306-307 = II§453, with special reference to Plato Republic 8.568d.
[ back ] 16. There is an accurate transliteration (via International Phonetic Alphabet) for the Modern Greek pronunciation of the original text, which had been written down in polytonic format by Seferis, at a site that also contains a wealth of further information about the poem: The creator of the site is Katerina Sarri (katerina sarri webtopos: – 2000, latest additions in 2010).
[ back ] 17. There have been many celebrated recordings of this song, and references can be found at the site of Katerina Sarri (see the previous note).
[ back ] 18. The last words of the poem, ‘and we changed life’, evoke the last words of a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke, Archaic Torso of Apollo (Archaïscher Torso Apollos): Du mußt dein Leben ändern, ‘You must change your life’. The poem appeared in a collection entitled Der neuen Gedichte anderer Teil, published in Leipzig in 1918. The wording of the dedication in this book reads: À mon grand ami Auguste Rodin. This publication is available by way of the Project Gutenberg: This ebook was produced by Marc D’Hooghe at:
[ back ] 19. We may compare Iliad VI 419-420, quoted in Hour 3 Text D: there we see that the sēma, ‘tomb’, of Eëtion, father of Andromache, was encircled by elm trees that were generated (phuteuein) by forest nymphs.
[ back ] 20. Translation adapted from Berenson Maclean and Aitken 2001:29-31.
[ back ] 21. |9.1 Περὶ τῶν τοιούτων ἄκουε, ξένε. κεῖται μὲν οὐκ ἐν Τροίᾳ ὁ Πρωτεσίλεως, ἀλλ’ ἐν Χερρονήσῳ ταύτῃ, κολωνὸς δὲ αὐτὸν ἐπέχει μέγας οὑτοσὶ δήπου ὁ ἐν ἀριστερᾷ, πτελέας δὲ ταύτας αἱ νύμφαι περὶ τῷ κολωνῷ ἐφύτευσαν καὶ τοιόνδε ἐπὶ τοῖς δένδρεσι τούτοις ἔγραψάν που αὗται νόμον· |9.2 τοὺς πρὸς τὸ Ἴλιον τετραμμένους τῶν ὄζων ἀνθεῖν μὲν πρωί, φυλλορροεῖν δὲ αὐτίκα καὶ προαπόλλυσθαι τῆς ὥρας – τοῦτο δὴ τὸ τοῦ Πρωτεσίλεω πάθος – τῷ δὲ ἑτέρῳ μέρει ζῆν τὰ δένδρα καὶ εὖ πράττειν. |9.3 καὶ ὁπόσα δὲ τῶν δένδρων μὴ περὶ τὸ σῆμα ἕστηκεν, ὥσπερ καὶ ταυτὶ τὰ ἐν κήπῳ, πᾶσιν ἔρρωται τοῖς ὄζοις καὶ θαρσεῖ τὸ ἴδιον.
[ back ] 22. Translation adapted from Berenson Maclean and Aitken 2001:153.
[ back ] 23. |51.12 τὸν μὲν δὴ κολωνὸν τοῦτον, ξένε, ὃν ἐπὶ τοῦ μετώπου τῆς ἀκτῆς ὁρᾷς ἀνεστηκότα, ἤγειραν οἱ Ἀχαιοὶ ξυνελθόντες, ὅτε τῷ Πατρόκλῳ ξυνεμίχθη ἐς τὸν τάφον, κάλλιστον ἐντάφιον ἑαυτῷ τε κἀκείνῳ διδούς, ὅθεν ᾄδουσιν αὐτὸν οἱ τὰ φιλικὰ ἐπαινοῦντες. |51.13 ἐτάφη δὲ ἐκδηλότατα ἀνθρώπων πᾶσιν οἷς ἐπήνεγκεν αὐτῷ ἡ Ἑλλὰς οὐδὲ κομᾶν ἔτι μετὰ τὸν Ἀχιλλέα καλὸν ἡγούμενοι χρυσόν τε καὶ ὅ τι ἕκαστος εἶχεν ἢ ἀπάγων ἐς Τροίαν ἢ ἐκ δασμοῦ λαβών, νήσαντες ἐς τὴν πυρὰν ἀθρόα παραχρῆμά τε καὶ ὅτε ὁ Νεοπτόλεμος ἐς Τροίαν ἦλθε, λαμπρῶν γὰρ δὴ ἔτυχε πάλιν παρά τε τοῦ παιδὸς παρά τε τῶν Ἀχαιῶν ἀντιχαρίζεσθαι αὐτῷ πειρωμένων, οἵ γε καὶ τὸν ἀπὸ τῆς Τροίας ποιούμενοι πλοῦν περιέπιπτον τῷ τάφῳ καὶ τὸν Ἀχιλλέα ᾤοντο περιβάλλειν.
[ back ] 24. οὐδὲ κομᾶν ἔτι μετὰ τὸν Ἀχιλλέα καλὸν ἡγούμενοι.
[ back ] 25. HPC 166 = II§85.
[ back ] 26. περιέπιπτον τῷ τάφῳ καὶ τὸν Ἀχιλλέα ᾤοντο περιβάλλειν.
[ back ] 27. Some have tried to emend the text, offering the interpretation: ‘the way poets say he does’ as an alternative to the interpretation given here, ‘the same way he eludes the poets’. See Pelliccia 2010-2011:182:97.
[ back ] 28. |11.1 {Φ.} Ὁ δὲ δὴ ἔρως, ὃν τῆς Λαοδαμείας ἤρα, πῶς ἔχει αὐτῷ νῦν; {Ἀ.} Ἐρᾷ, ξένε, καὶ ἐρᾶται καὶ διάκεινται πρὸς ἀλλήλους ὥσπερ οἱ θερμοὶ τῶν νυμφίων. |11.2 {Φ.} Περιβάλλεις δὲ ἥκοντα ἢ διαφεύγει σε καπνοῦ δίκην, ὥσπερ τοὺς ποιητάς; {Ἀ.} Χαίρει περιβάλλοντι καὶ ξυγχωρεῖ φιλεῖν τε αὐτὸν καὶ τῆς δέρης ἐμφορεῖσθαί γε. |11.3 {Φ.} Θαμίζει δὲ ἢ διὰ πολλοῦ ἥκει; {Ἀ.} Τετράκις τοῦ μηνὸς ἢ πεντάκις οἶμαι αὐτοῦ μετέχειν, ὁπότ’ ἢ φυτεῦσαί ποτε τουτωνὶ τῶν φυτῶν τι βούλοιτο ἢ τρυγῆσαι ἢ ἄνθη κεῖραι. φιλοστέφανος γάρ τις καὶ ἡδίω ἀποφαίνων τὰ ἄνθη, ὁπότε περὶ αὐτὰ εἴη. |11.4 {Φ.} Ἱλαρόν γε τὸν ἥρω λέγεις καὶ ἀτεχνῶς νυμφίον.
[ back ] 29. This detail is linked with an earlier detail, in Hērōikos 3.3 as quoted in Text E and as analyzed in §16, where a breeze carrying the aroma of flowering plants is said to be the breath of the hero; see also Bershadsky 2011:16. On the symbolism of myrtles, see HPC 294, 295-297 = II§§419-420, 424-428.
[ back ] 30. |10.1 {Φ.} Ἦ καὶ διαγράψεις μοι αὐτὸν καὶ κοινωνήσεις τοῦ εἴδους; |10.2 {Ἀ.} χαίρων γε, νὴ τὴν Ἀθηνᾶν, ὦ ξένε. γέγονε μὲν γὰρ ἀμφὶ τὰ εἴκοσί που μάλιστα ἔτη τηλικόσδε ἐλάσας ἐς Τροίαν, ἁβρῷ δ’ ἰούλῳ βρύει καὶ ἀπόζει αὐτοῦ ἥδιον ἢ τοῦ μετοπώρου τῶν μύρτων. φαιδρὰν δὲ ὀφρὺν περὶ τὸ ὄμμα βέβληται, τὸ γὰρ ἐπίχαρι αὐτῷ φίλον.
[ back ] 31. The ritually dramatized hostility between the Thessalians and the city of New Ilion in the region of Troy seems to be a reflex of political vicissitudes that go back to an era possibly as early as the sixth century BCE. In that earlier era, the Thessalians would have been personae non gratae at the sacred sites of Troy, which were then controlled by the city of New Ilion. See HPC 148-149 = II§§47-49.
[ back ] 32. Translation adapted from Berenson Maclean and Aitken 2001:157, 159.
[ back ] 33. |53.8 τὰ δὲ Θετταλικὰ ἐναγίσματα φοιτῶντα τῷ Ἀχιλλεῖ ἐκ Θετταλίας ἐχρήσθη Θετταλοῖς ἐκ Δωδώνης· ἐκέλευσε γὰρ δὴ τὸ μαντεῖον Θετταλοὺς ἐς Τροίαν πλέοντας θύειν ὅσα ἔτη τῷ Ἀχιλλεῖ καὶ σφάττειν τὰ μὲν ὡς θεῷ, τὰ δὲ ὡς ἐν μοίρᾳ τῶν κειμένων. |53.9 καταρχὰς μὲν δὴ τοιάδε ἐγίγνετο· ναῦς ἐκ Θετταλίας μέλανα ἱστία ἠρμένη ἐς Τροίαν ἔπλει θεωροὺς μὲν δὶς ἑπτὰ ἀπάγουσα, ταύρους δὲ λευκόν τε καὶ μέλανα χειροήθεις ἄμφω καὶ ὕλην ἐκ Πηλίου, ὡς μηδὲν τῆς πόλεως δέοιντο καὶ πῦρ ἐκ Θετταλίας ἦγον καὶ σπονδὰς καὶ ὕδωρ τοῦ Σπερχειοῦ ἀρυσάμενοι, ὅθεν καὶ στεφάνους ἀμαραντίνους ἐς τὰ κήδη πρῶτοι Θετταλοὶ ἐνόμισαν, ἵνα, κἂν ἄνεμοι τὴν ναῦν ἀπολάβωσι, μὴ σαπροὺς ἐπιφέρωσι μηδ’ ἐξώρους. |53.10 νυκτὸς μὲν δὴ καθορμίζεσθαι ἔδει καὶ πρὶν ἅψασθαι τῆς γῆς ὕμνον ἀπὸ τῆς νεὼς ᾄδειν ἐς τὴν Θέτιν ὧδε ξυγκείμενον· Θέτι κυανέα, Θέτι Πηλεία, | ἃ τὸν μέγαν τέκες υἱόν, | Ἀχιλλέα, τοῦ θνατὰ μὲν ὅσον | φύσις ἤνεγκεν, |Τροία λάχε, σᾶς δ’ ὅσον ἀθανάτου | γενεᾶς παῖς ἔσπασε, πόντος ἔχει. | βαῖνε πρὸς αἰπὺν τόνδε κολωνὸν | μετ’ Ἀχιλλέως ἔμπυρα … | βαῖν’ ἀδάκρυτος μετὰ Θεσσαλίας, | Θέτι κυανέα, Θέτι Πηλεία. |53.11 προσελθόντων δὲ τῷ σήματι μετὰ τὸν ὕμνον ἀσπὶς μὲν ὥσπερ ἐν πολέμῳ ἐδουπεῖτο, δρόμοις δὲ ἐρρυθμισμένοις συνηλάλαζον ἀνακαλοῦντες τὸν Ἀχιλλέα, στεφανώσαντες δὲ τὴν κορυφὴν τοῦ κολωνοῦ καὶ βόθρους ἐπ’ αὐτῇ ὀρύξαντες τὸν ταῦρον τὸν μέλανα ὡς τεθνεῶτι ἔσφαττον. |53.12 ἐκάλουν δὲ καὶ τὸν Πάτροκλον ἐπὶ τὴν δαῖτα, ὡς καὶ τοῦτο ἐς χάριν τῷ Ἀχιλλεῖ πράττοντες, |53.13 ἐντεμόντες δὲ καὶ ἐναγίσαντες κατέβαινον ἐπὶ τὴν ναῦν ἤδη καὶ θύσαντες ἐπὶ τοῦ αἰγιαλοῦ τὸν ἕτερον τῶν ταύρων Ἀχιλλεῖ πάλιν κανοῦ τε ἐναρξάμενοι καὶ σπλάγχνων ἐπ’ ἐκείνῃ τῇ θυσίᾳ – ἔθυον γὰρ τὴν θυσίαν ταύτην ὡς θεῷ – περὶ ὄρθρον ἀπέπλεον ἀπάγοντες τὸ ἱερεῖον, ὡς μὴ ἐν τῇ πολεμίᾳ εὐωχοῖντο.
[ back ] 34. I collect some basic attestation in Hour 4§39, the most prominent of which comes from Pindar Paean 9.14: καρποῦ φθίσιν, ‘wilting of the crops’.
[ back ] 35. ἄ[ν]θεα […] δόξαν πολύφαντον ἐν αἰ|62[ῶνι] τρέφει παύροις βροτῶν |63 [α]ἰεί.
[ back ] 36. Nagy 2011b:179, following PH 195n210 = 6§88.
[ back ] 37. καὶ ὅταν θανάτοιο |64 κυάνεον νέφος καλύψηι, λείπεται |65 ἀθάνατον κλέος εὖ ἐρ|66χθέντος ἀσφαλεῖ σὺν αἴσαι.
[ back ] 38. Nagy 2011b:179.
[ back ] 39. |232 ἦ γὰρ ἂν Ἀτρεΐδη νῦν ὕστατα λωβήσαιο. |233 ἀλλ’ ἔκ τοι ἐρέω καὶ ἐπὶ μέγαν ὅρκον ὀμοῦμαι· |234 ναὶ μὰ τόδε σκῆπτρον, τὸ μὲν οὔ ποτε φύλλα καὶ ὄζους |235 φύσει, ἐπεὶ δὴ πρῶτα τομὴν ἐν ὄρεσσι λέλοιπεν, |236 οὐδ’ ἀναθηλήσει· περὶ γάρ ῥά ἑ χαλκὸς ἔλεψε |237 φύλλά τε καὶ φλοιόν· νῦν αὖτέ μιν υἷες Ἀχαιῶν |238 ἐν παλάμῃς φορέουσι δικασπόλοι, οἵ τε θέμιστας |239 πρὸς Διὸς εἰρύαται· ὃ δέ τοι μέγας ἔσσεται ὅρκος· |240 ἦ ποτ’ Ἀχιλλῆος ποθὴ ἵξεται υἷας Ἀχαιῶν |241 σύμπαντας· τότε δ’ οὔ τι δυνήσεαι ἀχνύμενός περ |242 χραισμεῖν, εὖτ’ ἂν πολλοὶ ὑφ’ Ἕκτορος ἀνδροφόνοιο |243 θνήσκοντες πίπτωσι· σὺ δ’ ἔνδοθι θυμὸν ἀμύξεις |244 χωόμενος ὅ τ’ ἄριστον Ἀχαιῶν οὐδὲν ἔτισας. |245 Ὣς φάτο Πηλεΐδης, ποτὶ δὲ σκῆπτρον βάλε γαίῃ |246 χρυσείοις ἥλοισι πεπαρμένον, ἕζετο δ’ αὐτός·
[ back ] 40. On the significance of Iliad II 278-282, where Odysseus takes hold of the scepter, see Elmer 2013:97.
[ back ] 41. We have seen the same metaphor of the breakaway boulder in Iliad XVII 98-99, quoted in Hour 5 Text C, where I offer a commentary.
[ back ] 42. |687 ἤδη μὲν σὲ καὶ αὐτὸν ὀΐομαι εἰσορόωντα |688 γιγνώσκειν ὅτι πῆμα θεὸς Δαναοῖσι κυλίνδει, |689 νίκη δὲ Τρώων· πέφαται δ’ ὤριστος Ἀχαιῶν |690 Πάτροκλος, μεγάλη δὲ ποθὴ Δαναοῖσι τέτυκται.
[ back ] 43. |319 νῦν δὲ σὺ μὲν κεῖσαι δεδαϊγμένος, αὐτὰρ ἐμὸν κῆρ |320 ἄκμηνον πόσιος καὶ ἐδητύος ἔνδον ἐόντων |321 σῇ ποθῇ· οὐ μὲν γάρ τι κακώτερον ἄλλο πάθοιμι, |322 οὐδ’ εἴ κεν τοῦ πατρὸς ἀποφθιμένοιο πυθοίμην, |323 ὅς που νῦν Φθίηφι τέρεν κατὰ δάκρυον εἴβει |324 χήτεϊ τοιοῦδ’ υἷος· ὃ δ’ ἀλλοδαπῷ ἐνὶ δήμῳ |325 εἵνεκα ῥιγεδανῆς Ἑλένης Τρωσὶν πολεμίζω· |326 ἠὲ τὸν ὃς Σκύρῳ μοι ἔνι τρέφεται φίλος υἱός, |327 – εἴ που ἔτι ζώει γε Νεοπτόλεμος θεοειδής.