“Bitch that I Am”: Self-Blame and Self-Assertion in the Iliad
In the Iliad, Helen is objectified by the male characters in ways that excuse her from male blame and thus serve the heroic agenda. Yet her self-blame is an implicit assertion of agency on her part. It not only disarms male reproach by characterizing her as a “good” woman, but affirms her responsibility (and thus agency) in her original elopement. Her erotic subjectivity is also shown in the Aphrodite scene, where Helen both takes responsibility for her transgression and implies that the impulse prompting it has not been quenched.
A Tragic Case of Poisoning: Intention Between Tragedy and the Law
This paper explores the circuit of mutual influence between tragedy and law in fifth-century Athens, focusing on the differences between tragic and legal concepts of intention and responsibility. In Antiphon 1 Against the Stepmother the speaker calls his stepmother Clytemnestra. By this pointed tragic allusion he hopes to prejudge the stepmother’s liability. But the stepmother also evokes another, more sympathetic, tragic model, Sophocles’ Deianira. The tension between these two dramatic models of female intent introduces tragic ambiguities into the legal brief and reveals both the possibilities and the dangers of tragedy as a vehicle for jurisprudential thought.
The Case against Nikomachos
Lysias 30 attacks Nikomachos for his work on the Sacrifical Calendar; the issue remains unclear. Sterling Dow supposed that Nikomachos was charged with omitting ancient obligations. But the speech shows that Nikomachos was charged with excessive additions; these caused a shortfall for ancient rites that were not part of his mandate. This reading suggests that the aim of the lawsuit was to cancel obligations that were introduced when Athens and Eleusis were divided (403-401 B.C.E.). The massive erasure that Dow discovered in the inscribed Calendar was probably the result of that revision. In addition, this theory of the case offers a new solution for an old problem in the text of the speech.
Rana Saadi Liebert
Apian Imagery and the Critique of Poetic Sweetness in Plato’s Republic
This article examines the apian imagery that runs through Plato’s Republic in order to show how Socrates exploits traditional bee-related metaphors to strengthen his case against poetry. Socrates transvalues the traditional association between poetry and honey by conflating the image of the productive bee-poet with that of the parasitic drone-citizen, thus using poetry’s own value terms to critique it on political grounds. By reconfiguring sweetness in all forms as a toxin inimical to a healthy state and incommensurate with the philosophic values of purity and moderation, Socrates turns the poetic tradition against itself. Once sweetness and benefit are understood to be mutually exclusive, poetry’s apian “virtues” become political liabilities.
Kathy L. Gaca
The Andrapodizing of War Captives in Greek Historical Memory
The fundamentals of “andrapodizing” in Greek historical memory need reexamining on lexical and moral grounds. Defining the term “sell into slavery” proves fallacious. “Enslave,” though at core correct, fails to recognize that adult fighting men were not andrapodized when captured, subjugated, and kept alive. Rather, andrapodizing is a type of premeditated and semi-lethal warfare aimed expressly against inhabitants not trained, or too old or too young, to fight back. Soldiers, when andrapodizing, abduct and dominate mainly the youthful—young women and self-mobile girls and boys—rather than other abused inhabitants who are abandoned as rejects, including old people and infants. The pandemic “andrapodizing of a locale or populace” follows this sorting procedure.
Sara H. Lindheim
Pomona’s pomarium: The “Mapping Impulse” in Metamorphoses 14 (and 9)
Romans experience a dramatic shift in awareness about the physical space of their empire in the age of Augustus. More than simply apprehending the extent of the world that was theirs, Romans under Augustus exhibit a “mapping impulse,” an urge for ordering space, demarcating empire, counting people and resources. The propensity for controlling space reverberates in all contexts of public life—political, social, cultural, economic. This paper explores a literary context of the Augustan cultural preoccupation with space, taking the story of Vertumnus and Pomona in Metamorphoses 14, together with the (connected) story of Iphis and Ianthe in Metamorphoses 9, as a case-study. I argue that these narratives too participate in the “mapping impulse,” revealing in their fantasies about firmly delineated gender categories one literary instance of the concern with space, the desire for wholeness, order and fixed boundaries so pervasive under Augustus.
Incohat Ismene: The Dream Narrative as a Mode of Female Discourse in Epic Poetry
This article examines Ismene’s nightmare in book 8 of Statius’s Thebaid by contextualizing it within the epic’s narrative, comparing it with the dream narrations of other female characters in epic poetry, and aligning it with other typically female modes of subjective expression in epic, such as weaving, teichoscopy, and lamentation. My analysis shows that by exposing the difficulties inherent in retelling a dream, Statius demonstrates sympathy with the female perspective on the horrific war that constitutes the central action of his poem and foreshadows the subsequent inadequacy of words in reaction to such horror.
Issue 140.2, to appear in late fall 2010, will feature the following articles:
Josiah Ober, "Wealthy Hellas" (2010 Presidential Address)
Alexander Gottesman, "The Beggar and the Clod: The Mythic Notion of Property in Ancient Greece"
Alex C. Purves, "Wind and Time in Homeric Epic"
Owen Goslin, "Hesiod's Typhonomachy and the Ordering of Sound"
José González, "The Catalogue of Women and the End of the Heroic Age (Hes. fr. 204.94–103 M-W)"
William Hutton, "Pausanias and the Mysteries of Hellas"
Dunstan Lowe, "The Symbolic Value of Grafting in Ancient Rome"