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A Question of Memory: Who and Whose are You?

By Justin Arft

The conventional interrogation τίς πόθεν εἰς ἀνδρῶν; (who, and from where, are you among men?) is best known for its use in the Odyssey to ask an unknown stranger their identity. It is so enmeshed in the hospitality scene that it is easy to assume it represents a conventional manner for interrogating a stranger in Greek literature.

Voice, Mortals, and Muses in the Hesiodic Aspis 272-86

By Stephen A Sansom

This paper analyzes the theological and poetic significance of voice in the ekphrasis of the Hesiodic Aspis 272-86. Scholars have long noted the inspirational link between the Muses, Zeus, and Hesiod described in the opening of the Theogony 1-103 (e.g. Clay 2003, Stoddard 2004, Goslin 2010, Lachenaud 2013). In particular, Collins 1999 has argued that the Muses endow Hesiod with an inspired voice (audê) that mediates the divine voice of the gods (ossa) and the creation of glory (kleos) through song.

Diomedes, Dione, and Divine Insecurity in Iliad 5-8

By Rebecca Ann Deitsch

After Diomedes wounds Aphrodite in Iliad 5, the goddess of love flees the battlefield and seeks comfort from her mother, Dione. Dione’s response (5.382-415), the only detailed divine perspective on Diomedes’ audacity, offers a key to interpreting human-divine interactions throughout Diomedes’ aristeia. Dione attempts to subordinate the human to the divine and to assure Aphrodite that a sharp dichotomy remains between mortal and immortal, but her speech only serves to blur the distinction further.

Reassessing the Evidence for Zenodotus’ “Cretan Odyssey”

By Bill Beck

Once the subject of tentative speculation, the notion that a Cretan Odyssey—a version of the Odyssey in which Odysseus and Telemachus venture to Crete—was in circulation at least as early as the Hellenistic period has gained increasingly wide acceptance (S. West, Reece, Danek, M.L. West, Burkert, Griffin, Nagy, Martin, Tsagalis, Levaniouk, Arft). This paper aims to challenge the argument for a Cretan Odyssey by demonstrating that the only concrete evidence cited in support of its existence (Σ Od.

Raising the Dead: The Assyrian Empire as Political Background for Odysseus’ Descent to the Underworld

By Marcus Daniel Ziemann

In this paper, I will argue that the ritual that Odysseus performs to summon the dead souls in Book 11 of the Odyssey demonstrates a Greek interest in being part of the East Mediterranean cultural koine. In particular, I will show that it betrays a Greek engagement with the Neo-Assyrian Empire, whose culture was the basis for the newly “globalized” high culture of the East Mediterranean of the 8th-7th centuries BCE (the so-called Orientalizing Revolution).