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Χάρις in the Epinician Odes of Pindar and Bacchylides

By Chris Eckerman

Scholars generally assume that χάρις, in epinician poetry, has a broad semantic range that includes splendor, glory, charm, favor, ode, grace, gratitude, and service (cf., e.g., Cairns, 2010:passim, Nicholson 2005:passim, MacLachlan 1993:87-123, Kurke 1991:85-239, and the lexicographers: Slater 1969 and Gerber 1984 s.v. χάρις). Some scholars have begun to show, however, that, in Greek literature, χάρις regularly denotes ‘requital,’ the counter-gift offered within a context of reciprocity (e.g. Wagner-Hasel 2013:164-5, Scheid-Tissinier 1994:35-6, 258-9).

Wile-loving Aphrodite in archaic poetry

By Elsa Bouchard

In his account of the birth of Aphrodite Hesiod gives the goddess no less than four names, all of which are provided with an ad hoc etymology devised from the mythical context (Th. 195-200). I call these ‘etymologies’ and not simply wordplays because of the explicit metalinguistic vocabulary used in the passage (cf. Gambarara): the act of denomination (κικλήσκουσι) is explicitly mentioned, as well as cause-to-effect relationships between words (οὕνεκ', ὅτι).

Persuasion on Aegina in Pindar's Eighth Nemean

By David Kovacs

Pindar’s Eighth Nemean Ode celebrates the foot-race victory of one Deinias or Deinis of Aegina and also, retrospectively, that of his deceased father Megas in the same event. The most striking part of the ode is a seeming digression by Pindar on the reception his telling of “new things” is likely to provoke. He fears that envious people will attack his poem and cites what befell Ajax in the award of arms.

Rocking the Boat: The Iambic Sappho in the New Sappho Fragment

By David Wright

There are more layers to the new fragment of Sappho recently published by Obbink (2014) than first appear. In this piece, the poem’s speaker refers to a potential homecoming of a man, Charaxos, and to the hope that another male figure, Larichos, “become a man.” Both these figures are believed to be Sappho’s brothers (or the brothers of her persona), based on fragments of Sappho’s own poetry (fr. 5 and 15 V) and attestations from later sources (Hdt. 2.134-35, Strabo 17.808, Athen. 13. 596c).