Print Page | Close Window

The heroes of Greek mythos

Printed From: WorldHistoria Forum
Category: GENERAL HISTORY
Forum Name: Persons
Forum Description: Military personalities, famous generals, theorists, warlords and individual warriors
URL: http://www.worldhistoria.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=129840
Printed Date: 15 Nov 2019 at 07:07
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.01 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: The heroes of Greek mythos
Posted By: franciscosan
Subject: The heroes of Greek mythos
Date Posted: 28 Jul 2019 at 06:23
Elsewhere, I suggested that Achilles, the protagonist of Homer, is a fairy prince.  What I mean by that is that he is adopted from a fairy prince tale and integrated into the Homeric mythos.  First of all, the origin of the idea for me was Rhys Carpenter, I forget the name of the book.  But, it should not be that strange, after all, "the Lord of the Rings" has a fairy character in Tom Bombadil, left out unfortunately, although perhaps inevitably from the movies.  Of course, elves are also fairy inspired, but one gets a sense that if all the rest of Middle Earth had fallen to Sauron, Bombadil would still be in his patch of woods.  If one remembers, the one Ring had no effect on Bombadil when he put it on.

Anywho, I don't think we know what the name Achilles means, but he is the leader of the Myrmidons, Myrmex (and Myrmedon) means ants.  So, he is the leader of the ant contingent at Troy.  He is one of the few characters to have an ashen spear (spear made from ash), which is significant mythologically (see Robert Graves tree lore).  He is the son of the goddess (Thetis) and a mortal hero (Pelops).  There is a prophecy, originally known only to Prometheus, regarding Thetis, that could have spelled Zeus doom.  This is that Thetis' son would be greater than his father.  If one knows anything about Zeus, it is that he gets around, and his unions are always fruitful.  Prometheus traded the prophecy for his freedom, and Zeus promptly shotgun married Thetis off to a mortal.  Achilles also has twin fates, something that only one other Greek hero has (and we have a name, but don't know his story), he could either live a long but uneventful life, or a short but glorious one.  Zeus also owes Thetis for saving him once, when other gods bound him up, the rule is in mythology that if you are bound, you cannot get yourself free, but have to get someone else to do it.  So, when Agememnon angers Achilles, Achilles quits the war, and Thetis gets Zeus to help the Trojans, so that the Greeks (Achaians) will need Achilles.  Also Patrocles, Achilles' friend goes out in Achilles armor and wrecks havoc amongst the Trojans, but gets killed by the Trojan hero Hector.  Achilles decides once more to enter the fray, thus sealing his doom, his mother Thetis gets Hephaestos, god of smiths, to make him a new set of armor.



Replies:
Posted By: Vanuatu
Date Posted: 29 Jul 2019 at 11:01
So Homer is telling the very old story of Troy and uses an "Achilles" for the soldier who stops fighting for the king?





-------------
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)


Posted By: Vanuatu
Date Posted: 30 Jul 2019 at 02:32
Was Achilles a fairy in Homer's Iliad bc his mother was a nymph? 

Or are you referring to an existing idea of 'fairy' that Homer built upon but did not invent?

I can't discern that from online sources.


-------------
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 30 Jul 2019 at 08:27
Achilles was not a fairy, he was based on a fairy prince that must have been in ancient fairy tales.  You should understand that there was a big split in the interpretation of Homer which to some extent was resolved in the 1930s by Milman Parry.  Before him, there were the unitarians and the pluralists.  With Parry the resolution was made favoring the unitarians, the new view looking upon Homer as coming out of an oral tradition, like those of the Yugoslavian bards that Parry researched, rather than a blending of written traditions.  That oral tradition is definitely true for Homer, but the problem is, if it was an oral tradition, how did it get written down?  The unitarians look at Homer's works as literary wholes, which as far as looking at a story is also the right way to look at it.  The pluralists, on the other hand, concentrate on how the works were 'stitched" together using different stories, different sources.  They kinda lost out on the argument, but they had some really good points.  There are fragments of different traditions in the Iliiad and the Odyssey and a pluralist like Rhys Carpenter appreciates this better than a unitarian.  But, people looking at the Iliad as a literary work won't appreciate attempts to dissect it.  Achilles is the main hero of the Iliad, painting him as a fairy prince would seem incongruent to a unitarian, and thus verboten (forbidden).  Achilles is not the only hero to have come from other tales, and have been integrated into the new story line, sometimes not completely.  Odysseus has two names in the greater tradition, Ulysses and Odysseus.  He is kind of like a Sinbad character, or rather Sinbad is kind of like him.  This shows his importance and his independence of what we know as the Homeric cycle.  It is kind of like have a Norse god (Thor) in the Avengers.  Captain America is also integrated into the Marvel Universe from an older WWII, non-Marvel comic book series, as is the Sub-mariner.  The story of Odysseus and crew members being trapped in a cave by the cyclops, is an old, old tale with parallels in other cultures.  Ajax the Greater comes from a different era, and actually has a different, more "primitive" armor than the rest of the Greeks (actually, they're called Achaians), but you wouldn't notice the difference unless someone pointed it out to you in the text, (which no, I don't have right now).  Again, Helen is a minor goddess from Sparta.  That is not the role she plays in the Homeric cycle, but that is from whence she originated.

Vanuatu, you asked about fate (moira), I'll get to that later, unless something distracts me....


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 30 Jul 2019 at 14:49
For the ancient Greeks, one could not avoid one's destiny, and often by trying to avoid it, one fell into it.  Oedipus' fate, for example, was to kill his father and marry his mother.  His father exposed him on a hillside, (left him out there to die), but someone came along and adopted him, the leader of a different city-state.  Growing up, and finding out about the prophesy, he left his (adoptive) father (unknowing that he was adopted).  On the road he came across a man on a pavilion, both refused to let the other go past (by getting off the road), Oedipus killed the man, who was the ruler of a local city, Thebes.  Upon getting to Thebes, he assumed the kingship of the city, by marrying Jocasta, the dead king's wife (and of course, his mother.)

Another example is the Lydian King Croesus, who in Herodotus Histories, sent for a prophecy to Delphi, asking what would happen if he attacked a neighboring kingdom, the oracle said, "if you attack, a great Kingdom will fall.  Lydia attacked the Persians, and lost.  The great kingdom was his own.

Some would think that it was not fair to Oedipus, because he didn't know.  That does nothing to moderate the horror the Greeks felt about killing one's father, and marrying his mother.  In Athenian law, it did not matter whether one didn't intend to commit a crime, you were guilty.  Oedipus and Jocasta had two sons and two daughters, Oedipus plucked his own eyes out and became a wanderer, Jocasta killed herself and the curse was transmitted to their children.

Normally, each person had one fate (moira), and that was how they were fated to end up.  There are also the goddesses, the three Fates.  But, the do not necessarily come into play all the time when fate is talked about.  There are stories about Paris' mother wanting him dead, because Paris was fated to cause the fall of Troy, and the house of Priam.  Those stories are not in the Homeric Cycle, but in the Attic Tragedies (Euripides fragments).  My point is, just because everyone knows how it is supposed to end up, doesn't mean they can change it.  Wouldn't it have been easier for the Trojans to lock the door, and send Paris and his stolen 'wife' Helen, packing?  But, Paris was a prince of Troy, and so they decided to resist.  It might have worked too, if the Greeks had not come up with the ruse of hiding in 'the Trojan horse.'  The Trojans were famous for their horses, and maybe they just thought it was the Greeks acknowledgement that the Greeks had lost.

But think about it, Achilles could have sailed away and lived a long but mediocre life.  We can say that 'no, he couldn't of, and been Achilles.  But, we are told that he had two fates, which he could have chosen between.  For most people, we know that they only have one fate, no matter how much it looks like they could have done differently, but Achilles had two fates.


Posted By: Vanuatu
Date Posted: 05 Aug 2019 at 15:46
Do the stories of Greek heroes usually have a moment in childhood which makes them aware of their destiny?

Is there any practice like 'chrism' -the anointing- as preparation for a heroic life by use of oil as in the Egyptian,Hebrew or Palestinian traditions?


-------------
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 06 Aug 2019 at 14:48
No, they generally do not have a moment in childhood that makes them aware of their destiny.  Other people, through familiarity with prophecies can become aware of (usually just part of) it.  But, that does not mean that the hero is aware of it.  Jason is going to kill his corrupt uncle the king, which is why Jason gets sent to find the golden fleece.  He came to his uncle's palace with one shoe on, and having lost the other shoe crossing a river.  The uncle knew about the prophecy, Jason didn't.  Heroes are almost always, always heroes, there never is a time which they weren't.  If one is a Greek strongman, one can use Heracles as a model, but there never was a time when Heracles was a 98 pound weakling.  The infant Heracles strangled two serpents that Hera sent to kill him.

The anointing of oil is a Israelite way of crowning the king, it only translates into Greek through Christianity.


Posted By: caldrail
Date Posted: 06 Aug 2019 at 21:02
No, I can't see any 'fairy prince' behind Homer's work. The Greeks had a different take on heroism and bearing in mind that in Greek culture winning was everything (take a look at Hercules. He commits war crimes, mass executions, but he's a hero because he wins). the interaction of the fairie and human races was one based on superstition whereas the greek model was based on a hyped up vision of everyday life.

-------------
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 07 Aug 2019 at 02:04
Not even Achilles, leader of the ant-men?  I think Rhys Carpenter might argue that fairy prince is where it started out, not where it went.  If one can mix mythos in a Dungeons and Dragons game, maybe a shaman with a valkyrie, then I don't see how a reformed fairy prince would be that big of a deal in an Epic Tale.  Carpenter also argues that Odysseus is something out of a folk tale.

You do know that Achilles' horses could speak?  They say one thing and go mute ever after.

Have you ever seen a hero that didn't win?  I mean, heroes in the Iliad are different, many are just 'cannon' fodder.  But, the Iliad and Odyssey are not good examples of mythos.  For some things, they are our only or best source.  However they are good literature, but as far as straight mythology, Apollodorus or Hyginus are better.

Some modern scholars argue that Achilles is suffering from PTSD.  That is one way to think of it, but to me it explains one thing I don't understand (Achilles) with another thing I don't understand (PTSD).


Posted By: Vanuatu
Date Posted: 07 Aug 2019 at 02:22
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:


Some modern scholars argue that Achilles is suffering from PTSD.  That is one way to think of it, but to me it explains one thing I don't understand (Achilles) with another thing I don't understand (PTSD).
I'm obviously just chiming here but Achilles sees the ghosts of soldiers that he's killed. Now that phenomenon has to be as old as war itself. 
What I can't fathom is how Achilles would have processed those visions. In the Greek stories it seems as though seeing the dead is fairly common, not very upsetting unless the dead was a victim of the hero.


-------------
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 07 Aug 2019 at 14:40
I don't remember Achilles seeing ghosts, but it has been awhile since I read the _Iliad_.  It should be understood that heroes in ancient Greece are generally not the nice guys that you would like to take home to mother.  And heroines generally end up badly, jilted at least.  Penelope and Helen are in many ways exceptions.  There is a Hesiodic work (Eoie(?)) which is about the women who through their affairs with the gods, give birth to the various "tribes" of the Greeks.  Of course, the Greeks were well aware of the "problematic" nature of the heroes.


Posted By: caldrail
Date Posted: 07 Aug 2019 at 20:55
Human psychology and story telling tend toward similar forms. That doesn't mean a medieval superstition has any actual links in ancient Greece. Two different cultures and mythologies. This all seems like the human talent for spotting patterns. It's the root cause of the ridiculous conspiracy theories we have to wade through today.

-------------
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/


Posted By: Vanuatu
Date Posted: 08 Aug 2019 at 05:08
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

I don't remember Achilles seeing ghosts, but it has been awhile since I read the _Iliad_.  It should be understood that heroes in ancient Greece are generally not the nice guys that you would like to take home to mother.  And heroines generally end up badly, jilted at least.  Penelope and Helen are in many ways exceptions.  There is a Hesiodic work (Eoie(?)) which is about the women who through their affairs with the gods, give birth to the various "tribes" of the Greeks.  Of course, the Greeks were well aware of the "problematic" nature of the heroes.
Wondering, How would you interpret this passage?
http://https://www.bartleby.com/203/185.html - http://https://www.bartleby.com/203/185.html

‘Let Hector die,        125
And let me fall!’ (Achilles made reply.)
‘Far lies Patroclus from his native plain;
He fell, and, falling, wish’d my aid in vain.
Ah then, since from this miserable day
I cast all hope of my return away;        130
Since, unrevenged, a hundred ghosts demand
The fate of Hector from Achilles’ hand;
Since here, for brutal courage far renown’d,
I live an idle burden to the ground
(Others in council famed for nobler skill,        135
More useful to preserve than I to kill);
Let me—But oh! ye gracious Powers above!
Wrath and revenge from men and Gods remove:



-------------
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 10 Aug 2019 at 13:48
In your quote, the hundred are not casualties of Achilles, it is not clear that they are casualties of Hector, because elsewhere it seems like Hector doesn't ever kill anyone besides Patroclus.  On the other hand, the story is not internally consistent, partially because it comes out of an oral tradition.  I would want to look at a newer translation, or even try to delve into the Homeric Greek.


Posted By: Vanuatu
Date Posted: 15 Aug 2019 at 01:15
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

In your quote, the hundred are not casualties of Achilles, it is not clear that they are casualties of Hector, because elsewhere it seems like Hector doesn't ever kill anyone besides Patroclus.  On the other hand, the story is not internally consistent, partially because it comes out of an oral tradition.  I would want to look at a newer translation, or even try to delve into the Homeric Greek.
 
I see the disconnect. Menelaos gets Elysian Fields for being a son in law of Zeus? Achilles spends eternity in Hades? Maybe in the quote the dead cry out for proper burial, no shortage of death and mutilation scenes. 

"In the Odyssey, Homer describes the underworld as having different areas for the different types of deceased. For instance, Menelaos will spend eternity in the Elysian Fields because he is Helen’s husband, the son-in-law of Zeus. The Elysian Fields, situated at the ends of the earth with the rest of the underworld, was considered to be paradise where the privileged resided."
Recommended Citation Adams, Jeff (2007) "Greek and Roman Perceptions of the Afterlife in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and Virgil’s Aeneid," McNair Scholars Journal: Vol. 11: Iss. 1, Article 2. Available at: http://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/mcnair/vol11/iss1/2 - http://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/mcnair/vol11/iss1/2


-------------
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 15 Aug 2019 at 13:34
Actually, in the Tale of Er in Plato's _Republic_, it is time for all the heroes to pick their lots for their next life.  All the big heroes are there, except Achilles, the implication is that he has gotten out of the cycle.

Simone Weil has an essay called, "Iliad, Poem of Might," in it she shows how the Iliad gives examples of everything that is terrible in war, or we might say, 'awesome and terrible.'  In Japanese the word would be 'taihen' which means great and terrible at the same time.  I have not checked it out, but I believe that each death in the Iliad is different, and yet the same.  People get disemboweled, run through the helmet with a spear, etc, etc, etc.  again each death is different, personal, yet the same.  slavery, concubinage, plague, defiling bodies. betrayal.  The Iliad is very honest about war, although there are somethings that are expurgated, the use of poison on arrows for example.  Arrows hurt tremendously when they hit, but are never fatal, never described as poisoned.  Odysseus in the Odyssey is said to have traveled to get poison for his arrows. 

I think that it is interesting that Menelaus (and of course, Helen) get to go to the Elysian fields (mentioned in the Odyssey).  He doesn't seem to "deserve" that, he isn't the greatest of heroes.  However, Heracles becomes a god, Odysseus probably could have lived forever, if that is what he wanted, if he had stayed with the goddess Calypso.  But, he wanted to go home, he did not even get to stay home on Ithaca, according to later stories.
There are other stories of heroes in the Elysian fields, I don't know if the list was standardized.  Again, Homer's story is not necessarily the best example mythologically.  Homer uses the stories of mythology, but in service of his general story, not necessarily in service of myth.


Posted By: Vanuatu
Date Posted: 15 Aug 2019 at 14:13
Myth of Er, "Spindle of Necessity" fascinating! thanks

In a hundred years during Homer's influence on mainland Greece the hero cults grow from 5 to 37. Menelaus likely got thumbs downs and Plato gave the heroes a sequel. 

6 J. N. Coldstream, “Hero-Cults in the Age of Homer,” Journal of Hellenic Studies 96 (1976), 9, 10.

The drastic increase in the amount of hero-cults is remarkable in such a short period of time. According to J. N. Coldstream: Blegen observed that none of the Prosymna votives was earlier than the late eighth century...These cults were suddenly instituted in the late eighth century because that was the time when the Homeric poems were beginning to circulate over  the mainland of Greece. … Many more of these votive deposits have been found in several regions; they lend powerful confirmation to the theory put forward by Farnell and Cook.36


-------------
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 19 Aug 2019 at 08:18
If your wife is beautiful, everybody will want her.
If your wife is ugly nobody will want her.
I think the answer is for your wife to be beautiful, to you. although that also may just be another way
of saying she has character flaws to which you are blind.
Menelaus had the former problem.  
I don't think that men look any lesser upon him for letting Helen come back (instead of running her through).  She is the daughter of Zeus, which since gods and goddesses usually had sons, is itself something special.


Posted By: Vanuatu
Date Posted: 22 Aug 2019 at 02:24
So Achilles saw the dead. Does it follow that Homer understood this about humans in general? Apparitions, visions, ghosts or memories that just seem real-were and are a part of life.

Seeing hundreds of dead bodies in dreams or in flashbacks isn't easily overcome, if ever. Romans and Greeks wanted a proper cremation/burial respectively, to put the spirits at rest. The whole idea was to keep the dead from coming back. Although who can say among everyday people of the time, what the relationship was to seeing dead relatives. Homer did more influencing than was influenced by his times, according to scholar sources.


-------------
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)


Posted By: Vanuatu
Date Posted: 22 Aug 2019 at 02:32
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

 
I don't think that men look any lesser upon him for letting Helen come back (instead of running her through).  She is the daughter of Zeus, which since gods and goddesses usually had sons, is itself something special.
When we read daughter or son of a god, is it really more a description of an ideal? The ancients don't actually believe in a god bloodline but a hero has the charisma or attributes of stand out. If there is no anointing at the young adult stage, it's already happened by magical birth. 


-------------
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 22 Aug 2019 at 09:00
I don't know if Achilles saw the dead, the translation you use is old, it rhymes (which is an English poetical thing), it uses Roman names for the gods instead of the Greek names.  What do we mean by a line in a poem that 'says' Achilles saw the dead.  I would have to look at a newer translation, and maybe try to figure out what the Greek "original" is saying.  But, even then, that wouldn't necessarily mean that Homeric heroes sometimes see the dead.  It doesn't even mean that Achilles can see the dead, although there are times when he is described as godlike, and not only godlike, but raging in battle like unto a god.

You know how Tolkein or Star Wars myths are, well the Iliad and the Odyssey are not like that.  They were "originally" told by bards composing 'on the fly.'  They evolved that way, and eventually, _somehow_ got copied down.  How they "originally" transferred from oral to written is not really understood.  But, different parts were composed at different times, mainly in the Archaic age (pre 480 BC), and they were edited and finalized in the Hellenistic Era, to pull a number out of a hat, 3rd or 2nd BC in Alexandria.  They are great tales, and out of the same soup comes the Attic Tragedies of 5th and 4th c.  But, the stories are not all consistent on a fine level, vaguely generally yes.  But, not necessarily.

For example, there is a dual case in Greek, like English has singular and plural nouns, well in the Archaic period particularly there is a dual case for pairs.  Agememnon sends Odysseus and, I think(?) Diomedes on an envoy to try to get the sulking Achilles back into the battle,  Odysseus and Diomedes go, and the language uses the dual case pronoun saying that they went.  They get there and all of a sudden Phoenix, Achilles' mentor, that doesn't appear anywhere else, entreats Achilles to accept the apology and gifts, and get back into battle, (note, I don't remember whether this is before or after, Odysseus speaks, and I don't remember whether Diomedes speaks), but it is like the two heroes go on embassy to Achilles, and all of a sudden 'blip' there is the aged Phoenix.  It is a better story with him entreating Achilles as well, but it is not consistent. and that is how the Iliad and the Odysey are, composed on the fly, by hereditary bards called Homeridae, the tales trade secrets which, somehow, got out.

The Attic (Athens) tragedies have a more ancient, archaic feel to them, more likely to deal in prophetic dreams, apparitions, so forth.  One chilling character is the poor Trojan (Troy=Ilium (Iliad)) princess Cassandra who becomes Agememnon's concubine.  Apollo loved her and gave her the gift of prophecy, and she still wouldn't sleep with him, but a god cannot take away from a mortal the gift of a god, (even their own gift), so Apollo cursed her so that while she could see the future, no one would believe her.  Well, she can vividly see that Agememnon's wife Clytemnestra and her lover Aigistus, are going to murder Agememnon and her in the bath, but she cannot do anything about it, and no one will believe her.  There are stories of prophecies in the Iliad, but one does not see them, just hears about them as givens, oh, heroes can see gods and goddesses in the Iliad and the Odyssey, if the deity allows it.  But, what is also cool is the language of Homeric Greek that tells of phenomena and manifestations, much more glorious than plain old English, it would be like technicolor vs. regular film.  Sorry I cannot explain better than that.

When we are told by mythology that Zeus turned into a bull and fathered a hero with Europa, it means that the bull Zeus and Europa made the two-backed beast and got it on.  Now later interpretations and readings made this into analogies (like Euhemerism), that was not what the original myth was getting at.  


Posted By: Vanuatu
Date Posted: 23 Aug 2019 at 11:57
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Not even Achilles, leader of the ant-men?  I think Rhys Carpenter might argue that fairy prince is where it started out, not where it went.  If one can mix mythos in a Dungeons and Dragons game, maybe a shaman with a valkyrie, then I don't see how a reformed fairy prince would be that big of a deal in an Epic Tale.  Carpenter also argues that Odysseus is something out of a folk tale.

You do know that Achilles' horses could speak?  They say one thing and go mute ever after.

 Hi, what do Achilles horses say?




-------------
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 23 Aug 2019 at 12:31
I say, I don't remember, but it is just one line.  I am not living at my condo right now where most of my books are.  His horses have names, and so if you figure out their names, you can probably find the passage in an index.

But, there are weird things preserved in Iliad and the Odyssey.  The gates of horn and ivory are another one, (in the Odyssey, and in Virgil's Aeneid).  But look it up, and _then_ ask me.


Posted By: Vanuatu
Date Posted: 23 Aug 2019 at 12:36
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

I say, I don't remember, but it is just one line.  I am not living at my condo right now where most of my books are.  His horses have names, and so if you figure out their names, you can probably find the passage in an index.

But, there are weird things preserved in Iliad and the Odyssey.  The gates of horn and ivory are another one, (in the Odyssey, and in Virgil's Aeneid).  But look it up, and _then_ ask me.
Thanks!
What makes you think I like weird things?


-------------
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)


Posted By: Vanuatu
Date Posted: 23 Aug 2019 at 13:01
At Iliad 17.474-8,  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automedon - Automedon , Achilles' charioteer, states that only  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patroclus - Patroclus  was able to fully control these horses. When Xanthus was rebuked by the grieving Achilles for allowing Patroclus to be slain,  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hera - Hera  granted Xanthus human speech which broke Divine law, allowing the horse to say that a god had killed Patroclus and that a god would soon kill Achilles too. After this, the  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erinyes - Erinyes  struck the horse dumb.

Thanks Wiki  http://https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balius_and_Xanthus - http://https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balius_and_Xanthus


-------------
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 24 Aug 2019 at 15:16
Do you know what Erinyes means?  The Erinyes are the (3?) goddesses known in English as the Furies, but their name _Erinyes_ means "kindly ones" because basically if you called them what they were [terrible avenging goddesses], they would come after you.

Patroclus means "father's glory" [Heracles=Hera's glory], a feminine version of the name is Cleopatra.

Homer knew about chariots, but he did not really understand how they were used in war, in the Iliad, they're kinda used as taxi cabs used to take the hero to where he is going to get off and fight on foot.

The god who was going to kill Achilles, is (also) Apollo, he would direct the arrow shot by Paris (also called Alexander), the bodily invulnerability except for the heel is a later development.


Posted By: Vanuatu
Date Posted: 26 Aug 2019 at 13:08
I remember from the Oliver Stone film "Troy" the chariots wee used like that, seemed to make a point of showing it. LOL

Athena makes the Furies into the Fates, guardians of motherhood and childbirth.


-------------
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 26 Aug 2019 at 14:15
Never saw Oliver Stone's "Troy"  I cannot see the furies being made into the fates, nor into (a separate thing), guardians of motherhood and childbirth  But, I would expect Oliver Stone to muck it up.
The three fates are, if I remember right Clotho who weaves the thread, Lachesis who measures the thread, and Atropos who cuts the thread.  (I think I got the names right).  This is the thread of a man's life, presumably woman's also.

But the fates are not goddesses of childbearing.


Posted By: Vanuatu
Date Posted: 26 Aug 2019 at 22:56
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Never saw Oliver Stone's "Troy"  I cannot see the furies being made into the fates, nor into (a separate thing), guardians of motherhood and childbirth  But, I would expect Oliver Stone to muck it up.
The three fates are, if I remember right Clotho who weaves the thread, Lachesis who measures the thread, and Atropos who cuts the thread.  (I think I got the names right).  This is the thread of a man's life, presumably woman's also.

But the fates are not goddesses of childbearing.
The bit about Achilles on the chariot is in the movie "Troy"

The bit about Athena turning Furies into Fates is mythology.


-------------
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 28 Aug 2019 at 09:51
I don't know what mythology.

The greatest Hero (besides Heracles) is probably Achilles.  After Achilles died, Odysseus and Ajax the Greater competed over his armor (made by Hephaestus), each gave his speech, Ajax was an immensely strong hero, who did not have to rely on the gods for his prowess, Odysseus however, argued that he deserved it, because not only did he personally do great heroic feats, but he urged other men on, and therefore was instrumental in winning the Trojan War.  Odysseus had done stuff like rally the men, when they were in a retreat, he stood up to Achilles when Achilles wanted the whole army to fast after the death of Patroclus, saying that Achilles could do what he wants, but the whole army needs its breakfast if they were going to fight that day.  Odysseus won the armor and so, because of his wiles is the second greatest hero after Achilles before Troy.


Posted By: Vanuatu
Date Posted: 28 Aug 2019 at 11:29
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

I don't know what mythology.
Sorry, the Furies are associated with the three Graces

InEumenides,Orestes' act was depicted as just, and the god Apollo* protected him in his  http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/knowledge/Sacred.html - sacred http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/knowledge/Shrine.html - shrine at Delphi*. But the Furies still demanded justice. Finally, the gods persuaded the Furies to allow Orestes to be tried by the Areopagus, an ancient court in the city of Athens. The goddess Athena*, thepatronof Athens, cast the deciding ballot.

Athena then calmed the anger of the Furies, who became known afterward as the Eumenides (soothed ones) or Semnai Theai (honorable goddesses). Now welcomed in Athens and given a home there, they helped protect the city and its citizens from harm. The Furies also had shrines dedicated to them in other parts of Greece. In some places, the Furies were linked with the three Graces, goddess sisters who represented beauty, charm, and goodness—qualities quite different from those usually associated with the Furies

Read more:  http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Fi-Go/Furies.html#ixzz5xqiX9Gjy - http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Fi-Go/Furies.html#ixzz5xqiX9Gjy

Quote The greatest Hero (besides Heracles) is probably Achilles.  After Achilles died, Odysseus and Ajax the Greater competed over his armor (made by Hephaestus), each gave his speech, Ajax was an immensely strong hero, who did not have to rely on the gods for his prowess, Odysseus however, argued that he deserved it, because not only did he personally do great heroic feats, but he urged other men on, and therefore was instrumental in winning the Trojan War.  Odysseus had done stuff like rally the men, when they were in a retreat, he stood up to Achilles when Achilles wanted the whole army to fast after the death of Patroclus, saying that Achilles could do what he wants, but the whole army needs its breakfast if they were going to fight that day.  Odysseus won the armor and so, because of his wiles is the second greatest hero after Achilles before Troy.
Armand Assante was a great Odysseus in the 1997 extended film. Clash of the Titans 1981 and Jason and the Argonauts made in 1963 are great depictions. The skeleton fight scenes done with the animation of Ray Harryhausen made it impressive work for the time and it is still very clever now. Jason and Perseus are great heroes. 
Are they in a different category than Achilles and Ajax? The goddesses Athena & Hera offered a lot of assistance to Jason and Perseus.
  


-------------
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 29 Aug 2019 at 05:15
Different mythological origins.  Think of Troy as a generation or two after most of the heroes.  Some the heroes are suns of heroes.  Philotectes who left behind on an island with a festering wound, has Heracles bow.  Something the Achaeans (Greeks need according to prophecy).  In earlier days Heracles visited Troy.   I think it is Diomedes who is the son of Tydeus who fought before Thebes, another cycle.  The myths to some degree overlap, but not always nor completely.  Heracles is in the Argonaut, but bows out early on.


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 01 Sep 2019 at 10:31
When Ajax lost the contest to Odysseus, he went a brooded in his tent, then he decided to go on a rampage killing Odysseus and the two kings, Menelaus and Agememnon as well as the other Greeks.  Athena however found out what he was planning and deceived him in his rage, and sent him into the flock of sheep and cattle that the Greeks had won from defeating the Trojans.  Wading into the cattle, he thought he was killing the Greeks.  When his senses cleared, he discovered what he had done, went to th beach and fell on his sword.

So, you have the
The Theban Cycle,
The Trojan Cycle,
The Argonautica (Miletus)
The Boeotian tradition.
and others which we know little
or nothing about.


Posted By: Vanuatu
Date Posted: 03 Sep 2019 at 12:26
Quote Achilles also has twin fates, something that only one other Greek hero has (and we have a name, but don't know his story), he could either live a long but uneventful life, or a short but glorious one.

Achilles has two fates, or did you mean twin? They are very different choices. Lots of regular people have to make that choice too. Achilles chose glory but he didn't get it.




-------------
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 04 Sep 2019 at 04:19
I don't know how it is phrased, from my understanding at some point he could freely have chosen A or freely have chosen B.  Whereas, a lot of people by trying to avoid their fate actually fell into it.  Oedipus, fleeing so that he would not murder his father (actually his _adopted_ father), ran into his actual father, murdered him, and then went to the nearby city and married the queen, thus becoming the king, but also the husband of his mother.

Achilles did get glory, he slew Hector who was the heart of the Trojan defense.  He also later (than the Iliad) slew Memnon, whose mother was the goddess Dawn.

Of course, some people will argue that actually Achilles as a hero had no choice, but had to go back into the fray.  That is who "he was."  But, I think that there actually was a time, when he could have gone a different direction than the direction he did go.  It is kind of a counterfactual, 'if Achilles had done 'X,' (sailed away, not avenged Patroclus, not given Patroclus his armor....), he would have lived a long and uneventful life.  It is a type of knowledge that we don't have, "the time right now is 11:14, if I had gone to the store this morning, I would have gotten a candy bar."  I did not go to the store, therefore I couldn't have known whether I would have gotten a candy bar, but a god could know.  That is what we are imaging when we imagine two fates, (or twin fates?), I think of them as twin, because they are paired together, one can do one or the other, but not both. 


Posted By: Vanuatu
Date Posted: 12 Sep 2019 at 15:24
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:


Achilles did get glory, he slew Hector who was the heart of the Trojan defense.  He also later (than the Iliad) slew Memnon, whose mother was the goddess Dawn.

Achilles tells Odysseus in the Underworld that he would rather be low and alive rather than glorified but in Hades awaiting filtration. Almost starting to sound like sin, any choice by a demigod should have kept him above ground, do you agree?


-------------
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 13 Sep 2019 at 03:32
filtration??

I wonder if "demigod" is a modern coinage.  Achilles lived fast and died young, he could have lived slow, amounted to little, and died later.  Not dying was not an option.  Although admittedly it does seem like an option for Menelaus, Helen, and maybe Heracles.

Of course, he is talking to Odysseus in the underworld, the ultimate survivor.


Posted By: Vanuatu
Date Posted: 14 Sep 2019 at 00:09
"filtration??"
The word filtration-reading about Achilles in the afterlife. The reason for keeping figures of deceased relatives around was less about grief more about Eusebia or piety, it was a citizens responsibility to keep the dead happy by remembering. And remember them happy! It will keep the dead from causing mischief for the living. If you were in Elysium and no living person held you in memory as a virtuous person then as a psyche would be downgraded to Tartarus.

The pysche in death or eidolon did not have intellect or phrenes. The intellect has been left in the body  possibly the liver and diaphragm. So the reflection of Achilles in death is a diminished reflection of living Achilles. Most essays and articles have Achilles wandering the plains of Tartarus for eternity. Achilles is less and less an essence of his former human self until he returns to a kind of mist. Still working on finding that article it was unique for its discussion eternity being more like infinity.

Eventually everyone is alone in Tartarus, then you are free again. Killing the demigod was not something Paris could do, Apollo has reasons for killing Achilles.
Wiki-

Etymology[ https://en.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=demigod&action=edit&section=3 - edit ]

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/demi-#English - demi-  +‎  https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/god#English - god . Calque of the  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin - Latin   https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/semideus#Latin - semideus  (half-god), which is probably a coining by the Roman poet Ovid for less important gods such as  https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/dryad - dryads .



-------------
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 19 Sep 2019 at 13:38
Apollo directed the arrow from Paris' bow that killed Achilles.  Some accounts hitting him in his vulnerable heel.  You could kill Achilles, you just had to know where to hit him, at least according to later versions.

Apollo, by this time was probably prohibited like the rest of the gods from actively helping his side, telling Paris where to aim, wouldn't 'quite' be interference.

There is a difference between Hades and Tartarus.  I don't know what "most essays and articles" are, it would be good to know when and who those articles are published.  Scholarship changes over time, although a lot of what I like is old scholarship.


Posted By: Vanuatu
Date Posted: 19 Sep 2019 at 16:59
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Apollo directed the arrow from Paris' bow that killed Achilles.  Some accounts hitting him in his vulnerable heel.  You could kill Achilles, you just had to know where to hit him, at least according to later versions.

Apollo, by this time was probably prohibited like the rest of the gods from actively helping his side, telling Paris where to aim, wouldn't 'quite' be interference.

There is a difference between Hades and Tartarus.  I don't know what "most essays and articles" are, it would be good to know when and who those articles are published.  Scholarship changes over time, although a lot of what I like is old scholarship.
Paris is mortal though, how does mortal kill demigod?

The first link discusses the beliefs about afterlife, war dead, Iliad/Oddessy/Aeneid.
http://https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/1f16/e630fb805f480e5155bf8e0b885e890b42e7.pdf - http://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/1f16/e630fb805f480e5155bf8e0b885e890b42e7.pdf

The nature of Tartarus -
http://https://www.theoi.com/Kosmos/Tartaros.html - http://www.theoi.com/Kosmos/Tartaros.html

The primordial deity of the Tartarean pit sired a single child by Gaia (Earth) named  https://www.theoi.com/Gigante/Typhoeus.html - Typhoeus --a monstrous, serpentine storm-giant who attempted to seize the throne of heaven. Zeus vanquished the creature and cast it back down into the pit of Tartaros where it remained as the cosmic-source of  https://www.theoi.com/Titan/AnemoiThuellai.html - hurricanes and storm winds . The protogenos (primordial deity) Tartaros scarcely figures in myth and was a purely elemental deity, i.e. the pit itself instead of an anthropomorphic god.

Later, classical writers re-imagined Tartaros as a hellish prison-house for the damned conflating it with Homer's Haidean chamber of torments. This realm is described on a separate page-- https://www.theoi.com/Kosmos/Tartaros2.html - Tartaros, the Dungeon of the Damned .

Basically Achilles knows he is turning Hector into a ghost but may feel entirely obligated to do it. 

http://https://lawandreligionforum.org/2015/10/27/mistreating-the-enemys-body-the-judgment-of-zeus/ - https://lawandreligionforum.org/2015/10/27/mistreating-the-enemys-body-the-judgment-of-zeus/

“Does not the hero’s beautiful death, which grants him eternal glory, have as its necessary corollary, its sinister obverse, the disfigurement and debasement of the dead opponent’s body, so as to deny him access to the memory of men to come? . . . [W]hat is most important is not to kill one’s enemy but to deprive him of a beautiful death.” When Achilles drag Hector through the dust, he seeks to deny him that “beautiful death”; when Apollo protects Hector with his golden shield, a god ensures that Hector may still have the beautiful death worthy of such a warrior.




-------------
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 20 Sep 2019 at 11:29
Where do you get this demigod thang?  There are mortals, heroes, daemons (which are often the spirits of heroes after death), and gods.  Achilles in his rage pushes up on the ceiling of being a mortal, but is still not divine.  Heracles becomes immortal when he takes upon himself Chiron's immortality.  Chiron was poisoned by one of the arrows of Heracles dipped in Hydra blood.  He is in pain, and want to be freed from his pain.  Later, Heracles needs to be freed from his own pain.  Which is why he needs to be immolated to free himself from the Hydra blood poison, when he is poisoned by the robe Deijanira made from the centaur Nessus' hide (who Heracles shot).  She was told by Nessus that if he ever strayed, the robe would make sure he (Herc) he would stay with her.

Now maybe Romans had demigods.  But the Pythagoreans said that there are three things that are rational, mortals, gods, and one thing besides Pythagoras).

I think that having one parent a god and one parent a mortal makes you a "demigod," but it doesn't make you a lesser immortal, just a really kick-ass hero.  Sarpedon dies in the Iliad, despite being the son of Zeus.

The dog is pressuring me for a walk.  I have no will of my own.  I will get to Tartarus soon.

"In the Homeric poems and in Hesiod's Theogony, Tartarus is the deepest region of the world, placed beneath the underworld itself.  There was the same distance between Hades and Tartarus as there was between Heaven and Earth.  It was in Tartarus that successive generations of gods locked away their enemies."  "Tartarus [became] the anti-type of the Elysian Fields where the Blessed lived.  In the Theogony, Tartarus is personified and represents the primordial elements of the world, along with Eros, Chaos and Gaia.  Penguin Dictionary of Classical Mythology.

Couldn't get your links to work. 'http// not found'  


Posted By: Vanuatu
Date Posted: 27 Sep 2019 at 00:46
Thetis is a water goddess. Achilles weak spot wasn't known to Paris or to Achilles. Is there a line or a description of Paris receiving this knowledge? Sorry, I'm reading that the Greeks had demigods.

To be clear, I am looking up stuff on the internet and you studied at the University level. 
These stories have been retold and scholarship with archaeology rewrite the stories, as itt has always been. Do not mistake my contrary statements for confident beliefs, I'm just trying to understand it bc the parallels to modern metaphysics and symbolism are fascinating. 

If you read http// not found, that's error 404 I believe, they include another hyperlink and that should work.
It's not the double http// mistake, although I see I have done that. There will be evidence, Google is re-routing my hyperlinks bc of all the pro-Trump comments. 

After the second democratic debate Tulsi Gabbard was the most Googled D candidate. She discovered that Google changed algorithms to keep people from accessing her content and kept her content from appearing on various web pages including her official campaign site. Google takes its cues from DNC, who are not behind Gabbard's campaign. 
Gabbard is suing Google who's CEO is on tape admitting that they interfered with information from pro-Trump sources. Why not Gabbard too? She was in the way.
I'm not important, not a candidate but I'm poking all the right (wrong?) places.


-------------
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)


Posted By: Vanuatu
Date Posted: 27 Sep 2019 at 00:57

http://https://www.theoi.com/Pontios/NereisThetis.html - https://www.theoi.com/Pontios/NereisThetis.html

THETIS was a goddess of the sea and the leader of the fifty  https://www.theoi.com/Pontios/Nereides.html - Nereides . Like many other sea gods she possessed the gift of prophesy and power to change her shape at will.

Because of a prophesy that she was destined to bear a son greater than his father, Zeus had her marry a mortal man. Peleus, the chosen groom, was instructed to ambush her on the beach, and not release his grasp of the struggling goddess as she metamorphosed into a host of shapes. The couple were afterwards married in a ceremony attended by all the gods of heaven. She bore a son, the celebrated hero Akhilleus (Achilles).

In her desperate attempts to protect her son during the Trojan War, Thetis called in many favours from the gods. These included Hephaistos (Hephaestus) and Dionysos, both of whom she had given refuge in the sea as they faced crises of youth, and Zeus, whose throne she had protected by summoning the giant Briareus-Aigaion (Aegaeon) when the gods had sought to bind him.

Thetis's name is connected with the ancient Greek words thesis "creation" and têthê "nurse".


Thetis riding Hippocamp, Apulian red-figure Pelike C5th B.C.,  https://www.getty.edu/museum/ - The J. Paul Getty Museum



-------------
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)


Posted By: Vanuatu
Date Posted: 27 Sep 2019 at 01:19
Zeus could have saved Sarpendon but Hera tells Zeus that the other god/goddesses will interfere and help their favorites, Apollo protects Hector by making his shield strong. 

Then Zeus announces that Achilles will kill Hector so the promise to Thetis is kept and Achilles will be a hero but he will die bc Zeus allows Sarpendon to die and forbids the gods from interfering otherwise and Achilles through Zeus/Apollo is dead. 


-------------
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 29 Sep 2019 at 09:00
The gods know it is a bad idea to mess with Fate (moira).  So, yes, maybe Zeus is tempted, but it would open up problems in all kinds of ways (including with the other gods).  But, even if they save them once, the gods would probably not be able to save there favorite mortals for good.  Heracles, however, does seem like an exception.

Prometheus knows the prophesy and uses it to get Zeus to free him.  I think that Thetis does not, at least not according to Aeschylus' _Prometheus Bound_.

You should understand that there is Homer, (and the Attic Tragedies), and then there was a mass of tales overlapping Homer, but sometimes telling variants.  Some of these variants are known by lesser sources, which may be more pure 'mythologically' (like Hyginus and Apollodorus), but less inspirational as literary creations.  Others of these variants are known only by artistic depictions.


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 29 Sep 2019 at 09:11
wikipedia

In the ancient Greek and Roman world, the word did not have a consistent definition and was rarely used. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demigod#cite_note-Talbert-3 - [3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demigod#cite_note-Lewis-4 - [4]

The earliest recorded use of the term is by the  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaic_Greek - archaic Greek  poets  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homer - Homer  and  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hesiod - Hesiod . Both describe dead heroes as hemitheoi, or "half gods". In these cases, the word did not literally mean that these figures had one parent who was divine and one who was mortal. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demigod#cite_note-Hansen-5 - [5]  Instead, those who demonstrated "strength, power, good family, and good behavior" were termed  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero - heroes , and after death they could be called hemitheoi, a process that has been referred to as "heroization". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demigod#cite_note-Price-6 - [6]   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pindar - Pindar  also used the term frequently as a synonym for hero. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demigod#cite_note-Lid&S-7 - [7]


So when it is applied (to a hero) it sounds like it is applied after death, but it is infrequently and inconsistently used.  I wonder if it was a term in the Archaic era, that never caught on, or a term that fell out of favor.



Posted By: Vanuatu
Date Posted: 04 Oct 2019 at 01:31
I got the demigod thang from Dungeons and Dragons. Big smile
Different versions of ancient stories about heroes maintain an overlap of important elements and continue to describe the ongoing human experience. As if nothing ever really changes emotionally with humans. 




-------------
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 05 Oct 2019 at 14:44
I used to play D & D, and touched on other RPGs (Role Playing Games), I say that I don't do it any more because I don't know who I am, let alone pretending to be someone else.  But, probably a more accurate description is that RPGs tend to be a great time sucker, and I feel like I should be doing other things.  If you have an evening on a weekly basis, and nothing better to do, it can be a fun way to fill the time.

Fantasy oriented RPGs can be a great way to indirectly learn about mythology.  Both ancient, and sometimes modern literary mythology.  The different deities books used to have Cthulu (Lovecraft), Nehwon (Leiber), Melibonian (Morcock), and Conan mythos, and Tolkien's Hobbits, but got sued over it and had to take them out.  I'm not sure it is good that commerce takes precedence over imagination.  There is a science fiction game that uses designs of Star Trek ships (and others- Kzinti), they did so, however, for such a long time that when Columbia Pictures sued them they (Columbia Pictures) was laughed out of court.

A little bit of a sidetrack from the main issue, but its all related in the big picture.


Posted By: Vanuatu
Date Posted: 12 Oct 2019 at 09:39
D&D was good fun, the myths morphed into modern cartoons and comics, over and over still brand new.

Achilles has his most god like moments in battle when he is in Berzerker mode. Hector defiles Patroclus' body a bit and the gods don't like that. Achilles says I'll show you mutilation! Then he drags Hector around good.
In the Iliad Chariots were taxis and for keel hauling the dead :)



-------------
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 12 Oct 2019 at 11:47
The gods preserve Hector's body when it is dragged.  So that Priam can come and get it back for burial.

I don't remember Patroclus' body being defiled particularly, but I don't have the text here.  Striping the dead of armor is not really defiling.

One thing that one must remember is that the army was all (male) citizens, and so to all of them, this and the Attic tragedies were real to them, they had served in war.  I wonder what it was with the traditional society that the equivalence of 'shell-shock' or PTSD was not more pronounced. 


Posted By: Vanuatu
Date Posted: 16 Oct 2019 at 01:52
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

The gods preserve Hector's body when it is dragged.  So that Priam can come and get it back for burial.

I don't remember Patroclus' body being defiled particularly, but I don't have the text here.  Striping the dead of armor is not really defiling.

One thing that one must remember is that the army was all (male) citizens, and so to all of them, this and the Attic tragedies were real to them, they had served in war.  I wonder what it was with the traditional society that the equivalence of 'shell-shock' or PTSD was not more pronounced. 

The Homeric poems show clearly that it was the most solemn duty incumbent on a warrior not only to avenge the blood of a kinsman or friend by the death of the slayer and of others bound to him by the ties of blood and friendship, but also to outrage thee bodies of these and to prevent their burial. This code of Homeric warfare Achilles follows in refusing the pleas of . . . Hector, and in dragging the body of the latter. . . . Homer shows by numerous passages that to expose to the dogs and vultures the body of one who had wronged a kinsman or friend was both a duty and an act of piety. (Samuel Eliot Bassett, The Poetry of Homer (new ed. 2003 (1938)).

In support of this bold claim, Bassett notes that in retaliation for Patroclus’ slaying of Polydorus, “Hector dragged the body of Patroclus that he might cut off the head (to fix it on the battlements, Iris says) and throw the body to the dogs.” See Iliad Book XVIII, ll. 154-56. What was considered virtuous in Hector could hardly be condemned in Achilles.

http://https://lawandreligionforum.org/2015/10/27/mistreating-the-enemys-body-the-judgment-of-zeus/ - https://lawandreligionforum.org/2015/10/27/mistreating-the-enemys-body-the-judgment-of-zeus/

There was an interview with  a woman who was in Las Vegas during that mass shooting 2017. She said that even now if she hears a loud bang she goes right into a panic attack. That is one day in the life and victims can't escape that scene.

Imagine actually being in war, trenches, jungles, deserts-? So many sources of pain and injury. Honestly how do people carry on?

So Achilles and his fellow soldiers may have been compelled or forbidden from desecrating a soldier's body, both traditions existed. 

Is Homer giving us a moral opinion of Achilles' behavior or is he a detached witness?



-------------
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 18 Oct 2019 at 04:03
They weren't soldiers, they were warriors. desecrating the dead was considered abhorrent, kind of like shooting someone in the back in a Western, that didn't mean it didn't happen.  It probably happened a lot more than the 'society' cared to admit.

Well, if they are told (and believe) that it was a good war, like WWII, where the division line between the good guys and the bad guys is pretty clear, then it seems less senseless, rather a necessary evil, which can be endured.  The 1946 movie, Best Years of Our Lives, with three vets returning home is an interesting movie to watch.

Morality is not separate from the tale for Homer, but he is not particularly "moralizing," if Simone Weil's article is correct, (Iliad, Poem of Might), Homer is showing all the ugliness, and all the grandeur of the war.  There is something tragic about the Iliad, the great city of Troy is doomed, most of the characters in fact are doomed to die at Troy or shortly after.  Few make it through the war and the journey home.


Posted By: Vanuatu
Date Posted: 18 Oct 2019 at 10:36
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

They weren't soldiers, they were warriors. desecrating the dead was considered abhorrent, kind of like shooting someone in the back in a Western, that didn't mean it didn't happen.  It probably happened a lot more than the 'society' cared to admit.
Essential as it was in the classical Greek world to honor the citizen-soldiers who had died for the city, it was also considered important, indeed commanded by the customs of war, to bury the bodies of enemy soldiers who had died in combat, or at least to permit the enemy recover and bury them himself. The custom was not, of course, universally followed, and indeed some have argued that the practice of the world that Homer dramatizes was contrary to it. But by the fifth century, and certainly by the time Euripides’ Suppliants was staged, the practice had congealed into a customary norm. So compelling was that norm, in fact, that it was taken to be a defining mark of Hellenism and of civilization.  http://https://lawandreligionforum.org/2015/10/27/mistreating-the-enemys-body-the-judgment-of-zeus/ - https://lawandreligionforum.org/2015/10/27/mistreating-the-enemys-body-the-judgment-of-zeus/

What would be the distinction between soldiers and warriors? The words are used interchangeably.  

Before the custom is cemented the custom was non existent, this reverence for the dead must have been an evolution. It's a huge part of Achilles' story, his anger drives him to do something that is "beneath him" says Homer. I feel like this implies an animal or uncivilized quality about man and war. Hector was ready to stick Patroclus' head on a spike at the gates of Troy, since Achilles won't agree to respect the dead.
(See On War, Book One, c. 1, sec. 23, in which Clausewitz says that “the pure concept” of war is that of “a complete, untrammeled, absolute manifestation of violence”).

Hector proposes to Achilles that whichever of them kills the other do no outrage on the defeated man’s dead body:

Let vows of fit respect pass both, when conquest hath bestow’d

          His wreath on either. Here I vow no fury shall be show’d

          That is not manly, on thy corse; but, having spoil’d thy arms,

          Resign thy person; which swear thou. (Iliad Book XXII, ll. 219-22).



-------------
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 18 Oct 2019 at 13:23
a "warrior" is of a tribal or clan society.  Everybody is a warrior, from bowman to great King.  But of course, there are chieftains and then there are Chieftains.  Agememnon was in charge over all, but Nestor and Odysseus were also kings.  Agememnon was primes inter pares or "first among equals."  He presided over the council.  Teucer was the half brother of Ajax the greater.  He was a bowman, and therefore less in honor than the kings.

However, on Persian coins (c 500 BC), there is figure of the king, with a bow.  The bow on Persian coins is symbolic of the king's power to effect people (strike) from afar.

A soldier is part of a polis, a society, a nation state.  soldiers take orders, Agememnon would never imagine that he could just order the other kings around.  A king has to go first for a charge, and show his prowess.  A general, well not so much.

custom and tradition are of great age.  Probably ultimately dates back to Neanderthals, who used ochre in their burials.  Respect for the dead goes way back, and one only disrespects the dead, when it is an enemy and one wants to show that disrespect.  Athenian generals were condemned to death after a battle when their ships did not recover the dead.

I would not impose Clauswitz definition of war on the ancients.  Clauswitz is not doing anthropology.


Posted By: caldrail
Date Posted: 28 Oct 2019 at 20:33
The terms 'warrior' and 'soldier' are vague in definition and not entirely separate. After all, legionaries were not called 'soldiers' officially until Augustus sought to maintain overall command. Before that, they were 'brothers', hence 'warriors', despite a century of professional service. Also the term 'warrior' suggests something honourable and admirable in todays usage. I suspect that has been largely the case since we threw stones at each other.

-------------
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 29 Oct 2019 at 12:46
Both words are used loosely and often interchangeably in modern culture.  But, I would think of a warrior as being like a celtic warrior or norse warrior.  Fierce and shrewd in personal combat, but not prone to formations or group manuevers.  Of course, I think of the Spartans as fierce warriors, but they did hoplite formations.  they had a no-retreat philosophy and a warrior code, but not the berserker rage of the celts (and anglo-saxons).  I think it is fair to call a Special Forces soldier of the type that went after al-Bagdadi, as a warrior, because they are fierce on both a personal, and organizational level.  A warrior seems to me, more of a tribal nature.  Was it T.E. Lawrence who said every Arab has a tribe? I tend to think that it is the Arab emphasis on the warrior in their culture that gets in the way of the professionalization of their armies.  From what I understand, it is the non-com class that makes all the difference in Western professional armies.  In Arab armies, anybody in the culture who is anybody, is an officer, and everybody else is conscripts, suitable only for lining up and blocking sandstorms for the military and cultural elites.

It is more important to me to give some food for thought about the topic than to be dictionary right.  Of course, the Homeric "Greeks" are the warrior type, but the Archaic and Classical Greeks were moving away from that, but not quite gone from that, the Celts who acted as mercenaries for the Greeks were still fully in the warrior mentality.  Then was the Hellenistic era with the professional armies of the Macedonians.  But things are not endless progression, there is a collapse of Classical culture, at least in Western Europe.  



Print Page | Close Window

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 12.01 - http://www.webwizforums.com
Copyright ©2001-2018 Web Wiz Ltd. - https://www.webwiz.net