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A status update

To all who use my course notes.

This is one of the charities that I support. The group has raised 50% of their target. They have a lovely book that you can download for free. Will you help them along the way to providing safe water for the world’s inhabitants?

“No donation is too small, no thought insignificant.”

Of Words and Water

It’s been almost four months since Of Words and Water was published. Let’s take a look at one of the important numbers connected with this publication. No, not downloads, even though they are very interesting to follow. No, what I’m talking about are the donations for WaterAid – the reason why we put together this anthology in the first place. Well, one of the main reasons anyway (another being our love for words).
After almost four months we’ve actually managed to raise half of our target of £500 with a total of 22 donations.

To all of you who have donated to the cause and downloaded the anthology we would like to say a huge thank you! Thank you for backing us up, for reading our words, and helping to improve access to clean water in some of the world’s poorest communities by donating to our cause – all the…

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Herodotus Histories

(Credit ; Wikimedia)

For my course with Gregory Nagy on The Ancient Greek Hero we read the Herodotus Histories.  There was no real introduction to the man himself on the course so I had to dig out that information from other sources.

The details about the stories and putting them into the context of the course come from the course lectures. I haven’t included everything about the lectures here as Professor Nagy related these stories back to other readings to emphasis the use of words.  As I have said previously I am more interested in the stories than the meanings of words and so I have studied this rather differently. (more…)

Hesiod’s Works and Days

I have not made many notes on the course The Ancient Greek Hero with Gregory Nagy of Harvard for a while. The readings have been from The Odyssey and  I saw no reason to document this work twice. Some of the readings have been from Hesiod’s Theogony which I also covered in my Greek and Roman Mythology course. Although in that course we spoke of Hesiod’s Works and Days we only skimmed the surface.  (more…)

The Ancient Greek Hero – Hour 9 -The return of Odysseus

In my course ‘The Ancient Greek Hero’ we spent 8 weeks discussing the Iliad and we are now moving on to look at the Odyssey. I will be very interested to see the different approaches of Gregory Nagy and Peter Struck. Although I have already read the Odyssey I will need to review the passages because of the different translations that each professor uses. Gregory Nagy uses his own whereas Peter Struck uses that of Fagles.

I am not going to repeat all the course notes here, only any new (for me) observations. Although I have previously detailed a lot of Mr Nagy’s explanations of words and details of the stories I am not continuing this. Firstly because it takes me a long time to write up and secondly I don’t find the minutia of the story very interesting. What I find interesting are links to Greek culture and what these stories can tell us. I also love the stories themselves and find that dissecting them rather spoils the magic for me. (more…)

Discovery of Odysseus’ palace in Ithaca – August 2010

Greeks ‘discover Odysseus’ palace in Ithaca, proving Homer’s hero was real’

This article appeared in The Telegraph newspaper in August 2010. I found the article when looking for an illustration for another post.

An 8th BC century palace which Greek archaeologists claim was the home of Odysseus has been discovered in Ithaca, fueling theories that the hero of Homer’s epic poem was real. (more…)

The Ancient Greek Hero – Hour 8 – The psychology of the hero’s sign.

Sappho Picture credit (iwu.edu)

These are my notes from hour 8 lectures and readings from The Ancient Greek Hero. Lectures and text from Professor Gregory Nagy. (more…)

The Ancient Greek Hero – Hour 7 – Tombs and Chariots

The sign of the hero in visual and verbal art.

English: Chariot rounding the turning post. Bl...

Chariot rounding the turning post.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This hour was a little different as we are looked at images as well as reading text. The images were in the main vase paintings. There were quite a few texts to read but many of them were short and served to emphasise the ritual of athletics including chariot racing. The complex form of chariot racing included in funeral games was referred to by the ancient Greeks as the event of “apobates” or “apobati” meaning “he who gets off”. In this sort of chariot race the athlete in full armour jumped off the chariot and hit the ground running.

In his introduction to this hour Gregory Nagy tells us that it is here we will start to see the relevance of Myth and history to the present. (more…)