The Best of the Achaeans
Concepts of the Hero in Archaic Greek Poetry
Revised Edition
Gregory Nagy

Copyright © 1980, 1997 The Johns Hopkins University Press. All rights reserved. First edition 1979. Revised edition 1999. This document may be used, with this notice included, for noncommercial purposes within a subscribed institution. No copies of this work may be distributed electronically outside of the subscribed institution, in whole or in part, without written permission from the JHU Press.

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Chapter 10

Poetic Visions of Immortality for the Hero

§1. Upon having their lifespan cut short by death, heroes receive as consolation the promise of immortality, but this state of immortality after death is located at the extremes of our universe, far removed from the realities of the here-and-now. We in this life have to keep reminding ourselves that the hero who died is still capable of pleasure, that he can still enjoy such real things as convivial feasts in the pleasant company of other youths like him. It is in this sort of spirit that the Banquet Song for Harmodios is composed, honoring the young man who had achieved the status of being worshiped as a hero by the Athenians for having died a tyrant killer:[1]

philtath' Harmodi', ou ti pou tethnêkas,
nêsois d' en makarôn se phasin einai,
hina per podôkês Achileus
Tudeïdên te phasi ton esthlon Diomêdea

Harmodios, most philos! Surely you are not at all dead,
but they say that you are on the Isles of the Blessed,
the same place where swift-footed Achilles is,
and they say that the worthy Diomedes,[2] son of Tydeus, is there too.
Skolion 894P

The perfect tense of the verb ou ... tethnêkas 'you are not dead' leaves room for the reality of the hero's death: it is not that he did not die, but that he is not dead now. The fact of death, even for the hero, is painfully real and preoccupying. Consider this excerpt from a thrênos by Simonides:[3]

oude gar hoi proteron pot' epelonto
theôn d' ex anaktôn egenonth' huies hêmitheoi,
aponon oud' aphthiton oud' akindunon bion
es gêras exikonto telesantes

Not even those who were before, once upon a time,
and who were born hêmitheoi as sons of the lord-gods,
not even they reached old age by bringing to a close a lifespan that is without toil, that is aphthitos [unfailing], that is without danger.
Simonides fr. 523P

Not even heroes, then, have a bios 'lifespan' that is aphthitos'unfailing'; they too have to die before the immortality that is promised by the thrênoi comes true.[4]

§2. Even in the Aithiopis, the immortality reached by Achilles is not an immediate but a remote state: after death, the hero is permanently removed from the here-and-now of the Achaeans who mourn him. For them, the immediacy of Achilles after death has to take the form of a funeral (Aithiopis/Proclus p. 106.12-16 Allen), which includes not only such things as the singing of thrênoi over his body (ibid. 12-13) but also--even after Achilles has already been transported to his immortal state--the actual building of a funeral mound and the holding of funeral games in his honor (ibid. 15-16). I conclude, then, that even in the Aithiopis the immortality of Achilles is predicated on his death, which is the occasion for the thrênoisung by the Muses as a consolation for his death. In the Iliad, the theme of immortality is similarly predicated on the death of Achilles, but here the focus of consolation is not on the hero's afterlife, but rather, on the eternal survival of the epic that glorifies him.

§3. As we now proceed to examine the diction in which this theme is expressed, we must keep in mind the words in the thrênos of Simonides (523P): even the heroes themselves fail to have a bios 'lifespan' that is aphthitos 'unfailing'. In the Iliad, Achilles himself says that he will have no kleos if he leaves Troy and goes home to live on into old age (IX 414-416)--but that he will indeed have a kleos that is aphthiton 'unfailing' (IX 413) if he stays to fight at Troy and dies young.[1] The same theme of the eternity achieved by the hero within epicrecurs in Pindar's Isthmian 8, and again it is expressed with the same root phthi- as in aphthito-; he will have a kleos that is everlasting (cf. xxiv 93-94):

ton men oude thanont' aoidai ti lipon
alla hoi para te puran taphon th' Helikôniai parthenoi
stan, epi thrênon te poluphamon echean.
edox' ara kai athanatois,
esthlon ge phôta kai phthimenon humnois thean didomen

But when he [Achilles] died, the songs did not leave him,
but the Heliconian Maidens [Muses] stood by his funeral pyre and his funeral mound,
and they poured forth a thrênos that is very renowned.
And so the gods decided
to hand over the worthy man, dead as he was [phthimenos], to the songs of the goddesses [Muses].[2]
Pindar I.8.62-66

The key word of the moment, phthi-menos, which I translate here in the conventional mode as "dead," is formed from a root that also carries with it the inherited metaphorical force of vegetal imagery: phthi- inherits the meaning "wilt," as in karpoûphthisin 'wilting of the crops' (Pindar Paean 9.14).[3] Through the comparative method, we can recover kindred vegetal imagery in another derivative of the root, the epithet a-phthi-ton as it applies to the kleos of Achilles at IX 413.[4]

§4. As in the Iliad, the contrast in this Pindaric passage concerns the mortality of Achilles and the immortality conferred by the songs of the Muses. More specifically, Pindar's words are also implying that the epic of Achilles amounts to an eternal outflow of the thrênos performed for Achilles by the Muses themselves. In this light, let us now consider again the Homeric evidence. In the Odyssey, the description of the funeral that the Achaeans hold for Achilles includes such details as the thrênos of the Muses (xxiv 60-61) and ends with the retrospective thought that "in this way" (hôs: xxiv 93) the hero kept his fame even after death and that he will have a kleos that is everlasting (xxiv 93-94). We get more evidence from the Iliad in the form of a correlation between theme and form. The forms are the actual names of Akhil(l)eus (from *Akhí-lâuos 'having a grieving lâos') and Patrokleês ('having the kleos of the ancestors'). As I have argued,[1] the figure of Patro-kleês is in the Iliad the thematic key to the kleos aphthiton of Achilles, while Akhi-l(l)eus is commensurately the key to the collective akhos 'grief' that the Achaeans have for Patroklos on the occasion of his funeral. Since this akhos takes the social form of lamentations even within the epic of the Iliad,[2] we can say that the theme we found in Pindar's Isthmian 8 is already active in the Homeric tradition; here too, lamentation extends into epic.

§5. Up to now, I have been stressing the remoteness inherent in the concept of immortality after death, as we find it pictured in the formal discourse of the thrênos and then transposed into the narrative traditions of epic. In contrast to the remoteness of this immortality stands the stark immediacy of death, conveyed forcefully within the same medium of the thrênos and beyond. We are again reminded of the excerpt from the thrênos of Simonides, which says that even the bios'lifespan' of the heroes themselves fails to be aphthitos (523P). The latent vegetal imagery in this theme--that the life of man "wilts" like a plant--brings us now to yet another important contrast in the poetic representations of immortality and death. Traditional Hellenic poetry makes the opposition immortality/ death not only remote/immediate but also artificial/natural. To put it another way: death and immortality are presented in terms of nature and culture respectively.[1]

§6. In Iliad VI, Diomedes is about to attack Glaukos, but first he asks his opponent whether he is a god, not wishing at this time to fight an immortal (VI 119-143; see the words for "mortal"/"immortal" at 123, 142/128, 140 respectively). In response, Glaukos begins by saying:

Tudeïdê megathume, tiê geneên ereeineis;
hoiê per phullôn geneê, toiê de kai andrôn.
phulla ta men t' anemos chamadis cheei, alla de th' hulê
têlethoôsa phuei, earos d' epigignetai hôrê.
hôs andrôn geneê men phuei d' apolêgei

Son of Tydeus, you with the great thûmos! Why do you ask about my geneê [lineage, line of birth]?[1]
The geneê of men is like the geneê of leaves.
Some leaves are shed on the earth by the wind,
while others are grown by the greening forest
--and the season of spring is at hand.
So also the geneê of men: one grows, another wilts.[2]
VI 145-149

Here the life and death of mortals are being overtly compared to a natural process, the growing and wilting of leaves on trees.[3] In another such Homeric display of vegetal imagery, in this case spoken by the god Apollo himself as he talks about the human condition, this natural aspect of death is expressed specifically with the root phthi-:

ei soi ge brotôn heneka ptolemixô
deilôn, hoi phulloisin eoikotes allote men te
zaphlegees telethousin, arourês karpon edontes,
allote de phthinuthousin akêrioi

... if I should fight you on account of mortals,
the wretches, who are like leaves. At given times,
they come to their fullness, bursting forth in radiance,[4] eating the crops of the Earth,
while at other times they wilt [phthi-nuthousin], victims of fate.
XXI 463-466

§7. Let us straightway contrast the immortalized heroes on the Isles of the Blessed, whose abode flourishes with golden plant life (Pindar O.2.72-74; Thrênos fr. 129.5SM). Also, let us contrast the First Generation of Mankind, whose very essence is gold (W&D 109). The immortality of the Golden Age is specifically correlated with the suspension of a vegetal cycle: in the Golden Age (W&D 117-118) as on the Isles of the Blessed (W&D 172-173), the earth bears crops without interruption. The description of Elysium supplements this picture: in the state of immortality, there is simply no winter, nor any bad weather at all (iv 566-568).

§8. In these images, we see gold as a general symbol for the artificial continuum of immortality, in opposition to the natural cycle of life and death as symbolized by the flourishing and wilting of leaves on trees, where the theme of wilting is conventionally denoted with derivatives of the root phthi-. As we now set about to look for specific words that express this cultural negation of the vegetal cycle, we come back again to the negative epithet aphthito-. Let us begin with the skêptron'scepter' of Agamemnon (I 245-246), by which Achilles takes his mighty oath (I 234-244), and which is specifically described as "gold-studded" (chruseiois hêloisi peparmenon: I 246) and "golden" (chruseou: II 268). This skêptron, by which Agamemnon holds sway in Argos (II 108) and which an Achaean chieftain is bound by custom to hold in moments of solemn interchange (I 237-239, II 185-187), also qualifies specifically as aphthiton aiei'imperishable forever' (II 46, 186). It was made by the ultimate craftsman, Hephaistos (II 101), whose divine handicraft may be conventionally designated as both golden and aphthito- (e.g., XIV 238-239).[1] Significantly, this everlasting artifact of a skêptron provides the basis for the Oath of Achilles in form as well as in function:

all' ek toi ereô kai epi megan horkon omoumai:
nai ma tode skêptron, to men ou pote phulla kai ozous
phusei, epei prôta tomên en oressi leloipen,
oud' anathêlêsei: peri gar rha he chalkos elepse
phulla te kai phloion. nun aute min huies Achaiôn
en palamêis phoreousi dikaspoloi

But I will say to you and swear a great oath:
I swear by this skêptron, which will no longer ever grow leaves and shoots,
ever since it has left its place where it was cut down on the mountaintops--
and it will never bloom again, for Bronze has trimmed its leaves and bark.
But now the sons of the Achaeans hold it in their hands as they carry out dikai.
I 233-237

Achilles is here swearing not only by the skêptron but also in terms of what the skêptron is--a thing of nature that has been transformed into a thing of culture.[2] The Oath of Achilles is meant to be just as permanent and irreversible as the process of turning a shaft of living wood into a social artifact.[3] And just as the skêptron is imperishable 'aphthiton', so also the Oath of Achilles is eternally valid, in that Agamemnon and the Achaeans will permanently regret not having given the hero of the Iliad his due tîmê (I 240-244).

§9. For another Homeric instance featuring aphthito- as an epithet suitable for situations where the natural cycle of flourishing and wilting is negated, let us consider the Island of the Cyclopes. In Odyssey ix 116-141, this island and the mainland facing it are described in a manner that would suit the ideal Hellenic colony and its ideal peraiâ respectively,[1] if it were not for two special circumstances: the mainland is inhabited by Cyclopes, who are devoid of civilization (ix 106-115), while the island itself is populated by no one at all--neither by humans nor even by Cyclopes, since they cannot navigate (ix 123-125). At the very mention of navigation, there now follows a "what-if" narrative about the idealized place that the Island would become if it were colonized (ix 126-129).[2] If only there were ships (ix 126-127), and these ships reached the Island, there would be commerce (ix 127-129), and then there would also be agriculture, yielding limitless crops (ix 130-135). What is more, the grapevines produced by this ideal never-never land would be aphthitoi 'unfailing' (ix 133). Thus if culture rather than nature prevailed on the Island of the Cyclopes, then its local wine would bear the mark of immortality. Again we see the epithet aphthito- denoting permanence in terms of culture imposed on nature.

§10. In fact, the epithet aphthito- functions as a mark of not only culture but even cult itself. In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, the infant Demophon is destined by the goddess to have a tîmê'cult' that is aphthitos (H.Dem. 261, 263), and this boon is contrasted directly with the certainty that he is not to avoid death (H.Dem. 262).[1] As Demophon's substitute mother, Demeter had actually been preparing him for a life that is never to be interrupted by death (H.Dem. 242, 261-262), but the inadvertence of the infant's real mother had brought that plan to naught (H.Dem. 243-258). Still, Demophon is destined by the goddess to achieve immortality on the level of cult, so that her preparation of the infant was not in vain. We in fact catch a glimpse of the child's destiny as a hero of cult in the following description of how the goddess had been preparing him to be immortal:

etrephen en megarois: ho d' aexeto daimoni isos
out' oun siton edôn, ou thêsamenos
chriesk' ambrosiêi hôs ei theou ekgegaôta,
hêdu katapneiousa kai en kolpoisin echousa:[2]
nuktas de krupteske puros menei êüte dalon
lathra philôn goneôn: tois de mega thaum' etetukto
hôs prothalês teletheske, theoisi de anta eôikei

She nurtured him in the palace, and he grew up like a daimôn,
not eating food, not sucking from the breast
She used to anoint him with ambrosia, as if he had been born of the goddess,[3]
and she would breathe down her sweet breath on him as she held him at her bosom.
At nights she would conceal him within the menos of fire,[4] as if he were a smoldering log,[5]
and his parents were kept unaware. But they marveled
at how full in bloom he came to be, and to look at him was like looking at the gods.
H.Dem. 235-236, 237-241

The underscored phrase at verse 235, meaning "and he grew up like a daimôn," contains a word that we have in fact already seen in the specific function of designating heroes on the level of cult (Hesiod W&D 122, Th. 991).[6]

§11. This same underscored phrase, as Sinos points out,[1] has an important formal parallel in the Iliad:[2]

ô moi egô deilê, ô moi dusaristotokeia,
t' epei ar tekon huion amumona te krateron te,
exochon hêrôôn: ho d' anedramen erneï isos
ton men egô threpsasa, phuton hôs gounôi alôês,
nêusin epiproeêka korônisin Ilion eisô
Trôsi machêsomenon: ton d' ouch hupodexomai autis
oikade nostêsanta domon Pêlêïon eisô.

Ah me, the wretch! Ah me, the mother--so sad it is--of the very best.
I gave birth to a faultless and strong son,
the very best of heroes.[3] And he shot up like a seedling.[4]
I nurtured him[5] like a shoot in the choicest spot of the orchard,[6]
only to send him off on curved ships to fight at Troy. And I will never be welcoming him back home as returning warrior, back to the House of Peleus.
XVIII 54-60

The context of these words is an actual lamentation (goos: XVIII 51), sung by the mother of Achilles himself over the death of her son[7] --a death that is presupposed by the narrative from the very moment that the death of the hero's surrogate Patroklos is announced to him.[8]

§12. It appears, then, that the mortality of a cult figure like Demophon is a theme that calls for the same sort of vegetal imagery as is appropriate to the mortality of Achilles. The examples can be multiplied: like the hero of the Iliad, who is likened to a young shoot with words like phuton (XVIII 57, 438) and ernos (XVIII 56,437),[1] the hero of the Hymn to Demeter is directly called a neon thalos'young sprout' (H.Dem. 66, 187).[2] Moreover, we have seen that this theme of mortality common to Demophon and Achilles is replete with the same sort of imagery that we find specifically in the genre of lamentation (consider again the goos of Thetis, XVIII 54-60).[3]

§13. In this light, let us reconsider the epithet aphthito-. We have already seen that it conveys the cultural negation of a natural process, the growing and the wilting of plants, and also, by extension, the life and the death of mortals. Now we must examine how this epithet conveys the theme of immortality in its application to Demophon and Achilles as heroes of cult and epic respectively. As compensation for the death that he cannot escape, Demophon gets a tîmê that is aphthitos (H.Dem. 261, 263); likewise, Achilles gets a kleos that is aphthiton (IX 413). Thus both heroes are destined for immortality in the form of a cultural institution that is predicated on the natural process of death. For Demophon, this predication is direct but implicit: by getting tîmê he is incorporated into hero cult, a general institution that is implicitly built around the basic principle that the hero must die.[1] For the Achilles of our Iliad, this same predication is explicit but indirect: by getting kleos he is incorporated into epic, which is presented by epic itself as an eternal extension of the lamentation sung by the Muses over the hero's death (xxiv 60-61, 93-94).[2] Thus the specific institution of lamentation, which is an aspect of hero-cult and which is implicit in the very name of Achilles, leads to the kleos of epic. For both heroes, the key to immortality is the permanence of the cultural institutions into which they are incorporated--cult for Demophon, epic for the Achilles of our Iliad. Both manifestations of both institutions qualify as aphthito-.

§14. For the Achilles of our Iliad, the kleos aphthiton of epic (IX 413) offers not only an apparatus of heroic immortality but also a paradox about the human condition of the hero. Achilles himself says that the way for him to achieve this kleos aphthiton is to die at Troy (IX 412-413), and that the way to lose kleos is to live life as a mortal, at home in Phthîê (IX 413-416). The overt Iliadic contrast of kleos aphthiton with the negation of kleos in the context of Phthîê is remarkable in view of the element phthi- contained by the place name. From the wording of Iliad IX 412-416, we are led to suspect that this element phthi- is either a genuine formant of Phthîêor is at least perceived as such in the process of Homeric composition. We see the actual correlation of the intransitive verb phthi- (middle endings) 'perish' with Phthîê at XIX 328-330, where Achilles is wishing that he alone had died at Troy and that his surrogate Patroklos had lived to come home. Again, coming home to Phthîê (XIX 330) is overtly contrasted with dying 'phthîsesthai' at Troy (XIX 329).[1] If indeed the name for the homeland of Achilles is motivated by the theme of vegetal death as conveyed by the root phthi-, then the traditional epithet reserved for the place is all the more remarkable: Phthîê is bôtianeira 'nourisher of men' (I 155). The combination seems to produce a coincidentia oppositorum,[2] in that the place name conveys the death of plants while its epithet conveys the life of plants--as it sustains the life of mortals. The element bôti- in this compound bôti-aneira stems from the verb system of boskô 'nourish', a word that specifically denotes the sustenance, by vegetation, of grazing animals, as at xiv 102, and of men, as at xi 365. In the latter instance, the object of the verb boskei 'nourishes' is anthrôpous 'men', and the subject is actually gaîa 'Earth'.[3] Thus the life and death of mortal men is based on the life and death of the plants that are grown for their nourishment: this is the message of the epithet bôtianeira in its application to the homeland of Achilles. Phthîê is the hero's local Earth, offering him the natural cycle of life and death as an alternative to his permanent existence within the cultural medium of epic.

§15. In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, the foil for the permanence of cult as a cultural institution is also expressed by way of vegetal imagery: this time the image that we are considering is not the prolonged life but the prolonged death of plants, as denoted by the root phthi-. In contrast with the application of aphthito- to the tîmê of Demophon, let us consider the wording of the myth that tells how the permanence of all cult was endangered when the goddess Demeter prolonged indefinitely the failure of plant life:

epei mega mêdetai ergon
phthisai phul amenêna chamaigeneôn anthrôpôn
sperm' hupo gês kruptousa, kataphthinuthousa de timas athanatôn

For she [Demeter] is performing[1] a mighty deed,
to destroy [phthî-sai] the tribes of earth-born men, causing them to be witout menos,
by hiding the Seed underground--and she is destroying [kata-phthi-nuthousa] the tîmai of the immortal gods.
H.Dem. 351-354

First, we are shown what the prolonged death of vegetation does to mortals, and we start with the adjective amenêna 'without menos' at verse 352, derived from the noun menos 'power.'[2] This epithet is proleptic, in that it anticipates what Demeter does to mortals by virtue of taking away the sustenance of vegetation: she thereby takes away their menos, and this action is here equated with the action of phthîsai at verse 352, meaning "destroy" or, from the metaphorical standpoint of human life as plant life, "cause [plants] to fail."[3] In Homeric diction, the intransitive uses of the same verb phthi- can designate the failing of wine supplies (ix 163) and of food supplies (xii 329); when the food supplies fail, katephthito, the menea of men who eat them fail also (iv 363). Second, we are shown what the prolonged death of vegetation does to the immortal gods: again, the action of Demeter is designated with the verb phthi- (kataphthinuthousa, verse 353), but here the image of plant failure applies not to the gods directly but to their tîmai 'cults' instead. The impact of prolonged plant failure on cult is explicit:

kai nu ke pampan olesse genos meropôn anthrôpôn
limou hup' argaleês, geraôn t' erikudea timên
kai thusiôn êmersen Olumpia dômat' echontas

She [Demeter] would have completely destroyed the genos of meropes men
with the painful famine, and she would have taken away from the gods who live in their Olympian abode
the tîmê of honorific portions and sacrifices.[4]
H.Dem. 310-312

We see, then, that the indefinite perpetuation of vegetal death as expressed by phthi- is a natural image of cosmic disorder; it functions as a foil for the cultural image of cosmic order, as represented by the indefinite perpetuation of vegetal life and as expressed by aphthito-. We also see now more clearly the suitability of this epithet aphthito- for the function of defining not only cult in particular but also the eternal cosmic apparatus of the immortal gods in general.[5]

§16. The cosmic order of the Olympians is of course not only permanent but also sacred, and in fact both these qualities are conveyed by the same epithet aphthito-.[1] As we see from the Hesiodic tradition, nothing is more sacred or binding for the Olympians than taking an oath in the name of the Styx (Th. 793-805), and the river's waters in this particular context are specifically called aphthito- (Stugos aphthiton hudôr: Th. 805). If a god breaks such an oath, he has to endure the worst of punishments (Th. 793-805), which include the temporary withdrawal of divine sustenance, nectar and ambrosia (Th. 796-797).[2] The children of the Styx, Kratos and Biê (Th. 385), uphold the cosmic régime of Zeus (Th. 385-403), and in this context the river herself is called aphthito- (Stux aphthitos: Th. 389, 397). In the Homeric tradition as well (the Hymns included), to swear by the Styx is for any god the most sacrosanct of actions (XV 37-38, v 185-186, H.Apollo 85-86). When the goddess Demeter thus takes her oath in the name of the Styx (H.Dem. 259), what she swears is that the infant Demophon would have had a life uninterrupted by death (H.Dem. 260-261) and a tîmê that is aphthitos (H.Dem. 261). Demeter then says that the inadvertence of the infant's real mother has negated the first part of the Oath (H.Dem. 262), but the second part remains valid: Demophon will still have a tîmê that is aphthitos (H.Dem. 263). We now see that the epithet aphthito- in this context conveys not only the permanence of Demophon's cult, but also its intrinsic sacredness, as conferred by the essence of Demeter's Oath.[3]

§17. So also Achilles swears by the skêptron of King Agamemnon (I 234-239), affirming both that the Achaeans will one day yearn for him and that Agamemnon will then regret not having given "the best of the Achaeans" his due tîmê (I 240-244). Here we must keep in mind that the skêptron itself is aphthiton(II 46, 186). Accordingly, the Oath of Achilles is not only permanent in its validity but also sacred. Moreover, the wish that the mother of Achilles conveys from the hero to Zeus is phrased from the standpoint of the Oath: let the Achaeans be hard pressed without the might of Achilles, and let their king regret not having given the hero his due tîmê (I 409-412). It is this wish that Thetis presents to Zeus (I 503-510), with special emphasis on the tîmê of Achilles (I 505, 507, 508, 510bis), and it is this wish that Zeus ratifies irrevocably (I 524-530). In this way, the Oath of Achilles is translated into the Will of Zeus, which, as we have seen, is the self-proclaimed plot of our Iliad.[1] The oath is sacred because it is founded on the skêptron, which is aphthiton; now we see that the epic validating the tîmê of Achilles is also sacred, for the very reason that it is founded on this Oath. Accordingly, the epithet aphthito- as it applies to the kleos of Achilles (IX 413) conveys not only the permanence of the hero's epic but also its intrinsic sacredness as conferred by the essence of the hero's Oath.

§18. The traditional application of aphthito- to both the cult of Demophon and the epic of Achilles serves as a key to what is for us a missing theme in the archaic story of Achilles. In the case of Demophon, we have seen how the hero gets a tîmê that is aphthitos because the goddess swears by the Styx, which is itself aphthitos. We have yet to follow through, however, on what such a combination of Stux and aphthitos implies: that the waters of the Styx are an elixir of life.[1] The lore about the cosmic stream Styx applies commensurately to the actual stream Styx in Arcadia,[2] and in fact the belief prevails to this day that whoever drinks of that stream's waters under the right conditions may gain immortality.[3] The point is that there survives for us a story telling how Thetis had immersed the infant Achilles into the waters of the Styx, in an unsuccessful attempt to exempt him from death (Statius Achilleid 1.269; Servius ad Virgil Aeneid 6.57; etc.). This failure of Thetis must be compared with the failure of Demeter in her attempt to make Demophon immortal. It would indeed be conventional for scholars to consider the story of Achilles in the Styx as a parallel to that of Demophon in the fire, if it were not for the fact that there is no attestation of such an Achilles story in archaic poetry.[4] This obstacle may now perhaps be overcome with the indirect testimony of the epithet aphthito-: for both Demophon and Achilles, this word marks a compensatory form of immortality, and the Stygian authority of this deathlessness is overt in the case of Demophon. In the case of Achilles, we may say that the authority of the skêptron is a worthy variation on the authority of the Stux, in that both skêptron and Stux are intrinsically aphthito-. From the standpoint of diction, either could ratify the kleos of Achilles as aphthiton.

§19. As our lengthy survey of the word aphthito- in Homeric and Hesiodic diction comes to an end, we conclude that this epithet can denote the permanent and sacred order of the Olympians,[1] into which the hero is incorporated after death through such cultural media as epic in particular and cult in general.

§20. It remains to ask a more important question: whether the theme of the hero immortalized in cult is compatible with the poetic visions of the hero immortalized by being transported to Elysium, to the Isles of the Blessed, or even to Olympus itself. Rohde, for one, thought that the concept of heroes being transported into a remote state of immortality is purely poetic and thus alien to the religious concept of heroes being venerated in cult.[1] From the actual evidence of cult, however, we see that the two concepts are not at all treated as if they were at odds with each other.[2] In fact, the forms Êlusion 'Elysium' and Makarôn nêsoi'Isles of the Blessed' are appropriate as names for actual cult sites. The proper noun Êlusion coincides with the common noun en-êlusion, meaning 'place made sacred by virtue of being struck by the thunderbolt' (Polemon fr. 5 Tresp); correspondingly, the adjective en-êlusios means 'made sacred by virtue of being struck by the thunderbolt' (Aeschylus fr. 17N = fr. 263M).[3] The form Êlusion itself is glossed in the Alexandrian lexicographical tradition (Hesychius) as kekeraunômenon chôrion ê pedion 'a place or field that has been struck by the thunderbolt', with this added remark: kaleitai de kai enêlusia 'and it is also called enêlusia'. As for Makarôn nêsos, there is a tradition that the name was actually applied to the old acropolis of Thebes, the Kadmeion; specifically, the name designated the sacred precinct where Semele, the mother of Dionysos, had been struck dead by the thunderbolt of Zeus (Parmenides ap. Suda and ap. Photius, s.v. Makarôn nêsos; Tzetzes ad Lycophron 1194, 1204).[4] We are immediately reminded of the poetic tradition that tells how Semele became immortalized as a direct result of dying from the thunderbolt of Zeus (see Pindar O.2.25, in conjunction with Hesiod Th. 942).[5]

§21. We are in fact now ready to examine the general evidence of poetic traditions, in order to test whether the medium of poetry distinguishes this concept of heroes (or heroines) being transported into a state of immortality from the concept of their being venerated in cult. As with the evidence of cult itself, we will find that poetic diction reveals no contradiction between these two concepts.

§22. Actually, there are poetic themes that tell of a hero's actual veneration in cult, and these themes are even combined with those that tell of his translation into immortality. Such combinations in fact form an integral picture of the heroic afterlife, as in the Hesiodic version of the Phaethon myth:[1]

autar toi Kephalôi phitusato phaidimon huion,
iphthimon Phaethonta, theois epieikelon andra.
ton rha neon teren anthos echont' erikudeos hêbês
paid' atala phroneonta philommeidês Aphroditê
ôrt' anereipsamenê, kai min zatheois eni nêois
nêopolon muchion poiêsato, daimona dion

And she [Eos] sprouted for Kephalos an illustrious son,
sturdy Phaethon, a man who looked like the gods.
When he was young and still had the tender bloom of glorious adolescence,
Aphrodite philommeidês[2] rushed up and snatched him away as he was thinking playful thoughts.
And she made him an underground temple attendant, a dîos daimôn, in her holy temple.
Hesiod Th. 986-991

Phaethon in the afterlife is overtly presented as a daimôn of cult (Th. 991) who functions within an undisturbed corner plot, mukhos, of Aphrodite's precinct (hence mukhios at Th. 991)[3] as the goddess's nêopolos 'temple attendant' (again Th. 991). The designation of Phaethon as daimôn also conveys the immortal aspect of the hero in his afterlife, since it puts him in the same category as the Golden Generation, who are themselves explicitly daimones (W&D 122).[4] As for the mortal aspect of Phaethon, we may observe the vegetal imagery surrounding his birth and adolescence. When he is about to be snatched away forever, he bears the anthos 'bloom' of adolescence (Th. 988). Earlier, the verb that denotes his very birth from Eos is phîtûsato (Th. 986): the Dawn Goddess "sprouted" him as if he were some plant. We see here in the Theogony the only application of phîtûein 'sprout' to the act of reproduction, which is elsewhere conventionally denoted by tiktein and geinasthai.[5] The most immediate parallel is the birth of the Athenian hero Erekhtheus, who was directly sprouted by Earth herself:

hon pot' Athênê
threpse Dios thugatêr, teke de zeidôros aroura,
kad d' en Athênêis heisen, heôi en pioni nêôi.
entha de min tauroisi kai arneiois hilaontai
kouroi Athênaiôn peritellomenôn eniautôn

Athena the daughter of Zeus once upon a time
nurtured him, but grain-giving earth gave him birth,[6]
and she [Athena] established him in Athens, in her own rich temple,
and there it is that the koûroi of the Athenians supplicate him,
every year when the time comes, with bulls and lambs.
II 547-551

As with Phaethon, the immortal aspect of the hero Erekhtheus is conveyed by his permanent installation within the sacred precinct of a goddess.[7]

§23. We have yet to examine the actual process of Phaethon's translation into heroic immortality.[1] The key word is the participle anereipsamenê (Th. 990), describing Aphrodite at the moment that she snatches Phaethon away to be with her forever. The word recurs in the finite form anêreipsanto (XX 234), describing the gods as they abduct Ganymedes to be the cup bearer of Zeus for all time to come. In the next verse, we hear the motive for the divine action:

kalleos heineka hoio, hin' athanatoisi meteiê

on account of his beauty, so that he might be among the Immortals.
XX 235

The Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite elaborates on the same myth: it was Zeus himself who abducted Ganymedes (H.Aphr. 202-203). Here too, the motive is presented as the same:

hon dia kallos, hin' athanatoisi meteiê

on account of his beauty, so that he might be among the Immortals.
H.Aphr. 203

In this retelling as well as in all the others, Ganymedes becomes the cup bearer of Zeus; and as such he abides in the gods' royal palace at Olympus (H.Aphr. 204-206). By virtue of gaining Olympian status, he is in fact described as an Immortal himself:

athanatos kai agêrôs isa theoisin

immortal and unaging, just as the gods are.[2]
H.Aphr. 214

As cup bearer and boy-love of Zeus, Ganymedes also qualifies as a daimôn:

paidophilein de ti terpnon, epei pote kai Ganumêdous
êrato kai Kronidês athanatôn basileus,
harpaxas d' es Olumpon anêgage kai min ethêken
daimona, paideiês anthos echont' eraton

Loving a boy is a pleasant thing. For even the Son of Kronos,
king of the Immortals, loved Ganymedes.
He abducted him, took him up to Olympus,[3] and made him
a daimôn, having the lovely bloom of boyhood.
Theognis 1345-1348

The parallelisms between this Theognidean passage about Ganymedes and the Hesiodic passage about Phaethon (Th. 986-991) are remarkable not just because of the convergences in detail (both heroes are described as daimôn, both have the anthos 'bloom' of youth, etc.). An even more remarkable fact about these parallelisms is that the processes of preservation on Olympus and preservation in cult function as equivalent poetic themes.

§24. The parallelisms between the myth of Ganymedes and that of Phaethon lead to our discovery of further details about the process of heroic preservation. When the gods abducted 'anêreipsanto' the young Ganymedes (XX 234), the specific instrument of the divine action was a gust of wind, an aella:

... hoppêi hoi philon huion anêrpase thespis aella

... to whatever place the wondrous aella abducted him
H.Aphr. 208

Actually, in every other Homeric attestation of anêreipsanto besides XX 234, the notion "gusts of wind" serves as subject of the verb.[1] When Penelope mourns the unknown fate of her absent son Telemachus, she says:

nun au paid' agapêton anêreipsanto thuellai

But now the thuellai have abducted my beloved son.
iv 727

When Telemachus mourns the unknown fate of his absent father Odysseus, he says:[2]

nun de min akleiôs harpuiai anêreipsanto

But now the harpuiai have abducted him, without kleos.
i 241

§25. The meaning of thuella 'gust of wind' is certain (see the collocation of thuella with anemoio 'of wind' at VI 346, etc.). As for harpuia, a word that is also personified as "Harpy" (Th. 267),[1] the same meaning "gust of wind" is apparent from the only remaining Homeric attestation of the verb anêreipsanto 'abducted'. After Penelope wishes that Artemis smite her dead and take her thûmosimmediately, we hear her make an alternative wish:

ê epeita m' anarpaxasa thuella
oichoito propherousa kat' êeroenta keleutha,
en prochoêis de baloi apsorroou Ôkeanoio

or later, may a thuella abduct me;
may it go off and take me away along misty ways,
and plunge me into the streams of Okeanos, which flows in a circle.
xx 63-65

As precedent for being abducted by a gust of wind and cast down into the Okeanos, her words evoke the story about the daughters of Pandareos:

hôs d' hote Pandareou kouras anelonto thuellai

as when the thuellai took away the daughters of Pandareos
xx 66

This mention of abduction is followed by a description of how the Pandareids were preserved by the Olympian goddesses (xx 67-72). The preservation of the girls is then interrupted by death, at the very moment that Aphrodite is arranging for them to be married (xx 73-74). Death comes in the form of abduction:

tophra de tas kouras harpuiai anêreipsanto

then the harpuiai abducted the girls[2]
xx 77

§26. Our survey has by now covered all the Homeric/Hesiodic attestations of anêreipsanto/anereipsamenê, and we can reach several conclusions. Most important of all, we see that the divine abduction of mortals by gusts of wind (thuellai or harpuiai) entails not only preservation but also sex and death.[1] Of these last two experiences, we will leave the first in abeyance until we confront the second.

§27. In the imagery of passages featuring the forms anêreipsanto/ anereipsamenê, you experience death when the abducting winds plunge you into the earth-encircling river Okeanos. So we have seen from Penelope's death wish (xx 63-65). As we see further from Homeric diction, especially at xxiv 1-14, the Okeanos is one of the prime mythical boundaries that serve to delimit light from darkness, life from death, wakefulness from sleep, consciousness from unconsciousness.[1] The River Okeanos marks the cosmic extremities beyond Earth and Seas (cf. XIV 301-302). The Sun himself, Helios, plunges into it every sunset (VIII 485) and emerges from it every sunrise (VII 421-423, xix 433-434). As the Sun thus rises at Dawn from the Okeanos, he stirs the arourai 'fertile lands' (VII 421, xix 433),[2] and we are reminded by this action that the noun aroura itself traditionally attracts such epithets of fertility as zeidôros'grain-giving' (II 548, VIII 486, etc.).[3] Since plunging into the Okeanos overtly conveys death (xx 63-65), it follows that the notion of emerging from it conveys regeneration. For the Sun, we infer that regeneration through Okeanos is cosmic, bringing with it the fertility of Earth itself; in fact, Okeanos qualifies not only as theôn genesin 'genesis of gods' (XIV 201, 302) but even as genesis pantessi 'genesis for all things' (XIV 246).

§28. In this light, it becomes significant that the Okeanos is also a traditional landmark both for the Isles of the Blessed (W&D 171) and for Elysium itself (iv 567-568). What is more, the Okeanos in the context of Elysium has the specific function of reanimating mortals:[1]

all' aiei Zephuroio ligu pneiontos aêtas
Ôkeanos aniêsin anapsuchein anthrôpous

but the Okeanos sends up the gusts of shrill-blowing Zephyros
at all times, so as to reanimate men[2]
iv 567-568

On the basis, then, of incidental references to the Sun and its movements in epic diction, we can detect a solar model of death and regeneration--both through the Okeanos. Moreover, we see that this solar model applies to the general theme of the hero's return from death. As we now look for specific instances of this theme, we turn to the myths about the personification of sunrise, Eos. In doing so we also confront a third theme in the myths of abduction: having already noted death and preservation, we are ready to reckon with a theme of sex.

§29. There is an archaic tradition that features the Dawn Goddess Eos herself abducting young male mortals, and her motive is in part sexual.[1] In the Odyssey, the immortal nymph Kalypso cites the abduction of Orion by Eos as a precedent for her mating with Odysseus (v 121-124). Similarly, Aphrodite herself cites both the abduction of Ganymedes by Zeus and the abduction of Tithonos by Eos as precedents for her mating with Anchises (H.Aphr. 202-238). As for the abduction of Phaethon, again by Aphrodite, the precedent is built into the young hero's genealogy: his father Kephalos had been abducted by his mother Eos (Th. 986; Euripides Hippolytus 455).

§30. As with the myth of Aphrodite and Phaethon, the myths of Eos too are marked by the design of making the hero immortal. Thus when Eos abducts Kleitos, her motive is described in these words:

kalleos heineka hoio, hin' athanatoisi meteiê

on account of his beauty, so that he might be among the Immortals
xv 251

The very same words, as we have seen, mark the immortalization of Ganymedes after his abduction by Zeus (XX 235; cf. H.Aphr. 203).[1] The divine motive for abduction by Eos is thus both preservative and sexual.[2]

§31. In order to see at a closer range the operation of a solar model in the myths of divine abduction, let us return to the Hesiodic myth of Phaethon (Th. 986-991).[1] The form of his name in Homeric diction serves as an actual epithet of Hêlios the Sun (as at XI 735). What is more, his mother is Êôs the Dawn (Th. 986), while the goddess who abducted him embodies regeneration itself, Aphrodite (Th. 988-991).

§32. On the level of celestial dynamics, these associations imply the theme of a setting sun mating with the goddess of regeneration so that the rising sun may be reborn. Let us pursue this scheme--so far hypothetical only--one step further: if the setting sun is the same as the rising sun, then the goddess of regeneration may be viewed as both mate and mother. Such an ambivalent relationship actually survives in the hymns of the Rig-Veda, where the goddess of solar regeneration, 'Dawn', is the wife or bride of the sun god Sûrya- (RV 1.115.2, 7.75.5, etc.) as well as his mother (RV 7.63.3, 7.78.3). In the latter instance, the incestuous implications are attenuated by putting into the plural, representing a succession of dawns. Similarly, in the plural can designate the wives of Sûrya- (4.5.13). Yet even if each succeeding dawn is wife of the preceding dawn's son, the husband and son are always one and the same Sûrya- and the basic theme of incest remains.

§33. There is more than one reason for comparing these Indic traditions about Sûrya- 'Sun' and 'Dawn' to such Greek traditions as we see in the myth of Phaethon. First and most obvious, the actual forms Sûrya- and are cognate with Hêlios 'Sun' and Êôs 'Dawn'.[1] Second, there are instances in Homeric diction where the relationship of the forms Êôs and Phaethôn is directly parallel to the relationship of Rig-Vedic and Sûrya- Besides being an epithet of Hêlios (XI 735, etc.), the form Phaethôn also functions as a name for one of the two horses of Êôs:

Lampon kai Phaethonth' hoi t' Êô pôloi agousi

Lampos and Phaethôn, who are the horses that pull Êôs
xxiii 246

We may note that Lampos, the name of her other horse, is also associated with the notion of brightness. The Rig-Vedic parallel here is that Sûrya- the sun god is called the "bright horse," svetám ... ásvam, of the Dawn Goddess (RV 7.77.3; cf. 7.78.4). There is also, within Homeric diction itself, an internal analogue to the combination of Phaethôn and Lampos at xxiii 246. The names for the daughters of Hêlios the sun god are Phaethousa and Lampetiê (xii 132), which are feminine equivalents of Phaethôn and Lampos.[2] The Rig-Vedic parallel here is that the name for the daughter of Sûrya- the sun god is Sûryâ (RV 1.116.17), a feminine equivalent of the masculine name. The comparative evidence of this contextual nexus suggests that the Horses of the Dawn at xxiii 246 had once been metaphorical aspects of the Sun. As in the Rig-Veda, the Sun could have been called the bright horse of the Dawn--by such names as Phae- thôn or Lampos. Once the metaphor is suspended, then the notion "Horse of the Dawn" becomes reorganized: if the Dawn has a horse, she will actually have not one but two for a chariot team, and the two kindred solar aspects Phaethôn 'bright' and Lampos'bright' will do nicely as names for two distinct horses. Yet the surviving function of Phaethousa and Lampetiê as daughters of Helios serves as testimony for the eroded personal connotations of the names Phaethôn and Lampos. By contrast, the metaphor is maintained in the Rig-Veda, where Sûrya- the sun god is both bridegroom and horse of the dawn goddess There is even a special word that conveys both functions of Sûrya- namely márya- (RV 1.115.2, 7.76.3). In fact, the metaphorical equation of horse and bridegroom is built into various rituals of Indic society, such as that of initiation, and a key to this equation is the same word márya- and its Iranian cognate.[3]

§34. Significantly, there is a corresponding Greek attestation of such a metaphorical equation, in the context of a wedding song:

Humên Humên:
tan Dios ouranian aeidomen,
tan erôtôn potnian, tan parthenois
gamêlion Aphroditan.
potnia, soi tad' egô numphei' aeidô,
Kupri theôn kallista,
tôi te neozugi sôi
pôlôi ton en aitheri krupteis,
sôn gamôn gennan

Hymen, Hymen!
We sing the celestial daughter of Zeus,
the Mistress of Love, the one who gets maidens united in matrimony, Aphrodite.
My Lady, I sing this wedding song to you,
O Kypris, most beautiful of gods!
--and also to your newly yoked
pôlos [horse], the one you hide in the aether,
the offspring of your wedding.
Euripides Phaethon 227-235D

The pôlos 'horse' of Aphrodite is Hymen himself,[1] and we note that the same word at xxiii 246 designates the horses of Eos, Phaethon and Lampos. We also note that Hymen's epithet neozugi 'newly yoked' (line 233) marks him as Aphrodite's bridegroom (compare the diction in Aeschylus Persians 541-542; Euripides Medea 804-805; also fr. 821N). As for the appositive sôn gamôn gennan 'offspring of your wedding' (line 235), it conveys that Hymen is also Aphrodite's son. We must at the same time appreciate that this entire wedding song to Aphrodite and Hymen is being sung in honor of Phaethôn, and that his bride-to-be is in all probability a daughter of the Sun.[2] Finally, we note that Aphrodite here functions as tan Dios ouranian 'the celestial daughter of Zeus' (line 228). This characterization now brings us to a third important reason for comparing the Indic traditions about Sûrya-'Sun' and 'Dawn' with the Greek traditions about Phaethôn and Êôs.

§35. The epithets of 'Dawn' in the Rig-Veda prominently include divá(s) duhitár- and duhitár- divás 'Daughter of Sky'--exact formal cognates of the Homeric epithets Dios thugatêr and thugatêr Dios 'Daughter of Zeus'.[1] In the surviving traditions of Greek poetry, however, this epithet is assigned not to Eos herself but to Aphrodite and other goddesses.[2] When these goddesses qualify as Dios thugatêr/thugatêr Dios, they fulfill the inherited functions of Eos herself,[3] and nowhere is this more apparent than in the story of Aphrodite and Anchises. We have already seen that when Aphrodite seduces the young hero, she herself cites the abduction of Tithonos by Eos as precedent (H.Aphr. 218-238). Now we may add that throughout this seduction episode, Aphrodite is actually called Dios thugatêr (H.Aphr. 81, 107, 191).

§36. The replacement of Eos as Dios thugatêr/thugatêr Dios by Aphrodite and other goddesses leads to a fragmentation of her original functions. From the comparative evidence of the Rig-Veda, we might have expected Eos to be both the mother and the consort of a solar figure like Phaethon. Instead, the Hesiodic tradition assigns Aphrodite as consort of Phaethon, while Eos is only his mother (Th. 986-991). We may infer that the originally fused functions of mating with the consort and being reborn from the mother were split and divided between Aphrodite and Eos respectively. However, such a split leaves Phaethon as son of Eos simply by birth rather than by rebirth.

§37. For another instance of fragmentation in the functions of Eos, let us consider what happens to the originally fused functions of abduction, death, and preservation in the myth of Orion at v 121-124: here Eos abducts and preserves the young hero Orion, but then he is killed by Artemis. I infer that the function of causing the death of Orion has been reassigned from Eos to Artemis.[1] In this same function of causing death, Artemis actually qualifies as thugater Dios (vocative) in Penelope's death wish (xx 61).[2] Eos, on the other hand, retains the function of abducting and preserving Orion. Accordingly, the Orion myth is marked by the sequence abduction/preservation followed by death; this pattern is the inverse of abduction/death followed by preservation--the sequence that marks the myth of Phaethon.[3]

§38. In contrast to the solar myth of Phaethon, the inverse sequence that marks the myth of Orion results in a scheme that is astral. We may note that the figure of Orion is in fact already an astral image in Homeric diction (v 274, XVIII 488), and that the relation of Orion's celestial movements to the Dawn is the inverse of the Sun's movements. Like the Sun, the constellation Orion rises from the Okeanos and sets in it (v 275, XVIII 489). Unlike the Sun, it rises and sets at night, not in daytime. In the summer, at threshing time, Orion starts rising before Dawn (W&D 598-599). In the winter, at ploughing time, Orion starts setting before Dawn (W&D615-616). In summer days, the light of Dawn catches up with the rising Orion, and he can be her consort in the daytime.[1] In winter days, the light of Dawn arrives too late to keep Orion from setting into the Okeanos.

§39. One related star which does not set, however, is the Arktos 'Bear':

oiê d' ammoros esti loetrôn Ôkeanoio

She alone has no share in the baths of Okeanos.
v 275 = XVIII 489

Since the theme of plunging into the Okeanos conveys the process of death (see again xx 63-65), it follows that the exemption of Arktos from ever having to set into the Okeanos conveys her immortality. The Arktos "stalks Orion," Oô-rîôna dokeuei (v 274 = XVIII 488), and the verb dokeuei 'stalks' implies doom. In Homeric diction, it applies when marksmen or beasts take aim at their victims (XIII 545, XVI 313, VIII 340).[1] In the lore reported by Pausanias (8.35.6-7), the name Arktos applies also to Kallisto as mother of Arkas and hence progenitrix of the Arkades 'Arcadians'; she is represented as being turned into a bear and being killed by Artemis. The heroine Kallistô herself is the ritual antagonist of Artemis Kallistê, whose sanctuary is located on the "Mound of Kallisto" (Pausanias 8.35.8).[2] On the basis of such traditions, featuring an intimate nexus between Artemis and the concept of Arktos, we are encouraged to infer an actual identification in the astral scheme: an immortal Arktos stalks a mortal Orion at v 273-275 and XVIII 487-489, and the image implicitly retells the myth of Artemis killing Orion, explicit at v 121-124. As Odysseus is floating along on his nocturnal sea voyage, he contemplates this image of Arktos stalking Orion in the sky above (v 271-275), which Kalypso had marked out for him to fix the direction in which his raft is to sail (v 276-277). Since Kalypso herself had compared her seduction of Odysseus with the abduction of Orion by Eos (v 121), the connected theme of Orion's death from the shafts of Artemis (v 122-124) makes the image of Arktos stalking Orion at v 271-275 an ominous sign indeed for Odysseus. He is being guided away from the Island of Kalypso by a celestial sign that points to the fate awaiting him if he had stayed behind as bedmate of the immortal goddess.

§40. Such is the power of a myth that results ultimately from the fragmentation of the functions once encompassed by one figure, the pre-Olympian goddess Eos. It is through this figure that we can better appreciate the traditional nature not only of myths concerned with the immortalization of the hero but also of sundry other myths concerned with how this process can go wrong.

§41. Of course, it scarcely needs saying that we have so far managed to cover merely one type of myth concerning the immortalization of the hero. Besides this type, which centers on the theme of abduction by winds, there are doubtless other major types with other themes, other details. Here is my tentative list, surely incomplete, of alternative ways for the hero to achieve immortality:

Ideally, we could embark on a detailed survey of these additional types, but it will suffice for us now to draw inferences from the model featuring abduction by Eos or by the divine figures that replaced her functions. Even in the case of this model, however, I dare make no claim that we have seen the whole picture. Every additional attestation would serve to enhance and even alter our perception of Eos and how she confers immortality on the hero.[4]

§42. This much, in any case, can be said with some confidence: the functions of Eos that prevail in the Greek myths have been by and large restricted to beneficent ones, in that we find her consistently promoting the immortality of the hero. The functions associated with her inherited epithet, on the other hand, remain ambivalent. We have already noted that this epithet, Dios thugatêr/thugatêr Dios,[1] along with its thematic associations, has been reassigned to other goddesses, who are thereby endowed with maleficent as well as beneficent functions. The clearest example of the maleficent aspect in Homeric diction is the passage where Penelope prays to Artemis for death, invoking her in this context as thugater Dios (xx 61). As for the beneficent aspect, there are many examples available, and most of them are suited--no surprise--to the particular requirements of epic narrative. For instance, Athena qualifies as Dios thugatêr (IV 128) when she rescues Menelaos from certain death on the battlefield (IV 127-130); in this context, she is specifically compared to a mother fostering her child (IV 130-131). This function of the Dios thugatêr as a motherly goddess who preserves the hero from mortal harm is typical on the level of epic narrative.[2] On a more fundamental level, however, this function of the Dios thugatêr entails not only the temporary preservation of the hero in epic action but also his permanent preservation in the afterlife. There is actually an important attestation of this basic function in epic action. Even more important, the goddess in question is not some derivative Dios thugatêr but Eos herself. The only surviving attestation of her taking a direct part in epic action is the Aithiopis, where she translates her dead son Memnon into a state of immortality (Proclus p. 106.6-7 Allen).[3]

§43. The heroic figure Memnon, even within epic action, is ideally suited for this theme of immortalization, since tradition makes him not only son of Eos but also king of the Aithiopes (Hesiod Th. 985). The kingdom of the Aithiopes is situated on the banks of the Okeanos, and the Olympian gods themselves habitually go all the way to the Okeanos in order to receive sacrifice from them (I 423-424, XXIII 205-207, i 22-26).[1] And just as the world-encircling Okeanos flows in the extreme East and the extreme West, so also the kingdom of the Aithiopes is situated in the two extremities:

Aithiopas, toi dichtha dedaiatai, eschatoi andrôn
hoi men dusomenou Huperionos, hoi d' aniontos

the Aithiopes, who are divided in two, the most remote of men:
some where Hyperion [Helios] sets, others where he rises
i 23-24

§44. This instance of coincidentia oppositorum,[1] where identity consists of two opposites, has an interesting parallel involving Okeanos and Eos directly. Again we are about to see how two opposite places can add up to the same place. To begin, from the overall plot of the Odyssey, we know that Odysseus is wandering in the realms of the extreme West when he comes upon the island of Aiaia (x 135). It is from Aiaia, island of Circe, that Odysseus is sent on his way to the underworld by traveling beyond the sea until he and his men reach the cosmic river Okeanos (xi 21-22).[2] Later, on the way back from the underworld, the ship of Odysseus has to leave the Okeanos before returning to Aiaia, which is now described as situated not in the extreme West but in the extreme East.[3] In fact, Aiaia now turns out to be the abode of Eos and sunrise:

autar epei potamoio lipen rhoon Ôkeanoio
nêus, apo d' hiketo kuma thalassês euruporoio
nêson t' Aiaiên, hothi t' Êous êrigeneiês
oikia kai choroi eisi kai antolai Êelioio ...

But when the ship left the stream of the river Okeanos,
and reached the waves of the sea with its wide-flung paths,
and then the Island Aiaia--and there are the abode and the dancing places
of early-born Eos, and the sunrises of Helios ...
xii 1-4

In short, the Okeanos in the extreme East is a key to the emergence of Odysseus from his sojourn in the world of the dead--a sojourn that began when he reached the Okeanos in the extreme West.

§45. By being king of the realms along the banks of the Okeanos in the extreme East and West, the figure of Memnon is implicitly associated with a whole set of themes that center on the immortalization of the hero. We are reminded that Elysium itself is situated on the banks of the Okeanos, from which the wind Zephyros blows to reanimate mortals (iv 567-568). So too are the Isles of the Blessed (W&D 171), where heroes who fought and died in the Trojan War were translated through the ultimate agency of Zeus (W&D 168). We see the same agency at work in the Aithiopis, when Eos herself asks the permission of Zeus that she may give immortality to her fallen son Memnon (Proclus p. 106.6-7 Allen).[1] The Aithiopis also has an important parallel to the action of Eos: the immortal Thetis translates her own son Achilles from a state of death into a state of immortality on the Island of Leuke (Proclus p. 106.14-15). To my mind, it is useless to argue, on the basis of such parallels, that the immortalization of Achilles was modeled on the immortalization of Memnon.[2] All that matters is that both are traditional themes that fit the essence of the hero in cult, and that both also fit the general pattern of the afterlife in store for the Fourth Generation of Mankind (W&D 167-173).

§46. Having returned to the Hesiodic Myth of the Five Generations of Mankind, we may conclude this chapter with the same theme that inaugurated the previous one. By now we see that the process of immortalization that comes after Generation IV is an essential link with the idyllic state of Generation I. Thus the picture of the hero in epic, as seen in Generations III/IV, can revert to the picture of the hero in cult, as seen in Generations I/II.[1] Even the most stylized hero of epic may get his due in cult, and in that spirit I close with two examples.

§47. For the first example, I choose a bit of lore from the Hellespont. As Pausanias surveys the paintings of Polygnotus in the Knidian Lesche at Delphi, his attention is suddenly riveted on a detail as he describes the picture of Memnon. On the hero's cloak are images of birds:

Memnonides tais ornisin estin onoma, kata de etos hoi Hellêspontioi phasin autas en eirêmenais hêmerais ienai te epi tou Memnonos ton taphon, kai hoposon tou mnêmatos dendrôn estin ê poas psilon, touto kai sairousin hai ornithes kai hugrois tois pterois tou Aisêpou tôi hudati rhainousi.

And Memnonides is the name of the birds. The people of the Hellespont say that every year on certain days these birds go to Memnon's grave, and where the grave is bare of trees or grass the birds sweep through it and sprinkle it with their wings, which are wet with the water of the Aisepos.[1]
Pausanias 10.31.6

From this information, however fragmentary it may be, we discover that even a hero who has been translated into a remote state of immortality is traditionally eligible to have not only a cult but even a grave or funeral mound.[2]

§48. Of course, myths about the immortalization of a hero imply that his body has been regenerated, as we see from the application of the word autos 'himself' to the immortalized Herakles who abides on Olympus (xi 602). In Homeric diction, autos designates the hero's body after death (as at I 4), in comparison to his psûkhê, which travels to Hades (as at I 3).[1] Accordingly, the hero's remains cannot be pictured as being in his grave once he is immortalized, and there seems at first glance to be a conflict here with the requirements of cult, the original basis for which is the belief that the hero's bones are buried in his grave.[2] Unlike others, however, I see no conflict so long as the promise of immortalization aims not at the here-and-now but rather at a fulfillment in the hero's future. If this condition holds, then the ultimate aspect of the afterlife, from the standpoint of both cult and myth, turns out to be not Hades but rather Elysium, the Isles of the Blessed, and all the other variations on the theme of immortalization. Hades, on the other hand, would be the transitional aspect of the afterlife, when the psûkhê is separated from the body. Then, in a place like Elysium, body and psûkhê can be reintegrated when the Zephyros blows from the Okeanos to reanimate men--the word for which is anapsûkhein (iv 568).[3]

§49. In fact, the traditional emphasis on the hero's bones in cult represents a formal commitment to the promise of immortalization. The discipline of anthropology can help us here, with its vast reservoir of experience about parallel social institutions, taken from actual field work. On the basis of innumerable typological parallels as surveyed by Karl Meuli and his followers,[1] we now know that the function of bones in Hellenic cult and myth is to symbolize the ultimate regeneration not only of sacrificial animals but also of mortal men themselves. One of the prime models for this process of regeneration by way of dismembered bones is the god Dionysos himself (Diodorus Siculus 3.62.6;[2] Philodemus De pietate, pp. 34-38 Henrichs).[3] It is beyond my scope to offer even the briefest survey here of the themes and the sources,[4] but I must still mention an important application of the Dionysiac model to the immortalization of Achilles himself.[5] This particular application can bring us to my second example showing how an immortalized hero, no matter how stylized he may have become in the medium of epic, may still be envisioned in a context that pertains to the medium of cult.

§50. From Stesichorus fr. 234P, we know of a tradition that Dionysos had given a golden amphora, made by Hephaistos, to the goddess Thetis, in compensation for her having preserved him after he fled from Lykourgos by plunging into the sea (cf. VI 130-140). It is into this same golden amphora that the bones of Achilles were placed, together with those of his surrogate Patroklos, on the occasion of his funeral (xxiv 72-76; cf. XXIII 91-92).[1] From what we know about the symbolic function of bones in general and about regeneration in particular, we may see in this formal token the promise of an ultimate immortality in store for the hero of the Iliad.[2]


§1n1. On the incorporation of Harmodios into the institutions of Athenian cult and myth, see Taylor 1975, esp. pp. 20-25, 47-70.

§1n2. 1039), see Quinn 1971.153. In Harpocration s.v. Kourotrophos, we read that the custom of sacrificing to Kourotrophos was "founded" by the Athenian hero Erekhtheus: he was the first to sacrifice to her, in gratitude to Gaia 'Earth' for having given him birth. In the Athenian myth of Erekhtheus, there eventually prevailed a distinction between one goddess (Athena) who nurtures the hero and another goddess (Earth) who gives him birth; see Iliad II 547-551. The relationship of Kourotrophos to Erekhtheus hints at a stage where Athena is not yet distinct from Mother Earth. For more on the subject of Kourotrophos, see Hadzisteliou Price 1978.

§1n3. Previous references to this thrênos: Ch.9§16n3, §31n1. Kegel 1962.47 argues that aphthiton at line 3 makes no sense and should therefore be considered corrupt; I offer the following discussion (§§1-18) as a counterargument.

§1n4. In the case of Ino, she apparently dies and then gets a biotos'lifespan' that is aphthitos: see Pindar O.2.29, as discussed at §41n2. On the affinities of Pindar's Olympian 2 with the poetic form of the thrênos, see again Ch.9§31.

§3n1. Ch.2§3.

§3n2. For the epithet esthlos 'worthy, good' describing Achilles here, cf. §1n2; also Ch.9§4n3. The collocation of esthlos and phthimenos as epithets of Achilles should be compared with the collocation of esthlon and aphthiton as epithets of the kleosof Achilles, at Iliad IX 415 and 413 respectively. Compare also the repeated use of esthlos at Odyssey viii 582 and 585, describing the hypothetical relative or comrade who perished at Troy (the word for "perished" at viii 581 is actually apephthito!). The context for these occurrences is suggestive: Alkinoos is asking Odysseus why he wept over the epic song of Demodokos (viii 577-578), and his weeping is called an akhos at viii 541. For the contrast of lamentation and Epos in this passage, see Ch.6§§8-9.

§3n3. Cf. also phthinokarpos 'having fruits that wilt' at Pindar P.4.265.

§3n4. See §§5-15 and Nagy 1974.231-255; also Schmitt 1967.61-69. Note that aphthito- in Homeric diction regularly refers to things made by Hephaistos (scholia V to XIV 238), and that the armor of Achilles is all made by Hephaistos--except for the hero's spear (see Ch.9§12).

§4n1. Ch.6§§22-23; see also Sinos 1975.99-125.

§4n2. Ch.6§23.

§5n1. For the validity of the distinction nature/culture from the vantage point of anthropology, see Redfield 1975.

§6n1. For the distinction made in Homeric diction between geneê 'long-range lineage, complete ancestry' and genos 'immediate ancestry', see Muellner 1976.77.

§6n2. The response continues until the conclusion at VI 211: "It is from this geneê and bloodline that I boast to be." Note the intervening use of genos at VI 209, in collocation with pateres in the sense of "ancestors" (paterôn: on which see Ch.6§12).

§6n3. The same theme recurs in Mimnermus fr. 2W; also in Hesiod fr. 204.124 ff. MW, where the correlation seems to apply specifically to the life and death of heroes who died in the Trojan War (discussion at Ch.11§14).

§6n4. The form za-phlege-es 'very radiant' (XXI 465) is interesting. Consider its relation to Phlegu-âs, as discussed at Ch.7§5. Cf. Vian 1960.219.

§8n1. Otherwise, the handicraft of Hephaistos is brazen and aphthito-, as at XVIII 369-371. The scholia (V) to XIV 238 claim that anything made by Hephaistos qualifies as aphthito- in Homeric diction. Compare the application of ambroto- 'immortal' to the teukhea 'armor' of Achilles at XVII 194, 202, as discussed at Ch.9§33 and n2.

§8n2. Cf. Watkins 1975.22-23.

§8n3. On the cult of Agamemnon's skêptron at Khaironeia, where its local name is the doru 'wood, shaft', see Pausanias 9.40.11-12. Discussion by Nagy 1974.242-243n16; see now also Watkins 1975.22-23.

§9n1. For the interrelation of island (nêsos) and mainland (peraiâ) in archaic patterns of colonization, see Jeffery 1976.50-59 in general and pp. 50-51 in particular.

§9n2. Cf. Kirk 1970.165 en passant.

§10n1. On H.Dem. 263, I prefer the direct sort of interpretation as offered by Richardson 1974.245, which does not presuppose any textual conflation involving verses 260-263.

§10n2. On the internal rhyme here, possibly connoting the magic of incantation, see Richardson, p. 239.

§10n3. I interpret theou here as 'of the goddess' rather than 'of a god'. For a parallel treatment of the infant god Apollo, see H.Apollo 123-125.

§10n4. Consider the infant's name, Dêmophoôn 'shining for the dêmos', also attested as DEMOPHAON = Dêmophaôn (Kretschmer 1894.142 no. 126) and even as DÊMOPHAFÔN = Dêmophauôn (Priscian Institutiones Grammaticae 1.22, 6.69). For the parallel forms Phaôn and Phaethôn, see Nagy 1973.148. On the semantics of dêmos, see Ch.8§11n6.

§10n5. On the thematic associations inherent in dâlos 'smoldering log', see Detienne 1973b [= 1970] 298-299, who adduces the relevant myths about Meleager and the dâlos; cf. also Odyssey v 488.

§10n6. This same phrase ho d' aexeto daimoni isos 'and he grew up like a daimôn' at H.Dem. 235 has a formal parallel at H.Dem. 300, describing the temple of the goddess herself: ho d' aexeto daimonos aisêi 'and it [the temple] grew up by the aîsa [dispensation] of the daimôn'. The daimôn here is surely Demeter. For the application of the word daimôn to god and hero alike, see Ch.9§6; also Ch.7§15n1, §21n1.

§11n1. Sinos 1975.28-36.

§11n2. Verses 56-60 are also at XVIII 437-441.

§11n3. The phrasing t' ... exochon hêrôôn at 55-56 serves to elaborate on the compound epithet dusaristotokeia at 54, with the culminating theme conveyed by the epithet exokhos hêrôôn 'the very best of heroes'. (The element dus- 'bad, sad' of the compound dus-aristo-tokeia is metalinguistic, in that it motivates the application of the epithet -aristo-tokeia 'mother of the very best' in the context of ô moi ... ô moi, the language of lamentation.) Compare too the epithet exokhos hêrôôn 'the very best of heroes' with the phraseology at Alcaeus 42.13LP.

§11n4. For an instance where anatrekhô 'shoot up' applies directly to the growth of a plant, see Herodotus 8.55, where the perfect participle of this verb (anadedramêkota) describes the new shoot that grew from the stump of Athena's olive tree after the burning of Athens by the invading Persians; significantly, the tree was in the precinct of the local hero Erekhtheus. See Sinos 1975.28-29.

§11n5. Note that the underscored phrases at XVIII 56 and H.Dem. 235, describing the growth of Achilles and Demophon respectively, are both directly connected with the theme of nurturing goddesses. On the relationship of the nurturing goddess, Kourotrophos, with the koûros on the level of cult and with the ephêbos on the level of society in general, see Sinos 1975.29-30 and Clader 1976.75-77; also Vidal-Naquet 1968.947-949 and Detienne 1973b.302, esp. n7. The word koûros 'male youth' is the Ionic reflex of *kóruos, which in Attic yields koros 'shoot [of a plant]'; see Merkelbach 1971. For Kourotrophos as a distinct cult figure in Attica, to whom the ephêboi made sacrifice (IG II

§11n6. Besides the application of phuton hôs 'like a shoot' to Achilles at XVIII 57 (and 438), this simile is applied to no one else in the Iliad or Odyssey.

§11n7. See Reiner 1938.12-13, who also adduces an interesting parallel from Euripides Suppliants 918-924.

§11n8. See Ch.6§24.

§12n1. Note too the comparison of the dead Euphorbos to an ernos 'sprout' cut off from an olive tree, at XVII 52-58.

§12n2. Compare XXII 87: here the mother of Hektor addresses him as philon thalos in the context of conjuring up a future scene where Hektor will be laid out on the funeral couch and his mother will be mourning him.

§12n3. We should also note the ritual laments for Adonis in the Athenian festival known as the Adônia. From Plutarch's account (Alcibiades 18.5), we see that lamentation was but one aspect of an overall "funeral" for Adonis (see Alexiou 1974.217n2, who surveys the references to the Adônia in comedy). For the significance of the vegetal imagery surrounding the Adonis figure, especially the theme of premature growth and death, see Detienne 1972; cf. also Sinos 1975.9-37.

§13n1. Cf. Ch.6§27.

§13n2. See §§2-4. Of course, the inherited semantic range of the word kleos itself covers not just Epos in particular but praise poetry in general. Praise is in fact an integral element of lamentation; see Reiner 1938.23n1 and p. 63n3 on XXII 303-305. In the latter passage, Hektor recognizes that he will die but hopes that he will thereby get kleos if indeed he has acted heroically (line 304); then "those in the future" will also hear about him (line 305).

§14n1. Note also the ring composition in the placement of phthi- at XIX 322 (apophthimenoio puthoimên / ) and XIX 337 (apophthimenoio puthêtai / ), denoting respectively the hypothetical deaths of father and son, Peleus and Achilles.

§14n2. For the term, see Eliade 1963.419-429; see also §§43-44.

§14n3. Note the application of the same epithet bôtianeira 'nourisher of men' to khthôn 'Earth' at H.Apollo 363 and H.Aphr. 265.

§15n1. On the mental and supernatural aspects of the verb mêdomai: Nagy 1974.265-278.

§15n2. On the cosmic aspects of menos and its Vedic cognate mánas-: Nagy 1974.268-269.

§15n3. Cf. §3.

§15n4. On the word geras 'honorific portion': Ch.7§19n3.

§15n5. The Indic cognate of Greek aphthito- is áksô.ita- 'unfailing', and the semantic range of this epithet reveals interesting parallels with that of its Greek counterpart. In the Rig-Veda, the epithet áksô.ita- applies to the unfailing flow of the cosmic powers inherent in water, fire, light, milk, semen, urine, and soma-sap; for a survey of the nouns that correspond to these elements and attract the epithet áksô.ita-, see Nagy 1974.231-240.

§16n1. In the hymns of the Rig-Veda, by virtue of its being a sacrosanct medium, the elements described as áksô.ita- are uniformly sacred; see again Nagy 1974.231-240.

§16n2. One consequence of being deprived of nectar and ambrosia is that the punished god loses his breath: he lies "breathless" (anapneustos: Th. 797), enveloped in a "bad sleep" (kakon ... kôma: Th. 798). On the supernatural connotations of kôma 'sleep', see West 1966.375.

§16n3. Cf. also the application of aphthito- to sebas 'object of reverence' at Iliou Persis fr. 1.1 Allen, referring to the Palladium of Troy, which its founder Dardanos is instructed by the Oracle to "revere" (sebein: fr. 1.2 Allen) by guarding it and by instituting sacrifices and songs/dances for its cult (ibid.).

§17n1. Ch.5§25n2.

§18n1. See Richardson 1974.245.

§18n2. In Herodotus 6.74, we see that swearing by the Styx is a most sacred act for the Arcadians; see Frazer 1898 IV 253-254 ad Pausanias 8.18.4.

§18n3. For documentation, see West 1966.377-378.

§18n4. On the stories of Achilles in the fire, see Richardson 1974.237-238.

§19n1. See again §15.

§20n1. Rohde I 68-110. His assumption has generally been followed; cf. Dihle 1970.18-20.

§20n2. As Walter Burkert points out to me (per litteras 6/16/1977), there is a clear archaic example where the cult of a hero at his tomb coexists with the myth of his immortalization, in the report on Hyakinthos by Pausanias 3.19.4.

§20n3. See Burkert 1961.209; in the Aeschylus fragment, the form enêlusios applies to Kapaneus, who was struck by the thunderbolt of Zeus. For the semantic relationship of enêlusios/enêlusion, compare hieros/hieron 'sacred'/'sacred place'. Note that the body of the thunderstruck Kapaneus is described as hiero- in Euripides Suppliants 935.

§20n4. See Burkert 1961.212n2; cf. Vian 1963.123.

§20n5. See also Diodorus Siculus 5.52, Charax FGrH 103.14, etc. In the Pindaric account (O.2.25), her abode of immortality is Olympus itself. Cf. the immortalization of Herakles on Olympus, as discussed at §41n1. Cf. also the testimony of the Thurian gold leaves at A1.4, A2.5, A3.5 (Zuntz 1971.301-305), where the persona of the dead man declares in each instance that his immortalization was preceded by death from the thunderbolt.

§22n1. For the parallelism between the names Phaethôn/Phaôn and Dêmophaôn, see §10n4.

§22n2. For more on this epithet, see Boedeker 1974.20, 23-26, 32-35.

§22n3. On the nature of the mukhos, see Rohde I 135n1 (cf. also Nagy 1973.171). I disagree, however, with Rohde's specific assumption that Phaethon's abduction does not involve death. See also n4.

§22n4. We may note that even those in the Golden Generation are subject to death, although this death is more like sleep (Hesiod W&D 116). The point is that death does not disqualify them from becoming daimones in cult. As such, they are immortalized and merit the title of athanatoi 'immortals' (W&D 250, 253). For a cogent set of arguments that the wording of W&D 249-255 applies to the same daimones as at W&D 122-126, see Vernant 1966 [= 1960] 29.

§22n5. West 1966.427.

§22n6. For the division of motherly functions, giving birth and nurturing, between Earth and Athena, see §11n5. On the eventual distinction between Erekhtheus and Erikhthonios in Athenian mythology, see Burkert 1972.176, 211.

§22n7. Cf. Nock 1972 [= 1930] 237 for other examples of goddess/hero symbiosis within a sacred precinct.

§23n1. In the discussion that follows, I have incorporated and revised parts of my earlier work on the subject of Phaethon (Nagy 1973.148-172).

§23n2. These words are the "correct" formula for immortalization; when the words are "incorrect," as in the myth of Eos and Tithonos, then the immortalization is ruined by the failure of preservation. See §30 below.

§23n3. For the mystical meaning of anagô as 'bring back to the light from the dead', see Nagy 1973.175.

§24n1. For what follows, see also Nagy 1973.156-161.

§24n2. The identical verse recurs when Eumaios mourns the unknown fate of his absent master Odysseus (xiv 371).

§25n1. Note that one of the Harpuiai 'Harpies' is Aellô (Hesiod Th. 267), a name derived from aella.

§25n2. I regret my earlier view (Nagy 1973.158-159, 167-168) that xx 66 and xx 77 represent two stages of action. If instead they represent the same action, then we can understand xx 61-81 as operating on the principle of ring composition. Penelope wishes an immediate death caused by the shafts of Artemis (xx 61-63) or a delayed death caused by the abducting winds (xx 63-65); xx 66 introduces as precedent the abduction of the Pandareids; an elaboration of the story follows at xx 67-76, climaxed by xx 77, which recaps xx 66. Then xx 79 returns to Penelope's wish for a delayed death, and xx 80 recaps her alternative wish for an immediate death. The force of ê epeita 'or later' in expressing a delayed death at xx 63 is that the winds would snatch Penelope away later, just before her marriage to one of the suitors. There is in that case a neat parallelism with the story of the Pandareids, who were abducted just before their own arranged marriage (see xx 73-74). I would therefore stand by my view (Nagy 1973.159n64) that the context of ê epeita 'or later' at xx 63 helps explain the epithet metakhroniai 'delayed' as applied to the Harpuiai at Hesiod Th. 269.

§26n1. Of course, this death may be more like sleep, of the sort that overcomes the Golden Generation (W&D 116); see §22n4.

§27n1. For a defense of this formulation, see Nagy 1973.149-153. The root *nes-, which Frame (1978) defines as 'return to life and light', denotes the act of crossing these boundaries: from darkness to light, from death to life, from sleep to wakefulness.

§27n2. The verb is proseballen; cf. the use of eballen at Odyssey v 479; for the notion of fertilization implied by such verbs of "striking," consider the comparative evidence of Rig-Vedic diction, as discussed by Watkins 1971.347.

§27n3. Besides giving life directly to crops (cf. also the epithet pûrophoroio 'wheat-bearing', as at XII 314), the aroura gives life indirectly to men, who eat the crops (as at VI 142 and XXI 465; cf. §6). At II 548, the Aroura gives life directly to man, by giving birth to Erekhtheus (cf. §22).

§28n1. See Ch.9§28n2.

§28n2. On the corresponding negative function of Zephyros: §41n4.

§29n1. For an illuminating internal and comparative reconstruction of this theme, see Boedeker 1974.

§30n1. See §23.

§30n2. We may note an interesting elaboration in the myth of Eos and Tithonos, which makes a distinction between preservation and immortalization (H.Aphr. 218-238). Tithonos is immortalized and lives by the banks of Okeanos (H.Aphr. 225-227), but his hêbê 'adolescence' is not made permanent (H.Aphr. 220-227); consequently, his preservation is corroded by old age (H.Aphr. 228-238). This failure is formalized by a lapse in the wording of the request made by Eos to Zeus for the preservation of Tithonos, at H.Aphr. 221 (also 240). We see the "correct" wording for the concept of preservation at H.Aphr. 214 (cf. v 136, vii 257, etc.), while the "incorrectness" of the wording by Eos is motivated at H.Aphr. 223-224. Since hêbê 'adolescence' (H.Aphr. 224) is the key to the "correct" formulation of the request for immortalization, it is significant that the immortalization of Herakles is formalized by his being married to Hêbê incarnate: see Hesiod fr. 25.28MW, as discussed at Ch.9§25.

§31n1. See §22.

§33n1. See Schmitt 1967.169-175.

§33n2. On the morphology of Lampetiê, see Nagy 1973.164n72; also Frame 1978.135-137 on Indic Nasatyâ.

§33n3. On the meaning and contexts of márya-: Wikander 1938.22-30, 81-85, esp. 84.

§34n1. See Diggle 1970.148-160.

§34n2. See Diggle, pp. 158-160. For an interpretation of the Phaethon myth as preserved in the drama of Euripides, which is distinct from the Phaethon myth as preserved in the Hesiodic tradition, see Nagy 1973.147-156.

§35n1. Schmitt 1967.169-175.

§35n2. Besides Aphrodite (III 374, etc.), we find Artemis (xx 61), Athena (IV 128, etc.), Persephone (xi 217), Helen (iv 227), etc.

§35n3. See Boedeker 1974 for a discussion from the comparative viewpoint.

§37n1. I disagree with Delcourt 1966.148, who suggests that the verses about the death of Orion are interpolated.

§37n2. Even Persephone, goddess of the dead, qualifies as Dios thugatêr (xi 217).

§37n3. For still another variation on a theme, consider the myth of the Pandareids (xx 66-78): here the sequence is preservation followedby abduction/death. Note that the Olympian goddesses who preserve the girls all qualify as Dios thugatêr/thugatêr Dios: Aphrodite, Artemis, and Athena. The only exception is Hera, wife of Zeus. The word harpuiai denoting the winds that abduct the girls (xx 77) is apparently suitable for such a negative situation, where abduction/death follows a period of preservation. Such a situation seems connected with the epithet metakhroniai 'delayed', describing the Harpuiai 'Harpies' at Hesiod Th. 269. See §25n2.

§38n1. Formally, Oô-riôn (Oô-ariôn) seems to be connected with oar 'wife', oaros 'companionship, keeping company', etc.

§39n1. XIII 545: Antilokhos catches Thoön off guard and deals him a mortal blow. XVI 313: similarly, Phyleides kills Amphiklos. VIII 340: Hektor is compared to a hunting dog stalking a boar or lion. Cf. also Detienne/Vernant 1974.21n15.

§39n2. See Sale 1965 for a conscientious discussion of the sources and for a critical survey of previous studies on Artemis/Kallisto. I especially agree with Sale's distinguishing between goddess and heroine, although I find his treatment of the separate figures overly restrictive, partly because he offers no systematic coordination of the attested mythological variants.

§41n1. This type has been at least partially treated in the preceding discussion, since the concept of Êlusion seems to be directly connected with it (cf. §20). From the standpoint of poetic diction, one of the clearest examples is the fate of Semele in Pindar O.2.25 (to be read in conjunction with Hesiod Th. 942). From the standpoint of poetic theme, the foremost example of immortalization by the thunderbolt is the fate of Herakles: as the hero is smitten by Zeus, he is elevated to Olympus as an immortal god; unfortunately, our best source for this theme is prosaic (Diodorus Siculus 4.38.4-4.39.1); see also Rohde I 320-322. Another important example on the level of theme is the myth of Phaethon as preserved in Euripides Phaethon(fragments edited by Diggle). In the traditions of this myth, Phaethon is struck dead by the thunderbolt of Zeus (for an extended discussion, see Nagy 1973.148-156; for the implication of Phaethon's rebirth through the river Êridanos, see ibid., p. 161). Finally, note that there is a myth that tells of Erekhtheus as another hero who was struck dead by the thunderbolt of Zeus (Hyginus 46).

§41n2. See Nagy 1973.141-148, 172-173, esp. p. 145n31 on Ino Leukothea. Myth has it that Ino plunged into the deep from atop the white rock formations known as the Skirônides Petrai (Pausanias 1.44.7-8). On her transformation from mortal to immortal, see Odyssey v 333-335. As an immortal, she is said to have a biotos 'life' that is aphthito- 'unfailing' in Pindar O.2.29; note the parallelism at O.2.25-26, telling of Semele's immortalization after death from the thunderbolt of Zeus. For an interesting anecdote about the custom of singing thrênoi for Leukothea, see Xenophanes fr. 13DK (ap. Aristotle Rhetoric 1400b5).

§41n3. The discussion by Rohde I 111-145 is irreplaceable. We may wish to modify, however, his conclusion that there is no death involved in the process of being engulfed by the Earth. If, for example, we examine the attestations for the engulfment of Amphiaraos (Rohde I 114n1), we find that the emphasis on his being alive has to do more with his status in the here-and-now of cult than with his status at the moment of his engulfment. If we can agree that death is part of the process of engulfment, then Rohde's difficulties (I 114-115n2) with Odyssey xv 247 and 253 are eliminated: in these passages Amphiaraos is overtly said to have died. As for Rohde's idea that a cult name like Zeus Amphiarâos implies that Amphiaraos is a "faded god" (I 125n2), there are other explanations available. Such combinations may imply that the name Amphiaraos is motivated primarily by the theme of ritual antagonism between god and hero. Cf. Chapter 8.

§41n4. In the storm that finally destroys all the remaining comrades of Odysseus (xii 403-426), the thuella of Zephyros (xii 409; cf. also thuôn at 408, 426) is directly coordinated with Zeus and the thunderbolt that he hurls at the hapless ship (xii 415-417). The storm itself was initiated by Zeus (xii 405), and it brings about a loss of nostos 'safe homecoming' for the comrades (xii 419). The coordination of the thuella of Zephyros with the thunderbolt of Zeus in this narrative about the antithesis of immortalization serves to remind us of a local cult in Arcadia (Pausanias 8.29.1), where the following triad is worshipped: Astrapai, Thuellai, and Brontai. Note that the first and third are the personifications of lightning and thunder respectively. These traditional combinations suggest that the theme of death/immortalization by the thunderbolt of Zeus may not always have been distinct from the theme of death/immortalization by thuellai of wind. (There is also an interesting collocation of thuellai with pûros ... olooîo 'of baneful fire' at xii 68.)

§42n1. For the sake of convenience, I will henceforth arbitrarily refer to the nominative of this epithet by using only one word order: Dios thugatêr.

§42n2. Other examples: Athena/Odysseus (xiii 359), Aphrodite/Paris (III 374), Aphrodite/Aeneas (V 312).

§42n3. The deeply traditional nature of the Memnon/Eos myth can be verified not only from the comparative standpoint of its Indo-European heritage. The internal evidence of iconographical representations confirms that the Memnon/Eos myth is a basic and pervasive tradition among the Hellenes: see Lung 1912, Clark and Coulsen 1978. It is in fact so much more pervasive than the parallel Sarpedon/Apollo myth of Iliad XVI that Clark and Coulsen consider the Iliadic story of Sarpedon's death to be modeled on that of Memnon's death. I would maintain, however, that the two stories are simply multiforms. To prove that there are artistic inadequacies in the Sarpedon/Apollo multiform that do not exist in the Memnon/Eos multiform is not to prove that one was modeled on the other.

§43n1. The gods' participation in the sacrifices of the Aithiopes is conventionally pictured as a communal feast: Ch.11§9.

§44n1. See also §14.

§44n2. See also Frame 1978.48-50, whose discussion takes into account the thematic intrusion of a northerly direction into the narrative.

§44n3. Cf. Rohde I 75n2.

§45n1. In Quintus of Smyrna II 550 ff., the agents of Eos are the winds Zephyros and Boreas, who snatch Memnon's body away (anêreipsanto: QS II 563). Memnon is even designated as their brother (QS II 555). The tradition that Zephyros and Boreas are the sons of Eos is also attested in Hesiod Th. 378-379. See Kakridis 1949.81-82.

§45n2. Pace Dihle 1970.18-20.

§46n1. See Ch.9§§2-6.

§47n1. The translation is essentially that of Frazer 1898 I 546; see also his commentary V 387. Besides this passage from Pausanias, see also Dionysius Ixeuticon 1.8 and the comments of Vian 1959.28-29.

§47n2. See also §20n2.

§48n1. See Büchner 1937.116. I cannot agree with Schnaufer 1970.103-107, who argues that xi 602 is an interpolation. See also Ch.9§26n.

§48n2. See Rohde I 159-166.

§48n3. See Ch.9§28n2.

§49n1. See especially Meuli 1946, Uhsadel-Gülke 1972, Burkert 1972.

§49n2. = Orphicorum Fragmenta 301 Kern.

§49n3. For a brief survey of attestations: Uhsadel-Gülke 1972.40-41. Besides the 1975 article of Henrichs, I call attention to his forthcoming edition of Philodemus De pietate.

§49n4. For an illuminating synthesis: Detienne 1977.

§49n5. See Uhsadel-Gülke 1972.41-42.

§50n1. See Uhsadel-Gülke ibid.

§50n2. In this connection, it may be well to recall the traditions that picture an immortalized hero in the form of a solar horse, as discussed at §§33-34. Such traditions may underlie the figure of Xanthos, the immortal horse of Achilles (XVI 149-154). It is this Xanthos who pointedly tells Achilles that the hero's death cannot be prevented--any more than the death of Patroklos (XIX 408-417). And this affirmation of the hero's mortality is immediately preceded in the narrative by a simile comparing Achilles to Helios the Sun (XIX 398)! After the immortal horse has finished telling the mortal hero of his future death, the Erînues prevent him from speaking further (XIX 418). Perhaps the Iliad has here taken one segment from the cycle of heroic immortalization and stylized it with an ending imposed to suit the dimensions of the Epos. Perhaps also the figure of Xanthos conjured up a vision of Achilles beyond the narrative that ends with his death. Born on the banks of the Okeanos from the union of the Wind Zephuros with an abducting gust described as a Harpuia (XVI 150), Xanthos seems a model of solar regeneration into immortality (on which see again §§23-36). We may note that heroes who have been immortalized attract the epithet xanthos 'blond': e.g., Rhadamanthys in Elysium (iv 564) and Ganymedes in Olympus (H.Aphr. 202). Menelaos is the hero who attracts this epithet by far the most frequently in the Iliad (III 284, IV 183, etc.) and the Odyssey (iii 257, 326, etc.)--and he is the only Homeric hero who is overtly said to have been immortalized (iv 561-569). Significantly, Achilles himself has hair that is xantho- (I 197, XXIII 141). (In Homeric diction, Demeter is the only deity who is xanthê [V 500], and as Dêmêtêr Erînûs in Arcadian cult she is actually said to have the form of a horse [Pausanias 8.25.4 ff.]. The thematic association of Erînûs/horse may be relevant to XIX 418, where the Erînûes prevent Xanthos from speaking to Achilles of anything beyond the mention of his death.)

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