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.

Go to Previous chapter; Next chapter; Table of Contents; Information

Chapter 5

The Name of Achilles

§1. The theme of pêma 'pain, grief' as we find it in the first song of Demodokos (viii 81) seems to be recapitulated in the very name of Achilles. As we consult Pierre Chantraine's etymological dictionary of Greek under the entry Akhilleus, we find listed a number of different explanations that have been offered over the years to account for the name of Greek epic's preeminent hero.[1] My discussion will center on one of these, namely, Leonard Palmer's suggestion that Akhil(l)eus is a shortened form of *Akhí-lâuos,[2] meaning "whose lâos [host of fighting men] has akhos [grief]."[3] By examining this reconstruction in detail, I hope to add further evidence to my thesis that the thematic germ of the Achilles figure entails pêma for the Trojans when the hero is at war and a pêma for the Achaeans both when he withdraws from war and when he dies. I should emphasize, of course, that this thesis is already supported by the textual evidence presented in the last chapter--and that it does not depend on the etymology of the name Akhil(l)eus. Whether or not we are to accept Palmer's proposed etymology, however, we stand to gain additional perspectives on Achilles in the course of examining the constituent themes associated with his name. Two key words will be involved: akhos and penthos, both meaning "grief."

§2. We begin by taking note of the numerous morphological details in support of the proposition that Akhil(l)eus is derived from *Akhí-lâuos 'whose lâos has akhos'.[1] Plausible as it is, however, this reconstruction will not carry conviction unless we can be satisfied that the posited meaning 'whose lâos has akhos' is intrinsic to the function of Achilles in myth and epic.[2] We will have to examine how the notion of an Achilles figure relates to the notions of akhos 'grief' and lâos 'host of fighting men'.

§3. Such an examination can be valid, of course, only if the Achilles figure itself is intrinsic to the traditions of Greek myth and epic.[1] Further, we must be ready to assume that the mythopoeic theme of Akhil(l)eus inspired the naming of historical figures called Akhil(l)eus--if there be any--rather than the other way around.[2] Lastly, we must be sure that the traditions of Greek myth and epic are old enough to be dated back, at the very least, to a time when a formation like *Akhí-lâuos could have existed.

§4. For the moment, let us consider only the traditions of epic. In both form and content, the heritage of Homeric diction can be traced back all the way to Indo-European prototypes.[1] Even the internal evidence points to centuries of development. From Milman Parry's detailed studies on the formulaic nature of Homeric diction,[2] we can absorb a sense for appreciating the immense stretches of time that must have been required for an evolving poetic medium to refine its diction to such degrees of economy and artistic effectiveness.[3] What applies to the Homeric compositions must apply commensurately to the Hesiodic, as we learn from the studies of Edwards and others.[4]

§5. Not only for Homeric tradition in particular but also for myth in general, we have the warranty of deep archaism wherever we find mythical themes encased in such preservative media as the poetic traditions inherited by Pindar.[1] Combining internal analysis with the comparative method, we can establish not only that the traditional poetic forms of Pindar and other masters of lyric sometimes predate even Homeric counterparts,[2] but also that their traditional poetic themes can sometimes be traced back all the way to Indo-European prototypes.[3]

§6. In short, the testimony of the early Greek poetic traditions about Akhil(l)eus, by virtue of their formal and thematic archaism, can justifiably be applied as a test for Palmer's reconstruction *Akhí-lâuos. We must therefore examine whether the notion framed by *Akhí-lâuos (and *Penthí-lâuos, for that matter) corresponds to the functions of akhos (penthos) and lâos in the poetic traditions. In addition, we must examine whether such a correspondence extends to the Achilles figure itself. Since the primary poetic tradition about Achilles is the Iliad, a brief examination of its central themes, and of the diction expressing these themes, will have to be the first task.

§7. The artistic unity of our Iliad, and the controlling function of the Achilles figure therein, can perhaps best be seen in the deployment of its central themes. Complex as it is in its ramifications, the plot is simple in its essence. The tîmê 'honor' of Achilles has been slighted (I 505-510, 559, etc.). He becomes angry and withdraws from the war, leaving our narrative with an opportunity to test the worth of the other prominent Achaean warriors of epic against the onslaught of Hektor and his Trojans. The Achaeans fall short and are forced to make appeals for the help of Achilles. Although Achilles refuses to come to the rescue, his comrade Patroklos becomes his surrogate.[1] Patroklos rescues the Achaeans but is killed by Hektor through the intervention of the god Apollo.[2] Achilles now enters the war to kill Hektor, thereby finally establishing his own place in epic by the positive action of fighting in battle. His negative action of withdrawing from battle had set the stage for showing that only he could have rescued the Achaeans. By functioning as his surrogate, however, Patroklos anticipates the epic destiny of Achilles, which is to rescue the Achaeans and to be killed in the process through the intervention of Apollo. It is Patroklos who rescues the Achaeans in our Iliad; for the moment, at least, the Trojans have been repelled by the time Achilles enters the battle and establishes his own place in the epic, by killing Hektor.

§8. The Iliad does more than simply orchestrate these central themes into an artistic unity: it also names them. Either the narrative or the characters within the narrative can actually refer to the central themes inside the Iliad, with special designations. For example, the invocation at the beginning of the Iliad announces the content of the narrative simply by naming the mênis 'anger' of Achilles:[1]

mênin aeide thea Pêlêïadeô Achilêos

Sing, goddess, the mênis of Achilles son of Peleus.
I 1

Through the preeminent placement of the word mênis, the theme of Achilles' anger is singled out by the composition as the most central and hence most pervasive in the Iliadic tradition. Furthermore, the subsequent application of mênis is restricted by the composition specifically to the anger that Achilles felt over the slighting of his tîmê at the very beginning of the action. The anger that Achilles felt later over the killing of Patroklos is nowhere denoted by mênis. In fact, the only instance where mênis applies to heroes rather than gods in the Iliad is the mutual anger between Achilles and Agamemnon.[2] We see in these restrictions on the application of mênis a distinctive Iliadic association of this word with all the epic events that resulted from Achilles' anger against Agamemnon, the most central of which is the devastation suffered by the Achaeans. Again, the wording at the very beginning of the Iliad announces the theme of devastation by referring to the countless algea 'pains' of the Achaeans caused by the mênis of Achilles:

muri' Achaiois alge' ethêken

which [the mênis] made countless algea for the Achaeans.
I 2

§9. Like the word mênis, algea 'pains' too serves as a key to the plot of the Iliad.[1] Just as Apollo chronologically has mênis over the abduction of Chryseis (I 75) before Achilles has mênis over the abduction of Briseis, so also the Achaeans have algea from Apollo before they get algea from Achilles:

tounek' ar' alge' edôken hekêbolos êd' eti dôsei
oud' ho ge prin Danaoisin aeikea loigon apôsei
prin ...

For that reason the far-shooter gave--and will give--algea,
and he will not remove the disgraceful devastation [loigos] from the Danaans until ...
I 96-98 (cf. also 110)

And the remedial action, as we see from I 97 here, is denoted by loigon apôsei 'will remove the devastation [loigos]'. When this loigos 'devastation' is removed with the appeasement of Apollo's anger, the Achaeans sing a paiêôn 'paean' to him (I 473), where the name of the song is also the epithet denoting the healing powers of the god.[2] Since the algea that Apollo had visited upon the Achaeans was a loimos 'plague' (I 61, 97), the use of paiêôn at I 473 is all the more apt.[3]

§10. To repeat, algea in the diction of the Iliad may denote two kinds of grief for the Achaeans: (1) the plague resulting from the mênis of Apollo and (2) the dire military situation resulting from the mênis of Achilles. In the case of the plague, the remedial action was denoted by loigon apôsei 'will remove the devastation [loigos]' (I 97); in fact, the narrative quotes directly the actual prayer to Apollo by Apollo's priest:[1]

êdê nun Danaoisin aeikea loigon amunon

Ward off now from the Danaans the disgraceful devastation [loigos]!
I 456

Elsewhere in the Iliad, as we examine the word loigos beyond I 97 and 456, we find that its accusative loigon occurs exclusively in combination with the same verb amun- 'ward off' that we find here in I 456. And from the contexts of these combinations, the fact emerges that the dire military situation resulting from the mênis of Achilles calls for the same remedial action, from the standpoint of the diction, as did the plague resulting from the mênis of Apollo:

... loigon amunêisXVI 32
... loigon amunaiI 341, XVI 75, XVIII 450
... loigon amunônXVI 80

§11. In fact, the diction of the Iliad can designate the plight of the Achaeans during the Battle of the Ships as simply loigon Achaiôn 'the devastation [loigos] of the Achaeans' at XXI 134, where the Achaeans are then immediately described, in Achilles' own words, with the following narrative gloss:

hous epi nêusi thoêisin epephnete nosphin emeio

whom you killed at the swift ships in my absence.
XXI 135

The loigos of the Achaeans during the Battle of the Ships happened because they were "apart from Achilles," who had mênis. Already in Book I, the words of Achilles had alluded to their future predicament:

hoppôs hoi para nêusi sooi macheointo Achaioi

that the Achaeans be safe as they fight at the ships
I 344

It was in this future context, in what amounts to the title of a future episode in the narrative ("Battle of the Ships"), that the words of Achilles first raised the possibility that he would be needed then for the role of warding off the loigos of the Achaeans:

... ei pote aute
chreiô emeio genêtai aeikea loigon amunai

... if ever there will be
a need for me to ward off the disgraceful devastation [loigos]
I 340-341

§12. As the narrative approaches this epic destiny of Achilles with the ever-worsening plight of the Achaeans during the Battle of the Ships, the hypothetical subject of loigon amunein 'ward off the devastation' remains Achilles only up to a certain point:

ai ke Argeioisin aeikea loigon amunêis

if you do not ward off the disgraceful devastation [loigos] from the Argives
XVI 32

Already here the speaker is Patroklos, who becomes soon hereafter the actual subject of the expression on the level of form and the surrogate of the action on the level of content. And it is Achilles who sends him off to battle with these words:

alla kai hôs Patrokle neôn apo loigon amunôn
empes' epikrateôs

Even so, Patroklos, ward off the devastation [loigos][1] from the ships
and attack with kratos.[2]
XVI 80-81

The outcome will bring more grief.

§13. As we hear from the retrospective narrative of XVIII 444-456, where Thetis retells briefly the entire Iliad up to the moment at hand, Achilles "had refused to ward off the devastation [loigos]" (ênaineto loigon amunai: XVIII 450) and Patroklos had taken his place--only to be killed by Hektor through the intervention of Apollo (XVIII 451-456). The god had thus given the emblem of victory, the kûdos, to Hektor (XVIII 456).[1] When Achilles finally wins back the kûdos by killing Hektor, he calls on the Achaeans to sing a paiêôn (XXII 391), and the song is to begin as follows:

êrametha mega kudos: epephnomen Hektora dion

We won a big kûdos; we killed brilliant Hektor!
XXII 393

The paiêôn here is to be contrasted with the only other one in the Iliad, at I 473, where it had celebrated the remedy for the algea 'pains' of the Achaeans. True, the killing of Hektor has reversed the situation for the opposing sides: now it is the Achaeans who have the kûdos (XXII 393) and the Trojans who have algea (XXII 422) because of Achilles, who is a pêma 'pain' for the Trojans (XXII 421-422). In fact, he is for them the pêma megiston 'greatest pain' (XXII 288), in Hektor's own words. Previously, it had been Hektor who was called a pêma by the Achaeans (XI 347, cf. VIII 176), and in fact their plight during the onslaught of Hektor was also a pêma (IX 229).[2]

§14. It remains to ask whether the Achaeans will be rid of grief after Hektor is killed. Clearly they will not, since the death of Achilles will itself be an ultimate pêma for them--as is presaged by the words announcing the death of Patroklos (XVII 688-689).[1]

§15. Moreover, the death of Patroklos is visualized as a pêma not only for the Achaeans but for himself as well. Contemplating how the hero died, Agamemnon offers this generalization: any mortal who dares to fight Hektor and thereby undertake a confrontation with Apollo will get a pêma (XVII 98-99).[1] This generalization surely applies also to Achilles: the death of the hero will be a pêma both for the Achaeans and for himself.[2]

§16. In short, the figure of Achilles is pervasively associated with the theme of grief. The program of the Iliad, which is equated with the Will of Zeus (I 5/II 38), decrees countless algea 'pains' for Trojans and Achaeans alike (I 2/II 39)--all because Achilles became angry in a quarrel.[1] Beyond the Iliad, in the first song of Demodokos, we find Achilles again in a quarrel, and grief is again decreed (pêma 'pain': viii 81) by the Will of Zeus (viii 82).[2] Moreover, the Iliadic identification of a depersonalized force called pêma megiston 'greatest pain' with the epic persona of Achilles, as at XXII 288, makes the hero seem like the very essence of grief.

§17. So far, we have been examining the relationship of the Achilles figure with the central theme of grief in the Iliad without actually considering the word akhos and its deployment within the composition. The evidence that we have already seen, however, leads us to expect that any Iliadic diction involving akhos should also directly involve the Achilles figure, if indeed the name Akhil(l)eus had once designated the epic function of the hero in its being derived from *Akhí-lâuos 'whose lâos has akhos' = 'he who has the host of fighting men grieving'.[1]

§18. Before we proceed, however, a few precautions may be taken about the nature of our evidence. We may by now have satisfied ourselves, on the basis of the Iliadic diction, that there is a thematic association between the Achilles figure and the notion of grief. The diction seems orchestrated to fit the main themes, or better, to express these themes by way of the placement of certain key words. For example, the deployment of the expression loigon amun- 'ward off devastation [loigos]' had indirectly told its own story about how Achilles' mênis caused grief for the Achaeans. The associations of key words keep retelling the main themes of the Iliad on a formal level, beyond the more fundamental level of the actual narrative. But it is essential to keep in mind that such orchestration of the forms in such a way as to fit the main themes is a result, not a cause. In Greek epic, as also elsewhere in traditional poetry, inherited themes are expressed by inherited forms which are highly regulated by the formulaic system of the genre.

§19. To put it another way: from the intensive studies of Parry and Lord on the nature of formulaic language, we expect to see in Homeric poetry the automatic distribution of set phraseology appropriate to set themes. Conversely, our knowledge of formulaic behavior tells us that we cannot expect any given composition within the tradition to require any alterations or modifications in the inherited phraseology of its hexameters for the purpose of accommodating the composition's sense of its own unity. If we do indeed discern the reality of an artistically unified Iliad, then we must also be ready to say that the unity of our Iliad is itself traditional. This is not to detract from a work of genius. Nor is it the same thing as claiming that the Iliad is the work of some committee of composers. Rather, I would say simply that the genius behind our Iliad's artistic unity is in large part the Greek epic tradition itself. In order to accept this proposition, we may have to force ourselves to imagine the immensely creative process of this tradition, with all the many centuries of what must have been the most refined sort of elite performer/ audience interaction that went into the evolution of the Iliad and Odyssey as we know them.[1]

§20. With these thoughts in mind, I return to the evidence of Iliadic diction, on akhos and Akhil(l)eus. If we are now about to discover a pervasive nexus between these two elements in the Iliad, I would then infer that such a nexus is integrated in the inherited formulaic system and hence deeply rooted in the epic tradition. Accordingly, the internal evidence of epic may well corroborate the proposed derivation of Akhil(l)eus from akhos.

§21. As we turn now to the deployment of akhos in the Iliad, we immediately come upon an overt equation of this word with the expression pathon algea 'suffered pains', involving the same word algea that we have already seen in the context of designating the grief that the Achaeans suffered from the mênis of Achilles (algea: I 2) and from the mênis of Apollo (algea: I 96, 110). This equation of akhos with pathon algea is to be found in the words of Achilles himself:

ainon achos to moi estin, epei pathon algea thumôi

the terrible akhos that I have, since I suffered pains [algea] in my thûmos
XVI 55

In the present case, however, algea designates the grief of Achilles over his loss of tîmê 'honor' (XVI 59), not the grief of the Achaeans. For Achilles to suffer his own algea qualifies here as akhos (XVI 55), yet we find only thirty-three hexameters earlier that the grief of the Achaeans during the Battle of the Ships also qualifies as akhos:

nemesa: toion gar achos bebiêken Achaious

Do not be angry: for such an akhos has beset the Achaeans.
XVI 22

The word akhos signals le transfert du mal: the akhos of Achilles leads to the mênis of Achilles leads to the akhos of the Achaeans.

§22. Such a transfer has a religious dimension, as we can see from the traditions of the Homeric Hymn to Demeter. The akhos of Demeter is instantaneous with the abduction of the Kore (H.Dem. 40, 90-91). Her resulting mênis (H.Dem. 350) causes devastation in the form of cosmic infertility (351 ff.). The tîmai 'honors' of the Olympians are thus threatened (353-354), and it is only with the restoration of Kore that Demeter's mênis ceases (410), as her akhos abates (acheôn: 436). Demeter thereupon gets her appropriate tîmai (461), and her anger (468) is replaced with fertility (469, 471 ff.).

§23. Besides all the obvious convergences here, we must also note an important divergence from the pattern of Achilles: once Demeter's mênis ceases, so too does her akhos. This theme is also found directly in the cult traditions, as we see, for example, in the report about the Demeter of Arcadian Phigalia: the Moîrai 'Fates' persuaded her both "to lay aside her anger and to cease in her grief" (apothesthai men tên orgên, hupheinai de kai tês lupês: Pausanias 8.42.3).[1] The pattern is different with the grief of Achilles. The abduction of Briseis brings instantaneous akhos for Achilles (I 188), but this grief is not removed by the restoration of the girl, the vindication of his tîmê, and the cessation of his terrible mênis. Before these three events take place, the akhos of Achilles is made permanent by the death of his surrogate Patroklos. When Achilles hears the news that Patroklos has been killed, his akhos is instantaneous in the narrative (XVIII 22), and for this akhos there is to be no remedy, as the earlier words of Odysseus had already predicted for Achilles:

autôi toi metopisth' achos essetai, oude ti mêchos
rhechthentos kakou est' akos heurein

You yourself will have an akhos in the future,
and there will be no way to find a remedy for the bad thing once it is done.
IX 249-250

As Thetis predicts, Achilles will have grief for the rest of his life (achnutai: XVIII 442-443). Earlier, he was grieving for Briseis (acheôn: XVIII 446); now he can grieve for Patroklos (acheuôn: XVIII 461), and after this akhos there can be no other:

... epei ou m' eti deuteron hôde
hixet' achos kradiên, ophra zôoisi meteiô

... for never again will an akhos like this enter my heart while I am among the living
XXIII 46-47

§24. Whereas Achilles is the man of constant sorrow, the Achaeans have akhos intermittently. And each time that they get a remission of akhos in the Iliad, Achilles figures as the key factor. Initially, Apollo's mênis had given them grief because of the abduction of Chryseis; their grief was relieved when Chryseis was restored, whereas the consequent abduction of Briseis gave grief to Achilles. Later, Achilles' own mênis gave the Achaeans grief, which was then relieved when Patroklos beat back the onslaught of the Trojans at the Battle of the Ships. The consequent death of Patroklos then left Achilles without respite from grief.

§25. During the intermittent period of akhos for the Achaeans, the Trojans are described as having kratos 'superior power', and the complementary distribution of these two Homeric themes of akhos/ kratos is controlled by the Will of Zeus, the self-proclaimed "plot" of our Iliad. The key passage is I 509-510, where we find an overt correlation of the grief that is about to beset the Achaeans with the temporary awarding of kratos to the Trojans, and the correlation is under the control of Zeus. It is up to Zeus both to give kratos, as here (I 509), as well as to take it away, and the Achaeans in their plight fully realize the absence of kratos.[1] Diomedes speaks for them all when he says:

... epei nephelêgereta Zeus
Trôsin boletai dounai kratos êe per hêmin

... since Zeus the cloud-gatherer
wills to give the kratos to the Trojans instead of us.[2]
XI 318-319

That is, Diomedes speaks for all except for Achilles, who stands outside the common good of the Achaean host. For Achilles, the transfer of kratos from the Achaeans to the Trojans leads to his own tîmê (I 505-510), and the restoration of his tîmê is equivalent to the Will of Zeus (cf. also II 3-5), which in turn comes to pass with the grief of the Achaeans at the Battle of the Ships (I 2-5, 559; IX 608-609). When he is praying to Zeus, Achilles says it himself:

timêsas men eme, mega d' ipsao laon Achaiôn

You have given tîmê to me and great harm to the lâos of the Achaeans
XVI 237

With exactly these same words, the priest Chryses had prayed to Apollo (I 454); there too the lâos of the Achaeans was having grief, but that time it was still the mênis of Apollo that was causing it, not the mênis of Achilles.

§26. Who, then, is this warrior, whose tîmê is instrumental in taking kratos from the lâos of the Achaeans and bringing them akhos instead? Surely it is *Akhí-lâuos, the one who has grief for and of the lâos. The individual akhos of the Achilles figure leads to the collective akhos of the Achaean host during the Battle of the Ships, but it was their own earlier akhos during the plague that had led to Achilles' akhos. If there had been no abduction of Chryseis, leading to the akhos of the Achaeans, there would have been no abduction of Briseis, leading to the akhos of Achilles. Achilles was as instrumental in ridding the Achaeans of their first akhos as he was in bringing upon them the second; in fact, he had even prayed to Zeus for the grief that would come upon them (XVIII 74-77; cf. I 408-412).

§27. The Homeric theme of akhos reflects not only on the individual nature of the Achilles figure but also on the collective nature of the Achaean lâos. As for the word lâos, its traditional use in Homeric diction also reinforces the proposed reconstruction *Akhí-lâuos, inasmuch as lâos serves to designate the Achaeans specifically in a social sense: the Homeric lâos is a warrior society, a Männerbund.[1] As such, the function of the lâos corresponds ideologically to the Indo-European "second function," in terms of Georges Dumézil's formulation.[2] This warrior society of the lâos, as my former student Dale Sinos has shown in detail, sets the ethical standards of our Iliad in terms of the bonds that unite the philoi 'friends', who are the members of the lâos.[3] The epic stance of the individual Achilles toward the collective lâos thus presents an ethical problem that we will have to examine presently; for the moment, however, the pertinence of akhos is the major issue. Here too, we will see that the theme of akhos is central. When Achilles has his first akhos, over Briseis, it separates him from the lâos. When he has his second akhos, over Patroklos, it reintegrates him with the lâos.

§28. Supplement: The Name of the AchaeansWhen the first akhos of Achilles separated him from the lâos, the lâos then got akhos too. This theme of transference from the individual to the collective introduces yet another factor relevant to the etymology of Akhil(l)eus, namely the etymology of the word "Achaeans," Akhaioi. In Homeric diction, this name Akhaioi functions as the synonym of Danaoi and Argeîoi, but its association with other words is idiosyncratic. In particular, I draw attention to the extremely common Homeric collocation of lâos/lâon with Akhaiôn (and Akhaikon). Since lâos is a social designation, we are encouraged to see here a parallel semantic function in the name that serves as its defining genitive, Akhaiôn (construction of the type urbs Romae).[1] Accordingly, we have an answer to the possible objection that Akhaioi cannot be derived from akhos--on the grounds that the name may refer to a genuine people as well as an epic collective. The answer is this: the process of ethnic naming may itself be a social function, and the designation of a people may involve a mythopoeic or even ritualistic level. Surely such levels are present in the Homeric synonyms of Akhaioi, namely, Danaoi and Argeîoi.[2]

§29. In fact, such mythopoeic and ritualistic levels are also present in the cult designation of Demeter as Akhaiâ precisely in the context of her akhos over the abduction of Kore. In Plutarch's De Iside 378d, we read reports of mourning rites (penthimois thusiais) practiced by various peoples during the period of sowing (October/November) to lament the abduction of the Kore. After citing the Thesmophoria of the Athenians, where he describes the second day of the festival (12 Pyanopsion) as a period of lamentation, Plutarch's survey turns to a corresponding ritual period in Boeotia:

kai Boiôtoi ta tês Achaias megara kinousin, epachthê tên heortên ekeinên onomazontes hôs dia tên tês Korês kathodon en achei tês Dêmêtros ousês.

And the Boeotians activate the chambers [megara] of the Akhaiâ, giving their festival a name of grief because of Demeter's akhos over the Descent [kathodos] of the Kore.
Plutarch De Iside 378e

There is an overt correlation here between Demeter's cult title Akhaiâ and her akhos 'grief' over the Descent of the Kore;[1] furthermore, her individual grief is correlated with the collective grief of the community that worships her. These correlations of the name Akhaiâ are presented as a fact of cult; they are independent of the surface resemblance of the forms akhos and Akhaiâ. I propose that we are dealing here with something more than a mere lexicographical association, as we might have thought if we had access only to such information as the following gloss:

Achaia [six]: epitheton Dêmêtros. apo tou peri tên Korên achous, hoper epoieito anazêtousa autên

Akhaia: epithet of Demeter. From the akhos that she had over the Kore when she was looking for her.
Hesychius s.v.

As we have already seen, the word akhos is the traditional designation of Demeter's grief over the abduction of the Kore (H.Dem. 40, 90, 436), just as Akhaiâ serves as a traditionalepithet of the grieving Demeter during a ritual period of lamentation. Even if we were to assume that the association of akhos with Akhaiâ results from a contrived etymology, we would still have to concede on the basis of Plutarch's report that the contrivance itself must be traditional and deeply archaic, not some random figment of a lexicographer's imagination.[2]

§30. Besides the traditional association of akhos with Akhaiâ in cult, we have also seen the association of akhos with Akhaioi in the central themes of the Iliad. This convergence of evidence leads us to suspect a lexical relationship between akhos and Akhaio/â-, and there are interesting morphological parallels that may serve as corroboration. Let us first compare the es-stem akhos and adjectival Akhaio- with the es-stem kratos (/kartos) and adjectival krataio-.[1] This match is interesting from the thematic as well as formal point of view, since we have already seen that the word kratos (/kartos) is used in Homeric diction to designate the converse of akhos, where the back-and-forth struggle of the Achaeans and Trojans is being described.[2] When the Achaeans are hard pressed with akhos 'grief', it is the Trojans who have the kratos 'superior power' (I 509-510, etc.); conversely, when the Trojans are hard pressed, it is the Achaeans who have the kratos (VI 386-387, etc.).[3] It also seems pertinent to the back-and-forth theme of the Achaean/Trojan struggle that a noun for which the adjective krataio- serves as fixed epithet is the word for "fate": verse-final Moîra krataiê, as at V 83, XVI 334, etc.[4]

§31. The adjective krataio- seems to be formed from the element kratai-/kartai-, as attested in compound adjectives like kratai-pedon 'whose ground is firm [has kratos]' (xxiii 46: applying to oûdas 'floor').[1] In parallel onomastic formations, we find krati- as well as kratai-: thus Krati-dêmos 'whose dêmos has kratos' as well as Kratai-menês 'whose menos [might] has kratos'.[2] On the basis, then, of its compounding patterns as well as its variant krati-, we may consider the element kratai- as part of a so-called Caland System.[3] Such a system would include the abstract noun with stem in -es- (kratos/kartos; Aeolic kretos even shows the expected e-grade of the root) and the adjectives with stems in -u- (kratu-) and -ro- (kratero-) compared to -i- in the first part of compounds (kratai-).[4] The vowels immediately before -ro- and -i- in kratero- and kratai- respectively are problematical,[5] but the overall system of kratos is clear enough to allow comparison with what seems to be the system of akhos:

kratoskratu-krati-kratai-krataio-
akhosakhu-*akhi-*akhai-Akhaio-

§32. The u-stem akhu- is visible in the n-infix verb akh-n-u-tai (achnutai, as at XVIII 443) corresponding to the noun akhos, and also in akheuôn (acheuôn, as at XVIII 461), verse-final variant of verse-medial akheôn (acheôn, as at XVIII 446); we have in fact already examined all three of these forms in the specific context of Achilles' grief.[1] The type akheôn must in turn be compared with krateôn (krateôn, as at XVI 172).

§33. An i-stem *akhi- has already been posited as the first member in the reconstructed compound *Akhí-lâuos 'whose lâos has akhos'. As for the hypothetical variant *akhai- (cf. kratai- and krati-), it may well be visible in the name Akhai-menês, the Greek formal reinterpretation of Old Persian Haxâ-maniß. The morphological integrity of Akhai-menês (compared to akhos) as a Greek formation is validated by such parallel formations as attested in the names Kratai-menês (compared to kratos) and Althai-menês (compared to althos).[1] Note also the form akhai-menis, the name of a plant (pseudo-Dioscorides 3.110).

§34. The es-stem noun corresponding to the name Althai-menês 'whose menos [might] has althos' requires special attention.[1] In Hesychius, the entry althos is glossed as pharmakon 'cure, drug'; the derivative an-althês 'incurable' is actually attested in the epic tradition (Iliou Persis fr. 5.6 Allen). This noun althos corresponds to althaiâ, the name of a plant that cures wounds (Theophrastus Historia Plantarum 9.15.5), and to Althaiê, the name of Meleager's mother (IX 555);[2] we must also compare krataiâ, likewise the name of a plant (pseudo-Dioscorides 2.180).[3] The semantics of these forms suggest the possibility, however remote, that althos (/Althaiê) may have been a thematic converse of akhos (/Akhaiâ). Compare the function of akos 'cure' as the converse of akhos 'grief':

autôi toi metopisth' achos essetai, oude ti mêchos
rhechthentos kakou est' akos heurein

You yourself [Achilles] will have an akhos in the future, and there will be no way
to find an akos for the bad thing once it is done.[4]
IX 249-250

§35. In view of such formal correspondences as

kratosKratai-menêskrataio-
althosAlthai-menêsalthaiâ-

it would be tempting to consider

akhosAkhai-menêsAkhaio-

as a set of related forms. One formal problem that stands in the way is the Latin borrowing Achîuî, on the basis of which Akhaio- is conventionally reconstructed as *Akhaiuó-.[1] Also, the form a-ka-wi-ja-de in the Linear B texts (KN C 914) has been tentatively interpreted as *Akhaiuiân-de 'to Achaea'.[2] Yet I can find no morphological precedent for reconstructing a suffix *-uó- as in *kratai-uó- or *Akhai-uó-. On the other hand, it may be possible to reconstruct krataio- and Akhaio- as original compounds containing the root *ui- 'force' as second element. The key is the verse-final form krataiis/Krataiin in the Odyssey (xi 597/xii 124).

§36. At xi 597, krataiis (nominative) designates the supernatural force that sends the rock of Sisyphus rolling back again and again to its starting point. At xii 124, Krataiin (accusative) designates the mother of the man-eating immortal monster Scylla; according to the instructions of Circe, Odysseus and his men must call on Krataiis to restrain Scylla from attacking them again (xii 124-126). Among other interpretations of the name Krataiis, the scholia (ad xii 597) offer krataiâ îs 'force that has kratos', with the immediate context cited as justification. In the appendix, I argue on morphological grounds that krataiis is in fact the personification of an adjective originally shaped *kratai-ui- 'whose îs [force] has kratos'.[1] For a semantic parallel, I adduce the compound Kratai-menês, which can be translated "whose menos [might] has kratos." Also, I adduce the expression kraterê ... [[currency]]s Odusêos (XXIII 720), which amounts to a periphrasis of an epithet + name combination such as *kratai-ménês Oduseús.[2] In arguing for the parallelism of menos and îs in Kratai-menês and *kratai-uis, I can cite such epic combinations as hieron menos + genitive (vii 167, viii 2, etc.) and hierê îs + genitive (ii 409, xviii 405, etc.).[3]

§37. In the appendix, I also present arguments in favor of interpreting the adjectives krataio-/Akhaio- as derived from compounds shaped *kratai-ui-/*akhai-ui- 'whose îs has kratos/akhos'.[1] In the case of *kratai-ui-, we have just considered the semantic parallel of Kratai-menês 'whose menos [might] has kratos', where the element menos has the inherited function of being a synonym of îs. There is also another semantic parallel, one that is even closer to the posited compound krataio- on a formal level. Since the word biê 'might' also functions as a synonym of îs (e.g., îs at XI 668 is equated with biê at XI 670), we may now in addition cite the adjective/name kratai-bios/Kratai-bios'whose biê has kratos'.[2] So much for the reconstruction *kratai-ui-. As for *akhai-ui-, I should note simply that its posited meaning "whose îs had akhos" corresponds to the primary martial function of the Akhaioi 'Achaeans' in epic action: their prowess entails akhos for the enemy and, simultaneously, kratos for themselves.[3] Moreover, the Iliadic tradition features an interesting variation on this theme: because Achilles withdraws from battle, the Achaeans temporarily lose kratos to the Trojans and they themselves are overwhelmed by akhos. Epic diction actually conveys this reversed position of the Achaeans in terms of akhos and biê, synonym of îs:

toion gar achos bebiêken Achaious

For such an akhos has brought biê upon the Achaeans.[4]
XVI 22

These words are spoken by Patroklos to Achilles, and they introduce a concrete description of the Achaeans' plight now that all the major heroes save Achilles have been knocked out of action by Hektor's onslaught (XVI 23-29). The perfect formation bebiêken 'has brought biê upon' at XVI 22 reverses the martial function of the Achaeans from active to passive: they "whose îs has akhos" are no longer inflicting îs but are themselves afflicted by it, so that they, rather than the enemy, get the resulting akhos.[5] To sum up, the warrior needs biê to win in battle, but biê is not enough. One can have biê and still lose without the kratos that only Zeus can grant.[6] Even the cosmic régime of the Olympians is actually maintained by the combination of Kratos and Biê personified (Hesiod Th. 385-401). Thus he who is kratai-bios 'whose biê has kratos' is one who not only has biê but also wins because he has been granted kratos by the gods. The same goes for the kraterê ... îs of Odysseus at XXIII 720. But winning is an ambiguous prospect for the Akhaioi: their îs may fail to have kratos from the gods, and so the akhos may be destined for them rather than the enemy.

§38. So much, then, for the argument that Akhaiâ/Akhaioi is treated by epic diction as a derivative of akhos 'grief'. When we add the evidence of the strong thematic links between these words, we gain an important perspective on the socialfunction of akhos. On the level of cult, the title Akhaiâ shows that the community becomes involved in the akhos of Demeter by performing rites of lamentation. On the level of epic, the title Akhaioi shows that akhos can afflict an entire aggregate of warriors. We had started our discussion of Akhaiâ/Akhaioi by stressing the social implications in the component lâos of the reconstructed *Akhí-lâuos.[1] Now we see that the social implications extend to the component akhos as well.

§39. In this light, we may compare *Akhí-lâuos 'whose lâos has grief' with the name Kharilâos (from *Kharí-lâuos) 'whose lâos has mirth', as used in Archilochus fr. 168W. The poem addresses Kharilaos and then promises to give him pleasure by making him laugh:

Erasmonidê Charilae,
chrêma toi geloion
ereô, polu philtath' hetairôn,
terpseai d' akouôn

Kharilâos, son of Erasmôn!
I will tell you something to be laughed at,
you most philos [dear] of hetaîroi [companions]!
and you will get pleasure hearing it.
Archilochus fr. 168W

There are implications not only in the name Kharilâos but also in the patronymic Erasmonidês 'son of Erasmôn', which is related to erasmios 'lovely'; this adjective elsewhere describes the bloom of youth that inspires poetry (Anacreon fr. 375P).[1] Moreover, the verb terpô/terpomai 'give/get pleasure' conventionally designates the effect of poetry (e.g., i 347).[2] We may also note the combination of erasmios 'lovely' and terpnos 'pleasurable' in Semonides 7.52W and compare the collocation of Erasmonidês (Erasmonidê) and terpomai 'get pleasure' (terpseai) in this poem of Archilochus. My point is that the pleasure and laughter promised by the poem are actually embodied in the element khari- of Khari-lâos.[3] This element, as found in the noun kharis,[4] conveys the notion of "pleasure, mirth" in conventional descriptions of poetry and its effects;[5] moreover, the context of such pleasure is social.[6] As the narrating Odysseus says in ix 3-11, there is no accomplishment "having more kharis" (chariesteron: line 5) than the euphrosunê 'mirth' that everyone in the dêmos 'district' experiences from the dinner hour performance of a poet.[7] So too with Khari-lâos: he will get pleasure and laugh as "the most philos [dear] of the hetaîroi [companions]" (philtath' hetairôn: line 3). In other words, the audience of the poem is a community (comprised of philoi 'friends').[8] And the notion of community is also embodied in the element lâos of Khari-lâos.[9]

§40. If indeed the semantics of Khari-lâ(u)os and *Akhí-lâuos are comparable, we may note with interest the reaction of the lâos when Achilles suspends his mênis 'anger':

hôs ephath', hoi d' echarêsan eüknêmides Achaioi
mênin apeipontos megathumou Pêleïônos

Thus he [Achilles] spoke. And the fair-greaved Achaeans were happy
that the great-hearted son of Peleus unsaid his mênis.
XIX 74-75

Since the mênis 'anger' of Achilles had caused akhos 'grief' for the Achaeans during the Battle of the Ships,[1] it is significant that the suspension of this same mênis now causes them "mirth"--as conveyed by the root khar- in echarêsan 'were happy' at XIX 74. This same root constitutes the first element of the compound Khari-lâos 'whose lâos has mirth.'

§41. As we have seen, another traditional word for the dire military situation of the Achaeans during the Battle of the Ships is loigos 'devastation'.[1] Since the grief caused by the mênis of Achilles is thus a devastation as well, we may suppose that a name like Kharilâos could convey the notion that the lâos has mirth because some devastation is suspended. In view of this possibility, let us consider the social function of the name Kharila in Delphic myth and ritual. From the report of Plutarch Quaestiones Graecae 293e, we learn that Kharila designates not only a Delphic festival but also the figure commemorated in that festival. The corresponding myth tells that Kharila was a starving girl who begged for a share of food that was being distributed in the community by the king; when the king knocked her away with his shoe, she hanged herself. During the enneateric festival of Kharila, a ritual dummy that is also called Kharila is knocked away by the king of the festival, whereupon it is hanged by its neck and then buried. As is generally agreed, the theme of the festival is fertility by way of banishing hunger.[2] Both the myth and the ritual of Kharila reveal an archaic social foundation in general and an archaic judicial system in particular.[3] On the basis of the social function inherited by the name Kharila, I suggest that the form may be a truncated variant of *Kharílâuos. We have in fact already seen other such variants: Kharillos and Kharillês.[4]


Notes

§1n1. Chantraine I 150.

§1n2. Palmer 1963.79. Here in Ch.5 and in Ch.6, I am offering a revised version of an article that I wrote for Palmer's Festschrift (Nagy 1974c). See now Palmer 1979 and Nagy 1994.

§1n3. Technically, this posited bahuvrîhi compound should be translated "he who has the lâos grieving" or "he whose lâos has akhos." (The Sanskrit grammatical term bahuvrîhi literally means "he who has much rice.") For the interpretation of lâos as "host of fighting men" in the context of epic, see Jeanmaire 1939.11-111 and Vian 1968.59. For the connection of Greek lâos with Hittite la[[dotaccent]][[dotaccent]]a- 'military campaign' and la[[dotaccent]][[dotaccent]]iyala- 'warrior', see Heubeck 1969 and Watkins 1976b.122.

§2n1. Palmer (1963.79) compares what appears to be another shortened form, Penthi-los, to be derived from *Penthí-lâuos 'whose lâos has penthos [grief]', where the first component penthi- follows the inherited Caland pattern: penthi- compared to penthos 'grief', parallel to akhi- compared to akhos 'grief'. (On such patterns see the original formulation by Caland 1893.592; see also Nussbaum 1976.) Palmer (ibid.) adduces such other examples as Kûdi-aneira 'whose men have glory [kûdos]', and Oidi-podês 'whose feet have swelling [oîdos]', etc. As a parallel to the hypothetical truncation of *-lâuos in Akhil(l)eus (from *Akhí-lâuos), we may cite the coexistence of the forms Sthenelos (V 111, etc.) and Sthenelâos (XVI 586). To explain the optional doubling of the -l- in the epic forms of Akhil(l)eus, Palmer (ibid.) points out that expressive gemination seems to be a characteristic of shortened forms, adducing Kharillos/Kharillês compared to Khari-lâos (from *-lâuos); for the forms, see Bechtel 1917.285. (On Kharila, see further at §39 below; also compare the formal pair Kharila and Khari-lâos with Iolê and Io-lâos respectively.) We may add Perillos, apparently a by-form of Peri-lâos (see Jeffery 1976.139); cf. also Philleus and Phileus, as discussed by Perpillou 1973.172 and 241n8. There remains the problem of the suffix -eus in Akhi-l(l)eus: here too Palmer can point to formal parallelisms, showing from the evidence of both Linear B and later Greek that this suffix is especially characteristic of shortened names (Palmer, p. 78; cf. also Perpillou, pp. 167-299). As another possible instance where compounded *-lâuos is ultimately truncated to -leus, Palmer (p. 80) adduces epic Nêleus and Attic Neileôs (from *Neelêos from *Nehé-lâuos, apparently attested as the name ne-e-ra-wo in a Linear B tablet from Pylos, Fn 79.5); see Ruijgh 1967.369-370. In addition, I cite the by-form of Iolê, namely Ioleia (Hesiod fr. 26.31MW), and the masculine Io-lâos; the feminine type Ioleia implies a corresponding *Ioleús. Finally, we may compare the formal types Iolâos and Ioleia with Prôtesilâos and Penthesileia.

§2n2. As precedent, I cite Frame 1978.82-83, 86, 96-99, 112 on the mythology underlying the form *Nehé-lâuos (n1), which means something like "bringing the lâos back home to safety"; Frame connects the root *nes- of *Nehé-lâuos not only with Nêleus and Neileôs but also with Nes-tôr, the name of the son of Neleus. Compare the root *ag- in Ageleôs (xxii 131, 247), from *Agé-lâuos 'bringing/leading the lâos', and also in Ak-tôr (II 513, etc.). The contraction of *Nehe- to - in Nêleus implies that the replacement of *Nehé-lâuos by *Nehe-leús had already taken place during a pre-Ionic phase in the development of Homeric diction (see Wackernagel 1953 [= 1914] 1156-1157 and n2).

§3n1. The single most convincing piece of writing on the subject of Achilles' inherited central role in the Iliadic tradition remains that of Whitman 1958 (Ch.IX). His book and Lord's (1960, esp. Ch.IX on the Iliad) have been invaluable for my present efforts.

§3n2. I raise this issue to allow for the possibility that the name spelled a-ki-re-u in Linear B (Knossos tablet Vc 106; cf. Pylos tablet Fn 79) stands for *Akhil(l)eús. For an articulate comparison of the historical Pylos and a possibly historical Nestor with the mythopoeic Pylos and the mythopoeic Nestor, I cite Frame 1978. For a useful general discussion of the relationship between the mythopoeic requirements of epic and the realia of history: Lord 1970.29-30.

§4n1. I cite primarily my own monograph on the subject (Nagy 1974), certainly not because I think of it as authoritative but because it reflects a stage of work that has led to my present interests. Instead of listing here the parallel work of my associates in Indo-European poetics (such as Muellner 1976, Watkins 1977, Frame 1978), I prefer to pay them tribute with citations wherever they are in order. For a general introduction to the language of Indo-European poetry: Schmitt 1967 and Durante 1971/1976.

§4n2. I cite again his collected papers, Parry 1971; cf. also Lord 1960/1968.

§4n3. Cf. Nagy 1974.49-102; also Fenik 1968.229 and Lord 1974.193-199.

§4n4. Edwards 1971, with further bibliography.

§5n1. This observation about Pindar (which applies also to Bacchylides) will be developed as my argument proceeds, especially in Chs.7, 12, 14, 20. We have already had occasion to observe the archaism of Pindaric traditions in the case of Paean 6, as discussed at Ch.4.

§5n2. Cf. Gentili 1972, esp. p. 73; also Pavese 1967, 1972.

§5n3. For a particularly striking example from Pindaric poetry, see Benveniste 1945 on Pythian 3.45-53.

§7n1. Ch.2§8.

§7n2. Ch.4§6.

§8n1. It is traditional for an archaic poem to begin with a word that names the main subject of the narrative in the manner of a title (in this case, mênis at I 1), followed by an epithet and a relative clause setting forth the relationship of the title word to the main subject (in this case, how the mênis of Achilles was baneful and caused devastation for the Achaeans, at I 2-5). Consider also the openings of the Odyssey, Theogony, Works and Days, Little Iliad, and nearly all the Homeric Hymns.

§8n2. The only exception is the mênis of Aeneas against King Priam (epemênie: XIII 460), which must have been the central theme of another epic tradition--this one featuring Aeneas as its prime hero. See Ch.15§2. On the restriction of mênis to Achilles among the heroes of the Iliad, compare also the use of memonen 'he is in a rage' at XXI 315 (Ch.20§5n4). For the significance of this restriction from the religious standpoint of god-hero antagonism, see Ch.8§3. On the semantics of mênis: Considine 1966 and Watkins 1977. Adducing the evidence of Homeric diction, Watkins argues that mênis must have resulted from a deformation of *mnâ-nis, containing the root *mnâ- (*mne[schwa ]2-) as in me-mnê-mai 'to have in mind'. This enlarged root *mnâ- is built from *men- as in Greek menos, an abstract noun indicating a "state of mind" as manifested in such phenomena as "power" (on the semantics: Nagy 1974.266-269) or, as it turns out, "anger." Watkins has found three Iliadic passages (I 207, 282; XXI 340) where menos is used not only in the sense of "anger" but also as a functional equivalent of mênis. I would add the evidence of meneainô 'be angry, furious, in a rage', a verb formally derived from this noun menos (cf. Chantraine III 685). In view of Watkins' convincing argument that mênis is a reciprocal notion, I cite Iliad XIX 58, where Agamemnon tells Achilles: eridi meneênamen 'we were angry [at each other] in eris'. The word eris 'strife' here refers to their quarrel at the beginning of the Iliad (see further at Ch.7§17 and Ch.12§6). Note that Achilles himself predicts at XIX 63-64 that the Achaeans "will long remember," mnêsesthai, the mutual eris between him and Agamemnon (see Ch.19§3). Accordingly, I see no reason to dismiss as adventitious the designation of Agamemnon's anger against Achilles as mênis at I 247: Atreïdês d' heterôthen emênie 'the son of Atreus, on the other side, had mênis'. The expression heterôthen 'on the other side' even underscores the reciprocity of the mênis between the heroes. Achilles, however, as the prime hero of the Iliad and as the determinant of its action, is also the determinant of this anger that serves as the epic's central theme. See now Muellner 1996; also Palmer 1979 and Nagy 1994.

§9n1. Since the word algea 'pains' is announced by the relative clause that expands on the "title" mênis (§8n1), it is a formal as well as functional key.

§9n2. Cf. Nagy 1974.135-137; also Burkert 1977.228.

§9n3. On the relationship of the paiêôn/paiân 'paean' to the death of Achilles himself, see Intro.§16; also Ch.4 (esp. §§4-6), and Ch.7 (esp. §§4, 24-30).

§10n1. On the strictly regulated subgenre of prayers as quoted within Homeric narrative: Muellner 1976.17-67.

§12n1. By contrast, even Diomedes cannot "ward off the devastation [loigos]" from the ships (loigon amunai), as Achilles observes with satisfaction at XVI 74-75.

§12n2. On kratos, see §25.

§13n1. On kûdos, see the reference at Ch.4§6n2.

§13n2. See Ch.4§6.

§14n1. See Ch.4§6.

§15n1. See Ch.4§6n1.

§15n2. Cf. Ch.17§5.

§16n1. Ch.4§7.

§16n2. Ibid.

§17n1. §2n1.

§19n1. Cf. Intro.§9.

§23n1. For the function of the Moîrai here, compare the etymology of Modern Greek moirologi/mirolòyi 'lamentation', as discussed by Alexiou 1974.110-128. For her argument that the word is derived from moîra, we may add the evidence from the latter-day Greek dialects in Southern Italy, where the form ta morolòya 'funeral lamentations' seems to be derived from the equivalent of classical moros, synonym of moîra. See Rohlfs 1964.334.

§25n1. See Benveniste 1969 II 76-77.

§25n2. Ajax too comes to realize this: XVI 119-121. Moreover, Homeric diction itself confirms that the presence or absence of kratos on the one or the other military side depends on the Will of Zeus. When the Achaeans briefly and unexpectedly regain the upper hand and almost capture Troy at XVII 319-322, they almost do so karteï kai stheneï spheterôi 'with their own kratos and strength' (XVII 322). But this would-be event is designated as huper Dios aisan 'beyond the aîsa [allotment, fate] of Zeus' (XVII 321). In other words, it is untraditional, since whatever runs counter to the traditional plot of the narrative is conventionally designated as "beyond destiny": Ch.2§17, Ch.7§21n2, Ch.15§3n9. On the Dios boulê 'Will of Zeus' as the traditional plot, see also Ch.7§17 and the comments on viii 577-580 at Ch.6§8; cf. Ch.6§24n3 and Ch.10§17. In the present episode, the would-be event of Troy's capture is not only untraditional; it is also almostaccomplished by an untraditional application of kratos, in that the word is here described as being at the disposal of the Achaeans rather than Zeus. For more on the correlation of destiny and kratos, see the discussion of the expression Moîra krataiê at §30.

§27n1. For a detailed exposition: Jeanmaire 1939.11-111; see also Vian 1968.59 and Palmer 1955. These references are also important for appreciating the function the ra-wa-ke-ta= *lâuâgétâs in the Linear B tablets. For detailed studies on Indo-European Männerbund: Wikander 1938 (after Höfler 1934) and Przyluski 1940. On Pindaric lâgetâs, see Suárez de la Torre 1977 (and cf. Ch.6§26n1 below).

§27n2. See Yoshida 1964.6 and Vian 1968 passim; cf. Lejeune 1960.139 and 1968.31-32; also Palmer 1955 passim. From the prodigious work of Georges Dumézil on the Indo-European three functions, I cite the one bibliographical entry that is by far the most important collection of comparative source material for students of Greek epic: Dumézil's Mythe et épopée I (1968). It bears stressing, however, that the value of the evidence presented in this work is strictly comparative in nature. Almost all the evidence is taken from non-Greek epic traditions, and the significance of this comparative material for the study of Greek epic is always implicit and hardly ever made explicit.

§27n3. Sinos 1975.65-81. On the function of the word philos and its derivatives in Homeric narrative: Benveniste 1969 I 338-353.

§28n1. See Jeanmaire 1939.26-43, esp. p. 27.

§28n2. On Danaos/Danaai, see especially Hesiod fr. 128MW, in conjunction with my discussion (Nagy 1973.161) of the element dan- in Êri-danos. On Argeîoi/Argeiê, see Clader 1976 Ch.III sec.3, following Frame 1971.

§29n1. See Festugière 1959 for a discussion of the expression megara kinousin and of the calendar dating of the kathodos. Cf. also Quinn 1971.146.

§29n2. See again Festugière 1959.

§30n1. I postpone until appendix §8 the problem of the Latin Achîuî borrowing Achîuî, on the basis of which Akhaio- is conventionally reconstructed as *Akhaiuó-.

§30n2. §§25-26.

§30n3. Cf. §§25-26 above. Note too the frequent application of the adjective kratero- to nouns designating "battle," notably husmînê and phûlopis. Conversely, polemos 'war' is conventionally designated in Homeric diction as dusêkhês 'having bad akhos' (on which see Chantraine I 302). At XVIII 242, phûlopis is designated as kraterê and its synonym polemos as homoiios. Whatever the etymology of homoiios (see Chantraine III 799), it seems to convey the theme that the evil of war afflicts all (cf. XVIII 309).

§30n4. On the correlation of fate and kratos: §25n2.

§31n1. Cf. kratai-gualoi 'whose plates are firm = have kratos' (XIX 361), applying to thôrêkes 'breastplates', and kartai-poda 'whose feet are firm = have kratos' (Gortynian Code IV 36), applying to larger cattle rather than probata = sheep and goats; cf. Pindar O.13.81, where kartai-pod' designates a bull. The translation "firm" for kratai- in kratai-pod- and kratai-pedo- is perhaps overly specific. More simply, the notion of kratos mediates between the foot and its footing. In the case of kratai-pedo- even a floor has kratos by way of giving a firm footing. As for kratai-pod-, compare khalko-pod- 'whose hooves are of bronze' (VIII 41), applying to horses. Here too, the emphasis seems to be on firmness as a mark of superiority; cf. krater-ônukh- 'whose hooves/ claws have kratos', applying to horses (V 329, etc.), asses (vi 253), and wolves (x 218).

§31n2. See Bechtel 1917.256.

§31n3. For the term, see Nussbaum 1976.

§31n4. On the basis of the Greek evidence, I see no need to posit, as does Benveniste (1969 II 77-83), the conflation of two separate roots in this system. The notion of "firm, hard" (cf. n1) is not necessarily at odds with kratos in the sense of "superiority in a trial of strength" (Benveniste's working definition: 1969 II 77 = 1973.362). Even kratunô, which Benveniste translates as "harden," can be interpreted further as "prepare for superiority = kratos"; hence such direct objects as phalangas 'phalanxes' in the Iliad (XI 215).

§31n5. Schmitt (1967.112n685) has noticed an interesting detail: as an epithet, kratero- is a variant of hiero- in combinations with the noun îs + genitive of the hero's name (as periphrasis for the plain name). Thus we find kraterê ... [[currency]]s Odusêos at XXIII 720 besides hierê [[currency]]s Têlemakhoio at ii 409, xviii 405, etc. Note also krateron menos + genitive of the hero's name at XVI 189 and XXIII 837 besides hieron menos + genitive of the hero's name at vii 167, viii 2, etc. (At H.Apollo 371 hieron menos combines with the genitive of Êelios 'Sun'.) In the case of hiero-, we may confidently reconstruct *is-ro-, so that the vowel e seems to be a reflex of * (see Schmitt, pp. 111-114). The construction of hiero- + noun meaning "power" + genitive of name is not only a periphrasis of the simple name but also an obviation of a Caland System compound formation with *is-i- as the first member; see Schmitt, p.111n678. Schmitt accordingly posits (ibid.) a bahuvrîhi epithet *isi-ménes- as the basis for the periphrasis hieron menos (+ genitive of the name described by this epithet). In view of the parallelism hieron/krateron + menos in Homeric diction, we may perhaps also posit *k[[perthousand]]ti-ménes-. The attested name Kratai-menês would be only an indirect reflex, however; *k[[perthousand]]ti- should yield krati-. The compound element kratai-/kartai- seems to be a conflation of *k[[perthousand]]ti- (from *k[[perthousand]]ti-) and *k[[perthousand]]ta- (from *k[[perthousand]]t-, without -i-), and the latter seems to be attested as the adverb karta 'very'. As Alan Nussbaum points out to me, it is possible for elements of the Caland System, when they appear as the first member of compounds, to bear the suffix *-- in place of the more usual *-i-: consider alka- as in Alkâ-thoos (Homeric: XII 93, etc.) and Alka-menês (Bechtel 1917.35) besides alki- as in alkî-phrôn, Alki-menês, etc. For an example of a compound without either connecting vowels *-i- or *--, consider Homeric aîth-ops as compared to Aithi-ops.

§32n1. See §23.

§33n1. The name Akhai-menês may be attested in Linear B as a-ka-me-ne (Knossos tablet X 82 + 8136), although other readings of this spelling are also possible. See Chadwick/Baumbach 1963.178. Compare also krataios and kratai- with araios and arai-. The latter is attested in the Homeric place name Arai-thureê (II 571), the meaning of which is something like "whose entrance is narrow"; cf. araiê ... eisodos 'narrow entrance' at x 90. For thurai in the sense of "entrance," see ix 243, etc.

§34n1. On the cult of the hero Althai-menês at Rhodes: Rohde I 116 and n1.

§34n2. For a discussion of these forms: Chantraine 1968.60.

§34n3. Cf. Strömberg 1940.82.

§34n4. The kakon 'bad thing' here at IX 250 turns out to be the death of Patroklos, which is again predicted as a kakon at XI 604.

§35n1. For more on Achîuî, see appendix §8. As for the Hittite form A[[dotaccent]][[dotaccent]]iiaua-, there is no convincing evidence to prove any connection with the Greek word for "Achaean": Steiner 1964.

§35n2. Chadwick/Baumbach 1963.178.

§36n1. Appendix §§1-2.

§36n2. See §31n5.

§36n3. Ibid.

§37n1. Appendix §§3-7.

§37n2. For the adjective, see Anecdota Graeca (ed. J. A. Cramer) 318.5 and Eustathius 1938.1; for the name, see Bechtel 1917.256.

§37n3. §§25-26, 30.

§37n4. See also X 145, likewise referring to the plight of the Achaeans (cf. X 172).

§37n5. For the notion that a victim can be afflicted by the biê of the enemy, cf. XI 467: Menelaos fears that the Trojans are overcoming Odysseus with biê (biôiato), since he is alone. Consider also expressions like ê thanatôi biêtheis ê nousôi 'overcome by the biê of either death or disease' (Herodotus 7.83).

§37n6. So also with athletics: in order to win, the athlete needs both biê and kratos (Hesiod Th. 437); cf. Pindar I. 8.5.

§38n1. Above, §28.

§39n1. The poem itself is a response to hêbê 'bloom of youth'. Its words say that whoever turns his thoughts to hêbê, which is erasmiê 'lovely', will dance to the sound of the flute. For a parallel correlation of song and dance, cf. Odyssey i 421-423.

§39n2. Ch.1§4n1. Again, cf. also Odyssey i 421-423.

§39n3. There are also other instances in Archilochean poetry where the function of a character seems to be conveyed by his name: see especially Ch.12§21 on Lukambês. Cf. also the poetic function of the patronymic Terpiadês: Ch.1§4n1.

§39n4. For an introduction to the relationship of noun kharis and verb khairô 'be well, be glad, be happy', see Latacz 1966.125-127.

§39n5. Ch.1§5(n1), Ch.2§13(n2).

§39n6. Ibid. On the notion of reciprocity conveyed by kharis, see Benveniste 1969 I 199-202.

§39n7. For the text, see Ch.1§5. On the theme of euphrosunê 'mirth' in the community, see also Ch.12§15n5. On the dêmos as the community/audience of Dêmodokos, see Ch.1§4n1.

§39n8. See further at Ch.13§2.

§39n9. On lâos: §27 above.

§40n1. §21.

§41n1. §§9-11.

§41n2. Nilsson 1906.466-467, with further references; also Usener 1912/1913 [= 1875] 116-119 on the parallel Italic ritual of saecula condere.

§41n3. Glotz 1904.ix,64; Gernet 1968 [= 1928] 58, [1948-1949] 231-232.

§41n4. §2n1. I leave the accent of Kharila unmarked because I cannot verify the quantity of the last syllable. We are impeded here by the fact that this name is attested only in the text of Plutarch.


Go to Previous chapter; Next chapter; Table of Contents; Information

Copyright © 1980, 1997 The Johns Hopkins University Press. All rights reserved. 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.