|The Best of the Achaeans|
Concepts of the Hero in Archaic Greek Poetry
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.
§1. As we contemplate the ritual aspects of the Iliadic hero, we are faced with a conflict between a trend and a constant: while Achilles is becoming Panhellenic by way of Epos, the powers of the hero in hero cult remain strictly local. By evolving into the hero of the epic tradition that culminated in our Iliad, the Achilles figure stands to lose his overtly ritual aspects. For illustration, let us consider the inherited poetic diction describing the prestige of a typically local hero in cult, and compare the words that our Iliad chooses to describe the destiny of its own prime hero. By losing his chance to be exempt from mortality and by being awarded as compensation a hero cult at Eleusis that will last for all time to come, the youthful Demophon is described in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter as getting a tîmê that is aphthitos 'unfailing' (H.Dem. 261, 263). The epithet here is crucial, because heroes are generically distinguished from gods by virtue of not having a bios 'lifespan' that is aphthitos (Simonides 523.3P). Achilles, on the other hand, names as compensation for his impending death not tîmê but a kleos that is aphthiton 'unfailing' (IX 413). Whereas tîmê 'honor' is conferred by cult, the prestige that kleos brings is the undying glory of Epos. Within the timelessness of epic, the Funeral of Patroklos will have to serve as indirect compensation to Achilles for the absence of the ritual tîmê that is his due. Outside of epic, however, there evolved another form of indirect compensation that befits the Panhellenic hero in the dimension of cult.
§2. The historical setting is unique: it is Delphi, the Panhellenic Sanctuary for the Oracle of Apollo, where the presiding Hero is none other than the son of Achilles, Pyrrhos/Neoptolemos. In Pindar's words, the Hero of Delphi is destined to be one of the Aeacids (Aiakos [[arrowright]] Peleus [[arrowright]] Achilles [[arrowright]] Pyrrhos [[arrowright]] ... ), and the Aeacid to be chosen is the son of Achilles:
... echrên de
tin' endon alsei palaitatôi
Aiakidan kreontôn to loipon emmenai
theou par' euteichea domon, hêroïais de pompais
themiskopon oikein eonta poluthutois
... but it had to be that
one of the royal Aeacids be inside the most ancient grove
for all time to come, by the well-built abode of the god,
and that he should have his home as the one which presides
over the Heroes' Processions, which are distinguished by
By Pindar's time, the institutions of Delphi reflect no longer simply a polis that happens to have a sanctuary of Panhellenic importance, but rather, the reverse: the entire community of Delphi now functions as a sacral extension of the Sanctuary. Accordingly, the status of Pyrrhos at Delphi transcends that of the typical hero: whereas the hero of a polis is by nature local, the son of Achilles is more of a Panhellenic figure by virtue of being Hero of Delphi.
§3. There would be no gain in our trying to retroject the figure of Pyrrhos as the Hero of Delphi all the way to, say, the eighth century B.C. It is enough to say that the inherited epic themes associated with this figure are so close to the inherited ritual themes of the Hero at Delphi that an identification was in effect by the time the Sanctuary evolved into the form known to Pindar. In the poet's own words (N.7.44-47), other Aeacids would have been equally appropriate as Hero of Delphi--Achilles included. But the bones of Achilles--and bones are the basis for establishing the locale of hero cults--anchor him in the Iliad as the Hero of the Hellespont. The Panhellenic stature of the Iliad has thus precluded Achilles as Hero of Delphi, and the Delphic sanctuary of Apollo has in turn developed a Panhellenic ideology that complements the Iliad. In short, the identification of Pyrrhos with the Hero enshrined at Delphi is another in a series of interrelated Panhellenic phenomena that go far beyond the local constraints of Hellenic religion.
§4. The reality of the cult, however, is based on localization: Pyrrhos was Hero of Delphi because of the local belief that he was buried there (Pindar N.7.34-35). In fact, his grave and the cult that goes with it were officially recognized to be part of the precinct of Apollo himself, as we learn not only from the words of Pindar (above, N.7.44-47) and the detailed reports of Pausanias (10.24.6; cf. 1.4.4) but also from the archaeological evidence. This institutional symbiosis of the Hero's cult with that of Panhellenic Apollo must be correlated with the numerous myths which, although they vary in detail, converge on the theme that Apollo killed Pyrrhos, just as he had killed the father Achilles. A sampling of the documentation can wait until we finish confronting a vital detail: the death of the father and the death of the son are both celebrated as parallel events in Pindar's Paean 6 to Apollo (lines 78-80: Achilles; lines 117-120: Pyrrhos). Even the traditional exultation iê iê of the paean bursts forth immediately following the words retelling the death of Pyrrhos (Paean 6.121-122). Since Paean 6 was composed specifically for a Delphic setting and in honor of Apollo, we should be especially mindful of the central role of its hero as the ritual antagonist of the god. For we see here a striking illustration of a fundamental principle in Hellenic religion: antagonism between hero and god in myth corresponds to the ritual requirements of symbiosis between hero and god in cult.
§5. Now we are ready to examine some of the variant myths about how Pyrrhos actually met his death, and we begin with those that have a bearing on the Achilles figure as well. One version has Pyrrhos attempting to plunder the riches of Delphi; Apollo thwarts him and brings about his death. There is an important parallel in the figure of the impious Phleguâs and/or the band of plundering warriors called Phleguai, who similarly attacked or even burned down the Delphic shrine and were, in some versions of the myth, destroyed by Apollo. Even the name Phleguâs 'fiery' (from phlegô 'burn') is semantically comparable to Purrhos 'fiery red'.
§6. The theme of plundering Delphi, common to Pyrrhos and Phlegyas, also applies to Achilles himself in the Iliad--albeit indirectly. In the only Iliadic mention of Delphi (aside from the reference in the Great Catalogue, II 519), Achilles is renouncing the prospect of plundering the riches of Apollo's sanctuary there, which have just been juxtaposed with the riches contained in the citadel of Troy (at IX 401-403):
oud' hosa laïnos oudos aphêtoros entos eergei,
Phoibou Apollônos, Puthoi eni petrêessêi.
lêïstoi men gar te boes kai iphia mêla,
ktêtoi de tripodes te kai hippôn xantha karêna.
nor all the things contained within the stone threshold of the Archer,
Phoebus Apollo, in rocky Delphi.
For cattle and fat sheep can be plundered
and tripods can be won, as well as tawny heads of horses.
It is remarkable that a theme so appropriate to the Hero of Delphi on the level of cult should apply in particular to the Achilles figure in the single instance where the Iliad conjures up directly the traditions of Delphi.
§7. This Homeric focusing of theme is all the more remarkable when we consider the additional evidence of the Odyssey, which likewise has only two overt references to Delphi. One of them is out of focus for our immediate purposes (xi 581), but the other brings us back to the first song of Demodokos (viii 72-82), which in turn will lead us back to the death of Pyrrhos. Demodokos is singing about the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi, and how it has revealed to Agamemnon a prophecy that applies in a particular setting, to wit, at a dais 'feast' of the gods (theôn en daiti thaleiêi: viii 76), where Achilles and Odysseus are having a quarrel. This quarrel is described as the "beginning of grief [pêma]" (pêmatos archê: viii 82) for Achaeans and Trojans alike, and we have seen that the death of Achilles is a major theme implied by the notion of pêma as it applies to the Achaeans. Such a thematic correlation of the death of Achilles with Delphi/sacrifice/quarrel presents us with a mythological ensemble that is parallel, however indirectly, to another variant myth about the death of Pyrrhos.
§8. The myth that we are about to consider is the same one that is celebrated by Pindar in his Paean 6 to Apollo, composed for the occasion of the theoxenia at Delphi. From the words of this composition, we see that Pyrrhos met his death at Delphi as the direct result of a quarrel over slices of meat that were being distributed at a sacrifice:
k]ur[ian] peri timan
en teme]neï philôi gas par' omphalon eurun
When he [Pyrrhos] quarreled with the attendants
over his rightful tîmai,
he [Apollo] killed him
in his own precinct, right by the broad center of the Earth.
In another variation on this myth, the killer is not Apollo himself but one of his temple attendants:
'cheto de pros theon
kteat' agôn Troïathen akrothiniôn:
hina kreôn nin huper machas
elasen antituchont' anêr machairai.
barunthen de perissa Delphoi xenagetai
And he went to the god
bringing the riches of first-fruit offerings from Troy.
And there a man with a makhaira smote him
as he got into a quarrel over slices of meat.
And the Delphians, conductors of xenoi, were greatly vexed.
The thematic ingredients of (1) the attendant with the makhaira 'sacrificial knife' and (2) the Delphians as xenâgetai 'conductors of xenoi' have interesting variants in still other versions of the myth, where the killer is named as (1) Makhaireus, son of Daitâs, or (2) Philoxenidês.
§9. Taken on the level of myth, these themes are all pertinent to the ritual of the Delphic theoxenia, which actually involved the awarding of slices of meat from the sacrificial table. Consider the following testimonium, which seems to have survived for us only because of a quaint detail in the ritual proceedings:
diatetaktai para Delphois têi thusiai tôn Theoxeniôn, hos an komisêi gêthullida megistên têi Lêtoi, lambanein moiran apo tês trapezês.
There is an arrangement among the Delphians, at their festival of the Theoxenia, that whoever brings the biggest gêthullis [a vegetable] to Leto is to get a slice of meat from the sacrificial table.
We should note in particular the sacrificial motif of exchanging a vegetal offering for a slice of the sacrificial victim's meat--called a moîra. In Pindar's Nemean 7, we have seen Pyrrhos himself being featured as one who acts in the ritual manner of the Delphic theoxenia, in that he is making a grand offering from the rich spoils of Troy in return for a slice of meat from the sacrificial table (above, line 42). In fact, even his offerings are called akrothinia 'first fruits [of war]' (line 41)--a word with vegetal connotations in that it is primarily appropriate for designating "first fruits [of Earth]" (e.g., Aeschylus Eumenides 834; etc.). Pyrrhos gets involved in a quarrel over not receiving his due moîra of meat, and Paean 6 describes the issue in dispute as kûriân [or moiriân!] peri tîmân 'concerning his rightful tîmai' (line 118). Moreover, the theme of being deprived of one's moîra of meat at the sacrificial table is actually attested in the ritual lore of Delphi.
§10. In a fragment from the Life of Aesop tradition, we see the following ritual scenario about a particular sacrificial custom at Delphi:
... epan [eise]lthêi t[is] tôi theôi thusias[ôn o]hi Delph[o]i per[i]estêkasi ton bôm[o]n huph' heautois machairas k[o]mizontes. sphagiasamenou de tou hiereiou [emended to hiereôs] kai deirantos to hiereion kai ta splanchna periexelomenou hoi periestôtes hekastos hên an ischusêi moiran apotemnomenos apeisin, hôs pollakis ton thusiasanta auton amoir[o]n api[e]nai. ...
When someone goes in for the purpose of initiating sacrifice to the god, the Delphians stand around the altar carrying concealed makhairai. And after the priest has slaughtered and flayed the sacrificial victim and after he has apportioned the innards, those who have been standing around cut off whatever moîra of meat each of them is able to cut off and then depart, with the result that the one who initiated the sacrifice oftentimes departs without having a moîra himself.
The internal motivation for this interesting description has to do with a story about Aesop and how he ridiculed this ritual at Delphi. Elsewhere too, we find what seem to be mostly jesting allusions to the same ritual practice, as in the following proverb:
Delphoisi thusas autos ou phagêi kreas
If you sacrifice at Delphi, you will not eat any meat yourself.
§11. Such allusions, if we did not have an actual description of the ritual, would have impressed us as nothing more than anticlerical jokes at the expense of the Sanctuary and its proverbially greedy attendants. But the description in the Life of Aesop fragment presents the scenario of a free-for-all over slices of meat as a genuine ritual practice--and not simply as a matter of greedy behavior on the part of the attendants. As we will have a chance to observe later, the jest may present the ritual practice as if it really were greedy behavior, but even the jesting itself may have had a formalized ritual basis. The point remains that there is indeed a ritual basis to the customary free-for-all over the slices of sacrificial meat, as we can also see from such parallels as the festival of ritualized greed at Lykosoura in Arcadia (Pausanias 8.37.8). There is apparently even an element of ritualized stealth in the Delphic proceedings: consider the expression k[ru]pha 'stealthily', applied again to the attendants in another fragment describing how Aesop ridiculed the Delphians' ritual custom.
§12. Even more important for now, the program of the ritual as described in the Life of Aesop tradition converges closely with the program of the myth about the death of Pyrrhos as described in Pindar's Paean 6 and Nemean 7. Both myth and ritual feature the themes of (1) a wrangle over slices of meat that takes place between the sacrificer and the attendants who perform the sacrifice and (2) the sacrificer's being deprived of his share. In fact, the convergence of themes is so close that we may see in the death of Pyrrhos the official Delphic myth that integrates the ideology of the ritual. However, the myth has the sacrificer himself, Pyrrhos, becoming the ultimate victim of the sacrifice--butchered at the table of the god by the very knives that sliced the meat to be shared in the ritual.
§13. We come back to the first song of Demodokos in the Odyssey (viii 72-82), where the implicit theme of a future death for Achilles is correlated with the three other themes of Delphi/sacrifice/quarrel. We have now witnessed a myth about the death of Pyrrhos that--on an altogether different level--has a parallel correlation of these three other themes. The parallelism can be observed in the dimension of form as well: the verb describing the quarrel of Pyrrhos in the Pindaric narrative, [dêri]azomenon (Paean 6.119), corresponds to the one that twice describes the quarrel of Achilles in the Homeric, dêrîsanto/dêrioônt (viii 76/78). Some aspects of the parallelism, however, are still problematical. Whereas Pyrrhos is killed during a quarrel at a sacrifice in Delphi, the death of Achilles is merely presaged in Delphi--and indirectly at that: Agamemnon apparently thinks that the quarrel of Achilles at a sacrifice is only a sign that Troy will be taken, not realizing that it is also a sign of future pêma for the Achaeans when Achilles withdraws and again later when he dies. The relationship of Achilles to the themes of Delphi/sacrifice/quarrel obviously requires still further scrutiny. Let us begin by going beyond the dais 'feast' of the gods at viii 76, in an attempt to understand the overall testimony of hexameter diction about the hero's relationship to sacrifices in particular and to feasts in general.
§14. Not just for Achilles but for any Homeric character, the eating of meat at feasts is by nature a sacrificial occasion: in the words of George M. Calhoun, "every meal was a sacrifice and an act of worship, and every sacrifice a meal." By treating the Homeric hero simply as an idealized man taken out of the second millennium B.C., this statement may be overly one-dimensional in its view of epic action, but it remains a valid observation about the contents of Homeric narrative: feasts where meat is consumed are indeed regularly occasioned by sacrifice. The Homeric word for such occasions is dais/daitê (e.g., iii 33/44, etc.), and both nouns are etymologically derived from the verb daiomai 'divide, apportion, allot'. Consider the following Homeric collocation of verb and noun:
moiras dassamenoi dainunt' erikudea daita
Apportioning moîrai [portions], they feasted a very glorious dais [feast].
We will have more to observe about moîrai later. For now it will suffice to add that the notion of "division" latent in dais becomes overt in expressions involving daitos eisês 'of an equal dais' (as at I 468, 602; II 431; VII 320; XXIII 56)--denoting situations where everyone has his proper share at the sacrificial feast.
§15. Is there, then, a special relationship of Achilles to the dais? Certainly this seems to be so not only in the case of Achilles but also in the case of all his heroic lineage, according to the Hesiodic passage that describes the Aeacids as follows:
... polemôi kecharêotas êüte daiti
... delighting in war as well as in the dais
The key, I submit, to such a close relationship of the Aeacids to the dais is the etymological connection of the word with the notion inherent in daiomai 'divide, apportion, allot'. This notion constitutes a mythological theme that runs through the whole line of Aeacids, starting with the prime ancestor himself. The hero Aiakos, in the words of Pindar, was so fair and just as to be worthy of settling matters pertaining to the gods themselves:
Aiakon ... kedno-
taton epichthoniôn. ho kai
daimonessi dikas epeiraine
Aiakos ... the most cherished of mortals,
who rendered dikai [judgments, justice] even for the gods
The correlation here of the word dikê with the concept of making fair allotments reminds us of the wording used to describe how the honor of Achilles himself is to be tested one more time in the Iliad. As the actual setting for Agamemnon's final offer of compensation to Achilles in return for having at the outset deprived him of his fair share, Odysseus proposes the holding of a special dais:
autar epeita se daiti eni klisiêis aresasthô
pieirêi, hina mê ti dikês epideues echêistha
But let him [Agamemnon] make amends to you [Achilles] with a rich dais in the tents,
so that you may have no lack in dikê.
It is at this dais, when Achilles is to be tested one more time with the compensation offered by Agamemnon (XIX 268-281), that he even bids his fellow Achaeans to go and feast (XIX 275)--though without his participation.
§16. As we now follow the line of Aiakos down to his son Peleus, the association of the Aeacids with the themes of the dais becomes more involved. In the words of Pindar, the hero Peleus actually feasted with the gods:
kai theoi daisanto par' amphoterois
kai Kronou paidas basilêas idon chru-
seais en hedrais, hedna te
And the gods had a dais with each of them [Peleus and Kadmos],
and they [Peleus and Kadmos] saw the royal children of Kronos sitting on their golden seats, and they received wedding-gifts from them.
The singular occasion for the dais of Peleus, where the Olympian gods themselves attended, was the feast of his wedding with Thetis--a traditional theme celebrated by the Cypria as an appropriate setting for the onset of the entire Trojan Cycle (Proclus p. 102.14-15 Allen). There is an evocative reference to the theme of this dais even in the Iliad, where Hera reminds Apollo that he too had attended:
pantes d' antiaasthe, theoi, gamou: en de su toisi
dainu' echôn phorminga
And all you gods attended the wedding. And you too were feasting among them, and you had your lyre with you.
At this dais celebrating a marriage that led to the conception of Achilles himself, Zeus willed that Eris 'Strife' would bring about a neîkos 'quarrel' among the gods; these specific themes of eris/neîkos at a dais constitute the opening scene of the Cypriain particular and of the Trojan Cycle in general (Proclus p. 102.13-19: Eris/neîkos at 14/15). Short range, these themes are appropriate to the motivation of the Trojan War; long range, the very same themes also provide a setting for the evolution of Achilles as a heroic figure.
§17. We come back again to the first song of Demodokos in the Odyssey (viii 72-82), where the theme of a future death for Achilles is implicitly signaled by a quarrel at a sacrifice. The sacrifice is described as a daisof the gods (viii 76), and the quarrel is a neîkos (viii 75). The neîkos and all else that happened thereupon are described as the Will of Zeus (viii 82), which is the same traditional device that motivates the neîkos at the beginning of the Cypria (Proclus p. 102.13-14; Cypria fr. 1 Allen). Likewise at the beginning of our Iliad, the Will of Zeus (I 5) leads to eris 'strife' between Achilles and Agamemnon (erisante: I 6; eridi: I 8), and this strife takes the form of a neîkos 'quarrel' (eridas kai neikea: II 376). In the words of Agamemnon, eris 'strife' is a theme that defines the very character of Achilles:
aiei gar toi eris te philê polemoi te machai te
eris is always dear to you, as well as wars and battles
§18. In the beginning of the Iliad, we can now see a marked divergence in theme. The setting for the strife and quarreling between Achilles and Agamemnon is not a feast--let alone a sacrifice. In fact, it is just the opposite. During the time that Achilles and Agamemnon were having their quarrel, Zeus and all the Olympians were away at a dais (kata daita: I 424) in the far-off land of the Aithiopes (I 423-424), situated at the extremities of the universe. Whenever the gods are away at such a dais with the remote Aithiopes, the efficacy of a sacrifice by the heroes in the here-and-now of the epic narrative is in question. Yet the notion of "divide, apportion, allot" inherent in the institution of the dais is very much present in the Strife Scene that begins the Iliad, even if the dais itself is notably absent as a setting. The word daiomai 'divide, apportion, allot' is actually used in Iliad I to describe the grievance of Achilles over his being deprived of his fair allotment in the spoils of war (dassanto: I 368, to be read in the overall context of I 365-392, especially 392).
§19. In the beginning of the Iliad, the more pervasive mode of describing the loss by Achilles of his fair share is by way of the noun tîmê 'honor' and the verbs formally related to it (see especially I 505-510, 558-559; II 3-4). The word tîmê, as we have seen, is also appropriate for designating what it was that Pyrrhos had pursued by quarreling over slices of meat: the hero's wrangle was "on account of his rightful tîmai" (kûriân [or moiriân!] peri tîmân: Pindar Paean 6.118). As for Achilles, he loses his tîmê 'honor' specifically because Agamemnon has taken away his geras 'honorific portion':
... atar min nun ge anax andrôn Agamemnôn
êtimêsen: helôn gar echei geras, autos apouras
But Agamemnon, king of men, has taken away his tîmê;
for he got and keeps his geras, having himself taken it away.
In this particular case, of course, the geras is a captive girl. Elsewhere in the Iliad, however, the same word refers to a choice cut of meat, le morceau du héros, awarded to the foremost warrior of the moment:
autar epei pausanto ponou tetukonto te daita,
dainunt', oude ti thumos edeueto daitos eïsês:
nôtoisin d' Aianta diênekeessi gerairen
hêrôs Atreïdês, euru kreiôn Agamemnôn
But when they finished with their efforts and prepared the dais [feast],
they had the dais [feasted], and there was no thûmos lacking in a fair dais[allotment].
And wide-ruling Agamemnon the hero, son of Atreus, gave as geras to Ajax the whole back [of beef].
Let us contrast again the concern over the tîmê of Achilles in Iliad I: The situation is unlike that of Ajax in Iliad VII, in that Iliad I lacks the setting of a dais. Even later on in the Iliad, there seems to be a set of insistent allusions to this initial Iliadic divergence from the theme of the dais, as when Odysseus says to Achilles:
chair', Achileu: daitos men eïsês ouk epideueis
êmen eni klisiêi Agamemnonos Atreïdao
êde kai enthade nun: para gar menoeikea polla
dainusth': all' ou daitos epêratou erga memêlen ...
Hail, Achilles! You are not without a fair dais
either in the tent of Agamemnon son of Atreus
or here and now. There is at hand much that would suit your menos, for you to have as dais. But the concern is not
about a pleasant dais ...
The detailed side-stepping here of the theme of a dais draws all the more attention to it. The wording of this passage, so strikingly parallel in detail to the one we have considered immediately before (VII 319-322), again conjures up for us the theme of awarding, in the context of a dais, the choice cut of meat--this time to the foremost warrior of the Iliad in its entirety. And the speaker is Odysseus, who had quarreled in another traditional scene with Achilles himself at a dais where the preeminence of the epic heroes was somehow at stake (viii 72-82). Later on in the Iliad, again it will be Odysseus who proposes a dais as the setting for Agamemnon's making amends to Achilles (XIX 179-180), and it will be at this dais that Achilles finally witnesses the undoing of his loss of tîmê (XIX 268-281).
§20. The time has come to underscore an interesting contrast that has been emerging between the figures of Achilles and Pyrrhos. For the Achilles of our Iliad, the restoration of tîmê happens at a dais--but the same does not hold for the Strife Scene where he had originally lost that tîmê. Pyrrhos, on the other hand, has his Strife Scene on account of his tîmai at an overt sacrifice; furthermore, his actions mirror closely on the level of myth the proceedings of the sacrifice on the level of ritual. To put it another way, our story of Pyrrhos is much closer to a ritual quarrel over cuts of sacrificial meat than our story of Achilles, where the narrative elements have been considerably stylized--especially in Iliad I.
§21. The epic stylization that affects the theme of a choice cut of meat for Achilles, le morceau du héros, actually runs very deep. In certain instances of Homeric diction, even the comparative approach secures the notion of "allotment, portion" for words that designate the epic destiny of Achilles. Such is the case with aîsa, designating the Iliadic destiny of Achilles in contexts stressing his excessively brief lifespan (e.g., I 416, 418); when we turn to the comparative method, we find such related forms as Oscan aiteis, functionally equivalent to Latin partis (genitive of pars 'share, allotment'). More overtly, the word moîra not only functions as a synonym of aîsa in some Homeric contexts where it carries the sense of "fate". It also designates specifically "cut of meat" in other contexts (e.g., iii 66). Finally, for yet another example of stylized imagery that is traditionally connected with the theme of a champion's portion for Achilles, I cite the complex word kêr. In the plural, kêres at IX 411 specifically designates the two possible courses of epic action between which Achilles must choose --a nostos 'safe homecoming' with a long life on the one hand or, on the other, a brief life with a kleos 'glory' that is everlasting (IX 410-416).
§22. Such highly elaborated formal imagery surrounding the Achilles figure in the Iliad distances him considerably from Pyrrhos, that stark figure of a savage warrior who is lunging after a choice cut of meat to which he lays claim. And yet, the same Iliad that stylizes the actions of Achilles to their ultimate epic refinement can also bridge the vast distance of heroic evolution and suddenly picture Achilles on the most fundamental level of savage behavior. The god Apollo, who brought about the death of both father and son, says these words to mark the hero of the Iliad, Achilles himself:
leôn d' hôs agria oiden
hos t' epei ar megalêi te biêi kai agênori thumôi
eixas eis' epi mêla brotôn, hina daita labêisin
But, like a lion, he [Achilles] knows savage ways
--a lion that yields to its great biê and overweening thûmos,
and goes after the sheep of men, in order to get a dais.
The use of the word dais in this image of stark savagery is particularly striking as it applies to the Achilles figure. Actually, this characterization of the Iliadic hero is quite in tune with a latent dimension that keeps surfacing at moments of intense heroic anguish, as when Achilles is grieving over his dead hetaîros:
oude ti thumôi
terpeto, prin polemou stoma dumenai haimatoentos
nor was he gladdened in his thûmos
until he entered the jaws of bloody war
The verb terpomai 'be gladdened' can conventionally designate gratification by way of eating (e.g., XI 780), and it is precisely this theme of eating that functions as the immediate context for the passage under consideration. The elders of the Achaeans are imploring Achilles to eat (XIX 303-304), but he refuses and insists on keeping a fast (XIX 304-308, 319-321); while he is fasting, he actually reminisces about the meals that Patroklos used to serve up to him (XIX 314-318, especially 316). This grim juxtaposition of two images, the bloody jaws of war and the hero who goes without meals while Patroklos lies unavenged, is only part of a ghastly Iliadic theme that finally comes to a head at the moment when a victorious Achilles is standing triumphant over the sprawled figure of a dying Hektor and says:
ai gar pôs auton me menos kai thumos aneiê
m' apotamnomenon krea edmenai, hoia eorgas
I wish that somehow my menos and thûmos impelled me
to slice you up and eat your meat raw, for the things you did.
We recall the simile, uttered by Apollo himself, comparing Achilles to a carnivorous lion whose thûmos impels it to its dais 'feast' of sheep (XXIV 41-43). So also here, the menos and thûmos of Achilles are bringing our hero to the verge of a bestial deed. In another simile comparing Achilles with a raging lion (XX 164-175), the beast is described as impelling itself to fight:
... hee d' auton epotrunei machesasthai
... and it is impelling itself to fight
The stance of the beast is then directly compared to the manner in which the menos and thûmos of Achilles impel him to fight:
hôs Achilê' otrune menos kai thumos agênôr
so also the menos and overweening thûmos of Achilles impelled him onwards
In effect, then, the simile is saying that Achilles has the thûmos of a lion, in that the beast's intrinsic behavior is set in the same way as Achilles is driven by his thûmos. Little wonder, then, that Achilles qualifies as thûmoleôn 'he who has the thûmos of a lion' (as at VII 228). Little wonder, moreover, that the mother of Hektor reviles Achilles as ômêstês 'eater of raw meat' (XXIV 207).
§23. By the end of the Iliad, however, these hideous dimensions of the heroic temperament are a thing of the past, as compassion finally takes hold of Achilles and he restores the body of Hektor to the grieving father. What is more, the setting for this ultimate scene of heroic compassion and refinement is again a feast--this time initiated by Achilles himself (XXIV 599-601). No sooner said than done, the feast is held, and we get our last Iliadic glimpse of Achilles as he presides over the affair--and actually apportions the sacrificial meat:
... atar krea neimen Achilleus
... and Achilles distributed the meat
§24. To sum up our survey: the Aeacids, we now see, have a special affinity to the theme of the dais, but for Achilles the Homeric tradition expresses this affinity in a manner that downplays the ritual aspects of the dais. For the Achilles figure, the most overt--or the least downplayed--Homeric manifestation of the ritual element is the first song of Demodokos at viii 72-82, where the hero's future death is implicitly linked with the themes of Delphi/sacrifice/quarrel--and these are the same themes that frame the death of Pyrrhos as it is presented in Pindar's Paean 6 and Nemean 7.
§25. The narrative of viii 72-82, however, is so compressed that we are still left with a number of mysteries surrounding the neîkos 'quarrel' of Achilles and Odysseus. Perhaps the most intriguing question is this: we know that the neîkos happened at a dais of the gods (viii 76), but why is this dais connected with a prophecy that emanates specifically from Delphi (viii 79-81)? From what we have seen of the close parallelism between the story of how Pyrrhos died at Delphi and the themes of viii 72-82, we are led to speculate whether the dais where Achilles and Odysseus quarreled is a theme that actually incorporates Delphic lore. If this were the case, then the epic scene that opens the first song of Demodokos would be even more ritual in orientation than we had imagined, what with the sacral ideology of Delphi as an informing principle. The contrast with the opening of the Iliad, where the neîkos of Achilles and Agamemnon lacks even the setting of a feast--let alone a sacrifice--would then be all the more remarkable. We may add that the opening of the first song of Demodokos is in any case a treatment with more ritual undertones than even the opening of the Cypria, where the dais that serves as the setting for the neîkos of the gods is presented from a narrative vantage that stresses not so much a sacrifice by heroes to gods but rather a feast attended by heroes and gods together.
§26. What kind of epic composition can we imagine that commences not only with an overt sacrifice as the opening scene but also with links to the sacral lore of Delphi? To confront the first part of the question, let us look at the evidence of allusions in actual Homeric diction and theme. The most suggestive passage for our purposes is the lengthy Cretan narrative in Odyssey xiv (192-359), told by Odysseus in the guise of a Cretan princeling. The main adventure, an expedition led by our Cretan adventurer to plunder the wealth of Egypt (xiv 245-286), is twice directly correlated in the narrative with the great Achaean expedition to Troy (xiv 229-231, 235-242). In fact, the hero of the narrative claims that he not only fought in the Trojan War but also was actually the leader of the Cretan contingent, along with the mighty Iliadic hero, Idomeneus himself (xiv 237-238). Since the narrative endeavors to enhance the scale of the Egyptian expedition so as to match the epic proportions of the Trojan expedition, it is important to observe precisely how the launching of the enterprise is described. Significantly, the Cretan leader of the expedition to Egypt holds an overtly sacrificial dais lasting for six days (xiv 249-251), and only thereafter can his ships sail off. From this passage, then, we infer that a dais might be an appropriate setting to open a narrative about a Trojan expedition.
§27. We come now to the second part of our question: why should Delphi be connected with the theme of the dais at which Achilles and Odysseus quarreled? Here the historical evidence about Delphi itself may be pertinent. From the eighth and seventh centuries B.C. onward, by virtue of its becoming a centralized Panhellenic repository of myriad local religious traditions, the Delphic Oracle was evolving into the ideological and political center that coordinated the launching of expeditions for the purpose of founding new cities and for other such monumental enterprises. From the standpoint of a local epic that relates the founding of one city or the destruction and plundering of another, the setting of a dais--especially in the context of Delphi--could provide for an appropriate opening scene.
§28. The Iliad as we have it, on the other hand, is of course a composition that goes far beyond the dimensions and interests of any local epic tradition. Our Iliad is clearly Panhellenic in scope, and an opening like the one in the first song of Demodokos may have fallen far too short of the thematic range that Homeric Epos requires. But whether or not the specific themes in the first song of Demodokos are worthy of Iliadic standards, it is more important for us now to stress two facts about our Iliad that pertain directly. First, the isolated Iliadic reference to Delphi actually concerns Achilles: aside from the Catalogue reference (II 519), all that remains is the one mention of Delphi which, as we have seen, apparently confronts Achilles with the remote thematic alternative of plundering Delphi instead of Troy (IX 404-405). Second, we are about to see that there are Iliadic references to local epic traditions concerning Achilles, although they are as a rule merely marginal. In the Iliad, such references could not be allowed to interfere with the Panhellenic central theme of the expedition to Troy--an expedition that goes far beyond local epic interests.
§29. The Trojan expedition, as it is presented in its ultimate form by our Iliad, is a grand theme which, by converging on the one main goal of Troy, unites on the level of content the heroic and material resources of the various cultural centers that may each once have had their own epic traditions about conquering various territories. Aside from its centralized thematic concern about the expedition to Troy, however, the Iliad also manages some marginal references to epic traditions about various other expeditions to other places, notably Lesbos (IX 129, 271, 664), Skyros (IX 668), Tenedos (XI 625), and Lyrnessos and Pedasos (XIX 60; XX 90-92, 188-194; cf. XI 104-112). These expeditions all involve territories that would have been Aeolic at the time that our Iliad took its present shape, and the Iliadic references to them consistently stress the heroic preeminence of Achilles. This emphasis on Achilles is particularly striking in the case of Lesbos: the Iliad says that Achilles himself captured all Lesbos (IX 129, 271), and the significance of such a heroic deed seems to have less to do with the epic fate of nearby Troy and far more with the here-and-now of a Homeric audience in the eighth or seventh century B.C. The Iliad is here verifying something that applies from the standpoint of this era: that the affinity of the Achilles figure with this particular Aeolic island is a matter of acknowledged tradition, incorporated even by Panhellenic Epos.
§30. From the standpoint of such localized epic traditions, the first song of Demodokos would have been appropriate as the opening of an epic composition about an expedition undertaken by Achilles. Such a composition would have acknowledged the Oracle of Delphi as the authority that inspired the epic expedition, and the setting of a sacrifice would provide an appropriate opening Strife Scene for motivating the eventual death of the main hero who undertook the enterprise. This much I can now say with somewhat more confidence, having found a distant parallel in the form of a Strife Scene at a Delphic sacrifice, leading to the death of Pyrrhos, son of Achilles.
§1n2. The word tîmê can specify the "honor" that a god or hero receives in cult. (The article s.v. timê in Liddell and Scott does not allow for such a distinct semantic category.) The diction of Herodotus about matters of ritual provides adequate illustration for this particular usage of tîmê, as at 1.118.2 (cult of a god) and 1.168 (cult of a hero). As for the verb tîmaô in the sense of "worship," see Herodotus 1.90.2, 2.50.3, 2.75.4, 5.67.5 (in the last passage, the cult of the god Dionysos is designated in the same terms as the cult of the hero Adrastos, on whom see also the verb tîmaô at Herodotus 5.67.4). For a clear discussion of tîmê as "cult," see Rudhardt 1970.6-7; also Rohde I 99n1. Besides, see Richardson 1974.260-261 on the Homeric Hymn to Demeter 311-312, where the theme of the gods' getting tîmai is explicitly correlated with the observance of their respective cults by mortals (see also H.Dem. 353, 366-369). Note that the cult figure gets tîmê from two directions: the "honor" is performed by mortals but determined by immortals. On the status of Demophon as a daimôn of cult: Ch.10§10.
§1n3. On the semantics of aphthito-: Ch.10§§3-19. The word for "heroes" in this passage from Simonides is hêmitheoi, which is appropriate in the dimension of cult. See Ch.9 in general and §§15-17, 31 in particular.
§1n4. See n2. For the interpretation of tîmâ at Pindar N.7.31 as applying to Pyrrhos, see Köhnken 1971.46. For the possibility that "the tîmâ of the Hero" in the Amphictionic law SIG 145.32 (380 B.C.) refers to Pyrrhos: Burkert 1966b.437. In this case, the word tîmâ specifies the sacrifice of a bull to the Hero.
§1n5. Ch.1§2. We must also contrast Achilles and Demophon in this regard with Anchises in the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite: in compensation for his mortality, Anchises wins immortality neither for his kleos nor for his tîmê, but rather for the continuation of his progeny, the Aeneadae (H.Aphr. 196-197, 239-end).
§2n1. For the tradition of the double name, see Cypria fr. 14 Allen. The names Purrhos/Neoptolemos are more appropriate to cult/epic respectively; see especially Usener 1912/1913 [= 1904] 460-461. For the sake of convenience, I will refer to the hero as Pyrrhos. Consider also the interesting variant verse for Iliad XIX 327, where we find Purês instead of Neoptolemos (for a discussion: Delcourt 1965.31-32).
§2n2. On the validity of this Pindaric testimony about the cult of Pyrrhos, see Fontenrose 1960.191-198, with polemics and bibliography. On Nemean 7 itself, see especially Köhnken 1971.37-86 and Lloyd-Jones 1973.
§2n3. For a key factor in this transformation, the First Sacred War of ca. 590 B.C., see Wiechers 1961, esp. p. 24.
§3n1. I refer to the discussion of the problem by Fontenrose 1960.198-205.
§3n2. On the burial of Achilles at the Hellespont: Ch.20§§22-24. On the function of bones in hero cults, see Rohde I 159-166; cf. also Ch6§29.
§3n3. The Homeric tradition itself, I submit, is informed by many such interrelated Panhellenic phenomena. Following the reasoning of Pfister 1948.151, I would even suggest that the Homeric Catalogue of Ships in Iliad II amounts to a Panhellenic survey of the Homeric heroes from the diverse local standpoints of their primary cults, the locations of which are represented as their respective homelands. On the possibility that the systematization of the Catalogue is derived from Delphic traditions, I cite Giovannini 1969.51-71.
§4n1. See also Pherecydes FGrH 3.63, 64a-b; Asclepiades FGrH12.15. Note the interesting additional detail that Pyrrhos was first buried under the threshold of Apollo's temple, only to be transferred later into the area of the god's temenos 'precinct' (for discussion, see Delcourt 1965.44; cf. also Rohde I 197).
§4n2. See Burkert 1972.136n12 for the basic bibliography; also Fontenrose 1960.191- 198 and Burkert 1966b.440n2.
§4n3. For a collection of references to the testimonia: Fontenrose, p. 212.
§4n4. See Burkert 1972.17n41, 68; also Burkert 1966.102-104 and 1975.19. Cf. Delcourt 1965.38.
§5n1. Pausanias 10.7.1 (cf. also 2.5.5); scholia to Pindar N.7.58, 150a; Strabo 421. For parallelisms with the traditional lore about King Pyrrhos of Epeiros, see Delcourt 1965.42-43. I should note, however, my disagreement with the notion that the lore about the historical figure is the source for the theme of plundering associated with the mythical figure (cf. also Burkert 1966b.437).
§5n2. The parallelism with Pyrrhos is pointed out by Burkert 1966b.437. On Phleguâs as the eponym of the Phleguai: Strabo 442c.
§5n3. Pausanias 10.7.1; Ephorus FGrH 70.93; Servius ad Virgil Aeneid 6.618; scholia ad Statius Thebaid 1.713; Eustathius adXIII 301; etc. For an extensive discussion of the myths associated with the name Phleguâs/Phleguai: Vian 1960.219-222. We may note in particular the claim, in the scholia (T) to IliadXIII 302, that the verb phleguân in the dialect of Phokis means hubrizein 'commit hubris'. For the connotations of hubris, see Ch.9§§9-10.
§5n4. See Vian 1960.221. For the mythological connection of the Pyrrhos and Achilles figures with the themes of fire, see, in general, Delcourt 1965. One of the most interesting points of formal convergence is the epithet Purrhaiê of Thetis (Hesychius s.v.), who dips the infant Achilles into fire much as Demeter had done to Demophon; see Delcourt, pp. 36-37, Detienne/Vernant 1974.136, and Richardson 1974.237-238.
§6n1. On the theory that the Catalogue is organized on the basis of Delphic traditions: Giovannini 1969.51-71.
§8n1. For the relationship of Pindar's Paean 6 to Nemean 7, see especially Köhnken 1971.71-72, with bibliography. For a pioneering study: Finley 1951.
§8n2. On the basis of murian in the scholia to Nemean 7.94, Boeckh had suggested moirian instead of kurian. For the morphology, I would compare moirios/moiridios with kourios/kouridios. (For kourios, see Iliad XIII 433c.)
§8n3. For the argument in favor of this reading, see Lloyd-Jones 1973.131, pace Fontenrose 1960.223n14.
§8n4. In Greek ritual, the priest or attendant may preside as a stand-in for the god himself: cf., e.g., Pausanias 6.20.9. See now Nagy 1996 Ch.3-4.
§8n5. Asclepiades FGrH 12.15; Callimachus fr. 229.7 Pfeiffer; Strabo 421. From these sources, we also learn of the tradition that one of the descendants of Makhaireus was Brankhos, founder of Apollo's Oracle at Didyma near Miletos.
§8n6. Scholia to Euripides Andromache 53. On the semantics of the word xenos: Ch.12§§12-16.
§9n1. On the reciprocity of the theoxenia, in that the roles of host and guest are interchangeable for gods and men, see Gernet 1968 [= 1928] 32-33. The figure of Pindar himself, by virtue of his poetry on the subject, becomes incorporated into the myths surrounding the Delphic theoxenia--and eventually even into the ritual itself; for a collection of testimonia, see Deneken 1881.9-10. Here again, the most pervasive theme is that a choice cut of meat from the sacrificial table is to be awarded to Pindar, to Pindar's ghost, or to his descendants. There is a particularly interesting ritual detail in Life of Pindar p. 92.50-53 Westermann  (see also Drachmann I, p. 216): every day, as the neôkoros 'temple attendant' is about to close the entrance to Apollo's temple, he calls out to Pindar that the poet should have his meal with the god. Note too the tradition that Theoxenos (praised in Pindar fr. 123SM) was the poet's lover (Life of Pindar p. 102.11 Westermann). On the connection between the myths in the traditional Lives of poets and the rituals surrounding the hero cults of poets, see Ch.18.
§9n2. For a particularly interesting Delphic attestation, see the regulations of the Labyadai, DGE 323 D.47; the semantics of akro-thin- 'top of the heap' are of course readily transferable from agricultural to military contexts (cf. Pindar O.2.4 and O.10.57 besides N.7.41).
§9n3. For moiriân, see again §8n2.
§10n1. The pertinence of this text was noticed by Burkert 1966b.439.
§10n2. For the rest of the text, also connected with this particular story, see Ch.16§7; also Wiechers 1961.15-16.
§10n3. For further allusions, in comedy and elsewhere, see Wiechers 1961.16-18; cf. Delcourt 1965.39.
§11n1. Cf. also the scholia to Pindar N.7.62, describing the attendants' behavior towards Pyrrhos in these words: hôs ethos autois 'as was their custom'.
§11n2. See Ch.16§10, esp. n7.
§11n3. For this and other parallels, see Burkert 1966b.440n1. Cf. H.Apollo 535-536; cf. also the expression krea diarpazontas 'snatching away the cuts of meat' describing the Delphians in Pherecydes FGrH 3.64a.
§11n4. Scholia Florentina (=Pap.Soc.Ital. 1094), line 23, to Callimachus fr. 191 Pfeiffer; see also Burkert 1966b.439n2.
§12n1. On the connection of the Aeacids, especially Achilles and Pyrrhos, with the mythology of rituals featuring the pharmakoi 'scapegoats' of Apollo, see Wiechers 1961.43-49, with bibliography; cf. also Toepffer 1888.144. For the basic text on pharmakos, see Harpocration s.v., based on Istros FGrH344.50 (on which there is more at Ch.16§2). For a pharmakos, our attested material indicates stoning or being thrown off a cliff as the primary modes of death; in the case of stoning, we see a specific application of this theme to Pyrrhos in Euripides Andromache 1085-1165.
§14n1. Calhoun 1962.446; cf. Motto and Clark 1969.124n21.
§14n2. For an alternative view, where we see the Homeric hero's actions not as something modeled on how we ordinary mortals behave but as the epic dimension of heroes who also have a ritual dimension, see Ch.9.
§14n3. At iii 420, there is a more specific reference to the very same occasion: theou es daita thaleian 'to the sumptuous dais of the god [Poseidon]'.
§14n4. Cf. Motto and Clark 1969.118-119. Of course, everyone gets an equal share not in the sense of the same amount but in the sense of varying amounts equal to the varying worth of each hero. For example, Ajax at VII 321-322 gets a choice cut of meat in a distribution (dais) that is described as eîsê 'equal' at VII 320.
§15n1. The use here of daimones to designate "gods" makes the reverse theme of a mortal's deciding allotments for the gods even more striking, since the word daimôn is derived from the same root as found in daiomai 'divide, apportion, allot'. For the etymology, see Chantraine I 246-247. For the Homeric theme of daimôn as "he who apportions," see Kullmann 1956.51-56 (cf. also Boreckyô' 1965.75 on Pindar P.3.81-82); also Richardson 1974.257 on the expression daimonos aisêi (further discussion at §21n1).
§15n2. After Odysseus proposes the dais, Agamemnon approves the proposal and calls it en moirêi '[said] in proper measure [moîra]' (XIX 186). Achilles, however, wishes not to eat while his comrade lies unburied and unavenged (XIX 199-214), but Odysseus argues for the necessity of having a feast before fighting (XIX 216-237). In this context, Zeus is called the tamiês polemoio 'apportioner of war' (XIX 224); in nonmetaphorical contexts, the tamiês/tamiê is a male/female functionary who allots food (e.g., XIX 44).
§16n1. The verb antiaô/antiaomai 'come forth [to get]' used at XXIV 62 is appropriate for describing the coming of a god in order to receive the sacrifice that is being offered to him (cf., e.g., I 67, i 25, etc.).
§16n2. The eris/neîkos then extends to the figure of Paris, who has to choose from among Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite (Cypria/Proclus p. 102.14-19 Allen; also Iliad XXIV 25-30). In the Judgment of Paris, he brings about neîkos for Hera and Athena (neikesse: XXIV 29) but aînos for Aphrodite (êinês': XXIV 30). For the social and poetic significance of aînos/neîkos in the sense of praise/blame, see Ch.11§16 and the following Ch.12.
§16n3. The Thebais tradition (fr. 3 Allen) also concerns a quarrel, specifically over portions of meat. Oedipus curses his sons because they once gave him the wrong moîra of meat (the iskhion 'haunch, ham' rather than the ômos 'shoulder'). The theme of the fatal strife that ensues between the brothers Eteo-kleês and Polu-neikês is even reflected in their names; for the implication of poetic genre in the contrast of kleos/praise and neîkos/blame, see Ch.14§12n3 (cf. also Ch.12§7n3). The theme of the moîrai of Oedipus is probably reflected in the expression mêlôn henek' Oidipodao 'on account of the sheep of Oedipus' (Hesiod W&D 163). For the correlation of mêla 'sheep' and the theme of moîrai, see §22n1 below.
§17n1. Zeus wants to alleviate the Earth by depopulating the many heroes who weigh upon it (Cypria fr. 1 Allen). For more on the Will of Zeus, see n3 and Ch.5§25n2.
§17n2. See also I 177, 210, 277, 319.
§17n3. At XIX 270-274, Achilles says that his quarrel with Agamemnon was the Will of Zeus, so that many Achaeans may die; at the very next verse, XIX 275, he bids the Achaeans to go and eat at Agamemnon's feast.
§17n4. Compare this characterization ("strife and war") with Hesiod fr. 206MW about the Aeacids in general ("feasts and war"), as discussed at §15. Note too that the same words that characterize Achilles at I 177 recur at V 891 to characterize none other than the god of war himself, Ares! The symmetry is more extensive: whereas Achilles is reproached by the socially superior Agamemnon, Ares is reproached by Zeus himself!
§18n1. In the attested evidence, the closest thing to a quarrel between Achilles and Agamemnon in the context of a dais is the incident at Tenedos as told in the Cypria (Proclus p. 104.21-24 Allen). Here the mênis 'anger' of Achilles seems to center on his not being invited in time to a banquet, on account of which he loses tîmê (see the brief summary in Aristotle Rhetoric 1401b1g; note too the wording: mênis and atîmazomenos).
§18n2. For the geographical symbolism of the Aithiopes and their realm, see Ch.10§§25-45. As for the chronology of Iliad I, there are of course many details that remain unclear. This much is for sure, however: at the time Thetis is speaking to Achilles, his quarrel with Agamemnon has just happened, and it is here that she tells how Zeus and the other Olympians had left for the Aithiopes on the day before (I 423-425).
§18n3. See Lowenstam 1975.132-133, (=1981.53) esp. on XXIII 205-209.
§19n1. On the use of tîmê to specify "cult", see §1n2 above. Motto and Clark (1969.119) draw a parallel between the loss of tîmê by Achilles and the incident in the story of Meleager (IX 533-537) where Artemis is deprived of her share in a sacrifice--which, we may note, qualifies as a dais (dainunth': IX 535).
§19n2. See §8. Consider also the periodic sacrifice of a bull as "the tîmâ of the Hero" in a Delphic inscription (§1n4), where the unnamed hero may be Pyrrhos.
§19n3. For more on geras in the sense of "honorific portion" (and tîmê 'honor'), see Benveniste 1969 II 43-50. Beyond the material discussed by Benveniste, I cite the evidence of inscriptions dealing with sacral regulations, where the same word geras (especially in the plural: gerê) specifies a cut of sacrificial meat that is destined for the god who presides over the sacrifice or, less directly, for the priest who performs the sacrifice. For documentation, see Stengel 1910.169-171, Puttkammer 1912.2, and Gill 1974.127-128. Note that the vocabulary of sacral regulations frequently fails to distinguish the god's portion from the priest's (Puttkammer, pp. 16-18 and Gill, pp. 128-131). In poetry too, we find the use of geras and tîmê in contexts that overtly specify cult--e.g., Hesiod Th. 392-396. On H.Hermes 112-141, see Kahn 1978.41-73.
§19n4. The translation "whole" for diênekeessi at VII 321 is based on the evidence of the inscriptions: in the language of sacral regulations, diânekês marks a portion of meat that is not subdivided, like a whole leg or a whole back (see Puttkammer, p. 11). Ajax gets the choice cut of meat for having fought with Hektor, who had challenged whoever is the "best of the Achaeans" to fight him (VII 50-51, 73-75); see Ch.2§3. The theme of "the champion's portion," le morceau du héros, has important Celtic parallels, discussed by Arbois de Jubainville 1899.45-47, 52, 62-63; cf. also Girard 1902.262, 268-271. In Old Irish saga, the two most relevant narratives are the Tale of MacDathó's Pig and Bricriu's Feast; translations are conveniently available in Cross and Slover 1936.199-207/254-280.
§21n1. For a discussion of the etymology and semantics of aîsa: Chantraine I 38-39. For the interesting collocation daimonos aisêi at H.Dem. 300, see Richardson 1974.257. We may add that there are in fact sporadic attestations, in the corpus of surviving sacral regulations, of aîsa designating "portion of meat" (see Puttkammer 1912.40n8).
§21n2. See Lee 1961.196-197. Consider especially the use of aîsa/moîra in expressions for "according to destiny" ~ "contrary to destiny": kat' aîsan (XVII 716, etc.) and kata moîran (I 286, etc.) ~ huper aîsan (III 59, etc.) and huper moîran (XX 336). For more on the convention itself: Ch.2§17, Ch.5§25n2, Ch.15§3n9.
§21n3. For moîra as "cut of meat" in sacral inscriptions, cf. Gill 1974.124n6. The epic convention of correlating the plot at hand with the Will of Zeus (on which see again Ch.5§25n2) seems to be the basis for the imagery inherent in tamiês polemoio 'apportioner of war' as epithet of Zeus (XIX 224, etc.); see §15n2.
§21n4. Note the correlation of Moîrai and Kêres in Hesiod Th. 217 (see West 1966.229). For the difficulties of the etymology and semantics, see Chantraine II 526. For an attempt at deriving the word kêr from the same root *ker- 'cut' as in Latin carô, carnis 'meat, flesh', see Lee 1961; his most important contribution, in any case, is at pp. 196-197, where he lists the parallel combinations of kêr and moîra in Homeric diction.
§21n5. For an interesting local-oriented variation on this theme, see XIII 663-672; for parallel applications of kêrand its themes to Achilles/Herakles, see XVIII 115/117.
§21n6. The kleos is aphthiton 'unfailing' in that it is a glory conferred by poetry; for the poetic connotations of kleos, see Nagy 1974.244-255. On the contrast in genre between kleos and nostos: Nagy, pp. 11-13; also Ch.2§§3 and 11, to be read in conjunction with Ch.6§6nn2 and 5.
§22n1. Note that the dais of the lion is the meat of sheep, the prime sacrificial animals at Apollo's Delphi, and that the god's attendants are conventionally described as slaughtering them eagerly with makhairai 'knives' (H.Apollo 535-537).
§22n2. The expression "yielding to the thûmos" at XXIV 42-43 (thumôi /eixas) is a reflexive equivalent of the active expression "[the menos and] the thûmos impel," as at XXII 346 (menos kai thumos aneiê). See n3.
§22n3. Note that the active construction here ("the menos and the thûmos impelled") is drawn into a parallel, by way of the simile, with a reflexive construction at XX 171 ("the lion is impelling itself"). For the relationship of menos and thûmos, see XXII 312-313, where Achilles fills his thûmos with savage menos (meneos d' emplêsato thumon / agriou); this passage is in the immediate vicinity of the threat to eat Hektor raw (XXII 346-347). On the savagery of Achilles, see esp. Redfield 1975.
§22n4. In the Iliad, Herakles is the only other hero who also qualifies (V 639).
§22n5. Achilles is the only Homeric hero to be described with this epithet, otherwise restricted to beasts (e.g., dogs at XXII 67). See also Robertson 1940.177-180 on Pindar N.3.48: the phrasing here concerns animals not yet dead, whose marrow will be sucked by the savage young hunter Achilles (see also Apollodorus 3.13.6).
§25n1. The Iliad not only veers away from the themes of Delphi: it also presents the word ossa 'voice' in a negative light, which may be significant in view of this word's association with the oracular voice of Apollo (see Pindar O.6.61-62). In the Iliad, the False Dream that almost aborts the Trojan Expedition (and by extension the Iliad itself) is equated with Dios angelos 'messenger of Zeus' (II 26, 63, 94), which in turn is equated with ossa personified (II 93). Compare Agamemnon's false expectations upon hearing the False Dream (II 36-40) with his false expectations upon hearing the Oracle of Apollo (viii 77-82).
§25n2. Even though the dais at the Wedding of Peleus and Thetis is presented more as a banquet than as a sacrifice, the diction at XXIV 62-63 describes the attendance of Apollo and the other gods in a manner appropriate to gods who come to receive sacrifice. See §16n1.
§27n1. See Vian 1963.83 and Parke/Wormell I 78-79; cf. also Snodgrass 1971.416- 417. For a useful bibliography on the Panhellenic importance of Delphi: Giovannini 1969.66n2.
§27n2. For a survey of attested epic traditions about colonizations and the prominent role played in such poetry by the Delphic Oracle of Apollo, see Schmid 1947.148-153.
§28n1. On the Delphic orientation of the Catalogue: Giovannini 1969.51-71.
§28n2. See §6.
§28n3. For an interesting introduction to the traditional genre of ktisis ('colonization') poetry, see in general Schmid 1947. One of the most important lessons to be learned from Schmid's book is that ktisis poetry is fundamentally local rather than Panhellenic in orientation, and that its contents are therefore continually subject to shifts each time the colony itself undergoes shifts in population or politics. Another is that the hero in a ktisis poem may be presented overtly as a cult figure (see esp. Schmid, p. 138).
§29n1. See Schmid 1947, esp. pp. 4-8, 83-87, 141-148; also Norden 1922.16 on Iliad II 653-670, the earliest attested passage that refers overtly to the genre of ktisis poetry. In this particular instance, the ktisis of Rhodes, we already see the conventional themes of (1) a formal arkhaiologiâ and (2) a description of tribal divisions (Norden, ibid.). As I have done with other Iliadic passages, I reject any assumption that II 653-670 involves the interpolation of a distinct text that is later in date than the main body of the Iliad. Instead, I would again argue that we see in this passage the incorporation of a distinct poetic tradition.
§29n2. There are further references in the Cypria (Proclus p. 101.4-11; p. 102.10-12 Allen). See Bethe 1927 III 66-75 for an interesting discussion; I disagree, however, with the relative chronologies offered, as well as with the ad hoc theories of textual interpolation (notably in regard to the passages in Odyssey xxiv about the funeral mound of Achilles).
§29n3. On the archaeological evidence for the Aeolic settlement of the Troad by the end of the eighth century B.C.: Cook 1973.360-363.
§29n4. For a discussion of these expeditions in terms of ktisis poetry, see Schmid 1947.83-87, esp. p. 86.
§29n5. Similarly with the Hellespont, its navigational importance as the passage to the Black Sea concerns not the second millennium B.C. but rather the period of politically organized colonizations--that is, from the eighth and seventh centuries onwards. See Ch.20§24. For the importance of the thematic affinity between the Achilles figure and the Hellespont, see Ch.20 in general.
§29n6. If we try to reconstruct the situation backward as well as foward in time, we observe that there are stories connecting Achilles with the conquest of Lesbos that are attested in the classical period as well. A particularly interesting example is the story of Achilles and Peisidike (Parthenius Erotica 21), which tells how the hero captured the Lesbian city of Methymna. A variant of this story is localized at Pedasos and seems to be attested already in the Hesiodic tradition (fr. 214MW). See again Schmid, pp. 83-87, 141-148.