Dorothy Tarrant Lecture "The Goddess and Damned Wrath: How a Linguist Reads the 'Iliad'"

Dorothy Tarrant Lecture "The Goddess and Damned Wrath: How a Linguist Reads the 'Iliad'"
Date
8 May 2018, 5.00pm - 7.00pm
Type
Lecture
Venue
Woburn Suite, G22/26, Ground Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
Description

Joshua Katz, Princeton University

 

There is arguably no bit of text in the Western tradition more famous than the opening six words of the 'Iliad', which lay out the central theme of Homer’s great epic: Μῆνιν ἄειδε, θεά, Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆοϛ | οὐλομένηνOf the wrath sing, o goddess — the baneful wrath of Achilles son of Peleus’. Despite intensive study since antiquity, there remain things to learn about this poem, and in this talk I will try to explain, in as accessible a way as possible, why a closer look at the words for ‘goddess’ and ‘baneful/damned’ is desirable. Among my conclusions will be that the former tells us something remarkable about actual Homeric performance while the form and meaning of the latter have been repeatedly misunderstood.

 

 

Contact

Valerie James
valerie.james@sas.ac.uk
020 7862 8716