Mērionēs Rides Again: An Alternative Model for a Heroic Charioteer
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CitationNagy, G. 2015.05.01. "Mērionēs Rides Again: An Alternative Model for a Heroic Charioteer." Classical Inquiries. http://nrs.harvard.edu/ urn-3:hul.eresource:Classical_Inquiries.
AbstractThe date for my putting together a posting for this week, 2015.04.30, coincides with the date of a special day set aside for celebrating the life and accomplishments of Ellen Bradshaw Aitken, whose premature death on 2014.06.14 deeply saddened me as her friend, colleague, and former teacher. But this day of celebration, at McGill University in Montréal, gives me the happy opportunity to tell about Professor Aitken’s research. In telling my story, I will speak about her as Ellen, not as Professor Aitken, recalling those many happy times when I could talk to you directly, dearest Ellen. That said, let’s get started. I concentrate here on Ellen’s discoveries and discovery procedures concerning the topic of charioteering in Homeric poetry. Ellen’s research on this topic goes all the way back to 1982, when she was a senior at Harvard College, studying in the program of the Committee on Degrees in Folklore and Mythology. That year, she submitted an honors thesis entitled “ὀπάων [opāōn] and ὀπάζω [opazō]: A Study in the Epic Treatment of Heroic Relationships.” The thesis, combined with all her other stellar work as a young student at Harvard, earned her a baccalaureate degree summa cum laude. Then, more than thirty years later, Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies initiated a plan to publish a second edition of this masterpiece in Homeric research. Ellen’s untimely death has not thwarted this plan, and an annotated version of her original work is about to appear. I have volunteered to produce my own annotations for this online work, and what I present now is one part of those annotations. I focus here on a Homeric hero who had particularly interested Ellen: he is Mērionēs the Cretan, who fought in the Trojan War as an opāōn or ‘follower’ of the hero Idomeneus, king of all the Cretans. This Mērionēs was also a charioteer who competed in the chariot race organized by Achilles in Iliad 23 to compensate for the death of Patroklos.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37374665
- CHS Classical Inquiries