Helen of Sparta and her very own Eidolon
MetadataShow full item record
CitationNagy, Gregory. 2016. "Helen of Sparta and her very own Eidolon". Classical Inquiries. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.eresource:Classical_Inquiries.
AbstractIn Classical Inquiries 2016.02.18, I analyzed a scene in the Homeric Odyssey where Telemachus finds himself transported into a kind of “Mycenaean heaven” while visiting the palace in Sparta where Menelaos lives together with Helen as his wife. And I argued that the picturing of Helen as a ‘daughter of Zeus’ in this context is a most fitting description of a goddess who was already worshipped at Sparta in an era as early as the second half of the second millennium BCE—an era that marks the rise and the eventual fall of an early Greek civilization that archaeologists recognize as the Mycenaean Empire. But there is a problem with this picture: how do we square the idea of Helen as goddess of Sparta with the idea of Helen of Troy as we see her come to life in the Homeric Iliad? I hope to address this problem here by taking a second look at the idea of Helen’s ‘image-double’, the word for which in Greek was eidōlon.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:40827383
- CHS Classical Inquiries