Still “charmed” about the existence of Jenny Strauss. It must be some kind of weird “faux pas” to mention her, because I’ve never seen any Leo scholar bring her up. Good thing we don’t care about that here! She focuses on the poetry that preceded Leo’s favorite thinker. There’s something closer to life about poetry, life in the everyday sense. Thus philosophy seems kind of foolish when it claims “reality” as its domain. Women, poetry, and the everyday, there’s something similar about all these.
With the kind of poetry she treats though you might as well not even call it poetry because it’s so different from modern profane poetry. Ancient Greek poetry is constantly talking about “the gods”. So in that sense it’s somewhere between philosophy and “poetry” as we usually think about the term.
She has a book she considers the sequel to her one on the Odyssey on a genre people don’t tend to know about, the Homeric Hymns
Each of these poems attempts to define the essential nature and character of the god to be celebrated
There are 33 of them, written anonymously in the style of Homer in the 7th century BC.
You might think talking about “the gods” is something kind of quaint, superstitious. Maybe it is. On the other hand, at least people cared about “higher ideas” even if they were anthropomorphic. People don’t really do that (outside of the academy), it’s seen as pretentious.
Nonetheless people still do believe in higher ideas, even if they never talk about them explicitly. Tolerance and equity to name a couple. It wasn’t always like this
what their forms were, the Greeks did not know until recently, only yesterday, so to speak. Hesiod and Homer … were the ones who made a theogony for the Greeks and gave the gods their names and distinguished their honors and skills and indicated their forms.
This is Herodotus (484-425 BC).
Have you ever written a “Hymn to Diversity” rather than a Hymn to Apollo, say?
I personally write hymns to Dionysus, the god of crossing boundaries, among other things. What ever happened to Pentheus anyway? They don’t make Maenads like they used to!
Anyway, the Olympian religion maps more or less directly onto talk of ZOG, the egregore, and their “higher ideas” in interesting ways
There are several allusions in the Iliad to earlier events in the history of the Olympians when Zeus’s authority had not yet been so firmly established. Three examples will suffice. First, in Book i (396-406), Achilles suggests to Thetis that she remind Zeus what happened when Hera, Poseidon, and Athena tried to bind him: Thetis rescued Zeus by summoning up to Olympus the hundred-handed Briaraeus
Hera = the woman-in-itself of the Homeric Greeks
The possibility of a genuine rebellion on the part of Hera in alliance with the Titans may in fact have existed some time in the past.
Dionysus, Hermes, and Hera vs. the Jew
“Look, our favorite dumb goy is doing that ‘dreaming’ thing again, how cute.”
Zeus claims supremacy on the basis of his greater strength, age, and intelligence. But Poseidon counters by reminding his older brother of the equality of the ancient division of timai by lot among the three sons of Cronus.
“Don’t bother fucking with Zeus!!”
By the way–Jenny, decidedly NOT a blowup doll, take notes.
The major hymns… provide the clearest account of what I would call the politics of Olympus. At the core of each lies a concern with the acquisition or redistribution of timai within the Olympian cosmos.
The birth of a new divinity (Apollo, Hermes) offers an ideal topic
So much profundity can be found in studies of the Greeks
Aphrodite and Demeter [lead] to a new and permanent ordering of relations, not only among the gods but also between gods and mortals.
Dreaming of the inauguration of a new era in the divine and human cosmos, what are you up to?