Notes for edX / HarvardX: Hum3.1x – Hamlet’s Ghost and Harvard Online.


Text: The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark


































































































John Everett Millais - Ophelia - Google Art Project.jpg


Othello / Otello

Notes for edX / HarvardX: Hum3.3x – Othello’s Story and Harvard Online.

Othello was first performed by the King’s Men at the court of King James I on November 1, 1604.


Text: Othello, the Moore of Venice


Othello 1990. Directed by Trevor Nunn





with audio commentary


Full movie playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE2433AB3CE37401C

Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice (1981, starring William Marshall)




Othello in the Seraglio

U.K modern day adaptation




Otelo e Desdémona, Antonio Muñoz Degraín, 1880 (Chiado Museum, Lisbon, Portugal)

Othello et Desdemone à Venise (Louvre, Paris)

Desdemona’s Death Song

The Met Collection: Quinze Esquisses à l’eau forte dessinées et gravées par Théodore Chasseriau


The Ancient Greek Hero – Hour 8: psūkhē

Notes for edX / HarvardX: HUM2x – The Ancient Greek Hero / The Ancient Greek Hero

The key word for this hour is psūkhē as used in the context of the keyword for the previous hour, sēma. This word psūkhē can refer either to the life of someone who is alive or to the disembodied conveyor of someone’s identity after that someone dies.


H24H: Read Hour 8
Sourcebook: Iliad Rhapsody 24

https://youtu.be/35UAU0t61bI?t=27016 – audiobook, Fagles (abridged)

Hour 8 Text A

οἳ μὲν κακκείοντες ἔβαν κλισίην δὲ ἕκαστος,
Πηλεΐδης δ᾽ ἐπὶ θινὶ πολυφλοίσβοιο θαλάσσης
κεῖτο βαρὺ στενάχων πολέσιν μετὰ Μυρμιδόνεσσιν
ἐν καθαρῷ, ὅθι κύματ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἠϊόνος κλύζεσκον·
εὖτε τὸν ὕπνος ἔμαρπτε λύων μελεδήματα θυμοῦ
νήδυμος ἀμφιχυθείς· μάλα γὰρ κάμε φαίδιμα γυῖα
Ἕκτορ᾽ ἐπαΐσσων προτὶ Ἴλιον ἠνεμόεσσαν·
ἦλθε δ᾽ ἐπὶ ψυχὴ Πατροκλῆος δειλοῖο

|58 Τhe others went to their rest each to his own tent,
|59 but only the son of Peleus, by the shore of the resounding sea,
|60 only he amidst all his many Myrmidons lay grieving with deep groans
|61 in an open place on the beach where the waves came surging in, one after another. |62 Here sleep took hold of him, releasing him from the cares in his heart.
|63 It was a sweet sleep that poured all over him, since his shining limbs had been worn down
|64 with chasing Hector round windy Ilion.
|65 Then came to him the spirit [psūkhē] of unhappy Patroklos,

πάντ᾽ αὐτῷ μέγεθός τε καὶ ὄμματα κάλ᾽ ἐϊκυῖα
καὶ φωνήν, καὶ τοῖα περὶ χροῒ εἵματα ἕστο·
στῆ δ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ὑπὲρ κεφαλῆς καί μιν πρὸς μῦθον ἔειπεν·
εὕδεις, αὐτὰρ ἐμεῖο λελασμένος ἔπλευ Ἀχιλλεῦ.
οὐ μέν μευ ζώοντος ἀκήδεις, ἀλλὰ θανόντος·

|66 resembling in every way the man himself in size and good looks
|67 and voice. It [= the psūkhē] even wore the same clothes he used to wear over his skin.
|68 It [= the psūkhē] stood over his head and addressed to him these words:
|69 “You sleep, Achilles. As for me, you have forgotten all about me;
|70 you used to be not at all uncaring about me when I was alive, but now that I am dead you care for me no further.

θάπτέ με ὅττι τάχιστα πύλας Ἀΐδαο περήσω.
τῆλέ με εἴργουσι ψυχαὶ εἴδωλα καμόντων,
οὐδέ μέ πω μίσγεσθαι ὑπὲρ ποταμοῖο ἐῶσιν,
ἀλλ᾽ αὔτως ἀλάλημαι ἀν᾽ εὐρυπυλὲς Ἄϊδος δῶ.
καί μοι δὸς τὴν χεῖρ᾽· ὀλοφύρομαι, οὐ γὰρ ἔτ᾽ αὖτις

|71 Bury me with all speed that I may pass through the gates of Hādēs.
|72 Keeping me away from there are the spirits [psūkhai], who are images [eidōla] of men who have ended their struggles;
|73 they [= the spirits] are not yet permitting me to join them beyond the river.
|74 So, that is how it is, and that is how I am, directionless, at the entrance to the wide gates of the house of Hādēs.
|75 Give me now your hand while I weep, and I do weep because never again

νίσομαι ἐξ Ἀΐδαο, ἐπήν με πυρὸς λελάχητε.
οὐ μὲν γὰρ ζωοί γε φίλων ἀπάνευθεν ἑταίρων
βουλὰς ἑζόμενοι βουλεύσομεν, ἀλλ᾽ ἐμὲ μὲν κὴρ
ἀμφέχανε στυγερή, ἥ περ λάχε γιγνόμενόν περ·
καὶ δὲ σοὶ αὐτῷ μοῖρα, θεοῖς ἐπιείκελ᾽ Ἀχιλλεῦ,

|76 will I return from the house of Hādēs once you all do what you have to do, which is, to let me have the ritual of fire.
|77 And never again will you [= Achilles] and I be alive together as we sit around only in each other’s company, separating ourselves from our dear comrades [hetairoi], while we keep on sharing, just the two of us,
|78 our thoughts with each other. My fate [kēr] has its hold on me,
|79 that hateful thing. Now it has opened its gaping jaws and swallowed me. It really always had its hold on me, ever since I was born.
|80 But you, Achilles, you who look just like the gods [theoeikelos], you too have a fate [moira] that has its hold on you.

τείχει ὕπο Τρώων εὐηφενέων ἀπολέσθαι.
ἄλλο δέ τοι ἐρέω καὶ ἐφήσομαι αἴ κε πίθηαι·
μὴ ἐμὰ σῶν ἀπάνευθε τιθήμεναι ὀστέ᾽ Ἀχιλλεῦ,
ἀλλ᾽ ὁμοῦ ὡς ἐτράφημεν ἐν ὑμετέροισι δόμοισιν,
εὖτέ με τυτθὸν ἐόντα Μενοίτιος ἐξ Ὀπόεντος

|81 You too are fated to die beneath the walls of the noble Trojans.
|82 I will tell you one more thing, and I call on you to comply.
|83 Do not let my bones be laid to rest apart from your bones, Achilles,
|84 but together with them – the same way we were brought up together in your own home,
|85 back when I, still a boy, was brought from Opous by [my father] Menoitios.

ἤγαγεν ὑμέτερόνδ᾽ ἀνδροκτασίης ὕπο λυγρῆς,
ἤματι τῷ ὅτε παῖδα κατέκτανον Ἀμφιδάμαντος
νήπιος οὐκ ἐθέλων ἀμφ᾽ ἀστραγάλοισι χολωθείς·
ἔνθά με δεξάμενος ἐν δώμασιν ἱππότα Πηλεὺς
ἔτραφέ τ᾽ ἐνδυκέως καὶ σὸν θεράποντ᾽ ὀνόμηνεν·

|86 He brought me to your place because of a disastrous [lugrē] homicide.
|87 It happened on the day when I killed the son of Amphidamas.
|88 It was involuntary. I was feeling disconnected [nēpios]. I got angry during a game of dice.
|89 But then [your father] the charioteer Peleus received me in his home,
|90 and he raised me in a ritually correct way, naming me to be your attendant [therapōn].

ὣς δὲ καὶ ὀστέα νῶϊν ὁμὴ σορὸς ἀμφικαλύπτοι
χρύσεος ἀμφιφορεύς, τόν τοι πόρε πότνια μήτηρ.

|91 So, now, let the same container enclose our bones for both of us.
|92 I mean, the two-handled golden amphora given to you by that lady, your mother.

Hour 8 Text B

Ἕκτωρ μὲν μετὰ τοῖσιν, ὅσοι βουληφόροι εἰσί,
βουλὰς βουλεύει θείου παρὰ σήματι Ἴλου

Hector, accompanied by all his advisors,
| is planning plans [boulas bouleuei] at the tomb [sēma] of godlike Ilos.

Hour 8 Text D = Hour 1 Text A = Hour 0 Text F

μήτηρ γάρ τέ μέ φησι θεὰ Θέτις ἀργυρόπεζα
διχθαδίας κῆρας φερέμεν θανάτοιο τέλος δέ.
εἰ μέν κ᾽ αὖθι μένων Τρώων πόλιν ἀμφιμάχωμαι,
ὤλετο μέν μοι νόστος, ἀτὰρ κλέος ἄφθιτον ἔσται·
εἰ δέ κεν οἴκαδ᾽ ἵκωμι φίλην ἐς πατρίδα γαῖαν,
ὤλετό μοι κλέος ἐσθλόν, ἐπὶ δηρὸν δέ μοι αἰὼν
ἔσσεται, οὐδέ κέ μ᾽ ὦκα τέλος θανάτοιο κιχείη.

|410 My mother Thetis, goddess with silver steps, tells me that
|411 I carry the burden of two different fated ways [kēres] leading to the final moment [telos] of death.
|412 If I stay here and fight at the walls of the city of the Trojans,
|413 then my safe homecoming [nostos] will be destroyed for me, but I will have a glory [kleos] that is unwilting [aphthiton].
|414 Whereas if I go back home, returning to the dear land of my forefathers,
|415 then it is my glory [kleos], genuine [esthlon] as it is, that will be destroyed for me, but my life force [aiōn] will then
|416 last me a long time, and the final moment [telos] of death will not be swift in catching up with me.
Iliad IX 410-416

Hour 8 Text E = Hour 2 Text D

Μυρμιδόνων δ᾽ ἐπί τε κλισίας καὶ νῆας ἱκέσθην,
τὸν δ᾽ εὗρον φρένα τερπόμενον φόρμιγγι λιγείῃ
καλῇ δαιδαλέῃ, ἐπὶ δ᾽ ἀργύρεον ζυγὸν ἦεν,
τὴν ἄρετ᾽ ἐξ ἐνάρων πόλιν Ἠετίωνος ὀλέσσας·
τῇ ὅ γε θυμὸν ἔτερπεν, ἄειδε δ᾽ ἄρα κλέα ἀνδρῶν.
Πάτροκλος δέ οἱ οἶος ἐναντίος ἧστο σιωπῇ,
δέγμενος Αἰακίδην ὁπότε λήξειεν ἀείδων,
τὼ δὲ βάτην προτέρω, ἡγεῖτο δὲ δῖος Ὀδυσσεύς,
στὰν δὲ πρόσθ᾽ αὐτοῖο· ταφὼν δ᾽ ἀνόρουσεν Ἀχιλλεὺς
αὐτῇ σὺν φόρμιγγι λιπὼν ἕδος ἔνθα θάασσεν.
ὣς δ᾽ αὔτως Πάτροκλος, ἐπεὶ ἴδε φῶτας, ἀνέστη.

|185 The two of them reached the shelters and the ships of the Myrmidons,
|186 and they found Achilles diverting his heart [phrēn] as he was playing on a clear-sounding lyre [phorminx],
|187 a beautiful one, of exquisite workmanship, and its cross-bar was of silver.
|188 It was part of the spoils that he had taken when he destroyed the city of Eëtion,
|189 and he was now diverting his heart [thūmos] with it as he was singing [aeidein] the glories of men [klea andrōn].

|190 Patroklos was the only other person there. He [= Patroklos] sat in silence, facing him [= Achilles],
|191 and waiting for the Aeacid [= Achilles] to leave off singing [aeidein].
|192 Meanwhile the two of them came in – radiant Odysseus leading the way –
|193 and stood before him. Achilles sprang up from his seat
|194 with the lyre [phorminx] still in his hand,
|195 and Patroklos, when he saw the guests, rose also.
Iliad IX 185-195

Hour 8 Text F = part of Hour 4 Text G = Hour 0 Text D

ὤ μοι ἐγὼ δειλή, ὤ μοι δυσαριστοτόκεια,
ἥ τ᾽ ἐπεὶ ἂρ τέκον υἱὸν ἀμύμονά τε κρατερόν τε
ἔξοχον ἡρώων· ὃ δ᾽ ἀνέδραμεν ἔρνεϊ ἶσος·
τὸν μὲν ἐγὼ θρέψασα φυτὸν ὣς γουνῷ ἀλωῆς
νηυσὶν ἐπιπροέηκα κορωνίσιν Ἴλιον εἴσω
Τρωσὶ μαχησόμενον· τὸν δ᾽ οὐχ ὑποδέξομαι αὖτις
οἴκαδε νοστήσαντα δόμον Πηλήϊον εἴσω.
ὄφρα δέ μοι ζώει καὶ ὁρᾷ φάος ἠελίοιο
ἄχνυται, οὐδέ τί οἱ δύναμαι χραισμῆσαι ἰοῦσα.

|54 Ah me, the pitiful one! Ah me, the mother, so sad it is, of the very best.
|55 I gave birth to a faultless and strong son,
|56 the very best of heroes. And he shot up [anedramen] equal [īsos] to a seedling [ernos].
|57 I nurtured him like a shoot in the choicest spot of the orchard,
|58 only to send him off on curved ships to Troy, to fight Trojan men.
|59 And I will never be welcoming him
|60 back home as returning warrior, back to the House of Peleus.
|61 And as long as he lives and sees the light of the sun,
|62 he will have sorrow [akh-nutai], and though I go to him I cannot help him.
Iliad XVIII 54-62

Hour 8 Text H

μνῆσαι πατρὸς σοῖο θεοῖς ἐπιείκελ᾽ Ἀχιλλεῦ,
τηλίκου ὥς περ ἐγών, ὀλοῷ ἐπὶ γήραος οὐδῷ·
καὶ μέν που κεῖνον περιναιέται ἀμφὶς ἐόντες
τείρουσ᾽, οὐδέ τίς ἐστιν ἀρὴν καὶ λοιγὸν ἀμῦναι.
ἀλλ᾽ ἤτοι κεῖνός γε σέθεν ζώοντος ἀκούων
χαίρει τ᾽ ἐν θυμῷ, ἐπί τ᾽ ἔλπεται ἤματα πάντα
ὄψεσθαι φίλον υἱὸν ἀπὸ Τροίηθεν ἰόντα·
αὐτὰρ ἐγὼ πανάποτμος, ἐπεὶ τέκον υἷας ἀρίστους
Τροίῃ ἐν εὐρείῃ, τῶν δ᾽ οὔ τινά φημι λελεῖφθαι.
πεντήκοντά μοι ἦσαν ὅτ᾽ ἤλυθον υἷες Ἀχαιῶν·
ἐννεακαίδεκα μέν μοι ἰῆς ἐκ νηδύος ἦσαν,
τοὺς δ᾽ ἄλλους μοι ἔτικτον ἐνὶ μεγάροισι γυναῖκες.
τῶν μὲν πολλῶν θοῦρος Ἄρης ὑπὸ γούνατ᾽ ἔλυσεν·
ὃς δέ μοι οἶος ἔην, εἴρυτο δὲ ἄστυ καὶ αὐτούς,
τὸν σὺ πρῴην κτεῖνας ἀμυνόμενον περὶ πάτρης
Ἕκτορα· τοῦ νῦν εἵνεχ᾽ ἱκάνω νῆας Ἀχαιῶν
λυσόμενος παρὰ σεῖο, φέρω δ᾽ ἀπερείσι᾽ ἄποινα.
ἀλλ᾽ αἰδεῖο θεοὺς Ἀχιλεῦ, αὐτόν τ᾽ ἐλέησον
μνησάμενος σοῦ πατρός· ἐγὼ δ᾽ ἐλεεινότερός περ,
ἔτλην δ᾽ οἷ᾽ οὔ πώ τις ἐπιχθόνιος βροτὸς ἄλλος,
ἀνδρὸς παιδοφόνοιο ποτὶ στόμα χεῖρ᾽ ὀρέγεσθαι.
ὣς φάτο, τῷ δ᾽ ἄρα πατρὸς ὑφ᾽ ἵμερον ὦρσε γόοιο·
ἁψάμενος δ᾽ ἄρα χειρὸς ἀπώσατο ἦκα γέροντα.
τὼ δὲ μνησαμένω ὃ μὲν Ἕκτορος ἀνδροφόνοιο
κλαῖ᾽ ἁδινὰ προπάροιθε ποδῶν Ἀχιλῆος ἐλυσθείς,
αὐτὰρ Ἀχιλλεὺς κλαῖεν ἑὸν πατέρ᾽, ἄλλοτε δ᾽ αὖτε
Πάτροκλον· τῶν δὲ στοναχὴ κατὰ δώματ᾽ ὀρώρει.

|486 “Remember your father, O Achilles, you who look just like the gods.
|487 He [= Peleus, the father of Achilles] is just like me, on the destructive threshold of old age.
|488 It may be that those who dwell near him
|489 are wearing him down, and there is no one to keep damage and devastation away from him.
|490 Yet when he hears of you being still alive,
|491 he takes pleasure in his heart [thūmos], and every day he is full of hope
|492 that he will see his dear [philos] son come home to him from Troy;
|493 but I am the most luckless of all men, since I fathered the best sons
|494 in the city of Troy, which has power far and wide, and I can now say that there is not one of them left.
|495 I had fifty sons when the sons of the Achaeans came here;
|496 nineteen of them were from a single womb,
|497 and the others were born to me by the women of my halls.
|498 Many of them have been hamstrung by swift Arēs,
|499 but he who was the only one left, who was the guardian of the city and ourselves, |500 he has been killed by you just now, while he was protecting his fatherland.
|501 I mean Hector. And it is because of him that I now come to the ships of the Achaeans
|502 intending to ransom his body from you. And I bring with me great ransom beyond telling.
|503 Show respect [aideîsthai], O Achilles, to the gods; and have pity on me.
|504 Remember your own father. But I am far more pitiable,
|505 for I have steeled myself as no one yet among earthbound mortals has ever steeled himself before me.
|506 I have raised to my lips the hand of the one who killed my son.”
|507 Thus he [= Priam] spoke, and he stirred up in him [= Achilles] a longing to cry in lament [goos] for his own father.
|508 He touched the old man’s hand and moved him gently away.
|509 And they both remembered. One of them remembered Hector the man-killer
|510 and cried for him, shedding tears thick and fast as he lay near the feet of Achilles. |511 As for Achilles, he was crying for his own father at one moment, and then, at the very next moment,
|512 he would be crying for Patroklos. And the sounds of lament rose up all over the dwelling.
Iliad XXIV 486-512

Hour 8 Text I = Hour 2 Text B

οὕτω καὶ τῶν πρόσθεν ἐπευθόμεθα κλέα ἀνδρῶν
ἡρώων, ὅτε κέν τιν᾽ ἐπιζάφελος χόλος ἵκοι·
δωρητοί τε πέλοντο παράρρητοί τ᾽ ἐπέεσσι.
μέμνημαι τόδε ἔργον ἐγὼ πάλαι οὔ τι νέον γε
ὡς ἦν· ἐν δ᾽ ὑμῖν ἐρέω πάντεσσι φίλοισι.

|524 This is how [houtōs] we [= I, Phoenix] learned it, the glories [klea] of men [andrōn] of an earlier time [prosthen],
|525 who were heroes [hērōes], whenever one of them was overcome by tempestuous anger.
|526 They could be persuaded by way of gifts and could be swayed by words.
|527 I totally recall [me-mnē-mai] how this was done – it happened a long time ago, it is not something new –
|528 recalling exactly how it was. I will tell it in your company – since you are all near and dear [philoi].
Iliad IX 524-528

Hour 8 Text J

ἦ μοῦνοι φιλέουσ᾽ ἀλόχους μερόπων ἀνθρώπων
Ἀτρεΐδαι; ἐπεὶ ὅς τις ἀνὴρ ἀγαθὸς καὶ ἐχέφρων
τὴν αὐτοῦ φιλέει καὶ κήδεται, ὡς καὶ ἐγὼ τὴν
ἐκ θυμοῦ φίλεον δουρικτητήν περ ἐοῦσαν

|340 Are the only mortal men in the world who love their wives
|341 the sons of Atreus? I ask this question because any man who is noble and sensible |342 loves [phileîn] and cherishes her who is his own, just as I, with regard to her [= Briseis]
|343 with my whole heart did I love [phileîn] her, though she was only the prize of my spear.
Iliad IX 340-343

Hour 8 Text K

|622 … And then Ajax stood up among them,
|623 the godlike son of Telamon, and he said:
|624 “Odysseus, descended from the gods, noble son of Laertes,
|625 let’s just go, for I see that there is no fulfillment [teleutē] that will come from what we say [= the mūthos].
|626 No, on this mission, there will be no action resulting from words. We must go and tell the news as soon as possible
|627 to the Danaans, even though what we say [= the mūthos] will not be good for those |628 who are waiting to receive it. As for Achilles,
|629 a savage feeling [thūmos] does he have embedded in his chest, which holds within it that great heart of his.
|630 What a wretched man he is! He cares nothing for the love [philotēs] of his comrades [hetairoi].
|631 With that love we honored him more than all the others over there by the ships. |632 He is pitiless. If a man’s brother or son has been killed,
|633 that man will accept a blood-price [poinē] as compensation for the one who was killed,
|634 and the one who caused the death, having paid a vast sum, can remain in the locale [dēmos],
|635 while the other one’s heart and manly feeling [thūmos] are checked,
|636 now that he has accepted the blood-price [poinē]. But for you, [Achilles,] a bad and relentless
|637 feeling [thūmos] have the gods put into your chest, and this, all because of just one girl,
|638 just one.
Iliad IX 622-638

Hour 8 Text L

|497 λαοὶ δ’ εἰν ἀγορῇ ἔσαν ἀθρόοι· ἔνθα δὲ νεῖκος
|498 ὠρώρει, δύο δ’ ἄνδρες ἐνείκεον εἵνεκα ποινῆς
|499 ἀνδρὸς ἀποφθιμένου· ὃ μὲν εὔχετο πάντ’ ἀποδοῦναι
|500 δήμῳ πιφαύσκων, ὃ δ’ ἀναίνετο μηδὲν ἑλέσθαι.

|497 Meanwhile the people were gathered in assembly, and there a quarrel [neikos]
|498 had arisen, and two men were quarreling [neikeîn] about the blood-price [poinē]
|499 for a man who had died. One of the two claimed that he had the right to pay off the damages in full,
|500 declaring this publicly to the population of the district [dēmos], and the other of the two was refusing to accept anything.
Iliad XVIII 497-500

Hour 8 Text M

|401 οὐ γὰρ ἐμοὶ ψυχῆς ἀντάξιον οὐδ’ ὅσα φασὶν
|402 Ἴλιον ἐκτῆσθαι εὖ ναιόμενον πτολίεθρον
|403 τὸ πρὶν ἐπ’ εἰρήνης, πρὶν ἐλθεῖν υἷας Ἀχαιῶν,
|404 οὐδ’ ὅσα λάϊνος οὐδὸς ἀφήτορος ἐντὸς ἐέργει
|405 Φοίβου Ἀπόλλωνος Πυθοῖ ἔνι πετρηέσσῃ.
|406 ληϊστοὶ μὲν γάρ τε βόες καὶ ἴφια μῆλα,
|407 κτητοὶ δὲ τρίποδές τε καὶ ἵππων ξανθὰ κάρηνα,
|408 ἀνδρὸς δὲ ψυχὴ πάλιν ἐλθεῖν οὔτε λεϊστὴ
|409 οὔθ’ ἑλετή, ἐπεὶ ἄρ κεν ἀμείψεται ἕρκος ὀδόντων.

|401 My life [psūkhē] is worth more to me than all the wealth
|402 that was once possessed, so they say, by that well-situated citadel of Ilion,
|403 back when it was still at peace, before the coming of the Achaeans,
|404 or than all the treasure that is stored inside when you enter the stone threshold of the one who shoots,
|405 Phoebus Apollo, at rocky Pytho [= Delphi].
|406 Cattle and sheep can be rustled in a raid,
|407 and one can acquire both tripods and horses with their golden manes if he wants them,
|408 but a man’s life [psūkhē] can never come back – it cannot be rustled in a raid
|409 and thus taken back – once it has passed through the barriers of his teeth.
Iliad IX 401-409



Priam Pleading with Achilles for the Body of Hector ?engraved 1775 by Gavin Hamilton 1723-1798


Priam demande à Achille le corps d'Hector






The Ancient Greek Hero – Hour 7: sēma

Notes for edX / HarvardX: HUM2x – The Ancient Greek Hero / The Ancient Greek Hero

The key word for this hour is sēma (plural sēmata), meaning ‘sign, signal, symbol; tomb, tomb of a hero’. An important word that derives from this noun sēma is the verb sēmainein ‘mean [something], indicate [something] by way of a sēma’. Modern words that derive from sēma include semantic and semiotic.


H24H: Read Hour 7 + Images A1, B1, A2, B2, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q
Sourcebook: Iliad Rhapsody 23

https://youtu.be/35UAU0t61bI?t=27016 – audiobook, Fagles (abridged)


Text A

σῆμα δέ τοι ἐρέω μάλ᾽ ἀριφραδές, οὐδέ σε λήσει.
ἕστηκε ξύλον αὖον ὅσον τ᾽ ὄργυι᾽ ὑπὲρ αἴης
ἢ δρυὸς ἢ πεύκης· τὸ μὲν οὐ καταπύθεται ὄμβρῳ,
λᾶε δὲ τοῦ ἑκάτερθεν ἐρηρέδαται δύο λευκὼ
ἐν ξυνοχῇσιν ὁδοῦ, λεῖος δ᾽ ἱππόδρομος ἀμφὶς

ἤ τευ σῆμα βροτοῖο πάλαι κατατεθνηῶτος,
ἢ τό γε νύσσα τέτυκτο ἐπὶ προτέρων ἀνθρώπων,
καὶ νῦν τέρματ᾽ ἔθηκε ποδάρκης δῖος Ἀχιλλεύς.
τῷ σὺ μάλ᾽ ἐγχρίμψας ἐλάαν σχεδὸν ἅρμα καὶ ἵππους,
αὐτὸς δὲ κλινθῆναι ἐϋπλέκτῳ ἐνὶ δίφρῳ

ἦκ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἀριστερὰ τοῖιν· ἀτὰρ τὸν δεξιὸν ἵππον
κένσαι ὁμοκλήσας, εἶξαί τέ οἱ ἡνία χερσίν.
ἐν νύσσῃ δέ τοι ἵππος ἀριστερὸς ἐγχριμφθήτω,
ὡς ἄν τοι πλήμνη γε δοάσσεται ἄκρον ἱκέσθαι
κύκλου ποιητοῖο· λίθου δ᾽ ἀλέασθαι ἐπαυρεῖν,

μή πως ἵππους τε τρώσῃς κατά θ᾽ ἅρματα ἄξῃς·
χάρμα δὲ τοῖς ἄλλοισιν, ἐλεγχείη δὲ σοὶ αὐτῷ
ἔσσεται· ἀλλὰ φίλος φρονέων πεφυλαγμένος εἶναι.

|326 I [= Nestor] will tell you [= Antilokhos] a sign [sēma], a very clear one, which will not get lost in your thinking. 
|327 Standing over there is a stump of deadwood, a good reach above ground level.
|328 It had been either an oak or a pine. And it hasn’t rotted away from the rains.
|329 There are two white rocks propped against either side of it.
|330 There it is, standing at a point where two roadways meet, and it has a smooth track on both sides of it for driving a chariot.

|331 It is either the tomb [sēma] of some mortal who died a long time ago
|332 or was a turning point [nussa] in the times of earlier men.
|333 Now swift-footed radiant Achilles has set it up as a turning point [terma plural]. |334 Get as close to it as you can when you drive your chariot horses toward it,
|335 and keep leaning toward one side as you stand on the platform of your well-built chariot,

|336 leaning to the left as you drive your horses. Your right-side horse
|337 you must goad, calling out to it, and give that horse some slack as you hold its reins, |338 while you make your left-side horse get as close as possible [to the turning point], |339 so that the hub will seem to be almost grazing the post
|340 —the hub of your well-made chariot wheel. But be careful not to touch the stone [of the turning point],

|341 or else you will get your horses hurt badly and break your chariot in pieces.
|342 That would make other people happy, but for you it would be a shame,
|343 yes it would. So, near and dear [philos] as you are to me, you must be sound in your thinking and be careful.

Text D

Hector leapt out of his chariot, armor and all, hitting the ground.

Ἕκτωρ δ᾽ ἐξ ὀχέων σὺν τεύχεσιν ἆλτο χαμᾶζε

Iliad 11.211

Text E

Straightaway he [= Hector] leapt out of his chariot, armor and all, hitting the ground.

Ἕκτορι μῦθος·
αὐτίκα δ᾽ ἐξ ὀχέων σὺν τεύχεσιν ἆλτο χαμᾶζε

Iliad 5.494, 6.103, 12.81, 13.749

Text F

Πάτροκλος δ᾽ ἑτέρωθεν ἀφ᾽ ἵππων ἆλτο χαμᾶζε

Then Patroklos, from one side, leapt from his chariot, hitting the ground.

Iliad 16.733

Text G

Ἕκτωρ δ᾽ αὖθ᾽ ἑτέρωθεν ἀφ᾽ ἵππων ἆλτο χαμᾶζε.

Then Hector, from the other side, leapt from his chariot, hitting the ground.

Iliad 16.755




JL David Les funérailles de Patrocle (National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin)

Münster Hydria


Left turn of the four horse chariot race around the tomb of the warrior –the turning point– with psyche of Patroklos hovering above (PH S U KH E) with Achilles to the left and a woman to the right.

Boston Hydria


Similar scene with the tomb, the sēma (now depicted by a snake and with Patroklos porting wings), and the horses of centre to the right. Achilles is stepping of his chariot to the left. Scene combined with the dragging of Hektor (spelled EKTROR here). Descending from above, not touching the ground the female messenger of the gods, Iris, with a ritual gesture of mourning and lament (hands) directed towards the old couple making analoguous gestures.

Shoulder of the Münster Hydria


Dionysus, Iris (with mourning gesture), Zeus (with stylized thunderbolt), Hermes (with caduceus/kerykeion), and Athene.





Masterpieces of World Literature: V Tale of Genji

Notes for week 5, Masterpieces of World Literature (or Ancient Masterpieces of World Literature and Modern Masterpieces of World Literature) by David Damroschand Martin Puchner from HarvardX: HUM12x on edX.

The Floating World: The Tale of Genji





Masterpieces of World Literature – IV The Thousand and One Nights

Notes for week 12, Masterpieces of World Literature (or Ancient Masterpieces of World Literature and Modern Masterpieces of World Literature) by David Damroschand Martin Puchner from HarvardX: HUM12x on edX.

West-Eastern Conversations: The Thousand and One Nights

أَلْف لَيْلَة وَلَيْلَة‎ / ʾAlf layla wa-layla






MOOC Masterpieces of World Literature

Notes for the HarvardXWorld Literature MOOC by David Damrosch and Martin Puchner (HUM12x) on edX.

Duration: 13 weeks

Course Outline

  1. Goethe and the Birth of World Literature
  2. The Birth of Literature: The Epic of Gilgamesh
  3. Homer and the Archeology of the Classical Past: The Odyssey
  4. West-Eastern Conversations: The Thousand and One Nights
  5. The Floating World: The Tale of Genji
  6. The First National Epic: The Lusiads
  7. Enlightenment in the Colonies: Candide
  8. China and Its Neighbors:
  9. Inventing Latin America: Jorge Luis Borges, Ficciones
  10. From Empire to Globe: Wole Soyinka, Death and the King’s Horseman
  11. East-West Encounters: Salman Rushdie & Jhumpa Lahiri
  12. Istanbul in – or as – the World: Orhan Pamuk, My Name Is Red
  13. World Literature Today