ars poetica est non omnia dicere
Qimmik wrote:... surely the teichoskopy in Book 3, where Helen identifies the major Greek heroes for the Trojan elders from the walls of Troy would have occurred early in the war, not in the 10th year.
I appreciate the passage imagining the elders observing the absence of Achilles, engaging Helen indirectly to observe for herself what they see, as if it is below their dignity to reveal directly what they are about. Helen paints a pretty picture and does it psychologically realistically. She breaks the pattern of question and answer perceiving what Priam is about, continues with Idomeneus unprompted, and the exchange climaxes when, just before the heralds break in on the company, Homer has Helen say:
νῦν δ᾽ ἄλλους μὲν πάντας ὁρῶ ἑλίκωπας Ἀχαιούς,
οὕς κεν ἐῢ γνοίην καί τ᾽ οὔνομα μυθησαίμην:
δοιὼ δ᾽ οὐ δύναμαι ἰδέειν κοσμήτορε λαῶν
Κάστορά θ᾽ ἱππόδαμον καὶ πὺξ ἀγαθὸν Πολυδεύκεα
αὐτοκασιγνήτω, τώ μοι μία γείνατο μήτηρ.
In this way, noting the absence of the pair - neither of which don't appear again in Homer's verses - starkly contrasts with the omission and absence of Achilles; it's an artful, clever woman's response to an old King's question he artfully put forth: Where is Achilles?, the red unifying thread of the poem, the very thread Helen is spinning yet again after swift footed Iris finds her:
τὴν δ᾽ εὗρ᾽ ἐν μεγάρῳ: ἣ δὲ μέγαν ἱστὸν ὕφαινε
δίπλακα πορφυρέην, πολέας δ᾽ ἐνέπασσεν ἀέθλους
Τρώων θ᾽ ἱπποδάμων καὶ Ἀχαιῶν χαλκοχιτώνων,
οὕς ἑθεν εἵνεκ᾽ ἔπασχον ὑπ᾽ Ἄρηος παλαμάων
Poetic dancing. I'd like to go on, relating the significance of Antenor's anecdote of the embassy of Menelaus and Odysseus, but instead I'll change the pace and move on to some thoughts on Glaucos.
Not to pick on you, Oh Qimmik, most eloquent of Texkit users, but I'd like to quote you as an introduction:
Qimmik wrote:You are not the first reader to be puzzled by the Glaukos - Diomedes exchange. It seems to end in some sort of joke -- Glaukos is a fool for exchanging his gold armor for bronze armor (if I remember correctly) -- but no one seems to understand the joke.
I can't firstly help but point out, obvious though unobserved, that bronze is the material better suited to self defense. Theories about glory are nice and appreciated but the fact remains that bronze is the prudent choice being harder lighter and gleaming just as well.
This fact is curious when it is considered how the reader is introduced to Glaucos. No minor hero - as Qimmik shows - he is introduced last in the Catalogue, tersely, and immediately after Homer describes a son of Nomion as follows:
ὃς καὶ χρυσὸν ἔχων πόλεμον δ᾽ ἴεν ἠΰτε κούρη
νήπιος, οὐδέ τί οἱ τό γ᾽ ἐπήρκεσε λυγρὸν ὄλεθρον,
ἀλλ᾽ ἐδάμη ὑπὸ χερσὶ ποδώκεος Αἰακίδαο
ἐν ποταμῷ, χρυσὸν δ᾽ Ἀχιλεὺς ἐκόμισσε δαΐφρων.
Authored by Homer or not, I think it's an interesting clue to consider nevertheless. On the other hand, Glaucos does not in the end escape the fates. Was his fine speech made in vain? I suspect Homer is making a point about - rhetoric. Get it?