Kalligynaika

Are you reading Homeric Greek? Whether you are a total beginner or an advanced Homerist, here you can meet kindred spirits. Besides Homer, use this board for all things early Greek poetry.
Post Reply
dags
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 3:11 am

Kalligynaika

Post by dags » Tue Aug 28, 2007 6:20 am

I found this word in Bettany Hughes documentary on Sparta. She says that Homer referred to Sparta as "kalligynaika or land of beautiful women". Can someone translate this to it's ancient Greek spelling?

BTW, Sparta didn't exist yet when Homer wrote, correct? So was he actually referring to Laconia? Wasn't Sparta founded around 650 or 700BC so any earlier references to "Sparta" are merely to some city that was near or on the site of where Sparta would later be?

dags
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 3:11 am

Post by dags » Tue Aug 28, 2007 9:06 am

To answer myself, I found it in the Liddell/Scott I have.

Καλλιγυναιξ (I couldn't do the accents): which means "with beautiful women".

Then it states Homer's literal use of the word, a little different:

Καλλιγυναικα (again, I don't know how to put accents on Greek letters):

appears: Iliad 2:683, Odyssey 13:412

User avatar
perispomenon
Textkit Fan
Posts: 256
Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 5:19 pm
Location: Mijdrecht
Contact:

Re: Kalligynaika

Post by perispomenon » Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:54 pm

dags wrote:BTW, Sparta didn't exist yet when Homer wrote, correct?
Not correct: Homer wrote around 8th/7th century, Sparta was formed out of 4 villages around 1000. That's from my old university handbook at least. It's 21 years old but views will not have changed by so much that Sparta did not exist yet by the 8th/7th century.

Arvid
Textkit Member
Posts: 163
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:06 am
Location: Seattle WA

Post by Arvid » Tue Aug 28, 2007 8:17 pm

Sparta did exist when Homer wrote. Sparta did not exist in the period he was writing about; but his listeners would have expected to hear about it, so he put it in anyway.

The 650-700 date is when the possibly/probably mythical "Lycurgus" established the distinctive Spartan polity that we all know and love/hate.
phpbb

dags
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 3:11 am

Post by dags » Tue Aug 28, 2007 11:45 pm

That's interesting. So the concept of Sparta as a place of beautiful women predates the "thigh-flashers", the independent women who had much larger roles in society and sexual politics than their counterparts in other Greek cities (and who fascinated non-Spartan men). For some reason, I had assumed that the reputation for beauty had arrived as a result of the Spartan society that Lycurgus brought in. Homer's use of it shows that Spartan women already had a reputation for beauty.

User avatar
perispomenon
Textkit Fan
Posts: 256
Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 5:19 pm
Location: Mijdrecht
Contact:

Post by perispomenon » Wed Aug 29, 2007 7:18 am

Arvid wrote:Sparta did not exist in the period he was writing about
Possibly did not exist. There are signs of destruction on the site, dating back to around 1200, but no traces of a Mycenaean fort were found yet.

Again, that's 21 years old info. I haven't kept track.

Post Reply