Wednesday, March 09, 2016


The Inner Unity of the Derrière, as First Perceived by Archilochus

M.L. West (1937-2015), "Comparisons between Homer and Hesiod," Classical Review 15.2 (June, 1965) 158-159, a review of Fritz Krafft, Vergleichende Untersuchungen zu Homer und Hesiod (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1963), from p. 159 of the review:
The fact that σῶμα is never used of the living body in Homer does not mean that the poets were unacquainted with the word or the concept. This sort of argument is taken to an extreme by Krafft: 'Hesiod sah den "Körper" schon als innere Einheit, ohne aber von Anfang an ein Wort dafür zu haben. Er kommt über die homerischen (traditionellen) μέλεα γυῖα und εἶδος (s.u.) allmählich am Ende der Erga zu dem neuen Begriff σῶμα.'  (p. 39). I do not think anyone has yet remarked on the further advance made by Archilochus, who saw beyond the Homeric (traditional) γλουτοί the inner unity of the πυγή.
I find this quite funny. At the risk of belaboring the obvious, the sentences quoted from Krafft mean roughly:
Hesiod saw the "body" already as an internal unity, but without having at the beginning a word for it. He passes over the Homeric (traditional) μέλεα γυῖα and εἶδος (see below) gradually at the end of the Works and Days to the new term σῶμα.
The Greek words, in order of occurrence:

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