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Agonistic Exchange: Homeric Reciprocity and the Heritage of Simmel and Mauss
T. 0. Beidelman
Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Departmentof Anthropology New YorkUniversity
Whatever maybe, it I feartheGreeks, evenwhentheybring gifts. -Virgil, Aeneid is To a comedian. laughat yourself to give Greeks wouldneverproduce Jewish-type something awayfornothing. -A Greek friend Thirty-fiveyears ago the late M. I. Finley (1962) called attentionto the insights that anthropologyand sociology could provide classicists seeking to understandHomeric society. Finley drew upon the work of Mauss to describe Homeric exchange. Today many classicists cite not only Mauss and Durkheimbut examples of Melanesianbig-men, the Nuer, the Dinka, questions about the rise of the nation-state,and the predictablestructuralist legerdemainof Levi-Strauss and Leach (Finley 1985:xiv). Yet one must search far for references to ancient Greekmaterialin currentAmericanand British social anthropology.'So far, infertilizationbetweenclassics andsocial anthropology terdisciplinary appearsonesided. This articleaims to bringsome classical issues into sharper anthropological focus. I further hope to show how these datamay informandrefinethinkingabout issues. To do so I continue along the path set by Finley and key anthropological valuablyadvancedby Donlan, Qviller, Morris, Segal, Gould, and othercontemporaryclassicists influencedby social anthropology.For this articlethatpath involves the topic of exchange or reciprocityand its relationto the constructionof the social person. Finley clearly owed his insights to Mauss, and I begin with that seminal thinker.I then proceed to an equally powerful and original analyst of exchange ignoredby classicists and most anthropologists,Georg Simmel. I briefly review both Mauss and Simmel and then apply their insights to some Homericmaterial. To do so I firstprovidea brief overview of Homericsociety and beliefs regarding exchange and then consider four specific examples in more detail, two from the Iliad and two from the Odyssey. I conclude with a few suggestionsas to what this may tell us aboutexchangeand the personandthe value of Mauss's and Simmel's insights.
Mauss and Simmel Mauss arguedfor a broaderconstructionto our notions aboutexchange, observingthat it shouldbe viewed in termsof total social phenomena.What is less generallyrecognizedis thatMauss saw prestationsof things as integralto the social construction the person(1954:2). Unfortunately, of Maussdichotomizedmisleadinglybetween contrastingcategoriesof complete trustand distrustin archaic societies, maintainingthat exchanges such as gift giving were pursuedbecause they successfully domesticatedwarfareinto benevolent trade. Mauss's conception of "agonisticexchange," which he laterappliedto Melanesiansandpotlatching Amerindians,appearsto have developed from an earlierpaperon exchange devotedto Greekmaterial.Yet Mauss appearsawarethateven duringseemingly cordialreciprocity,tensions remain: "The form usually taken is that of the gift generouslyoffered;but that the accompanyingbehaviouris formalpretenceand social deception" (1954:1). Perhapsif Mauss had remainedlonger with Greek material model would have gained more ambiguityand ambivalence.His best his on that score is a remarkaproposof the one case he cites from the Iliad, insight 6:230-236. There, one hero exchanges gold armorfor bronze on account of his mindbeing befuddledby Zeus: "Ainsi les Grecs l'epopee homeriqueavaientvu ces moeursfonctionner les consideraient et comme folles" (1969:38; see Redfield 1983:234).Farfromreflectingalienatedjudgment, Homer'saccountis consistent with Greek concern that supposedlyegalitarianreciprocationcould lead to hierarchicalrelationsstemmingfrom trickery,errorsof judgment, or coercion. It is, as Benvenisterightlyobserves, a "sociological illustration"(1973:81). Simmel's masterpieceon exchange precededMauss's by over twenty years and representsmore sustainedand complex analysis (1978), even though it promptedmisgivings from Weber (1972; Altman 1904). I devote disproportionatelymore time to it thanto Mauss's work both because it is less well known andbecause it seems particularly pertinentto the Greekmaterial.Simmel's intera sense of pathos characterizing pretationconjuresup problematicrelationsbetween persons and the objects which they exchange (1971:64). For Simmel no manner exchangeentirelyexpunges the tension and struggleinvolved in social of interaction. For Simmel, economic exchange always involves both sacrifice (1971:45, 57) and resistance (1971:48); indeed, value derives from them. In this, Greek trophiesresemblethe antiquesand raregoods of which Simmel writes: "It comes to appearthat they cost what they are worth" (Simmel 1971:65). Simmel, like Mauss, connects exchange and the objects involved to the personhoodof those concerned.Exchangesbetween Greek warriorsnicely characterizeSimmel's rerealizationthatcommerce, an attemptto objectify value, would be particularly pugnantto aristocratswho view proper exchanges as profoundly personalized (1971:64). Greek exchange was between households (oikoi) centeredabout particularpatriarchs (oikodespotes).This is the originalmeaningof economy (oikonomia).
Simmel stresses that reciprocal activities of aristocratsmust be "surveyable" (1950:90). Of course, this hardlymeans that such operationsare "open"
1971. Redfield 1983. Where some of these interpretations been particularly due to projecting "modern" Western values and morals onto this material.affordeven confidence" (1950:318). Schofield have erred. Simmel saw a gift as "an impositionof identity" (Schwartz1967:1). Donlan 1980.2In this articleI assume thatHomerwrote with deep sociological insight. but like Mausshe may have underplayed need for risk. while the personwho knows nothingcan on no rationalgrounds. livestock. Homericsociety is composed of myriadhouseholds (oikoi) headedby elder males possessing allotted land (kleros)." so vital to Greeks. Held 1987. Such public performancesincrease the social risks involved and consequently the need to cloak oneself with deception.try to surmountthis dilemma involving every nonkin and especially strangers. Some of these values. Snodgrass 1974). The broadfeaturesof Homeric society are fairly clear. rangingfrom works arguingthat Homer portraysan unrealsocial worldto those strugglingto resolve contradictions vagariesmanand ifest in the epics so as to prove that Homeric society actually existed (Adkins 1963. the orchesagement trationof cunninganddeceit. and for that mattermodem Japanese.characterizea social predicamentin all societies. In some of these cases. Gates 1971. Finley 1957. 1969. This requiresa reckoningof values to determinewhether what one has gained would be worth more to one than what one has lost. Homeric Greece: A Background The constitutionof Homericsociety has been intensively debatedsince Finley's famous study (1962).appreciates manof public image or "face. ignorance. Lloyd-Jones 1987. and compelling force complicatesuch mattersas indeedthey do for cases from Homer. Murray1983. and treasureand comprising . Long beforeMauss. Yet Simmel forcefully notes an element of sheer power adheringto exchange (1950:392). the winnergains all and loses nothing. Simmel recognizes that social exchange (sociation) the tact requires (1950:45). Geddes 1984. 1981. 1985. 1975. thoughnotingthateven in the most unevenexchangesthe two partiesmutuallyinfluenceone another. enduringGreekvalues and ideals thatcontinuein parteven today (see Walcot 1970 and Plato's RepublicX:606e).by involved prestationsand complex etiquette (see Simmel 1971:64). Lacy 1966. Long 1970. involving tensions between and egalitarianism ranking(domination). this has 1967. Calhoun 1934. A few general beliefs and values account for the strategiesand dilemmas animatingthe epics' protagonists. Homer's Greeks. "The personwho knows completely need not trust. Post 1939. Gargarin1987. His works were continuallyesteemedby subsequentgenerationsof Greeksbecause he toucheddeeply held. recognizes that beneathall exchange lies some agonistic sense: "exchange is nothingmorethanthe causally connected repetition of the fact that an actor now has lost something which he previously did have" (Simmel 1971:46). and with this.Simmel.Simmel.AGONISTICEXCHANGE 229 the in termsof candor. morethanmost social theorists.a point well criticizedby Finley andAdkins. Of course. thoughhe may have risked much. Qviller 1981. Garland1984-86. 1972. 1982. Morris 1986a. 1987. 1986b. Basset 1934. deception. like Mauss.
Alliances were worthwhileif they involved comhouseholds. Exchange facilitatedlinks between equals at a distance. richer.but one's standingcould be jeopardized.lost.and workers formed an interlinked system of production. Furthermore.3Men could bind outsidersto their householdsthroughgifts parable of goods. They were attractive(esthlos). A small household might be subordinated larger. There were noble men (agados)4 commensurate thos. People producedmore goods. Heads of various households stroveto remainautonomousyet also strove to make advantageousalliances between themselves and otherhouseholdsof comparablepower and dignity.were automaticallyless distinguished adherents (heterai)who. producingoverpoweringshame (elencheie) and deep. There were also servantsand slaves. These were open groups where ranking was constantlyup for challenge. or unacceptable warriorin the Iliad (excepting Dolon). good. Such prestationsconstitutedsigns (semata) of the household's worth. and sought a shareof rewards(geras) markingsocial acknowledgmentof their worth. conduct. which was good or beautiful constitutedfailure(aischron) which was (kalos). In this world work (erga) was not in itself bad or shameful. he was an aristes and son of a leader(basileus) who failed to conducthimself honorably(Feldman 1947).moreaggressiveneighborseitherthroughthe assertionof a morepowerful unit or because the head of the weaker group thought it expedient to become a client.Such men stroveto increasetheirrespectthroughhonor(time) from others. as and mean-spirited sites.230 CULTURALANTHROPOLOGY subordinatekin. A household's wealth. warriors. and warriorsnot only defended what one possessed but to allowed one to seize more. Some writersreferto Therdefeat. usually termed gift-host relations (xeinie)or friendship (philotes). hoped for divinely bestowed illustriousness(kudos). Not living up to these standards or bad (kakos).by which strangers men-at-arms recruited.In fact. have been potentialcontentionbetweenbrothersand some suggestionsof conflict betweenwomen such as a wife and a concubine.espe- . either through marriage or prestations of goods.Wealth and land supportedand attractedpeople.luck. improvidence. and slaves. kin Attachedto these aristocraticmen were subordinate and also unrelated while aristocratic. land. land. Such households were united underone male authority. angry ugly emotion(thumos). slaves. thereappearsto but domesticaffairswere monopolizedby women. the single ugly a commoner. attachedfollowers. In Homeric society there were the aristocrats(aristoi) meritingrespect (aiwith their excellence (arete). or enhancedby victory. but it also providedmeans by which seeming equals could be subordicould be domesticatedand dominatedand workersand nated. Classicists have developed a useful picture of Homeric society that approximatesthe accretive and dissolving kin and client groups made famous in of and writingaboutthe NuerandDinka ethnographies Evans-Pritchard Lienhardt of the southernSudan. brave). yet it was demeaningto toil for another. Calhounrightlyobserves thatsuch aristocrats loosest sense of the word" (1934:308). The termaristoi should not mislead one to assume thatHomericsociety had were notablesonly in "the classes. or by marriage. thantheirleader. One's ancestorscounted as did one's material resources.
and with whom . Best of all was taking goods by force.Consequently to aristocrats were likely to be takenon by personswho consideredthemselves their equals or betters. The public natureof the arenaof contentionwas crucial.Of course. at least so long as the theftor swindle was not avenged. fate) was worth. and the respect each received was proportionate the standingof those with whom one contended. slaves. what was bestowed to one from others as rewards. from exchange. Goods could also be obtainedin otherways besides labor or gifts. resourcescould be honorablyobtainedby theft or trickery. but people were forced to contend more often than they wished and with more personsthan they might have thoughtdecent. Consequently. It was extremely importantto recognize with whom one exchanged foods. especially in celebratoryhospitality(Herman1987). One knew what respect one was due only by contendinguntil meeting one's match. Homeric Greeks drew their personhood. their social identity. No one contendedpromiscuously. viewed as domesticatedcombat. Finally. Struggle(agon) demonstrated that a winner was due greater respect(aidos) than a rival on accountof his being powerful (karteros). Each hero strove to win fame (kleos) befitting his particular estimatedworth. people. or to assault the integrityof competitors'women (Friedrich1977). and deeds.AGONISTICEXCHANGE 231 cially for paymentsince this involved loss of autonomy. Such strugglealso measuredmen's power to preserve the sexual integrityof the women to whom they were connected. looking darkly. agonistic and otherwise. Contentionwas inevitably a result of a compromisebetween need for public approvaland need for lowly contenders to be silenced. If one was confrontedby a manifestinferior. In thatway one discoveredwhat one's allotment(moira. Born an aristocrat. Involvement within one's proximate social range insured rankor its possible escalation at the expense of a competitor. the Homerichero limited exchange to glowering at an opponent. Agonistic competitioncould also involve trophiesfrom athleticcontests. Aristocratic or heroic Greeks secured wealth through competitive freedom to (eleutheria).These indicatedthat the takerwas a betterman.Riffraff. shame). respect. with whom one exchanged gifts and hospitality. Often when confrontedwith an inferior. to staring him down (upodraidon.the despised Thersites was denied any contest by Odysseus who merely struckhim with a scepter and threatenedto uncover his genitals (aidos.contentiononly demeanedone's standing. as booty by sacking a town or householdand enslaving its inhabitantsor by strippinga slain opponent. one vied only with thosejudged equals or superiorsin orderto prove thatone might actuallybe theirbetter. and hangers-onhad no rightfulpartin such agonistic choreography.one still had to contendto maintainand define thatstanding.Escamaintaining lation was proportionate the reputationof a fallen protagonist. One knew one's rankand standingby knowing with whom one received and gave women. Holoka 1983). though it was beautiful and noble to exchange resources voluntarilyas in giving or receiving gifts. It was also demeaning to seek goods in commerce. This was tactically acceptableprovidedthat the spectatorsinvolved (and witnesses were vital) conceded that such ranking was sufficiently that proximate an upsetmightjustifiablyoccur.
meaning those one loves or likes. The armor. or guest-giftfriends(xeinoi) (Herman1987). Hektor." Withina householdall free membersarephiloi. Theoxony was a universallyurgedbelief andpractice. and Patroklos demonstrate(Schlunk 1976. This insuredthatone was not demeanedby contendingwith a patentinferior. Much literatureon Homeric social organizationcontrastswell-known and less-knownpersonsin termsof "ours" and "others. Each battleengagementin the Iliad constitutesa kind of personalrite de passage in which each warriorannouncedhis name.whetherthey be foreigners of seeming rankor beggars.5To know oneself one had to know responsive others. donning that same armor. Patroklosand Peleus (Finlay 1980).Outsidethe oikos properagathoi were more or less equal. Scodel 1982). Given these difficulties. Outsidersare not philoi unless they aredistantkin. friends. It is in this external. For Achilleus to have his friend Patroklosslain while wearing his.Lying anddeceptionaboutone's identity and worthconstitutedseriousdangersthathad to be reckonedwith if the protagonistswere to make shrewdjudgments about what strategiesto take (Walcot 1977a). egalitariansphere that one engaged in agonistic exchange in orderto maintainand augmentone's name. Thus the termphiloi held implications of solidaritybut also possible rankingas well. and deeds to the other.Schein 1984). encounteringappearancesand identities that were misleadingcould have grave consequences. incidentally. Not surprisingly. capturingand ransomingthe other (Sale by 1963. Phoenix. Exchange inevitably involved alteringequals to unequals. Achilleus's. For HomericGreekskinshipinvolved deep solidarityandrevelationof identity but also involved rankedrelationsof age and gender. In the oikos the pecking orderwas clear-cut. Both warlikeandpeacefulcompetitioncould lead to winnersor losers and or to clienthoodtakingon connotationsof parent-child older-youngerbrotherrelations resemblingrank within the household.anthro- . They could even be gods in disguise and indeed strangerswere under the protectionof Zeus (Bolchazy 1978. Podlecki 1961). Yet conflict and death were presenteven here. as biographiesof Agamemnon. kin. This explainsthe difficultiesinvolved in confrontingstrangers. In this second case.and then to contemplatethe slayer. Levy 1963. throughaccumulationof esteem (time).232 CULTURALANTHROPOLOGY one contendedin war and sport. Achilleus's arch rival.involved more problemsand loss than simply the death of a friend and lover. The fate of Penelope's suitors illustrates where bad judgments about seeminglypowerless strangersmight lead. Similarly. keeping a hostage for ransominevitably involved long-termhospitalityand possible gift-guest friendshipthat should only involve a worthyperson. Yet Hermanobserves that the word philoi could mean "clients" as well. armor. One could not be sure what respect(aidos) they were due. but it also guaranteedthat one would know what reputationand honor one appropriated slaying or. affines. Greekswere not supposedto contend with philoi. less often. lack of informationabout someone's identityposed even more severe problems. or even indirectly one's possessions (Benveniste 1973:277-288).originallybelongedto Achilleus's fatherso thatit was doubly associated with a fatherlyfigure. one's dignity (aidos). lineage.
Outside. Withina householdwhere everyone shares a commonlot. One gets somewhereonly by aiming high and dangerously. one who does everything. One must contend for honorsand dignity. Lying and deceptionareacceptabletactics. To be sure. as to compared his retainersor his son. Despite the importanceof eloquence. one puts up a closed front is revealingonly what is favorable.The problemof risky exchange means that protagonists try to withhold as much unfavorableinformationabout themselves as possible and seek to learn all that is unfavorableabout outsiders. Unrelatedequals are perpetuallylikely to be locked in contentionwhere someone wins and anothermust lose. sharein the benefitsof Odysseus's returnwith all victory and wealth-except those who betrayedhim. these. I have so far describeda social world of limited resourceswhere one protagonist's gain is another'sloss.the less disgracefulone's defeat will be. even fatal. Only someone whose volition and thus whose autonomyhas been eroded is forced so low. Thus when Achilleus is conjuredup fromthe dead by Odysseus. one needs all the information can get to estimatewisely one's prospectsat each encounter.unprotectivestrangers.subordinating. They areformsof cunning(dolos or metis). but even the slave of a householdhas identity to andenjoys protectionvis-a-vis the outside world. especially peers. and a proper household would uphold hold. though a miscalculation wouldbe shameful. One's fame (kleos) dependson acknowledgment and praise from others. none of this contendingand posturingcounts for much unless it is public.Odyssey 11:488-491. information freely disclosed.those who are related(thoughconsequentlyranked) all sharein a victory againsta memberof the othergroup. cunning.colleagues. is automaticallyto lose. In contrast. in correspondence the household he is in. Such honors are relatedto the rank and power of those one confronts. Still. There must be witnesses to attestto the outcome. another weapon in the battleof contentiousexchange. This remindsme of examples in Evans-Pritchard's ethnographywhere one Nuer criticizes anotherbecause his fellow has beaten "his Dinka" client. the higherthe rankof one's or vanquisher.andeven slaves of Odysseus's householdrisk loweringtheir commonrespectand rightswith their master'sabsence and the humiliationof his wife and son.For HomericGreeksa rogue would be panourgos. hangers-on. Obviously. unattached a householdand thereforedependentupon paymentsfrom indifferent. Correspondingly. slaves at the bottom of the heap can expect meager measure of identity and recognition. The subordinates. one maintainsor gains honor only by confrontingthose as highly rankedas possible yet so within strikingrange that one hopes one might beat them. those very persons with whom one is . No one gains by besting an utter inferior. Such a system of contentionratesrisk highly.Risk one is linked with secrecy and deception. Bound to a particular houseeven the slave has expectations.AGONISTICEXCHANGE 233 pologists reportcomparableplay with kin terms among Nuer patronsand Dinka clients in settlementsin the southernSudan. the worst status that he can imagine to compare with death is a transientlaborer's to (thetes). and deception. if one is noble and young. and to refuse to contend. whereas the patronNuer alone claims the rightto pick on such a dependent.
referringto strong feeling about losing a possession to someone else on accountof how valuableit was. Nagy (1979). Schoeck 1987:146-152. Gould (1975). no fully mortal women occur (can one consider Helen fully mortal?)outside Ithaka. This resembledboastingaboutwhatone had.234 CULTURALANTHROPOLOGY most likely to contend. Pucci (1987). 1984). Pedrick (1982). Heubecket al. Schein (1970. agonistic exchanges should be enactedbeforethe most criticalaudienceand in such a way thatany failurewould be so well known thatenormouseffort would be required(if indeed it were possible) to undo any harmdone. Praise from one's kin and underlings is taken for grantedunless one transgressed. Kassandra. Envy involves the ill feeling we have aboutwhat anotherpossesses. and Andromacheare figures for whom men contend. Leavthey ing aside variousgoddesses. (1988). public exchange. Redfield(1975). in battles. women figure weakly in the Iliad. The Homeric epics are essentially aristocraticin their prevailing values. Kirk (1985). John H. Finley (1978). 214). Eichholz (1953).Envy and jealousy were rooted in agonistic exchange among supposed equals whom one hoped to put down. Edwards (1987). Jealousy involves rancoraboutlosing what we alreadyhave to someone else. Stewart(1976). G. Hecuba. Stanford(1968).for kin and followers share in one's glory-or loss.addsconsiderablyto the risk attendingattemptsto score points in the game of honorand shame. Finley (1955). . contestsandceremonies. Moses 1. comPenelope'sanomalousmaritalposition meritsconsiderableanthropological mentbut not in termsof this article. they are grantedno public exchange. Helen. Yet these and otherworks in latercenturiesdisplay a deep conflict in all Greek society that pits aristocraticand democraticprinciplesagainst each other. The precedingaccount provides little on Homeric women. SourcesthatI found useful are Atchity (1978). Austin (1982). Envy (phtonos)andjealousy (zelos) are key aspects for this system (Walcot 1978. The good opinions that count most would necessarilybe most grudgingly bestowed. Even in the Odyssey where more women appear. With the defeatof the men with whom they are linked. This is because do not appeardirectlyinvolved in the topic at hand.Brisseus. at assemblies. they will ceremoniouslymourn or will numberamong the rewards(geras) bestowed to the victors. Hohendahl-Zoetelief (1980). As women they arenot allowedpublicconductandconsequentlycannotengage in any formal exchange. All these notions reflectthe deep concern that Greeks felt regardingthe good things whichthey mightwin or lose fromothersclaimingto be theirsuperiors. While Penelope and Eurykleaare key figuresthere. Griffin(1980). The Homeric Epics on Literature the Iliad and Odysseyis staggeringlyvast. Motto and Clark (1969). at great feasts. King (1987). Claus (1975). Menckencould have been referringto ancient Greeks ratherthan modern Americans when he remarkedthat envy is an essential feature of democracy (Mencken 1955). Greeks also sometimes employed zelos more positively. cf. To count. This public natureof exchanges.
and he suffers through muchof the epic on accountof this hubris. and Whitman(1965). Besides illustratinghow complex and manifold Homericreciprocitymay be. He is describedas a he-man(andros). Heroes' are identitiesderive from those they defeat and the consequent rewardsthey reap. "Odysseus' adventures his lineage" (Benardete1963:13). Achilleus's wrathstems from being insufficientlyrewardedas the hero he judges himself to be.the goddess Athena.) employed to seek fame at the price of a safe return(nostos) home. Subsequent adventuresreveal him as multireactive(polytropos). He believes thatneitherright-minded men nor the gods could creditthis treatmentas justice (dike). Classicists will find little informationin my articlethat is not alreadyconveyed in these works. infinitely cunning (polymetis)in lying and deceit (dolos). nameless strangerat the mercy of others.6 The Iliad opens proclaimingthe wrathof the hero whose name. consequentlyimpairingthe glory (kleos) he seeks.He returnsto his family and home as a stranger. qualitieson which he is complimentedby his disguisedmentor. Whatthis articlecontributes is casting such materialinto a social anthropologicalframework.Odysseus of boastfullyreveals his name to Polyphemus. Its tragedylies in the implicitacknowledgment the greatesthero mustdie to securethe greatthat est glory. Complementarily.AGONISTICEXCHANGE 235 Walcot(1977a. multireactive (polytropos)and a navigator. father.the Odyssey is about a jeopardized name and identity. The Odysseyis an epic abouta hero whose identityis unknownand problematic and whose social being is reattainedgraduallythroughhis treatmentor mistreatmentas a gift-deserving. He reveals his nameto the Phaeakians only afterhe has good reasonto trustthem and they have promisedhim a ship to reachIthaka. To make mattersworse the regions he visits presentvalues and situationsmakingit difficultfor him to succeed.as well as developingargumentsraisedby Mauss and Simmel. and how closely it is tied to definitionsof person- . With these broadcontrastsestablished. The unnamedhero wandersin a world where he is unrecognizedin both senses of the term. The Iliad is about conflict and the demand for retributive payment(poine) negotiatedto rectify unjustrecognitionfor the person. The Homericepics may be explainedin termsof definingthe personand the reciprocity employedto do so.revealinghis identity in a bloodbaththatreclaimshis rule and avenges his dishonor. and social background immediatelymadeclear. the Cyclops.It takes 21 lines before we learnhis name. Unlike the Iliad. Troublearises because the protagonistsdiffer in assessing whateach is due and in theircapacitiesto enforce suchjudgments. Truepersonhoodcan be achieved only within the seeker's enrichedand glorified household from which he has been separatedand which outsiderstry to usurp. I examine in more detail two situations in each of the two epics. It is a poem of force (bie) (Weil n. b). In the negativereciprocity are of his exploits Odysseus earnshis name meaning "causerof trouble" because his This is an epic about a aggressive relationswith others make him remembered.7 successful return(nostos) securedby force and cunning.d. daughter Metis (cunning). He is sure that the respect (aidos) he is due exceeds the tokens of recognition(geras) which he receives. the Odysseyopens withholdingthe hero's identity.
and shame. He claims that Agamemnon is neitherjust nor braveand prevailsonly because he has the armybehindhim.Payment. Iliad 2:277. ." Ideally. albeita "loner. is vital as recompense(poine) to injury. He rejects Agamemnonas better than he. Agamemnon reminds Achilleus that he.textual illustrationscould be greatly increasedfor both epics abound in such material. so too the Homeric leader assembles men at a communalfeast (dais) to distribute honorsto the outstanding ones (exochoi). and that anothermantoo may shrinkfrom declaringhimself my peer and likeninghimself to me to my face" Iliad 1:185-187.most forcefulAchaean. king or leader(anax or basileus) of the army who as custodianof divine custom (themis)will divide and bestow wealthto the variousmen. booty has been given to Agamemnon. Thus. This providespublicfocus for and discredit. Achilleushas demonstrated he is the bravest. at least that to his own satisfaction. Wordsanddeeds shouldcoincide. Agamemnon. Achilleus's wrath. the gift leads to obligation (chreios). Greeks. like Nuer. Eachbestowal (geras) is a rewardof honorrecognizinga man's accomplishments inciting him to fuor turedeeds.If space permitted.After his victories. Achilleus is wrathfulbecause Agamemnonhas takena captive woman from him in orderto replaceanothercaptive thatAgamemnonwas forced to relinquish on account of the supernaturalinterference of Apollo. suffering. Charis means both verbalgratitudeand materialreward. not just verbal apology. The Iliad My firstexample relatesto the crucialtheme of the Iliad.236 CULTURALANTHROPOLOGY hood. Throughoutthe Iliad individualheroes strive to achieve honorthroughdeeds. these cases provide me with an opportunityto fill in furtherethnographic detailson Homericbeliefs and values governingstrategiesof reciprocity.but like Nuerthey also recognizethatcompensation never actually makes up fully for losses such as death. must replace his own loss or be without a subrankamongthe assembledwarriors(laos): stantivesign (geras) of his paramount "thatyou may know well how much I am honored(pherteros)thanyou. In either case. Just as some Africanchiefs receive tributethat they then dole out in hospitalityand gifts to followers. but Agamemnonis the acknowledgedpublic source for creditingAchaeanexploits. Achilleus has early on complainedaboutAgamemnonthat "there was no gratitude(charis) given for fightingincessantlyforeveragainstyour enemies" Iliad 9:316-317. 380. events bear out that Achilleus and not he is the greatesthero. observe thatbloodwealthis necessary. Achilleus latercomplainsthat such injustice occurs "whenevera man wishes to despoil (amerdo)an equal (homoios)andtake back his geras because he is superiorin power (kratos)" Iliad 16:52. While Agamemnon is proclaimedleader of the acknowledgment assembledwarriors(laos) because he has the most and best numberof adherents.8 Paymentis all that is culturallyavailable if one rejects violence and seeks deliberatedagreement(euboulia) (Schofield 1967). Agamemnonwould possess not only the wordsforjudgmentand conferringhonorbut also comparablebraveryand force. Wordsareimportant recognitionbut must be backedby deeds and goods where wrongs and rewardsare concerned.
but the terms with which it is conveyed continue guerilla warfare between the two men by still asserting Agamemnon's superiority. irreplaceable. I am mindedto make amends (apoina). the richestof lands. daughters of these let him take away the one he would like as wife (phile) in the house of Peleus. skilled in goodly handiwork. if he but cease from his wrath.AGONISTICEXCHANGE 237 Agamemnon has offered to replace the woman with other wealth. and I will furthermore swear a great oath that never went I up into her bed neitherhad I dalliancewith her as is the appointedway of mankind.even of men and women. on the uttermostborderof sandy Pylos and in them dwell men rich in flocks and rich in kine. After many difficulties. withoutgifts of wooing (anahednon)and I will furthermore give a dower (doso) full rich. All are nigh to the sea. let him then enter in. And let him submithimself (upostitu)unto me. and I will honor him even as Orestes that is reared in all abundance. And I will give seven women.and if thereafterit so be the gods grantus lay waste the city of Priam. my son well-beloved. Agamemnon's speech nicely epitomizes the profound ambivalence of such reciprocation. andheapup his ship with storeof gold andbronze. whom on the day when himself [Achilleus]took wellbuilt Lesbos I chose me from out of the spoil. especially the loot from Lesbos. Not withoutbooty were a man. seeing I am more kingly (basileuteros)and avow me his elder in years. he shall be my son. what time we Achaeansbe dividingthe spoil. represents booty that was gained mainly because of Achilleus's own hero- . I wean. And if we returnto AchaeanArgos. In the midst of you all let me name the glorious gifts (dor anomeno): seven tripodsthat the fire hath not touched. Chrysothemis. Let him yield-Hades. Three have I in my well-buildedhall. winnersin the race.and twelve stronghorses. and that in beauty surpassall womenfolk. These will I give him and amid them shall be she that I took away. whereforehe is most hated of all gods. Below is Agamemnon's speech to Nestor and the other Achaeans outlining his terms of compensation to Achilleus: Yet seeing I was blind. and fair Aepeia and vine-clad Pedasus. and to give requitalpast counting. the goods. neitherovercome. refusing to fight. such as no man ever yet gave with his daughter. andIphianassa. and ten talentsof gold and twenty of gleaming cauldrons. and yielded to my miserablepassion.9 To begin.andLaodice. and beneathhis sceptreshall bring his ordinancesto prosperousfulfilment.women of Lesbos.And even well-peopled cities will I give him. All these things shall be ready to his hand forthwith.All this will I bringto pass for him. Achilleus implies that because he has at one time possessed the woman she is now incomparable. Achaeans put pressure upon Agamemnon to make a further effort to assuage Achilleus's anger (thumos) by offering greater compensation (poine). is not to be soothed. [Iliad 9:119-161 ] At first glance Agamemnon appears to be stupendously magnanimous. and sacredPheraeand Antheia with deep meadows. men that shall honor him with gifts (dotines) as though he were a god. Cardamyle. and grassy Hire. the daughter of Brisseus. but Achilleus has rejected this and sulks. The payment itself is handsome. Yet more careful consideration makes it clear that Achilleus could never accept such a subordinating compensation. nor unpossessedby previousgold. and himself choose twenty Trojanwomen that be fairest after Argive Helen. which seems likely to lead to military disaster for the Achaeans and consequently proving to everyone that indeed he is matchless as a warrior. whoso had wealth as greatas the prizes my single-hoovedsteeds have won me.Enope. that have won prizes by their fleetness. now or in the future.
materialvalue to Achilleus's merit(arete) and this is perhapsthe keenest insult of all. The landswould possibly place Achilleus in subservience as to Agamemnon. the entirespeech appearsto set a calculable. As I noted earlier such paymentswere vital in establishingthe parity of affines.is not what it first seems. Zeus ought to give me honor(time)" Iliad 1:352. Achilleus announcesthe race to Menelaos. The seductive offer really constitutesa fatherly. Agamemnon. Finley the 1955.Second. The Greek aristocratfaces a dilemma in reckoning honor with thingsyet claimingthatit transcends things.Even if she were all these things and he is not lying.see Reeve 1973). causingneardisasterto the army untilhis friendand lover.Honoringhis dead sponsors friendwith conspicuousexpenditures. Achilleus cannot be assuaged through means available. asking only that he be recognizedas the older and leader. Patroklos. he.Lacy 1966). Achilleus rejects them because he has been treatedas an "unhonoredoutsider" (atimitonmetanastin). Finally.Achilleus consequentlyhonorshimself as his friend's chief mournerand alter ego. so that Achilleus would be receiving a binding. a notionthatso ranklesthathe repeatsit later. After all. demeaningfavor (see note 3 and Moses 1.is slain wearingAchilleus's own armor(and also his father'sarmoras well). This is underscored Agaby memnonremarking that no paymentsof hedna need be made.Agamemnondescribeshimself as willing to become a fatherto Achilleus. she cannotbe so desperately desirable. but his reactionstems from that same traditional the traditional system of conflictingvalues. Achilleus remainsfuriousandsulks.238 CULTURALANTHROPOLOGY ism. Brisseus's daughter. since Agamemnonhas not slept with her. socially equated Honorand fame are vital to Achilleus since he sees them as just recompense for being mortaldespite being the son of an immortalgoddess: "Since you [Thetis] bore me to be short lived.has hold of them on accountof his right as supreme commander. This is misleading. Agamemnon'sbrother: . Even the returnof the captive woman. from the Iliad involves the chariotrace thatAchilleus My second illustration as partof the funeralgames held to honorPatroklos. she is now voluntarilygiven up. Achilleus faces an insoluble situation: "he must be paid. engulfing embrace. an offer of becoming philoi (friends-kin)in a way acknowledging little autonomyandequalityfor the youngerman. He requirescompensationyet no materialgoods can entirely mitigatedishonor. Only this greaterassaulton his personhooddraws Achilleus out to fight. in praisinghis horses. Agamemnontakes an opportunity to relatehis own numerous racingvictoriesandthe fame thatthey broughthim.Iliad 9:648. she would be far more desirable if Achilleus could seize her against Agamemnon's will. When Nestor sends Odysseus to relate Agamemnon's terms to Achilleus. but he cannot be bought" (Claus 1975:24. Iliad 16:59. Agamemnonhimself points out that although the goods were attainedby Achilleus. To underscore situation. Referenceto bloodwealthin this to same section echoes this notion in that goods are incommensurate life but are with it.the daughterwould certainlydo so. Agamemnonoffers Achilleus lands and one of his own daughters wife. Much has been made of Achilleus's supposedalienation.
dear son. andbearit to my hut. Achilleus then announces the prizes: For swift charioteersfirst he sets forth goodly prizes. Given these prospects. and for the thirdhe set forth a cauldronuntouchedby fire. surelyit were I that should win the firstprize. Antilochus and Meriones are less experienced and have slower horses. taught mankind how to navigate the seas. unbroken with a mule foal in her womb. If for some other's honor we Achaeanswere now holding contests. lay thou up in the mindcunning(meti)of every sort. and he gave to me. of course. he cannot both give and receive prizes and his present role is that of grand gift-giver (Motto and Clark 1969:120). a woman to lead away. and his horsesroamover the course. winning is all that counts. The contenders are Eumeleus (son of Admetus). Nagy 1983] One should remember that Athena. and yet other well-greavedAchaeans. and Menelaos. Diomedes.and it was Poseidonthatgave them to my fatherPeleus. cunning. see G. [Iliad 23:262-270] There are five prizes and it turns out that there are five contestants so each contender will receive a prize. Nestor counsels his son to use cunning to win. The horses of the others are swifter. keepeth his eye even on the turningpost and wheeleth close thereby. is a woodmanfar betterthanby might. and Meriones. a fair cauldronthatheld four measures. to fashion ships of wood. Antilochus (son of Nestor. to the end thatthe prizes escape thee not. Diomedes (son of Tydeus). white even as the first. for the charioteersthese prizes lie waiting in the list. by cunning too doth a helmsmanon the wine-darkdeep guide arighta swift ship that is buffetedby winds. trustingin his horses andcar. The most distinguished and ablest charioteers with the best horses are Eumeleus. but the men know not how to devise more cunning(metin)counsel thanthine own self. and for the second he appointeda mare of six years.and an eared tripodof two and twenty measurefor him that should be first. and watcheththe man thatleadethhim in the race.AGONISTICEXCHANGE 239 Son of Atreus. sportsmanship and being a good loser are worth little. Menelaos (son of Atreus and brother of Agamemnon). thou knowest. By cunning. Whereforecome. The huge wooden horse . Achilleus's old friend and mentor). neitherkeepeth he them in hand. albeit he drive worse horses. neither is unmindfulhow at the first to force his horses with the ox-hide reins. daughter of Metis.for ye know how far my horses twin surpassin excellence. Nestor tells Antilochus: -yet are thy horses slowest in the race:thereforeI deem there will be sorrywork for thee.and for the fourth he appointedtwo talentsof gold. an unusual situation (Willis 1941). For Greeks. The turning-post of a racecourse is her domain. one skilled in goodly handiwork. lliad 23:311-326. and for the fifth a two-handedurn. He regrets that he cannot enter because he and his horses are mourning Patroklos. but. and to harness and race horses. [Iliad 23:272-278] Before the race commences Achilleus proclaims that his superiority would outshine anyone whom he may honor with a prize. seeing they are immortal. yet untouchedof fire. but keepeththem even in hand. and by cunningdoth charioteerprove betterthancharioteer. heedlessly wheelethto this side and that.Anotherman. whereas he that hath a crafty (kerdea) profitablemind.
Antilochus has put Menelaos's merit (arete) to shame. Achilleus exclaims: Lo. suggesting that Antilochus dare not defy Zeus in this way. Iliad 23:571. Antilochus immediately "eats crow": Bear with me. for her let any man thatwill. Yet cunning without bravery and strength does not suffice (see G. as is meet. "For that by guile (kerdesin. a prize for the second place. and nowise by speed. Nagy 1979. let us give him a prize. bent on gain in a bad sense). Those assembled concur with Achilleus. Yet Antilochus still refers to his gift as one that he has won and in offering to give it to Menelaos he still attempts to take credit in the exchange. [Iliad 23:536-538] Rewards here are based on personhood as well as luck and skill. [Iliad 23:551-554] And so Achilleus gives Eumeleus a valuable bronze corselet out of his own possessions. or even now forthwith. cleverness. now for far younger am I than thou. forthwithwere I fain to give thee out of hand. During the first half of the race. except brash Antilochus who insists that the second prize is properly his. Whereforelet the heartbe patient. of merit) man. with Menelaos close behind. Antilochus second. king (anax) Menelaos. He suggests that Achilleus pay Eumeleus out of his private wealth but not bestow the second prize already consecrated to the race: Thereofdo thou hereaftertake and give him even a goodlier prize. but the firstlet the son of Tydeus [Diomedes] bearaway. . in the last place drivethhis single-hooved horses the man [Eumeleus]that is far the best (aristos).240 CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY that brings the Achaeans victory over Troy is Athena's trick (dolos). and thou artthe elder (proteros)and the better(areion. Aye. had he outstripped Menelaos" Iliad 23:515. Menelaos seems sure to overtake Antilochus when Antilochus forces Menelaos's chariot into a muddy hole. Shocked. The supposed best cannot be last nor may the undistinguished prevail over the better. the lead goes to Eumeleus with Diomedes gaining so that he seems sure to overtake him. This leaves Diomedes in the lead with Menelaos and Antilochus contending for second place. and if thou shouldstask some othergoodlier thing from out my house. He challenges Antilochus to swear an oath that he did not practice trickery (dolos). and Eumeleus last.the mare that I have won will I give thee of myself. [Iliad 23:587-593] Antilochus refers to the power of Menelaos as a leader of others but also to his elderhood. conjuring up philoi notions of parenthood. But the mare will I not yield. Vemant 198 la). This angers Athena who favors Diomedes. that the Achaeans may applaudthee. Apollo's favorite. Thou knowest of what of sort are the transgressions a man that is young. essay to do battlewith me by might of hand. and but slenderis his wit. then Meriones. Apollo interferes and tries to obstruct Diomedes. Diomedes comes in first. Then Menelaos denounces Antilochus for having to cheat because his horses were slow. for hasty is he of purpose. to have an accident. and she causes Eumeleus. But come.
Verily not soon should anotherof the Achaeanshave persuadedme but thou hast sufferedgreatlyandtoiled greatly. my son (tekos. burying lord Amarynausat Buprasium. He does so in a manner that redounds to his own aura of generosity and grandeur by making it clear that Nestor cannot reciprocate: This. aged sir. all this hastthou spokenaright. aye. tle. I give you this prize for the since never again will you fight with your fists nor wresgiving [expectingno return]. child). This leaves the fifth prize unclaimed. [Iliad 23:618-623] Nestor tries to salvage dignity by conjuring up his glorious past when he would have been able to reciprocate. Achilleus turns this to good advantage for his own strategies.nor race on your feet. are no more firm. whereforeI will hearkento thy prayer(lissomai). is yours to lay away as a treasurein memoryof the burialof Patroklos. Menelaos closes by signaling that he has good grounds for being proud because he is powerful. Throughout. even my feet. o my friend (philos). since never again will you see him among the Argives. even on one's own terms that may be painful to the re- . Menelaos then takes the third prize. He has now categorized Antilochus as well as Antilochus's brother and father as subordinates to be rewarded for their long suffering subservience to his needs. Achilleus certainly has reasons to dislike Menelaos.for my limbs. He couches his thanks in philoi terms of parent-child relations: Aye. Meriones takes the fourth. neitherthe Epeiansnor the Pylians themselves nor of the great-souledAetolians. nor do my arms as of old dartout lightly from my shoulderson either side. Then was there no men thatproved himself my peer. Menelaos has now made the mare a "poisonous" gift. verily. [Iliad 23:626-633] These passages underscore the importance of speaking eloquently and shrewdly to define terms of receiving and giving gifts.and his sons appointedprizes in honor of the king.AGONISTICEXCHANGE 241 Menelaos will not be outwitted in this game of shifting definitions of autonomy and generosity. but whose faction can thus be soothed. thou andthy bravefatherandthy brotherfor my sake. as of old. Yet such oratory would be futile were one not also to command public attention through reputation (deeds) and a powerful circle of followers. since now the of hardship old age is upon you. and to the end that these too neitherunbending. Achilleus awards the final gift to Nestor who did not race at all. nor enter again the field for spear-throwing. Would that I were young. Even while commending himself as generous and reasonable.[Iliad 23:606-611 ] may know thatmy heartis neverover-haughty Menelaos continues to observe that it was rightfully his mare from the start. a prayer (lissomai) such as one would offer to a powerful being. Homer implies that Achilleus favors Antilochus and Nestor. He redefines what Antilochus had hoped would be a gesture of noblesse oblige in gift giving into a supplication. the younger brother of Agamemnon. Speech about reciprocity is empty without the wherewithall both to provide the riches and services at dispersal and the power to compel their acceptance.
andthey were all hushedin silence. and that quickly.And let the housewife give supperto the strangerof the store that is in the house. lo.242 CULTURALANTHROPOLOGY ceiver. andbid the heraldsmix wine. Odysseus finds his way through the palace to the center of the royal court where a feast is about to begin. he ever attendsuponreverendsuppliants(hiketisin).Him must we now tend. Hohendahl-Zoetelief 1980. Xeinia: I have alreadynoted thatone establishedkinlike relations(philoi) . He is befriended by their daughter. Herman 1987.to whom may the gods granthappiness in life. There "about the knees of Arete Odysseus cast his hands" Odyssey 7:142. [Odyssey6:206-208] Guided by Athena who conceals him in a miraculous cloud. Levy 1963. this is some helpless wanderer from Zeus are all strangers(xeinoi) and beggars and a gift (doris). Pedrick with strangers (xeinoi) by prestations and that this could lead to alliance or even 1982. and the dues of honor which the people have given him. [Odyssey7:159-166] To understand Odysseus's behavior one must grasp two important concepts: first. who instructs her maids to clothe Odysseus and shows him to the palace: thathas come hither. nor is it seemly thata stranger sit upon the groundon the hearthin the ashes. 1. this is not the betterway. Gould 1975. thatwe may pourlibationsto Zeus. Podlecki 1961. that I may come to my native land. ruled by king Alkinoos and queen Arete.for Nay. for a long time I have been sufferingwoes far from my friends. 10 The pedigrees of the trophies bestowed are also crucial (see Zarker 1965). but these others hold back waiting for thy word. hiketia or supplication (Bolchazy 1978. and to these banqueters. and because the successful outcome of the first situation (Odysseus's successful supplication of the Phaeakians) leads directly to his singing of the second (his unsuccessful supplication of a Cyclops):12 Odysseus is cast naked and bruised upon the shores of the Phaeakian kingdom of Scheria.-aye. mirror-images of one another. xeinia or guest-friendship. Then Odysseus makes a prayer: "Arete. But for me do ye speed my sending. make the strangerto arise and set him upon a silver-studdedchair. [Odyssey7:146-155] Echeneiis addresses the king: (xeinon) should Alkino6s. daughterof godlike Rhexenor. and second. Come. But at lengththerespoke among them the old lord Echeneiis. " This is clear both from stated kinship between the Phaeakians and the Cyclopes. and may each of them handdown to his childrenthe wealth in his halls. though small. who hurlsthe thunfor derbolt. Scodel 1982). to thy husbandand to thy knees am I come afterso manytoils. is welcome. Schlunk 1976." So saying he sat down on the hearthin the ashes by the fire. Nausikaa. The Odyssey The two illustrations that I provide from the Odyssey are linked.
The notion of hiketia involves self-abasement. Perhapsthe most moving scene in the Iliad involves protectionin orderto redeemhis king Priamvisiting Achilleus undersupernatural son Hektor'sbody. Greekswere concernedaboutpublic appearance. a place sacred to the oikos. The invasion here is assumedto be harmlessbecause the supplicantis also tacitly statingthat he is "nothing" and thereforeno threateven to such intimate sectors. without respect). 14 Agamemnon's improperrejection of a father's(Chriseus's)hiketia for his captive daughtereventuallytriggers off the riftbetweenAgamemnonand Achilleus. It touches upon the dilemmaof strategicprestation.he becomes aidoioi (without aidos. but it is also the moraland physical centerof the home. This is probablyone reason why Odysseus's concealed identityfascinatedGreeks. He does this on the advice of Athena. drawinghim up and incorporating how low or scruffy the supplicantis. raises him up.of correctlygauging the social person.Yet strangersmight not be what they seem. protectedportionof the body. one did not make welcome (philesei) a dignified and powerful prince or warriorin the way one helped a miserablebeggar. The problemlay in the fact that appearancesare deceiving. It is done by crouching and clutching the knees (associated with sexual generation.but it is also intimatecontact with a sexually significant.Achilleus becomes hostile. Were a foe spared. often unsuccessfully. By performinghiketia the supplicantabnegatesall equality of status. by a vanquishedwarrior seeking mercy. he would be expected to reciprocatewith a ransomin orderto be freed. Dependinguponjust or him as some kind of philos (friend-kin).Yet we shall see that he must still do and say even morebefore confirmingthe position he seeks. andAchilleus's noble acceptance of Priam'ssupplicationheraldsthe epic's close. except among one's own kin where interpersonal at issue. see Onions 1951:176-186) of the suone. Ideally. Odysseus grasps the queen's knees. A kiss (philema)on the face was how philoi might greet one another. wines anddines him. Of course. One was obliged to extend some hospitalityand gifts to helpless strangers who were underthe divine protectionof Zeus (Zeusxeinion). trueappraisal a personwas face was not not always easy.to be in a parent-child fracorporates . Reciprocationof hiketia inhim volves takingthe supplicantby the hands.15He then crouches at the hearthin the ashes. one would want to extend prestations commensurate with the respect(aidos) due a stranger. Odysseus's hiketia confounds abasementwith an invasion of the host. but Priamperforms hiketiaandAchilleus takes him by the hands. The passages cited about Odysseus's conduct among the Phaeakiansneatly illustratehiketia. the hearthis recognized as dirty with ashes. In the Iliad supplicationis made. In the Phaeakiansituation. 3 This is sometimesaccompaniedby chuckingthe chin or kissing perordinate the hands. this incommensally. as happens several times in the Odyssey. 2. Strangersmight even be gods in disguise. placing oneself at the mercy of the one who is supplicated. Seeing Priam. but they also recognizedthatthis importanceof public face would lead to it A of being assiduouslycosmeticizedand manipulated. and releases him next day with Hektor'sbody. Clutchingthe knees is conventionalsupplication.AGONISTICEXCHANGE 243 marriagebetween equals. Similarly. Odysseus is from the starttreatedin exemplary fashion as a stranger.
excel. that He then challenges all the Phaeakiansto a wide rangeof contests. He is not taken up on his challenge. Euryalus accuses Odysseus of dishonorablereciprocity. Alkinoos announcesthe many "gifts of friendship"(domonxeinion) thathe and his followers will give to fill Odysseus's new vessel. to appropriate a valiant (agathos) aristocrat(aristos). Even before Odysseus and his crew reach the land of the Cyclopes we are told that they are arrogantand lawless (athemis) beings who neitherplant crops nor plough. Kirk 1970. confirmsEuryalus'sacceptanceof Odysseus's self-definition. not to a merchanttrader. much as foods were got by humansbefore they fell from the gods' favor and be- . Trueto thexeinia relationship. suggesting that his voyages were not for adventure acquiringglory but for commerce. the court bard sings of the Trojanwar. 1978. shrewd profit eagerly grasped) Odyssey 9:164. protective relation.its significanceappearslost to most nonclassicists and some of those influenced by folklorism and psychoanalysis seem strikinglyinept. In Odysseus's case. he is placated and complimentedby Alkinoos who entertainshim at a feast for his assembledfollowers. Odysseus finally (at Odyssey9:19) reveals his name because he is now amongphiloi.16 Odysseusthenthrowsthe discus surpassing everyoneby a long distance.his new philoi. Yet Alkinoos recognizes thatOdysseus is justified in declining in orderto hasten home. Finley 1978. After some contests. The gift.244 CULTURALANTHROPOLOGY temal. mocks Odysseus suggesting that he is no gentleman-athlete only a tradermindfulof "gains of greed" (kerdeon but tharpaleon. Glenn 1971. remarking he would compete with any but Laodamus. 1984. Sullivan 1987). Now he boasts of both his wiles (dolos) and fame (kleos) and sings his adventures. J. Pucci 1987.the king's son. Bergren 1983. he literally replaces Alkino6s's favoriteson at the table. Odysseus declines claiming that he is too depressedfrom having suffered much and on account of longing for home. 1983. Schein 1970.17 Questionedby Alkinoos. Odysseus weeps. Despite its popularity. suggestingthathe become his son-in-law. asks Odysseus to enter the contests. Mills 1981. Whenthe celebrationsand gift giving have gone on for some time and Alkinoos has affirmedhis philoi relationshipwith Odysseus. including those with the Cyclops. Alkinoos and his courtentertainhim by holding variousathleticgames so that the stranger can tell his old friends(philoi) at home how the Phaeakians. C. the warrior-athlete second only to Laodamusin skill and bravery. my final illustrativecase. Euryalusthen gives Odysseus a silver-studdedsword in recompense for his harsh words.for he cannot contend with a guestfriend. all of whom are asked to contributeto Alkino6s's guest-gift to Odysseus. Stanford 1968. Brown 1966. Then Euryalus. Laodamus. The next day the Phaeakians preparea ship for Odysseus. and while this is being done.it is not long before Alkinoos offers Nausikaa to Odysseus. Yet they have plentiful foodstuffs that grow without cultivation. The encounterbetween Odysseus and the Cyclops Polyphemusis the most famouspassage in the Odysseyandperhapsthe most intensivelyanalyzed(Austin 1982. Odysseus respondswith a lecand ture on the dangers of confusing external appearanceswith hidden power and worth. Instead. Stewart 1976.
Each Cyclops lives in his own cave without socializing with otherCyclopes.whether arecruelandwild. Culturestems from negative exchanges (thefts andfalse gifts) butproducesproperexchanges(laws andsociability). each to mind his own separateaffairs.to learn they and or [Odyssey unjust.AGONISTICEXCHANGE 245 came mortal. they 9:173-175] Odysseusgoes because he is humanand curious. as well as arts. The gods in turnpunishedhumanswith a false gift. from a priest of Apollo who was suitablygratefulfor Odysseus's help when Odysseus visited him. Odyssey9:105-141. as epitomized by fire. The Cyclopes display none of the needs and consequentsocial artificeby which ordinaryhumanscope.Althoughtheir land has excellent harbors. Pandora(giver of all. the very opposite reasons from those thatlead the Cyclopes not to travelor practicecrafts. custom). Even before we actuallyencounterthe Cyclops. and the pangs of hungerand toil to secure food. To appreciateHomer's apparent digression in describingthe underdevelopment of the Cyclopes' island. Their very size and disproportiontake the Cyclopes beyond propersocial measure. Odyssey9:212215. Consequently.Humans'artificestemmingfromfirerelatesto metis (cunning)andincludes the capacityto develop social rules and relations. Odysseustakes along a large goat-skinof very potentwine because he has a forebodingthat it would be useful when he meets what he suspects will be a savage (agrios. He takes this chance in orderto whotheyare. despite its riches. with all their . The Cyclops's lack of morals and his lack of crafts (techne) are interrelated (see Mills 1981). not tilling) person with a powerfullydangerousheart(thumos. uninhabitedGoat Island(Bremmer1986.emotion) who knows neitherjustice (dike) nor law (themis. Humanitywas punishedwith both sexual and alimentary appetitesthatwere linkedto mortality.the pangs of sexual longing andchildbirth.the Cyclopes fashion no ships by which to visit others.and make of yonder trial men. Greeksbelieved thathumanity'sskills (techne) arethe gifts we got fromPrometheus (Prometis. fore-cunning)who stole them. Odysseus has warnedus to expect someone who is the antithesisof what a moral(social) humanbeing should be. from Zeus for us.humanity'sskills are rootedin our orectic needs and limitationsand ultimatelyour vulnerabilityin death. we must understand something abouthow Greeksdistinguishedbetween mortalsand divinities. along with otherwealth. whether love strangers fearthe gods in theirthoughts. Odysseustakes a small groupashoreon the Cyclopes' islandeven thoughhe and the main party are quite safe and comfortableon nearby. who broughthumanitymisery and sexual mortality (Vernant1981b). Odysseusreceived this wine as a gift. for deceptively it was not actuallydivine fire that was permittedto be stolen.the possession of fire) but still not divine but mortal. Clay 1980). The social (both customary and technological) bases of humanity's activities (exchanges) are rootedin both what makes humansinventive like gods (culture. or gift from all the gods).
Rather. (Bad guests. and attractive (kalon) to help strangers and to provide guest-gifts. in the cunning but vulnerable sense. we are thy supplicants(hiketai) and Zeus is the avenger of suppliantsand strangers-Zeus. Zeus himself was thought to protect strangers and to send avengers. Odysseus voices all these references. Odysseus is puny when compared to the Cyclops. Indeed. civilized humans and gods who need not work and beasts that comprehend neither labor nor leisure (Kirk 1970: 162-171). Odysseus realizes that the Cyclops may be awesomely powerful and fierce but he is not clever. Odysseus and his men enter the Cyclops's cave and eat some of his food.) When the monster returns.[Odyssey9:266-271] In terms of sociable. one-eyed Cyclops who resides apart and does not live by bread as men would (eating bread and drinking wine are human traits. based on agriculture). Immediately. they enter and help themselves whereas they had all the food they needed on Goat Island. identifying himself and his men as heroes of the proper agathos category. But the Cyclops answers Odysseus that he does not care about Zeus and will not spare them. cultured humanity. confirming their worst fears about his moral inversion from humanity. just (dikaion). reverencethe gods. standing between agricultural. What we are set up to expect is an exchange between a cultured mortal. semidivine brute lacking guile since he does not ordinarily need it. Odysseus knows that it is customary (themis). mightiestone. Odysseus sharpens an olive-stick (the olive being a cultivatable gift to humanity from Athena. and leaves Odysseus and his men trapped within the cave. Odysseus identifies himself and his party as heroes from Agamemnon's army returning from sacking Troy but now come as suppliantsto thy knees [in the mannerthatOdysseus supplicatedqueen Arete (xeinion. including even the bones. they see a gigantic. cun- . they are trapped within. to punish those who disregarded this command. he does not reveal his actual identity. This scenario also accounts for the rites of sacrifice (reciprocity with the gods). daughter of Metis. the Cyclops lives by herding. presumably so he can destroy it and them. and a powerful. Yet he still expects Odysseus to tell him where his ship is harbored and whether he has left any more men behind. Odysseus observes that the Cyclops failed to trick him because of "my great cunning and I made answer again in crafty (doliois) words" Odyssey 9:281-282.246 CULTURALANTHROPOLOGY fragility and ephemerality. As a human. proper (epeikes). saying that his group is alone and without a ship.) At dawn the Cyclops goes out with his goats. which was sunk. Yet Odysseus is polymetis (infinitely crafty) and polytropos (multiadaptive). He has trickery (dolos). the strangers'god-who ever attends upon reveredstrangers. guest-gifts)or othsuccessfully] in hope thatthouwilt give us entertainment erwise make some presentsas is due (themis. but that is another story. When Odysseus and his men reach the island. as is his habit. (He eats them raw. the Erinyes. all such adjectives are applied to such practices elsewhere in the Odyssey. The monster responds by eating two of Odysseus's men. Yet being wily. Nay. customary)to strangers(xeinoi). Such treatment is compulsory when strangers behave properly as supplicants. Odysseus lies.
good host is used as a false gift against the bad host who gives no good gifts but only suffering. whose home is in Ithaka. an uncivilized practice. it is the host and not the guest who should provide wine.AGONISTICEXCHANGE 247 ning) and he hardens this in the fire. The Cyclops now foolishly asks Odysseus: . Odysseus "answered him again with angry heart (thumos)": Cyclops. and the othergods." Odyssey 9:408-09. not for such a puny one as Odysseus. the Cyclops.[Odyssey9:500-505] The Cyclops replies that a soothsayer had earlier predicted all this but that he. Later Odysseus and his men escape from the blinded Cyclops by cunning (dolos). and I will tell thee. if any one of mortalmen shall ask thee aboutthe shamefulblindingof thine eye. The other Cyclopes hear the blinded one screaming and ask him what has happened.No man(outis)'8 is my name. it is Noman that is slaying me by guile (dolos) not by force. who feeds on his guests rather than feed them. Odysseus continues to bait the monster on account of his great emotion (thumos). Noman they call me. was no weakling. (The Cyclops drinks his wine neat. (Properly. the sackerof cities blindedit. thou askest me of my glorious name. for one should not ask a stranger's name before giving him hospitality. "Noman will I eat last among his comrades and the others before him. comely and mighty. Odysseus and his men successfully board their ship and set sail. that man. and Odysseus and his comrades blind him with the sharpened olive-shaft.) The Cyclops then collapses drunk from the bad gift. This was because the Cyclops lacked true cunning. "My friends (philoi). He replies. Consequently they do not bother to help him. Odysseus gets him drunk with the wine that he brought. Cyclops. Thereforehas Zeus taken vengeance on thee. But when I was as far away as a man's voice carrieswhen he shouts. and do thou give me a stranger'sgift (xeinion)even as promised. [Odyssey9:364-366] The Cyclops replies. say thatOdysseus. who didst not shrinkfrom eating thy guests in thine own house. The Cyclops had misjudged the relation between outward appearance and someone's real power. whose comradesthou wast minded to devour by brutalstrengthin thy hollow cave. he says.) Here the true gift from the earlier. it seems. then I spoke to the Cyclops with mocking words: "Cyclops." IOdvssev9:373-3801 While his comrades plead with him to stop so they will not be sunk. thoucruel wretch. this shall be my gift (xeinion). even the son of Laertes. Full surelywere thy evil deeds to fall on thine own head.) As Odysseus plies the Cyclops with the potent wine." Odyssey 9:369-370-one false gift for another. (This constitutes another reversal. clinging beneath the goats when they leave the cave the next morning. had looked for someone tall. When the Cyclops returns that night.
Nor is Odysseus at all deterredby the fact that Polyphemus. Odysseus is continuallytreatedin a manner unbecominghis statusas a princeof Ithakaand a hero. and nobility.but the epic ends with Agamemnonstill more politically establishedthan Achilleus.248 CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY Yetcomehither.These strugglesdeterminewhethera protagonist'sestimationof himself.It is one's name that will be sung by bardsin epics. [Odyssey9:517-520] The Cyclops reveals that his name is Polyphemus (reputeeverywhere but also curseeverywhere). of his respect. This exchange makes good sense if we rememberthat Odysseus owes his very identity("Giver of troubles.that glorious LPoseidon] grant thy may it thee. One can get no honoror glory for a deed if one's name is unknown. havinghis name.The name is the peg to which the deed is attached. Yet the Odyssey revealsAgamemnonignominiouslydead and while Achilleus does die with imperishablefame. is commensurate with that held by others (see Benveniste . In the Odyssey. who is. Unlike Achilleus. militaryskill.providedthat Odysseus eventually prevails over these risks. Agamemnonleads are the attackingarmyyet is inferiorto Achilleus in courage. Odysseus. His when he was deniedgift-guesthoodafterhe himself respect(aidos) was threatened hadreducedhis own dignityby supplication. Conclusion oriented plots with Both the Iliad and the Odyssey present aristocratically subversivethemes. These recognize that claims to authorityare discrepantfrom personalattributesand that even the centralnotions of compensationand heroic interaction themselvesimplicitlyquestionable. even he seems bitterly discontent when his shade is interviewed by Odysseus. Achilleus repeatedlythreatensto outshineAgamemnon. Odysseuscannotprevailwith braveryalone. ThatPolyphemusis attachedto Poseidon simply increasesthe Cyclops's dangerous importance as a victim and consequently the magnitude of Odysseus's triumph. andPolyphemusenvokes his powerfulfatherto preventOdysseus from ever reachinghome. I mayset before giftsof entertainment andmayspeed sending the Earth-shaker hence. but needs every trickand deceit he can muster. as epitomized in guest-gift relations.Odysseusinsultsthe Cyclops even more. For I am his son.Odysseuscan recoverhis threatened personhoodby announcinghis name to his victim.In theIliad. Odysseus's inherentqualities enable him to triumpheventually over those who denigrate him. can now envoke his stupendouslypowerful fatheragainsthim. Whatlinks these epics togetheris agonistic exchange. which works out discrepanciesbetween the "inner" individualand the socially recognized "outer" person.Odysseus's revelationto Polyphemusparallelsthe exchanged of announcements identityand reputation thatprecedecombatbetween heroes in theIliad.The mechanismsof sociability.Even the subsequentsufferingfrom Poseidon will only augmentOdysseus's personhood." odyssasthai)to the harmhe causes others. Polyphemus (reputeabounding). that thee (xeinia). afterall. which he does with Athena's help.appearas sources of abuse and dangeras much as means to advantage andorder.
of for is such no unthinkable. When Homeric Greeks speak of honor and shame. the motives separatinganddefiningprotagonists. Vermeule 1976:203-205). even though coining the term "agonistic exchange. In challengingone's equal or those claimingto be superior. an actionwouldbe illegitimate. they referto problemsof autonomy. Need for others as witnesses characterizes social phenomena. This sense of risk enhances value. and exchange simply assertsand underminesthis." presumablyfrom the Greeks. In contrast. One loses simply by failing to put mattersat risk. Respect. yet the power to sustain and compel . In the Homeric case we need both analysts to make sense.there is a profoundrisk of loss. systematic exclusion of Homericwomen from the public arenaprofoundlydiminishedtheir autonomy. Simmel stressedthe divisive strategiesof exchange.one augments one's own respect.19 Yet even Achilleus. The values attachedto these exchanges are proportionateto the risks involved. These heroes' reputationsare never free fromjeopardyso long as they live. Simmel stressed how thingsbecame freed from those who made and processedthem. void. Homeric Greeks were likely to overestimate their aidos. Aristocraticnotions of fame constitutea mystification of a more prosaicstrugglefor power and resources. of their strugglesto maintainor enlargetheirrespect. One must remainagonistically involved. the need for validationby others.has misgivings concerningthe worth of fame when life is gone. He would have secondedRousseau: To speak a mangivinghimselfin return nothing to speakof whatis absurd. exchange is inseparablefrom personhood. objects' value was due to the risk and pathos surrounding loss. honor. one must be able to compel others to accept this view. The public natureof exchanges. To sustaina high vision of oneself. dignity. Simmel portrayspower. whose fame seems assured. For Homeric Greeks. In contrast. For him. Vernant 1975). Furthermore.[1968:54] Mauss pointedout how aspects of the person inherein things so that the social self or groupsare passed along with the objects conveyed and in a sense this could facilitate their retrieval (see Weiner 1985). One continuesto assertnew claims until broughtshort. shame. Mauss presentedexchange as a powerful mechanismby which societies are welded togetherand conflict subdued.AGONISTICEXCHANGE 249 1973:277. then by old age or by a god. One needs an audience. are attributesconferredor denied by others. for reciprocity divides as much as it unites. ranksas much as it levels. if not by anothermortalhero. is intense for Homeric Greeks. if onlybecause one who didit couldbe in his rightmind. ever compromisingautonomy. What makes them superiorto the gods is that they can be heroes becausebeing mortalthey risktheirlives.For him.yet for HomericGreeks this extends even to all the grave. Existenceafterdeathfor heroes centerson whetherone is famed and praised afterbeing physically gone (Garland1984-86. One cannot dropout claiming to be above such struggles.The latter defines the former. and producesconflict as muchas effacing it. The "highest" goals of exchange involve intangiblessuch as honor and fame. these involve assertionof gain and loss. While objects of exchange circulate.
agonistic exchange may turn into ranking and eventual hierarchy. this self is a profoundly other-defined entity. from which so much of British functionalismstems. Exchange is the central mechanism by which the social self is established and defined by Homeric Greeks.My teacher. while admiring Simmel's views on exchange. sociology. In this respect my article more clearly articulates what was implicit in his brilliant directions. domination. My conviction that social anthropologists the classics derives from intellectualheroes outside anthropology. Even today I consult key Greek texts edited by Sir James Frazerwhose Golden Bough begins with the classics. republished in 1986). he failed to recognize how essential agonistic exchange is for creating social self. It was Weber who. by reexamining Weber. In my own case I first saw the pertinenceof anthropologyfor classics when. This article has underscored one point so far not made sufficiently clear by classicists. To strive for freedom is to risk defeat and subjection but also never to be allowed to stand idly alone. Hesiod to illustratesocial anthropological teachingand theory. I rely upon the Loeb Classical Library bilingualeditions for most of my citationsof Homer. between classical Greek studies and social anthropologypermeatesthe hisInterplay of our field. surveys classical law. While Finley pointed the way. however. For Greeks. Greek exchange poses a dilemma over freedom in the Simmelian sense.publishedbrilliantlyon classical Greece (1965) providinga the- . Emile Durkheim'sworks arerootedin those of the classicist Numa Fustel tory de Coulanges. confiningmyself mainly to works in English. These relations link to themes of force and domination neglected by Mauss. this social self is under constant threat or promise of reconstruction. the sociologist Alvin Gouldner. This article began by saluting Finley and his recognition that Mauss provides insights into the analysis of Homeric exchange. Finley reminded us of Weber's insights on force. One values autonomy yet one measures this only by one's capacity to dominate others. I cite a small portionof the vast relevantmaterialdealing with Homer. as a student. especially The Ancient City. Lewis Henry Morganborrowedmany of his termsandconceptsfrom writingson Athens and Rome. Notes This article is a sketch from a broaderprojectemploying Homer and Acknowledgments. In a paper written shortly before his death (1985. If Finley is again right. and Sir HenryMaine's greatwork AncientLaw.I heardGeoffrey Lloyd lecture on Sophocles's Antigone at an anthropologycolshould comprehend loquiumat Oxfordin 1959. Egalitarian. To this end Simmel provided complementary interpretations.250 CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY such values derives from material things that may be taken or given away. cross-fertilization between social anthropology. grasped their analytical weaknesses. Such changes may be enacted through aristocratic oligarchy or through demagogues and tyrants. I have. read far more materialthan I cite. and again Finley has signaled the way to map this. and classics has a promising future. These processes engage the next step in Greek development. with alterationsof British spelling. and the city's growth as likely keys to the next step in confirming hierarchy and social integration (Weber 1978). Furthermore.
SergentandLoraux. 53-65. 71-83. and Terence Turner. and agonistic reciprocity(1964. I have been impressedby the Frenchcontemporary classicists who employ structuralist methodsandanthropological of concepts for new understanding Greek materials. Ekeh 1974.Michael Carroll. in reveal tactics wherebytwo groupsstrive to asserttheir 3Exchanges early Greekmarriage of equality(or the superiority one over the other). taking whatever goods one likes. He appearsto be the firstscholarof Greece to appreciateSimmel. 243-245. I want to thankIvan Karp. Wealthwas given the also to endow the new couple and their prospectivehousehold and offspring. Plato has Glaukon describe with whomever perfecthappinessfor an unjustmanas being able to have sexual intercourse one wants. shame. GraceHarrisand Roger Justhave writtenessays on classical Athens. the Universityof Virginia. 2Benveniste'swritingshave been invaluablein this (1971.AGONISTIC EXCHANGE251 oretical watershedfor constructionof his influentialtheories.but means to demonstrate wealth and power of the two groupsseeking affinity. 6Positiveand negative exchanges characterizebroadfeaturesof Greek thought. While the topic of this articleis exchange.Detienne. see Walcot 1970). I found these unhelpfulin terms of the issues with which I am here concerned. but this too was bilateral(Lacy 1966.and in Washingtonat the 1988 meetingsof the Society for CulturalAnthropology. Redfield 1982). The great Nigerian playwright Wole Soyinka pointed out striking parallels and insights drawn from comparing African and classical Greek religious experiences (1976:15-16) and made a superbrenderingof Euripides'Bacchae. Sevret 1981. Similarly. see also G. John Middleton. 5Centuriesafter Homer such notions still apply for Greeks. A marriage(between divine Thetis and mortalPeleus) demeans a goddess who is compensatedby making her . 'I admirethe analysesof Paul Friedrichand the writingsof Sally Humphreyswho attempts to bridgethe gap between classics and anthropology. 252-260. Nwoga 1971). and Annette Weiner for commentingon earlierdraftsof this article. I owe a special debt to AnnetteWeinerwho encouragedme to complete this when I was temptedto put it aside.MauriceGodelier subjectsAthenian economy to his Marxistanalysis. 273-288. and harming or helping whomever one chooses (RepublicII:360bc). The Homeric epics spin out from an initially complex situationof debts. In any case I make no claim to a broad of appraisal Greekexchange thatwould requireconsiderationof Aristotle. 1973. the Universityof Minnesota. Vernant. I also Greekpeasantsconam indebtedto JohnCampbellwhose excellent studyof contemporary firmsthe continuityin many aspects of honor. Rodney Needham. Earlierversions of this article were delivered as lectures at the Johns Hopkins University. This was neitherdowry nor bridewealth. 318-326. especially 1973:32-39. 4Gouldcomparesthe Greek concept of aidos with the Nuer concept of thek. 1982). I ignore well-knownrecentsurveys (Bourdieu 1977. and Dorothy Willner have continued the structuralist analysis of Oedipus initiatedby Levi-Strauss. Negotiationsfor marriageinvolved protectedexchangeof gifts on both sides. Nagy 1981). I find this questionable(Gould 1975:87). Sahlins 1972.for example. 327-370.These writersare surelythe exceptions thatprove the rule ratherthan confirmingany prevailingnew trendconvertingEnglish-speakinganthropologists into consideringthe Greekclassics. Vidal-Naquet. the writingsof the fine Nigeriannovelist Chinua Achebe alertedme to important parallelsin problemsof explaining the interplaybetween fate and free will both for Greeks and Igbo (see Chukwukere1971.
Nagy 1983). the wife of Menelaos. Hera and Athena give aid to the siege since they are offended that Paris gave the appleto Aphroditeand not to them (see Davies 1981. Hades and Demeter. Her gift is accomplishedby theft and deception while Paris is a guest but false friend to his host. but when the Phaeakians ponderswhy the gods would conceal themselves fromthe Phaeakians are as nearkin to the gods as are the Cyclopes. his elder brotherAgamemnon. Surelythis is a device . Troy is eventually taken and Helen recovered throughanotherfalse gift of cunning. Prometheus. sponsoredby Hermes. This unequalwedding is attended by an uninvited guest. Eris or Discord. and vengeance throughfalse gifts and false friendships(J. who brings a false gift (a golden apple). Walcot 1977b).thefts. and others includingAchilleus and Odysseus. Odysseus's motherAntiklea(againstfame) had wantedto name Odysseus Polyaretus(meriteverywhere). he rejectsthe offer (see also Nimis 1986. The cloth turnsout not to be Laertes's shroudas she deceptively maintains." Even where the gift was trivial. Greek myths and legends are filled with examples of such negative and dubious reciprocities.Names are signs (semata) (G.Euryklea(fame everywhere). This is avenged by Menelaos.G. Menelaos. Afterkilling the evil suitors.and Persephone. Whallon 1960). The myths of Hermes and Apollo. Autolycus wants to memorialize the fact that he had "odysseused" (caused trouble)many people in his day. 8" 'Lo. seen as a ready payment of intangiblegood. 1981b. Roberts1981-82). l?Quincy(1966) points out that Greeks were keen to repay gifts as soon as possible. "Ironically.252 CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY mortalson. 9Theemissariesrealize how offensive this speech would be to Achilleus and consequently cunninglymodify it when they confronthim.This allows Odysseus to recoup his losses from the evil suitors led by Antinoos(againstrecognition)(see Austin 1972. As everyone knows.Odysseuscan establishhis household'sprosperitywith the wealth he received in the kingdom of Scheria whose queen is Arete (merit) and whose king is Alkinoos (mightyrecognition). the form of thanksimmediatedelivered was an expression of praise. Nagy 1979). Achilleus. One of Odysis seus's attributes to be polyainos.or for his dead son. the great. all illustratethis (see Vernant 1981a.Epimetheus and Pandora. Penelope's nameappearsto derive frompena (woof of cloth) andrefersto her cunning at weaving (an arttaughtby Athena.When Odysseus finally returnshome. daughterof Cunning)which she uses to forestall the suitorsand to provide a cloth for Odysseus's new identity (Marquardt 1985. Odysseus received his own name from his grandfather Autolycus (lone-wolf). For Greeks. Even so. The gift unreciprocated was a veritable"hot potato. Iliad 11:430.Dimock 1956.who recognizeshim throughhis scar. Odysseus visited the old man in hopes of gifts and was woundedduringa hunt. andthe kinsman's heart(thumos)and proudspiritare restrainedby the taking of recompense" Iliad 9:632634. Paris awardsthis to Aphroditewho repays him by bestowing Helen. Pelops and the house of Atreus. praise(ainos) shouldearngifts and vice versa. 1981c). 7TheOdysseyis crammedwith namemagic surrounding personhood. hollow wooden horse. a notoriousthief andliar. god of thieveryandexchange (N. Odyssey7:201-206. receiving his scar crucial to his identificationat the end of the epic. a man acceptethrecompense(poine) from the slayer of his brother. Nagy 1981). who stormTroy. Alkinoos wonderswhetherOdysseus might himself be a god in disguise. Brown 1947). Bergren1983. destined for imperishablefame.andthe slayerabidethin his own landfor the paying of a greatprice. he is helped by his old nurse.
'2It is surely importantthat the two heroes of the two epics are both themselves highly bardicpoets. 'SNewton(1984) arguesfor a more complicatedsymbolic meaningrelatedto rebirth. but they regarded have the special powers to conjureup such deeds throughsong. 70Odysseus actually is confronted with his own fame as though he were actually dead (which. to put oneself in total subordination responsiblefor one's fate. and '9Friedrich Redfield(1978) considerspeech in the constructionof Achilleus's individuality. especially in its more passive-aggressivephase thatcan be comparedto Odysseus's makes a superior conduct in Scheria. to Thetis's entreatyto Zeus for Achilleus. . see Austin (1983). H. References Cited Adkins. In both cases. Odyssey 18:421. Journalof Hellenic Studies 91:1-14. 1969 Threatening.fame (kleos). 'Outis (no one) alludes to metis (cunning). He is an evil guest in a hospitable home (philon hiketo doma). in a sense. death. This occurs at Alkinoos's court when a bardsings of Odysseus's valor and the braveryof the army at Troy. A. The Iliad stresses the personalattributesof honor (time) leading to imperishablefame whereas the prevailingpersonalattributestressedby the Odysseyis cunning (metis or dolos). however. W. 1963 "Friendship"and "Self-Sufficiency" in Homer and Aristotle. Odyssey 16:418433. Odyssey.Abusing andFeeling Angry in the HomericPoems. This repeatedlymakes Odysseus weep and finally leads him to reveal his true identityand tell his adventuresto the court. 13The psychological processes at work here uncannilyresemble the Japaneseconcept of amae.Certainly this supplicationseems a peremptoryand restrainedone when compared. this is far from my argumentaboutpersonhood. he is. However suggestive. Not only can they enact deeds to endurein humanmemory. socially). Homermakes Antinoosdespicableby having Penelope observethatOdysseus had once helpedAntinoos's fatherwho had been a supplicant-fugitive guest. Manyyears ago Post (1939) drew insightful parallelsbetween Homeric and Samuraivalues. This obviously pleases Odysseus who admitsnot being fleetfooted. '4Antinoosis describedas the most vicious of Penelope's suitors who is depleting Odysseus's estate.The Iliad reiteratesthese aristocratic seems ambivalentabout heroism which it repeatedly contrasts with survival. It is a process that would have intriguedSimmel (Doi 1973). providesa kind of immortalitythatis recompensefor struggleand the sentimentsthroughout. Classical Quarterly 63:30-45. the generally benevolent picture I presentof the Phaeakiansis not held by Rose (1969).AGONISTIC EXCHANGE253 by Homer to underscorethe mirrorimagery between the hospitable Phaeakiansand the Cyclopes. Journalof Hellenic Studies 84:7-21. The ultimatereciprocal payment. say. '6Theobservationsabout false personhoodare later reinforcedby the Phaeakianbard's song about beautiful Ares and Aphroditebeing humiliatedby crafty but ugly and lame Hephaestus(Braswell 1982). In any case. 1971 HomericValues and Homeric Society.
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