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Antinoos on the risks of getting too drunk

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April 4, 2024

Speaker & Affiliation

Philomen Probert, University of Oxford


4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
161 East Pyne


In Odyssey XXI, Odysseus is in disguise as a beggar, Penelope has announced the contest of the bow, and some of the suitors have tried and failed to string it. Antinoos has suggested the contest should be postponed to the next day; the beggar (Odysseus) expresses his agreement, but asks if he can first just have a go. At this point, Antinoos makes a speech (lines 288–310) warning the beggar that he has been drinking too much, and of the dangers of doing so, and adduces the fate of the centaur Eurytion as a case in point. This talk will consider the interpretation of lines 303–4, which allude to the battle between the Lapiths and the Centaurs: but what point is Antinoos making, and what are the background assumptions about the Centauromachy story? Linguistic, textual, literary, and art-historical evidence will be considered and a new proposal will be cautiously put forward.

Image attribution: Zde, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons