Fighting Words and Feuding Words: Anger and the Homeric Poems

Front Cover
Lexington Books, 2005 - Literary Collections - 300 pages
0 Reviews
Anger is central to the Homeric epic, but few scholarly interventions have probed HomerOs language beyond the study of the IliadOs first word: menis. Yet Homer uses over a dozen words for anger. Fighting Words and Feuding Words engages the powerful tools of Homeric poetic analysis and the anthropological study of emotion in an analysis of two anger terms highlighted in the Iliad by the Achaean prophet Calchas. Walsh argues that kotos and kholos locate two focal points for the study of aggression in Homeric poetry, the first presenting HomerOs terms for feud and the second providing the native terms that designates the martial violence highlighted by the Homeric tradition. After focusing on these two terms as used in the Iliad and the Odyssey, Walsh concludes by addressing some post-Homeric and comparative implications of Homeric anger.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


The Prophet Defines
Forms and Formulae
Kᵡo and Social Status
Angers History Kᵡo and Etymology
Angers Aggression The Wrath of Feud
Part II Fighting Words
Helens Cure and the End of Anger
The Beginning of Xᵡo
The Embassy Xᵡo and the Iliads Genre
The Culture and Poetics of Xᵡo in the Iliad
Conclusions and a Comparison
Appendix 1 Forms of Kᵡo Discussed in Part I
Appendix 2 Forms of Xᵡo Discussed in Part II
General Index
Citation Index

Fighting Words
Fighting Deeds
About the Author

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page xiii - Rome GRBS Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies HSCP Harvard Studies in Classical Philology JHS Journal of Hellenic Studies...
Page 9 - We have to do with what has been called a "structure of the conjuncture": a set of historical relationships that at once reproduce the traditional cultural categories and give them new values out of the pragmatic context (Sahlins 1981).
Page 6 - ... and, finally, there is the frustrated anger that occurs in the face of personal misfortunes and slights which one is helpless to redress (tang). But each of these emotions is sharply distinguished from the anger which is a righteous indignation, or justifiable anger (song), and it is only this anger which is morally approved.
Page xiii - CJ Classical Journal CP Classical Philology CQ Classical Quarterly CW Classical World FGrH F.
Page 5 - ... victory has not become obviously hopeless in military terms. Achilles is bound to the war, and can never return, because he is a warrior (perhaps even killer would not be too strong a word) who would fit into the order at home even less than into the order of the army. It will have become clear by now that in Homeric society a lordly wrath is not a private state of emotions. A cholos, a wrath, is a legal institution comparable to a Roman inimicitia or a medieval feud.
Page xiv - PCPhS Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society PMLA Publications of the Modern Language Association...
Page 1 - Homer handles his material in a 'profoundly organic' way, 'subordinating all characters to Achilles and all incidents of the Trojan War to the Wrath'.

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2005)

Thomas R. Walsh is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies at Occidental College.

Bibliographic information