A Headnote on Statius Achilleid II 96-167 (试发表)

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Achilles' early years In this passage, Achilles tells about the four stages of his education (I will get to the two lines before the speech later): upbringing from infancy, hunting, fighting, healing art and justice. These stage of training or The first one is to make him physically powerful, including his unusual food and all kinds of physical training; the second one is to make him swift and accurate in pursuing his victims; the third one is to make him more powerful than and overpower people who are powerful; the last one is to make him be able to manage people (whom he overcomes?) physically, then psychologically and socially. An important thing missing in the speech is how Achilles learned poetry and the laudum semina, since it is not mentioned by far, can we deduce that it would be the fifth and the highest stage of the education of the greatest hero of all (who e’ paradigma di un modo di essere, as Rosati puts it)? What is not told by Achilles is more interesting to me: There is a figure missing in the Achilleid, who is in the Apollonius bit of the story, Chariclo, the wife of Chiron. I think this is important for the upbringing and education of Achilles: the missing of a mother figure (who doesn’t leave her child in their early years) plays an important role in the Achilleid although he has many father figures in his early life (Peleus, Chiron, Lycomedes and Zeus, in his imagination). Achilles’ affection to his mother is questionable, as we can tell from I 195-7 (cf. I 660), although he hugs his mother when he saw her (I 171-2). So St. may be implicitly explaining the fierce and angry aspect of the character which is the most important one (and we can detect some trace of it in the coercive manner of Achilles’ speech to Lycomedes). Achilles’ attitude towards Thetis is another interesting topic: the last words of the work are meaningful. (scit cetera mater “my mother knows the rest”) After Thetis unilaterally broke up with Peleus and did not bring Achilles up herself, as his mother (cf. below, source 1), and according to the story of Achilles’ infancy told in some other sources, she nearly kills him (source 3). Having this in mind, we may be able to explain why Achilles was “a little hesitant, or rather constrained” (ambiguus paulum pripiorque coacto) and did not answer one of the questions of Diomedes, which is about Achilles’ beginning of his first nature (elementaque primae | indolis). As Heslin demonstrates, Statius invented a novel scenario to combine the Homeric and the Apollonian versions of Achilles’ upbringing, in which he made Thetis responsible for Achilles and Chiron bring him up from infancy. This scenario puts Peleus far away from Achilles childhood, thus we can understand better the role of “father Zeus” which is in Achilles’ mind. Some sources of Achilles’ early years 1 Though Homer knows nothing of it (in Homer, Achilles was brought up by Peleus and Thetis, who might be a better mother, Il. XVIII 86, 332, 441), some says that Peleus observed Thetis at night while she held the infant Achilles over a fire or in a cauldron of boiling water, in order to destroy in him the mortal parts. Struck by terror, Peleus screamed and thus Thetis was prevented from completing her work. She therefore quitted his house, and returned to the Nereides. (Apollon. Rhod. Argo. I 553-558, IV 865-879) 2 Then Peleus took the infant Achilles to Cheiron, who brought him up. (Apollon. Rhod. Argo. I 553-558, Apollod. iii. 13. § 6.) According to Homer, Achilles was reared by Phoenix (Il. IX 485-7) while Cheiron taught him only the art of healing. (Il. XI 832) 3 Later writers state that before Achilles, Thetis had already destroyed six children, of whom she was the mother by Peleus, and that as she attempted the same with Achilles, her seventh child, she was prevented by Peleus. (Lycophron Alexandra 178 with the scholium of Tzetzes) Bibliography O.A.W. Dilke, ed. Statius: Achilleid Cambridge 1954 Elaine Fantham ‘Chironis exemplum: on teachers and surrogate fathers in Achilleid and Silvae’ Hermathena 167(1999) 59-70 Peter J. Heslin The Transvestite Achilles: Gender and Genre in Statius’ Achilleid Chapter 4 157-175 Cambridge 2005 Gianpiero Rosati (ed.) Stazio, Achilleide intro 1-3, Milan 1994
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最后更新 2012-05-13 21:00:18