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Desire and other works: Aphrodite in Homeric epic

Grant number: 20/15048-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2021
Effective date (End): March 31, 2025
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature - Classical Literatures
Principal researcher:Christian Werner
Grantee:Juarez Carlos de Oliveira Pinto
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Exhorted by Zeus in the Iliad to restrain from battle and to deal with nuptial works, as well as being represented as a bigamous goddess in the Odyssey, Aphrodite is essentially associated with the realm of erotism in the Homeric epic. However, such restriction presents problems: first of all, the scope of action of the goddess is broader in the historical process of her worship, covering not only sexuality, beauty and marriage, but also navigation, war and even politics; secondly, in the Homeric epic itself, Aphrodite is constantly associated with Ares, which seems to indicate her participation in the field of warfare, and with magic, represented by her famous késtos himás (decorated sash, Il.14.214). Thus, applying narratology to the Iliad and the Odyssey, the present project proposes a study on the characterization of Aphrodite, that is, the way in which her character - which is historically determined according to the narratological perspective - is constructed in the narrative, in order to verify the existence of other domains related to the goddess beyond the erotic - as the warlike and the magical. In this sense, our main object of analysis will be the passages in which Aphrodite figures directly or indirectly. There will also be a contribution to the proposed study by the use of notions such as the "theology of history", according to which conceptions about the gods circulate through narratives, and the "history of the cosmos", which interprets the Homeric poems, and also the Hesiodic ones, as exponents of the history of world development from the beginning to the present of the listening audience in antiquity. (AU)

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