View Full Version : Homeric References to Race

Saturday, December 18th, 2004, 06:16 PM
References to race abound in the works of Homer, the blind poet to whom credit is given for the two Classic Epics, the Iliad, and the Odyssey.

Thanks to the Internet, both the Iliad and the Odyssey are now online in searchable format: any interested readers are referred to http://www.online-literature.com/homer (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.onli ne-literature.com%2Fhomer) to check the accuracy of the following quotes.


The Iliad - Book I ”While he was thus in two minds, and was drawing his mighty sword from its scabbard, Minerva came down from heaven (for Juno had sent her in the love she bore to them both), and seized the son of Peleus by his yellow hair, visible to him alone, for of the others no man could see her.”

The Iliad - Book XV "Then she said, "I have come, O dark-haired king that holds the world in his embrace, to bring you a message from Jove.”

The Iliad - Book XVII "As a cow stands lowing over her first calf, even so did yellow-haired Menelaus bestride Patroclus.”

The Iliad - Book XX "With these words the dark-haired god led the way to the high earth-barrow of Hercules, built round solid masonry, and made by the Trojans and Pallas Minerva for him fly to when the sea-monster was chasing him from the shore on to the plain.”


The Odyssey Book 4: “There fair-haired Rhadamanthus reigns, and men lead an easier life than any where else in the world, for in Elysium there falls not rain, nor hail, nor snow, but Oceanus breathes ever with a West wind that sings softly from the sea, and gives fresh life to all men.”

The Odyssey Book 7: “You can sleep during the whole voyage if you like, and the men shall sail you over smooth waters either to your own home, or wherever you please, even though it be a long way further off than Euboea, which those of my people who saw it when they took yellow-haired Rhadamanthus to see Tityus the son of Gaia. . .”

The Odyssey Book 13: "Trust me for that," said she (Minerva, talking to Odysseus), " I will begin by disguising you so that no human being shall know you; I will cover your body with wrinkles; you shall lose all your yellow hair; I will clothe you in a garment that shall fill all who see it with loathing..” “As she spoke Minerva touched him with her wand and covered him with wrinkles, took away all his yellow hair, and withered the flesh over his whole body;”

The Odyssey, Book 24 (Note: the Roman name of Athena was Minerva; Jove was the Roman counterpart for Zeus; - and Minerva was Jove's daughter)

"On this Minerva came close up to him and said, "Son of Arceisius- best friend I have in the world- pray to the blue-eyed damsel, and to Jove her father; then poise your spear and hurl it."


Antistrophe 1 ”Was wasting on the bed of sickness, pent within her house, a thin veil o'ershadowing her head of golden hair.”

Phardra “Away to the mountain take me! to the wood, to the pine-trees will go, where hounds pursue the prey, hard on the scent of dappled fawns. Ye gods! what joy to hark them on, to grasp the barbed dart, to poise Thessalian hunting-spears close to my golden hair, then let them fly. “

HELLENES AND HAIR DYE The Grecian obsession to dye hair blonde is also well known: an entertaining contemporary source on this is the book “The Blonde” by Barnaby Conrad III, Published by Chronicle Books, 1999 (ISBN: 081182591).From Conrad’s book and reviews thereof: “Our fascination with blondes goes back hundreds of years. The ancient Greeks devised a method for dyeing their hair blond, as did the Romans, who considered blond hair a sign of aristocracy.” “Combining film stills, fashion photography, vintage advertisements, and literary excerpts with his own revealing text, author Barnaby Conrad III presents an entertaining history of hair color and popular culture. Putting the Harlow to Monroe era in context, he traces the fascination with blondeness from the ancient Greeks, who lightened their hair with pollen, up through contemporary adoration of superstars such as Faye Dunaway, Sharon Stone, Madonna, Cameron Diaz, and Gwyneth Paltrow.”

Source: http://www.white-history.com/homer01.htm (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.whit e-history.com%2Fhomer01.htm)

Saturday, December 18th, 2004, 06:17 PM
I salute Arthur Kemp for his brilliant resource at white-history.com.

Stig NHF
Sunday, December 19th, 2004, 10:33 AM
Yes, he has done a very good job there. I often refer people to the white-history site. Especially insane Meds :icon12:

Saturday, January 15th, 2005, 02:36 PM
I enjoyed certain parts of it, but other parts are a bit contradictory to the primary source and a bit oddly interpreted:P