Estudos em homenagem ao Professor Doutor José Amadeu Coelho Dias
Um tema egípcio na Ilíada : a Kerostasia
Nuno Simões Rodrigues
AbstractAbstract In Book XXII of The Iliad, the Poet describes the ultimate battle between Achilles and Hector. Zeus had thus decided to weigh the Fates (defined as Ker, a Greek word which also means «heart») of both heroes, so as to determine who would triumph. Hector’s Ker proved to be heavier and, therefore, he must die. This theme of the weighing of the Fates was later echoed in Aeschylus’ lost tragedy, Memnon. But here, the Fates became souls and the motif was then called Psykhostasia. Therefore, we propose the term Kerostasia, or Cerostasia, for the first case. However, the theme of Kerostasia has a counterpart in Egyptian culture: the weighing of the heart by Anubis, as the Egyptian Book of the Dead shows us. Taking this into account as well as the fact that, in Greek mythology, Memnon is Ethiopian, this study seeks to trace a hypothetical genealogy of the Homeric theme of balancing the scales of Fate.
Last Update: 2014-04-16
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