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Homer's Conception of Fate

Author(s): James Duffy


Source: The Classical Journal, Vol. 42, No. 8 (May, 1947), pp. 477-485
Published by: The Classical Association of the Middle West and South, Inc. (CAMWS)
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3291820
Accessed: 21-02-2018 18:04 UTC

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Fate and the will of Zeus are identical

Homer's Conception of Fate


James DuJfy

HOMER S CONCEPTION of fate or destiny thing that is efFected by fate in the poems is
generally engages the attention of also accomplished by the divine power which
critics and commentators. It is conceded by represents the highest deity, Zeus. There is
them that the poet's conception of fate is the no passage in the poems which unequivocally
same in the Iliad and the Odyssey. The queso states that the gods are subordinated to fate.
tion whether or not fate or destiny is an overo There are several passages in both poems
ruling power to which the gods must bow which show that Zeus sends Moira, as will
has been earnestly discussed. Some critics beo be seen later. In the poems nothing is ascribed
lieve that in the poems fate is absolute and to fate that the gods have not performed on
stands above the gods.* One critic maintains several occasions. For example, the poet says
that Zeus is at one time subject to Moira, that it was fated for Odysseus to return to
and that at another time he takes her place his home, but it was Zeus who ordered his reo
as he spins out to men their fortune. Others lease.l5 It is often plainly stated that Odysseus
say that the will of Zeus and fate are the came to Ithaca by the help of the gods. The
omnipotence of Zeus amounts almost to a
same. Still others believe that fate and religion
in general are used by Homer to suit his dogma in Homer. It is Zeus who guides the
poetic needs. destiny of t-he war in the Iliad Ilomer never
However, Efomer does not state that the refers the issues of the struggle to Moira. It is
power of fate is disassociated from Zeus and Zeus who holds the balance of life and death
that it is an independent power in itself. Anyo in the strife. It is from him that victory comes.

* The most important exponent of this view Sitaler9 states that the relationship between Zeus
is Nagelsbach.1 Lehrs agrees with him and inter and fate is not clearly expressed, but that nowhere
prets Moira in the poems "dae Menschen wie is there an opposition between the will of Zeus
Gotter beherrschende Macht, in deren Ord and fate. Farnelll° finds no dificulty in agreeing
nungen und Notwendigkeiten alles seinen Gang with this view. There are others again who beS
nimmt."2 Gruppe practically comes to the same lieve that fate and religion in general are used by
conclusion as Nagelsbach and Lehrs.3 SchmidS Homer to suit his poetic needs.1l Drerup main
Stahlin says, " . . . dass die Gotter Homers gar tains that the poet uses the idea of fate for artistic
nicht letate Instant sind, sondern der Moira purposes. He says, "Nach der Anschauung des
unterliegen ...."4 Cornford states: "Already in Dichters also schwebt twar uber den Gottern das
Homer Zeus and the other Olympians are conS Schichsal als eine materielle Macht, in der dich
fronted by a power they cannot subordinate, terischen Komposition der epischen Handlung
called Destiny or Fate. Like Plato's Demiourgos theaber ist es nichts anderes als die kontentrierte
Homeric gods are not omnipotent; and it seems poetische Idee, wonach der Ablauf der Handlung
impossible to deduce from Homer any coherent von vornherein geregelt ist.''l2 Finsler says of
account of the relation between their will and the fate that "Sie steht vielmehr gant ausserhalb des
thwarting opposition of Destiny."5 Hogarth6 Gotterbereiches, eine Macht fur sich, festgeo
maintains that Zeus is at one time subject to wuraeJt im Glauben der Menschen...''13 and
Moira and that another time he takes her place in relation to the gods he states, "Die Angaben
as he spins out to men their fortune. There are uber die Moira und ihr Verhaltniss au den
other writers who take a view contrary to this. Gottern widersprechen sich, und ein einheitS
Weckler7 says that fate and the will of Zeus are liches Bild au erlangen ist nicht moglich.''14
the same. Bohse8 comes to the same conclusion.

477

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478 JAMES DTJFFT

He has in the Koor of heaven two urns of to diSerent things: to a part of honour32 and to
good and evil from which he apportions a night watch.33 On one occasion it refers
hlessings and sorrows to men.16 It is said more
to the allotted share.34 It is also found referring
than orlce that Zeus and the gods give good to a parcel of land.35 In the Odyssey it refers to
and evil to men.17 There would be no meaninga share of spoil,36 to food,37 to reverence,38
in the Homeric man1s saying that Zeus is to sleep,39 and to a part of a house 40 In the
plural the word refers to two watclles of the
omnipotent and the lord of alll8 if it were beo
lieved that he was subordinate to an unseen night4l and also to portions of food.42
power called fate. This paper will show that Moira is generally used in the poems with
it is nowhere directly stated in the poems that a bad signification.43 It means deathX which is
fate or destiny stands above the gods and often spoken of as the fulfilment of destiny.44
that fate and the will of Zeus are identical.l9 The combination t1zanatos kai moira occurs
There are rnany words used by the poet to frequently in both poetns.45 It shows the
express his conception of what is allotted or close cormection between death and Moira.
destined for man, but the most common one is It is natural to suppose that Mc,ira brings
lMoira, which will be dealt with first. The death and fate more often in the Iliad than
word must be translated to suit the context in the Odyssey on account of the nature of the
of the passage in which it is lcound. It means subject matter in the poems.
death, fate, a share, or a portion.20 Moira estf
(it is fated) is used impersonally in both
Moira Personzfied
poems) it refers directly to what is fated or SOME CRITICS believe that Moira is per
destined for man. Helenus tells FIector that sonified twice in Homer.46 It is probable
it is not yet his destiny to die.21 Ares says enough that Farnell47 is right when he states
that it is his doom to be smitten with the that where Moira is used alone it may re
bolt of Zeus and lie amongst the dead.22 One garded as an abbreviation of moira Dios jUSt
Trojan would say to another that they were as Aisa is an abbreviation of aisa Dios. In one
perhaps fated to be slain beside Patroclus.23 of the passages in which Moira is believed to
Achilles shall lie low like Heracles if fate has so be personified Apollo upbraids the gods about
fashioned it.24 It is fated that Sarpedon be the death of Hector and says that the Fates
slain by Patroclus.25 The harsh fate which washave given to men an enduring soul.48 In the
appointed Patroclus at birth had swallowed other passage Andromache says that such an
him up.26 The same impersonal use is found end did Fate spin for Hector with her thread
in the Odyssey. Proteus tells Menelaus that at his beginning 49 The suggestion of Farnell
it is not yet his fate to see his friends and may be very well applied here as there are sev
country.27 It is again stated that he is ftated eral passages in the poems which show that
to reach his home.28 It is the dest1ny of Odys Zeus or the gods spin the thread of destiny for
seus that he escape to Phaeacia.29 It is intero man at his birth. Menelaus sars that the man
esting to note that Moira when used imper is easily known for whom Croniorl weaves
sonally refers to death in the Iliad and to the the skein of luck at his marriage and at birth.50
return of Menelaus and Odysseus irl the Agamemnon exclaims that Z;eus from our
Odyssey. birth dispenses to us the heaviness of toil.5
The appellative use of Moira is found fre Telemachus tells Nestor that the gods have
quently in both poems as the subject and woven for him the web of no such happiness.52
object of a veEb.30 It is also found in conneco Tiresias tells the destiny of heaven to Odys
tion with prepositions,31 and must be trans seus and says that the gods have spun all
lated to suit the context. In almost all of these threads.53 Alcinous says that the gods
these cases it may be translated 'according tohave woven the skein of death for men.54
right' or by an adverb, 'rightly' or 'duly.5 Achilles tells Priam that the aged marl's
In the singular Moira is definitely tIsed misery is the lot that the gods have spun for
miserable men.55 Eumaeus says that C)dysseus
with the meaning 'portion' or 'parts and refers

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CONCEPTION OF FATE 479

in the guise of a beggar has wandered madness into his soul.78 Fate and Hera's cruel
through
many cities and so has some god spun for wrath overcame Heracles.79
him the thread of fate.56 On one occasion Homer states that the ruin
Not only is it shown in the poems that of Troy was to be e5ected by Aisa.80 In no
man's destiny at his birth is in the hands of other instance is the issue of the war referred
Zeus and is not allotted to him by a power to Aisa. Here, as in the instances already
superior to Zeus, but it is expressly stated by cited, Aisa must be regarded as an abbrevia
the poet that destiny comes from a god or tion of Dios aisa, since the poet distinctly
from Zeus. When the poet mentions a god assigns the destruction of the city to Zeus.81
or the gods, it must be interpreted as meaning Scarcely had Zeus brought to pass the ruin of
Zeus since it is only the highest god who has Troy.82 Zeus hath laid low many a city;83 it
the apportioning of fate.57 Helenus tells Heco is he who can spare Troy.84 The gods can
tor that the gods say that it is not yet his grant its destruction.85 It was the gods who
destiny to die.58 A mighty god and forceful brought about the fate of Ilium.86
fate shall cause Achilles' death.59 It would
Fate and t1ze Power of Zeus
appear that even the gods are subject to the
fate of Zeus; Ares says that even if it is his THERE ARE TWO passages in the Iliad which
doom to be smitten with the bolt of Zeus and have greatly exercised the minds of students.
lie among the dead, he will avenge the death The diEculty has been caused by their at
of his son.60 The doom of the gods bound tempt to reconcile the balancing of the fates
Clytemnestra to her ruin.61 The fate of the and the general power of destiny with the
gods kept Menelaus away.fi2 The doom of omnipotence of Zeus. One passage states
the gods fettered Melampus.63 The destiny that the father balanced his scales and put
of the gods killed the wooers.64 It is recog therein two fates of death, one for the horseo
nited that Zeus can bring about their death;65 taming Trofans and one for the mailoclad
he knows whether he will fulfil for them the Achaeans; and he took the scaleyard and
evil day.66 When Laertes hears that his son lifted, and the Achaeans' day of destiny sank
has slain the wooers, he exclaims that the down.87 The other passage says that Zeus,
gods in C)lympus still bear sway.67 Z;eus sentwho is the disposer of the wars of men, in
Moira to Ajax.68 Zeus knows what is fated clines his balance.88 Neither passage can be
and what is not fated for xnan.69 The evil taken in the sense that fate is the master of
doom of Z;eus (kake Dios aisa) stood by Zeus. There is an abundance of evidence in
Odysseus and his men to bring them many the poems which shows that it is Zeus who
woes.70 An evil doom of a god brought gives and takes away victory.89 He grants
grief to Elpenor.71 The Achaeans would have destruction to the Greeks.90 He gives victory
won renown beyond the doom of Zeus (Dios and glory to the Trodans91 and sends discord
aisan).72 Achilles is honored by the doom of amongst the Greeks92 and puts them to
Zeus.73 Helen tells Hector that Zeus brings flight.93 It is the Olympian who will drive
evil doom.74 Hector says to Achilles that in back the assault.94 Zeus is the highest orderer
no way does he know from Zeus the hour of and helper in the fight.95 He sent Athena to
his (Hector's) doom.75 Zeus and all the gods urge on the Achaeans; his mind was
know for which of the two the doom of changed.96 He gives and takes away valour,
death is appointed.76 These passages dis for he is lord of all.97 It is not possible to fight
tinctly show that Zeus sends Moira to men. against Cronus' son.9$ It is the gods who guide
The omnipotence of Zells is consistently re the thr@ads of victory.99 Passages of this sort
cognized by the poet in both poems. In the leave no doubt that Zeus grants victory to
Iliad Moira IS found ioined with personal whom he wishes and that he is not subject
gods. Patroclus says that ruinous fate and the
to any unseen power. As a matter of fact
son of Leto has slain him. 77 Agamemnon states
Zeus specifically uses Hector to bring defeat
that Zeus, Destiny, and Erinys put fierce to the Greeks in the early part of the Iliad

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*.n.
4k JAMES DUFFT

to gratify the request of Thetis that herpassageson


cannot mean that fate had decided
be honored, and later inflicted defeat ot1
againstthe
Zeus in this matter. If it were true
v1ctortous W rogans. t;hat 2;eus had nothing to do with the fate of
It has been already shown lthat; the home Sarpeclons it would follow that he would be
coming of Odysseus is attributed to fate, lrut unable to deal with situatiorls of a s1milar
that the gods are entirely responsible for llis nature. We do not find this to be true; it has
return. It was Zeus who ordered the release been shown above that 2;eus spins the threads
of the hero.l°° The god also sent him a of destiny for man.
message to Ogygia to bid him to leave.10l There are several instances in the poems
The gods finally ordained that he return to where it is specifically stated that the gods
Ithaca,l°2 but hindered him on his way.103 bring on death unimpeded by any power of
Poseidon says that the gods have changed fate. E Iector tells Helen that he does not know
their purpose about his homecoming.l04 The whether the gods will overthrow him at the
gods finally delivered him from his evil hands of the Achaeans.1ll Zeus pitied Aga
statel05 and brought him to the home of a mamnon and granted that he and his people
wise man.100 The gods caused him to come would not perish.l12 Z;eus knows whether he
home.107 It was Zeus who ordered Odysseusn will fulfill for the wooers the evil day.1l3
release; therefore, when it is said that it was Patroclus says that death and fate hasle over
fated that Odysseus return to Ithaca,, we taken him t14 and that ruinous fate and Leto's
must assume that the will of Z;eus and fate son have slain him.lls On another occasion he
are identical. says that he met the fate that was appointed
him before his birth.1ld Here Patrocluss death
Seus Thwarted?
is ascribed to fate; yet the poet tells us that
THERE IS ONE particular passage in the Lliad the gods called Patroclus to his death.lt7
which is quotedl08 in an endeavour to show Thetis says that he was brought low by the
that the will of Zeus is thwarted by the in will of the gods.lls It was the gods also who
exorable decrees of destiny. The passage had willed the death of Archilochus.1l9
reads: "Ah, woe is me," cries Zeus, ififor Achilles said that the gods had granted him
that it is fated that Sarpedon, the bestoloved to kill Hector.120 The god gave Lycaon into
of men to me, shall be subdued under Patro Achillesz hands to be slain.12l It was Zeus who
clus, son of Menoetius.''109 The whole paso had lald on Ajax his doom.122
sagewas rejected byZenodotus on the grounds
that Hera, to whom Zeus is speaking, had left Aisa and Moira
Ida and that no mention is made of her reo Aisa is another word which Homer uses
turn. Aristarchus considered the passage to for fate or destiny.t23 It is used in the same
be genuine, but he makes no comment as to way as Moira. It is used in the impersonal
whether Zeus must yield to fate or not. construction on several occasiorls in both
When Zeus had spoken, Hera remonstrated poems 124 In the Odyssey it is ent1rely cono
with him arld asked him if he desired to deo cerned with the homecoming of Odysseus,
liver from death Sarpedon long doomed to but in the Iliad it brings death or means
fate. She went on to say that if Zeus sends the death. It is used appellatively125 in the same
hero living to his own house, he must cono way as Moira either as the subject or object
sider that some other god might send his son of a verb. It also means 'part,' Sshare,' or
out of the strong battle. This remonstrance 'lot.' In its meaning of Xshare' or Xportion' it
of Hera shows that it is the power of 2;eus to may apply to the most diverse things.t26 It is
save Sarpedon if he wishes. The whole 1neano also found in conjunction with prepositions127
ing is that Zeus ought not to interfere with and is modified by the same killd of adjectives
the ordinary course of events which was unZ as Moira is.128 Aisa is considered by soTne
favorable to Sarpedon and that his own preo critics to be personified twice in the poems.
vious decision must not be thwarted.1l0 The In one pavs.sage Hera says that Achilles vshall

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CONCEPTION OF FATE 48I

suffer whatever fate span for him.129 the Iliad


In in reference to Achillesl49 and as an
the
other it is said that fate and the spinning epithet of arrows. In the Odyssey150 we find
sisters drew of the spindles sufferings for it referring to the wooers and to arrows.
Odysseus.l30 Hypermoron is found in both poems It is
From aisa come the a(ljectives enaisimos, written as one word and as two (hyper and
aisimos, and atsios. Of these adjectives aistos the accusative of moros) and is translated
is found only once in the poems where it 'beyond what is fated or ordained.' The ex
refers to a personl3l and means 'lucky' or pressions hyper moiran and hyper aisan are
'auspicious.' Aisimos is used with the same found in the poems also and have a like mean
implication as aXsa. In the Iliad it generally ing. The passagest5l in which these expres
refers to death. Odysseus says that he is sions are found are as follows:-
afraid that it is destined for the Achaeans "Lo, you now, how vainly do mortals blame
to perish at Troy.l32 Poseidon tells Achilles the gods. For of us they say evil comes, where
that it is not his destiny to be vanquished by as they even themselves, through blindness of
a river.l33 Hector's fated day sank down to their own hearts, have sorrows beyond that
the house of Hades.l34 The day of the suitors' which is ordained (hyper moron). Even as of
doom was at hand.t35 In a number of these late Aegisthus, beyond what is ordained
hyper moron), took to him the wedded wife of
instances aisimon is used impersonally and is
the son of Atreus and killed her lord on his
equivalent to the impersonal Moira and Atsa.
return.5l52
In the neuter plural it has an ethical meaning
" . . . I fear me lest he overleap the bounds
and refers to the right amount or due meas of fate (hypermoron) and storm the wall.''l53
ure.l36 There of a truth would luckless Odysseus
Enatstmos has the same meaning as aisimoshave perished beyond that which was oro
and is used in the same way. It is used with dained (hypermoron), had not grey eyed
its ethical meaning throughout both Athena given him sure counsel.154
poems.l37 Then would the Argives have accomplished
their return against the will of fate (hyperz
Doom and Death mora),but that Hera spake aword toAthena.l55
. . . but when the sun turned to the time of
MOROS is derived from the same root as
the loosing of oxen, lo, then beyond their doom
Moira and almost invariably means death in (hyper aisan) the Achaeans proved the bet
both poems. When dread doom comes on ter.l56

Achilles, he shall have good armor.l38 Achil Then would the Trojans . . have been
les says that all his foes shall meet an evil driven back into Ilium by the Achaeans . . ..
doom.l39 Hector tells Achilles that he has and the Argives would have won glory even
not known from Zeus the hour of his doom.l40 against the appointment of Zeus (hyper aisan)
Thetis was wailing for the fate of her son.l4' by their power and might.'57
The remnant escaped death and destiny.142 ;'Rather withdraw thee whensoever thou
fallest in with him, lest even contrary to thy
It was Aegisthus that wrought death and
fate (hyper aisan) thou enter the house of
doom for Agamemnon.l43 Moros is not per
Hades.5sl58
sonified in the poems. The impersonal ex
pression moros esti is found in the Iliad.144 It will be noticed that three159 of these
The compound Ainomoros is used twice in seven passages are conditional and that they
the Odyssey and once in the Iliad. In the for refer to unrealized possibilities in the past.
mer poem it refers to Odysseus and his men, Two of the passages refer to the future. In
by whose side stood the evil doom of Zeus,145these five passages the expression means 'cono
and to the suitors, who were ill fated.l46 In trary to destiny.' None of the passages refers
the lliad it refers to Andromache.l47 Dusmo to any incident that actually came to pass.
ros, which is used in both poems,l48 refers onNowhere in the poems does anything happen
all occasions to some ill fated person. Anothercontrary to fate. One passage160 seems to cono
compound of moros is okumoros. It is used in tradict this statement, but the word aisan

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482 JAMES DUFFT

must be translated to suit the context. The the imperative mood 176 and governs the same
translation in the face of the evidence already noun as in the examples just mentioned. The
adduced cannot be strictly 'fate' or 'destiny.' impersonal use is found in the pluperfect
A more suitable rendering under the circum tense. Its use in this tense is the same as the
stances would be 'beyond measure,' t.e., 'beo impersonal use of the nouns that are derived
yond expectation.'l6l Sozuetimes these ex from it, and it refers to the fate of death.177
pressions are merely rhetorical.l'i2 Peprotai, which is the perfect tense of por ,178
In a note to the passage in the Odyssey in occurs in the perfect participle with esti.l79
which Zeus says that men bring sufferings The participle is used impersonally in aisa.l80
upon themselves Merry and Riddelll63 There is also the expression thesphaton esti,
state that this is a sort of popular solution of which is used in the singular and plural. In
the diiculty in reconciling divine power the singular it has the meaning 'it is fated'
with human free will. There was, they go on and refers to Menelaus when Proteus tells
to say, a certain amount of inevitable fate him that he is destined to go to the Elysian
ordained as each man's lot, but this fate could fields.l8l Circe told Odysseus that he was
be aggravated or hastened by human mis destined to go to his native land.t82 In the
conduct. Farnell164 states that the passage at Iliad183 Zeus tells Hera what is fated for the
once maintains the free action of man and the contending armies. In the plural184 the most
identity of Moira with Zeus' will. Zeus, he suitable translation appears to be ithe ordi
says, complains that men wrongly accuse the nances of Zeus.'
gods of evil which they suffer through their
own sins; they suffer hyper moron, 'contrary
Impersonal Destiny
to what fate or the gods intended.l65 The por IN THEIR EFFORTS to show that fate or destiny
tion or share is the allotment of every man, is an unseen power to which the gods must
but he may engross more than his share. This bow, the critics mention the fact that moira
excessive indulgence by man beyond what and aisa are personified twice in the poems.185
is his lot gives rise to the expressions men When this socalled personification is com
tioned above. When man oversteps the share pared with that of other abstractions found
that is apportioned him in life, the responsi in the poems, it must be concluded that it is
bility is his own and not the gods'106 as man irlcomplete. Homer never mentions moira or
in Homer is more or less a free agent.'167 aisa as goddesses. There are no epithets ap
The adJective morlsmos is used of the plied to Moira and Aisa which would suggest
wooer that is fated to marry Penelope.168 that they are goddesses, nor is there any men
Twice it modifies the noun day:-the destinedtion of parentage as in the case of Litai. They
day before which Odysseus shall not go to are in no way active participants in the action
Hades169 and the day of destiny which Athenaof the poems, nor is there any act ascribed to
was urging against Hector.170 It refers to them which is not accomplished by Zeus or
Apollo in the Iliad17l and to Odysseus in a the gods. In fine, fate or destiny is altogether
passage where it is said that he was not des wanting in any of the characteristics which
tined to slay the son of Zeus.172 Xanthus tells may be ascribed to a person. In this, fate is
Achilles that he is fated to be overcome by a entirely different from the personifications of
god and a man.173 other abstractions in Homer.
There are some parts of the verb meirombi, We find that the personified Deimos and
from which moira and meros are derived, used Phobos yoke the horses of Ares as if they
in a manner similar to the use of these nouns. were ordinary beings.180 Ossa blated forth in
The verb is used in the perfect tense twice the midst of the Acheans and urged them to
in the lliad174 with the genitive case and it leave Troy.187 Ossa announces the death of
governs the Greek word for honour. The same the wooers throughout the city.188 Zeus ad
tense is found twice in the Odysseyl7 where dresses the dream (Oneiros) as if it were a
it governs the same noun. It is also used in person.l89 Hypnos and Thanatos are real active

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CONCEPTIOX OF FATE 483

beings; they transport the dead Sarpedon 8 "Die Moira bei Homer," Beilage zum
from the battleiReld to Lycia.t90 Hyp?zos ap rlcht des Kgl. Westgymnasiurns Zu Berli
9 Kornmentar zu Homers Odyssee, 3 A
pears again as a real person when Hera meets
10 T@he Cults of the Greet Sttes, Oxfor
him and clasps his hands in hers and promises Vol. I, p. 79.
him one of the graces for his wife if he sheds 11 PaulyzWissowa, Bd. II, p. tI90. Cf. SchmidzStah
sleep over Zeus.l91 When Homer speaks of lin, op. cit., p. III.
Litai, he states that they are the daughters of 12 Homerische Poetit, Wurtburg, I9tI, Vol. I, p.
4zo. Cf. ibtd., p. 4I6 and Belaner, Homerisc11e Probleme,
Zeus192 and endows them with the qualities of Vol. I,p.I02 and Vol. , p. II3.
a person. Ate is strong and fleet of foot.193 13 Homer, Leipaig, I928,I.273.
Delicate are her feet; she walks over the heads 14 Ibid., p. 37
of men.194 Zeus seited Ate by the brightv Od., S- IIt.
16 II., t4. St7-
haired head, and whirling her in his hand
17 II., IO.7I. Cf. II., IO.87;24. S38; Od , IS-489;I8-
flung her from the starry heaven and quickly I34.
came she down amid the works of men.t95 In 18 II., zo. 342.
three passages we find also a personal Thev 19 Some of the p
mis.l96 Hera accepted a cup from fairvcheeked Moira is expresse
hard, Das Sc11icks
Themis, for she came running to meet her.197
this case they hav
At the bidding of Zeus, she called a meeting 20 According to
of the gods.198 She dissolves the assembIies of de la Langue Grecq
men.199 The gods also disguise themselves in connected with ye
2lII.,7. St
human form in their visits to men.200
[I.,IS.II7
Fate or destiny cannot be looked upon in
1l-I7-4ZI-
Ilomer as having its centre in the undefined 24 II., I8.II9.

or in power, nor does it acquire a personality 25 1l., I6.434


26 II., 23.80.
which manifests itself by exercising a power
27 Od, 4 47S-
beyond and above the gods.201 The prayers of
28 Od., s- 4I,II4;9.S3
the Homeric heroes are not addressed to fate 29 Od- s- 34S-
or to any unseen power, but are directed to ° II., 3.IOI;4.SI7;S.83,6I3,629;It.II6;I3.602;

Zeus except for a few which are offered to I6-334,849,8S3;I7-42I,478,672;I8-It°;I9-87,4I°;


other Olympians.202 No character ever exv tI. 83, IIO; 32. Ss 3°3, 436; 34. 49, I32s 309- Od , z
IOO;3.238,369;II.292;I7.326;I9.I4S;20-76;tI-24;
presses a belief in a power called fate by which t3*4I3;24-29,I3S
Zeus and the other Olumpians are confronted 31 II., > polpn I9.I86; KaTayolpav I.286;8.I46;9.S9;
and which they cannot subordinate. The IO.I69;IS 306;I6.367;I9.tS6;23.626;24.279. Od.,

only solution for the muchodiscussed questionAv zolpn tt- S4; Kard Holpav t- tSI;3
of fate or destiny in Homer is to interpret it783;7-227;8-S4,I4I,397,496; 9-24S,309,34t,3St;
IO. I6; It. 3S; I3. 48, 385; IS. I70, 303; I6- 38S; I7*
as an abbreviation of Dios moira or Dios aisaS80; I8 I70; 30. 37; tI. 378; t3. 486; wapa potpav I4.
as originating from Zeus203 and so regard SO9
fate and the will of Zeus as identical. 32 II., 9-3I8-
33 11., IO.tS3.
34 II., IS. IgS.
NOTES
35 11., I6 68.
1 Homerisc11e TJheologie, Nurnberg, I840, p. I43. Cf. 36S*4I;It-S34

W. C. Greene, Moira, Cambridge, I944, p. I5. 37I4.448;I7.tS8933S;to-28I293@


2 Populare Aufsatze aus dem Altertum, Leiptig, I875, 3820.17I.

p. tOI.
39 I9. S92.
3 Griec11isc11e Myt11ologie und Religionsgesc11;c11te,
4°4. 97.
Munchen, I906, Vol. z. 41 II., IO.tS3.
4 Gesc11ic11te der Griec11isc11en Literatur, Munchen, 42 Od., 3. 40,66; 8. 470; IS.I40;I7- 423; 30- 360 380-
I929, p. IIO.
43 The epithets applied to Moira are: II., Kpatali S-
E Plato s Cosmology, London, I937, p. 36I.
83, 629;I6.334, 8s3; I9, 4Io; 30, 477; tI-IIO; 34- I3t,
6 Hasttngs' Encyclopedia of Religion and Et11ics,
to9; bu@vupos It. II6;Vol.KaKi I3- 602; o.\eln tt s;
I, p. 54.
rveepfi t3. 79, oxos I6. 849; 2I. 83. Od., %aerv
7 Gotterle11re, Gottingen, I85I,292;
Vol. , t.
o>e p. IOO;
I87. 3. 338; 34. 39, I3S. Cf. W. F. Ot

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484 JAMES DUFFT

Die Gotter Grsechenlands, Bonn, I929, pp. 343 i.; 124 II., I. 4I6; I6. 707; 34. 124; Od. S- II3, to6, 288;
Ulrich von Wilamowita, Der Glaube der Hellenes, x, I3. 306; I4. 3S9; IS 76; 33- 3IS-

3S9 ff 125 Il., S- zo9; zz. 6I, I79; 34- 428, 750* Od-, 8- SII;
44II., 3. IOI; 4. SI7; S- 83, 6I3, 629; I2. II6; I3. 601; 9- S3; IO. 6I.
I6- 334, 849, 8S3; I7. 4hI, 478, 672; I8. II9, IZO; I9.
126 In II., 9. 378 ctlsa iS used with sapos. It means a
87 4IO; 30. 477; tI- 83, IIO; 32- S, 3°3, 436; 34v I3t, share of government in II., I S t°9 and of booty in II.,
309. Od., z. IOO; 3. 338, z69; II. 39h, S60; tI. 4; I7. I8. 327. In Od., I6. IOI; I9. 84 it iS used with &XTt8QS.
326; I9- I4S; 30. 76; h3- 4I3; 34- t9 I3S. It also means a share of booty in Od., I3. I38.
45 I1., 3. IOI; S- 83; I3. 602; I6- 334, 853; I7- 478, 127 KaT' aav, II., 3. 59; 6- 333; IO- 445; I7- 7I6-
672; 30. 477; tI. I IO; t3. 436; I4. I32. Od., I7- 326; U?rfp atSaV? 1l., 3* S9; 6- 333-

to 342; tI- 34- 128 apa)\>rl, I|., 22. 6I; saxs, 11*? S t°9; Od X 9- 5 ;
46 Il., 34. 49, 309. Eberhard (op. cit., p. 3) cannot be II. 6I.
129 II 2.0. It7. 130 Od., 7. I97. 131 II., 34. 376.
correct in this.
47 Cults . . ., Vol. I, p. 79. 132 II 9 z45 133 I|-, tI 39I- 134 II, zz. aIt.
48 I1 34. 49 49 Il., 34. 309. 50 Od., 4 107. t II., 13 Od I6. 380. Cf. Il., 8. 72; Zl. IOO
IO 7I. 52 C)d., 3- zo8. 53 Od., II. I39. 54 Od., t36 II., 6. 62; 7. ItI; I5. 307. Od., S- 9; 7- 3IO; 8* 348;

8. S79* 55 I1., 34. StS 5 Od., I6. 64. IS. 7I; tI. 394; t3. 46. On one occasion it is feminine
57 Athena is mentioned as hastening the day of the modifying woman and meaning 'righteous,' Od., 33. I4.
doom of the wooers. 137 II., 2. 3S3; 6. 5hI; 24. 40, 4tS Od., 2. I22; S I9°;
58 Il., 7. Sa 59 II., I9. 4IO. 60 11., IS. II7. 61 Od., 7. 99; IO 383; I7. 3aI, 363; I8. a0. On one occasion
3- 69- 62 Od., 4. 475- 63 Od, II. o9o. a4 Od the word refers to birds of omen, Od., t. I82. It is
a. 4I3 65 Od., I5. I80. 66 Od., Is 5a3- 67 Od., used in the neuter plural referring to words of prophecy,
4- 35a. Cf. Od., I6 97; 0. 4a; 4. 444; I9. 488, 496. Od.,3- IS5
68 C)d, II- 560 69 (:)d., zo. 76. 70 Od., 9- St- 138 11 I8 465 139 I|. aI. I33. 140 11., z. 80.
141 Il* o4 8s. 142 Od., 9.6I.
71 Od., IJ. 6I Il., I7- 3tI- 73 11, 9- 608-
74 Il., 6. 357- 75 II., aa. 80. 76 Il., 3. 309. 77 I6. 143 Od. II. 409. Cf. II. 6I8; I6. 4aI; 0. 4l.

849 78 Il I9 87 79 Il., I8. II9. 80 Od., 8. 144 I9. 4aI. yopos is modified in the
SII. 8t II., I3- 625 82 Od-, 3 II9- 83 II., 9. 465; KK6M, 6. 3S7; 2I. I33; and in the Odyssey by
o4 84 11., I5. aISF 85 Il., I. I8; 9. I36, 78 KAK6S, I . I66; I I. 6I8.

86 Od., 8- S79- 9- 5 I 5
146 34. I69.
8711., 8. 69. Cf. Il., I6. 658. Cf. Leaf's note to 11.,
147 t%. 48I.
8. 69.

88 II., I9. a3. A similar use of the scales of Zeus is 148 Il., a. 60, 48I; Od., I. 49; 7. 70; I6. I39; 30, I94;
found in II., aa. 09. The casting of lots into the scales 4. 390.

here cannot be interpreted as a questioning of the supeo 149 I. 4I7, S°5; I8- 9S, 4S8-

rior will of fate, for Zeus never does this elsewhere. 150 I. %66; 4. 346; I7- I37-

Cf. Farnell, Cults . . ., I. 78. The rise and fall of scales lsl The translations used in these passages are: Il1ad,
is a metaphor used to express the vicissitudes of battle. Lang, Leaf, and Myers; Odyssey, Butcher and Lang.
Cf. Leaf's note adi loc. 1520d., 1. 34f
1t3 ll., %0. 30.
89 Il., 4- 84; 8 I7S- Od., 3. I53; 8- 82; 1-, 7-
540d,S 436f
478. 91 Il., II. 3I8; I6. ItI. 92 Il., II 3; I3t 8It-

93 II., II. 406. 94 Il., It. 375- Il., I7- 339- 55II.,3. 155f.
156 II., 16. 779 f.
96 Il, I7- S4S- 97 Il., zo. 24a. 98 Il., hI I93*
1S7 Il*, I7. 3I9 .
99 II., 7. IOt. lOO Od., S- IIte 101 Od, 7- 363e
102 Od., I. I7- Od., I. I9S- Od., S- 386. 158 II., 20. 335 ff
10sOd., I3. 3hI; I6- 364 106 Od., I4- 3S7- 59 II z. ISS f., I7. 319 ff Od, S- 436 -
107 Od., I6. 356; hI. I96; 33. z58; 34. I49, 40I Cf 6°Il>,J6@779f.

Od>, 9. 38, t62; I4- 335; I7- 424; I9 80* lGl See Leaf's note ad loc.
l08James Adams (Religious Teachers of Greece, 162 Welcker (Gotterlehre, I. I92) says, ;'urep popov
Edinburgh, I909, p. t5) cites this passage as an example nichts anders als ein hyperbolischer Ausdruck, wie au
of the superiority of fate over Zeus. Other commenta weilen, unmenschlich, unnaturlich unmassig mehr als
tors arrive at the same conclusion. aufallig ...."
Il., I6. 433. 163 Homer's Odyssey, Bks. I-XIt, Oxford, I886, I. 34 f.
164 Cults . . ., I. 80.
110 Cf. Farnell, Cults . . ., I- 80
11111 II. 366- 112 11, 8- 343- l Od., IS. 5a3 ]65 Nittsch (Anm. zu Homers Odyssee? I. II) says
4 Il., I6. 849. 1lb I1., I7. 478, 67a- IlG Il., z3 80 that uarep jubpor means iimehr als das allegemein Schicksal
117 Il I6 693 118 Il., I9. 9. 1lf Il., I4- 464- ihnen auteilt, als ihnen von Anfang bestimmt." Cf.
120 Il., zz. 379. Cf. 11., zz. 60; I3. 783; hI. hI6. ESberhard, op. cit., p. 76 and W. F. Otto, op. cit., pp.
121 I1, hI 47 12Z Od., II. S55- 35°, 35S
123 Boisacq (op. cit., p. 38) gives the meaning of Aisa 165 Cf. Martin P. Nilsson, A History of Greek Reli
as 'lot,t 'destinee,' 'la partie egale.' gion, Oxford, I9aS, p. I68.

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CONCEPTION OF FATE
485

193 II., 9 S°S 194 II., I9- 9I- 195 II., I9. IZ6 i
167 Finsler, Homer, I2, 80; Nilsson, "Gotter und
196 For the meaning of @vls in Homer see John L.
Psychologie bei Homer," Archiv fur Rel1g10nsw., 32
Myers, The Political Ideas of the Greehs, New York,
(I923-24). lfi8 Od, I6- 39t; zI- I6%-
169 Od., I0. I75. I9a77 pp. I26I 39.

170 I1., I5. 6I3. Death dws not come before the apS 97rl., y. 87 i. 198 11., 20. 4 ff
1990d., a.68ff.
pointed day: 11., 3. ItI; 7. Sz; 22. 303; I. 416; 6. 487;
hI. 39I; 23. 80. Od., 4. 562; I0. I75, I6. 180.
2('° In the Iliad the gods assume the forms of sixteen
171 th. I3. II., S- 674- 173 II., I9. 4I7. persons as in 3. 386; 4. 86; I3. 4S; I6. 7I5; th. 227; etc.

174 9. 6I6, I5. I89. 175 5- 335; II. 338. 176 II., 9. 6I6.
201 Fate canlaot be compared with ba@X>, wbich is
177 II 2I. 28I. Od., I. 34; 5- 3I2- 178 II., I8. 329. power and which has its center in the undefined, but
179 II., 3- 309- 180 II., 16- 44I 181 Od*, 4- S6I- has individuality conferred upon it when it refers to
182 Od., I0. 473. 183 8- 477- some god or one of the immortal gods. Cf. 11,, 3. 4zo.

184 II., S 64; Od., 9. S°7; II ISIs 297; I3¢ I72- 202 About thirtyEfour prayers are directed to Seus,

l85yoLpa II., t4. 49, 109. ava II., to. It7; Od., 7.
eleven to Athena, five to Apollo, two to Poseidon and
Artemis, one to Thetis, and two to the Nymphs.
197.
186 II., IS. II9. Cf. II., 4- 44°- 203 ttOS sepas II., 5. 742; I2. 209; Od., I6. 32O; 20. IOI.
187 II., z- 93- tFOS opKLa I1., 3. IO7. ttOS aveas 11., I3. 837. tiOS
188 Od., 24. 4I3. k+er,uas II., IS. 593; 24. 57O, 586. ttOS Aeyffras II., I.
189 II., z. 8. Cf. II., z. tI; I0. 496 .; 13. 63 .; Od., 138; t. to6; 9. 99; Od., 16. 403. aK ttOS yopor 11., tt.
280. v7rep ttos al¢av I1., I7. 3XI. Cf. II., 2. I34; 12. 37;
4- 787 ; 6- I3 i.; I9. S°9 .
190 II I6. S7I 191 II, I4- 133- 192 II-, 9- Sot ff I4. 4I7; I5. 379; Od., 9. III, 410; 24- 344-

A NEW SCHOLARLY PROJECT

UNDER THE AUSPICES of the CommitteeJ. onSavage, Dept. of Classics, Fordham Uni
Renaissance Studies of the American Council versity; Joseph R. Strayer, Dept. of History,
of Learned Societies, of the American Philo Princeton University; Archer Taylor, Dept.
logical Association, and of the Mediaeval of German, University of California; S. Har
-

Academy of America, a group of scholars has rison Thomson, Dept. of History, University
begun work on a list of Mediaeval and Renais of Colorado; B. L. Ullman, Dept. of Classics,
sance Latin Translations from the Greek, University of North Carolina.
and of Mediaeval and Renaissance Latin The aim is to assemble pertinent data from
Commentaries on Greek and Latin Authors both printed and manuscript sources. The
who wrote before 600 A.D. work, when completed, will illustrate the
The Editorial Board consists of the follow history of classical scholarship in the Middle
ing scholars: Robert J. Clements, Dept. of Ages and the Renaissance, and the fortune of
Romance Languages, Harvard University; individual ancient authors during those
Mario E. Cosenta, Dean of the Faculty, periods. Each ancient author will form the
Brooklyn College; James Hutton, Dept. of subject of a separate article, and each col
Classics, Cornell University; Pearl Kibre, laborator will be in charge of one or several
Dept. of History, Hunter College; Paul Oskar articles.
Kristeller, Dept. of Philosophy, Columbia Classical scholars who are interested are
University; Dean P. Lockwood, Dept. of invited to indicate to Professor B. L. Ullman
Classics, Haverford College; Martin Mc of the University of North Carolina whether
Guire, Dean of the Graduate School, Catholic they are interested in taking part. If inter
University of America; Berthe Marti, Dept. ested, they are asked to name the ancient
of Classics, Bryn Mawr College; Robert V. author or authors for whom they would like
Merrill, Dept. of Romance Languages, Uni to be responsible, gisring first, second, and
versity of Chicago; Eva M. Sanford, Division even third choices. This will greatly facilitate
of Social Studies, Sweet Briar College; John the task of assigning authors.

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