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Une utopie narrative

Abstract : In contrast with other objects in the Iliad, Nestor’s cup has no genealogy. Its function in the narrative is atypical too. Indeed, it appears in a cheerful banquet, at the very moment when the Achaeans are close to disaster and Machaon needs to be cured. Patroklos refuses to enter this untimely rejoicing scene but listens from the outside to the epic of Nestor’s initiation as hippota Nestôr and to the advice of the old counsellor for the upcoming battle. The scene is echoed in XVI as Nestor’s advice is repeated by Patroklos and Achilles shows his own cup. Being himself a hippeus thanks to the tale of Nestor, Patroklos succeeds in repelling the Trojans from the camp. The two cups are the iconic index of the Ringkomposition that organizes the second long battle day (XI-XVIIIa). First highly non-functional and utopian, Nestor’s cup gains its function through its contrast with Achilles’ cup. Since the cup is described at the very moment of Patroklos’ return to the battlefield, which will achieve a turnaround in the action (paliôxis), the episode of the cup analyzes the tension between the festive pleasure of hearing and the violence of what is heard that pervades epic performance.
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Contributor : Agnès Tapin <>
Submitted on : Monday, April 29, 2019 - 10:19:23 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 5, 2021 - 3:04:30 AM




Pierre Judet de la Combe. Une utopie narrative. Mètis - Anthropologie des mondes grecs anciens, Daedalus/EHESS, 2018, Dossier : Place aux objets ! Présentification et vie des artefacts en Grèce ancienne, N.S.16, pp.43-63. ⟨10.4000/books.editionsehess.5655⟩. ⟨halshs-02113738⟩



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