The Judgment of Paris Was a Rhetorical Exercise: John Tzetzes, Allegories of the Iliad, Prolegomena 241-5

“He became an orator and wrote many various treatises, in one of which he judged the three goddesses: Athena (that is, wisdom), Hera (that is, bravery), and finally Aphrodite (that is, desire), to whom he gave the apple, which is the victory…”

Καὶ ῥήτωρ μὲν γενόμενος γράφει πολλὰ μὲν ἄλλα,
εἰς ἔν δὲ τούτου σύγγραμα τὰσ τρεῖς θεὰς συγκρίνει,
τὴν Ὰθηνᾶν, τὴν φρόνησιν, τὴν Ἥραν, τὴν ἀνδρεῖαν,
τὴν ἐπιθυμίαν δέ, φημί, τὴν Ὰφροδίτην,
ᾖ καὶ τὸ μῆλον δέδωκε, τὴν νίκην…

4 thoughts on “The Judgment of Paris Was a Rhetorical Exercise: John Tzetzes, Allegories of the Iliad, Prolegomena 241-5

  1. Allegorical readings of the Judgment go way back, but I don’t know about this rhetorical treatise thing. Does that mean the Trojan War was actually a prolonged and nasty scholarly debate?

    (Greeks vs. Trojans, like rival philosophical schools. Achilles and Agamemnon were both like, “You didn’t cite me in your article?”; “You want me to cite you, I’ll cite you alright….”

    1. He said that the idea of Paris as a gentleman-orator was first proposed by John of Antioch, which I will look into.

    2. Which, by the way, is the reason that he later feels the need to say that he can so cleverly explain allegory, i.e. unlike John of Antioch!

Leave a Reply to sententiaeantiquae Cancel reply