An Improper Proposal? No Bridegifts for Kassandra

Schol. bT ad Il. 13 365-6 ex

“He was asking to marry the most beautiful of Priam’s daughters without a bridegift”

This is also foreign. For we can find no place in Greece where they go to war for pay and posit before that they will not be allies without a contract. Also, consider the payment. For he came, asking for the girl, not because she was royal, but because she was the most beautiful. Certainly the most intemperate suitors among the Greeks “strive because of [her] excellence” [Od 2.366] But “without bridegifts” [Il.13.366] is cheap: even the most unjust suitors offer bridegifts to Penelope.”

ex. ᾔτεε δὲ Πριάμοιο <θυγατρῶν εἶδος ἀρίστην / Κασσάνδρην ἀνάεδνον>: βαρβαρικὸν καὶ τοῦτο· οὐδέποτε γὰρ εὑρήσομεν παρ’ ῞Ελλησι τὸ ἐπὶ μισθῷ στρατεύειν καὶ πρότερον αἰτεῖν καὶ χωρὶς ὑποσχέσεως μὴ συμμαχεῖν. ὅρα δὲ καὶ τὸν μισθόν· κόρης γὰρ ἐρῶν ἧκεν, οὐχ ὅτι βασιλική, ἀλλ’ ὅτι εἶδος ἀρίστη. καίτοι παρ’ ῞Ελλησιν οἱ ἀκολαστότατοι μνηστῆρές φασιν „εἵνεκα τῆς ἀρετῆς ἐριδαίνομεν” (β 206). καὶ τὸ ἀνάεδνον (366) γλίσχρον, ὅπου γε οἱ ἀδικώτατοι μνηστῆρες ἕδνα τῇ Πηνελόπῃ προσφέρουσιν.

Iliad 13 (361–369):

“There, though his hair was partly grey, Idomeneus called
Out to the Danaans and drove the Trojans to retreat as he leapt.
For he killed Othryoneus who was there from Kabesos—
He had just arrived in search of the fame of war.
He asked for the most beautiful of Priam’s daughter’s
Kassandra, without a marriage-price, and he promised a great deed,
That he would drive the sons of the Achaians from Troy unwilling.
Old Priam promised this to him and nodded his head
That he would do this. Confident in these promises, he rushed forth.”

῎Ενθα μεσαιπόλιός περ ἐὼν Δαναοῖσι κελεύσας
᾿Ιδομενεὺς Τρώεσσι μετάλμενος ἐν φόβον ὦρσε.
πέφνε γὰρ ᾿Οθρυονῆα Καβησόθεν ἔνδον ἐόντα,
ὅς ῥα νέον πολέμοιο μετὰ κλέος εἰληλούθει,
ᾔτεε δὲ Πριάμοιο θυγατρῶν εἶδος ἀρίστην
Κασσάνδρην ἀνάεδνον, ὑπέσχετο δὲ μέγα ἔργον,
ἐκ Τροίης ἀέκοντας ἀπωσέμεν υἷας ᾿Αχαιῶν.
τῷ δ’ ὁ γέρων Πρίαμος ὑπό τ’ ἔσχετο καὶ κατένευσε
δωσέμεναι· ὃ δὲ μάρναθ’ ὑποσχεσίῃσι πιθήσας.

Image result for Ancient Greek Cassandra vase

Agamemnon makes a similar promise to Achilles in book 9.145–6=287–8 (Χρυσόθεμις καὶ Λαοδίκη καὶ ᾿Ιφιάνασσα, / τάων ἥν κ’ ἐθέλῃσι φίλην ἀνάεδνον ἀγέσθω; offering any of three daughters without a bride gift). When Apollo is described as taking Stratonikê thus at Hes. Fr. 26.23 (βῆ δὲ φέ[ρ]ων ἀνάε̣[δ]ν̣[ον ἐύζωνον ]Στ[ρ]α̣[τ]ον̣ί̣κ̣ην) it would be fair to say that the ‘extra-ritual’ act is clearly rape.

Here’s Beekes:


Leave a Reply