Ancient Narrative4 GMiles.pdf (352.28 kB)
Music and Immortality: The Afterlife of Achilles in Philostratus
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-16, 23:57 authored by Graeme MilesGraeme Miles
Of all the rewritings of epic tradition which Philostratus undertakes in the Heroicus,1 one of the most striking is his depiction of Achilles. While Achilles still has his Homeric and Cyclic character as the great Achaean warrior, son of the sea-goddess Thetis, the musical aspect of the hero is dramatically increased.2 After considering the aspects of Achilles as he appears in the Iliad which may have led Philostratus to develop him in this way, I shall consider the significance of the song which Philostratus’ Achilles sings on Leuke. The song, I would argue, is important for an understanding of Philostratus’ own ideas regarding literary creation within a traditional framework. Finally, I will examine the dialogue’s broader presentation of Achilles’ posthumous existence, and the curious, even unique, treatment of time and space which Philostratus’ focus on this subject requires.
Publication titleAncient Narrative
Department/SchoolSchool of Humanities
Place of publicationNetherlands
Rights statementThe definitive published version is available online at: http://www.ancientnarrative.com