1

Hera is called "ox-eyed," and there is another question here which discusses that. The answer there is that Hera is associated with cows. But there is also a mention of another ox-eyed character in Book 3:

Speaking so the goddess left in her heart sweet longing after her husband of time before, and her city and parents. And at once, wrapping herself about in shimmering garments, she went forth from the chamber, letting fall a light tear; not by herself, since two handmaidens went to attend her, Aithre, Pittheus' daughter, and Klymene of the ox eyes.

1

1 Answer 1

1

Like most Homeric epithets, it carries a positive connotation: Klymene is being held up to admiration for her soulful brown eyes. And also as with most Homeric epithets, this characteristic is associated with Klymene as much for its metrical convenience for line 3.144 as for its salience in her: pending that epithet, the hexameter line lacked three final syllables, the first short and the second long, and βοῶπις fit that bill. Temptations to read a lot more into it, such as a special relation with the like-epitheted Hera, are probably best resisted.

Note that the Greek root rendered as ox in translation is not specific to a castrated male, as that English word sometimes is: βοῦς can be cow, bull, or steer indifferently.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.