Gorgythion - Name and Description

Name and Description

In the Iliad, Gorgythion is described as beautiful, and his epithet is the blameless. Jane Ellen Harrison pointed out that "blameless" (άμύμων) was an epithet of the heroized dead, who were venerated and appeased at shrines. Zeus even applies the epithet to Aegisthus, the usurper, Harrison observes.

"The epithet άμύμων in Homer is applied to individual heroes, to a hero's tomb, to magical, half-mythical peoples like the Phaeacians and Aethiopians who to the popular imagination are half canonized, to the magic island of the god Helios, to the imaginary half-magical Good Old King . It is used also of the 'convoy' sent by the gods, which of course is magical in character; it is never, I believe, an epithet of the Olympians themselves. There is about the word a touch of what is magical and demonic rather than actually divine."

In applying "blameless" to Gorgythion, then, the poet may have been reflecting a tradition of cult among his descendents, that was known to Homer or in the Homeric tradition. John Pairman Brown has suggested that Gorgythion's name "surely echoes the Gergithes; the 'Gergithes remnants of the Teucrians' are projected back into the heroic age as individual antagonists".

According to Herodotus, the Gergithes were "the remnants of the ancient Teucrians" (that is, of the ancient Trojans).

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