Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-cfpbc Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-24T03:22:15.874Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false


Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 May 2018

Oliver Passmore*
Newcastle University, UK


Scholarship on Homer's Odyssey has long recognised the importance of naming and reference in the poem, particularly in the way speakers refer to Odysseus. Here I consider one term regularly used for the protagonist, but largely overlooked in these studies: κεῖνος, ‘that man’. I argue that it acquires a specific and rich association with Odysseus in the epic, one that depends on the deictic properties of the pronoun as marking its object as distant in space and uncertainly located. This is contrasted with Odysseus’ use of the proximal deictic ὅδε, ‘this man’, to reveal his identity at the poem's climax.

Research Article
Copyright © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Cambridge University Press 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Thanks to the anonymous readers and Oliver Thomas for their generous feedback and helpful comments. This article started out life as an essay submitted for the Cambridge Classics MPhil in 2012. I am grateful to Renaud Gagné for his guidance at that early stage, and for his inspirational mentorship over many years. A subsequent version was delivered at Newcastle University in 2017, and I thank all those who gave feedback on that occasion. All errors are my own.


Works cited

Austin, J. N. H. (1972) ‘Name magic in the Odyssey’, ClAnt 5, 119.Google Scholar
Austin, J. N. H. (1975) Archery at the dark of the moon: poetic problems in Homer's Odyssey, Berkeley.Google Scholar
Autenrieth, G. (1877) A Homeric dictionary for schools and colleges, New York.Google Scholar
Bain, C. (1913) ‘The demonstrative pronoun in Sophocles: Part i’, Studies in Philology 10, 333.Google Scholar
Bakker, E. J. (1999a) ‘Homeric οὗτος and the poetics of deixis’, CPh 94, 119.Google Scholar
Bakker, E. J. (1999b) ‘Pointing to the past: verbal augment and temporal deixis in Homer’, in Kazazis, J. N. and Rengakos, A. (eds.), Euphrosyne: studies in ancient epic and its legacy in honor of Dimitris N. Maronitis, Stuttgart, 5065.Google Scholar
Bakker, E. J. (2005) Pointing at the past: from formula to performance in Homeric poetics, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
Bakker, E. J. (2009) ‘Homer, Odysseus, and the narratology of performance’, in Grethlein, J. and Rengakos, A. (eds.), Narratology and interpretation: the content of narrative form in ancient literature, Berlin, 117–36.Google Scholar
Bakker, E. J. (2010) ‘Pragmatics: speech and text’, in Bakker, E. J. (ed.), A companion to the ancient Greek language, Chichester, 151–67.Google Scholar
Bakker, E. J. (2013) The meaning of meat and the structure of the Odyssey, Cambridge.Google Scholar
Bassett, S. E. (1923) ‘The proems of the Iliad and Odyssey’, AJP 44, 339–48.Google Scholar
Beecroft, A. J. (2006) ‘“This is not a true story”: Stesichorus's Palinode and the revenge of the epichoric’, TAPhA 136, 4770.Google Scholar
Benardete, S. (1997) The bow and the lyre, Lanham, MD.Google Scholar
Bonifazi, A. (2004) ‘ΚΕΙΝΟΣ in Pindar: between grammar and poetic intention’, CP 99, 283–99.Google Scholar
Bonifazi, A. (2009) ‘Discourse cohesion through third person pronouns: the case of keinos and autos in Homer’, in Bakker, S. and Wakker, G. (eds.), Discourse cohesion in ancient Greek, Leiden, 120.Google Scholar
Bonifazi, A. (2012) Homer's versicolored fabric: the evocative power of ancient Greek epic word making, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
Bonifazi, A. (2013) ‘Deixis’, in G. Giannakis et al. (2013) 422–9.Google Scholar
Bowie, A. M. (ed.) (2013) Homer: Odyssey books xiii and xiv, Cambridge.Google Scholar
Brown, C. (1966) ‘Odysseus and Polyphemus: the name and the curse’, Comparative Literature 18, 193202.Google Scholar
Brugmann, K. (1904) Die Demonstrativpronomina der indogermanischen Sprachen, Abhandlungen der philol.-hist. Klasse der sächsischen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften, Band 22 n. 6, Leipzig.Google Scholar
Buchan, M. (2004) The limits of heroism: Homer and the ethics of reading, Ann Arbor.Google Scholar
Bühler, K. (1934) Sprachtheorie: Die Darstellungsfunktion der Sprache, Jena.Google Scholar
Bury, J. B. (1922) ‘The end of the Odyssey’, JHS 42, 115.Google Scholar
Chantraine, P. (1953) Grammaire homérique, 2 vols., Paris.Google Scholar
Clay, J. S. (1997) The wrath of Athena: gods and men in the Odyssey, Princeton.Google Scholar
Clay, J. S. (2011) Homer's Trojan theater: space, vision, and memory in the Iliad, Cambridge.Google Scholar
Dimock, G. (1956) ‘The name of Odysseus’, Hudson Review 9.1, 5270.Google Scholar
Doherty, L. E. (2008) ‘Nausikaa and Tyro: idylls of courtship in the Phaiakian episode of the Odyssey and the Hesiodic Catalogue of Women’, Phoenix 62, 6376.Google Scholar
Ebeling, H. (1885) Lexicon Homericum, Leipzig.Google Scholar
Edmunds, L. (2008) ‘Deixis in ancient Greek and Latin literature: historical introduction and state of the question’, Philologia Antiqua 1, 6798.Google Scholar
Edwards, M. W. (1987) Homer: poet of the Iliad, Baltimore.Google Scholar
Elmer, D. F. (2015) ‘The “narrow road” and the ethics of language use in the Iliad and the Odyssey’, Ramus 44, 155–83.Google Scholar
Felson, N. (2004) ‘Introduction’, Arethusa 37, 253–66.Google Scholar
Felson, N. and Klein, J. (2013) ‘Deixis in linguistics and poetics’, in Giannakis et al. (2013) 429–33.Google Scholar
Fenik, B. (1974) Studies in the Odyssey, Wiesbaden.Google Scholar
Gainsford, P. (2001) ‘Cognition and type-scenes: the aoidos at work’, in Budelmann, F. and Michelakis, P. (eds.), Homer, tragedy, and beyond: essays in honour of P. E. Easterling, London, 321.Google Scholar
Gainsford, P. (2003) ‘Formal analysis of recognition scenes in the Odyssey’, JHS 123, 4159.Google Scholar
Giannakis, G. et al. (eds.) (2013) Encyclopedia of ancient Greek language and linguistics. Volume i, Leiden.Google Scholar
Glenn, J. (1998) ‘Odysseus confronts Nausicaa: the lion simile of Odyssey 6.130–36’, CW 92, 107–16.Google Scholar
Goldhill, S. (1988) ‘Reading differences: the Odyssey and juxtaposition’, Ramus 17, 131.Google Scholar
Goldhill, S. (1991) The poet's voice: essays on poetics and Greek literature, Cambridge.Google Scholar
Grethlein, J. (2017) Die Odyssee: Homer und die Kunst des Erzählens, Munich.Google Scholar
Griffin, J. (1995) Iliad book ix, Oxford.Google Scholar
Groningen, B. A. van (1946) ‘The proems of the Iliad and the Odyssey’, Mededeelingen der Koninklijke Nederlandsche Akademie van Wetenschappen 9, 279–94.Google Scholar
Hainsworth, J. B. (ed.) (1993) The Iliad: a commentary, books 9–12, Cambridge.Google Scholar
Havers, W. (1906) ‘Das Pronomen der Jener-Deixis im Griechischen’, IF 19, 198.Google Scholar
Heiden, B. (2002) ‘Hidden thoughts, open speech: some reflections on discourse analysis in recent Homeric studies’, in Montanari, F. and Ascheri, P. (eds.), Omero tremila anni dopo, Rome, 431–44.Google Scholar
Henderson, J. (1997) ‘The name of the tree: recounting Odyssey xxiv 340–2’, JHS 117, 87116.Google Scholar
Heubeck, A. and Hoekstra, A. (1989) A commentary on Homer's Odyssey. Volume ii, Oxford.Google Scholar
Heubeck, A., West, S. and Hainsworth, J. B. (1988) A commentary on Homer's Odyssey. Volume i, Oxford.Google Scholar
Humbert, J. (1954) Syntaxe grecque, Paris.Google Scholar
Jacobson, D. J. (2015) ‘The vocative ΟΥΤΟΣ in Greek drama’, CPh 110, 193214.Google Scholar
Janko, R. (1982) Homer, Hesiod, and the hymns: diachronic development in epic diction, Cambridge.Google Scholar
de Jong, I. J. F. (2001) A narratological commentary on the Odyssey, Cambridge.Google Scholar
de Jong, I. J. F. (2012) ‘Double deixis in Homeric speech: on the interpretation of ὅδε and οὗτος’, in Meier-Brügger, M. (ed.), Homer, gedeutet durch ein großes Lexikon: Akten des Hamburger Kolloquiums vom 6.–8. Oktober 2010 zum Abschluss des Lexikons des frühgriechischen Epos, Berlin, 6383.Google Scholar
Kakridis, J. (1971) ‘The recognition of Odysseus’, in Kakridis, J. (ed.), Homer revisited, Publications of the New Society of Letters at Lund 64, Lund, 151–63.Google Scholar
Karakantza, E. D. (2003) ‘The semiology of rape: the meeting of Odysseus and Nausikaa in book 6 of the Odyssey’, Classics Ireland 10, 826.Google Scholar
Katz, M. A. (1994) ‘Homecoming and hospitality: recognition and the construction of identity in the Odyssey’, in Oberhelman, S. M., Kelly, V. and Golsan, R. J. (eds.), Epic and epoch: essays on the interpretation and history of genre, Lubbock, 4975.Google Scholar
Kay, F. L. (1957) ‘Aristarchus’ TELOS, Odyssey 23:296’, CR 7, 106.Google Scholar
Klein, J. S. (1996) ‘“Sá-figé” and Indo-European deixis’, Historische Sprachforschung 109, 2139.Google Scholar
Kühner, R. and Gerth, B. (1898) Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache. Part 2: Satzlehre. Volume i, Hannover.Google Scholar
Lenz, A. (1980) Das Proem des frühgriechischen Epos: Ein Beitrag zum poetischen Selbstverständnis, Bonn.Google Scholar
Mangien, V. (1922) ‘Emploi des démonstratifs chez Homère’, BSL 23, 156–83.Google Scholar
Manolessou, I. (2001) ‘The evolution of the demonstrative system in Greek’, Journal of Greek Linguistics 2, 119–48.Google Scholar
Martin, R. P. (1989) The language of heroes: speech and performance in the Iliad, Ithaca.Google Scholar
Martín López, I. (1994) ‘Deixis frente a anaphora en griego antiguo’, Minerva 8, 1141.Google Scholar
Mazur, P. S. (2010) ‘Formulaic and thematic allusions in Iliad 9 and Odyssey 14’, CW 104, 315.Google Scholar
Mendoza, J. M. (1976) ‘La organización de la deixis en los pronombres demostrativos del indo-europeo’, Revista Española de Lingüística 6, 89111.Google Scholar
Mitsis, P. T. (2010) ‘Achilles polytropos and Odysseus as suitor: Iliad 9.307–429’, in Mitsis, P. and Tsagalis, C. (eds.), Allusion, authority and truth: critical perspectives on Greek poetic and rhetorical praxis, Berlin, 5176.Google Scholar
Monro, D. B. (1891) A grammar of the Homeric dialect, Oxford.Google Scholar
Most, G. (1989) ‘The stranger's stratagem: self-disclosure and self-sufficiency in Greek culture’, JHS 109, 114–33.Google Scholar
Murnaghan, S. (1987) Disguise and recognition in the Odyssey, Princeton.Google Scholar
Nagler, M. N. (1990) ‘Artistic inconsistency and ethical anxiety’, in Griffin, M. and Mastronarde, D. (eds.), Cabinet of the Muses: essays on classical and comparative literature in honor of Thomas G. Rosenmeyer, Atlanta, 225–40.Google Scholar
Nagy, G. (1999) The best of the Achaeans: concepts of the hero in archaic Greek poetry, Baltimore.Google Scholar
Olson, S. D. (1992) ‘“Name-magic” and the threat of lying strangers in Homer's Odyssey’, ICS 17, 18.Google Scholar
Olson, S. D. (1995) Blood and iron: stories and storytelling in Homer's Odyssey, Leiden.Google Scholar
Parry, A. (1956) ‘The language of Achilles’, TAPhA 87, 17.Google Scholar
Pedrick, V. (1992) ‘The Muse corrects: the opening of the Odyssey’, YCS 29, 3962.Google Scholar
Peradotto, J. (1985) ‘Prophecy degree zero: Tiresias and the end of the Odyssey’, in Gentili, B. and Paioni, G. (eds.), Oralita: cultura, letteratura, discorso, Rome, 429–59.Google Scholar
Peradotto, J. (1990) Man in the middle voice: name and narration in the Odyssey, Princeton.Google Scholar
Pucci, P. (1982) ‘The proem of the Odyssey’, Arethusa 15, 3962.Google Scholar
Pucci, P. (1987) Odysseus polytropos: intertextual readings in the Odyssey and the Iliad, Ithaca.Google Scholar
Purves, A. (2010) Space and time in ancient Greek narrative, Cambridge.Google Scholar
Richardson, N. J. (1983) ‘Recognition scenes in the Odyssey’, Papers of the Liverpool Latin Seminar 4, 223–5.Google Scholar
Rossi, L. E. (1968) ‘La fine alessandrina dell’Odissea e lo ZELOS HOMERIKOS di Apollonio Rodio’, RFIC 96, 151–63.Google Scholar
Ruijgh, C. J. (2006) ‘The use of the demonstratives ὅδε, οὗτος and (ἐ)κεῖνος in Sophocles’, in de Jong, I. J. F. and Rijksbaron, A. (eds.), Sophocles and the Greek language: aspects of diction, syntax and pragmatics, Leiden, 151–61.Google Scholar
Russo, J., Fernandez-Galiano, M. and Heubeck, A. (1992) A commentary on Homer's Odyssey. Volume iii, Oxford.Google Scholar
Rüter, K. (1969) Odysseeinterpretationen: Untersuchungen zum 1. Buch und zur Phaiakis, Göttingen.Google Scholar
Schuren, L. (2014) Shared storytelling in Euripidean stichomythia, Leiden.Google Scholar
Schwyzer, E. and Debrunner, A. (1966) Griechische Grammatik. Volume ii, Munich.Google Scholar
Scodel, R. (1989) ‘The word of Achilles’, CPh 84, 91–9.Google Scholar
Smyth, H. W. (1956) Greek grammar, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
Snell, B. et al. (1955–2010) Lexikon des frühgriechischen Epos, Göttingen.Google Scholar
Steiner, D. T. (2010) Homer: Odyssey books xviixviii, Cambridge.Google Scholar
Stewart, D. J. (1976) The disguised guest: rank, role and identity in the Odyssey, Lewisburg.Google Scholar
Taplin, O. (1992) Homeric soundings: the shaping of the Iliad, Oxford.Google Scholar
Thomas, O. (2014) ‘Phemius suite’, JHS 134, 89102.Google Scholar
Wace, A. J. B. and Stubbings, F. H. (1967) A companion to Homer, London.Google Scholar
Wender, D. (1978) The last scenes of the Odyssey, Leiden.Google Scholar
Whitman, C. H. (1958) Homer and the heroic tradition, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
Zecchin de Fasano, G. C. (2008) ‘Deixis local: los valores absolutos y relativos de la deixis en la relación Odiseo/pretendientes’, Synthesis 15, 133–45.Google Scholar
Zecchin de Fasano, G. C. (2009) ‘Deixis social en la relación Odiseo/Iro en Odisea 18.1–157’, REC 36, 924.Google Scholar