The Death and Mutilation of Imbrius in Iliad 13

in Yearbook of Ancient Greek Epic Online
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Homerists, following the lead of Charles Segal’s The Theme of the Mutilation of the Corpse in the Iliad (1971), have largely argued that corpse mutilation in the poem is threatened, feared, even attempted, but ultimately unfulfilled. Due to the overwhelming emphasis on corpse preservation in the Iliad, scholars have almost universally ignored the case of Imbrius in Book 13. My discussion of Locrian Ajax’s post mortem decapitation of Imbrius (Il. 13.201–205) aims to problematize this picture of corpse preservation, and I offer some larger structural, thematic, and metapoetic insights into the functioning of this scene in the epic.

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See Friedrich 2003: 46; Kirk 1990: 201 at 2.527; Janko 1992: 52 at 13.72; Willcock 1997: 188; Kullmann 2015: 119–120.

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