This article discusses and analyses the semantic fields of the Homeric verb εἰσαναβαίνειν (“to go up into”) and its interformulaic character in and between the two Homeric epics. It is demonstrated that εἰσαναβαίνειν is used in four different semantic areas in the Homeric epics, two of which always refer to a group of people, whereas the other two always refer to individuals. In the Iliad, the verb is used with reference to the impending withdrawal of the Trojans into their city, in the context of two “as if”-episodes; the repetition of two itinerary lines establishes an intratextual link between two passages in Books 6 and 17, respectively. In the Odyssey, the collectivist usage of the verb points back to those passages in the Iliad and is accompanied by a shift in perspective from the Trojans to the Achaeans. Thus, the annihilation of the Trojans is evoked, and at the same time a holistic view of the events of the Trojan War is suggested, such that the narrative frame of the Iliad and the Odyssey (including the events in between) is seen as a unit. The individualistic usage of the verb, then, runs through both Homeric epics and can be divided into two semantic areas: one refers to climbing up a shore or a citadel, and another one refers to climbing into bed or onto the bedroom on the upper floor. Both semantic areas have in common that they are concerned with a focalization from a female (and hence domestic) perspective. Furthermore, the sexual context of some of the passages involved influences the interpretation of some other passages where the sexual connotation is only implicit.
This item's license is: Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported