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74) or by supplication, measures patently unnecessary in a sale. 54 The argument could be made, of course, that the mutually exclusive use of language for commodity and for exchange is a cultural strategy of misrecognition, masking the calculation involved in gift exchange. But since the characters and the narrator consistently reproduce the misrecognition, we are justified in treating exchange and commodity as separate categories, and certainly as separate cultural themes, for the purpose of interpreting exchange strategies in Homeric society.

The second element in the theme is a potential exchange by which the loss may be recovered to the satisfaction of one or both parties. The exchange is qualified by direction, path, and sphere. 10 When loss is addressed by means of an exchange, compensation may travel in one of two directions in relation to the two parties. In the first type, the party sustaining loss, or his or her family or friends ( philoi), takes repayment or satisfaction for the loss from the party who inflicted it or, failing that, from his or her family or friends.

The term poin¯e may appear as the object or object complement of a verb meaning to give back or pay back, but no discernible verbal or structural formulas emerge. For this reason, the recurring words are arranged in the following table to show syntax, not word order. Words not underlined are not repeated in the discrete themes or the monumental theme. 478–85 [14]; cf. 113–18 [15 ]). 122–47 [23 ] The Homeric syntax of poin¯e is important because it expresses the logic of the Homeric economy of harm and compensation.

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Crito by Plato


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