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Research Article

Storie di Linceo

Un eroe oxyderkes tra mito e modelli culturali

Damiano Fermi    Independent Scholar    



The article reviews the testimonies on Lynceus, son of Aphareus, a ‘minor’ Greek hero, renowned in Antiquity for his extraordinarily penetrating gaze. I focus on the characteristics attributed to this superpower (vision from afar and through solid surfaces) and the areas in which it operates (heroic combat, navigation, art of discovering veins of ore). Through the analysis of the texts, I try to bring out some important cultural models, connected in the mythical narrative with the ὀξυδερκία: since this topic is widespread in the international oral tradition, I found it useful to compare literary data with folklore parallels. In order to grasp further facets of this phenomenon, the case of Lynceus is considered against the background of other characters with extraordinarily sharp eyesight (be it gods, heroes or animals), to finally trace in the Grimm’s fairy tale nr. 71 a significant moment of the motif’s fortune outside classical Greece.

Keywords: Lynceus. Apharetidai. Sharp sight. Supernatural power. Greek hero. Cypria. Argonauts. Precious metals. Lynx-eyed. Invisibility. Greek myth. Folk-tale.

Language: it

Submitted: Nov. 18, 2019
Accepted: April 9, 2020
Published: June 30, 2020

permalink: http://doi.org/10.30687/Lexis/2210-8823/2020/01/002

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License