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By John Miles Foley

ISBN-10: 1405188383

ISBN-13: 9781405188388

"For those people who are drawn to Greek and Roman epic, the ebook is a treasure-house of ideal variety.... The editor and the writer either deserve compliment for a really fantastic volume." (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society)

"Blackwell's better half to historic Epic does simply what the identify indicates: it accompanies readers on trips of exploration during this large (in each experience) box. simply as importantly, the spouse will exhibit new readers why they may are looking to immerse themselves in those poems.... the various highlights during this spouse exhibit the price of asking students to jot down for non-specialists. That exercise presents a stimulus for brand new degrees of concentration and readability; even rules and fabrics which may be popular turn into clean back once they are offered in such succinct distillations." (Bryn Mawr Classical overview)

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Extra resources for A Companion to Ancient Epic

Example text

One can even argue, as Gregory Nagy does, that the invention of ‘‘genre’’ as a system of categories in Greek literary history only occurs when the oral-traditional performances of the archaic period are reduced to writing, mostly during the fifth century B C E , and the originating events lost or forgotten. ‘‘Genre,’’ in this regard, is a tool for scholars and librarians. This is not to say that poets themselves never had an awareness of technical and thematic distinctions among, for example, verses to honor gods, tell of heroic deeds, mock social offenders, or accompany religious processions.

As mentioned above, Homeric and Hesiodic poems could be recited by the same rhapsodic performers. The Hesiodic corpus encompasses proverbial lore in diction and structures that have been compared to Greek lyric. In short, one can imagine an ancient Greek performer sequencing exactly the same functionally similar genres as the Egyptian bards: praise (humnoi), wisdom (gnoˆmai), and ‘‘epic’’ (narrowly conceived). Furthemore, it can be argued that Greek epic not only can be framed by but itself consciously embeds such subgenres as praise and blame poetry, maxims, and lyric similes (see further section 4).

1): ‘‘And, in my opinion, Homer knew this story, too; but seeing that it was not so well suited (euprepeˆs) to epic poetry (epopoiieˆ ) as the tale of which he made use, he rejected it, showing that he knew it’’ (trans. Godley). After citing verses that he claims show Homer’s knowledge of the alternate version (Il. 289–92, Od. 2). The poem he alludes to – now known as the Cypria and surviving only in a few quotations – was clearly ‘‘epic’’ in having thematic and formal features found in the Iliad and Odyssey.

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A Companion to Ancient Epic by John Miles Foley


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