A Companion to Ancient Epic by John Miles Foley

By John Miles Foley

"For those who find themselves drawn to Greek and Roman epic, the booklet is a treasure-house of ideal variety.... The editor and the writer either deserve compliment for a truly advantageous volume." (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society)

"Blackwell's better half to historical 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 convey new readers why they may are looking to immerse themselves in those poems.... the various highlights during this significant other display the price of asking students to put in writing for non-specialists. That undertaking offers a stimulus for brand spanking new degrees of concentration and readability; even rules and fabrics that could be universal develop into clean back after they are offered in such succinct distillations." (Bryn Mawr Classical evaluation)

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Again, the Odyssey features an extended ‘‘catalogue’’ of heroic women in the Underworld scene of Book 11, which even in antiquity was matched with the Hesiodic Catalogue. Clearly, generic interplay and expansion, allusion and multiformity, were essential to the art of epopoiia in archaic Greek. ’’ A straightforward assumption can account for the tight bonds among all these hexameter poems: namely, the existence, from at least the sixth century B C E , of travelling reciters or singers, called ‘‘rhapsodes’’ (‘‘song-stitchers’’), at least some of whom traced their ancestry to the master singer Homer himself.

Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin are, as Jones noted, remarkably similar to one another; Swahili and Xhosa, too, are remarkably similar, as we now know, though not to Sanskrit, Greek, or Latin; and Chinese is not similar to any of these other languages. To sum up: if we are concerned with the idea and ideal of Language in the brain, then all six languages are somehow the same; but if we are concerned instead with data from real languages, then the first three have sprung from one common source, the next two from a different source, and the last from yet another.

It can be ‘‘epic’’ is in fact contrasted, within our oldest Greek poetry, with mu described, within the synchronic system of Homeric diction, as unmarked. Epos usually refers to short utterances; non-public ‘‘sayings’’; brief ordinary remarks; or intimate communication as between husband and wife or hero and companion. Later, the plural epea, as we have seen, comes to mean ‘‘hexameter verses’’ or ‘‘epic’’ whereas within ˆ thos. How does this Homer this plural (but not the singular) can be a synonym for mu transformation occur?

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