Homeric Conversation

  Beck, Deborah. 2005. Homeric Conversation. Hellenic Studies Series 14. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_BeckD.Homeric_Conversation.2005.

Appendix I

Breakdown of direct speeches in the Iliad and the Odyssey by turn type and by type of speech introductory formula

The following two tables categorize and total i) the speeches and ii) the speech introductions in the Iliad and the Odyssey book by book. The category names at the left side of the chart—reply position, initial position, single speech, and successive speech—indicate the type of speech as described in the Introduction. Totals are given for each of these types of speech for each book of the Iliad and Odyssey (extending horizontally across the chart) and for each poem overall (at the right side of the chart). At the bottom of the chart, totals are also given for each book of the number of speeches of all kinds, the number of single speeches, the number of verses of direct speech, and the total number of verses in the book. These overall figures give a general sense of how much speech there is in each book and how much of the speech takes place within a conversation.

Within each speech type (except successive, which is very rare), I have given the number of speech introductory formulas for that particular kind of speech, again according to the categories developed in the Introduction (reply formula, a subcategory of reply for reply formulas that use a verb containing the root -μειβ-, group reply formula, flexible formula, context-specific formula, initial formula, group initial formula, partial verse formula, no formula). Totals for each type of speech introductory formula within each speech type are given book by book horizontally across the chart, and are totaled for each poem at the right side of the chart. {278|279}

The same formula types are given beneath each speech type. Although all types of formulas introduce all types of speeches (with the exception of reply formulas that use a verb containing the -μειβ- root, a category which is restricted to “reply position”), these data show that different kinds of formulas appear at vastly different rates for different types of speeches. Moreover, partial verse formulas and non-formulaic speech introductions also appear at different rates depending on the type of speech.

In the Odyssey table, the tale of Odysseus in Books 9-12 is considered to be one long speech. His tale represents one (or rather two, counting the interruption in Book 11) turns in a normal conversational sequence among the Phaeacians. I plan to treat the conversations reported within Odysseus’ tale in a separate study.{279|}