Homer the Preclassic

  Use the following persistent identifier: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_Nagy.Homer_the_Preclassic.2009.


Introduction §1 This book Homer the Preclassic, which is based on the Sather Classical Lectures of spring 2002, covers the preclassical era of Homeric reception. It is complemented by a twin book, Homer the Classic (2009), which covers the classical era. Between the two of them, Homer the Classic and Homer the Preclassic cover six ages of Homeric reception. Here are the six ages, arranged in a sequence going backward in time:

HC ch. 1. Homer the Classic in the age of Virgil

HC ch. 2. Homer the Classic in the age of Callimachus

HC ch. 3. Homer the Classic in the age of Plato

HC ch. 4. Homer the Classic in the age of Pheidias

HPC Part I. A Preclassical Homer from the Dark Age

HPC Part II. A Preclassical Homer from the Bronze Age.

The first four entries in this list correspond to the titles of the four chapters in Homer the Classic. The last two entries correspond to the titles I give to the two parts of this twin book Homer the Preclassic

Introduction §2 The idea of viewing Homer through several different time frames is consistent with my overall approach to Homer, which goes beyond current debates concerning Homeric “orality” or “literacy.” [1] These debates presuppose some alternative ideas that I do not share. In terms of such ideas, Homer was not really classical or {1|2} even preclassical: he was primordial. [2] Such a primordial Homer, whether or not his name was Homer, was some kind of primitive; if he was a genius, he was a primitive genius.


[ back ] 1. HR 1–3. For a survey of the relevant debates, see de Vet 2005; at her p. 268n37, she could have made fuller reference to the important work of Lamberterie 1997 / 2001.

[ back ] 2. For an overall critique of such ideas, see Graziosi 2002:90–93.

[ back ] 3. HTL xi.