Classics@3: The Homerizon; Conceptual Interrogations in Homeric Studies
Guest editors: Richard Armstrong and Casey Dué.
This colloquium had as its twin goals:
1) the serious interrogation of cherished assumptions about Homeric ‘culture’ and ‘texuality’ and
2) the exploration of the wider cultural significance of the perennial Homeric Question(s).
These two goals were linked in that the explorations outlined for 2) quite often led to the serious interrogations of 1). For example, when we look into the influence of a particular scenario of Homeric composition – that of the illiterate bard who speaks/sings for his entire people – we immediately hit upon a set of assumptions about the unity of the Homeric corpus, the unity of its supposed “national culture,” the nature of its style and composition, the organic links between the narrative of the poems and the history of the Hellenic peoples, and the paradigmatic or foundational status of this Homer for other national cultures.
The organizers’ assumption was that questions of reception draw vitally upon the most essential questions posed by the text, and help to recalibrate one’s sense of the Homeric textual horizon – what we have called the Homerizon, deliberately invoking the Greek active participle homerizon, “doing Homer.” In plainer language, we wanted to investigate quite simply: throughout history, what does it mean to “do Homer”? The scholars who attended were openly invited to take a broader view of the issue of Homer than that fought out in the usual philological and archaeological venues.