Homer

Nagy, Gregory. Homeric Questions

The “Homeric Question” has vexed Classicists for generations. Was the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey a single individual who created the poems at a particular moment in history? Or does the name “Homer” hide the shaping influence of the epic tradition during a long period of oral composition and transmission? In this… Read more

“Mixed Aorists” in Homeric Greek

“The Homeric poems provide some of the easiest reading in Greek literature, as well as some of the most rewarding, and so we are introduced to them at an early stage in our study of the language. But when we learn more, we discover that Homeric Greek is not so… Read more

Homeric Responses

The Homeric Iliad and Odyssey are among the world’s foremost epics. Yet, millennia after their composition, basic questions remain about them. Who was Homer—a real or an ideal poet? When were the poems composed—at a single point in time, or over centuries of composition and performance? And how were the poems committed to writing?… Read more

Homer the Preclassic

Homer the Preclassic considers the development of the Homeric poems—in particular the Iliad and Odyssey—during the time when they were still part of the oral tradition. Gregory Nagy traces the evolution of rival “Homers” and the different versions of Homeric poetry in this pretextual period, reconstructed over a time frame extending back from the… Read more

Imagining Illegitimacy in Classical Greek Literature

In Imagining Illegitimacy, Mary Ebbott investigates metaphors of illegitimacy in classical Greek literature, concentrating in particular on the way in which the illegitimate child (nothos) is imagined in narratives. Employing an approach that maintains that metaphors are a key to understanding abstract ideas, Ebbott connects the many complex metaphors associated… Read more

Poetry as Performance: Homer and Beyond

This book is a comparative study of oral poetics in literate cultures, focusing on the problems of textual fluidity in the transmission of Homeric poetry over half a millennium, from the Archaic through the Hellenistic periods of ancient Greece. It stresses the role of performance and the performer in the… Read more

Homeric Variations on a Lament by Briseis

Casey Dué examines the figure of Briseis, the concubine of Achilles in the Iliad, as an example of the traditional artistry enabled by a complex and self-contained oral poetic system. Briseis’ lament for Patroclus in Iliad 19 hints at her role in the larger epic tradition. Dué argues that Briseis’ role… Read more