oral tradition

The Singer Resumes the Tale

Edited by Mary Louise Lord after the author’s death, The Singer Resumes the Tale focuses on the performance of stories and poems within settings that range from ancient Greek palaces to Latvian villages. Lord expounds and develops his approach to oral literature in this book, responds systematically for the first… Read more

Epic Singers and Oral Tradition

Albert Bates Lord here offers an unparalleled overview of the nature of oral-traditional epic songs and the practices of the singers who composed them. Shaped by the conviction that theory should be based on what singers actually do, and have done in times past, the essays collected here span half… Read more

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

Performance and Text in Ancient Greece

Short Writings: I. Table of Contents [[This essay is an expanded online version (2010) of an original printed version that appeared as Chapter 34 in The Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies, ed. G. Boys-Stones, B. Graziosi, P. Vasunia (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2009) 417-431. In this expanded version, the… Read more