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27 mars 2012 2 27 /03 /mars /2012 04:05

One view which attempts to bridge the differences holds that the Iliad was composed by "Homer" in his maturity, while the Odyssey was a work of his old age. The Batrachomyomachia, Homeric Hymns and cyclic epics are generally agreed to be later than the Iliad and the Odyssey. Sony VGN-FZ290EGB Laptop Battery

 

Most scholars agree that the Iliad and Odyssey underwent a process of standardisation and refinement out of older material beginning in the 8th century BC. An important role in this standardisation appears to have been played by the Athenian tyrant Hipparchus, who reformed the recitation of Homeric poetry at the Panathenaic festival. Many classicistshold that this reform must have involved the production of a canonical written text. Sony vaio VPCF127HGBI Laptop Battery

 

Other scholars still support the idea that Homer was a real person. Since nothing is known about the life of this Homer, the common joke—also recycled with regard toShakespeare—has it that the poems "were not written by Homer, but by another man of the same name."[41][42] Sony VPCS117GGB Battery

Samuel Butler argues, based on literary observations, that a young Sicilian woman wrote the Odyssey (but not the Iliad),[43] an idea further pursued byRobert Graves in his novel Homer's Daughter and Andrew Dalby in Rediscovering Homer.[44]Sony VPCS119FJ Battery

Independent of the question of single authorship is the near-universal agreement, after the work of Milman Parry,[45] that the Homeric poems are dependent on an oral tradition, a generations-old technique that was the collective inheritance of many singer-poets (aoidoi). Sony VPCS11AFJ Battery

An analysis of the structure and vocabulary of the Iliad and Odyssey shows that the poems contain many formulaic phrases typical of extempore epic traditions; even entire verses are at times repeated. Parry and his student Albert Lord pointed out that such elaborate oral tradition, Sony VPCS11AGJ Battery

foreign to today's literate cultures, is typical of epic poetry in a predominantly oral cultural milieu, the key words being "oral" and "traditional". Parry started with "traditional": the repetitive chunks of language, he said, were inherited by the singer-poet from his predecessors, and were useful to him in composition. Parry called these repetitive chunks "formulas".Sony VPCS11AHJ Battery

 

Exactly when these poems would have taken on a fixed written form is subject to debate. The traditional solution is the "transcription hypothesis", wherein a non-literate "Homer" dictates his poem to a literate scribe between the 8th and 6th centuries BC. Sony VPCS11AVJ Battery

The Greek alphabet was introduced in the early 8th century BC, so it is possible that Homer himself was of the first generation of authors who were also literate. The classicist Barry B. Powellsuggests that the Greek alphabet was invented ca. 800 BC by one man, probably Homer, in order to write down oral epic poetry.[46] Sony VPCS11J7E Battery

More radical Homerists like Gregory Nagy contend that a canonical text of the Homeric poems as "scripture" did not exist until theHellenistic period (3rd to 1st century BC). Sony VPCS11M1E Battery

 

New methods try also to elucidate the question. Combining information technologies and statistics, the stylometry allows to scan various linguistic units: words, parts of speech, sounds... Based on the frequencies of Greek letters, Sony VPCS11V9E Battery

a first study of Dietmar Najock[47]particularly shows the intern cohesion of the Iliad and the Odysssey. Taking into account the repartition of the letters, a recent study of Stephan Vonfelt[48] highlights the unity of the works of Homer compared to Hesiod. The thesis of modern Analysts being questioned, the debate remains open. Sony VPCS11V9E/B Battery

 

Homeric studies

The study of Homer is one of the oldest topics in scholarship, dating back to antiquity. The aims and achievements of Homeric studies have changed over the course of the millennia. In the last few centuries, they have revolved around the process by which the Homeric poems came into existence and were transmitted over time to us, first orally and later in writing. Sony VPCS11V9E/B Battery

 

Some of the main trends in modern Homeric scholarship have been, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, Analysis and Unitarianism (see Homeric Question), schools of thought which emphasized on the one hand the inconsistencies in, and on the other the artistic unity of, Homer; and in the 20th century and later Oral Theory, the study of the mechanisms and effects of oral transmission, and Neoanalysis, the study of the relationship between Homer and other early epic material. Sony VPCS11X9E Battery

 

Homeric dialect

The language used by Homer is an archaic version of Ionic Greek, with admixtures from certain other dialects, such as Aeolic Greek. It later served as the basis of Epic Greek, the language of epic poetry, typically in dactylic hexameter. Sony VPCS123FGB Battery

 

Homeric style

Aristotle remarks in his Poetics that Homer was unique among the poets of his time, focusing on a single unified theme or action in the epic cycle.[49]Sony VPCS12AFJ Battery

 

The cardinal qualities of the style of Homer are well articulated by Matthew Arnold:

[T]he translator of Homer should above all be penetrated by a sense of four qualities of his author:—that he is eminently rapid; that he is eminently plain and direct, both in the evolution of his thought and in the expression of it, that is, both in his syntax and in his words; that he is eminently plain and direct in the substance of his thought, that is, in his matter and ideas; and finally, that he is eminently noble.[50]Sony VPCS12AGJ Battery

 

The peculiar rapidity of Homer is due in great measure to his use of hexameter verse. It is characteristic of early literature that the evolution of the thought, or the grammatical form of the sentence, is guided by the structure of the verse; and the correspondence which consequently obtains between the rhythm and the syntax—the thought being given out in lengths, Sony VPCS12AHJ Battery

as it were, and these again divided by tolerably uniform pauses—produces a swift flowing movement such as is rarely found when periods are constructed without direct reference to the metre. That Homer possesses this rapidity without falling into the corresponding faults, that is, without becoming either fluctuant or monotonous, is perhaps the best proof of his unequalled poetic skill. Sony VPCS12AVJ Battery

The plainness and directness of both thought and expression which characterise him were doubtless qualities of his age, but the author of the Iliad (similar to Voltaire, to whom Arnold happily compares him) must have possessed this gift in a surpassing degree. The Odyssey is in this respect perceptibly below the level of the Iliad. Sony VPCS12C7E/B Battery

 

Rapidity or ease of movement, plainness of expression, and plainness of thought are not distinguishing qualities of the great epic poets Virgil, Dante,[51] and Milton. On the contrary, they belong rather to the humbler epico-lyrical school for which Homer has been so often claimed. Sony VPCS12L9E/B Battery

The proof that Homer does not belong to that school—and that his poetry is not in any true sense ballad poetry—is furnished by the higher artistic structure of his poems and, as regards style, by the fourth of the qualities distinguished by Arnold: the quality of nobleness. It is his noble and powerful style, sustained through every change of idea and subject, that finally separates Homer from all forms of ballad poetry and popular epic. Sony VPCS12V9E/B Battery

 

Like the French epics, such as the Chanson de Roland, Homeric poetry is indigenous and, by the ease of movement and its resultant simplicity, distinguishable from the works of Dante, Milton and Virgil. It is also distinguished from the works of these artists by the comparative absence of underlying motives or sentiment.Sony VPCS133GN/B Battery

In Virgil's poetry, a sense of the greatness of Rome and Italy is the leading motive of a passionate rhetoric, partly veiled by the considered delicacy of his language. Dante and Milton are still more faithful exponents of the religion and politics of their time. Sony VPCS135EC/B Battery

Even the French epics display sentiments of fear and hatred of the Saracens; but, in Homer's works, the interest is purely dramatic. There is no strong antipathy of race or religion; the war turns on no political events; the capture ofTroy lies outside the range of the Iliad; Sony VPCS135EC/G Battery

and even the protagonists are not comparable to the chief national heroes of Greece. So far as can be seen, the chief interest in Homer's works is that of human feeling and emotion, and of drama; indeed, his works are often referred to as "dramas".Sony VPCS135EC/P Battery

 History and the Iliad

The excavations of Heinrich Schliemann at Hisarlik in the late 19th century provided initial evidence to scholars that there was an historical basis for the Trojan War. Research into oral epics in Serbo-Croatian and Turkic languages, Sony VPCS135FA/B Battery

pioneered by the aforementioned Parry and Lord, began convincing scholars that long poems could be preserved with consistency by oral cultures until they are written down.[45] The decipherment of Linear Bin the 1950s by Michael Ventris (and others) convinced many of a linguistic continuity between 13th century BC Mycenaean writings and the poems attributed to Homer. Sony VPCS135FG/W Battery

 It is probable, therefore, that the story of the Trojan War as reflected in the Homeric poems derives from a tradition of epic poetry founded on a war which actually took place. It is crucial, however, not to underestimate the creative and transforming power of subsequent tradition: for instance, Achilles, the most important character of the Iliad, Sony VPCS135FH/P Battery

 is strongly associated with southern Thessaly, but his legendary figure is interwoven into a tale of war whose kings were from the Peloponnese. Tribal wanderings were frequent, and far-flung, ranging over much of Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean.[52]Sony VPCS136EC/B Battery

 The epic weaves brilliantly the disiecta membra (scattered remains) of these distinct tribal narratives, exchanged among clan bards, into a monumental tale in which Greeks join collectively to do battle on the distant plains of Troy.

Hero cult

In the Hellenistic period, Homer was the subject of a hero cult in several cities. A shrine, the Homereion, was devoted to him in Alexandria by Ptolemy IV Philopator in the late 3rd century BC. This shrine is described in Aelian's 3rd century AD work Varia Historia. Sony VPCS136EC/G Battery

He tells how Ptolemy "placed in a circle around the statue [of Homer] all the cities who laid claim to Homer" and mentions a painting of the poet by the artist Galaton, which apparently depicted Homer in the aspect of Oceanus as the source of all poetry. Sony VPCS136EC/P Battery

 A marble relief, found in Italy but thought to have been sculpted in Egypt, depicts theapotheosis of Homer. It shows Ptolemy and his wife or sister Arsinoe III standing beside a seated poet, flanked by figures from the Odyssey and Iliad, with the nine Muses standing above them and a procession of worshippers approaching an altar, believed to represent the Alexandrine Homereion. Sony VPCS136FA/B Battery

Apollo, the god of music and poetry, also appears, along with a female figure tentatively identified as Mnemosyne, the mother of the Muses. Zeus, the king of the gods, presides over the proceedings. The relief demonstrates vividly that the Greeks considered Homer not merely a great poet but the divinely inspired reservoir of all literature.[53]Sony VPCS136FG/B Battery

 Homereia also stood at Chios, Ephesus, and Smyrna, which were among the city-states that claimed to be his birthplace. Strabo (14.1.37) records an Homeric temple in Smyrna with an ancient xoanon or cult statue of the poet. He also mentions sacrifices carried out to Homer by the inhabitants of Argos, presumably at another Homereion.[54]Sony VPCS137GA/B Battery

 ransmission and publication

Though evincing many features characteristic of oral poetry, the Iliad and Odyssey were at some point committed to writing. The Greek script, adapted from a Phoenician syllabaryaround 800 BC, made possible the notation of the complex rhythms and vowel clusters that make up hexameter verse. Sony VPCS137GG/B Battery

Homer's poems appear to have been recorded shortly after the alphabet's invention: an inscription from Ischia in the Bay of Naples, ca. 740 BC, appears to refer to a text of the Iliad; likewise, illustrations seemingly inspired by thePolyphemus episode in the Odyssey are found on Samos, Sony VPCS137GH/B Battery

 Mykonos and in Italy, dating from the first quarter of the seventh century BC. We have little information about the early condition of the Homeric poems, but in the second century BC, Alexandrian editors stabilized this text from which all modern texts descend. Sony VPCS138EC/B Battery

  late antiquity, knowledge of Greek declined in Latin-speaking western Europe and, along with it, knowledge of Homer's poems. It was not until the fifteenth century AD that Homer's work began to be read once more in Italy. Sony VPCS138EC/G Battery

By contrast it was continually read and taught in the Greek-speaking Eastern Roman Empire where the majority of the classics also survived. The first printed edition appeared in 1488 (edited by Demetrios Chalkokondylesand published by Bernardus Nerlius, Nerius Nerlius, and Demetrius Damilas in Florence, Italy). Sony VPCS138EC/P Battery

One often finds books of the Iliad and Odyssey cited by the corresponding letter of theGreek alphabet, with upper-case letters referring to a book number of the Iliad and lower-case letters referring to the Odyssey. Thus Ξ 200 would be shorthand for Iliad book 14, line 200, while ξ 200 would be Odyssey 14.200. The following table presents this system of numeration: Sony VPCS139FJ/B Battery

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