Humanities 101 23 October 201 3. The Odyssey , “ by ” “ Homer ” Matthew Gumpert. Lewis and Short: An Elementary Latin Dictionary. Author: from the Latin, auctor : father, founder; producer, progenitor; authority; guarantor. Michel Foucault, “ What is an Author? ”.
The Odyssey, “by”“Homer”
Author: from the Latin, auctor: father, founder; producer, progenitor; authority; guarantor.
If . . . Pierre Dupont does not have blue eyes, or was not born in Paris, or is not a doctor, the name Pierre Dupont will still always refer to the same person, such things do not modify the link of designation. The problems raised by the author's name are much more complex, however. If . . . we proved that Shakespeare did not write those sonnets which pass for his, that would constitute a significant change and affect the manner in which the author's name functions . . . To say that Pierre Dupont does not exist is not at all the same as saying that Homer . . . did not exist. In the first case, it means that no one has the name Pierre Dupont; in the second, it means that several people were mixed together under one name, or that the true author had none of the traits traditionally ascribed to the persona . . . of Homer . . .
The Odyssey, by Homer
Homer. Odyssey. Translatedby Robert Fagles. New York, Penguin, 1996.
Homer. TheIliad of Homer. TranslatedbyRichmondLattimore. Chicago: Chicago UniversityPress, 1951.
Homer. Odyssey. Edited by David Monro and Thomas Allen. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1908.
The editioprincepsof the Odyssey = first printed edition: Demetrius Chalcondyles, Florence, 1488
Iliad: Venetus A, Biblioteca Marciana, Venice (10th century)
Odyssey: Laurentianus, Laurentian Library, Florence (10th century)
After 9th century: miniscule cursive = divisions between words; diacritical marks)
Before 9thcentury: capital block letters = uncials: no division between words,
After 5th century: codex = book form
Betwteen2ndand 5thcenturies AD: shift from codex to papyrus. Earliest extant Homeric papyri fragments: 3rdcentury BC.
Division of Homeric epics into 24 books: 3rd-2nd centuries B.C., Alexandria (Hellenistic period)
Earliest evidence of Homer: “some ancient quotations” (The Homer Multitext Project, www.homermultitext.org); citations in lyric poetry as early as 7th BC.
Earliest probable reference to Homeric epic: vase inscription, Ischia, ca. 740 BC.
The Peisistratid Recension:written version of Iliad and Odyssey commissioned in Athens, 6th century BC, under rule of Peisastratos
The Homeric Question: the 19th-20th century debate over the historicity of Homer.
The Homeridae: a guild of poets claiming Homer as their genealogical ancestor (see Plato, Ion)
“It is a blind man, and he dwells in Chios, a rugged land.”
Homeric Hymn to Apollo 166-176. Translated by Gregory Nagy
German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, Mycenae, 1876: “I have gazed upon the face of Agamemnon”
Robert Wood, Essay on the Original Genius of Homer (1769)
F. A. Wolf, Prolegomena ad Homerum (1795)
They reached out for the good things that lay at
and when they’d put aside desire for food and drink
the suitors set their minds on other pleasures,
song and dancing, all that crowns a feast.
A herald placed an ornate lyre in Phemius’ hands,
the bard who always performed among them there;
they forced the man to sing.
. . . Amidst them still
the famous bard sang on, and they sat in silence,
as he performed The Achaeans’ Journey Home from Troy . . .
. . . delighting his heart in a lyre, clear-
sounding . . .
With this he was pleasuring his heart, and
singing of men’s fame . . .
. . . the faithful bard the Muse adored
above all others . . .
the Muse inspired the bard
to sing the famous deeds of fighting heroes-
the song whose fame had reached the skies
The Strife Between Odysseus and Achilles . . .
“Sing of the wooden horse . . .
. . . the cunning trap that
good Odysseus brought one day to the heights of Troy” . . .
That was the song the famous harper sang
but great Odysseus melted into tears . . .
dactylic hexameter: six feet of dactyls (— u u) or spondees (— —):
— u u (or — — )| — u u | — u u | — u u | — u u | — — |
(See Greek Hexameter Analysis at http://www.thesaurus.flf.vu.lt/eiledara/index.php)
To parse any line of Homer into dactylic hexameter:
Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns
āndră moĭ | ēnněpě, | moūsă, pŏ|lūtrŏpŏn, | hōs mălă |pōllā
Now though, if you wish me to fight it out and do battle,
make the rest of the Trojans sit down, and all the Achaians,
and set me in the middle with Menelaos the warlike
to fight together for the sake of Helen and all her possessions.
That one of us who wins and is proved stronger, let him
take the possessions fairly and the woman, and lead her
But the rest of you, having cut your oaths of faith and friendship
dwell, you in Troy where the soil is rich, while those others return home
to horse-pasturing Argos, and Achaia the land of fair women.
In oral poetry, composition and performance take place simultaneously.
Epithets: the same adjectives repeatedly employed to modify the same names or nouns
much-enduring, brilliant Odysseus
much-enduring, brilliant Odysseus = polutlas dios Odusseus = half a line of dactylic hexameter:
So she spoke and he shuddered, much enduring, brilliant Odysseus
hōs phătŏ |rīgē|sēn dĕ pŏ|lūtlās |dīŏs Ŏ|dūssēus
Odysseus, a man of many schemes:
and in answer he addressed her, a man of many schemes
tēn d’ăpŏ|mēibŏmě|nōs prŏsĕ|phē pŏlŭ|mētĭs Ŏ|dūssēus
Formulae: any repeating element of text
Son of Laertes and seed of Zeus, resourceful Odysseus
He fell, thunderously, and his arrow clattered upon him
Agamemnon’s speech, Iliad 9.17-28 and 2.110-41 Agamemnon weeps, Iliad 9. 14-15; Patroclus weeps, Iliad 16.3-4
The banquet, the sacrifice, the debate, the preparation for battle
“All repeats are founded on the principle that a thing once said in the right way should be said again in the same way when occasion demands”
Lattimore, introduction to his translation of the Iliad (38)
Linear B: 87 distinct signs for different combinations of consonants and vowels; Mycenae, before 12th century
The earliest examples of writing in the Greek alphabet: 8th century BC; based on a Phoenician syllabary