Notes on the dating of the homeric poems


25-May-2020 23:43

In spite of this scholars are divided as to which category, if any, the court singer or the wandering minstrel, the historic "Homer" belonged.

Many other works were credited to Homer in antiquity, including the entire Epic Cycle.

A connection with Smyrna seems to be alluded to in a legend that his original name was Melesigenes ("born of Meles", a river which flowed by that city), with his mother the nymph Kretheis.

Internal evidence from the poems gives evidence of familiarity with the topography and place-names of this area of Asia Minor, for example Homer refers to meadow birds at the mouth of the Caystros (Iliad 2.459ff.), a storm in the Icarian sea (Iliad 2.144ff.), and mentions that women in Maeonia and Caria stain ivory with scarlet (Iliad 4.142).

Some scholars, such as Martin West, claim that "Homer" is "not the name of a historical poet, but a fictitious or constructed name." Homer's works, which are about fifty percent comprised of speeches, provided models in persuasive speaking and writing that were emulated throughout the ancient and medieval Greek worlds.

Fragments of Homer account for about half of all ancient Greek papyrus finds.

The genre included further poems on the Trojan War, such as the Little Iliad, the Nostoi, the Cypria, and the Epigoni, as well as the Theban poems about Oedipus and his sons.

Other works, such as the corpus of Homeric Hymns, the comic mini-epic Batrachomyomachia ("The Frog-Mouse War"), and the Margites were also attributed to him, but this is now believed to be unlikely.

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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., Hómēros), is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest ancient Greek epic poet.These epics are at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature. Herodotus estimates that Homer lived 400 years before Herodotus' own time, which would place him at around 850 BC; For modern scholars "the date of Homer" refers not to an individual, but to the period when the epics were created.Two other poems, the Capture of Oechalia and the Phocais were also assigned Homeric authorship, but the question of the identities of the authors of these various texts is even more problematic than that of the authorship of the two major epics.

Template: Details The idea that Homer was responsible for just the 2 outstanding epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, did not win consensus until 350 BC.

The consensus is that "the Iliad and the Odyssey date from around the 8th century BC, the Iliad being composed before the Odyssey, perhaps by some decades," the Iliad being the oldest work of Western literature.