Download e-book for iPad: Ancient Epic Poetry: Homer, Apollonius, Virgil with a by Charles Rowan Beye

By Charles Rowan Beye

ISBN-10: 0865166072

ISBN-13: 9780865166073

Charles Rowan Beye's significantly acclaimed interpretive creation to the epic poetry and poets of old Greece, Rome, and Assyria is the following reprinted in an increased moment variation with a brand new preface, new bankruptcy on Gilgamesh, and an Appendix of extra studying 1993-2005. for hundreds of years the beginnings of the literary historical past of the West have been outlined through the Hebrew Bible what most folks name the previous testomony and Homer's epic poems, the Iliad and Odyssey. those texts have been as soon as naively speculated to have occur in ultimate isolation both as a miracle of divine production or the spontaneous combustion of the 'Greek genius'. The potent circulate of phrases down over the millennia to our personal time are such a lot of generations of offspring nonetheless by some means beholden to their preliminary begetters.

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Extra resources for Ancient Epic Poetry: Homer, Apollonius, Virgil with a Chapter on the Gilgamesh Poems

Example text

In som ething of a narrative lurch, the god dess Ishtar now offers herself to Gilgam esh, w h o declines, citing the various other m en w h o have enjoyed her favors and then com e to grief. Spurned, Ishtar is furious and seeks revenge through her father, the god A n u , w h o sends the Bull of H eaven dow n to fight Gilgam esh and Enkidu. The heroes are victorious and celebrate. The gods now decide that Enkidu m ust die in return for the death of Humbaba and the Bull of H eaven. Enkidu's death plunges G il­ gam esh into deep despair.

The Iliad, Odyssey, Theogony, and Works and Days share a com m on language based on form ulas, although there is diction peculiar to each of the four poem s. The language of the M ycenaean bards, w e m ay assum e, w as a highly stylized, contrived, and form ulaic language, hardly the same as the G reek that can be deciphered from the Linear B syllabary w riting. N onetheless, it w as, w e m ay also assum e, pure M ycenaean, w hereas the language of our Iliad and Odyssey is an ex­ traordinary am algam of several different dialects o f Greek.

Exactly repeated phrases seem obvious Oral Poetry · 27 enough, but h ow m any times m ust the phrase be repeated to count? W hat about analogous phrases? W hen the econom y of the system is confirm ed by noting that a phrase m ade up of a personal name and epithet, such as "sw ift-footed A ch illes," is alm ost never duplicated in any one grammatical case in any given metrical position, w hat are w e to say for the use of a w ord or phrase in the same metrical and grammatical situation w hich denotes the person w ithout nam ing him?

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Ancient Epic Poetry: Homer, Apollonius, Virgil with a Chapter on the Gilgamesh Poems by Charles Rowan Beye


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