By John Miles Foley
"For people who find themselves drawn to Greek and Roman epic, the publication is a treasure-house of wonderful variety.... The editor and the writer either deserve compliment for a truly tremendous volume." (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society)
"Blackwell's spouse to historic Epic does simply what the identify indicates: it accompanies readers on trips of exploration during this large (in each experience) box. simply as importantly, the spouse will express new readers why they may are looking to immerse themselves in those poems.... the various highlights during this significant other reveal the worth of asking students to put in writing for non-specialists. That exercise presents a stimulus for brand spanking new degrees of concentration and readability; even principles and fabrics which may be established turn into clean back after they are offered in such succinct distillations." (Bryn Mawr Classical evaluation)
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Additional info for A Companion to Ancient Epic
The main distinction ˆ thoi seems to be whether music is involved, and whether the between aoideˆ and mu performer is a professional. Both Odysseus and Achilles straddle the line by being expert ˆ thos-speech and also like bards (Achilles when he plays the phorminx at Il. 186–91, at mu Odysseus when compared to an enchanting singer at Od. 518–21). In fact, as we shall ˆ thos) see, ‘‘epic’’ is most comparable to ‘‘myth’’ (the word derived ultimately from mu both in archaic Greek terms and in the contemporary non-Eurocentric world.
Genre in practice: Bynum 1976; Bauman 1992. handbook definition and discussion: Revard and Newman 1993. Indic traditions: Blackburn et al. 1989; Flueckiger and Sears 1991; Lutgendorf 1991. native genre categories: Bauman and Sherzer 1989. poetry/prose distinction: Tedlock 1983; Fine 1984. ‘‘primitive’’ epic: Bowra 1952; critique in Farrell 1999b. transitional texts: Foley 1990, 1991; Lord 1995. 2 Defining ‘‘epic’’ in ancient Greece Aristotle: Halliwell 1986; Richardson 1992. Epic Cycle: Burgess 2001.
Our notion of ‘‘epic’’ will not be too large if it expands to fit the performance repertoire of these important figures, and by extension, the cognitive and aesthetic capabilities of their audiences. 3 ‘‘Epic’’ Cross-culturally ‘‘Epic’’ – or any other literary genre – cannot be classified apart from the performers who transmit it. One can even argue, as Gregory Nagy does, that the invention of ‘‘genre’’ as a system of categories in Greek literary history only occurs when the oral-traditional performances of the archaic period are reduced to writing, mostly during the fifth century B C E , and the originating events lost or forgotten.
A Companion to Ancient Epic by John Miles Foley