By John Miles Foley
A significant other to historical Epic provides for the 1st time a accomplished, up to date evaluation of old close to jap, Greek and Roman epic. It bargains a multi-disciplinary dialogue of either longstanding rules and more moderen views. A spouse to the close to jap, Greek, and Roman epic traditionsConsiders the interrelation among those varied traditionsProvides a balanced review of longstanding principles and more recent views within the research of epicShows how scholarship over the past 40 years has remodeled the ways in which we conceive of and comprehend the genreCovers lately brought themes, reminiscent of the function of ladies, the heritage of reception, and comparability with dwelling analogues from oral traditionThe editor and individuals are best students within the fieldIncludes an in depth index of poems, poets, technical phrases, and demanding figures and occasions
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Extra resources for A Companion to Ancient Epic (Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World)
On the one hand, it is as pervasive as everyday speech: intimate, simple, potential in any utterance. It can happen at any time; it can embody any matter and make it significant. On the other, ‘‘epic’’ – like the plural epea and especially its most famous occurrence, in the formulaic phrase describing speech as epea pteroenta ‘‘winged words’’ – is a mode of total communication, undertaking nothing less than the ideal expression of a culture. If the usefulness of ‘‘genre’’ is to provide a heuristic tool for honing inter-cultural communication, the good of ‘‘epic’’ lies in its power to craft, through generations of performers and audiences, larger harmonies, in which the discrete pieces of the individual’s life fit and make sense.
Other Greek epics: Huxley 1969. rhapsodes, text fixation: Nagy 1996b, 1996c, 2002. ˆ thos and epos: Martin 1989. semantics of mu shamanism: Dodds 1951. 3 ‘‘Epic’’ cross-culturally African traditions: Stone 1988; Belcher 1999. Egyptian epic: Slyomovics 1987; Reynolds 1995, 1999. epic and myth: Dume´zil 1968, 1971, 1973. genres of discourse: Martin 1984; Todorov 1990. genres within epic: Martin 1984, 1989; Davidson 1998a. Indic performance: Flueckiger 1989, 1999. Irish bardic poetry: Bergin 1970.
As it turns out, we may have an interesting reference to such a broader sweep in the work of the historian Herodotus, who flourished a century before Aristotle. On one hand, Herodotus seems to share Aristotle’s view that epopoiieˆ (‘‘epic-verse-making,’’ in his Ionic dialect form) demands a certain selectivity and seriousness. Significantly, Herodotus retrojects this view onto Homer himself (whom he believes lived around the ninth century B C E ). 1): ‘‘And, in my opinion, Homer knew this story, too; but seeing that it was not so well suited (euprepeˆs) to epic poetry (epopoiieˆ ) as the tale of which he made use, he rejected it, showing that he knew it’’ (trans.
A Companion to Ancient Epic (Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World) by John Miles Foley