A New Companion to Homer by Barry B. Powell, Ian Morris (eds.)

By Barry B. Powell, Ian Morris (eds.)

This quantity is the 1st English-language survey of Homeric reports to seem for greater than a new release, and the 1st such paintings to try to hide all fields comprehensively. Thirty top students from Europe and the United States supply brief, authoritative overviews of the kingdom of data and present controversies within the many expert divisions in Homeric stories. The chapters pay equivalent cognizance to literary, mythological, linguistic, old, and archaeological subject matters, starting from such normal difficulties because the "Homeric query" to more recent concerns just like the relevance of narratology and computer-assisted quantification. the gathering, the 3rd e-book in Brill's guide sequence, "The Classical Tradition," can be priceless at each point of analysis - from the overall scholar of literature to the Homeric expert looking a basic knowing of the newest advancements around the complete diversity of Homeric scholarship.

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In this way, from the beginning, Homer and Hesiod became the educators of Greece. 56 For the theory of the dictated text, A. B. ). Acknowledgments: My thanks to John Bennet, Emmett L. , and Ian Morris for commenting on drafts of this paper. )I is bound up with the question of the origin of the poems themselves. What use was made of them, by whom, at what time? There are formidable obstacles to answering these questions for the centuries prior to the late Hellenistic period, when the text known as the vulgate, the basis for the strikingly uniform medieval manuscript tradition, came into being and when, for the first time, we can assume the existence of a ~ni­ form reading text closely resembling the poems as we know them.

46 Best known is Berlin, Staadiche Museen F2285. 47 Cf. Burkert (1992) 30. HOMER AND WRITING 29 language supported the logosyllabic writings of Mesopotamia and Egypt, yet remained surprisingly distant from written expression. 48 The West Semitic syllabaries achieved extraordinary simplicity by abandoning the semantic non-phonetic accoutrements that allowed clear communication in logosyllabic systems, but they paid dearly for the gain in simplicity by a corresponding heightened ambiguity. Certainly the sounds of natural language were not encoded in the Phoenician syllabary, which imparted phonetic information only about the consonantal skeleton of natural language.

28 Early alterations to name and sound were canonized as the writing spread from a small group into the Greek world. The partly arbitrary assignment of Semitic consonantal signs to Greek vowels and the extraordinary splitting of Semitic vau into two signs, one consonantal and one vocalic; the inviolable rule that a vocalic sign must accompany a consonantal sign; the creation of three additional signs to represent aspirates; and the confusion of the names and values of the sibilants are only explicable on a theory of monogenesis.

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