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Homer and the Epic : A Shortened Version of 'The Songs of Homer' - G. S. Kirk

Homer and the Epic

A Shortened Version of 'The Songs of Homer'

Paperback Published: 3rd March 1965
ISBN: 9780521093569
Number Of Pages: 252

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This is a shortened and rearranged version of The Songs of Homer, Professor Kirk's vivid and comprehensive account of the background and development of the Homeric poems and of their quality as literature. His purpose remains the same: to develop a comprehensive and unified view of the nature of the Iliad and the Odyssey, of their relation to the oral heroic poetry of the Greek Dark Age, and of their creation as poems by two great singers in the eighth century BC. The essential attitudes and arguments of the earlier work have been retained, but the whole has been reduced in detail by some two-fifths. The sections on the historical background, the possibilities of Achaean and Aeolic epic, and the technical aspects of the language have been abbreviated most, and those dealing with oral poetry and the Iliad and Odyssey as literature least of all. Professor Kirk has also changed the order and increased the number of chapters. Almost all the Greek is translated, and the new version can be more easily used by those who are primarily interested in classics in translation, comparative literature, oral poetry, or the epic in general.

'A remarkable book which besides embodying scholarship of a high order presents the general reader with a readable and trustworthy account of the present state of the Homeric studies.' Hugh Lloyd-Jones, New Statesman 'I have nothing but admiration for the clarity of Mr Kirk's exposition and the tact with which he avoids the chatter of popularization on the one hand and the jargon of technical scholarship on the other. He is that rarest of birds in contemporary classical studies: a good teacher ... It is something of an accomplishment to combine archaeological exposition, linguistics, literary criticism and aesthetics in an extended, vivid, speculative argumentation. It is superb teaching.' Dudley Fitts, American Scholar

The Oral Epic
The Homeric poems are oral
Homer and modern oral poetry
The Historical Background
The rise of Mycenae
Life in a Late Bronze Age palace-state
From the Achaean decline to the time of Homer
The Prehistory of the Homeric Tradition
Poetical possibilities of the Dark Age
Was there Achaean epic poetry?
Dark Age elements and Aeolic elements
The Iliad and Odyssey as Monumental Poems
Some basic qualities
The Iliad
The Odyssey
The Style, Language and Material Background of the Iliad and Odyssey
Subjects and styles
The criterion of language
Differences of material culture
Diversity and Unity in the Large-Scale Plot
Structural difficulties in the Iliad
Structural difficulties in the Odyssey
Unity, real and imaginary
How the Poems Developed
The circumstances of monumental composition
Two crucial phases of transmission
The process of development
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521093569
ISBN-10: 0521093562
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 252
Published: 3rd March 1965
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.39 x 13.95  x 1.68
Weight (kg): 0.35