Ancient Epic Poetry: Homer, Apollonius, Virgil with a by Charles Rowan Beye PDF

By Charles Rowan Beye

ISBN-10: 0865166072

ISBN-13: 9780865166073

Charles Rowan Beye's seriously acclaimed interpretive creation to the epic poetry and poets of historic Greece, Rome, and Assyria is right here reprinted in an accelerated moment version with a brand new preface, new bankruptcy on Gilgamesh, and an Appendix of extra interpreting 1993-2005. for hundreds of years the beginnings of the literary heritage of the West have been outlined by means of the Hebrew Bible what most folk name the outdated testomony and Homer's epic poems, the Iliad and Odyssey. those texts have been as soon as naively speculated to have turn up in most excellent isolation both as a miracle of divine production or the spontaneous combustion of the 'Greek genius'. The potent move of phrases down over the millennia to our personal time are such a lot of generations of offspring nonetheless someway 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

Sample text

C . e . Indo-European peoples came d o w n through present-day Albania into northern G reece, speaking a dialect of Indo-European sufficiently differentiated from the m other tongue so as to be w ell on its w a y to becom ing the distinct language „ that w e call G reek. These people brought w ith them a com m on cul­ tural ancestry. A m on g its features, it seem s, w as the dactylic hexa­ m eter poetic line. T hey m ust have brought as w ell, therefore, the practice of singing or chanting verse.

C . , hun dred s of years after the poem s seem to have taken shape. References to them , allusion to them in lyric poem s and vase paintings go back to the archaic age. Beyond that, scholars em ploy educated gu essw ork to try to establish som e kind of historical context for the poem s. Because of the presum ed length of time of their gestation or evolution, the poem s seem to describe a w orld of their o w n m aking more than a context identifiable from other sources. It is not unlike the blurred countryside that appears to the passenger peering from the w in d o w of the high­ speed railw ay train from Paris to Lyons.

Just as w hen some w om an stains a piece of ivory with purple, a M aeonian w om an or Carian, in order to make a cheekpiece for horses, and it lies in a chamber, and m any are the horsemen w h o long to carry it, but it lies there to be an adornment for some king, both an ornament for the horse and a thing of glory to its rider, just so, M enelaus, your thighs were stained with blood. [//. ] The im m ediate com parison is excellent, but the act of staining the ivory has a reality, a history, a vitality of its o w n , and w e are m ade to m ove aw ay from the shouting m om ent at Troy to the quiet of a w om an 's cham ber anyw here in the Eastern w orld (two places are suggested), then to the living desire that the beautiful object en gen ­ ders, and finally to its universal and ideal function, its inner virtue— an ornam ent for the horse and a thing of glory to its rider.

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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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