By John Miles Foley
"For people who are attracted to Greek and Roman epic, the booklet is a treasure-house of just right variety.... The editor and the writer either deserve compliment for a really high quality volume." (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society)
"Blackwell's better half to historical 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 spouse exhibit the price of asking students to put in writing for non-specialists. That recreation offers a stimulus for brand spanking new degrees of concentration and readability; even rules and fabrics that could be known develop into clean back once they are offered in such succinct distillations." (Bryn Mawr Classical evaluation)
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Extra resources for A Companion to Ancient Epic
The Egyptian bard always dovetails his singing with two other equally important and formally different components, the praise of Mohammad (madih) and proverbial advice in lyric form (mawwal). More surprisingly, even when within the epic a character is about to speak, the same canonical sequence of genres occurs. In short, the ‘‘epic’’ must be taken as total social event including audience interaction, instrumental music, and these framing genres, not just the ‘‘text’’ we might want to cull from it.
By his era, the tradition of Homeric poems had most likely passed through two if not three stages of crystallization, in oral and textual phases, with relative degrees of fixity and vastly different conditions of audience reception. Thus a fourth-century Athenian intellectual’s perception of ‘‘epic’’ gives no guarantee of resembling an eighth-century Ionian performer’s sense of his or her poetic repertoire. ’’ That is to say, we can no more posit a cohesive and unchanged ‘‘Greek’’ notion of epic than we can a universal definition.
In these cases, as in many others, contemporary performances force us to question traditional handbook definitions. ‘‘Epic’’ emerges as a notional instead of normative term. 2 Defining ‘‘Epic’’ in Ancient Greece Thematic and formal features are inevitably joined in the handbook ‘‘epic’’ definitions by reference to the Poetics of Aristotle (384–322 B C E ). As a wide-ranging scholar with access to written sources later lost, as well as to living traditions of composition and commentary, Aristotle must have first place in any discussion of ancient literary criticism.
A Companion to Ancient Epic by John Miles Foley