Oxford Readings in Homer's Iliad

Oxford Readings in Homer's Iliad

Oxford Readings in Homer's Iliad

Oxford Readings in Homer's Iliad

Synopsis

This anthology makes accessible to the reader sixteen of the most important studies of Homer and the Iliad to appear in the last forty years. The essays, by leading Homeric scholars from Great Britain, the United States, and Europe, deal not only with the aesthetics and artistry of the Iliad as a poetic artefact, but with its historical context, its cultural background, and its ethical and political framework.

Excerpt

The field of Homeric studies is a vast and vigorous one, and it has not been my intention, either in selecting the articles for inclusion in this volume or in introducing them, to make any pretence towards representative coverage of such a wide and diverse set of subdisciplines. But neither are the articles simply a heterogeneous collection of greatest hits: taken together, they illustrate the conviction that the Iliad is no primitive, unidimensional artefact, but the finest fruit of a long and rich tradition, a poem peopled by characters who possess a past, a future, and an inner life, and who are embedded in an idealized but not entirely fantastic society, which, though it exists in a complicated relationship to that of its original audiences, none the less engages those audiences' deepest moral, social, and political concerns. A notable link between the articles is their determination to see the Iliad in context, whether the context be that of the society to which it is addressed, the tradition from which it emerged, the works and genres with which it competed, or the reception which it received in Archaic and Classical Greece. The pieces are arranged in the volume and discussed in the Introduction in such a way as to move from the general to the particular, from questions of origins, background, and general character to the specific artistry and individuality of the poem itself. In the Introduction I have tried to explore some of the connections between the different Chapters, to set them in a wider context, and to engage with their arguments. I have not attempted to provide a complete bibliography of all relevant studies which have appeared since the original publication of the pieces anthologized here; the reader may obtain helpful bibliographical orientation (most recently) from J. Latacz (ed.), Zwei Hundert Jahre Homer-Forschung (Stuttgart, 1991); I. Morris and B. Powell (edd.), A New Companion to Homer (Leiden, 1996); and R. Rutherford, Homer (Greece & Rome New Surveys in the Classics 26, Oxford, 1996); also from the extensive references provided in K. Stanley, The Shield of Homer (Princeton, 1993). For detailed study, the Cambridge . . .

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