The World of Homer

The World of Homer

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The World of Homer

The World of Homer

Read FREE!

Excerpt

In 1895 I published Homer and the Epic (pp. 424), containing a criticism of Wolf's theory, if theory it can be called, which is the mother of modern Homeric criticism. I analysed, book by book, the Iliad and the Odyssey, observing on the modern ideas of interpolation and the modern objections to many scores of passages which, as a rule, I defended from charges of "lateness" and inconsistency.

I added chapters on the Lost Epics of Greece, on Archeology, and on the early Epic poetry of other ages and peoples which offers analogies, more or less imperfect, with Homer.

On the whole my conclusions were identical with those of Signor Comparetti, in his preface to his learned book on the Finnish Kalewala. He says:"The anatomical and conjectural analysis which has been applied so often and so long . . . to the Homeric poems and other national epics, proceeds from an universal abstract principle, which is correct, and from a concrete application of that principle, which is imaginary and groundless."

The true principle, recognised since the end of the eighteenth century, separates the "personal" and learned Art Epics, like the Æneid and the Gerusalemme Liberata, from those which belong to the period of spontaneous epic production, "when Folk-singers fashioned . . .

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