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

By Charles Rowan Beye

ISBN-10: 0865166072

ISBN-13: 9780865166073

Charles Rowan Beye's significantly acclaimed interpretive advent to the epic poetry and poets of historical Greece, Rome, and Assyria is right here reprinted in an improved moment version with a brand new preface, new bankruptcy on Gilgamesh, and an Appendix of extra studying 1993-2005. for hundreds of years the beginnings of the literary background of the West have been outlined by way of the Hebrew Bible what most folks name the outdated testomony and Homer's epic poems, the Iliad and Odyssey. those texts have been as soon as naively speculated to have take place in most excellent isolation both as a miracle of divine construction or the spontaneous combustion of the 'Greek genius'. The potent movement of phrases down over the millennia to our personal time are such a lot of generations of offspring nonetheless by some means 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

Example text

They too m ust have m oved a w a y from the old M ycenaean court centers in the general hum an flux o f the times. A s they m et w ith em ergent n ew dialects, these bards m ade up form ulas from them , som e o f w h ich passed into the com m on stock. Thus A eolic forms persist in the Hom eric poem s even w h en m etrically equivalent Ionic form s are available. The Aeolicism s are em bedded in archaic phrases as flies are caught in amber. Som e w ord s entered the epic language stock for the first time as they appeared in a dialect form of suitable metrical shape.

W hat is more important, how ever, is that the G ilgam esh narrative is sparse and suggestive, not unlike the several dream s it describes. The reader m ust m ake a spiritual investm ent in the story— for instance, by im agining m otives for be­ havior or em otional reactions— w hich is not required by the Homeric poets, w h o bombard their hearers w ith so m any details that they feel satisfied they have the entire story. The w a y in w hich the G ilgam esh tale is narrated produces a truly profound spiritual experience.

O n his journey to the underw orld O d ysseu s m eets a wise man, Tiresias, w h ose advice about the rest of his life and his death is som ew hat like Utnapishtim 's advice to G ilgam esh. In a parallel to the killing of Humbaba, O d ysseu s blinds the giant C yclops and suffers a g o d 's anger as a result. Nausicaa and her enchanted island of Scheria offer O d ysseu s the temptation of the full and sensual life, not unlike the advice to be happy w hich Siduri gives to Gilgam esh. These are remarkable parallels.

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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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