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Chapter 13 - Influence and Inheritance

Linguistics and Formulae between Greece and the Ancient Near East

from Part III - Difference

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 March 2021

Adrian Kelly
Affiliation:
University of Oxford
Christopher Metcalf
Affiliation:
University of Oxford
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Summary

This chapter takes a close look at the Homeric phrase ‘hand of god’, used in the Iliad in connection with a divinely ordained plague. While past scholarship has identified this phrase as a straightforwardly Near Eastern idiom, on the basis of analogies in several Semitic languages, the author broadens the horizon by juxtaposing Near Eastern and Indo-European perspectives, and, in a linguistic analogy to the literary studies of Lardinois and Ballesteros Petrella (also in this volume), devotes special attention to the context of the phrase within the Greek epic-formulaic system. The author is sceptical of the explanatory value of the Near Eastern parallels in this particular instance.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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