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Preface

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

By
Edited by
General editor
R.J.
Affiliation:
Westwood, California
Richard Janko
Affiliation:
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
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Summary

The aims of this commentary are laid down by its originator, Geoffrey Kirk, in vol. I (pp. ix–xi). I am grateful to him both for undertaking to fill this lacuna in classical scholarship and for asking me to share in his enterprise, which is all the more important at a time when bigotry worthy of Ptolemy Physcon has endangered the future of classical studies in my native land. Inspired by the late Sir Denys Page, I first began to investigate the diction of the Homeric poems in order to prove that they result from multiple authorship, but reached the opposite conclusion: that the Iliad and Odyssey were taken down by dictation, much as we have them, from the lips of a single eighth-century singer. In my view, one cannot do full justice to the songs of Homer without the benefit of many methods and approaches. These include Unitarianism, the view that each epic is a basically unified creation by a poetic genius; the proof by Parry and Lord that the epics belong to an oral tradition; the study of other such poems, both post-Homeric and from other traditional societies, especially in the Balkans; the recognition of Near Eastern influence on early Greece; the work of Burkert and the structuralists on myth; the work of Severyns and the Neo-Analysts on how Homer adapts traditional tales, especially those found in the post-Homeric Epic Cycle; Aristotelian and narratological literary theory; the decipherment of Linear B by Ventris and Chadwick; Greek dialectology and onomastics; Indo-European linguistics; Bronze and Iron-Age Aegean archaeology; the textual criticism of an oral-dictated poem, transmitted with oral and scribal variants in an open recension; van der Valk's work on…

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The Iliad: A Commentary , pp. xi - xiii
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1991

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  • Preface
    • By R.J., Westwood, California
  • Edited by Richard Janko
  • General editor G. S. Kirk
  • Book: The Iliad: A Commentary
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511620249.001
Available formats
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Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

  • Preface
    • By R.J., Westwood, California
  • Edited by Richard Janko
  • General editor G. S. Kirk
  • Book: The Iliad: A Commentary
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511620249.001
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Preface
    • By R.J., Westwood, California
  • Edited by Richard Janko
  • General editor G. S. Kirk
  • Book: The Iliad: A Commentary
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511620249.001
Available formats
×