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Homeric words and speakers: An addendum

  • I. J. F. de Jong (a1)

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This note is written in reaction to Jasper Griffin's article in JHS cvi (1986) 36–57. He argues two points: (1) that there is a significant difference in vocabulary between the narrated portions of Iliad and Odyssey and the speeches, the former containing almost no emotional, critical, or evaluative words; (2) that Achilles and Agamemnon each have their own characteristic vocabulary.

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1 How are we to interpret άλεγεινήν? According to che Lexikon des frühgriechischen Epos it has lost here (and in Il. ix 491) its original meaning (‘painful’) and is used as an adjective of intensification (‘schlimm’). I prefer the interpretation of Ameis-Hentze, viz. that Paris’ randiness will cause himself and his people much pain or grief. Whichever interpretation one chooses, έλεγεινήν can be brought in connection with Athena's and Hera's feelings concerning the Judgement of Paris.

2 I give more detailed discussions of Genette's theory and apply a revised version of it to the Iliadic text in Arethusa xviii (1985) 122; Mnemosyne xxxviii (1985) 257–80; and particularly in Narrators and focalizers. The presentation of the story in the Iliad (Amsterdam 1987).

3 This definition is not wholly accurate, since the narrator is also a focalizer. The full definition is: embedded focalization means that a primary narrator-focalizer embeds the focalization of another, a character, who functions as secondary focalizer.

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Homeric words and speakers: An addendum

  • I. J. F. de Jong (a1)

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