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The rise of the Greek epic

  • M. L. West (a1)


My title is familiar as that of a book, and my subject may be thought to call for one. I hope in due course to explore the genesis of the Homeric poems in that format, and what I have to say here may take its place there in a maturer form (wiser, fatter). For the moment I offer merely a provisional attempt to trace out the stages by which the epic tradition developed, stopping short of any discussion of the Iliad and Odyssey themselves. Any such attempt necessarily involves a certain amount of rehearsal of familiar arguments, and, if it is to be plausible, a fair measure of concurrence in familiar conclusions. But conclusions that are familiar are sometimes also controversial, and can be strengthened against their assailants by a fresh discussion; and I have certain doctrines of my own that are best presented in the context of a broad synthesis.



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I wish to thank three referees, τῶν ἐγὼ εἰδὼς τὰ ὀνόματα οὐ γράφω,, for their expert comments and criticisms.

1 To some extent I shall be using the same canvas as in an earlier essay, Greek poetry 2000-700 BC’, CQ xxiii (1973) 179–92.

2 H. M. and Chadwick, N. K., The Growth of literature (Cambridge 1932-1940) ii 12 f; Bowra, C. M., Heroic poetry (London 1952) 372 ff.

3 Snodgrass, A. M., The Dark Age of Greece (Edinburgh 1971) 192–4, 397 f.; Archaic Greece (London 1980) 38-40, 6878; Coldstream, J. N., JHS xcvi (1976) 817; Geometric Greece (London 1977) 341–57.

4 I wonder, however, whether this hexameter fragment should not be attributed rather to the Kirka of Alexander Aetolus (Powell, Collectanea Alexandria 122).

5 Fr. 44.6-8 μάτε[ρ' έξονομ]άσδων έκαλη νά[ïδ' ύπερτάταν] | νύμφ]αν ένν]αλίαν ἆ δέ γόνων [άψαμένα Δίος] | ίκέτέυ[' άγαπά]τω τέκεος μᾶνιν [άπυστρέφην.] (end of poem). This not only corresponds to events in Iliad i but implies the whole framework of the epic: Zeus’ response to Thetis’ prayer, granting the Trojans increasing success in battle until the Greeks are forced to plead with Achilles for his assistance. I draw attention to this because it is in my opinion the earliest text that clearly attests knowledge of our Iliad (as distinct from unidentified epic about the Trojan War). Corresponding evidence from art does not go back before about 630 (Johansen, K. Friis, The Iliad in early Greek art [Copenhagen 1967]).

6 See Schmitt, Rüdiger, Dichtung und Dichtersprache in indogermanischer Zeit (Wiesbaden 1967) 6 ff., and in the introduction to the collection of articles edited by him under the title Indogermanische Dichtersprache (Darmstadt 1968) 2 f.

7 Besides the works of Schmitt just cited see Durante, M., Sulla preistoria delta tradizione poetica greca (Rome 1976); Campanile, E., Ricerche di cultura poetica indoeuropea (Pisa 1977). (Cited hereafter as ‘Durante’, ‘Campanile’.)

8 Meillet, , Les Origines indo-européennes des mètres grecs (Paris 1923), cf. his Aperçu d'une histoire de la langue grecque7 (Paris 1965) 145–52; Jakobson, R., Oxford Slavonic Papers iii (1952) 2166. ≍ Selected Writings iv (1966) 414–63; Watkins, C., Celtica vi (1963) 194249; Pighi, G. B., Studi di ritmica e metrica (Torino 1970); West, M. L., Glotta li (1973) 161–87, cf. my Greek Metre (Oxford 1982) 14; Nagy, G., Comparative studies in in Greek and Indie meter (Cambridge Mass. 1974).

9 See e.g. Childe, V. Gordon, The Aryans (London 1926); Prehistoric migrations in Europe (Oslo 1950) 146–51; Bosch-Gimpera, P., El problema indoeuropeo (Mexico 1960); Devoto, G., Origini indeuropee (Florence 1962) 71156; Gimbutas, M., American Anthropologist lxv (1963) 815–36; Piggott, S., Ancient Europe (Edinburgh poetica 1965) 7897; various papers in Enrich, R. W. (ed.), Chronologies in Old World archaeology (Chicago 1965) and in Cardona, G. et al. (ed.), Indo-European and Indo-Europeans (Philadelphia 1970) and in Crossland, R. A. and Birchall, A. (ed.), Bronze Age migrations in the Aegean (London 1973); Crossland, in CAH33 i(2) 868–73.

10 Caskey, J. L., Hesperia xxix (1960) 302 and CAH3 ii(i) 139; Vermeule, E., Greece in the Bronze Age (Chicago and London 1964) 6672; S. S. Weinberg in Ehrich (as n. 9) 305; R. J. Howell in Crossland and Birchall (as n. 9) 73-99; Schachermayr, F., Griechische Frühgeschichte (Wien 1984) 27, modifying his earlier views.

11 Hammond, N. G. L., BSA lxii (1967) 77 f.; Epirus (Oxford 1967) 341 f.; A History of Macedonia i (Oxford 1972) 252–76, and in Crossland and Birchall (as n. 9) 189-97; R.J. Howell (as n. 10).

12 These peoples together with the Greeks make up a distinct ‘eastern’ group within the IE family. Cf. Kretschmer, P., Einleitung in die Geschichte der griechischen Sprache (Göttingen 1896) 169; Schwyzer, E., Griech. Grammatik i (München 1939) 56 f; Porzig, W., Die Gliederung des indogermanischen Sprachgebiets (Heidelberg 1954); Harmatta, J., Annales Universitatis Scientiarum Budapestiniensis, sect, classica iii (1975) 9; Durante ii 16-87.

13 Presumably pre-Homeric, though not mentioned in the Iliad or Odyssey (Dawn's horses: Od. xxiii 244-6); it is in several of the Hymns, Mimnermus, other archaic poets, and in art perhaps from the first half of the seventh century.

14 Wiesner, J., Archaeologia Homerica I F: Fahren und Reiten (Göttingen 1968) 79 f; Crossland, R. A., CAH3 i(2) 873 f.; Crouwel, J. H., Chariots and other means of land transport in Bronze Age Greece (Amsterdam 1981) 148 It may be worth recalling that the first chariot mechanic in Greek myth, Myrsilos, has a Hittite name and comes to Greece from the east with Pelops.

15 I refer to the Trundholm horse and sun-disc group discovered in 1902. See Gelling, P. & Davidson, H. E., The chariot of the sun (London 1969) 14 ff; Glob, P. V., The Mound People (London 1974) 99103, who states that the hollow-cast bronze horse has contemporary parallels only in Mycenaean Greece.

16 Cf. Schmitt, R., Indogermanische Dichtersprache und Namengebung (Innsbruck 1973); Duranteii 103; Campabergnile 82.

17 As Ibycus frankly explained to Polycrates: κλέος ἄφθιτον έξείς ὠς κατ' άοιδάν και έμόν κλέος, PMG 282(a) 47 f.; cf. Pind. P. 3.110-5, Od. xxiv 196-8, H. Ap. 171—5, Thgn. 237-52; Durante ii 180 f., who compares some Vedic and Germanic texts.

18 Cf. Campanile 37-47.

19 One might also refer to the ancient Roman carmina dé clárórum uirórum laudibus that according to Cato and Varro were once sung at banquets; but these are under suspicion of being a literary fiction. Cf. H. Dahlmann, Abh. d. Ak. d. Wiss. u. d. Lit. in Mainz, Geistes- u. sozialw. Kl. 1950, 1191-202.

20 Old Irish oirgnech, oirgnid, Gk. άνδροφόνος; Campanile 118 f. In the Graeco-Aryan tradition the epithet was also applicable to martial gods: Vedic nrhán ( = άνδροφόνος) of Indra, Gk. 'Eνυαλιωι άνδρειφόντηι.

21 Irish, Greek (δουρικλυτός etc.), Campanile 122. Again transferable to divinities: 'Aπόλλωνι κλυτοτόξωι. Cf. Vedic śrutáratha- ‘with famous chariot’.

22 Irish, Welsh, cf. Il. xii 131-5; Campanile 119. The motif occurs in the Russian byliny in the form that a hero, surprised that a mighty blow has no effect on his adversary, wonders if his strength is failing and tries smiting a tree, which falls. (I am indebted to Dr Paul Foote for this item.)

23 Irish, Welsh, cf. Il. xiii 330 φλογί εἵκελον άλκήν, xvii 565, xviii 154; Campanile 121.

24 As with CúChulainn in the Táin Bó Cúalnge, quoted by Onians, R. B., The Origins of European thought (Cambridge 1951) 157 f., in a wider context; Il. v 4-7, xviii 205-6.

25 Bíowulf 1521, The Wanderer 100, cf. Il. iv 126, xi 574, xv 542-3, xxi 70, 168; Durante ii 145.

26 Bíowulf 610, 1832, al., foles hyrde; Rgv. iii 43.5 jánasya gopāh (cowherd); Gk. ποιμένα λαῶν; also Irish (Campanile 25, 120, and Études celtiques xv [1976/7] 18) and Near Eastern (Gadd, C. J., Ideas of divine rule in the ancient East [London 1948] 38 f.). Cf. Gonda, J., Zeitschr. f. vgl. Sprachforschung lxxiii (1956) 152; Durante ii III.

27 Bíowulf 428, 663 eodor Scyldinga, 1044 eodor Ingwina; Fáfnismál 36.3 hers iaðarr, Helgaqviða Hundingsbana ii 42.3 folcs iaðarr, Locasenna 35.6 ása iaðarr; ἔρκος 'Aχαιῶν in Homer only of Ajax (but adapted to Achilles with different syntax, Il. i 284). Old Irish fál ‘en- closure’=‘king’ (Campanile, Studi e saggi linguistici xiv [1974] 207). For Vedic analogues—less exact—see Durante ii 114.

28 The Norns, Helgaqviða Hundingsbana i 2-4; Aisa or Moira, Il. xx 127 f., xxiv 209 f; the (Kata)Klothes, Od. vii 197 f.; Durante ii 112, who also cites an Anglo-Saxon echo of the concept.

29 Durante ii 121. In the Vedic passages it is a god who thus fells his enemies.

30 On all this see Durante ii 114-9.

31 After Homer we find άθάνατον κλέος (Bacch. 13.65), κλέος άγηρατον (Eur. IA 567, cf. Pind. P. 2.52 κῦδος άγηραον), corresponding to Vedic śrávo… amŕtam ajuryám (iii 53.15).

32 On all this, and more, cf. Durante ii 93-7. I grant that not all of what I have mentioned need be evidence for heroic as distinct from e.g. hymnic poetry, and I pass over a number of other parallel phrases of which the same is true: immortal gods, immortal and unaging, god(s) giver(s) of blessings, broad heaven, broad earth, boundless earth, Zeus’ rain, the sun's wheel, the sun that sees all, good disposition (μένος/mánah), bold disposition, etc.

33 Zeitschr. d. Deutschen Morgenländ. Gesellsch. N.F. xxviii (1953) 133 =R. Schmitt (ed.), Indog. Dichtersprache 163 f.

34 Cf. Il. xvi 459 (raindrops of blood); 805 f. τὸν δ' ἄτη φρένάς εΓλε, λύθεν δ' ὔπο φαίδιμα γυῖα, στῆ δέ ταφὠν; xvii 426 ff. (Achilles’ horses weep on learning of Patroklos’ death); Pisani 130 f. = 159 f. On heroic and lachrymose horses see Bowra, Heroic poetry 157-70.

35 The comparison was made by Köhler, R., Rh. Mus. xiii (1858) 316 f. Cf. Pisani 127 f = 156 f.; W. Kullmann, Philologus xcix (1955) 186.

36 See W. Burkert, Die orientalisierende Epoche in der griech. Religion u. Literatur (Sitz.-Ber. d. Heidelb. Ak., Phil.-hist. Kl. 1984.1) 95-8.

37 Behaghel, , Indog. Forsch. xxv (1909) 110 ff. Cf. Hirt, H., Indog. Grammatik i (Heidelberg 1927) 126. Morgan, G., Folklore xciv (1983) 4456, has identified a similar triadic pattern as a widespread feature of popular verse, from ancient Irish and Welsh to modern American.

38 Durante ii 151 f.

39 Cf. Nilsson, M. P., Homer and Mycenae (London 1933) 158; Gray, D. in Platnauer, M. (ed.), Fifty years of classical scholarship (Oxford 1954) 28 f; Luce, J. V., Homer and the Heroic Age (London 1975) 101–7, 119.

40 Lorimer, H. L., Homer and the monuments (London 1950) 152 f., 273 f.; Page, D. L., History and the Homeric Iliad (Berkeley & Los Angeles 1959) 232–5; Borchhardt, H., Archaeologia Homerica I E: Kriegswesen (Göttingen 1977-1980) 25 f.; S. Foltiny, ibid. 237.

41 Horrocks, G. C., Space and time in Homer (New York 1981). Horrocks shows that the Homeric use, though freer than the Mycenaean, is subject to limitations, only certain types of positioning being admitted. On pp. 153-61 he points out the advantages to bards in preserving the ancient freedom of arrangement Luce, in the flexible-formula system which they used.

42 Wackernagel, J., Kleine Schriften (Göttingen 1953) 116n. 1, 1170n. 1. On the substitution of ℓδέ for καί see below, n. 54.

43 Ruijgh, C.J., Études sur legrammaire et le vocabulaire du grec mycénien (Amsterdam 1967) 69 f.; Wathelet, P., Les traits éoliens dans la langue de l'épopée grecque (Rome 1970) 171 f.; Durante i (1970) 89; Horrocks (as n. 41) 162; Mühlestein, H., Homerische Namenstudien (Frankfurt am Main 1987) 186 f. For a dissenting view see A. Heubeck, Acta Mycenaea ii ( = Minos xii) (1972) 55-79.

44 So Helbig, W., Das homerische Epos aus den Denkmälern erläutert2 (Leipzig 1887) 315 n. 2; Lorimer (as n. 40) 189; Gray, D. H. F., CQ lxi (1947) 120; Durante i 90.

45 Cf. Crespo, E., Elementos antiguos y modernos en prosodía homérica (Minos Suppl. vii, Salamanca 1977) 24.

46 πότνια 'Hβη Il. iv 2 and 'Hως H. Aphr. 223, vocabulaire 230, were no doubt modelled on π. 'Hρη after the hiatus became accepted, though in principle π. 'Hβη (< *yēgwā) could be as old as π. 'Hρη. Cf. Ruijgh in A.Morpurgo Davies & Y.Duhoux (ed.), Linear B: a 1984 survey (Louvain-la-neuve 1985) 155.

47 Durante i 82 f.

48 Ruijgh (as n. 43) 53. Linear B still for the most part uses -e (-ει) as the dative ending, though -i (originally locative) has begun to make inroads.

49 Durante i 85; Crespo (as n. 45) 23.

50 Ruijgh (as n. 43) 53 and (as n. 46) 158.

51 Szemerényi, O., Studi micenei ed egeo–anatolici xx (1980) 207–11.

52 Schwyzer, Griech. Gramm. i 219 f.

53 This assumes that the Homeric licence of leng- thening a final syllable such as -ος in the princeps position before a vowel was a post-Mycenaean development, or at any rate that it would not have been used in a formula.

54 The substitution of idé for kai (Ruijgh [as n. 46 163) avoids the anomalous correption before y\h.

55 Hence the periphrases gwíā Hērakkweheíā, Wīphikleweheíā had to be created to stand for unmetrical Hērakléwēs, Wīphikléwes: Durante i 117–9. But when did Klytaimestra get into the tradition?

56 In this connection a further observation may be made. Ruijgh, L'élément achéen dans la langue épique (Assen 1957) 74-89 (cf. Wathelet [as n. 43] 307-10; aliter M. Peters in o-o-pe-ro-si [Festschr. E. Risch, Berlin & New York 1986] 308 n. 20), has made it probable that -ξω -ξα in the future and aorist of -ʒω verbs with dental stems is neither Aeolic nor Ionic but goes back to the ‘Achaean’ phase of the epic language. The άμβροτάξομεν which I have mentioned is one example. The other verbs are (έξ)άλάπάʒω, πτολεμίʒω, πελεμίʒω, (έξ)εναρίʒω, δαίʒω, κτερείʒω, δνοπαλίʒω, έγγυαλίʒω, στυφελίʒω, έλελίʒω, μερμηρίʒω—nearly all verbs of war. The last in the list suggests that the recurrent Homeric motif of pondering alternatives is an early feature.

57 So e.g. Cauer, P., Grundfragen der Homerkritik3 (Leipzig 1921-1923) 263; Page (as n. 40) 234-8; Webster, T. B. L., From Mycenae to Homer (London 1958) 101, 115; Durante i 115 f.

58 This may also be connected with his status as a cult hero; see Mühll, P. Von der, Der grosse Aias (Basel 1930).

59 Wathelet, P., L'Antiquité classique xxxi (1962) 13. The figures for Aἵαντα and Aἵαντε are as follows: Aἵαντα, 17 occurrences, of which 4 scan –––, but all before πρ- (3) or μ- (1, Aἵαντα μεγαλητορα adapted from the dative formula?). Aἵαντε, 17 occurrences, of which 4 scan –––, but all before πρ- (2) or σφ- or ν-.

60 Cf. also Webster (as n. 57) 101, 117 f.; Durante i 94.

61 Palmer, L. R., Serta philologica Aenipontana iii (1979) 260 f., derives it from an old prepositional prefix ó- and the obsolete root *deuk/duk=ducere; cf. Poly- deukes, and Idomeneus' father Deukalion. He takes no account of the variant forms Olysseus etc. (common outside the epic tradition), Pol-lux, Leukarion (Epicharmus p. 112 Kaibel); the d/1 variation may point rather to a non-IE provenance. Cf. Gusmani, R., Studi micenei ed egeo-anatolici vi (1968) 16.

62 Also to Pylaimenes and Automedon (once each), and predicatively, not as a name-formula, to onsets of Patroklos and Hektor. Hektor is often claimed as another pre-Trojan hero, transferred from a Greek setting: Dümmler, F., Kleine Schriften ii (Leipzig 1901) 240–9, and others.

63 Bowra, Heroic poetry 519–36.

64 The sackings may have been done by freebooters who left no visiting cards. Cf. F. J. Tritsch in Crossland & Birchall (as n. 9) 233-8.

65 Il. vii 133-56; xi 670-762; xxiii 629-42; cf. Paus. vi 25.2.

66 Ps.-Hes. fr. 211; Pind. N. 3.34 μόνος ἄνευ στρατιἄς cannot be literally true, but could be an exaggerated version of a true coup. Apollodorus iii 173 (Pherec. FGrH 3 F 62) does speak of an army.

67 Od. xi 235-57, ps.-Hes. frr. 30.31–33a. They were conceived in the river Enipeus, and there is some confusion about whether it was the Thessalian Enipeus or the tributary of the Alpheios. See West, M. L., The Hesiodic Catalogue of Women (Oxford 1985) 142 f.

68 Il. i 260-73, 743. Od. xxi 296-304. We now see that Nestor's participation in the event is not an extravagant autoschediasm of Homer's (Mülder, D., Die Ilias und ihre Quellen [Berlin 1910] 47 and others), but a reflex of the Pylian hero's reception into Thessalian poetry. I do not know if it is so significant that at the start of the Trojan War he appears at Peleus’ house as a recruiting officer together with Odysseus (Il. xi 765 ff.).

69 Desborough, V. R. d'A., The Greek Dark Ages (London 1972) 100; cf. CAH 3 ii(2) 666.

70 There is a small amount of LH IIIc pottery in Troy Vila (Mee, C. B. in Foxhall, L. and Davies, J. K. [ed.] The Trojan War. Its historicity and context [Bristol 1984] 48). I Cyprus, LH IIIc pottery appears between two destruction levels conjectured to correspond to the Sea Peoples' two attacks on Egypt, which are nowadays dated c. 1209/8 and 1176/5; at Ugarit, on the other hand, where the destruction is associated with the second of these dates, the latest Mycenaean ware is LH IIIb (J. Mellaart in the same volume, 63–6).

71 J. B. Hainsworth in Foxhall and Davies 114; cf. Durante i 48. An early start is no guarantee of historical reliability. A survey published in the Sunday Times for 25 May 1980 revealed that, 35 years after the end of the Second World War, 34 per cent of the public thought that Dunkirk was a British victory; 18 per cent thought that the atom bomb was dropped by Britain, Russia, Germany, or Japan; Montgomery was identified by some as the British Prime Minister or an American soldier, Eisenhower as President of France or a Russian leader, Mussolini as a Russian general, a Czech communist leader, or a Jew.

72 They have been studied by Page (as n. 40) 251 f.; Bowra, , JHS lxxx (1960) 1623; Blegen, C. W., Troy and the Trojans (London 1963) 1618; J. Pinsent in Foxhall and Davies (as n. 70) 137-62.

73 Sch. A.R. i 139-448. Pherecydes reconciled the variants by making Thestor Idmon's son; Chamaileon fr. 17 Giordano did so by making Idmon a nickname of Thestor.

74 See Chantraine, P., Grammaire homérique i3 (Paris 1958) 509–11; Hoekstra, A., Homeric modifications of formulaic prototypes (Amsterdam 1965) 147; P. Wathelet (as n. 43) 63-369; Durante i 24-38.

75 Hooker, J., The language and text of the Lesbian poets (Innsbruck 1977) 7082; Miller, D. G., Homer and the Ionian epic tradition (Innsbruck 1982) 23 f., 75 fF., 147 f.

76 Lorimer (as n. 40) 458 f.; Page (as n. 40) 220 with 265 n. 6; Webster (as n. 57) 140 f., 153-5, 159-62; Miller (as n. 75) 22.

77 Cauer (as n. 57) 158 f.; Chadwick, J., Greece & Rome iii (1956) 47; Ruijgh, C. J., Lingua xviii (1967) 96 f.; Wathclet (as n. 43) 104, 180 f., 290; Durante i 28, 34, 54; Janko, R., Homer, Hesiod and the Hymns (Cambridge 1982) 89 f.

78 La Roche, J., Homerische Untersuchungen ii (Leipzig 1893) 164 f.

79 Wackernagel's derivation of the suffix -τειρα from Lesbian -τερρα < -τρια is uncertain; and if this change had been accomplished during the Aeolic phase of epic, we should expect to see Πέρραμος or (to preserve the original metre) Πέραμος, as in Sappho and Alcaeus, for how could Ionian poets, without an epic tradition of their own, have restored Πρίαμος? At most it is conceivable that ‘Eκτορι Πριαμίδηι, with Πρ failing to make position, reflects the initial stage of the Lesbian shift, i.e. “Eκτορι Πριαμίδάι or -μίωι (with metrical lengthening of r). Ionians would probably have interpreted Πριαμος as Πρίαμος. But more likely “Eκτορι Πριαμίδηι is an Ionian formula.

80 Often explained as a Lesbian innovation, a conflation of -μεν with Ionic -ναι (Porzig). But (a) there are traces of the same ending in Doric areas, (b) the Lesbian restriction to athematic forms with monosylla bic roots agrees with the profile of Vedic -mane (Wackernagel).

81 Buck, C. D., The Greek Dialects (Chicago 1955) 102 § 129.2, mentions a Boeotian ὅττω, which I cannot trace. Corinna PMG 655 i 6 has όττι, for what that is worth.

82 J. M. Cook, CAH 3 ii(2) 778.

83 Troy VIIb was destroyed (by fire, like its predecessor) sometime between about 1080 and 1020, to go by the excavators' estimate of the duration of the settlement (Blegen, C. W. et al. , Troy iv (1) [Princeton 1958] 143) in conjunction with the revised date for the end of Troy VIIa (above, n. 70).

84 Durante i 55 f. He might have mentioned that the specialized sense borne here by έξίημι is paralleled in Sappho 94.23 έξίης πόθον.

85 Contrast the adaptation Tροίηι έν εύρείηι Il. xxiv 256 = 494, which is untraditional also in not placing τροι-(<τρωï-) in the biceps.

86 I have discussed the problem of what this was in JHS ci (1981) 113-25.

87 The massive three-stringed lyre shown on an early Geometric Cypriot amphora (Karageorghis, V. and des Gagniers, J., La Céramique chypriote de style figuré [Rome 1974] 97; Paquette, D., L'Instrument de musique dans la céramique de la Grèce antique [Paris 1984] 104 f.) has more the structure of a cithara.

88 See Wegner, M., Archaeologia Homerica III U: Musik und Tanz (Göttingen 1968) 25–7.

89 Chr. Tsountas, 'Eφημ. 'Aρχ. iii (1892) 14 and pl. 3 no. 5; Lorimer (as n. 40) 456; Vermeule (as n. 10) 308, 312 fig. 49a; Wegner (as n. 88) 15 fig. 31, 27, 82 no. 139. It is not the number of strings that is significant so much as the structure of the frame and sound-box.—On the antiquity and affinities of the word φόρμιγξ cf. Durante i 159.

90 It is true that Clement quotes Il. parva fr. 12 Allen in the form νύξ μὲν έην μεσάτα, λαμπρά δ' έπέτελλε σελάνα, but this conflicts with all other evidence for the fragment and for the poem. It is not convincing Aeolic in any case.

91 Chantraine (as n. 74) i 161-3; Wathelet (as n. 43) 154-7 and L'Antiquité classique 1 (1981) 819-33.

92 West, M. L., Studies in Greek elegy and iambus (Berlin and New York 1974) 113 f. In the later sixth and fifth centuries Attic correption becomes more frequent on both sides of the Aegean.

93 Nothing can be argued from the fact that Euboea, or a part of it, had ρρ and ττ for ρσ and σσ in the classical period (Thumb, A.Scherer, A., Handbuch der griechischen Dialekte ii [Heidelberg 1959] 264 f.). The first is an innovation shared with Attic, the second is shared with Attic and Boeotian; neither need have been tenth- or ninth-century Euboean.

94 Desborough (as n. 69) 206-15, 346 f.; Cold- stream, Geometric Greece 43, 45; Popham, M. R. and Sackett, L. H., Lejkandi i (London 1980) 360, 362. The statement about Lesbos is based on hearsay and I have not yet been able to obtain confirmation of it.

95 Popham, M. R., Touloupa, E. and Sackett, L. H., Antiquity lvi (1982) 169–74; Arch. Reports 1981/2. 15-17 and 1983/4. 12-15; first half of the tenth century.

96 Desborough, V. R. d'A., Nicholls, R. V. and Popham, M. R., BSA lxv (1970) 2130; Lefkandi i 168-70, 215-6, 344-5, 362, pi. 169 and frontispiece. Chiron's knee wound: Apollod. ii 85.

97 We must infer, however, that references to warriors' burials were not such a firmly entrenched feature of older epic tradition as references to bronze weapons.

98 For an (oriental) mythical component in the story of the Seven against Thebes cf. Burkert, W. in Brillante, C. et al. (ed.), I poemi epici rapsodici non omerici e la tradizione orale (Padova 1981) 2951; Die orientalisierende Epoche (as n. 36) 99-106.

99 Cf. Strunk, K., Die sogenannten Äolismen der homerischen Sprache (Diss. Köln 1957) 111, ‘ein Zusammenhang des Westgriechischen mit dem epischen έσσεïται ist noch nie behauptet worden; und eine solche direkte Beziehung ist wohl zu Recht nicht in Betracht gezogen worden, denn ein dorischer Einfluss auf das Epos ist nicht gut denkbar’; Wathelet (as n. 43) 51 n. 62, 287, 322, 368, al. I must except W. F. Wyatt, 'Eπιστημονικη 'Eπετηρίς Φιλοσοφ. ∑χολῆς τοῦ 'Aριστοτ. Πανεπιστ. Φεσσαλονίκης xiv (1975) 143, ‘scholars have not looked for Doric forms, and one or two do exist’.

100 τέος and τεοῦς in Sophron, τεοῦ and τεῦς in Epicharmus, τίω and τίως in Rhinthon, τεῦς and τεοῦς in Theocritus, τεῦς and τεοῦς and probably τείν in Corinna.

101 Wackernagel, Sprachl. Unters. zu Homer 50-2, as he does not consider the possibility of W. Greek, is forced to assume that the text originally had the Aeolic forms. So too Chantraine, Gramm. hom. i 272.

102 Schwyzer, Griech. Gramm. i 786 f; Buck, Greek Dialects 115; Thumb, A.Kieckers, E., Handbuch der griech. Dialekte i (Heidelberg 1932) 72 f.—An unscrupulous person might add to the above list the adverbs χαμάδις, ἄμνδις and ἄλλνδις, as the suffix -δις is otherwise found only in οίκαδις Epicharm. 35.13, Ar. Ach. 742, 779 (the Megarian), and four other words cited as Doric by Herodian. But the υ of ἄμνδις and ἄλλνδις suggests an old Achaean origin; see Strunk (as n. 99) 121-4. Peloponnesian Doric -δις may be inherited from the Achaean substrate.

103 M. L. West (as n. 67) 155-62.

104 Ibid. 145 f., 149 f., 153.

105 In reviewing Burkert (as n. 36), JHS cvi (1986) 234.

106 See Stella, L. A., Il poema di Ulisse (Florence 1955) 107-23, 134-47, 157-68, 195248; Tradizione micenea e poesia dell' Iliade (Rome 1978) 88, 362-8, 374-91; Webster (as n. 57) 69-76; Burkert (as n. 36) 106-10.

107 See (e.g.) Gordon, C. H., AJA lvi (1952) 93 f.; Webster 82-8; McNeill, I., Anatol. Stud. xiii (1963) 238 f.; Ullendorff, E., Bull. John Rylands Library xlvi (1963/1964) 242247; Considine, P., Studi micenei ed egeoanatolici viii (1969) 85159; Maróth, M., Ada antiqua xxiii (1975) 6576; Stella, Trad. mic. e poesia dell'Il. 96, 122 f.; Miller (as n. 75) 16-21; Burkert, in Hägg, R. (ed.), The Greek Renaissance of the eighth century BC (Stockholm 1983) 51–6, and (as n. 36) 85-99.

108 McNeill (as n. 107) 238; cf. Gordon, , AJA lvi (1952) 93; Webster 74; Stella, Trad. mic. e poesia dell'Il. 363.

109 Ullendorff (as n. 107) 243 f.; Brock, S. P., Vetus Testamentum xviii (1968) 395–7; Maróth (as n. 107) 68.

110 McNeill (as n. 107) 239; Ullendorff (as n. 107) 246; Burkert (as n. 36) 107. Óðin is ‘father of all gods and men’ in Snorri, Gylfaginning 9, cf. 20.

111 Watkins, C. in Mellink, M. J. (ed.), Troy and The Trojan War (Bryn Mawr 1986) 5862.

112 J. N. Coldstream, Geometric Greece 56, 66, 80, 100, and in Niemeyer, H. G. (ed.), Phönizier im Westen ( = Madrider Beiträge viii, Mainz 1982) 261–72.

113 Hesiod, Theogony (Oxford 1966) 28 f., cf. Early Greek philosophy and the orient (Oxford 1971) 205; Hesiod, Works and Days (Oxford 1978) 27-30, 177; cf. Actes du Xe congrès de l'assoc. Guillaume Budé, Toulouse 8-12 avril 1978 (Paris 1980) 117 f.

114 Burkert in Hägg (as n. 107) 53-5, and (as n. 36) 86-92, 98.

115 Probably in its Assyrian form, where the narrative that included the ghost episode, originally a separate Sumerian poem, is incorporated with the main epic as Tablet xii.

116 Considine (as n. 107) 88—91, 147; Gresseth, G. K., CJ lxx (1975) 14 n. 24; Burkert (as n. 36) 92-5. Aphrodite, ‘the Cyprian’, is herself an oriental immigrant in the Homeric pantheon, probably post-Mycenaean. Cf. Burkert, , Greek Religion (Cambridge Mass. 1985) 152–4. Hers is one of the few Homeric names that involves Attic correption.

117 Burkert in Hägg (as n. 107) 53 f., and (as n. 36) 87-9.

118 In Niemeyer (as n. 112) 268. On the same page he refers to a gold diadem from the Teke treasure found in a tomb at Knossos, ‘perhaps made locally, but wholly oriental in style and theme: two Mesopotamian heroes, perhaps Gilgamesh and Enkidu, stand back to back as each one slays a lioness’ (cf. his pi. 26 f).

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The rise of the Greek epic

  • M. L. West (a1)


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