Epithets in Homer

Epithets in Homer

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Description

Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. A characteristic of Homer's style is the use of epithets, as in "rosy-fingered" dawn or "swift-footed" Achilles. Epithets are used because of the constraints of the dactylic hexameter (i.e., it is convenient to have a stockpile of metrically fitting phrases to add to a name) and because of the oral transmission of the poems; they are mnemonic aids to the poet and the audience alike. Epithets in epic poetry from various Indo-European traditions may be traced to a common tradition. For example, the phrase for "everlasting glory" or "undying fame" can be found in the Homeric Greek as kleos aphthiton and the Sanskrit as ravo ak itam. These two phrases were, in terms of historical linguistics, equivalent in phonology, accentuation, and quantity (syllable length). In other words, they descend from a fragment of poetic diction (reconstructable as Proto-Indo-European *klewos n dhgwhitom) which was handed down in parallel over many centuries, in continually diverging forms, by generations of singers whose ultimate ancestors shared an archetypal repertoire of poetic formulae and narrative themes.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 84 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 5mm | 136g
  • Dict
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 6135735209
  • 9786135735208