epic

Performance of epic | Part 1: Aoidoi in epic poetry

"...the Muse impelled the singer to sing the glories of men, starting from a thread [of a song] that had at that time a glory reaching all the way up to the vast sky." In Homeric poetry, there are several examples of singers performing. So in this post we will focus on the singer [aoidos] as featured in epics themselves. How does epic depict the role of singers and their… Read more

Book Club | September 2018: The Anger of Achilles: Mênis in Greek Epic

"The subject of the Iliad is the anger of Achilles, not Achilles himself. But what is this anger of his?" In this month's Book Club selection we will be reading how Leonard Muellner uses the insights of Albert Lord on epic themes, and looks at such anger not as a universal feeling but as culture-specific. "Ultimately, a wide-eyed journey into the world of epic and its mightiest feelings stands to… Read more

Book Club | April 2018: The Tears of Achilles

"In an epic text, how were poets able to represent emotion? How can we understand today their way of speaking? Did Achilles “copy” the behavior of warriors from those distant times? Or might it be the reverse: did the epic influence certain real behaviors?" Our Book Club selection for April is taken from Hélène Monsacré: The Tears of Achilles, newly available online at CHS in an English translation. Read more