“The Lives of Homer” and “Life of Ferdowsi” Myths

The combined research of Nagy and Davidson on ancient “Life of Homer” and medieval “Life of Ferdowsi” narratives respectively has shown that the traditional “biographies” about these two poets, as transmitted by a vast variety of communities, can be studied as sources of historical information about the reception of Homer and Ferdowsi. Even though the stories about these poets’ lives are myths, the actual uses of the various different myths… Read more

Video—CHS Open House: “From Homer to Ferdowsi,” with Olga M. Davidson

We were delighted to welcome Olga M. Davidson for a CHS Open House discussion during which she introducie the great Persian poet Ferdowsi, and his epic Shāhnāma. She has argued that the heroic tradition of this epic is deeply ancient, stemming from Indo-European poetic traditions. A primary example is the great warrior Rostam, who upholds Iranian kingship while at the same time posing a threat to kings who prove unworthy… Read more