Homer

Performance of epic | Part 2: Rhapsodes

"Homeric poetry was performed at the Panathenaia by rhapsōidoi, ‘rhapsodes’ ... The rhapsodes narrated the Iliad and Odyssey in relay, following traditions of rhapsodic sequencing: each rhapsode waited for his turn to pick up the narrative where the previous rhapsode left off." In this post we share a selection of passages that describe the repertoire, performance, and skills of rhapsodes. Read more

Homeric Greek | Odyssey 1.178–186: Multiple versions, wine-bright sea, and blazing iron

In this segment, Douglas Frame (CHS), Leonard Muellner (Brandeis University), and Gregory Nagy (Harvard University), read in Homeric Greek, translate, and discuss Odyssey 1.178–186. Topics include demonstratives, the verb eukhomai, Athena as Mentes, the preposition epi, the adjective allothroosand placenames, the phrases agō aithōna sidēron and epi oinopa ponton, and epithets and properties of wine in the poetic tradition. Read more

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