September 19 - September 19, 2007 Early Greek Literature:...

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September 19, 2007 Early Greek Literature: Epic Poetry Significance of Early Epic Poetry o Defining epic Meter: dactylic hexameter Form: long; multiple settings and characters Audiences: public gatherings Formal definition: “a long poetic narrative of significance to a community” o Earliest extensive narratives in a European language (ca. 8 th -6 th  centuries BCE) Compare Mycenaeans: earliest European writing (Greek “firsts”) o Hellenic identity through poetry Panhellenism: idea of a unified Hellenic culture Iliad : Greeks united to fight non-Greeks Odyssey : “Greekness” as measure of communities Reception of Greek culture Romans: epics epitomize what is good and bad about Hellenism Today: epics best-known aspect of ancient Greek in popular culture o Primary source for early Greece Language: earliest extensive narrative in Greek (compare Beowulf, Chaucer) Culture: social and political institutions, religion o Beginnings of literary criticism (late Archaic period) Philology: dictionaries, word studies, commentaries Analysis: relationship of epics to each other Aesthetics and morality: pre-Socratic philosophers, Plato, Aristotle, etc. o Influence on artists, poets, playwrights, historians, novelists Painters, sculptors (late Archaic on) Lyric poets (late Archaic), Athenian tragedians and historians (Classical)
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September 19 - September 19, 2007 Early Greek Literature:...

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