Homer between History and Fiction in Imperial Greek by Lawrence Kim

By Lawrence Kim

Did Homer inform the 'truth' in regards to the Trojan struggle? if that is so, how a lot, and if no longer, why no longer? the problem used to be hardly ever educational to the Greeks dwelling below the Roman Empire, given the centrality of either Homer, the daddy of Greek tradition, and the Trojan struggle, the development that inaugurated Greek background, to conceptions of Imperial Hellenism. This e-book examines 4 Greek texts of the Imperial interval that tackle the subject - Strabo's Geography, Dio of Prusa's Trojan Oration, Lucian's novella actual tales, and Philostratus' fictional discussion Heroicus - and exhibits how their ingenious explorations of Homer and his dating to historical past bring up very important questions about the character of poetry and fiction, the identification and intentions of Homer himself, and the importance of the heroic prior and Homeric authority in Imperial Greek culture.

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Od. 1379, 62–1380, 1. Homer is mentioned in one other ‘fact’ – his servant, named Scindapsus, failed to burn the poet’s corpse after death, as he had commanded, and was fined a thousand drachmas (Phot. Bibl. 190, 152b20–5). Cameron (2006), restating with new arguments the extreme skepticism of Hercher (1855–6) against Chatzis (1914) and Tomberg (1968), who maintain the authenticity of many of Ptolemy’s sources (cf. Dowden [2009] for a cautious defense of Ptolemy). While I share Cameron’s skepticism concerning the authenticity of Ptolemy’s sources, I wonder whether he seriously intended to deceive his readers (as Cameron thinks) or rather expected them to see his outlandish variants for the fictional creations they are.

Herodotus, familiar with stories placing Helen in Egypt at the time of Proteus,42 reasons that Aphrodite the Foreigner might actually be another name for Helen. To test his hypothesis, he asks the Egyptian priests at the temple what they know about Helen. According to them, Paris, on his way back to Troy with Helen, had been forced to stop at the Canopic mouth of the Nile due to bad weather, and some of his slaves, learning of a nearby temple of Heracles where runaway slaves could receive sanctuary, took the opportunity to flee and take refuge there.

F 31 and see in general Bruno Sunseri (1997). 24 Homer between history and fiction as “the genealogies of heroes and men, and . . ”11 While many mythographers and genealogists were content to ignore problems of verifiability, verisimilitude, and multiplicity in their collections,12 others, like Hecataeus of Miletus or Palaephatus (fourth century bce), critiqued the ancient stories and produced versions they felt were more reasonable. But the only criterion they could use was their own subjective appraisal of the relative plausibility of an individual account; in this sense the ‘true’ story was what was left over after the ‘mythic’ or improbable was eliminated.

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