A Companion to Classical Receptions (Blackwell Companions to by Lorna Hardwick, Christopher Stray

By Lorna Hardwick, Christopher Stray

Analyzing the great quantity of the way within which the humanities, tradition, and considered Greece and Rome were transmitted, interpreted, tailored and used, A better half to Classical Receptions explores the impression of this phenomenon on either historical and later societies.Provides a complete creation and evaluation of classical reception - the translation of classical paintings, tradition, and concept in later centuries, and the quickest starting to be zone in classicsBrings jointly 34 essays via a world workforce of individuals concerned about old and glossy reception strategies and practicesCombines shut readings of key receptions with wider contextualization and discussionExplores the effect of Greek and Roman tradition around the globe, together with the most important new components in Arabic literature, South African drama, the heritage of images, and modern ethics

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The context of their performances, and the particular pressures of their profession, help to explain some aspects of the ancient reception of Homer. First, because they invoked and even embodied Homer as the author of the poems they were performing (Nagy 2004), they naturally aroused the curiosity of their audiences about this poet, and then satisfied it by telling stories about his life: the surviving Lives of Homer have strong rhapsodic influences, and often attempt to establish special connections between Homer and particular places or audiences (Graziosi 2001, 2002).

Under such circumstances we expect a fair amount of rhetorical distortion, especially from a deity who has a habit of manipulating cosmogonic ‘facts’. In the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, Hera gangs up with the Titans to engender Typhaon, the enemy par excellence of Zeus’ rule (335–6). In this context, she describes the Titans as the progenitors of gods and men (337), a half-truth which is transparently intended as a challenge to Zeus as ‘father of gods and men’ (πατk! Mνδρ=ν τε θε=ν τε). Hera’s speech in Iliad 14, from which our passage is taken, is likewise born of insubordination and contains similar half-truths: her description of Oceanus and Tethys in particular seems only a slight exaggeration when compared to the Theogony, where they give rise to no fewer than 6,000 divine children (Hes.

It is a commonplace, among handbooks of mythology, to suggest that different versions of the same story circulated freely in the Greek world and could always be adapted to suit individual contexts. What Herodotus shows, however, is that there was also a need to establish one authoritative – that is to say – Homeric version of the myth, which was not constantly open to negotiation or alteration depending on context. What begins to emerge here is the authority, and fixity, of the Homeric poems through space and time.

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