Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics

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Epic Meter
(2,364 words)


This article provides linguistic explanations for the phenomena of epic Greek meter, taking into account not only rhythm but also melody. The genre of epic is treated as a historical contingency, not as a universal category. The definitive form of epic, viewed from the historical perspective of sources stemming from the 5th and 4th centuries BCE, is Homeric poetry.

In ancient Greek song culture, the concepts of ‘epic’ and ‘meter’ (Metron; Metrics) can be narrowly described in terms of a chronological frame that coincides r…

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Gregory Nagy, “Epic Meter”, in: Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics, General Editor: Georgios K. Giannakis. Consulted online on 01 February 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2214-448X_eagll_COM_00000120>
First published online: 2013

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