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Naumachius

(194 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (Ναυμάχιος; Naumáchios). Author, otherwise unknown, of a hexametrical didactic poem (title unknown) addressing young women (παρθενικαί; parthenikaí) on the correct conduct of life and marriage, composed mid-4th cent. AD. 73 hexameters are preserved in Stobaeus (4,22,32; 23,7; 31,76), in three complete sections, two from the chapter Γαμικὰ παραγγέλματα (‘Marriage advice), one from the chapter Περὶ πλούτου (‘On wealth). The three sections originally formed a complete unit (printed as such in [2]). …

Aethiopis

(492 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (Αἰθιοπίς; Aithiopís, ‘Poem of the Ethiopian’). Lost epic in five books (no textual fragment extant) belonging to the  epic cycle. Its composition is attributed in late sources (p. 332 Kaibel, from the 1st cent. BC ; Proclus; Eusebius) to Arctinus of Miletus: since Wilamowitz [1. 345,353 f., 370 f.] this attribution has been regarded as speculation on the part of peripatetic literary researchers (Bethe [2. 63]; Davies [3. 99 f.]): the author and the exact date of composition are un…

Alcmaeonis

(404 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (Ἀλκμαιωνίς; Alkmaiōnís, ‘Poem of Alcmaeon’). An early Greek epic, transmitted to us in three fragments of text, about  Alcmaeon, son of the Argive hero and seer  Amphiaraus, linking the Theban with the Trojan mythical cycle (Immisch [1], Bethe [2.134], Kullmann [3.143-151]). The author was probably unknown already in antiquity (he is described in our testimonia anonymously eight times as ὁ τὴν Ἀλκμαιωνίδα γεγραφώς, πεποιηκώς and the like). The epic appears to have originated after…

Gigantomachy

(376 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (γιγαντομαχία; gigantomachía, Plato and others, γιγαντία; gigantía, Philostratus; Gigantomachia Claudianus and others). Battle of the  Giants against the (Olympian) gods for the rule of the world, usually set in Phlegrae or  Phlegra (e.g. Aesch. Eum. 295; Eur. HF 1194; Ion 988) that was, in a second step, equated with the peninsula of  Pallene (e.g. Hdt. 7,123); won by the gods with the help of  Heracles (the role of Heracles probably mentioned for the first time in Hes. Theog. 954 [1. 41…

Amphiaraou exelasis

(162 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (Ἀμφιαράου ἐξέλασις; Amphiaráou exélasis, Suda; Ἀμφιάρεω ἐξελασία ἡ ἐς Θήβας, Vita Homeri Herodotea ed. Wilamowitz 1929, 9,9 f.): ‘Expedition of Amphiaraus (against Thebes)’. A poem ascribed to Homer, since at least Hellenism (see above Vita Hom. Herod.), from which no fragment has been preserved, and the independent existence of which is doubtful. There are three possibilities from which one can choose: (1)  Amphiaraou exelasis (AE) was only another title for the (Cyclic)   Thebais (thus [1. 187 f.]); (2) AE was a larger epic withi…

Epic

(6,829 words)

Author(s): Neumann, Hans (Berlin) | Latacz, Joachim (Basle) | Courtney, Edward (Charlottesville, VA)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East The convention in ancient oriental studies is to maintain a distinction between epic and myth in so far as the protagonists of each genre are concerned, even though, in respect of genre theory and style, this remains difficult and contentious [1. 145-153; 2. 1-24]: in epic the actors are (heroicized) people, whereas myths inhabit the realm of the divine. Sumerian epic literature is woven around the legendary kings of the 1st dynasty of Uruk: Enmerkar, Lugalbanda a…

Panyas(s)is

(788 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
(Πανύασις/ Panýasis, rarely Πανύασσις/ Panýassis; also epigraphically attested in the form Πανύατις/ Panýatis (Syll3 45, I.52-54, Halicarnassus): originally a Carian name with the /s/-phoneme [1. 5f.] foreign to Greek ears). One of the four (or five) canonical Greek epic poets (Homer [1], Hesiod, [Peisander [6]], Panyassis, Antimachus [3] of Colophon). [German version] A. Life Born in 505/500 BC in Halicarnassus, where he died in 455/50, older cousin [1. 6] of Herodotus [1], of a distinguished aristocratic family that opposed the tyrant Lygdamis [3], who came to power c. 460; P.…

Rhapsodes

(749 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
(ῥαψῳδοί/ rhapsōidoí). Professional reciters of (as a rule epic) poetry. The profession emerged in Greece in the 8th cent. BC as a consequence of the transition from speech to writing as a medium for the transmission of information (Literacy/Orality). [German version] A. Meaning and connotation The first component of the word is the stem of the verb ῥάπτειν/ rháptein, 'sew' (cf. modern Greek ῥαπτο-μηχανή/ rhapto-mēchanḗ, 'sewing machine'); the second element the stem of the noun ᾠδή/ ōidḗ (< ἀοιδή/ aoidḗ), 'song', in the role of object effected. The meaning is thus: 'he wh…

Titanomachy

(508 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (Τιτανομαχία; Titanomachía). The battle of many years between the Olympic gods under Zeus against the Titans for world-domination. The cosmological-theological meaning of this invention is the revolutionary displacement of a primal state marked by the ('titanic') powers of nature through a regular ('civilized') world order (s., in contrast, Gigantomachy). The probably primeval subject that originated in the oral tradition was a popular source for literary and artistic adaptations d…

Phocais

(149 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (Φωκαΐς/ Phōkaḯs). Lost Archaic epic about the city of Phocaea in Ionia in Asia Minor, probably part of a complex of early historical epics about regions and cities [4]. Attested only in a Life of Homer from the Imperial period (Vita Homeri Herodotea 16 = 10,3-7 in [3]): “the inhabitants claimed that the so-called P. had been composed by Homer in Phocaea”. Thus it seems that the author and time of composition were unknown even to later Phocaeans. No fragments survive. Possibly a so…

Oedipodea

(298 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (ἡ Οἰδιπόδεια/ hē Oidipódeia, also ἡ Οἰδιποδία/ hē Oidipodía and τὰ Οἰδιπόδια/tà Oidipódia). Lost early Greek epic belonging to the Epic Cycle, together with the Thebais and the Epigoni [2] part of its Theban section; it probably told the beginning of the legend of Thebes. According to IG XIV 1292 (= T 1 in [1], 1st cent. AD) it contained 6600 hexameters. Other than T 1, only one fragment (2 hexameters) remains, two late summaries of content and an extensive summary of the story of Oedipus, compiled from sev…

Rhianus

(552 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
(Ῥιανός/ Rhianós) of Crete. Epic poet, writer of epigrams and Homeric philologist of the second half of the 3rd cent. BC. [German version] A. Life The only coherent source is an entry in the Suda consisting of only three sentences (according to [3. 781] they go back to Dionysius [18] of Halicarnassus). According to this R. comes from Bene (near Gortyn; exact ancient situation unknown) or Ceraea in Crete (Bene was probably his place of birth and Ceraea where he went to school: [8. 85]). R. is apparently said to have risen from being an attendant in a gymnasium with slave status to a grammatikós

Nostoi

(385 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (Νόστοι/ Nóstoi, ‘homecomings’). A part of the Epic Cycle, this epic told in 5 books of the return home of the major surviving Achaean heroes of Troy (Agamemnon, Menelaus [1], Diomedes [1], Nestor [1], Calchas, Leonteus [1], Polypoetes, Oilean Ajax [2], Phoenix, Neoptolemus [1]). Preserved (in [1]): summary by Proclus, 4 testimonies, 11 cases of reliable evidence on content, including 5 1/2 hexameter. Content: Dispute between Agamemnon and Menelaus regarding the timing of the fleet's departure, which occurred after a delay: 1. Diomedes and Ne…

Melampodia

(174 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (Μελαμποδία/ Melampodía). Early Greek hexametrical epic in at least three (fr. 277) books. Ancient testimonies ascribe it to Hesiodus, only Paus. 9,31,5 claims it is pseudo-hesiodic. Its origin lies in the 6th cent. BC, probably in Corinth [2. 59]. Ten fragments survive, eight of which verbatim, with 24 hexameters in all (fr. 270-279 in [1]). The author makes use of Homer, Hesiod and the Epic Cycle (Trojan and Theban legends including Alcmaeonis [2. 58]). He presents Greek early hi…

Homerus

(4,933 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle) | Pressler, Frank (Heidelberg)
[German version] [1] The poet Homer Homer (Ὅμηρος/ Hómēros, Lat. Homērus, French Homère, German Homer). Latacz, Joachim (Basle) [German version] I. Short definition Homer is the first poet of the European cultural area of whom works of a major scope are completely extant (around 28,000 hexametric lines in the Greek language), which have been received continuously in all parts of the world influenced by European culture since they were composed c. 2,700 years ago and which have exerted evident as well as covert influence on cultural development until the present time [11; 39; 17. 274]. La…

Eumelus

(707 words)

Author(s): Bloch, René (Berne) | von Bredow, Iris (Bietigheim-Bissingen) | Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
(Εὔμηλος; Eúmēlos). [German version] [1] Leader of the pherae. fleet against Troy Son of  Admetus and  Alcestis. He led (only) 11 ships from Pherae against Troy (Hom. Il. 2,711-715) [1]. Although he had the best horses (Hom. Il. 2,763-767), he did not win the chariot race at the funeral games for Patroclus, as Athena broke the yoke of his chariot (Hom. Il. 23,391-397). Achilles nevertheless awarded him a prize (23, 533-538). According to Apollod. epit. 5,5, he is said to have won at the funeral games for Ac…

Homeridai

(129 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (Ὁμηρίδαι; Homērídai). Special group of  rhapsodes (first mentioned in Pind. Nem. 2,1, c. 485/480 BC) that is said, according to late sources (schol. ad loc. Harpocration s.v., among others), to have traced itself back biologically directly to  Homer [1] in the first generation and after that was considered to be the ‘administrator of the legacy’ of the Homeric epics. Located in: Chios; best-known representative: Cynaethus. Homeric associations by this name (admirers rather than rhapsodes: Pl…

Cypria

(590 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (τὰ Κύπρια; tà Kýpria; also τὰ Κύπρια ἔπη; tà Kýpria épē, τὰ Κυπριακά; tà Kypriaká, αἱ Κυπριακαὶ ἱστορίαι; hai kupriakai historíai, its title derived from the dominance of Aphrodite = Cypris in the causality of the plot [3; cf. 9. 287]). This epic, a part of the  epic cycle, recounts in 11 bks. (according to Proclus) the history of Troy prior to the better-known Iliad ( Homerus [1]). Approximately 50 hexameters in 12 [1] or respectively 10 [2] frs. are extant; in addition there are short summaries in  Proclus and  Apollodorus, as well as nume…

Homeric question

(7,185 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle) | Kurz, Gerhard (Gießen RWG)
Latacz, Joachim (Basle) I. General (CT) [German version] A. Structure of the Discipline (CT) The Homeric Question (HQ) can be divided into a question in the narrower and in the wider sense. In its most simple form, the HQ in its narrower sense reads: "are the Iliad and the Odyssey the works of one (possibly one and the same) poet or those of several poets?" Phrased like this, the HQ represented a specialist philological problem, mainly of the 19th cent., but with offshoots into the 1960s. - In its wider sense, the HQ asks: "what is the genesis…

Thebais

(397 words)

Author(s): Latacz, Joachim (Basle)
[German version] (Θηβαΐς; Thēbaḯs). Title of numerous poetic accounts of the Theban cycle (Thebes [2] III.). Only the Latin T. by Statius [II 2] is entirely extant. We have fragments (1) of the 'Cyclic T.' (i.e. pertaining to the Epic cycle), (2) of the T. by Antimachus [3]. From the 'Cyclic T.' 8 testimonies and 10 fragments survive (in [1]), including 6 verbatim with a total of 20 hexameters. Still recognisable from the content are: (1) invocation of the Muse (Muse, invocation of the) with 'Argos' (not 'Thebes') given as the subject ma…
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