Homeric Questions by Gregory Nagy

Homeric Questions

byGregory Nagy

Paperback | July 1, 1996

not yet rated|write a review

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 115 plum® points

Ships within 1-3 weeks

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


The "Homeric Question" has vexed Classicists for generations. Was the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey a single individual who created the poems at a particular moment in history? Or does the name "Homer" hide the shaping influence of the epic tradition during a long period of oral composition and transmission?

In this innovative investigation, Gregory Nagy applies the insights of comparative linguistics and anthropology to offer a new historical model for understanding how, when, where, and why the Iliad and the Odyssey were ultimately preserved as written texts that could be handed down over two millennia. His model draws on the comparative evidence provided by living oral epic traditions, in which each performance of a song often involves a recomposition of the narrative.

This evidence suggests that the written texts emerged from an evolutionary process in which composition, performance, and diffusion interacted to create the epics we know as the Iliad and the Odyssey. Sure to challenge orthodox views and provoke lively debate, Nagy's book will be essential reading for all students of oral traditions.

Details & Specs

Title:Homeric QuestionsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 8.97 × 6.03 × 0.59 inPublished:July 1, 1996Publisher:University Of Texas Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292755627

ISBN - 13:9780292755628

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of Homeric Questions


Extra Content

Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroductionChapter 1: Homer and Questions of Oral PoetryChapter 2: An Evolutionary Model for the Making of Homeric PoetryChapter 3: Homer and the Evolution of a Homeric TextChapter 4: Myth as Exemplum in HomerEpilogueBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

Nagy performs a valuable service, in the current climate of Homeric studies, simply by reminding us once again, and forcefully, that the relationship between our written texts of Greek epic and their oral origins is a problematic one.