Lives of Homer

A variation on the idea of a gleam that blinded Homer

2016.02.25 | By Gregory Nagy In the posting for 2016.02.18, I quoted the text of a story told in a set of ancient myths about the life of Homer. In that story, Homer was blinded by a gleam of light that emanated from the shining bronze armor of Achilles. The telling of the story as I quoted it in that posting is immediately followed in the same text by the… Read more

Life of Homer myths as evidence for the reception of Homer

2015.12.18 | By Gregory Nagy This inquiry centers on the surviving texts of ‘Life of Homer’ narrative traditions, to which I refer simply as Lives of Homer. These Lives, I argue, can be read as sources of historical information about the reception of Homeric poetry. The information is varied and layered, requiring diachronic as well as synchronic analysis. The Lives portray the reception of Homeric poetry by narrating a series… Read more

A pseudo-Homer gets exposed by Homer

2015.06.24 | By Gregory Nagy My point of departure here is a detailed study by Jonathan Ready concerning a theory that is meant to explain how Homeric poetry was made: supposedly, this poetry was first written down by way of dictation, and the text that resulted from the dictation became the archetype for the Homeric Iliad and Odyssey as we know them. Read more