January 27, 2013

Literary flow: Homer to Plato

Filed under: Letters from Ionia — Tags: , , , — zankaon @ 3:23 pm

Iliad by Homer. Has the imagery and flow of such metaphorical narrative always been the same? Especially so since Greek written language was just commencing again (after Minoan collapse 400 years earlier) at Homer’s time of 8th century BC (700s).

Are there parallels? Beowulf originated perhaps in 8th to 11th century, with a surviving year 1000 written version. What we have now seems to flow too well for it just to represent translation from Old English of it’s time. Yet Latin was already sophisticated. Also KJV version from 1610 flows much better than the Greek orthodox version and Semitic precursors; such Greek orthodox version has remained largely unchanged (compare online).

From Homer’s time to that of Plato and Hellenistic world is ~ 400 years, in which Greek language must have improved, as demonstrated by Plato’s writings (embellished?). Might the Museum of Alexandria possibly have been the place where the flow of the Iliad in Greek was improved, leaving content unchanged, yet acceptable to a larger Greek world? The literature of the times was in part of high quality. Also axiomatic geometry from the Museum was impressive. Both of which might be considered consistent with above scenario.  TMM

general background:  Jacqueline de Romilly, A Short History of Greek Literature, Univ of Chicago 1985.

Is the unexamined life worth living?


Is the unexamined literature worth retaining?

variation on Socrates


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