Books and Literacy

Wolfgang Rösler

in The Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780199286140
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

 Books and Literacy

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  • Classical Studies
  • Ancient Greek History
  • Historical Archaeology


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Undeniably, in the course of time, texts and readers became more prominent. Yet, as this article explains, all ancient texts remain part of a larger cultural context that is different from today's culture in many important ways. When that wider context is explored, our sense of closeness to the Greeks becomes less secure, and the impression of a Greek ‘miracle’ begins to fade. For instance, the Homeric poems are sometimes presented as a literary big bang: they are thought to have brought European literature into existence out of nowhere.

Keywords: Greek literature; cultural context; Greek miracle; Homeric poems; Greek culture

Article.  4619 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Ancient Greek History ; Historical Archaeology

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