Article

Epic Poetry

Johannes Haubold

in The Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780199286140
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199286140.013.0039

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

Epic Poetry

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The term ‘epic’, when applied to ancient Greek literature, refers to a set of texts that may be loosely defined as narrative poetry about the deeds of gods and heroes. To a very large extent, this is a reflection of Homer's authority as the most famous epic poet. This article argues that recent comparisons between early Greek epic and modern oral traditions, as well as the discovery and investigation of ancient Hittite and Near Eastern texts, place Greek epic in a much wider literary and historical context.

Keywords: Greek epic; oral traditions; Hittite texts; ancient Greek literature; Homer

Article.  5581 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical Poetry ; Ancient Greek History

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