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Does the Odyssey imitate the Iliad?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 February 2009

Extract

In Appendix II. to his edition of Odyssey, xiii.-xxiv., the late Dr. Monro examined the ‘ Relation of the Odyssey to the Iliad.’ One section of this Appendix, pp. 327 sqq., deals with ‘ passages of the Iliad borrowed or imitated in the Odyssey.’ It is there admitted that repetition is a characteristic of the epic style, and that in many cases of parallelism no detrimental inference can legitimately be drawn. But if, it is said, ‘ we are able to point to a sufficient number of passages tending to show that the author of the Odyssey imitates the Iliad, and if no considerable instances can be produced of the converse,’ then it is thought there is confirmation of the view that the Odyssey is the later poem. The object of the present paper is to suggest that the decisions in individual cases have been arrived at on scanty or disputable grounds, and without due regard to relevant epic practice; and consequently that the reasons for inferring the existence of a later poet imitating an earlier are inadequate.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Classical Association 1913

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References

page 238 note 1 A critic might learn some lessons from life in countries where old-world conditions still sub-sist. Sir A. Lyall quotes the following from the statement of a Bhil to a Border Court in India regarding a foray: ‘ Two cows we roasted and ate on the spot, and the third we sold for a keg of liquor to wash down the flesh.’

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