A Companion to Ancient Epic - download pdf or read online

By John Miles Foley

ISBN-10: 1405188383

ISBN-13: 9781405188388

"For people who find themselves drawn to Greek and Roman epic, the publication is a treasure-house of just right variety.... The editor and the writer either deserve compliment for a truly advantageous volume." (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society)

"Blackwell's significant other to historic Epic does simply what the name indicates: it accompanies readers on trips of exploration during this large (in each feel) box. simply as importantly, the better half will exhibit new readers why they could are looking to immerse themselves in those poems.... the numerous highlights during this better half display the price of asking students to write down for non-specialists. That pastime offers a stimulus for brand spanking new degrees of concentration and readability; even principles and fabrics which may be frequent turn into clean back once they are offered in such succinct distillations." (Bryn Mawr Classical evaluate)

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Additional info for A Companion to Ancient Epic

Sample text

First, it means that he nowhere tries to define ‘‘epic’’ as a closed category distinct from other genres. g. Poetics 1455b16). For Aristotle, drama is as self-evident and singular an experience as film is for us; opposing it to epopoiia (his word for ‘‘epicverse-making’’ or ‘‘epic’’) is more akin to contrasting film and ‘‘the novel’’ taken as a whole – without regard to particular sub-genres like romance, western, techno-thriller, mystery, or other. The smaller-scale features that might be used to separate out subcategories of poetry are, for Aristotle, less important than the matter of imitation (mimeˆsis, his overarching concern in the Poetics).

Martin that while something resembling ‘‘epic’’ can be distinguished from other forms, it is even more significant to see it in relation to its accompanying genres in performance; that the specifics of textual or performance style cannot be used to determine whether or not a performance is ‘‘epic’’; that the epic ‘‘genre’’ has symbiotic ties with folktale, myth, and especially praisepoetry; that, above all, epic stands out as the most pervasive, ‘‘unmarked’’ genre, in terms of when and where it can be performed, while at the same time it is the culturally most significant and ‘‘marked’’ form in terms of its ambitions and attitudes.

Olga Davidson’s chief focus in her chapter on Persian/Iranian epic is the Shaˆhnaˆma attributed to Ferdowsi; among the topics she addresses are its historical backgrounds, its origin in a pre-Islamic oral tradition, and parallels to ancient Greek epic and Indo-European mythic patterns. In her discussion of Israelite epic, Susan Niditch moves from querying the viability of the term ‘‘epic’’ within the corpus of Biblical materials to affirming their epic character through analysis of the role of heroes, war and epic, war and women, the divine warrior, oral and written, possible Hebrew terms for ‘‘epic,’’ political dimensions, and other features that she notes are shared across many international epic traditions.

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A Companion to Ancient Epic by John Miles Foley


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