Classical Continuum

An Open Access Rapid Publication Platform for New Research on ‘classical’ Civilizations sponsored by the New Alexandria Foundation

A question of “reception”: how could Homer ever outlive his own moments of performance?

2021.08.30, rewritten 2024.05.22 | By Gregory Nagy §0. In the cover illustration for this essay, a painter is picturing Homer at a moment of performance. Or, I could even say that we see Homer here in—not just at—a moment of performance. Homer sings, accompanying himself on his lyre. Viewing him and listening to him most attentively, in the imagination of our painter, are poets from Homer’s future “reception.” Most visible… Read more

Greek Mythology and Poetics

2024.05.21 | By Gregory Nagy Online version, 2024, of the first edition, originally printed 1990 (minus the original Foreword and Acknowledgments). Table of Contents Introduction, pp. 1–5 Part I: The Hellenization of Indo-European Poetics Chapter 1. Homer and Comparative Mythology, pp. 7–17 Chapter 2. Formula… Read more

Homeric problems and bibliographical challenges, Part 2: More on the performances of rhapsodes at the festival of the Panathenaia

2018.11.30 | By Gregory Nagy §0. This post, dated 2018.11.30, picks up from where I left off in Classical Inquiries 2018.11.22. Here again I am dealing with problems I have encountered in figuring out the historical circumstances of Homeric performances by professional reciters called rhapsōidoi ‘rhapsodes’ at the seasonally recurring festival of the Panathenaia in Athens. As before, my starting point centers on what I have already formulated in a… Read more

Homeric problems and bibliographical challenges, Part 1: On the performances of rhapsodes at the festival of the Panathenaia

2018.11.22 | By Gregory Nagy §0. No one who claims expertise in the study of Homer will ever have the last word on Homer. But those who study Homer can still hope to come up with a cumulative formulation of their own understanding of Homeric poetry, and such a formulation, published at a given time, could be considered their own last word—or, more accurately, their latest word. In my case,… Read more

“Life of Homer” myths as evidence for the reception of Homer

2015.12.18 | By Gregory Nagy This inquiry centers on the surviving texts of ‘Life of Homer’ narrative traditions, to which I refer simply as Lives of Homer. These Lives, I argue, can be read as sources of historical information about the reception of Homeric poetry. The information is varied and layered, requiring diachronic as well as synchronic analysis. The Lives portray the reception of Homeric poetry by narrating a series… Read more