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What sort of allusion is feasible in a poetry derived from a centuries-long oral culture, and what sort of oral-derived poetry are the Homeric epics? comparability of Homeric epic with South Slavic heroic music has recommended particular types of solutions to those questions, but the South Slavic paradigm is neither undemanding in itself nor inevitably the one pertinent paradigm: Augustan Latin poetry makes use of many subtle and hugely self-conscious strategies of allusion which may, this ebook contends, be suggestively paralleled in Homeric epic, and a few of an analogous suggestions of allusion are available in close to japanese poetry of the 3rd and moment millennia BC.

By getting to those a variety of paradigms, this hard examine argues for a brand new realizing of Homeric allusion and its position in literary background, broaching the query of even if there could have been historic continuity in a poetics of allusion stretching from the Mesopotamian epic of Gilgamesh, through the Iliad and Odyssey, to the Aeneid and Metamorphoses, regardless of the big disparities of time and position and of language and tradition, together with these represented via the cuneiform capsule, the papyrus roll, and by means of an oral functionality tradition. the basic methodological difficulties are explored via a sequence of interlocking case experiences, treating of the way the Odyssey conceivably alludes to the Iliad and in addition to prior poetry on Odysseus' homecoming, the Iliad to past poetry at the Ethiopian hero Memnon, the Homeric Hymn to Demeter to past poetry on Hades' abduction of Persephone, and early Greek epic to Mesopotamian mythological poetry, pre-eminently the Babylonian epic of Gilgamesh.

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