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Homer Odyssey: Oldest extract discovered on clay tablet

Discussion in 'The NF Café' started by Saishin, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. Saishin Hajimemashite

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    A clay tablet discovered during an archaeological dig may be the oldest written record of Homer's epic tale, the Odyssey, ever found in Greece, the country's culture ministry has said.

    Found near the ruined Temple of Zeus in the ancient city of Olympia, the tablet has been dated to Roman times.

    It is engraved with 13 verses from the poem recounting the adventures of the hero Odysseus after the fall of Troy.

    The tale was probably composed by Homer in the late 8th Century BC.

    It would have been handed down in an oral tradition for hundreds of years before the tablet was inscribed.

    The exact date of the tablet still needed to be confirmed, but its discovery was "a great archaeological, epigraphic, literary and historical exhibit", the Greek culture ministry said in a statement.

    Excavations to uncover the tablet took three years.

    The Odyssey is widely considered to be a seminal work in Western literature.

    The poem, spanning some 12,000 lines, tells the story of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, who spends 10 years trying to get home after participating in the fall of the kingdom of Troy.

    The tablet, discovered by Greek and German researchers, contains 13 verses from the Odyssey's 14th Rhapsody, in which Odysseus addresses his lifelong friend Eumaeus.

     
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  2. mr_shadow Minister of State Security Moderator

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    Lol "probably". :catskully Way to ignore the centuries-old .
     
  3. wibisana still newbie

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    Did this tablet have wifi?
     
  4. hcheng02 Well-Known Member

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    IIRC the main basis for the description of Homer - "blind male poet" - seems to be based on a passage from the Odyssey where Odysseus gives some food to a poet entertaining him while he was staying with Princess Nausicaa. A poet would generally take 3 days to recite the entirety of the Odyssey and the first day's recitation would end around the time of Odysseus starting his tale at Princess Nausicaa's feast. Its generally believed that it was a somewhat meta moment with the subtext that the real life poet reciting the poem is sorta asking the audience for tips after the end of a performance.
     
  5. GRIMMM The Black Empire

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    All the tablet read was...

    "DOH"

    :kobe

    ...And that's the end of that chapter.
     
  6. Mider T VM Zombie

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  7. mr_shadow Minister of State Security Moderator

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    The date also comes from Herodotus (484-425 BC), who estimates that Homer lived "not more than 400 years before ourselves". Hence the date "800 BC".

    But I think the tone of Herodotus' remark is that Homer is significantly younger than what was normally thought in Greece at the time, not that 800 BC is an absolute date.

    You can be suspicious because there are seemingly no other works of Greek literature from that far back, except possibly Hesiod. Everything else starts from ca. 500 BC. So if you believe in the traditional date for Homer you need to somehow account for that 300-year gap.

    The Wiki article I linked says the traditional explanation is that Homer composed the epics orally and that they were then transmitted orally for 300 years before being written down in Athens around the same time as the rest of Classical Greek literature.
     
  8. hcheng02 Well-Known Member

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    I was under the impression that the Homeric question was whether or not Homer ever existed or whether the works attributed to him were actually made by many different people. I always thought it was a taken for granted that they were orally transmitted since they were so many repetitions and whatnot.
     
  9. mr_shadow Minister of State Security Moderator

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    Part of it is also "when did the Epics gain the form they have today?"

    An orally transmitted text is obviously much more pliable than a written text. Different singers will remove and add things based on their own taste and the taste of the audience. Every performance might be slightly different. So the text is not fixed until it is written down.

    Even then, in a pre-printing manuscript culture different scribes might be tempted to "improve" the text they're copying, but it's still much more stable than a purely oral performance.
     
  10. wibisana still newbie

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    I thought homer is not one person

    Same with Vyasa
     
  11. mr_shadow Minister of State Security Moderator

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    That is the Homeric Question. :facepalm

    The preface to my version of the Illiad says:

    "Conclusions seem to boil down the Epics being written either by Homer, or by some other person also named Homer"

    Which is guess is a tongue-in-cheek way of saying we have no idea who this other author would be if they're not a blind Ionian poet from the 9th century BC, so for convenience we end up calling them "Homer" too because "The Author(s) of the Epics" is too cumbersome.
     
  12. wibisana still newbie

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    but i found the answer, it is no longer question for me :blobxp
     
  13. Nemesis The Sith Lord

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    There's actually quite a few pieces of work that fit in the 300 year gap Sappho, Archilochus, Alcman, Stesichorus and many others fit in between mid 700bc to 550bc ish (Stesichorus died around 555). Then there is Thespis who was either the first play actor or the person to introduce a play in the 6th/7th century. Someone had to be writing such a drama for there to be something to play.
     
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  14. Alwaysmind 总是心神

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    Debatable.
     
  15. Alwaysmind 总是心神

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    Why does his name sound like it belongs to a dinosaur? :skully
     
  16. mr_shadow Minister of State Security Moderator

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    @Nemesis

    Can you read Classical Greek btw?

    Assuming you know Modern Greek since I understand you have Greek heritage?
     
  17. Nemesis The Sith Lord

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    Used to be fluent with modern but years of no use makes it a struggle.

    As for reading classical that's a lot harder. Especially when you first have to fund out if it's doric, ionic, aeolian etc.
     
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