By Gregory Nagy

The competition of the Panathenaia, held in Athens each summer season to have a good time the birthday of the city's goddess, Athena, was once the environment for performances of the Homeric Iliad and Odyssey by means of expert reciters or "rhapsodes." The works of Plato are our major surviving resource of data approximately those performances. via his references, a very important section within the background of the Homeric culture might be reconstructed. via Plato's eyes, the "staging" of Homer in classical Athens can once more turn into a digital truth.

This booklet examines the final testimony of Plato as a professional concerning the cultural legacy of those Homeric performances. Plato's effective ear for language--in this situation the technical language of high-class artisans like rhapsodes--picks up on quite a few genuine expressions that echo the debate of rhapsodes as they as soon as practiced their artwork.

Highlighted one of the works of Plato are the Ion, the Timaeus, and the Critias. a few specialists who research the Timaeus have instructed that Plato should have meant this masterpiece, defined via his characters as a humnos, to be a tribute to Athena. The metaphor of weaving, implicit in humnos and specific within the peplos or gown that used to be provided to the goddess on the Panathenaia, applies additionally to Homeric poetry: it too was once pictured as a humnos, destined for everlasting re-weaving at the festive celebration of Athena's endlessly self-renewing birthday.

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Plato's Rhapsody and Homer's Music: The Poetics of the Panathenaic Festival in Classical Athens

The pageant of the Panathenaia, held in Athens each summer season to rejoice the birthday of the city's goddess, Athena, was once the surroundings for performances of the Homeric Iliad and Odyssey by means of expert reciters or "rhapsodes. " The works of Plato are our major surviving resource of knowledge approximately those performances.

Extra info for Plato's Rhapsody and Homer's Music: The Poetics of the Panathenaic Festival in Classical Athens

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Even if the Panathenaic Rule were to be viewed in terms of a single historical moment centering on the political initiatives of Hipparkhos, it is a given that the institution of rhapsodic competitions at the Panathenaia predates such a theoretical moment. ” He cites as evidence the depiction of a rhapsode on a black-figure Liverpool amphora of Panathenaic shape, dated to ca. 540 BCE (see his figures 26 and 27). [ ] 15. HQ 74, 80–81. [ ] 16. On myths about lawgivers as founders of customary laws, see the discussion in GM 21, 71–75, 81, 102, 105.

History is not restricted to phenomena that are structurally predictable. [8] With these working definitions in place, I return to my point: a purely synchronic pers pective is insufficient for reading Homer. The transmitted texts of the Homeric Iliad and Odyssey cannot be reduced to single speech-events, self-contained in one time and one place, as if we had direct access to actual recordings of the language of Homer. [9] Not just the text but even the language of Homeric poetry resists a purely synchronic approach.

It is a common feature of oral poetics that the events mentioned in performance become part of the event that is the performance and that the characters featured in the events become members of the audience attending the performance in the here-and-now. [44] ) For example, 535b3–7 features the following “accusatives of the rhapsodic topic” following âidô (ᾄδῃς)· (1) Odysseus at the epic moment when he leaps upon the threshold, ready to shoot arrows at the suitors; (2) Achilles as he lunges at Hektor; (3) some other highlighted thing (ti, accusative) from epic moments, as when (3a) Andromache bids farewell to Hektor, or from other similar epic moments involving (3b) Hekabe or (3c) Andromache.

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