Homeric Rhapsode

Hello, all!

I just want to say hello. Has anyone taken on epic poetry or literature? It’s nice to see people here with similar interests.

I have, sort of. By profession, university-level professor of classics and ancient history. So I’ve lived with the Homeric poems for multiple decades in Ancient Greek, including the scholarship…which includes the Homeric formula. Same for the other Greek epics, also for the Roman one.
Was actually pondering recently taking a boom of the Odyssey for a memorization spin. Since I know the meter and the formulas, I’ve got the same base that and ancient had, sort of (again!). Add our memory techniques, and the result could be interesting. BTW, one of the first things I’ve done is pull out the Latin texts of Quintilian and Rhetorica Herennium. So feel free if I can help…you or anyone reading this.


Hi there,

I’m a native Greek. We did Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad, during my high-school years, from grade 7 until 10 (that respectively corresponds to “A’ Gymnasiou” until “A’ Lykeiou” in the public modern Greek schooling system). The Homeric courses (2 hours weekly, obligatory) were presented in the “katharevousa” polytonic dialect, as a supplement subject to our Ancient Greek courses. “Katharevousa” is a cultivated imitation of Ancient Greek, and it’s a bit outdated now, in the last decades. So, katharevousa seemed rather bizarre, even for native Greek high-school students. I would rather prefer to had read either Iliad and Odyssey in simple modern Greek. But this didn’t happen because our education ministry wants every student to have some basic grasp in either Ancient Greek or katharevousa, and generally the polytonic system.

So, despite struggling a bit in that Homeric course, I have the gist of both Homer’s epic works and concepts, but only as a layman. However, Homer’s poetry is too complex so I don’t remember much of its “dactylic hexameter” style or whatever it was called. I am not a scholar and I have not read any single journal on classical research (either on ancient Greek or Roman.) But if you need specific help with any obscure modern Greek vocabulary, feel free to ask and I’ll try to research some specific words.


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—Mark Miner