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RE: "The First Historians"

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  • K L Noll
    Peter wrote (in part): ...And yet to leave out all the editorial comments like this I saw, this I got from Egyptian priests, ... ....Does that require the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 24, 2009
      Peter wrote (in part):
      ...And yet to leave out all the "editorial comments" like "this I saw, this I got from Egyptian priests, ...
      ....Does that require the redaction to have been done at Alexandria, where H's book might have been found?

      Niels Peter wrote (in part):
      The Greeks definitely believed that Homer is history but they did not possess the means to distinguish between history and story.

      Graham wrote (in part):
      (But then again some authors suggest that Homer's writing was originally meant as an irreligious joke, which was later taken far too seriously)

      My comments:
      I discuss the rhetorical markers (and their general absence in Hebrew litserature) in my SJOT article and the essay in the Kirkpatrick volume previously mentioned, but to the question Peter asks here, I'd answer "No, of course not." The rhetorical markers (which are well discussed by Marincola, by the way, for those interested; see the footnotes in my publications), are the natural requirement of the history genre, since a genre is a process of communication in which the receiver needs to be on the same page as the sender with respect to intention of communication.

      Niels Peter's comment is not quite accurate. Greek intellectuals transformed Homer into teh genre of history by walking around his references to the gods and reducing the heroic exploits to more natural levels. Graham's point is correct: Homer was a precursor not to the genre of historia but to the satyr-plays and comedies. Homer never achieved the status of "sacred" authority. Homer was classical literature, but many Greek intellectuals still thought he was a blasphemer. I think Paul Veyne's book "Did teh Greeks Believe in their Myths" is very useful.

      K. L. Noll
      Brandon University
      Brandon, Manitoba

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