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Re: [ANE-2] On the Historicity of Troy

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  • Jean-Fabrice Nardelli
    As my last words on the topic, unless the debate bounces back with new arguments going beyond mere generalities, I would like to commend the view that the text
    Message 1 of 19 , Oct 25, 2012
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      As my last words on the topic, unless the debate bounces back with new
      arguments going beyond mere generalities, I would like to commend the
      view that the text of the Homeric epics was submitted to a gradual
      process of textualization from the archaic period until the the middle
      of the sixth century, not my own creed, for I am rather convinced that
      we have in all essentials a ca. 750 BC Iliad, not the poem of some
      anonymous sixth century oral singers / arrangers (reasons in S. T.
      Teodorsson, 'Eastern Literacy, Greek Alphabet, and Homer', Mnemosyne
      LIX, 2006, pp. 161-187, and my Motif de la paire d'amis héroïque à
      prolongements homophiles. Perspectives odysséennes et proches-orientales
      [Amsterdam, 2004], pp. 170-180), yet a model that I find impossible to
      confine to silence (an interesting account of that progressive
      textualization can be found in L. E. Rossi, 'Dividing Homer. When and
      How Were the Iliad and the Odyssey Divided into Songs ? (Continued)',
      Symbolae Osloenses 76, 2001, pp. 103-112). Of course, the implications
      of the oral-traditional mechanisms on the textual criticism of the poem
      are far from assessed, witness, e.g., N. Kelly, A Referential Commentary
      and Lexicon to Homer, Iliad VIII (Oxford, 2007), pp. 378-384, who "is
      concerned to find out whether the feature under discussion is the kind
      of thing a traditionally trained poet would have produced" (p. 385),
      beyond the conspicuous fact that "von Anfang an hatten die Rhapsoden
      zweifellos dazu tendiert, den Text euphonischer und geschmeidiger zu
      machen, indem sie logisch überflüssige Partikeln zufügten, um Hiat oder
      andere metrische Anomalien auszuschalten (die häufig als Ergebnis des
      Digamma-Verlusts entstanden waren), und indem sie ungewöhnliche
      archaische Formen durch modernere ersetzten. Das war ohne Zweifel ein
      Grundzug der mündlichen Tradition schon lange bevor die Ilias geschaffen
      wurde" (West, in the Basler Gesamtkommentar, Prolegomena [Munich &
      Leipzig, 2003 ; 3rd ed., Berlin & New York, 2009], p. 31). The genious
      of the poet should not be downgraded or lost sight of in the
      appreciation of this process, if only because Homer may very well have
      brought out crucial modifications to the meter and dialect he inherited
      (N. Berg and D. Haug, 'Dividing Homer (continued). Innovation vs.
      Tradition in Homer - An Overlooked Piece of Evidence', Symbolae
      Osloenses 75, 2000, pp. 5-23, cf. p. 21 : "it is hard to see how a
      metrical change like the introduction of the equivalence between one
      long and two short syllables in thesi can have evolved gradually. For
      reasons shown above, these changes cannot have happened during the
      Aeolic phase and we see no way that they can be connected with an Ionian
      tradition which is but poorly supported by facts and contradicted by
      analyses of the epic diction like that of Hoekstra. That is why we would
      like to ascribe them to the monumental composer himself, or in Latacz’s
      words 1989, 26) : the “Begründer der abendländischen Textualität”) ; now
      the very existence of an Aeolic slice of the Greek dialectal continuum
      has been demolished by H. N. Parker, 'The Linguistic Case for the
      Aiolian Migration Reconsidered', Hesperia 77, 2008, pp. 431-464 at
      443-459, cf. 460 "the idea of an Aiolic dialect group itself falls
      apart. Boiotian is an archaic dialect, most closely related to West
      Greek, which underwent the First Compensatory Lengthening but retained
      *r° (with later independent change of *r° > ρο) and the labiovelars
      (with the default change to labials), and which underwent various later
      minor changes of its own. Lesbian and Thessalian are both archaic
      branches of Greek that did not undergo the First Compensatory
      Lengthening. They share no demonstrable common innovations, and nothing
      argues for a relationship between them. They are best viewed as two
      relic areas of a relatively unaltered early Greek" (I shall only declare
      here that I, like most Homerists with enough philological and linguistic
      expertise, remain unconvinced ; it has been trendy, for the past five
      decades, to minimize, or even rule out, the impact of Aeolic on both
      Homer and the dialectal map of Greece, with disastrous consequences ;
      cf. rather Finkelberg, 'The Dialect Continuum of Ancient Greek', Harvard
      Studies in Classical Philology 96, 1994,, pp. 1-36). Nor should the
      relevant technicalities in Homeric textual poetics and narratology, of
      which list members hardly suspect the level of intricacy and
      sophistication - sometimes oppressive, if not counterproductive : see
      further my Aristarchus Antibarbarus, pp. LXI-LXII note ************ - be
      ignored by all those who invoke Homer or the Iliad around Troy, lest
      what they say be heavily naive ; see C. Tsagalis, 'Towards an Oral,
      Intertextual Neoanalysis', Trends in Classics 3, 2011, pp. 209-244 at
      211-228, paper of which I must remark : es ist auf einem
      Spekulationsgebäude erbaut, ein neues schönes Beispiel dafür, wie
      produktiv unsere Irrtümer und fixen Ideen sein können.

      J.-F. Nardelli
      Université de Provence
      > _,_._,___

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