4 Dark Age and Geometric Greece Post-Mycenaean World (1050-700 BCE) Palace Centers Destroyed (ca BCE)Colonization of Asia Minor CoastCrete (cf. Odyssey, ; Cyprus)Rudimentary Material Culture on Mainlandnon-literate society based on villagesapproximate 75% population decline (?)disruption of trade, disappearance of imports
7 Discontinuities with Mycenaean Past Cremation instead of InhumationIntroduction of Iron-Working (from Cyprus)Emergence of Athens (embarkation point for colonizers; leader in proto-geometric pottery ca BCE; continuity of habitation (?); continuous series of graves in Kerameikos from sub-Mycenaean times)Disappearance of Literacy: Iliad 6.168: “baleful signs” (semata lugra)Oral Poetic Tradition and Dactylic Hexameter
8 Homer, Iliad 6.168To slay him he withheld, for his soul had awe of that; but he sent him to Lycia, and gave him baneful tokens, engraving in a folded tablet many signs and deadly, and bade him show these to his own wife's father, that he might be slain.
15 Homeric Poems and Geometric Folk Memory of Bronze Age Greece Iliad and Odyssey: conservative nature of oral epic poetryDiscovery: Milman Parry and Serbo-Croatian epicReappearance of Writing in Greece ca BCE: Homeric epic and a society in transition
16 Mycenaean Survivals in Homer King is wanax, not basileusKing is chief judge, priest, and warlordPlace names of no importance in Geometric period (Iliad 2, “Catalogue of Ships”)Palace-controlled society
19 Anachronisms: Homeric World as Composite World Spear is thrown in Homer; Myceneans used thrusting spearCrete an Achaean island in HomerCremation in Homer; no mention of tholos tombsHomer has no knowledge of palace bureaucracies (Linear B)Iron used for tools and implements; importance of Boeotia
20 Who Was Homer? Does It Matter? Historical Personage?: “Homer was a man’s name, not the Greek equivalent of “Anonymous”, and that is the one certain fact about him” ~ M.I. Finley, World of Odysseus, 15Circularity of the Biographical Tradition (Lefkowitz); Homer=“he who weaves together”? (Vermeule)
22 Homeric Influences: Homeric Ethics and the Competitive Excellences of the Warrior (Aristoi) Akhilleus as Model: Individual over Community? Glorification of War?Aristocratic Privilege (cf. Thersites at Iliad )Status and the Gift (Briseis in Iliad 1): zero-sum competitionApthniton Kleos; AreteHomer’s Authority:Thucydides on Trojan War (1.9-11)Athenian/Megarian War, ca. 600 BCE (Plutarch, Solon, 10)
23 Of many an isle, and of all Argos king. [Homer, Iliad 2.108] Thucydides, 1.9.4The strength of his navy is shown by the fact that his own was the largest contingent, and that of the Arcadians was furnished by him; this at least is what Homer says, if his testimony is deemed sufficient. Besides, in his account of the transmission of the scepter, he calls himOf many an isle, and of all Argos king. [Homer, Iliad 2.108]Now Agamemnon's was a continental power; and he could not have been master of any except the adjacent islands (and these would not be many), but through the possession of a fleet.
24 Plutarch, Solon 10.1Notwithstanding all this, the Megarians persisted in their opposition, and both sides inflicted and suffered many injuries in the war, so that finally they made the Spartans arbiters and judges of the strife. Accordingly, most writers say that the fame of Homer favored the contention of Solon; for after himself inserting a verse into the Catalogue of Ships, he read the passage at the trial thus:--Ajax from Salamis brought twelve ships, And bringing, stationed them near the Athenian hosts.
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