Homerus en de oosterse epiek

Translated title of the contribution: Homer and the near eastern epic

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Introduction to a special issue of Phoenix on Homer and Near Eastern epic with the following contributions: Michèle Meijer on parallels between the Iliad and the Gilgamesh Epic; Klaas R. Veenhof on the Atrahasis myth; Theo Krispijn (with the assistance of Willemijn Waal) on Hittite literature and Homer; Ben Haring on Egyptian stories on heroes. Attention is paid to the knowledge that Homer must have had of eastern epics and stories and on the character of the epics. The usual interpretation (the Parry-Lord thesis or oral-formulaic theory) that Homer's epics are the result of recording in writing of oral poetry, in view of the formulaic phraseology of many Homeric verses, is subject to doubt now, as this formulaic poetry is well established in the Near East, such as in the Gilgamesh epic, where, however, we have a tradition of one thousand years of written predecessors of the standard version (c. 12th century BC). In view of the fact that the Greek alphabet probably was introduced quite some time before Homer, we must assume that also in Greece written epic literature existed before the composition of the standard editions of the Iliad and the Odyssey.
Translated title of the contributionHomer and the near eastern epic
Original languageDutch
Article number1
Pages (from-to)3-6
Number of pages4
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • classics
  • assyriology
  • literature
  • ancient history
  • egyptology

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