Living heroes: metal urn cremations in Early Iron Age Greece, Cyprus and Italy

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Abstract

The aim of this contribution is to understand more about the world of Homer by looking in detail at a group of individuals who had been buried in ‘Homeric’ or, rather, ‘heroic’ style. After they died their bodies were burnt on a pyre; their cremated remains were subsequently collected from the ashes, and stored in a bronze vessel. The questions that I wish to address are: who were these individuals, what can we learn about them and about their worlds? What did they have in common? And do they tell us something about the development and circulation of epic poetry? One of the things I wish to draw attention to is the hybrid character of the burials and the deceased. Perhaps this is an indication of the multicultural milieu in which these ‘living heroes’ and perhaps epic poetry, too, operated.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOmero: quaestiones disputata (Ambrosiana Graecolatina 5)
EditorsF. Gallo
Place of PublicationMilano & Roma
PublisherBiblioteca Ambrosiana - Bulzoni Editore
Pages43-78
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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