Homer and Epic poetry (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Andrea Rodighiero
Andrea Rodighiero
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem 1B dal Nov 11, 2019 al Jan 11, 2020.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course «Homeric and epic language and poetry» aims at offering to Students a large perspective on literary Greek, with special reference to lexical and morphological aspect of the archaic language; the course will also provide the Students with some methodological knowledge to read and comment analytically Greek literary texts. The main topics are Homer and the archaic epic, the so-called ‘Homeric Question’, the concepts of orality and formularity, as well as Homeric reception in other literary genres. At the end of the course students should have acquired deep knowledge of the language, the metrics, and the main themes of the Homeric and epic poetry. They should also be able to analyze, to comment and to translate Greek texts (with special reference to the Homeric language). Knowledge of Greek language is mandatory.


1. The origins of the Greek epic
2. Phonology and morphology of the Homeric language
3. The Iliad (with special reference to Iliad 18, 22, 24).

A. Ercolani, Omero, Roma, Carocci, 2006.
B. Gentili, P. Giannini, Preistoria e formazione dell’esametro, in: «Quaderni Urbinati di Cultura Classica» 26 (1977), pp. 7-51.

A.C. Cassio [a cura di], Storia delle lingue letterarie greche. Seconda edizione, Firenze, Le Monnier, 2016, chap. 5: L’epica, di E. Passa).

Main instruments:
M. Finkelberg (Ed.), The Homer Encyclopedia, Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell, 2011; P. Chantraine, Morphologie historique du grec, Paris, Klincksieck, 1961; M. Lejeune, Phonétique historique du mycénien et du grec ancien, Paris, Klincksieck, 1972; P. Chantraine, Grammaire homérique I-II, nouvelle édition revue et corrigée par M. Casevitz, Paris, Klincksieck, 2013-2014; P. Chantraine, Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue grecque, Paris, Klincksieck, 2009(2); Lexikon des frühgriechischen Epos, begründet von B. Snell, Göttingen, Vandenhoeck&Ruprecht, 1955-2010; A.-F. Christidis (Ed.), A History of Ancient Greek. From the Beginnigs to late Antiquity, Cambridge, CUP, 2007; Homers Ilias Gesamtkommentar (Basler Kommentar), herausgegeben von J. Latacz, Saur, München-Leipzig/de Gruyter, Berlin-New York, 2000-.

Further readings:
M. Parry, The Traditional Epithet in Homer, in: The Making of Homeric Verse. The Collected Papers of Milman Parry, ed. by A. Parry, Oxford, Clarendon Press 1971, pp. 1-190.

Critical editions: Homeri Opera, recognoverunt brevique adnotatione critica instruxerunt D.B. Monro et T.W. Allen, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1920[3]; Homerus, Ilias, recensuit M.L. West, I-II, Monachii et Lipsiae, Saur, 1998-2000.
Homer, Iliad, Book 18, edited by R.B. Rutherford, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2019.
Omero, Iliade, Libro XVIII. Lo scudo di Achille, Introduzione, traduzione e commento di G. Cerri, Roma, Carocci, 2010.
Homer, Iliad, Book 22, edited by I.J.F. de Jong, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2012.
Homer, Iliad, Book 24, edited by C.W. MacLeod, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Omero, Iliade, a cura di F. Ferrari, Milano, Mondadori, 2018.
G.S. Kirk (Ed.), The Iliad, I-VI, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1985-1993.

(More material will be made available during the lessons)

Scheduled lessons:
lectures (36 hours)

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
R.B. Rutherford Homer, Iliad, Book 18 Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2019
I.J.F. de Jong Homer, Iliad, Book 22 Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2012
C.W. MacLeod Homer, Iliad, Book 24 Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2008
P. Chantraine Morphologie historique du grec Klincksieck, Paris 1961
F. Ferrari Omero, Iliade Mondadori, Milano 2018
G. Cerri Omero, Iliade, Libro XVIII. Lo scudo di Achille Carocci, Roma 2010
P. Chantraine P. Chantraine, Grammaire homérique I-II, nouvelle édition revue et corrigée par M. Casevitz Klincksieck, Paris 2009
G.S. Kirk (Ed.) The Iliad, I-VI Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1985

Assessment methods and criteria

The oral examination aims at evaluating the student's knowledge, with special reference to the texts read during the lectures and to the general aspects of Greek epic (cf. the Companion in the Syllabus).

Erasmus students will be informed during the lectures about the oral examination.