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Archaeology and the Emergence of Greece$
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Anthony Snodgrass

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780748623334

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623334.001.0001

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An Historical Homeric Society?

An Historical Homeric Society?

Chapter:
(p.173) Chapter 10 An Historical Homeric Society?
Source:
Archaeology and the Emergence of Greece
Author(s):

Anthony Snodgrass

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623334.003.0010

Supporters of a unified and historical Homeric society have to face (as their opponents do not) the immediately ensuing question: so when did such a society exist in Greece? Some writers have joined to move the date of Homer's lifetime down into the seventh century. Unity of authorship and background between the Iliad and Odyssey is indeed a quite separate issue, though an important one; the division of opinion may cut right across the line of division as to whether Homeric society is historical or not. It will probably be sufficient to concentrate on the two extreme practices of dowry and ‘bride-price’, for a society combining these two might be expected to take indirect dowry in its stride. Theoretically at least, one and the same society could combine these two practices in one and the same marriage; or it could use them on different marriage-occasions in the same social milieu; or it could practise them in marriages at two different social levels.

Keywords:   Homeric society, Homer, Greece, Iliad, Odyssey, dowry, marriage, bride-price

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