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The Archaeology of Greece and RomeStudies in Honour of Anthony Snodgrass$
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John Bintliff and N. Keith Rutter

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474417099

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474417099.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

Homer and the Sculptors

Homer and the Sculptors

(p.113) 6 Homer and the Sculptors
The Archaeology of Greece and Rome

Nigel Spivey

Edinburgh University Press

‘In the beginning, Homer was just a very good poet living in Ionia’ (Snodgrass 1998: 11). That premise is more controversial than perhaps it seems at first sight: if Homer appeared to his contemporaries an extraordinary genius, a poet uniquely privileged with divine inspiration, then one might indeed argue that he directly catalysed the coming of Greek literacy, and the development of figure scenes in early Greek art.1 But suppose, for present purposes, that the reputation of an eighth-century BC Homer was local to Ionia, and that the poet died (as one legend had it)poor and obscure. So his genius was only recognised/created/celebrated later; and so ‘a very good poet’ became Homer the great founding father of Classical literature. How important was it that visible form was given to this transfiguration? We can argue about what Homer did for artists. What did artists do for ‘Homer’?

Keywords:   Homer, Sculptors, Hellenistic

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