Homerella?

J B Krygier jbkrygier at owu.edu
Thu Aug 31 16:25:23 EDT 2006


Hi Modlib,

A recent news item that may be of interest to any of you
who organize your MLs by the gender of the author.   --jk

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Scholar: Iliad, Odyssey Penned by Woman

Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News
http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2006/08/28/homer_his.html? 
category=human&guid=20060828100030

Aug. 28, 2006 — The author of the Greek epic poems the Iliad and the
Odyssey was probably a woman, according to an upcoming book by a
British historian and linguist.

Andrew Dalby, author of Rediscovering Homer, argues that the
attribution of the poems to Homer was founded on a falsehood.

Homer’s link to the poems, Dalby writes, stems from an "ill-informed
postclassical text, the anonymous Life of Homer, fraudulently ascribed
to Herodotus," a respected Greek historian who lived from around
484-425 B.C.

Herodotus does mention Homer in his work Histories, but by then the
legend of the mysterious, blind, male poet had already taken root,
Dalby says.

Dalby explained to Discovery News that the earliest references to
Homer by writers such as Herodotus and the Greek poet Pindar indicate
the poet lived around 800 B.C.

But based on geographical references in the poems, Dalby believes the
Iliad was composed in 650 B.C., while the Odyssey was written in 630
B.C., well after Homer’s supposed lifetime.

Aside from the poems themselves, no concrete clues exist to identify
their author, but Dalby builds a case that the person probably was a
woman.

"In many oral traditions, the best and most reliable creators, the
ones who are used by folklore collectors, happen to be women," he
said.

Dalby explained that women throughout the ancient world were "often
the last and most skillful exponents of an oral tradition."

For example, the world’s first named poet was a Sumerian woman named
Enheduanna, who lived from around 2285-2250 B.C. Dalby said women also
saved the ancient oral poetry of the northern Japanese, many Irish
traditions, and numerous English folk ballads.

Another recent book, Clever Maids: The Secret History of the Grimm
Fairy Tales, claims the Brothers Grimm gathered most of their famous
stories from women. Author Valerie Paradiz told Discovery News that
the brothers "only gave credit to one woman by name," but then linked
most other tales to male editors who also gathered stories from women.

...





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