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By John Miles Foley

"For people who are drawn to Greek and Roman epic, the booklet is a treasure-house of fantastic variety.... The editor and the writer either deserve compliment for a really effective volume." (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society)

"Blackwell's spouse to historical Epic does simply what the name indicates: it accompanies readers on trips of exploration during this large (in each feel) box. simply as importantly, the spouse will express new readers why they may are looking to immerse themselves in those poems.... the various highlights during this significant other display the price of asking students to jot down for non-specialists. That pastime presents a stimulus for brand spanking new degrees of concentration and readability; even rules and fabrics which may be generic turn into clean back once they are provided in such succinct distillations." (Bryn Mawr Classical overview)

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A different dynamic exists between epic and praise poetry. As described by Africanists, praise-poetry is an allusive, highly compressed, and non-narrative evocation of the genealogies and successes of chieftains. Marked by often obscure, riddling names, brief references to events, and a repetitive, incantatory style, this genre is more widespread than epic, especially in southern and eastern Africa. Instead of a range on a spectrum, the praise-poem is a telescope: what is compressed in a style that imitates the instantaneous exultation of a client before his patron, in epic is expanded to fill out chronology, cause, and characterization.

Greek definitions: Ford 1997; Nagy 1999b. Hesiod: West 1985; Lamberton 1988; Nagy 1990b. Homeric depiction of song: Nagy 1989; Ford 1992; Segal 1994. Homeric Hymns: Clay 1989; Muellner 1996; Martin 2000. intertextuality in epic: Martin 1984, 2001. ˆ thoi as ‘‘tales’’: Edmunds 1997. mu Orphic poetry: West 1983; Martin 2001. other Greek epics: Huxley 1969. rhapsodes, text fixation: Nagy 1996b, 1996c, 2002. ˆ thos and epos: Martin 1989. semantics of mu shamanism: Dodds 1951. 3 ‘‘Epic’’ cross-culturally African traditions: Stone 1988; Belcher 1999.

2). The poem he alludes to – now known as the Cypria and surviving only in a few quotations – was clearly ‘‘epic’’ in having thematic and formal features found in the Iliad and Odyssey. ’’ This ambiguity, frequent in the classical period, on the other hand makes it possible that a poem decidedly non-Homeric in its themes might also have been ‘‘epic’’ to Herodotus and his audiences. The composition in question, cited for its ethnographic details, is referred to as ‘‘the epic/hexameter verses (epea) now called by the Greeks 14 Richard P.

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