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History 1

By Richard Rutherford

ISBN-10: 0631231323

ISBN-13: 9780631231325

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2 Similarly epic could be seen as the source for other later genres, notably tragedy, comedy, and historiography: the last in particular shared the concern to commemorate glorious deeds. In turn, later epic extended its scope and absorbed or incorporated material from other genres which had developed independently: oratory, ethnography, aetiology. Virgil drew on Cato and Varro for his picture of early Italy; Lucan quarried Nicander on horrific snake-bites. But epic remained central and stood at the peak of the generic hierarchy.

The longer the roll, the more unwieldy it becomes. Lengths vary in different periods, but a ‘book’ of verse is often not longer than 1,000 lines and almost never as high as 2,000. (All of Virgil’s books are less than 1,000 lines). e. rolls), Herodotus’ History into nine, but we might think of these as more like long chapters. Once the codex was introduced, several books might be combined into one volume, and we are a step or two closer to the modern format. Practical considerations of length, however, are not the whole story: the variation in length is quite considerable, and aesthetic concerns evidently enter into play.

These were his words, and in Achilles he roused a deep longing to weep for his own father . . 1) Achilles’ anger gives way to pity, and he makes this concession, although both men know that death is hanging over them and that this moment of magnanimity will achieve nothing permanent. The poem ends with the burial of Hector: the Trojans mourn their lost defender and are left waiting for the imminent destruction of their city and society, which Hector had already foreseen. 447– 9). This summary cannot give any adequate idea of the richness of texture with which the Iliad presents the narrative and characters.

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Classical Literature: A Concise History (Blackwell Introductions to the Classical World) by Richard Rutherford

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