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39 terms

Section 3 - Ancient Epic (Homer and Vergil)

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Homer
"The river from which all literature flows."
Epic
long, narrative poem in which the central character, usually depicted as a hero of some sort, struggles against great odds—sometimes death literally—to achieve a noble end
The Iliad
The epic about the siege of Troy
Troy
The walled fortress-city that the Greeks were trying to take over in the Iliad
Ilium
Another name for Troy
Achilles
Greatest of the Greek warriors at Troy
Agamemnon
Leader of the Greek expedition that insults Achilles
Hector
The greatest of the Trojan warriors, who kills Patroclus, Achilles best friend
Priam
Hector's father, the elderly King of Troy
Sack of Troy
Not included in the Iliad
Trojan Horse
The horse story not included in the Iliad
The Odyssey
Takes place after the Trojan War. Main character is Odysseus
Odysseus
A thinking man who doesn't rush home like Agamemnon but ultimately sneaks back into town
Ulysses
The Latin name for Odysseus
Clytemnestra
Agamemnon's wife. She kills Agamemnon
Penelope
Odysseus' wife, whose very name has come to represent marital fidelity
Hera
Zeus' wife
Seduction of Zeus
When Hera tricks Zeus to get her way because she's really mad at him.
Odysseus and Argus
The story about Odysseus' dog, who dies after seeing him finally come home
Weak joins
the incoherence of some passages which are widely separated from each other
Milman Parry
an American scholar working in the 1920's and 1930's, who studied a type of poet called an oral bard
Oral bard
composed poems "orally"—that is, they made up long epic poems on the spur of the moment in front of an audience—and though it's hard to imagine such a thing today, Parry showed that it was, in fact, possible for trained poets to compose complex verse like Homer's seemingly off the cuff
Oral formulas
repetitive phrases which fit certain metrical slots in a line of verse.
Rhapsodes
(literally, "stitchers of song"), performers who recited Homeric epic before the Greek public centuries after Homer's day,
Vergil
Roman poet, the other great master of ancient epic
The Aeneid
replete with the sort of detail which only countless revisions and close attention to the niceties of written style provide
Augustus
The Roman Emperor who recruited Virgil to compose a grandiose epic about Rome
Aeneas
The fictional hero who led the Trojans to Italy after the Greeks destroyed their city
Venus
A goddess, who is Aeneas' mother, and rescues him
Pius
Latin for loyal or dutiful. Aeneas wasn't strong but he was pius
In medias res
"into the middle of things"
Juno
Hera's Roman name, sent a storm on Aeneas at the beginning of the Aeneid
Jupiter
Zeus's Roman name. He wants the Roman people to someday conquer the world, in the Aeneid
Dido
The queen that Aeneas falls in love with
Carthage
The settlement where Dido and Aeneas live and fall in love. He gets there by washing up on shore. In real life, early Romans had defeated the Carthaginians and cleared the way for their conquest of the Mediterranean
Priam
Aged king of Troy
Pyrrhus
Achilles brutal teenage son, who slaughters Priam in The Aeneid
Pompey
Caesar's most formidable rival, lost the Battle of Pharsalus and was forced to flee to Egypt. Greeted there by people he took to be allies, he was instead ruthlessly butchered, his beheaded corpse left floating in an Egyptian tidal pool
Turnus
Kills Aeneas' best friend Pallas, and steals his armor. Aeneas and Turnus have a final showdown. Also fighting to marry Lavinia. Aeneas ruthlessly murders him, and the book ends.