Homer - Transmission and Publication

Transmission and Publication

Though evincing many features characteristic of oral poetry, the Iliad and Odyssey were at some point committed to writing. The Greek script, adapted from a Phoenician syllabary around 800 BC, made possible the notation of the complex rhythms and vowel clusters that make up hexameter verse. Homer's poems appear to have been recorded shortly after the alphabet's invention: an inscription from Ischia in the Bay of Naples, ca. 740 BC, appears to refer to a text of the Iliad; likewise, illustrations seemingly inspired by the Polyphemus episode in the Odyssey are found on Samos, Mykonos and in Italy, dating from the first quarter of the seventh century BC. We have little information about the early condition of the Homeric poems, but in the second century BC, Alexandrian editors stabilized this text from which all modern texts descend.

In late antiquity, knowledge of Greek declined in Latin-speaking western Europe and, along with it, knowledge of Homer's poems. It was not until the fifteenth century AD that Homer's work began to be read once more in Italy. By contrast it was continually read and taught in the Greek-speaking Eastern Roman Empire where the majority of the classics also survived. The first printed edition appeared in 1488 (edited by Demetrios Chalkokondyles and published by Bernardus Nerlius, Nerius Nerlius, and Demetrius Damilas in Florence, Italy).

One often finds books of the Iliad and Odyssey cited by the corresponding letter of the Greek alphabet, with upper-case letters referring to a book number of the Iliad and lower-case letters referring to the Odyssey. Thus Ξ 200 would be shorthand for Iliad book 14, line 200, while ξ 200 would be Odyssey 14.200. The following table presents this system of numeration:

Iliad Α Β Γ Δ Ε Ζ Η Θ Ι Κ Λ Μ Ν Ξ Ο Π Ρ Σ Τ Υ Φ Χ Ψ Ω
book no. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
Odyssey α β γ δ ε ζ η θ ι κ λ μ ν ξ ο π ρ ς τ υ φ χ ψ ω

Read more about this topic:  Homer

Other articles related to "transmission":

VTi Transmission
... The VTi is a continuously variable transmission for automobiles ... Production ended in 2005 in favor of the GM-Ford 6-speed automatic transmission ... In 2004 GM extended the transmission's warranty on all 2002 - 2004 GM vehicles with the VTi to 5 years / 75,000 miles (120,700 km) due to high failure rates ...
Transmission - Media
... Transmission (album), the fourth album by the Canadian band The Tea Party Transmission (band), an experimental/post-rock band based in the United Kingdom Transmission (film), a 2009 film Transmission (magazine ...

Famous quotes containing the word publication:

    I would rather have as my patron a host of anonymous citizens digging into their own pockets for the price of a book or a magazine than a small body of enlightened and responsible men administering public funds. I would rather chance my personal vision of truth striking home here and there in the chaos of publication that exists than attempt to filter it through a few sets of official, honorably public-spirited scruples.
    John Updike (b. 1932)