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An epic battle on Homer's gender
The Australian ^ | July 03, 2006 | Dalya Alberge (The London Times)

Posted on 07/02/2006 7:46:38 PM PDT by SunkenCiv

Historian and linguist Andrew Dalby is challenging the accepted gender of one of the most influential writers of all time -- the poet who created the Greek epics The Iliad and The Odyssey in the seventh century BC. Dr Dalby said: "There is no direct evidence of the poet's identity and therefore no justification for the customary assumption that the two epics were composed by a man." Women have a long tradition worldwide as makers of oral literature, he said, citing Sappho, the best-known female poet of ancient Greece, and Enheduanna, the woman mentioned on a Sumerian tablet who thus became the first named poet in the world. Dr Dalby, whose study Rediscovering Homer will be published in September, said: "It is possible, even probable, that this poet was a woman. As a working hypothesis, this helps to explain certain features in which these epics are better -- more subtle, more complex, more universal -- than most others." ...Anthony Snodgrass, emeritus professor of classical archaeology at Cambridge University, said The Odyssey could have been written by a woman because it is about "a world at peace in general terms, with domesticity, fidelity ... endurance and determination rather than aggression". But he added: "The idea of a woman writing The Iliad and not being bored out of her mind by the endless fighting and killings is a bit more far-fetched." The issue, he said, lay in whether the same person wrote both poems. "Most of us now believe the same person did."

(Excerpt) Read more at theaustralian.news.com.au ...


TOPICS: Books/Literature; History; Science; Travel
KEYWORDS: erewhon; godsgravesglyphs; homer; iliad; odyssey; trojanwar
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1 posted on 07/02/2006 7:46:40 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
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To: SunkenCiv

Homer is a gentle and misunderstood man who happens to drink Duff beer.


2 posted on 07/02/2006 7:48:31 PM PDT by BipolarBob (Yes I backed over the vampire, but I swear I looked in my rearview mirror.)
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To: blam; FairOpinion; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; ...
The very late Samuel Butler was of the opinion that the Odyssey was written by a woman. Since it is really just a romance novel from ancient times, I find that plausible. So did the late (and probably better known) Robert Graves. Butler's view was that a princess living on or near Sicily (in one of the "Greater Greece" colonies wrote the Odyssey and used various sites and sights familiar to her from her surroundings to cook up the various trials and tribulations of Odysseus.

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3 posted on 07/02/2006 7:50:33 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (updated my FR profile on Wednesday, June 21, 2006. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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the Odyssey was written by a woman:
Google
the authoress of the Odyssey:
Google

4 posted on 07/02/2006 7:54:06 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (updated my FR profile on Wednesday, June 21, 2006. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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The Odyssey of Homer
translated by Samuel Butler
(Preface)
This translation is intended to supplement a work entitled "The Authoress of the Odyssey", which I published in 1897. I could not give the whole "Odyssey" in that book without making it unwieldy, I therefore epitomised my translation, which was already completed and which I now publish in full.

5 posted on 07/02/2006 7:55:53 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (updated my FR profile on Wednesday, June 21, 2006. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

The articles title should have been, "An epic battle on Homer's sex?"


6 posted on 07/02/2006 7:56:00 PM PDT by ASA Vet (3.03)
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To: SunkenCiv
THE ILLIAD really is a man's book and yes, THE ODYSSEY is more of a romantic adventure book; however, many male authors, throughout recorded history, HAVE written such books. Robert Graves IS such a one. LOL
7 posted on 07/02/2006 7:56:04 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: SunkenCiv

Homer knew too much about ships and their workings to have been female. The only way to win this argument is not to argue.


8 posted on 07/02/2006 7:57:24 PM PDT by shamusotoole
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To: SunkenCiv
Well, we already know that Homer was supposed to be handicapped (blind) so why not just claim that he was black and lesbian and hit all the bases at once?
9 posted on 07/02/2006 7:57:59 PM PDT by Question_Assumptions
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To: nopardons

Ain't no woman romance writer going to conceive of the grand epic battle at the end of the Oddyssey....IMHO

But I love how the shooting contest turns into the slaughter of all the bad guys....


10 posted on 07/02/2006 8:00:25 PM PDT by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: BipolarBob; ASA Vet; Harmless Teddy Bear; GoLightly
"Homer is a gentle and misunderstood man who happens to drink Duff beer."
Heh...
11 posted on 07/02/2006 8:00:28 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (updated my FR profile on Wednesday, June 21, 2006. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv
The very late Samuel Butler was of the opinion that the Odyssey was written by a woman. Since it is really just a romance novel from ancient times, I find that plausible. So did the late (and probably better known) Robert Graves. Butler's view was that a princess living on or near Sicily (in one of the "Greater Greece" colonies wrote the Odyssey and used various sites and sights familiar to her from her surroundings to cook up the various trials and tribulations of Odysseus.

Graves's wrote a novel, Homer's Daughter, that proposes that Nausicaa was the author of The Odyssey, basing it on events from her life.

When I reviewed it for a website, seven years ago, I give is a middling review. "This a well-crafted novel, but weak characterizations and lack of any real surprise keep it from being anything special," was how I summarized it. I'm wondering now, how much that was just that it didn't quite measure up to I, Claudius.

12 posted on 07/02/2006 8:01:00 PM PDT by Celtjew Libertarian
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To: ASA Vet; nopardons; shamusotoole; Question_Assumptions; Knitting A Conundrum

So, I guess this idea is a boner?

[rimshot!]


13 posted on 07/02/2006 8:03:24 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (updated my FR profile on Wednesday, June 21, 2006. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

Uhhh...let's make everybody happy: maybe Homer was gay. /sarcasm


14 posted on 07/02/2006 8:05:34 PM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must)
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To: Knitting A Conundrum
Probably not. :-)

I've always LOVED THE ODYSSEY and the ending is spectacular.

Have you read Graves' HOMER'S DAUGHTER? It's his "take" on a part of THE ODDYSSEY.

15 posted on 07/02/2006 8:05:45 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: SunkenCiv

Yes.........LOL


16 posted on 07/02/2006 8:06:12 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: Pharmboy

What's wrong with being happy and light hearted?


17 posted on 07/02/2006 8:08:35 PM PDT by ASA Vet (3.03)
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To: Celtjew Libertarian
Oh my goodness...someone else that book? :-)

I read many decades ago, when I was a preteen and had bought it for 19 cents, in a remainder bin. It's a first edition and I loved it; however, I was all of 11 or 12 when I read it. LOL

18 posted on 07/02/2006 8:09:56 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: ASA Vet

LOL! Well, he WAS Greek, dontcha know...


19 posted on 07/02/2006 8:11:55 PM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must)
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To: nopardons
many male authors, throughout recorded history, HAVE written such books.

"Pamela" by Richardson being a prime example.

20 posted on 07/02/2006 8:12:55 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Sign up to donate monthly and you will be automatically entered in our "Win a Bear Hug Contest")
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To: SunkenCiv
There is no direct evidence of the poet's identity and therefore no justification for the customary assumption that the two epics were composed by a man."

But

Women have a long tradition worldwide as makers of oral literature

Am I the only one that sees the contradiction here? Oral tradition identifies a blind male poet called Homer as the author, so I guess the traditional makers and keepers of oral tradition (women) got it wrong.

We're supposed to be in awe of the wisdom and amazing accuracy of oral tradition, except when the liberals want to rewrite it to fit the feminist agenda.

21 posted on 07/02/2006 8:14:50 PM PDT by Valpal1 (Big Media is like Barney Fife with a gun.)
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To: SunkenCiv
You knew this was coming.

L

22 posted on 07/02/2006 8:15:21 PM PDT by Lurker (When decadence pervades the corridors of power, depravity walks the side streets.)
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To: nopardons

I've read a good bit of Graves, but that's one I missed.


23 posted on 07/02/2006 8:16:49 PM PDT by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear
Oh yes; that's a fine example! And then, there's MOLL FLANDERS for another.
24 posted on 07/02/2006 8:20:29 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: Knitting A Conundrum
Perhaps. But considering the time maybe not.

After all these were guys who were intent on forcing her into marriage and they were a direct threat to her children.

Why would having them slaughtered be so unfeminine?

25 posted on 07/02/2006 8:20:44 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Sign up to donate monthly and you will be automatically entered in our "Win a Bear Hug Contest")
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To: Knitting A Conundrum
When I was very much younger, I read through almost ALL of Graves and spent some of my adulthood rereading him. I enjoyed HOMER'S DAUGHTER very much, when I read it, but don't know if I'd still.
26 posted on 07/02/2006 8:23:30 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: nopardons

Of all the tales in the world, the Oddyssey is one of my most favorite. I reread it every few years because it is one of the greats.


27 posted on 07/02/2006 8:23:33 PM PDT by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: Pharmboy

...anal sex between men and boys was commonplace and accepted...


28 posted on 07/02/2006 8:24:42 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (updated my FR profile on Wednesday, June 21, 2006. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear
Child, one son, who was set to inherit the throne. And in those days, women, even queens, had NO say-so at all, in Greece.

It would REALLY be a man's "voice", because it would be a male, with dynastic sensibilities, re his son and his kingdom, who would have such concerns.

29 posted on 07/02/2006 8:26:51 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: Valpal1

Yeah, that seems a little goofy to me as well.

I guess no one has found it offensive that he mentions "women" and "oral tradition" in the same sentence. It's so sexist...


30 posted on 07/02/2006 8:26:54 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (updated my FR profile on Wednesday, June 21, 2006. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Lurker

Doh!


31 posted on 07/02/2006 8:27:22 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (updated my FR profile on Wednesday, June 21, 2006. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Knitting A Conundrum

Likewise, it is also one of my favorites and I have reread it often, throughout my lifetime.


32 posted on 07/02/2006 8:28:15 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear

Because the setting is a guy arrangement. A female POV would have had the guy break into the room and carry her away to safety, not the detailed and careful and wonderful battle scene with Father and Son and faithful retainer whooping butt on the bad guys.

IMHO, of course, based on reading huge amounts of ancient and folk tale material....and lots of more modern stuff as well...


33 posted on 07/02/2006 8:31:15 PM PDT by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: SunkenCiv

34 posted on 07/02/2006 8:34:49 PM PDT by JRios1968 (There's 3 kinds of people in this world...those who know math and those who don't.)
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To: nopardons

Penelope, for example, is helpless to protect her estate from the guys who came over and ate up her goods every day, and again, even the powerful women in the Oddyssey are all Goddesses, firmly being controlled by the male Gods, and who pay heavy prices when trying to work around them.

Even Helen is mostly passive, the victim of a kidnapping, unable really to do much - she's a very ambivalent figure, more done to than doing.

Clytemnestra steps out of the mold with her murder of Agamemnon and is constantly compared to Penelope. And even Clytemnestra, in taking this action, can't rule in her own right...daughter of a king even so, but has to have Agamemnon's cousin to fulfil the kingly duties.

Cassandra, in many ways a tragic figure, tries to make her own way, but gets Apollo mad at her, and no one credits her for the truth she tells them, and still goes down to death at the hand of another woman because she refused to be what Apollo wanted her to be.





35 posted on 07/02/2006 8:41:33 PM PDT by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: nopardons
Indeed. But Penelope does have a say if only because her suitors wanted everything to appear legal and aboveboard. That she held out so long is proof of that. Her say may not have been a traditional kind of power but never the less it was still there.

She played them very skillfully.

36 posted on 07/02/2006 8:45:25 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Sign up to donate monthly and you will be automatically entered in our "Win a Bear Hug Contest")
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To: SunkenCiv

Is Homer's Gender of any importance to anyone except Homer.


37 posted on 07/02/2006 8:49:50 PM PDT by F.J. Mitchell (But who or what can check or balance the appointed for life, dictatorial US Supreme Court?)
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To: nopardons
Robert Graves is horrendous. I, Claudius was feeble (it still makes me mad thinking about the libel perpetrated against Augustus and Livia).
38 posted on 07/02/2006 9:12:39 PM PDT by Cyclopean Squid (Österreich ist frei!)
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To: Knitting A Conundrum
Exactly and that is why it was written/originated by a man and NOT a woman! Even in THE ODYSSEY, women, as was the fact in ancient Greece, have no power.

Circe is a witch, because she rules her domain and does so through magic, because otherwise, she has no power.

It is ridiculous for much later generations to speculate about who wrote ancient great works, using the perspective of their own times and completely disregarding the culture/manners of the time such works were written in.

39 posted on 07/02/2006 10:51:42 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear
Not exactly...if she had had any power at all, she c ould have dislodged the damned freeloaders. Instead, all she did was keep unraveling her weaving and feeding and housing the "suiters" for years on end.
40 posted on 07/02/2006 10:54:02 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: Cyclopean Squid

Each to his/her own. Many of us like his books; but, truth to tell, I haven't read then in a very long time.


41 posted on 07/02/2006 10:55:15 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: nopardons

I've only read the one. I managed to finish it, but honestly there was no hope for me to enjoy it given the way it treated my hero out of time, Octavian. If I had read another of his works before that I may have been a fan. As it is, circumstances are such that I feel a splanchnic reaction to the mere mention of Graves.


42 posted on 07/02/2006 11:06:03 PM PDT by Cyclopean Squid (Österreich ist frei!)
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To: Cyclopean Squid
Octavian/Augustus may be a hero of yours, but Graves treated him very fairly in I CLAUDIUS. If you don't believe me, read the contemporaneous writers of Augustus' day.
43 posted on 07/02/2006 11:11:30 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: SunkenCiv
An epic battle on Homer's gender

Guess it is possible that Homer was female. I personally doubt it.

Possibly he/she was a hermaphrodite. LOL

44 posted on 07/03/2006 2:59:52 AM PDT by Dustbunny (Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me)
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To: shamusotoole

NOt only that, but women in ancient Greece didn't go around to parties singing ballads. At about 16 years of age a girl would be married off to a man about twice her age, and from that time on, she would be a virtual prisoner in her home, much like Muslim women nowadays in the most conservative areas of Afghanistan. Shopping was done by servants or slaves. The only adult women who would be found out-and-about were prostitutes.


45 posted on 07/03/2006 4:25:51 AM PDT by Renfield (If Gene Tracy was the entertainment at your senior prom, YOU might be a redneck...)
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To: SunkenCiv

the next thing you know, some "scholar" will have decided Homer was homo........


46 posted on 07/03/2006 4:29:18 AM PDT by mo
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To: SunkenCiv

He's a he.

D'uh

47 posted on 07/03/2006 4:31:47 AM PDT by Tribune7
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To: Renfield

I realize I'm preaching to the choir, but there is a teachable moment here, albeit on a different topic, namely Logic.

The argument goes:

A. Homer was a creator of oral literature.

B. Some creators of oral tradition are women. ("Women have a long tradition worldwide as makers of oral literature.")

C. Therefore: Homer was a woman.

The basic flaw in this syllogism is "undistributed middle." That is to say, one goes from an absolute statement to a relative one and then makes an absolute conclusion, which can't be warranted.

We are dummies to give this even the time of day, except we all get to sound smart.


48 posted on 07/03/2006 8:57:39 AM PDT by shamusotoole
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To: SunkenCiv
...anal sex between men and boys was commonplace and accepted...

What I find curious is that gays are so willing to embrace these relationships, which were pederasty -- essentially unequal and abusive relationships -- as commmonplace and accepted homosexuality, yet complain that pederasty isn't homosexuality when it's applied to modern adult males having sex with boys. They can't have it both ways. Either what the Greeks were doing and what those abusive Catholic priests were doing to boys was homosexual behavior or both aren't. Pick one.

49 posted on 07/03/2006 9:15:18 AM PDT by Question_Assumptions
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To: shamusotoole
Shouldn't "C" actually be: Homer may have been a woman.
50 posted on 07/03/2006 9:51:52 AM PDT by NathanR (Aprčs moi, le deluge.)
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