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Thread: Oldest Greek Fragment of Homer Discovered on Clay Tablet

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    Advisor Jovialis's Avatar
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    2 members found this post helpful.

    Oldest Greek Fragment of Homer Discovered on Clay Tablet


    The epics of the Greek poet Homer, The Iliad and The Odyssey, have been recited around campfires and scrutinized by students for 2,800 years, if not longer. You might think that ancient copies of these books are dug up in Greece all the time, but that’s not the case. The ancient papyrus these books were written on rarely survives, meaning that ancient copies of Homer from the lands he wrote about simply don’t exist. But now, reports the BBC, archeologists in Greece have found 13 verses from The Odyssey chiseled into a clay tablet dating to the third century A.D. or earlier, representing the oldest lines of the poet found in the ancient land.

    ...

    But not all of the earlier versions of Homer are lost. Archaeologists working in Egypt in the late 19th century began collecting scraps of papyrus containing lines, quotations and even complete chapters of the stories. Unlike in Greece, the dry conditions in Egypt mean some papyrus documents are preserved, including bits of Homer dating to the third century B.C. These scraps and chapters show that the medieval texts are not the only versions of the epics or even the authoritative versions—it turns out there is no one definitive Homer out there. That’s why the Homer Multitext Project is gathering all of those fragments together so they can be compared and put in sequence to provide a broader view of Homer’s epics. No doubt the new fragment of text from Greece will soon be added to that project, and hopefully there will be even more to sing about soon.

    Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart...pYZA2UVpcXm.99



    A clay tablet with an engraved inscription discovered after three years of excavations at the archaeological site of Ancient Olympia has been shown to preserve 13 verses of a rhapsody from Homer’s Odyssey.


    According to a culture ministry announcement on Tuesday, initial estimates date the tablet to the Roman era, possibly before the 3rd century AD.

    If the preliminary estimate of its age is confirmed then “the clay tablet would preserve perhaps the oldest extant written excerpt of the Homeric Epics that has been found, which besides its uniqueness is also a very important archaeological, literary and historical record”.

    http://greece.greekreporter.com/2018...ed-at-olympia/
    Last edited by Jovialis; 13-07-18 at 00:36.

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    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    It will be interesting to see what differences there are with previous versions, if any.


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    Advisor Jovialis's Avatar
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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    It will be interesting to see what differences there are with previous versions, if any.
    That will certainly be interesting. This article has a lot more detail on the discovery:


    The epics of the Greek poet Homer, The Iliad and The Odyssey, have been recited around campfires and scrutinized by students for 2,800 years, if not longer. You might think that ancient copies of these books are dug up in Greece all the time, but that’s not the case. The ancient papyrus these books were written on rarely survives, meaning that ancient copies of Homer from the lands he wrote about simply don’t exist. But now, reports the BBC, archeologists in Greece have found 13 verses from The Odyssey chiseled into a clay tablet dating to the third century A.D. or earlier, representing the oldest lines of the poet found in the ancient land.

    ...

    But not all of the earlier versions of Homer are lost. Archaeologists working in Egypt in the late 19th century began collecting scraps of papyrus containing lines, quotations and even complete chapters of the stories. Unlike in Greece, the dry conditions in Egypt mean some papyrus documents are preserved, including bits of Homer dating to the third century B.C. These scraps and chapters show that the medieval texts are not the only versions of the epics or even the authoritative versions—it turns out there is no one definitive Homer out there. That’s why the Homer Multitext Project is gathering all of those fragments together so they can be compared and put in sequence to provide a broader view of Homer’s epics. No doubt the new fragment of text from Greece will soon be added to that project, and hopefully there will be even more to sing about soon.

    Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart...pYZA2UVpcXm.99

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