1 Homer and Epic Poetry

an ancient Greek double-reeded wind instrument

an ancient Greek string instrument

an ancient Greek concept concerning the unification of parts into an orderly whole. In music, this manifested in how more importance was given to notes that had mathematically pleasing intervallic relationships, such as ratios of 1:2 or 2:3 on a plucked string.

(1) Moral and ethical character or way of being and behaving. (2) Character, mood, or emotional effect of an aspect of music.

-large lyre used especially for: -processions -sacred ceremonies -theater-played while standing

Why was the Trojan War so important to Greek identity?
Although comprised of parts both fictional and non-fictional, the story of the Trojan War gave Greeks a sense of national or cultural identity despite the fact that their governments were composed of small disunified city-states. The story of the Trojan War as presented in Homer’s Iliad acted as cultural containers of different parables that espoused Greek values such as fame, honor, and strength. These poems survived throughout the ages, thereby bringing these values to each generation that heard the stories. Homeric poems also contained historical elements that gave the Greeks information about the lives of their ancestors.

What role did the Homeric poems play in Greek culture?
The story of the Trojan War was transmitted orally through Homeric poems throughout the Dark Ages. Homeric stories were cultural containers of different parables and ethics that endured throughout different eras of Greek history. The identity of the Greeks was concentrated in the values, ethics, and narratives of Homer’s epic poems. The Greeks were obsessed with the poems and would return to them, especially in times of cultural crisis.

The history of the war was preserved and when the Greeks abandoned their cities they were able to narrate the stories from Homer’s epic poems.

How were Homeric tales transmitted? Did their method of transmission change? If so, how?
Homeric tales were transmitted orally by bards of the Greek Dark Ages until they were transcribed later

What are the major questions/themes of the Odyssey?
Two major themes of the Odyssey revolve around greatness (arete), which is achieving, morally and otherwise, one’s greatest potential as a human being, and fame (kleos), which is what guarantees meaning and value to one’s life.