Homerus lezen met Quintus van Smyrna | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 51, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0165-8204
  • E-ISSN: 2667-1573



The death of Priam by the hands of Achilles’ son Neoptolemus (Pyrrhus) is a popular episode in the Trojan tradition. Quintus of Smyrna’s version invites a creative dialogue with Vergil’s (Latin) and Triphiodorus’ (Greek) . All of these texts look back on 24 from varying perspectives, creating a complex interplay which Quintus thematizes in book 13 of his Greek epic sequel to Homer (, third century AD). A diptych of two scenes, in which old men are killed by Greek heroes, serves to juxtapose two possible interpretations of this situation – one underlining the cruelty of the sack of Troy, the other bewailing the misery of a long life – and presents the reader with a moral dilemma. Heroic ideology and the tragedy of mortality clash on a level more explicit than in the . Quintus’ choices on an intertextual level thus enhance the overall narrative agenda of his own epic, on an intratextual level. This episode broaches a wide scope of narrative reflections, including the complex interaction of literary sources (mainly Homer reception), narrative composition and characterization, and themes such as heroism and pathos in war literature.


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