2004
Volume 51, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0165-8204
  • E-ISSN: 2667-1573

Abstract

Summary

This article

*Dit artikel is geschreven als onderdeel van een project gefinancierd door het National Science Center, Polen (UMO-2013/10/E/HS2/00170). Ik dank Niels Koopman voor zijn commentaar.

explores the role of the gods in the as analysed by Eustathius of Thessaloniki in his Eustathius aims to identify the principles and techniques that underlie Homer’s successful composition and to reconstruct, as it were, Homer’s composition process. In this way, he intends to familiarise his target audience, twelfth-century authors of rhetorical prose, with Homer’s admirable methods so that they can imitate them in their own writings. Eustathius interprets the gods as devices in the hands of the poet to steer his composition in the desired direction, to imbue it with rhetorical plausibility, and to foreground his skilfulness. Homer uses the gods in four ways: 1) by means of divine interventions, Homer maintains plausibility whenever he takes risks for the sake of rhetorical virtuosity; 2) the poet employs divine plans to motivate the course of events; 3) as allegories of the poet’s intellectual capacities the gods reveal authorial deliberations about the course of the ; 4) the composition of the is partly determined by the meaning of the gods in terms of natural and ethical allegory. Eustathius thus presents Homer as a self-conscious author and shapes him, we may assume, in the image of the ideal Byzantine author, or perhaps that of himself.

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2018-01-01
2021-10-27
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