Epithets in Homer
Get Epithets in Homer essential facts below. View Videos or join the Epithets in Homer discussion. Add Epithets in Homer to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Epithets in Homer

A characteristic of Homer's style is the use of epithets, as in "rosy-fingered" Dawn or "swift-footed" Achilles. Epithets are used because of the constraints of the dactylic hexameter (i.e., it is convenient to have a stockpile of metrically fitting phrases to add to a name) and because of the oral transmission of the poems; they are mnemonic aids to the singer and the audience alike.[1]

Formulae in epic poetry from various Indo-European traditions may be traced to a common tradition. For example, the phrase for "everlasting glory" or "undying fame" can be found in the Homeric Greek as ? / kléos áphthiton and Vedic Sanskrit as / ?rávo ák?itam. These two phrases were, in terms of historical linguistics, equivalent in phonology, accentuation, and quantity (syllable length). In other words, they descend from a fragment of poetic diction (reconstructable as Proto-Indo-European *?léwos d?gitom) which was handed down in parallel over many centuries, in continually diverging forms, by generations of singers whose ultimate ancestors shared an archetypal repertoire of poetic formulae and narrative themes.[2]

Epithets alter the meaning of each noun to which they are attached. They specify the existential nature of a noun; that is to say, Achilles is not called "swift-footed" only when he runs; it is a marker of a quality that does not change. Special epithets, such as patronymics, are used exclusively for particular subjects and distinguish them from others, while generic epithets are used of many subjects and speak less to their individual characters. In these examples, the epithet can be contradictory to the past state of the subject: in Odyssey VI.74, for instance, Nausicaa takes her "radiant clothing", ?, to be washed; since it is dirty, it is unlikely to be radiant.[3]

List

General

  • men
    • shining, divine (?, dîos)
    • born from Zeus (, diogen?s)
    • god-like (, antítheos; , theoeid?s)
    • high-hearted
    • brilliant
  • leaders
    • lord of men (? , ánax andrôn)
  • women
    • white-armed (?, leuk?lenos)
    • lovely-haired (?, ?, euplokámis, euplókamos)
    • ox eyed (, boôpis)
  • goddesses
    • of the golden distaff with (, khrus?lákatos)
  • day
    • the day of return ( ?, nóstimon hêmar -- nostalgia also comes from nóstos)
  • sea
    • loud-roaring (? )
    • grey
    • wine-colored ()
  • lions
    • eating raw flesh ()
    • mountain-bred ()
    • fiery ()

Nations

  • Albanes
    • swift (?, thooí)
    • sporting long hair ( , ópithen komó?ntes)
  • Achaeans
    • hairy-headed (? , kár? komó?ntes)
    • bronzed-armored (-?, chalko-chít?nes)
    • strong-greaved (-, eü-kn?́mides)
    • glancing-eyed (?-?, helík-?pes)
    • with hollow ships
  • Trojans
    • tamers of horses (, hippodámoi)

Individuals

  • Achilles
    • son of Peleus ( P?l?ïád?s)
    • swift-footed ( ? pódas ?kús; - pod-ark?s; - pod-?́keos)
    • breaking through men (-? rh?x-?́n?r)
    • lion-hearted (?- th?mo-léonta)
    • like to the gods ( ? theoîs epieíkelos)
    • shepherd of the people ( ? poim?n laôn)
  • Aeneas
    • Son of Anchises (?? Anch?siád?s)
    • Counselor of the Trojans ( ? Trn boul?phóros)
    • Lord of the Trojans( ? Trn agós)
    • Great-hearted (/M Megathymos/Megaletor)
    • King of men (? Anax andron)
    • Great ( Megas)
  • Agamemnon
    • son of Atreus ( Atreíd?s: also transliterated Atr?d?s)
    • wide-ruling lord (? eurù kreí?n)
    • the lord marshal
    • powerful
    • shepherd of the people ( ? poim?n laôn)
    • lord of men (? ánax andrôn)
    • brilliant
  • Aias/Ajax
    • Son of Telamon (? Telam?nios)
    • swift
    • gigantic ( pel?rios)
      • the mighty
  • Andromache
    • daughter of Eetion (? thugát?r ?etí?nos)
    • white-armed
  • Aphrodite
    • laughter-loving ( philommeid?́s)
    • daughter of Zeus (? ? Diòs thugát?r)
    • goddess of love
    • fair ( dîa)
  • Apollo
    • Phoebus, i.e. the Bright or Pure, ( Phoebus)
    • with unshorn hair; i.e., ever-young (?-- a-kerse-kom?s)
    • destroyer of mice ( Smintheus)
    • distant deadly Archer ( hek?bólos)
    • far-aiming lord ( ? hekat?belét?s ánax)
    • rouser of armies
    • slayer of Argos ( Argeiphónt?s)
    • son of Zeus (? ? Diòs huiós)
    • of the silver bow ( argyrótoxos)
    • famous with the bow (? klutotóxos)
    • whom the sleek-haired Leto has born ( ? ? ? tòn komos téke L?t?)
  • Ares
    • slayer of men ( andreiphónt?s)
    • sacker of cities
    • bronzen (? khálkeos)
    • furious ( thoûros)
    • destroyer of city walls (? teichesipl?t?s)
    • of the glinting helmet
    • women raping
  • Athena
    • Pallas ( Pallás)
    • gray-, bright-eyed (-? glauk-ôpis)
    • daughter of Zeus
    • third-born of the gods
    • whose shield is thunder
    • hope of soldiers
    • tireless one
  • Ariadne
    • lovely-haired (? kalliplókamos)
  • Artemis
    • the archer-goddess
    • shooter of arrows ( iokhéaira)
  • Briseis
    • fair-cheeked ( kallipar?ios)
    • fair-haired (? komos)
  • Calypso
    • beautiful nymph
    • softly-braided nymph
    • divine
    • goddess most divinely made
    • daughter of Atlas
    • cunning goddess ( ? dein? theos)
  • Chryseis
    • beautiful-cheeked ( kallipár?ios)
  • Circe
    • enchantress
  • Cronus (Kronos)
    • crooked-counselling, devious-devising ( ankulom?́t?s)
    • all-powerful
  • Demeter
    • fair-haired
  • Diomedes
    • son of Tydeus
    • great spearman
    • master of the war cry
    • god-like
    • strong
    • breaker of horses
  • Hector
    • tall
    • shepherd of the people
    • of the glinting helmet, of the shining helm (- koruth-aiolos)
    • man-killing
    • horse-taming
  • Helen
    • long-dressed
    • daughter of a noble house
  • Hera
    • ox-eyed lady ( boôpis pótnia)
  • Hephaestus
    • the famous craftsman
    • the famous lame god
    • of the strong arms
  • Hermes
    • messenger of the gods and conductor of men ( diáktoros)
    • son of Zeus
    • giant-killer
    • the strong one
    • keen eyes emissary
  • Ino
    • lovely-ankled ()
  • Iris
    • wind-footed
  • Menelaus
    • red-haired, fair-haired, flaming-haired
    • master of the war-cry
    • son of Atreus ( Atreídes)
    • war-like
    • spear-famed
    • loved by Ares ( ar?ïphilos)
    • cherished by Zeus ( diotrephés)
  • Naubolos
    • great-hearted
  • Nestor
    • Godly Nestor
    • Gerenian charioteer
    • son of Neleus ( N?l?iád?s)
    • Pylos born king
    • sweet spoken
    • wise old
  • Odysseus
    • resourceful, man of many resources, of many turns, man of twists and turns (?- polú-tropos)
    • much-enduring (?-? polú-tl?s)
    • great-hearted (-? megal-?t?r)
    • sacker of cities (-? ptoli-pórthios)
    • wise
    • loved of Zeus
    • great glory of the Achaeans
    • master mariner
    • mastermind of war
    • hotheaded
    • man of action
    • the great teller of tales
    • man of exploits
    • man of pain
    • that kingly man
    • the hero
    • Raider of Cities
    • the great tactician
    • cunning (?- polú-m?tis)
  • Onchestos
    • sacred
  • Pandaros
    • son of Lykaon
  • Patroclus
    • son of Menoitius ( Menoitiád?s)
    • Zeus-born, sprung from Zeus ()
    • dear to Zeus (? )
    • great-hearted ( megal?t?r)
    • horseman ( or )
    • peerless ()
    • peer to gods in counsel ( )
    • gentle (?)
    • hero (?)
  • Paris
    • Alexandros
    • magnificent
  • Penelope
    • cautious, careful, circumspect, discreet, wise, self-obsessed
  • Poseidon
    • Earth-shaker ( enno-sígaios or -? enosí-chth?n)
    • earth-moving, earth-carrying (?-? gai?-ochos)
  • Sarpedon
    • leader of the Lycians
  • Suitors
    • swaggering
    • haughty
  • Telemachus
    • poised
    • thoughtful
  • Thetis
    • silver-footed
  • Thersites
    • of the endless speech
  • Tydeus
    • driver of horses
  • Zeus
    • mighty
    • son of Kronos ( Kroníd?s)
    • wide-seeing
    • cloud-gatherer (- nephel?-gerét?)
    • father of gods and men
    • of the dazzling bolt (?- argi-kéraunos)
    • loud-thundering (-? - erí-gdoupos, erí-doupos)
    • delighting in thunder (- terpi-kéraunos)
    • aegis-holding (?-? aigí-ochos)
    • who marshals the thunderheads

Shared

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Parry 1928: 5-10
  2. ^ John Curtis Franklin, Structural Sympathies in Ancient Greek and South-Slavic Heroic Singing.
  3. ^ Parry 1971: 121

Sources

  • Parry, Milman. "L'Épithète traditionnelle dans Homère: Essai sur un problème de style homérique." Paris: Société d'Éditions "Les Belles Lettres", 1928.
  • Parry, Milman, ed. Adam Parry. "The Making of Homeric Verse: The Collected Papers of Milman Parry." Oxford: The Clarendon PRess, 1971.
  • Edwards, Mark. "Homer and the Oral Tradition: The Formula (part one)." Oral Tradition 1 (1986) 171-230.
  • Edwards, Mark. "Homer and the Oral Tradition: The Formula (part two)." Oral Tradition 3 (1988) 11-60.
  • Reece, Steve. "Greek Epic Formulae," in Giorgios Giannakis (ed.), Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics (Leiden: Brill, 2014) 613-615. Greek_Epic_Formulas
  • Reece, Steve. "Epithets," in Margalit Finkelberg (ed.), Homeric Encyclopedia (Oxford: Blackwell, 2011) 257-259. Epithets
  • V.J. Howe, "Epithets in Homer." Available online at http://www.angelfire.com/art/archictecture/articles/008.htm. (Retrieved October 16, 2007.)
  • Fagles, Robert. "The Odyssey." Penguin Books, 1996.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Epithets_in_Homer
 



 



 
Music Scenes