Performance of epic | Part 2: Rhapsodes

Victorious poet (inscribed “He is beautiful”) reciting (“As once in Tiryns…”) In Part 1 we looked at the role of aoidoi as depicted within epic poetry itself. Now we turn to later sources in which the word rhapsode comes into use. In that post, we touched on the performance of Achilles and Patroklos in relay. Gregory Nagy comments: 8§28…Homeric poetry was performed at the Panathenaia by rhapsōidoi, ‘rhapsodes’ … The… Read more

Book Club | October 2018: Plato Ion

Hold it right there. Tell me this, Ion—respond to what I ask without concealment. When you say well the epic verses and induce a feeling of bedazzlement [ekplēxis] for the spectators [theōmenoi] —as you sing of Odysseus leaping onto the threshold and revealing himself to the suitors and pouring out the arrows at his feet, or of Achilles rushing at Hector, or something connected to the pitiful things about Andromache… Read more