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COLLEGE SERIES OF GREEK AUTHORS

EDITED UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF

JOHN WILLIAMS WHITE AND THOMAS D. SEYMOUR.

33900

INTRODUCTION

TO THE

LANGUAGE AND VERSE

OF

HOMER

BY

THOMAS DO SEYMOUR

HILLHOUSE PROFESSOR OF GREEK IN YALE COLLEGE.

BOSTON:
PUBLISHED BY GINN & COMPANY.

1885.

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1885, by

John Williams WHITE AND THOMAS D. SEYMOUR, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

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J. S. CUSHING & Co., PRINTERS, Boston.

0525-35 MB

PREFACE.

This Introduction is not designed to lay stress on Homeric language as contrasted with Homeric poetry, but is intended to relieve the commentary of explanations of dialectic forms and metrical peculiarities, and to call the student's attention to the most noteworthy characteristics of Homeric style and syntax. In reading Homer, certain questions, which cannot be avoided, as to the origin and relation of forms, will attract less of the pupil's attention and demand less of the teacher's time in the class-room if the facts are stated in their proper connection; the grouping of these facts will make them more intelligible and more easily remembered.

Some peculiarities of form have not been mentioned here, since they occur so seldom that they may be treated in the commentary just as conveniently; while for divers reasons other anomalies which are no more frequent have been discussed. Nor has the author planned to make the collection of examples complete; the student should be encouraged to gather illustrations for himself.

Most of this Introduction is of a nature to be read rather than committed to memory. Much of it is unnecessary for a beginner, but the author hopes that none of it is beyond the comprehension and appreciation of the student. While parts of it can be made fully useful only by a wise teacher, most of it should be helpful to the undirected student.

YALE COLLEGE, July, 1885.

TABLE OF CONTENTS.

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· 39

HOMERIC STYLE.

§ 1. a. TRANSLATIONS. Matthew Arnold enumerates four essential characteristics of Homer's poetry:1 “ Homer is rapid in his movement, Homer is plain in his words and style, Homer is simple in his ideas, Homer is noble in his manner. Cowper renders him ill because he is slow in his movement and elaborate in his style ; Pope renders him ill because he is artificial both in his style and in his words; Chapman renders him ill because he is fantastic in his ideas; Mr. Newman renders him ill because he is odd in his words and ignoble in his manner.” Or in other words : “Between Cowper and Homer there is interposed the mist of Cowper's elaborate Miltonic manner, entirely alien to the flowing rapidity of Homer; between Pope and Homer there is interposed the mist of Pope's literary, artificial manner, entirely alien to the plain naturalness of Homer's manner; between Chapman and Homer there is interposed the mist of the fancifulness of the Elizabethan age, entirely alien to the plain directness of Homer's thought and feeling; while between Mr. Newman and Homer is interposed a cloud of more than Egyptian thickness, — namely, a manner, in Mr. Newman's version eminently ignoble, while Homer's manner is eminently noble.”

If poets and masters have thus failed, it is evident that it is no easy achievement to translate Homer well, to be at the same time rapid, plain, simple, and noble, — đua

1 Essays in Criticism, Boston, 1865, pp. 284 ff., or Studies in Celtic Literature and on Translating Homer, Macmillan, N.Y., 1883, pp. 138 ff.

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