The Homeric Poems and the Concept of Tradition

Gustavo Junqueira Duarte Oliveira


This paper focuses on the poetical tradition to which the Homeric poems belong. Firstly, I present a theoretical discussion regarding the concept of Tradition. The emphasis is on the transmission of content thought as relating to the past of certain groups, as well as the specific ways in which those groups value such elements. Secondly, the paper presents an interaction scheme between different aspects inside one tradition, or between different traditions. Finally, in the main section of the paper, I discuss the tradition the Homeric poems belong to, as well as the role the poems play in it. This discussion covers several phenomena that can be identified with the tradition, from the poetical ones, such as the Greek hexametrical poetry, to the iconographic ones, especially vase paintings from the eighth century onwards. I conclude with a brief discussion on how the Homeric poems can be used as testimony to this broader tradition.


Homer; Greek poetry; tradition

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Universidade Federal de São Paulo

Escola de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas
Departamento de História
Estrada do Caminho Velho, 333 - Bairro Pimentas
CEP:07252-312 - Guarulhos - São Paulo - Brasil
Heródoto - ISSN Eletrônico - 2448-2609