B. van den Berg
- Homer and rhetoric in Byzantium: Eustathios of Thessalonike on the composition of the Iliad
- Award date
- 9 December 2016
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH)
This thesis focuses on the rhetorical analysis of the Iliad by Eustathios of Thessalonike, a widely celebrated intellectual, teacher, and orator in twelfth-century Byzantium. More specifically, it explores Eustathios’ analysis of the composition of the Iliad, i.e. the way in which Homer has selected, arranged, and presented his subject matter. It aims to shed light on the rhetorical programme that Eustathios reads into the Iliad and to identify the rhetorical lessons that he wishes to teach his readers in his Parekbolai on the Iliad. What, in Eustathios’ view, defines a skilful composition such as the one constructed by Homer, the summus orator? It also examines Eustathios’ discussion of the gods as devices used by the poet to compose his poem as he wishes. By taking key texts that provided the Byzantines with concepts to speak about the composition of discourse as its starting points, the thesis explores Eustathios’ rhetorical analysis within the context of his own conceptual framework. The results can deepen our understanding of the principles underlying the many rhetorical discourses that survive from the Komnenian period.
The first chapter explores Eustathios’ statements on his own work as found in the proem of the Parekbolai on the Iliad. These programmatic statements form the background for the following three chapters, each addressing a theme concerning the composition of the Iliad. The second chapter examines Eustathios’ ideas on the principles and techniques underlying Homer’s skilful composition. The third chapter studies the techniques by means of which Homer, in Eustathios’ view, imbued his composition with plausibility, one of the most important virtues of discourse. The fourth chapter concentrates on the Homeric gods: how did Homer, according to Eustathios, employ the gods as devices to compose his poem in a plausible way?
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
Thesis (complete) (Embargo up to and including 9 December 2018)
Introduction (Embargo up to and including 9 December 2018)
1. The proem of the Parekbolai on the Iliad: Eustathios’ hermeneutic programme (Embargo up to and including 9 December 2018)
2. The skilful composition of the Iliad (Embargo up to and including 9 December 2018)
3. The plausible composition of the Iliad (Embargo up to and including 9 December 2018)
4. The Gods and the composition of the Iliad (Embargo up to and including 9 December 2018)
General conclusion (Embargo up to and including 9 December 2018)
Appendices (Embargo up to and including 9 December 2018)
Glossary of rhetorical and literary terms (Embargo up to and including 9 December 2018)
Index locorum (Embargo up to and including 9 December 2018)
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