Time in Ancient Greek Literature
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This is the second volume of a new narratological history of Ancient Greek lietrature, which deals with aspects of time: the order in which events are narrated, the amount of time devoted to the naration, and the number of times they are presented.
Introduction. Time awareness Is time important in Homer? Some ﬁfty years ago Hermann Fränkel gave a negative answer in a celebrated article on the conception of time in archaic Greek literature: In general, the concept of time is hardly developed in Homer. The narrative drifts by in calm, continuous journeys. It is surrounded by the ﬁelds of time, which are monotonous, indiﬀerent, and without substance, as when a column marches through a broad, open steppe without any roads. Together with the
making his characters look backward and forward.32 Most of the internal actorial prolepses take the form of plans and fearful or optimistic expectations; for example, (Achilles to Hector in Iliad 22.270–272) ‘But I tell you there is no escape for you any longer, but soon Pallas Athena will beat you down under my spear’, or (Odysseus to Calypso in Odyssey 5.221–222) ‘And if some god batters me far out on the wine-blue water, I will endure it, keeping a stubborn spirit inside me’. These abound
d¯omat" ekhontes (128) need not point to the Olympian gods (i.e. Zeus’ generation) but can designate the Titans in Hesiod (M.L. West 1978: ad 110). 42 43 r. nünlist – hesiod 51 is destroyed by Zeus (138), who creates the Bronze race (143–144). He also creates (158) the Demi-Gods (h¯emitheoi) or Heroes, who are identiﬁed with Oedipus and his children and with Helen and the armies at Troy. Needless to say, these ‘dates’ remain rather vague, and so does the time span covered by the story.46 The
between external analepses and the rest of the narrative. Some are argumentative and marked by an overt narratorial presence, by arguments from probability, and by the citation of evidence such as inscriptions (e.g. the Archaeology; 2.15, an account of the settle- 142 part two – chapter eight ment history of Attica and Theseus’ synoecism; 2.29, where Thucydides is sceptical about a link between Teres and the Thracian ruler Tereus; 6.55, on Hippias as the eldest son of Peisistratus). Other
breadth. From there he progresses one stage, ﬁve parasangs, to the river Pyramus, which was a stade in breadth. From there he progresses two stages, ﬁfteen parasangs, to Issi, the last city of Cilicia, settled on the sea, large and prosperous. There they remained three days. (An. 1.4.1) This type of narration, with its regular use of the stage or parasang formula, resembles what Genette classiﬁes as ‘narrating n times what happened n times’—for example, ‘Monday I went to bed early, Tuesday I