The Vacillations of the Trojan Myth: Popularization & Classicization, Variation & Codification

Solomon, Jon
January 2008
International Journal of the Classical Tradition;Winter2008, Vol. 14 Issue 3/4, p481
Academic Journal
Petersen’s Troy, claiming only to be “inspired by Homer’s Iliad,” contains more Iliadic material than most works of art of the past three millennia. The archaic Greek cyclic poets created popular and romantic prequels and sequels to the events of the war, of which Homer’s Iliad comprises a relatively small part, so only a proportionally small percentage of works by subsequent Greco-Roman poets and painters recast or illustrated events from the Iliad. Later antiquity questioned the authenticity of Homer’s account, and along with the medieval neglect of Greek this led to the dominance of the accounts by Dares, Dictys, and Benoît de Sainte-Maure. The recovery of Greek in the Renaissance relegated Homer’s epic to scholarly ventures, and Schliemann’s identification of the historical Troy discouraged popular artists from transferring the Iliad to new twentieth-century genres and media.


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