Moon and Sun, Selene and Helios, appear as quite distinct from Artemis and Apollo; Gaea, the Earth, is equally distinct from Demeter. The Hymn to Ares is quite un-Homeric in character, and is oddly conceived in the spirit of the Scottish poltroon, who cries to his friend, "Haud me, haud me, or I'll fecht!" The war-god is implored to moderate the martial eagerness of the poet.
The poet of the Odyssey knew all about Iris; there had arisen no change of belief; he merely employed Hermes as messenger, not of the one god, but of the divine Assembly. Mr. Of this we do not accept the doctrine that the lay is un-Homeric. The difference comes to no more than that; the accustomed discrepancy of mythology, of story-telling about the gods. The poet of this lay, which Mr.
But it is not so; the serious, laborious authors of the long Cyclic poems do such un-Homeric things as these; the gay, irresponsible strolling singers of a lay here and a lay there lays now incorporated in the Iliad and Odyssey scrupulously avoid such faults. They never even introduce a signet ring.
The rule in both Iliad and Odyssey is that the wooer gives a bride-price to the father of the bride, ethna. This was the rule known even to that painfully late and un-Homeric poet who made the Song of Demodocus about the loves of Ares and Aphrodite.
He remarks: "In certain poems which were grouping themselves around the Iliad and Odyssey, we meet data absolutely opposed to the conventional style of the Epic." He gives three or four examples of perfectly un-Homeric ideas occurring in Epics of the eighth to seventh centuries, B.C., and a large supply of such cases can be adduced.
How could these strollers keep their modern Ionian ideas, or their primitive, recrudescent phases of belief, out of their lays, as far as they did keep them out, while the contemporary authors of the Cypria, The Sack of Ilios, and other Cyclic poets were full of new ideas, legends, and beliefs, or primitive notions revived, and, save when revived, quite obviously late and quite un-Homeric in any case?
It may be remarked as most characteristic of this hypothesis that, in the strictest sense, the personality of Homer is treated seriously; that a certain standard of inner harmony is everywhere presupposed in the manifestations of the personality; and that, with these two excellent auxiliary hypotheses, whatever is seen to be below this standard and opposed to this inner harmony is at once swept aside as un-Homeric.
The note of intimacy, unexpected in an epic, the occasional drawing of the veil to reveal the poet's own countenance, an un-Homeric sentimentality now and then, the great abundance of sense-teeming collocations, the depth of sympathy revealed in such tragic characters as Pallas, Lausus, Euryalus, the insistent study of inner motives, the meticulous selection of incidents, the careful artistry of the meter, the fastidious choice of words, and the precision of the joiner's craft in the composition of traditional elements, all suggest the habits of work practiced by the friends of Cinna and Valerius Cato.
"The name Adonis is the Phoenician Adon, 'Lord." "The decay and revival of vegetation" inspires the Adonis rite, which is un-Homeric; and was superfluous, where the descent and return of Persephone typified the same class of ideas. To whatever extent contaminated by Phoenician influence, Aphrodite in Homer is purely Greek, in grace and happy humanity.
The poet chooses the Hesiodic and un-Homeric myth of Heaven and Earth, and their progeny: a myth current also in Polynesia, Australia, and New Zealand. The poet is full of inquiry as to origins, even etymological, as is Hesiod. Turning to Gemoll, we find him maintaining that the two parts were in ancient times regarded as one hymn in the age of Aristophanes.