I'll put some excerpts up in a few weeks from an article I'm writing on translation/interpretation of Homer in the ancient world, this thread sort of made me go back to it.
I will look forward to this. Any information you can gather on Gaza will be appreciated. I would really like to know why he wrote his paraphrase, who read it and why? I would like to know if he used Psellos directly and what were his other sources? What was his spoken language like? Heck, I would even like to know stuff that I doubt we can ever know, how long did it take him to write it, how was it received, did he enjoy the process or did it become tedious? Who paid him to write it, and were they happy with the result?
Ah Marke these are all generally unanswerable questions I fear, though interesting. (Bar the one about his spoken language, at this point it was basically modern Greek with a higher literary register). As for his use of Psellos...dependency could be worked out, but would require extensive reading, alas. I really would like to know the target audience but I suspect there is next to no scholarship on the matter. I've contacted some Byzantinistas on the general intellectual milieu.
Above all, although you may not be addressing this in your article, I would like to know why Gaza did not catch on. How come everyone has heard of Cunliffe and Monroe and Leaf, and now Steadman, but no one uses Gaza to learn Homeric Greek? What happened to the seemingly-at-one-time flourishing tradition of reading, to say nothing of writing, pedagogical paraphrases?
You know...this is interesting in and of itself. I suspect the answer is multifaceted. I mean honestly, I like them. I could never see there use in a proper Homeric philology class since there is so much more going on in Homer himself and we encourage people to read him alongside other early epic rather than, say, loebs. But...I don't know, I really do see the use for general reading depending on one's level of Greek. I suspect availability has something to do with it. Though I should point out that in general Byzantine periphrases, synopses and scholia are used. Maybe...the Homerists have no use for it and the non Homerists have no use for Homer? Its sad...I was so excited at seeing a friend of mine reading Homer not so long ago considering he's soooo far back from her period (the novellae) and yet when I mentioned this I was told that he's boring, unpolished and laborious and that she's only reading him again out of necessity.
I'm not sure how much I'll get to address alas. Originally the paper I gave was on reception and translation of Homer in the later Greek and Roman world (Hellenistic to Roman) so the later stuff won't be that
late and I'm not sure how to fit everything together yet. I'm just re-writing and researching and letting it flow together. Then I will throw this paper down, and it will be such a paper that no men modern day men may lift.
Edit: Bede, woah, I'm not sure which I want now! the letter paper ones are tempting...I'm not sure what size suits me best. I'm going to measure my book cases when I get back.