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Earliest text of the Odyssey?

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Earliest text of the Odyssey?

Postby jeidsath » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:45 pm

https://www.culture.gr/el/Information/S ... x?nID=2302

Εύρεση πήλινης πλάκας στην περιοχή της Ολυμπίας, η οποία διασώζει 13 στίχους της ξ Ραψωδίας της Οδύσσειας

​Κατά την διεξαγωγή της επιφανειακής - γεωαρχαιολογικής έρευνας, στο πλαίσιο του τριετούς ερευνητικού προγράμματος με τίτλο «Ο πολυδιάστατος χώρος της Ολυμπίας», που πραγματοποιείται σε θέσεις γύρω από το ιερό υπό τη διεύθυνση της Δρ. Ερωφίλης-Ίριδας Κόλια, Προϊσταμένης της ΕΦΑ Ηλείας σε συνεργασία με τους καθηγητές Franziska Lang, Birgitta Eder, Andreas Vött και Hans-Joachim Gehrke του Γερμανικού Αρχαιολογικού Ινστιτούτου και των Πανεπιστημίων Darmstadt, Tübingen και Frankfurt am Mainz, εντοπίστηκε και συνελέγη ένα ιδιαιτέρως σημαντικό εύρημα. Συγκεκριμένα, σε θέση παρακείμενη του ιερού της Ολυμπίας με κατάλοιπα της ρωμαϊκής εποχής, βρέθηκε πήλινη πλάκα με εγχάρακτη επιγραφή. Μετά την πρόσφατη ολοκλήρωση της συντήρησής της στο εργαστήριο της ΕΦΑ Ηλείας, διαπιστώθηκε ότι διασώζει 13 στίχους από την ραψωδία ξ της Οδύσσειας (ομιλία του Οδυσσέα στον Εύμαιο) και σύμφωνα με την πρώτη εκτίμησή μας, μπορεί να χρονολογηθεί στη ρωμαϊκή εποχή και πιθανώς πριν από τον 3ο αι. μ.Χ. Επισημαίνουμε το γεγονός ότι εφόσον αυτή η προκαταρκτική χρονολόγηση επιβεβαιωθεί κατά τη συστηματική μελέτη της επιγραφής που έχει ήδη αρχίσει, τότε η πήλινη πλάκα θα διασώζει ίσως το παλαιότερο σωζόμενο γραπτό απόσπασμα των Ομηρικών Επών που έχει έρθει στο φως και αποτελεί πέραν της μοναδικότητάς της, ένα σπουδαίο αρχαιολογικό, επιγραφικό, φιλολογικό και ιστορικό τεκμήριο.​


It appears that they've found 13 lines from book ξ engraved on stone. The above seems to say that it's 3rd century after Christ in Olympia?

Images:

https://i.imgur.com/oC1elVM.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/LU0EY8O.jpg
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Re: Earliest text of the Odyssey?

Postby mwh » Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:22 am

“Earliest text”? We have Odyssey texts from 3rd cent. before Christ.
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Re: Earliest text of the Odyssey?

Postby jeidsath » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:05 am

Hmm. The BBC is reporting it as "earliest" as well. I can't fully understand the modern Greek, but it looks like it's claiming the same: "ίσως το παλαιότερο σωζόμενο γραπτό απόσπασμα των Ομηρικών Επών"

Here's the section about dating: "χρονολογηθεί στη ρωμαϊκή εποχή και πιθανώς πριν από τον 3ο αι. μ.Χ."

So I was mistake. Roman times, and before the 3rd century after Christ."

(I notice that this Greek is mostly possible for me to comprehend. Is it artificially classical?)
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Re: Earliest text of the Odyssey?

Postby Aetos » Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:07 pm

Nope, it's quite proper "νεοελληνικά". There should be the particle "να" in the preceding text, as "χρονολογηθεί" is being used as a passive infinitive. So, "to be dated back to Roman times and probably before the 3rd century A.D." The more common form of "πιθανώς" is "πιθανόν", but both are used.
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Re: Earliest text of the Odyssey?

Postby Paul Derouda » Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:43 pm

The AFT press release says (https://www.afp.com/en/news/2266/ancien ... oc-17f1fu1):
If this date is confirmed, the tablet could be the oldest written record of Homer's work ever discovered" in Greece, a ministry statement said.

This might well be true - in Greece, the papyri having been found in Egypt. But the strange use of quotation marks might well be at the root of this announcement being widely misquoted. (I don't understand Modern Greek well enough to know what the Ministry is exactly claiming.)
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Re: Earliest text of the Odyssey?

Postby Aetos » Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:53 pm

Here's the translation (Michael Silver can probably do better):
During the carrying out of surface and geoarchaeological research within the framework of the three year research program titled "The Multidimensional Space of Olympia" which is taking place at locations around the temple under the direction of Dr. Erofiles-Iridas Kolia, Director of the Hleia Ephorate of Antiquities in cooperation with professors Franziska Lang, Birgitta Eder, Andreas Vött and Hans-Joachim Gehrke of the German Archaelogical Institute and the universities of Darmstadt, Tübingen, and Frankfurt am Main, an especially important find was located and recovered. Specifically, at a location adjacent to the temple of Olympia with remains from the Roman era, there was found a clay tablet with an engraved inscription. After the recent completion of its restoration at the facility of the Ephorate of Hleia, it was confirmed that it preserves 13 lines from book 60 (I think they meant to write book 16 (ξ΄ = 60) of the Odyssey. (Odysseus' address to Eumaeus) and according to our preliminary estimations, it can be dated to the Roman era and in all probability to before the 3rd century A.D. We note that so long as this preliminary dating is confirmed by the systematic study of the inscription which has already begun, then the clay tablet perhaps will preserve the most ancient recovered written fragment of the Homeric Epics which has come to light and beyond its uniqueness, it also provides an important archaelogical, inscriptional, philological and historical foundation.
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Re: Earliest text of the Odyssey?

Postby Aetos » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:06 pm

Hi Paul,
My previous post should give you a little more to work with. The key term is "προκαταρκτική χρονολόγηση" which means preliminary dating, so nothing has really been confirmed yet. It's one of those "if it is, then it would be" kind of statements.
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Re: Earliest text of the Odyssey?

Postby Paul Derouda » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:45 pm

Multidimensional space indeed! In the dimension I live in, the earliest surviving Homer manuscripts (on papyrus) are 3rd century BC - but who knows about other dimensions?

The 24 books of the Odyssey are traditionally assigned letters from α to ω, and ξ represents 14.
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Re: Earliest text of the Odyssey?

Postby Aetos » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:13 pm

Yeah, I couldn't remember my numbers, so I looked it up in Smyth, which had the numbering I'm familiar with from the New Testament.(14= ιδ') Also, I wasn't sure which book Odysseus' address to Eumaeus was in. I should have looked it up. πολυδιάστατος=multidimensional.
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Re: Earliest text of the Odyssey?

Postby Paul Derouda » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:48 pm

Sorry, I couldn't help the jab about multidimensional space. It was aimed at you; it's whoever wrote the press release that should have done his homework better.
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Re: Earliest text of the Odyssey?

Postby Aetos » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:02 pm

Shoot! And here I was, getting ready to discuss the multiverse and various other planes of existence :lol:
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Re: Earliest text of the Odyssey?

Postby Paul Derouda » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:08 pm

Sorry, I meant to write "it wasn't aimed at you". I really did! :lol: Here I am laughing at other people's mistakes while making my own.
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Re: Earliest text of the Odyssey?

Postby jeidsath » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:15 pm

Don't blame the poor publicist for Academia's craziness. The project in question: http://gepris.dfg.de/gepris/projekt/270113181

"Der multidimensionale Raum Olympia (Griechenland). Landschaftsarchäologische Untersuchungen zu Struktur, Interdependenzen und Wandel räumlicher Vernetzungen"

Olympia (Greece) as a multi-dimensional space – a landscape archaeology approach
to structure, interdependency and change of spatial networks

The sanctuary at Olympia is without doubt one of the most important ones in the ancient
Greek world. Archaeologically, it serves as a huge field of experience and pivotal reference
point for a large spectre of finds and methods. This had a massive impact on the historical
disciplines, which, by striving to understand Olympia, learned a lot not only about the Greek
but about the entire ancient Mediterranean world. The repercussions that the excavation of
the sanctuary at Olympia created in the 19th century were partly responsible for the
formulation of a modern Olympic idea, which in turn gave ancient Olympia its aura.
Archaeology had good reasons to concentrate on this aspect of Olympia and has since
revealed an enormous amount of valuable information that is excellently documented and
has only in recent times produced important results concerning the sanctuary’s early phases
(in this work one of the applicants was significantly involved).
In close collaboration with other research partners the applicants would like to take
advantage of these conditions to take the next step: For the first time, the site will be
systematically and comprehensively contextualised. New interdisciplinary approaches and
methods will make it possible to place Olympia in its palaeoenvironment and study it as a
neuralgic point in a regional network of dependency and historical development. To this end
archaeological, historical and geo-archaeological approaches will be brought together in an
analytical framework, conceptualizing the sanctuary of Olympia as a vital focus of political
and cultural agency.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

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Re: Earliest text of the Odyssey?

Postby Aetos » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:33 pm

Hi Joel,
When I followed the link to the announcement, there was no English translation (yet), so what you see is my own translation of the announcement, so I figured I'd take it on the chin for "multidimensional space" but I couldn't think of anything better. I think what they are trying to express is that they are learning a great deal on many different levels from this site.
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Re: Earliest text of the Odyssey?

Postby dikaiopolis » Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:12 pm

There's an informative piece on this by Peter Gainsford out today:

http://kiwihellenist.blogspot.com/2018/ ... yssey.html
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Re: Earliest text of the Odyssey?

Postby Hylander » Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:07 pm

Thanks for the informative article, dikaiopolis.

I was amused to read Gainsford's assessment of Barry Powell's theory that the Greek alphabet was invented to write down the Iliad and the Odyssey, which was discussed in a recent thread about Powell's review of West's book. In his review, Powell chastised West for not mentioning Powell's theory. Gainsford wrote:

There is no evidence that the Greek alphabet was invented to write down Homer: that’s a fringe theory, and scarcely any Homer scholar outside the University of Wisconsin believes it.
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Re: Earliest text of the Odyssey?

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:06 pm

Hylander wrote:Thanks for the informative article, dikaiopolis.

I was amused to read Gainsford's assessment of Barry Powell's theory that the Greek alphabet was invented to write down the Iliad and the Odyssey, which was discussed in a recent thread about Powell's review of West's book. In his review, Powell chastised West for not mentioning Powell's theory. Gainsford wrote:

There is no evidence that the Greek alphabet was invented to write down Homer: that’s a fringe theory, and scarcely any Homer scholar outside the University of Wisconsin believes it.


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Re: Earliest text of the Odyssey?

Postby Paul Derouda » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:31 pm

This thread is getting diverted, but let me add that I liked Simon Pulleyn's (who's made a nice commentary on Iliad 1) comment on Gainsford's post.
John Cottingham, the philosopher of religion, makes the point that what people find persuasive in his field study very often has less to do with a process of making incontrovertible argument from objective evidence and more with our own predispositions that lie below the radar of our rationality and inform where and how we use it. The same is, I think, true of Homer.

I commented on the same issue in that other thread, although perhaps in less polite terms.
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