Research Programs: Collaborative Research

Period of Performance

7/1/2007 - 12/31/2008

Funding Totals

$80,000.00 (approved)
$80,000.00 (awarded)

Oral Poetics and the Homeric Doloneia

FAIN: RZ-50723-07

College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, MA 01610-2395)
Mary Ebbott (Project Director: November 2006 to August 2009)

Creation of essays, a critical text, and detailed commentary on the Doloneia, Book 10 of the Homeric epic the Iliad, through the use of epic oral tradition. (18 months)

Our project seeks to correct a major imbalance in Homeric studies, namely the absence of a scholarly commentary that embraces and applies the past 80 years of scholarship into the oral traditional background of the Iliad and Odyssey. Our planned volume focuses on the so-called Doloneia, the tenth book of the Iliad, and will put a spotlight on this most doubted, ignored, even scorned book of the epic. In doing so, we will demonstrate how approaching the poem as an oral traditional epic can answer questions that are particularly vexing when using a strictly literary approach. The volume we propose will consist of (1) a series of introductory essays that addresses central questions in Homeric scholarship and how they apply to Iliad 10 in particular; (2) a critical text, with a full apparatus; and (3) a detailed commentary, which will explicate the language of this book and situate it within the poetics of the oral tradition in which the Iliad and Odyssey were composed.

Media Coverage

Author(s): Miklós Péti
Publication: Bryn Mawr Classical Review
Date: 9/26/2011

Associated Products

Iliad 10 and the Poetics of Ambush (Book)
Title: Iliad 10 and the Poetics of Ambush
Author: Mary Ebbott
Author: Casey Dué
Abstract: The tenth book of the Iliad has been doubted, ignored, and even scorned in Homeric scholarship. Using established methods for interpreting oral traditional poetry, however, Dué and Ebbott illuminate many of the interpretive questions that strictly literary approaches find unsolvable, and they demonstrate how the episode shares in the oral traditional nature of the whole epic, even though its poetics are specific to its nocturnal ambush plot. True to their multitextual approach to the text, Dué and Ebbott have included a series of critical texts of Iliad 10, including the tenth-century Venetus A manuscript and select papyri, and discuss these individual witnesses and the variations they offer. The essays and commentary explore Iliad 10 within the larger contexts of Homeric epic and the epic tradition.
Year: 2010
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Worldcat Entry
Secondary URL:
Secondary URL Description: Freely available digital edition of the print book.
Access Model: Open access
Publisher: Center for Hellenic Studies and Harvard University Press
Type: Multi-author monograph
ISBN: 978-0674035591