By Gilbert Murray
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Extra info for A History of Ancient Greek Literature (19061897)
We cannot clearly say. It is possible that he took the fact for granted, as the epigram does. It is certain, at any rate, that Aristarchus rejected on some ground or other most of the lines which modern scholars describe as 'Athenian interpolations'; and that ground cannot have been a merely internal one, since he held the peculiar belief that Homer himself was an Athenian. Lastly, it is a curious fact that Cicero's statement about the recension by Pisisstratus seems to be derived from a member of the Pergamene school, whose founder, Crates, stood almost alone in successfully resisting and opposing the authority of Aristarchus.
There was no reading public either in Athens or in Ionia by 470. Anaximander wrote his words of wisdom for a few laborious students to learn by heart; Xenophanes appealed simply to the ear; it was not till forty years later that Herodotus turned his recitations into book form for educated persons to read to themselves, and Euripides began to collect a library. This helps us to some idea of the Ionian epos as it lived and grew before its transplanting. It was recited, not read; the incidents of the Iliad and the Odyssey were mostly in their present order, and doubtless the poems roughly of their present compass, though we may be sure there were Iliads without K, and Odysseys ending, where Aristarchus ended his, at ψ 296, omitting the last book and a half.
Vii. p. 240. -12- to belittle a method of explanation which was in particular favour with a rival school. Dieuchidas, then, knows of Pisistratus having done to the poems something which gave an opportunity for interpolation. But most Megarian writers, according to Plutarch (Solon, 10), say it was Solon who made the interpolations; and a widespread tradition credits Solon with a special law about the recitation of ' Homer' at the Festival of the Panathenæa. This law, again, is attributed to Hipparchus in the pseudo-Platonic dialogue which bears his name -- a work not later than the third century.
A History of Ancient Greek Literature (19061897) by Gilbert Murray