Epic Poetry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The term 'epic', when applied to ancient Greek literature, refers to a set of texts that may be loosely defined as narrative poetry about the deeds of gods and heroes. To a very large extent, this is a reflection of Homer's authority as the most famous epic poet. This article argues that recent comparisons between early Greek epic and modern oral traditions, as well as the discovery and investigation of ancient Hittite and Near Eastern texts, place Greek epic in a much wider literary and historical context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191743726
ISBN (Print)9780199286140
StatePublished - Sep 18 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


  • Ancient greek literature
  • Greek epic
  • Hittite texts
  • Homer
  • Oral traditions


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