The Antiquity of Homer

James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson:

“He begged of General Paoli to repeat one of the introductory stanzas of the first book of Tasso’s Jerusalem, which he did, and then Johnson found fault with the simile of sweetening the edges of a cup for a child, being transferred from Lucretius into an epick poem. The General said he did not imagine Homer’s poetry was so ancient as is supposed, because he ascribes to a Greek colony circumstances of refinement not found in Greece itself at a later period, when Thucydides wrote. JOHNSON. ‘I recollect but one passage quoted by Thucydides from Homer, which is not to be found in our copies of Homer’s works; I am for the antiquity of Homer, and think that a Grecian colony, by being nearer Persia, might be more refined than the mother country.'”

Related image

2 thoughts on “The Antiquity of Homer

  1. sententiaeantiquae

    This bit is fascinating and would piss many a eurocentrist off:

    “… I am for the antiquity of Homer, and think that a Grecian colony, by being nearer Persia, might be more refined than the mother country.’”

Leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s