Homer /

Thomas Van Nortwick and Geoffrey Steadman


This edition of Iliad Books 6 and 22 is intended for readers of ancient Greek. It includes a Greek text, grammatical and lexical notes, running vocabulary lists, and interpretive close reading essays on each section, along with an Introduction. For grammatical items, the notes link out to several reference works, including the Grammar of the Homeric Dialect (1891) by D.B. Monro, which is digitized here for the first time. There is also a full collection of Homeric paradigm charts, based on those of Clyde Pharr. For geography, links go to the Pleiades Project for identifiable ancient places. The vocabulary lists include Homeric forms and definitions. The lists exclude words in the DCC Greek Core Vocabulary, but when one of these words is used in an unusual way we attempt to clarify it in the notes.

Thomas Van Nortwick wrote the essays and Introduction specifically for this edition. These essays represent the fruit of a distinguished career of Homeric scholarship and teaching. Rather than attempt to summarize all that has been said about these passages, he focuses on the details of each passage and uses his profound knowledge of the Homeric poems to illuminate Homer's narrative genius. For those interested in exploring the scholarship further he provides a few bibliographic suggestions after each essay.

The notes represent a substantially edited version of those Geoffrey Steadman published in an earlier version in 2015. In the editing process we added hyperlinks of various kinds, and more notes taken from various other commentaries, whose authors are credited in each instance. I am very grateful to Mr. Steadman for permission to use his work in this way, and to Ted Kelting for his excellent work in editing the notes.

The Greek text reproduces that of the 1920 edition of T.W. Allen's Oxford Classical Text, Homeri Opera (vols. 1 and 2) published by Oxford University Press, and digitized by the Perseus Project.

The genesis of the vocabulary lists is somewhat complex. Bret Mulligan used data provided by the Perseids Project to make a fully parsed Iliad, that is, one where every word form stands next to its correct dictionary headword (or lemma) in a spreadsheet. He married this data to the standard Greek dictionary forms ("display lemmas," with principle parts and so on) and the standard English definitions used in the vocabulary list application he designed, The Bridge. But Homeric Greek is far from "standard," so these lemmas and definitions had to be edited, and in many cases completely re-written. Homeric display lemmas and English definitions were drawn from various sources, especially the lexicon in Thomas D. Seymour's The First Six Books of Homer's Iliad (revised edition. Boston: Ginn & Co., 1901). We used the standard Homeric lexica of Authenrieth and Cunliffe as well, but these books often use quite archaic English. Furthermore, a balance needed to be struck between the very full display lemmas and definitions in Authenrieth and Cunliffe, and the jejune entries found in some other resources. Seymour hit the sweet spot, and was thus very useful in this delicate task. Seth Levin (Dickinson '19) did excellent work making sure that the parsings originally provided by Perseids were correct, in finding and editing lemmas and definitions that are informative, but not overwhelming, and in updating the English used in the definitions. 

Seth Levin and Meagan Ayer created colorful versions of the paradigm charts in Cyde Pharr's Homeric Greek: A Book for Beginners (Boston: D.C. Heath, 1920). A few errors in these were corrected, and some of the extremely rare forms omitted, but essentially these are Pharr's work. Since they have a pedagogical rather than descriptive-grammatical purpose, they sometimes include, to complete a paradigm, forms that do not in fact occur in Homeric Greek. Lemma searches in Perseus under Philologic can clarfy what forms are actually found in the Homeric poems (and how commonly).

I am deeply grateful to everyone who contributed to this edition. As overall editor I am responsible for any remaining errors and infelicities, and would be glad to be notified of any you find.

Christopher Francese, November 18, 2018

Cover image: Giovanni Maria Benzoni, “Hector and Andromache” (1871), marble sculpture. Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession number 99.9a, b. Image source: Metropolitan Museum, in the public domain.

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Suggested Citation: 

Thomas Van Nortwick and Geoffrey Steadman, Homer: Iliad 6 and 22. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2016. ISBN: 978-1-947822-11-5.