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To Homer

PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 11:52 pm
by Kaki
So, does anyone have a good explaination for Keats' use of the Roman names instead of the Greek names for the Gods mentioned "To Homer"?

To Homer

Standing aloof in giant ignorance,
Of thee I hear and of the Cyclades,
As one who sits ashore and longs perchance
To visit dolphin-coral in deep seas.
So thou wast blind;--but then the veil was rent,
For Jove uncurtain'd Heaven to let thee live,
And Neptune made for thee a spumy tent,
And Pan made sing for thee his forest-hive;
Aye on the shores of darkness there is light,
And precipices show untrodden green,
There is a budding morrow in midnight,
There is a triple sight in blindness keen;
Such seeing hadst thou, as it once befel
To Dian, Queen of Earth, and Heaven, and Hell.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:22 am
by dks
He could've learned them by their Roman names at Clarke's...we know he became very familiar with Lempriere's Dictionary at Hampstead--all Greek mythology...an educated guess... :?

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:31 am
by Kaki
I wasn't sure, because in Chapman's Homer, he uses Apollo, but that is the same in both Roman and Greek.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:34 am
by dks
Yes...that's a deduction-type question...a good one, nonetheless.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 10:44 am
by Saturn
Latin was the literary language of Wesern Europe from Roman times; The language of art, culture, diplomacy, law, medicine and philosophy.

The knowledge of Greek and the Greek names for things, as in this case, the gods, was limited in the West after the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century CE.
Until the fall of Constaninople and the Greek speaking Eastern Byzantine Roman Empire in 1453, Greek was virtually unknown, unstudied in western Europe. Latin was all.

Since that time, refugees from the empire brought with them the wealth of knowledge, the art, the history and the philosophy of the ancient Greeks to the western world. Greek began to become a fashionable subject in the universites and in the schools in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuies of all the major western european nations.

Latin, however, was still the dominant language taught in schools and thus pupils imbibed the latin forms of the deities in their reading of Roman literature.

By Keats' time, English poetry had been using the Latin equivalents of the gods' names since Chaucer's day in the 14th century - it had become a literary convention, one which all Keats' idols like Shakespeare, Spenser and Milton continued.
All the major translations of Homer up to this point still used the latin names.
Chapman's Homer uses latin names throughout, as does Pope's Iliad and Odyssey.
Keats himself would have been taught the latin forms of the gods names so it was only natural he use these forms when writing his own poetry.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 10:45 am
by Saturn
I realize that is a long answer to a simple question - I'm just showing off again :lol: :roll:

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 1:27 pm
by dks
Saturn wrote:I realize that is a long answer to a simple question - I'm just showing off again :lol: :roll:


That was good showin' off, though...

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 9:24 pm
by Saturn
Bit more coherent than I was last night :oops:
























:wink:

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 10:54 pm
by AhDistinctly
Saturn wrote:Bit more coherent than I was last night :oops:
:wink:


Happily, you don't seem to have suffered any ill after-effects. ...but is that a good thing? :?: :D

Seriously, though: I don't think your answer was too long at all. I'd rather have a bit more historical perspective on things like that so I can research further if interested. That's why I love it, too, when something lights a fire under Denise and she goes off on a love of Keats soliloquy.

There is quite a bit of knowledge and understanding to be tapped from the members of this forum!

Ms. Croy -- ARE you out there? :D

PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 7:09 am
by dks
Saturn wrote:Bit more coherent than I was last night :oops:
:wink:


That was nothing but pure funny! :lol:

PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 7:14 am
by dks
AhDistinctly wrote:Seriously, though: I don't think your answer was too long at all. I'd rather have a bit more historical perspective on things like that so I can research further if interested. That's why I love it, too, when something lights a fire under Denise and she goes off on a love of Keats soliloquy.

There is quite a bit of knowledge and understanding to be tapped from the members of this forum!


Someone actually likes it when I do that? My obsession is noticeable...? :oops: :lol:

Yes, the erudition spouts forth on here quite like a fabulous kettle geyser... :wink:

PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 4:44 pm
by Kaki
Thanks for clearing that up. I greatly appreciate it.