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January 19, 2004Refreshing brilliant proseNot kept
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Era style[edit]

We go by the established style, and it appears that BCE was added by an IP in 2007,[1] changing BC to BCE - possibly before the guideline was as it is now, possibly not but that's irrelevant. It's had BCE since then although some editors have added BC at times, possibly not even noticing it used BCE elsewhere. So it would need a discussion to change it to BC. Doug Weller talk 10:11, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Lucian et al[edit]

No sane scholar, asked to write a wikipedia length article on Homer, would include pointless minutiae like Lucian telling a story about Homer being a Babylonian. This article is currently mostly a magpie's nest of stuff drawn at random from the vast corpus of Homeric scholarship (in fact worse than random, as lots of stuff still in the article is fringe, and some vital areas are not mentioned at all - this article will be extended is some areas, and there has to be room for them). A brief paragraph highlighting some of the major *recurring* themes of the Homeric legends is quite enough. There is no need to detail which Hellenistic/Roman poet wrote which piece of fanfiction. If you want to include material in this article, find reliable scholarly *contemporary* secondary sources to justify inclusion. There is another article to detail the Homeric biographical legends NPalgan2 (talk) 20:49, 23 August 2017 (UTC)

I disagree. These are not "pointless minutiae"; Lucian is a famous ancient author. Furthermore, your paragraph does not address all of the recurring themes. The story about Homer being the son of the river Meles and a nymph occurs in almost all of the ancient vitae, but you do not even mention it. As for your objection that the sources being cited in these paragraphs are not contemporary enough, there are plenty of recent sources cited in the section you deleted, including Barbara Graziosi's Inventing Homer from 2002, which you also cite in your paragraph; there is also Joachim Latacz's Homer: His Art and His World, which was published in 1996 and Martin Persson Nilsson's Homer and Mycenae, published in 1972. All of these are sources published within the last twenty-one years, except for Homer and Mycenae, but, even then, that was published in 1972, which was only forty-five years ago. --Katolophyromai (talk) 21:15, 23 August 2017 (UTC)
1) Nilsson's book was originally pubished in 1933. He was dead by 1972. 2) I've readded the Meles story in the list of recurring themes. 3) There important thing in this article is foreground and background. Lucian's story may have been mentioned once or twice in the vast body of Homeric scholarship. But adding it to the article is out of place. We have to summarise disputes that have generated vast quantities of scholarship in a sentence or two. 4) Discussion about the number of aristocrats vs commoners, etc in Homer is not suitable for a brief paragraph about the Homeric legends. Another section would be more suitable. NPalgan2 (talk) 21:30, 23 August 2017 (UTC)
Previously someone else argued further up: "The section on "Life and legends" is totally misleading, since it prioritises ancient biographical traditions (even while accepting that they're basically fictional), and even there, it prioritises fictional legends from the Roman era ahead of material dating to earlier centuries! The upshot is that a satirist (Lucian) and a totally fictional story (Hadrian) are prioritized ahead of modern linguistic research." NPalgan2 (talk) 21:32, 23 August 2017 (UTC)
Very well. I do not wish to argue over this any further. The Nilsson reference must have had the wrong date; I will not dispute that a work published in 1933 could certainly be considered outdated. In terms of priorities, I will admit that modern research should be given greater preference over ancient legends, but I do think that there should be more coverage on the ancient legends than just a single paragraph. --Katolophyromai (talk) 22:00, 23 August 2017 (UTC)

Thank you. I have now rewritten all parts of the article, but now there are sections that need to be expanded (e.g. the Homeric Greek) section. NPalgan2 (talk) 19:06, 24 August 2017 (UTC)

For the most part, I think you have done a very good job rewriting the article and I would like to congratulate you on having greatly improved this article's focus; there were some parts in the previous version that were admittedly rather off-topic. Nonetheless, I still think that the article now requires some serious expansion. Right now this article is extremely short and I do not think it fully covers the topic. Most Wikipedia articles about complex subjects such as this one are a great deal longer than this and usually go into much greater detail. I would look towards the article Sappho, which has just become a Good Article, as a model for expansion in the future. It is roughly twice the length of this article, even though only one of Sappho's poems has survived complete; whereas there are two lengthy surviving epics attributed to Homer, plus the Homeric Hymns and other works. --Katolophyromai (talk) 19:36, 24 August 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, I'm currently travelling and mostly away from sources and internet connection, but I plan to start reexpanding the article after the U.S. long weekend. NPalgan2 (talk) 23:09, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

Gladstone's book[edit]

I added this, and it was blanked for possibly not being an important enough book, in another editor's opinion:

It was followed later by William Gladstone's book, Studies on Homer and the Homeric Age, which was controversial for Gladstone's conclusion that ancient Greeks did not have the same understanding of colors as modern people.

My main goal is to WP:Build the web to other articles. It seems likely to me that there was probably more than one person whose work is worth mentioning in between the 12th and 20th centuries. If you don't want to mention Gladstone as a unitarian here – the reason he did his concordance-like work in the first place was to prove that they were written by a single person[2] – then perhaps Schliemann should be namechecked here. WhatamIdoing (talk) 08:49, 5 May 2018 (UTC)

@WhatamIdoing: My primary concern when I reverted you is that your statement about Gladstone is uncited. All information added to Wikipedia must be verifiable. Unless you provide a citation to a reliable, scholarly source discussing Gladstone's work, then the statement you added is original research. If you have sources about Gladstone and just are not giving them, I must explain that the sources must be given in the article because, if they are not, it is impossible for the reader to verify whether you actually have sources at all. I have no specific object against mentioning Gladstone, but any statements regarding him need to be cited as a matter of policy. My concern about notability is secondary to my concern about sources, the central problem there being that, if you cannot provide any citations to scholarly sources discussing his work, then the reader will have no way of verifying that his work possesses scholarly significance. Indeed, you state that his book has been "controversial," but that statement is uncited; we need a citation to a source describing the controversy in order to support the statement that his work really has been controversial. Wikipedia is probably different from any other website you may have worked at, since everything here revolves around sources, and we cannot say anything in an article unless we have reliable sources to support it, even if we "know" it is accurate. --Katolophyromai (talk) 14:00, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
I'm not sure Gladstone's book and his views on Greek color perception should be mentioned in the article on *Homer* (as opposed to other articles. Were his books that important in the history of Homeric scholarship? Minor aspects should not be blown out of proportion. NPalgan2 (talk) 15:40, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
Katolophyromai, please consider the gap between "verifiable" and "cited". I think the concept is explained pretty well in the second sentence of WP:NOR, and emphasized in the footnote at the end of that sentence. Wikipedia does not have a one-citation-per-fact policy. I'm also unclear whether your objection complies with Wikipedia:Verifiability#cite_note-4, i.e., you have a "considered reason" to believe that no source about this has ever been published (NB: "published", not "already cited in the article").
NPalgan2, I'm not familiar enough with the overall subject to know whether there are more important authors during the same time period. I added the point about color perception mainly because it was an interesting detail that would probably encourage readers to read more. (It's one of the things Gladstone's book is most known for these days.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:27, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
I agree that it's *interesting*, but disagree that it belongs on this page. See the discussion above about "hero cult" and some of the Homeric legends. NPalgan2 (talk) 22:01, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
I think I've been unclear:
  • I added another author, who held a different POV, because there was probably more than one author whose work was significant during the space of several centuries. Now – is the most significant author representing the other side of the major debate Gladstone or is it Schliemann? I don't know. I picked Gladstone; I'd be happy if someone wants to replace it with Schliemann (or, indeed, with some third representative of the unitarian POV).
  • Since I picked Gladstone, I decided to add something interesting and unique about Gladstone's book. That's optional (but good writing). It could just as easily say that Gladstone (or another author) disagreed with the analysts' POV.
Again, I believe that during the space of nine centuries, we can find more than just one author whose work is worth spending a single sentence on. If you don't want it to be Gladstone, then that's okay with me; if you want it to be Gladstone but in a boring way, then that's okay, too. My goal is naming two of the multiple significant authors, one from each side of that debate. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:31, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
I am glad you want to help improve the article. I just suggest finding a scholarly secondary source on Homeric scholarship in the relevant period and seeing what they say, rather than choosing a primary source at random. NPalgan2 (talk) 18:49, 6 May 2018 (UTC)

"Legendary" author, what does that mean?[edit]

What does "legendary" author mean? I was reading this article for the first time, and was impressed by the choice of wording in the lead phrase. I think the general reader may be confused and may find it difficult to understand what "legendary author" mean. The word legend is usually associated with a fairy tale, a remot story that never happened. At the very least, the word legend is typically associated with some events that are uncertain. Does the opening phrase "Homer was a legendary author" mean that Homer was a a person that never existed or whom existence is uncertain? James343e (talk) 20:50, 20 April 2020 (UTC)

See Homeric Question. Paul August 23:43, 20 April 2020 (UTC)
Yes, I read that article about the Homeric Question as well, but it does not specify whether there are doubts about Homer's existence. So does the opening sentence "Homer was a legendary author" mean that Homer was a a person that may have never existed or whom existence is uncertain? James343e (talk) 01:59, 21 April 2020 (UTC)
  • I have boldly replaced it with "semi-legendary". All reliable sources that I am aware of say that he is a semi-legendary poet. According to Irene de Jong, [h]is semi-legendary status means that we cannot take on trust what we are told about him, but the information we have is consistent and implausible in itself[3] (this is just to show what semi-legendary means)--SharʿabSalam▼ (talk) 19:23, 2 May 2020 (UTC)