Heroes and heroism in Quintus of Smyrna’s Posthomerica

De Posthomerica van Quintus Smyrnaeus. Analyse in een diachroon en synchroon literair veld
Start - End 
2012 - 2016 (completed)
Research Focus 
Research Period 
Additional tags 
Greek literature
Late antiquity



The 3rd AD Greek epic Posthomerica (Quintus of Smyrna) is conceived as a sequel to Homer in both content and style. Its episodic narrative composition has long been deemed unoriginal. However, when looking beyond the Homeric mask, a complex reception of younger literary and mythological sources is revealed. My narratologically inspired analysis investigates Quintus’ representation of heroism and heroic characters in the light of its own literary consciousness. Challenged to rewrite the plot of unhomeric stories in a Homeric way, he gives a new dimension to ancient heroic values. Characters actively engage in the debate about battle tactics and discuss how honour should be gained, while critically reflecting on the Iliadic and Odyssean value systems and their later reception. My case studies on characterization and heroic ideology follow the plot of the epic and approach the Posthomerica as a coherent narrative composition that surpasses its – at first sight – episodic structure.



Phd Student(s)