Homerica | Posthomerica | Oresteia | Quintus Smyrnaeus | A Review


Homerica | Posthomerica | Oresteia | Quintus Smyrnaeus | A Review

Homerica  Posthomerica  Oresteia  Quintus Smyrnaeus  A Review


Homerica or Posthomerica or Oresteia by Quintus Smyrnaeus-A Review

“Homerica,” also known as the “Posthomerica” or “Oresteia,” is an epic poem written by Quintus Smyrnaeus, a Greek poet from the late Antiquity period. Composed in the 4th century CE, “Homerica” is a continuation of the Trojan War narrative that began with Homer’s “Iliad.” The poem consists of fourteen books and serves as a bridge between the Iliad and the Odyssey, covering events that occurred after the fall of Troy.

“Homerica” (Posthomerica) picks up the narrative from where the “Iliad” ends and covers the events that transpire between the fall of Troy and the return of the Greek heroes to their homelands. The poem primarily centers around the character of Neoptolemus (also known as Pyrrhus), the son of Achilles, and his struggles as he attempts to navigate the aftermath of the war. The poem also focuses on the fate of Agamemnon’s family, particularly Orestes and Electra, as they seek to avenge their father’s death.

Neoptolemus, driven by a sense of vengeance for his father’s death, embarks on a quest to avenge Achilles by killing Priam’s son Polites. This leads to a series of battles, alliances, and complex interactions among the remaining Greek heroes. Meanwhile, Orestes and Electra plan to kill their mother Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus in order to avenge Agamemnon’s murder, a story that was originally told by Aeschylus in his famous trilogy, the “Oresteia.”

“Homerica” is a fascinating continuation of the Trojan War narrative that delves into the complex aftermath of the war and the struggles faced by the heroes as they return to their homes. Quintus Smyrnaeus skillfully imitates the style and language of Homer, successfully capturing the epic tone and heroic ethos of the Homeric tradition. The poem is characterized by its use of epithets, grand descriptions of battles and heroes, and a focus on honor, heroism, and divine intervention.

One of the strengths of “Homerica” (Posthomerica) lies in its exploration of lesser-known characters from the Trojan War, such as Neoptolemus, who takes center stage in this poem. The depiction of his internal conflicts, ambitions, and moral dilemmas adds depth to his character, making him more relatable and multidimensional than some of the archetypal heroes presented in earlier works.

The poem also provides an intriguing perspective on the concept of fate and destiny. The characters’ struggles against the inevitable weave a thread of tragedy throughout the narrative, drawing parallels with earlier works like the “Iliad” and the “Oresteia.”

However, it’s worth noting that while Quintus Smyrnaeus is a skilled imitator of Homer’s style, his work lacks the originality and narrative complexity that set Homer’s epics apart. The characters and events can sometimes feel derivative, and the poem’s pacing occasionally drags due to its focus on military campaigns and lengthy descriptions.

In terms of historical and cultural significance, “Homerica” provides valuable insights into the continuation of the Trojan War narrative in later antiquity. It reflects the enduring impact of Homer’s works on subsequent generations of poets and writers, showcasing how these narratives continued to inspire new interpretations and adaptations.

In conclusion, “Homerica” (Posthomerica) by Quintus Smyrnaeus offers a worthy continuation of the epic tradition established by Homer. It provides a detailed and imaginative exploration of the aftermath of the Trojan War, while also shedding light on the evolution of epic poetry in the later stages of antiquity. While it may not match the originality and complexity of Homer’s works, it remains an essential text for those interested in the continuation of the Trojan War saga and the broader development of ancient epic poetry. 0 0 0.

Homerica Posthomerica Oresteia Quintus Smyrnaeus A Review

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N.B. The article ‘Posthomerica’ originally belongs to the book entitled ‘The Reviews of Epic Literature Around the World Vol-II‘ by Menonim Menonimus.

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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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