A matter of poetry

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A matter of poetry

Postby Curio Agelastus on Sun Jan 04, 2004 10:54 pm

Salvete omnes,

I have a question about ancient Greek epic names. Many epic, such as the Iliad, the Kypriad, the Thebiad, etc, seem to be a distortion of the name of what the epic is about, followed by "ad" or "iad". However, the Odyssey is a distortion of Odysseus followed by "ey". According to most other examples of epic poems, surely a poem about Odysseus would be called the Odyssead? I speak with no knowledge of ancient or modern Greek, so if anyone could answer this, I'd be very grateful!

Bene valete,
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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:11 pm

I have no clear answer as to why English mangles up the original Greek, however what the original Greek titles were may help.

The Odyssey's actual title is "Odyssea" and the Iliad's actual title is "Ilias". About the other two I'm not sure but it wouldn't surprise me if they ended on "as" as well in ancient Greek. The reason why it changed into a <d> in old English is not really clear to me but it's not unlogical since often an <s> can morph into <t> or <d> when a word is declined or undergoes morphological changes.

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Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Wed Jan 07, 2004 8:07 pm

I think that it has something to do with the place where the story unfolds (These- Hebaid, Ilias: Troy- Illiad) or the main character (Odysseus- Oddyssey) they are being called this because of the place or character where the story takes place or is about.
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