History & Poetry combined
There are several weeks now that I am attending some courses in universities all over the world, and to be honest it is one of the things that I always wanted to do. Some of these courses are about History and some others are about Poetry. I would like to combine these two particular fields in this article and say a few things about History & Poetry combined.
Let’s take one example for the beginning. Let’s take Homer and his great “work” the Iliad. Is it History or is it Poetry? Or maybe even it is both History and Poetry combined?
After a quite reasonable time that I am studying behind the words and lines of Historical texts and Poems I have come to the conclusion that especially Homer’s Iliad is History combined with Poetry. And why did I came to this conclusion? I will try to explain it furthermore in the next lines.
First of all as we all as we all know, in Homer’s time there was no writing, just storytelling, if we can say it with a term like this. And in this time there was only one thing, one obstacle that people had to overpass. They had to remember these stories, or better if you’d like those myths, without forgetting facts, names, and places and without even changing the meanings. Not even one name, place, and fact should change at all. And that could only be possible if they could arrange the story in a way that could be memorable. And so they created poetic speeches, formed as “texts” of the tongue.
In this point I would like to explain some terms that nowadays have different meanings than they had in Homer’s era. Let us take for example the term “myth”. In Homer’s era myth was something much different from what we call today a myth. The correct term is “mythos” and its meaning is quite complicated for us now. A mythos is something told for the record. Something which is spoken so as to be remembered. It is a speech-act indicating some kind of authority, with a focus on full attention to every single detail. So it is something quite different from what a myth is today. It is a whole story, a true fact or even better it is History by itself. So by taking this as a “fact” we can say that Iliad is History.
The second term to be discussed is the term Poetry. As we all know there was no such term in Homer’s era. Poetry is something to be done. It is from the verb “poio” which means I do, I make, I construct. So poetry is something that people made so as to remember the myths or better the “mythoi”. So by this analysis we come to the conclusion that Poetry is a spoken way of History.
Now let us combine the mythos and the verb from which poetry comes. We have a History which is told in a way to be remembered. We have the “Epos”. And from all the above we can easily conclude that an “Epos” is History told in a Poetic way or even via Poems. So in Homer’s era, History and Poetry was combined together.
In conclusion I would like to add some of my thoughts and ideas that may make you all search a little bit more. There are ancient Myths – Mythoi, that exist even in our time and we consider them as tales. Think of this. What if all of those myths –mythoi, hide something Historical? Something that could not be written but only told in a more poetic and memorable way? Just think how many new facts will come into surface. How History will change! And these are only some of my thoughts. A little something from my mind’s ideas while studying all this time. The last thing that I would like to tell you all is never stop searching, never stop studying. There will always be something new to be found. Let yourselves be the one to find it. Combine History and Poetry and make your own myths. And who knows? Maybe one day someone will come to a great discovery after having read this little article. May the Gods be with you all.