By Delbert R. Hillers

"What is the main attention-grabbing and bold kind of archaeological item from the traditional close to East? ... i'd invite you to contemplate artifacts recovered by way of archaeology which are ... extra insubstantial even than a lacy papyrus. I confer with issues made from phrases. it's not that i am deliberating texts, precisely, yet to the construction blocks of which literary texts are made, to conventional metaphors and similes, to conventional subject matters in poetry and prose, to the units of shape and content material which have been the inventory in alternate of poets." this can be from the name essay of this quantity which collects and reprints a lot of Delbert R. Hillers's most vital released essays and articles, his lengthy out-of-print Treaty-Curses and the outdated testomony Prophets, and 3 formerly unpublished essays, together with the aforementioned "'Poets earlier than Homer': Archaeology and the Western Literary Tradition." Hillers gave the latter because the 1992 William Foxwell Albright Lecture on the Johns Hopkins collage and in it makes use of Ernst Robert Curtius's European Literature and the Latin heart Ages, with its "topological" approach, as a version for exploring the connections of the main historical close to jap literatures (including the Bible) to later Western literature. although one in every of his newest items of writing, "Poets sooner than Homer" represents, as Hillers himself well-known, a reasonably transparent assertion of what he have been doing in a lot of his prior scholarship and the amount collects the simplest of this previous scholarship. every one of these essays paintings themselves out from a selected passage, subject matter, topos, picture, or grammatical factor, and achieve their interpretive vantage aspect via studying acknowledged passage, and so forth. relatively, no matter if in mild of suitable historic close to japanese and/or more moderen eu literary parallels or near to a few extra theoretical curiosity, comparable to smooth linguistic conception. Hillers's behavior of brain ran towards the actual, towards the person element. His genius if this observe can be used used to be in his potential to grab upon one point of a few higher entity, challenge, or subject, to paintings it via, completely and, as frequently as now not, decisively, all of the whereas resisting the temptation to soak up the bigger, might be un(re)solvable advanced of which the aspect or challenge used to be yet an element. The labored instance is the Hillersian trademark "exemplum through moralisatio" and Poets earlier than Homer collects all of his best. 

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But behind the Greek myth lies a still more grisly, more ancient version. , goes back to a myth of a neighboring people, the Hurrians, whose god Kumarbi is the Hurrian Kronos. ”) Kumarbi, the son of the Sky (Anu = Ouranos), chases the king his father, catches him, and bites off his genitals.  11 10. Rape of Lucrece, 925—27. Note that not only chronos is denounced by Shakespeare, but first kairos “Opportunity”: “O Opportunity! Thy guilt is great,” line 876. 11. Güterbock, Kumarbi. Cf. Heinrich Otten, Mythen vom Gotte Kumarbi.

Rubens. Canvas, 180 × 87 cm Inv. 1678. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain. Erich Lessing / Art Resource, NY. devouring his children (Fig.  7 Others, less familiar to moderns, of an aged Time with wings (see Fig.  12), 9 are more puzzling, and suggest that the history of the imagery involved is not simple, but complicated. The figure of “old Time” (Shakespeare, Sonnet 19:13) is a subject not only for artists, but for poets as well; as Panofsky points out, Shakespeare in his Rape of Lucrece and in the sonnets betrays something like 7.

Italy. Nimatallah / Art Resource, NY. Panofsky, of course, knew and cited the eighth-century Greek poet Hesiod, and his poem about world origins, the Theogony, and other early Greek sources for the mythology of Cronos. Kronos carries in art the sickle he used, as we know from Hesiod, to castrate his father Uranos (the Sky). But behind the Greek myth lies a still more grisly, more ancient version. , goes back to a myth of a neighboring people, the Hurrians, whose god Kumarbi is the Hurrian Kronos.

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