Faculty Advisor

Brett Rogers

Area of Study

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Publication Date

Summer 2021


This work examines how the formula μύθων ἦρχε and variant formulae ἤρχετο μύθων and ἦρχ’ ἀγορεύειν may signify differences in meaning between the active and middle voice of the verb ἄρχω not previously explained in Homeric scholarship. The formulas, found in Homer's Odyssey, mean something like he/she began the speeches, with some key nuances. The greek word muthos (cognate: myth) in Homer refers to a particular type of authoritative speech act performed by both character and extradiagetic narrator, and thus the different modes of beginning muthoi connect to the very action of Homeric performance and oral composition itself. In investigating the differences in meaning between formulaic variants, this work explores how more nuanced definitions based on textual reading and data categorization can affect the reading of a particular scene, character, or theme within Homeric texts.




University of Puget Sound