Homeric

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

A mosaic from La Olmeda, Spain, depicting a scene from the Iliad, a Homeric text (sense 1). It depicts Odysseus discovering Achilles dressed as a woman and hiding among the princesses at the royal court of Skyros.

From Latin homēricus (of or pertaining to Homer; Homeric), from Ancient Greek Ὁμηρικός (Homērikós), from Ὅμηρος (Hómēros, Homer) (possibly from ὅμηρος (hómēros, hostage), a nickname) + -ῐκός (-ikós, suffix added to nouns to form adjectives) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *-kos (suffix forming adjectives denoting ‘characteristic of, typical of, pertaining to’)); analysable as Homer +‎ -ic.

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Adjective[edit]

Homeric (comparative more Homeric, superlative most Homeric)

  1. Resembling or relating to the epic poetry of Homer.
    • 1751 May 14, [Samuel Johnson], “[Echoes and Imitators]”, in The Rambler, volume V, number 121, Edinburgh: Printed by Sands, Murray, and Cochran; sold by W. Gordon, C. Wright, J. Yair, and other booksellers, OCLC 819382551, pages 132–133; The Rambler. In Four Volumes, volume III, number 121, 14th edition, London: Printed by A[ndrew] Strahan, Printers-Street, for J. Johnson [et al.], 1801, OCLC 63366464, page 97:
      The warmeſt admirers of the great Mantuan poet [Virgil] can extol him for little more than the ſkill with which he has, by making his hero both a traveller and a warrior, united the beauties of the Iliad and the Odyſſey in one compoſition: yet his judgment was perhaps ſometimes overborne, by his avarice of the Homeric treaſures; and, for fear of ſuffering a ſparkling ornament to be loſt, he has inſerted it where it cannot ſhine with its original ſplendor.
    • 1852, Henry John Todd, “Preliminary Observations on Paradise Regained”, in The Poetical Works of John Milton. With Notes of Various Authors; and with some Account of the Life and Writings of Milton, Derived Principally from Original Documents in Her Majesty’s State-paper Office. [...] In Four Volumes, volume III, 5th edition, London: Rivingtons [et al.], OCLC 768086093, page xv:
      In the beginning of the Fourth Book the poet [John Milton] introduces an Homerick cluster of similes; which seems to mark an intention of bestowing more poetical decoration on the conclusion of the Poem, than on the preceding parts of it.
    • 1858, W[illiam] E[wart] Gladstone, “Sect. I. On the Mixed Character of the Supernatural System, or Theo-Mythology, of Homer.”, in Studies on Homer and the Homeric Age. [...] In Three Volumes, volume II (Olympus: Or, The Religion of the Homeric Age), Oxford: At the University Press, OCLC 1003940668, pages 29–30:
      We, having obtained knowledge of the early derivation and distribution of mankind, and of the primitive religion, from sources other than those open to Homer, shall find in this knowledge the lost counterpart of a great portion of the Homeric myths. The theological and Messianic traditions which we find recorded in Scripture, when compared with the Homeric theogony, will be found to correspond with a large and important part of it: []
    • 1993, Oswyn Murray, “The End of the Dark Age: The Aristocracy”, in Early Greece, 2nd edition, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, →ISBN, page 35:
      In some respects Homeric society is clearly an artificial literary creation. It is a natural tendency of all heroic epic to exaggerate the social status and behaviour of everyone involved, so that characters appear generally to belong to the highest social class and to possess great wealth and extraordinary abilities, in implicit contrast with the inequalities and squalor of the present age.
  2. Of or pertaining to Greece during the Bronze Age, as described in Homer's works.
    • 1860, Hugh Blair, “A Critical Dissertation on the Poems of Ossian, the Son of Fingal”, in Ossian; James Macpherson, transl., The Poems of Ossian; Translated by James Macpherson, Esq. to which are Prefixed a Preliminary Discourse and Dissertation on the Æra and Poems of Ossian, Boston, Mass.: Crosby, Nichols, Lee & Company, OCLC 6642247, pages 103:
      Women are often carried away by force; and the whole tribe, as in Homeric times, rise to avenge the wrong.
  3. Fit to be immortalized in poetry by Homer; epic, heroic.

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