From line-end formula to aristeia: how an epic ruleset goes from mechanic to theme

Oct 25, 16 From line-end formula to aristeia: how an epic ruleset goes from mechanic to theme

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In my last post I discussed the most basic rule of the epic game: kleos. Oral epic developed in such a way as to provide glory to heroes by naming them at the end of the poetic line. Now I’m going to push forward and show how that simple mechanic When we take a look at a typical section of a battle book of the Iliad, which...

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The line-end formula, smoking gun of play-mechanics in oral epic

Aug 16, 16 The line-end formula, smoking gun of play-mechanics in oral epic

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Part of a series on the educational affordances of interactive narrative. ba da Bum ba da Bum bum Podas ōkus Akhilleus (pronounce the final “eu” as “yoo” if you have to—it’s a diphthong: the final Bum). Polumētis Odysseus (same here). “Swift-footed Achilles.” “Cunning...

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Socrates the Gamer

Jul 06, 16 Socrates the Gamer

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In this post I’ll expand on some points I made in my last. By opening out the notion of Socrates as fundamentally a participant interactive performances (that is, like his fellow Athenian elites, steeped in a culture founded on homeric epic), I mean to launch the principal argument of this post-series/book. We know next to...

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Play the ancient game

May 10, 16 Play the ancient game

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I’m glad to say that I have real hope of starting to contribute to PlaythePast again. I’m working on a book I’m excited about, though I have no idea whether it will ever actually emerge in any traditional “book” format. In any case, I’m going to start broaching the subject of the book, tentatively...

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When Odysseus lets you type “get lamp,” you’re going to be illuminated

May 13, 15 When Odysseus lets you type “get lamp,” you’re going to be illuminated

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“But tell me, and tell me true, whether you saw any of the mighty heroes who went to Troy at the same time with yourself, and perished there.” Thus speaks King Alcinous of the Phaeacians, when Odysseus has claimed himself to be too tired to continue the marvelous tale of his visit to the underworld—the climax of those...

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