By Gregory Nagy
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Homer the Preclassic considers the advance of the Homeric poems-in specific the Iliad and Odyssey-during the time once they have been nonetheless a part of the oral culture. Gregory Nagy lines the evolution of rival Homers” and the various models of Homeric poetry during this pretextual interval, reconstructed over a timeframe extending again from the 6th century BCE to the Bronze Age.
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Additional resources for Homer the Preclassic
And he did all this because he wanted to educate the citizens, so that he might govern the best of all possible citizens. He thought, noble as he was, that he was obliged not to be stinting in the sharing of his expertise [sophia] with anyone. I§48 I highlight the two instances of the word sophia ‘expertise’ in this extended passage. The use of this word here is strikingly archaic: it expresses the idea that Hipparkhos demonstrates his expertise in poetry by virtue of sponsoring poets like Homer, Anacreon, and Simonides (the latter is coupled with Anacreon: Hipparkhos 228c), who are described as the ultimate standards for measuring expertise in poetry.
There is much speculation about the nature of such discontinuities and about their causes. Such speculation, however, is not relevant to what I am about to do, which is, to offer a working redefinition of a Dark Age viewed exclusively in terms of the study of Homer. Here in Part I, the Dark Age is the Dark Age of Homer. I§3 For those who specialize in Homer, there is a chronological chasm separating the era of historical events in the classical period of the fifth and the fourth century BCE from the prehistoric era of events like the Capture of Troy, which is the single most important point of reference for Homeric narrative - and which coincides roughly with the end of the Bronze Age as archaeologists define it.
In other words, Lycurgus is referring here not to lyric poets like Anacreon and Simonides. Rather, he is referring to epic poets other than the Homer he knows. It is these other epic poets who are being excluded from the Panathenaia. Lycurgus here is referring exclusively to rhapsodic competitions in epic, not to citharodic or aulodic competitions in lyric. When Lycurgus refers to ‘Homer’ in this passage, he means the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey.  I§46 My argument, based on the actual wording of Lycurgus in Against Leokrates (102), is that the Iliad and Odyssey were reperformed as a continuous narration at the quadrennial festival of the Great Panathenaia.