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Eratosthenes, Crates and Aristarchus on the Homeric dual. Rethinking the origins of the ‘analogy vs. anomaly controversy’

From the book Approaches to Greek Poetry

  • Stephanos Matthaios


The corpus of the Iliadic scholia preserves two testimonies documenting Eratosthenes’ views on the Homeric use of the dual and at the same time placing the Cyrenaic scholar within the ancient debate on the peculiarities and the correctness (or incorrectness) of the dual forms attested in Homer. Starting from an analysis of both Eratosthenes’ fragments and on the basis of the particular connection between Eratosthenes, Crates and Aristarchus drawn in these testimonies, my paper aims at investigating the theoretical background of the ancient views on the Homeric use of the dual. The investigation leads to a substantial quarrel between Alexandrian and Pergamenian scholarship, the so-called ‘analogy vs. anomaly controversy’. After a discussion of the ancient quarrel and also of the objections expressed by current research on its historicity, I will try to reconsider the contents of the debate and also evaluate the position of Eratosthenes within this issue.

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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