THE ODYSSEY is poetry, and as such, much is lost unless it is heard read aloud. That's the view of the late Dr. Mortimer J. Adler, who was the mentor of my lifetime reading plan.
A couple of questions arise for me:
1) What did it sound like when it left Homer's mouth?
2) What should it sound like for me?
Right now, I'm looking at the first line of the text in a form of Greek and English. What I'm reading looks like this:
andra+ moi ennepe++, mousa, polutropon+, hos mala polla
 Tell me, O Muse, of the man of many devices,
All of the above leaves me with more questions than answers, and as I see it, that's a good thing.
Well, so much for a first posting. I've only just done an inspectional perusal of the web site and I want to express my gratitude for the efforts of the proponent and the spirit of the endeavor. I look forward to learning here and I want to thank all of you in advance for the opportunity.
>...Topic author: Lord Groundhog...I notice you discourage new students of Greek from trying to learn any of the reconstructed pronunciation systems...
But what of students of world culture>western culture>literature>poetry>ancient greek>homeric greek (and not necessarily who are interested in learning “modern” Greek...unless, of course, stem cell research or some other breakthrough gives us much more than our allotted “threescore and ten” and other changes bring us the freedom of international travel)? Two things seem important to me...1) it’s poetry and should be listened to as spoken and 2) doesn’t this mean that I should listen to the homeric greek audio while reading the best english language translation available? Perhaps I should discuss one aspect at a time, but for now, I’ll keep them together in order to arrive at a starting point I can use.
After a quick perusal of the Clyde Pharr exerpt and the Harris essay I’d say that ideally, what I think I’d like to do is 1) have the best possible mp3 file of an "Homeric" reading which I could listen to in serial episodes regularly and 2) to access, narrate and enjoy the best, i.e. most vivid and flowing contemporary english translation. Two more questions arise for me from this...1) is the first part doable? and 2) how do I evaluate the second goal?
>...Reply author: George...I would suggest the solid ground of how Greek actually sound today. Am I wrong in these thoughts? This is something I would like to know with your help, because the matter, as we agree, is important.
From this comment, I would be led to inquire as to the value of a contemporary Greek (Athenian) language mp3. Is such available? But even so, and of the rest of the discussion, for now I will dismiss it.
What seems important to me is a realization of the truth that “primitive” man passed on information in a different way than “contemporary” man (a reading of Steinbeck’s “The Ears of Johnny Bear" is a fresh reminder...and I think it’s worth mentioning that he — Steinbeck — went to the trouble of making a voice recording of this story — that Homer’s ODYSSEY was “sung” and remembered as song for years before it was written down.
I want to cultivate an appreciation and understanding of this. May I network with the community in this endeavor?
BTW, I plan on visiting the bookseller who has the Steinbeck available next month and if others on this site are interested in sharing this and other resources, please let me know and keep me in mind.
Can anyone recommend to me a good website that makes available a decent sampling of The Odyssey recited or (better) sung in ancient Greek? I'd love to refer my students to it so they can hear a bit of Homer in the original.
A very interesting rendering, sounds more natural that anything I've listened to so far in similar recordings, although it reminds me rather of the medieval troubadours than what musicologists suggest as the character of ancient singing.