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Creophylus fr. of Homer

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franciscosan View Drop Down
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    Posted: 12 Jan 2016 at 15:17
Creophylus of Samos was Epic Poet contemporary with Homer, was said to have "written" The Taking of Oechalia, (tale of Heracles) and Homer lent to it his name.  Or Homer wrote it and gave it as a present to Creophylus for his hospitality and friendship.
The uncertainty of whether Creophylus or Homer "wrote" The taking of the Oechalia probably reflects the fact that the poem was composed orally and the rights to performance were owned by the Creophylan line of poets.  In Plutarch's biography of Lycurgus, it is said that Lycurgus of Sparta obtained the Homeric poems from a descendant of Creophylus.  If this is correct, The Taking of the Oechalia" was not the only poem that Creophylus and Homer shared.  Creophylus probably had the right to perform other Homeric poems as well, without the restrictions on teaching them that limited the Homeridae.

+>>Creophylus also wrote of Medea.  After Medea killed Creon(?), she put her children in the Temple of Hera, for safety, but the relatives and the people violated the temple and slew her children, attributing the dastardly deed to her.  Euripides has Medea slaying the children to spite Jason, who was planning to divorce her and marry Creon's(?) daughter.  In 'the Medea' he has Medea giving the prospective bride a poison cloak and crown which proceeded to burn the bride, and her father when he tried to remove it, to death.  Medea is the niece of Circe, the witch that helped Odysseus, and she has a similar role of helping the hero, Jason, like Circe has for Odysseus.  The reference to Creophylus' Medea is in the scholia of Apollonius of Rhodes 'Argonautica.'
However, it should be understood that the historian Herodotus attributes at least one Epic poem to Homer that is rejected as Homeric by later sources.  So what "Homeric" might mean in Archaic and Classical Greece (including Lycurgan Sparta), is quite problematic.  Furthermore, The Taking of Oechalia is outside the Trojan saga.  

A later descendant of Creophylus, Hermodamas of Samos, taught Pythagoras of Samos.  Since Hermodamas is described as being in his old age, presumably he had adopted Pythagoras as his heir.
If Lycurgus, the Spartan lawgiver, could be taught (the?) Homeric poems, then Pythagoras, in addition to being taught he methods of the oral tradition, probably also learned the Homeric poems.

Again, this is all before Herodotus, before the Peisistratid recension, where the performance of Homer in the Panatheneia was standardized.  (Can't just have poets giving just the best parts, instead of the whole thing).  Pythagoreans (Orpheus of Croton) may have had something to do with that too.  Zopyrus of Heraclea is also referred to in this group, but Heraclea was not founded until later.  Onamacritus of Athens also may have had a role.

Pythagoras was said to be the transmigrated/"reincarnated" Trojan hero, Euphrobus, who wounded Patroclus and was killed by Menelaus.

Edited by franciscosan - 13 Nov 2017 at 10:33
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