Homeric Apocrypha



Arist. Poet. 1448b24

διεσπάσθη δὲ κατὰ τὰ οἰκεῖα ἤθη ἡ ποίησις· οἱ μὲν γὰρ σεμνότεροι τὰς καλὰς ἐμιμοῦντο πράξεις καὶ τὰς τῶν τοιούτων, οἱ δὲ εὐτελέστεροι τὰς τῶν φαύλων, πρῶτον ψόγους ποιοῦντες, ὥσπερ ἕτεροι ὕμνους καὶ ἐγκώμια. τῶν μὲν οὖν πρὸ Ὁμήρου οὐδενὸς ἔχομεν εἰπεῖν τοιοῦτον ποίημα, εἰκὸς δὲ εἶναι πολλούς, ἀπὸ δὲ Ὁμήρου ἀρξαμένοις ἔστιν, οἷον ἐκείνου ὁ Μαργίτης καὶ τὰ τοιαῦτα. . . .ὥσπερ δὲ καὶ τὰ σπουδαῖα μάλιστα ποιητὴς Ὅμηρος ἦν (μόνος γὰρ οὐχ ὅτι εὖ ἀλλὰ καὶ μιμήσεις δραματικὰς ἐποίησεν), οὕτως καὶ τὸ τῆς κωμωιδίας σχῆμα πρῶτος ὑπέδειξεν, οὐ ψόγον ἀλλὰ τὸ γελοῖον δραματοποιήσας· ὁ γὰρ Μαργίτης ἀνάλογον ἔχει, ὥσπερ Ἰλιὰς καὶ ἡ Ὀδύσσεια πρὸς τὰς τραγωιδίας, οὕτω καὶ οὗτος πρὸς τὰς κωμωιδίας.

Hephaestion, Isagoge 4 (p. 59.21 Consbruch)

μετρικὰ δὲ ἄτακτα . . . οἷός ἐστιν ὁ Μαργίτης ὁ εἰς Ὅμηρον ἀναφερόμενος, ἐν ὧι παρέσπαρται τοῖς ἔπεσιν ἰαμβικά, καὶ ταῦτα οὐ κατ᾿ ἴσον σύστημα.





Aristotle, Poetics

Poetry divided according to the (poets’) native characters: the more dignified poets represented noble actions and those of noble people, while the more vulgar represented those of the low class, initially by composing derogatory pieces, just as another group composed hymns and encomia. Of poets before Homer we cannot name any author of such a poem, though many probably existed; but from Homer onwards we can, for example his Margites and the like. . . . And just as Homer above all was the poet of serious subjects—for he alone, besides composing well, composed dramatic representations—so too he was the first to reveal the outlines of comedy, by dramatization that was not derogatory but humorous. For the Margites stands in a similar relation to comedies as the Iliad and Odyssey do to tragedies.

Hephaestion, Introduction to Metre

Unregulated metres . . . such as the Margites attributed to Homer, in which there are iambic lines scattered among the hexameters, and on no regular system.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.homeric_apocrypha_margites_testimonia.2003