Monday, May 30, 2011


As y'all know, my online pseudonym is Kalliope. As an undergrad, I double majored in Technical Theatre and Classical Languages, emphasizing in Ancient Greek literature. So, for this landmark post (100th), I thought I'd explain my pseudonym. Kalliope was the muse of epic poetry and her name means 'beautiful-voiced'. She is known for being Homer's muse, and the inspiration for the Iliad and the Odyssey. In the opening lines of the Iliad and the Odyssey, he calls upon her to sing the stories to him about Achilles' anger and Odysseus' travels. In my classes, I translated a couple of books of the Iliad, read the Odyssey a few times, and wrote my undergraduate thesis about certain events in the Iliad. I love both books. I love the genre. I have read the Aeneid as well, and though I recognize that it is also well done, in my heart I am and always will be a Hellenist. Virgil was a talented epic poet, but I find the introduction boastful. Homer gives the glory of his tales to Kalliope herself, but Virgil begins his poem with the line "I sing about arms and a man" and doesn't invoke the muse until several lines later. Pompous. Too pompous. It's also a challenge to Homer, in that the Iliad is a poem about a war (arms) and the Odyssey is about a man. Virgil declares that he will do what Homer did in one epic, and with the muse taking only a peripheral role.

I don't think so. Sorry. That's probably far more than you wanted to know.

So, in honor of the great muse, and in honor of my first passion, I took upon myself her name.

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