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uni'wissen 01-2012_ENG

­Achilles’ speech in the ninth book, which consists primarily of old verses. The city of Thebes is men­ tioned – along with the city of Orchomenos, both located in the Greek region of Boetia. In the ­following three lines, however, it is explained that it is the Egyptian Thebes that is meant, a city ­regarded as being especially rich in Ionic times, and these lines cannot be converted into epic 15-syllable verses. “A more recent insertion in an older textual environment,” concludes ­Tichy. A Risk of Error of Less than Ten Percent Tichy has analyzed five books of the Iliad so far. The result: Between two-thirds and three- fourths of two of them consist of old verses. In the tenth book, however, almost 80 percent of the verses are more recent. That fits the picture: It is regarded as certain that this book, probably the work of another poet, was added later – ­because it makes references to other parts of the Iliad, but there are no references to it in the rest of the work. In addition, Tichy has conducted a provisional appraisal of around 500 recon­ structed 15-syllable verses. Just under a quarter of them remained unchanged from the original text. “Half of them needed minor changes, often amounting to a mere linguistic regularization. Prof. Dr. Eva Tichy studied Indo-European ­linguistics, Indo-Iranian linguistics, Latin, and Greek in Erlangen and earned her habilitation in 1989 in Marburg. Following stations in Basel, Switzer- land, and Frankfurt am Main she accepted a chair in comparative linguistics at the University of Freiburg in 1993. From this time on, she has taught Indo-Euro- pean linguistics in Freiburg; until a minor field program in general linguistics was established, she was also responsible for this field. From 1995 to 1997 she served as dean of the then Faculty of Humanities II. Her research initially con- centrated on Greek, later on Indo-Iranian, particu- larly Vedic Sanskrit. She is currently working primarily on a linguistic analysis of the Iliad. Photo: S.K.U.B. Further Reading Tichy, Eva (2011): Ilias diachronica Iota (9). Tichy, Eva (2010): Älter als der Hexameter? Schiffskatalog, Troerkatalog und vier Einzel­ szenen der Ilias. Bremen. Tichy, Eva (2009³): Indogermanistisches Grundwissen für Studierende sprachwissen­ schaftlicher Disziplinen. Bremen. These are the most telling cases,” says Tichy. She had to risk more radical changes in the other third. “However, my changes often lead to advan­ tages in that they solve long-known textual prob­ lems.” She estimates the risk of error at less than ten percent. On the whole, it is possible to identify two ­textual layers. The older one was written be­ tween the 11th and the 9th century before Christ. It ­includes material that was available to be used again and again in the oral tradition and that has been handed down to us exactly for that reason: speeches, battle scenes, other typical scenes like those depicting a departure, an arrival, or a visit, but also popular songs and short epic ­poems. The newer layer, that consisting of Homer’s own verses, is characterized by sections that move the plot forward and structure the work by ­re­ferring to preceding or following passages. “All of a sudden it becomes clear how Homer treats the orally transmitted material, how closely ­attached to the epic tradition he is and where he transcends it,” says Tichy. The Indo-European linguist has been working on her analysis of the Iliad since 2008. “In the beginning I could hardly believe that the experi­ ment could be successful myself and that one could then just see which passages are old and which are more recent.” Her results have the ­potential to become a sensation in philological circles. However, until now she has been viewed as an outsider: She conducted her research alone, applications for third-party funding “would have certainly been turned down,” reactions from colleagues have been cautious. But Eva Tichy is convinced that she is on the right track. For the present, she is unwilling to make any ­predictions concerning the other 19 books: “It will be exciting to see what the rest of the ­project will show or bear out. It will no doubt be my last big research project.” “All of a sudden it becomes clear how Homer treats the ­orally transmitted material, how closely attached to the epic tradition he is and where he transcends it” 7