Homeric nod

Homeric nod (sometimes heard as 'Even Homer nods') is a proverbial phrase for a continuity error. It has its origins in Homeric epic.

The phrase was coined by the Roman poet Horace in his Ars poetica, lines 358-9:

... et idem
indignor quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus

... and yet I also become annoyed whenever the great Homer nods off.

There are numerous continuity errors in Homer that resemble "nods", as for example:
  • In Iliad 5.576-9 Menelaos kills a minor character, Pylaimenes, in combat; but later, at 13.643-59, he is still alive to witness the death of his son.
  • In Iliad 9.165-93 three characters, Phoinix, Odysseus, and Aias set out on an embassy to Achilleus; however, at line 182 the poet uses a verb in the dual form to indicate that there are only two people going; at lines 185ff. verbs in the plural form are used, indicating more than two; but another dual verb appears at line 192 ("the two of them came forward").
In modern Homeric scholarship many of Homer's "nods" are explicable as the consequences of the poem being retold and improvised by generations of oral poets. So in the second case cited above, it is likely that two different versions are being conflated: one version with an embassy of three people, another with just two people.

Alexander Pope was inclined to give Homeric nods the benefit of the doubt:

Those oft are Stratagems which Errors seem,
Nor is it Homer Nods, but We that Dream. - Essay on Criticism
In fiction, continuity is consistency of the characteristics of persons, plot, objects, places and events seen by the reader or viewer. It is of relevance to several media.
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Homer is the name given to the purported author of the early Greek poems the Iliad and the Odyssey. It is now generally believed that they were composed by illiterate aoidoi (rhapsodes) in an oral tradition in the 8th or 7th century BC.
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The epic is long, exalted narrative poetry, generally concerning a serious subject and details the heroic deeds and events important to a culture or nation.
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Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea.
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Quintus Horatius Flaccus, (December 8, 65 BC - November 27, 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus.
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Ars Poetica is a term meaning "The Art of Poetry" or "On the Nature of Poetry". Early examples of Ars Poetica by Aristotle and Horace have survived and have since spawned many other poems that bear the same name.
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iLiad is an electronic handheld device, or e-book device, which can be used for document reading and editing. Like the Sony Reader, the iLiad makes use of an electronic paper display.


Main specifications:
  • an 8.1-inch (20.

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Menelaus (ancient Greek Μενέλαος) was a king of Ancient Sparta, the husband of Helen, and a central figure in the Trojan War. He was the son of Atreus and Aerope.
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Phoenix, son of Amyntor, is one of the Myrmidons led by Achilles, who along with Odysseus and Ajax urges Achilles to re-enter battle, giving the most passionate speech of the three.
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Odysseus or Ulysses (Greek Ὀδυσσεύς Odysseus; Latin: Ulixes or, more commonly, Ulysses), pronounced
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Ajax or Aias (ancient Greek: Αἴας) was a mythological Greek hero, the son of Telamon and Periboea and king of Salamis.
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Achilles (also Akhilleus or Achilleus; Ancient Greek: Άχιλλεύς) was a hero of the Trojan War, the central character and greatest warrior of Homer's Iliad
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Dual is a grammatical number that some languages use in addition to singular and plural. When a noun or pronoun appears in dual form, it is interpreted as referring to precisely two of the entities (objects or persons) identified by the noun or pronoun.
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Plural is a grammatical number, typically referring to more than one of the referent in the real world.

In the English language, singular and plural are the only grammatical numbers.

In English, nouns, pronouns, and demonstratives inflect for plurality.
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Homeric scholarship is the study of Homeric epic, especially the two large surviving epics the Iliad and Odyssey. It is currently part of the academic discipline of classical studies, but the subject is one of the very oldest topics in all scholarship or science,
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Alexander Pope

Alexander Pope (c.1727), an English poet best known for his Essay on Criticism, Rape of the Lock and The Dunciad
Born: May 21 1688(1688--)
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An Essay on Criticism was the first major poem written by the English writer Alexander Pope (1688-1744). However, despite the title, the poem is not as much an original analysis as it is a compilation of Pope's various literary opinions.
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