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33 years

   
Milman Parry was a scholar of epic poetry and the founder of the discipline of oral tradition.

He studied at the University of California, Berkeley (B.A. and M.A.) and at the Sorbonne (Ph.D.). A student of the linguist Antoine Meillet at the Sorbonne, Parry revolutionized Homeric studies. In his dissertations, which were published in French in 1928, he demonstrated that the Homeric style is characterized by the extensive use of fixed expressions, or 'formulas', adapted for expressing a given idea under the same metrical conditions. Meillet introduced him to Matija Murko, who had worked on oral epic traditions in Bosnia and had made phonograph recordings of some performances.

He died in Los Angeles from an accidental gunshot. Parry's influence is evident in the work of later scholars who have argued that there is a fundamental break in the institutional structure between Homeric Greece and Platonic Greece, a break characterized by the transition from an oral culture to a written culture.

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Milman Parry was a scholar of epic poetry and the founder of the discipline of oral tradition.

He studied at the University of California, Berkeley (B.A. and M.A.) and at the Sorbonne (Ph.D.). A student of the linguist Antoine Meillet at the Sorbonne, Parry revolutionized Homeric studies. In his dissertations, which were published in French in 1928, he demonstrated that the Homeric style is characterized by the extensive use of fixed expressions, or 'formulas', adapted for expressing a given idea under the same metrical conditions. Meillet introduced him to Matija Murko, who had worked on oral epic traditions in Bosnia and had made phonograph recordings of some performances.

He died in Los Angeles from an accidental gunshot. Parry's influence is evident in the work of later scholars who have argued that there is a fundamental break in the institutional structure between Homeric Greece and Platonic Greece, a break characterized by the transition from an oral culture to a written culture. More...

 
    Homer, Greek Poet
  Homer, Greek Poet
In the Western classical tradition, Homer is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest of Greek epic poets. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the h...
 
       
 
         
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