N.B. The following material has been collected together from several sources (Cf. Bibliography at end) as an aid to the student in comprehending the basic aspects oral epic poetry. For that reason, the format has been kept as simple as possible, and exact citations of sources have been omitted except where the student is expected to know a particular scholar's contribution.

Classifications of epic poetry

Formulas in oral poetry

Themes in oral poetry

Structure of the Iliad

The Meter of Homer: Dactylic Hexameter

Summary: of the basic facts-of-life of oral poetry


This material has been used for many years by Professor Tom Sienkewicz in his courses at Howard University and at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois. If you have any questions, you may contact him at toms@monm.edu.

Return to Monmouth College Classics Dept. Home Page