The Greek epic tradition, starting from the Homeric poems and those of the corpus Hesiodeum, often speaks of itself by referring to singers (aoidoi), but very little information is provided about how the singers learned their art. The main explanation for the phenomenon lies in the principle of poetry’s authori- tativeness, which is a crucial one for all oral traditions and is especially ensured by the relationship between the poetic message and the divine sphere. But, upon closer scrutiny, certain pieces of information emerge when we read between the lines of some of the main, well-known passages in which the Greek poetic – and particularly epic – tradition speaks of its origins and its first mythical or legen- dary representations. And these pieces of information bring light both on the evolution of the cognitive processes of the singers and on the growth of Greek epic tradition.
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