Little Iliad

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<!--this article has used the BCE/CE convention since its inception, 21 June 2005-->The Little Iliad (Greek: , Ilias mikra; ) is a lost epic of ancient Greek literature. It was one of the Epic Cycle, that is, the "Trojan" cycle, which told the entire history of the Trojan War in epic verse. The story of the Little Iliad comes chronologically after that of the Aethiopis, and is followed by that of the Iliou persis ("Sack of Troy"). The Little Iliad was variously attributed by ancient writers to Lesches of Pyrrha, Cinaethon of Sparta, Diodorus of Erythrae, Thestorides of Phocaea, or Homer himself (see Cyclic poets). The poem comprised four books of verse in dactylic hexameter, the heroic meter.


The Little Iliad was probably composed in the latter half of the seventh century BCE, but there is much uncertainty. Ancient sources date Lesches to the seventh century; but it is typical for ancient writers to place archaic literary authors earlier (sometimes centuries earlier) than they actually lived.


The Little Iliad is one of the better-attested epics in the Epic Cycle: nearly thirty lines of the original text survive. Nevertheless, we are almost entirely dependent on a summary of the Cyclic epics contained in the Chrestomatheia (see also chrestomathy) attributed to an unknown "Proclus" (possibly to be identified with the 2nd-century CE grammarian Eutychius Proclus). Numerous other references give indications of the poem's...
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