I n what follows I propose still to adopt a generally chronological order. Beginning, as we were bound to do, with the Greek view of Homer, we have seen that the assumption of a personal Homer, while it greatly simplified the whole problem, nevertheless left it an open question how this personal Homer stood in relation to the composers of other epic poems and how his subjects were related to theirs; also that it did not touch the questions how the poems had been transmitted and how nearly the current text of them should be regarded as corresponding with what came from the poet. Since the belief in a personal author involved belief in a design running through the poems, it facilitated the comparison of this type of design with that presumed in other kinds of literary composition, and so led directly to conclusions on literary art in general, as it had developed within the Greek city-state. It also went far to determine the course of discussion on the purpose and meaning of the poems, and con sequently on the limits of their legitimate uses, as works of art and as sources of information. Coming next to the reception of Homer into the new world of the Classical Renaissance, we shall see how the circumstances of transmission to the west determined the course of discovery, and in particular gave a common inheritance to each of the principal nationalities which came into being during the dissolu tion of the mediaeval world order which that Renaissance made possible; but that in spite of the recovery, in due course, of the main outlines of the Greek view of Homer, the literary pioneers of crit-
icism in each of those national states took their own line, and reached views about Homer which are as instructive as they are, precisely because they are characteristic of the people who formed them. We shall see, in the modern world as in the Hellenistic, new methods of enquiry applied to the text, the language, the design and the sub stantial contents of the poems, and from these disconnected and often divergent lines of investigation, a new body of conclusions in process of formation, of which the full meaning and implications are not even yet clear; though some avenues, once tempting, are found to lead nowhere, and some questions are discovered to have been so framed that they do not admit of any answer at all.