Nicolas Gisel

Although the so-called oral-formulaic theory has been strongly criticised because of its universalist drift, the theory has provided a convincing model for a better understanding of the way in which the Greek poetic tradition of the Dark Ages and Archaic period functions. This tradition is characterised primarily by the preservation of narrative themes and stereotyped expressions during the process of transmission.
Even though investigations on this subject have been less numerous in the field of Near Eastern studies, some of them nevertheless suggest that the type of poetry practiced among several peoples of Western Asia also tend to preserve narrative themes, as well as stereotyped expressions.
My research is focused on phraseological correspondences. The existence of such similarities between Greek and Near Eastern traditions would provide an additional argument for an obvious relationship between archaic Greek epic poetry and the heroic and theogonic poems of Western Asia.