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Homeric Games at an Ancient St. Andrews

Homeric Games at an Ancient St. Andrews

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Excerpt from Homeric Games at an Ancient St. Andrews: An Epyllium Edited From a Comparatively Modern Papyrus and Shattered by Means of the Higher Criticism

At the risk of spoiling the results evolved in the section headed Prolegomena, the following explanations are given as to the origin of this "poem," as they may serve to make some things clearer from the outset to the ordinary human reader who is not endowed with the intuitive powers of a Higher Critic.

The latter part of it, that which is designated The Aberdonian Affair, was originally published under the title of Alakeia. It appeared in a "Record," as it is called in Aberdeen, of what is, or used to be in old days, known as a "Class" of students at the University in that city. It narrated an accident which happened to an African chief, the Alake of Abiokoota, who had paid a visit to Aberdeen.

The other lay was written to commemorate a cricket match in which its author has more than once played a part. It is an annual custom at St Andrews to choose an Eleven of or "Fossils" - after the manner of the Athenian victims for the Minotaur in Crete - to sacrifice themselves before a critical cricket crowd, by "playing" the First Eleven of St Leonard's School for Girls. The ordeal affords no small pleasure to such of the elders as escape it for the year, and to those of their juniors who are privileged to witness it; and it is this contest which is partly described in the Amazonophosilomachia.

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