On Network


From Homeric to Hellenistic cultures, we are given a robust vocabulary of networking. We have terms for "nets;' for "work;' and for "network:' Each term gives rise to yet another nuance of the role network plays in being human. In this section on lexical network, I present these terms in a catalog form as an homage to archaic Homeric rhetoric. Homer's catalogs are plentiful in the epics, his catalog of ships being particularly well known. Homeric catalogs call attention to their items. Catalogs circulate well and are an aid to remembering the past, as ever-present. The catalog of "network" I offer takes the form of a list, a sparse accounting of items, in this case related words for "net;' "work;' and "network." Lists are, as Benjamin Sammons describes them, "inelaborate catalogues (i.e., easily worked up into the fuller form through the addition of elaboration)." From this list, we will begin to see distinctive lexical dimensions of network; elaboration of the list will issue from mythical and tropical dimensions of network.

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Copyright © 2018 The University of Alabama Press. This chapter first appeared in Ancient Rhetorics and Digital Networks.

Edited by Michele Kennerly and Damien Smith Pfister

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