The Odyssey's larger plot is composed of a number of distinct genres of myth, all of which are extant in various Near Eastern cultures (Mesopotamian, West Semitic, Egyptian). Unexpectedly, the Near Eastern culture with which the Odyssey has the most parallels is the Old Testament. Consideration of how much of the Odyssey focuses on non-heroic episodes - hosts receiving guests, a king disguised as a beggar, recognition scenes between long-separated family members - reaffirms the Odyssey's parallels with the Bible. In particular the book argues that the Odyssey is in a dialogic relationship with Genesis, which features the same three types of myth that comprise the majority of the Odyssey: theoxeny, romance (Joseph in Egypt), and Argonautic myth (Jacob winning Rachel from Laban). The Odyssey also offers intriguing parallels to the Book of Jonah, and Odysseus' treatment by the suitors offers close parallels to the Gospels' depiction of Christ in Jerusalem.
Homer’s Odyssey is the first great travel narrative in Western culture. A compelling tale about the consequences of war, and about redemption, transformation, and the search for home, the Odyssey continues to be studied in universities and schools, and to be read and referred to by ordinary readers. Reading Homer’s Odyssey offers a book-by-book commentary on the epic’s themes that informs the non-specialist and engages the seasoned reader in new perspectives. Among the themes discussed are hospitality, survival, wealth, reputation and immortality, the Olympian gods, self-reliance and community, civility, behavior, etiquette and technology, ease, inactivity and stagnation, Penelope’s relationship with Odysseus, Telemachus’ journey, Odysseus’ rejection of Calypso’s offer of immortality, Odysseus’ lies, Homer’s use of the House of Atreus and other myths, the cinematic qualities of the epic’s structure, women’s role in the epic, and the Odyssey’s true ending. Footnotes clarify and elaborate upon myths that Homer leaves unfinished, explain terms and phrases, and provide background information. The volume concludes with a general bibliography of work on the Odyssey, in addition to the bibliographies that accompany each book’s commentary. Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
Published in 1970, this important work interprets the poem with a focus on the idiosyncrasies of its originally oral composition. In part I, the main themes of the Odyssey such as ‘guest-friendship’ and ‘testing’ are investigated. The incorporation of these and other themes, such as ‘omens’ and the ‘homecomings of the Achaeans’, into the dramatic construction of the whole epic is also examined. In Part II, the main characters of the Odyssey are described: the Suitors, Telemachus, Odysseus and Penelope. So too are Theoclymenus and Laertes, whom traditional criticism has maligned or disregarded. The analysis of the characters tries to illumine features which are challenging for the contemporary reader. In the conclusion, the ‘plan’ of the Odyssey is reconstructed. The author argues that it would probably have been performed over the course of three days: two sessions each day, with each recitation maintaining its own artistic unity.
This volume assembles sixteen authoritative articles on Homer's Odyssey that have appeared over the last thirty years. A wide variety of interpretative strategies are represented, including, in addition to traditional close readings, the approaches of comparative anthropology, narratology, feminism, and audience-oriented criticism. Papers have been selected for their clarity and accessibility, and each is informed by close attention to philological and textual detail. A full glossary and list of abbreviations have been included, and a specially written introduction puts the selections in a wider context by giving an overview of major strands in the interpretation of Homer in the second half of the twentieth century.
This volume is the first English-language survey of Homeric studies to appear for more than a generation, and the first such work to attempt to cover all fields comprehensively. Thirty leading scholars from Europe and America provide short, authoritative overviews of the state of knowledge and current controversies in the many specialist divisions in Homeric studies. The chapters pay equal attention to literary, mythological, linguistic, historical, and archaeological topics, ranging from such long-established problems as the "Homeric Question" to newer issues like the relevance of narratology and computer-assisted quantification. The collection, the third publication in Brill's handbook series, "The Classical Tradition," will be valuable at every level of study - from the general student of literature to the Homeric specialist seeking a general understanding of the latest developments across the whole range of Homeric scholarship.
This book greatly enhances our knowledge of the interrelationship of Greek religion & culture and the Ancient Near East by offering important analyses of Greek myths, divinities and terms like ‘magic’ and 'paradise', but also of the Greek contribution to the Christian notion of atonement.
Textile and dress production, from raw materials to finished items, has had a significant impact on society from its earliest history. The essays in this volume offer a fresh insight into the emerging interdisciplinary research field of textile and dress studies by discussing archaeological, iconographical and textual evidence within a broad geographical and chronological spectrum. The thirteen chapters explore issues, such as the analysis of textile tools, especially spindle whorls, and textile imprints for reconstructing textile production in contexts as different as Neolithic Transylvania, the Early Bronze Age North Aegean and the Early Iron Age Eastern Mediterranean; the importance of cuneiform clay tablets as a documentary source for both drawing a detailed picture of the administration of a textile industry and for addressing gender issues, such as the construction of masculinity in the Sumerian kingdoms of the 3rd millennium BC; and discussions of royal and priestly costumes and clothing ornaments in the Mesopotamian kingdom of Mari and in Mycenaean culture. Textile terms testify to intensive exchanges between Semitic and Indo-European languages, especially within the terminology of trade goods. The production and consumption of textiles and garments are demonstrated in 2nd millennium Hittite Anatolia; from 1st millennium BC Assyria, a cross-disciplinary approach combines texts, realia and iconography to produce a systematic study of golden dress decorations; and finally, the important discussion of fibres, flax and wool, in written and archaeological sources is evidence for delineating the economy of linen and the strong symbolic value of fibre types in 1st millennium Babylonia and the Southern Levant. The volume is part of a pair together with Greek and Roman Textiles and Dress: An Interdisciplinary Anthology edited by Mary Harlow and Marie-Louise Nosch.
A commentary with an introduction that describes the features of oral poetry and discusses the history of the text of the Odyssey. Jones provides a line-by-line commentary that explains the many factual details, mythological allusions, and Homeric conventions that a student or general reader could not be expected to bring to an initial encounter with the Odyssey. His notes also enhance an appreciation of the Odyssey by illuminating epic style, Homer's methods of composition, his characterization, and the structure of the work.
Offers a line-by-line commentary explaining the many factual details, mythological allusions, and Homeric conventions that will aid in understanding Homer's methods of composition, characterization, and structure.
The Raft of Odysseus looks at the fascinating intersection of traditional myth with an enthnographically-viewed Homeric world. Carol Dougherty argues that the resourcefulness of Odysseus as an adventurer on perilous seas served as an example to Homer's society which also had to adjust in inventive ways to turbulent conditions. The fantastic adventures of Odysseus act as a prism for the experiences of Homer's own listeners--traders, seafarers, storytellers, soldiers--and give us a glimpse into their own world of hopes and fears, 500 years after the Iliadic events were supposed to have happened.
Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey have fascinated listeners and readers for over twenty-five centuries. In this volume of original essays, collected to honor the distinguished career of Emily T. Vermeule, thirty-four leading experts in Homeric studies and related fields provide up-to-date, multidisciplinary accounts of the most current issues in the study of Homer. The book is divided into three sections. The first section treats the Bronze Age setting of the poems (around 1200 B.C.), using archaeological evidence to reveal how poetic memory preserves, distorts, and invents the past. The second section explores the early Iron Age, in which the poems were written (c. 800-500 B.C.), using the strategies of comparative philology and mythology, literary theory, historical linguistics, anthropology, and iconography to determine how the poems took shape. The final section traces the use of Homer for literary and artistic inspiration by classical Greece and Rome.
A concise yet detailed account of the state of criticism of the two great epics ascribed to Homer, the Iliad and the Odyssey.