The Triumph of Odysseus is part of the highly successful Reading Greek series. It presents the complete Greek text of Books 21 and 22 of Homer's Odyssey, faced with a running vocabulary with notes, and followed at the back of the book by a learning vocabulary. It is modelled on the two existing readers: A World of Heroes (1979) and The Intellectual Revolution (1980), and like them is fully illustrated. It makes an excellent introduction to Homer for those new to him, and provides accessible and confidence-building follow-up reading for others. The book can be used by anyone who has completed Reading Greek or is at an intermediate or advanced stage of ancient Greek, and it is ideal for use with students in the upper forms of schools, at university and in summer schools and weekend courses.
Scepticism is as much the result of knowledge, as knowledge is of scepticism. To be content with what we at present know, is, for the most part, to shut our ears against conviction; since, from the very gradual character of our education, we must continually forget, and emancipate ourselves from, knowledge previously acquired; we must set aside old notions and embrace fresh ones; and, as we learn, we must be daily unlearning something which it has cost us no small labour and anxiety to acquire. And this difficulty attaches itself more closely to an age in which progress has gained a strong ascendency over prejudice, and in which persons and things are, day by day, finding their real level, in lieu of their conventional value. The same principles which have swept away traditional abuses, and which are making rapid havoc among the revenues of sinecurists, and stripping the thin, tawdry veil from attractive superstitions, are working as actively in literature as in society. The credulity of one writer, or the partiality of another, finds as powerful a touchstone and as wholesome a chastisement in the healthy scepticism of a temperate class of antagonists, as the dreams of conservatism, or the impostures of pluralist sinecures in the Church. History and tradition, whether of ancient or comparatively recent times, are subjected to very different handling from that which the indulgence or credulity of former ages could allow. Mere statements are jealously watched, and the motives of the writer form as important an ingredient in the analysis or his history, as the facts he records. Probability is a powerful and troublesome test; and it is by this troublesome standard that a large portion of historical evidence is sifted. Consistency is no less pertinacious and exacting in its demands. In brief, to write a history, we must know more than mere facts. Human nature, viewed under an introduction of extended experience, is the best help to the criticism of human history. Historical characters can only be estimated by the standard which human experience, whether actual or traditionary, has furnished. To form correct views of individuals we must regard them as forming parts of a great whole—we must measure them by their relation to the mass of beings by whom they are surrounded; and, in contemplating the incidents in their lives or condition which tradition has handed down to us, we must rather consider the general bearing of the whole narrative, than the respective probability of its details.
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.
Sing to me of the resourceful man, O Muse, who wandered far after he had sacked the sacred city of Troy. He saw the cities of many men and he learned their minds. He suffered many pains on the sea in his spirit, seeking to save his life and the homecoming of his companions. Odysseus--soldier, sailor, trickster, and everyman--is one of the most recognizable characters in world literature. His arduous, ten-year journey home after the Trojan War, the subject of Homer's Odyssey, is the most accessible tale to survive from ancient Greece, and its impact is still felt today across many different cultures. This lively free verse translation, from one of today's leading Homeric scholars, preserves the clarity and simplicity of the original while conveying Odysseus' adventures in a modern style. By avoiding the technical formality of earlier translations, and the colloquial and sometimes exaggerated effects of recent attempts, Barry B. Powell's translation deftly captures the most essential truths of this vital text. Due to his thorough familiarity with the world of Homer and Homeric language, Powell's introduction provides rich historical and literary perspectives on the poem. This volume also includes illustrations from classical artwork, detailed maps, explanatory notes, a timeline, and a glossary. Modern and pleasing to the ear while accurately reflecting the meaning of the original, this Odyssey is a superlative translation for twenty-first-century readers.
A study in poetic interaction, The "Odyssey" in Athens explores the ways in which narrative structure and parallels within and between epic poems create or disclose meaning. Erwin F. Cook also broadens the scope of this intertextual approach to include the relationship of Homeric epic to ritual. Specifically he argues that the Odyssey achieved its form as a written text within the context of Athenian civic cults during the reign of Peisistratos. Focusing on the prologue and the Apologoi (Books 9–12), Cook shows how the traditional Greek polarity between force and intelligence informs the Odyssean narrative at all levels of composition. He then uses this polarity to explain instances of Odyssean self-reference, allusions to other epic traditions—in particular the Iliad—and interaction between the poem and its performance context in Athenian civic ritual. This detailed structural analysis, with its insights into the circumstances and meaning of the Odyssey's composition, will lead to a new understanding of the Homeric epics and the tradition they evoked.
Readers coming to the Odyssey for the first time are often dazzled and bewildered by the wealth of material it contains which is seemingly unrelated to the central story: the main plot of Odysseus' return to Ithaca is complicated by myriad secondary narratives related by the poet and his characters, including Odysseus' own fantastic tales of Lotus Eaters, Sirens, and cannibal giants. Although these 'para-narratives' are a source of pleasure and entertainment in their own right, each also has a special relevance to its immediate context, elucidating Odysseus' predicament and also subtly influencing and guiding the audience's reception of the main story. By exploring variations on the basic story-shape, drawing on familiar tales, anecdotes, and mythology, or inserting analogous situations, they create illuminating parallels to the main narrative and prompt specific responses in readers or listeners. This is the case even when details are suppressed or altered, as the audience may still experience the reverberations of the better-known version of the tradition, and it also applies to the characters themselves, who are often provided with a model of action for imitation or avoidance in their immediate contexts.
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A New York Times Notable Book of 2018 "Wilson’s language is fresh, unpretentious and lean…It is rare to find a translation that is at once so effortlessly easy to read and so rigorously considered." —Madeline Miller, author of Circe Composed at the rosy-fingered dawn of world literature almost three millennia ago, The Odyssey is a poem about violence and the aftermath of war; about wealth, poverty and power; about marriage and family; about travelers, hospitality, and the yearning for home. This fresh, authoritative translation captures the beauty of this ancient poem as well as the drama of its narrative. Its characters are unforgettable, none more so than the “complicated” hero himself, a man of many disguises, many tricks, and many moods, who emerges in this version as a more fully rounded human being than ever before. Written in iambic pentameter verse and a vivid, contemporary idiom, Emily Wilson’s Odyssey sings with a voice that echoes Homer’s music; matching the number of lines in the Greek original, the poem sails along at Homer’s swift, smooth pace. A fascinating, informative introduction explores the Bronze Age milieu that produced the epic, the poem’s major themes, the controversies about its origins, and the unparalleled scope of its impact and influence. Maps drawn especially for this volume, a pronunciation glossary, and extensive notes and summaries of each book make this is an Odyssey that will be treasured by a new generation of readers.