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HOMERUS, ILIAS EN ODYSSEE

Beide werken worden toegeschreven aan de dichter Homerus, hoewel geleerden het erover eens zijn dat deze vorm van poëzie waarschijnlijk eerst mondeling overgedragen werd en pas later op schrift gesteld. De titel is ontleend aan Ilios of Ilion (Ἴλιον), de oude, Griekse naam voor Troje, een stad die was gesitueerd in Klein-Azië aan de noordwestkust van Anatolië.

Inhoud


1Achtergrond

2Thema

3Hoofdrolspelers (mensen en goden)

3.1Griekse kamp

3.2Trojaanse kamp

4Onderverdeling in boeken

5Uitgebreide samenvatting

5.1Achtergrond

5.2Twist om Chryseïs

5.3Verbroken wapenstilstand

5.4Grieken slaan terug

5.5Hektor doodt Patroklos

5.6Achilles wreekt Patroklos en doodt Hektor

5.7Priamos haalt Hektors lijk op

6Nederlandse vertalingen en bewerkingen van Ilias

7Op film en televisie

8Zie ook

9Externe link


Achtergrond


De Ilias vertelt over de wrok van Achilles en beschrijft slechts een korte episode van het einde van de Trojaanse Oorlog, die volgens de overlevering tien jaar geduurd heeft. Het is dan ook een misvatting te denken dat de Ilias de gehele Trojaanse Oorlog beschrijft. Uiteindelijk wordt de stad Troje, met behulp van het beroemde Paard van Troje, door de Grieken ingenomen. Hierover wordt echter in de Ilias niets verteld, wel in de Odyssee. Het bekende verhaal van het Trojaanse paard werd beschreven door de Romeinse dichter Vergilius.

De Ilias is onderverdeeld in 24 boeken die genummerd zijn volgens de letters van het Griekse alfabet van Alfa tot Omega (hoofdletters). Elk boek bestaat uit gemiddeld 800 verzen. De taal is Ionisch en onderscheidt zich van het latere Attisch in zowel woordenschat als in morfologie. Homeros gebruikte veel uitgebreide, tot de verbeelding sprekende vergelijkingen (later de Homerische vergelijking genoemd). Het gaat in oorsprong om een orale traditie.

Het is geschreven in dactylische hexameters en het begint met de woorden:

Μῆνιν ἄειδε, θεά, Πηληιάδεω Ἀχιλῆος
(Bezing de wrok, godin, van Peleus' zoon Achilleus)

— Ilias, boek I, versregel 1

Er is een tweede epos dat op de Ilias volgt en ook aan Homeros wordt toegeschreven: de Odyssee. Dit verhaalt de tienjarige zwerftocht van de Griekse held Odysseus, in zijn poging om naar huis terug te keren. Omdat de god van de zee Poseidon wrok tegen hem koestert, wil dat maar niet lukken en vaart Odysseus tien jaar rond, waarin hij allerlei obstakels tegenkomt, vooraleer hij zijn thuiseiland Ithaka kan bereiken.


Thema


Het voornaamste thema van het boek is de 'wrok van Achilles'. Deze had namelijk een meisje, Briseïs, als krijgsbuit opgeëist. Agamemnon gebood echter dat hij afstand van haar moest doen, omdat deze zijn eigen oorlogsbuit, Chryseïs, had moeten opgeven om de pesterijen van Apollo te doen ophouden. Achilles is zo woedend, dat hij zich afzondert en weigert nog verder mee te strijden in de oorlog. Achilles blijft gedurende het grootste deel van het boek buiten beeld, terwijl de gevechten verdergaan en de Grieken in een benarde situatie terechtkomen. Pas naar het einde toe, nadat Achilles verneemt dat zijn vriend (mogelijk geliefde) Patroklos is vermoord door de Trojaan Hektor en hij daardoor zwaar aangegrepen wordt, is hij weer vastberaden zich opnieuw in de oorlog te mengen en te vechten om wraak te nemen op Hektor voor de dood van zijn vriend. Hierdoor zullen de Grieken uiteindelijk de overwinning kunnen behalen.

Deze overwinning wordt zelf niet beschreven, maar door de voorspellingen van goden en strijders is bekend wat het lot is van alle protagonisten in het verhaal en hoe de strijd zal eindigen. Het boek eindigt wanneer Achilles van zijn wrok verlost is dankzij Hektors dood.


Hoofdrolspelers (mensen en goden)


Griekse kamp

Mensen

Achilles, zoon van zeenimf Thetis en de Thessalische koning Peleus

Patroklos, strijdmakker, neef en vriend van Achilles

Menelaos, Griekse vorst van Sparta, wiens vrouw Helena door de Trojaan Paris met hulp van de godin Aphrodite geschaakt was, hetgeen de aanleiding voor de oorlog was geweest

Agamemnon, Griekse vorst van Mycene, broer van Menelaos en aanvoerder van de Grieken

Odysseus, Griekse vorst van Ithaka, die tegen zijn wil ten strijde is getrokken, volgens het boek de sluwste van hen (bedacht later de list met het paard) - Het boek de Odyssee van Homeros vertelt over zijn 10-jarige zwerftocht na de Trojaanse Oorlog

Ajax, Griekse vorst, zeer heldhaftig, zoon van Telamon, ook wel de Grote Ajax genoemd, niet verwarren met de Kleine Ajax, zoon van Oileus

Nestor, Griekse vorst, de oudste van allemaal

Diomedes, Griekse vorst

Kalchas, ziener van de Grieken

Goden

Zeus, oppergod, god van de donder en bliksem

Thetis, zeegodin en moeder van Achilles

Pallas Athena, dochter van Zeus en godin van de wijsheid, beschermer van o.a. Odysseus

Hera, vrouw van Zeus, steunt de Grieken samen met Athena uit wrok tegen Paris, die Aphrodite tot mooiste godin had uit geroepen

Hephaestus, god van vuur, smederijen en handwerk, die Achilles' nieuwe wapenrusting maakte

Poseidon, god van de zee

Trojaanse kamp

Mensen

Hektor, de belangrijkste Trojaanse held

Priamos, vader van Hektor en heerser over Troje

Andromache, vrouw van Hektor

Paris, zoon van Priamos, die de aanleiding was tot de strijd door Helena te schaken.

Aeneas, strijder voor Troje, die de overlevenden mee zou voeren en wiens nageslacht Rome zou stichten (zie de Aeneis)

Astyanax, de zoon van Hektor en Andromache.

Sarpedon, zoon van Zeus, die de list van Patroklos en Achilles doorheeft

Pandaros, degene die het vredesverdrag verbrak door een pijl op Menelaos af te schieten

Goden

Zeus, oppergod, god van de donder en bliksem

Aphrodite, godin van de liefde

Ares, god van de oorlog, tegenstrever van Pallas Athene

Apollo, lichtgod en beschermgod van Troje

Alleen de voor het verhaal belangrijkste goden zijn vermeld en aan welke kant zij streden. Aan wiens kant Zeus nu werkelijk streed is niet duidelijk, want in de Ilias zelf stond hij aan de kant van de Trojanen. Aan welke kant hij stond over de gehele oorlog zelf kan niet uit de Ilias worden afgeleid.


Onderverdeling in boeken


Deze is pas later ontstaan en niet onomstreden. Hieronder volgt een aanduiding van de inhoud.

Pest, twist, en wrok

De proef - Opsomming van de strijdkrachten

Het tweegevecht tussen Menelaos en Paris

Pandaros schendt het verdrag

Heldendaden van Diomedes

Diomedes en Glaukos - Hektor neemt afscheid van Andromache

De tweestrijd tussen Ajax en Hektor - De bouw van de wal

De Trojanen bereiken de wal

Het gezantschap naar Achilles

Diomedes en Odysseus op nachtelijke sluiptocht

Heldendaden van Agamemnon

De strijd bij de wal

De strijd bij de schepen

Zeus door Hera misleid

De strijd in het scheepskamp

De dood van Patroklos

De strijd om het lijk van Patroklos

Het schild van Achilles

De verzoening

Goden tegen goden

Het gevecht bij de rivier

Hektors dood

De lijkspelen voor Patroklos

De begrafenis van Hektor


Uitgebreide samenvatting


Achtergrond

Het verhaal van de Ilias speelt zich af rond het jaar 1240 v.Chr. De oude stad Troje, in het huidige Turkije, wordt belegerd door voorouders van de Grieken, de Achaeërs. Met duizenden schepen zijn de Grieken komen aanvaren om Helena, de vrouw van de Griekse vorst Menelaos terug naar huis te halen. Zij werd ontvoerd door Paris, zoon van de Trojaanse koning Priamos, die daarvoor hulp kreeg van Aphrodite naar aanleiding van de twistappel, opgeworpen door Eris op het huwelijk van Peleus en Thetis. Na deze ontvoering zijn alle Griekse vorsten samengekomen om op te komen tegen Troje. Agamemnon, de broer van Menelaos, werd als leider gekozen.

Twist om Chryseïs

De Ilias begint met de aanhef, waarin Homerus vraagt om de goddelijke inspiratie van de muze, om te kunnen zingen over de wrok van Achilles. Het verhaal begint op het moment dat Apollo's priester Chryses, naar Agamemnon gaat om zijn dochter Chryseïs terug te halen. Dit meisje was door de Grieken als oorlogsbuit meegenomen en aan Agamemnon toegewezen. Agamemnon weigert echter, en Chryses gaat weg, treurend om zijn dochter, en smeekt Apollo om hem te helpen zijn dochter terug te krijgen. Apollo verhoort zijn smeekbede en begint met pestpijlen af te vuren op het Griekse kamp.

Kalchas, een waarzegger, vertelt de Grieken dat zij Chryseïs zullen moeten teruggeven vooraleer Apollo zich zal terugtrekken. In een vergadering in het kamp stelt Achilles voor dat Agamemnon het meisje maar moet teruggeven. Agamemnon pikt dit niet, en eist in ruil voor het opgeven van Chryseïs de krijgsbuit van Achilles op, Briseïs. Odysseus brengt Chryseïs terug naar haar vader, en Briseïs wordt uit Achilles' tent gehaald en aan Agamemnon overhandigd. Achilles is woedend en zondert zich af. Hij weigert nog verder mee te vechten aan de zijde van de Grieken en gaat wenend op een rots zitten. Dan wil zijn moeder, de zeegodin Thetis, hem troosten. Achilles vraagt haar hem te helpen wraak te nemen, waarop zij naar Zeus gaat en diens hulp vraagt. Zeus belooft haar dat de Grieken niet zullen overwinnen, totdat ze tot inkeer komen en Achilles zullen eren. Wanneer Hera, Zeus' echtgenote en voorstander van de Grieken, dit hoort, wordt ze woedend. Het gevolg is een echtelijke ruzie, die wordt gesust door Hephaistos.

Verbroken wapenstilstand


Intussen hebben de Grieken steeds minder zin om nog verder te vechten. Agamemnons voorstel om naar huis te keren wordt met veel enthousiasme onthaald, maar op verzoek van Athena, die op haar beurt door Hera gezonden was, slaagt Odysseus erin de Grieken toch nog aan te moedigen om verder te gaan en te strijden.

Wanneer er dan toch een wapenstilstand tot stand komt, gaan de twee mannen die allebei Helena thuis willen, strijden. Menelaos vecht tegen Paris om zijn vrouw terug te krijgen. Menelaos wint, maar dankzij de godin van de liefde Aphrodite overleeft Paris het gevecht doordat ze hem helpt, zoals ze beloofd had, en ze brengt hem terug naar Troje. Helena, aangespoord door Iris, vertelt intussen aan de Trojaanse koning Priamus wie de meest gevaarlijke mensen zijn van het Griekse leger.

De wapenstilstand wordt verbroken door de Trojaan Pandaros, die op bevel van Athena een pijl afschiet naar Menelaos en deze verwondt; de oorlog barst weer in volle hevigheid los. Ook Ares mengt zich nu in de strijd, en kiest de kant van de Trojanen. De Grieken staan op een gegeven ogenblik op het punt om Troje binnen te dringen, maar het lukt hun niet. De goden verlaten het strijdtoneel even, terwijl de Grieken aan de winnende hand zijn. Hektor, de broer van Paris, ontmoet zijn vrouw Andromache op de muren van Troje om afscheid te nemen van haar en hun zoontje, alhoewel hij pas dagen later door Achilles wordt gedood. Na maandenlang strijden, gunnen de partijen elkaar een korte wapenstilstand om de overledenen eervol te kunnen begraven.

De oppergod Zeus laat in een godenvergadering weten dat hij niet meer wil dat de goden zich met deze oorlog bemoeien. Hij geeft enkel af en toe de Trojanen een steuntje in de rug, al dan niet door een andere god het bevel te geven de Trojanen te helpen. De Trojanen dringen de Grieken terug tot hun kampen en kunnen zelfs de nacht buiten de muren van hun fort doorbrengen; dit geeft de Trojanen weer wat zelfvertrouwen. Bij de Grieken is het zelfvertrouwen intussen ver te zoeken. Agamemnon wil het er weer bij laten zitten, maar krijgt daarvoor berispingen van Diomedes en Nestor. Er wordt geprobeerd Achilles terug te halen: Agamemnon biedt zelfs geschenken, Briseïs en de hand van zijn dochter aan, maar Achilles blijft bij zijn besluit.

Grieken slaan terug

De Grieken laten zich echter niet zomaar uit het veld slaan. Op een avond besluiten Odysseus en Diomedes stiekem het kamp van de Trojanen binnen te dringen. Het wordt een succes: ze nemen een Trojaanse spion, Dolon, gevangen en plunderen het kamp van de Thraciërs, die van plan waren om de Trojanen te helpen tegen de Grieken.

Zeus laat Eris de strijdlust opnieuw aanwakkeren, en de strijd begint weer. De Grieken wapenen zich weer en trekken op tegen Troje. Agamemnon raakt net als Diomedes, Odysseus en Menelaos gewond bij de gevechten. Achilles vraagt zijn beste vriend Patroklos om bij Nestor naar de gewonden te informeren. Nestor adviseert Patroklos om het leger van Achilles, de Myrmidoniërs, zelf aan te voeren.

De strijd om de muur van de Grieken, die ze ondertussen hebben gebouwd rond hun scheepskamp, is begonnen. De Trojanen weten binnen te dringen onder leiding van Hektor. Door onoplettendheid van Zeus, die zich heeft afgewend van het strijdtoneel, krijgt Poseidon, de god van zeeën en rivieren en iemand die medelijden had met de Grieken, de kans om hun opnieuw moed in te spreken. Hierdoor worden de Trojanen teruggedrongen. Zeus krijgt geen kans om Poseidon te straffen, want Poseidon heeft de steun van Hera en weet met hulp van Hypnos, de god van de slaap, Zeus in de armen van Hera te laten inslapen. Zolang Zeus slaapt, leidt Poseidon de Grieken en die zorgen ervoor dat de Trojanen vluchten. In een strijd raakt Hektor gewond, maar op dat moment ontwaakt Zeus uit zijn slaap, herstelt de orde, beveelt de goden opnieuw zich terug te trekken en laat Apollo Hektor moed inspreken.

Hektor doodt Patroklos

Achilles geeft zijn goede vriend Patroklos toestemming om het leger van de Myrmidoniërs aan te voeren. Hij krijgt de uitrusting van Achilles mee en gaat op pad. De overmoedige Patroklos vecht tegen de Trojanen tot aan de muren van Troje. Hij bestormt de Trojaanse muren drie keer, maar wordt telkens door Apollo teruggedreven. Intussen mengt Apollo zich in de strijd; hij naderde Patroklos (terwijl hij onzichtbaar was) langs achter en sloeg hem zijn helm af, brak zijn lans, smeet zijn schild op de grond en ontgespte zijn pantser. Toen trof ene Euphorbos hem tussen de schouders met zijn lans, maar hij durfde Achilles' sterke kameraad niet doden. Hektor wist dus heel goed dat het Patroklos was die naakt en gewond voor hem lag, en hij doorboorde hem met zijn lans van onderen in de buik. Voor dit alles had Patroklos Kebriones, de wagenmenner en halfbroer van Hektor, weten te doden met een steen. Hektor was woest en daarom doodde hij hem op zo'n oneervolle manier. Menelaos, de broer van Agamemnon, vecht om het lijk van Patroklos te kunnen houden, maar kan niet voorkomen dat Hektor de uitrusting van Achilles meeneemt. Hij trekt deze aan, terwijl de strijd om het lijk voortduurt. Zeus laat de Trojanen deze slag winnen, maar het lijk blijft in handen van de Grieken en wordt weggedragen. Ondertussen instrueert Menelaos Antilochos om naar Achilles te gaan en het overlijden van zijn beste vriend te melden.

Achilles wreekt Patroklos en doodt Hektor

Achilles is bedroefd en tegelijk woedend als hij hoort dat hij zijn beste vriend verloren heeft. Nu is hij vastberaden zich opnieuw in de oorlog te mengen. Zijn moeder Thetis beweent hem, en is bang dat de oorlog een slechte afloop zal hebben door Achilles' wraakzucht. Toch laat ze Hephaistos een nieuwe wapenuitrusting voor hem maken. Achilles keert terug naar het Griekse kamp. Hektor probeert intussen het lijk van Patroklos opnieuw te bemachtigen, maar de aanblik van Achilles doet hem opschrikken. Patroklos' lijk wordt geborgen, en Achilles krijgt de tijd om hem te bewenen.

Nadat hij zijn nieuwe wapenuitrusting heeft gekregen en aangetrokken, roept hij het leger bijeen en gaat naar Agamemnon om zich te verzoenen. Agamemnon geeft hem daarbij een aantal geschenken, waaronder ook Briseïs, terug. De Grieken wapenen zich. Een van Achilles' paarden, Xanthos, voorspelt hem zijn dood.

Zeus staat weer toe dat de goden deelnemen aan de oorlog. Achilles doodt vele Trojanen, waaronder de broer van Hektor, Polydoros. Ook probeert hij Hektor te doden, maar die wordt gered door Apollo. Achilles slaagt erin de helft van de vluchtende Trojanen in de richting van de rivier de Skamandros te drijven. De riviergod Skamandros echter is hiermee niet tevreden en gaat zijn beklag doen bij Apollo. Skamandros drijft vervolgens Achilles in het nauw, maar diens weeklachten worden gehoord door Poseidon en Athena. Skamandros doet nog een poging om de rivier de Simoeis te hulp te roepen, maar Hephaistos, op bevel van Athena, gaat Achilles helpen en doet de rivier verdampen.

Achilles hervat zijn gevecht met de Trojanen, maar wordt in een duel misleid door Apollo, die de plaats inneemt van een Trojaanse soldaat. Zo kunnen de Trojanen zich weer veilig binnen de muren van Troje terugtrekken. Hektor blijft als enige buiten, ondanks de waarschuwingen van zijn vader Priamus en zijn moeder Hekabe. Hektor en Achilles gaan een duel aan, waarbij Achilles Hektor opjaagt en hem driemaal rond Troje doet lopen. Intussen beraadslagen de goden over Hektors lot, maar uiteindelijk beslist Zeus in het voordeel van Achilles. Deze slaagt er met behulp van Athena in Hektor dodelijk te verwonden. In zijn doodsstrijd vraagt Hektor om zijn lijk aan zijn ouders terug te geven, en hij voorspelt ook de dood van Achilles. Achilles weigert echter zijn verzoek en na zijn dood ontdoet Achilles Hektor van zijn wapenuitrusting en sleept hem achter zijn wagen terug naar het kamp van de Grieken. Hekabe ziet nog juist hoe haar zoon wordt weggetrokken. Hektor wordt in het Griekse kamp een aantal maal rond Patroklos' lijk gesleept en vervolgens nog flink mishandeld. De dag daarna wordt het lichaam van Patroklos gecremeerd en voor de beenderen wordt uiteindelijk een grafheuvel opgeworpen. Er worden ook lijkspelen georganiseerd, met onder meer wagenrennen, boksen en speerwerpen.



Priamos haalt Hektors lijk op

Intussen overleggen de goden wat er moet gebeuren met Hektors lijk. Uiteindelijk vraagt Zeus aan Thetis om Achilles te overtuigen Hektors lijk aan de Trojanen terug te geven. Koning Priamos laadt een wagen vol geschenken, waarmee hij vertrekt naar het kamp van de Grieken om het lijk van zijn zoon terug te halen. Onderweg komt hij de god Hermes tegen, die vermomd is als Myrmidoniër, en hem begeleidt naar de tent van Achilles. Daar maakt hij zijn ware identiteit pas bekend. Priamos gaat Achilles' tent binnen en smeekt om het lijk van Hektor. Achilles toont medelijden en de losprijs wordt afgesproken. Achilles laat het lijk verzorgen en geeft het terug aan de Trojaanse koning. Ook belooft Achilles een wapenstilstand zolang de begrafenisplechtigheden duren. Hermes leidt Priamos opnieuw het kamp uit. Aangekomen in de stad wordt Hektor door alle Trojanen beweend. De Ilias eindigt met de begrafenisplechtigheid van Hektor.


Nederlandse vertalingen en bewerkingen van Ilias


Homeros : Ilias en Odyssea, Een tekstgetrouwe weergave door Frans van Oldenburg Ermke, 1959; Kempische Boekhandel - Retie ;

Homerus, De Wil van Zeus [Ilias], vertaald door dr. Jan van Gelder, 1976; Uitgeverij Bert Bakker, Amsterdam. ISBN 90-6019-154-4

Ilios : het verhaal van de Trojaanse oorlog door Imme Dros, 1999; De Zilveren Zoen in 2000 voor Ilios ; een vertaling en bewerking van Ilias van Homerus. ISBN 90-214-6046-7

Ilias De wrok van Achilles ingeleid en vertaald in Nederlandse Hexameters door H.J. de Roy van Zuydewijn Nijhoff, 1980 ISBN 90-295-2058-2

Homerus Ilias vertaald door M.A. Schwartz, met een nawoord van Piet Gerbrandy, Athenaeum - Polak & Van Gennep, Amsterdam 2008 (16e druk). ISBN 978 90 253 2043 0

Het lied van Troje, een moderne hervertelling door Colleen McCullough, De Boekerij, 1998; Amsterdam, vertaling: E. van Rijsewijk (Origineel: The Song of Troy, Orion, 1998)

Homeros, Ilias, Wrok in Troje vertaald door Patrick Lateur in vijfvoetige jamben, 2010, 2014²; Athenaeum - Polak & Van Gennep, Amsterdam. ISBN 978 90 253 6732 9. Bekroond met de Vlaamse Cultuurprijs Letteren 2013.

Ilias metrisch vertaald door Imme Dros, 2015; Van Oorschot, Amsterdam. ISBN 902 82 6107 9

Homerus, Ilias. Metrische vertaling van Dr. Aegidius W. Timmerman (1931; tweede, verbeterde druk 1948).

De eerste complete vertaling dateert uit 1721. Het was een berijmde versie door Coenraad Droste, nog niet uit de brontekst overgezet.


Op film en televisie


In Search of the Trojan War door de historicus Michael Wood (tv, BBC, 1985). Een beschrijving van een zoektocht door Michael Wood naar de gebeurtenissen zoals Homerus ze in de Ilias beschreef.

De film Troy (2004): Amerikaanse verfilming van de deze Griekse mythe over de passie tussen de prins van Troje en de koningin van Sparta die leidt tot een verwoestende oorlog.

De film Helen of Troy (1956): Verfilming van de Griekse mythe over Troje vanuit het beeld van Helena


Zie ook[bewerken]


Aanleiding van de twist tussen Achilles en Agamemnon

Aeneis

Batrachomyomachia

Odyssee

Waar eens Troje lag


Externe link[bewerken]


Ilias, Odyssee en Hymen. Vert: div.

Ilias. Vert: Jan van 's Gravenweerd, deel 1, 2 en 3

Ilias. Vert: Karel van de Woestijne

(en) De Ilias op Perseus Project

(en) De Ilias en de Odyssee op Chicago Homer


***

DE ODYSSEE



De Odyssee (Grieks: Ὀδύσσεια) is een episch dichtwerk van de Griekse dichter Homeros, die daarnaast ook de Ilias schreef. Het werk is waarschijnlijk rond 800 v.Chr. opgeschreven. De ca. 12.000 versregels zijn ingedeeld in 24 boeken, genummerd met Griekse kleine letters α (alpha) t/m ω (omega). Het epos gaat voor een belangrijk deel over de zwerftocht van de held Odysseus na afloop van de Trojaanse Oorlog en zijn thuiskomst op het eiland Ithaka. Het is een gedicht in dactylische hexameters.

De beroemde beginregels luiden aldus:

Ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, Μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ

πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσε.

Bezing mij, o Muze, de vindingrijke man, die zeer veel

rondzwierf, nadat hij de heilige stede van Troje verwoest had.


1Inhoud

2De dichter

3Structuur van de Odyssee

4Interpretatie

5Navolgingen van de Odyssee

6Nederlandse vertalingen en bewerkingen van de Odyssee

7Externe links


Inhoud


In de 'Ilias' vertelde Homeros over een fase uit het tiende en laatste jaar van de Trojaanse Oorlog. In de Odyssee gaat het over de laatste 41 dagen van de eveneens tien jaren durende omzwervingen van de held Odysseus - de bedenker van de list met "het paard van Troje" - die zich de haat van de zeegod Poseidon op de hals heeft gehaald. De godin Athena blijft hem echter wel steunen: zij stelt alles in het werk om Odysseus een behouden thuiskomst te bezorgen.

De Odyssee begint in mediis rebus: op de Olympos vraagt Athena haar vader Zeus of er eindelijk een einde mag komen aan de omzwervingen van Odysseus. Deze verblijft dan al een aantal jaren tegen zijn zin bij de zeenimf Kalypso. Zeus stemt toe en Hermes wordt naar Kalypso gestuurd. Athena zelf vertrekt echter naar Ithaka, waar ze Odysseus' zoon Telemachos aanspoort om een reis te maken met het doel meer over zijn vader te weten te komen. Tijdens dit bezoek worden we ook op de hoogte gesteld van de erbarmelijke situatie op Ithaka. Odysseus' paleis wordt overspoeld door de zogenaamde vrijers: adellijke lieden die in de hoop dat Odysseus nooit meer terug zal keren naar de hand van diens vrouw Penelope dingen. Deze vrijers gedragen zich als bijzonder slechte gasten: ze verteren vele voorraden aan wijn en voedsel die zich in het paleis bevinden.

De eerste vier boeken van de Odyssee zijn gewijd aan Telemachos' reis langs oude vrienden van zijn vader. Deze boeken worden samen ook wel de "Telemachie" genoemd. Door deze bezoeken krijgt Telemachos (en via Telemachos dus ook de lezer) inzicht in het karakter van Odysseus en zijn daden tijdens de Trojaanse Oorlog.

In het vijfde boek verschijnt Odysseus zelf pas voor het eerst ten tonele. Na zijn door de goden gelaste vertrek bij Kalypso belandt Odysseus opnieuw in een storm die Poseidon op hem afstuurt. Hij spoelt meer dood dan levend aan op Scheria, het eiland van de Phaiaken. Hier wordt hij vriendelijk ontvangen door hun koning Alkinoos en moet, nadat hij zichtbaar ontroerd raakt door een lied over het houten paard, zijn identiteit wel aan zijn gastheer prijsgeven. Wat volgt is het eerste lange ik-verhaal in de literatuur: in de vorm van een flashback vertelt Odysseus de Phaiaken over zijn avonturen na het vertrek uit Troje. In boek negen t/m twaalf wordt over de beroemde avonturen met onder meer de cycloop Polyphemus en de tovenares Circe verhaald.

Al die tijd wacht Penelope, Odysseus' vrouw, op de thuiskomst van haar man, terwijl zij door vele '"vrijers"' belaagd wordt (ze hadden allemaal een zeer gewelddadig verleden).

De Faiaken brengen Odysseus terug naar Ithaka, waar een paar dagen later ook zijn zoon Telemachus terugkeert. Vader en zoon herkennen elkaar in de hut van de zwijnenhoeder Eumaios en samen weten zij de vrijers te overwinnen en te doden. Na een scheiding van 20 jaar worden Odysseus en Penelope herenigd.


De dichter


Er wordt weleens betwijfeld of de Odyssee van dezelfde dichter is als de Ilias. De Odyssee vertoont namelijk enkele historische en taalkundige verschijnselen die erop kunnen wijzen dat hij een halve eeuw jonger is dan de Ilias. De Ilias en de Odyssee zijn sowieso door eeuwen van mondelinge overdracht aangegroeid en aangepast en zijn in feite het product van vele generaties dichters die de werken aan elkaar doorverteld hebben. In hoeverre de versies van de Ilias en de Odyssee die wij kennen beide door één dichter met de naam Homeros zijn gemaakt, is niet meer goed uit te maken. In ieder geval werden in de oudheid beide werken op zijn naam geschreven.


Structuur van de Odyssee


A - De "Telemachie":

boek I - Godenvergadering op de Olympos: ze besluiten dat Odysseus naar Ithaka mag terugkeren

boek II - Op aanraden van Athena gaat Odysseus' zoon Telemachos op onderzoek naar zijn vader

boek III - Telemachos in Pylos, bij koning Nestor

boek IV - Telemachos in Sparta, bij Menelaos en Helena; aankomst en bedreiging thuis in Ithaka

B - Odysseus bij de Faiaken:

a) Onthaal bij de Faiaken

boek V - Odysseus vertrekt van het eiland van de nimf Kalypso, die hem jarenlang heeft weerhouden; een storm breekt uit

boek VI - Odysseus' aankomst bij de Faiaken; door tussenkomst van Athena gastvrij onthaald door Nausikaä

boek VII - Feestmaal bij de Faiaken

boek VIII - Spelen bij de Faiaken

b) Odysseus vertelt zijn avonturen (in flash-back ofwel retrospectie)

boek IX - De Lotofagen (Lotuseters); de Cycloop

boek X - Aiolos; de Laistrygonen; Kirkè

boek XI - "Nekuïa": in de Onderwereld

boek XII - De Sirene; de runderen van Helios; bij Kalypso

C - Odysseus weer op Ithaka:

a) Odysseus' aankomst op Ithaka

boek XIII - Aankomst op Ithaka; Odysseus als bedelaar vermomd door Athena

boek XIV - Bij de zwijnenhoeder Eumaios

boek XV - Telemachos keert terug op Ithaka

boek XVI - Odysseus en Telemachos smeden een plan om de "vrijers" te doden

b) Aankomst in het paleis

boek XVII - Odysseus, nog steeds als bedelaar vermomd, treedt zijn paleis binnen; zijn oude hond Argos herkent hem en sterft

boek XVIII - De bedelaar (= Odysseus) wordt door de feestvierende menigte vrijers beledigd

boek XIX - Zonder zich bekend te maken voorspelt Odysseus aan zijn vrouw Penelope de naderende thuiskomst van haar man; hij wordt herkend door zijn oude voedster Eurykleia.

boek XX - Het feest van de vrijers bereikt zijn hoogtepunt

c) De vergelding en het weerzien

boek XXI - Penelope belooft diegene te huwen die de boog van Odysseus kan spannen; géén van de vrijers slaagt daarin; de bedelaar (= Odysseus) spant de boog

boek XXII - Odysseus maakt zich bekend en neemt wraak; de vrijers gedood

boek XXIII - Penelope en Odysseus herenigd

boek XXIV - Ook de oude Laërtes herkent zijn zoon; verzoening met de familie van de vrijers, dankzij de godin Athena


Interpretatie


De opeenvolging van vele avonturen in de Odyssee verwijst mogelijk naar een onderliggende gedachte en/of moraal. Het hoofdmotief is allicht de zoektocht van Odysseus naar zichzelf, en Penelope is daarbij de verpersoonlijking van zijn vroegere geluk en geborgenheid. De expeditie naar Troje betekende voor Odysseus een weggroeien van zichzelf in over-activiteit en sociale verplichtingen, in een wereld van macht, geweld en eigenbelang. Met de inname van Troje was het grote doel bereikt, maar precies daarom ontstond de crisis: het terugvallen op zichzelf, en het ontdekken van leegte en afstand. Tijdens de terugreis wordt Odysseus geleidelijk gezuiverd van alle uiterlijke, vooral materiële bindingen (rijkdom, macht, vrienden ...). Alle naar buiten gerichte gevoelens, zoals angst en verlangen, verdwijnen langzaam, en maken plaats voor de rustige zekerheid van de thuiskomst in zichzelf ...


Navolgingen van de Odyssee


De Romeinse dichter Vergilius schreef (mogelijk in overleg met de historicus Titus Livius) veel later een Latijns epos dat gedeeltelijk door de Odyssee geïnspireerd is: de Aeneïs, waarin de omzwervingen van de Trojaanse held Aeneas na de val van Troje worden beschreven.

De Ierse schrijver James Joyce baseerde zijn meesterwerk Ulysses op de Odyssee. Het boek beschrijft een dag uit het leven van Leopold Bloom en Stephen Dedalus. Elk hoofdstuk is gebaseerd op een hoofdstuk uit de Odyssee.

De film "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" van de gebroeders Joel en Ethan Coen is eveneens losjes gebaseerd op de Odyssee. Het vertelt het verhaal van drie ontsnapte gevangenen, die op hun weg avonturen meemaken die verwijzen naar de avonturen van Odysseus.

De zanger Nick Cave refereert in zijn werken, zowel direct als indirect, meerdere malen naar de avonturen in Odyssee.


Nederlandse vertalingen en bewerkingen van de Odyssee


Homerus, Odyssee vertaald door M.A. Schwartz, Haarlem 1956. Met een nawoord van Piet Gerbrandy, Athenaeum - Polak & Van Gennep, Amsterdam 2008 (18e druk). Voor deze vertaling is de oorspronkelijke dichtvorm (de dactylische hexameter) losgelaten ten behoeve van de toegankelijkheid, en deze vertaling is dan ook in proza bedoeld. ISBN 978 90 253 2041 6

Homeros : Ilias en Odyssea door Frans van Oldenburg Ermke, 1959. Tekstgetrouwe vertaling van beide verhalen. ISBN onbekend

Bertus Aafjes heeft een goed leesbare bewerking/vertaling gemaakt in jambische pentameters. Dit boek is samen met het reisboek Dooltocht van een Griekse held in 1965 uitgegeven door Meulenhoff Amsterdam.

Odyssee, de terugkeer van Odysseus Ingeleid en vertaald in Nederlandse hexameters door H.J. de Roy van Zuydewijn De arbeiderspers 1992 ISBN 90-295-2057-4

Odysseia: de reizen van Odysseus door Imme Dros, 1991 ; een metrische vertaling van de Odyssee ISBN 90-253-2052-X

Odysseus : een man van verhalen door Imme Dros, 1994 ; Een Zilveren Griffel in 1995. Een vertaling en bewerking van de Odyssee van Homerus ISBN 90-214-6036-X.

Simon van der Geest schreef in 2011 Dissus. De jeugdpoëziebundel is een typische postmoderne bewerking van de klassieke Odyssee en kent verwijzingen naar het origineel, en eveneens parodiërende elementen. Het kinderboek werd geïllustreerd door Jan Jutte en ontving een Gouden Griffel.

Homerus, Odyssee. Een zwerver komt thuis, vertaald door Patrick Lateur in vijfvoetige jamben, Athenaeum - Polak & Van Gennep, Amsterdam, 2016.

De vloek van Polyfemos: de avonturen van Odysseus door Evert Hartman en uitgegeven bij Lemniscaat is de kinderversie.


Externe links


(nl) De Odyssee van Homeros. Vert.: Ben Bijnsdorp: .

(en) De Odyssee op Perseus Project

(en) De betekenis van tradities in de Odyssea

(en) De Ilias en de Odyssee op Chicago Homer

***


Odyssey


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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This article is about Homer's epic poem. For other uses, see Odyssey (disambiguation).

"Homer's Odyssey" redirects here. For the The Simpsons episode, see Homer's Odyssey (The Simpsons).

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Greek text of the Odyssey's opening passage

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The Odyssey (/ˈɒdəsi/;[1] Greek: Ὀδύσσεια Odýsseia, pronounced [o.dýs.sej.ja] in Classical Attic) is one of two major ancient Greek epic poemsattributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work ascribed to Homer. The Odyssey is fundamental to the modern Western canon; it is the second-oldest extant work of Western literature, while the Iliad is the oldest. Scholars believe the Odyssey was composed near the end of the 8th century BC, somewhere in Ionia, the Greek coastal region of Anatolia.[2]

The poem mainly focuses on the Greek hero Odysseus (known as Ulysses in Roman myths), king of Ithaca, and his journey home after the fall of Troy. It takes Odysseus ten years to reach Ithaca after the ten-year Trojan War.[3] In his absence, it is assumed Odysseus has died, and his wife Penelope and son Telemachus must deal with a group of unruly suitors, the Mnesteres (Greek: Μνηστῆρες) or Proci, who compete for Penelope's hand in marriage.

The Odyssey continues to be read in the Homeric Greek and translated into modern languages around the world. Many scholars believe the original poem was composed in an oral tradition by an aoidos (epic poet/singer), perhaps a rhapsode (professional performer), and was more likely intended to be heard than read.[2] The details of the ancient oral performance and the story's conversion to a written work inspire continual debate among scholars. The Odyssey was written in a poetic dialect of Greek—a literary amalgam of Aeolic Greek, Ionic Greek, and other Ancient Greek dialects—and comprises 12,110 lines of dactylic hexameter.[4][5] Among the most noteworthy elements of the text are its non-linear plot, and the influence on events of choices made by women and slaves, besides the actions of fighting men. In the English language as well as many others, the word odyssey has come to refer to an epic voyage.

The Odyssey has a lost sequel, the Telegony, which was not written by Homer. It was usually attributed in antiquity to Cinaethon of Sparta. In one source,[which?] the Telegony was said to have been stolen from Musaeus of Athens by either Eugamon or Eugammon of Cyrene (see Cyclic poets).

Contents

[hide]

1Synopsis

1.1Exposition

1.2Escape to the Phaeacians

1.3Odysseus' account of his adventures

1.4Return to Ithaca

1.5Slaying of the Suitors

2Character of Odysseus

3Structure

4Geography of the Odyssey

5Influences on the Odyssey

6Themes

6.1Homecoming

6.2Wandering

6.3Guest-friendship

6.4Testing

6.5Omens

7Scenes

7.1Finding scenes

7.2Guest-friendship

7.3Testing

7.4Omens

8Cultural impact

9English translations

10See also

11References

12Further reading

13External links


Synopsis


Exposition

A mosaic depicting Odysseus, from the villa of La Olmeda, Pedrosa de la Vega, Spain, late 4th-5th centuries AD

The Odyssey begins after the end of the ten-year Trojan War (the subject of the Iliad), and Odysseus has still not returned home from the war. Odysseus' son Telemachus is about 20 years old and is sharing his absent father's house on the island of Ithaca with his mother Penelope and a crowd of 108 boisterous young men, "the Suitors", whose aim is to persuade Penelope to marry one of them, all the while reveling in Odysseus' palace and eating up his wealth.

Odysseus' protectress, the goddess Athena, requests to Zeus, king of the gods, to finally allow Odysseus to return home when Odysseus' enemy, the god of the sea Poseidon, is absent from Mount Olympus to accept a sacrifice in Ethiopia. Then, disguised as a Taphian chieftain named Mentes, she visits Telemachus to urge him to search for news of his father. He offers her hospitality; they observe the suitors dining rowdily while the bard Phemiusperforms a narrative poem for them. Penelope objects to Phemius' theme, the "Return from Troy",[6] because it reminds her of her missing husband, but Telemachus rebuts her objections, asserting his role as head of the household.

That night Athena, disguised as Telemachus, finds a ship and crew for the true prince. The next morning, Telemachus calls an assembly of citizens of Ithaca to discuss what should be done with the suitors. Telemachus is scoffed by the insolent suitors, particularly by their leaders Antinous, Eurymachus, and Leiocritus. Accompanied by Athena (now disguised as Mentor), he departs for the Greek mainland and the household of Nestor, most venerable of the Greek warriors at Troy, now at home in Pylos.

From there, Telemachus rides overland, accompanied by Nestor's son Peisistratus, to Sparta, where he finds Menelaus and Helen, who are now reconciled. While Helen laments the fit of lust brought on by Aphrodite that sent her to Troy with Paris, Menelaus recounts how she betrayed the Greeks by attempting to imitate the voices of the soldiers' wives while they were inside the Trojan Horse. Telemachus also hears from Helen, who is the first to recognize him, that she pities him because Odysseus was not there for him in his childhood because he went to Troy to fight for her and also about his exploit of stealing the Palladium, or the Luck of Troy, where she was the only one to recognize him. Menelaus, meanwhile, also praises Odysseus as an irreproachable comrade and friend, lamenting the fact that they were not only unable to return together from Troy but that Odysseus is yet to return.

Both Helen and Menelaus also say that they returned to Sparta after a long voyage by way of Egypt. There, on the island of Pharos, Menelaus encountered the old sea-god Proteus, who told him that Odysseus was a captive of the nymph Calypso. Incidentally, Telemachus learns the fate of Menelaus' brother Agamemnon, king of Mycenae and leader of the Greeks at Troy: he was murdered on his return home by his wife Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus. The story briefly shifts to the suitors, who have only just now realized that Telemachus is gone. Angry, they formulate a plan to ambush his ship and kill him as he sails back home. Penelope overhears their plot and worries for her son's safety.

Escape to the Phaeacians

Charles Gleyre, Odysseus and Nausicaä

The second part recounts the story of Odysseus. In the course of his seven years in captivity on Ogygia, the island of Calypso, she has fallen deeply in love with him, even though he has consistently spurned her offer of immortality as her husband and still mourns for home. She is ordered to release him by the messenger god Hermes, who has been sent by Zeus in response to Athena's plea. Odysseus builds a raft and is given clothing, food, and drink by Calypso. When Poseidon learns that Odysseus has escaped, he wrecks the raft but, helped by a veil given by the sea nymph Ino, Odysseus swims ashore on Scherie, the island of the Phaeacians. Naked and exhausted, he hides in a pile of leaves and falls asleep. The next morning, awakened by the laughter of girls, he sees the young Nausicaä, who has gone to the seashore with her maids to wash clothes after Athena told her in a dream to do so. He appeals to her for help. She encourages him to seek the hospitality of her parents, Arete and Alcinous (or Alkinous). Odysseus is welcomed and is not at first asked for his name, but Alcinous promises to provide him a ship to return him to his home country. He remains for several days, and is goaded into taking part in a discus throw by the taunts of Euryalus, impressing the Phaecians with his incredible athletic ability. Afterwards, he hears the blind singer Demodocus perform two narrative poems. The first is an otherwise obscure incident of the Trojan War, the "Quarrel of Odysseus and Achilles"; the second is the amusing tale of a love affair between two Olympian gods, Ares and Aphrodite. Finally, Odysseus asks Demodocus to return to the Trojan War theme and tell of the Trojan Horse, a stratagem in which Odysseus had played a leading role. Unable to hide his emotion as he relives this episode, Odysseus at last reveals his identity. He then begins to tell the story of his return from Troy.

Odysseus' account of his adventures

Odysseus Overcome by Demodocus' Song, by Francesco Hayez, 1813–15

Odysseus goes back in time and recounts his story to the Phaecians. After a failed piratical raid on Ismaros in the land of the Cicones, Odysseus and his twelve ships were driven off course by storms. Odysseus visited the lethargic Lotus-Eaters who gave his men their fruit that would have caused them to forget their homecoming had Odysseus not dragged them back to the ship by force. Afterwards, Odysseus and his men landed on a lush, uninhabited island near the land of the Cyclopes. The men then landed on shore and entered the cave of Polyphemus, where they found all the cheeses and meat they desired. Upon returning home, Polyphemus sealed the entrance with a massive boulder and proceeded to eat Odysseus' men. Odysseus devised an escape plan in which he, identifying himself as "Nobody", plied Polyphemus with wine and blinded him with a wooden stake. When Polyphemus cried out, his neighbors left after Polyphemus claimed that "Nobody" had attacked him. Odysseus and his men finally left the cave by hiding on the underbellies of the sheep as they were let out of the cave. While they were escaping, however, Odysseus foolishly taunted Polyphemus and revealed his true identity. Recalling that had been prophesized by appeals to his father Poseidon. Poseidon then cursed Odysseus to wander the sea for ten years, during which he would lose all his crew and return home through the aid of others. After the escape, Odysseus and his crew stayed with Aeolus, a king endowed by the gods with the winds. He gave Odysseus a leather bag containing all the winds, except the west wind, a gift that should have ensured a safe return home. Just as Ithaca came into sight, the greedy sailors naively opened the bag while Odysseus slept, thinking it contained gold. All of the winds flew out and the resulting storm drove the ships back the way they had come. Aeolus, recognizing that Odysseus has drawn the ire of the gods, refused to further assist him.

The men then re-embarked and encountered the cannibalistic Laestrygonians. All of Odysseus' ships except his own entered the harbor of the Laestrygonians' Island and were immediately destroyed. He sailed on and reached the island of Aeaea where he visited the witch-goddess Circe, daughter of the sun-god Helios. She turned half of his men into swine after feeding them drugged cheese and wine. Hermes warned Odysseus about Circe and gave Odysseus an herb called moly which gave him resistance to Circe's magic. Odysseus forced the now-powerless Circe to change his men back to their human form, and was subsequently seduced by her. They remained with her on the island for one year, while they feasted and drank. Finally, guided by Circe's instructions, Odysseus and his crew crossed the ocean and reached a harbor at the western edge of the world, where Odysseus sacrificed to the dead. He first encountered the spirit of Elpenor, a crewman who had gotten drunk and fallen from a roof to his death on Aeaea. Elpenor's ghost told Odysseus to bury his body, which Odysseus promised to do. Odysseus then summoned the spirit of the prophet Tiresias for advice on how to appease Poseidon upon his return home, and was told that he may return home if he is able to stay himself and his crew from eating the sacred livestock of Helios on the island of Thrinacia and that failure to do so would result in the loss of his ship and his entire crew. Next Odysseus met the spirit of his own mother, who had died of grief during his long absence. From her, he got his first news of his own household, threatened by the greed of the Suitors. Finally, he met the spirits of famous men and women. Notably, he encountered the spirit of Agamemnon, of whose murder he now learned, and Achilles, who lamented the woes of the land of the dead but was comforted in hearing of the success of his son Neoptolemus (for Odysseus' encounter with the dead, see also Nekuia).

Odysseus and the Sirens, eponymous vase of the Siren Painter, ca. 480-470 BC (British Museum)

Returning to Aeaea, they buried Elpenor and were advised by Circe on the remaining stages of the journey. They skirted the land of the Sirens, who sang an enchanting song that normally caused passing sailors to steer toward the rocks, only to hit them and sink. All of the sailors had their ears plugged up with beeswax, except for Odysseus, who was tied to the mast as he wanted to hear the song. He told his sailors not to untie him as it would only make him want to drown himself. They then passed between the six-headed monster Scylla and the whirlpool Charybdis, narrowly avoiding death, even though Scylla snatched up six men. Next, they landed on the island of Thrinacia, with the crew overriding Odysseus's wishes to remain away from the island. Zeus caused a storm which prevented them leaving, causing them to deplete the food given to them by Circe. While Odysseus was away praying, his men ignored the warnings of Tiresias and Circe and hunted the sacred cattle of Helios. The Sun God insisted that Zeus punish the men for this sacrilege. They suffered a shipwreck as they were driven towards Charybdis. All but Odysseus were drowned. Odysseus clung to a fig tree above Charybdis. Washed ashore on the island of Ogygia, he was compelled to remain there as Calypso's lover, bored, homesick and trapped on her small island, until she was ordered by Zeus, via Hermes, to release Odysseus. Odysseus did not realise how long it would take to get home to his family.

Return to Ithaca

Athena Revealing Ithaca to Ulysses by Giuseppe Bottani (18th century)

Having listened with rapt attention to his story, the Phaeacians agree to provide Odysseus with more treasure than he would have received from the spoils of Troy. They deliver him at night, while he is fast asleep, to a hidden harbour on Ithaca. Poseidon, offended that the Phaecians have returned Odysseus home, destroys the Phaeacian ship on its return voyage, and the city sacrifices to Poseidon and agrees to stop giving escorts to strangers to appease him. Odysseus awakens and believes that he has been dropped on a distant land before Athena appears to him and reveals that he is indeed on Ithaca. She then hides his treasure in a nearby cave and disguises him as an elderly beggar so he can see how things stand in his household. He finds his way to the hut of one of his own slaves, the swineherd Eumaeus, who treats him hospitably and speaks favorably of Odysseus. After dinner, the disguised Odysseus tells the farm laborers a fictitious tale of himself: he was born in Crete, had led a party of Cretans to fight alongside other Greeks in the Trojan War, and had then spent seven years at the court of the king of Egypt, finally shipwrecking in Thesprotia and crossing from there to Ithaca. He further promises the men of the return of Odysseus, but his promises are wearily discounted by the men.

Meanwhile, Telemachus sails home from Sparta, evading an ambush set by the Suitors. He disembarks on the coast of Ithaca and makes for Eumaeus's hut. Father and son meet; Odysseus identifies himself to Telemachus (but still not to Eumaeus), and they decide that the Suitors must be killed. Telemachus goes home first. Accompanied by Eumaeus, Odysseus returns to his own house, still pretending to be a beggar. When Odysseus' dog (who was a puppy before he left) saw him, he becomes so excited that he dies.[7] He is ridiculed by the Suitors in his own home, especially by one extremely impertinent man named Antinous. Odysseus meets Penelope and tests her intentions by saying he once met Odysseus in Crete. Closely questioned, he adds that he had recently been in Thesprotia and had learned something there of Odysseus's recent wanderings.

Odysseus's identity is discovered by the housekeeper, Eurycleia, when she recognizes an old scar as she is washing his feet. Eurycleia tries to tell Penelope about the beggar's true identity, but Athena makes sure that Penelope cannot hear her. Odysseus then swears Eurycleia to secrecy.

Slaying of the Suitors

Ulysse et Télémaque Massacrent les Prétendants de Pénélope by Thomas Degeorge(1812)

The next day, at Athena's prompting, Penelope maneuvers the Suitors into competing for her hand with an archery competition using Odysseus' bow. The man who can string the bow and shoot it through a dozen axe heads would win. Odysseus takes part in the competition himself: he alone is strong enough to string the bow and shoot it through the dozen axe heads, making him the winner. He then throws off his rags and kills Antinous with his next arrow. Then, with the help of Athena, Odysseus, Telemachus, Eumaeus, and Philoetius the cowherd he kills the other Suitors, first using the rest of the arrows and then by swords and spears once both sides armed themselves. Once the battle is won, Odysseus and Telemachus also hang twelve of their household maids whom Eurycleia identifies as guilty of betraying Penelope or having sex with the Suitors. They mutilate and kill the goatherd Melanthius, who had mocked and abused Odysseus and brought weapons and armor to the suitors. Now, at last, Odysseus identifies himself to Penelope. She is hesitant but recognizes him when he mentions that he made their bed from an olive tree still rooted to the ground. Many modern and ancient scholars take this to be the original ending of the Odyssey, and the rest to be an interpolation.

The next day he and Telemachus visit the country farm of his old father Laertes, who likewise accepts his identity only when Odysseus correctly describes the orchard that Laertes had previously given him.

The citizens of Ithaca have followed Odysseus on the road, planning to avenge the killing of the Suitors, their sons. Their leader points out that Odysseus has now caused the deaths of two generations of the men of Ithaca: his sailors, not one of whom survived; and the Suitors, whom he has now executed (albeit rightly). Athena intervenes in a dea ex machina and persuades both sides to give up the vendetta. After this, Ithaca is at peace once more, concluding the Odyssey.


Character of Odysseus


Main article: Odysseus

A Roman mosaic depicting a maritime scene with Odysseus (Latin: Ulysses) and the Sirens, from Carthage, 2nd century AD, now in the Bardo Museum, Tunisia

Odysseus' name means "trouble" in Greek, referring to both the giving and receiving of trouble—as is often the case in his wanderings. An early example of this is the boar hunt that gave Odysseus the scar by which Eurycleia recognizes him; Odysseus is injured by the boar and responds by killing it. Odysseus' heroic trait is his mētis, or "cunning intelligence". He is often described as the "Peer of Zeus in Counsel". This intelligence is most often manifested by his use of disguise and deceptive speech. His disguises take forms both physical (altering his appearance) and verbal, such as telling the Cyclops Polyphemus that his name is Οὖτις, "Nobody", then escaping after blinding Polyphemus. When asked by other Cyclopes why he is screaming, Polyphemus replies that "Nobody" is hurting him, so the others assume that "If alone as you are [Polyphemus] none uses violence on you, why, there is no avoiding the sickness sent by great Zeus; so you had better pray to your father, the lord Poseidon".[8] The most evident flaw that Odysseus sports is that of his arrogance and his pride, or hubris. As he sails away from the island of the Cyclopes, he shouts his name and boasts that nobody can defeat the "Great Odysseus". The Cyclops then throws the top half of a mountain at him and prays to his father, Poseidon, saying that Odysseus has blinded him. This enrages Poseidon, causing the god to thwart Odysseus' homecoming for a very long time.


Structure


The Odyssey is written in dactylic hexameter. It opens in medias res, in the middle of the overall story, with prior events described through flashbacks or storytelling. This device is also used by later authors of literary epics, such as Virgil in the Aeneid, Luís de Camões in Os Lusíadas[9] and Alexander Pope in The Rape of the Lock.

The first four books of the poem trace Telemachus' efforts to assert control of the household, and then, at Athena's advice, his efforts to search for news of his long-lost father. Then the scene shifts: Odysseus has been a captive of the beautiful nymph Calypso, with whom he has spent seven of his ten lost years. Released by the intercession of his patroness Athena, through the aid of Hermes, he departs, but his raft is destroyed by his divine enemy Poseidon, who is angry because Odysseus blinded his son, Polyphemus. When Odysseus washes up on Scherie, home to the Phaeacians, he is assisted by the young Nausicaä and is treated hospitably. In return, he satisfies the Phaeacians' curiosity, telling them, and the reader, of all his adventures since departing from Troy. The shipbuilding Phaeacians then loan him a ship to return to Ithaca, where he is aided by the swineherd Eumaeus, meets Telemachus, regains his household by killing the Suitors, and is reunited with his faithful wife, Penelope.

All ancient and nearly all modern editions and translations of the Odyssey are divided into 24 books. This division is convenient, but it may not be original. Many scholars[who?] believe it was developed by Alexandrian editors of the 3rd century BC. In the Classical period, moreover, several of the books (individually and in groups) were given their own titles: the first four books, focusing on Telemachus, are commonly known as the Telemachy. Odysseus' narrative, Book 9, featuring his encounter with the cyclops Polyphemus, is traditionally called the Cyclopeia. Book 11, the section describing his meeting with the spirits of the dead is known as the Nekuia. Books 9 through 12, wherein Odysseus recalls his adventures for his Phaeacian hosts, are collectively referred to as the Apologoi: Odysseus' "stories". Book 22, wherein Odysseus kills all the Suitors, has been given the title Mnesterophonia: "slaughter of the Suitors". This concludes the Greek Epic Cycle, though fragments remain of the "alternative ending" of sorts known as the Telegony.

Telegony aside, the last 548 lines of the Odyssey, corresponding to Book 24, are believed by many scholars to have been added by a slightly later poet.[10] Several passages in earlier books seem to be setting up the events of Book 24, so if it were indeed a later addition, the offending editor would seem to have changed earlier text as well. For more about varying views on the origin, authorship and unity of the poem see Homeric scholarship.


Geography of the Odyssey


Main articles: Homer's Ithaca and Geography of the Odyssey

The events in the main sequence of the Odyssey (excluding Odysseus' embedded narrative of his wanderings) take place in the Peloponnese and in what are now called the Ionian Islands.[11]There are difficulties in the apparently simple identification of Ithaca, the homeland of Odysseus, which may or may not be the same island that is now called Ithakē (Ιθάκη). The wanderings of Odysseus as told to the Phaeacians, and the location of the Phaeacians' own island of Scheria, pose more fundamental problems, if geography is to be applied: scholars, both ancient and modern, are divided as to whether or not any of the places visited by Odysseus (after Ismaros and before his return to Ithaca) are real.[12]


Influences on the Odyssey


Terracotta plaque of the Mesopotamian ogre Humbaba, believed to be a possible inspiration for the figure of Polyphemus

Scholars have seen strong influences from Near Eastern mythology and literature in the Odyssey. Martin West has noted substantial parallels between the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Odyssey.[13] Both Odysseus and Gilgamesh are known for traveling to the ends of the earth, and on their journeys go to the land of the dead. On his voyage to the underworld, Odysseus follows instructions given to him by Circe. Her island, Aeaea, is located at the edges of the world and seems to have close associations with the sun. Like Odysseus, Gilgamesh gets directions on how to reach the land of the dead from a divine helper: in this case, the goddess Siduri, who, like Circe, dwells by the sea at the ends of the earth. Her home is also associated with the sun: Gilgamesh reaches Siduri's house by passing through a tunnel underneath Mt. Mashu, the high mountain from which the sun comes into the sky. West argues that the similarity of Odysseus' and Gilgamesh's journeys to the edges of the earth are the result of the influence of the Gilgamesh epic upon the Odyssey.

In 1914, paleontologist Othenio Abel surmised the origins of the cyclops to be the result of ancient Greeks finding an elephant skull. The enormous nasal passage in the middle of the forehead could have looked like the eye socket of a giant, to those who had never seen a living elephant.[14] Classical scholars, on the other hand, have long realized that the story of the cyclops was originally a Greek folk tale, which existed independently of The Odyssey and which only became embedded in it at a later date. Similar stories are found in cultures across Europe and the Middle East.[15] According to this explanation, the cyclops was originally simply a giant or ogre, much like Humbaba in the Epic of Gilgamesh.[15] The detail about it having one eye was simply invented in order to explain how the creature was so easily blinded.[16]


Themes


Homecoming

Odissea (1794)

An important factor to consider about Odysseus' homecoming is the hint at potential endings to the epic by using other characters as parallels for his journey.[17] For instance, one example is that of Agamemnon's homecoming versus Odysseus' homecoming. Upon Agamemnon's return, his wife Clytemnestra and her lover, Aegisthus kill Agamemnon. Agamemnon's son, Orestes, out of vengeance for his father's death, kills Aegisthus. This parallel compares the death of the suitors to the death of Aegisthus and sets Orestes up as an example for Telemachus.[17] Also, because Odysseus knows about Clytemnestra's betrayal, Odysseus returns home in disguise in order to test the loyalty of his own wife, Penelope.[17] Later, Agamemnon praises Penelope for not killing Odysseus. It is because of Penelope that Odysseus has fame and a successful homecoming. This successful homecoming is unlike Achilles, who has fame but is dead, and Agamemnon, who had an unsuccessful homecoming resulting in his death.[17]

Wandering

Only two of Odysseus's adventures are described by the poet. The rest of Odysseus' adventures are recounted by Odysseus himself. The two scenes that the poet describes are Odysseus on Calypso's island and Odysseus' encounter with the Phaeacians. These scenes are told by the poet to represent an important transition in Odysseus' journey: being concealed to returning home.[18] Calypso's name means "concealer" or "one who conceals," and that is exactly what she does with Odysseus.[19] Calypso keeps Odysseus concealed from the world and unable to return home. After leaving Calypso's island, the poet describes Odysseus' encounters with the Phaeacians—those who "convoy without hurt to all men"[20]—which represents his transition from not returning home to returning home.[18] Also, during Odysseus' journey, he encounters many beings that are close to the gods. These encounters are useful in understanding that Odysseus is in a world beyond man and that influences the fact he cannot return home.[18] These beings that are close to the gods include the Phaeacians who lived near Cyclopes,[21] whose king, Alcinous, is the great-grandson of the king of the giants, Eurymedon, and the grandson of Poseidon.[18] Some of the other characters that Odysseus encounters are Polyphemus who is the cyclops son of Poseidon, God of Oceans, Circe who is the sorceress daughter of the Sun that turns men into animals, Calypso who is a goddess, and the Laestrygonians who are cannibalistic giants.[18]

Guest-friendship

Throughout the course of the epic, Odysseus encounters several examples of xenia ("guest-friendship"), which provide models of how hosts should and should not act.[22] The Phaeacians demonstrate exemplary guest-friendship by feeding Odysseus, giving him a place to sleep, and granting him a safe voyage home, which are all things a good host should do. Polyphemus demonstrates poor guest-friendship. His only "gift" to Odysseus is that he will eat him last.[22] Calypso also exemplifies poor guest-friendship because she does not allow Odysseus to leave her island.[22] Another important factor to guest-friendship is that kingship implies generosity. It is assumed that a king has the means to be a generous host and is more generous with his own property.[22] This is best seen when Odysseus, disguised as a beggar, begs Antinous, one of the suitors, for food and Antinous denies his request. Odysseus essentially says that while Antinous may look like a king, he is far from a king since he is not generous.[23]

Testing

Penelope questions Odysseus to prove his identity.

Another theme throughout the Odyssey is testing.[24] This occurs in two distinct ways. Odysseus tests the loyalty of others and others test Odysseus' identity. An example of Odysseus testing the loyalties of others is when he returns home.[24] Instead of immediately revealing his identity, he arrives disguised as a beggar and then proceeds to determine who in his house has remained loyal to him and who has helped the suitors. After Odysseus reveals his true identity, the characters test Odysseus' identity to see if he really is who he says he is.[24] For instance, Penelope tests Odysseus' identity by saying that she will move the bed into the other room for him. This is a difficult task since it is made out of a living tree that would require being cut down, a fact that only the real Odysseus would know, thus proving his identity. For more information on the progression of testing type scenes, read more below.[24]

Omens

Omens occur frequently throughout the Odyssey, as well as in many other epics. Within the Odyssey, omens frequently involve birds.[25] It is important to note who receives the omens and what these omens mean to the characters and to the epic as a whole. For instance, bird omens are shown to Telemachus, Penelope, Odysseus, and the suitors.[25] Telemachus and Penelope receive their omens as well in the form of words, sneezes, and dreams.[25] However, Odysseus is the only character who receives thunder or lightning as an omen.[26][27] This is important to note because the thunder came from Zeus, the king of the gods. This direct relationship between Zeus and Odysseus represents the kingship of Odysseus.[25]


Scenes


Further information: Type scene

Odysseus and Eurycleia by Christian Gottlob Heyne

Finding scenes

Finding scenes occur in the Odyssey when a character discovers another character within the epic. Finding scenes proceed as followed:[18]

The character encounters or finds another character.

The encountered character is identified and described.

The character approaches and then converses with the found character.

These finding scenes can be identified several times throughout the epic including when Telemachus and Pisistratus find Menelaus when Calypso finds Odysseus on the beach, and when the suitor Amphimedon finds Agamemnon in Hades.[18][28]

Guest-friendship

Guest-friendship is also a theme in the Odyssey, but it too follows a very specific pattern. This pattern is:

The arrival and the reception of the guest.

Bathing or providing fresh clothes to the guest.

Providing food and drink to the guest.

Questions may be asked of the guest and entertainment should be provided by the host.

The guest should be given a place to sleep and both the guest and host retire for the night.

The guest and host exchange gifts, the guest is granted a safe journey home and departs.

Another important factor of guest-friendship is not keeping the guest longer than they wish and also promising their safety while they are a guest within the host's home.[22][28]

Testing

While testing is a theme with the epic, it also has a very specific type scene that accompanies it as well. Throughout the epic, the testing of others follows a typical pattern. This pattern is:

Odysseus is hesitant to question the loyalties of others.

Odysseus tests the loyalties of others by questioning them.

The characters reply to Odysseus' questions.

Odysseus proceeds to reveal his identity.

The characters test Odysseus' identity.

There is a rise of emotions associated with Odysseus' recognition, usually lament or joy.

Finally, the reconciled characters work together.[24][28]

Omens

Omens are another example of a type scene in the Odyssey. Two important parts of an omen type scene are the recognition of the omen and then the interpretation.[25] In the Odyssey specifically, there are several omens involving birds. All of the bird omens—with the exception of the first one in the epic—show large birds attacking smaller birds.[25][28] Accompanying each omen is a wish which can be either explicitly stated or only implied.[25] For example, Telemachus wishes for vengeance[29] and for Odysseus to be home,[30] Penelope wishes for Odysseus' return,[31] and the suitors wish for the death of Telemachus.[32] The omens seen in the Odyssey are also a recurring theme throughout the epic.[25][28]


Cultural impact


The Cyclops Polyphemus by Annibale Carracci (between 1595 and 1605), showing a scene shared between The Odyssey and Euripides's Cyclops (1922)

The Odyssey is regarded as one of the most important foundational works of western literature.[33] It is widely regarded by western literary critics as a timeless classic.[34]

Straightforward retellings of The Odyssey have flourished ever since the Middle Ages. Merugud Uilix maicc Leirtis ("On the Wandering of Ulysses, son of Laertes") is an eccentric Old Irish version of the material; the work exists in a 12th-century AD manuscript, which linguists believe is based on an 8th-century original.[35][36] Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria, first performed in 1640, is an opera by Claudio Monteverdi based on the second half of Homer's Odyssey.[37] The first canto of Ezra Pound's The Cantos (1917) is both a translation and a retelling of Odysseus' journey to the underworld.[38] The poem "Ulysses" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson is narrated by an aged Ulysses who is determined to continue to live life to the fullest. The Odyssey (1997), a made-for-TV movie directed by Andrei Konchalovsky, is a slightly abbreviated version of the epic.

Other authors have composed more creative reworkings of the poem, often updated to address contemporary themes and concerns. Cyclops by Euripides, the only fully extant satyr play,[39] retells the episode involving Polyphemus with a humorous twist.[40] A True Story, written by Lucian of Samosata in the 2nd century AD, is a satire on the Odyssey and on ancient travel tales, describing a journey sailing westward, beyond the Pillars of Hercules and to the Moon, the first known text that could be called science fiction.[41]

Front cover of James Joyce's Ulysses

James Joyce's modernist novel Ulysses (1922) is a retelling of the Odyssey set in modern-day Dublin. Each chapter in the book has an assigned theme, technique, and correspondences between its characters and those of Homer's Odyssey.[42] Homer's Daughter by Robert Graves is a novel imagining how the version we have might have been invented out of older tales. The Japanese-French anime Ulysses 31 (1981) updates the ancient setting into a 31st-century space opera. Omeros (1991), an epic poem by Derek Walcott, is in part a retelling of the Odyssey, set on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. The film Ulysses' Gaze (1995) directed by Theo Angelopoulos has many of the elements of the Odyssey set against the backdrop of the most recent and previous Balkan Wars.[42]

Daniel Wallace's Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions (1998) adapts the epic to the American South, while also incorporating tall tales into its first-person narrative much as Odysseus does in the Apologoi (Books 9-12). The Coen Brothers' 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou? is loosely based on Homer's poem. Margaret Atwood's 2005 novella The Penelopiad is an ironic rewriting of the Odyssey from Penelope's perspective. Zachary Mason's The Lost Books of the Odyssey (2007) is a series of short stories that rework Homer's original plot in a contemporary style reminiscent of Italo Calvino. The Heroes of Olympus (2010–2014) by Rick Riordan is based entirely on Greek mythology and includes many aspects and characters from the Odyssey.[43]

Authors have sought to imagine new endings for the Odyssey. In canto XXVI of the Inferno, Dante Alighieri meets Odysseus in the eighth circle of hell, where Odysseus himself appends a new ending to the Odyssey in which he never returns to Ithaca and instead continues his restless adventuring.[44][45]Nikos Kazantzakis aspires to continue the poem and explore more modern concerns in his epic poem The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel, which was first published in 1938 in modern Greek.[46]

In 2018, BBC Culture polled experts around the world to nominate the stories they felt had shaped mindsets or influenced history. Odyssey topped the list.[47][48]


English translations


Further information: English translations of Homer

This is a partial list of translations into English of Homer's Odyssey.

George Chapman, 1616 (couplets)

Thomas Hobbes, 1675

Alexander Pope, 1725–1726 (iambic pentameter couplets); Project Gutenberg edition; Gutenberg.org

William Cowper, 1791 (blank verse) An audio CD recording abridged by Perry Keenlyside and read by Anton Lesser is available (ISBN 9626345314), 1995.

Samuel Henry Butcher and Andrew Lang, 1879 (prose); Project Gutenberg edition

William Cullen Bryant, 1871 (blank verse)

Mordaunt Roger Barnard, 1876 (blank verse)

William Morris, 1887

Samuel Butler, 1898 (prose); Project Gutenberg edition or Perseus Project Od.1.1

Padraic Colum, 1918 (prose), Bartleby.com

A. T. Murray (revised by George E. Dimock), 1919; Loeb Classical Library (ISBN 0-674-99561-9). Available online here.

George Herbert Palmer, 1921, prose. An audio CD recording read by Norman Deitz is available (ISBN 1-4025-2325-4), 1989.

T. E. Shaw (T. E. Lawrence), 1932 ISBN 1 85326 025 8

W. H. D. Rouse, 1937, prose

E. V. Rieu, 1945, prose (later revised in 1991 by D.C.H. Rieu for increased literal accuracy)

Ennis Rees, 1960, Random House.

Robert Fitzgerald, 1963, unrhymed poetry with varied-length lines (ISBN 0-679-72813-9) An audio CD recording read by John Lee is available (ISBN 1-4159-3605-6) 2006

Richmond Lattimore, 1965, poetry (ISBN 0-06-093195-7)

Albert Cook, 1967 (Norton Critical Edition), poetry, very accurate line by line version[citation needed]

Walter Shewring, 1980 (ISBN 0-19-283375-8), Oxford University Press (Oxford World's Classics), prose

Allen Mandelbaum, 1990 Verse Translation[49]

Robert Fagles, poetry, 1996 (ISBN 0-14-026886-3); an unabridged audio recording by Ian McKellen is also available (ISBN 0-14-086430-X).

Stanley Lombardo, Hackett Publishing Company, 2000 (ISBN 0-87220-484-7). An audio CD recording read by the translator is also available (ISBN 1-930972-06-7).

Martin Hammond, 2000, prose

Rodney Merrill, 2002, unrhymed dactylic hexameter, accurate line by line version, University of Michigan Press

Edward McCrorie, 2004, ISBN 0-8018-8267-2

Barry B. Powell, 2014, ISBN 978-0199360314

Emily Wilson, 2017, ISBN 978-0393089059, iambic pentameter, the first complete translation into English by a woman[50]


See also


Hellenismos portal

Odyssean gods

Parallels between Virgil's Aeneid and Homer's Iliad and Odyssey


References


"Odyssey". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.

^ Jump up to:a b D.C.H. Rieu's introduction to The Odyssey (Penguin, 2003), p. xi.

Jump up^ The dog Argos dies autik' idont' Odusea eeikosto eniauto("seeing Odysseus again in the twentieth year"), Odyssey17.327; cf. also 2.174-6, 23.102, 23.170.

Jump up^ Homer (1996). The Odyssey. Translated by Robert Fagles. Introduction by Bernard Knox. United States of America: Penguin Books. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-14-026886-7.

Jump up^ Fox, Robin Lane (2006). The Classical World: An Epic History from Homer to Hadrian. United States of America: Basic Books. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-465-02496-4.

Jump up^ This theme once existed in the form of another epic, Nostoi, of which only fragments remain.

Jump up^ Homer. The Odyssey. p. Scroll 17 Line 8-8. Retrieved 16 January 2015.

Jump up^ From the Odyssey of Homer translated by Richmond Lattimore [Book 9, page 147/8, lines 410 - 412].

Jump up^ "The Lusiads". World Digital Library. 1800–1882. Retrieved 2013-08-31.

Jump up^ Carne-Ross, D. S. (1998). "The Poem of Odysseus". The Odyssey, translated by Robert Fitzgerald. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p. lxi. ISBN 0-374-52574-9.

Jump up^ Strabo 1.2.15, quoted by Moses I. Finley, The World of Odysseus, rev. ed. 1976:33.

Jump up^ Robin Lane Fox, Travelling Heroes in the Epic Age of Homer, 2008, ch. "Finding Neverland"; Lane summarizes the literature in notes and bibliography.

Jump up^ West, Martin. The East Face of Helicon: West Asiatic Elements in Greek Poetry and Myth. (Oxford 1997) 402-417.

Jump up^ Abel's surmise is noted by Adrienne Mayor, The First Fossil Hunters: Paleontology in Greek and Roman Times (Princeton University Press) 2000.

^ Jump up to:a b Anderson, Graham (2000). Fairytale in the Ancient World. Routledge. pp. 127–131. ISBN 978-0-415-23702-4. Retrieved 22 June 2017.

Jump up^ Anderson, Graham (2000). Fairytale in the Ancient World. Routledge. pp. 124–125. ISBN 978-0-415-23702-4. Retrieved 22 June 2017.

^ Jump up to:a b c d Thornton, Agathe. "The Homecomings of the Achaeans." People and Themes in Homer's Odyssey. Dunedin: U of Otago in Association with Methuen, London, 1970. 1-15. Print.

^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g Thornton, Agathe. "The Wanderings of Odysseus." People and Themes in Homer's Odyssey. Dunedin: U of Otago in Association with Methuen, London, 1970. 16-37. Print.

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Jump up^ Homer, Odyssey 8.566. (The Odyssey of Homer. Translated by Richmond Lattimore. New York: Harper & Row, 1975.)

Jump up^ Homer, Odyssey 6.4-5. (The Odyssey of Homer. Translated by Richmond Lattimore. New York: Harper & Row, 1975.)

^ Jump up to:a b c d e Thornton, Agathe. "Guest-Friendship". People and Themes in Homer's Odyssey. Dunedin: U of Otago in Association with Methuen, London, 1970. 38-46. Print.

Jump up^ Homer, Odyssey 17.415-44. (The Odyssey of Homer. Trans. Richmond Lattimore. New York: Harper & Row, 1975. Print.)

^ Jump up to:a b c d e Thornton, Agathe. "Testing." People and Themes in Homer's Odyssey. Dunedin: U of Otago in Association with Methuen, London, 1970. 47-51. Print.

^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h Thornton, Agathe. "Omens." People and Themes in Homer's Odyssey. Dunedin: U of Otago in Association with Methuen, London, 1970. 52-57. Print.

Jump up^ Homer, Odyssey 20.103-4. (The Odyssey of Homer. Trans. Richmond Lattimore. New York: Harper & Row, 1975. Print.)

Jump up^ Homer, Odyssey 21.414. (The Odyssey of Homer. Trans. Richmond Lattimore. New York: Harper & Row, 1975. Print.)

^ Jump up to:a b c d e Edwards, Mark W. "Homer and the Oral Tradition." Oral Tradition 7.2 (1992): 284-330. Web. 06 Apr. 2016.

Jump up^ Homer, Odyssey 2.143-5. (The Odyssey of Homer. Trans. Richmond Lattimore. New York: Harper & Row, 1975. Print.)

Jump up^ Homer, Odyssey 15.155-9. (The Odyssey of Homer. Trans. Richmond Lattimore. New York: Harper & Row, 1975. Print.)

Jump up^ Homer, Odyssey 19.136. (The Odyssey of Homer. Trans. Richmond Lattimore. New York: Harper & Row, 1975. Print.)

Jump up^ Homer, Odyssey 20.240-243. (The Odyssey of Homer. Trans. Richmond Lattimore. New York: Harper & Row, 1975. Print.)

Jump up^ Bahr, Arthur. "Foundation of Western Literature". MIT Open Courseware. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 27 June 2017.

Jump up^ Cartwright, Mark. "Odyssey". Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved 27 June 2017.

Jump up^ Merugud Uilix maicc Leirtis. Kuno Meyer (ed), First edition [v + 36 pp.; v–xii Introduction; 1–15 Critical edition of Text; 16–29 Translation; 30–36 Index Verborum.] David Nutt270 Strand, London (1886)

Jump up^ Merugud Uilix maicc Leirtis: the Irish Odyssey, ed. Kuno Meyer, London: 1886.

Jump up^ "Monteverdi's 'The Return of Ulysses'". NPR.org. Retrieved 2017-02-24.

Jump up^ Hesse, Eva (1969). New Approaches to Ezra Pound. University of California Press. p. 126.

Jump up^ Euripides. McHugh, Heather, trans. Cyclops; Greek Tragedy in New Translations. Oxford Univ. Press (2001) ISBN 9780198032656

Jump up^ Dougherty, Carol. “The Double Vision of Euripides' Cyclops: An Ethnographic Odyssey on the Satyr Stage”. Comparative Drama. Vol. 33, No. 3 (Fall 1999), pp. 313-338

Jump up^ Swanson, Roy Arthur:

Lucian of Samosata, the Greco-Syrian satirist of the second century, appears today as an exemplar of the science-fiction artist. There is little, if any, need to argue that his mythopoeic Milesian Tales and his literary fantastic voyages and utopistic hyperbole comport with the genre of science fiction; ...

^ Jump up to:a b Grafton, Anthony; Most, Glenn W.; Settis, Salvatore (2010). The Classical Tradition. Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. p. 653. ISBN 978-0-674-03572-0.

Jump up^ "When was Homer's Odyssey written? – Homework Help – eNotes.com". eNotes. Retrieved 2015-10-01.

Jump up^ Inferno, Canto XXVI, lines 98-99.

Jump up^ Grafton, Anthony; Most, Glenn W.; Settis, Salvatore (2010). The Classical Tradition. Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. p. 652. ISBN 978-0-674-03572-0.

Jump up^ Grafton, Anthony; Most, Glenn W.; Settis, Salvatore (2010). The Classical Tradition. Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. pp. 652–653. ISBN 978-0-674-03572-0.

Jump up^ The 100 stories that shaped the world

Jump up^ The greatest tale ever told?

Jump up^ Homer's Odyssey. New York: Bantam. 1991. Trans. Mandelbaum, Allen. ISBN 978-0-553-21399-7.

Jump up^ Mason, Wyatt (2 November 2017). "The First Woman to Translate the 'Odyssey' Into English". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 November 2017.

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Resources in other libraries


Further reading


Austin, N. Archery at the Dark of the Moon: Poetic Problems in Homer’s Odyssey. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1975.

Clayton, B. A Penelopean Poetics: Reweaving the Feminine in Homer's Odyssey. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2004.

Clayton, B. "Polyphemus and Odysseus in the Nursery: Mother’s Milk in the Cyclopeia." Arethusa, vol. 44 no. 3 (2011): 255-277.

Bakker, E. J. The Meaning of Meat and the Structure of the Odyssey. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Barnouw, J. Odysseus, Hero of Practical Intelligence. Deliberation and Signs in Homer's Odyssey. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2004.

Dougherty, C. The Raft of Odysseus: The Ethnographic Imagination of Homer's Odyssey. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Fenik, B. Studies in the Odyssey. Hermes Einzelschriften 30. Wiesbaden, West Germany: Steiner, 1974.

Griffin, J. Homer: The Odyssey. Landmarks in World Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987.

Louden, B. Homer’s Odyssey and the Near East. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Louden, B. The Odyssey: Structure, Narration and Meaning. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.

Minchin, E. "The Expression of Sarcasm in the "Odyssey"." Mnemosyne, Fourth Series, 63, no. 4 (2010): 533-56.

Müller, W. G. "From Homer’s Odyssey to Joyce’s Ulysses: Theory and Practice of an Ethical Narratology" Arcadia, 50.1 (2015): 9-36.

Saïd, S. Homer and the Odyssey (originally published 1998). Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Turkeltaub, D. “Penelope's ‘Stout Hand’ and Odyssean Humour.” The Journal of Hellenic Studies, vol. 134 (2014): 103–119.

West, E. “Circe, Calypso, Hiḍimbā.” The Journal of Indo-European Studies, 42.1 (2014): 144-174.


External links


Look up odyssey in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.


Wikisource has original text related to this article:

The Odyssey


Greek Wikisource has original text related to this article:

Ὀδύσσεια


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Odyssey.


Wikiversity has learning resources about The Odyssey


List of Homeric characters


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This is a list of principal characters in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey.

Contents

[hide]

1Greeks in the Trojan War

2Trojans in the siege of Troy

3Allies of the Trojans

4Family and servants of Odysseus

5Suitors of Penelope

6Slaves

7Deities

8References


Greeks in the Trojan War[edit]


Achilles (Ἀχιλλεύς), the leader of the Myrmidons (Μυρμιδόνες), son of Peleus and Thetis, and the principal Greek champion whose anger is one of the main elements of the story.

Agamemnon (Ἀγαμέμνων), King of Mycenae, supreme commander of the Achaean armies whose actions provoke the feud with Achilles; elder brother of King Menelaus.

Ajax or Aias (Αίας), also known as Telamonian Ajax (he was the son of Telamon) and Greater Ajax, was the tallest and strongest warrior (after Achilles) to fight for the Achaeans.

Ajax the Lesser, an Achaean commander, son of Oileus often fights alongside Great Ajax; the two together are sometimes called the "Ajaxes" (Αἴαντε, Aiante).

Antilochus (Ἀντίλοχος), son of Nestor sacrificed himself to save his father in the Trojan War along with other deeds of valor

Calchas (Κάλχας), a powerful Greek prophet and omen reader, who guided the Greeks through the war with his predictions.

Diomedes (Διομήδης, also called "Tydides"), the youngest of the Achaean commanders, famous for wounding two gods, Aphrodite and Ares.

Helen (Ἑλένη) the wife of Menelaus, the King of Sparta. Paris visits Menelaus in Sparta. With the assistance of Aphrodite, Paris and Helen fall in love and elope back to Troy, but in Sparta her elopement is considered an abduction.

Idomeneus (Ιδομενέας), King of Crete and Achaean commander. Leads a charge against the Trojans in Book 13.

Menelaus (Μενέλαος), King of Sparta and the abandoned husband of Helen. He is the younger brother of Agamemnon.

Nestor (Νέστωρ), of Gerênia and the son of Neleus. He was said to be the only one of his brothers to survive an assault from Heracles. Oldest member of the entire Greek army at Troy.

Odysseus (Ὀδυσσεύς), another warrior-king, famed for his cunning, who is the main character of another (roughly equally ancient) epic, the Odyssey.

Patroclus (Πάτροκλος), beloved companion of Achilles.

Phoenix (Φοῖνιξ), an old Achaean warrior, greatly trusted by Achilles, who acts as mediator between Achilles and Agamemnon.

Teucer (Τεῦκρος), Achaean archer, half-brother of Ajax.[1][2][3]


Trojans in the siege of Troy[edit]


Aeneas (Αἰνείας), son of Aphrodite; cousin of Hector; Hector's principal lieutenant; the only major Trojan figure to survive the war. Held by later tradition to be the forefather of the founders of Rome. See the Aeneid.

Agenor (Ἀγήνωρ), a Trojan warrior who attempts to fight Achilles in Book 21.

Andromache (Ἀνδρομάχη), wife of Hector and later slave of Achilles' son, Neoptolemus after the war.

Antenor (Ἀντήνωρ), a Trojan nobleman who argues that Helen should be returned to Menelaus in order to end the war. In some versions he ends up betraying Troy by helping the Greeks unseal the city gates.

Cassandra (Κασσάνδρα), a daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba; Cassandra's prophecies are ignored as a result of displeasing Apollo.

Glaucus (Γλαῦκος), co-leader, with his cousin Sarpedon, of the Lycian forces allied to the Trojan cause.

Hector (Ἕκτωρ), firstborn son of King Priam, husband of Andromache, father of Astyanax; leader of the Trojan and allied armies, and heir apparent to the throne of Troy.

Laodice (Λαοδίκη), was the most beautiful of daughter of Priam who fell in love with Acamas, son of Theseus.

Lycaon (Λυκάων), a son of Priam and Laothoe, daughter of the Lelegian king Altes; not to be confused with Lycaon, the father of Pandarus of Zeleia, who fought at Troy.

Pandarus (Πάνδαρος), archer who shoots and wounds Menelaus with an arrow, sabotaging an attempt to reclaim Helen.

Paris (Πάρις), Trojan prince and Hector's brother; also called Alexander. His abduction of Helen is the casus belli of the Trojan War. He was supposed to have been killed as a baby because his sister Cassandra foresaw that he would cause the destruction of Troy; he was, however, raised by a shepherd.

Polydamas (Πολυδάμας), a young Trojan commander, a lieutenant and friend of Hector.

Priam (Πρίαμος), king of the Trojans, son and successor of Laomedon; husband of Queen Hecuba, father of Hector and Paris; too old to take part in the fighting; many of his fifty sons are counted among the Trojan commanders.

Sarpedon (Σαρπηδών), a son of Zeus and Laodamia, daughter of Bellerophon; co-leader, with his cousin Glaucus, of the Lycian forces allied to the Trojan cause.[1][2]

Theano (Θεανώ) was the priestess of Athena in Troy and wife of Antenor.


Allies of the Trojans[edit]


Memnon, a king of Ethiopia who fought on the side of Troy during the Trojan War

Rhesus, a king of Thrace who sided with Troy in the Trojan War

Penthesilea (Πενθεσίλεια), an Amazon queen who fought in the Trojan War on the side of Troy


Family and servants of Odysseus[edit]


Laertes, father of Odysseus.

Penelope, Odysseus' faithful wife. She uses her quick wits to put off her many suitors and remain loyal to her errant husband.

Telemachus, the son of Odysseus and Penelope, who matures during his travels to Sparta and Pylos and then fights Penelope's suitors with Odysseus.[3]

Eurycleia, Odysseus' former wet nurse, the first person to recognize him upon his return to Ithaca.

Eumaeus, a loyal old friend and swineherd of Odysseus, who helps him retake his palace.

Melantho, a favorite slave of Penelope's, though undeserving. She works against her mistress, sleeps with Eurymachus, and is rude to guests. After Odysseus kills the suitors, Telemachus hangs her for her disloyalty.


Suitors of Penelope[edit]


Amphinomus

Antinous

Eurymachus[3]


Slaves[edit]


Aethra, the principal slave in Helen's household at Troy. She was the mother of Theseus, stolen many years before the Trojan War by the Dioscuri as revenge for her son's kidnapping of their sister Helen.

Briseis, a woman captured in the sack of Lyrnessos, a small town in the territory of Troy, and awarded to Achilles as a prize. Agamemnon takes her from Achilles in Book 1 and Achilles withdraws from battle as a result.

Chryseis, Chryses’ daughter, taken as a war prize by Agamemnon.

Clymene, servant of Helen along with her mother Aethra.

Diomede, a slave woman of Achilles' whom he took from Lesbos.

Hecamede, a woman taken from Tenedos and given to Nestor. She mixes his medicinal wines.

Iphis, a woman from Skyros whom Achilles gave to Patroclus.


Deities[edit]


Aphrodite, goddess of love, beauty, and sexual pleasure. Wife of Hephaestus, and lover of Ares.

Apollo, god of the sun, light, knowledge, healing, plague and darkness, the arts, music, poetry, prophecy, archery. Son of Zeus and Leto, twin of Artemis.

Ares, god of war. Lover of Aphrodite. Driven from the field of battle by Diomedes (aided by Athena).

Athena, goddess of crafts, domestic arts, strategic warfare, and wisdom. Daughter of Zeus.

Hephaestus, god of blacksmiths, craftsmen, artisans, sculptors, metals, metallurgy, fire and volcanoes.

Hera, goddess of birth, family, marriage, and women. Sister and wife of Zeus, queen of the gods.

Hermes, messenger of the gods, leads Priam into Achilles' camp in book 24.

Iris, messenger of Zeus and Hera.

Poseidon, brother of Zeus, Greek god of the sea and earthquake, curses Odysseus.

Scamander, river god who fought on the side of the Trojans during the Trojan War

Thetis, mother of Achilles, wife of Peleus.

Zeus, king of the gods, brother of Poseidon and Hera and father of Athena, Aphrodite, Ares, and Apollo.[1][2][3]


References[edit]


^ Jump up to:a b c "The Iliad Notes on Characters".

^ Jump up to:a b c "The Iliad Character List".

^ Jump up to:a b c d "The Odyssey Character List".



Epic Cycle


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Trojan War

Achilles tending the wounded Patroclus
(Attic red-figure kylix, c. 500 BCE)

The war

Setting: Troy (modern Hisarlik, Turkey)
Period: Bronze Age
Traditional dating: c. 1194–1184 BCE
Modern dating: c. 1260–1180 BCE
Outcome: Greek victory, destruction of Troy

See also: Historicity of the Iliad

Literary sources

Iliad

Epic Cycle

Aeneid, Book 2

Iphigenia in Aulis

Philoctetes

Ajax

The Trojan Women

Posthomerica

See also: Trojan War in popular culture

Episodes

Judgement of Paris

Seduction of Helen

Trojan Horse

Sack of Troy

The Returns

Wanderings of Odysseus

Aeneas and the Founding of Rome

Greeks and allies

Agamemnon

Achilles

Helen

Menelaus

Nestor

Odysseus

Ajax

Diomedes

Patroclus

Thersites

Achaeans

Myrmidons

See also: Catalogue of Ships

Trojans and allies

Priam

Hecuba

Hector

Paris

Cassandra

Andromache

Aeneas

Memnon

Troilus

Penthesilea and the Amazons

Sarpedon

See also: Trojan Battle Order

Participant gods

Caused the war:

Eris

Zeus

On the Greek side:

Athena

Hephaestus

Hera

Hermes

Poseidon

Thetis

On the Trojan side:

Aphrodite

Apollo

Ares

Artemis

Leto

Scamander

Related topics

Homeric Question

Archaeology of Troy

Mycenae

Mycenaean warfare

v

t

e

The Epic Cycle (Greek: Ἐπικὸς Κύκλος, Epikos Kyklos) was a collection of Ancient Greek epic poems, composed in dactylic hexameter and related to the story of the Trojan War, including the Cypria, the Aethiopis, the so-called Little Iliad, the Iliupersis, the Nostoi, and the Telegony. Scholars sometimes include the two Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, among the poems of the Epic Cycle, but the term is more often used to specify the non-Homeric poems as distinct from the Homeric ones.

Unlike the Iliad and the Odyssey, the cyclic epics survive only in fragments and summaries from Late Antiquity and the Byzantine period.

The epic cycle was the distillation in literary form of an oral tradition that had developed during the Greek Dark Age, which was based in part on localised hero cults. The traditional material from which the literary epics were drawn treats Mycenaean Bronze Age culture from the perspective of Iron Age and later Greece.

In modern scholarship the study of the historical and literary relationship between the Homeric epics and the rest of the Cycle is called Neoanalysis.

A longer Epic Cycle, as described by the 9th-century CE scholar and clergyman Photius in his Bibliotheca, also included the Titanomachy (8th century BC) and the Theban Cycle (between 750 and 500 BC), which in turn comprised the Oedipodea, the Thebaid, the Epigoni and the Alcmeonis; however, it is certain that none of the cyclic epics (other than Homer) survived to Photius' day, and it is likely that Photius was not referring to a canonical collection. Modern scholars do not normally include the Theban Cycle when referring to the Epic Cycle.

Contents

[hide]

1Contents

2Evidence

3Compilation

4Reception

5Bibliography

5.1Editions

5.2Further reading

6See also

7References


Contents[edit]


Title

Length (books)

Most common attribution

Content

Cypria

11

Stasinus

The events leading up to the Trojan War and the first nine years of the conflict, especially the Judgement of Paris

Iliad

24

Homer

Achilles' rage against first king Agamemnon and then the Trojan prince Hector, ending with Achilles killing Hector in revenge for the death of Patroclus and Priam coming to Achilles to ransom Hector's body

Aethiopis

5

Arctinus

The arrival of the Trojan allies, Penthesileia the Amazon and Memnon; their deaths at Achilles' hands in revenge for the death of Antilochus; Achilles' own death

Little Iliad

4

Lesches

Events after Achilles' death, including the building of the Trojan Horse and the Awarding of the Arms to Odysseus

Iliou persis("Sack of Troy")

2

Arctinus

The destruction of Troy by the Greeks

Nostoi("returns")

5

Agias or Eumelus

The return home of the Greek force and the events contingent upon their arrival, concluding with the returns of Agamemnon and Menelaus

Odyssey

24

Homer

The end of Odysseus' voyage home and his vengeance on his wife Penelope's suitors, who have devoured his property in his absence

Telegony

2

Eugammon

Odysseus' voyage to Thesprotia and return to Ithaca, and death at the hands of an illegitimate son Telegonus


Evidence[edit]


Herodotus knew of the Cypria and the Epigoni when he wrote his History in mid-5th century BCE. He rejected the Homeric authorship for the former, and questioned it for the latter.[1]

The Epic Cycle was not "mentioned as a whole" (including the Theban Cycle) until the 2nd century CE, but knowledge of a "Trojan cycle" is apparent from at least the 4th century BCE as Aristoxenus mentions an alternative opening to the Iliad.[2]

Aristotle in his Poetics criticises the Cypria and Little Iliad for the piecemeal character of their plots:

But other poets compose a plot around one person, one time, and one plot with multiple parts; like the composer of the Cypria and the Little Iliad. As a result, only one tragedy is made out of the Iliad and the Odyssey, but from the Cypria many, and from the Little Iliad more than eight ...[3]

The Library attributed to Apollodorus and the 2nd century CE Latin Genealogia attributed to Hyginus also drew on them. Furthermore, there is also the Tabula iliaca inscriptions that cover the same myths.[4]

Most knowledge of the Cyclic epics comes from a broken summary of them which serves as part of the preface to the famous 10th century Iliad manuscript known as Venetus A. This preface is damaged, missing the Cypria, and has to be supplemented by other sources (the Cypria summary is preserved in several other manuscripts, each of which contains only the Cypria and none of the other epics). The summary is in turn an excerpt from a longer work, Chrestomathy, written by a "Proclus". This is known from evidence provided by the later scholar Photius, mentioned above. Photius provides sufficient information about Proclus' Chrestomathy to demonstrate that the Venetus A excerpt is derived from the same work.[5] Little is known about Proclus, except that he is certainly not the philosopher Proclus Diadochus. Some have thought that it might be the same person as the lesser-known grammarian Eutychius Proclus, who lived in the 2nd century CE,[6] but it is quite possible that he is simply an otherwise unknown figure.

In antiquity the Homeric epics were considered to be the greatest works in the Cycle.[citation needed] For Hellenistic scholars the Cyclic poets, the authors to whom the other poems were commonly ascribed, were νεώτεροι (neōteroi "later poets"), and κυκλικός (kyklikos "cyclic") was synonymous with "formulaic".[citation needed] Then, and in much modern scholarship, there has been an equation between poetry that is later and poetry that is inferior.[citation needed]

The tales told in the Cycle are recounted by other ancient sources, notably Virgil's Aeneid (book 2) which recounts the sack of Troy from a Trojan perspective; Ovid's Metamorphoses (books 13–14), which describes the Greeks' landing at Troy (from the Cypria) and the judgment of Achilles' arms (Little Iliad). Quintus of Smyrna's Posthomerica is another source, which narrates the events after Hector's death up until the end of the war. The death of Agamemnon and the vengeance taken by his son Orestes (the Nostoi) are the subject of later Greek tragedy, especially Aeschylus's Oresteian trilogy.


Compilation[edit]


The non-Homeric epics are usually regarded as later than the Iliad and Odyssey.[citation needed] There is no reliable evidence for this, however, and some Neoanalyst scholars operate on the premise that the Homeric epics were later than the Cyclic epics and drew on them extensively.[citation needed] Other Neoanalysts make the milder claim that the Homeric epics draw on legendary material which later crystallized into the Epic Cycle.[citation needed]

The nature of the relationship between the Cyclic epics and Homer is also bound up in this question.[citation needed] As told by Proclus, the plots of the six non-Homeric epics look very much as though they are designed to integrate with Homer, with no overlaps with one another.[citation needed]

For example, a surviving quotation shows that the Little Iliad narrated how Neoptolemus took Andromache prisoner after the fall of Troy;[7] however, in Proclus, the Little Iliad stops before the sack of Troy begins. Some scholars have argued that the Cypria as originally planned dealt with more of the Trojan War than Proclus' summary suggests;[8] conversely, others argue that it was designed to lead up to the Iliad, and that Proclus' account reflects the Cypria as originally designed.[9]

It is probable that at least some editing or "stitching" was done to edit epics together. For the last line of the Iliad,

ὣς οἵ γ᾽ ἀμφίεπον τάφον Ἕκτορος ἱπποδάμοιο.

In this way they performed the funeral of Hector, tamer of horses.

an alternative reading is preserved which is designed to lead directly into the Aethiopis:

ὣς οἵ γ' ἀμφίεπον τάφον Ἕκτορος· ἦλθε δ' Ἀμαζών,
Ἄρηος θυγάτηρ μεγαλήτορος ἀνδροφόνοιο.

In this way they performed the funeral of Hector; then the Amazon Penthesileia came,
daughter of great-hearted man-slaughtering Ares. ...

There are contradictions between epics in the Cycle. For example, the Greek warrior who killed Hector's son Astyanax in the fall of Troy is Neoptolemus according to the Little Iliad; according to the Iliou persis, it is Odysseus.[original research?][citation needed]

How and when the eight epics of the Cycle came to be combined into a single collection and referred to as a "cycle" is a matter of ongoing debate. In the late 19th century, David Binning Monroargued that the scholastic use of the word κυκλικός did not refer to the Cycle as such, but meant "conventional", and that the Cycle was compiled in the Hellenistic period (perhaps as late as the 1st century BCE).[10] More recent scholars have preferred to push the date slightly earlier, but accept the general thrust of the argument.[citation needed]


Reception[edit]


In more recent times it has been argued that the fantastic and magical content of the non-Homeric epics mark them as inferior.[11]


Bibliography[edit]


Editions[edit]

Online editions (English translation):

The Medieval and Classical Library text (translated by H.G. Evelyn-White, 1914; public domain)

Project Gutenberg text (translated by H.G. Evelyn-White, 1914)

Proklos' summary of the Epic Cycle, omitting the Telegony (translated by Gregory Nagy)

Print editions (Greek):

Bernabé, A. 1987, Poetarum epicorum Graecorum testimonia et fragmenta pt. 1 (Leipzig). ISBN 3-322-00352-3

Davies, M. 1988, Epicorum Graecorum fragmenta (Göttingen). ISBN 3-525-25747-3

Print editions (Greek with English translation):

Hesiod & Evelyn-White, H.G., 1914, Hesiod: The Homeric Hymns and Homerica (Loeb Classical Library) ISBN 0-674-99063-3

West, M.L. 2003, Greek Epic Fragments (Cambridge, MA). ISBN 0-674-99605-4

Further reading[edit]

Burgess, J.S. 2001, The Tradition of the Trojan War in Homer and the Epic Cycle (Baltimore). ISBN 0-8018-7890-X (pbk)

Davies, M. 1989, The Greek Epic Cycle (Bristol). ISBN 1-85399-039-6 (pbk)

Kullmann, W. 1960, Die Quellen der Ilias (troischer Sagenkreis) (Wiesbaden). ISBN 3-515-00235-9 (1998 reprint)

Michalopoulos, Dimitris, Homer's Odyssey beyond the myths, Piraeus: Institute of Hellenic Maritime History, 2016. ISBN 9786188059931.

Monro, D.B. 1883, "On the Fragment of Proclus' Abstract of the Epic Cycle Contained in the Codex Venetus of the Iliad", Journal of Hellenic Studies 4: 305-334.

Monro, D.B. 1901, Homer's Odyssey, books XIII-XXIV (Oxford), pp. 340–84. (Out of print)

Severyns, A. 1928, Le cycle épique dans l'école d'Aristarque (Liège, Paris). (Out of print)

Severyns, A. 1938, 1938, 1953, 1963, Recherches sur la "Chrestomathie" de Proclos, 4 vols. (Bibliothèque de la faculté de philosophie et lettres de l'université de Liège fascc. 78, 79, 132, 170; Paris). (Vols. 1 and 2 are on Photius, 3 and 4 on other MSS.)

Severyns, A. 1962, Texte et apparat, histoire critique d'une tradition imprimée (Brussels).


See also[edit]


Cyclic Poets


References[edit]


Jump up^ Martin Litchfield West "Epic Cycle" in Oxford Classical Dictionary 3rd. ed. Oxford; Oxford University Press 1999 p.707

Jump up^ OCD3 p.531

Jump up^ Aristotle Poetics 1459a–b.

Jump up^ OCD3 p.531

Jump up^ For further information see Monro 1883, and Severyns 1928, 1938a, 1938b, 1953, 1962, and 1963.

Jump up^ See e.g. Monro 1883.

Jump up^ Little Iliad fr. 14 in West's edition.

Jump up^ E.g. J. Marks 2002, "The Junction between the Kypria and the Iliad", Phoenix 56: 1–24; and Burgess 2001 argues that the Cypria originally narrated the entire war.