Provides supplementary line-by-line commentary to familiarize the general reader with Greek history and mythology as well as Homer's style, techniques, and poetic conventions
"Professor Lattimore, holding closely to the original metres, has produced renderings of great power and beauty. His feeling for the telling noun and verb, the simple yet poignant epithet, and the dramatic turn of syntax is marked. He has completely freed the poems from sentimentality, and the thrilling ancient names—Anacreon, Alcaeus, Simonides, Sappho—acquire fresh brilliance and vitality under his hand."—Louise Bogan, The New Yorker "The significant quality of Mr. Lattimore's versions is that they are pure. The lenses he provides are as clear as our language is capable of making them."—Moses Hadas, N.Y. Herald Tribune
Offers a line-by-line commentary explaining the many factual details, mythological allusions, and Homeric conventions that will aid in understanding Homer's methods of composition, characterization, and structure.
Fifty years of reading Homer—both alone and with students—prepared Eva Brann to bring the Odyssey and the Iliad back to life for today's readers. In Homeric Moments, she brilliantly conveys the unique delights of Homer's epics as she focuses on the crucial scenes, or moments, that mark the high points of the narratives: Penelope and Odysseus, faithful wife and returning husband, sit face to face at their own hearth for the first time in twenty years; young Telemachus, with his father Odysseus at his side, boldly confronts the angry suitors; Achilles gives way to boundless grief at the death of his friend Patroclus. Eva Brann demonstrates a way of reading Homer's poems that yields up their hidden treasures. With an alert eye for Homer's extraordinary visual effects and a keen ear for the musicality of his language, she helps the reader see the flickering campfires of the Greeks and hear the roar of the surf and the singing of nymphs. In Homeric Moments, Brann takes readers beneath the captivating surface of the poems to explore the inner connections and layers of meaning that have made the epics "the marvel of the ages." "Written with wit and clarity, this book will be of value to those reading the Odyssey and the Iliad for the first time and to those teaching it to beginners."—Library Journal "Homeric Moments is a feast for the mind and the imagination, laid out in clear and delicious prose. With Brann, old friends of Homer and new acquaintances alike will rejoice in the beauty, and above all the humanity, of the epics." —Jacob Howland, University of Tulsa, Author of The Paradox of Political Philosophy "In Homeric Moments, Eva Brann lovingly leads us, as she has surely led countless students, through the gallery of delights that is Homer's poetry. Brann's enthusiasm is as infectious as her deep familiarity with the works is illuminating."—Rachel Hadas "Brann invites us to enter a conversation [about Homer] in which information and formal arguments jostle with appreciations and frank conjectures and surmises to increase our pleasure and deepen the inward dimension of our humanity."—Richard Freis, Millsaps College "For anyone eager to experience the profundity and charm of Homer's great epic poems, Eva Brann's book will serve as a passionate and engaging guide. Brann displays a deep sensitivity to the cadence and flow of Homeric poetry, and the kind of knowing intimacy with its characters that comes from years of teaching and contemplation. Her relaxed but informative approach succeeds in conveying the grandeur of the great Homeric heroes, while making them continually resonate for our own lives. Brann helps us see that this poetry has an urgency for our own era as much as it did for a distant past."—Ralph M. Rosen, University of Pennsylvania, Author of Old Comedy and The Iambographic Tradition "The most enjoyable books about Homer are always written by those who have read and taught him the most. Eva Brann's collection of astute observations, unusual asides, and visual snapshots of the Iliad and the Odyssey reveals a lifelong friendship with the poet, and is as pleasurable as it is informative. Homeric Moments is rare erudition without pedantry, in a tone marked by good sense without levity."—Victor Davis Hanson, author of The Other Greeks and co-author of Who Killed Homer?
The World of Odysseus is a concise and penetrating account of the society that gave birth to the Iliad and the Odyssey--a book that provides a vivid picture of the Greek Dark Ages, its men and women, works and days, morals and values. Long celebrated as a pathbreaking achievement in the social history of the ancient world, M.I. Finley's brilliant study remains, as classicist Bernard Knox notes in his introduction to this new edition, "as indispensable to the professional as it is accessible to the general reader"--a fundamental companion for students of Homer and Homeric Greece.
Homer: Poet of the "Iliad" is the perfect companion both for readers deepening their appreciation of the poem and its form and for those encountering Homer's work for the first time. Mark Edwards combines the advantages of a general introduction and a detailed commentary to make the insights of recent Homeric scholarship accessible to students and general readers as well as to classicists. Since interpretation of the epic requires an understanding of the ancient oral tradition and its conventions, Edwards offers a comprehensive analysis of the poetics of the Iliad and the Odyssey. He also discusses essential elements of Homeric society -- its religion, history, and social values -- to clarify the style and substance of the poetry. In the second half of the book, Edwards's scene-by-scene explication of ten major books of the Iliad leads the reader to a greater perception of Homer's mastery and manipulation of convention.
Following Oliver Dickinson’s successful The Aegean Bronze Age, this textbook is a synthesis of the period between the collapse of the Bronze Age civilization in the thirteenth and twelfth centuries BC, and the rise of the Greek civilization in the eighth century BC. With chapter bibliographies, distribution maps and illustrations, Dickinson’s detailed examination of material and archaeological evidence argues that many characteristics of Ancient Greece developed in the Dark Ages. He also includes up-to-date coverage of the 'Homeric question'. This highly informative text focuses on: the reasons for the Bronze Age collapse which brought about the Dark Ages the processes that enabled Greece to emerge from the Dark Ages the degree of continuity from the Dark Ages to later times. Dickinson has provided an invaluable survey of this period that will not only be useful to specialists and undergraduates in the field, but that will also prove highly popular with the interested general reader.
The 'red Macmillan' Iliad in the edition of W. Leaf, which had served since the 1880s, was replaced by this classic two-volume edition of M.M. Willcock. Coverage of twelve books of the Iliad in each volume demands a concise introduction and commentary. The editor also includes, for example, mention of significant aspects of Homeric diction more fully in the early lines of each book, so that the student may begin on any particular line. Although the book is designed for students at sixth form and undergraduates, the tight compass of these books does not prevent the editor engaging in - or referring to - problems of composition or text addressed by more advanced scholars.
Never has contemporary fiction been more widely discussed and passionately analysed; recent years have seen a huge growth in the number of reading groups and in the interest of a non-academic readership in the discussion of how novels work. Drawing on his weekly Guardian column, 'Elements of Fiction', John Mullan examines novels mostly of the last ten years, many of which have become firm favourites with reading groups. He reveals the rich resources of novelistic technique, setting recent fiction alongside classics of the past. Nick Hornby's adoption of a female narrator is compared to Daniel Defoe's; Ian McEwan's use of weather is set against Austen's and Hardy's; Carole Shield's chapter divisions are likened to Fanny Burney's. Each section shows how some basic element of fiction is used. Some topics (like plot, dialogue, or location) will appear familiar to most novel readers; others (metanarrative, prolepsis, amplification) will open readers' eyes to new ways of understanding and appreciating the writer's craft. How Novels Work explains how the pleasures of novel reading often come from the formal ingenuity of the novelist. It is an entertaining and stimulating exploration of that ingenuity. Addressed to anyone who is interested in the close reading of fiction, it makes visible techniques and effects we are often only half-aware of as we read. It shows that literary criticism is something that all fiction enthusiasts can do. Contemporary novels discussed include: Monica Ali's Brick Lane; Martin Amis's Money; Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin; A.S. Byatt's Possession; Jonathan Coe's The Rotters' Club; J.M. Coetzee's Disgrace; Michael Cunningham's The Hours; Don DeLillo's Underworld; Michel Faber's The Crimson Petal and the White; Ian Fleming's From Russia with Love; Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections; Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time; Patricia Highsmith's Ripley under Ground; Alan Hollinghurst's The Spell; Nick Hornby's How to Be Good; Ian McEwan's Atonement; John le Carré's The Constant Gardener; Andrea Levy's Small Island; David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas; Andrew O'Hagan's Personality; Orhan Pamuk's My Name Is Red; Ann Patchett's Bel Canto; Ruth Rendell's Adam and Eve and Pinch Me; Philip Roth's The Human Stain; Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything Is Illuminated; Carol Shields's Unless; Zadie Smith's White Teeth; Muriel Spark's Aiding and Abetting; Graham Swift's Last Orders; Donna Tartt's The Secret History; William Trevor's The Hill Bachelors; and Richard Yates's Revolutionary Road .
This wide-ranging collection makes available to specialists and nonspecialists alike important critical work on the Odyssey produced during the last half century. The ten essays address five major concerns: the poem's programmatic representation of social and religious institutions and values; its transformation of folktales and traditional stories into epic adventures; its representation of gender roles and, in particular, of Penelope; its narrative strategies and form; and its relation to the Iliad, especially to that epic's distinctive conception of heroism. In the introduction, Seth L. Schein describes the poetic background to the work and suggests a variety of interpretive approaches, some of which are developed in the essays that follow. These essays include previously published work by Jean-Pierre Vernant, Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Pietro Pucci, and Charles P. Segal. There also are a new essay by Laura M. Slatkin, two revised and expanded ones by Nancy Felson-Rubin and Michael N. Nagler, and three appearing in English for the first time by Uvo Hlscher, Karl Reinhardt, and Vernant. The result is a collection that juxtaposes older, often hard-to-find articles with significant newer pieces in a way that allows for a fruitful dialogue among them.
The Lucifer Priciple is a revolutionary work that explores the intricate relationships among genetics, human behavior, and culture to put forth the thesis that “evil” is a by-product of nature’s strategies for creation and that it is woven into our most basic biological fabric. In a sweeping narrative that moves lucidly among sophisticated scientific disciplines and covers the entire span of the earth’s, as well as mankind’s, history, Howard Bloom challenges some of our most popular scientific assumptions. Drawing on evidence from studies of the most primitive organisms to those on ants, apes, and humankind, the author makes a persuasive case that it is the group, or “superorganism,” rather than the lone individual that really matters in the evolutionary struggle. But, Bloom asserts, the prominence of society and culture does not necessarily mitigate against our most violent, aggressive instincts. In fact, under the right circumstances the mentality of the group will only amplify our most primitive and deadly urges. In Bloom’s most daring contention he draws an analogy between the biological material whose primordial multiplication began life on earth and the ideas, or “memes,” that define, give cohesion to, and justify human superorganisms. Some of the most familiar memes are utopian in nature—Christianity or Marxism; nonetheless, these are fueled by the biological impulse to climb to the top of the heirarchy. With the meme’s insatiable hunger to enlarge itself, we have a precise prescription for war. Biology is not destiny; but human culture is not always the buffer to our most primitive instincts we would like to think it is. In these complex threads of thought lies the Lucifer Principle, and only through understanding its mandates will we able to avoid the nuclear crusades that await us in the twenty-first century.
Cloak-and-dagger work was as much a part of the ancient world as the modern. While gadgets may change, the principles do not: espionage in antiquity was just as dangerous, its stakes just as high. Without Sinon, a double agent for the Greeks, Troy would never have fallen. Frank Russell studies spies in the ancient Greek world and presents fascinating information on the nature of the Great Game, its players, its pawns, and their methods. Information Gathering in Classical Greece opens with chapters on tactical, strategic, and covert agents. Methods of communication are explored, from fire-signals to dead-letter drops. Frank Russell categorizes and defines the collectors and sources of information according to their era, methods, and spheres of operation, and he also provides evidence from ancient authors on interrogation and the handling and weighing of information. Counterintelligence is also explored, together with disinformation through "leaks" and agents. The author concludes this fascinating study with observations on the role that intelligence-gathering has in the kind of democratic society for which Greece has always been famous. This valuable and absorbing volume is accessible to any student of intelligence or ancient history. All passages have been translated, and context is provided for historical figures who might not be widely known. Notes are extensive and offer further avenues of study for the technical or specialist reader. Frank S. Russell has taught at Dartmouth College.
In this philosophy classic, which was first published in 1951, E. R. Dodds takes on the traditional view of Greek culture as a triumph of rationalism. Using the analytical tools of modern anthropology and psychology, Dodds asks, "Why should we attribute to the ancient Greeks an immunity from 'primitive' modes of thought which we do not find in any society open to our direct observation?" Praised by reviewers as "an event in modern Greek scholarship" and "a book which it would be difficult to over-praise," The Greeks and the Irrational was Volume 25 of the Sather Classical Lectures series.
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In this book, Eric Havelock presents a challenging account of the development of the idea of justice in early Greece, and particularly of the way justice changed as Greek oral tradition gradually gave way to the written word in a literate society. He begins by examining the educational functions of poets in preliterate Greece, showing how they conserved and transmitted the traditions of society, a thesis adumbrated in his earlier book Preface to Plato. Homer, he demonstrates, has much to say about justice, but since that idea is nowhere in the epics directly stated or expressed, it must be deduced from the speech and actions of the characters. Havelock's careful reading of the Iliad and the Odyssey is original and revealing; it sheds light both on Homeric notions of justice and on the Archaic Greek society depicted in the poems. As Havelock continues his inquiry from Hesiod to Aeschylus, his findings become more complex. The oral Greek world shades into a literate one. Words lose some kinds of meanings, gain others, and steadily become more suited to the conceptualization that Plato strove for and achieved. This evolution of language itself, Havelock shows, was one of the principal accomplishments of the Greek world. Lucidly written and forcefully argued, this book is a major contribution to our knowledge of ancient Greece--its politics, philosophy, and literature, from Homer to Plato.
Applying linguistic theory to the study of Homeric style, Egbert J. Bakker offers a highly innovative approach to oral poetry, particularly the poetry of Homer. By situating formulas and other features of oral style within the wider contexts of spoken language and communication, he moves the study of oral poetry beyond the landmark work of Milman Parry and Albert Lord. One of the book's central features, related to the research of the linguist Wallace Chafe, is Bakker's conception of spoken discourse as a sequence of short speech units reflecting the flow of speech through the consciousness of the speaker. Bakker shows that such short speech units are present in Homeric poetry, with significant consequences for Homeric metrics and poetics. Considering Homeric discourse as a speech process rather than as the finished product associated with written discourse, Bakker's book offers a new perspective on Homer as well as on other archaic Greek texts. Here Homeric discourse appears as speech in its own right, and is freed, Bakker suggests, from the bias of modern writing style which too easily views Homeric discourse as archaic, implicitly taking the style of classical period texts as the norm. Bakker's perspective reaches beyond syntax and stylistics into the very heart of Homeric—and, ultimately, oral—poetics, altering the status of key features such as meter and formula, rethinking their relevance to the performance of Homeric poetry, and leading to surprising insights into the relation between "speech" and "text" in the encounter of the Homeric tradition with writing.