Cover image for The odyssey
The odyssey
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Publication Information:
London : Duckworth, 2000.
Physical Description:
xxvi, 290 pages ; 22 cm
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PA4025.A5 H36 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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The Odyssey is one of the earliest works of European literature, second only to The Iliad. These two great epic poems, the astonishing first fruits of Greek civilisation, have together determined much of the course of Western literary culture and imagination. The Odyssey tells of the long and painful return of Odysseus from the Trojan War to his homeland of Ithaka, his wife Penelope, and his son Telemachos. Even after he finally returns, there are enemies to be fought in his house. The action of the poem covers a huge canvas, ranging widely over time and place, exploring the known and the unknown worlds, involving magic and monsters, gods and ghosts, dangers defied- throughout there runs a strong and eloquent insistence on the humanity of man and the ultimate triumph of good over evil. This new translation by Martin Hammond complements his translation of The Iliad. It aims to capture as closely as possible both the simplicity and the intensity of Homer's epic.

Author Notes

Homer is the author of The Iliad and The Odyssey, the two greatest Greek epic poems. Nothing is known about Homer personally; it is not even known for certain whether there is only one true author of these two works. Homer is thought to have been an Ionian from the 9th or 8th century B.C. While historians argue over the man, his impact on literature, history, and philosophy is so significant as to be almost immeasurable.

The Iliad relates the tale of the Trojan War, about the war between Greece and Troy, brought about by the kidnapping of the beautiful Greek princess, Helen, by Paris. It tells of the exploits of such legendary figures as Achilles, Ajax, and Odysseus. The Odyssey recounts the subsequent return of the Greek hero Odysseus after the defeat of the Trojans. On his return trip, Odysseus braves such terrors as the Cyclops, a one-eyed monster; the Sirens, beautiful temptresses; and Scylla and Charybdis, a deadly rock and whirlpool. Waiting for him at home is his wife who has remained faithful during his years in the war. Both the Iliad and the Odyssey have had numerous adaptations, including several film versions of each.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Table of Contents

Jasper Griffin
Prefacep. vii
Introductionp. xiii
Suggestions for further readingp. xxvii
A note on the Greek textp. xxviii
The Odyssey
Book 1 The Gods, Athene and Telemachosp. 1
Book 2 Telemachos and the Suitorsp. 10
Book 3 Telemachos in Pylosp. 19
Book 4 Telemachos in Spartap. 30
Book 5 Odysseus and Kalypsop. 47
Book 6 Nausikaap. 57
Book 7 Odysseus in Phaiaciap. 64
Book 8 Phaiacian Games and Songp. 71
Book 9 The Cyclopsp. 83
Book 10 Kirkep. 95
Book 11 The Underworldp. 107
Book 12 Skylla and Charybdisp. 120
Book 13 Return to Ithakap. 130
Book 14 Odysseus and Eumaiosp. 140
Book 15 Telemachos Returnsp. 151
Book 16 Odysseus and Telemachosp. 163
Book 17 Odysseus Comes to his Housep. 173
Book 18 Odysseus as Beggarp. 186
Book 19 Eurykleia Recognises Odysseusp. 195
Book 20 Insults and Omensp. 208
Book 21 The Trial of the Bowp. 217
Book 22 The Suitors Killedp. 226
Book 23 Odysseus and Penelopep. 237
Book 24 The Underworld, Laertes, Peacep. 245
Indexp. 257