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Homer

ISBN: 978-1-4051-5324-9
256 pages
April 2007, Wiley-Blackwell
Homer (1405153245) cover image
This concise book is a complete and contemporary introduction to Homer and his two master-works, the Iliad and the Odyssey. It explains the “Homeric Question,” illuminating its current status, and critiques the literary qualities of the Iliad and the Odyssey, analyzing and contrasting their plotting, narrative technique, and characterization.

  • Provides historical background and literary readings of The Iliad and The Odyssey
  • New to the second edition: a section on Homer’s reception in ancient Greece; a chapter on Homer and archaeology; additional maps; an updated bibliography; a glossary of key terms; and information on the oral composition of the poems
  • Text is updated throughout
  • Assumes no prior knowledge of Greek
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Chronological Chart.

Preface to the Second Edition.

Preface to the First Edition.

Introduction.

Part I: Background:.

1. The Philologist’s Homer.

2. The Historian’s Homer.

3. The Reader’s Homer.

Part II. The Poems:.

4. The Iliad.

5. The Odyssey.

6. Conclusion and Summary: Homer's Complementary Poems.

Part III: Reception:.

7. Homer and The Philosophers.

8. Homer and The Poets.

Notes.

Appendix: For Further Reading.

Index

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Barry B. Powell is Halls-Bascom Professor of Classics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His previous publications include Homer and the Origin of the Greek Alphabet (1991), A Short Introduction to Classical Myth (2001), Writing and the Origins of Greek Literature (2002), Classical Myth (fourth edition, 2004), and The Greeks: History, Culture, and Society (with Ian Morris, 2005).
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  • A student-friendly introduction to Homer and his two great epics, The Iliad and The Odyssey
  • Provides historical background and literary readings of The Iliad and The Odyssey
  • New to the second edition: a section on Homer’s reception in ancient Greece; a chapter on Homer and archaeology; additional maps; an updated bibliography; a glossary of key terms; and information on the oral composition of the poems
  • Text is updated throughout
  • Assumes no prior knowledge of Greek
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“Remains the substantial and erudite introduction that it was on first printing. Powell writes with confidence, elegance, and a brisk tone, which means that the book, though aimed at an audience of specialists and non-specialists alike, is still a pleasure for the professional Homerist to read. Powell's book does a superb job of covering a wide range of relevant material, while remaining an entertaining and engaging walk through the state of the art of Homeric scholarship at the opening of the twenty-first century.” New England Classical Journal<!--end-->

Praise for the first edition:

“Powell admirably wrestles an almost impossible amount of material into a coherent presentation for his target audience ... It is well written in a clear and accessible style. Honest in his aims, Powell admirably introduces the genius and challenge of the Homeric works.”
Bryn Mawr Classical Review

“The book has a refreshingly personal touch ... Powell succeeds very well in making Homer’s poetry and Homeric problems appealing to his intended readers.”
Classical Bulletin

“Powell offers an impressive introduction to Homer, focusing on the epic texts for which he is known, the Iliad and the Odyssey … Highly recommended.”
Library Journal

“…this is a useful book as it introduces a wide range of topics with clarity…will certainly inspire readers to pursue the further study of Homer.”
Bryn Mawr Classical Review, February 2008

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