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A Companion to Ancient Epic

ISBN: 978-1-4051-8838-8
696 pages
November 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to Ancient Epic (1405188383) cover image
A Companion to Ancient Epic presents for the first time a comprehensive, up-to-date overview of ancient Near Eastern, Greek and Roman epic. It offers a multi-disciplinary discussion of both longstanding ideas and newer perspectives.
  • A Companion to the Near Eastern, Greek, and Roman epic traditions
  • Considers the interrelation between these different traditions
  • Provides a balanced overview of longstanding ideas and newer perspectives in the study of epic
  • Shows how scholarship over the last forty years has transformed the ways that we conceive of and understand the genre
  • Covers recently introduced topics, such as the role of women, the history of reception, and comparison with living analogues from oral tradition
  • The editor and contributors are leading scholars in the field
  • Includes a detailed index of poems, poets, technical terms, and important figures and events
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List of Figures.

Notes on Contributors.

Acknowledgments.

Abbreviations of Ancient Authors and Works.

Abbreviations of Modern Reference Works.

Map: The ancient epic territories.

Introduction (John Miles Foley).

Part I Issues and Perspectives.

1 Epic as Genre (Richard P. Martin).

2 The Indo-European Context (Joshua T. Katz).

3 Epic and Myth (Lowell Edmunds).

4 Performance (Minna Skafte Jensen).

5 Epic and History (Kurt A. Raaflaub).

6 The Epic Hero (Gregory Nagy).

7 The Gods in Epic, or the Divine Economy (Bruce Louden).

8 Women in Ancient Epic (Helene P. Foley).

9 Archaeological Contexts (Susan Sherratt).

10 The Physical Media: Tablet, Scroll, Codex (Michael W. Haslam).

11 Ancient Reception (Robert Lamberton).

12 Translating Ancient Epic (Richard Hamilton Armstrong).

13 Analogues: Modern Oral Epics (John Miles Foley).

Part II Near Eastern Epic.

14 Comparative Observations on the Near Eastern Epic Traditions (Jack M. Sasson).

15 Mesopotamian Epic (Scott B. Noegel).

16 Epic in Ugaritic Literature (N. Wyatt).

17 Hittite and Hurrian Epic (Gary Beckman).

18 Persian/Iranian Epic (Olga M. Davidson).

19 The Challenge of Israelite Epic (Susan Niditch).

Part III Ancient Greek Epic.

20 Near Eastern Connections (Walter Burkert).

21 Homer's Iliad (Mark W. Edwards).

22 Homer's Odyssey (Laura M. Slatkin).

23 Hesiod (Stephanie Nelson).

24 The Epic Cycle and Fragments (Jonathan S. Burgess).

25 Apollonius of Rhodes (D. P. Nelis).

26 Quintus of Smyrna (Alan James).

27 Nonnus (Robert Shorrock).

28 Epic and Other Genres in the Ancient Greek World (R. Scott Garner).

29 Homer’s Post-classical Legacy (Casey Dué).

Part IV Roman Epic.

30 The Origins and Essence of Roman Epic (Joseph Farrell).

31 Early Republican Epic (Sander M. Goldberg).

32 Lucretius (Monica R. Gale).

33 Virgil’s Aeneid (Michael C. J. Putnam).

34 Ovid (Carole E. Newlands).

35 Lucan (Shadi Bartsch).

36 Valerius Flaccus (Andrew Zissos).

37 Statius (William J. Dominik).

38 Silius Italicus (Raymond D. Marks).

39 Claudian (Michael H. Barnes).

40 Latin Christian Epics of Late Antiquity (Dennis E. Trout).

41 Epic and Other Genres in the Roman World (R. Jenkyns).

42 Virgil's Post-classical Legacy (Craig Kallendorf).

Bibliography.

Index.

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John Miles Foley is the Curators’ and Byler Professor of Classical Studies and English at the University of Missouri. He is the founder and Director of the Center for Studies in Oral Tradition. He is the author of The Theory of Oral Composition (1988), The Singer of Tales in Performance (1995), Homer’s Traditional Art (1999), and How to Read an Oral Poem (2002).
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  • A Companion to the Near Eastern, Greek, and Roman epic traditions
  • Considers the interrelations between these different traditions
  • Provides a balanced overview of longstanding ideas and newer perspectives in the study of ancient epic
  • Shows how scholarship over the last forty years has transformed the ways that we conceive of and understand the epic genre
  • Covers recently introduced topics, such as the role of women, the history of reception, and comparison with living analogues from oral tradition
  • The editor and contributors are leading scholars in the field
  • Includes a detailed index of poems, poets, technical terms, and important figures and events
See More
"For those who are interested in Greek and Roman epic, the book is a treasure-house of splendid variety.... The editor and the publisher both deserve praise for a very fine volume." (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society)

"Blackwell's Companion to Ancient Epic does just what the title suggests: it accompanies readers on journeys of exploration in this huge (in every sense) field. Just as importantly, the Companion will show new readers why they might want to immerse themselves in these poems.... The many highlights in this Companion demonstrate the value of asking scholars to write for non-specialists. That endeavor provides a stimulus for new levels of focus and clarity; even ideas and materials that may be familiar become fresh again when they are presented in such succinct distillations." (Bryn Mawr Classical Review)

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