A Commentary on Homer's Odyssey, Volume 1: Introduction and Books I-VIII

A Commentary on Homer's Odyssey, Volume 1: Introduction and Books I-VIII

Alfred Heubeck, Stephanie West, J. B. Hainsworth

Language: English

Pages: 407

ISBN: 2:00238881

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This 1st book of a commentary compiled by an international team of scholars includes an introduction discussing previous research on the Odyssey, its relation to the Iliad, the epic dialect, and the transmission of the text.












is something more than a defensive weapon, even a m agical one, and is clearly related to, perhaps a symbol of, Zeus’ control o f the w eather (cf. II. xvii 593 ff.). See further Nilsson, Geschichte, i 436-7, LfgrE , Chantraine, Dictionnaire s.v. alyls, M . L. W est, Hesiod, Works and Days (Oxford, 1978), 366 ff. 45. t): the relative is assimilated in gender to its predicate. 6c|u$: see ii 68 n. 46. |ieXii)Scos oivou: cf. II. xviii 545; clearly a secondary developm ent from the older form ula

literacy must have been extremely restricted in Greek lands before 700, and it seems most unlikely that anyone would have attempted to record a long poetic text in writing before the seventh century. The resumption o f regular contacts with Egypt in the reign o f Psammetichus I (663-610) brought the advantage o f direct access to supplies of ; papyrus, destined to be the most popular material for Greek boob throughout antiquity. Increased contact with their Near Eastern neighbours perhaps

but is sanctioned by a divinity whose mouthpiece he is; w hatever stories we have previously heard about Odysseus, w hat we are about to hear is w hat really happened. See further Lenz, op. cit., 27 ff., M . Skafte Jensen, The Homeric Question and the OralFormulaic Theory (Copenhagen, 1980), 62 ff., C lay, Wrath, 9 ff. Despite the care w hich has obviously been bestowed on its composition, this is, as has often been pointed out, an odd opening for our Odyssey. It covers only a third o f the poem

h e Hesiodic Cyclopes, who forge Zeus’ 139 If-, thunderbolts, are children o f Uranus and G aia (T h . 501 ff.). aTpuycToio: in Hom er applied only to the sea, except at II. xvii 425, where it qualifies aW-qp. Etym ology and m eaning are quite uncertain, though the initial a- is generally taken as privative. T he scholia offer the (philologically impossible) explanation ‘sterile, infertile, unhar­ vested’, from Tpvy-q; Herodian connects it with rpvw and interprets it as ‘unwearied,

Composition, 66 ff., W . Buchner, ‘Die Penelopeszenen in der Odyssee’, Hermes lxxv (1940), 129-36, Page, Odyssey, 1 2 0 1 , 132-3, F. W ehrli, ‘ Penelope u. Telem achos’, M H xvi (1959), 228 ff. = Theoria u. Humanitas (Ziirich-M u nich , 1972), 39 ff., F. M . Com bellack, ‘T hree Odyssean Problems’, CSCA vi (1973), 17 ff. T h e main importance o f the story lies in its portrayal o f character. It represents a folk-tale o f a common type, in which an im portunate lover is put off by a trick; for

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