By Katherine Callen King
Historical Epic bargains a accomplished and obtainable advent to 6 of the best historical epics – Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Vergil's Aeneid, Ovid's Metamorphoses, and Apollonius of Rhodes' Agonautica.
- presents an obtainable creation to the traditional epic
- bargains interpretive analyses of poems inside a finished ancient context
- encompasses a exact timeline, feedback for additional readings, and an appendix of the Olympian gods and their Akkadian counterparts
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Extra resources for Ancient Epic
Herbert Mason’s Gilgamesh (Mentor, 1972) is a very free adaptation rather than a translation. For literal translations of the Sumerian epics on the Internet, go to The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature at http://etcsl. htm. Important Mesopotamian stories relevant to the Epic of Gilgamesh have been conveniently collected and translated by Stephanie Dalley in Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, the Flood, Gilgamesh, and Others (Oxford, 1998) and by Benjamin R. Foster in From Distant Days.
After they had gathered all the oath-bound kings, they also enlisted Achilles, semidivine son of Thetis and Peleus, who had been only a child at the time of Helen’s wedding. Many adventures befell the Greeks on their way to Troy, adventures that Homer generally declines to evoke: for example, Odysseus’ feigning insanity so as not to have to leave his wife and baby son; Agamemnon’s sacriﬁce of his daughter Iphigeneia to Artemis in order to get the winds to blow the ﬂeet to Troy; the sacking of Teuthrania, which was mistakenly thought to be Troy; Achilles’ magically curing a wound he gave Telephos, king of Teuthrania, in exchange for Telephos guiding them to Troy.
Many stories about the Greek invasion and destruction of Troy were passed down in this oral-formulaic art language through generations of Greeks who were illiterate. Each version was new at the same time that it carried forward old truth. Let us listen to what the Iliad says about how the poet composes: Tell me now, Muses who dwell on Olympos – for you are divine, are everywhere and know everything, while we hear only a story (kléos) and know nothing, – who were the Danaan leaders and chiefs? I could not name nor describe the multitudes 38 THE CONTEXT OF HOMERIC EPIC not even if I had ten tongues, ten mouths, an unbreakable voice and heart of bronze, if the Olympian Muses, daughters of aegis-bearing Zeus, should not tell me the number who came before Ilion.
Ancient Epic by Katherine Callen King