A Companion to Ancient Epic / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $31.19
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 47%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (8) from $31.19   
  • New (5) from $43.29   
  • Used (3) from $31.09   


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

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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)

Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

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).

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Epic as genre 9
2 The Indo-European context 20
3 Epic and myth 31
4 Performance 45
5 Epic and history 55
6 The epic hero 71
7 The gods in epic, or the divine economy 90
8 Women in ancient epic 105
9 Archaeological contexts 119
10 The physical media : tablet, scroll, codex 142
11 Ancient reception 164
12 Translating ancient epic 174
13 Analogues : modern oral epics 196
14 Comparative observations on the Near Eastern epic traditions 215
15 Mesopotamian epic 233
16 Epic in Ugaritic literature 246
17 Hittite and Hurrian epic 255
18 Persian/Iranian epic 264
19 The challenge of Israelite epic 277
20 Near Eastern connections 291
21 Homer's Iliad 302
22 Homer's Odyssey 315
23 Hesiod 330
24 The epic cycle and fragments 344
25 Apollonius of Rhodes 353
26 Quintus of Smyrna 364
27 Nonnus 374
28 Epic and other genres in the ancient Greek world 386
29 Homer's post-classical legacy 397
30 The origins and essence of Roman epic 417
31 Early republican epic 429
32 Lucretius 440
33 Virgil's Aeneid 452
34 Ovid 476
35 Lucan 492
36 Valerius Flaccus 503
37 Statius 514
38 Silius Italicus 528
39 Claudian 538
40 Latin Christian epics of late antiquity 550
41 Epic and other genres in the Roman world 562
42 Virgil's post-classical legacy 574
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)