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The Odyssey; [NOOK Book]

The Odyssey;

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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940020207387
  • Publisher: London, Rivington
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Digitized from 1817 volume
  • File size: 748 KB

Meet the Author

Homer
Homer
Ancient Greek poet Homer established the gold standard for heroic quests and sweeping journeys with his pair of classic epic poems, The Iliad and The Odyssey.

Biography

We know very little about the author of The Odyssey and its companion tale, The Iliad. Most scholars agree that Homer was Greek; those who try to identify his origin on the basis of dialect forms in the poems tend to choose as his homeland either Smyrna, now the Turkish city known as Izmir, or Chios, an island in the eastern Aegean Sea.

According to legend, Homer was blind, though scholarly evidence can neither confirm nor contradict the point.

The ongoing debate about who Homer was, when he lived, and even if he wrote The Odyssey and The Iliad is known as the "Homeric question." Classicists do agree that these tales of the fall of the city of Troy (Ilium) in the Trojan War (The Iliad) and the aftermath of that ten-year battle (The Odyssey) coincide with the ending of the Mycenaean period around 1200 BCE (a date that corresponds with the end of the Bronze Age throughout the Eastern Mediterranean). The Mycenaeans were a society of warriors and traders; beginning around 1600 BCE, they became a major power in the Mediterranean. Brilliant potters and architects, they also developed a system of writing known as Linear B, based on a syllabary, writing in which each symbol stands for a syllable.

Scholars disagree on when Homer lived or when he might have written The Odyssey. Some have placed Homer in the late-Mycenaean period, which means he would have written about the Trojan War as recent history. Close study of the texts, however, reveals aspects of political, material, religious, and military life of the Bronze Age and of the so-called Dark Age, as the period of domination by the less-advanced Dorian invaders who usurped the Mycenaeans is known. But how, other scholars argue, could Homer have created works of such magnitude in the Dark Age, when there was no system of writing? Herodotus, the ancient Greek historian, placed Homer sometime around the ninth century BCE, at the beginning of the Archaic period, in which the Greeks adopted a system of writing from the Phoenicians and widely colonized the Mediterranean. And modern scholarship shows that the most recent details in the poems are datable to the period between 750 and 700 BCE.

No one, however, disputes the fact that The Odyssey (and The Iliad as well) arose from oral tradition. Stock phrases, types of episodes, and repeated phrases -- such as "early, rose-fingered dawn" -- bear the mark of epic storytelling. Scholars agree, too, that this tale of the Greek hero Odysseus's journey and adventures as he returned home from Troy to Ithaca is a work of the greatest historical significance and, indeed, one of the foundations of Western literature.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of The Odyssey.

Good To Know

The meter (rhythmic pattern of syllables) of Homer's epic poems is dactylic hexameter.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 472 )
Rating Distribution

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(197)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 483 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2008

    WONDERFUL!!!

    Well im going to be completely honest about this book. When I first opened the book The Odyssey, I was a little hessitant to reading it. I was a fhreshman in high school and I HAD to read it, it was an obligation because it was a class project that we had to do. But in the end it was all a good read. The book is filled with a wonderfull adventure and action and also love. I recomend this book to anyone who is seeking a thrilling adventure. By the end of this book i was glad that I didn't slack off and actually did the read for this fantastic book. You willnot be dissappointed afterwards.

    39 out of 42 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    War and Penelope.

    I hope that those who read my review will forgive me because I would like to talk mainly about Penelope, the wife of Odysseus. When I read the Odyssey for the first time, I thought it was a wonderful adventure book with beautiful and dangerous women and I laughed with that half-wit of a Polyphemus, one of the cyclops. But near the end something was missing, it was not what it should be. Odysseus came home. His son Telemachus and his swineherd were glad and his dog could finally die with the comforting knowledge that it's master was among the living. Why didn't Penelope make a joyful sound ? Why was she so silent ? I shrugged my shoulders and said:'women!'. It's only years later I began to understand a little. So many people died in the Trojan war. The many adorers of Penelope were slaughtered by Odysseus with no compassion at all. The silence of Penelope was a reproachful silence. She was wondering how many more dead people it would take before men could live in peace. We still ask that question.

    11 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2007

    This is a CLASSIC.

    Although the details of Homer have not survived the ages, this book is an account to the cultural value system, the interests, and the lives of the Greeks. This is one of the most highly influencial fictional works of all time, and was often quoted in court cases, political speeches, and other literature for hundreds of years due to the books powerful imagery and depiction of the human condition (resembling how the Bible was quoted by other societies in other times). Since the book is set thousands of years ago, of course it doesn't conform to the values of contemporary society. To say the book is mistakenly a classic is to infinitely undermine the effect this book has had on the development of literature and story-telling in general. The book traces the journey of Odysseus, 'the storm-tossed man.' He encounters gods, demigods, monsters, and mythical creatures that push creative limits. If you've heard of sirens, cyclops, and et cetera, this book is most likely responsible for that (with the help of The Iliad, Homer's other major work). The Odyssey demonstrates the role of the gods in Greek thinking, which is not only entertaining but informative. The introduction has plenty of background info, as well. A book that has inspired everyone from Aristotle to James Joyce is most definitely a CLASSIC---End of story.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2003

    timeless

    If you ever had a pet that lingered into old age, then the Odyssey echos across 2,700 years of time to speak to you. That small scene of a few dozen words does what all forms of great art should do,convey a shared experience that is untouched by time and distance. Great Art was onced defined by the artist being able to convey shared experiences far better than anyone else.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Still relevent today.

    While a harder read for kids, The Odyssey is still a much-needed read in schools today. Not only can students focus on the surface area motifs of home and heroes, but they can also be pushed deeper into analyizing what real life issues the "monsters" in the story represent. This story has been around for thousands of years, and rightfully so!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2012

    Not what I wanted

    This is the Roman version, I wanted the Greek version. Just warning those who are about to buy this.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2012

    GREAT BOOK

    One of the best greek mythology books i have read!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2012

    Not Recommended

    The use of the abbreviations BCE and CE instead of BC and AD in the introduction is, to me, both intellectually and personally insulting and very unnecessary since the birth of Jesus Christ is still the demarcation event. Had I know about this before my purchase of this edition, I would not have bought this translation. Unfortunately, I only reviewed the translation before purchase and not the introduction.

    1 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2012

    A classic

    I was forced to read this book as a freshman in highschool, and wasn't sure whether I would enjoy it or not. Now, it's one of my favorite books. I'm usually in to more science fiction novels, but I really enjoyed reading about of the Greek mythology in this novel. It is one that will stick with me forever, and that I find myself picking up again and again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011

    A classic!

    I had to read this book for school, but I really enjoyed it. It was difficult reading at times, but I enjoyed the story and characters. I'm a big fan of Greek mythology, and this book as very interesting, and a great read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    A classic at a reasonable price.

    I picked up this book because I was looking to enhance my knowledge of the Greek classics. It's small size is very convenient for taking it along on my morning commute. All and all it is exactly what I was looking for.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 7, 2011

    Great poem

    Im amazingly satisfed with this very interesting even for a 13 year old

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 25, 2011

    A classic

    This particular translation of the Odyssey was enjoyable. The plot is classic and numerous other authors have ripped off the plot/format and appropriated it, like Virgil's Aeneid. The parts with Telemachus are kind of boring, but the last half or so of the poem was great. The B&N version really doesn't add anything very special.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2011

    ENJOYABLE for the eager learner

    I enjoyed this book and I think you will too if you persist in reading it, and pay attention to the storyline, not the actual words. Very good book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Accessible Odyssey

    Homer's epic poem THE ODYSSEY is a twenty-four book work that has been considered won of the great written works since its birth in the 8th century. As the dictionary describes it 'The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work traditionally ascribed to Homer. The poem is fundamental to the modern Western canon. Indeed it is the second--the Iliad being the first--extant work of Western literature. It was probably composed near the end of the 8th century BC, somewhere in Ionia, the Greek-speaking coastal region of what is now Turkey.' This fascinating tale, so important to our understanding of the great works of literature, can be a challenge to read - not so much for the story line (confusing though that may be due to the several names attributed to each character in the work) as to the style of writing: ennui can set in heavily after a few pages of wading through the first book. Fro example, a usual translation of from the Greek may read: 'Tell me, O muse, of that ingenious hero who travelled far and wide after he had sacked the famous town of Troy. Many cities did he visit, and many were the nations with whose manners and customs he was acquainted; moreover he suffered much by sea while trying to save his own life and bring his men safely home; but do what he might he could not save his men, for they perished through their own sheer folly in eating the cattle of the Sun-god Hyperion; so the god prevented them from ever reaching home. Tell me, too, about all these things, O daughter of Jove, from whatsoever source you may know them.' What Wayne Josephson has done in continuing his Readable Classics is extract the story, brushed off the filigree and keeps the momentum flowing as in the variation of the same opening: "Tell me, muse, about that resourceful hero Odysseus, who was forced to wander far and wide after he destroyed the famous city of Troy. He saw many cities and became acquainted with their ways. He suffered greatly at sea while trying to save his own life and bring his men safely home. But hard as he tried, he could not save them. They foolishly ate the cattle of the Sun god Hyperion, who then made certain they would never reach home, and so they died. Tell us this story, goddess, daughter of Zeus, one more time.' Does the flavor of the tale change or does it seem like Josephson has buffed off important facts? No, but instead what we have is the story in contemporary English that flows so smoothly that it invites us to complete the novel. That is the pleasure of reading the many books Wayne Josephson has 'cleaned' for us: Emma, Jane Eyre, The Scarlet Letter, Moby Dick, Pride and Prejudice, Emma and the Vampires (Josephson's own hilarious takeoff on Austen's inimitable Emma character!), and now The Odyssey. This is a major contribution to the art of reading that hopefully will restore these great books to the shelves of young people eager for great stories. Another Bravo! Grady Harp

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Palmer's Translation Packs a Punch

    George Herbert Palmer's prose translation of the Odyssey conveys the beauty and grace of the original's poetry with an accessible style. I couldn't put this down.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2009

    I didn't think I'd like it but...

    Ok so my 9th grade english class is reading it and I really didn't think I'd like it but once we got into the story I found that I really liked it! :)
    I Love the story line, how Odyssues is trying to get home to his wife, Peneople, and his son Telemachus......And how Odyssues has to go throught so many things to reach his goal.....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    a great book for history lovers

    this book is great for a teen reader, and anybody who loves history.<BR/>many younger people may not undetrstand it because of the usage of wourds, but overall a good book<BR/><BR/><BR/><BR/>if you liked this then try the iliad

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    I LOVE THIS BOOK EVEN THOUGH I THOUGHT I WOULD HATE IT!!!

    I had to read this book for 9th grade English and I didn't think I would like it at first, but then I really started enjoying it, and now I really like it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2014

    IS THE BOOK GOOD TO 12 YEAR OLDS

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