The Trojan Epic: Posthomerica

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Overview

Composed in the third century A.D., the Trojan Epic is the earliest surviving literary evidence for many of the traditions of the Trojan War passed down from ancient Greece. Also known as the Posthomerica, or "sequel to Homer," the Trojan Epic chronicles the course of the war after the burial of Troy's greatest hero, Hektor.

Quintus, believed to have been an educated Greek living in Roman Asia Minor, included some of the war's most legendary events: the death of Achilles, the Trojan Horse, and the destruction of Troy. But because Quintus deliberately imitated Homer's language and style, his work has been dismissed by many scholars as pastiche.

A vivid and entertaining story in its own right, the Trojan Epic is also particularly significant for what it reveals about its sources—the much older, now lost Greek epics about the Trojan War known collectively as the Epic Cycle. Written in the Homeric era, these poems recounted events not included in the Iliad or the Odyssey. As Alan James makes clear in this vibrant and faithful new translation, Quintus's work deserves attention for its literary-historical importance and its narrative power. James's line-by-line verse translation in English reveals the original as an exciting and eloquent tale of gods and heroes, bravery and cunning, hubris and brutality. James includes a substantial introduction which places the work in its literary and historical context, a detailed and annotated book-by-book summary of the epic, a commentary dealing mainly with sources, and an explanatory index of proper names. Brilliantly revitalized by James, the Trojan Epic will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in Greek mythology and the legend of Troy.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement - Edith Hall

James's accessible, lively rendition of Quintus's poem deserves to alter the face of ancient epic studies... He fuses a flexible and nuanced form of the ancient hexameter rhythm with contemporary idiom. His Posthomerica includes a superb introduction, lucid commentary, bibliography, index of the occurrence of proper names, and summaries of the action of each Book... A landmark publication.

Bryn Mawr Classical Review - Martijn Cuypers

Amazingly, the first full-scale introduction to Quintus and his poem in English.

Classical Outlook - Jean Alvares

Provides an excellent and accessible introduction, translation, and commentary for this neglected epic.

Journal of Hellenic Studies - Katerina Carvounis

Through J.'s industry and scholarship Quintus is served well in this volume, which will generate interest in the Trojan Epic and pave the way for a much-needed literary reappraisal.

Mouseion: Journal of Classical Association of Canada - Robert Schmiel

Posthomerica clearly aims to be a work of scholarship.

Choice

This third-century CE poem—which deals with the events surrounding Homer's Iliad and Odyssey—has been unfairly neglected and even denigrated by scholars more familiar with the Homeric epics. James attempts to rectify this situation in this comprehensive book.

Times Literary Supplement
James's accessible, lively rendition of Quintus's poem deserves to alter the face of ancient epic studies... He fuses a flexible and nuanced form of the ancient hexameter rhythm with contemporary idiom. His Posthomerica includes a superb introduction, lucid commentary, bibliography, index of the occurrence of proper names, and summaries of the action of each Book... A landmark publication.

— Edith Hall

Bryn Mawr Classical Review
Amazingly, the first full-scale introduction to Quintus and his poem in English.

— Martijn Cuypers

Choice

This third-century CE poem—which deals with the events surrounding Homer's Iliad and Odyssey—has been unfairly neglected and even denigrated by scholars more familiar with the Homeric epics. James attempts to rectify this situation in this comprehensive book.

Classical Outlook
Provides an excellent and accessible introduction, translation, and commentary for this neglected epic.

— Jean Alvares

Journal of Hellenic Studies
Through J.'s industry and scholarship Quintus is served well in this volume, which will generate interest in the Trojan Epic and pave the way for a much-needed literary reappraisal.

— Katerina Carvounis

Mouseion: Journal of Classical Association of Canada
Posthomerica clearly aims to be a work of scholarship.

— Robert Schmiel

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Alan James is Senior Lecturer in Classics emeritus at the University of Sydney.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents


Preface     vii
Introduction     xi
The Trojan Epic
Penthesileia     3
Memnon     25
The Death of Achilles     43
The Funeral Games of Achilles     64
The Contest for the Armor of Achilles     80
The Arrival of Eurypylos     98
The Arrival of Neoptolemos     116
The Death of Eurypylos     135
The Arrival of Philoktetes     149
The Death of Paris     163
The Defense of Troy     176
The Wooden Horse     189
The Sack of Troy     205
The Departure of the Greeks     220
Critical Summary     239
Commentary     267
Index of Names     349
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