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In the ancient world Homer was recognised as the fountainhead of culture. His poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey, were universally admired as examples of great literature which could never be surpassed. In this study, Richard Jenkyns re-examines the two Homeric epics and the work that is perhaps their closest rival, the Aeneid of Virgil. A wide range of topics is covered, including chapters on heroism and tragedy in the Iliad, morality in the Odyssey and Virgil's skilful reworking of elements from the two earlier epics.
Essential reading for those who are unfamiliar with the works of Homer and Virgil, the author's lively and provocative approach will also appeal to more experienced scholars of classical literature.
About the Author
Richard Jenkyns was previously Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and Lecturer in Classics at the University of Bristol. He is currently Professor of the Classical Tradition and Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford.
Table of Contents
List of illustrations Preface Dates and Authorship The Plots
1. The Homeric Question
2. Formulae and the Homeric View of Life
3. Characterization in the Iliad
4. Heroism and Tragedy
5. The Wrath of Achilles
6. The End of the Iliad
7. The Breadth of the Odyssey
8. The Two Worlds of Odysseus
9. Homer’s Morality
10. Landscape, Man and Society in the Odyssey
11. Secondary Epic
12. Dido and Creusa
13. The Brink of Mystery
14. Softness and Severity
15. Landscape, History and Patriotism in the Aeneid Suggestions for Further Study Suggestions for Further Reading