Questions tagged [homer]

For questions about the ancient Greek writer known as Homer or about any of his literary works, most famously the Iliad and the Odyssey (which also have their own tags on this site).

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What does Athena’s statement to Zeus at the beginning of The Odyssey reveal?

I was told to analyze this passage in book 1 of The Odyssey, having read only books 1-4: And sparkling-eyed Athena drove the matter home: “Father, son of Cronus, our high and mighty king, surely he ...
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1answer
97 views

Is there any significance in Shakespeare's use of the name “Laertes” (name of the father of Odysseus) in Hamlet?

Is there any significance in Shakespeare's use of "Laertes" (name of the father of Odysseus) in Hamlet? Do we associate the name with The Odyssey more strongly than Shakespeare, to whom it was just ...
2
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1answer
219 views

Is there any connection between Paris of Troy and Paris of Verona?

I just noticed that a character in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet has the same name as a character in Homer's Iliad: Paris. In both stories, Paris is one of two men who wish to be with the same woman; ...
9
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1answer
147 views

What are the other (aside from the Iliad) classical sources for the saga of Troy?

I recently read the Iliad, and I was surprised by how many of the events surrounding the fall of Troy that I had heard about here and there were left out. What are the oldest extant sources for the ...
10
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2answers
826 views

Where was the Odyssean Ithaca?

It's well known that the home of Odysseus, as described in Homer's Odyssey, was the island of Ithaca. There's a modern-day Greek island called Ithaca, and according to Wikipedia: Modern Ithaca is ...
13
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3answers
5k views

Where was Homer born?

I hope not to ask a very silly question. As the title says, I want to know the place where Homer was born. According to some quick searches on the web, he was born in Ionia. But it seems strange for ...
9
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2answers
538 views

Why does the portrayal of fate in the Odyssey differ from that of the Iliad?

In the Iliad, fate and the will of the gods are two distinct concepts. This is shown when Zeus is tempted to save his son, Sarpedon, from his predestined death in battle, though he ultimately chooses ...
13
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2answers
1k views

Why does the Iliad start “in the middle”?

The Iliad starts at kind of an odd spot. It starts by describing the argument between Agamemnon and Achilles (Akhilleus in my translation) over the women they have acquired from raids. It mentions off-...
10
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1answer
495 views

Why is Nausicaa named 'burner of ships'?

Nausicaa in the Odyssey is the princess of a race of seafarers. She and her people are beloved of and descended from Posidon/Neptune. Nausicaa herself is directly descended from both sides as her ...
10
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1answer
127 views

Why is the oath sworn to Dolon by Hector a “bootless” one?

In this question I asked abouth the following oath "May Jove the thundering husband of Juno bear witnes that no other Trojan but yourself shall mount those steeds, and that you shall have your ...
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3answers
239 views

What is a bootless oath?

In Book X (10) of The Illiad Hector (edition: Britannica Great Books of the Western World (The Illiad and The Odessey together), rendered into English prose by Samuel Butler) swears the following oath ...
25
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1answer
651 views

Are there any recorded discrepancies between The Odyssey as oral tradition and The Odyssey as Homer transcribed it?

The Odyssey began as oral tradition, and was later transcribed by someone we now call "Homer." Disregarding the Homeric Question concerning the identity of the person who transcribed these works, it ...
21
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1answer
6k views

Was Odysseus considered unfaithful to his wife in the Odyssey?

Penelope is portrayed throughout the story to be virtuous when it comes to men, meaning that she holds out hope for her husband's safety 20 years after she saw him and had no other relationships in ...
14
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2answers
2k views

Did Homer base the Iliad and the Odyssey on mythology?

Homer's two epic poems follow the story of the Trojan War through various perspectives. Did Homer make up the stories, or was there some kind of historical/mythological predecessor that he retold (or ...
18
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2answers
1k views

In the Iliad, why does Homer list every captain involved in the Trojan war?

In book two of the The Iliad (which you can read online), Homer does something that I find strange: he interrupts the story to list the name of every captain involved in the Trojan war: And now, O ...
14
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2answers
345 views

Who first referred to Odysseus as Ulysses?

When I was in high school, Homer's Iliad, Homer's Odyssey, and Virgil's Aeneid were taught as a trilogy of sorts. Was Virgil the first Roman to refer to Odysseus as 'Ulysses' or was there another (...
18
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1answer
4k views

How many sailors from Odysseus' crew survived the Odyssey?

It's been a long time since I've read it, maybe 20 years. Of course, Odysseus survives, but does anyone else? How many sailors did he start with, and how many made it home with him (or safely departed ...
11
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1answer
239 views

Had Keats read any of Homer's works before reading Chapman's translation of them?

In "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer," John Keats writes: Oft of one wide expanse had I been told That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne; Yet never did I breathe its pure serene ...