Courses

HOMERIC EPICS: HISTORY AND MYTH


Teaching Staff: Strolonga Polyxeni
Course Code: ΑΕΦ204
Course Type: Elective
Course Level: Undergraduate
Course Language: Greek
Semester: 4th
ECTS: 5

Short Description:

The course examines the historicity of the Homeric poetry through the study of certain sections from books six, seven and eight either in the original or in translation, which relate Odysseus’ reception in Phaeacia (Scheria). The class will focus on the analysis of the diction and the content of these sections.  The goal is to familiarize the students with the Homeric language, oral poetics, narrative techniques and the Homeric issue, but also with topics in history, such as the historical conditions of the composition and the performance of the Homeric epics and the historical framework of the Homeric myths.  Starting from the Trojan War and its historical (or not) dimensions, we will then investigate the identification of the island of the Phaeacians with Corfu using as a compass the Homeric archaeology and geography. The focus on the relation between Phaiakia and Corfu will allow us to discuss the topic of local identities and the appropriation of the mythological past.  Some other topics, such as the custom of hospitality and the comparison of the society of the Phaeacians with that of Ithaca will be the basis of the analysis of the sections to be discussed.  


Objectives - Learning Outcomes:

After the completion of the class the students

  • will have a good overview of the Homeric issue
  • will have a background in Homeric geography and history
  • will understand the relation between myth and history in the Homeric epics
  • will comprehend the methodological problems of the identification of Phaeacia with modern Corfu
  • will understand the framing of local identities by appropriating the mythological past
  • will have a good command of various methodological approaches to the Homeric epics

Syllabus:

Week 1

The Mycenaean period

The Trojan War- A Historical Approach

Myth as History

 

Week 2

The Homeric epics in a historical framework. The Panathenaia  

Short introduction to the Homeric issue

 

Week 3

Homeric Geography – The mapping of the ancient war

Utopias

Οδύσσεια: Summary-Books α, β, γ, δ (from translation)- Ιθάκη

 

Week 4

The language of Homer- Examples of the Homeric dialect

Οδύσσεια: Summary-Book ε (from translation)- Ωγυγία

 

Week 5

Corfu in antiquity – Historical sources

Οδύσσεια: Book ζ 1-118 (Ὀδυσσέως ἂφιξις εἰς Φαίακας)- Σχερία

[emphasis on verses 1-40]

 

Week 6

Nausicaa as Calypso- The women of Scheria/Phaiacia

Narrative techniques and the role of women in the voyage of a hero

Οδύσσεια: Book  ζ 119-222

[emphasis on verses 119-160]

 

Week 7

The role of Athena- The relationship of the Phaeacians

Homeric theology

Οδύσσεια: Book ζ 223-331

[emphasis on verses 289-331]

 

Week 8

Arete and Alcinous

The Political System of Scheria/ Phaeacia

Scheria/Phaiacia as anti-Ithaca

Οδύσσεια: Book η 1-111  (Οδυσσέως είσοδος πρός Αλκίνουν)

[emphasis on verses 24-77]

 

Week 9

Promise of conveyance- The Phaeacians as Seafarers

Οδύσσεια: Book  η 112-225

[έμφαση στους στίχους 146-198]

 

Week 10

Odysseus’ first introduction (comparison with the beginnings of Book ι)

Οδύσσεια: Book η 226-347

[έμφαση στους στίχους 236-285]

 

Week 11

The hospitality of the Phaeacians. The role of Demodocus.

The history of the Trojan War as a topic of epic poetry.

Homer, Demodocus, Odysseus- Rhapsode, Aoidos, Narrator

Οδύσσεια: Book θ 1-200 summary/ in translation (Οδυσσέως σύστασις προς Φαιάκας)

[emphasis on verses 62-95]

 

Week 12

Hospitality of the Phaeacians

Athletic Contests– Aristeia- Kleos

The practice of hospitality as a narrative theme and a structural device- Comparison with the Cyclopes

Οδύσσεια: Book θ 201-320

[emphasis on the verses 201-245]

 

Week 13

The Hospitality of the Phaeacians (continued)

Modern Corfu as Phaeacia- Appropriation of the past

Homeric Archaeology

Οδύσσεια: Book θ 321-586 summary/translation

[emphasis on verses 266-359]


Suggested Bibliography:

Textbooks

  • Fowler R. The Cambridge Companion to Homer. Όμηρος. Είκοσι μία εισαγωγικές μελέτες (μτφρ. Μανακίδου Φ.). Αθήνα 2013.
  • Μανακίδου, Φ., Στρατηγικές της Οδύσσειας. Συμβολή στο ομηρικό ζήτημα. Θεσσαλονίκη, Universiy Studio Press, 2002.

 

Suggested Bibliography

 

Studies/Monographs/Collective Volumes

Adkins, A.W.H., Morals Values and Political behavior in Ancient Greece, New York 1972.

Βλάχος, Γ.Κ., Πολιτικές κοινωνίες στον Όμηρο (μτφρ. Μ. Παϊζη – Αποστολοπούλου, Δ.Γ. Αποστολοπούλου), Αθήνα 1981.

Bittlestone R. with James Diggle; John Underhill. Odysseus Unbound: The search for Homer's Ithaca. Cambridge 2005.

Bruzzone R. The Unfriendly Corcyraeans. CQ. 67.1 (2017) 7-18.

Carlier, P., Όμηρος (μετ. Α. Κεφαλά), Αθήνα 2003.

Carpenter, R., Folk Tale, Fiction and Saga in the Homeric Epics. Berkeley 1956.

Codino, F., Εισαγωγή στον Όμηρο (μτφρ. Γ.Δ. Βανδώρου), Αθήνα 1981.

Deger-Jalkotsy, S., Ancient Greece: From the Mycenaean Palaces to the Age of Homer (Columbia U.P. 2006)

Delebeque, E., Ο Τηλέμαχος και η δομή της Οδύσσειας (μτφρ. Σ. Οικονομοπούλου), Αθήνα 1966.

de Jong, I.J.F., Οδύσσεια, Ένα αφηγηματολογικό υπόμνημα (μετ. Κ. Δημοπούλου, επιμ. Χρ. Τσαγγάλης),  Θεσσαλονίκη 2011.

Dickinson, O.T.P.K., “Homer, the Poet of the Dark Age”, G&R 33 (1986) 20 – 37.

Dougherty, C The Raft of Odysseus: The Ethnographic Imagination of Homer’s Odyssey. Oxford, 2001.

Fowler R. The Cambridge Companion to Homer Όμηρος. Είκοσι μία εισαγωγικές μελέτες (μτφρ. Μανακίδου Φ.). Αθήνα 2013.

Finley, M.I., Ο κόσμος του Οδυσσέα (μτφρ. Σ. Μαρκιανού), Αθήνα 1966.

Garvie,A. F. Homer: Odyssey - Books 6-8. Cambridge 1994. Καζάζης Ι. και Ρεγκάκος Αντ. (επιμ.)Eπιστροφή στην Oδύσσεια, δέκα κλασικές μελέτες. Θεσσαλονίκη 1999.

Holscher, U., Οδύσσεια. Ένα έπος ανάμεσα στο παραμύθι και στο μυθιστόρημα (μτφρ. Α. Στασινοπούλου – Σκιαδά), Αθήνα 2007.

Ιακώβ, Δ.,  - Καζάζης, Ι. – Ρεγκάκος, Α. (επιμ.), Επιστροφή στην Οδύσσεια, δέκα κλασικές μελέτες, Θεσσαλονίκη 1999.

Kομνηνού-Κακριδή, Ό., Σχέδιο και τεχνική της  Οδύσσειας, Θεσσαλονίκη 1981

Latacz, J., Όμηρος, ο θεμελιωτής της ευρωπαϊκής λογοτεχνίας, (μετ. Ε. Σιστάκου, επιμ. Α. Ρεγκάκος), Αθήνα 2000

Κακριδής, Ι.Θ. Το μήνυμα του Ομήρου, Αθήνα 1985.

Λεκατσας Π. Φαιακία - Μητριαρχικά Στοιχεία και Μυητικές Αφετηρίες της Οδύσσειας. Αθήνα 1970.

Μαζαράκης – Αινιάν, Α. Όμηρος και αρχαιολογία. Αθήνα 2000.

Αρβανίτου- Μεταλληνού, Γ. Η προϊστορική Κέρκυρα και ο ευρύτερος περίγυρός της, Προβλήματα - Προοπτικές. Πρακτικά ημερίδας τιμητικής στον Αύγουστο Σορδίνα, Κέρκυρα 2007.

Stanford, W.B., The Odyssey of Homer, with a general and grammatical Introduction, Commentary, and Indexes, τόμ. I ( books I-XII), Λονδίνο 1947 (1961).

Wace A.J.B. – Stubbings, F., ΟΜΗΡΟΣ, A Companion to Homer, New York 1962.

West, S. – Heubeck, A.- Hainsworth, J.B., Ομήρου Οδύσσεια. Κείμενο και ερμηνευτικό υπόμνημα, τ. Α’, Ραψωδίες Α-Θ (μτφρ. Μ. Καίσαρ, Επιμ. Α. Ρεγκάκος), Αθήνα 2004.

 

Bibliography on Homeric language and meter

Chantraine P., Grammaire homerique: τ.1. Phonetique et morphologie, Paris 1958, τ. 2. Syntaxe, Paris 1963.

Kirk G.S. (εκδ.), The Language and Background of Homer, Cambridge 1964.

Λορεντζάτος Π., Ομηρικόν λεξικόν μετά εικόνων, Θεσσαλονίκη 1924.

Λυπουρλής Δ., Αρχαία ελληνική μετρική, Θεσσαλονίκη 1975

Monro D.B., A Grammar of the Homeric Dialect, Oxford 1891.

Palmer L.R., «Η γλώσσα του Ομήρου» στο Wace E – Stubbings Fr. (εκδ.), A Companion to Homer (μετ. Α. Κατσούρη), Αθήναι 1984.

Shipp G.P., Studies in the Language of Homer, Cambridge 1972.

Snell b., Μετρική της αρχαίας ελληνικής ποιήσεως, (μετ. Α. Νικήτα), Αθήνα 1969.

Ζηκίδης Τ., Γραμματική ομηρική, Αθήνα 1889.


Teaching Methods:

The class will be based on a combination of lectures with textual analysis. In every three-hour long class about one hundred verses will be studied, some in the original and some in translation. The pace of the translation will be adjusted to the level of the students.  The verses will be studied from the perspectives of language, syntax, and semantics.  Every class will have a topic of lecturing and discussion, which will relate to the section we will be studying. Recent innovative theories, such as the use of geology to map out Homeric locations, will be used accordingly in the lectures.


Evaluation Methods:
  • Written Exams

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