GREEK 520: THE ODYSSEY
TTh 3:30-5:20pm via zoom.
This year's Homer seminar will be devoted entirely to the Odyssey. The plan is to read most of the books on the PhD reading list plus some that are not and to go as in-depth as we can, hard though it is to do anything in-depth in ten weeks. We will try to strike a balance between looking at the (countless) questions specific to the Odyssey and considering the poem as a manifestation of the broader phenomenon of oral traditional poetry in the Ancient Greece. The initial focus will be on the mechanics of Homeric diction, poetics, performance, and myth-making. Requirements include two in-class presentations: a shorter one of an informational nature on some more technical question, and a longer one related to the projected subject of the paper, plus, of course, the paper itself, ca. 10 pages in length. Some secondary reading representative of the ongoing debates and developments in the study of the poem will be assigned and discussed in class each week.
- Allen, T. Homeri Opera III-IV. (first edition 1902, countless reprints) is still the best
edition in my opinion, but any edition with an apparatus criticus is fine.
- Cunliffe, R. A Lexicon of the Homeric Dialect. (Norman 1977, expanded edition 2012) can be useful especially for those who do not have much experience with Homer.
- Chantraine, P. Grammaire Homérique. (Paris 1958) remains the best grammar; nothing
comparable exists in English. What is available in English will be made available in pdf form on the the course site.
- Lord. A. The Singer of Tales. Cambridge (Mass. 1960/2000) is both a classic and a
source of endless controversy; all those who study Homer seriously should read it
for themselves. Especially important is the first part (which does not deal with