Homer's Odyssey and the Near East (Google eBook)

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Cambridge University Press, Jan 6, 2011 - History
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The Odyssey's larger plot is composed of a number of distinct genres of myth, all of which are extant in various Near Eastern cultures (Mesopotamian, West Semitic, Egyptian). Unexpectedly, the Near Eastern culture with which the Odyssey has the most parallels is the Old Testament. Consideration of how much of the Odyssey focuses on non-heroic episodes - hosts receiving guests, a king disguised as a beggar, recognition scenes between long-separated family members - reaffirms the Odyssey's parallels with the Bible. In particular the book argues that the Odyssey is in a dialogic relationship with Genesis, which features the same three types of myth that comprise the majority of the Odyssey: theoxeny, romance (Joseph in Egypt), and Argonautic myth (Jacob winning Rachel from Laban). The Odyssey also offers intriguing parallels to the Book of Jonah, and Odysseus' treatment by the suitors offers close parallels to the Gospels' depiction of Christ in Jerusalem.
  

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Contents

Introduction
1
chapter 1 Divine councils and apocalyptic myth
16
chapter 2 Theoxeny
30
chapter 3 Romance
57
chapter 4 Odyssey 4
105
chapter 5 Odyssey 5
124
chapter 6 Odyssey 68 1012 131187 Genesis 2833 Argonautic myth
135
chapter 7 Odysseus and Jonah
164
Odysseus and Moses
222
chapter 11 The suitors and the depiction of impious men in wisdom literature
244
chapter 12 Odysseus and Jesus
258
chapter 13 Contained apocalypse
283
Conclusion
314
Bibliography
330
Index locorum
345
Subject Index
353

chapter 8 The combat myth
180
chapter 9 Catabasis consultation and the vision
197

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About the author (2011)

Bruce Louden is Professor in the Languages and Linguistics Department at the University of Texas at El Paso. His previous books are The Odyssey: Structure, Narration, and Meaning (1999) and The Iliad: Structure, Myth, and Meaning (2006).

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