Memories of Odysseus: Frontier Tales From Ancient Greece

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, 2001 - History - 258 pages
The conception of the Other has long been a problem for philosophers. Emmanuel Levinas, best known for his attention to precisely that issue, argued that the voyages of Ulysses represent the very nature of Western philosophy: "His adventure in the world is nothing but a return to his native land, a complacency with the Same, a misrecognition of the Other." In Memories of Odysseus, François Hartog examines the truth of Levinas' assertion and, in the process, uncovers a different picture. Drawing on a remarkable range of authors and texts, ancient and modern, Hartog looks at accounts of actual travelers, as well as the way travel is used as a trope throughout ancient Greek literature, and finds that, instead of misrecognition, the Other is viewed with doubt and awe in the Homeric tradition. In fact, he argues, the Odyssey played a crucial role in shaping this attitude in the Greek mind, serving as inspiration for voyages in which new encounters caused the Greeks to revise their concepts of self and other. Ambitious in scope, this book is a sophisticated exploration of ancient Greece and its sense of identity.
 

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Contents

Travellers and Frontiermen
3
The Return of Odysseus
15
Anthropology
21
The return to Ithaca
26
The voyages of a name
36
Egyptian Voyages
41
Seeing Egypt
42
Greek Views
47
Greek Voyages
107
The voyages of the elder Anacharsis and frontiers forgotten
108
Frontiers within or ordinary kinds of discrimination
116
The limits of Arcadia
133
Alexander between Rome and Greece
150
Roman Voyages
161
The voyages of Polybius
163
The voyages of Dionysius of Halicarnassus
171

Egypt the first civilizing power?
64
From Thrice Greatest Hermes to Champollion
73
The Invention of the Barbarian and an Inventory of the World
79
Representing the world
88
Centre and extremities
95
Viewing the world from Alexandria
103
The voyages of Strabo and Aelius Aristides
188
Memories of Apollonius and the Name of Pythagoras
199
Notes
211
Index
255
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About the author (2001)

François Hartog is the Directeur d'Études at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and the director of the Centre Louis Gernet in Paris. He is the author of The Mirror of Herodotus.

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