The Returns of Odysseus: Colonization and Ethnicity
This remarkably rich and multifaceted study of early Greek exploration makes an original contribution to current discussions of the encounters between Greeks and non-Greeks. Focusing in particular on myths about Odysseus and other heroes who visited foreign lands on their mythical voyages homeward after the Trojan War, Irad Malkin shows how these stories functioned to mediate encounters and conceptualize ethnicity and identity during the Archaic and Classical periods. Synthesizing a wide range of archaeological, mythological, and literary sources, this exceptionally learned book strengthens our understanding of early Greek exploration and city-founding along the coasts of the Western Mediterranean, reconceptualizes the role of myth in ancient societies, and revitalizes our understanding of ethnicity in antiquity.
Malkin shows how the figure of Odysseus became a proto-colonial hero whose influence transcended the Greek-speaking world. The return-myths constituted a generative mythology, giving rise to oral poems, stories, iconographic imagery, rituals, historiographical interpretation, and the articulation of ethnic identities. Reassessing the role of Homer and alternative return-myths, the book argues for the active historical function of myth and collective representations and traces their changing roles through a spectrum of colonial perceptions—from the proto-colonial, through justifications of expansion and annexation, and up to decolonization.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Contexts and Concepts
Sailing and Colonizing in the Sea of Returns
Ithaca and the Cult of Odysseus
The Odysseys Alternatives Ethnicity and Colonization in Epirus
Pithekoussai Odysseus and the Etruscans
Odysseus and Italy A Peripheral Vision of Ethnicity
Other editions - View all
Achaian Adriatic Aeneas Aitolian argue articulated associated Athena barbarians bards Braccesi Campania cave chap Circe claim colonists colonization contacts context contrast Corcyra Corinthian cult cultural dedications Diomedes Dodona early eighth century Epeios epic Epirote Epirus eponymous especially ethnic Etruscans Euboian example FGrH fifth century foundation founder genealogy Greece Greek colonies Hellanikos Hellenes Herakles hero heroic Hesiod historical Homeric identified Iliad Illyrian implied inscription Ionian island Italy Ithaca Kephallonia Krimissa Kroton Kyme land later Leukas Lycoph mainland Malkin maritime Menelaos Messapia Metapontion migration Mimnermos Molossians Mycenaean narrative native Neoptolemos Nestor ninth non-Greek nostoi nymphs Odysseus Odysseus's Odyssey's oral origins Otranto perhaps Phaiakians Philoktetes Pithekoussai poems poet poetry Polis Bay pottery probably protocolonial role Roman Rome sailing sanctuary says scene schol seems sequels seventh century Sicily Siris story Strabo Strait of Otranto Sybaris Telegony themes Thesprotians tion tradition tripods Trojan