Homer: Iliad, Book 22

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Cambridge University Press, Jan 12, 2012 - History - 210 pages
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Book XXII recounts the climax of the Iliad: the fatal encounter between the main defender of Troy and the greatest warrior of the Greeks, which results in the death of Hector and Achilles' revenge for the death of his friend Patroclus; but at the same time adumbrates Achilles' own death and the fall of Troy. The introduction summarises central debates in Homeric scholarship, such as the circumstances of composition and the literary interpretation of an oral poem, and offers synoptic discussions of the structure of the Iliad, the role of the narrator, similes and epithets. There is a separate section on language, which provides a compact list of the most frequent Homeric characteristics. While the introduction is mainly geared at intermediate and advanced students, the commentary is designed for use by both students and professional classicists: it offers up-to-date linguistic guidance, and elucidates narrative techniques, typical elements and central themes.

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About the author (2012)

Homer is the author of The Iliad and The Odyssey, the two greatest Greek epic poems. Nothing is known about Homer personally; it is not even known for certain whether there is only one true author of these two works. Homer is thought to have been an Ionian from the 9th or 8th century B.C. While historians argue over the man, his impact on literature, history, and philosophy is so significant as to be almost immeasurable. The Iliad relates the tale of the Trojan War, about the war between Greece and Troy, brought about by the kidnapping of the beautiful Greek princess, Helen, by Paris. It tells of the exploits of such legendary figures as Achilles, Ajax, and Odysseus. The Odyssey recounts the subsequent return of the Greek hero Odysseus after the defeat of the Trojans. On his return trip, Odysseus braves such terrors as the Cyclops, a one-eyed monster; the Sirens, beautiful temptresses; and Scylla and Charybdis, a deadly rock and whirlpool. Waiting for him at home is his wife who has remained faithful during his years in the war. Both the Iliad and the Odyssey have had numerous adaptations, including several film versions of each.

Irene J. F. de Jong holds the chair of Ancient Greek at the University of Amsterdam. She has published extensively on Homer, Herodotus and Euripides and is editing a multi-volume history of ancient Greek narrative. Some of her key publications are: Narrators and Focalizers: The Presentation of the Story in the Iliad (1987, reprinted 2004), A Narratological Commentary on the Odyssey (Cambridge University Press, 2001) and, with A. Rijksbaron, Sophocles and the Greek Language: Aspects of Diction, Syntax, and Semantics (2006).

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