By Katherine Callen King
Old Epic deals a complete and obtainable advent to 6 of the best historic epics – Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Vergil's Aeneid, Ovid's Metamorphoses, and Apollonius of Rhodes' Agonautica.
- presents an available advent to the traditional epic
- bargains interpretive analyses of poems inside of a entire old context
- contains a certain timeline, feedback for extra readings, and an appendix of the Olympian gods and their Akkadian counterparts
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Extra info for Ancient Epic
Artemis also granted immortality to Iphigeneia when she was sacriﬁced by Agamemnon. In addition, Hesiod says that while some of the godlike heroes who participated in the Theban and Trojan Wars were overwhelmed by death, “Zeus gave others life apart from humankind . . at the ends of earth/by deep-whirling Ocean, where they dwell without care/in the islands of the blessed, blissful heroes . ” (Works and Days 167–172). Obviously immortality was not an uncommon fate for the half-divine heroes who fought and died in the epic tradition that preceded the Homeric poems.
Pirates and raiders roamed the seas. Migration from mainland Greece to islands off the coast of Asia Minor continued off and on through the tenth century. Phoenicia rose to power as a great merchant culture centered in the north African city of Carthage, and Phoenician sailors and craftspeople could be found everywhere by 800 BCE. By 750 BCE, cities throughout Greece were once again prosperous and trading, and writing had been relearned from the Phoenicians. Stories from throughout these tumultuous centuries would have found their way into the oral epic tradition, enriching it with new ideas, characters, and situations from all the regions where Greek culture had established itself.
Foster in From Distant Days. Myths, Tales, and Poetry of Ancient Mesopotamia (Bethesda, MD: CDL Press, 1995). In order to read Atramhasis, or The Flood, in its oldest Babylonian version without later supplements from later versions, see Foster’s translations in Before the Muses, An Anthology of Akkadian Literature vol. 1 (Bethesda, MD, 1993). 30 THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH Analysis The introduction and appendix to Andrew George’s translation in The Epic of Gilgamesh. The Babylonian Epic Poem and Other Texts in Akkadian and Sumerian (Penguin Books, 1999), provide analysis as well as excellent historical, textual, and cultural background to the poem.
Ancient Epic by Katherine Callen King