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Homeric Megathemes

In Homeric Megathemes D.N. Maronitis puts forward war, homilia, and homecoming as three themes central to Homer's two epic poems, the Illiad and the Odyssey. Branching out from each of these themes are certain semiotic and structural characteristics that determine, specific to each of the poems, myth and plot, narrative syntax, and more generally, their poetic and humanistic character. The aim of Maronitis' study is to determine and document similarities and differences in the two Homeric epics through these themes and to identify examples of them in ancient lyric poetry and Attic tragedy. Maronitis' theoretical framework gives classics scholars and literary theorists interested in poetry, history, and tragedy a social and cultural research model for thinking about the genesis and maturity of great lyric works. His comparative approach, revealing the creative debt of the Odyssey to the Iliadic model, lays bare the progression of an art form through the development of literary technique, the shifts in classical ideologies (including anthropoligical ideas about "man"), and in politics. Anyone interested in the thought of the Archaic period should read this book.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The Iliadic War Chapter 2 The Space of Homilia and Its Signs in the Iliad and theOdyssey Chapter 3 The Theme of Conjugal Homilia in the Odyssey Chapter 4 The Theme of Homecoming in the Iliad: Signification-Varioations-Function Chapter 5 The Heroic Myth and Its Lyrical Reconstruction Chapter 6 Conjugal Homilia: From the Iliad to Sophocles' Ajax Chapter 7 Bard-Narrator-Poet: Internal Poetics in the Odyssey Chapter 8 Problems of the Homeric Helen Chapter 9 Latent References to the Iliad in the Odyssey Chapter 10 Odysseus' First False Account in the Odyssey: Model and Variations

About the Author

D. N. Maronitis is emeritus professor of philosophy at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.


Taken together, the essays in this book are a thematically interrelated series of incisive and meticulous forays into the poetics of the Homeric epics. Since most of them were previously available only in modern Greek and in rather inaccessible publications, we should be very grateful for their collection and translation in this volume, which an Index Locorum renders still more useful. -- James P. Holoka, Eastern Michigan University

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