The improvised craft

The travelogue of the Homeric Odyssey can be split into four distinctive parts which may be envisaged as follows: the passage through the Aegean Sea; the Cyclopeia, which takes place in the Mare Lybicum off the northern coast of Africa; the blockages to his return by the Sirens, Scylla, Charybdis, Hēlios Hyperíōn and Kalypsō; and finally the period on Scheria and the return to Ithaca. During this time Odysseus is… Read more

The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours | Gallery: Part 3

The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours[1] is based on a course that Professor Gregory Nagy has been teaching at Harvard University since the late 1970s. The book discusses selected readings of texts, all translated from the original Greek into English. The texts include the Homeric Iliad and Odyssey; selected Homeric Hymns; the Hesiodic Theogony and Works and Days; selected songs of Sappho and Pindar; selections from the Histories of Herodotus;… Read more

The Divine Doublet: Hermes and Odysseus

His story starts in a cave far from the company of the blessed gods in the care of a daughter of the Titan Atlas. His story often ends in a cave too. In between, he slays a giant shepherd with an unusual number of eyes, is connected with the slaughter of sacred cows, smells the aroma of broiling steak but does not partake, and is involved in meals with appropriate shares for each honored… Read more

Divine Doppelgänger: Hermes and Odysseus

When she [= Kalypsō] had thus spoken she led the way rapidly before him, and Odysseus followed in her steps; so the pair, goddess and man, went on and on till they came to Kalypsō’s cave, [195] where Odysseus took the seat that Hermes had just left. [καί ῥ᾽ὁ μὲν ἔνθα καθέζετ᾽ ἐπὶ θρόνου ἔνθεν ἀνέστη Ἑρμείας] Kalypsō set meat and drink before him all kinds of food to eat… Read more

Homeric Greek | Odyssey 1.203–212: Are you really from Odysseus, big boy that you are?

We are pleased to share this segment in the series on reading Homeric epic in ancient Greek. In each installment we read, translate, and discuss a small passage in the original Greek in the most accessible way. If you’ve ever dreamed of reading Homer in the original, here is your chance to do so with teachers who have spent a lifetime thinking about this poetry. With their guidance even new… Read more