HELLENIC STUDIES SERIES
Cover: Homer’s Thebes: Epic Rivalries and the Appropriation of Mythical Pasts, from Harvard University PressCover: Homer’s Thebes in PAPERBACK

Hellenic Studies Series 84

Homer’s Thebes

Epic Rivalries and the Appropriation of Mythical Pasts

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$29.95 • £26.95 • €27.95

ISBN 9780674237926

Publication Date: 03/17/2020

Text

Add to Cart

Media Requests:

Related Subjects

Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey are the only early Greek heroic epics to have survived the transition to writing, even though extant evidence indicates that they emerged from a thriving oral culture. Among the missing are the songs of Boeotian Thebes.

Homer’s Thebes examines moments in the Iliad and Odyssey where Theban characters and thematic engagements come to the fore. Rather than sifting through these appearances to reconstruct lost poems, Elton Barker and Joel Christensen argue that the Homeric poems borrow heroes from Thebes to address key ideas—about politics, time, and genre—that set out the unique superiority of these texts in performance. By using evidence from Hesiod and fragmentary sources attributed to Theban tradition, Barker and Christensen explore Homer’s appropriation of Theban motifs of strife and distribution to promote his tale of the sack of Troy and the returns home.

As Homer’s Thebes shows, this Theban material sheds light on the exceptionality of the Homeric epics through the notions of poetic rivalry and Panhellenism. Furthermore, by emphasizing a nonhierarchical model of “reading” the epics derived from oral-formulaic poetics, this book contributes to recent debates about allusion, neoanalysis, and intertextuality.

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Composite photograph showing (top) entrance to the Prudential Center in Boston and (bottom) an internal construction partition/wall printed with the words 'Opening Day 2023' and other decorative text

A New Chapter for Harvard Book Store

Starting in the summer of 2023, for the first time in almost thirty years, Harvard Book Store will have two locations: the flagship store in Harvard Square, and a large new store in the Prudential Center in Boston. For University Press Week we wanted to show some bookseller love, so we reached out to Rachel Cass, General Manager of the Harvard Book Store, to see what’s planned for their exciting new location