HELLENIC STUDIES SERIES
Cover: The Theban Epics, from Harvard University PressCover: The Theban Epics in PAPERBACK

Hellenic Studies Series 69

The Theban Epics

Add to Cart

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$22.50 • £18.95 • €20.50

ISBN 9780674417243

Publication Date: 01/05/2015

Text

In antiquity, the story of the failed assault of the Seven against Thebes ranked second only to the Trojan War. But whereas the latter was immortalized by Homer’s Iliad, the account of the former in the epic Thebais survives only in fragments preserved in later authors. The same is true of the Oedipodeia and Epigoni, which dealt respectively with events leading up to the Seven’s campaign and with the successful assault on the city in the next generation. The Thebais was probably the most important of the three—certainly more and longer fragments of it have survived—and it has been alleged that its recovery would tell us more about Homer than any comparable discovery.

Paradoxically, these fragments suggest very un-Homeric content and style (in particular its detail of the hero Tydeus forfeiting immortality by gnawing on the head of a dying enemy). The same is true of the epic Alcmaeonis, named after one of the Epigoni, whose few surviving fragments pullulate with un-Homeric features. Malcolm Davies provides the first full commentary on all four epics’ fragments. He attempts to set them in context and examines whether artistic depictions of the relevant myths can help reconstruct the lost epics’ contents.

Recent News

From Our Blog

Photo of Lucia Jacobs as a child sitting next to Oaky

How to Plant a Forest

For this week’s University Press Week Blog Tour, Lucia Jacobs offers us a glimpse of environmental stewardship as seen through the activities of the ubiquitous squirrel, a species native to the Americas, Africa, and Eurasia from the Eocene Epoch onward. Lucia Jacobs is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.