A Beginner’s Guide to Homer

Barker, Elton and Christensen, Joel (2013). A Beginner’s Guide to Homer. London: One World.

URL: https://www.oneworld-publications.com/books/elton-...


In this guide we pick our way through a range of themes and issues that help negotiate the distance between Homer’s time and our own: the question of who, or what, Homer is and how to approach reading his poetry (the Introduction); the epic cosmos that Homer inherits, challenges and changes forever (Ch. 1); the Iliad’s examination of politics through its depiction of the Achaeans’ coalition against the Trojans (Ch. 2); its emotional core that invites the audience inside Troy to experience war from the ‘other’ perspective (Ch. 3); the disarming humanity of the Iliad’s final vision of the meeting of godlike Achilles and the old man whose son he has killed (Ch. 4); the Odyssey’s rollercoaster ride through epic as we catch up on what has been happening since the fall of Troy (Ch. 5); a storytelling master-class from Odysseus himself including his great escape from the cave of the Cyclops (Ch. 6); the Odyssey’s show-stopping finale as Odysseus takes on the suitors (Ch. 7); and a brief tour through many receptions of Homer from Greek tragedy to science fiction (the Epilogue).

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