Description : Fifty years of reading Homer—both alone and with students—prepared Eva Brann to bring the Odyssey and the Iliad back to life for today's readers. In Homeric Moments, she brilliantly conveys the unique delights of Homer's epics as she focuses on the crucial scenes, or moments, that mark the high points of the narratives: Penelope and Odysseus, faithful wife and returning husband, sit face to face at their own hearth for the first time in twenty years; young Telemachus, with his father Odysseus at his side, boldly confronts the angry suitors; Achilles gives way to boundless grief at the death of his friend Patroclus. Eva Brann demonstrates a way of reading Homer's poems that yields up their hidden treasures. With an alert eye for Homer's extraordinary visual effects and a keen ear for the musicality of his language, she helps the reader see the flickering campfires of the Greeks and hear the roar of the surf and the singing of nymphs. In Homeric Moments, Brann takes readers beneath the captivating surface of the poems to explore the inner connections and layers of meaning that have made the epics "the marvel of the ages." "Written with wit and clarity, this book will be of value to those reading the Odyssey and the Iliad for the first time and to those teaching it to beginners."—Library Journal "Homeric Moments is a feast for the mind and the imagination, laid out in clear and delicious prose. With Brann, old friends of Homer and new acquaintances alike will rejoice in the beauty, and above all the humanity, of the epics." —Jacob Howland, University of Tulsa, Author of The Paradox of Political Philosophy "In Homeric Moments, Eva Brann lovingly leads us, as she has surely led countless students, through the gallery of delights that is Homer's poetry. Brann's enthusiasm is as infectious as her deep familiarity with the works is illuminating."—Rachel Hadas "Brann invites us to enter a conversation [about Homer] in which information and formal arguments jostle with appreciations and frank conjectures and surmises to increase our pleasure and deepen the inward dimension of our humanity."—Richard Freis, Millsaps College "For anyone eager to experience the profundity and charm of Homer's great epic poems, Eva Brann's book will serve as a passionate and engaging guide. Brann displays a deep sensitivity to the cadence and flow of Homeric poetry, and the kind of knowing intimacy with its characters that comes from years of teaching and contemplation. Her relaxed but informative approach succeeds in conveying the grandeur of the great Homeric heroes, while making them continually resonate for our own lives. Brann helps us see that this poetry has an urgency for our own era as much as it did for a distant past."—Ralph M. Rosen, University of Pennsylvania, Author of Old Comedy and The Iambographic Tradition "The most enjoyable books about Homer are always written by those who have read and taught him the most. Eva Brann's collection of astute observations, unusual asides, and visual snapshots of the Iliad and the Odyssey reveals a lifelong friendship with the poet, and is as pleasurable as it is informative. Homeric Moments is rare erudition without pedantry, in a tone marked by good sense without levity."—Victor Davis Hanson, author of The Other Greeks and co-author of Who Killed Homer?
Description : Ovid's Homer examines the Latin poet's engagement with the Homeric poems throughout his career. Boyd offers detailed analysis of Ovid's reading and reinterpretation of a range of Homeric episodes and characters from both epics, and demonstrates the pervasive presence of Homer in Ovid's work. The resulting intertextuality, articulated as a poetics of paternity or a poetics of desire, is particularly marked in scenes that have a history of scholiastic interest or critical intervention; Ovid repeatedly asserts his mastery as Homeric reader and critic through his creative response to alternative readings, and in the process renews Homeric narrative for a sophisticated Roman readership. Boyd offers new insight into the dynamics of a literary tradition, illuminating a previously underappreciated aspect of Ovidian intertextuality.
Description : Draws on Plato to argue that Homer elevated private life as the locus of true friendship and the catalyst of the highest human excellence. Offering a new, Plato-inspired reading of the Iliad and the Odyssey, this book traces the divergent consequences of love of honor and love of one’s own private life for human excellence, justice, and politics. Analyzing Homer’s intricate character portraits, Michelle M. Kundmeuller concludes that the poet shows that the excellence or virtue to which humans incline depends on what they love most. Ajax’s character demonstrates that human beings who seek honor strive, perhaps above all, to display their courage in battle, while Agamemnon’s shows that the love of honor ultimately undermines the potential for moderation, destabilizing political order. In contrast to these portraits, the excellence that Homer links to the love of one’s own, such as by Odysseus and his wife, Penelope, fosters moderation and employs speech to resolve conflict. It is Odysseus, rather than Achilles, who is the pinnacle of heroic excellence. Homer’s portrait of humanity reveals the value of love of one’s own as the better, albeit still incomplete, precursor to a just political order. Kundmueller brings her reading of Homer to bear on contemporary tensions between private life and the pursuit of public honor, arguing that individual desires continue to shape human excellence and our prospects for justice. “A beautiful account of the Homeric hero, in all his complexity.” — Mary P. Nichols, author of Thucydides and the Pursuit of Freedom
Description : The philosopher Alfred North Whitehead once said that all of Western philosophy was "but a series of footnotes to Plato." By the same token, one could argue that all of Western civilization is but an extension of the ancient Greek cultural legacy. The Greeks invented tragedy, comedy, lyric poetry, history, philosophy, and democracy. They also made remarkable advances in science, medicine, and mathematics. In the author’s view, what ties this wide-ranging intellectual ferment together is a restless search for wisdom. The author looks at ten outstanding examples of Greek wisdom, offering fresh and engaging portraits of the epic poets (Homer, Hesiod); dramatists (Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes); historians (Herodotus, Thucydides); and philosophers (Plato, Aristotle) against the background of Greek history. In each case he asks what the author has to tell us— regardless of genre—about our place in the world and how we should live our lives. By surveying some of the highest peaks of ancient civilization, the author argues that we gain perspective on the historical terrain that lies below. This book presents an eloquent and convincing case that a study of the Greek classics, as Gustave Flaubert explained, makes us "greater, wiser, purer."
Description : Based on the conviction that only translators who write poetry themselves can properly re-create the celebrated and timeless tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, the Greek Tragedy in New Translations offers new translations that go beyond the literal meaning of the Greek in order to evoke the poetry of the originals. The volume brings together four major works by one of the greatest classical dramarists: Electra, translated by Anne Carson and Michael Shaw, a gripping story of revenge, manipulation, and the often tense conflict of the human spirit; Aias, translated by Herbert Golder and Richard Pevear, an account of the heroic suicide of the Trojan war hero better known as Ajax; Philoctetes, translated by Carl Phillips and Diskin Clay, a morally complex and penetrating play about the conflict between personal integrity and public duty; and The Women of Trachis, translated by C.K. Williams and Gregory W. Dickerson, an urgent tale of mutability in a universe of precipitous change. These four tragedies were originally available as single volumes. This new volume retains the informative introductions and explanatory notes of the original editions and adds a single combined glossary and Greek line numbers.
Description : These two long essays make up a short book, one full of depth and knowledge, in which Eva Brann gets at the roots of our thinking—without tearing things apart. Then In the first essay, Brann parses out the schema and meaning of Herodotus's The History (The Persian Wars). She writes that Herodotus worked by indirection. Giving a full account of the Persians and the peoples who constituted their empire—and whose empire encircled the Greeks (thus the "Greek center")—Herodotus delineates the essential difference between the Barbarians and the Greeks. This difference Brann calls Athens' "elusive essence," its freedom contrasting with the slavery upon which the Persian empire depended. Now In the second essay, the author delves into what it means for a person to unite a disposition toward conservatism with a capacity to reiterate and rehearse events, scenes, and dramas in "the conservatory of the imagination." To uncover the meanings and consequences of this union—this imaginative conservatism—and the type of soul to which it applies, Brann offers twelve perspectives, starting with "Temperamental Disposition" and ending with "Eccentric Centrality" (without ever explicitly focusing on politics). Join her and you'll find both delight and education.
Description : The first new Penguin Classics translation of the Argonautica since the 1950s Now in a riveting new verse translation, Jason and the Argonauts (also known as the Argonautica) is the only surviving full account of Jason’s voyage on the Argo in quest of the Golden Fleece aided by the sorceress princess Medea. Written in the third century B.C., this epic story of one of the most beloved heroes of Greek mythology, with its combination of the fantastical and the real, its engagement with traditions of science, astronomy and medicine, winged heroes, and a magical vessel that speaks, is truly without parallel in classical or contemporary Greek literature and is now available in an accessible and engaging translation. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Description : Eva Brann, who has taught at St. John’s College, Annapolis, for sixty years, wrote these essays largely as clarifying incitements to students who were reading, or ought to have been reading, the works discussed. In her words: "The first essay looks at the 'Pre-Socratics' Heraclitus and Parmenides. They appear to be in radical opposition, but they are really doing the same, new thing: seeing the world as an intelligible whole. Both observe external nature, construing it in their minds—so, from the outside in. The final essay again describes two ways of world-construing from the outside in—one by penetrating the surface of reality, the other by spinning a web of complexity over it. "The five essays in between focus on works by Kant and display the world as constituted from the human inside out. An appreciative review of the Critique of Pure Reason shows how Kant brilliantly justifies a science of nature by making nature itself the construct of our understanding. But he leads us to the abyss of more idealism; externality and realism escape him. The explication of his one absolute moral commandment similarly defines his morality entirely in terms divorced from objective good and concentrated on internal integrity. Finally, his huge unpublished legacy agonizes about bringing a god, first conceived as an inner need, into external existence."
Description : This volume is a distinctive critical introduction to Homer's Iliad, the earliest epic poem, and the earliest known work of literature in ancient Greece. Michael Silk deals with the poem's historical context, its composition and its extensive influence, and relates its literary power to the peculiar coherence and inter-relation of such aspects of the poem as its style, character-portrayal and ideology. This revised edition takes account of recent scholarship in the field and includes an updated guide to further reading. It is essential reading for students of literature and classics.
Description : Shortlisted for the Runciman Award 2013 Homer's poetry is widely recognized as the beginning of the literary tradition of the West and among its most influential canonical texts. Outlining a series of key themes, ideas, and values associated with Homer and Homeric poetry, Homer: A Guide for the Perplexed explores the question of the formation of the Iliad and the Odyssey - the so-called 'Homeric Problem'. Among the main Homeric themes which the book considers are origin and form, orality and composition, heroic values, social structure, and social bias, gender roles and gendered interpretation, ethnicity, representations of religion, mortality, and the divine, memory, poetry, and poetics, and canonicity and tradition, and the history of Homeric receptions. Drawing upon his extensive knowledge of scholarship on Homer and early epic, Ahuvia Kahane explores contemporary critical and philosophical questions relating to Homer and the Homeric tradition, and examines his wider cultural impact, contexts and significance. This is the ideal companion to study of this most influential poet, providing readers with some basic suggestions for further pursuing their interests in Homer.