A Companion to Homer's Odyssey by James Morrison


A Companion to Homer's Odyssey by James Morrison

Odysseus lost his way, but students shouldn't have to. This delightful companion, written in a lively narrative style and full of fresh insights and interpretations, offers teachers a wealth of ideas for making Homer's timeless epic come alive for students. Introductory chapters provide the historical and mythological background necessary to fully appreciate the events in the Odyssey. A fascinating essay acquaints students with Homeric values and another examines the Odyssey as literature, offering expert discussion of the work's structure and poetic features and situating it in the oral tradition it exemplifies. Maps, charts, tables, and photographs help readers further appreciate the story and its historical context. At the core of this resource are units on each of the 24 books of the Odyssey; each is attractively presented with an illustration, plot synopsis, and discussion of theme and character development. Well-placed sidebars offer supplemental information on various facets of classical antiquity, such as the position of women in Ancient Greece, the role of competitive sports, and interesting etymological aspects of the Greek language. At the back of the book is a listing of main characters, along with a handy pronunciation guide. Additional appendices explore the enduring influence of the Odyssey in literature, the arts, and even popular culture, with a separate section examining Odyssean themes in movies. Useful ideas for activities and classroom projects are offered, as are suggestions for further reading and online research.


?One of the strengths of M.'s text is that he unifies his treatment of undividual books by consistently emphasizing the themes...All in all, M. offers an engaging treatment of Homer's epic that should benefit his target audiences, as it provides insightful analysis while avoiding simple summary.?-Bryn Mawr Classical Review

About the Author

JAMES V. MORRISON is Associate Professor of Classical Studies and NEH Professor of the Humanities at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. He is author of Homeric Misdirection: False Predictions in the Iliad and numerous articles on classical literature, mythology, and history.

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Book Info


224 pages


James Morrison
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Publication date

30th June 2003



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