Homer and the European Epic

Chris Gray, Homer and the European Epic

This pamphlet aims to situate Homer’s ‘The Iliad’ and ‘The Odyssey’ in the context of the development of ancient Greek society from Mycenaean times down to the early classical period (around 600 BCE) and in the context of the common European epic and tradition.

It draws on recent anthropological theories concerning the ‘human revolution’ and the origins of culture among hunter-gatherers in a pristine female-led coalition. Special focus is laid on Odysseus as the centre of an early bear cult and (hence) as frequent visitor to the world of the dead, and on Penepole as fully his equal in cunning.

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