This concise book is a complete and contemporary introduction to Homer and his two master works, the Iliad and the Odyssey. It explains the "Homeric Question," illuminating its current status, and critiques the literary qualities of the Iliad and the Odyssey, analyzing and contrasting their plotting, narrative technique, and characterization. Updated throughout, this second edition includes a new section on Homer's reception in ancient Greece; a new chapter on Homer and archaeology; additional maps; an updated bibliography; a glossary of names and key terms; and new information on the oral composition of the poems. Assuming no prior knowledge of Greek, the author supplies all the background information necessary to understand the poems, making this an ideal resource for those coming to the field for the first time.
Barry B. Powell is Halls-Bascom Professor of Classics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His previous publications include Homer and the Origin of the Greek Alphabet (1991), A Short Introduction to Classical Myth (2001), Writing and the Origins of Greek Literature (2002), Classical Myth (fourth edition, 2004), and The Greeks: History, Culture, and Society (with Ian Morris, 2005).