Odysseus and the Suitors’ Relatives

In: Yearbook of Ancient Greek Epic Online
View More View Less
  • 1 Indiana University

Purchase instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):



The Odyssey ends with a battle between Odysseus’s household and the suitors’ relatives. This article first defamiliarizes the presence and course of the battle by reviewing relevant mythographic and folkloristic comparanda. It then argues that the battle makes two important contributions to the return of the Odyssey’s Odysseus.

  • Bakker, E.J. 2013. The Meaning of Meat and the Structure of the Odyssey. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Barker, E.T.E. 2009. Entering the Agon: Dissent and Authority in Homer, Historiography and Tragedy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Barker, E.T.E. and Christensen, J.P. 2014. “Odysseus’s Nostos and the Odyssey’s Nostoi: Rivalry within the Epic Cycle.” Philologia Antiqua 7: 85–110.

  • Beissinger, M. 2001. “Gender and Power in the Balkan Return Song.” The Slavic and East European Journal 45: 403–430.

  • Benardete, S. 1997. The Bow and the Lyre: A Platonic Reading of the Odyssey. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.

  • Bendix, R. 1997. In Search of Authenticity: The Formation of Folklore Studies. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

  • Bonanni, M. 1992. Il cerchio e la piramide: L’epica omerica e le origini del politico. Bologna: Il Mulino.

  • Brelinski, T. 2015. “Medon Meets a Cyclops? Odyssey 22.310–80.” Classical Quarterly 65: 1–13.

  • Burgess, J.S. 2014a. “Framing Odysseus: The Death of the Suitors.” In Christopoulos and Païzi-Apostolopoulou, eds. 337–354.

  • Burgess, J.S. 2014b. “The Death of Odysseus in the Odyssey and the Telegony.” Philologia Antiqua 7: 111–122.

  • Chiodo, E. 2008. “Life Stories and Achievements of Eastern Mongol Bards.” Ural-Altaische Jahrbücher 22: 185–226.

  • Christopoulos, M. and Païzi-Apostolopoulou, M. eds. 2014. Crime and Punishment in Homeric and Archaic Epic: Proceedings of the 12th International Symposium on the Odyssey, Ithaca, September 3–7, 2013. Ithaca: Centre for Odyssean Studies.

  • Collins, D. 1998. Immortal Armor: The Concept of Alkē in Archaic Greek Poetry. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.

  • Cook, E. 1999. “ ‘Active’ and ‘Passive’ Heroics in the Odyssey.” Classical World 93: 149–167.

  • Cook, E. 2014. “Structure as Interpretation in the Homeric Odyssey.” In Cairns, D. and Scodel, R. eds. Defining Greek Narrative. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 75–100.

  • Currie, B. 2016. Homer’s Allusive Art. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Danek, G. 2005. “Nostos und Nostoi.” Aevum antiquum 5: 45–54.

  • Danek, G. 2016. “Modes of Intertextuality in Homer and Bosnian Epic.” In Gallo, F. ed. Omero: Quaestiones disputatae. Milan: Biblioteca Ambrosiana. 123–145.

  • Donlan, W. 1982. “Reciprocities in Homer.” Classical World 75: 135–175.

  • Donlan, W. 1997. “The Relations of Power in the Pre-State and Early State Polities.” In Mitchell, L.G. and Rhodes, P.J. eds. The Development of the Polis in Archaic Greece. London: Routledge. 39–48.

  • Donlan, W. 1998. “Political Reciprocity in Dark Age Greece: Odysseus and his Hetairoi.” In Gill, C. ed. Reciprocity in Ancient Greece. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 51–71.

  • Dova, S. 2012. “ ‘Kind Like a Father’: On Mentors and Kings in the Odyssey.” In Bers, V. et al eds. Donum Natalicium Digitaliter Confectum Gregorio Nagy Septuagenario a Discipulis Collegis Familiaribus Oblatum. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. Electronic.

  • Edmunds, L. 1993. Myth in Homer: A Handbook. 2nd ed. Highland Park, NJ: Mill Brook Press.

  • Edmunds, L. 2005. “Epic and Myth.” In Foley, J.M. ed. A Companion to Ancient Epic. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. 31–44.

  • Edmunds, L. 2016. Stealing Helen: The Myth of the Abducted Wife in Comparative Perspective. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

  • Felson, N. and Slatkin, L. 2014. “Nostos, Tisis, and Two Forms of Dialogism in Homer’s Odyssey.” In Christopoulos and Païzi-Apostolopoulou, eds. 211–222.

  • Frame, D. 1978. The Myth of Return in Early Greek Epic. New Haven: Yale University Press.

  • Goldhill, S. 2010. “Idealism in the Odyssey and the Meaning of mounos in Odyssey 16.” In Mitsis, P. and Tsagalis, C. eds. Allusion, Authority, and Truth: Critical Perspectives on Greek Poetic and Rhetorical Praxis. Berlin: De Gruyter. 115–127.

  • Graziosi, B. and Haubold, J. 2003. “Homeric Masculinity: ΗΝΟΡΕΗ and ΑΓΗΝΟΡΙΗ.” The Journal of Hellenic Studies 123: 60–76.

  • Hammer, D. 2002. The Iliad as Politics: The Performance of Political Thought. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

  • Hansen, W. 2002. Ariadne’s Thread: A Guide to International Tales Found in Classical Literature. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

  • Heubeck, A. 1992. “Books XXIIIXXIV.” In Russo, J., Fernández-Galiano, M., and Heubeck, A. A Commentary on Homer’s Odyssey. Volume III: Books XVIIXXIV. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 311–418.

  • Hofmeyr, I. 1995. “ ‘Wailing for Purity’: Oral Studies in Southern African Studies.” African Studies 54.2: 16–31.

  • Kelly, A. 2007. “How to End an Orally-Derived Epic Poem.” Transactions of the American Philological Association 137: 371–402.

  • Lattimore, R. 1951. The Iliad of Homer. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Lattimore, R. 1965. The Odyssey of Homer. New York: HarperCollins.

  • Lord, A.B. 1994. “The Impact of Vuk Karadžić on the Tradition: The Importance for Homer.” In Branch, M. and Hawkesworth, C. eds. The Uses of Tradition: A Comparative Enquiry into the Nature, Uses and Functions of Oral Poetry in the Balkans, the Baltic, and Africa. London: School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London. 3–21.

  • Malkin, I. 1998. The Returns of Odysseus: Colonization and Ethnicity. Berkeley: University of California Press.

  • Marks, J. 2008. Zeus in the Odyssey. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies.

  • Merkelbach, R. 1969. Untersuchungen zur Odyssee. 2nd ed. München: Beck.

  • Page, D. 1955. The Homeric Odyssey. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

  • Purves, A. C. 2010. Space and Time in Ancient Greek Narrative. New York: Cambridge University Press.

  • Ready, J.L. 2010. “Why Odysseus Strings his Bow.” Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 50: 133–157.

  • Ready, J.L. 2014. “ATU 974 The Homecoming Husband, the Returns of Odysseus, and the End of Odyssey 21.” Arethusa 47: 265–285.

  • Reichl, K. 2001. “Medieval Perspectives on Turkic Oral Epic Poetry.” In Helldén, J., Jensen, M.S., and Pettitt, T. eds. Inclinate Aurem: Oral Perspectives on Early European Culture. Odense: Odense University Press. 211–254.

  • Sammons, B. 2017. Device and Composition in the Greek Epic Cycle. New York: Oxford University Press.

  • Schein, S.L. 1996. “Introduction.” In Schein, S.L. ed. Reading the Odyssey: Selected Interpretative Essays. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 3–31.

  • Slatkin, L. 2005. “Homer’s Odyssey.” In Foley, J.M. ed. A Companion to Ancient Epic. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. 315–329.

  • Taplin, O. 2001 [2000]. “The Spring of the Muses: Homer and Related Poetry.” In Taplin, O. ed. Literature in the Greek World. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Paperback. 4–39.

  • Tarkka, L. 2013. Songs of the Border People: Genre, Reflexivity, and Performance in Karelian Oral Poetry. Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia.

  • Tolstoi, J. 1934. “Einige Märchenparallelen zur Heimkehr des Odysseus.” Philologus 89: 261–274.

  • Tsagalis, C.C. 2008. The Oral Palimpsest: Exploring Intertextuality in the Homeric Epics. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies.

  • Tsagalis, C.C. 2014. “Verses Attributed to the Telegony.” Classical Quarterly 64: 448–461.

  • Tsagalis, C.C. 2015. “Telegony.” In Fantuzzi, M. and Tsagalis, C.C. eds. The Greek Epic Cycle and its Ancient Reception: A Companion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 380–401.

  • Uther, H.-J. 2004. The Types of International Folktales: A Classification and Bibliography I. Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia. = ATU

  • van der Heide, N. 2015. Spirited Performance: The Manas Epic and Society in Kyrgyzstan. Bremen: EHV Academicpress.

  • van Thiel, H. 1991. Homeri Odyssea. Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag.

  • van Thiel, H. 2010. Homeri Ilias. 2nd ed. Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag.

  • van Wees, H. 1992. Status Warriors: War, Violence and Society in Homer and History. Amsterdam: J.C. Gieben.

  • West, M.L. 2014. The Making of the Odyssey. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 301 255 40
Full Text Views 33 21 1
PDF Downloads 31 18 2