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Jonathan L. Ready and Christos C. Tsagalis

Jonathan L. Ready

Abstract

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.

Series:

Edited by Jonathan Burgess, Jonathan L. Ready and Christos C. Tsagalis

Volume 3 of Yearbook of Ancient Greek Epic explores interconnections between the Odyssey and the Nostoi and the Telegony of the Epic Cycle, a collection of lost early Greek epics. The Odyssey is situated between the narrative time of the two Cycle poems, with the Nostoi narrating the returns of heroes after the Trojan War and the Telegony narrating Odysseus’s adventures after his return to Ithaca. The six articles that follow the introduction compare and contrast the three epics, employing different methodologies and reaching divergent conclusions. Topics include pre-Homeric mythological traditions, the potential for intertextuality between orally performed epics, and the flexible boundaries of early epics.