Epic

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By Katherine Callen King

Old Epic bargains a entire and available advent to 6 of the best historical epics – Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Vergil's Aeneid, Ovid's Metamorphoses, and Apollonius of Rhodes' Agonautica.

- presents an obtainable creation to the traditional epic
- deals interpretive analyses of poems inside of a complete old context
- features a certain timeline, feedback for additional readings, and an appendix of the Olympian gods and their Akkadian counterparts

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Ancient Epic

Historical Epic deals a finished and available advent to 6 of the best historic epics – Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Vergil's Aeneid, Ovid's Metamorphoses, and Apollonius of Rhodes' Agonautica.

- offers an available creation to the traditional epic
- deals interpretive analyses of poems inside a finished old context
- features a distinct timeline, feedback for additional readings, and an appendix of the Olympian gods and their Akkadian counterparts

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See M. L. West’s East Face of Helicon (Oxford, 1999) p. 118 for the Greek parallel. 2 The Context of Homeric Epic The Iliad and Odyssey, like the Epic of Gilgamesh, were created from already existing stories. We cannot know what the “original” stories about Achilles and Odysseus might have been, because Greek tradition was totally oral, and the heroes are minor kings for whom we have no proof of historical existence. We do, however, have evidence from the wider epic tradition to help us imagine how the epics came into being.

This is an important question because Shamash is also the god of Justice. The answer lies in how Justice is conceived. Shamash’s light penetrates everywhere on earth so that no one and no deed can escape his notice. Justice is what brings the facts to light. For the same reason, the Greeks considered their sun god, Apollo, to be the god of truth. A virgin forest, however, lets in almost no light, and Humbaba’s purpose is to keep it that way, untouched and uncontrolled. Furthermore, Justice and Law, which Shamash represents, pertain to human interaction, but Humbaba keeps human beings out of the forest.

Homer’s Greek audiences would have known the entire group of stories associated with the Trojan War and would thus have appreciated even more than we do his consummate artistry. It is important therefore that modern audiences know the Trojan War Cycle from start to finish, both for appreciating the art of the Iliad and Odyssey and for understanding how later poets like Virgil and Ovid manipulate the tradition in their own Trojan War poems. The Trojan War Epic Cycle The story begins with the discovery by Zeus and Poseidon that Thetis, whom they were both courting, would bear a son greater than his father.

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