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Ancient Greece Declassified

The podcast that transports you to the ancient world and back, with some good conversation along the way. It's not just about ancient Greece. It's about a huge chunk of human history that the Greek texts give us access to: from Egypt and Babylon, to ancient Persia, to Carthage and Rome, we'll sail the wine-dark sea of history with some expert guides at the helm. Topics include archaeology, literature, and philosophy. New episode every month.
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Now displaying: 2018
Jan 5, 2018

Mythology expert Richard Martin joins us to discuss why the Odyssey has been considered great story-telling by audiences across millennia.

As we talked about in episode 2 (on the Iliad), the Homeric epics came out of a long tradition of oral storytelling that stretched back hundreds of years into the Bronze Age. If there was a Homer, he did not just make up all these monsters and adventures up the top of his head. He inherited most of the individual episodes from the oral tradition. If we want to understand what makes the Odyssey great story-telling, we should look not for originality in the story per se, but at how the author weaves all the episodes together, puts them in a certain order to achieve maximum effect, and plays around with different tropes and formulas in order to tell a familiar type of narrative in an exciting way.

To find out more about the Odyssey (including our recommended translations) and about Richard Martin's books on mythology, visit the webpage for this episode at greecepodcast.com/episode15.html
You can also use this link to post, tweet, or share this episode with friends. 

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