definite attractions, they were all, if in different degrees, sinister and
Contrast these with the Greek women, either wives or maidens
before marriage. Penelope obviously stands alone, but at the ideal
Greek colony of the Phaeacians we find the distinguished queen Arete, whom the castaway Odysseus is advised to supplicate, and the
ideal of an unmarried maiden, Nausikaa. These are the women that
Greeks of the eighth century thought of as appropriate wives and
partners in a Greek community. I would be the first to admit that this
argument is impressionistic, but I would still maintain that the Odyssey here faithfully reflects a view of women that makes it impossible to
imagine that Greek colonists would expect to establish a new Greek
community in which the women were not Greek.
The very extensive bibliography on this subject can be reached by
consulting recent works with very full lists, e.g. Morris, 1986, 130-38; Raaflaub, 1991, 252-56. I therefore confine my bibliographical references to
either those strictly pertinent or representative selections.
See, e.g., Heubeck, West, and Hainsworth, 1988, 6-7.
Cf., e.g., Murray, 1980, 54 and 120.
See, e.g., Raaflaub, 1991, 225-30; Wees, 1988 (from whom I borrow
the terms "orthodox" and "unorthodox") 1-2.
In establishing the unorthodox interpretation Latacz, 1977, has been
very influential, but his arguments from Homer's words for military formations were already shown to be uncertain by Leimbach, 1980, in his review.
The authority of Pritchett, 1985, 1-33, also added weight to the unorthodox
interpretation, but his reliance on analogies often very distant in place and
time (e.g., the Battle of Agincourt!) and on an inaccurate classification of
Homer's many fights between individuals as formal monomachiai indicates
the weakness of his case. The very full, detailed, and convincing analysis by Wees, 1988, may be seen, positively, as an excellent description of Homeric
battle tactics and, negatively, as a complete rebuttal of the unorthodox interpretation.
More recently, Archaeologia Homerica, founded by
F. Matz and H.-G. Buchholz, 1967-, has been covering more comprehensively similar
(but more extensive) ground to Lorimer's.
Lorimer, 1950, 462-64.
For a full account of Egypt under the Twenty-fifth Dynasty, see James, 1991, esp. 677-708. I am grateful to David O'Connor for advice on
this subject. On Homer and Egypt, see Braun, 1982, 32-35.
Kirk, 1968, 95; Janko, 1992, 8-9.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: The Distaff Side:Representing the Female in Homer's Odyssey.
Contributors: Beth Cohen - Editor.
Publisher: Oxford University Press.
Place of publication: New York.
Publication year: 1995.
Page number: 14.
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