Allegories of the Odyssey (Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library #56) (Hardcover)
Homer's Iliad and Odyssey were central to the educational system of Byzantium, yet the religion and culture of the Homeric epics--even the ancient Greek language itself--had become almost unrecognizable to Byzantine Greek readers coming to the texts nearly two millennia later. The scholar, poet, and teacher John Tzetzes (ca. 1110-1180) joined the extensive tradition of interpreting Homer by producing his Allegories of the Iliad, dedicated to the foreign-born empress Eirene. Tzetzes later composed the Allegories of the Odyssey, a more advanced verse commentary, to explain Odysseus's journey and the pagan gods and marvels he encountered. Through historical allegory, the gods become ancient kings deified by the pagan poet; through astrological interpretation, they become planets whose positions and movements affect human life; through moral allegory Athena represents wisdom, Aphrodite desire. This edition presents the first translation of the Allegories of the Odyssey into any language.