The Iliad and the Odyssey

The Trojan War: Tragedy and Aftermath

Jan Parker

Date Published :
October 2021
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
65 black and white illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781526779939
Pages : 312
Dimensions : 9.25 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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The Iliad dealing with the final stages of the Trojan War and The Odyssey with return and aftermath were central to the Classical Greeks' self identity and world view. Epic poems attributed to Homer, they underpinned ideas about heroism, masculinity and identity; about glory, sacrifice and the pity of war; about what makes life worth living. From Achilles, Patroclus and Agamemnon in the Greek camp, Hektor, Paris and Helen in Troy's citadel, the drama of the battlefield and the gods looking on, to Odysseus' adventures and vengeful return - Jan Parker here offers the ideal companion to exploring key events, characters and major themes.

A book-by-book synopsis and commentary discuss the heroes' relationships, values and psychology and the narratives' shimmering presentation of war, its victims and the challenges of return and reintegration. Essays set the epics in their historical context and trace the key terms; the 'Journey Home from War' continues with 'Afterstories' of both heroes and their women.

Whether you've always wanted to go deeper into these extraordinary works or are coming to them for the first time, The Iliad and the Odyssey: The Trojan War, Tragedy and Aftermath will help you understand and enjoy Homer's monumentally important work.


"Parker’s companion to the Iliad and the Odyssey will help readers of Homer, especially readers who are young and approaching the poems for the first time, appreciate the richness and sophistication of these narratives. Parker traces, in clear and elegant language, the main lines of each poem’s plot and offers detailed analyses of major scenes and characters and the surrounding circumstances. She comments on the poems’ historical and archaeological background, their poetic resources, and the social and religious values they represent, and she highlights the many important questions the texts offer for readers to ponder. The book is well edited and supported with many illustrations and several useful indexes... Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates; general readers."

- P. Nieto, Brown University, CHOICE, August 2022 Vol. 59 No. 12

“Jan Parker offers an engaging narrative and insightful exploration of the world of the Trojan War. She explores the many layers of Homer’s accounts of heroic fighting, values, and psychology. Parker has written the ideal companion to Homer and his heroes.”

- Prof. Barry Strauss, Cornell University, author of The Trojan War: A New History

"Tremendous – Jan’s book extends a warm and wonderful invitation to share an experience of Homer that is at once scholarly and personal. It is a phenomenal resource for any student or teacher."

- Elizabeth Rawlinson-Mills, Cambridge University Assistant Professor

"Full of fascinating discussions..."

- Professor emerita Pat Easterling, University of Cambridge

"One of the many great features of this book is the glossing of key words, constantly allowing the reader an insight into the original Greek terms used to describe concepts such as honour and glory that are so important to Homer's heroes."

- Prof James Robson, Professor of Classical Studies, Open University

"The book will be extremely useful for students and readers at all levels and of all ages coming to Homer. It's very attractively and accessibly written, and manifests on every page the excitement and commitment as a teacher of these texts over many years, and to a variety of students."

- Emeritus Professor of English Literature David Hopkins, University of Bristol

“…prove of immense interest and value to both academia and to the non-specialist general reader with an interest in the subject. [U]nreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Ancient Hellenic Literature collections.”

- Midwest Book Review

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