The World Of Odysseus Paperback – 2 Sep 1999
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A comprehensive and fascinating introduction to the Iliad and the Odyssey, probably the most famous works in world literature. 'A classic in its field, as indispensable to the professional as it is accessible to the general reader. ' New York Review of Books.
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Top Customer Reviews
The emotional tone of his book is hostile towards any suggestion that the Homeric poems have any reliable link with real bronze age events, putting their inspiration firmly in the dark ages that followed the collapse of the Mycenaean (and other) civilizations around 1100 BCE. But in making his case, Finley is, to put it charitably, selective with the evidence that he presents. He claims for example that the Mycenaean centres were no larger than perhaps a few hundred people in each, making the Homeric figure of 60,000 Greeks on the expedition to Troy pure fantasy.
But Chadwick's work on the Linear B tablets makes very clear (and Finley must have known this) that the centres must have been much larger than this. Chadwick estimated the population of Pylos alone as "at least 50,000", a figure based on a detailed analysis of the extensive archives found at the burned palace at Epano Englianos. These archives allow details of the industrial and agriculturural activity of Pylos to be reconstructed, though with obvious gaps. As I recall there were no fewer than 400 bronze-smiths listed: this in population Finley would have us believe numbered at most 1000 or so! It seems probable that the other centres (Mycenae, Tiryns etc) were of similar size, though since we don't have the benefit of the accidental incineration of so many Linear B tables as at Pylos (or at least, they haven't been found yet) we cannot know with certainty.Read more ›
I found M. I. Finley's work to be an essential starting point for my research on this subject, and this distinguished scholars experiance opens up many lines of enquiry for the modern student.
Well worth reading.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good bookseller service but I would not buy it again. A library book really.Published 1 month ago by David
Absolutely brilliant. I wish I had had this companion book when I was studying Classical Civilisation, it can be read alone or it can be read with an intent to fill in your gaps.Published 12 months ago by Haz burton
Having some editions of this,famous book by M.I.Finley,(even in greek,
which is poorly translated from one of the first editions)I believe that is the best,
not only... Read more
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