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(ŏd`ĭsē): see HomerHomer,
principal figure of ancient Greek literature; the first European poet. Works, Life, and Legends

Two epic poems are attributed to Homer, the Iliad and the Odyssey.
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a poem about the travels of Odysseus), an ancient Greek epic poem which, together with the Iliad, has been attributed to Homer.

The poem was completed somewhat later than the Iliad, which it complements but of which it is not a direct continuation. Like the Iliad, the Odyssey was written in hexameter. Later, it was divided by classical bookmakers into 24 books. In contrast to the Iliad, with its heroic themes, the Odyssey contains material drawn primarily from everyday life and fables. The hero is a composite of intellectual and moral qualities. In world folklore a widely encountered hero is the husband who returns to his homeland unrecognized after long years of wandering and arrives on the day of his wife’s remarriage. In the Odyssey, this popular heroic theme is embodied in Odysseus, a participant in the Trojan campaign. Interwoven with this theme is part of another: a son’s search for his father. The sociopolitical and ideological processes of the establishment of a slaveholding society and state in Greece were reflected even in early versions of the Odyssey.

In antiquity, the Odyssey was less highly valued than the Iliad, although both were used as basic educational texts. Both the Odyssey and the Iliad provided Goethe, F. Schiller, and W. Humboldt with material for their theories of the epic. The first Russian prose translations of the Odyssey were completed at the end of the 18th century. V. A. Zhukovskii finished the first Russian verse translation of the work in 1849. The standard modern translation in verse was done by V. V. Veresaev (published posthumously, 1953).


Homeri carmina, part 2: Homeri Odyssea, vols. 1–2. Translated by A. Ludwich. Leipzig, 1889–91.
The Odyssey of Homer, 2nd ed., vols. 1–2. Edited by W. B. Stanford. London-New York, 1959. (With commentary.)
In Russian translation:
Gomer, Odisseia. Moscow, 1953.


Egunov, A. N. Gomer v russkikh perevodakh XVIII-XIX vv. Moscow-Leningrad, 1964.
Merkelbach, R. Untersuchungen zur Odyssee. Munich, 1951.
Page, D. L. The Homeric Odyssey. Oxford, 1955.
Stanford, W. B. The Ulysses Theme. 2nd ed. Oxford, 1963.
Finley, M. I. The World of Odysseus. New York, 1965.


Homer’s long, narrative poem centered on Odysseus. [Gk. Lit.: Odyssey]
See: Epic


concerning Odysseus’s difficulties in getting home after war. [Gk. Myth.: Odyssey]
References in periodicals archive ?
We can quite easily recognize here the order of the Odyssean sema ariphrades, a uniquely personalizing slash in the flesh.
A fellow E-2 squadron released a hazard report (hazrep) regarding a fire during start-up, which detailed the Odyssean travails of the crew during egress.
This scene has a mythological resonance and can be reminiscent of an Odyssean atmosphere.
The hero of this Odyssean journey is introduced in a stunning first sentence that provides omens as well as clues as to what is to follow: "Inside a barrel in the bottom of a boat with a canteen of water wedged between his legs and a packet of poison concealed in his pocket, Jacob Rappaport felt a knot tightening in his stomach--not because he was about to do something dangerous, but because he was about to do something wrong.
Odyssean and non-mosquito-bite transmitted forms of malaria.
What links Odyssean cunning, Socratic ignorance, and Cynic disdain for learning is not physics or knowledge of any particular subject matter, but rather a kind of rational attitude.
This brief glimpse into Bligh's sleeping mind seems to describe an Odyssean desire for nostos without the algia added on: Bligh anticipates returning home successful, acclaimed, well compensated thanks to his captain's share of the voyage's profits.
Entries on Promethean, Odyssean, and Orphean Fantasy show the importance of mythical plot structures, while entries on the Conte Cruel, Conte Philosophique, and the culture of Decadence display sf's debts to the literary avant-garde.
The scene is Odyssean without being epic; all images gear toward the heart: ".
The central metaphor of the poem is the idea of an Odyssean journey and the mutability that it inevitably brings (indeed, travel and change are synonymous).
Odysseus fought for ten years at Troy and spent another ten reaching Ithaka while Penelope waited, discouraging importunate suitors by a wily Odyssean ruse: by day she wove a shroud that by night she unravelled, declaring that she could accept a new husband only when the shroud was finished.