General Knowledge

Why Read Homer's "Odyssey"

Homer's "Odyssey" was composed over two and a half thousand years ago. Why should we bother to read it now? Because the "Odyssey" is about such perennial issues as self-discovery, exploration, nostalgia for one's home, becoming an adult, appetite for the unknown, testing oneself to the limit, and love of family. Not the least of the reasons for reading it at this time is the fact that it empowers women. It is also a fairytale brimful with one-eyed cannibals, witches, seductresses, and princesses. Odysseus' odyssey is consistently hindered and advanced by women. Discover how this work offers an understanding into the journey through life that we all undergo, both young and old, men and women.

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Created by Robert Garland
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2h 37m
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About the author

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I've taught Homer's "Odyssey" at Colgate University for over thirty years. I've published 14 books, the latest being "How To Survive in Classical Greece." I've recorded 5 courses for The Great Courses and videos for TED-Ed. It has been my passion throughout my teaching career to make the ancient world come alive.