What is ogygie in the odyssey

Summary of Odyssey

Trojan War and Greater Greece

Homer's Odyssey reports primarily on the wanderings and the homecoming of Odysseus, but the memory of the event that drove him from home to foreign countries is always kept alive: the war with Troy. This is told in detail in the other Homeric epic, the Iliad. Paris, the son of the Trojan king, had kidnapped the beautiful Helena, wife of the Greek Menelaus, to Troy. Thereupon the Greek kings and warriors marched with a thousand ships to Troy to avenge Menelaus. Odysseus was also part of the party, but he only plays a minor role in the Iliad alongside the main hero Achilles. Was Troy just a fiction, just like Greek mythology? This was assumed for a long time, until the archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann discovered the remains of the legendary city of Troy in Turkey in 1870. This uncovered the historical core of the Homeric epics.

The Odyssey originated in the first great artistic epoch of the Greeks, who called themselves "Hellenes" in contrast to the barbarians. The so-called archaic age (800-500 BC) went hand in hand with the transition to the polis, the Greek city-state, at the head of which was initially a king and later an oligarchy (rule of a small group). Greece replaced the Phoenicians as a great seafaring nation. With the Greek colonization, the polis spread into the Mediterranean areas. Almost all of southern Italy including Sicily was made into colonies: "Magna Graecia", Greater Greece. The colonies formed their own communities, which were only linked to the city of origin in terms of constitution and religion. The social system differed greatly from city-state to city-state: in Sparta, for example, the very aggressive warrior caste ruled over the population, while in Athens every noble member of society received full civil rights. From here the ancient form of democracy spread.

Creation of the Odyssey

Anyone who could write something reliable about the genesis of the Odyssey would be sure of eternal thanks from literary scholars and historians. As about the poet of the Odyssey, we know next to nothing about its genesis. Presumably, however, the work is no later than the seventh century BC. BC originated. The epic was originally performed orally. A person who reads through the Odyssey with a tight schedule needs about twelve hours for this. The rhapsodes in ancient Greece will have needed twice as long for this, with numerous phrasing and embellishments of the ever-changing material. Rhapsodes were professional traveling singers who, in addition to the Odyssey, also collected and performed other hero, wedding or funeral songs. Research calls a certain subgroup of the rhapsods "Homerids", who spread Homer's legacy. The Greeks developed from the Phoenician script in the eighth century BC The first complete alphabet font. The preferred writing material was the papyrus roll. This is probably the first time the Odyssey was written down and copied over and over again. Nevertheless, it always competed with other typefaces, because the taste of the day ultimately decided whether a work was copied or not. In this respect, the Odyssey became a real "best seller".

Impact history

Hardly any other work had such a profound effect on the literature and intellectual history of the West as Homer's Odyssey. The work was already part of the canon of school reading in ancient times. In his poetics, Aristotle regarded the "artfully intertwined composition" of the work as a prime example of the epic genre. The Aeneid of the Roman poet Virgil describes the wanderings of Aeneas and the founding of the city of Rome, following the example of Homer. Courtly poetry of the Middle Ages found the basis for its knightly epics in the adventures of Odysseus. Classicism produced two of the most outstanding verse translations of the Odyssey into German: by Johann Heinrich Voss (1781) and Johann Jacob Bodmer (1788). These worked inter alia. on Goethe, who let his Werther leaf through the Odyssey.

Every European national literature has at some point made reference to Homer's work. A prominent example is Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, who leads his Don Quixote through - humorously modified - adventure episodes using the same concentration and sequence of episodes as Homer. The novel Ulysses by James Joyce uses the basic structure of the Odyssey and turns it into an innovative, modern novel with an experimental narrative style. The philosophers Theodor W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer refer to the siren episode of the Odyssey in the Dialectic of Enlightenment and declare Odysseus to be the first enlightened individual to take his fate into his own hands.

The journeys of Odysseus became the prototype of the hero's journey, the pattern of which continues into modern Hollywood cinema (Star Wars, 2001 - A Space Odyssey, Gladiator, The Lord of the Rings, etc.).