Reading “The Odyssey”: Homer’s epic story of homecoming

This is an 10-week seminar, starting September 27th, 2017

Moderator:                 Elizabeth Armstrong
Day and Time:          Wednesday 2:00-4:00PM
Location:                    Applewood Meeting Room, Amherst
                                         (free parking on site)


The purpose of this seminar is to visit (or revisit) one of the classics of western literature, believed to have been written by a Greek poet during the 8th century BCE.

We will carefully read the 24 chapters that tell the travels and adventures of Odysseus following the fall of Troy (described in “The Iliad”). Class time will include analysis of the narration, poetic style and characters (human and gods), discussion of themes, a comparison of several translations, and consideration of the relevance of the story to our own lives and experience.

The moderator will from time to time provide additional materials to add to our understanding and appreciation of the text, e.g., maps, glossaries, pictures, critical essays. A fee of at most $2 may be collected to cover copying costs.

Role of participants:
Participants will read the assigned text at home and each lead a 50 minute discussion of two chapters during a class session.

Any translation may be used. The moderator recommends the one by Richmond Lattimore (Harper Perennial 2007).

About the Moderators:
She has moderated many literature seminars. Recent ones include the novella, Beowulf, and Civil War poetry.

Maximum number of participants: 13

Emeritus/a accepted: no