From Villain to Hero: Odysseus in Ancient Thought

Front Cover
University of Michigan Press, Aug 19, 2011 - History - 228 pages
0 Reviews

Praise for Silvia Montiglio

"[A] brilliant and important book. . . . "
---Journal of Religion, on Silence in the Land of Logos

"[A]n invigorating reevaluation of both the ancient symbolic landscape and our preconceptions of it."
---American Journal of Philology, on Wandering in Ancient Greek Culture
 
 Best known for his adventures during his homeward journey as narrated in Homer's Odyssey, Odysseus remained a major figure and a source of inspiration in later literature, from Greek tragedy to Dante's Inferno to Joyce's Ulysses. Less commonly known, but equally interesting, are Odysseus' "wanderings" in ancient philosophy: Odysseus becomes a model of wisdom for Socrates and his followers, Cynics and Stoics, as well as for later Platonic thinkers. From Villain to Hero: Odysseus in Ancient Thought follows these wanderings in the world of ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, retracing the steps that led the cunning hero of Homeric epic and the villain of Attic tragedy to become a paradigm of the wise man.

From Villain to Hero explores the reception of Odysseus in philosophy, a subject that so far has been treated only in tangential or limited ways. Diverging from previous studies, Montiglio outlines the philosophers' Odysseus across the spectrum, from the Socratics to the Middle Platonists. By the early centuries CE, Odysseus' credentials as a wise man are firmly established, and the start of Odysseus' rehabilitation by philosophers challenges current perceptions of him as a villain. More than merely a study in ancient philosophy, From Villain to Hero seeks to understand the articulations between philosophical readings of Odysseus and nonphilosophical ones, with an eye to the larger cultural contexts of both. While this book is the work of a classicist, it will also be of interest to students of philosophy, comparative literature, and reception studies.

  

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Related books

Contents

Introduction
1
Odysseus was not Antisthenes Defense of an Abused Hero
20
Platos Odysseus A Soldier in the Soul
38
Yearning for Excellence Odysseus in Cynic and Stoic Thought
66
King Friend and Flatterer Odysseus in Epicureanism and Beyond
95
Between Contemplation and Action
124
Odysseus Virtus and Thirst for Knowledge in the Renaissance
148
Notes
157
Bibliography
201
Indexes
213
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

Silvia Montiglio is Basil L. Gildersleeve Professor of Classics at Johns Hopkins University. She has published widely on the early Greek world, including books on Homeric literature and Archaic Greece.

Bibliographic information