Homer and the Question of Strife from Erasmus to Hobbes

Homer and the Question of Strife from Erasmus to Hobbes

by Jessica Wolfe

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From antiquity through the Renaissance, Homer’s epic poems – the Iliad, the Odyssey, and the various mock-epics incorrectly ascribed to him – served as a lens through which readers, translators, and writers interpreted contemporary conflicts. They looked to Homer for wisdom about the danger and the value of strife, embracing his works as a mythographic shorthand with which to describe and interpret the era’s intellectual, political, and theological struggles.

Homer and the Question of Strife from Erasmus to Hobbes elegantly exposes the ways in which writers and thinkers as varied as Erasmus, Rabelais, Spenser, Milton, and Hobbes presented Homer as a great champion of conflict or its most eloquent critic. Jessica Wolfe weaves together an exceptional range of sources, including manuscript commentaries, early modern marginalia, philosophical and political treatises, and the visual arts. Wolfe’s transnational and multilingual study is a landmark work in the study of classical reception that has a great deal to offer to anyone examining the literary, political, and intellectual life of early modern Europe.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442622685
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date: 09/15/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 624
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

Jessica Wolfe is a professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Homer and the Question of Strife
Chapter 1: Homer, Erasmus, and the Problem of Strife
Chapter 2: The Remedy of Contraries: Homer, Rabelais, and Epic Parody 
Chapter 3: Spenser, Homer, and the Mythography of Strife
Chapter 4. Chapman’s Ironic Homer
Chapter 5. The Razors Edge: Homer, Milton, and the Problem of Deliberation 
Chapter 6: Hobbes’ Homer and the Idols of the Agora
Epilogue: The Homeric Contest from Vico to Arendt

What People are Saying About This

Andrew Escobedo

Homer and the Question of Strife from Erasmus to Hobbes is a rich, original, and authoritative study that sets a new standard for this topic. Wolfe’s work is notable for the sheer abundance and variety of textual material it assembles: translations of Homer, original poetry, commentaries, theological texts, political treatises, medical discourse, moral philosophy, natural philosophy, and more.”

Gerard Passannante

“Watching Jessica Wolfe read the Renaissance reading Homer reminds me of why I became a scholar. This beautiful and subtle book will be essential for anyone interested in classical reception – or in the ethical stakes of reading. In our own age of strife, Wolfe teaches us how much we still stand to gain from thinking about poetry.”

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