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Where’s the Gravy?

Barbara Graziosi: Homeric Travel

27 August 2009
Travelling Heroes: Greeks and Their Myths in the Epic Age of Homer 
by Robin Lane Fox.
Penguin, 528 pp., £10.99, September 2009, 978 0 14 024499 1
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... Homeric poetry is vivid and precise. We can smell the dust, hear the din of battle and follow the tip of a spear as it inflicts a wound ‘between the neck and the collarbone’. Even the gods – those obsolete pagan idols – seem familiar. Apollo kicks down the Achaean wall like a child who piles sand by the seashore and makes a tower to amuse himself in his innocence and then, still playing, wrecks it with his hands and feet ...

The Land East of the Asterisk

Wendy Doniger: The Indo-Europeans

10 April 2008
Indo-European Poetry and Myth 
by M.L. West.
Oxford, 525 pp., £80, May 2007, 978 0 19 928075 9
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... hunches, uncovered the connections between members of a large (and rather dysfunctional) family of languages that included ancient Greek, Latin, Hittite (in ancient Anatolia), Vedic Sanskrit (in ancient India), Avestan (in ancient Iran), the Celtic and Norse-Germanic languages and, ultimately, French, German, Italian, Spanish, English and all their ...

Homer Inc

Edward Luttwak

23 February 2012
The Iliad by Homer 
translated by Stephen Mitchell.
Weidenfeld, 463 pp., £25, October 2011, 978 0 297 85973 4
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... why the Iliad has been preferred outside the schoolroom as well, from antiquity and the Byzantine millennium to the Terminal 2 bookshop. Why are our contemporaries so keen on buying and presumably reading the Iliad’s Iron Age reminiscence of Bronze Age combat? Publishers certainly view it as a paying proposition: at least twenty new English-language ...
1 March 1984
Sheep and Man 
by M.L. Ryder.
Duckworth, 846 pp., £55, November 1983, 0 7156 1655 2
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Outback 
by Thomas Keneally.
Hodder, 256 pp., £12.95, October 1983, 0 340 33669 2
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... by enthusiasts, and that they both extend the reader’s vocabulary. One book is by a man of the West Riding with an obsession for sheep; the other by an author who is making a distinctive contribution to Australian literature and who has a passion for the outback. Sheep and Man employs the full range of zoological ...

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