A Commentary on Homer's Odyssey: Volume II: Books IX-XVI by Alfred Heubeck, Arie Hoekstra

By Alfred Heubeck, Arie Hoekstra

This moment quantity of an important three-volume remark compiled by way of a world group of students comprises specified discussions of diction within the Odyssey and the culture of epic diction ordinarily.

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In the process of discovering and organising the semantic register of true Romanness, the Romans fail miserably: paradoxically, Hannibal is the ‘hero’ who embodies the very elements of ‘Roman’ identity, namely care for his patria, pietas towards his ancestors, uirtus in battle operations. And yet until the very end of the poem, Hannibal is portrayed as utterly confused, displaying uncharacteristic attachment to the Italian tellus, which nevertheless endeavours to expel and reject him from her body.

Kristeva’s re-evaluation of poetic language, in terms different from Lacan’s male-oriented Imaginary and Symbolic Order, was the starting point for her further studies in psychoanalysis, such as, for instance, in the Powers of Horror (1982), Tales of Love (1986), and Black Sun (1989). 41 Kristeva (1984), 27. 42 Moi (2002), 164. 43 My use of the neologism (m)otherhood here is based on the use of m/other by Jensen (2002) in her analysis of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. Jensen examines Whitman’s struggle with the polarity feminine/masculine through the lens of Kristeva’s theory of the semiotic and the symbolic.

By studying several pairs of fathers and sons, not only is the ground prepared for our examination of mothers and sons in subsequent chapters, but what comes to the surface from these pairs of male heroes in the Punica is the close relationship fostered between the warriors and their respective patriae or the lack thereof. This close association reveals the problematics of a periphery recalcitrant to Roman rule and civilisation, while at the same time it often discloses the lack of care for the Roman patria on the Roman side.

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