Homeric Seafaring

Homeric Seafaring

Hardback Ed Rachal Foundation Nautical Archaeology

By (author) Samuel Mark

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  • Publisher: Texas A & M University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 257 pages
  • Dimensions: 158mm x 241mm x 23mm | 612g
  • Publication date: 30 May 2005
  • Publication City/Country: College Station
  • ISBN 10: 1585443913
  • ISBN 13: 9781585443918
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: 67 b/w figs
  • Sales rank: 1,257,005

Product description

Many references to ships and seafaring are scattered throughout Homer's two great epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey . Here, Samuel Mark offers a book-length study of seafaring from c.850-750 BC based on Homer and additional archaeological and literary evidence. Having attempted to place both epics in some sort of cultural context and characterised the nature of society, the economy and trade at the time, Mark hones in on more specific topics. References to hull construction, ship-building, especially Homer's story of how Odysseus built his ship, descriptions of the nature of ships and knownedge of seafarers and seafaring follow. Although Homer's information on such subjects is undeniably patchy, Mark does reveal some interesting facts about seafaring in the Homeric world such as how common seafaring was, how Homer's ships were meant to be sailed rather than rowed and were therefore capable of sailing across seas rather than merely along the coat, the nature of harbours as simple natural anchorages, and the importance of the supply of goods for the economic prosperity of Homer's heroes and the household in general. Homer's knowledge of geography is likewise revealed through Odysseus' journeys from Troy to Ithaca, through mention of his travels to the eastern Mediterranean and around the Aegean.

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Author information

Samuel Mark holds a Ph.D. in nautical archaeology. He currently teaches anthropology at Texas A&M University at Galveston. He is the author of From Egypt to Mesopotamia: A Study of Predynastic Trade Routes, also published by Texas A&M University Press.