The Trojan Epic: Posthomerica

The Trojan Epic: Posthomerica

Paperback Johns Hopkins New Translations from Antiquity

By (author) Quintus of Smyrna, Edited by Alan James

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  • Format: Paperback | 408 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 28mm | 522g
  • Publication date: 6 March 2007
  • Publication City/Country: Baltimore, MD
  • ISBN 10: 080188635X
  • ISBN 13: 9780801886355
  • Edition: Annotated
  • Sales rank: 481,497

Product description

Composed in the third century A.D., the Trojan Epic is the earliest surviving literary evidence for many of the traditions of the Trojan War passed down from ancient Greece. Also known as the Posthomerica, or "sequel to Homer," the Trojan Epic chronicles the course of the war after the burial of Troy's greatest hero, Hektor. Quintus, believed to have been an educated Greek living in Roman Asia Minor, included some of the war's most legendary events: the death of Achilles, the Trojan Horse, and the destruction of Troy. But because Quintus deliberately imitated Homer's language and style, his work has been dismissed by many scholars as pastiche. A vivid and entertaining story in its own right, the Trojan Epic is also particularly significant for what it reveals about its sources-the much older, now lost Greek epics about the Trojan War known collectively as the Epic Cycle. Written in the Homeric era, these poems recounted events not included in the Iliad or the Odyssey. As Alan James makes clear in this vibrant and faithful new translation, Quintus's work deserves attention for its literary-historical importance and its narrative power. James's line-by-line verse translation in English reveals the original as an exciting and eloquent tale of gods and heroes, bravery and cunning, hubris and brutality. James includes a substantial introduction which places the work in its literary and historical context, a detailed and annotated book-by-book summary of the epic, a commentary dealing mainly with sources, and an explanatory index of proper names. Brilliantly revitalized by James, the Trojan Epic will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in Greek mythology and the legend of Troy.

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Author information

Alan James is Senior Lecturer in Classics emeritus at the University of Sydney.

Review quote

James's accessible, lively rendition of Quintus's poem deserves to alter the face of ancient epic studies... He fuses a flexible and nuanced form of the ancient hexameter rhythm with contemporary idiom. His Posthomerica includes a superb introduction, lucid commentary, bibliography, index of the occurrence of proper names, and summaries of the action of each Book... A landmark publication. -- Edith Hall Times Literary Supplement 2005 Amazingly, the first full-scale introduction to Quintus and his poem in English. -- Martijn Cuypers Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2005 This third-century CE poem-which deals with the events surrounding Homer's Iliad and Odyssey-has been unfairly neglected and even denigrated by scholars more familiar with the Homeric epics. James attempts to rectify this situation in this comprehensive book. Choice 2005 Provides an excellent and accessible introduction, translation, and commentary for this neglected epic. -- Jean Alvares Classical Outlook 2006 Through J.'s industry and scholarship Quintus is served well in this volume, which will generate interest in the Trojan Epic and pave the way for a much-needed literary reappraisal. -- Katerina Carvounis Journal of Hellenic Studies 2006 Posthomerica clearly aims to be a work of scholarship. -- Robert Schmiel Mouseion: Journal of Classical Association of Canada 2006