Travelling Heroes

Travelling Heroes : In the Epic Age of Homer

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The eighth century B.C. was the formative age of the great epics of Homer, a remote and, in some ways, mysterious era. In this groundbreaking book, Robin Lane Fox takes us into that time before history to explore questions ranging from the origins of the Greek gods to the spread of classical culture in the Mediterranean world. It is a remarkable tour de force of scholarship and creative reasoning, written with flair and the authority gained from a lifetime of study and personal experience of key sites. Presented as a kind of historical detective story, Travelling Heroes draws upon archaeology, ancient texts, and new discoveries to develop a fresh and provocative thesis: that migrants from in the Greek island of Euboea settled in specific places both in the Near East and in Italy and that what they found there helped shape their most distinctive myths. In fascinating detail, Lane Fox describes the journeys of the travellers and the contacts they made with Phoenicians, Assyrians, and the people of north Cyprus and Syria, and he shows the way they drew themes—and even references to particular topographic features—into what would become the classic stories of gods and legend. He also offers new insights into Homer himself. Robin Lane Fox is probably the most widely read historian of the ancient Greek world, and Travelling Heroes displays the same lively originality that marked his writing about the Bible in The Unauthorized Version and about the triumph of Christianity in Pagans and Christians. Learned but never dry, controversial but soundly based, it brings a distant and nearly forgotten time brilliantly to life more

Product details

  • Hardback | 465 pages
  • 160.02 x 233.68 x 45.72mm | 861.82g
  • Knopf Publishing Group
  • United States
  • English
  • 0679444319
  • 9780679444312
  • 1,405,328

Review quote

Praise for Robin Lane Fox’s Travelling Heroes “Fox has produced a work of prodigious scholarship. . . . A major contribution to Classical scholarship. . . . Strongly recommended.” —Clay Williams, Library Journal “[Robin Lane Fox’s] intellectual discipline is impressive.” —Kirkus Reviews The Classical World: An Epic History from Homer to Hadrian “Fox is a fluent, perceptive color commentator on the pageant of ancient history, while giving readers some idea of where the parade was headed.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review) “Lane Fox's survey deserves to be widely read. Indeed, I cannot think of a better introduction to the subject for those with no prior knowledge. . . . Lane Fox's strong and clear narrative will stimulate those reacquainting themselves with this fascinating era as much as it enthralls newcomers.” —The Washington Post “Fox, the author of numerous works on classical civilization, is a masterful writer whose elegant but highly readable prose offers an evolving portrait of Greek and Roman culture over a period of roughly 900 years. . . . [Fox] discusses in often fascinating detail topics that are normally given short shrift in general histories. . . . This is an excellent work of scholarship and literature.” —Booklist The Unauthorized Version: Truth and Fiction in the Bible “Biblical historiography, with an edge. . . . [S]ound and clearly argued. A wealth of information.” —Kirkus Reviews “Magnificent...delivered with authority and verve. Learned but never pedantic, [Lane Fox] is an unfailingly incisive, thought-provoking, humane, courteous, and often entertaining guide.” —The Economist “A remarkable achievement . . . [Lane Fox] manages, like a skilled juggler, to keep a number of intellectual balls in the air...with wit and grace. . . . The book could serve as a useful review for knowledgeable readers or as a crash course for the biblically impaired.” —The New York Times Book Review “[A] bracing precis of cutting-edge biblical criticism . . . The Unauthorized Version reacquaints us with one of the chief achievements of post-Enlightenment civilization.” —Philadelphia Inquirer “Fox does not approach his subject as an antagonist, but with the care and knowledge to make the text more meaningful. This book deserves a place in all libraries.” —Library Journalshow more

About Robin Lane Fox

Robin Lane Fox is a Fellow and Garden Master of New College, Oxford, and a University Reader in Ancient History. His books include Alexander the Great, Pagans and Christians, The Unauthorized Version, and The Classical World. Since 1970 he has also been gardening correspondent for the Financial more