Big news! LibraryThing is now free to all! Read the blog post and discuss the change on Talk.
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The World of Odysseus by M. I. Finley

The World of Odysseus (original 1954; edition 1978)

by M. I. Finley (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
881616,358 (3.97)16
Who was Homer? When were the Iliad and Odyssey composed? What were Odysseus', Achilles, and Hector's beliefs about government, religion, and class? In this introduction to the Iliad and Odyssey, the author uses both the texts and the latest research material to reconstruct the Homeric age.
Title:The World of Odysseus
Authors:M. I. Finley (Author)
Info:Viking Adult (1978), Edition: Revised ed., 192 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The World of Odysseus by M. I. Finley (1954)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Shows how Homer reflects a time closer to his own century than to the time several hundred years earlier that the real events actually occurred.
Read in Samoa Mar 2003 ( )
  mbmackay | Nov 27, 2015 |
Ah, for the golden age of academic writing. Is it beautiful? No. But it is clear, concise and argumentative. No 'pointing out a problem' stuff here; Finley just gives you the answers as he sees them. You'll be in no doubt as to what he thinks at any stage in your reading. For instance, "the historian of ideas and values has no more Satanic seducer to guard against than the man on the Clapham omnibus." Love it.
But this isn't popular history by any means, for good and bad. There are no catchy anecdotes, no sex and murder stories. It's just a solid suggestion of what a world looked like, in this case, the 'Dark Ages' in the eastern Mediterranean, after the Mycenaeans and before the time the Homeric poems were coming together. Basically, not very attractive.
As a side note, I should say that I was biased in favor of liking this book after I found out some of Finley's life story. According to wikipedia:

"He taught at Columbia University and City College of New York, where he was influenced by members of the Frankfurt School who were working in exile in America. In 1952, during the Red Scare, Finley was fired from his teaching job at Rutgers University; in 1954, he was summoned by the United States Senate Internal Security Subcommittee and asked whether he had ever been a member of the Communist Party USA. He invoked the Fifth Amendment and refused to answer."

He was fired at the end of the year and could never work in the U.S. again. A political martyr who ended up becoming a British citizen and getting knighted, after hanging out with the Frankfurters in New York? That's my kind of man.

( )
3 vote stillatim | Dec 29, 2013 |
An attempt to recreate the world of the Homeric epics from clues contained within the epics themselves. I found this most interesting book, since I tend to use ancient literature for similar ends. His contention that the oral tradition behind the epics represents the Dark Age Greece, rather than the Mycenaean era is well supported and well argued. He draws on archaeology occasionally, but mostly relies on the epics themselves.
1 vote gael_williams | Oct 8, 2011 |
I read this after rereading Homer...great commentary..wish I had this when in college. ( )
  pjjackson | Mar 14, 2011 |
Excellent and seminal introduction into the world of Homer's poems. At times, Finley draws conclusions on scant evidence. ( )
  Smiley | May 4, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Finley, M. I.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baker, GrahameCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gil, OriolTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hornblower, SimonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Knox, BernardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is a supplement to

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For Mary -- again
First words
Preface to the Second Edition -- It is awkward for an author to preface the new edition of a book that has been frequently reprinted, in ten languages, since its original publication twenty-two years ago; which has been cited, discussed, attacked in innumerable books and articles; and which has been the acknowledged starting point of studies by other historians of society and of ideas.
Chapter 1, Homer and the Greeks -- 'By the general consent of criticks,' wrote Dr Johnson, 'the first praise of genius is due to the writer of an epick poem, as it requires an assemblage of all the powers which are singly sufficient for other compositions.'
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.97)
2 1
2.5 1
3 17
3.5 4
4 38
4.5 8
5 16

NYRB Classics

An edition of this book was published by NYRB Classics.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 143,750,602 books! | Top bar: Always visible