Companion to Ancient Epic

Foley, John
Date published: 
July 2005

Epic was the master-genre of the ancient world: it was central to group identity, education, literature, and culture. Yet modern understanding of ancient epic is not static, and scholarship over the last few decades has transformed the ways that we conceive of and understand the genre, introducing topics such as the role of women, the history of reception, and comparison with living analogues from oral tradition. A Companion to Ancient Epic presents for the first time a comprehensive, up-to-date overview of ancient Near Eastern, Greek, and Roman epic. It offers a multidisciplinary discussion of both long-standing ideas and newer perspectives. A key feature of the volume, designed to make the book as useful as possible, is the index of poems, poets, technical terms, important figures, and other relevant literary and artistic works. The Companion will be required reading for all students of ancient literature.