The Odyssey

"Homeric Odyssey and the Cultivation of Justice" is an online lecture and discussion series organized and led by Professor Gregory Nagy, Chair of the Department of Classics at Harvard University. It places a special emphasis on the heroic search for the goal of social justice. The series is now over, but you can access the readings, lecture notes, discussion questions, oral poetry notes, links, and video. You might want to view the RealVideo of Greg Nagy's introductory lecture: The King in the Garden -- Symbol of the Cult Hero. Here are the other video lectures at the site: Lecture II: Odysseus As an Alternative Type of Hero Lecture III: The Homeric Concepts of Heroic noos ('mind') and nostos ('return') in the Odyssey Lecture IV: The Ship of State: The Odyssey as a Metaphor for Governing the Polis Lecture V: The ainos as Key to Heroic Identity.

Homer's Odyssey -  Course Website There are several helpful teaching materials available from this UPenn Mythology course site: The Help Pages contains a chart of Greek and Roman Divinities, a 40 Day Chronology chart, and Odyssey FAQs (with a genealogy chart). Unit 3 contains a pronunciation guide for the main characters, suitors, gods, races, kings, queens, nymphs, places, and monsters. There also summaries and essays.

Classical Greece, 300-323BCE Provides a brief but informative introduction to Classical Greece as well as an overview of Age of Pericles.

The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization Has a great annotated list of Ancient Greece sites organized by category.

The Odyssey - Official Movie Trailer

Ancient Greece This site provides links and information on ancient Greek history, mythology, architecture, art, and more. The link leads to information on Classical Greece.

An introduction to the Athenian Legal System Sections include Summons, Arrest, & Investigation, Preliminary Procedure, Courtroom Procedure, and Judgement & Punishment.

The Athenian Court and the American Court System Helpful comparison of the two systems

Pericles Funeral Oration It is considered a classic statement of ancient Athenian ideology and values.

Crime and Punishment at Olympia and Delphi. A student paper looks at the development of Greek law, sacrilege, political crimes, theft, corruption, and punishment.

Aristotle: On a Good Wife From Oikonomikos, c. 330 BCE

The Persian Wars Like the Trojan War, the Persian Wars were a defining moment in Greek history.

Odyssey Vocabulary Game This game from Quia tests students' knowledge of vocabulary from The Odyssey. The word list includes:

  • Winnow - vb. to sort
  • Laurels - n. honors, accolades, symbols of distinction
  • Inept - adj. lacking grace, unskilled
  • Staunch - adj. faithful, devoted, adhering to
  • Deft - adj. dexterous, adroit, skilled
  • Scourge - n. plague
  • Ambiguous - adj. equivocal, unclear, questionable
  • Obdurate - adj. rigid, obstinate, inflexible
  • Recoil - vb. to draw back, usually in fear, wince, reel back
  • Consummate - adj. perfected, accomplished
  • Fetid - adj. having an unpleasant smell, malodorous
  • Pliant - adj. malleable, supple
  • Sardonic - adj. bitter, derisive
  • Solace - n. comfort
  • Dearth - n. lack, insufficiency
  • Dauntless - adj. brave, fearless, not intimidated
  • Brusque - adj. rude, blunt, abrupt
  • Amok - adj. in an undisciplined manner
  • Malign - vb. to speak evil of
  • Dour - adj. forbidding in action or appearance, grim, cold

Dozens of essays and articles on The Odyssey can be found at InfoTrac. (See a few citations below.) Tom Daccord used Infotrac's PowerSearch and opted to search all their databases, but he found the Expanded Academic ASAP and Student Edition databases to be the most helpful. Note that materials from the Expanded Academic database are typically scholarly works while materials in the Student Edition database are more accessible to High School students.

  • FRANK, BERNHARD. "Homer's ODYSSEY. (Brief Article) (Critical Essay)." The Explicator 58.4 (Summer 2000): 179. Student Edition. Thomson Gale. Noble and Greenough School. 08 January 2006
  • Beck, Deborah. "Odysseus: narrator, storyteller, poet?." Classical Philology 100.3 (July 2005): 213(15). Expanded Academic ASAP. Thomson Gale. Noble and Greenough School. 08 January 2006
  • COMAN, B.J. "READING THE ODYSSEY." Quadrant (July 2001): 70. Expanded Academic ASAP. Thomson Gale. Noble and Greenough School. 08 January 2006
  • Rutherford, Richard B. "The Odyssey.(New Surveys in the Classics No. 26: Homer)." Greece & Rome 43.n1 (April 1996): S58(24). Expanded Academic ASAP. Thomson Gale. Noble and Greenough School. 08 January 2006
  • Rutherford, Richard B. "Some memorable scenes.(New Surveys in the Classics No. 26: Homer)." Greece & Rome 43.n1 (April 1996): S82(23). Expanded Academic ASAP. Thomson Gale. Noble and Greenough School. 08 January 2006
  • Moore, John Rees. "Voyaging with Odysseus: The Wile and Resilience of Virtue.(Critical Essay)." Humanitas 13.1 (Spring 2000): 103. Expanded Academic ASAP. Thomson Gale. Noble and Greenough School. 08 January 2006
  • Lothrop, Patricia D. "Johnson, Claudia Durst & Vernon Johnson. Understanding The Odyssey: a Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents.(A Companion to Homer's Odyssey)(Young Adult Review)(Book Review)(Brief Article)." School Library Journal 49.12 (Dec 2003): 96(1). Student Edition. Thomson Gale. Noble and Greenough School. 08 January 2006
  • Dalby, Andrew. "The 'Iliad,' the 'Odyssey' and their audiences." The Classical Quarterly 45.n2 (July-Dec 1995): 269(11). Expanded Academic ASAP. Thomson Gale. Noble and Greenough School. 08 January 2006
  • Newton, Rick M. "Cloak and shield in 'Odyssey' 14." The Classical Journal 93.n2 (Dec 1997): 143(14). Expanded Academic ASAP. Thomson Gale. Noble and Greenough School. 08 January 2006
  • Scodel, Ruth. "The removal of the arms, the recognition with Laertes, and narrative tension in the 'Odyssey.'." Classical Philology 93.n1 (Jan 1998): 1(17). Expanded Academic ASAP. Thomson Gale. Noble and Greenough School. 08 January 2006