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Achilles sat on the shore and looked out to the wine-dark sea

That Homer used the epithet "wine-dark" to describe the sea in the Iliad and Odyssey so puzzled 19th Century English Prime Minister William Gladstone that he thought the Ancient Greeks must have been colorblind. Since then many other solutions have been proposed. Scientists have argued that Ancient Greek wine was blue and some scholars have put forward the case that Homer was describing the sea at sunset. Radiolab devoted a segment to the exploration of this issue, saying that Gladstone was partly right. Another interpretation is that the Ancient Greeks focused on different aspects of color from us. Classicist William Harris' short essay about purple in Homer and Iliad translator Caroline Alexander's longer essay The Wine-like Sea make the case for this interpretation.
posted by Kattullus on Aug 12, 2013 - 108 comments

English Translations of Homer

A huge number of English translations of the Iliad and Odyssey, many available in full text. I would just add to the list Chapman's Iliad available in full-text on Google Books and Logue's War Music available in preview.
posted by Paquda on Jan 19, 2011 - 29 comments

To Erebus

ObitFilter: Robert Fagles. One of the few men to tackle translating The Iliad, The Odyssey, and The Aeneid, Robert Fagles has died. All of his translations were fast-paced, vibrant renderings that turned the classics once again into best-sellers.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll on Mar 30, 2008 - 30 comments

The dark came swirling down across his eyes

Click -- MeFites, click the link of Wolfgang's new endeavor,
murderous, doomed, that cast as Achaeans countless actors,
hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls,
blonde-tressed, open-helmed *. Will careers be made carrion,
feasts for the dogs and birds,
as the time of Bush is moving toward its end?
Begin, crows, when the trailers first were aired,
Agamemnon, some guy, and Brad Pitt, Achilles.

[a wee bit more inside]
posted by mwhybark on Apr 29, 2004 - 53 comments

Was the Gospel of Mark a rewrite of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey? The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark is a book that sets out to show just that. Several scholars who reviewed or commented on it have said this book will revolutionize the field of Gospel studies and profoundly affect our understanding of the origins of Christianity. Will it?
posted by willnot on Feb 20, 2002 - 31 comments

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