Ethics in Homer's "Odyssey" Feat. Translator Emily Wilson (Part Two)

Mar 12, 2018, 04:53 AM

Continuing with Emily Wilson on her translation of the Greek epic poem.

We discuss the value of the oikos, or estate, built on violence, with slaves rewarded for loyalty and killed for preferring a different master. These estates were brought into military alliances through xenia, or hospitality, which you should definitely extend to any gods-disguised-as-beggars that come around, but if actual beggars stop by, then by all means beat them! (So this is not like the Christian "love thy neighbor.") 

We focus in on how status differences play into the text, not only between slaves and masters, but men and women, gods and mortals, and "civilized" people and others. Finally, are the gods even necessary for the story? Do they maybe just represent inner characteristics of the characters, or what else could be going on?

End song: "Tiny Broken Boats" by Arrica Rose, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #66.

#philosophy #classics #homer #odyssey #hospitality #myth #poetry #oikos #xenia #troy

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