Giesecke, Annette. 2007. The Epic City: Urbanism, Utopia, and the Garden in Ancient Greece and Rome. Hellenic Studies Series 21. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_GieseckeA.The_Epic_City_Urbanism_Utopia_and_the_Garden.2007.
Chapter 1. Homer’s Eutopolis
ἱκόμεθ᾽, οἵ ῥα θεοῖσι πεποιθότες ἀθανάτοισιν
οὔτε φυτεύουσιν χερσὶν φυτὸν οὔτ᾽ ἀρόωσιν,
ἀλλὰ τά γ᾽ ἄσπαρτα καὶ ἀνήροτα πάντα φύονται,
110 πυροὶ καὶ κριθαὶ ἠδ᾽ ἄμπελοι, αἵ τε φέρουσιν
οἶνον ἐριστάφυλον, καί́ σφιν Διὸς ὄμβρος ἀέξει.
τοῖσιν δ᾽ οὔτ᾽ ἀγοραὶ βουληφόροι οὔτε θέμιστες,
ἀλλ ̓ οἵ γ᾽ ὑψηλῶν ὀρέων ναίουσι κάρηνα
ἐν σπέσσι γλαφυροῖσι, θεμιστεύει δὲ ἕκαστος
115 παίδων ἠδ᾽ ἀλόχων, οὐδ᾽ ἀλλήλων ἀλέγουσι.
The land of the insolent, lawless Cyclopes
did we reach. They, trusting in the immortal gods,
neither plant crops with their hands, nor do they plow;
rather, everything grows without sowing and cultivation,
110 wheat, barley, and grapevines, which yield
wine full-bodied, nourished by Zeus’ rain.
For them there are neither deliberating assemblies nor precedents of law;
rather they inhabit the peaks of lofty mountains
in hollow caves, and each makes his own law
115 over his children and wives, and for one another they have no regard.
Homer is at pains to inform his audience that these monsters do not practice agriculture; they leave almost everything in the hands of the immortals. The Cyclopes’ choice of habitation, namely caverns hollowed among the peaks of the high mountains, likewise demonstrates their inability, or lack of desire, to create order out of natural forms. Ultimately, they acknowledge no separation between themselves and the natural or animal world. The Cyclopes have neither institutions nor meetings for counsels. There is no body of law, divinely ordained or otherwise, that governs the Cyclopes’ behavior; rather, each creates laws for his own wife and children. Xenia ‘guest friendship/hospitality’, which was so much part of the “civilized” Greek “way” that its breach precipitated the Trojan War, is certainly not a concept for the Cyclopes. A host would never eat his guests. Indeed the Cyclopes’ entire existence may be described as insular; they care nothing about each other nor, apparently, are they curious about much apart from what readily presents itself on their (is)land.  There is an island of great fertility with a large population of goats in what would seem tantalizing proximity to the Cyclopes’ own territory, yet they lack the necessary navigation skills to avail themselves of its endless potential. They could never even fathom that this is an island ripe for settlement, a notion precisely rendered by Odysseus (Odyssey 9.130). He describes an island affording a landscape ideally suited to the needs of civilized humanity, providing a wilderness for hunting, ample land for grazing, and farmland, as well as a site for a city complete with spring and harbor. 
It is the Cyclopes’ lack of social ties, their lack of divinely and culturally sanctioned ordinances or codes of behavior, and their lack, even, of a hearth that Aristotle points to specifically in order to mark them as inhuman, bestial, and, therefore, not suited to the life of the polis.  In truth, the hearth’s importance to human civilization would be difficult to overstate. For the Greeks, the hearth represented and ensured the physical security and continuity of the family unit and, by extension, of any “political” union of families. The hearth was life-giving and life-sustaining, a source of stability in a mutable universe and a necessary link between the vulnerable human and the invulnerable, immutable divine.  Accordingly, the hearthless, lawless Cyclopes, privileged brutes living amidst a Golden Age abundance of natural resources, have nothing positive to offer Odysseus in terms of progressive social organization. Adopting their lifestyle would entail a massive step backwards to a time before humankind had emerged from the cave. Theirs is a lifestyle, Aristotle affirms, characterizing the unenlightened times of old (οὕτω τὸ ἀρχαῖον ᾤκουν, Politics 1252b23–24).
ἔνθ᾽ ἐκ πόντου βὰς ἰοειδέος ἤπειρόνδε
ἤϊεν, ὄφρα μέγα σπέος ἵκετο, τῷ ἔνι νύμφη
ναῖεν ἐϋπλόκαμος· τὴν δ᾽ ἔνδοθι τέτμεν ἐοῦσαν.
πῦρ μὲν ἐπ᾽ ἐσχαρόφιν μέγα καίετο, τηλόθι δ᾽ ὀδμὴ
60 κέδρου τ᾽ εὐκεάτοιο θύου τ᾽ ἀνὰ νῆσον ὀδώδει
δαιομένων· ἡ δ᾽ ἔνδον ἀοιδιάουσ᾽ ὀπὶ καλῇ
ἱστὸν ἐποιχομένη χρυσείῃ κερκίδ᾽ ὕφαινεν.
ὕλη δὲ σπέος ἀμφὶ πεφύκει τηλεθόωσα,
κλήθρη τ᾽ αἴγειρός τε καὶ εὐώδης κυπάρισσος.
65 ἔνθα δέ τ᾽ ὄρνιθες τανυσίπτεροι εὐνάζοντο,
σκῶπές τ᾽ ἴρηκές τε τανύγλωσσοί τε κορῶναι
εἰνάλιαι, τῇσίν τε θαλάσσια ἔργα μέμηλεν.
ἡ δ᾽ αὐτοῦ τετάνυστο περὶ σπείους γλαφυροῖο
ἡμερὶς ἡβώωσα, τεθήλει δὲ σταφυλῇσι·
70 κρῆναι δ᾽ ἑξείης πίσυρες ῥέον ὕδατι λευκῷ,
πλησίαι ἀλλήλων τετραμμέναι ἄλλυδις ἄλλη.
ἀμφὶ δὲ λειμῶνες μαλακοὶ ἴου ἠδὲ σελίνου
θήλεον· ἔνθα κ᾽ ἔπειτα καὶ ἀθάνατός περ ἐπελθὼν
θηήσαιτο ἰδὼν καὶ τερφθείη φρεσὶν ᾗσιν.
75 ἔνθα στὰς θηεῖτο διάκτορος ἀργειφόντης.
then, stepping from the violet-colored sea, onto the land
he made his way, until he came to a huge cave, in which a nymph
lovely-haired made her home. And her he found within.
A large fire was burning in the hearth, and far did the fragrance
60 of split cedar and citronwood waft over the island
as it burned. And she, singing in a beautiful voice
as she went back and forth before the loom, was weaving with a golden shuttle.
And a luxuriant forest was growing around the cave,
alders, and poplars, and fragrant cypresses.
65 And there long-winged birds had their resting places,
owls, and hawks, and loud-crying gulls
from the sea, who busy themselves with tasks supplied by the ocean.
And around the hollow cave itself had spread a
burgeoning vine, and it was flourishing with clustering grapes.
70 And four fountains in formation flowed with clear water
nearby each other, one in one direction and another in another.
Around it soft meadows of violets and celery
were blooming. There even one of the immortals, happening upon the place,
would marvel as he beheld it and would rejoice in his heart.
75 There, coming to a halt, the messenger Argeiphontes gazed with admiration.
The description of Calypso’s island veritably confounds the senses. There are sweet smells, soft meadows, refreshing fountains, chattering birds, and an abundance of plant life, including flowers, trees, and grapevines, that of themselves would make the island irresistible. Still, this lush beauty is merely the backdrop for the most alluring of the island’s treasures, the fair woman, singing sweetly as she works at her loom to the light of a blazing fire. The allure of the place and of the woman is ultimately too much for Odysseus to resist, but this, at first glance perhaps surprisingly, is less the result of Odysseus’ overwhelming desire than of Calypso’s ability to manipulate him into submissiveness. It is out of compulsion, anagkēi (ἀνάγκῃ, Odyssey 5.154), the poet tells us, that Odysseus unwillingly sleeps with Calypso, who is willing (παρ’ οὐκ ἐθέλων ἐθελούσῃ, Odyssey 5.155). In Calypso, Odysseus faces a fantastic illusion. The goddess has the semblance of a proper wife safely contained in a proper, though primitive, home; at least her cave, unlike that of the Cyclops, contains a hearth.  Here, it seems, a paradisiacal existence is within the hero’s reach. No ordinary woman, however, Calypso is a deinē theos ‘dread goddess’ (δεινὴ θεός, Odyssey 7.246, 255) likely of Indo-European and Near Eastern origin, and her cave is not a safe, primitive relic from a lost Golden Age. 
ἄστεος αἰθομένοιο, θεῶν δέ ἑ μῆνις ἀνῆκε,
πᾶσι δ᾽ ἔθηκε πόνον, πολλοῖσι δὲ κήδε᾽ ἐφῆκεν,
ὣς Ἀχιλεὺς Τρώεσσι πόνον καὶ κήδε᾽ ἔθηκεν.
from a city ablaze, and the wrath of the gods has incited it,
to all it brings toil and inflicts sorrows upon many,
thus did Achilles bring toil and sorrow upon the Trojans.
Sinking to sub-human cruelty in response to grief over the death of his dearest companion, Achilles becomes the polar opposite of his all too human, family-oriented, Trojan counterpart, Hektor. Likewise influenced by the concerns of a shame culture, Hektor struggles with the issue of what constitutes virtue and honor. Concern for himself, however, readily gives way to his concern for others, for his family and for the welfare of all the citizens of his polis. Hektor is the beloved, compassionate city defender; his very name, likely a shorted form of Ekhepolis ‘city-holder/defender’, casts his role in an unmistakable light.  He is the life-blood of the city, and his death is inextricably linked with the fall of Troy. The city flourishes and falls with him. Hektor’s personality and convictions are “an example of the real-time infiltration of the new ethics of the polis,” of a concrete social consciousness.  In order to redeem himself in the new world order and achieve a meaningful greatness therein, Achilles must not only comprehend Hektor’s humanity but also embrace and absorb it. This he does in the poem’s climactic scene. It is only when he is able to forgive his friend’s slayer—who happened to be Hektor—and feel compassion for the latter’s bereaved father, that he reaches truly heroic heights. This capacity for compassion, which Achilles has in reality always possessed, is activated by the realization of the senselessness of war and of the inevitability of death that unites all humanity in a common fate.  Through Achilles’ realization, the individualistic heroic code of old is proven irrelevant and outdated in the Iliad. A new heroism of social responsibility has been born. The Achilles who emerges at the close of the poem is an individual suited to leadership in the sort of social order he has, previously uncomprehendingly, carried with him on the emblem of his shield.
ὠρώρει, δύο δ᾽ ἄνδρες ἐνείκεον εἵνεκα ποινῆς
ἀνδρὸς ἀποφθιμένου· ὁ μὲν εὔχετο παντ᾽ ἀποδοῦναι
500 δήμῳ πιφαύσκων, ὁ δ᾽ ἀναίνετο μηδὲν ἑλέσθαι·
ἄμφω δ᾽ ἱέσθην ἐπὶ ἴστορι πεῖραρ ἑλέσθαι.
λαοὶ δ᾽ ἀμφοτέροισιν ἐπήπυον, ἀμφὶς ἀρωγοί·
κήρυκες δ᾽ ἄρα λαὸν ἐρήτυον· οἱ δὲ γέροντες
ἥατ᾽ ἐπὶ ξεστοῖσι λίθοις ἱερῷ ἐνὶ κύκλῳ,
505 σκῆπτρα δὲ κηρύκων ἐν χέρσ᾽ ἔχον ἠεροφώνων·
τοῖσιν ἔπειτ᾽ ἤϊσσον, ἀμοιβηδὶς δὲ δίκαζον.
κεῖτο δ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ἐν μέσσοισι δύω χρυσοῖο τάλαντα,
τῷ δόμεν ὃς μετὰ τοῖσι δίκην ἰθύντατα εἴποι.
had arisen, and two men were contending over the penalty
for a man who had been killed. The one made a claim to pay back in full,
500 stating his case to the community, but the other was refusing to accept anything.
Both were heading for an arbitrator to set a limit;
and the people voiced their approval of both, as supporters on both sides.
But the heralds held the people in check, and the elders
were seated on seats of carved stone in the sacred circle
505 and held in their hands the scepters of the loud-voiced heralds.
With these in hand they leapt to their feet and cast judgment in turns,
and in their midst lay two talents of gold
to give to that man amongst them who should utter the fairest judgment.
Clearly, the meting out of justice in this blood feud, traditionally a family matter, has been taken out of the hands of the individual. This system of justice has advanced immeasurably beyond that of the Cyclopes, where each is a law unto himself. It is also more institutionalized and democratic than what is believed to have existed in Bronze and Dark Age Greece, when the dispensation of justice was the personal province of the king or chieftain. In fact, the concern with publicly sanctioned justice on the Shield is so pronounced that the court vignette concludes with the promise of a substantial monetary reward to the judge whose verdict is deemed the fairest.