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.
Introduction: Seeds of Perfection
πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσε·
πολλῶν δ᾽ ἀνθρώπων ἴδεν ἄστεα καὶ νόον ἔγνω,
πολλὰ δ᾽ ὅ γ᾽ ἐν πόντῳ πάθεν ἄλγεα ὃν κατὰ θυμόν,
ἀρνύμενος ἥν τε ψυχὴν καὶ νόστον ἑταίρων.
was driven to wander, when he had sacked Troy’s hallowed citadel.
He saw the cities and came to know the sensibilities of many peoples,
and many were the pains his heart suffered at sea,
as he struggled for his life and the homecoming of his companions.
Homer states at the outset that Odysseus is a man of the greatest intelligence and endurance, and as such, he is ideally suited to travel extensively and gather information of an “ethnographic,” socio-political nature.  But why precisely, one wonders, does the poet introduce his hero to many cities and many societies? Why, again, would Augustan Rome rehearse the wanderings of Odysseus anew in the figure of Aeneas?