Rowman and Littlefield | The Wrath of Athena: Gods and Men in The Odyssey

Greek Studies: Interdisciplinary Approaches

Foreword by Gregory Nagy, General Editor

ClayThis 1983 book of Jenny Strauss Clay, The Wrath of Athena: Gods and Men in the Odyssey, is such an encounter. She wrote it in an era when the majority of Classicists responded to the methodology of Milman Parry and Albert Lord by splitting into two mutually exclusive schools of thought, with one side assuming that the medium of oral poetry precluded poetic sophistication in Homer and with the other side claiming that Homer was so sophisticated that he could not possibly represent an oral tradition. What made the book so challenging then—and what makes it so fresh today—is that it managed to demonstrate the poetic artistry of the Homeric Odyssey while all along maintaining a keen awareness of the controversies generated by the Parry-Lord method.

—Gregory Nagy


Building on the foundations of scholarship within the disciplines of philology, philosophy, history, and archaeology, the Greek Studies: Interdisciplinary Approaches series published by Rowman & Littlefield concerns not just the archaic and classical periods of Greek traditions but the whole continuum—along with all the discontinuities—from the second millennium BCE to the present. The aim is to enhance perspectives by applying various disciplines to problems that have in the past been treated as the exclusive concern of a single given discipline. Besides the crossing-over of the older disciplines, as in the case of historical and literary studies, the series encourages the application of such newer ones as linguistics, sociology, anthropology, and comparative literature. It also encourages encounters with current trends in methodology, especially in the realm of literary theory.

The Center for Hellenic Studies offers free access to over 100 books and articles. Professor Gregory Nagy has devoted over five decades to the study of Homer and oral tradition. Readers might also be interested in:

Nagy’s most recent research and latest thinking on oral tradition and the Odyssey is also available through Classical Inquiries.

A video series entitled “Reading Homeric Poetry with Gregory Nagy, Leonard Muellner, and Douglas Frame”, hosted by Claudia Filos and Allie Marbry, features focused readings of and discussion on passages of Homeric epic and is available through the CHS website.