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Homer'S Phoenicians: History, Ethnography, Or Literary Trope? [A Perspective On Early Orientalism]

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the texts of Iliad and the Odyssey and examines how to account for anomalies between the historical evidence and the way Phoenicians are represented. It considers two aspects of how to account for the picture(s) drawn: first, a double-pronged inquiry into the role the Phoenicians can be seen to play within the texts, along with an analysis of the narrative goals of those portions of the text in which Phoenicians appear, that would account for the way they were represented; and second, a consideration of the role the Homeric texts themselves may be said to have played within the larger context of eighth/seventh-century Greece, the presumed time of their writing. ?Homer's Phoenicians," present a masterful literary construct, at once produced by and working to produce the broader social, political, economic, and symbolic fabric of the early state in Archaic Greece.

Keywords: Archaic Greece; early orientalism; Homer's Phoenicians; Iliad; Odyssey



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