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The Epic Cycle

M. L. West

Published in print March 2013 | ISBN: 9780199662258
Published online September 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745942 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199662258.001.0001
The Epic Cycle

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The Iliad and Odyssey do not cover the main story of the Trojan War. The whole saga, which includes Zeus' plan to reduce the world's population, the Judgment of Paris and seduction of Helen, the start of the campaign, the Wooden Horse, the fall of Achilles, the homecoming of Agamemnon, and the eventual death of Odysseus, was related in six other epics, dating from 630–560 bce, that were influential for lyric poets, tragedians, and artists of the classical age but are known to us only through fragments and brief prose summaries. This book presents all the source material and provides a commentary on it, making full use of iconographic as well as literary evidence. Discussing the individual fragments and testimonia, it endeavours to reconstruct the connections between them, so far as possible, and to build up a picture of the plan and course of each poem. The Introduction addresses general issues, including the nature and formation of the Epic Cycle, the status of the summaries of the Troy epics preserved under the name of Proclus, the validity of the attested ascriptions to particular poets, the reflexes of the Cycle in early art and literature, and its fortunes in and after the Hellenistic period.

Keywords: Trojan War; Greek epics; epic poetry; epic poems; commentary; Epic Cycle; Ploclus; Troy epics

Book.  352 pages. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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Table of Contents

Prolegomena in The Epic Cycle

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Cypria in The Epic Cycle

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Aethiopis in The Epic Cycle

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Little Iliad in The Epic Cycle

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Iliou Persis in The Epic Cycle

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Nostoi in The Epic Cycle

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Telegony in The Epic Cycle

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