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Encyclopedia > Trojan War cycle

The Trojan War cycle, also widely known as the Epic Cycle, was a collection of eight Ancient Greek epic poems that related the history of the Trojan War. The phrase "Epic Cycle" is sometimes used of a longer cycle that included the Titanomachy, the Theban Cycle, and the Trojan cycle, but is widely used to refer to just the Trojan cycle. Note: This article contains special characters. ... In mathematics, see epic morphism. ... The Trojan War was a war waged, according to legend, against the city of Troy in Asia Minor by the armies of the Achaeans, following the kidnapping (or elopement) of Helen of Sparta by Paris of Troy. ... The Theban Cycle is a collection of four lost epics of ancient Greek literature which related the mythical history of the Boiotian city of Thebes. ...


All but two of the epics are lost. They were written in dactylic hexameter verse. In modern scholarship the study of the historical and literary relationship between the two Homeric epics and the rest of the cycle is called Neoanalysis. Dactylic hexameter is a form of meter in poetry or a rhythmic scheme. ...

Contents


Contents

  • The eleven books of the Kypria recount the events leading up to the Trojan War and the first nine years of the conflict, especially the judgement of Paris.
  • The Iliad accredited to Homer picks up after the Kypria and focuses on Achilles and his rage against first king Agamemnon and then the Trojan prince Hector. It ends with the death of Hector, who is killed by Achilles in revenge for the death of his dear friend Patroclus.
  • The fifth book Aithiopis is said to have been written by Arctinus of Miletus. It covers the arrival of the Trojan allies Penthesilea the Amazon and Memnon, their deaths at Achilles' hands, and Achilles' own death.
  • The Little Iliad, believed to have been written by Lesches, covers the events after Achilles' death including the building of the Trojan Horse.
  • The Iliou persis covers the sack of Troy by the Greeks.
  • The Nostoi ("returns") covers the return home of the main Greek force and the events contingent upon their arrival. The final section was devoted especially to Agamemnon and Menelaus.
  • The Odyssey, also accredited to Homer, covers the end of Odysseus' voyage home and his vengeance on his wife Penelope's suitors, who have devoured his property in his absence.
  • The Telegony covers the life of Odysseus after his return home and his death at the hands of an illegitimate son, Telegonus.

Only the Iliad and the Odyssey survive. The main source for the contents of the lost epics are a complete summary known as the Chrestomathy, possibly dating to the 5th century CE (attributed, incorrectly, to the philosopher Proclus Diadochus). Many other fragments and quotations also survive. The Kypria (Greek: Κύπρια; Latin: Cypria) is a lost epic of ancient Greek literature. ... The Judgement of Paris, Peter Paul Rubens, ca 1636 (National Gallery, London) The Judgement of Paris is a story from Greek mythology, in which the legendary roots of the Trojan War can be found. ... The Iliad (Greek: Ιλιάς, Iliás) tells part of the story of the siege of the city of Ilium, i. ... Bust of Homer in the British Museum For other uses, see Homer (disambiguation). ... The wrath of Achilles, by Léon Benouville In Greek mythology, , transliterated to Akhilleus or Achilause in Roman letters, Latinized from this ancient Greek to Achilles, appearing in Etruscan as Achle, was a hero (ancient Greek heros, defender) of the Trojan War, the greatest and the most central character of... The so-called Mask of Agamemnon. Discovered by Heinrich Schliemann in 1876 at Mycenae. ... It has been suggested that Hektors death be merged into this article or section. ... A cup depicting Achilles bandaging Patroklos arm, by Sosias. ... The Aithiopis (Greek: Αἰθιοπίς; Latin: Aethiopis) is a lost epic of ancient Greek literature. ... Arctinus of Miletus was one of the earliest poets of Greece and contributors to the epic cycle. ... In Greek mythology, Penthesilea (also spelled Penthesilia) was an Amazonian queen, daughter of Ares and Otrera, sister of Hippolyte, Antiope and Melanippe. ... In Greek mythology, the , Amazons were either an ancient legendary nation of female warriors or a contemporary land of women at the outer edges of the world. ... In Greek mythology, Memnon was an Ethiopian king and son of Tithonus and Eos. ... The Little Iliad (Greek: Ἰλιὰς μικρά, Ilias mikra; Latin: Ilias parva) is a lost epic of ancient Greek literature. ... Lesches (Lescheos in Pausanias x. ... 19th century etching of the Trojan Horse The Trojan Horse is part of the myth of the Trojan War, as told in Virgils Latin epic poem The Aeneid. ... The Iliou persis (English: Sack of Ilion; Greek: Ἰλίου πέρσις; also known as Iliupersis, esp. ... Walls of the excavated city of Troy (Turkey) Troy (Greek Τροία Troia also Ἰλιον; Latin: Troia, Ilium) is a legendary city, scene of the Trojan War, part of which is described in Homers Iliad, an epic poem in Ancient Greek, composed in the 8th or 7th century BC, but containing older... The Nostoi (English: Returns; Greek: Νόστοι; also known as Nosti in Latin) is a lost epic of ancient Greek literature. ... The so-called Mask of Agamemnon. Discovered by Heinrich Schliemann in 1876 at Mycenae. ... Menelaus (also transliterated as Meneláos), in Greek mythology, was a king of Sparta and son of Atreus and Aerope. ... Odysseus and Nausicaä - by Charles Gleyre The Odyssey (Greek Οδύσσεια) is the second of the two great Greek epic poems ascribed to Homer, the first of which is the Iliad. ... Bust of Homer in the British Museum For other uses, see Homer (disambiguation). ... Odysseus and the Sirens. ... Penelope represented as a statue in the Vatican, Rome Penélopê (Πηνελοπεια) is a character of the Odyssey, one of the two great epic poems (the other being the Iliad; both are attributed to Homer) of ancient Greek literature. ... The Telegony (Greek: Τηλεγόνεια, Telegoneia; Latin: Telegonia) is a lost epic of ancient Greek literature. ... In Greek mythology, Telegonus (born afar) was the youngest son of Circe and Odysseus. ... Proclus Lycaeus (February 8, 412 – April 17, 485), surnamed The Successor or diadochos (Greek Πρόκλος ὁ Διάδοχος Próklos ho Diádokhos), was a Greek Neoplatonist philosopher, and considered the last major Greek philosopher, whose influence was felt throughout the Roman provinces, Byzantium, and in translation, by the later Islamic philosophers. ...


A longer Epic Cycle included the Titanomachy and the Theban cycle, which in turn comprised the Oedipodea, the Thebaid, the Epigoni and the Alcmeonis, as well as the Trojan War cycle.
The Theban Cycle is a collection of four lost epics of ancient Greek literature which related the mythical history of the Boiotian city of Thebes. ... The Thebaid is the region of ancient Egypt containing the thirteen southernmost nomes of Upper Egypt, from Abydos to Aswan. ... Epigoni are a group of figures in Greek mythology. ...

Trojan War cycle

Kypria| Iliad| Aithiopis| Little Iliad| Iliou persis| Nostoi| Odyssey| Telegony
The Kypria (Greek: Κύπρια; Latin: Cypria) is a lost epic of ancient Greek literature. ... The Iliad (Greek: Ιλιάς, Iliás) tells part of the story of the siege of the city of Ilium, i. ... The Aithiopis (Greek: Αἰθιοπίς; Latin: Aethiopis) is a lost epic of ancient Greek literature. ... The Little Iliad (Greek: Ἰλιὰς μικρά, Ilias mikra; Latin: Ilias parva) is a lost epic of ancient Greek literature. ... The Iliou persis (English: Sack of Ilion; Greek: Ἰλίου πέρσις; also known as Iliupersis, esp. ... The Nostoi (English: Returns; Greek: Νόστοι; also known as Nosti in Latin) is a lost epic of ancient Greek literature. ... Odysseus and Nausicaä - by Charles Gleyre The Odyssey (Greek Οδύσσεια) is the second of the two great Greek epic poems ascribed to Homer, the first of which is the Iliad. ... The Telegony (Greek: Τηλεγόνεια, Telegoneia; Latin: Telegonia) is a lost epic of ancient Greek literature. ...

Reception and influence

The non-Homeric epics in the cycle have always been regarded as later than the Iliad and Odyssey, though there is no reliable evidence for this. In antiquity the Homeric epics were considered to be the greatest works in the cycle. For Hellenistic scholars the authors of the other poems were the neoteroi, "the later poets", and kyklikos ("cyclic") was synonymous with "formulaic": then, and in much modern scholarship, there has been an equation between poetry that is later and poetry that is inferior. The term Hellenistic (established by the German historian Johann Gustav Droysen) in the history of the ancient world is used to refer to the shift from a culture dominated by ethnic Greeks, however scattered geographically, to a culture dominated by Greek-speakers of whatever ethnicity, and from the political dominance...


In more recent times it has been argued that the fantastic and magical content of the non-Homeric epics mark them as inferior (Griffin 1977); but it must be remembered that the Iliad and especially the Odyssey could sound just as fantastic if only brief summaries of them survived. It is certain that the poets of the Iliad and Odyssey knew the stories in the rest of the cycle and drew upon them extensively, and it is likely that the Aethiopis in particular was of relatively high quality. Overall it is impossible to tell how good the lost epics were; though some parts, especially the end of the Telegony, sound frankly bizarre in summary.


The tales told in the cycle are recounted by other ancient sources, notably Virgil's Aeneid (book 2) which recounts the sack of Troy from a Trojan perspective; Ovid's Metamorphoses (books 13-14), which describes the Greeks' landing at Troy (from the Cypria) and the judgment of Achilles' arms (Little Iliad); Quintus of Smyrna's Posthomerica, which narrates all the events after Achilles' death up until the end of the war; and the death of Agamemnon and the vengeance taken by his son Orestes (the Nostoi) are the subject of later Greek tragedy, especially Aeschylus's Oresteian trilogy. A sculpture of Virgil, probably from the 1st century AD. Publius Vergilius Maro (October 15, 70 BC–19 BC), known in English as Virgil or Vergil, is a Latin poet, the author of the Eclogues, the Georgics and the Aeneid, the last being an epic poem of twelve books that... The Aeneid is a Latin epic written by Virgil in the 1st century BCE (between 29 and 19 BCE) that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who traveled to Italy where he became the ancestor of the Romans. ... Engraved frontispiece of George Sandyss 1632 London edition of Publius Ovidius Naso (Sulmona, March 20, 43 BC â€“ Tomis, now Constanta AD 17) Roman poet known to the English-speaking world as Ovid, wrote on topics of love, abandoned women, and mythological transformations. ... Cover of George Sandyss 1632 edition of The Metamorphoses by the Roman poet Ovid is a poem in fifteen books that describes the creation and history of the world in terms of Greek and Roman mythology. ... Quintus Smyrnaeus, Greek epic poet, probably flourished in the latter part of the 4th century AD. He is sometimes called Quintus Calaber, because the only manuscript of his poem was discovered at Otranto in Calabria by Cardinal Bessarion in 1450. ... Orestes Ορεστης is a Greek name, literally he who stands on the mountain, or mountain-dweller. Orestes can refer to: In Greek mythology, the son of Agamemnon. ... A tragedy may be defined loosely as any work of fiction in which the protagonist suffers a fall in his or her fortunes, and ends in a worse state than that in which they began. ... Aeschylus This article is about the ancient Greek playwright. ... The Oresteia is a trilogy of tragedies about the end of the curse on the House of Atreus, written by Aeschylus. ...


Bibliography

Editions

  • Online editions (English translation):
    • Online Medieval and Classical Library text (translated by H.G. Evelyn-White, 1914; public domain)
    • Project Gutenberg text (translated by H.G. Evelyn-White, 1914)
    • The Proclean summary of the Epic Cycle (translated by Gregory Nagy; omits Telegony)
  • Print editions (Greek):
    • Bernabé, A. 1987, Poetarum epicorum Graecorum testimonia et fragmenta pt. 1 (Leipzig: Teubner). ISBN 3322003523
    • Davies, M. 1988, Epicorum Graecorum fragmenta (Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht). ISBN 3525257473
  • Print editions (Greek with English translation):
    • West, M.L. 2003, Greek Epic Fragments (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press). ISBN 0674996054

References

  • Griffin, Jasper 1977, "The epic cycle and the uniqueness of Homer", Journal of Hellenic Studies 97: 39-53

Further reading

  • Burgess, J.S. 2001, The Tradition of the Trojan War in Homer and the Epic Cycle (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins). ISBN 080187890X (pbk)
  • Davies, M. 1989, The Greek Epic Cycle (Bristol: Bristol Classical Press). ISBN 1853990396 (pbk)
  • Kullmann, W. 1960, Die Quellen der Ilias (troischer Sagenkreis) (Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner). ISBN 3515002359 (1998 reprint)
  • Monro, D.B. 1901, Homer's Odyssey, books XIII-XXIV (Oxford: Clarendon Press), pp. 340-84. (Out of print)
  • Severyns, A. 1928, Le cycle épique dans l'école d'Aristarque (Liége, Paris: Société d'édition "Les belles lettres"). (Out of print)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Trojan War cycle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (766 words)
The Trojan War cycle, also widely known as the Epic Cycle, was a collection of eight Ancient Greek epic poems that related the history of the Trojan War.
A longer Epic Cycle included the Titanomachy and the Theban cycle, which in turn comprised the Oedipodea, the Thebaid, the Epigoni and the Alcmeonis, as well as the Trojan War cycle.
Burgess, J.S. The Tradition of the Trojan War in Homer and the Epic Cycle (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins).
Trojan War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3612 words)
The Trojan War was a war waged, according to legend, against the city of Troy in Asia Minor by the armies of the Achaeans, following the kidnapping (or elopement) of Helen of Sparta by Paris of Troy.
The war is among the most important events in Greek mythology and was narrated in a cycle of epic poems of which only two, the Iliad and the Odyssey of Homer, survive intact.
During the Trojan War, Xanthus, one of Achilles' horses, was rebuked by Achilles for allowing Patroclus to be killed.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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