Homer and the Question of Strife from Erasmus to Hobbes

By Jessica Wolfe

© 2015

From antiquity through the Renaissance, Homer’s epic poems – the Iliad, the Odyssey, and the various mock-epics incorrectly ascribed to him – served as a lens through which readers, translators, and writers interpreted contemporary conflicts. They looked to Homer for wisdom about the danger and the value of strife, embracing his works as a mythographic shorthand with which to describe and interpret the era’s intellectual, political, and theological struggles.

Homer and the Question of Strife from Erasmus to Hobbes elegantly exposes the ways in which writers and thinkers as varied as Erasmus, Rabelais, Spenser, Milton, and Hobbes presented Homer as a great champion of conflict or its most eloquent critic. Jessica Wolfe weaves together an exceptional range of sources, including manuscript commentaries, early modern marginalia, philosophical and political treatises, and the visual arts. Wolfe’s transnational and multilingual study is a landmark work in the study of classical reception that has a great deal to offer to anyone examining the literary, political, and intellectual life of early modern Europe.

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Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 624 pages
  • Illustrations: 10
  • Dimensions: 6.4in x 1.8in x 9.3in
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SKU# SP004015

  • PUBLISHED AUG 2015

    From: $84.75

    Regular Price: $113.00

    ISBN 9781442650268
  • PUBLISHED SEP 2015

    From: $84.75

    Regular Price: $113.00

Quick Overview

Wolfe’s transnational and multilingual study is a landmark work in the study of classical reception that has a great deal to offer to anyone examining the literary, political, and intellectual life of early modern Europe.

Homer and the Question of Strife from Erasmus to Hobbes

By Jessica Wolfe

© 2015

From antiquity through the Renaissance, Homer’s epic poems – the Iliad, the Odyssey, and the various mock-epics incorrectly ascribed to him – served as a lens through which readers, translators, and writers interpreted contemporary conflicts. They looked to Homer for wisdom about the danger and the value of strife, embracing his works as a mythographic shorthand with which to describe and interpret the era’s intellectual, political, and theological struggles.

Homer and the Question of Strife from Erasmus to Hobbes elegantly exposes the ways in which writers and thinkers as varied as Erasmus, Rabelais, Spenser, Milton, and Hobbes presented Homer as a great champion of conflict or its most eloquent critic. Jessica Wolfe weaves together an exceptional range of sources, including manuscript commentaries, early modern marginalia, philosophical and political treatises, and the visual arts. Wolfe’s transnational and multilingual study is a landmark work in the study of classical reception that has a great deal to offer to anyone examining the literary, political, and intellectual life of early modern Europe.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 624 pages
  • Illustrations: 10
  • Dimensions: 6.4in x 1.8in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    ‘A rich survey of Homeric reception in the Renaissance….  This book will appeal to students of classical reception generally and to Renaissance scholars in particular.’


    P. Nieto
    Choice Magazine vol 53:07:2016

    ‘I loved this text, a wonderful read, delightfully informative, and the kind of scholarship to which the academy should aspire.’


    Gary W. Jenkins
    The Sixteenth Century Journal vol 47:04:2016

    ‘The studies which make up this magnificent, searching book take the reception history of Homer into an unusual grouping of early-modern authors… This book is well produced and edited.’


    John Hale
    Erudition and the Republic of Letters, vol 2:02:2017

    ‘The book represents a work of wide-ranging learning and careful delving, and it is a comprehensive study; therefore, it is certainly very useful and valuable to philologists, historians, and Homeric scholars.’


    Luigi Ferreri
    Renaissance Quarterly vol 70: 01:2017

    ‘Among the most wide-ranging and extensively researched publications on classical reception in recent years, Homer and the Question of Strife is a welcome contribution.’


    David Katz
    Renaissance and Reformation, vol 39:02:2016

    “Watching Jessica Wolfe read the Renaissance reading Homer reminds me of why I became a scholar. This beautiful and subtle book will be essential for anyone interested in classical reception – or in the ethical stakes of reading. In our own age of strife, Wolfe teaches us how much we still stand to gain from thinking about poetry.”


    Gerard Passannante, Department of English, University of Maryland

    Homer and the Question of Strife from Erasmus to Hobbes is a rich, original, and authoritative study that sets a new standard for this topic. Wolfe’s work is notable for the sheer abundance and variety of textual material it assembles: translations of Homer, original poetry, commentaries, theological texts, political treatises, medical discourse, moral philosophy, natural philosophy, and more.”


    Andrew Escobedo, Department of English, Ohio University
  • Author Information

    Jessica Wolfe is a professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • Table of contents

    Introduction: Homer and the Question of Strife
    Chapter 1: Homer, Erasmus, and the Problem of Strife
    Chapter 2: The Remedy of Contraries: Homer, Rabelais, and Epic Parody 
    Chapter 3: Spenser, Homer, and the Mythography of Strife
    Chapter 4. Chapman’s Ironic Homer
    Chapter 5. The Razors Edge: Homer, Milton, and the Problem of Deliberation 
    Chapter 6: Hobbes’ Homer and the Idols of the Agora
    Epilogue: The Homeric Contest from Vico to Arendt

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