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10. An infernal journey

10. An infernal journey  

Barbara Graziosi

in Homer: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Mar 2019
Published Online: 
Mar 2019
eISBN: 
9780191785238
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780199589944.003.0011
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780199589944
10. An infernal journey How dull it is to pause, to make an end… Alfred Tennyson, ‘Ulysses’ Of all his many adventures, Odysseus’ journey to the Underworld is his most extreme. He manages to reach the place most distant from home, and from life itself, yet return even from there. His nekyia in book 11, his ‘dialogue with the dead’, is arguably his greatest feat, and one that has been replayed again and again in literary history. Still, Odysseus is not the only ancient hero to have visited the Underworld: Heracles, Theseus, and Orpheus also made their descents,
Reading: A Very Short Introduction

Reading: A Very Short Introduction  

Belinda Jack

Print Publication Year: 
Apr 2019
Published Online: 
Apr 2019
eISBN: 
9780191860300
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780198820581.001.0001
Item type: 
book
ISBN: 
9780198820581
Reading A Very Short Introduction
5. Writing, scribes, and literature

5. Writing, scribes, and literature  

Trevor Bryce

in Babylonia: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Sep 2016
Published Online: 
Sep 2016
eISBN: 
9780191793288
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780198726470.003.0006
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780198726470
5. Writing, scribes, and literature Writing and the early historical era c. 3300 BC, these first written records were simple pictograms, used to record such things as the number of livestock a person owned or the amount of grain he produced. Clay was the material universally used as the writing surface for these inscriptions, as indeed it was for the vast majority of records produced in the Near East for almost 3,000 years. But the early pictograms were quite quickly replaced by a script we now call cuneiform. It consisted of groups of wedge-shaped signs made by pressing into soft

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