In this history of Homer's references to ships and seafaring, author Samuel Mark reveals patterns in the way that Greeks built ships and approached the sea between 850 and 750 B.C. In discussing and clarifying the terms used by Homer, Mark refers to scholarly literature as well as examples from recent excavations of ancient shipwrecks. In Homeric Seafaring, in which the subjects are partly historical, partly archaeological, and partly myth and legend, Mark reaches several tentative, but nonetheless surprising, conclusions: that in an agricultural society, seafaring was a common activity, even among the nobles; that hugging the coast could be more treacherous than sailing across open sea; that Homeric ships were built mainly to be sailed, instead of rowed; that sea battles were relatively common; that helmsmen were crucial to a safe voyage; and that harbors were little more than natural anchorages. Mark's discussion of Homer's geography covers theories that posit Odysseus sailing in the Adriatic and Mediterranean Seas and on the Atlantic Ocean. This comprehensive and meticulous study of Homer's references to ships and seafaring is sure to become a standard study on the subject.
- Publication Date:
- 31 / 03 / 2005