Virtue in the Greek World: A Comparative Study of Odysseus and Themistocles
11 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2012
Date Written: January 1, 2012
The “Homeric World”, as characterized by the epic poems of Homer, presents a fascinating glimpse into the heroic age of Mycenaean rule. Homer’s Iliad and his latter work the Odyssey provide modern scholarship with the earliest written accounts of Greek culture during the late Bronze Age. These two works expose the strengths and weaknesses of Greek society, while concomitantly providing a framework for understanding how the social, political and economic values of Greek society evolved. Interestingly, the values that so rigidly shaped the behavior of most Greeks during the “Late Bronze” period can also be seen influencing the Greek world of Athens one thousand years after the apex of Mycenaean civilization. This analysis will distinguish the relationship of these two periods by comparing the lives of arguably the two most indelible personalities of their age: Odysseus and Themistocles. Furthermore, cultural considerations will be compared within the scope of this study as it relates to the inextricable relationship between Odysseus and Themistocles in the ever-changing world they lived in.
Keywords: Themistocles, Odysseus, virtue, Greeks, Athens, Late Bronze, the world, Society, Mycenaean, civilization, war,
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