"For those who are interested in Greek and Roman epic, the book is a treasure-house of splendid variety.... The editor and the publisher both deserve praise for a very fine volume." (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society
"Blackwell's Companion to Ancient Epic does just what the title suggests: it accompanies readers on journeys of exploration in this huge (in every sense) field. Just as importantly, the Companion will show new readers why they might want to immerse themselves in these poems.... The many highlights in this Companion demonstrate the value of asking scholars to write for non-specialists. That endeavor provides a stimulus for new levels of focus and clarity; even ideas and materials that may be familiar become fresh again when they are presented in such succinct distillations." (Bryn Mawr Classical Review)
Epic was the master-genre of the ancient world: it was central to group identity, education, literature, and culture. Yet modern understanding of ancient epic is not static, and scholarship over the last few decades has transformed the ways that we conceive of and understand the genre, introducing topics such as the role of women, the history of reception, and comparison with living analogues from oral tradition. A Companion to Ancient Epic presents for the first time a comprehensive, up-to-date overview of ancient Near Eastern, Greek, and Roman epic. It offers a multidisciplinary discussion of both long-standing ideas and newer perspectives. A key feature of the volume, designed to make the book as useful as possible, is the index of poems, poets, technical terms, important figures, and other relevant literary and artistic works. The Companion will be required reading for all students of ancient literature.