THE COSMIC JOURNEY OF ODYSSEUS

THE COSMIC JOURNEY OF ODYSSEUS THE COSMIC JOURNEY OF ODYSSEUS 1 N ANNO M ARINATOS We are left to ourselves within a highly complicated cosmos which allows neither tale nor picture for description, but only the most abstract mathematics, with a Big Bang as its Ž rst beginning and possibly a Black Hole as its Ž nal singularity. Walter Burkert Summary In vain have scholars tried to produce a coherent geographical picture of Odysseus’ travels. It is argued here that Odysseus makes a cosmic journey at the edges of the earth ( perata ges ), a phrase used in the text to describe several lands that the hero visits. The cosmic journey was a genre current in the East Mediterranean region in the Iron Age. It was modeled on the Egyptian the journey of the sun god who travels twelve hours in the darkness of the underworld and twelve hours in the sky. Evidence of similar concepts in the Near East is provided by a Babylonian circular map (now in the British Museum) as well as by Phoenician circular bowls. Gilgamesh seems to perform a cosmic journey. As well, Early Greek cosmology utilizes the concept of a circular cosmos . Odysseus’ journey spans http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Numen Brill

THE COSMIC JOURNEY OF ODYSSEUS

Numen, Volume 48 (4): 381 – Jan 1, 2001

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2001 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0029-5973
eISSN
1568-5276
D.O.I.
10.1163/156852701317092878
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

THE COSMIC JOURNEY OF ODYSSEUS 1 N ANNO M ARINATOS We are left to ourselves within a highly complicated cosmos which allows neither tale nor picture for description, but only the most abstract mathematics, with a Big Bang as its Ž rst beginning and possibly a Black Hole as its Ž nal singularity. Walter Burkert Summary In vain have scholars tried to produce a coherent geographical picture of Odysseus’ travels. It is argued here that Odysseus makes a cosmic journey at the edges of the earth ( perata ges ), a phrase used in the text to describe several lands that the hero visits. The cosmic journey was a genre current in the East Mediterranean region in the Iron Age. It was modeled on the Egyptian the journey of the sun god who travels twelve hours in the darkness of the underworld and twelve hours in the sky. Evidence of similar concepts in the Near East is provided by a Babylonian circular map (now in the British Museum) as well as by Phoenician circular bowls. Gilgamesh seems to perform a cosmic journey. As well, Early Greek cosmology utilizes the concept of a circular cosmos . Odysseus’ journey spans

Journal

NumenBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2001

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