The Epic Resources of the Odyssey: Part II – Mapping the Homeric World

Image from Eclectic/Eccentric.
Image from Eclectic/Eccentric.

The Odyssey is one of the earliest, and best, works in the “big trip” portrayal, so grand they named half the genre after it!

Your explorations are also pretty grand, as long as you are choosing the path that best fits your kleos and nostos.  The most recent post on this topic gave you some resources on Odyssey summaries and visual-friendly breakdowns.  I’m happy to provide more study sites for you, from the British Museum and also from an esteemed Duke prof.

British Museum and British Library...can you survive on these alone? Probably worth it.
British Museum and British Library…can you survive on these alone? Probably worth it.

There are, of course, versions on YouTube, including SparkNotes and Thug Notes (discretion still advised), as well as the 1997 Hallmark movie version and even a Crash Course analysis!

There are even special resources for those freshmen looking to complete a Map for their Odyssey project, here are a few tips:

First – the in-class map is by no means definitive, but has two components that I think are key: an oversized Ithaca and an Underworld far (far) to the west.  You don’t have to reach the Pillars of Heracles, but I like the idea of going to the edge of the known (Mediterranean) world.

Second – use your resources to help you tell the story!  Some of my favorites are on Google Earth (download it if you haven’t – it’s worth it!), especially the Odyssey on Google Lit Trips, which features facts and artwork at the locations in each episode.  Your map doesn’t need to be overly complicated, but consider adding stickers, flags, or figures to keep the travels alive.

Third – you don’t need to use salt dough, but this is a straightforward method to make your map 3D that is both easy and useful!  The video below was made in jazzy style by a very good friend of mine some years ago, and gives you a nice breakdown of the salt dough process.  I definitely expect your map to be in color, so grab the appropriate food coloring to go with it or paint it after it dries (a few days later)!

For Glory!

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