In Homeric Megathemes D.N. Maronitis puts forward war, homilia, and homecoming as three themes central to Homer's two epic poems, the Illiad and the Odyssey. Branching out from each of these themes are certain semiotic and structural characteristics that determine, specific to each of the poems, myth and plot, narrative syntax, and more generally, their poetic and humanistic character. The aim of Maronitis' study is to determine and document similarities and differences in the two Homeric epics through these themes and to identify examples of them in ancient lyric poetry and Attic tragedy. Maronitis' theoretical framework gives classics scholars and literary theorists interested in poetry, history, and tragedy a social and cultural research model for thinking about the genesis and maturity of great lyric works. His comparative approach, revealing the creative debt of the Odyssey to the Iliadic model, lays bare the progression of an art form through the development of literary technique, the shifts in classical ideologies (including anthropoligical ideas about man ), and in politics. Anyone interested in the thought of the Archaic period should read this book.
D. N. Maronitis is emeritus professor of philosophy at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.