This book is about nostos, the return home of a hero. Although the importance of this topic has long been recognized by scholars, this is the first full length book on nostos both across a range of tragedies and in the light of the diverse cultural background of the motif. It shows how the elements of Homer's narrative were to be developed by later Greek poets, and particularly the fifth-century tragedians and the Hellenistic poets.
Foreword by Professor Vayos Liapis; 1. Introduction; Nostos: a popular theme; Nostos and war; The seafaring experience; Wandering for philosophical, religious (theoria) or touristic ends; Colonization, exile and ostracism; 2. Nostos in Homer; Nostos as a story pattern; The effects of absence; Wandering (themes of bath, clothes and food mark Odysseus' transition); Return, disguise and deceptive stories; 3. Nostos in Tragedy; Typical roles with their typical themes; Nostos and athletic imagery; Nostos and recognition; Secret nostoi (deceit and/or revenge); Nostos and tragic plot; The idealistic nature of the nostos-drama; 4. Nostos in Hellenistic poetry; General on Hellenistic poetry; Nostos in Apollonius' Argonautica; Departure - voyage to Colchis; Hellenistic epigram; 5. Epilogue; Appendix; Bibliography; Index.