Homeric Echoes through the Ages

Bella Vivante
Tuesdays 9 AM - 12 PM
January 28, February 4, 11, 18, 25, March 3, 17, 24, 31, and April 7, 2020
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Homeric Echoes through the Ages

Spring 2020
In Session
9 AM - 12 PM
January 28, February 4, 11, 18, 25, March 3, 17, 24, 31, and April 7, 2020


Main Campus



Homer’s sublime epics, Iliad and Odyssey, fire the imagination. We’ll explore how these stories develop from an ancient prequel to modern sequels. Homer’s poetic tradition harkens back to the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh: the part-divine conflicted hero who wrestles with his destiny. Homer’s poems then sparked new masterpieces: Virgil’s Aeneid reweaves Homer’s tales into the story of Rome’s founding. Innovative modern re-visionings abound. We’ll consider three: H.D.’s epic poem Helen in Egypt expands Helen’s ancient myths to explore women’s identity and poetic creation. Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad and Zachary Mason’s The Lost Books of the Odyssey spin imaginative tales inspired by the silent spaces in Homer’s poem, voiced in intriguing female-male counterpoint. How rewarding to read these works that are still spinning out the ancient tales in a timeless poetic tradition!

Registration Opens Online: Monday, November 25, 2019 at 8AM (AZ Time)

Required Reading: 

Any translation of the following is okay:

  • Epic of Gilgamesh, trans. by N.K. Sandars (Penguin 1960), ISBN 978-1-55643-728-1 
  • Virgil, The Aeneid, trans. by David Ferry (Chicago, 2017), ISBN 9780226450216
  • H.D. Helen in Egypt (New Directions, 1961)
  • Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad (Alfred A. Knopf, 2005)
  • Zachary Mason, The Lost Books of the Odyssey (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007)

Course Registration

Meet Your Professor

Professor Emerita
Department of Religious Studies and Classics

Honored to receive 2018’s Ted & Shirley Taubeneck Superior Teaching Award, Bella brings her enthusiastic love of Ancient Greek poetry and culture to her HSP classes: Homer’s brilliant epics, select themes in Greek drama, Ancient Anatolia, more. See this dynamic antiquity in her Daughters of Gaia: Women in the Ancient Mediterranean, translation of Euripides’s Helen in Women on the Edge: Four Plays by Euripides, or Women and Family in Ancient Greece DVD.


Poetry Center
Dorothy Rubel Room
1508 E Helen
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States
Located on the SE corner of Helen Street and Vine Avenue, one block north of Speedway and three blocks west of Campbell Ave.

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