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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 February 2020

Samuel Cooper*
Bard High School Early College,


While it is dangerous to generalize about so vast a field as Homeric scholarship, it is perhaps safe to say that before the 1970s interpretation of the Wanderings of Odysseus was dominated by the larger question of the Odyssey’s moral and theological coherence, particularly as this pertains to the justice of Odysseus’ and his companions’ sufferings. The controversy between Analysts and Unitarians did much to determine how this question was asked and answered, with Analysts viewing moral incoherence as a symptom of multiple authorship and Unitarians striving to demonstrate coherence. First-generation anthropology introduced the idea that incoherence might reflect not (only) different authors, but (also) different stages of cultural development. This development was conceived mainly as an advance from primitive ‘savagery’ to more enlightened ‘humanity’, albeit with a tinge of nostalgia for savagery's more holistic ecological consciousness.

Research Article
Ramus , Volume 48 , Issue 2 , December 2019 , pp. 95 - 126
Copyright © Ramus 2020

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