This is the first instalment of a three-volume commentary in English, compiled by an international team of scholars and first published in Italian under the auspices of the Fondazione Lorenzo Valla. In this volume the commentary by West (Books I-IV) and Hainsworth (Books V-VIII) is preceded by an introduction which discusses previous research on the Odyssey, the nature of the poem and its relation to the Iliad, the epic dialect, and the
transmission of the text. Book VI is a regular GCSE set text.
` the sheer range, penetration, authority, and readability of the notes to this volume make one's ears flap in purest gratitude; and the introductory essays to each book are models of incisive scholarship'
From the reviews of the Italian edition:
`The commentary is eminently clear and controlled.... For clear exegesis of the text and discussion of problems both [West and Hainsworth] are admirable. We have the first fruits of the new edition of the Odyssey, based on up-to-date linguistic, papyrological, and formulaic scholarship.' M. M. Willcock, Journal of Hellenic Studies
`The main part of the new book is without doubt the commentary. Here we have a work the richness, independence, and judiciousness of which cannot be sufficiently admired. It is not a replacement for ... other existing commentaries, but a continuation on a higher level. On page after page we meet sensible interpretations and an authoritative presentation of current scholarship with comprehensive bibliography covering all aspects of research.... We have reason to rejoice and be grateful and await
the forthcoming volumes with impatience.' H. van Thiel, Classical Review
`What is so admirable about Oxford's new commentary on the Odyssey is that it provides pure protein in highly edible form: high scholarship has become haute cuisine.' Peter Jones, The Times
'models of clarity ... fascinating reading ... it presents a bracing challenge and you have to work to get at the genuine riches it contains'
Martin Thorpe, Shrewsbury Sixth Form College, JACT Review
'The authors have made excellent use of the chance to improve what was already a first-class monument of useful scholarship, especially in adding cross-references, bibliography and indices ... this superb achievement will do much to stimulate Homeric scholarship.'
Richard Janko, University of California, Los Angeles, Journal of Hellenic Studies, CX, 1990