Odd Colours in The Odyssey

This is something I’ve never actually thought about before….

Odd Bits About Books

Homer was a Greek poet writing around 750BC and we think he’s the author of The Odyssey.

It’s an epic poem about Odysseus and his ten-year journey back to Ithaca after the fall of Troy. There’s an awful lot of intelligent discussion to be had about this important piece of literature but today I’m just going to look at Homer’s use of colours. It’ll be fun, I promise!

If you know bit of trivia about The Odyssey it’s likely that it’s about Homer’s repeated description of the wine-dark sea. Ancient Greek doesn’t have a word for blue, but then that’s lacking from a number of other ancient languages too. Blue is notable by its absence in things like the Vedas, the Icelandic Sagas, even the Bible.

Did he intend wine-dark to mean blue? Well, do you know what else he described using that wording?

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