Nostoi

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Description:
The Nostoi (, Nostoi, "Returns"), also known as Returns or Returns of the Greeks, was a lost epic of ancient Greek literature. It was one of the Epic Cycle, that is, the "Trojan" cycle, which told the entire history of the Trojan War in epic verse. The story of the Nostoi comes chronologically after that of the Iliou persis (Sack of Ilium), and is followed by that of the Odyssey. The author of the Nostoi is uncertain: ancient writers attributed the poem variously to Agias of Troizen, Homer, and Eumelos (see Cyclic poets). The poem comprised five books of verse in dactylic hexameter. The word nostos means "return home".

Date

The date of composition of the Nostoi, and the date when it was set in writing, are both very uncertain. The text is most likely to have been finalized in the seventh or sixth century BC.

Content

The Nostoi relates the return home of the Greek heroes after the end of the Trojan War. In current critical editions only five and a half lines of the poem's original text survive. For its storyline we are almost entirely dependent on a summary of the Cyclic epics contained in the Chrestomatheia (see also chrestomathy) attributed to an unknown "Proklos" (possibly to be identified with the 2nd-century-CE grammarian Eutychios Proklos). A few other references also give indications of the poem's storyline.

The poem opens as the Greeks are getting ready to set sail back to Greece. The goddess Athena is wrathful because of the...
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