Homer’s Odysseus and Dante’s Ulysses: The Survival of a Classical Myth

Vid Snoj

Before I begin to discuss my theme, I would like to make two remarks.
The first concerns the title of the symposium, Antiquity and Christianity: A Conflict or a Conciliation. In English as well as in Slovene, we hear two words “conflict—conciliation” as a sound figure, an alliteration. Let me repeat: “conflict—conciliation,” or in Slovene, “spor—sprava”. As you have heard (or at least I hope you have), the first two consonants are in accord with one another. In this accordance of sound, where “conflict” alliterates with “conciliation,” I do catch the hint that one is in accord with the other, and that one cannot exist without the other. There can be no conciliation without a conflict—or the other way around: first comes the conflict and then the conciliation, exactly in this order. In the title of the symposium I have thus discerned a sequence, a scenario in which the complicated relationship between antiquity and Christianity is supposedly coming into existence in the course of history, a relationship that is, as we all know, absolutely crucial to the origin and structure of modern Europe in all realms, so to speak, touched by the human spirit. This scenario, however, is the scenario of a tragedy, indeed of a classical Greek tragedy: a conflict that leads to conciliation through the victim.
But does the scenario implied in the title of the symposium hold out? Let us say that it does—who, then, is the tragic victim? Whom would death have to befall in order to bring about conciliation? Would that be Hellenism in the Christianity of the Middle Ages, or Christianity in the Greek legacy of modern Europe? And further: the question is, where there is conflict, must there necessarily be conciliation? This is a question that does not only concern my contribution, but the whole of our explorations and discussions at this symposium.
I would like to say beforehand that, in discussing my theme—the myth of Odysseus as told by Homer and Dante or, in a broader sense, in Hellenism and Christianity, I will speak rather about survival than of the (tragic) victim and conciliation. This will undoubtedly be less spectacular than if I attempted to tell the fate of the myth of Odysseus according to the tragic scenario and thereby translate it into a tragedy. But, nevertheless, Überleben is not the same as Fortleben, as Walter Benjamin stressed in his famous essay on the task of the translator. Survival is more than ordinary living on, a life without grandeur and sense, a vegetation, a life-in-death.
My second remark refers to Sergei Averintsev’s book, Poetics of Early Byzantine Literature, which served as an initiative for our symposium. No need to waste words on its greatness. The attention that Averintsev pays in this book to the encounters of Greek literature, philosophy and other spiritual activities, or Greek culture in general, with Christianity is all-encompassing, so to speak. What surfaces in this book is a broad knowledge of Hellenism and Christianity, reaching from literature on one side, to the law, the military, and even daily life on the other side of the cultural sphere, as well as a deep insight into the intertwining of elements from all possible realms, and especially a sharp sense for the attachments and ruptures within Christianity in its relationship towards Hellenism, through which Christianity established itself in the world almost from its very beginnings. Yet despite his far-reaching breadth, Averintsev does not make the encounter of Hellenism with Christianity the subject of his discussion, and touches upon myth only in passing.
But why does the encounter of Hellenism and Christianity call for discussion precisely in connection with the myth?
In the sixth chapter of his Poetics, Aristotle says that myth is arché and psyché, the “principle” and “soul” of tragedy. To him, myth is the most important constitutive part of tragedy, the highest of all poetical genres—a plot or a “plot-structure,” as the word mýthos in this special use employed by Aristotle has been translated by Stephen Halliwell, one of the most respectable scholars of Poetics. I myself would say something similar about myth and, at the same time, even more than that: it is the heart of all Greek literature, not only of drama with tragedy at the head, but also—and even sooner—of epic poetry, and an essential component of lyric poetry. Myth is the heart of Greek literature both in the sense of a living spring as well as a vital core. It springs from a multi-source oral tradition before antiquity, which denotes the historical existence of the Greeks and Romans, and is, in antiquity itself, always an already written myth, a myth in literary form, a formed story. It is an original speech of singers from prehistoric times, and at the same time a story told in this speech—a story about immortal gods and mortal men.
My contribution will therefore expand the field of research outlined by Averintsev in his book. An expansion in this direction seems to me important because Greek literature is, in fact, the speech of ancient singers transformed in the written word. In my opinion, myth cannot be avoided in observing the encounter of antiquity and Christianity in literature.
As already mentioned, I shall expend the field of research using a single myth. Yet this is not just any myth. First of all, the myth of Odysseus surfaces at the beginning of European literature, where Homer’s poems Iliad and Odyssey stand, and second, it is the myth of perhaps the most complicated of all figures in classical mythology. Odysseus is not a complicated figure only, as one might think, because of his cunningness, but in particular because of his many-sidedness. In the opinion of James Joyce, who, in his novel Ulysses, has made Odysseus a modern hero, Homer’s Odysseus surpasses all the other great figures of European literature as far as many-sidedness is concerned: Hamlet, for example, is just a son, as Joyce wittily remarks in Frank Budgen’s book of conversations with him, while Odysseus is a son, a father and a husband—and, on the other hand, a lover; a master and king—and, on the other hand, a warrior and a traveler. To use Joyce’s word, he is “all-round:” just as the figure made by a sculptor is visible in space from all sides in its voluminous plasticity, so Homer’s Odysseus appears as a full figure through all the relations into which he enters with others.
I will now proceed to my theme, first to Homer’s Odysseus. But, in so doing, let me refer to my introductory deliberation about conflict and conciliation. Although this reference will lead to a digression, that is, a step away from my theme, I am convinced it will pave the way for an easier approach to the theme itself.
A certain conflict and a certain conciliation, both concerning the myth in general and the myth of Odysseus in particular, was already encountered in Hellenism. It is a common place of Geistesgeschichte that a conflict was roused in Hellenism between poetical mýthos and philosophical lógos, between the two different speech modes or their “narratives.” This conflict was triggered in the 6th century B. C. by Xenophanes, who reproached Homer and Hesiod for presenting the gods too anthropomorphically, and it reached its culmination with Plato, who rejected the poetical presentation of gods and also of heroes as entirely false, thus making questionable the leading role of poetry, with Homer at the head, in paideía, the “education” or “cultivation” of Greek generations. From the philosophical point of view, poetry became contestable because philosophy understood itself first of all as a way of life, that is, as lógos being lived, or to be lived, and not as a speculation, theory, doctrine, or similar.
The solution to this conflict—let us call it conciliation—came in Hellenistic philosophy through the allegorical interpretation of a poetical myth, which Plato himself did not approve of. Philosophical allegoresis of a poetical myth stemmed from two interweaving motives. The first was to save the venerable poetical tradition, with Homer at the head, from remaining, after the conflict with philosophy, a mere tale without any value; and the second motive was to ground philosophy itself, as a relatively young invention, in ancient wisdom, because, in face of the contacts of Hellenism with the ancient cultures of the East grounded in sacred writings that the Greeks had not had, the need for such grounding was becoming more and more urgent in late antiquity. Hellenistic philosophy thus saved poetry through allegoresis by grounding itself in poetry, as if poetry were a holy scripture. In philosophy, which took a conciliatory leaning towards poetry, the myth became an allegory, i.e. another or a different speech (from the Greek állon, “other,” and agoréo, “I speak in public, at Agora”). It became a speech that was not to be taken literally, but as a speech about something else, as another story. As a differently told story about philosophy itself. Not only any naïve, but also any serious literal reading of the myth was sacrificed.
Christianity, on the other hand, took over the philosophical allegoresis of a poetical myth by virtue of its affinity to Greek philosophy understood precisely as a way of life. In the first centuries after Christ, Christianity presented itself in the Hellenistical world as both a philosophical and, at the same time, a more-than-philosophical way of life—as life in Christ Logos. The early Christian writers thus became susceptible to the poetical myth in which Hellenistic philosophy was grounding itself.
If I may now pass from myth in general to the myth of Odysseus, a double image of Odysseus, a negative and a positive one, was formed in the Christian reception. The negative image originated particularly in the reception of Western Christianity. It was influenced by the tradition of the Romans, who deduced their descent from Troy—the poetical monument to the Roman searching for roots was raised by Virgil in his Aeneid—because it was precisely Odysseus who caused the fall of this famous city with the stratagem of the wooden horse. And the novels about Troy originating in the vernacular during the Middle Ages contributed to the negative image of Odysseus as well.
The positive image of Odysseus, however, was the result of early Christian writers’ referring to Greek philosophy. For example, Odysseus polýtlas, “much suffering” Odysseus, who endured so much on his journeys after the end of the Trojan War, was raised by Stoics to the ideal of a wise man, going, in spite of all suffering, his way to the end; but it was in Christian allegoresis that the mast to which, in the episode with the Sirens, Odysseus lets himself fasten began to symbolize the cross to which a Christian had bound himself past the seduction of sensual pleasure. And even more than this: the whole story of Odysseus, the whole odyssey, was re-interpreted by the principal Neoplatonist, Plotinus, into a story of a philosopher who, through his way of life, has turned away from the world and started to ascend to his divine homeland. In the first of The Enneads (6, 8), Plotinus exhorts to such an ascension, or flight, as follows: “Let us flee, now, to the beloved fatherland (Il. 2, 140), one might advise us more truly. But what kind of flight [phygé] should this be and how should we flee? Homer said—in a riddle, as it seems to me—that we should turn away from Circe the magician and from Calypso, as Odysseus has done, for he did not like to stay, though he shared in the pleasures through his eyes and cohabited with great sensuous beauty.” In short, the odyssey became an inner journey, a journey of the soul—in Neoplatonic allegoresis, a return of the soul to its fatherland, to the One, and, in Platonizing Christian allegoresis which in the Christian West can be found in Ambrose and Augustine, to God the Father.
However, the allegoresis of Odysseus’ story was challenged in its very foundations already by Clement of Alexandria, who took part in the nascence of Christian philosophy in Alexandria before Christian allegoresis came into full swing. As he says in his Exhortation to the Gentiles (25), Odysseus “did not yearn for his real heavenly fatherland and the light of the Being [toû óntos], but for a smoke,” his yearning did not stretch itself to the radiance of the Arché above the existing things, but to the kapnós apothróskon, the “smoke ascending” (Od. 1, 58)—but only from the domestic hearth over his native Ithaca. The message of Clement’s words is that Odysseus’ yearning for home cannot be an exhortation to the Christian outworldly yearning on account of its low, earthly boundedness, at the same time drawing our attention to the sacrifice of literal reading of Odysseus’ story in later Christian allegoresis.
What, then, is to say about Homer’s Odysseus, if we try to take back this sacrifice and seriously read the Odyssey literally?
Homer’s Odysseus is a returner—and Odyssey a poem of nóstos, of Odysseus’ “return”—but to his earthly home, to Ithaca. The moving power of this return, however, which, as indicated in the first and then again in the fifth book of Odyssey, certainly would not have occurred without the conclusion of gods, is, on the other side, as regards Odysseus himself, nothing other than yearning. This is an axis of Odysseus’ figure as formed by Homer.
In the first verse of Odyssey, Homer begins to speak of Odysseus in the following way: Ándra moi énnepe, Moûsa, polýtropon, “Tell me, Muse, of the man who is polýtropos.” The epithet polýtropos, which in some way denotes Odysseus with “many turns” (the Greek polý means »many«, and trópos means “way” or “turn”), summarizes all of Odysseus’ other fixed epithets, notably those with the prefix poly- (for example, polýtlas, polyméchanos, which refers to a man capable of many mechanaí, “means” or “ruses,” and so on). Simultaneously, it is a seminal epithet, one that carries in itself the whole story of Odysseus.
Already in the 5th century B.C. there appeared in ancient Greece an explanation under which Odysseus polýtropos meant “the one often changing his character,” the “unstable,” “unprincipled one.” And it was Antisthenes, the precursor of the philosophical school of Cynics, who defended Odysseus with the opinion that this epithet denotes Odysseus’ skill in using figures of speech, his capability of turning words, of troping. Contemporary scholars, however, do not agree with any of these explanations. They reached the consensus that, considering the immediate context in which this word occurs in Homer, Odysseus as polýtropos is one who has traveled much or experienced much. Odysseus is, then, a man who was led this way or that, to this or that experience, by many turns—or, as a well-suited English translation reads, a “man of many turns.”
But of which turns? First of all, the turns of fate. Odysseus polýtropos is a man who is much turned by fate, who is tossed by fate from one danger to another, yet at the same time a man who is capable of many turns by himself—and this not only in words, but also in actions. In short, he is a man, who has the agility to save himself from these dangers. In the difficult situation brought by fate, he is always capable of turning, turning round and finding a way out, for example, from Cyclops’ cave. As polýtropos he is thus turnable in the passive as well as active sense: time and time again he is being turned by fate, and time and time again he is also capable of turning in a difficult situation to find a way out. Odysseus suffers the turns of fate, but in his suffering he is not paralyzed by its blows and does not become a passive figure, but, paradoxically, he acts. It is in such a passive-active doubleness of polytropy that the whole dynamics of Homer’s story about him is conceived.
But what helps Odysseus to keep his direction in face of all those turns encountered during his wanderings after the end of the Trojan War is his yearning for return—and precisely with respect to yearning, this axis of Odysseus’ figure, the composition of Odyssey has been made. Homer does not follow all that happened to Odysseus during his wanderings in straight succession, but begins his poem when Odysseus has the majority of these wanderings behind him—and this is when his return is also most threatened: on the island of Ogygia by the nymph Calypso. It is on this island, which is the “navel of the sea” (Od. 1, 50), far from oikuméne, i.e. from the populated world, and far even for the gods, that Odysseus’ yearning for return is strongest. His yearning is so very strong that Calypso can overcome it neither with her divine love, in which she enfolds him, nor with the promise of divine immortality if he stays with her. The composition of Odyssey, then, exposes in the odyssey of the main character his yearning—and, inasmuch as this yearning is the moving force of return, also his return as a theme of the poem. Odysseus’ stay at Ogygia, which is not the first in the chronological order of events, becomes the first in the order of narration. For if the course of narration matched the chronology of events, the stress would be transferred to what Odysseus experienced during his sea wanderings, and the theme of the poem would lean towards adventure.
This is, however, precisely what happens in Dante’s poem, in canto 26 of Inferno. Not only does Dante substitute the name Odysseus with its Latin form, Ulysses, which writers in the West were doing up to the 20th century, but primarily makes Odysseus change from a returner into an adventurer. Dante’s transfiguration of the figure of Odysseus is the greatest turn in its literary polytropy. His dealing with the figure of Odysseus is by far incomparable with Homer’s in terms of scope, but it is comparable to it in terms of the influence it had on European literature (and even on reality, as I shall try to demonstrate).
W. B. Stanford, who was the first to study the reception of Odysseus in European literature from antiquity up to the present, describes Dante’s turning away from Homer’s returner as follows: “In place of this centripetal, homeward-bound figure Dante substituted a personification of centrifugal force.” How does Dante carry out his basic transfiguring turn of Odysseus’ figure?
In such a manner that he connects Odysseus’ wish for knowledge with his death and thereby moves away from Homer, who mentions this wish, for example, in the episodes with Cyclops or the Sirens, but leaves out Odysseus’ death (and Odysseus in Odyssey remains the perfect survivor). Namely, Dante does not allow his Ulysses to sail homewards from Circe the witch, but to Heracles’ pillars, which, standing in the Strait of Gibraltar, marked the border of the known world in antiquity. From there Ulysses sets out retro al sol, “behind the sun” (Inf. 26, 117), where, after a few days, when only the moon and the stars were raising in the darkness, death befalls him together with his crew in front of the mountain of Purgatory on the south hemisphere of the earth.
If Homer’s Odysseus is a centripetal figure, if his yearning is homeward-bound and his voyage is a voyage of return, Dante’s Ulysses is, on the contrary, a centrifugal figure, his wish tends away from home and his voyage is a voyage into the unknown: an adventure. This is something totally different from the turn of fate that comes upon Homer’s Odysseus and, as such, is not in his power. Adventure is what Dante’s Ulysses, in his ardent desire for the unknown, searches for, lets himself into, what he himself causes to come—a certain ad-venire, which he himself triggers. It is his turn. Odysseus’ act, his sailing out of the known world, is thus not a re-action to the turn of fate, it is not a re-turn to this turn in his yearning for return. It is rather an act which precedes fate and by which fate is coined. The adventure of Dante’s Ulysses goes absolutely the opposite way of that of the return of Homer’s Odysseus, thus turning the figure of Odysseus by a hundred and eighty degrees.
However, Dante does not conceive the reversal of this figure from returner to adventurer in accordance with traditional Christian allegoresis. Like other figures in Dante’s Divine Comedy, Ulysses also speaks sub specie mortis after the gran mar del’ essere, the “big sea of existence” (Par. 1, 113), is behind him, and from the perspective of death, where outlived earthly life appears as a whole, he names his sailing a “mad flight:” dei remi facemmo ali al folle volo, “out of oars we made wings for the mad flight” (Inf. 26, 125).
In these words of Ulysses, Dante metaphorically interweave the poetical and philosophical traditions. He refers to the metaphor remigium alarum, “rowing of wings,” used by Virgil in Aeneid 6, 19 for the flight of Dedalus, and at the same time to the flight of the soul in Neoplatonic and Platonizing Christian allegorisis, which interpreted the odyssey as well as the flight of Dedalus as an ascension or flight of the soul out of the world to the divine homeland. In his allegoresis of the myth of Dedalus, Ambrose uses precisely this metaphor, as so does Augustine on several occasions, says John Freccero, one of the most prominent contemporary scholars of Dante. Yet the sailing of Ulysses is not the wise flight of a soul into hereafter, but a “mad flight:” the oars swinging through the air like wings do carry him out of the world, but not beyond, merely into another world beyond the borders of the known, populated world. The mad flight is a flight into the-unknown-on-this-side. And when, at the sight of the mountain of Purgatory, Ulysses with his crew already rejoices at the thought that another world has appeared in his horizon, the other world opens up before him and swallows him up.
Such an Odysseus, Odysseus the adventurer, is an invention of Dante. And although Dante put him to death, he has survived in European literature in the works of Alfred Tennyson, Giovanni Pascoli, and many others. Even more: transfigured by Dante, Odysseus has survived in Christian culture of Europe without being Christianized, that is, without being conceived as a figure in accordance with the Christian allegoresis. And finally, he has survived not only in literature, but also in reality.
It was Dante’s Ulysses that Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci kept before their eyes, when they sailed where the sun was going down: according to the typological interpretation they knew from the Bible, they saw in him the týpos that fulfills itself in reality: the image of themselves. Sailing from the known world into the sunset, Dante’s Ulysses thus became a proto-type of the discoverer, the seafarer, who happened at last to discover the new world behind the old one, the unknown-world-on this-side. With Ulysses, as Bruno Nardi puts it, Dante “discovered the Discoverer.” Ulysses has survived as a discoverer of the brave new world.
Let me conclude now. And let me conclude in contemporaneousness.
In October 1990, NASA launched a spacecraft towards the sun. In November of last year, this spacecraft set out on its third voyage around the Sun’s poles, navigating in space weather and transmitting to Earth various data, in which it transforms unknown reality, reality outside the horizons of our world, of our manifold worlds—this spacecraft carries the name Ulysses.
SUMMARY

The text discusses the encounter of Hellenism with Christianity in connection with a myth from the beginning of European literature—the myth of Odysseus. The discussion of this encounter is framed by the report of a conflict between poetical mýthos and philosophical lógos, which, surfacing in 6th century B. C., reached its peak with Plato and came to an end, in Hellenistic philosophy, with a conciliation through the allegorical interpretation of a poetical myth that was also accepted by Christianity. It was thus a double, negative and positive, image of Odysseus that established itself in the Christian reception. The negative image was formed in accordance with the tradition of the Romans, who deduced their descent from Troy, which was conquered through Odysseus’s stratagem, while the positive image sprang from the referring of early Christian writers to Greek philosophy, particularly Neoplatonism, in which Odysseus becomes a returner to his heavenly homeland. Here, the text sketches a serious literal reading of Odyssey: Homer’s Odysseus is polýtropos, a “man of many turns,” one who is much turned by fate, and at the same time one who is capable of many turns by himself, that is, who always finds the way out of a difficult situation and remains steady on his way home. This is followed by the exposition of the greatest transfiguration, the most formidable turn of the figure of Odysseus in his literary polytropy, which was accomplished by Dante in his Divine Comedy. Namely, Dante transforms a returner to his earthly homeland, who was then allegorically reinterpreted as a man returning to his heavenly homeland, into an adventurer. Dante’s Ulysses does not react, as Homer’s Odysseus does, to the turns of fate while yearning to return, but, in his wish for the unknown, takes the initiative to act and sails across the border of the known world. And though his sailing ends with his death, he survives beyond the Christianizing interpretation: he becomes a týpos of the discoverer in Europe of the Renaissance, which in reality discovered the new world.

POVZETEK

Tekst obravnava srečanje grštva s krščanstvom ob mitu z začetka evropske literature, mitu o Odiseju.  Obravnavo tega srečanja okvirja s poročilom o sporu med pesniškim mýthosom in filozofskim lógosom, ki je izbruhnil v 6. st. pr. Kr., dosegel vrh pri Platonu in se v helenistični filozofiji iztekel v spravo prek alegorične razlage pesniškega mita, ki jo je prevzelo tudi krščanstvo. Tako se je v krščanski recepciji uveljavila dvojna, negativna in pozitivna podoba Odiseja. Negativna podoba se je oblikovala v skladu z izročilom Rimljanov, ki so svoje poreklo izpeljevali iz Troje, premagane z Odisejevo zvijačo, pozitivna pa je izšla iz navezovanja zgodnjih krščanskih piscev na grško filozofijo, predvsem na novoplatonizem, v katerem je Odisej postal povratnik v nebeško domovino. Tu tekst skicira resno dobesedno branje Odiseje: Homerjev Odisej je polýtropos, »mož mnogih obratov«, ta, ki ga mnogo obrača usoda, in hkrati ta, ki sam zmore mnoge obrate, se pravi, ki zmeraj najde izhod iz težkega položaja ter ostane neomajen na poti proti domu. Sledi še izpostavitev največje transfiguracije, najbolj neznanskega obrata Odisejevega lika v njegovi literarni politropiji, ki ga je izvršil Dante v Božanski komediji. Dante namreč povratnika v zemeljsko domovino, ki je bil potem alegorično prerazložen v povratnika v nebeško domovino, preobrazi v pustolovca. Dantejev Ulikses ne reagira, tako kot Homerjev Odisej, na obrate usode v hrepenenju po vrnitvi, ampak v želji po neznanem sam prevzame pobudo za dejanje in odpluje čez mejo znanega sveta. In čeprav se njegova plovba konča s smrtjo, preživi onstran kristijanizirajoče prerazlage: postane týpos odkritelja v renesančni Evropi, ki je dejansko odkrila novi svet.

Walter Benjamin, Die Aufgabe des Übersetzers, in Walter Benjamin, Schriften, t. 1, eds Thedor W. Adorno and Gretel Adorno, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1955, pp. 40–54.
Aristoteles, De arte poetica liber, ed. Rudolf Kassel, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1965, p. 12.
See Stephen Halliwell, Aristotle’s Poetics, London: Duckworth, 1998 (2nd edition).
See Frank Budgen, James Joyce and the Making of Ulysses, New York: Harrison Smith & Robert Haas, 1934, pp. 15–17.
See, for example, Pierre Hadot, Excercises spirituels et la philosophie antique, Paris: Études augustiniennes, 1981, and Qu’est-que la philosophie antique?, Paris: Gallimard, 1995.
See Gorazd Kocijančič, Splošni uvod, in Gorazd Kocijančič (ed.), Logos v obrambo resnice. Izbrani spisi zgodnjih krščanskih apologetov, Celje: Mohorjeva družba, 1998, p. 20ff.
See Bernhard Zimmermann, Odysseus – ein Held mit vielen Gesichtern, in Bernhard Zimmermann (ed.), Mythos Odyssesus. Texte von Homer bis Günter Kunert, Leipzig: Reclam, 2004, p. 179; see also the chapter „Odysseus am Mastbaum“ in Hugo Rahner’s book Griechische Mythen in christlicher Deutung, Zürich: Rhein-Verlag, 1957, pp. 414–486.
Plotinus, Opera, t. 1: Porphyrii vita Plotin / Enneades I–III, ed. by Paul Henry and Hans-Rudolf Schwyzer, Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 102.
Clemens Alexandrinus, Cohortatio ad gentes, in Clementis Alexandrini opera quae exstant omnia, Patrologia Graeco-Latina 8, ed. by J.-P. Migne, Paris: Garnier fratres, editores, et J.-P. Migne succesores, 1891, coll. 197.
Homer, Odyssee. Griechisch und deutsch, München and Zürich: Artemis Verlag, 1990, p. 6.
See W. B. Stanford, The Ulysses Theme. A Study in the Adaptability of a Traditional Hero, Dallas, Texas: Spring Publications, 1992 (1st edition 1954), p. 99.
W. B. Stanford, The Ulysses Theme, p. 181.
For the original I use Dante’s Tutte le opera, ed. by Luigi Blasucci, Firenze: Sansoni editore, 1965.
John Freccero, The Prologue Scene, in John Freccero, Dante. The Poetics of Conversion, ed. by Rachel Jacoff, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London, England: Harvard University Press, 1986, pp. 16–17.
See Pietro Boitani, The Shadow of Ulysses. Figures of a Myth, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994, p. 44ff.
Bruno Nardi, Dante e la cultura medievale, Bari: Laterza, 1942, p. 99.
See http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/audioclips/ulysses-20061117/ (1st May 2007).