Travel Literature in Antiquity

(1953 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Travel in antiquity involves many topics, such as transportation, trade, war, exploration, geography, ethnography, migration, colonization, and tourism. Ancient narrative about travel is multi-faceted as well. There was no coherent genre of ancient travel literature, though certain tropes and discourses are discernible. This article will briefly survey the variety of ancient travel before discussing types of narratives that featured travel.

Two quotations from Homer indicate that travel can be experienced in very different ways. An arresting simile in the Iliad (15.80-83) compares the flight of Hera through the air to nostalgic thought of travel: “as when the mind races of a man who, having traveled far over the …

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Burgess, Jonathan. "Travel Literature in Antiquity". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 May 2010
[, accessed 06 July 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Comparative Literature, Reception, Influences
  2. Travel writing