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University of Otago

1. Gordon, Joel Aaron. “Opening up the World Below”: A New ‘Reading’ of Ancient Greek Eschatological Topography .

Degree: University of Otago

This study presents a new methodology for reading ancient Greek eschatological topography. The crux of this reading is a balancing of the tension between the holism of an eschatological imagining and the inherent fluidity – i.e., those inconsistencies which inevitably emerge – within eschatological reflection. While traditional methodologies excise inconsistencies from their texts, having labelled these as interpolations, this study champions the inclusion of such material by analyzing the deeper layers of thematic/narrative meaning to which they contribute. Therefore, this reading does not adhere to a this world, spatial-physical interpretation of topography but a narratively-focused, hyperspatial/hyperphysical one which I have termed “connotative word painting”. The scope of this study restricts the demonstration of this reading to the Hades of Homer’s Odyssey. This limitation is a cogent one, given the pre-eminence of Homeric epic and eschatology within both the ancient and modern worlds. In order to provide a reading which is detailed in nature and broad in scope, this study addresses three specific conceptualizations of eschatological topography: (1) the description of a single geographical feature, here the Grove of Persephone (Od. 10.508-511); (2) the concept of localization, in particular Hades’ dual presentation as both a subterranean and a superterranean realm; and, (3) the tertium quid which unites physical-real and eschatological-imaginary landscapes via a reading of the “big four” nekuomanteia as natural deathscapes. In addition to the novelty of the overarching connotative word painting methodology, the analyses of the latter two conceptualizations also utilize the progressive paradigms of dual localization and natural deathscapes – frameworks which themselves proceed from the connotative word painting approach – and thus affirm this reading as “new”. These three investigations concur that eschatological topography is best read within a hyperspatial context, rather than that of the physical, real world. Thus, the connotative word painting approach provides a holistic rendering of topographical inconsistencies by allowing for a ‘both… and’ reading of contradictory material, rather than the ‘either/or’ reading required by the interpolative approach. This is achieved by recognizing the distinct narrative orientation of the topographical phenomena within eschatological settings, a reading according to which topographical features and concepts embody the wider aims and themes of the literature/imagining within which they occur. Thus, the connotative word painting approach re-orientates the interpretation of eschatological topography away from simply denoting spatial or physical matters to, instead, emphasizing the function of such material as a narrative tool which provides subtle nuance and shape to the act of eschatological reflection. Advisors/Committee Members: Allan, Arlene (advisor).

Subjects/Keywords: Hades; underworld; eschatology; topography; landscape; Homer; Odyssey; nekuomaneteia; afterlife; connotation; Greek; antiquity; catabasis; necromancy; Homeric poetry; Grove of Persephone; tertium quid; connotative word painting; Tartarus; Nekyia; Nekuia; subterranean; superterranean; cultural memory; myths of place; localization

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APA · Chicago · MLA · Vancouver · CSE | Export to Zotero / EndNote / Reference Manager

APA (6th Edition):

Gordon, J. A. (n.d.). “Opening up the World Below”: A New ‘Reading’ of Ancient Greek Eschatological Topography . (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/9719

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Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Gordon, Joel Aaron. ““Opening up the World Below”: A New ‘Reading’ of Ancient Greek Eschatological Topography .” Doctoral Dissertation, University of Otago. Accessed November 25, 2020. http://hdl.handle.net/10523/9719.

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MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Gordon, Joel Aaron. ““Opening up the World Below”: A New ‘Reading’ of Ancient Greek Eschatological Topography .” Web. 25 Nov 2020.

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Vancouver:

Gordon JA. “Opening up the World Below”: A New ‘Reading’ of Ancient Greek Eschatological Topography . [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Otago; [cited 2020 Nov 25]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10523/9719.

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Council of Science Editors:

Gordon JA. “Opening up the World Below”: A New ‘Reading’ of Ancient Greek Eschatological Topography . [Doctoral Dissertation]. University of Otago; Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10523/9719

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
No year of publication.

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