Monday, May 19, 2014

Fussell's Abroad

Ancient Roman ship by Valudia
So I'm reading Fussell's Abroad right now. Despite being a literary history sort of book, it's really readable. If you're familiar with and like his work, I'd go so far as to say it's on the must-read shelf.

Anyway, I mention it because it is a seminal work in the discourse analysis of travel documents. (I suspect mainly because it shows the way more than anything else.) And applying that sort of analysis to various works from antiquity would be interesting. I'm sure someone's already done the Odyssey, if for no reason other than it's the travel writing of antiquity familiar to non-classicists.

Off the top of my head, I can think of a few more:

  • Xenophon's Anabasis
  • Herodotus's Histories
  • Pausanius
  • Lucian's True Story
  • Vergil's Aeneid
  • Caesar's de Bello Gallico
I wonder why Greek sources come to mind more easily than Roman sources. It's not like I'm more familiar with Greek literature (because I'm not). Sure they were skilled sea-faring people, but it's not like the Romans weren't famous for building roads.

Anyway. More mental fodder.