The Odyssey (; Ancient Greek: Ὀδύσσεια, romanized: Odýsseia, Attic Greek: [o.dýs.seː.a]) is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is one of the oldest extant works of literature still read by contemporary audiences. As with the Iliad, the poem is divided into 24 books. It follows the Greek hero Odysseus, king of Ithaca, and his journey home after the Trojan War. After the war itself, which lasted ten years, his journey lasted for ten additional years, during which time he encountered many perils and all his crew mates were killed. In his absence, Odysseus was assumed dead, and his wife Penelope and son Telemachus had to contend with a group of unruly suitors who were competing for Penelope's hand in marriage.
was originally composed in Homeric Greek
in around the 8th or 7th century BCE and, by the mid-6th century BCE, had become part of the Greek literary canon. In antiquity
, Homer's authorship of the poem was not questioned, but contemporary scholarship predominantly assumes
that the Iliad
and the Odyssey
were composed independently, and the stories themselves formed as part of a long oral tradition
. Given widespread illiteracy, the poem was performed by an aoidos
, and more likely to be heard than read. (Full article...
Marseille ( mar-SAY, French: [maʁsɛj] (listen), locally [maχˈsɛjə] (listen); also spelled in English as Marseilles; Occitan: Marselha [maʀˈsejɔ, -ˈsijɔ]) is the prefecture of the Bouches-du-Rhône department and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in France. Situated in the Provence historical province, it is located on the coast of the Gulf of Lion, part of the Mediterranean Sea, near the mouth of the Rhône. Marseille is the second-largest city in France, covering an area of 241 km2 (93 sq mi); it had a population of 870,018 in 2016. Its metropolitan area, which extends over 3,174 km2 (1,225 sq mi), is the third-largest in France after those of Paris and Lyon, with a population of 1,760,653 as of 2017, or 3,100,329 (2019) by the broader Eurostat definition of metropolitan region. Its inhabitants are called Marseillais.
Founded around 600 BC by Greek settlers from Phocaea
, Marseille is the oldest city of France, as well as one of Europe's oldest continuously inhabited settlements. It was known to the ancient Greeks
, romanized: Massalía
) and to Romans
. Marseille has been a trading port since ancient times. In particular, it experienced a considerable commercial boom during the colonial period and especially during the 19th century, becoming a prosperous industrial and trading city. Nowadays the Old Port
still lies at the heart of the city where the manufacturing of soap, its famous savon de Marseille
, began some 6 centuries ago. Overlooking the port is the Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde
or "Bonne-mère" for the people of Marseille, a Romano-Byzantine
church and the symbol of the city. Inherited from this past, the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille (GPMM) and the maritime economy are major poles of regional and national activity and Marseille remains the first French port, the second Mediterranean
port and the fifth European port. Since its origins, Marseille's openness to the Mediterranean Sea has made it a cosmopolitan
city marked by cultural and economic exchanges with Southern Europe, the Middle East
, North Africa
. In Europe
, the city has the third largest Jewish community after London
. (Full article...