There are several references to Homer in A Stray Drop of Blood. In case it’s been a while since you’ve read them or haven’t at all, I’ll point them out and give some basic info on them.
Abigail, when serving Jason’s friends in chapter 13, mentions that without the many gods, Odysseus wouldn’t have been ten years returning to Ithaca. In the Odyssey, it is by offending the gods that Odysseus gets flicked around the world. Looking at things geographically, the trip from Troy to Ithaca is incredibly short. But when you throw in all the problems he ran into . . . that three-hour tour turned into a regular shipwreck.
In chapter 19, Jason mentions a lesson learned from Odysseus and the Cyclops–that one should never trust a man with no name. In the Odyssey, when Odesseus is in the clutches of the Cyclops, he tells him his name is something that translates “no one.” So when the Cyclops called out for help and his one-eyed-giant friends asked him who was hurting him, he cried, “No one! No one!” Isn’t it nice that humor is timeless?
In chapter 20, Menelaus references the Iliad. Since this isn’t read as much as the Odyssey, it may be a little more confusing. But in the Iliad, the character Menelaus (yes, I was reading it when I named Jason’s friend, LOL) is the husband of Helen, the one who gathered the Greek forces to wage war against Troy (also called Ilium) to get her back.
In chapter 38, there’s brief mention of Abigail being able to sing Homer. This probably sounds strange to most people, but in fact Homer’s works were passed down for centuries through song; one of the tutors (St. John’s word for professors) at my college was an expert in Ancient Greek, and he put together a chorus that presented some selections from Homer. I loved how rhythmic it sounded, how the cadences embedded themselves in my mind, even though I didn’t know all the words. So it’s pretty likely that a scholar who spoke Quasi-Greek (the form used by the time of Christ) may have learned how to perform some pieces of literature written in Homeric Greek.
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