Representations of Idomeneus in Graeco-Roman sources and their reception in the West, to 1720

  • Colin Andrew McLaren

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis (PhD)


The dissertation examines representations of Idomeneus, and of the myths and traditions associated with him, in Graeco-Roman literature, and their reception in the West (represented by Italy, France, Germany and England). It takes the following form: Chapter 1, the representations and their cultural significance; Chapter 2, the representation of Idomeneus in the Iliad; Chapter 3, accretive representations of Idomeneus, principally from Late Antiquity; Chapter 4, the transmission of the accretive representations to the West, their accessibility through vernacular translation and their assimilation in contemporary literature; Chapter 5, the transmission of the Iliadic representation of Idomeneus to the West, through the publication of the epic, first in an academic format, latterly as polite literature; Chapter 6, the association of Iliadic and accretive representations in literature and drama between 1699 and 1720; Chapter 7, summary and conclusion.

The dissertation addresses hitherto under-explored issues in the representation of Idomeneus. These include his limitations as an aristos in the Iliad; his gradual detachment from his associate, Meriones; his prominence in the English ‘interlude’, Horestes (1567); his treatment in Italian and French burlesque of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; his representation in fin-dix-septième French drama; and in Alexander Pope’s enlightened character study of 1720. These are supplemented by assessments of the impact of authorial/editorial omissions, paraphrases and interpolations on the representations; and of Idomeneus’ visibility in text, paratext and early ‘books of reference’, compared with that of his fellow-aristoi, the Aiantes, Diomedes, Nestor and Odysseus.
Date of Award30 Jul 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of St Andrews
SupervisorJon Hesk (Supervisor) & Emma Buckley (Supervisor)


  • Classical reception
  • Classical tradition
  • Classical literature in translation

Access Status

  • Full text open

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