The aim of this volume is to offer a ‘translation of the Allegories [of the Odyssey], the first into any language’ (p. xx). John Tzetzes’ Allegories of the Odyssey is a major work of Homeric exegesis from the Komnene period. Together with the more substantial Allegories of the Iliad, which Goldwyn and Kokkini have already translated, it forms a diptych of almost 10,000 lines of allegorical interpretation in political verse. The Allegories of the Iliad open with an elaborate dedication to the empress Eirene, formerly Bertha von Sulzbach, a Bavarian princess who married Manuel Komnenos in 1146 CE. Despite the grand opening, it seems she lost interest in the work at some point during the composition process and Tzetzes was confronted with the fact that he was no longer getting paid. It is not certain what happened exactly, but we do know that a new patron was eventually found. Book 16 of the Allegories of the Iliad opens with a re-dedication to Konstantinos Kotertzes, who also sponsored a re-edition of Tzetzes’ Histories or Chiliades, as they are known today. Despite these problems and changes of patronage, Tzetzes did not change the original dedication of the Allegories and alludes to it also in his Prolegomena to the Allegories of the Odyssey (Prolegomena A 16). He was clearly proud of his imperial patron or in any case professed to be.
All this has a bearing on the nature of Tzetzes’ project. Eustathius opens his Parekbolae to the Iliad by rejecting exegetical work for ‘grandees’. It is possible that he had Tzetzes in mind. In any case, what Eustathius dismisses as self-important charlatanery (ὁποῖά τινα πλάττονται οἱ κομψοί) became for Tzetzes the starting point for a fascinating poetic experiment. One must be clear about where the fascination lies, for the Allegories have often been misunderstood. As a piece of Homeric exegesis they are unremarkable even by Tzetzes’ own standards: Paolo Cesaretti has shown that they rely heavily on the more overtly theoretical prose Exegesis in Iliadem. What was novel about the Allegories was not the scholarly apparatus but the attempt to make court poetry out of it. This bold act of metapoiesis (cf. All. Il. Prolegomena 49 μεταποιήσω) relies on allegory as a means of bringing ancient texts to new kinds of readers. Tzetzes’ favourite bridging metaphor takes up much of the Prolegomena to both sets of Allegories, and it is here, in the Prolegomena, that he speaks movingly about helping his readers approach Homeric epic without fear of drowning in it (All. Od. Prolegomena A 14-15).
In the Introduction to their work, Goldwyn and Kokkini make little sense of these aspirations. They briefly comment on the changing character of All. Il. and All. Od. as they passed from one patron to another (pp. vii-x); on the historical context of their composition and the life of Tzetzes (pp. x-xv); and on the allegorical techniques which he employed (xv-xviii). A section on Tzetzes’ relationship with Eustathius (pp. xviii-xx), whose work has recently come into sharper focus, promises more telling insights but quickly retreats into generalities: Eustathius emerges as the more serious thinker (which is debatable), Tzetzes receives passing praise for his ‘artistry’. Given the scorn that modern readers have poured on him (pp. xiv-xv), it is regrettable that the authors do not to explain how they arrive at their view.
The main body of the work under review is a Greek text with facing English translation and notes of the Allegories of the Odyssey. The notes provide useful cross-references to the Homeric text but are otherwise fairly basic, and not always accurate. For their text, the authors follow Hunger’s edition, which cuts down on the errors that disfigure their Allegories of the Iliad, where they could not count on an equally reliable edition. Hunger’s text of All. Od., the first to include the second half of the work, is certainly better than Boissonade’s of All. Il., but it is not always accurate, and stricter quality control ought to have been exercised before reprinting it. For example, in All. Od. 9.120 the authors reproduce (and translate) Hunger’s Ὁ Κύκλωψ, ὁ μονόφθαλμος, οὐδὲ ἀνθρώπους ἦσθεν, when Tzetzes plainly meant to say Ὁ Κύκλωψ ο<ὐ> μονόφθαλμος … (cf. All. Od. 9.128). The point is that he disputes the standard interpretation, as others had done before him. In All. Od. 16.14-15 we read:
τὰ γὰρ ψυχῆς βουλεύματα ἑτέροις ουχ ὁρῶνται
μόνοις δε τοῖς βουλεύμασι καὶ τοῖς ἐνθυμουμένοις.
Goldwyn and Kokkini translate:
for the counsels of the soul are not visible to others,
but only to one’s own resolutions and recollections.
How can the counsels of the soul be visible ‘only to one’s own resolutions and recollections’? That seems muddled writing (and thinking) even by the standards of those who deride Tzetzes as ‘careless’ and ‘dull’. In fact, he wrote something more meaningful:
τὰ γὰρ ψυχῆς βουλεύματα ἑτέροις ουχ ὁρῶνται
μόνοις δε τοῖς βουλεύσασι καὶ τοῖς ἐνθυμουμένοις.
for the counsels of the soul are not visible to others
but only to those who conceive and ponder them.
As these examples indicate, inherited textual problems sometimes affect the quality of Goldwyn and Kokkini’s translation (for further details see the list at the end of this review). More serious, however, is the fact that they are prone to mistranslation even where the text is perfectly fine. I have counted some forty errors in their translation of the Prolegomena and Book 1 of All. Od. Although the error count goes down in the more formulaic later books, the same problems still persist. They arise in part from the translators’ lack of attention to Greek idiom and poetic form. More generally, though, what transpires is an inability to cope with Tzetzes’ glossing style and its stark juxtaposition of words to be explained and words that do the explaining. How big a problem this is when translating a work devoted to allegorical interpretation is easy to imagine. A basic example from early on in All. Od. may be used to illustrate the scale of the difficulties. In 1.22-3, Tzetzes reports the death of Odysseus’ companions:
συνέβη τούτοις δὲ θανεῖν σκηπτοῖς καὶ ναυαγίᾳ,
ἅτε ἡλίου σφῶν ζωῆς καὶ χρόνου πληρωθέντος.
Goldwyn and Kokkini translate as follows:
They died by thunderbolts and shipwreck,
just as if the sun had been repaid with their life and allotted time.
Readers with little or no Greek will be seriously misled by this translation. In fact, ἅτε means ‘because’, not ‘just as if’ (cf. All. Od. 8.39); σφῶν ζωῆς before caesura goes with ἡλίου (‘the sun of their life’); χρόνου glosses ἡλίου after a typical instance of glossing καί (‘the sun of their life, that is to say (καί), their lifetime’); and πληρόω = ‘fulfil, complete’ (cf. All. Il. 22.149-50). Translate:
They died by thunderbolts and shipwreck,
for the sun of their life, that is to say their life time, had come to an end.
Unfortunately, the authors’ failure to grasp what Tzetzes is saying here cannot be classed as a blip. Tzetzes returns to the fate of Odysseus’ companions a few lines later (All. Od. 1.27-31):
Καὶ γὰρ παρανομήσασιν ἐκείνοις εἰς τὰς βόας
ἐν ναυαγίᾳ τῇ δεινῇ καὶ τοῖς σκηπτοῖς, οἷς ἔφην,
Ἥλιον λέγει τῆς ζωῆς πικρῶς ἐκπληρωθῆναι.
Καὶ πάλιν περὶ τούτου δὲ τοῖς ἔμπροσθε μαθήσῃ
ὅπουπερ καὶ ὁ Ὅμηρος ταῦτα πρὸς πλάτος γράφει.
Goldwyn and Kokkini translate:
Because for those who transgressed the law in the matter of the oxen,
Homer says that the Sun was bitterly repaid with their lives
in a fierce shipwreck and storm, of which I spoke.
And again you will learn about this from what has been written before,
where Homer also writes this in broad strokes.
Again the unsuspecting reader will be hard pressed to learn from this translation what Tzetzes was actually trying to say here. The problems begin at the lexical level: ἔμπροσθε means ‘below, later in the work’, not ‘before’ (cf. All. Od. 24.240 and see Pape s.v. ἔμπροσθε 3) ‘Bei Sp. ist ἔμπρ. = später, nachher im Buche, weiter unten’); and πρὸς πλάτος means ‘at length’, not ‘in broad strokes’ (cf. All. Il. Prolegomena 1209). Homer (and Tzetzes) will go over this again, at greater length, in Book 12. Finally, there is Tzetzes’ allegorical reading of Helios as time. The gloss ἥλιος τῆς ζωῆς = χρόνος (τῆς ζωῆς) is not repeated here but has become absorbed into the allegorized term itself. Tzetzes’ practice of ‘hermeneutic enrichment’, as we might call it, would repay careful study. But before we can attempt more detailed study we need to establish the facts. Tzetzes says nothing about the sun being repaid with the companions’ lives, and for good reason: for him that would verge on προσωποποιία of the sort that only Homer can allow himself (All. Od. 12.96-7). The passage actually translates as follows:
For after they transgressed in the matter of the oxen,
Homer says the ‘sun’ of their lives was cruelly cut short for them
in the fierce shipwreck and storm of which I have already spoken.
You will learn more about this below,
where Homer writes about it at length.
It has been claimed that Goldwyn and Kokkini’s translation of the Allegories of the Iliad is distinguished by a ‘faithful yet fluid rendering of the Greek’. I believe this to be untrue, though this is not the place to go into detail as far as that earlier work is concerned. The assessment certainly does not fit their translation of All. Od. In fact, readers must be warned that they should not take its faithfulness on trust. Scholars with a good grasp of the Greek language and Byzantine Homeric scholarship will need to check carefully against the original Greek text. I do not recommend that students and other non-experts use this book unaided, given the incidence of errors. Goldwyn and Kokkini are to be commended for taking on the large and difficult task of translating Tzetzes’ Allegories: one problem, as I see it, is that the scale of the project might require greater investment on the part of the scholarly community at large. I write this because I believe theirs to be an important project in principle. It is high time that Classicists and Byzantinists come properly to grips with John Tzetzes’ Αllegories: they are not just historically instructive but also fascinating in their own right. Above all, they make for a reading experience of a distinctive kind: following Tzetzes, the hermeneutic pearl fisher (All. Od. 24.284-8), into the oceanic depths of Byzantine reading culture can be a thrilling adventure – provided we come to it with the right sort of equipment. An accurate translation of the Allegories of the Odyssey is, for this reason, important.
Textual problems taken over from Hunger and possible solutions:
1.266 λευκῶπιν οἶδας Ἀθηνᾶν – Print γλαυκῶπιν (cf. Od. 1.178).
3.40 βραχεῖ τινες ἀφίκοντο – Print βραχεῖς with MSS VBP (‘only a few arrived’); cf. Cassius Dio 56.2.2.
3.87 ἀθάνατος ἰνδάλλεται εἰσοράασθαι – Print ἀθανάτοις, with MSS VBP. στοιχείοις ἢ καὶ ἄστρασιν in the following line confirms that Tzetzes read dative plural in Od. 3.246, as do the vulgate MSS of Homer.
4.67 Goldwyn and Kokkini print and translate what is manifestly a damaged text. Hunger daggers ὄντα πατέρα ταύτης and in his apparatus suggests reading γέροντα, πατέρα, ἀναγκάσῃ. It seems to me more likely that a line has fallen out.
4.69 Another unacknowledged crux. Hunger considers reading Μενελάῳ εἰποῦσαν at the end of the line. Again, a lacuna seems more likely to me.
4.100 Τίς ἀθανάτων με πεδᾷ ἤτοι τις Εἱμαρμένη. – Tzetzes’ habit of glossing like for like requires τίς Εἱμαρμένη, ‘what fate?’
5.104-5 For τελοῦσαι in v. 105 print τελοῦσι (cf. All. Od. 9.45) and indicate parenthesis (– οἱ χάρται … / … τελοῦσι κατοικίαι –).
6.74 ἔτι τῶν σωφρονούντων. – Print ἔστι (cf. All. Il. Prolegomena 671 etc.).
6.78 καὶ τούτων ἀποδείξεσι μυρίαις ὑπηργμένων – ὑπηργμέναις. The genitive does not construe.
8.148 τρανῶς δοκοῦσαν – Consider δεικνύων (cf. τρανῶς δεικνύων in All. Od. 19.20)?
9.79 εὖχος Ἀθήνη δοίη μου – μοι (cf. Od. 9.317).
9.120 ὁ Κύκλωψ ὁ μονόφθαλμος – ο<ὐ> (s.a.).
9.127 χαίτῃσι λασίῃσι does not scan. Consider restoring λάσιοι from Chil. 7.692.
10.1 Αἰόλον, τὸν δεσπότην μὲν δεσπότου τῶν ἀνέμων – Print δεσπότην μέν, δεσπότην τῶν ἀνέμων. There is no ‘lord of the lord of the winds’ in Homer, or Tzetzes (cf. All. Od. 10.48 πῶς τὸν Αἰόλον λέγουσι δεσπότην δὲ ἀνέμων;).
11.5 ἀγρίας πνοὰς πέμπει – οὐρίας (cf. LSJ s.v. οὔριος, All. Od. 5.173, 10.3).
11.7 πνοὴν δ’ ἰδοῦσα ἄγριον – οὔριον (cf. previous note).
12.80 τῶν στείρων is difficult to construe or understand. A solution is not readily apparent, but the problem ought at least to have been flagged in the notes.
12.83 ἀνὰ πεντηκοντάδος – πεντηκοντάδας (cf. LSJ s.v. ἀνά C III, ‘distributively with numerals’).
12.102 Ζεὺς ὦσεν ἄνεμον – ὦ<ρ>σεν (cf. Od. 12.313).
15.43 The transmitted line is one syllable short. Print ἐκ τούτου δὲ καὶ ποταμὸς <ὁ> Ἀλφειὸς ἐκλήθη.
16.15 βουλεύμασι – βουλεύσασι (s.a.).
16.33 μοι θέλγει – Print με, as in All. Od. 16.32.
20.80 ἡ Εἱμαρμένη τι δηλοῦν – Print ἢ Εἱμαρμένης, restoring a typical chain of glosses: Διὸς τέρας – ἐξ οὐρανοῦ σημεῖον – Εἱμαρμένης τι δηλοῦν.
23.45 παρεῖχε την ἡμέραν does not yield the required sense (‘held back the day’). παρ- may have intruded from the previous word (παρεξέτασε); consider ἐπεῖχε (Tz. Theog. 43)?
23.59 ἅμα τῷ τούτοις συντυχεῖν καὶ ὕπνου κορεσθῆναι – Better τούτους?
24.137 καὶ τὰ λοιπὰ ὁμοίως δὲ κατὰ λεπτόν τοι γράφω. – Print τί γράφω; (‘why should I write?’). τοι is Hunger’s conjecture for transmitted τι, but Tzetzes does not use τοι in his own voice and context requires a break-off formula cast as a rhetorical question, a typical feature of Tzetzes’ style (cf. All. Il. 18.491-2, 20.149, All. Od. 2.68, 13.75).
24.284-8 μαργαροθύραις, ‘pearly gates’, verges on nonsense and does not obviously agree with masculine τοῖς and οἵπερ. (Nor does οἵπερ agree with ὀστρέων). It would have been good to flag these difficulties and consider possible solutions, starting from Tz. Chil. 11.463-70 and 496-7.
Textual problems specific to this edition:
2.5 Μενέλαον – Unmetrical ‘correction’ for transmitted Μενόλαν (Hunger’s metrical reading).
6.111 τετύχηκε ταύτης πατρὶ καὶ νόστου – Hunger proposes ταύτης πατρὸς καὶ νόστου, which is surely right and ought, in my view, to have been adopted.
7.18 οὐκ εἴα ἡ ἐϋπλόκαμος Ἀθήνη δὲ ἐκεῖνον. – Restore εὐπλόκαμος (following Hunger). The form with diaeresis does not scan in political verse.
7.75 Ζηνὸς ὑπ’ ἀγγελοῦ δὲ φρονίμων μηνυμάτων – Unmetrical as it stands. Hunger suggests ἀγγελίης δέ, which seems to me clearly right (cf. Od. 7.263).
7.76 Τὸ οὖρον δὲ προέηκεν ἔπεμψε δὲ τότε – Restore transmitted ἔπεμψε δέ με τότε (as in Hunger).
8.103 There should have been some indication of textual corruption here. Hunger daggers σφοδρότερον γενέσθαι, though a lacuna seems more likely to me.
8.175 τί πῦρ – restore τὶ (as in Hunger).
9.133 Restore the correct form ἀνῄρουν (as in Hunger).
12.8 οὗ σκότος Κιμμερίων – Hunger corrects to οὐ in his apparatus (‘οὐ scripsi’), but not in the main text, a trivial slip which should not have found its way into Goldwyn and Kokkini’s text.
13.83 Restore πλεύσας (as in Hunger).
17.58 Restore Εἱμαρμένῃ (as in Hunger).
18.40 Goldwyn and Kokkini print the transmitted text, which does not scan. Hunger daggers θεῶν and proposes θεῶν τις ὀροθύνει δὲ τανῦν ταὐτὸν σημαίνει.
 Both Prolegomena A of the Odyssey Allegories (v. 47-56) and the epilogue to the work (24.281) make it clear that the two Allegories form part of a single whole.
 In the climactic concluding section of the Histories he still refers to the Allegories of the Iliad simply as ‘my book for the empress’ (Chil. 13.624). Goldwyn and Kokkini speculate (pp. xii-xiii) that Tzetzes might have dedicated All. Od. to any one of three women, the Sebastokratorissa Eirene, patron of the arts before her death in 1152 CE and dedicatee of Tzetzes’ Theogony; Bertha-Eirene (died 1159), the original dedicatee of All. Il.; and Maria of Antioch (died 1182). However, Tzetzes would not have referred to his dedicatee in the past tense (ἣ γυναικῶν ἦν κόσμος at All. Od. Prolegomena A 16), nor would he have gone on to talk about ‘other friends’ (presumably Kotertzes and his circle) sponsoring the Allegories if this was indeed a dedication to a living royal patron. He must be looking back to his original dedicatee Eirene who inspired the project but had since passed away.
 Eusth. Comm. Hom. Il. 2.19 van der Valk; cf. van der Valk’s note ad loc.: οὐ πρὸς μεγιστάνων fort. spectat ad Tzetzam, qui Allegorias suas Irenae reginae et Cotertzae dedicaverat.
 P. Cesaretti, Allegoristi di Omero a Bizanzio. Ricerche ermeneutiche (XI-XII secolo), Milan 1991, pp. 171-4.
 All. Il. Prolegomena 7-34; All. Od. Prolegomena A 1-31.
 E.g. F. Pontani, V. Katsaros, V. Sarris, eds., Reading Eustathios of Thessalonike, Berlin 2017; for Eustathius’ relationship with Tzetzes see also P. A. Agapitos, ‘John Tzetzes and the blemish examiners: a Byzantine teacher on schedography, everyday language and writerly disposition’, Medioevo greco 17 (2017), 6-7.
 The textual notes in particular contain several inaccuracies (pp. 287-8): in Od. 4.364 ἐλέησε, not ἐσάωσε, is ‘the principal reading’ (i.e. that of the vulgate MSS); in All. Od. 6.91 Tzetzes reproduces the Homeric vulgate’s κατ’ οὔρεος (cf. Od. 6.102). To say that ‘in the Loeb edition οὔρεος is an alternative reading for οὔρεα’ (thus Goldwyn and Kokkini) will confuse many readers; on All. Od. 9.64 the authors note that they ‘have emended ἄχθος to ἔχθος in accordance with the Homeric original, as this was probably a typographical error’. In fact, Tzetzes wrote ἄχθος (with some Odyssean MSS and testimonia), which is all that matters here.
 The editio princeps of P. Matranga, Anecdota Graeca I, Rome 1850, breaks off after All. Od. 13.69.
 H. Hunger, ‘Johannes Tzetzes, Allegorien zur Odyssee. Kommentierte Textausgabe’, Byzantinische Zeitschrift 48 (1955), 4-48 and Byzantinische Zeitschrift 49 (1956), 249-310. For Boissonade’s edition of All. Il. see Donald Mastronarde’s review in BMCR 2015.09.45.
 Cf. Schol. Hom. Od. 9.383 (Dindorf).
 Peter Barr Reid Forbes, Robert Browning and Nigel Wilson in (1996), pp. 1568-9.OCD3 (1996), pp. 1568-9.
 Translation problems, taken from Prolegomena and Book 1: Prolegomena A 1-2 ‘reached … before it was navigable’ misconstrues the sentence; 21 not ‘according to’ but ‘and in the manner of’ (note τε and cf. Tz. Chil. 2.82, 91, 4.504-5); 23-6 the sequence ὅπη … πῆ … ὅπη is not properly captured; 32 μιμὼ δὲ τοῖς φρονοῦσιν ≠ ‘imitator of those who possess wisdom’; 41 τοῦ λόγου τῆς οἰκίας ≠ ‘the edifice of speech’; Prolegomena B 11 πάλιν = ‘in turn’, not ‘again’; Book 1.8 delete ‘himself’ (αὐτόν is metrical filler); ὑστέρως ἀφιγμένον = ‘who had arrived later’ (cf. All. Od. 3.9); 18 ἄκουσον βραχυτάτως νῦν· μάθοις δ’ οὗ χρὴ πλατέως ≠ ‘you may learn what is necessary, in broad strokes’; 23 and 28 s.a.; 30 τοῖς ἔμπροσθε ≠ ‘before’ (s.a.); 31 πρὸς πλάτος ≠ ‘in broad strokes’ (s.a.); 60-1 ‘not meaning that … is habitable’ misconstrues the sentence; 62 ‘And some …’ – Better ‘For some’; 73-4 The accusatives in the first line are governed by ἀπογεννᾷ in the second; 84 δεικνὺς … λέγειν ≠ ‘he reveals, by saying …’; 97 ἅπαντα τὰ συνοίσοντα … γενέσθαι ≠ ‘everything that was about to happen’; lines 99-102 are misconstrued; 114 πάντα ποιεῖ προσφόρως ≠ ‘makes everything useful’; 116 ‘of present matters’ is not in the Greek; 129 κακοβούλως ≠ ‘because of bad advice’ (cf. Schol. Hom. Od. α 9g1 Pontani); 148-50 ὁ Ἄτλας glosses πέλαγος, ὁρίζων is noun rather than participle; 161 for ‘Even though’ read ‘But if’; 171 ‘as reason resides in heaven, that is, in the head’, not ‘as they are in heaven, in one’s head, where reason resides’; 181 ἀνθ’ οὗ = ‘because’, not ‘from whom’; 225 ἕτερον … τῆς ὀβριμοπάτρης ≠ ‘something else about the daughter’; 231 καὶ ὅσα γίνεται αὐτῇ ≠ ‘but also all that she creates’; 232 ‘but her instruments too’, not ‘and her instruments too’; 236 ἔρυτο = ‘saved him’, not ‘pulled him away’ (LfgrE s.v. ἔρυμαι); 237 τούτων refers to ξύλα; 247 ‘in her hand’ better ‘his hand’ (NB ὁ … κομιστής); 257 ἔστησε goes with πρὸς κίονα; 289 καὶ ταῦτα τῆς σοφίας δὲ καὶ ψυχικαὶ δυνάμεις ≠ ‘and these powers of the soul are wisdom’; 290 ‘that he realized (this) from the stars’, not ‘that Ι recognized him from the stars’; 309 ὄρνις δ’ ὣς ἀνόπαια ≠ ‘like an all-seeing bird’. (Confusion with Longinus’ reading πανοπαῖα in Od. 1.320?); 316 πλέον is not translated; 319 θεῖον, σοφόν, and μουσικόν are masculine accusative forms, not neuter nominative ones (cf. Od. 1.336 θεῖον ἀοιδόν); 329 is gloss on γλαυκῶπις (cf. μέν … δέ); 331 ἄποια is not ‘unmade’ but ‘without attributes’; 332 θεοῖς ἀλίγκιος αὐδήν ≠ ‘the voice is alike to the gods’ (the authors appear to translate the Homeric variant αὐδή); 333 τοῖς ὄπισθεν ἐρρέθη =‘was said in an earlier section of my work’, not ‘was said to the men of old’, cf. All. Od. 7.74, 19.31 (with Hunger’s note ad loc.); 336 ‘he calls Destiny the son of Kronos’, not ‘he calls the son of Kronos Destiny’.
 F. A. Grabowski in CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, 53.3 (2015), 416.
 Some translation problems in the Prolegomena of All. Il.: Read προβαῖνον in v. 469 (with Matranga) and translate vv. 469-70: ‘amounting to two thousand chiliads in number (i.e. 2,000,000) and in addition two hundred and fifty chiliads (i.e. 250,000).’. In v. 641 Goldwyn and Kokkini introduce a ‘Euboeus, son of Nauplios and Klymene’. In fact, Tzetzes refers to Palamedes. In v. 1158 Homer does not ‘stop[s] singing until the slaying of Hektor’ but rather ‘falls silent after singing up to the slaying of Hektor’.