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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Phantasia

Probably legendary, exact dates uncertain, ancient Egypt

Since the early centuries C.E., various authors have put forth the claim that Homer plagiarized the Iliad and Odyssey from an Egyptian poet named Phantasia. The story goes that Phantasia, daughter of Nicarchus, a professor of philosophy at Memphis, Egypt, wrote an account of the Trojan War and the adventures of Odysseus. Her poems were deposited in a temple at Memphis, where Homer procured a copy and followed them closely in composing his epic works. This story gained currency among nineteenth-century classicists, but has been discredited by contemporary scholars. It is unknown whether Phantasia was a real personage.

Judy Chicago (American, b. 1939). <em>The Dinner Party</em> (Heritage Floor; detail), 1974–79. Porcelain with rainbow and gold luster, 48 x 48 x 48 ft. (14.6 x 14.6 x 14.6 m). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation, 2002.10. © Judy Chicago. Photograph by Jook Leung Photography
Judy Chicago (American, b. 1939). The Dinner Party (Heritage Floor; detail), 1974–79. Porcelain with rainbow and gold luster, 48 x 48 x 48 ft. (14.6 x 14.6 x 14.6 m). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation, 2002.10. © Judy Chicago. Photograph by Jook Leung Photography

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