Safari F. Grey

Safari F. Grey

Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology
Doctoral Researcher

Contact details

Title of thesis: The Significance of Names, Epithets, and forms of Address in Homer’s Odyssey.

Supervisor: Dr Gideon Nisbet


MA CAA  PG Cert  BA (Hons)  BA (Hons)  Dip CS


I completed my Masters in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology at the University of Wales: Trinity St David, Sophia Centre in 2015, specializing in the cosmology of Ancient Civilisations, and writing a thesis on parallels between Homeric and Near Eastern cosmologies. I graduated with a First-class BA (Hons) in Humanities with Classical Studies from the Open University in 2013, and with an Upper Second-class BA (Hons) in Classical Civilisations from the University of Warwick in 2012. I have also received a Postgraduate Certificate (Merit) in Cultural Astronomy, specialising in Astral Religions; and Cosmology, Magic and Divination in the Classical World.

I have presented a wide range of papers across the UK and Europe. Two of these papers are pending publication from the Tropoi Excellence Cluster, Humbolt University; and Newman University from papers delivered in 2016. At request following the BCUR 2012 conference, I have made my undergraduate thesis on Astrotheological religions available to purchase. Outside of my interests in Classical Literature I am also a Findings Consultant with an internationally received archaeological dig running out of ‘Vespasian’s Camp’, next to Stonehenge, since 2008. The site has now been recognised as the longest continuously occupied settlement in the EU. 


Academic Writing Advisor to CAL Undergraduates
Introduction to Greek Literature Seminar Leader

Doctoral research

PhD title
The Significance of Names, Epithets, and forms of Address in Homer’s Odyssey.
Dr Gideon Nisbet
Classics and Ancient History PhD/MA by Research (On-Campus or by Distance Learning)


The aim of this thesis is to provide a thorough examination of the significance of names and naming in Homer’s Odyssey, followed by a comprehensive literary and statistical analysis of the use of epithets, and alternate form of address, in order to determine the role names, epithets, and forms of address play in the literary and cultural worlds of Archaic Greece. Names are a pivotal plot device in the Odyssey, particularly with regard to the protagonist’s anonymity, and the power of naming and un-naming is highlighted throughout the text. Punning (on names) is another key literary device employed by the writer which must be fully appreciated in its cultural context in order to understand the richness and complexity of the story. Furthermore, an analysis of epithets and forms of address has revealed insights into cultural hierarchies as well as peculiarities in gender, which demonstrates that they have a greater role to play than mere ornamental formula. These insights raise questions concerning translation which need to be addressed in order for modern translators to successfully convey both the nuances of cultural traditions, and the complexity of Homer’s characters.

Areas of consideration / chapter concepts: 

Names and Naming

  • Significance
  • Anonymity
  • Punning
  • Etymologies
  • Familial relationships

Epithets / Alternate Forms of Address

  • Hierarchy mortal – mortal
  • Hierarchy mortal – divine
  • Insults / Negative epithets
  • Familial relationships
  • Private forms of address
  • Gender
  • Anomalous cases
  • Formula

Issues with Translation

  • Repeated words
  • Literal translations
  • Ordering epithets

Other activities

Papers delivered at:
Berlin International Conference: Paths of Knowledge in Antiquity (Dec 2016) at Humboldt University, Berlin

The 24th Annual SEAC Conference (Sept 2016) at Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution

Imagining the Afterlife (June 2016) at Newman University

Birmingham/Frankfurt Classics Symposium (Dec 2015) at University of Birmingham

The 9th Conference on the Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena (Aug 2015) at Gresham College London

Annual Meeting of Postgraduates in Ancient Literature (June 2015) at University of Edinburgh

Ancient Science (Feb 2014) at UCL

Antiquity Matters! Postgraduate Colloquium (June 2013) at University of Warwick

Myth-Making: From Medusa to Madonna (June 2013) at University of Warwick

Annual Meeting of Postgraduates in Ancient Literature (June 2013) at St Andrews University

British Conference of Undergraduate Research (March 2012) at University of Warwick

Open University Student Association Conference (June 2012) at Milton Keynes


  • Grey, S. [pending] ‘Cosmology, Psychopomps, and Afterlife in Homer’s Odyssey’ in Proceedings of Imagining the Afterlife London: Routledge
  • Grey, S. (2013) ‘Astronomical Knowledge in Homer’s Odyssey’ in Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of Postgraduates in Ancient Literature June 7-9th University of St. Andrews [e-journal]
  • Grey, S. (2012) Astrotheological Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries, Judaism and Christianity, Raleigh: Lulu Press [ISBN: 9781471641961]