Friday, October 22, 2010

Introduction to THE ILIAD

Dear Humanities Students,

If you missed class on Thursday, October 21st, we completed the following:

1. We reviewed a few minutes for your quiz covering the "Influential Greeks."
2. Completed and corrected the quiz.
3. We started our introductory discussion regarding The Iliad. Each student was given a detailed handout that we worked on together. I have included a copy of it below. Please print it off, and place it in the "Handout" section of your notebook.

1. Please annotate/notate the  grey handout given to you in class regarding The Iliad  for Monday.
2. Your first "CER" is due on FRIDAY, October 29th

Homer’s Epic Poems
The Iliad and The Odyssey

What is an epic? Long narrative poem about the deeds of a hero!

The Iliad: ACHILLES; begins in the 9th year of Trojan War Achilles is angry at Agamemnon (leader of the Greeks). Briseisis (Achilles’ love interest) stolen by Agamemnon; Apollo sends a plague; ACHILLES REFUSED TO FIGHT FOR THE GREEKS!
  • Ilium: Ancient word for TROY
  • Acheans: Ancient word for the Greeks

The Odyssey:
Events after the 10 year Trojan War; Odysseus’ attempt to return to his family after 10 years (20 years from his fam)

  • What was the cause of the Trojan War? TRADE ISSUES, not a woman stolen from her home; windy by Troy; Greeks refused to pay taxes to dock at Troy
  • Who discovered the ancient city of Troy? Heinrikk Schliemann (German, amateur archaeologist). His ONLY GOAL was to locate TROY

“Road Map:”  copy of the Iliad

Mound of Hissarlik:

“Schliemann’s Scar:”

Nine Cities:

What we know about Homer….
Many scholars have asked the question, “Were the epic poems written by one poet or were they collective efforts on the part of several poets?” We will never know the answer to this question. Most scholars agree that a “Homer” existed, that he lived in the 8th or 9th century B.C., and that he was a well-known poet. Some indications reference his blindness, which has been interpreted by some as “a sign of his greatness.” We know that Homer had a strong command regarding written language, and that at one point he could see. His love for beauty and gory details are too advanced, especially for someone who might have been blind his entire life. He lived about 500 years after the events at Troy; therefore, the story he told was not original with him, but had been passed down in the oral tradition of the times.

Allow me to share an excerpt from The Iliad with you.

  • “…the spear of bronze went through below the brain and shattered the white bones. Dashed out the teeth, and filled his eyes with blood; and blood he spurted gaping through his mouth and nose; and death’s dark cloud encompassed him.” (Book XVI, lines 345-350)