THIS IS THE HANDOUT used in our class discussion regarding Homer's Iliad. Please cut and paste it as a Word document and then place it in your binder. We started working on this in class, but we did not complete it; we will do so onTuesday.
What is an epic?
The Iliad is about:
The Odyssey is about:
Did the Trojan War actually take place and what was the cause?
Who discovered the ancient city of Troy?
Using a well read copy of The Iliad as his reference guide, he chose a spot on the Asian coast of Turkey called the Mound of Hissarlik, and began digging for the famous city of Troy. In the course of four years, he uncovered nine successive cities built on top of each other. The sixth city he declared the “City of Troy,” or as Schliemann called it the “Burnt City.” Later archaeologists through carbon dating and additional archaeological discoveries, proved that Schliemann's choice was accurate. What was once thought to be myth had been proven historically correct.
What we know about Homer.....
Many scholars have asked the question, “Were the epic poems of The Iliad and The Odyssey 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 references to Homer indicate that he was blind, which has been interpreted as a “sign of his greatness.” We know that Homer had a strong command of the 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 two excerpts from The Iliad with you.
“...the spear of bronze went through
Below the brain and shattered the white bones,
Dashed out his 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
“Then answered Hector of the flashing helm,
His strength all gone: 'I beg thee by my life,
Thy knees, thy parents, leave me not for dogs
Of the Acheans by the ship to eat,
But rather take abundant stores of bronze and gold-
My king and queenly mother will give it thee-
And render back my body to my home,
So that the Trojans and the Trojans' wives
May give me due meed of fire in death.'
But scowling at him swift Achilles said,
“Do not entreat me, dog, by knees or parents ,
I only wish I had the heart and will
To hack the flesh off thee and eat it raw......”
Book XXII, lines 317-330
1. Remember that your "Personal Mythology " is due on Thursday.
2. Work on your mosaic, my young friends.
3. You must have your mosaic supplies with you on Thursday.
4. QUIZ on Thursday covering the introductory information to the Iliad.