2The Iliad’s History An epic written 8th century BCE. It was attributed to the poet Homer. Theories contradict this stating that more than one person had to have written it.It was commonly paired with the Odyssey.It takes place throughout Greece and Troy, a city in Northwest Turkey.Important Names, Dates and Terminology8th century BCE: when the text of the Iliad was composed/written down1184 BCE: supposed date of the fall of Troy as chronicled in Homeric textHomer: poet to whom the Iliad and the Odyssey are attributedEpic: a long poem (in dactylic hexameter) that discusses a world-view in the past and invokes distance between the world of the poem and the world of the readerOral tradition: responsible for some of the stylistic repetition in the text, the PATRONYMICS, the syntax of the poem
3The Story Before the Story Legend of Paris and HelenRead the short story and the view the video.Identify similarities and differences between the two versions.* What do you think really happened to Helen?* Do you think the Trojan War was just a disputeamong men or a desire of the gods?
5Homer in Ancient Greece Earliest Greek LiteratureWritten c. 750 BCE from oral trad. (c BCE)Recited by RhapsodesEpic = dactylic hexameter or long poem on war/mythCultural Importance for GreeksTaken as HistoryHellenic UnityEducational TextsAlthough length and complexity are hallmarks of the epic poem, the most important element is the hero. The hero is a human being with characteristics a society admires and often wishes to emulate. The hero is male, attractive, and unusually strong and able. He is a trained soldier or warrior and follows a code of honor.Rhapsodes – were professional performers of Greek poetry; often depicted wearing a cloak and carrying a staff.
10Characteristics of Homeric Text Beginning in medias resCinematic presentation of events and of warfareLook for sense imagery in the textUse of SIMILESUse of PARALLELISM when discussing events, characters and godsThis epic is not specifically about the Trojan War; it is about a PORTION of the Trojan War.Homer had the rest of the Homeric cycle to fill in the gaps for his audience. He can start mid-stream and still have this work make sense.We will evaluate where he starts and how his beginning echoes some mythological tensions when we look at the first two pages of the epic.
11Homeric Cycle Series of texts about Troy Some tell the same stories as the Homeric epicsMany tell entirely different storiesWhat still exists contains only a part of the entire story of the Trojan WarThe Epic Cycle were a set of twelve archaic epic poems, known to every educated Greek. The best-known were Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, which are also the only epics that have survived.The epic cycle tells the story of the world from the Creation to the return of the heroes of the Trojan War. The way the poems were composed is a matter of conjecture, although it seems that the Iliad and the Odyssey, attributed to Homer, are the oldest poems.The poems may originally have been meant as independent works of art, but were, in their final form, meant to supplement each other.
12The Iliad in Greek Society One of the most revered books in ancient Greek life. Referred to as the, “Greek Bible.”One epic was performed in 3-4 days by traveling entertainers.It was enjoyed more than the Odyssey because of the Greek’s love for valiant war heroes.
13The Iliad in Education Ancient Greece Almost all Greek children knew the story and males were required to memorize it in school.It was often performed.It was often quoted to prove a point.AmericanThe story is required in most high school programs today.A knowledge of Homeric similes is required and used by teachers and professors.
14Features of Homer’s Text Special formulaic language of the aoidos such as fixed and recurring epithets and type scenesExaggerated, leisurely pace of story-tellingDislike of suspenseFondness for lists (genealogies, catalogues), may derive from an oral way of organizing informationSimiles - far more common in the Iliad than the Odyssey; a way of stopping the action, commenting on it, enriching or judging it.
16Questions about The Iliad What are the chief motivations for war or conflict in the Iliad?Compare/Contrast Achilles and Hector as representing heroic ideals.Does the character of Achilles develop over the course of the Iliad?If the Iliad is about the wrath of Achilles, what is the lesson to be learned, if any?What relevance, if any, does the Iliad have for us now?