Rembrandt's Homer Dictating His Verses in 1663 It has been argued that Homer represents a significant turning point for philosophy, especially toward politics and nature. Odysseus, the man that most closely resembles Socrates, is identified as a well traveled man knowing many cities and many men's minds. He is fascinated by these minds of the … Continue reading Nature and Order in Homer
"Triumphant Achilles" by Franz von Matsch In Book IX of the Iliad, the Achaeans have been stricken with Panic ("panicos" meaning pertaining to Pan, the god of shepherds and wild animals). In the absence of Achilles on the battlefield, Hector has beaten back the Achaeans nearly to their ships. All that is left is to … Continue reading Persuading Achilles: Books IX, XVI, XXIV Considered
In our survey of antiquity, we have encountered gods, great and small, who command the affairs of human beings. For example, in the Egyptian pantheon, we have uncovered gods of both life and death, including Osiris Winnefer and Amun Re, or the judge of the netherworld and god of the sun. The gods appear to … Continue reading On the Homeric Gods
A 1st Century fresco found in Herculaneum on the education of Achilles by the centaur Chiron Achilles is a man of many passions. He is often described as quick, or "swift-footed." For Achilles, the warrior, his life is short and grim. His unfettered rage is drawn out and drawn towards those who have offended him, … Continue reading Thoughts on Odysseus and Achilles
In the Telemachia, the first four books of the Odyssey, we encounter a strange kinship between the speeches and actions of Telemachus and the warrior Achilles. Both are passionate and wrathful, for different reasons, yet as the character of Telemachus begins to emerge in this prelude to the story of Odysseus's homecoming, so does his … Continue reading Notes on the Odyssey Books I-IV: The Telemachia
The rage, or menin sometimes translated as "wrath", of Achilles is the opening word of the Iliad and bears crucial significance with respect to the remaining content of the epic. This opening word stands in contrast to the first line of the Odyssey, a text about a man, whose opening word is andra, meaning "man." If we take … Continue reading What is the Rage of Achilles?