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?
The rising tide of scientific investigation, everywhere pervading our age, begs us, once more, to pose the question of the authenticity of Homer. This question comes about as a need to discover the sole source for the production of the Homeric works, the Iliad and the Odyssey. Could they have been the creation of one man? Or … Continue reading On the Homeric Question
Book Two of the Iliad is the most politically revealing passage found in Homeric literature. "Achilles Receiving the Ambassadors of Agamemnon" by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1801) Recall our heroes, the disparate Achaean princes feuding with one another. Despite being united under the arrogant leadership of Agamemnon, who is regularly deemed "the shepherd of the people," the Achaeans … Continue reading Political Philosophy in the Iliad
In the most pivotal moment of the Torah, Moses is called "up" the mountain of Sinai to retrieve the law for the Israelites (Exodus 19-20). The Mosaic law is too important for the Lord to come "down" the mountain, and communicate it to the people. Instead, the Lord ensures a shroud of secrecy behind the creation … Continue reading What Is Mosaic Law?
Michelangelo's The Fall and Expulsion From Paradise, a fresco from the Sistine Chapel (1510) In the garden of Eden, we encounter two trees: the tree of knowledge, good and evil; and the tree of life. In Genesis Chapter III, we discover new humans in the garden (if we accept either the seven day creation narrative … Continue reading Genesis III: In Defense of the Serpent
Deuteronomy comes to us from the Greek meaning “second law,” and the Hebrew Devarim meaning “spoken words” or also “these are the words.” It is presented as the valedictory speech of Moses which he delivers across the Jordan shortly before his death. It is the most rhetorical book of the Torah, and since rhetoric can be … Continue reading The Words of Moses