Now Reading The Iliad


I have a confession to make.  I wasn’t able to complete my reading of Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield.  Between home improvement projects I’ve been working on, I got a bit away from it, and when I went back to it, I simply wasn’t feeling it.  I’ve decided to put it down for a bit and come back to it.  Instead, I’ve got this itch to move toward some ancient Greek literature.

With that being said, I’ve decided the first book on my adventure should be Homer’s The Iliad.  Ever since I tackled Dante’s The Divine Comedy around this time last year with The Inferno, and completing the comedy earlier this year, I knew I should take a look at some ancient Greek literature.  Reading Dante piqued my interest in tackling these works.  I’m reading the Barnes and Noble classic version of the book, and here’s what the back of the book says:

The epic song of Ilion (an old name for Troy), the Iliad recreates a few dramatic weeks near the end of the fabled Trojan war, concluding with the funeral of Hector, defender of the doomed city.  Through its majestic verses stride the legendary heroes Priam, Hector, Paris, and Aeneas for Troy; Achilles, Ajax, Menelaus, Agamemnon, Patroclus, and Odysseus for the Greeks; and the beautiful Helen, over whom the longstanding war has been waged.  Never far from the center of the story are the quarreling gods:  Zeus, Poseidon, Apollo, Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite.

The Iliad is the oldest extant Greek poem and perhaps the best-known epic in western literature, and has inspired countless works of art throughout its long history.  An assemblage of stories and legends shaped into a compelling single narrative, the Iliad was probably recited orally by bards for generations before being written down in the eighth century B.C.  A beloved fixture of early Greek culture, the poem found eager new audiences when it was translated into many languages during the Renaissance.  its themes of honor, power, status, heroism, and the whims of the gods have ensured its enduring popularity and immeasurable cultural influence.

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About Jeremy

Husband, book lover, Civil War Buff. If I could read for a living I would, but unfortunately, it doesn't pay the bills!

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