The Iliad: Books 13–18

This course will be a book-by-book close reading of books 13 through 18 of the Iliad, the great epic of ancient Greece. The Iliad is the earliest work in the ancient Greek language, written down sometime around 750–730 b.c. Attributed to Homer, the Iliad was constructed by generations of bards orally retelling and commemorating in song a war fought in previous generations over the plains of Troy. The epic tells the tale of the wrath of the Greeks’ greatest warrior, Achilles, whose withdrawal from the conflict changes the course of the war. In this seminar-style course we will examine the text, language, narrative, society, and traditions that shaped this epic, as well as the influence it has had in history, literature, archaeology, philology, and art. On our journey we will encounter the memorable characters of this heroic tale: the commanders of the expedition against Troy; Agamemnon; his cuckolded brother Menelaus; Priam, the doomed king of Troy; Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world and causis belli; Paris, her lover; Hector, the defender of the city; and Achilles, the young hero who knows that his glory is tied to his mortality. The Iliad is the unexcelled tale of life, death, passion, combat, fate, gods, and, above all, what it is to be human.

Group Leader: Robert Manning
Venue: King's Chapel Parish House
Meets on: Friday 10 AM to noon
Starting: 10/11/2024
Sessions: 6
Class Size: 16
Teaching Style: Seminar
Weekly Preparation: 1 - 2 hours
Group Leader Biography:

Robert Manning is a graduate of Providence College and Boston University School of Law. A labor lawyer for 30 years, he represented workers and negotiated for unions in many industries and employment sectors. He currently works as an arbitrator. Robert is passionate about the classical world and the humanities and, post law school, has pursued these passions at Harvard Extension School, studying, among other things, screenwriting, Greek, Latin, German, religious studies, classical literature, and philosophy. He is a member of the Classical Association of New England (CANE) and serves on the Finance Committee for the CANE Summer Institute.