Homer’s Humor: Laughter in “The Iliad”

By |2021-04-05T12:35:22-05:00April 8th, 2021|Categories: Great Books, Homer, Humor, Iliad|

Why characters in Homer’s “Iliad” laugh, and why readers are invited and entitled to laugh, are complicated issues. Quite distinct kinds of humor emerge from and contribute to the epic’s predominantly tragic, painfully serious project. In Homer’s myriad-minded narrative, it is often but a step from the sublime to the ridiculous—and the reverse. Mockery and [...]

Cancelling the Classics? The Woke Crowd Comes for Homer’s “Odyssey”

By |2021-01-16T16:44:18-06:00January 16th, 2021|Categories: Education, Great Books, Homer, Literature, Odyssey, Western Civilization|

The “woke” crowd is now intent on tossing out Homer’s “Odyssey” and challenging classical literary tradition. They want to inculcate a Jacobin uniformity of belief in the minds of future generations. How much easier will it be to recast history in the rigid terms of oppressor and oppressed, of exploiter and exploited, when no one [...]

Jew and Greek

By |2020-12-25T18:28:06-06:00December 23rd, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Christmas, Glenn Arbery, Great Books, Iliad, Odyssey, Senior Contributors, Wyoming Catholic College|

Against the backdrop of angels and gods, Jew and Greek, comes the humble birth in Bethlehem. This most momentous intervention is God’s incarnation. God is the newborn mortal child wholly dependent on others to shelter and nourish him. He is also, at the same time, the ageless and immortal God on Whom all creation depends. [...]

The Problem of Eumaios

By |2020-10-16T12:09:09-05:00October 24th, 2020|Categories: Glenn Arbery, Great Books, Homer, Odyssey, Senior Contributors, Slavery, Wyoming Catholic College|

Refusing to dwell upon the “subjunctive abyss”—that bottomless, tormenting sense of what has been denied or taken away—Eumaios the swineherd gives his energies to what he can do and do well. He practices virtue on his own with no one else to enforce it and reminds the wandering Odysseus what real nobility is. Whatever I [...]

Geography of Being

By |2020-10-12T10:40:31-05:00October 17th, 2020|Categories: Classics, Glenn Arbery, Great Books, History, Homer, Odyssey, Senior Contributors, Wyoming Catholic College|

When we study the classics, we might have the atlas open beside the book to remind us where we are and when we live. We can feel the overlays of history and empires and languages that sweep over the same disputed places. Relevant and contemporary to us, the great actions of mind and spirit strive [...]

Habit and Grace

By |2020-09-19T11:00:48-05:00September 19th, 2020|Categories: Glenn Arbery, Great Books, Homer, Iliad, Senior Contributors, St. Thomas Aquinas, Wyoming Catholic College|

The “Iliad” shows us human nature under extreme duress. Understanding Agamemnon and the consequences of his actions gives us a complex gauge of character. We come to recognize how often in daily life surprises come and how much they reveal that we stand in need of grace. Poor Agamemnon. At the very outset of Western [...]

Life After Death With the Poets

By |2020-08-14T12:21:34-05:00August 16th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Dante, Death, Great Books, Homer, Joseph Pearce, Poetry, Senior Contributors, Virgil|

The greatest poets, including Homer, Virgil, and Dante, ask what happens to the human soul after death. Do the dead become mere shadows of their former selves or do they become more real? The greatest poets have always asked the most important questions. One of the most important questions concerns the destiny of the human [...]

Homer’s “Odyssey” and What It Means to Be Human

By |2020-05-22T00:16:16-05:00April 4th, 2020|Categories: Books, Gleaves Whitney, Great Books, Greek Epic Poetry, Homer, Imagination, Literature, Odyssey, W. Winston Elliott III|

As we are forced into isolation and confronted by our mortality in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we begin to ask ourselves an important question: What does it mean to be human? Gleaves Whitney, Director of Grand Valley State University’s Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies, and Winston Elliott III, The Imaginative Conservative’s Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, [...]

The Theology of Socratic Piety

By |2020-03-18T18:44:00-05:00March 18th, 2020|Categories: Apology, Crito, Greek Epic Poetry, Homer, Myth, Phaedo, Socrates, Timeless Essays|

We know that Socrates was accused of introducing new gods and of corrupting the youth. But what was Socrates’ true position concerning the gods? Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join the late Nalin Ranasinghe, as he analyzes the essence of piety as expressed in Plato’s Euthyphro. —W. Winston [...]

Heroes of Love

By |2020-01-15T15:10:03-06:00January 15th, 2020|Categories: Great Books, Greek Epic Poetry, Heroism, Homer, Iliad, Imagination, Literature, Love, Odyssey, Paul Krause, Senior Contributors|

One of the most defining aspects of our humanity is love. We are creatures of affectivity made in love for love. It is the recognition of this fact that makes Homer so eternal: his heroes are heroes of love. In a cosmos governed by lust, strife, and war, the loving deeds of our Homeric heroes stand out. [...]

Warfare in Epic Poetry

By |2019-08-11T15:38:58-05:00August 11th, 2019|Categories: Death, Great Books, Homer, Iliad, Odyssey, Timeless Essays, War|

A culture that fails to represent, or that misrepresents its wars in all their glory, gravity, and tragedy, is a weaker polity. Epic poetry, with its stark recording of the facts and feelings of war, can give cultures and communities access to the reality of warfare and inscribe its memory on the collective consciousness and [...]

Homer’s “Iliad” and the Shield of Love and Strife

By |2019-08-08T09:43:26-05:00August 8th, 2019|Categories: Great Books, Greek Epic Poetry, Homer, Iliad, Literature, Love, Odyssey, Paul Krause, Senior Contributors, War|

The human characters of Homer’s grand epic, the “Iliad,” embody what Homer is driving home at with his poem: the tension between strife and love. Achilles transforms from a rage-filled and strife-filled killer to a forgiving lover touched by the very power of love. Homer’s Iliad is the defining epic of Western literature. Its heroes [...]

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