Homer’s Humor: Laughter in “The Iliad”

By |2021-04-27T20:36:53-05:00April 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 [...]

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. [...]

Habit and Grace

By |2021-04-22T09:50:07-05:00September 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 [...]

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 [...]

From Hector to Christ

By |2020-04-07T03:58:09-05:00August 3rd, 2019|Categories: Death, Great Books, Homer, Iliad, Paul Krause|

Hector, in many ways, is the closest to Christ in the ancient pagan world of heroes, literature, and lore. Yet, he falls short of Christ as all men do—and as all pagans did. But there is something remarkably sacramental about Hector to the Christian reader; there is something about Hector that shows glimpses of the [...]

Telling Lies

By |2019-06-21T12:34:08-05:00June 17th, 2019|Categories: Aristotle, E.B., Eva Brann, Friedrich Nietzsche, Homer, Iliad, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Odyssey, Plato, St. John's College|

We should learn to cultivate the unwillingness to tolerate the unwitting, untold lie in the soul, and the wit and wisdom to transmute the unavoidable lying of any utterance into the telling lies that reveal truth… The first lecture of the school year is, by an old tradition, dedicated to the freshmen among us. Whether you [...]

The Divine Tragedy of Achilles

By |2019-09-03T15:08:40-05:00April 27th, 2019|Categories: Great Books, Heroism, Homer, Hope, Iliad|

The Iliad is Homer’s vehement attempt to reconcile god and man, clairvoyantly musing on how terrible and wonderful it would be if a man possessed a divine nature. As the heroes of The Iliad are slain in blood, Homer gives each of them an epitaph in poetry, that they may die not as expendable masses, [...]

Warfare in Epic Poetry

By |2021-04-22T18:32:08-05:00November 26th, 2018|Categories: Beauty, Civilization, Culture, Heroism, Homer, Iliad, Literature, Poetry, 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 Epic of the Family

By |2018-10-17T10:47:08-05:00October 16th, 2018|Categories: Books, Great Books, Homer, Iliad, Odyssey, Paul Krause, Senior Contributors, Virtue, Wisdom|

This is the ultimate message of Homer’s two epics: Where family is found, life is found; where family is found, true beauty is found; where family is found, piety is found; where family is dissolved, only death and destruction follows... The Trojan War, for our Homeric heroes, begins with marital infidelity and succumbing to temptation, [...]

Homeric Moments: Clues to Delight in Reading the “Odyssey” & “Iliad”

By |2021-02-19T11:53:32-06:00September 24th, 2018|Categories: Books, E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, Homer, Iliad, Odyssey|

Homeric Moments: Clues to Delight in Reading the Odyssey and the Iliad (326 pages, Paul Dry Books, 2002) "Reading Homer's poems is one of the purest, most inexhaustible pleasures life has to offer—a secret somewhat too well kept in our time. The aim of this book is to tell anyone who might care–first-time, second-time, or third-time [...]

Preface to the “Iliad” of Homer

By |2021-04-22T18:41:04-05:00September 14th, 2018|Categories: Books, Homer, Iliad|

Homer is universally allowed to have had the greatest invention of any writer whatever. The praise of judgment Virgil has justly contested with him, and others may have their pretensions as to particular excellences; but his invention remains yet unrivalled... Editorial Note: This essay was originally published as Alexander Pope's Preface to the Iliad of Homer. The [...]

The First Question and The Iliad

By |2021-04-27T11:10:33-05:00April 20th, 2018|Categories: Classics, Education, Great Books, Homer, Humanities, Iliad, Liberal Learning|

To the extent that I am a human person, Homer’s Iliad speaks to me, but my particular circumstances are my own. As a result, a great question will help all people, including me, and so might be applicable to my peculiar place in space and time without being exhausted by it. In one week I’m teaching [...]

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