2. Homer – The Iliad

Homer lived around the 9th or 8th century BC.

Original language: Greek.

I read the Richmond Lattimore translation.

It’s beautiful in every way- characters, plot, language, poetry.

The plot is driven by toxic masculinity. And the childish petulance of Achilles. He got mad at Agamemnon for taking his sex slave, Briseis. So Achilles begs his goddess mother to ask Zeus to favor the Greeks’ enemy, the Trojans, just so they would miss him. Titanic selfishness. And I noticed that in the funeral games for Patroklos, a woman was among the prizes for winning the events.

There is a book called The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker, written from Brisies’s point of view.

I liked how the gods were so human. And they unashamedly put their thumbs on the scale to favor one side or the other. Some gods favored the Greeks (Athene, Poseidon, Hera), and some the Trojans (Ares, Apollo, Aphrodite).

The gods determined man’s destiny and he could not escape it. Also, it’s hard to believe that that enormous war was caused by Helen leaving her husband.


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