Where does Homer come from? And why does Homer matter? His epic poems of war and suffering can still speak to us of the role of destiny in life, of cruelty, of humanity and its frailty, but why they do is a mystery. How can we be so intimate with something so distant?
Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and Virgil’s Aeneid are three of the most important—and influential—works of Western classical literature. Although they differ in subject matter and authorship, these epic poems share a common purpose: to tell the “deeds both of men and of the gods.” Written in an accessible style and ideally suited for classroom use, Communication, Love, and Death in Homer and Virgil offers a unique comparative analysis of these classic works. As author Stephen Ridd explains, the common themes of communication, love, and death respond to “deeply ingrained human needs” and are therefore of perennial interest. Presenting select passages from the original Greek and Latin texts—translated here into modern English—Ridd explores in detail how the characters within the poems communicate on these subjects with one another as well as with the reader. Individual chapters focus on subjects such as the traditions of singing and storytelling, relationships between sons and mothers, the role of Helen of Troy and her ties to the men in her life, and communication with the dead. Throughout his analysis, Ridd treats the three poems on an equal basis, revealing similarities and differences in their handling of prevalent themes. By introducing readers to a new way of reading these abiding classics, Communication, Love, and Death in Homer and Virgil enhances our appreciation of the imaginative world of ancient Greek and Roman epic poetry.
High on Olympus, Zeus and the assembled deities look down on the world of men, to the city of Troy where a bitter and bloody war has dragged into its tenth year, and a quarrel rages between a legendary warrior and his commander. Greek ships decay, men languish, exhausted, and behind the walls of Troy a desperate people await the next turn of fate. This is the Iliad: an ancient story of enduring power; magnetic characters defined by stirring and momentous speeches; a panorama of human lives locked in a heroic struggle beneath a mischievous or indifferent heaven. Above all, this is a tale of the devastation, waste and pity of war. Caroline Alexander's virtuoso translation captures the rhythms and energy of Homer's original Greek while making the text as accessible as possible to a modern reader, accompanied by extensive extra material to provide a background to the poem. The result of three thousand years of story-telling, Homer’s epic tale of the fall of Troy has resonated with every age and every human conflict: this is the Iliad at its most electrifying and vital.
For statesmen, friendship is the lingua franca of politics. Considering the connections between personal and political friendship, John von Heyking’s The Form of Politics interprets the texts of Plato and Aristotle and emphasizes the role that friendship has in enduring philosophical and contemporary political contexts. Beginning with a discussion on virtue-friendship, described by Aristotle and Plato as an agreement on what qualifies as the pursuit of good, The Form of Politics demonstrates that virtue and political friendship form a paradoxical relationship in which political friendships need to be nourished by virtue-friendships that transcend the moral and intellectual horizons of the political society. Von Heyking then examines Aristotle’s ethical and political writings – which are set within the boundaries of political life – and Plato’s dialogues on friendship in Lysis and the Laws, which characterize political friendship as festivity. Ultimately, arguing that friendship is the high point of a virtuous political life, von Heyking presents a fresh interpretation of Aristotle and Plato’s political thought, and a new take on the most essential goals in politics. Inviting reassessment of the relationship between friendship and politics by returning to the origins of Western philosophy, The Form of Politics is a lucid work on the foundations of political cooperation.
This textbook is endorsed by OCR and supports the specifications for AS and A-Level Classical Civilisation (first teaching September 2017). It covers all three options for Component 11: World of the Hero (Homer's Iliad, Homer's Odyssey and Virgil's Aeneid). Why does the Trojan War continue to fascinate us? What makes Odysseus a hero? What links can be drawn between the Aeneid and today's global politics? This book guides AS and A-Level students to a greater understanding of the epics of Homer and Virgil, setting the poems in their cultural context and drawing on the scholarship of leading academics to explore the poetry, characters and underlying philosophies. The colour illustrations, from the Cyclops on a Greek pot to a photograph of protesting Yadizi women, reflect the universal impact and continuing relevance of these classical epics. The ideal preparation for the final examinations, all content is presented by an expert and experienced teacher in a clear and accessible narrative. Ancient literary sources are described and analysed. Helpful student features include study questions, quotations from contemporary scholars, further reading, and boxes focusing in on key people, events and terms. Practice questions and exam guidance prepare students for assessment. A Companion Website is available at www.bloomsbury.com/class-civ-as-a-level.
The full story of seabirds from one of the greatest nature writers. The book looks at the pattern of their lives, their habitats, the threats they face and the passions they inspire – beautifully illustrated by artist Kate Boxer. SHORTLISTED FOR THE RICHARD JEFFERIES SOCIETY AWARD FOR NATURE WRITING 2017
This is a uniquely well-informed and comprehensive guide to the world of religion in the Graeco-Roman environment of early Christianity. Drawing on the most up-to-date scholarship, the volume paints a carefully nuanced portrait of the Christians' religious context. Besides describing ordinary domestic and civic religion and popular belief (including astrology, divination and 'magic'), there is extended discussion of mystery cults, ruler and emperor cults, the religious dimensions of philosophy, and Gnosticism. A valuable textbook for advanced students, as well as an authoritative reference work for scholars.
Andrew Lang, assisted by Walter Leaf and Ernest Myers, has put the old Greek epos into contemporary English prose. This book is annotated with a rare extensive biographical sketch of the author, Andrew Lang, written by Sir Edmund Gosse, CB, a contemporary poet and writer.
The brutal wrath of Akhilleus and what follows from it. The Ur-text and the Ur-tragedy of Western literature. Homer’s ILIAD is both the simplest and also the most complex and beautiful poem ever written about war and about those who engage in it. War’s pity, war’s desolation, war’s stupidity and (some would say) war’s glory. A mirror of human conduct. A necessary primer for statesmen. The cautionary image of what it means to send young people off to war and have them blow each other to pieces. Homer’s epic newly translated from the Greek.