View Full Version : The Iliad

February 4th, 2003, 06:28 PM
Yes. I am just about to read The Iliad by Homer. So, has anyone read it? Anyone have any advice for me? When I told my mum that I was going to read it, her response was, "Good luck wading through it!" Very encouraging. Thanks Mum. ;)

So, anyone? I have a basic grasp on it, because I read this book that was essentially set during it, but it was different. Almost like fan fiction. So I've got a basic knowledge of characters and plot already. I really like Helen so far, for some strange reason. :confused: :p

February 4th, 2003, 09:28 PM
I've read it - I LOVE it! :D There's no "wading" through it at all. :p It grabs you right from the beginning: "Sing, goddess, of the anger of Achilles, son of Peleus..." (Something like that, anyway...) Gave me chills when I read it, as did many passages.

As for advice... One shouldn't need any, IMHO, except an open mind that doesn't hold one back by thinking, "Ee, this is too obscure, I'm not going to understand this." It's NOT difficult to read or follow plot-wise. Just don't hurry through it... if you're really having trouble getting through it, then try reading it out loud as if you're acting the character, or play it in your head like a a movie, if you don't already do that when you read. It's very hard to be bored with it then. ;)

And since you have the premise, and mentioned Helen, I guess I can't give any spoilers as long as I just stick to commentating on some of the characters...

Helen...eh, I can't stand her and Paris. If she had had any sense of decency at all, she would have escaped at some point during all those long ten years of war, or done something to bring the war to an end. She and Paris are a pair of heartless, selfish knuckleheads, IMHO. ;) I'd give them a piece of my mind if I ever met up with them. <g>

Diomedes, son of Tydeus...ah. :) He's one of my favorite characters. Great, brave warrior, and more decent than many of the other Greeks.

Achilles - just a big baby who sulks a lot. He needed a good spanking or three, IMHO.

Patroclus - another big favorite of mine, although what he saw in his friend Achilles is beyond me. ;) But one would be very lucky to have a friend like him.

Hector - Another favorite, although the book is so written from the Greeks' PoV that one tends to automatically treat him like a "bad guy." ;) Wait til you read this scene with his wife and little son. It's incredibly moving.

Menelaus... a decent guy, I suppose, but for crying out loud, why couldn't he have refrained from dragging the whole land into war after a single person?! Hmph.

And Odysseus - another great character, but if it wasn't for his scheme about everyone being loyal to the one who won Helen, the war wouldn't have happened. Grr. On a side note - after you read this, you've got to read the Odyssey. That is another spectacular read! :D

Hm... think that's about all the big characters I can think of. Priam, Agamemnon, and the rest are kind of blurred into my memory... the Iliad is far overdue for a re-read. ;)

Just out of curiosity, which translation are you reading? I have the Richard Lattimore version, but I'm always on the lookout for a translation that is as literal to the ancient Greek as possible. So many translators use the original language as a base for what they want to say, not what Homer wrote. I suppose they're all guilty of that on some level, though, so probably the best one to get if one's after as much accuracy as possible would be an interlinear translation.

Reading about the real Troy is pretty interesting, too, if you want some background, although the eccentric (to put it mildly) discover, Heinrich Schliemann, absolutely butchered the site (and ironically, the very layer of Troy he was searching for so madly), and his fanciful jumping to conclusions is absurd at times. But it's still interesting, especially how he found Troy through the Iliad itself, which nobody else thought to have any kind of historical basis to it back then. Then there's that amazing treasure trove he found (which he mistakenly thought belonged to Priam, of course), which disappeared in Berlin during WWII, and is supposed to be in the hands of the Russians right now...

Ahem, sorry, this got a bit more lengthier than I intended. Anyway...hope you enjoy the book! :)



Anybody ever see the Far Side of the wooden horse inside a silent Troy at night, and all the Greeks rushing out of it... towards a little outhouse standing nearby? ;)

February 5th, 2003, 10:54 AM
I read it last year, and I personally really liked it. I don't think I could tell you anything that Tree hasn't already though ;)

After you read it, then you'll be all ready for when the movie Troy comes out. (With Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom!)

February 5th, 2003, 01:06 PM
Originally posted by Dakota
I read it last year, and I personally really liked it. I don't think I could tell you anything that Tree hasn't already though ;)

Yay, another Iliad fan. :D Eh, I left out a lot...I really need to reread it, I've forgotten so much. Hopefully sometime within the next year... or ten (::sob:: )... My appetite's really whetted now. <g>

After you read it, then you'll be all ready for when the movie Troy comes out. (With Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom!)

Aw, shucks... Yet another masterpiece to be mangled plotwise and rendered popular mostly from the use of "hot" actors... no offense meant to those here who happen to like the said actors, though. :) I just don't like it when the public pays more attention to the actors than to the story the actors are portraying. After all, it's not Brad Pitt at Troy (perish the thought <g> ), it's Achilles (I keep wanting to write "Antilles" ::grins:: ), or Hector, or whoever it is he's be playing. ::side rant ends:: Ahem, sorry. ;)

Actually, though, I'm surprised nobody else has made a movie out of the tale before now...same with the Odyssey, too. Unless there's been some early ones that I don't know about...



Another Iliad-themed ending quote: In Isaac Asimov's Black Widower mystery stories (fabulous reads, I love them!!), one member of the Black Widower Club had this habit of turning the Iliad into a series of limericks, one for each book, I think it was. So every time they had a dinner and meeting (and solved a mystery), he'd recite the next limerick, something which greatly annoyed the other members. <g>

February 5th, 2003, 01:15 PM
I've started reading it now, and I love it! I don't think it's a difficult read at all. Plus my copy has a glossary in the back.

When I read that article thing about the Troy movie I laughed! It just seems so funny to me to think of Brad Pitt as... who was he supposed to be playing? Well, any of them really. And Orlando Bloom as Paris. I just about fell over laughing.

Anyway, I can't say that I'm a big fan of Brad Pitt, but I do happen to like Orlando Bloom's acting. Yeah, he's hot, you can't deny it, but every role I've seen him in he's played well. But if I watch the movie, I will be watching the characters, not the actors. I promise. I will remember that Brad Pitt was never at Troy. ;)

So I brought the book to school today, and this one teacher said, "Oh, you're reading Homer? I always found his stuff very dry." And then me and this other teacher were talking about how it's NOT dry, and that he probably just got a bad translation. :p

Slagar the Cruel
February 5th, 2003, 02:26 PM
The Illiad's a great book. I haven't read it in years, though.

Actually, though, I'm surprised nobody else has made a movie out of the tale before now...Well, technically there's Helen of Troy... others, too. I don't believe there's ever been a flat-out Illiad movie, though.

February 5th, 2003, 02:48 PM
So was 'Helen of Troy' any good? Never even heard of it.

I'm not sure what to think about this Iliad movie. It better be good. :p

February 5th, 2003, 04:22 PM
Yeah, he's hot, you can't deny it, but every role I've seen him in he's played well.
Hmm, isn't Orlando Bloom the guy who plays Legolas:rolleyes: *snicker*
I'd love to read The Iliad, sounds neat, but something tells me we won't be reading that this year. Might get to read Lord of The Flies, which is supposed to be downright brilliant.

February 5th, 2003, 10:45 PM
I'm glad you like it, Airemia. Can't believe one of your teachers would tell you that he finds Homer dry... :eek: Bet he only reads Cliff's Notes Shakespeare, too. ;)

Hm, I didn't know about Helen of Troy, either. Hopefully, this new movie will get more people reading the Iliad, at least... ;)



A short little gem of a letter by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, written when he was 16. Apparently, Nannerl and her mother both found this style very amusing, although Wolfi restrained himself somewhat when he wrote to his father. :rolleyes:

"To Nannerl

"I hope you are well, my dear sister. When you receive this letter, my dear sister, my opera will be being performed that same evening. Think of me, my dear sister, and do your best to imagine, my dear sister, that you are watching and hearing it too, my dear sister. Admittedly that is difficult, as it is already eleven o'clock; what's more, I believe beyond any doubt that during the day it is brighter than at Easter.

"My dear sister, tomorrow we dine at Herr von Mayer's, and why is this, do you think? Guess! Because he has invited us. Tomorrow's rehearsal is at the theater, but the impresario, Signor Castiglioni, has urged me not to say anything about it, because otherwise everybody will come rushing along, and we don't want that. So, my child, I beg you not to tell anyone anything about it. Otherwise too many people would come rushing along.

"That reminds me, do you know what happened here today? I'll tell you. We left Count Firmian's to go home and when we reached our street, we opened the front door and what do you suppose happened then? We went in. Goodbye, my little lung. I embrace you, my liver, and remain, my stomach, ever your unworthy brother


Please, my dear sister, something is biting me - please scratch me."

February 6th, 2003, 01:10 PM
Hopefully, this new movie will get more people reading the Iliad, at least...

Yeah, and then maybe this huge Iliad craze would start, and I *finally* would have read the book before seeing the movie! :p

The Red Badger
February 7th, 2003, 06:50 PM
Orlando Bloom is really just a mediocre actor. Average, not outstanding.

There was an ABC mini-series or something back in. . . 1997, I think. . . adapting the Odyssey, starring Armand Assante and Vanessa Williams. I don't think it was the first adaptation, either.