Seminars for Teachers: Homer’s Iliad

Fall 2023: Iliad (Professor Eirene Allen)

For Middle, High School, and HomeSchool Teachers. Free.

When: Mondays, September 25-December 18 (no class November 20), 7-9 PM ET (NYC).

Forum: Live classes on Zoom. (The link will be emailed to you a few days before the first class.)

Syllabus: see below.

Required texts: Homer’s Iliad, translated by Anthony Verity

I will be using the edition translated by Anthony Verity. Other recommended translations are those by Richmond Lattimore, Peter Green, and E. V. Rieu. A prose translation is available to download free here:

Course requirements: Participants who attend all live sessions will receive a certificate of completion of 35 hours. Participants who attend all live sessions and submit a lesson plan or a reflection paper will receive a certificate of completion of 45 hours.


Fall 2022: Iliad seminar

Course requirements: Attend all live sessions. Teachers will receive a certificate upon completion (35 credits for attendance alone, 45 for attendance and final written assignment).

Institute for Classics Education Website:

Fall 2023: Iliad seminar

The Iliad is typically cited as the first work of Western literature, the beginning of a long tradition. While this formulation accurately conveys the Iliad’s central inspirational function, the epic also marks the end of a long tradition of oral storytelling. In this sense, the Iliad is both alpha and omega. This course will explore the Iliad from both perspectives, its coded meanings and messages within its time and its appeal across time.

Week 1: Introducing the world of Homer
Read: Barbara Graziosi’s Introduction to Anthony Verity’s Iliad
Watch: Introduction to the Iliad with Graziosi and Verity

Week 2: Community & authority among gods and men
Read: Iliad 1-4

Week 3: Gods among heroes
Read: Iliad 5-7

Week 4: Poetry & the Embassy to Achilles
Read: Iliad 8-10

Week 5: The hero in Homer
Read: Iliad 11-13

Week 6: Zeus’ plan accelerates
Read: Iliad 14-16

Week 7: Discussion of teaching implications

Week 8: Patroclus’ sacrifice & Achilles’ shield
Read: Iliad 17-19

Week 9: The excesses of Achilles
Read: Iliad 20-22

Week 10: Patroclus’ Funeral Games
Read: Iliad 23

Week 11: Piety & Pity
Read: Iliad 24

Week 12: What is the Iliad about?