Seminars for Students

Fall 2022: Iliad (Professor Eirene Allen)

For students in 9th-12th grade (14-18 years old). Free.

When: Wednesdays, Sept. 21-Dec. 14, 7-8 p.m. (No class Nov. 23.)

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.

Course requirements: attend all live sessions and 1 paper (5-7 pages) due Dec. 16.

Students will receive a grade and certificate upon completion of requirements.


Fall 2022: Iliad seminar Syllabus

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

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 paper topics.

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?