Seminars for Students

Fall 2021: Iliad (Professor Eirene Allen)

For students in 9th-12th grade (14-18 years old). Free. Max 10 students.

When: Sept. 14-Dec. 14, Tuesdays 7-8 p.m.

Forum: Live classes on Zoom. Discussion on Discord.

Syllabus: see below.

Required texts: Homer’s Iliad, translated by Anthony Verity and Gareth Hinds’ Iliad: A Graphic Novel Adaptation

Course requirements: attend all live sessions, participate in Discord discussion, and 1 paper (5-7 pages) due Dec. 17.

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


Fall 2021: Iliad seminar Syllabus

The Iliad is one of the most influential poems in human history. Its story of heroism and sacrifice has captivated readers for more than two-and-a-half thousand years, inspiring works of art across all genres and mediums and generating hundreds of years of debate about its meaning. In this course, we will explore the poem’s meaning and appeal. Using both Anthony Verity’s verse translation of the Iliad and Gareth Hinds’ graphic novelization, we will unpack the poem’s narrative, characters, and messages. Alongside the poem itself we will consider music, visual, and literary art that the poem has inspired.

Week 1: Introducing mythology around the Trojan War

Read: Hinds through the Prologue

Week 2: Community & authority among gods and men

Read: Hinds Books 1-3, selected passages from Iliad 1-3

Week 3: Gods among heroes

Read: Hinds Book 4-6, selected passages from Iliad 4-6

Week 4: Poetry & the Embassy to Achilles

Read: Hinds Books 7-9, selected passages from Iliad 7-9

Week 5: Fate & will

Read: Selected passages from Iliad

Week 6: Zeus’ plan accelerates

Read: Hinds Books 10-12, selected passages from Iliad 10-12

Week 7: The Greeks under siege

Read: Hinds Books 13-15, selected passages from Iliad 13-15

Week 8: Patroclus’ sacrifice & Achilles’ shield

Read: Hinds Books 16-18, selected passages from Iliad 16-18

Week 9: The world of the Iliad

Read: Selected passages from the Iliad

Week 10: The excesses of Achilles

Read: Hinds Books 19-21, selected passages from Iliad 19-21

Week 11: A good death, proper rites, and pity

Read: Hinds Books 22-24, selected passages from Iliad 22-24

Week 12: Text & subtext

Read: Selected passages from the Iliad

Week 13: Authority & its discontents

Read: Selected passages from the Iliad

Week 14: What is the Iliad about?

Selected passages from the Iliad