Introduction to the Homeric Epics: The Singer of Tales


I.                    Approaches to Homer and Greek Civilization

A.     Cultural, Philosophical, and Contextual Approaches

B.     Literature and Mythology

C.     The Ancient Canon and the Modern Canon

D.     Classical Literature in the Modern World

II.                 The Real Homer: c. 750-650 BCE

A.     The Blind Bard: Homer and the Tradition

B.     Milman Parry and Albert Lord Discover Real Bards

C.     The Dark Ages (1200-900 BCE) and the Dorian Invasion

D.     Heinrich Schliemann and the Discovery of Troy

III.               The Trojan War: Bronze Age Greece, c. 1250-1240 BCE

A.     The Face that Launched a Thousand Ships

B.     The Iliad: The Battle for Troy

C.     The Greek Warrior Ethos

D.     Achilles on the Battlefield

IV.              Two Epics, Two Heroes, Two Homers?

A.     Comparing the Iliad and the Odyssey

B.     Tales of War and Peace

C.     The Maturing of the Epic Hero

D.     The Bard and Tradition

V.                 The Divine and the Human in Homer

A.     The Greek Pantheon

B.     Fate and the Limits of Divine Intervention

C.     Crooked Kronos

D.     Omens and Prophecies

E.      Divine Justice