Homer’s Humanity: Moments of Grace in The Iliad

Basic Program instructor Cynthia Rutz examines glimmers of human connection in Homer's epic poem.

Nineteenth-century white marble sculpture depicting Priam as he kneels before Achilles, pleading for the body of his son Hector.
Jun 03

About the Event

Presented by Basic Program instructors and open to all, these lectures also complement the texts and ideas from our curriculum and always include a Q&A session.

Homer’s epic poem The Iliad, composed around 750 BCE, is set during the tenth year of the siege of the ancient city of Troy by a coalition of Greeks led by King Agamemnon. The poem seems to celebrate violence, for as it proceeds, bloody battle scenes predominate more and more. However, there are also moments of grace, times when characters connect with each other or with us. This lecture will focus on these moments of grace, times when we are lifted out of the incessant combat into a realm where human connection is possible, however briefly. By focusing on these scenes we will see how Homer, by taking us temporarily away from the violence of war, even more shows us its dreadful cost.

Who's Speaking

Cynthia Rutz

Cynthia Rutz

Basic Program Instructor

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