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Articles on the Iliad

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President Joe Biden, left, and first lady Jill Biden depart following a presidential debate with Donald Trump on June 27, 2024, in Atlanta. AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

‘The immortal Gods alone have neither age nor death’: Wisdom from Greek tragedies for Joe Biden

In the ugly spectacle of American politics, it’s hard to keep humanity in sight. But literature, says a poet and scholar of the classics, can remind us of what we know about growing old.
A scene from a 1911 staging of the ancient Greek classic ‘Oedipus Rex.’ Imagno/Getty Images

Plagues follow bad leadership in ancient Greek tales

Greek epics remind audiences that leaders need to be able to plan for the future based on what has happened in the past. They need to understand cause and effect.
Scene from the movie, Troy, loosely based on Homer’s Iliad. (Troy)

Toxic masculinity fostered by misreadings of the classics

A classics professor is haunted by the co-optation of his discipline by the so-called “alt-right,” toxic masculinity and other self-styled “defenders of Western civilization.”
The Greeks defend their ships from the Trojans in Alfred Churchill’s Story of the Iliad, 1911. Wikimedia

Guide to the classics: Homer’s Iliad

A central idea in the Iliad - a poetic work focused on the war for Troy - is the inevitability of death. The poem held a special place in antiquity, and has resonated in the millennia since.

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