Or have we evolved morally? What is particularly electrifying about that manuscript is that it has in the margins this wonderful scholarly commentary, which goes back to the ancient Hellenistic erain the 4th century B.
Zeus says of Achilles: What good will it do him? Steiner writes: The Homer of the Iliad and Tolstoy are akin in yet another respect. Honor is Homer's tool for drawing the line between humanity and barbarity—there is indeed a line, and it is important.
Why did The Iliad stand the test of time? What matters is the kingdom of this world, here and now. Tony Blair wove his own when giving evidence at the Chilcot inquiry yesterday: the latest, unpoetic attempt to make sense of an east-west clash of powers.
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Parts of the text are blood-soaked. Breaking horses is a gentle art, the occupation of peacetime even if those horses are being readied for future war. Even Aphrodite is a lesser goddess within the context of the war, where the mortal Diomedes is able to wound her easily. On one side, we have unmitigated barbarity.
Marines urinating on the corpses of three Taliban fighters.