The Iliad and the Odyssey

The epic poems Iliad and Odyssey remain as illuminating of the human condition and as entertaining to modern readers as they did to Homer’s contemporaries nearly three thousand years ago.  The student in this independent study will read recent translations of these seminal texts and will learn about the characters and the events in these epics, and the culture that became the foundation of Western civilization and the inspiration for countless works of art and literature.  Through the study of the texts, ancillary materials, and discussions with the mentor, the student will gain an understanding of epic poetry, the Homeric society, and Greek culture and its legacy.  The study will concentrate on key scenes in the poems and will explore the themes of honor, glory, virtue, fate, courage, death, friendship, and war.