Sep 09

Homer’s Iliad: A New Translation

Michael Barnes, Ph.D.

Homer’s Iliad stands like a colossus at the beginning of Western literature. Written down sometime around 700 BC, the Iliad is a long, formidable poem that explores war, death, life, memory, family, friendship, and the common bonds of our humanity. Set near the end of the Trojan War, the Iliad tells the story of the conflict between Achilles, the greatest warrior of the Greeks, and Agamemnon, the leader of the Greek warlords who have come to Troy to exact revenge for the theft of Helen of Sparta, and its devastating consequences. With its enormous cast of characters, including gods and goddesses, the Iliad confronts the tragic beauty of existence—the joys and the inevitable costs of this mortal life—in startlingly direct and clear-eyed poetry that has, for many readers and critics, never been surpassed.

An excellent new translation of this ancient Greek epic poem by Emily Wilson was released last year, and in this course, students will slowly make their way, over the course of six weeks, through the 24 chapters (or “books”) of this exciting new translation of the Iliad. A (free) preliminary video presentation, available before the first class meeting, will offer all students the mythological and historical background they need to begin reading the poem. In the weekly class meetings, Prof. Barnes, who has taught the poems of Homer for over 25 years, will lecture for one hour on that week’s assigned reading, and then, in the second hour, lead a student-driven discussion and answer any questions. Even for those who have read the Iliad before, this course promises to be a rich, in-depth, and meaningful journey through one of the world’s most powerful stories.

*All students will need to purchase the following book for the class:
The Iliad, translated by Emily Wilson: ISBN-13: 978-1324076148 (paperback; released Aug. 6); ISBN-13: 978-1324001805 (hardcover)

Six-Week Course Schedule | Mondays
Sept 09 | 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Sept 16 | 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Sept 23 | 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Sept 30 | 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Oct 07 | 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Oct 14 | 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM

This class will be held in-person at WIH and simulcast via Zoom



Class Tuition

30 in stock

Price is per student. Class tuition is non-refundable.