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Fabularum Bibliotheca ILIAD chat
September 12, 1998
373 lines of discussion for
Chat Transcript page one of two
13:39 Torrey Philemon enters...
13:48 diopan Nestor enters...
13:49 diopan Nestor exits...
13:50 Ricardex Cornelius enters...
Cornelius: WE start in 10
Philemon: Hello Ricardex...Going to grab some lunch while I wait for the chat to
13:52 Moira Cumhaill enters...
13:53 RobertusI Marius enters...
Marius: Hi Ricardex & everyone!
Philemon: Anyone here who's used this chat before? If so, what's the best update
frequency? I set 60 seconds.
Marius: I use 10 seconds
13:54 gnaeus Junius enters...
13:54 Ricardex Cornelius enters...
Philemon: Ten seconds? Doesn't it interfere with your writing? On some chats, you lost
what you write during refresh. Maybe not here.
13:55 Ricardex Cornelius enters...
Cornelius: ing good gfor crowd.
13:55 gnaeus Junius:
Marius: I've never had a problem. However I don't have much experience.
13:56 diopan Nestor enters...
Cornelius: I want lots of comments, this looks good.
Cornelius: Greetings it i sgood to se new faces. Clock says four minutes too start.
Cornelius: Stanley Lombardo i smy text, for this work, his translation is in modern
13:58 diopan Nestor:
Cornelius: Diopan hi,
Marius: I have a copy of Fagles at my desk.
Philemon: I too read Lombardo. Would be interested in comments by people who's read a
few translations...which they like best and why.
Cornelius: Great topics and questions.
Cornelius: Well, let me introduc emyself, i am head libririan or leader of group,
Philemon: Thankyou Ricardex for encouraging this discussion...
Cornelius: Forgive my spelling, will others introduce themselves.
Cornelius: And say whattranslationyour read.
Marius: I haven't read Lombardo yet. I've read the Fitzgerald, Rouse, Graves, and
Fagles . I like Fagles the best of those I have read.
Cornelius: RobertusI you will be a guide for us then, please.
14:03 David Marius enters...
Cornelius: We are introucing selves and mentioning translations used in reading this
14:05 diopan Nestor:
I read the first song in greek and I cn't remember who translated the english version I
read (however the hebrew trans.
14:05 Shaquilat Sergius enters...
Cornelius: Diopan, good range, others?
14:05 David Marius:
I read Fagles. All the Iliad. Now about half way thru the intro essay
14:06 Asterix Flavius enters...
14:06 Belay Fabius enters...
Philemon: I'm also interested in good commentaries. Calasso's The Marriage of Cadmus
and Harmony has an excellent chapter on the Iliad...
Cornelius: RobertusI wil you in about two minutes make some comments on the
differences you found in texts?
Sergius: I am reading Fagles too. I'm in the final book where Priam meets Hermes.
Cornelius: To new folk sentering introduce self, and tell what translation you used.
Marius: This is some crowd!!!
Flavius: Allo, allo, allo. I'm read Fagles. Also Rouse, but that was 30+
14:07 gnaeus Junius:
I often prefer the Lattiore translationbut I think Fagles is beter in crucial scenes such
as thebook in which Achilles refuss compensation from gamemnon`s emissaies.
Cornelius: M by the ways sends regrets her father demanded her time and so....
Cornelius: Okay any other introductions?
Philemon: Regarding introductions...I'm an Internet trainer/psychotherapist/writer,
with a special interest in psychological/personal development issues in myth. Most
interested in character - Achilles, Helen etc.
14:08 Belay Fabius:
Greetings, sorry can't stay but will listen for a while....
Marius: I just remembered I've read Lattimore as well. Thanks gnaeus for jogging my
memory it was back in college toomany years ago.
14:10 Belay Fabius:
Torrey I saw a nice Greek picture yesterday when I visited your place. So you are internet
Cornelius: RobertusI woul dyoi=ou give us some points ontranslations and what
you found in them, you semed to have read a number?
14:10 gnaeus Junius:
Mark Edwards, "Homer, Poet of the Iliad " is the commentary which I read.
Philemon: Lombardo's an easy read...but probably less poetic. Achilles, good runner
rather than fleet-footed Achilles...No more rosy-fingered dawns...
14:11 gnaeus Junius enters...
Philemon: Thanks for the compliment, Belay. Will talk off-topic with you later!
14:12 Belay Fabius:
Torrey the beauty of Homer is the flowery expression which evokes good graphic in the
14:13 David Marius:
Torrey, Is the wine dark sea gone as well?
Flavius: >Torrey - I like Rosy-fingered Dawn.
Cornelius: Lombardo does cut to the chase.
Philemon: David, don't think there's a wine-dark sea in Lombardo. But he hasn't lost
all poetry (I think I read the Rouse version WAY BACK in college)
Cornelius: Diopan, did your versions come across as rich poetic works?
Marius: I find that reading the verse translations aloud until you get the rythm of
the cadence down is very helpful. Of all the trasnslations i found Fitzgerald to be the
most dificult. Rouse was a prose translation that was very good. I don't remember musch of
lLattimore and Graves put his own spin (ala "The White Goddess) on his very readable
prose translation. Fagles id the easiest verse translation..so far.
Philemon: Lombardo begins: Rage: Sing, Goddess, Achilles' rage, Black and murderous,
that cost the Greeks Incalculable pain, pitched countless souls Of heroes into Hades'
14:16 David Marius:
Bernard Knox who does my commentary says that the identifying phrases form a pattern (a
few with each person or thing) so that the name an adjective can fit the right meter
depending on where there are in the line and the case involved etc.
14:16 Belay Fabius:
I believe the merging of the prose and verse poem gives wider audience a good grasp on the
essence of the subject to be relayed. I like the prose verse kind translations very
Philemon: Has anyone here read the Iliad in the original Greek?
14:17 diopan Nestor:
The hebrew version is very poetic...the rosy fingers are here :)
Marius: Fagles uses "Dawn with her Rose Red Fingers" I have for years
loved the this phrase and time of day.
14:19 Belay Fabius:
David ... I think it is being very mathematical to evaluate a poetry by how well metered
it is. It evades the spontaneous delicacy and the true soul of the author
Philemon: I also recommend the Lombardo introduction...
Marius: Bernard Knox does an excellent job for Fagles.
14:20 diopan Nestor:
the problem was to get the ryhm right since hexameter does not work good in hebrew
Philemon: Lombardo: Dawn came early, a palmetto of rose...
Cornelius: Some Topics by the way to cover: The Gods as controllers of man; the nature
of war in society of greeks/Troyjans; what is honor and glory in thecontext of this
society; did battle scenes seem realistic; did anyone find the Hector/Achilles scene
anticlimatic (I did). Just some suggestions,we seem to be moving wiht ou tmuch push
by ourselves in this discussion.
14:20 Belay Fabius:
Torrey .. I don't think modern greek is closely related to original homeric Greek ...:) is
Philemon: Lombardo wrote that he tried to create rhythm that is natural in
contemporary English, even though it may not have the Greek rhythm. He wanted the text to
become more real to us and less archaic...
14:21 David Marius:
Belay, I disagree with you. The beauty is how well you meet the challenge with the
boundaries placed upon you. The stricter the boundaries, the greater is overcoming them.
Good haiku is one of the best examples.
14:22 Belay Fabius:
The gods of Ancient Greece are very unique in the whole human civilization. Their
imitation of human nature is supreme ideal...
Cornelius: Yes, the gods are very involved an dnot very higher in moral tone.
Marius: It seems that that the Greeks of the Iliad are putting all of their human
failings into the Gods without any consequences.
Philemon: The gods appear to me to be totally anthropomorphic - a projection of human
beings. I think their portrayal tells us a lot about how Greeks saw THEMSELVES.
14:23 Belay Fabius:
David : I have to leave now, but I will discuss the point with you. Poetry and Mathematics
are two dissimilar fields the former evokes the practical sense in us the latter our deep
Cornelius: Yes, that is an insight to their belief system, at least via Homer.
14:25 Belay Fabius:
Torrey: Exactly and that why the Greeks are the forebearers of what we have today as a way
of living. Good bye all...
Cornelius: By the way others jump in with comments, there are no wrong questions or
Philemon: It experience a dual world view in the Iliad. Some personal responsibility
and some blaming of Gods. For example, Agamemnon does apologize and take responsibility
for his taking of Chryseis. The heroes don't blame all their behavior on the gods.
Marius: What does anyone think about the sides the gods take in the war why one side
or the other.
Philemon: Robertus, I don't understand why the gods felt so strongly about the side
they supported. Because of the honor they have received from that side?
14:26 gnaeus Junius:
The Gods and Fat(the detiny cast for eah mortal at birth)decide the total context of
each life in which the deeds feach mortal ooccur. If somethingoesn`t quite work out
to theGods liking they interven directly to correct their programing. Mortals must
accept the cosequences of their deeds bu they are not responible fr them. This is an
idea wich offends many critics who have a different idea ofmoral responsibility.
Philemon: Clearly the judgment of Paris explains the attitudes of Aphrodite, Athena
and Artemis, but not the other gods...
14:27 David Marius:
I think that the view of the Gods and their conflicts (and the way it falls out on
mortals) help the Greeks explain why bad things happen to good people etc.
Cornelius: I know why some did, that beauty contest, and then the sea god was angry at
being denied the due he had coming when he had to labor to build tTroys walls.
14:28 Belay Fabius enters...
Philemon: Zeus seemed to be ambivalent. He was
Cornelius: I do not know what Hermes was upset with.
Philemon: Zeus supported the Greeks, but really favored Hector and appreciated
Hector's devotion to him. He also didn't have much trouble letting the Trojans win for
Marius: I've always been puzzled as to why Posedion was against Troy, he helped build
the walls, the trojasns were horse breeders (a symbol of Posedion) I just keep missing why
Posedion dislikes Troy.
Flavius: The gods in Homer are very interesting. They too are subject to Destiny
and go against it at their peril. We would read way too much into seeing Zeus as
God. The gods are, however, larger than life as are demi-gods like Achilles and
Flavius: BTW, the Indians just tied the Sox.
Cornelius: Apollo, Leto and Artemis are linked, but Apollo should have sided against
Troy for reasons Poseidon did
Philemon: Yet Asterix, Zeus is tempted to act against Destiny, against the advice of
14:31 Belay Fabius:
Asterix, the Homerian gods are the projections of mortal humans best and worst aspirations
Cornelius: The Trojans denied him wages promised aparently for building wall.
Flavius: Yes, he's tempted to, but he wisely decides not to.
14:32 David Marius exits...
Flavius: >Belay - conscious projections or unconscious? Did Homer believe in
Philemon: Despite Achilles' enormous rage, he does overcome his self-centeredness when
it comes to Zeus. He clearly respects and follows Zeus' wishes...
14:33 Belay Fabius:
Asterix : neither ... go to leave now.
Cornelius: Well, Achilles doe snot come of as a great nobel hero in this work, he can
kill, but he doe snot have many heroic moments.
Flavius: Hera reminds Zeus that going against Destiny would create disorder among the
gods. Much of the Iliad is about the restoration of order.
Philemon: It does fascinate me that the gods are SO passionate about the side they
support. Very strong feelings and devotion...
14:35 gnaeus Junius:
Poseidon dislikes Troy because Priam`s father refused to pay him after he built the walls
Sergius: In many cases their children were involved in the conflict.
Philemon: Ricardex, I think that after Patroclus' death, Achilles is humbled, and with
Priam, he finds his common humanity again, in grief...His heroism is not in his
"male" qualities but in his eventual softening of his rage and pride...
Cornelius: Yes thechildren of gods is a big point.
14:37 David Marius:
Poseiedon's position makes as much sense as Hera's and Athena's for not being picked in a
beauty contest. Can you see what would happen to the Miss America judges.
Cornelius: Torrey that is a good point.
14:38 gnaeus Junius:
eus can alter Destiny-Fate but he may anger teother Gods by doing so. He would
disrupt the rogrming which theyhave done to fulfill Destiny.
Marius: That's my point David. The gods have the personalities of little children. I
wonder if that was how the homeric greeks coped with the harshness of the world.
14:39 David Marius:
On the Zeus bit, I think that point is made at least twice, that he can do what he want
but if he alters the final outcome, the other gods will no longer respect him
Philemon: I think that Destiny had a big role in Achilles' attitude. Since he knew he
would die if he fought, he didn't have the hope of survival. At first, honor was most
important to him,then life became more important than honor.
14:41 gnaeus Junius:
Perhaps a horo is a being who can pursue a goal as ruthlesly as Achilles.
Marius: Zeus can alter the spinning of the fates, however, altering destiny made more
complications than leaving it alone.
Philemon: Gnaeus, in today's terms,that would mean that Hitler is the greatest hero of
the 20th century. Shudder!
Cornelius: Achilles gets what he wants at a price.
14:42 David Marius:
Torrey, how honorable is it to sit on the side while you team is getting destroyed? Leave
the field completely or get in there.
Flavius: How about the question of Achilles as classical tragic figure. Was
hubris his tragic flaw, or an inability to act [as was Hamlet's]?
Cornelius: And th econcept of team is somewhat lacking, they have been together, what
en years, so maybe stress, but the greeks are not united at times.
Philemon: David, I agree...Achilles' personal honor was at the expense of his honor in
relation to others...He sacrificed his connection to his people, his loyalty...until he
found it again when Patroclus died...
Philemon: Asterix...I think Achilles was able to act. He chose the action of passive
resistance. I see hubris as the bigger flaw...
Flavius: AND DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW TO GET THIS BLANKETY-BLANK CHAT TO QUIT MOVING
AROUND? [thanks for letting me vent] This constant movement makes the chat hard to
follow. Is there something I can do on my PC to stop it?
Philemon: Asterix, change your frequency update rate. Make it 30 seconds or more.
Cornelius: Patroculus alos puts Hector in bad light, no tonly did he kill man but
wanted the dogs to eat it. This puts some of Achilles mistreatment of hewctor's dead body
into a contecxt that is understandable.
14:45 David Marius:
Asterix, I wish I knew. I changed the refresh rat but that didn't help.
Marius: I believe the literal greek translation of the title of the Iliad is "The
Anger of Achiles" .This anger was provoked by the slight made to him over the
fate of a captive slave girl. In actuality Achiles is behaving no worse than the Athena or
Cornelius: ASterix, AS system flaw?
Sergius: I'm having a problem too. The screen will not stay on long enough to read it.
Then it remains blank for long periods. I too tried refresh but it didn't work.
Philemon: Ricardex, I think that to some extent though, Achilles initially just
transferred his rage against Agamemnon to Hector. He was still at the mercy of ruthless
and violent rage...
Flavius: >Torrey - but it wasn't passive resistance. In passive r you are
still involved. He opted out until his action caused Patroclus to die [I know,
Iknow, Patroclus also caused it]
Cornelius: BTW Transcripts after the event will be readable.
14:48 David Marius:
Knox says that Iliad means "a poem about Ilium(i.e.Troy)
Marius: My screen is bouncing like a rubber ball.
14:48 gnaeus Junius:
Exactly. Agamemnon iste authority establsed by eus which Zeus validates by the great
power he allows to Agamenon.
14:48 diopan Nestor:
Same blinking problem here
Philemon: Yes, I read somewhere that Ilium and Iliam mean Troy...Ilian, Ilan, Ilana
etc. are also variants for Helen.
Cornelius: I think blink is due to volume of us in this space.
14:50 David Marius:
topless towers of Ilium said another poet
Flavius: Knox is right about Iliad. The usual subtitle is "The Rage [or
Wrath] of Achilles."
Marius: Thats correct Ilium is another name for Troy. They are also regered to as the
Dardanians(I guess after the Dardenelles).
Philemon: I'm fascinated by Achilles' background...why his rage was so enormous. What
could have contributed to it being so relentess..
Flavius: Fagles starts out "Rage-Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus' son
Philemon: From what I gather, Thetis wanted a totally immortal child. She killed 12 of
her own sons trying to make them immortal before Achilles...Maybe he had shame in his
mortal side and thought he should be treated like a god...
14:52 Ricardex Cornelius enters...
Philemon: Agamemnon's slight made him feel the trauma of his own
14:53 David Marius:
I found that while the outcome is predetermined, an effort is often made to put in a human
touch. In the early battle scenes a victim is sketched in a line or two and then brutally
dispatched. Not just an extra put to a bloody death.
Flavius: >Torrey - maybe he's a big man, so his rage is big. I see as just
petulant, myself. I like Diomedes more. That's another thread - is Book 5 a
separate poem that was grafted onto the Iliad?
Marius: Achilles knew that he would have a short life. I guess he wanted it to be full
of glory. By the way what does anyone feel about the graphic brutality in the battle
scenes. Achilles dragging Hektor around the city 3X . The river Scmander expelling the
dead bodies in revussion. Lots of shades flying to Hades.
Philemon: But a rage that would callously allow thousands of his people to
die...that's a bigger than normal rage!
Cornelius: I some times wonder on what was combined with what in work, there is the
big games scence for funeral of Patroclus. that was interesting and the context made sense
in one way.
Flavius: >David - maybe not an extra because some of his readers/listeners claimed
descent from the heroes of yore [much as mine claim descent from Brian Boru - he couldn't
have been that prolific].
Cornelius: Hades i sone god that is happy at all outcomes in this work!
Philemon: I read that all other accounts of Helen indicate that she was NOT in Troy.
She was left on an Egyptian island. Helen put her in Troy for the sake of a better drama.
But she was really a phantom in Troy.
Marius: I believe that Diomedes is the subject of an epic similar to the Iliad that
did not survive. He is the son of thwe king of Argos which has a history that is older
Flavius: >Torrey - are the other accounts supposed to be older than Homer?
Cornelius: There are some strange attempts to link Greece with Egypt, for
example last Egyptian ruler that was not a Persian was side to have been at
Alexander the Great's father's court.
14:58 diopan Nestor:
Torrey...according to some writers this story of the Phantom was created in order to keep
Helen's name clean
Cornelius: side = said
Philemon: Asterix, I'll have to look that up...I know that early Greek historians
criticized Homer for fabricating Helen's presence, but I don't know what the earliest
source is of the other accounts.
Flavius: Well, the Ptolemies were from a general of Alexander's, I believe.
Cornelius: And many did claim to be descentants of god the Julius Ceasar
Marius: The Iliad was sung by troubadors therefore every noble house had to havew one
of their ancestors at Troy. Much was added extemporaniously at these performances. Thats
why there are so many stock phrases.
Cornelius: So TRoy also was side birth place of rome via Aeneas.
Philemon: Well Helen throughout history has been treated as a phantom...another female
like Eve that men could blame. Female seductiveness again, as the cause of ruin...
15:01 Ricardex Cornelius enters...
Marius: Julius Caesar claimed decendance from Venus via Aeneas who was a son of venus
15:01 David Marius:
Even without a rover like Zeus who seems to have father half the world. it doesn't take
long to have many descendants. Look at some family reunions with hundreds of people who
can trace a common ancestry.
Philemon: One thing very unclear to me: Did Helen CHOOSE to go with Paris? Was it
choice or abduction? It's pre-Iliad...
15:03 David Marius:
Ricardex, yes see Aeneid. Of course, there is the Romulus and Remus story too
15:03 Belay Fabius enters...
Marius: I think that when the Greeks were conquering greece the "married "
their principal god Zeus to the local "Goddess" . That gives us Europa, Phaspae,
Leda (mother of Helen), etc
Philemon: Frankly, I blame Paris more than Helen, and Agamemnon more than Achilles.
Agamemnon made the biggest mistake in the Iliad when he took Chryseis...HIS anger and
action led to Achilles' withdrawal.
15:04 David Marius:
I think in one place it indicates she was willing but cursed the day she had ever come to
15:05 gnaeus Junius:
Torry, think about it. Achlle does approximate Zeus in his will to power and
Philemon: Yes, David, she seems to be full of self-hatred and regrets throughout the
continue to page two
Coming soon: Odyssey chats
start October 18!
Second Iliad Chat Wednesday September 16 Transcript HERE
Third Iliad Chat Sunday September 20 Transcript HERE
Greek language and terminology in the Iliad
Greek language links
Ricardex Cornelius is
Librarian of FB and moderator of the chat.
Torrey Philemon posted