Trying to interpret the past Objectives SWBAT- read and identify primary documents and make connections between myth and real life.
Homeric Epics Epic = long poem about a hero, important to a culture Homer = probable author, lived around 750 BCE Events took place around 1250 BCE (the Mycenaean
time) Homer There is a lot of confusion as to who Homer was We are unsure if he even existed! There are two leading arguments
Argument 1 That he was in fact real and he wrote the Iliad and Odyssey based on oral traditions pasted down over
hundreds of years. Argument 2 The second argument is that Homer is a collective name for several authors who either made up the stories or wrote down oral traditions.
Personal view I tend to think that the truth is somewhere between the two Probably was real, may have help compiling info
What we DO know To the Greeks, this collection of epic stories were extremely important. They were as important to the people of this time as the Bible was in Medieval Europe. Though until the last 150 years or so it was believed
that the stories were pure myth, over the last few decades we have become unsure. You will have a chance to try and decipher the past. The Iliad A story about the Trojan War A prince (Paris) from Troy in Asia Minor captures Helen, the beautiful
wife of a Greek king A huge Greek army attacks Troy, led by Agamemnon, the king of Mycenae How big was the army? The Iliad After 10 years surrounding the city, the Greeks trick their way into Troy
and destroy the city How? Learn a lot about what Greeks wanted in heroes and leaders Not Just Stories Homeric epics are more than stories, they are history
Everything was bigger and everyone was stronger and better This shapes how Greeks view themselves and what they value Mycenae For the majority of history, Mycenae was not real Thought to simply be the setting for myths, like the
Trojan war. Mentioned once and a while, but only as a tourist destination. Turns out Mycenae is real! In 1876, Heinrich Schliemann (a rich
German dude), decided to look for Mycenae. The more they dig, the more we know! I found Agamemnon
Boar tusk helmet Meriones gave Odysseus bow, quiver and sword and over his head he set a helmet made of leather. Inside it was crisscrossed taut with many thongs, outside the gleaming teeth of a whitetusked boar ran round and round in rows stitched neat and tight (Il 10.300-318)
Armor Agamemnon cried out too, calling men to arms and harnessed up in gleaming bronze himself. First he wrapped his legs with well-made greaves, fastened behind the heels with silver ankle- clasps, and next he strapped the breastplate round his chest the Cinyras gave him Ten bands of blue enamel spanned it, spaced buy twelve of gold and
twenty of beaten tin and dark blue serpents writhed toward the throat, three each side (Il 11.1730) Weapons and shield Then over his shoulder Agamemnon slung his sword, golden studs at the hilt, the blade burnished bright and the scabbard sheathed in silver swung on
golden straps, and he grasped a wellwrought shield to encase his entire body, forged for rushing forays (Il 11.30-45) "Lion Hunt" dagger both from the shaft-grave IV of Mycenae The battle And now as the armies clashed at one strategic point they slammed their shields together, pike
scraped pike with the grappling strength of fighters armed in bronze and their round shields bosses pounded hide-to-hide and the thunder of struggle roared and rocked the earth. Screams of men and cries of triumph breaking in one breath, fighters killing, fighters killed, and the ground streamed blood. (Il 8.70-77)
The battle Here were the best picked men detached in squads to stand the Trojan charge and shining Hector: a wall of them bulked together, spear-by-spear, shield-by-shield, the rims overlapping, buckler-to-buckler, helm-to-helm, man-to-man massed tight and the horsehair crests on glittering helmet horns brushed as they tossed their
heads, the battalions bulked so dense, shoulder-toshoulder close, and the spears they shook in daring hands packed into jagged lines of battle- single-minded fighters facing straight ahead, Achaeans primed for combat. (Il 13. 152-162) The grim reality of war
fate shackled Diores fast and a jagged rock struck him against his right shin, beside the ankle. Pirous son of Imbrasus winged it hard and truethe ruthless rock striking the bones and tendons crushed them to pulp-he landed flat on his back, slamming the dust, both arms flung out to his comrades, gasping out his life. Pirous who heaved the rock came rushing in and speared him up the navel- his bowels uncoiled,
spilling loose on the ground and the dark came swirling down across his eyes. (Il 4.600-609) Incensed for the dead Odysseus speared him straight through one temple and out the other punched the sharp bronze point and the dark came swirling think across his eyes- down he crashed,
armor clanging against his chest. (Il 4. 576-582) With that he (Diomedes) hurled and Athena drove the shaft and it split the archers nose between the eyes-it cracked his glistening teeth, the tough bronze cut off his tongue at the roots,
smashed the jaw and the point came ripping out beneath his chin. (Il 5. 321-325) Just as Diomedes hefted a bolder in his hands, a tremendous feat- no two men could hoist it, weak as men are now, but all on his own he raised in high with ease, flung it and struck Aeneas thigh where
the hipbone turns inside the pelvis, the joint they call the cup- it smashed the socket, snapped both tendons too and the jagged rock tore back the skin in shreds. (IL 5. 336-343) The Odyssey After winning the Trojan War, a Greek king named Odysseus tries to go
home, but angers the gods It takes him 10 years and many trials to reach his wife and son Learn about Greek life at home, what they value in husbands and fathers Some of Odysseus trials
Circe, who turns men into animals Circe represents wealth. If you abuse it, you will get "turned into pigs". Odysseus' crew saw her lustrous palace and their greed made them go inside without thinking. You should never let your greed control you. The Sirens call
The Sirens represent people who try to make you live in the past. When you encounter these kinds of people, you must resist them and force yourself to focus on the future. The future is much more important than the past. Anything bad that happened in the past can be excused by something in the future, and anything good that happened in the past can be ruined by something in the future.
A visit to Hades The Underworld is a place for death and the dead. Odysseus ventures there and returns intact. There have not been many people who have done this. Most people go there only once: when they die. So, in our lives, this "Underworld" represents death. When someone you know dies, you must bear it.
Since Odysseus was very scared to go down into the Underworld, the Underworld can also represent our fears. Like Odysseus, we must face and overcome our fears. Cyclopes The Cyclops, because he has only one eye, represents people who see through only
one perspective. This is normally not a good quality. You should either avoid these people or attempt to broaden their narrow-mindedness. Scylla Scylla's six heads snatch six men quickly to their doom. This shows how quickly
an accident or tragedy can happen in real life and what unpredictable circumstances can arise. If a sudden tragedy happens to you or someone you know, you must bear it, like Odysseus did. Charybdis
Charybdis sucks her victims in slowly. She represents things in your life that take you in very gradually, but once you do get "sucked in", they are very harmful to you. When you encounter these kinds of things, you must stop before it is too late. The more you have been "sucked in", the harder it is to stop or get out.
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