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CLAS2700 Homers Iliad Module Outline 2016-17

Module co-ordinator: Dr Elizabeth Pender (; Michael Sadler 1.38

Set text: Homers Iliad: you will be expected to read the whole poem. You are required
to use the following Penguin translation:
Homer Iliad, tr. M. Hammond (London 1987)
Be careful! Make sure that you get the right one. As well as the recommended
translation by Martin Hammond, Penguin produces other translations of the Iliad (by
Fagles and Knox, and by Rieu and Jones) which are not recommended.
How to refer to the set text: When you quote or refer to passages in the Iliad, you
should give the reference using either of these two methods:
(i) book and line numbers (e.g. Iliad 4.368-370) this is the preferred method: estimates
are perfectly acceptable and can be calculated from the range given at the top of
each page.
(ii) page number (e.g. Iliad 62).


The module will consist of an introduction (Week 1) and four units:
Unit 1 (Semester 1, Weeks 2-6): Narrative (Prof. Heath)
Unit 2 (Semester 1, Weeks 8-11): Gods and Religion (Dr Stafford)
Unit 3 (Semester 2, Weeks 1-4): Human Society and Ethics (Dr Pender)
Unit 4 (Semester 2, Weeks 5-8): Context and Reception (Dr Stafford and Dr Xanthou)


Semester 1: Monday 12.00-13.00

Week 1: Introduction Prof. Heath
Week 2: The Quarrel (Book 1) Prof. Heath
Week 3: Large-scale structure Prof. Heath
Week 4: Small-scale structure (Books 1-7) Prof. Heath
Week 5: Small-scale structure (Books 8-18) Prof. Heath
Week 6: Small-scale structure (Books 18-24) Prof. Heath
Week 7: READING WEEK (no lecture)
Week 8: Gods, heroes and divine power Dr Stafford
Week 9: Divine intervention Dr Stafford
Week 10: Religious ritual (i): prayer and divination Dr Stafford
Week 11: Religious ritual (ii): sacrifice and funerary rites Dr Stafford

Semester 2: Monday 12.00-13.00
Week 1: Homeric values Dr Pender
Week 2: Achilles and the Greeks Dr Pender
Week 3: Hektor and the Trojans Dr Pender
Week 4: Achilles and Priam Dr Pender
Week 5: Composition and performance Dr Xanthou
Week 6: Reworking the Iliad in antiquity: epic, tragedy and art Dr Stafford
Week 7: Using the Iliad: education, scholarship and translation Dr Xanthou
Week 8: The Iliad and war: from antiquity to the 21st century Dr Stafford

There will also be an exam preparation workshop after the Easter vacation.

Semester 1, Week 6: Homers portrayal of personal interaction: a case-study
Semester 1, Week 10: The role of the gods in the Iliad

Semester 2, Week 3: Comment on...: how to answer exam comment questions

Semester 2, Week 5: Paris and Menelaos
Semester 2, Week 8: The Iliad as war poem

In the VLE: under organisations you will find: i) information on the Schools assessment
procedures and regulations (LCS School area > Assessments folder); ii) guidelines on
Classics preferred style of referencing and subject-specific grade descriptors (Classics
There are two elements of assessment to be completed for this module, an essay and an
exam. They are as follows:
(i) An essay of 2000 words to be submitted electronically to the VLE not later than 12
noon on Tuesday, 7th March 2017 (50%).
You have a choice of six questions (two questions for each of units 1-3):

1. How effective is the overall narrative structure of the Iliad?

2. Does Homer portray Hektor as a flawed leader and a flawed human being?
3. In addition to the major Olympian gods, many minor deities feature in the Iliad,
e.g. those associated with the natural world and personifications. What do these
non-Olympian deities contribute to the poem?
4. Why do the mortal characters in the Iliad spend so much time engaged in religious
5. What do we learn about heroic values from the supplication scenes of the Iliad?
6. How does Homer create a war poem of such great beauty? Discuss the poetic
techniques used in scenes of conflict, brutality, battle and wounding.

(ii) A 1 hour written examination at the end of Semester 2 (50%). The exam will
contain two sections:

Section A (60%) will contain passages for comment: you will be required to answer two
questions out of four.

[Note: the first seminar in semester 2 will provide advice and practice on answering
comment questions, with a follow-up in the exam preparation workshop after Easter.]

Section B (40%) will contain essay questions: you will be required to answer one question
out of four.