Reading the Iliad in 2012

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The War That Killed AchillesThe 2012 Winter Weekend selection, Homer’s The Iliad, translated by Robert Fagles, takes place over 51 days, somewhere in the 9th or 10th year of the Trojan War. Amid a huge cast of memorable characters—and a crew of scheming Olympians sublimely indifferent to human suffering—three warriors stand out: the godlike and self-absorbed Achilles, the Tony Soprano-like Agamemnon, and the doomed Hektor, tamer of horses.

Caroline Alexander, author of The War That Killed Achilles presented a lecture entitled “Reading the Iliad in 2012.”

The Council’s annual Winter Weekend, a humanities seminar on a classic text, provides an opportunity for readers to confront, in a group setting, an important work of literature. Held at Bowdoin College in early March, the program begins with a Friday evening lecture and dinner (a gastronomic taste of the time and culture reflected in the chosen text). The group reconvenes Saturday on various aspects of the book, from cultural context, to critical analysis, to explorations of specific themes.

Winter Weekend 2012 took place March 9 and 10, 2012 at Bowdoin College.