Ancient World Now:Andromache & Hector

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The parting of Hector and Andromache ranks as one of the most touching scenes in literary history, if not the most. In Book 6 of The Iliad, before going on to the battlefield for the last time, Prince Hector says goodbye to his tearful wife, Andromache, and their son Astyanax. When Hector approaches, the baby screams with fear at the sight of the bronze helmet with its horsehair crest. Both mother and father burst into laughter at the sight. The deep tragedy of their situation is cut through with this stroke of humanity.

Homer is not on the side of the Greeks or on the side of the Trojans. Homer is on the side of humanity and wants us to feel the pain of war. Andromache, for thousands of years, has been the epitome of the loving wife. Her sad plea for Hector to remain with them is for naught. He must go out to fight. Though she has lost both parents and all of her brothers to war, Andromache has two more loved ones to lose. Hector, of course, is killed in a mad rage by Achilles, and Astyanax is ripped from his mother’s arms and thrown from the walls of Troy by the Greek soldiers.

The most touching moments in The Iliad bloom up from scenes involving the Trojan royal household. Walk with me through Book 6 & Book 22 of The Iliad to sample the literary techniques Homer uses to take us to the war inside the hearts and minds of the non-soldiers, from the dutiful maidservant to playboy Prince Paris. Have tissues handy!

Ancient World Now….four days…..

Podcast launch date: Monday, June 14, 2010.

First episode: The Iliad 20-30 minute podcast.

Who was Paris? And how did he get so lucky? Goddesses! Helen! Playing the lyre whenever he wanted! Hanging out in the palace while everybody and his brother fights his battles (literally)!

Little did you know that he was callously cast aside, nay, exposed on a mountaintop, soon after birth because his mom had a nightmare that he would bring down her family!

Some time later he was picked up by a shepherd who raised him to manhood. But discovering he was a hot young swashbuckling prince of Troy is another story.

This Judgment of Paris by Lucas Cranach the Elder is from around 1528.  If you want to see it “in person” you’ll have to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Find out how these three ladies tried to bribe Paris and what they used to entice him in the maiden podcast of Ancient World Now!

Ancient World Now….eight days…..

Podcast launch date: Monday, June 14, 2010.

First episode: The Iliad 20-30 minute podcast.

Three goddesses and a shepherd from Mt. Ida. Sounds interesting,
n’est pas? Who was deemed “the fairest”, Hera, Aphrodite, or  Athena? Find out next Monday in the first episode of The Iliad.

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