Can’t mess up the Iliad?

Discussion in 'Historical Fiction' started by Andersson, Sep 15, 2015.

  1. Andersson

    Andersson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2013
    Messages:
    75
    I finally got around to reading "Warrior in Bronze" and I liked it quite a lot so the streak continues :D (see thread topic and the first post). The idea of telling the "real" story behind the myth is something that really appeals to me, Bernard Cornwell's king Arthur trilogy does something similar and it is one of my favorite series.

    One thing that did bother me quite a bit though was how Agamemnon kept referreing to future events. That he mentions how he will one day lead the Greeks against the Trojans I can accept since it's such a well-known part of the story and doesn't really spoil anything, but he also mentions several other things that aren't even part of the Iliad as far as I know. To give an example, he mentions some things that will happen with his uncle that really weakens what would otherwise have been a very tense part of the story. Revealing story developments in advance is something that I really hate but for some reason that I can't understand it seems to be pretty common.

    Anyway, besides that it was a great read and I will keep going with the second book, "King in Splendor".
     
  2. Andersson

    Andersson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2013
    Messages:
    75
    I recently finished the second book about king Agamemnon by George Shipway, "King in Splendor". It was good though I liked the first book better, probably because it was about the earlier part of his life that I didn't know anything about, and so there were more surprises. The ending with the Trojan War actually felt like an anticlimax and a bit rushed, the fates of some important characters didn't really get the attention it deserved in my opinion. Still, I would recommend both books though my favorite version of the Iliad is still "The Song of Troy" by Colleen McCullough.

    Incidentally, I looked at George Shipway on Goodreads and he has written a few more historical novels. The Paladin, about a 11th century Norman knight, looks interesting but it appears to be book 1 in a series with no sequel. Anyone knows what the situation is, I'd hate to start a series and not be able to finish (Shipway died in 1982)?
     
  3. Andersson

    Andersson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2013
    Messages:
    75
  4. Lew Rockwell Fan

    Lew Rockwell Fan Have tasp, will travel.

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2016
    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    Sol 3, most of the time
    /me resolves never to turn his back on Connavar.

    I haven't read any of the derivatives but the trans I read was quite worthwhile. It struck me as an anti-war novel, not a glorification of war. If I remember correctly, Odysseus was the only major character to come out of it whole and even he had a decade of tribulations.
     
  5. Connavar

    Connavar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    8,326
    Its not anti-war if you see it from the ancient Greek POV, it was oral tradition story that was written down centuries,many centuries after Homer. It is from the time of city states, great military leaders,the ideal man was the violent soldier,warrior killing his enemies. I have read all the Greek Tragedy dramatist of Euripides, Sofocles, Aischolos they were also very much about the great warrior, the wars is used to put forward the heroes, kings that conquered whole Greece like Agamemnon.

    If you read, analyse in The Illiad only and not what happens in the mythology to all the heroes, Odysseus its very much pro war because that was the natural state, the arena where the Achilles, Odysseus, Jason and co could become the legendary heroes they are. I have read it 4 times and i remember vividly how important it is for the warrior to die in the war against Trojans, thats why Homer gives the warriors whole history before they die in their glory. Its brutal, honest about the horrors of the wars in that time period but its does glorify war just like many of their legends does.

    What happens later to Achilles, Odysseus etc is just because Greek Mythology is mostly brutal, Gods toying with human life thats why their literature is so great to read :)
     
Loading...

Share This Page

Loading...