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Search: Colloquium 9 (Fall 2019)

September 13 @ 1:00 pm - 1:50 pm


Fifty Days at Iliam by Cy Twombly
Shield of Achilles (H: 191.8 × W: 170.2 cm)
Oil, oil crayon, and graphite on canvas
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia


Iliad 17-20

Topic of Discussion

Again for today’s discussion, the class will divide into the same three groups, each with a topic to discuss. Each group will have ten minutes to present their findings, and then there will be five minutes for the rest of the class to ask questions or make comments. The ἐπιτάτης for the day will have to manage the time and keep the discussion on track. The members of each group should communicate with each other in advance of the colloquium, so they can take full advantage of their time to present their ideas and get perspectives from the other members of the colloquium. They should also be prepared to participate actively in the discussion of the other groups’ views. Here are the groups and the topics:

  • Group Orange: Brittany, Townes, Roma, Tim, and Alex
    Topic: Hector now has the armor of Achilles that Patroclus wore into battle, so Thetis commissions a new set from Hephaestus. Commentators refer to the description of Achilles’ shield in 18.483-607 as an ekphrasis (from the Greek ἔκφρασις), a verbal description of an object, which became a common feature of epics. The warrior’s shield served as a symbol or sign of personal identity. Be prepared to explain to the other members of the colloquium how the description of this shield reflects the identity and character of Achilles.
  • Group Grape: Gray, Danh, Connor, Gunnar, and Dan
    Topic: The assemblies in Iliad 1 and 19 constitute the beginning and “end” of the feud between Agamemnon and Achilles. How are the assemblies similar and different? In his address to Achilles and the assembled Greeks Agamemnon blames his behavior on Zeus, Fate (Μοῖρα, Moira), and a Fury (Ἐρινύς, Erinys), telling a story about the birth of Heracles to show that even the gods are subject to the goddess Delusion (Ἄτη, Atē). In what ways does the story of Heracles and Eurystheus as well as the protocols and outcomes of the assemblies themselves illustrate the dynamics of the relationship between Agamemnon and Achilles?
  • Group Cherry: Anjali, Drew, Tank, and Kylie
    Topic: Iliad 20 begins with yet another assembly of the gods, which again parallels the assembly of the Achaeans at the beginning of Iliad 19. When the fighting resumes, Achilles enters combat for the first time in the poem, and Aeneas happens to be the first Trojan he encounters. Compare this confrontation between Achilles and Aeneas with Aeneas’ earlier encounter with Diomedes in Iliad 5. What do the differences suggest about Aeneas’ connection with the gods and the relative strengths of his Greek rivals?


September 13
1:00 pm - 1:50 pm
Event Category:


Barret 216
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