The Iliad As Politics: The Performance of Political Thought

Overview

Wily Odysseus. Bold Achilles. Brave Hektor. Beautiful Helen of Troy. For centuries, people around the world have been fascinated by these figures and their tragic war as recounted in Homer's Iliad, long admired and studied as one of the foremost epic poems of the ancient world. In The Iliad as Politics, Dean Hammer revisits this epic with a new perspective.

In this first full-length treatment of the Iliad as a work of political thought, Hammer demonstrates how Homer's epic is ...

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Overview

Wily Odysseus. Bold Achilles. Brave Hektor. Beautiful Helen of Troy. For centuries, people around the world have been fascinated by these figures and their tragic war as recounted in Homer's Iliad, long admired and studied as one of the foremost epic poems of the ancient world. In The Iliad as Politics, Dean Hammer revisits this epic with a new perspective.

In this first full-length treatment of the Iliad as a work of political thought, Hammer demonstrates how Homer's epic is also an ancient Greek discussion on political ethics. Hammer redefines political thought as the activity of addressing issues of collective identity and organization. Using this understanding of politics, he discusses how the characters in the Iliad, through their larger-than-life actions and interactions, embody community issues of authority, conflict, judgment, and the interrelationship between personal and collective identity. The characters' many quarrels, laments, reconciliations, and vows of loyalty and friendship all critically model the principles and controversies of underlying Greek political ethics of communal responsibility and relationship.

Much of modern Western political thought focuses on classical Greek discussions of political philosophy. Hammer demonstrates that the Iliad constitutes another such ancient Greek political discussion.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806133669
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2002
  • Series: Oklahoma Series in Classical Culture
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Dean Hammer is the John W. Wetzel Professor of Classics and Professor of Government at Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He is the author of The Puritan Tradition in Revolutionary, Federalist, and Whig Political Theory: A Rhetoric of Origins and The Iliad as Politics: The Performance of Political Thought.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 3
1 Political Fields 19
2 Human Agency and the Divine 49
3 Power, Force, and Authority 80
4 Self-Sufficiency 93
5 Elite Relations 114
6 Leaders and Led 144
7 Toward a Political Ethic 170
Notes 199
References 243
Index of Passages Cited 280
General Index 288
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