An Analysis of Fifty Days at Iliam

An Analysis of Fifty Days at Iliam
By Lily Nesvold

Fusing ancient storytelling and modern art, Fifty Days at Iliam is a ten-part canvas painting that uses a mixture of oil, crayon, and graphite. Based on Alexander Pope’s translation of Homer’s Iliad, it is permanently on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This unique installation recalls a story that everyone knows, classicists and non-classicists alike, and its expression packs so much meaning into so few brushstrokes.

Either Language

Either Language
By Jinna Han

What was that word again? It’s there just at the edge of my mind, hovering, waiting, expecting me to be able to grasp it while I’m still too busy stumbling over the other words that are falling out of my mouth in a room full of people who wait and listen. It’s a lot of pressure, getting these words just right. Every day is a performance, and not just in English, either…

The City in Peace

Iliad 18.490-508
By Stephen Jagoe

In this passage, Homer describes Achilles’ shield and the scenes that decorate it, specifically the “town in peace.” The imagery stands in direct contrast to the rest of the poem’s theme of war. It reminds the reader of the bygone days before the fighting started, and gives him hope that someday the fighting will stop…

“A Widow in the Halls”

An Examination of the Lamentations of Hector in the Iliad
By Abhinav Suri

Classical epics share many characteristics, among which is an expression of loss: lamentation.  From a literal perspective, a lamentation is an expression of sorrow or mourning. However, in the context of the epic, it takes on a far greater meaning in the storyline. As Murnaghan puts it, “Lament … confers praise … on the actions of heroes, and more particularly of dead heroes who have earned their right to be praised through the manner of their deaths” (Murnaghan 1999)…

The King, the Soldier, the Slain

The King, the Soldier, the Slain
By Sara Chopra

When I read the final book of the Iliad in Greek this spring, this scene between Priam and Achilles stood out to me for its distinct portrayal of the two; the passage defines these characters by their humanity rather than by their societal positions or opposition in war. In my free-verse translation, I aim to emphasize the core of each character in this moment…

Snow on the Battlefield

Iliad XII.278-289
By Cate Simons

In this translation piece, I created a lyric poem based on a simile from Homer’s Iliad. In his epic, Homer uses this simile to compare Zeus’ snowfall to stones careening on the battlefield; Zeus’ blizzard highlights the terrible expansion of the Trojan War. In my piece, I wanted to emphasize the contrast between the snowstorm’s silence and the clamor of battle.