Who Killed Homer? The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom

By Victor Davis Hanson; John Heath | Go to book overview

Chapter 3
WHO KILLED HOMER
— AND WHY?

For I know this thing well in my heart, and my mind knows it:
there will come a day when sacred Ilion shall perish,
and Priam, and the people of Priam of the strong ash spear.
But it is not so much the pain to come of the Trojans
that troubles me, not even of Priam the king nor Hekabe,
not the thought of my brothers who in their numbers and valour
shall drop in the dust under the hands of men who hate them,
as troubles me the thought of you, when some bronze-armoured
Achaian leads you off, taking away your day of liberty.

Homer, Iliad
(Hector to Andromache)


THE PRESENT CRISIS

Classicists now share an uncomfortable fate with Aesop’s dying eagle. The Greek fabulist tells of an eagle, shot down by an arrow, which only at the moment of his death recognizes his own feathers on the shaft. What Classicists have said and written about Homer over the last few decades—how we said it and especially why—has killed

-81-

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Who Killed Homer? The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Preface to the - Paperback Edition xi
  • Prologue xix
  • Chapter 1 - Homer Is Dead 1
  • Chapter 2 - Thinking like a Greek 21
  • Chapter 3 - Who Killed Homer — and Why? 81
  • Chapter 4 - Teaching Greek Is Not Easy 161
  • Chapter 5 - What We Could Do 209
  • Appendix - When All We Can Do Is Read 251
  • Afterword - A Reply to Our Critics 275
  • Acknowledgments 311
  • Notes 313
  • Index 317
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