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 1
HOMER IS DEAD

Yes, and in my time I have dealt with better men than
you are, and never once did they disregard me. Never
yet have I seen nor shall see again such men as these were …
… These were the strongest generation of earth-born mortals,
the strongest, and they fought against the strongest, the beast men
living within the mountains, and terribly they destroyed them.
I was of the company of these men, coming from Pylos,
a long way from a distant land, since they had summoned me.
And I fought single-handed, yet against such men no one
of the mortals now alive upon earth could do battle.

—Homer, Iliad
(Nestor to Achilles and Agamemnon)


FACTS

In the single year 1992, Classicists published and reviewed 16,168 articles, monographs, and books about the Greeks and Romans.1 The work of over 10,000 individual scholars appeared in nearly 1,000 different journals. We are a busy profession in our eleventh hour. Researchers on Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey alone produced more than 200 publications in nine modern languages, not including the scores of

-1-

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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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