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 5
WHAT WE COULD DO

Peleus the aged horseman sent me forth with you
on that day when he sent you from Phthia to Agamemnon
a mere child, who knew nothing yet of the joining of battle
nor of debate where men are made pre-eminent. Therefore
he sent me along with you to teach you of all these matters,
to make you a speaker of words and one who accomplished in action.
Therefore apart from you, dear child, I would not be willing
to be left behind….

Homer, Iliad
(Phoenix to Achilles)

When our field is so rich and its message so timely, cannot the Greeks appear on television, reenter the primary grades, nudge out sociology, make self-esteem give way to mythology, La Raza studies to Latin, become, in other words, a part of contemporary American life? Would not the Greeks help to reform the academy, shame the hypocrites, and send the university hucksters scurrying? Cannot a new generation of Classicist rise up, not to train more Classicists, but to educate the public? Perhaps, but only if we change not merely the behavior and values of Classicists, but also the very manner in which they are trained and taught.

-209-

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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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