Category: History

In Search of the Trojan War

A series discussing the authenticity of the legend, history of the text and the tradition of the Homeric question.

A six part series broadcast on BBC in 1985

 

Episode 1: Age of Heroes

Episode 2: The Legend under Siege

Episode 3: The Singer of Tales – Homer

Episode 4: The Women of Troy

Episode 5: The Empire of the Hittites

Episode 6: The Fall of Troy

 

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Iron Age

Early Iron Age 1300-500 BC Trojan War – Homer Philistine invasion – Samuel and Kings Fall of Israel/Judah Roman Kingdom – Livy Middle Iron Age 500-250 AD Greco/Persian War –…

  • Early Iron Age
    • 1300-500 BC
    • Trojan War – Homer
    • Philistine invasion – Samuel and Kings
    • Fall of Israel/Judah
    • Roman Kingdom – Livy
  • Middle Iron Age
    • 500-250 AD
    • Greco/Persian War – Herodotus
    • Peloponnesian War – Thucydides
    • Roman Republic/Empire – Civil Wars – Livy, Suetonius, Tacitus
    • Return of Judah, destruction of the temple, diaspora – Esther, Nehemiah, Josephus
  • Late Iron Age
    • 250-500 AD
    • Western/Eastern Roman Empire
    • Fall of Rome
    • Gothic Invasions
    • Parthian Empire
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Medieval

A time period used for the scheduling of Reading Lists and the understanding of historical grammar.  The period is broadly considered to be that time starting at the time of…

A time period used for the scheduling of Reading Lists and the understanding of historical grammar.  The period is broadly considered to be that time starting at the time of the Church, and lasting until the New Heaven and Earth.

In more common use, the period can be described as the time between St. Augustine and Martin Luther theologically, Aurelius and Renee Descartes epistemologically, between the fall of Rome and the fall of Constantinople politically.  The Medieval period occurs between the Ancient and Modern times.

The Medieval period is further divided into the early (400 – 1000 AD, high (1000 – 1200 AD, and late middle ages (1200 – 1500 AD) .

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Minor Prophets

The Minor Prophets are only minor in their length.  Considered in their transcendent number of ’12’, they are witnesses, like the apostles, in history short enough to be contained on one…

The Minor Prophets are only minor in their length.  Considered in their transcendent number of ’12’, they are witnesses, like the apostles, in history short enough to be contained on one scroll.  We have been thinking a lot about the Assyrian power, so here is a way of arranging the prophets by the Gentile powers under which they appeared:
1.  Assyrian Period (9th through 7th century BC):  Obadiah, Joel, Jonah, Hosea, Amos, (Isaiah), Micah, Nahum.
2.  Babylonian Period: (612 through 549 BC): Zephaniah, (Jeremiah), Habakkuk, (Daniel), (Ezekiel)
3.  Persian Period:  (549 BC through 433 BC):  Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

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Patriarchs

Abram to Joseph – the time of the Patriarchs.

From the time of Abram’s exit from the city of Ur, probably during the Gutean chaos of the late 3rd millennium BC, until the entry into Egypt in the time of Joseph marks the era of the Patriarchs.   We find this story recorded in Genesis chapters 12 through 50.

Find a timeline of the Patriarchs here.

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Quintilian’s Reading List

Marcus Fabius Quintilianus publishes a great books list – 69-79 AD.

Greeks

  • Homer
  • Hesiod
  • Antimachus
  • Panyasis
  • Apollonius
  • Aratus
  • Theocritus
  • Pisandros
  • Nicander
  • Euphorion
  • Tyrtaeus
  • Elegiac Poets
    • Callimachus
    • Philetas
  • Iambics
    • Aristarchus
    • Archilochus
  • Lyric Poets
    • Pindar
    • Stesichorus
    • Alcaeus
    • Simonides
  • Old Comedy
    • Aristophanes
    • Eupolis
    • Cratinus
  • Tragedy
  • New Comedy
    • Menander
    • Philemon
  • History
  • Orators
    • Demosthenes
    • Aeschines
    • Hyperides
    • Lysias
    • Isocrates
  • Philosophers

Latins

  • Virgil
  • Macer
  • Lucretius
  • Varro
  • Ennius
  • Ovid
  • Cornelius Severus
  • Serranus
  • Rabirius
  • Pedo
  • Lucan
  • Elegaics
    • Tibullus
    • Popertius
    • Ovid
    • Gallus
  • Satire
    • Lucilius
    • Horace
    • Pesius
    • Terentius Varro
  • Iambics
    • Catullus
    • Bibaculus
    • Horace
  • Lyric
    • Horace
  • Tragedy
    • Accius
    • Pacuvius
    • Varius
    • Ovid
    • Pomponius Secundus
  • Comedy
    • Plautus
    • Terence
    • Afranius
  • History
    • Sallust
    • Titus Livius
    • Servilius
    • Aufidius Bassus
    • Cremutius
  • Orators
    • Cicero
    • Asinius Pollio
    • Messala
    • Caesar
    • Caelius
    • Calvus
    • Servius Sulpicius
    • Cassius Severus
  • Philosophers
    • Cicero
    • Brutus
    • Cornelius Celsus
    • Plautus
    • Catius
    • Seneca
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Rome

Rome The history of ancient Rome may be divided into the Kingdom, the Republic, and the Empire. Roman government during the monarchy: Roman Government of the Republic: Interactive history from…

Rome

Picture of Rome

The Ancient City of Rome

The history of ancient Rome may be divided into the Kingdom, the Republic, and the Empire.

Roman government during the monarchy:

Penguin Atlas of World History Roman Monarchy

Roman Government of the Republic:

Penguin Atlas of World History Roman Republic

Interactive history from ‘Maps as History’

The Romans separate themselves from their Etruscan kings, with the expulsion of Tarquinius Superbus, establishing the early Early Republic Timeline.

Of particular importance is the historic struggle of Rome to maintain its Republican ideal in the face of the pressures of a global empire.

Punic War

The Mediterranean at the time of the 2nd Punic War

The Roman Republic, in gaining control of Italy, finds itself facing Magna Graeca, followed by Carthage.  These wars bring Rome into contact with the entities to the east.  See The Conquest of the Mediterranean, a timeline covering the events leading to social upheaval in Rome.

The Fall of the Republic , a timeline covering the events between the slave wars and the assassination of Julius Caesar.

Examine a presentation concerning the ‘Social War’

social wars

Reading Guides for the Penguin edition of ‘Cicero: Selected Works’

Part I of the Second Philippic against Antony Cicero Reading Guide

 

 

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Sparta

A Greek city state, the largest in the classical Greek world, characterized by oligarchy (timocracy) and a purposeful conservatism. Documentary:  The Rise and Fall of Sparta Government structure:  

A Greek city state, the largest in the classical Greek world, characterized by oligarchy (timocracy) and a purposeful conservatism.

Documentary:  The Rise and Fall of Sparta

Government structure:

spartagovt

 

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The Iliad

Did the Trojan War really happen?   The Late Bronze Age saw the fall of many civilizations, a time chronicled for Israel in the book of Judges. A timeline for…

Did the Trojan War really happen?   The Late Bronze Age saw the fall of many civilizations, a time chronicled for Israel in the book of Judges.

A timeline for Mycenaean civilization, the era of the Trojan War, the Minoans, and the so-called Dorian Invasion is available.  The Timeline.

See ” In Search of the Trojan War “, a multipart BBC documentary providing an interesting background of the work and its critical-historical context.

Was Homer an actual poet?  The unity of the composition, originally an oral Epic, shows a highly focused intention.

Geometric Outline of the Text by Cedric Whitman

(Whitman, Cedric Hubbell. Homer and the Heroic Tradition. New York: W.W. Norton, 1965. Print.)

Geometric Iliad

Geometric relationship of the Iliad

Book I 

The Rage of Achilles sets the scene.  The conflict between Agamemnon and Achilles soon becomes a conflict between Zeus and Hera.  Zeus Broods over his choices.

Book II

Zeus initiates his plan in a deceptive dream.   The Achaeans are deceived into prosecuting the war.  The Catalog of Ships counts off the participants.

catalog of ships map

This map connects the names and the geography of Mycenae

Book III

A duel between Menelaus and Paris is thwarted by the intervention of of Aphrodite.  The Judgment of Paris and its ramifications, as well as its reflection on the characters of Aphrodite and Paris, the involvement of Helen and her doom are shown.

Book IV

Zeus and Hera come to an understanding concerning the destruction of cities.   Pandarus unleashes a treacherous arrow, wounding Menelaus.  Agamemnon marshals his troops, and war begins in earnest.  Treachery of the Trojans.

Book V

Diomedes begins his warring bolstered by Athena.  Pandarus tries to bring him down with an arrow, but he is too favored to be stopped.  Aphrodite, Apollo, then Ares are subdued, Hera and Athena being matchless.

Book VI

Hector marshals his troops back in Troy.  Glaucus meets Diomedes, and they reflect on man and friendship.  Hector meets with Andromache, and wishes the future for Astyanax.  This is the pity of the Trojans.

Book VII

A duel is set in the plains.   The hero Hector meets with the Giant Ajax and they battle each other to a draw.  Gifts are exchanged and piety reigns.

Book VIII

Zeus sets the battle in motion with his lightening.  Hera and Athena are outraged, but restrained from interference.  Zeus pronounces his doom, and Troy pushes to across the plains to encamp in the night, waiting to assault the Argive ships in the morning.

Book IX

Agamemnon is distraught, his advisor Nestor advises reconciliation with Achilles.   Three heroes, Odysseus, Nestor, and Ajax are appointed to appeal the Argives case to Achilles.   Achilles sleeps on it.

Book X

Odysseus and Diomedes execute a night raid into the plains below Troy.   They destroy sleeping men and steal horses.  They encounter a Trojan infiltrator, Dolon, who they interrogate and execute.

Book XI

Dawn rises, and Eris (strife) shouts Agamemnon on to battle.  The Mycenaean chief battles forward, and Hector who is advised by Zeus withdraws.   In succession, Agamemnon, Diomedes and Odysseus receive wounds and withdraw.   Achilles, concerned over the rout, sends Patroclus to investigate where he meets Nestor, who suggests that Patroclus himself should lead the Myrmidons out to fight.

Book XII

Hector continues the assault.   An evil bird omen appears, and Polydamas warns Hector of his fate, but Hector seizes the opportunity and pushes the fight through the Achaean trenches.   Sarpedon and Glaucus commit to the assault.

Book XIII

During a lull in Zeus’ attention, Poseidon takes the Argives plight in his hands, and helps them to drive the Trojans back.   Polydamas urges Hector to regroup, and he does.   Zeus returns and the Trojans push the Argives back once again.

Book XIV

Now the wounded trio of Odysseus, Agamemnon and Diomedes must return to direct their flagging troops from the rear.  Hera distracts Zeus and returns Poseidon to the fight.   Ajax severely wounds Hector with a thrown boulder.

Book XV

Zeus awakens and in rage returns to the battle.  Zeus reveals his doomsday plan to the frightened Hera, who returns in horrified resignation to Olympus.   Patroclus, now alarmed at the Trojans reaching the ships, resolves to beg Achilles to intervene.

Book XVI

Achilles’ rage against Agamemnon is unabated.  He suggests that Patroclus borrow his armor, and lead the Myrmidons forth himself, being careful to only drive the Trojans away, but not to pursue them to Troy.  Patroclus, exulting in his success in battle, not only pursues the Trojans to the walls, but assaults Apollo himself, who ultimately kills Patroclus.

Iliad reading guide XVI

Book XVII

Menelaus sets forth to recover Patroclus’ corpse.  Hector decides to don the armor of Achilles and enter the struggle for the body.   The Argives manage to keep the body of Patroclus, retreating with it headlong to the ships and the beach.

Iliad Reading Guide XVII

Book XVIII

Achilles now learns of the death of his best friend.   Achilles weeps, decides his doom in battle, and utters the loud cry from the trench, stopping the battle.   Hephaestus sets to making new armor for the warrior.

Iliad Reading Guide XVIII

Book XIX

Achilles meets now with Agamemnon.   He refuses food and drink, hungry only for battle.  His horse prophesies his death, and Achilles, telling him not to waste his breath, drives his chariot forward.

Iliad Reading Guide XIX

Book XX

Zeus sets the gods loose to war among themselves with the Trojans and Greeks.  Achilles faces Aeneas, who is saved by the gods.   Achilles blazes forward.

Iliad Guide XX

Book XXI

Achilles, killing so many men in the river bed, offends the river god Scamander.   Achilles is nearly overwhelmed fighting the river itself, but is  saved as Hephaestus’ fire assaults the torrent.  Apollo diverts the ravening Achilles by a ruse, leading him far from the Trojan walls.

Iliad Guide XXI

Book XXII

The Trojans open their gates to allow their army to shelter within the walls.   Hector waits for Achilles outside, tricked by Athena into believing his brother Deiphobus is there to fight with him.   Achilles chases Hector around the city three times then kills Hector, dragging off the body behind his chariot.

Book XXIII

Achilles prepares for the funeral games of Patroclus.   The Argive heroes compete in a series of contests and Achilles awards prizes.   The funeral pyre is built, massive sacrifices, including twelve Trojans, are slaughtered and burned along with Patroclus’ corpse.

Book XXIV

The gods are shocked and insulted by Achilles treatment of the body of Hector.   Thetis is sent to beg Achilles to release the body, and king Priam journeys clandestinely through the Argive lines to approach Achilles.   Achilles and Priam grieve together,  agreeing to a funeral truce as Priam retrieves the body of his son for burial.

 

 

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Thucydides

The History of the Peloponnesian War is noted as the first attempt at an objective history.  We read of the events leading to the war, and the rise and fall…

The History of the Peloponnesian War is noted as the first attempt at an objective history.  We read of the events leading to the war, and the rise and fall of the Athenian League in the course of this war.  We study democracy, geography and the Just War.  The sovereignty of states becomes an issue.
I. book 1 – 1.2
Exordium – the greatest movement in history
II. book 1.2 – 1.24
The Archeology – relative size of the Trojan War, history of the Hellenes
III. book 1.24 – 1.89
Epidamnus – the outbreak of hostilities in unassociated colonies

epidamnus

Epidamnus, Corcyra, Corinth

IV. book 1.89 – 118
The Pentecontaetia
V. book 118 – 1.146

The causes of war between the Greek powers

VI. book2-book5.24

The ‘Archidamean’ or ‘ten year’ war.  Following the battle of Amphipolis (422 BC), a ‘fifty year treaty’ of alliance between Sparta and Athens is established.

VII. book 5.24 – book 5.116

The so-called Peace of Nicias is concluded.

VIII. book 6 – 6.105

Alcibiades convinces the Athenians to invade Sicily.

IX. book7

Sparta enters the campaign in Sicily in earnest – The Decelean War phase begins.

X. book 8

Recounting the events of 413 to 411, the book ends suddenly, leading us to think that Thucydides died before he could finish his work.

Link to Peloponnesian Timeline

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