Assumptions About Proper Behavior

1004 Words5 Pages
The Iliad is a heroic epic poem, which depicts the events of the Trojan war. As discussed in class it was written by Homer, a significant ancient Greek poet sometime in the 8th century BC. The story appears to take place in the 13th century BC, yet mirrors the standard of living of the Dark Age (Early Iron Age).1 There are assumptions made in Book 9 of The Essential Iliad about proper human behavior, specifically about proper behavior during time of war; pertaining to warriors. It was assumed that warriors would conduct themselves in a particular manner, according to what was proper. Assumptions about proper behavior were made about the following: glory, honor, gifts, friends, the gods, women, and the public.
Obtaining glory during war was to be one of the main objectives for a warrior. Glory was important to a warrior, if they had obtained it was expected they acted accordingly to keep it. On page 56, line 193 Achilles “sang the glories of heroes in war.” Achilles himself was a hero, he was singing praise to those who had obtain glory. When cities were successfully raided heroes could loot them and and return with heirlooms, a way to demonstrate the glory they had earned.2 Achilles declares to his friends “my glory will be undying forever,” if he chooses to fight.3 He declared he would nevertheless set sail the following day, his friends were bewildered he would do so; since he would be forgoing the glory they considered so important as warriors.
The honor of a warrior was to be held in high regard. Honor was important, which was why Achilles friends: Odysseus, Phoenix, and Ajax partially understood Achilles ire, and refusal to return to battle. They do insist though that he “control [his] proud spirit,” in order to have the...

... middle of paper ...

...ropriate. Glory was important to a warrior, and it was to be proven. A warrior was to uphold their honor. If that honor was infringed upon, gifts were to be used to soothe things over. Friendship was important to warriors, they fought alongside their friends. Just as important were the gods, in honor of them sacrifices had to be made and they were to be listened to. Though the warriors were men, women did play a role in a warrior's life. The public too had a role in a warrior's life, they were to be considered since they praised the warriors. These are the assumptions of human behavior in Book 9 of The Essential Iliad.


Doran, Timothy. "Ancient Greek Civilization." World Civilization 110A. 1 Mar. 2014. Lecture.
Greece 110A, Slide 32

Homer, and Stanley Lombardo. "Iliad 9." The Essential Iliad. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Pub., 2000.
56-71. Print.
Open Document