Ancient Greek Perception of War, Role of Women and Children, and Immortals

Ancient Greek Perception of War, Role of Women and Children, and Immortals

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In the Iliad, the oldest and greatest of the Greek epics, Homer tells of the wars fought between the Greeks and the Trojans. Much of this book's main focus takes place during the Homeric period in which the Trojan War began. In a pre industrial society, Homer describes the way mortals and immortals sought their existence throughout the Trojan War. Homer's style of writing in Iliad enables a modern reader to perceive how the Ancient Greeks thought of warfare, of religion, and of the role of women and children. The Helladic Greeks valued fighting as a way to settle disputes. There was a significant degree of religious activity that took place during the Trojan War. Homer also allows a modern reader to grasp an idea of the role of women and children during the Helladic Greek period.

Throughout the Homeric period, warriors valued fighting as a way to settle disputes. An excerpt from Iliad indicates how malevolent behavior is favored in a way to settle a dispute, when Achilles tries to think of the finest ways in which he should bring physical pain to Agamemnon after having a tremendous quarrel with each other. "Achilles' chest was a rough not of pain twisting around his heart: should he draw the sharp sword that hung by his thigh, scatter the ranks and gut Agamemnon or control his temper, repress his rage? He was mulling it over, inching the great sword over his sheath." (Homer 7) In almost all cases, the warriors fight in extreme close contact with each other. A scene from Iliad illustrates an invidious fight between the two warriors, Menelaus and Paris, when both sides agree to a truce. "They stood close, closer, in the measured arena, shaking their spears, half-mad with jealousy. And then Paris threw. A...


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...ribes how children were also inferior to the Ancient Greek society. This is explained when the Greek warriors break into townhouses and threatened to kill the babies. "Not one of them escapes sheer death at our hands, not even the boy who is still in his mother's womb. Every Trojan dies, unmourned and unmarked." (Homer 113-114)

Altogether, the preliterate times explained in Homer's Iliad, allows the modern reader to realize what life was like in the Homeric period. If all that was said is true in the Iliad, then that means that gods and goddesses were able to intervene with the human world. Interestingly, today's society differs massively when compared to the Ancient Helladic period. Homer's Iliad enables the modern reader to get a sense what ancient warfare was like, what religious activity was like, and what the roles of women and children were like.

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