Homer’s Iliad: Liberty and Responsibility
This is a Reading List based upon a Liberty Fund Conference on “Liberty and Responsibility in Homer’s Iliad.”
Liberty and Responsibility in Homer’s Iliad
Homer’s Iliad is one of the foundational texts of the Western tradition, and an essential work for understanding Greek civilization. The Iliad offers a rich and varied tapestry of the human condition in war, by considering the relationship of the human to the divine, the public to the private, and peace to war. Some questions that could be raised have to do with the differing conceptions of liberty and responsibility in Achilles and Hector. What are the sorts of obligations that bind them? What freedom do they have to act within these obligatory ties or to act outside of them? What does Homer’s depiction of the gods’ interventions in human affairs say about freedom? What about the role of fate? What does the depiction of the heroism in the Iliad tell us about the human condition and its possibilities?
Guide to the Readings
- Homer, The English Works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury; Now First Collected and Edited by Sir William Molesworth, Bart., (London: Bohn, 1839-45). 11 vols. Vol. 10.
See also in the Online Library of Liberty:
For additional reading see:
Session I: Among God and Heroes
Session II: The Fragility of Mortality
Session III: Luck, Fate, and Doom
Session IV: Love and Death
Session V: The Shield of Achilles
Session VI: Remembering Achilles’ Humanity