The Iliad of Homer
The Iliad is an epic poem by Homer dating from around the 8th century BC. It takes place during the Trojan war, and it depicts the battles and events that occur during a fight between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles. From here, if you've never read this poem before, you might need a white board to keep track of everyone. But it wouldn't be an epic without the full pantheon of gods swinging in and out of battle the whole time, now would it?
Between the Iliad and the Odyssey, Homer is still the font from which so much literature flows. Their themes are so elemental that they were actually considered gods at one point: Fate, Time, Wrath, etc. And just about every hero-based book or film you can think of owes a debt to Homer's classics.
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February 18, 2012