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The Iliad of Homer | [The Great Courses]

The Iliad of Homer

For thousands of years, Homer's ancient epic poem the Iliad has enchanted readers from around the world. When you join Professor Vandiver for this lecture series on the Iliad, you'll come to understand what has enthralled and gripped so many people.Her compelling 12-lecture look at this literary masterpiece -whether it's the work of many authors or the "vision" of a single blind poet - makes it vividly clear why, after almost 3,000 years, the Iliad remains not only among the greatest adventure stories ever told but also one of the most compelling meditations on the human condition ever written.
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Publisher's Summary

For thousands of years, Homer's ancient epic poem the Iliad has enchanted readers from around the world. When you join Professor Vandiver for this lecture series on the Iliad, you'll come to understand what has enthralled and gripped so many people.

Her compelling 12-lecture look at this literary masterpiece - whether it's the work of many authors or the "vision" of a single blind poet - makes it vividly clear why, after almost 3,000 years, the Iliad remains not only among the greatest adventure stories ever told but also one of the most compelling meditations on the human condition ever written.

As you'll learn, the grandeur and immediacy of Homer's world would seem to defy time and space. Throughout these lectures, you'll explore this legendary era in brilliant, unforgettable hues. You'll meet its towering heroes who thirst for honor and the gods who inspired and instigated them. You'll go deep inside the shattering battles at Troy that act out mankind's awesome passions for glory, love, and vengeance. But more than that, you'll focus on the timeless human issues this masterpiece raises, all of them evoked by the power of a single dramatic question: Why does Achilles rage? The limits of freedom, the common humanity we share, the line between justice and revenge, the nature of destiny, the meaning of life - Professor Vandiver uses the Iliad as a potent lens through which to study them all.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.


©1999 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)1999 The Great Courses

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (133 )
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4.6 (112 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Elan 07-23-13
    Elan 07-23-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Vandiver never disappoints"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    When I first read the Iliad of Homer on my own, I thought it a hyper-violent war story with deeply unsympathetic characters who let petty disputes plunge their societies into disaster. However, Professor Vandiver's lectures gaves the historical and cultural background for the Iliad, helping me to understand why Agamemnon's actions were so deeply insulting to Achilles, while also illuminating how the Iliad is a timeless work of literature that speaks to the human condition today. These lectures are a must if you want to really understand this famous epic.

    All of Prof. Vandiver's lectures on classical literature are highly recommended for anyone even the slightest bit interested in the subject. She brings so much background and insight to the great tales of Ancient Greece, illuminating small points that I overlooked when reading on my own. In addition, she is a first-rate lecturer, and keeps her discussions engaging throughout. Her conversational tone keeps her lectures free from the pedantry and pretentiousness that some lecturers suffer from. I have all of her Teaching Company courses, and love all of them.


    What other book might you compare The Iliad of Homer to and why?

    Vandiver's lectures on the Odyssey of Homer make a great companion piece to this lecture series, and come just as highly recommended.


    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Saud 01-14-14
    Saud 01-14-14

    Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    859
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    "A Great Course for a Great Classic"
    What about Professor Elizabeth Vandiver’s performance did you like?

    Professor Elizabeth Vandiver is quickly becoming one of my favorite professors available through the Great Courses. She knows how to provide the structure the material deserves, while keeping it accessible.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I wanted to, but my schedule dictated that I listen to it one lecture at a time.


    Any additional comments?

    If you're getting this, get The Odyssey of Homer (same Professor), it paints the full picture of the Greek Epics.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David I. Williams Keithville, LA, United States 04-28-15
    David I. Williams Keithville, LA, United States 04-28-15 Member Since 2007
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    "Well done!"

    Excellent short series on the Iliad. Dr. Vandiver does a wonderful job of bringing the story to life and exploring the themes.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen M Boston, MA 10-27-14
    Karen M Boston, MA 10-27-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Excellent course"
    If you could sum up The Iliad of Homer in three words, what would they be?

    Insightful. Rich. Invaluable.


    What other book might you compare The Iliad of Homer to and why?

    Vandiver's course on the Odyssey was just as amazing, and I highly recommend it.


    Any additional comments?

    To read the Iliad without this course would be to miss the heart and soul of the story. Vandiver is an excellent professor - thorough and insightful - and her grasp on classical mythology and Ancient Greek culture is undeniable. She uncovers and explores so many details that most readers would otherwise miss.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Pyle Virginia 03-07-15
    A. Pyle Virginia 03-07-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Excellent course!"
    What did you love best about The Iliad of Homer?

    We are a homeschool family and decided to listen to this course as we studied The Iliad. The lessons greatly enhanced our learning and enriched our study of this great book. Professor Vandiver is a dynamic speaker who gives interesting lectures.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tommy D'Angelo North Providence, RI United States 08-08-15
    Tommy D'Angelo North Providence, RI United States 08-08-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Great Course and Highly Recommend It"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Pluses:
    - The focus on the theme of what it means to be humanity and how it relates to the subject of death and immortality was covered with excellence

    - The professor was easy to listen to (almost every sentence was easy to understand and there is an avoidance of flowery language that makes understanding difficult)

    Minuses:
    - The professor tended to explain the same point multiple times and seems to repeat sentences (the point could’ve been made in less sentences)
    - Not every book of the Iliad was summarized


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. J. Christensen Tucson, AZ. 04-15-15
    M. J. Christensen Tucson, AZ. 04-15-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Gives A Better Understanding Of A Classic"

    I had never read The Iliad before, so after listening to the Fitzgerald translation, I wanted to get more meaning and context from my reading. Professor Vandiver of Northwestern University gave some excellent lectures and enhanced my understanding of this classic of Western Literature. She was very organized and presented the material in an easy-to-grasp way. Her enthusiasm for the book and ancient Greek literature was evident in her voice. I would love to take one of her classes! I am now reading The Odyssey and intend to purchase her series of lectures on it too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SaveABunny Rabbit Rescue 02-11-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Fabulous Narrator"
    What made the experience of listening to The Iliad of Homer the most enjoyable?

    I really learned a lot and found the narrator to be very organized, connected to the listener and enjoying her topics.


    What about Professor Elizabeth Vandiver’s performance did you like?

    See above. One of my favorite narrators so far


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Abel Vargas New York, NY 12-23-14
    Abel Vargas New York, NY 12-23-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Really takes you into the work"

    One of the best companions to The Iliad a fan could hope for. Whenever I discuss Homeric poetry with beginners, I find myself quoting Prof. Vandiver all the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Nicky Beet
    4/27/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "scandalous"
    Would you try another book written by The Great Courses or narrated by Professor Elizabeth Vandiver?

    I have listened to other courses by Professor Vandiver and have enjoyed them so i probably will.The performance was fine and i love the Illiad.


    What could The Great Courses have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    My problem is the constant claim that Helen was guilty or complicit in her relationship with paris.This is not the case as she was made to fall in love or lust with paris because she was promised to him by Aphrodite.Given this she had nocontrol over her actions


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    I am not sure i really enjoyed any of this which is a great shame


    What character would you cut from The Iliad of Homer?

    nothing should be cut from the Illiad itself.It is probably the greates story of western culture/history


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Alison
    Petersfield, United Kingdom
    12/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I thought this was actually The Iliad"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Classical scholars


    What could The Great Courses have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Given a much better description that it was a series of lectures about the Iliad by an American lady.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Professor Elizabeth Vandiver’s performances?

    No.


    What character would you cut from The Iliad of Homer?

    Achilles


    Any additional comments?

    My wrath!

    0 of 8 people found this review helpful

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