- Where to read: The Washington Post, via this link.
- Time needed: 10 minutes
- What it's about: Writer Tre Johnson speaks to the inaction of white people during times of crisis, how they talk in circles around race, but don't do anything to truly help or enact real change.
- Discussion questions:
- How did reading the title of this article feel? Did it give you a specific lens when reading the rest of the article? Why?
- Johnson argues that even his liberal, "woke" friends are living in a world of signalship and optical allyship. If you identify as a liberal, "woke" person, do you agree? Why or why not?
- If you said you do agree, what are you going to do to change this? If you said you don't agree, why not? Name specific examples of how your words have led to actions.
- Johnson writes, "The right acknowledgment of black justice, humanity, freedom and happiness won’t be found in your book clubs, protest signs, chalk talks or organizational statements." Do you agree or disagree? Why?
- How do you feel after reading this article? Called to action? Angry? Sad? Apathetic? Why are you feeling this way? Discuss.
Bipoc Action Item: Read the article When Black People Are In Pain, White People Just Join Book Clubs, by Tre Johnson
Action item: Read the article When Black People Are In Pain, White People Just Join Book Clubs, by Tre Johnson
BIPOC Action item: Watch the documentary I Am Not Your Negro
The Wyoming Arts Council is pleased to announce the recipients of this year’s Fellowships in Visual Arts, Creative Writing, and Performing Arts.
Visual Arts Fellowship recipients are: Diana Baumbach of Laramie, Shawn Bush of Casper, and Rachel Hawkinson of Casper. Honorable mentions were awarded to Barrie Bryant of Kirby, Carli Holcomb of Casper, and Mona Monroe of Alta.
Creative Writing Fellowship recipients are: Betsy Bernfeld of Wilson in Poetry, Susan Marsh of Jackson in Fiction, and Shreve Stockton of Ten Sleep in Creative Nonfiction. An honorable mention was given to Kate Northrop of Laramie in the poetry category.
Performing Arts Fellowship recipients in Music are: Aaron Davis of Jackson and Abby Webster of Wilson. An honorable mention was awarded to Andrew Wheelock of Laramie.
Performing Arts Fellowship recipients in Theatre and Dance are: Anne Mason of Laramie and Luke Dakota Zender of Jackson. Honorable mentions were awarded to Patrick Konesko of Laramie and Gina Patterson of Jackson.
Fellowships are merit based awards to selected Wyoming artists based on their submitted portfolio of work that reflects serious and exceptional artistic investigation. Recipients each receive a $3,000 award and the opportunity to share their work with the community through support from the Wyoming Arts Council.
Submissions are juried anonymously by jurors from outside the state with extensive backgrounds in each artistic area. The jurors for this year’s Fellowships were Iwan Bagus and Nicole Herden for Visual Arts, Mesha Maren, Marie Mutsuki Mockett, and Kathryn Savage for Creative Writing, and Tara McGovern and Claro de los Reyes for Performing Arts.
For more information on this program and details on each recipient please visit www.wyomingartscouncil.org or contact Taylor Craig at 307-274-6673 or email@example.com.
Photo caption: The 2021 Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship Recipients. Top row L-R Shreve Stockton, Abby Webster, Aaron Davis (photo by Brad Christensen), Middle row L-R Anne Mason, Shawn Bush, Diana Baumbach (photo by June Glasson), Bottom row L-R Betsy Bernfeld, Luke Dakota Zender, Rachel Hawkinson, Susan Marsh.
Action item: Read Peggy McIntosh's White Privilege: The Invisible Knapsack.
Where to read it: via this link
Time needed to read it: 15-20 minutes.
What It's About: Peggy McIntosh gives a personal account explaining how we are often blind in the ways we are privileged in comparison to others.
Action Item: Watch 13th: An Original Netflix Documentary.
Where to watch it: On Netflix, or streaming free on YouTube.
Length: 100 minutes
What It's About: Filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation's prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans.
How These Black Playwrights Are Challenging American Theater
Jackie Sibblies Drury, Jeremy O. Harris, Antoinette Nwandu and Jordan E. Cooper, on influences, gatekeepers and helping “the young black theater nerd find work that looks like them.”
Black Lives Matter: U.S. Theatres Stand With the Movement for Racial Justice
Dozens of theatres express their solidarity in the grief and anger over anti-Black violence, offer resources, and commit to more equitable paths.
“Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man” - A new series by ex-NFL player Emmanuel Acho
The audience is specifically for White people. There are now two conversations:
Movies, Documentaries & TV to Watch:
Books To Read:
Podcasts to Listen To:
Places to Donate:
Other Educational Resources:
Black Owned Businesses to Support:
Engage in conversations with friends, family, colleagues, community:
Organizations to Follow:
Conversation With Yourself:
How a local Laramie theatre company and specialty shop collaborated to create a unique experience for their customers during Covid-19.
Back in March, like many business owners, Anne Mason, the founding Artistic Director of Relative Theatrics, a Laramie based theatre company, was faced with closing the doors of her theatre, canceling upcoming live performances and postponing her annual fundraising event. Despite taking a big financial hit from these cancellations, Anne quickly organized a virtual programming series to continue to engage her subscribers during these isolated times.
What started as a cancellation of her annual fundraising event (that was to be held at Chalk N’ Cheese) turned into a collaboration with a local business to combine wine, cheese, and virtual theatre. Pairings @ Chalk N’ Cheese is a specialty shop in Laramie, WY that features cheese, foods, and wines from around the globe.
“We had initially planned a Season Announcement Fundraising Event at Chalk N' Cheese on April 30th. When that was canceled, Misty (the owner) and I brainstormed ways that we could still support one another and create something for our customers that was both new and familiar at the same time,” Anne explained, “I had been exploring the mechanics of virtual programming for our theatrical presentations - a way to enjoy the theatre inside the home. What better way to enhance that experience than by throwing delicious wine and cheese into the mix?”
Misty Hester, the owner of Chalk N’ Cheese commented on how the collaboration with Relative Theatrics has supported her business during Covid, “It has been a great opportunity to reach a new customer. But, more importantly, it has given the audience a feeling of experience; not just watching. Anne Mason and I have discussed each reading and worked together in finding the right wine and cheese to fit.”
Anne remarked, “Through the partnership, Relative Theatrics and Chalk N' Cheese are able to curate a unique entertainment experience that gives our community something to look forward to every week.”
One example of their weekly pairings comes from the April 17th premiere of TWO DEGREES: “On Friday, April 17th we offer you Blanc de Bleu, Cuvee Mousseax to enjoy during our reading of TWO DEGREES by Tira Palmquist. While this sparkling wine may be thought to be reserved for a prestigious celebration, we believe that in today's world we should celebrate everyday. The winemakers dazzle the imagination with Blanc de Bleu's seductive flavors and beautiful shade of blue; reminding us of the colors found within glaciers. This effervescent wine contains a dry, crisp finish and a hint of blueberry, perfect to pair with Delice Mon Sire Brie from France and/or Parrano Gouda from Holland. Delice Mon Sire - a triple cream cheese that is soft, yet bold - is enriched with creme fraiche adding a luscious creaminess. The Parrano, a semi-soft aged gouda, delivers a caramel/scotch-like flavor that melts in your mouth.”
Relative Theatrics has observed increased social media engagement from the wine, cheese, and theatre pairings. “It's so much fun to see people sharing pictures of their glasses of wine and cheese boards in front of their televisions or computers with the live stream playing. The virtual programming from Relative Theatrics has allowed us to expand our reach to every corner of the state, and beyond. People are no longer restricted by geographical limits. We are reconnecting with past patrons who have moved away from Laramie. We're also building a new virtual network of viewers that will hopefully entice folks to visit Laramie for a play and glass of wine once we're on the other side of this pandemic!” stated Anne.
Pairings @ Chalk N’ Cheese has also seen increased revenue from the weekly pairings with the virtual readings. “Maybe 25% to 30% of the sales on the day of the event. Fluctuates with each reading.” Misty added, “The customers know that I am giving 10% of the sales to Relative Theatrics and they are very supportive! It's pretty cool. But, even more so, we are seeing these customers return, buying more and wanting to know more about what we offer.”
Anne Mason believes the partnership between businesses is important.
“We are in such uncertain times. Everyone is concerned about where their next paycheck will safely come from and how we will collectively survive these trying times. I strongly believe that the best way to ease the economic and psychological stress is to support our fellow community members. What is possible if we approach these circumstantial obstacles with a spirit of creative collaboration rather than caustic competition?”
Misty has been ‘Pairing with other Businesses’ for the past 2 years. “We have had desserts and wine with Big Hollow Co-op, International Cabernet Franc Night tasting with Sweet Melissa's, International Merlot Night tasting with WyoColo Restaurant, a tasting with a specific winery and their representative in house to talk about their wines, etc. Customers enjoy the flavors and experience!”
The silver-lining through this has helped both Relative Theatrics and Pairings @ Chalk N’ Cheese with long-term business strategies.
“I love the idea of continuing this partnership once we are all able to gather in person again. An evening at Chalk N' Cheese before heading to the theatre sounds like a wonderful night out to me,” stated Anne, “In the meantime, we will do our best to facilitate a wonderful night in!”
Misty responded, “We are already trying to come up with ideas to keep the momentum going and always looking for ideas to keep our customers engaged. It's about the experience and learning along the way.”
Relative Theatrics will be wrapping up their 7th Season this month with the 6th Annual PLAYWRIGHTS VOICED FESTIVAL: Featuring New Plays, May 20-23, 2020 virtually through a YouTube Live Stream. The series features 4 nights of new plays by developing playwrights.
“For both Chalk N' Cheese and Relative Theatrics, the wine and cheese pairing with each virtual play reading is an excellent way to introduce our patrons to new stories, new flavors, new experiences.”
DIRECTOR'S NOTES FROM NATHANIEL QUINN
Can we truly capture what is important to us through art? If art mimics life, and life mimics art, then art is life. Since life is a living, breathing, changing, organic creature. Therefore; photography is art is life. But a photograph is unique because it lives in all time. Take out your phone, and open the first image of a person. It can be a partner, friend, lover, child, parent, quick selfie, it doesn’t matter. What matters is this person is in a state of all time. When was the picture taken? This morning? Yesterday? A week/month/year ago? The point is, even if you snapped a quick selfie while reading this, that picture happened in the past. But the photo is currently in the present. More difficult to fathom, is that the person in that image is no more. They have moved into the future and changed, grown, breathed, stopped breathing, loved, lost, moved on. Therein lies the question: The moment we capture something important, it both exists and ceases to be. How then does that affect how we live as human beings? Do we live in the past with our happiness, sadness, arguments, or bereavements? How do they shape us as we move forward? Hopefully we are better because of them, but what about the pictures that reflect the negative? Abusive relationships, racism, sexism, ageism, elitism, do they help us move forward, or trap a past version of us? Any way it works out, I know you’ll be a different person by the end of this production, thank you for sharing the past, present, and from the moment I’m writing this, the future you.
Jackie Sibblies Drury Explores the Role of Art in ‘Really’ - American Theatre Magazine
The playwright discusses why the New York production was unique, the role of race in her play, and why she doesn’t consider herself a career playwright.
‘Really’ Meditates on History’s Forgotten Subjects - The Village Voice
Photography can be a way to control reality. By stealing an instant from the ungoverned stream of time, photographers impose order on flux. And by artfully posing their subjects, they can transform a living, changing person into a static image of their own imagining.
Really asks what do we try to leave behind, what do we actually leave behind, and how do we deal with being left - Undermain Theatre
What can you see through a camera lens that you can’t with the naked eye? Is what you are seeing “real” or is it just a flash of the subject?
Rereading: Camera Lucida by Roland Barthes - The Guardian
Grieving for his mother, Roland Barthes looked for her in old photos – and wrote a curious, moving book that became one of the most influential studies of photography.
Jackie Sibblies Drury: Thinking and Feeling - American Theatre Magazine
Her Pulitzer-winning play ‘Fairview’ is about why white people should make space for people of color; she’s amused that it’s controversial.
With each successive year of operation at Relative Theatrics, I aim to push the boundaries further and further. How can we tell challenging, relevant stories in a more innovative and affective manner? In exploring the world of THE (curious case of the) WATSON INTELLIGENCE, I’ve started to recognize the continual patterns of human driven advancement and ingenuity. The play itself highlights multiple mechanizations that revolutionized human connection.
In 1876 Alexander Graham Bell sent the first communication by wire to his trusty assistant, Thomas A. Watson, thus sparking a revolutionary new string of communication. Suddenly, one could communicate with another in a different room; then a different house; then a different city. In the coming years, as radio technology advanced, messages were liberated from the connective wires and the advent of transcontinental communication shrunk the parameters of time and space even further. Fast forward (as, yes, new technologies have allowed us to do) and the immediacy of contact and knowledge flies into the palms of our hands almost instantly through our smart phones. In the blink of an eye, we can contact anyone, anywhere, at anytime.
Another revolutionary invention altered society’s comprehension of time and space: The Steam Engine. This powerful, industrial machine sped across the countryside, accelerating travel time and connecting communities at a seemingly impossible rate. Interestingly enough, this invention that led to the unifying of time via time tables, has also been credited with the “annihilation of time and space.” As the connectivity of rail travel shrunk the world, humanity’s view of the world altered as well. Travelers viewed life speed by in a blur through a static train compartment window which, for many, caused new anxieties about the lack of control and possible danger that new technology presented.
Through a philosophical lens, there is another massive force that has the potential to transcend time and space: Love. As Eliza puzzles out her predicament with Josh Watson, she poses the same ontological query: “what is the nature of the phenomenon where a person who claims to know you better than you know yourself makes you feel his physical presence like a, like a burning sensation in your chest even when he’s miles away?” Just as the steam engine, radio, and telephone technologies provided individuals with immediacy in communication, so can intimacy. New lovers Eliza and Josh lose their sense of time in one another; but, they also run the risk of losing their sense of self.
Thus we are presented with the ultimate paradox of companionship. In order to have the gifts of relationship and intimacy, one has to experience unbearable things. This ultimately proves risky - the vulnerability of dependency on another person with unpredictable actions can cause one to return to the security of technological companionship. The cosmic shift that occurs internally as a result of opening oneself to another human being can alter one’s perception of their surroundings, causing “tremendous foreboding such as we always feel when there comes an enormous, an unheard-of event whose consequences are imponderable and incalculable.” Interestingly enough, this quote from Heinrich Heine refers not to love, but to rail travel in the late 1800’s. These parallels between the space/time disruption of love and of technology occur stylistically within the text of THE (curious case of the) WATSON INTELLIGENCE, viewed in the braided overlap of various time periods. At first there are a distinct jumps in time and place; yet each clearly defined shift contains the same actors and character names. There is unease, there is unsettlement. The audience must figure out how to reconcile these uncanny realms. Just as they grow accustomed to the leaps in time, the shifts begin to blur. The shifts between realms occur smoothly by the end of the play, blurring the lines and our perception of the world - much like the fluid view from inside a train compartment.
Adam Greenfield, Director of New Play Development at Playwrights Horizon’s where WATSON received its world premiere, notes that “technology has changed the way we perceive time moving. Stories begin to resemble the behavior of technology, finding narrative and meaning in the search for connections, associations, and patterns. It’s a compression of space and time, where everything is related to everything else and time becomes a constant present.” As we journey our way through the play, the series of seemingly unrelated events begin to highlight a pattern in each individual, shining a light on the core essence of the character. It is in this distilled clarity of the Constant Present that we can ask the deep questions about what it means to be human. Or, perhaps more specifically, what it means to be human with other human beings.
Telling an ancient story in a modern light takes a lot of digging. Just like the archeologists that have unearthed the many layers of Troy, our team has taken the time to understand the many layers of AN ILIAD. We're happy to share with you some of our discoveries and sources:
Production Dramaturgical Study Guides:
Let's Talk About Myths, Baby! by Liv Albert
Let’s Talk About Myths, Baby! is a Greek and Roman mythology podcast.
But it’s not your average Greek and Roman mythology podcast, this one is told by a 30-something Millennial with a penchant for cursing and a feminist attitude. The stories are deeply researched, thoroughly told, and they don’t hold back the details that have been sugarcoated and treated with kid gloves over the millennia since they were originally told.
There’s violence, assault, and so, so many gods transforming into animals to have their way [with women and nymphs]. Let’s Talk About Myths, Baby! is casual and fun but equally knowledgeable and will leave you with a deeper understanding of the myths and the people who told them those many, many years ago.
Myth Take: A Fresh Take on Ancient Myth by Alison Innes and Darrin Sunstrum
Our podcast is a little different from other myth podcasts out there. Rather than telling the stories, we focus on analyzing the literary material where those stories come from. Sometimes we choose a particular figure or theme from mythology and examine texts relating to it. Other times, we choose a passage from a play or poem and analyze it for its themes and ideas.
Our podcast is unscripted, so anything can happen! We keep it real–we want you to feel like you’re sitting down and having a conversation with us. We also welcome your input–questions, thoughts, suggestions, ideas.
Librivox: The Iliad by Homer; Translated by Samuel Butler
Acoustical liberation of books in the public domain.
The Iliad, together with the Odyssey, is one of two ancient Greek epic poems traditionally attributed to Homer. The poem is commonly dated to the 8th or 7th century BC, and many scholars believe it is the oldest extant work of literature in the Greek language, making it the first work of European literature. The existence of a single author for the poems is disputed as the poems themselves show evidence of a long oral tradition and hence, multiple authors. The poem concerns events during the tenth and final year in the siege of the city of Iliun, or Troy, by the Greeks.
Crash Course World History
Interviews with scholars and dramatic reenactments bring to life the origins and history-making achievements of the world's greatest ancient empires.
Troy: Fall of a City
An epic story of love and war, intrigue and betrayal. When Helen and Paris fall in love, they trigger a chain of events that threatens their families and the city of Troy.
Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes by Edith Hamilton
Edith Hamilton's mythology succeeds like no other book in bringing to life for the modern reader the Greek, Roman and Norse myths that are the keystone of Western culture-the stories of gods and heroes that have inspired human creativity from antiquity to the present.
We follow the drama of the Trojan War and the wanderings of Odysseus. We hear the tales of Jason and the Golden Fleece, Cupid and Psyche, and mighty King Midas. We discover the origins of the names of the constellations. And we recognize reference points for countless works for art, literature and culture inquiry-from Freud's Oedipus complex to Wagner's Ring Cycle of operas to Eugene O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra
Both a reference text for scholars of all ages and a book to simply enjoy, Mythology is a classic not to be missed.
Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
“Mary Renault lives again!” declares Emma Donoghue, author of Room, referring to The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller’s thrilling, profoundly moving, and utterly unique retelling of the legend of Achilles and the Trojan War. A tale of gods, kings, immortal fame, and the human heart, The Song of Achilles is a dazzling literary feat that brilliantly reimagines Homer’s enduring masterwork, The Iliad. An action-packed adventure, an epic love story, a marvelously conceived and executed page-turner, Miller’s monumental debut novel has already earned resounding acclaim from some of contemporary fiction’s brightest lights—and fans of Mary Renault, Bernard Cornwell, Steven Pressfield, and Colleen McCullough’s Masters of Rome series will delight in this unforgettable journey back to ancient Greece in the Age of Heroes.
Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
Queen Briseis has been stolen from her conquered homeland and given as a concubine to a foreign warrior. The warrior is Achilles: famed hero, loathed enemy, ruthless butcher, darkly troubled spirit. Briseis's fate is now indivisibly entwined with his.
No one knows it yet, but there are just ten weeks to go until the Fall of Troy, the end of this long and bitter war. This is the start of The Iliad: the most famous war story ever told. The next ten weeks will be a story of male power, male ego, male violence. But what of the women? The thousands of female slaves in the soldiers' camp - in the laundry, at the loom, laying out the dead? Briseis is one of their number - and she will be our witness to history.
Women and Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard
At long last, Mary Beard addresses in one brave book the misogynists and trolls who mercilessly attack and demean women the world over, including, very often, Mary herself. In Women & Power, she traces the origins of this misogyny to its ancient roots, examining the pitfalls of gender and the ways that history has mistreated strong women since time immemorial. As far back as Homer’s Odyssey, Beard shows, women have been prohibited from leadership roles in civic life, public speech being defined as inherently male. From Medusa to Philomela (whose tongue was cut out), from Hillary Clinton to Elizabeth Warren (who was told to sit down), Beard draws illuminating parallels between our cultural assumptions about women’s relationship to power―and how powerful women provide a necessary example for all women who must resist being vacuumed into a male template. With personal reflections on her own online experiences with sexism, Beard asks: If women aren’t perceived to be within the structure of power, isn’t it power itself we need to redefine? And how many more centuries should we be expected to wait?
The Iliad: A New Translation by Caroline Alexander
Composed around 730 B.C., Homer’s Iliad recounts the events of a few momentous weeks in the protracted ten-year war between the invading Achaeans, or Greeks, and the Trojans in their besieged city of Ilion. From the explosive confrontation between Achilles, the greatest warrior at Troy, and Agamemnon, the inept leader of the Greeks, through to its tragic conclusion, The Iliad explores the abiding, blighting facts of war.
Soldier and civilian, victor and vanquished, hero and coward, men, women, young, old--The Iliad evokes in poignant, searing detail the fate of every life ravaged by the Trojan War. And, as told by Homer, this ancient tale of a particular Bronze Age conflict becomes a sublime and sweeping evocation of the destruction of war throughout the ages.
Carved close to the original Greek, acclaimed classicist Caroline Alexander’s new translation is swift and lean, with the driving cadence of its source—a translation epic in scale and yet devastating in its precision and power.
The Iliad by Homer; Translated by Robert Fagles
Dating to the ninth century B.C., Homer’s timeless poem still vividly conveys the horror and heroism of men and gods wrestling with towering emotions and battling amidst devastation and destruction, as it moves inexorably to the wrenching, tragic conclusion of the Trojan War. Renowned classicist Bernard Knox observes in his superb introduction that although the violence of the Iliad is grim and relentless, it coexists with both images of civilized life and a poignant yearning for peace.
Combining the skills of a poet and scholar, Robert Fagles, winner of the PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation and a 1996 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, brings the energy of contemporary language to this enduring heroic epic. He maintains the drive and metric music of Homer’s poetry, and evokes the impact and nuance of the Iliad’s mesmerizing repeated phrases in what Peter Levi calls “an astonishing performance.”
The Trojan War: A Very Short Introduction by Eric H. Cline
The Iliad, Homer's epic tale of the abduction of Helen and the decade-long Trojan War, has fascinated mankind for millennia. Even today, the war inspires countless articles and books, extensive archaeological excavations, movies, television documentaries, even souvenirs and collectibles. But while the ancients themselves believed that the Trojan War took place, scholars of the modern era have sometimes derided it as a piece of fiction.
Combining archaeological data and textual analysis of ancient documents, this Very Short Introduction considers whether or not the war actually took place and whether archaeologists have really discovered the site of ancient Troy. To answer these questions, archaeologist and ancient historian Eric H. Cline examines various written sources, including the works of Homer, the Epic Cycle (fragments from other, now-lost Greek epics), classical plays, and Virgil's Aeneid. Throughout, the author tests the literary claims against the best modern archaeological evidence, showing for instance that Homer, who lived in the Iron Age, for the most part depicted Bronze Age warfare with accuracy. Cline also tells the engaging story of the archaeologists--Heinrich Schliemann and his successors Wilhelm Dörpfeld, Carl Blegen, and Manfred Korfmann--who found the long-vanished site of Troy through excavations at Hisarlik, Turkey.
Drawing on evidence found at Hisarlik and elsewhere, Cline concludes that a war or wars in the vicinity of Troy probably did take place during the Late Bronze Age, forming the nucleus of a story that was handed down orally for centuries until put into final form by Homer. But Cline suggests that, even allowing that a Trojan War took place, it probably was not fought because of Helen's abduction, though such an incident may have provided the justification for a war actually fought for more compelling economic and political motives.
Homer: A Very Short Introduction by Barbara Graziosi
Homer's mythological tales of war and homecoming, the Iliad and the Odyssey, are widely considered to be two of the most influential works in the history of western literature. Yet their author, 'the greatest poet that ever lived' is something of a mystery. By the 6th century BCE, Homer had already become a mythical figure, and today debate continues as to whether he ever existed.
In this Very Short Introduction Barbara Graziosi considers Homer's famous works and their impact on readers throughout the centuries. She shows how the Iliad and the Odyssey benefit from a tradition of reading that spans well over two millennia, stemming from ancient scholars at the library of Alexandria, in the third and second centuries BCE, who wrote some of the first commentaries on the Homeric epics. Summaries of these scholars' notes made their way into the margins of Byzantine manuscripts; from Byzantium the annotated manuscripts travelled to Italy; and the ancient notes finally appeared in the first printed editions of Homer, eventually influencing our interpretation of Homer's work today. Along the way, Homer's works have inspired artists, writers, philosophers, musicians, playwrights, and film-makers. Exploring the main literary, historical, cultural, and archaeological issues at the heart of Homer's narratives, Graziosi analyses the enduring appeal of Homer and his iconic works.
Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise to Western Power by Victor Davis Hanson
Examining nine landmark battles from ancient to modern times--from Salamis, where outnumbered Greeks devastated the slave army of Xerxes, to Cortes’s conquest of Mexico to the Tet offensive--Victor Davis Hanson explains why the armies of the West have been the most lethal and effective of any fighting forces in the world.
Looking beyond popular explanations such as geography or superior technology, Hanson argues that it is in fact Western culture and values–the tradition of dissent, the value placed on inventiveness and adaptation, the concept of citizenship–which have consistently produced superior arms and soldiers. Offering riveting battle narratives and a balanced perspective that avoids simple triumphalism, Carnage and Culture demonstrates how armies cannot be separated from the cultures that produce them and explains why an army produced by a free culture will always have the advantage.