One of the most diverse books in the Iliad, Book III moves between
intimate scenes in the heart of Troy and scenes serious and comic
on the battlefield. It describes a major ritual in an elaborate
oath-swearing, assigns a major role to divine intervention,
introduces and characterises the main Trojan actors and reveals
more about their Greek counterparts. The Commentary discusses the
styles of Homeric narrative, illustrating especially its economy
and sophisticated handling of different time-scales. It situates
the Iliad in its broad cultural and historical contexts, through
consideration of the relationships between Greece and the
Anatolian, Mesopotamian and ancient Indian cultures, particularly
regarding shared story-patterns and ritual activity. An account is
given of Troy's relationships with the Hittite empire and the vexed
question of the historicity of the Trojan War. Also provided is a
full historical account of Homeric language. The edition will be
indispensable for students and instructors.
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