Deborah Beck of University of Texas will join the CHS Community for an Open House discussion on “The Beauty of Homeric Similes in Iliad 16.” The event takes place on September 29 at 11:00 a.m. EDT.
To prepare for the event, you may like to read Iliad 16 with the special focus on similes.
Watch the live broadcast on the Hour 25 website or on the YouTube channel.
Homer Iliad 16.482-92 (translation by R. Lattimore)
two similes describe the Trojan fighter Sarpedon as he falls at the hands of Achilles’ companion Patroklos
[Sarpedon] fell, as when an oak goes down or a white poplar,
or like a towering pine tree which in the mountains the carpenters
have hewn down with their whetted axes to make a ship-timber.
So he lay there felled in front of his horses and chariots (485)
roaring, and clawed with his hands at the bloody dust; or as
a blazing and haughty bull in a huddle of shambling cattle
when a lion has come among the herd and destroys him
dies bellowing under the hooked claws of the lion, so now
before Patroklos the lord of the shield-armoured Lykians (490)
died raging, and called aloud to his beloved companion:
Deborah Beck is an Associate Professor in the Department of Classics at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests include formulas and oral aesthetics in early Greek poetry; cognitive theories of reading and image processing, especially in relation to epic similes; and speech and speech representation in Homeric epic. She has authored two books related to Homeric studies: Speech Presentation in the Homeric Epics(University of Texas Press, 2012), which has a companion database [https://www.laits.utexas.edu/DeborahBeck], and Homeric Conversation (Harvard University Press, 2005 [Hellenic Studies 14]). She is the author of several recent articles on similes in Apollonius’ Argonautica and in Vergil’s Aeneid. Her current work includes studies of Aeschylus’ Agamemnon; formulas in Homeric epic, especially Iliad 16; and similes in classical epic poetry.