Rowman and Littlefield | Becoming Achilles: Child-sacrifice, War, and Misrule in the lliad and Beyond

Greek Studies: Interdisciplinary Approaches

Foreword by Gregory Nagy, General Editor

HolwayBecoming Achilles: Child-Sacrifice, War, and Misrule in the Iliad and Beyond, by Richard Holway, applies perspectives learned from the discipline of psychology to the figure of Achilles in the Homeric Iliad. His reading transcends not only the conventional views of Achilles that are current in our time but even the conventions of ancient Greek epic mythmaking. In other words, Holway sees patterns that may not have been recognized even by the practitioners of the craft that we know as Homeric poetry. He shows how this poetic craft becomes the staging ground for bringing to light a compelling set of destructive mother-son and father-daughter relationships. On the epic stage, these family relationships can be displaced and thus reexamined, leaving the reader with a new clarity of vision about the supreme moral problem of heroic violence. This book is not only good to think with: it is also good, very good, to talk about.

—Gregory Nagy


Building on the foundations of scholarship within the disciplines of philology, philosophy, history, and archaeology, the Greek Studies: Interdisciplinary Approaches series published by Rowman & Littlefield concerns not just the archaic and classical periods of Greek traditions but the whole continuum—along with all the discontinuities—from the second millennium BCE to the present. The aim is to enhance perspectives by applying various disciplines to problems that have in the past been treated as the exclusive concern of a single given discipline. Besides the crossing-over of the older disciplines, as in the case of historical and literary studies, the series encourages the application of such newer ones as linguistics, sociology, anthropology, and comparative literature. It also encourages encounters with current trends in methodology, especially in the realm of literary theory.

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