The Iliad

“So the gods pulled alternately on the rope of this violent and evenly balanced battle, to make it taut over the two sides. The rope was indestructible and no one could break it; but it broke many men.”

What’s war good for? This is the question that plagued me throughout my second reading on the Iliad. Homer paints such vivid word pictures and casts an amazing group of characters. Their eccentricities are very pronounced and you emotionally connect with almost every single one of them. However, this book is war, war, and more war.  And the craziest part is – this war that kills thousands is intentionally spurred on by the gods.

Crazy right? The gods encouraged, and even took pleasure in, this war that destroyed thousands of men’s lives – affecting hundreds of thousands of loved ones. Can you imagine?

Thus, sorrow was the primary emotion that haunted me – I just can’t imagine a senseless war spurred on by gods that control the world and all the creatures that live in it – just for their own sport. This book made me especially grateful that my God is so different from the ones we find in the Iliad and throughout Greek history. He protects us and always intends the very best for us. And, thankfully, his invitation is to increasing grace and kindness over glory and valor.

So, all in all, I am glad to have read this infamous work but I don’t think I’ll be cracking it open anytime soon.