Click to: riverhouses.org/2020-apollo
If you’re a classically minded homeschooler with older kids who are coping well with current events, you might like to point out this month that Homer’s Iliad, written more than 2500 years ago, opens with a plague, and with a plea from the soldiers to their leaders to hurry up and do something about it.
The Greek commander Agamemnon has insulted a priest of Apollo by refusing to return his daughter, the war-captive Cryseis. Seeking revenge, the priest asks Apollo, the archer-god of health and disease, to send a plague to punish Agamemnon and his men. And Apollo obliges.
From Iliad, Book I
[The priest’s] prayer went up and Phoebus Apollo heard him.
Down he strode from Olympus’ peaks, storming at heart
with his bow and hooded quiver slung across his shoulders.
The arrows clanged at his back as the god quaked with rage,
the god himself on the march, and down he came like night.
Over against the ships he dropped to a knee, let fly a shaft
and a terrifying clash rang out from the great silver bow.
First he went for the mules and circling dogs but then,
launching a piercing shaft at the men themselves,
he cut them down in droves —
and the corpse‑fires burned on, night and day, no end in sight.
(And speaking of classics, did you know there’s a whole chapter in Moby-Dick about an epidemic and a quarantine, and about how different people reacted to them? It’s true!) 🐳
What literary discoveries have you made in your homeschool this Leo Term? 😷
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