In ancient stories, including Homer’s Iliad, the Trojan prince Troilus is killed at a young age by the Greek champion Achilles. In the Middle Ages, he became the lead character in a love story that paired him up with a young woman called Cressida.
The ancient Greek hero Hercules (or Herakles) might seem to have survived all of his encounters unscathed. However, one source suggests that his victory over the Nemean Lion came at a cost.
The Empress Messalina has received more than her fair share of attention in popular culture, mostly likely due to her scandalous reputation in the ancient sources. What is often overlooked is that she was also a political force in Rome’s first imperial dynasty.
Many people believe that the ancient Greeks used, among other things, armour that was made of layers of linen cloth glued together. But there is no ancient text linking linen armour and glue. No other culture made armour this way. So where does this idea come from?
The ancient Greek symposium was a drinking party in which the participants engaged in a number of activities. In this article, Daniel Woon focuses on cultural aspects of the symposium.
A Middle-English poem takes the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, gives it a contemporary, medieval setting, makes Orpheus a chivalrous king, and provides the story with a surprisingly happy ending.
Following the action of the Iliad, the Trojan War continued in the Aithiopis, a lost epic in which Achilles fought and killed the Amazon Penthesileia and Memnon, king of the Ethiopians, before dying himself at the hands of the Trojan prince Paris. Two black-figure vases attributed to the potter and painter Exekias feature scenes from this epic.
How should readers of Virgil’s Aeneid interpret the relationship between the Trojan soldiers Nisus and Euryalus? Harrison Voss argues that the pair is best understood as a depiction of the “ideal” pederastic relationship described in Plato’s Symposium.
According to the Prose Edda, attributed to the Icelandic scholar Snorri Sturluson (1179-1241), the Norse gods were foreigners. They had made the trek northwards and westwards from their original home in Anatolia: the ancient city of Troy.
Compared to Homer’s Iliad, the Odyssey appears to be set in a world at peace. But despite the epic taking place far from the Trojan battlefield, violence still plays an important role.