Nature and Culture in the Iliad

The Tragedy of Hector

Nature and Culture in the Iliad

Book Pages: 336 Illustrations: Published: March 1994

Pre-Modern Studies > Classical Studies

By focusing on the story of Hector, James M. Redfield presents an imaginative perspective not only on the Iliad but also on the whole of Homeric culture. In an expansive discussion informed by a reinterpretation of Aristotle's Poetics and a reflection on the human meaning of narrative art, the analysis of Hector leads to an inquiry into the fundamental features of Homeric culture and of culture generally in its relation to nature. Through Hector, as the "true tragic hero of the poem," the events and themes of the Iliad are understood and the function of tragedy within culture is examined. Redfield's work represents a significant application of anthropological perspectives to Homeric poetry. Originally published in 1975 (University of Chicago Press), this revised edition includes a new preface and concluding chapter by the author.


"A fine reading of the Iliad [and] a pioneering attempt to apply the insights and methods of cultural anthropology to the warrior culture of the poem. . . ." — Charles Segal, Harvard University

"From time to time there appear Homeric studies that speak to a wide range of readers . . . Nature and Culture in the Iliad is in that company. It opened up new prespective on the poem and its poet and remains as stimulating today as when it first appeared." — James Tatum, Dartmouth College

"Redfield's memorable study of the literary and cultural values of Homer's Iliad shines with wisdom and humanity on every page. I know of no other work on the epic that so consistently reaches this level of insight and inspiration." — Fromma Zeitlin, Princeton University


Availability: In stock
Price: $27.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

James M. Redfield is Howard L. Willett Professor of Social Thought and Classics at the University of Chicago.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Preface to the Expanded Edition vii

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xvii

Introduction: Achilles and Hector 3

1. Imitation 30

2. Tragedy 69

3. Our Hero 99

4. Error 128

5. Purification 160

The Gods of the Iliad: An Amplification 225

Notes 249

References 291

Bibliography to the Expanded Edition 299

Index of Greek Words 301

Index 307
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing
Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-1422-6
Publicity material