Listening to these lectures is a good way to get ready for a discussion about The Iliad. The group, Great Books Kansas City, is planning to discuss The Iliad later this month, and I'm trying to get myself into the ancient Greek state of mind. Visit this link for info on the group. http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/9977.Great_Books_Kansas_City
Also, our blog link:
These lectures are the equivalent of reading the commentary that comes with some written versions of the Iliad. Professor Vandiver provides an insightful analysis of selected episodes in the Iliad. Her lectures make the Iliad much more understandable. She explains the cultural assumptions that lie behind Homer's lines. She repeatedly visits the Iliad's overriding theme of what it means to be human and what the Iliad has to say about the human condition. She probes the relationship of this great epic to the tradition of orally transmitted poetry.
The Iliad is one book that is very appropriately listened to in the audio format because originally it was presented orally to a listening audience. That was in the days before iPods. But interestingly, it is the iPod that makes the epic readily available in its original medium, the human voice.
These recorded lectures provide access to one of the best lecturers, and payment of college tuition is not required. What a bargain!