Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge
Some scholars believe that Book 10 of the Iliad – the night raid of Odysseus and Diomedes – was not part of the original poem, but was written by somebody else and slipped in at a later date. Why might someone think this? How would the poem be different without this book? (Source)
The famous description of the Shield of Achilleus from Book 18 was the inspiration for the description of the shield of Aeneas in Virgil's Aeneid . The difference is that, instead of showing a picture of the world, the Shield of Aeneas depicts events of Roman history. (Source)
The description of the Shield of Achilleus also served as the inspiration for the twentieth century poet W. H. Auden's poem "The Shield of Achilles." In Auden's poem, which was published in 1953, the shield depicts only images of violence and brutality. (Source)
The Irish poet Michael Longley used the scene of Achilleus and Priam's meeting from Book 24 as the basis for his poem "Ceasefire" about the peace accord in Northern Ireland. Longley trained as a classicist; this website also contains reflections on the influence of the classics on his work.