Classical Association Lecture: Homer and the art of cinematic warfare

Events List

Monday 12th February | 6:00 pm

LIVE Lit & Phil Event | FREE


Image of Homer | Sourced from WikiCommons

Given by Dr George Gazis, Durham University.

In association with Northumberland & Durham Branch

In this paper, I argue that Homer’s often unrealistic descriptions of heroic duelling follow a long line of artistic representation, that can be traced back to the early Mycenaean Palatial period. Mycenaean artists, and their noble audiences who commissioned the artworks, had a particular preference for depicting individual duels when it came to battle-related themes, rather than large scale skirmishes. This preference cannot have been accidental; rather it appears to reflect the basic human tendency of prioritising individual or subjective memory, over a more objective recollection of the events in which one has participated.

My analysis moves away from the question of what Homer does recall and replay in our minds, and towards how and why does the recollection of events that comprise the epic material happen. In other words, I am not interested in the actual content of the narration or the social and cultural reasons behind its selection, but rather in what can the visualisation of these events in the bard’s (and the audience’s) mind’s eye tell us about Homeric poetry on a first level in relation to its audience and its expectations, and on a second, in terms of its artistic continuity with the Mycenaean era which it claims to depict.

(If you would prefer to book directly over the phone, please call the Library Desk team on 0191 232 0192 and they will be happy to help)

‘Pay what you wish’

There is no set ticket price for this event, but if you would like to make a small donation to support the good work of The Lit & Phil we would be very grateful. Click the link above to donate via Paypal.

For more information on the Classical Association, please visit their website:

Home – The Classical Association