The Iliad, like all great works of art, is of continued relevance because it deals with universal themes. The characters in the poem may have, what seem to us, strange names; their codes of honor and social conventions are completely alien to ours; and their belief in a pantheon of gods constantly intervening on behalf of mortals is something many of us find hard to accept. Nonetheless, if we strip away all the extrinsic detail, we are left with recognizably human concerns that still speak to us today.
The twenty-first century is considerably more brutal and mired in conflict than the Homeric world. Although people are perhaps more aware than ever before of the horrors of war, nonetheless wars do still break out with frightening regularity, and often over quite trivial matters.
As in Homer 's...
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