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View Poll Results: The Odyssey vs. The Illiad vs The Aeneid
The Odyssey 19 41.30%
The Illiad 18 39.13%
The Aeneid 9 19.57%
Voters: 46. You may not vote on this poll

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Old August 16th, 2012, 04:51 PM   #1

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The Odyssey vs. The Illiad vs. The Aeneid

Which of these is your favorite, and why?

Personally, I prefer The Aeneid to The Odyssey, but I hear the The Illiad (which I haven't yet read, but plan to) is superior to *both* of them.

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Old August 16th, 2012, 04:57 PM   #2

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(Having just complained about vs. threads on another discussion, I'm going to be a hypocrite and actually participate in this one, because I like the look of it!)

I voted for the "Odyssey" - it's simply the most fun, and the question was which is my "favourite". However, I think the Iliad is superior as a work of art, and as a complete, satisfying, well-characterised, beautifully-constructed narrative. I also think that the "Aeneid" is the most interesting, because it is the most "literary" (the Iliad and the Odyssey were products of an oral rather than a written tradition), and the political dimensions of the poem, with the shadow of Augustus always lurking in the background, can be endlessly discussed and dissected.

However, the question wasn't which is the greatest work of art, or which is the most interesting, it was which is your favourite - and on that basis I voted for the Odyssey. That's the one I'd take to a desert island, because it's just a blast!
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Old August 16th, 2012, 05:01 PM   #3
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I like The Odyssey more because I really like the story and the character and I've read it countless of times when I was trying to write something as a gift to someone and I was really trying to "sound" like Homer therefore even memorised some parts of the Odyssey so I like it better.
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Old August 16th, 2012, 05:10 PM   #4

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Originally Posted by Clodius View Post
(Having just complained about vs. threads on another discussion, I'm going to be a hypocrite and actually participate in this one, because I like the look of it!)
I was thinking the exact same thing! Well I guess I have brought shame to my entire family by being a hypocrite.

Anyway I prefer the Iliad particularly because I find it most informative for the purposes of military history and representative of the ideological concerns of the era. Although, the Telemachy interests me incredibly, as far as enjoyment of the stories go I find that the Illiad just happens to contain some of my favorite mythological figures in Achilles, Hector, Diomedes, and Telamonian Ajax.

The Aeneid doesn't really interest me as much. That may be a result of forcing myself to read it in an entire day. (While my roommate forced himself to read Paradise Lost in the same time frame It was a pretty miserable 100F degree day with no air conditioning...)
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Old August 17th, 2012, 08:52 AM   #5

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I went for the Iliad because it has so many different ethnic groups and heroes involved!
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Old August 17th, 2012, 09:12 AM   #6

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The Odyssey makes a better and smoother read in Ancient Greek, especially when you also have to do a literal translation
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Old August 17th, 2012, 09:23 AM   #7

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I voted for The Aeneid, myself - I recently finished it, and loved it. However, I may be biased because it includes a great deal of Italian mythological-history. Although, at times, it did feel a bit like a propaganda piece - but I suppose politics and Ancient Rome go hand-in-hand.

I think I'm definitely going to have to give The Odyssey another try; when I first read it, I found it dry, but I was so young, then. I believe I'd enjoy it much more, now (especially since I didn't find The Aeneid dull, in the least).
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Old August 17th, 2012, 10:04 AM   #8

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Regarding the plot, I feel like the Aeneid is superior(plus it has the badass Mezentius);however the Iliad contains superior epic moments and it is, in my opinion, much more emotional(examples: death of Patroclus,Andromache and Hector's last encounter,Priam pleading for his son's corpse)
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Old August 17th, 2012, 12:39 PM   #9

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Odyssey for me, Illiad just never quite manages to reach the same heights, though they are both superb.

The Aeneid is a different ball-game altogether and shouldn't even be mentioned in the same breath as the latter, belonging as it does to a totally different category of artistic production - more like Goebbels on steroids really. Whereas the great Greek oral epics are crafted organically over many genrerations with each successive bard adding his/her own personal embellishments until we finally reached that apogee of perfection wherein Homer took all the tangled roots together and welded the tales we now enjoy, the Aeneid was self-consciously manufactured as a propagandistic tool to legitimise the Augustan transition towards dictatorship.

Poor old Virgil was whipped from his bucolic slumber and commissioned to eulogise first of all the grand imposter who oversaw the final collapse of the Roman Republic, second to fabricate a fantastic lineage for the line of Caesar tracing him back to the defeated Trojans thereby copperfastening the final legitimation of an usurping imperial dynasty and thirdly to rid Roman arts and letters of that enormous 'cultural cringe' it had always felt towards the Greek world which had hitherto superseded it in so many domains.

The Aeneid really, to give it it's proper status is the product and consequence of a lapse into totalitarian autocratic government - which would have had many Roman die-hard republicans gasping for air like asphyxiated Orwellians; it oozes claustrophobic menace and chilly portents of the circus of corruption and venality which lay ahead. A most disturbing text indeed.
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Old August 17th, 2012, 12:41 PM   #10

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The Aeneid is not propaganda. It's full of ambiguity and sympathy for the victims of Roman "progress". Propaganda contains no ambiguity, and no sympathy for the victims.
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