Comparing The Iliad and The Bible Essay

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Comparing The Iliad and The Bible

Throughout recorded history, man has sought explanations for the various phenomena that occur in every facet of nature, and when no obvious answer is forthcoming, still a theory is often proposed. These explanatory theories, often taking the form of stories or chronicles, are usually linked to some sort of mysticism or divine intervention. By ascribing that which he does not understand to the gods’ will at work, man avoids facing up to his own lack of knowledge in a given area, and also draws comfort from assuming that the universe does indeed function under the guidance of divine beings. Thus the explanatory accounts that man crafts enhance his own security, quelling the fear of chaos that
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In ancient Greek culture the gods were seen as taking a very active role in the development and course of human history. The entire Olympian pantheon, as well as many other less important divinities, meddles in human affairs to no end. The people of the many city-states that composed Greece firmly believed that every aberration from normalcy was due to an act of the gods. Homer, the author of The Iliad, coined the prevalent religious beliefs of the time in his epic poems, showing the gods as temperamental and willful, meddlesome and dynamic. Homer’s entire poem is replete with instances of divine intervention in mortal lives, and no single major occurrence comes to pass unless it is the will of one of the many Olympian gods. Few major decisions are made without consulting the gods first, and the handful of instances in which one leader or another takes initiative almost always fails miserably. Life, according to the Greeks, is almost entirely rooted in their religion, as there is a god or goddess governing every aspect of the universe, and also because the gods so actively involve themselves in the everyday lives of mortals.

A classic example of this divine involvement occurs within the first page of The Iliad. Achilles, the great hero of the Achaean armies, and Agamemnon the commander-in-chief of the Argives clash bitterly, and the entire epic centers on this conflict. Homer details the cause of this
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