The Impact of Classical Literature on Machiavellianism Essays

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Much of what we know today of Greek culture was passed on through history via The Iliad by Homer. The Greeks, one of the earliest recorded civilizations that our species is aware of, had a large influence on the Roman Empire and by extension most of the civilizations of our known history. Through history and different cultures, there are various stories of heroes and heroism, and it seems that the definition of heroism has changed frequently since classical antiquity. “Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus’s son Achilles, murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses.”(The Iliad I.1-2) So opens The Iliad, a story of the Trojan War and the flawed hero, Achilles. Achilles, an example of the Greeks ideal hero, is not without his …show more content…
Lineage, camaraderie, and friendship were also of great importance to the Greeks. Though on different sides in the Trojan War, Diomedes and Glaucus met on the battlefield and parted as friends. Because of their ancestors’ friendship, they parted peacefully, and exchanged armor in honor of their friendship, each agreeing to not fight the other for the remainder of the war. (The Iliad 6.137-27I) The heroes are also favored by some of the gods who interfere on their behalf, which has had profound effects on said these heroes and their combat strength. These virtues and their possessors indirectly led to the success in returning Achilles to the battle and turning the tide for the Achaeans.
Courage and skill in oratory appear to have the most value to the Greeks. With courage, a warrior is able to charge forward and lead by example, inspiring those he commands to perform better in combat. A leader who is skilled in oratory will also have a similar effect. A rousing inspirational speech before combat can be more beneficial to a cause than having larger numbers. At the beginning of book IX, Agamemnon has lost his courage. Having been manipulated into failure by Zeus, Agamemnon orders all Achaeans to prepare to sail home in defeat. Stunned by his words, the Achaeans fall silent. At this time, Diomedes confronts him in front of the Achaean…