Achilles w. Dr. Joel Christensen

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Achilles is one of the central figures in Homer’s The Iliad. He not only lives on in Greek mythology but in the popular idiom Achilles’ heel. Dr. Joel Chistensen, Brandeis University, joins the show to talk in depth about the Greek mythological hero, Achilles.

Some topics explored

  • Who Achilles was
  • His family lineage, including his mother Thetis (a deity) and father Peleus (a mortal), and why he was mortal
  • What his role was in Trojan War
  • When scholars believe The Iliad and The Odyssey were written
  • The etymology of the name Achilles
  • The first known time Achilles is written about
  • What Greek kingdom he comes from
  • His relationship with his close friend, Patroclus, and why it varies depending on tradition
  • His relationship with Briseis and her fate being written about in the Classical period after the Trojan War and The Iliad
  • The prophecy surrounding his life, death, and legend
  • Theories about why Achilles’ death, the Trojan Horse, etc. aren’t covered in The Iliad
  • Theories about why Achilles was considered “swift footed”
  • How Achilles dies in tradition
  • Achilles’ cameo in Homer’s The Odyssey
  • The idiom Achilles Heel—what it means and its source
  • Known manuscripts and other texts of The Iliad
  • Citations of Achilles in known tradition after The Iliad

Listen to the episode

The episode is available on major podcast apps: Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Amazon Music.

Show Notes

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