Episode 27: A Bard and a Horse


We’re back with a full-length episode! For episode 27, we crack open our shiny new copy of Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey! After a chat about the challenges of accessing myths through translation, we  take a look at a small episode that makes up a big part of the Trojan War myth. We hope we do this beautiful translation justice!

We also have listener mail from Andrew, who asks us for some reading recommendations. Check out our recommended reading and listening!

Listen now. 

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Source Passages

Odyssey 8. 482- 520 (Trans. Wilson).

Translation Sources

Homer. Odyssey. Trans. Richmond Lattimore. 1967.

Homer. Odyssey. Trans. Emily Wilson. 2018.

Recommended Listening

Aven McMaster & Mark Sundaram. The Endless Knot. Episode 50: Translating the Odyssey, with Emily Wilson. Jan. 3, 2018.

Curtis Dozier. Mirror of Antiquity. Episode 1: Translating the Past, with Rachel Kitzinger. Jan. 2, 2018.

Jeff Wright. Trojan War: The Podcast.

Recommended Reading

Bruce Meyer. Heroes: From Heracles to Superman. 2007.

Bruno Snell. The Discovery of the Mind in Greek Philosophy and Literature. 2011.

Christopher Logue. All Day Permanent Red: The First Battle Scenes of Homer’s Iliad Rewritten. 2004.

Joseph Campbell. Goddesses: Mysteries of the Feminine Divine. 2013.

Joseph Campbell. Hero of a Thousand Faces. 2008.

Terry Eagleton. Literary Theory: An Introduction. 2008.

Walter Ong. Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word. 1982.


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Aven McMaster & Mark Sundaram (Alliterative); Joelle Barfoot; Erika Dilworth; Stargate Pioneer (Better Podcasting); Greg Beu.

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This week’s theme music: “Super Hero” by King Louie’s Missing Monuments from the album “Live at WFMU” (2011). Used under Creative Commons license. Music used under Creative Commons license and available from Free Music Archive.


3. hector


Welcome to episode 3! In this episode, we meet the great Trojan hero from the Trojan War, Hector, in his moment of decision. Will he choose to fight the Greek hero Achilles? Or does he take the easy route out? We examine his soliloquy in Iliad 22.99-115. It’s not easy being a hero!


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This week’s passage is Iliad 22:99-115

What shall I do? If I go back through the gates in the wall
Polydamas will be the first to heap reproaches on me, 100
because he urged me at the start of this last deadly night,
when glorious Achilles rose up, to lead the Trojans into the city.
I would not listen to him—but it would have been much better.
But now, since I have ruined the people by my recklessness,
I feel shame before the Trojan men and the Trojan women with their 105
trailing robes, in case some man of low rank may say of me:
‘Hector trusted in his own might and so refined his people.’
That is what they will say; and then it would be far better
to go and meet Achilles face to face and either kill him and return
or die at his hands, full of glory, in front of the city. 110
And yet, suppose I lay down my bossed shield and
strong helmet and lean my spear against the wall, and
go out by myself to meet blameless Achilles, and
promise to give back Helen and her possessions with her,
every single thing that Alexander brought to Troy…

Homer. Iliad. Trans. Anthony Verity. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

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This week’s theme music: “Super Hero” by King Louie’s Missing Monuments from the album “Live at WFMU” (2011). Used under Creative Commons license. Music used under Creative Commons license and available from Free Music Archive.