Tag Archives: Greek mythology

THE SACK OF TROY: THE NEGLECTED ANCIENT GREEK EPIC

fall of troyPreviously Balladeer’s Blog examined three of the neglected tales from the Epic Cycle which dealt with the Trojan War. First came Cypria, then after skipping The Iliad because of how well-known it is I moved on to Aethiopis and then last week I examined Iliad Minor.

SACK OF TROY aka Sack of Ilion is credited to Arktinos of Miletos in the 770’s BCE. The previous epic Iliad Minor wrapped up with the Greek warriors springing out of the Trojan Horse and at last triumphing over King Priam and his Trojans. Sack of Troy rehashes a few story elements, backing up to cover the construction of the Trojan Horse and the Trojans ignoring the prophet Cassandra’s warnings about the Horse. New elements are the arguments the Continue reading

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ILIAD MINOR: THE ANCIENT GREEK EPIC

Little IliadPreviously Balladeer’s Blog examined Cypria and Aethiopis, two of the neglected Greek epics. Cypria recounted the events leading into The Iliad while Aethiopis picked up the tale of the Trojan War after the death and funeral of Hector at the end of The Iliad. The neglected epic I’m examining today is Iliad Minor, the next in line chronologically. The author is speculated to have been either Lesches, Thestorides, Diodoros, Kinaithon or even Homer himself.

ILIAD MINOR – Also called Iliad Mikra and The Little Iliad this neglected epic opens up with the Continue reading

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AETHIOPIS: THE ANCIENT GREEK EPIC

Death of Penthesilea

Death of Penthesilea

Previously Balladeer’s Blog examined Cypria, the neglected Greek epic myth that dealt with the events leading up to the Trojan War all the way up to Achilles leading the Greek forces in establishing a beachhead at Troy. The Trojan forces were then forced to retreat inside the walls of Troy itself, leaving the outside settlements to be sacked by the Greek forces. This led right into the whole Briseis/Chryseis conflict between Achilles and Agamemnon that opened up The Iliad.

The events of The Iliad are well-known enough that I will skip over a recap of that epic and move on to the very next neglected epic in the cycle: Aethiopis.

AETHIOPIS – This work is often attributed to Arctinus, by some accounts in 776 BCE to coincide with the very first ancient Olympic games. Other sources place it as late as the 740’s BCE. Very little of Aethiopis itself survives, so most of what is known about it comes from Proclus and other – often contradictory – references in ancient writings. The tale begins soon after the death of Hector which marked the end of The Iliad.

Just as the fighting is set to resume following the break in honor of Hector’s funeral the Amazons arrive on the scene to support their allies the Trojans. Needless to say they are very effective in combat and Continue reading

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CYPRIA: THE ANCIENT GREEK EPIC MYTH

Judgement of ParisTheogony, The Iliad and The Odyssey are a few of the more well-known Greek epics of the distant past. In keeping with the theme of Balladeer’s Blog I will present a look at the neglected Greek epics, many of which cover other aspects of the Trojan War. Yes, for those readers who think The Iliad is the sole epic regarding that conflict there are other tales that chronicle the mythic events from long before the opening passages of The Iliad. Here is one of those neglected works.

CYPRIA – Credited to either Stasinos of Cyprus (my bet), Hegesias or Homer himself. This epic featured the Continue reading

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ANCIENT GREEK COMEDY: ALCAEUS

Balladeer’s Blog has  examined 24 ancient Greek comedies so far in terms of their continuing relevance over 2,400 years later. This will be the fourth time I will focus on one of the ancient Greek comedians whose entire corpus is very, very fragmentary, touching briefly on all of their known works. For background info on ancient Greek comedy plus my previous reviews click here: https://glitternight.com/ancient-greek-comedies/ 

ALCAEUS – This comic playwright came along for the tail end of Attic Old Comedy. Alcaeus’ career ranged from approximately 405 BCE to the 380s BCE and we have fragmentary remains of eight comedies from an unknown total body of work.

1. TRAGI-COMEDY – This play gave comedic treatment to the traditional rivalry between comedy and tragedy on the ancient Athenian stage. The comedy had fun with the Continue reading

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