Scholar takes closer look at neglected Illiad chapter

Jenny Strass Clay discusses the rich detail sandwiched between two powerful segments as part of the John W. Rettig lecture series | October 13, 2004

Sandwiched between two powerful segments of The Iliad—the death of Hector and the ransoming of his body—Book 23 has been relatively neglected. Jenny Strauss Clay, however, will take a closer look at this book of The Iliad on Saturday, Oct. 23, at 4:00 p.m. in the Conaton Board Room.

A professor of classics at the University of Virginia, Clay argues that Book 23 is extraordinarily rich and varied both in its detailed description of the funeral of Patroklos and the elaborate funeral games that follow. Moreover, it foreshadows events that take place after the end of The Iliad.

Clay’s talk, titled Heroes Mourning and at Play: Book 23 of The Iliad, is part of Xavier’s John W. Rettig lecture series, named in honor of classics professor John W. Rettig, who served the University from 1968 to 1996.

In addition to teaching, Clay is the author of The Wrath of Athena, The Politics of Olympus and Hesiod’s Cosmos, as well as numerous articles on Greek and Roman poetry. She recently served as president of the Classical Association of the Midwest and South.

The John W. Rettig lecture series is sponsored by the department of classics, the honors bachelor of arts program, and the office of the academic vice president and provost. The talk is free and open to the public and a reception will follow.