Homer’s Iliad, the earliest Greek poem, narrates the archetypal war between ‘Europeans’ and ‘Asiatics’ divided by the Hellespont. Looking at Wolfgang Peterson’s blockbuster Troy (2004), the lecture describes the genesis of the Iliad between the Mycenaean Late Bronze Age and the 8th century, when it was first written down with the aid of the new, phonetic script adapted from the Phoenician civilisation of the Levant. It explores the poem’s plot, tragic perspective on the human condition, and the despair caused by untimely death on an immense scale.
Professor Hall is Visiting Gresham Professor in Classics. She is a British scholar of classics, specialising in Ancient Greek Literature and cultural history. She is also Professor in the Department of Classics and Centre for Hellenic Studies at Kings College London.
From 2017-2018, she is also an Arts and Humanities Research Council Leadership Fellow on her project to widen access to classical subjects in state schools - it can be found here: http://aceclassics.org.uk/.
She has published twenty-five books on ancient Greek and Roman culture and its influence on modernity, including Inventing the Barbarian (1989), The Return of Ulysses (2008), Greek Tragedy: Suffering under the Sun (2010) and Introducing the Ancient Greeks (2014). She co-founded and remains Consultant Director of the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama at Oxford and is Chairman of the Gilbert Murray Trust.