23 November 2013

The Iliad: The 3,000 Year Old Poem That Still Teaches Military Leaders | RallyPoint.com

What can a 3,000 year-old poem tell us about war, leadership, values, and the recent/ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Reflect on these 5 timeless quotes from The Iliad by Homer.

-- The RallyPoint.com team

Echoes of Homer: Operation Achilles, 
a NATO offensive in Afghanistan in 2007 (c) PA Images


“Let me not then die ingloriously and without a struggle, but let me first do some great thing that shall be told among men hereafter.”
― Homer, The Iliad

“Cattle and fat sheep can all be had for the raiding, tripods for the trading, and tawny headed stallions. But a mans's lifebreath cannot come back again- no raiders in force, no trading brings it back, once it slips through a man's clenched teeth.”
― Homer, The Iliad

“No man or woman born, coward or brave, can shun his destiny.”
― Homer, The Iliad

“Achilles glared at him and answered, "Fool, prate not to me about covenants. There can be no covenants between men and lions, wolves and lambs can never be of one mind, but hate each other out and out an through. Therefore there can be no understanding between you and me, nor may there be any covenants between us, till one or other shall fall.”
― Homer, The Iliad

“Generations of men are like the leaves.
In winter, winds blow them down to earth,
but then, when spring season comes again,
the budding wood grows more. And so with men:
one generation grows, another dies away.”
― Homer, The Iliad


Interested in further reading on this intriguing topic?  See more below.

The Iliad and what it can still tell us about war
Charlotte Higgins

As the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war holds the country in thrall, Charlotte Higgins reflects on the enduring power of a 3,000-year-old poem

Ms. Higgins authored a very insightful piece regarding this topic.  It's quite long but worth the read for fans of classic literature and veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.

To read this piece, go here.



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