It is part of the genius of Homer to make Hector (1250 B.C.), the chief opponent of the Greeks, into the noblest hero of the Iliad. Hector is like Robert E. Lee, fighting with honor, courage, and skill for a cause he knows is doomed to defeat. Patriot, soldier, devoted husband and father, Hector embodies the virtues most admired by the Greeks and their tragic vision of life. Hector and the tale of Troy also serve to introduce us to a modern who well deserves to be ranked among the “Famous Greeks”: Heinrich Schliemann (1822–1890) was a German businessman whose faith in the historicity of Homer, coupled with his ambition, energy, and intellect, led him to discover the lost world of Hector’s Troy and Agamemnon’s Mycenae and lay the foundations of modern archaeology.
Questions to Consider:
1. How do you define honor? Was Hector a man of honor? Is honor possible in the modern world?
2. Are either the Trojans or the Greeks or both fighting a just war? What do you mean by a just war?