Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Entering the AgonDissent and Authority in Homer, Historiography, and Tragedy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Elton T. E. Barker

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199542710

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199542710.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 14 October 2019

Challenging authority in the assemblies of the Iliad

Challenging authority in the assemblies of the Iliad

(p.40) 1 Challenging authority in the assemblies of the Iliad
Entering the Agon

Elton T.E. Barker (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines representations of debate in the Iliad. Focusing on scenes of assembly among the Achaeans, it argues that dissent is made institutional as the poem unwinds: Achilles establishes the precedent for challenging the king in the opening act; subsequent episodes in books 2 and 9 explore possibilities for dissent by not relying on Achilles' individual performance but working within the institution of assembly he set up; the assembly of book 19 reflects on the Iliad's achievement by replaying tensions between Achilles and Agamemnon. This hypothesis is tested by considering two other groups who hold assemblies, the Trojans and gods, both of whom prioritize authority over dissent. Diverging from previous attempts to locate an emerging civic framework in the Iliad, this study argues that the poem does not represent a ‘ready-made’ system of institutions but, as a foundational narrative, initiates a process towards enacting them from its beginning.

Keywords:   Iliad, assembly, Achaeans, Achilles, dissent, authority, institutions, foundational, Trojans, gods

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .