I am grateful to the many people who have contributed to the formation of this book. While Plato wrote that all philosophy begins in wonder, decent philosophy only develops through conversation, and whatever strengths there are in the book are the product of many conversations, both professionally and personally. I especially appreciate the work of Sara Brill, Ryan Drake, Jill Gordon, Gary Gurtler SJ, Christopher Long, Arthur Madigan SJ, Paul McNellis SJ, Heidi Northwood, Ross Romero SJ, and William Wians, who read and commented on sections of the book as it was in progress. Jason Taylor deserves special thanks for his work in reading the manuscript in its entirety and offering valuable comments on matters of classical scholarship as it neared completion. Marjolein Oele’s work on the relationship between Priam and Achilles inspired me to look more deeply into that aspect of the Iliad, and I am deeply indebted to her philosophical insights. Stephen Scully was helpful with pointing me to material on Homeric manuscripts, and both Richard Kearney and John Panteleimon Manoussakis provided useful comments on material on Oedipus. More informal conversations on these topics with Holly Moore, John Murray SJ, Adriel Trott, and Mary Troxell also helped me think through these ideas both academically and personally.
Presentations on material related to this book took place at Baylor University, Boston College, Nazareth College, St John’s College (Annapolis), Utah Valley University’s Honors Program, the Ancient Philosophy Society annual conference, and the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy annual conference. Particularly helpful were commentators and/or hosts Brian Braman, William Harwood, Allen Hill, Shannon Mussett, Michael Shaw, John Tomarchio, and Anne Marie Schultz. Conversations with faculty and students at these presentations also helped better to develop the ideas.
This book began as the topic of a graduate seminar at Boston College, and I am grateful to each and every one of the students in that class who offered feedback on the lecture and fresh insights into the texts and questions raised in class. Special thanks go to Santiago Ramos and Anna Besch, who served as graduate research assistants (p.xvi) and gave exceptionally helpful assistance. Reham Elnory also provided useful support. I would also like to thank my dean, David Quigley, for approving a sabbatical in which substantial portions of the book were written. Two anonymous reviewers from Oxford University Press provided detailed and most valuable comments on the manuscript; I would like to thank them for their careful attention and thoughtfulness in the process. Last, but certainly not least, my editor, Hilary O’Shea, was invaluable at every step of the process, as were Cathryn Steele, Taryn Das Neves, Kizzy Taylor-Richelieu, and all those involved in the manuscript production at OUP.
Thanks also to the permissions departments of Penguin and Yale. Translations of the Iliad are from The Iliad by Homer, translated by Robert Fagles, translation copyright 1990 by Robert Fagles, used by permission of Viking Penguin, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Translations of the Symposium are from The Symposium, translated by R. E. Allen, Yale University Press, 1991, used by permission of Yale University Press.
Last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank my friends and family for their warm support throughout the writing process. This book is dedicated to my husband and children, whose love sustains me always.