Dante’s Inferno: Understanding Hell

Dante’s three-part epic poem the Divine Comedy, or Commedia, is one of the most influential and dense works of poetic literature in the Western tradition.  Building off Homer and Virgil, and influencing the likes of Chaucer, Milton, Blake, and Tennyson, as well as bringing to popular consciousness and form the modern Italian language, Dante’s epic delves into … Continue reading Dante’s Inferno: Understanding Hell

Literary Tales Ep. 3: Greek Theogony and Theodicy

In this episode of Literary Tales, we examine the dialectical development of Greek theogony and theodicy from Hesiod and Homer down through Pseudo-Apollodorus with concluding remarks on this tradition's supersession by Virgil. In starting from Hesiod's Theogony and exploring the role of the gods, their birth and divine decrees, through Homer and the Bibliotheca, I … Continue reading Literary Tales Ep. 3: Greek Theogony and Theodicy

Literary Tales Ep. 2: Sex, Civilization, and the Epic of Gilgamesh

In our concluding lecture on the Epic of Gilgamesh we explore the person of Enkidu and the roles of sex, marriage, and friendship in the formation of civilization. This lecture includes commentary on Aristotle, Catholic sexual ethics, and Camille Paglia to help shed insight into the perplexing and most interesting character of the Sumerian epic: … Continue reading Literary Tales Ep. 2: Sex, Civilization, and the Epic of Gilgamesh

Literary Tales Ep. 1: The Epic of Gilgamesh

In the inaugural lecture of our literary tales podcast, we explore the Epic of Gilgamesh as the great epic that captures that moment of humanity's grand transformation from hunter gatherer to settled man with the birth of consciousness capturing the pivotal moment of the Neolithic Revolution. In this lecture I discuss Gilgamesh as the Hegelian … Continue reading Literary Tales Ep. 1: The Epic of Gilgamesh

Virgil’s Use of Consciousness, Memory, and History in “The Aeneid”

The grandest image of Virgil’s Aeneid is the shield forged by the god Vulcan in the eighth book of Aeneas’ adventure to “Lavinian shores and Italian soil.” Virgil pays homage to Homer, his master and mentor, who also describes a grand image on a shield forged by the gods for Achilles. But where Achilles’ shield … Continue reading Virgil’s Use of Consciousness, Memory, and History in “The Aeneid”