The Trojan war was a Bronze Age affair, magnificently evoked in different sea-surrounded places by two books of Adam Nicolson. His Sea Room touches on the Bronze Age in a remote island off the coast of Scotland, while Why Homer Matters brings it into vivid view in Greece. Nicolson is a consummate non-fiction writer and both books are bestellars, gripping reading whether or not you have a particular interest in remote Scottish islands or ancient Greek history.  His writing resonates with our world and some of its bigger questions. 

 

‘Agamemnon awoke from sleep, the divine voice drifting

around him.  He sat upright and put on his tunic,

beautiful, fresh woven, and threw the great mantle over it.

Underneath his shining feet he bound the fair sandals

and across his shoulders slung the sword with the nails of silver,

and took up the sceptre of his fathers, immortal forever.

Thus he went beside the ships of the bronze-armoured Achaians.’

 

Source: Homer, The Iliad of Homer, trans. Richmond Lattimore (Chicago: Chicago UP, 1961 (1951)), book II, p. 77

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