Please choose one topic to write for your discussion response.


Book 1 of The Iliad opens with the argument between Achilles and Agamemnon. Compare and contrast the behaviors and the personalities of the two, and pay particular attention to how they interact with one another. What initially leads to the argument between the two, and how does it spiral out of control? Which character (Achilles or Agamemnon) has the more valid argument? Be sure to explain why you think so, and use examples and direct quotes to support your answer.


Compare and contrast Achilles and Hector from The Iliad. For your answer, consider their strengths, weaknesses, motivation, and accomplishments, both on and off the field. Of these two, which one seems the more heroic to you? Why? Provide examples and/or quotes from the text to support your answer.


Hector and Achilles are two of the most important characters from The Iliad, but we meet many other individuals in the pages of Homer’s epic. Consider the other characters we are introduced to, and explain how Homer introduces and develops them. Which of these other character(s) are your favorite in the text? Be sure to provide examples and use direct quotes from the text to support your answer. Also, explain how you would rate this character’s heroism in the epic in comparison to that of Achilles and/or Hector.


  • Your initial response should be at least 500 words in length
  • Use MLA format in-text citations for all quotations and paraphrases, with a reference list at the end of your post.


Week 1 Overview

This week, we look at the formation of early Western civilization. We begin our journey in the Paleolithic period and end at around 1000 BCE. Our literary selection for the week, Homer’s The Iliad, presents us with the harsh reality of the Trojan War, and it also shows us how the history of the period is represented in literature.

Learning Objectives


  • Discuss the emergence of the world’s first civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Anatolia
  • Recognize how religion played a strong role in the lives of Western cultures before 1000 BCE
  • Discuss some of the most important achievements of early civilization, such as metallurgy, writing, and the formation of reliable forms of agriculture
  • Explain the rise of the Hittite, Minoan, and Mycenaean civilizations



This presentation introduces you to the instructor, who developed the course. In this presentation, she discusses strategies that will help guide and maximize your experience in this class.



This presentation explores the formation of early Western civilization. We begin our journey in the Paleolithic period and end around the year 1000 BCE.



This presentation examines our literary selection for the week, Homer’s The Iliad. It presents us with the harsh reality of the Trojan War and shows us how the history of the period is represented in literature.

Week 1 Readings

Hunt, Lynn, et al. The Making of the West: People and Cultures. 7th ed., Macmillan Learning, 2022. Combined volume.

  • Chapter 1: Early Western Civilization, 4000–1000 BCE

Homer. The Iliad. ca. 800 BCE.

Select the link to read The Iliad (Links to an external site.) at the Internet Classics Archive.


These supplemental resources are available for your review and for additional information. The first three articles trace recent discoveries of human remains that might change the dating of homo sapiens.

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