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Sorry for the incredibly late post, I had a busy day and last night and day so I’m WAY behind with my posts.
The Iliad – or the story of how the Greeks destroyed the city of Troy. To buy myself some time I’ll allow you a minute or two to contemplate Brad Pitt in a little leather miniskirt [or Eric Bana, Sean Bean or Orly Bloom depending on what floats your boat].
All done? Okay, now forget that film as an historical record. They got maybe 3 things right but lost all credibility for me when I spotted two llamas in the market place scene when Hector and Paris return to Ilium. Film makers, there were no llamas in Bronze Age Turkey – nor Iron Age, in fact zero on the llama front right up until about 1500 at the very earliest I’d have thought.
Some of the shields are okay. Half moon ones and waisted ones. But the helmets and armour are waaaaay too late. In fact it looks a bit as though they copied elements of this pot which purports to show Achilles binding Patroclus’ wounds rather than something more appropriate.
This is an interesting depiction partly for the details of the armour, which are spot on for the classical period, showing flexible armour with applied scales and a padded arming cap. I’m also interested that Patroclus is shown to be the erastes of the pair – the older man, while Achilles is depicted as the eromenos. This is the opposite to the usual depiction – in the film as well as in Madeline Miller’s awarding piece of high class Iliad fan fic, The Song of Achilles. There Achilles is the stronger, older, more accomplished warrior and Patroclus is his wide-eyed, youthful admirer. But there’s nothing in Homer to suggest that’s the way round it was.
Incidentally, for anyone who is sniggering at beardy guy’s tiny genitals, you must remember that in that culture nakedness amongst men was a very normal thing and it was the mark of a rational civilised man to remain in control of his urges at all times. The pot painter is actually paying Patroclus a compliment, whereas Achilles – can you see it? – is sporting a semi, which accords well with his impetuous, stroppy and rather childish personality.
Um I’ve got off the point haven’t I? It’s because I’m sleepy.
Here’s something they did take note of in the film that is bang on the nail with the archaeology. The walls of Troy are not vertical.
That sloping base is called battering and gives topless towers a nice broad foundation. It also explains the anecdote about – oh blimey, one of the Greeks, I can’t remember which one, who is described running up the wall several times in a bit of prehistoric parkour just because he could.
Off to bed, darlings. I hope to make more sense tomorrow.