Please Don't Make Me Read The Iliad Again

Please Don't Make Me Read The Iliad Again

There are so many other stories, with so many other sides.
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Recently, I started taking a class on ancient mythology, which I have always been interested in. This interest can be traced back to my book shelf where 60 Second Mythology or Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes could be seen next to all of my other readings, along with a copy of the Iliad I had borrowed from a friend for an ancient literature class. My least favorite of the three was The Iliad, no doubt about that. Maybe it was because I had been forced to read it, or more likely because I had been forced to read it multiple times in the past few years. Whatever the reason, when my mythology teacher announced we'd be reading The Iliad again but not talking about it in class until it was read in its entirety, I was wary of the class. I even entertained the possibility of dropping, maybe trying to take a different version of the class in my final semester.

I didn't drop the class, because I figured it would be a pain and I wanted to learn about mythology, I wasn't going to let The Iliad rob me of that. The next day in class we began talking about the myth of the Crete Minotaur. In case you don't know the tale, I'll give you a quick run down. Every year Athens had to send young boys and girls to Crete as a tribute. The rumor was that the children were put into a maze where a bloodthirsty Minotaur, part man and part bull, was kept. The children never returned and in the legend one of the king's sons, Theseus, was selected to be a sacrifice to the Minotaur. The princess of Crete gives Theseus the information he needs to kill the Minotaur and he does so, saving the other children and escaping back to Athens with the princess who had helped him.

The tale was familiar to me because of a small book my mom had given me as a kid with exactly that tale, but delving into the layers of the myth was intriguing to say the least. I'll share a few tidbits with you that you might not know about the classic myth. The Minotaur was born, according to the legend, because Minos (the king of Crete) had tried to trick Zeus by keeping the holy bull Zeus had given him and instead sacrificing a regular bull to the god. In retaliation Zeus made Minos' wife lustful for the holy bull he had originally given Minos and from their relations the Minotaur was born. Another interesting fact in the myth is the fact that the Minoans (what anthropologists call Crete's inhabitants of the time) worshiped bulls so the whole tale can be seen as an allegory for the Minoans culture and their fall to the next tribe, the Mycenaean, who take over with warfare.

Although, my teacher told us offhandedly that during recent excavations there have been relics found which bring the Minotaur story into a different light. Archaeologists found what they concluded to be bull masks on the island of Crete, along with what appeared to be sacrificial knives and chambers. With this new information, it is not too far of a leap to guess that priests who carried out sacrifices for their gods, while wearing bull masks, became morphed into savage half man half beast legends to outsiders.

This kind of telephone type morphing of real life events and cultures is what makes mythology such a rich and ever-changing field. If I have to sparknote the Illiad in order to get this kind of new information on topics I thought I was familiar with, it seems like a fair trade. Sometimes knowledge is acquired by a teacher's offhanded updates more than it is by a third read of Homer's work.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/524950900300881973/

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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17 Gifts For The Man Who Gave You Everything

Your dad is your first love and nothing can top that as a gift, plus he has everything already. Amazon is here to save the holiday season.

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The constant struggle of never knowing what to get your dad around the holidays has finally come to an end! After many years of wandering aimlessly in stores, I have finally compiled a list of gifts you can get your dad this holiday season.

1. Wireless Charging Base

Amazon

The ongoing struggle of the lights already being off and wiggling the cable to try and plug your phone in before bed. The charging base is here to make life easier for your dad to just place his phone on top of it before bed or when he just needs a quick charge!

Find it on Amazon for $14.99

2. Keurig Machine + K Cups

Amazon

That morning or afternoon pick me up to just power through the day. Plus in the comfort of your own home or office without driving and waiting in line at Starbucks! What more could you ask for?!

Get it on Amazon for $89.99

3. Cologne

Amazon

Getting sprayed by every different scent of new cologne while in the mall is fun but this is more convenient and there is no headache in between searching. Check out some of the most popular cologne's to add to your dad's morning routine.

Find it on Amazon for $32.99

4. Wireless speaker

Amazon

So your dad isn't the best with technology, but he wants to stream some oldies throughout the house while he gets ready for work. This wireless speaker is easy to use and will help him become a morning person!

Get on Amazon for $28.99

5. Noise canceling headphones

Amazon

Whether your dad travels a lot or not he is bound to get sick of hearing background sounds especially when he is trying to concentrate. These noise-canceling headphones will help block out any unnecessary sounds and help him concentrate or relax for some time!

Find on Amazon for $99.99

6. Sunglasses

Amazon

So maybe the big blocked sunglasses are not really in style anymore. With a little help from Amazon and the latest trends, you can help your dad look more sophisticated with a new pair of frames.

Find on Amazon for $16.98

7. Desk organizer

Amazon

The office or home desk is always full of clutter whether they will admit it or not. Help your dad out with organizing papers and files with this desk organizer.

Find on Amazon for $12.99

8. BBQ/Grill set

Amazon

We all know that one weekend where our dad's cannot stop talking about how amazing the weather is and how he can't wait to put some food on the grill. With this grill set, your dad will be wanting to have cookouts every weekend!

Find on Amazon for $31.33

9. Seasoned spices

Amazon

Spice things up! These seasoned spices will make any piece of food more flavorful (since we know dad doesn't cook every day!)

10. Massage pillow

Amazon

After a long day at the office or just a much deserved TLC day this massage pillow will save the day!

Find one like this on Amazon for $32

11. Cooling towel

Amazon

I can't be the only one who sees my dad out on a Sunday washing cars and fixing landscape lights no matter how hot it is out. This cooling towel will come in handy the minute he feels the need to jump in the pool!

Get one on Amazon for $11.99

12. Pocket knife

Amazon

Whether he will use it or not. Pocket knives are something that are always carried around and if you go the extra mile to get it engraved every time he looks at it he will think of you!

Find on Amazon for $30.88

13. Tool kit

Amazon

As mentioned before, dad's love fixing things and with a new tool kit you won't find him sitting in one place for too long as there will always be something that needs to be fixed.

Get on Amazon for $37.97

14. Watch winder

Amazon

Watches are a crucial addition to every dad's wardrobe. Most feel empty without one and a watch winder will make it easy to remember to choose one to put on every morning and will have all of them in one place for him!

Find on Amazon for $69.99

15. Electric wine bottle opener

Amazon

Dad's love the latest and greatest gadgets whether or not they know how to work them. An electric wine bottle opener will make a night in less of a hassle with no cork being stuck inside the bottle, plus the light changes colors!

Find one on Amazon for $29.99

16. Glasses case

Amazon

Sunglasses or reading glasses... this can really go both ways. Not everyone is perfect and we lose things, but if you get a nice case for glasses for you dad maybe he won't lose them before an important meeting!

Get one on Amazon for $6.95

17. Socks

Amazon

Add a little color and excitement into your dad's wardrobe. Not every day needs to be black or white sock day. Get a fun color or some words on a pair and when he puts them on before leaving the house he will remember laughing when he opened the gift.

Get some on Amazon for $31.99

Stop wandering around and googling random DIY gifts and head over to Amazon to get your dad a gift this holiday season!

Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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