By Gareth Hinds
Why this book?
The Iliad is not a book on strategy. Nor on tactics, nor on logistics, nor on command and control, nor on any other individual aspect of warfare about which any number of lesser authors have written. An epic poem, it provides an unparalleled panorama of men (and, playing a secondary yet crucially important role, a few women) at war: the hope, the despair, the fear, the elation, the kindness, the rage, the horror, the love and the sex (which both increases the horror and to some extent makes up for it). All intertwined, and all pulsating along with the human heart. Probably written down around 750 BCE, but making use of much older material, for almost three millennia now it has been regarded not just as a classic but as the greatest classic of all. Unquestionably it will continue doing so for millennia more.
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