Classics 130 - The Trojan War: history or myth?

Writing Assignment 1: SUBJECTS and GUIDELINES
due Tuesday, March 8th*

Hypnos (Sleep) and Thanatos (Death) carry away the body of Sarpedon as Hermes (center) looks on.
Names between figures. Attic Red-Figure kalyx krater signed by Euxitheos as potter and Euphronios as painter. Ca. 510 BCE.

 Research paper on a central character in the Troy story and how they are portrayed in different sources and at different times, together with a comparative analysis of literary and visual evidence for a key part/scene of the story, related to that character.

Paris and the Judgment of Paris

Hektor and battle

Abduction of Helen #

Thetis and the Arms of Achilles#              

Achilles and disguise on Skyros

Funeral of Patroklos #

Agamemnon - Wrath of Achilles #

Priam and the Ransom of Hektor

Diomedes and xenia #

Suicide of Ajax #

Andromache as a Trojan woman

Cassandra and the Horse
Odysseus and the Embassy to Achilles# Aeneas and the Fall of Troy#

You will want to consider:
biographical information, characteristics of appearance and personality, and of course, their role in the story.
Of particular importance is source - ie. ancient authors and the discrepencies of the tradition - how is this character portrayed/used in different versions of the story and especially at different times?
You will also want to consider visual images of the character over time. How do they compare to the literary descriptions? Also consider other stories/myths in which this character is involved - how do they compare?
 You will also want to consider:
the episode and its role in the overall story through literary sources and especially in visual sources. What elements are emphasized in the different media - are they the same or different? Are there any difficulties of recounting elements verbally that are more easily understood visually? What characteristics are impossible to show or are confusing to a viewer?
Does the portrayal change over time? Do look at post-classical use of these stories and compare to the ancient sources.

I would like analysis of your thoughts incorporated into the paper - especially your visual observations and impressions AND your thoughts on this character, his/her portayal and role in the Trojan War. (don't forget to explain WHY you have come to this opinion!).

The paper will mean more with illustrations (do not count toward page total) and these can be xeroxed and put in with "old-fashioned" cut/paste or they can be digitally inserted. Your choice - they are not required only suggested.

Remember to follow the guidelines as spelled out on the main assignment page. Also, be warned - Information from the WEB is notoriously bad, but can be a good source for references to follow up - so limit the sources of this type you use - preferably from a better site like Perseus ( - and be sure to cite the sites by web address in the paper. NO wikipedia.

# indicates that these topics include a presentation - 10 minutes in length maximum that will summarize the character and their role in the Trojan war saga together with a brief mention of the important episode/s in which they are involved. Powerpoint presentation with a few images ancient and/or modern of the character and the episode is encouraged but images can also be presented in handouts - let me know in advance to arrange what you'll need. Please see the main assignment page for the presentation dates!

Please come see me at any time to discuss any part of this assignment, including help in selecting a topic, finding sources, preparing an outline and, of course, going over an early draft of the paper.