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How To Become A Poet? Homer And Apollonius Visit The Mound Of Achilles

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Chapter Summary

One of the most salient features of Caracalla's visit to Achilles' tomb was his sacrifices to the hero. The historians of the time tell us that these consisted of the regular offerings to a chthonic being that is mainly the sacrifice of meat, and of a second more peculiar sacrifice brought to Achilles when Caracalla's darling Festus had died. Apollonius' story in IV 11-16 shares a number of peculiar features with this tradition about Homer, most importantly the stress laid on meatless sacrifice, the visual encounter with the hero12 and the knowledge acquired at his grave. Apollonius' five questions, concern what really happened at Troy. These are therefore historical questions. The five questions focus on the burial of Achilles, the sacrifice of Polyxena, the whereabouts of Helen, the bravery of the Greeks and the Trojans and Palamedes ' participation in the Trojan War.

Keywords: Achilles; Apollonius; Caracalla; Helen; Homer; Trojan War; Polyxena; Greeks



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