1.141-1.151: The love of Achilles and Patroclus.
2.6.4: Heracles’ Trojan War; Laomedon.
3.10.5-3.13.8: From Leda to Achilles.
E. 3.1-3.5.23: From the judgment of Paris to the fall of Troy.
E. 6.13: Peleus.
2: Achilles at Scyros; authorship of this poem is doubtful.
13.100-169: The Trojan War and Achilles.
15, Dithyramb 1: The Sons of Antenor, or the Demand for Helen’s Return.
Aeth.: Ethiopian Memnon and the death of Achilles.
Cyp.: Causes and first nine years of the Trojan War.
Lit. Il.: From the battle for Achilles’ armor to the Fall of Troy.
SI: The Fall of Troy.
Andr. 1231-1283: Thetis’ speech to Peleus (or read the entire play).
2.113.1-2.120.5: Egypt and Helen, Alexander, and Menelaus.
Il. 9.515-607: Meleager.
Od. 3.102-200: Nestor recounts the Trojan War.
Od. 11.465-567: Odysseus discusses the Trojan War with heroes in the Underworld.
Od. 24.1-97: reminiscences in the Underworld of the Trojan war.
77: Zeus and Leda.
78: Tyndareus, Husband of Leda.
80: Castor and Polydeuces.
81: Catalogue of Helen’s Suitors.
89: Laomedon Cheats Apollo and Poseidon.
90: Catalogue of Priam’s Children.
91: Birth of Paris.
92: Judgment of Paris.
93: Cassandra’s Fate.
94: Anchises’ Affair with Aphrodite.
95: Odysseus Tries to Avoid the Trojan War.
96: Achilles Is Located on Scyros.
97: Catalogue of the Greeks Who Fought at Troy.
98: Iphigenia at Aulis
101: Telephus Is Healed by Achilles.
102: Philoctetes’ Role in the Trojan War.
103: Death of Protesilaüs.
104: Laodamia, Wife of Protesilaüs.
105: Death of Palamedes.
106: Ransom of Hector.
107: Contest for the Arms of Achilles.
108: The Trojan Horse.
109: Polymestor and Hecuba.
110: Sacrifice of Polyxena.
111: Hecuba’s Fate.
112: Catalogue of Face-to-Face Battles at Troy.
113: Catalogue of Those Whom Each Notable Killed at Troy.
114: Catalogue of How Many Men Each Achaean Notable Killed at Troy.
115: Catalogue of How Many Men Each Trojan Notable Killed.
121: Agamemnon Returns Chryseïs.
129: Oeneus, Father of Meleager.
135: Laocoön and the Serpents.
163: Catalogue of the Amazons.
171: Meleager’s Fate.
172: Oeneus Offends Artemis.
173: Catalogue of Those Who Hunted the Calydonian Boar.
173a: Catalogue of Cities That Participated in the Calydonian Boar Hunt.
174: Death of Meleager.
175: Agrius Drives Oeneus from His Kingdom.
261: Agamemnon Unknowingly Kills a Deer of Artemis.
9.13-9.20: The descendants of Aeacus.
10.14-10.69: Encomium of Helen with a lengthy digression on Theseus: 10.22 through 10.37.
1.102-1.104: The value of Homer.
Her. 3: Briseïs to Achilles.
Her. 5: Oenone to Paris.
Her. 13: Leodamia to Protesilaüs.
Her. 16: Paris to Helen.
Her. 17: Helen to Paris.
Met. 8.270-546: Meleager and the Calydonian Boar Hunt.
Met. 11.194-220: Laomedon Cheats the Gods and Heracles Destroys Troy.
Met. 11.221-265: Peleus and Thetis.
Met. 12.1-38: Paris Abducts Helen, the Greeks Gather at Aulis, and a Stag Is Substituted for Iphigenia on the Sacrificial Altar.
Met. 12.64-145: The Trojan War [Protesilaüs, Cygnus].
Met. 12.580-13.398: Death of Achilles and the Contest for His Arms.
Met. 13.402-428: Sack of Troy.
Met. 13.429-527: Polyxena.
Met. 13.527-575: Hecuba and Polymestor.
Met. 13.576-622: Memnon.
Met. 14.456-511: Diomedes’ Return.
1.22.6: Paintings in the Propylaea.
1.33.1: Iphigenia in Brauron.
1.33.7-1.33.8: Helen and others by Pheidias.
1.35.1-1.35.5: Various legends, especially about Ajax from Salamis.
1.42.6: Alcathoüs, ally of Meleager.
2.22.5: Temple of the Dioscuri.
3.15.22: Aphrodite, Morpho, and Tyndareus.
3.16.1-3.16.3: Various legends, especially about the Dioscuri.
3.16.7-3.16.11: The wooden image of Artemis Orthia brought by Orestes and Iphigenia.
3.19.6-3.20.2: Legends about various figures from Trojan saga.
3.20.8-3.20.9: Sanctuary of Achilles and oath of Tyndareus.
3.24.10-3.25.1: Achilles and Pyrrhus.
3.26.2-3.26.3: The Dioscuri.
3.26.9-3.26.10: Machaon, son of Asclepius.
4.2.7-4.3.2: Details about the sons of Aphareus and Asclepius.
4.17.4: Punishment of Neoptolemus.
4.27.1-4.27.3: Legend about the Dioscuri.
4.36.1-4.36.5: Legends about Neleus and Nestor of Pylos.
5.25.8-5.25.9: Offerings linked to the legend of Hector.
8.28.4-8.28.6: Aulis and the legend of Teuthis.
8.45.2: Calydonian boar hunt.
8.45.4-8.45.7: Pediment of temple of Athena Alea, depicting the Calydonian boar hunt.
9.5.14-9.5.15: Thersander, son of Polynices and Telephus.
9.18.5: The grave of Hector at Thebes.
9.19.4-9.19.8: Mycalessus and especially Aulis.
10.31.3-10.31.4: painting by Polygnotus that includes Meleager.
N. 3.30-3.64: Achilles and others.
N. 4.45-4.72: Peleus and Achilles.
N. 5.25-5.39: Peleus and Thetis.
N. 7.17-7.57: Trojan heroes.
N. 8.20-8.39: Ajax and Odysseus.
N. 10.49-10.90: Dioscuri.
P. 6.19-6.44: Trojan heroes.
Apol. 28a-28d: The character of Achilles.
Crat. 391c-393a: Names in Homer.
Hipp. Min. 363a-365c: The Iliad and Odyssey compared.
Hipp. Min. 369a-372e: Achilles and Odysseus compared.
Rep. 388a-391c: The nature of Homer’s poetry.
Sym. 179d-180b: The love of Achilles and Patroclus.
8.3.1-8.3.29: Territory of Nestor and Pylos.
8.4.1-8.4.6: Territory of Agamemnon.
8.5.3-8.5.8: Homeric geography.
9.1.22: The island of Helene.
9.1.5: Athenians and Attica in Homer.
9.1.9-9.1.10: Salamis and Ajax.
9.5.3-9.5.18: Thessaly and the kingdoms of Achilles and Philoctetes, etc.
13.1.1-13.1.9: The Troad and the kingdom of the Trojans.
13.1.24-13.1.65: More about Trojan geography and legend.
13.3.1-13.3.2: Trojans in Homer’s Catalog.
14.1.3: Neleus, Nestor, and other Pylians.
14.1.27: Calchas and Mopsus.
14.5.16: Calchas and Mopsus.
Achil.: An unfinished life of Achilles.
18: Wedding song of Helen.
22: Hymn to the Dioscuri.
1.1.1-1.12.4: The early history of Greece and Crete.
Auden, W. H (1907–1973) “The Shield of Achilles.” Poem.
. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006. A prize-winning novelist recreates the Trojan War through accounts given by Chryseis, Thersites, Helen, Pandarus, Aeneas, the Nurse, Nestor, Achilles, Diomedes, Odysseus, Patroclus, Sarpedon, Telamonian Ajax, Nestor, Phoenix, Antilochus, Agamemnon, the River, Andromache, Priam, and Demodocus. Original title,
(2004), translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein.
The War at Troy
. New York: St. Martins Press. 2004. Novel
. New York: Picador USA, 2002. A short, powerful, and poetic recreation of this passionate and sensitive hero.
Troy: Shield of Thunder
. New York: Ballantine Books, 2006. Novel. The second volume in this epic retelling of the Trojan War, the first being
Lord of the Silver Bow
Gide, André (1869–1951).
Philoctète, ou, Le traité des trois morales. (Philoctetes, or, Treatise on the Three Moralities)
Giraudoux, Jean (1882–1944).
La Guerre de Troie n’aura pas lieu. (The Trojan War Will Not Take Place)
. Play. Translated by Christopher Fry with the title
Tiger at the Gate
The Burial at Thebes: The Cure at Troy: A Version of Sophocles’ Philoctetes
. New York: Farrar, Strauss, and Giraux, 1991.
H. D. (Hilda Doolittle) (1886–1961).
Helen in Egypt
. New York: New Directions, 1961. A book-length poem about Helen.
Walcott, Derek (1930–). “Omeros.” Poem.
Yeats, William Butler (1865–1939). “Leda and the Swan.” Poem.
Anderson, M. J.
The Fall of Troy in Early Greek Art
. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997.
Bothmer, D. von.
Amazons in Greek Art
. New York: Oxford University Press, 1957.
Bowra, C. M.
Tradition and Design in the Iliad
. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1958.
Burgess, Jonathan S.
Tradition of the Trojan War in Homer and the Epic Cycle
. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004. The authority of the
is challenged in a study of the wider context of epic poetry in the Archaic period.
. New York: Hill and Wang, 1980.
Homer on Life and Death
. New York: Oxford University Press, 1980.
Grafting Helen: The Abduction of the Classical Past
. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2002. Traces the myth of Helen from ancient to modern times.
Kirk, G. S.
The Songs of Homer
. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1962.
The Iliad: A Commentary
. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985–1993.
Helen of Troy: From Homer to Hollywood
. Chichester and Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. Not only about the transformation of Helen in film but also an extensive and valuable exploration of her literary afterlife.
Meagher, Robert Emmet.
Helen, Myth, and the Culture of Misogyny
. New York: Continuum, 1995.
The Best of the Achaeans: Concepts of the Hero in Archaic Greek Poetry
. rev. 2d ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998 .
Powell, B. B., and I. Morris, eds.
A New Companion to Homer
. Leiden: Mnemosyne, Bibliotheca Classica Batavia. Supplementum 163, 1997.
Redfield, James M.
Nature and Culture in the Iliad: The Tragedy of Hector
. Chapel Hill: Duke University Press, 1993 .
Homer. Greece and Rome. New Surveys in the Classics
, 26. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. Excellent survey with bibliography.
The Mortal Hero: An Introduction to Homer’s Iliad
. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984.
Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character
. New York: Atheneum, 1994.
The Trojan War: A New History
. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006. A very readable account for the general public.
Tyrrell, W. B.
Amazons: A Study in Athenian Mythmaking
. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984.
Wilde, Lyn Webster.
On the Trail of the Women Warriors, The Amazons in Myth and History
. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000. Evidence is sifted and analyzed to prove the historical reality of the Amazons.
Winkler, Martin D.
From Homer’s Iliad to Hollywood Epic
. Malden, Ma: Blackwell Publishing, 2007. A collection of essays.
Winkler Martin M., ed.
Troy: From Homer’s Iliad to Film Epic
. Oxford and Malden, MA. Blackwell, 2006. A collection of essays.
The Trojan War in Ancient Art
. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993. A useful survey.
The Heart of Achilles: Characterization and Personal Ethics in the Iliad
. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1994.
“Achilles’ Last Stand.” Rock song. Led Zeppelin. Presence. Swan Song SS 8416-2.
Avni, Tzvi (1927–).
Leda and the Swan
, for voice and instruments. Berendsen. Members of the Group for New Music and Guest Artists, cond. Bloch. The text by the composer consists of syllables and has “only a sonorous function.”
Bantoch, Granville (1868–1946).
Atalanta in Calydon
. A choral symphony. BBC Singers, cond. Joly. Albany Records TROY 180. Texts about the Calydonian boar hunt selected from
Atalanta in Calydon: A Tragedy
, by Swinburne.
Barber, Samuel (1910–1981).
, for soprano and orchestra. Powerful rendition of the English text, translated from Euripides’
The Trojan Women
. Arroyo. The New York Philharmonic, cond. Schippers. Masterworks Portrait (Sony). MPK 46727 and Sony MHK 62837; Alexander. The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, cond. de Waart. Etcetera KTC 1145.
Berlioz, Hector (1803–1869).
. Major operatic masterpiece based on Vergil,
, Book 4 (The Fall of Troy) and Book 6 (Dido and Aeneas). Vickers et al. Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, cond. Davis. Philips 416 432-2; Lakes et al. Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, cond. Dutoit. London 443 693-2.
Bernstein, Charles Harold.
Leda and the Six Songs without Words
. Archebaleno AAOC-93922. Feldman, soprano, and Korniszewski, violin. Leda is a setting of a poem by D. H. Lawrence.
Bliss, Arthur (1891–1975).
. Symphonic work for orator and chorus, which includes a stirring reading of Hector's farewell to Andromache from the
, Book 6. Blessed. London Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Kibblewhite. Cala CACD 1010; cond. Westbrook, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Groves. EMI Classics CDM 7 63906 2; Baker. BBC Symphony Orchestra, cond. Groves. BBC Radio Classics 15656 01002.
Boïto, Arrigo (1842–1918).
. Opera. Treigle, Domingo, Caballe, Ligi et al. London Symphony Orchestra, cond. Rudel. EMI Classics 5 66501 2. Based on Goethe. Helen appears in act 4, “The Night of the Classical Sabbath.”
Boulanger, Lili (1893–1918).
Faust et Hélène
. Dawson et al. BBC Philharmonic, cond. Tortelier. Chandos CHAN 9745. This composer, who died young, was the sister of Nadia, the renowned teacher of musical composition. Lili was the first woman to win the Prix de Rome with
Faust et Hélène
, set to the text (a “lyric episode”) by Eugène Adénis, inspired by Goethe. Faust dreams of Helen, and Mephistopheles summons her from the past.
Campra, André (1660–1774).
. Cantata for soprano, violin, and continuo, about Achilles disguised as a girl on Scyros. Nicolas, cond. Chapuis. Pierre Verany PV.786101 (distr. Harmonia Mundi). Includes
Arion, Daphné, Didon, Hébé
“Cassandra.” Rock song. Steve Hackett. Guitar Noir. Viceroy Music VIC8008-2.
Davidson, Tina (1952–).
. The Cassatt String Quartet.
. CRI CD 671. The title refers both to Cassandra, the prophetess, and the composer’s daughter.
Eaton, John (1935–).
, for bass-baritone and ensemble. Garvin. Indiana New Music Ensemble, cond. Baker. Indiana School of Music. Verses about Ajax’ insanity and recovery, set to music by Eaton in response to America’s position after the war in Vietnam. Also included:
The Cry of Clytemnestra
(aria and scene from his opera),
From the Cave of the Sybil
A Greek Vision
Firsova, Elena (1950–).
, for orchestra with cello solo. BBC National Orchestra of Wales, cond. Otaka. BIS CD-668. The solo cello portrays Cassandra, a bass drum depicts inevitable Fate. The composer explains that the images are “not only connected with the Trojan prophetess, but also with the situation in Russia today, where an apprehension for the country’s future leads to concerns for the fate of the world.”
Gluck, Christoph Willibald (1714–1787).
Paris and Helen
. Lovely opera. Paris woos and wins Helen in Sparta. Cotrubas et al. ORF Symphonie Orchestra, cond. Zagrosek. Orfeo C 118 842 H; Alexander et al. La Stagione, cond. Schneider. Capriccio 60 027-2. As
Paride ed Elena
: Kožená et al. Gabriel Consort & Players, cond. McCreesh. Archiv Production 00289 477 5415.
Gnecchi, Vittorio (1876–1954).
. Agorá AG 260.2. Opera that influenced Strauss.
Goldmark, Karl (1830–1915).
. Overture, inspired by Heinrich von Kleist’s tragedy. Rhenish Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Halász. Marco Polo 8.220417.
Handel, Georg Frideric (1685–1759).
. Opera. Baird, Harris, Cheek, et al. Brewer Chamber Orchestra, cond. Palmer. Albany Records TROY 460. Deidamia, Lycomedes, Achilles, and Ulysses on Scyros.
. Kermes et al. Il Complesso Barocco, cond. Curtis. Virgin Veritas 5 45669 2. Based upon the experiences of Achilles (disguised as a girl) on the island of Scyros.
Achilles, Agony and Ecstasy in Eight Parts
. Rock. “The Triumph of Steel,” Atlantic 7 82423-2. The titles of the parts are “Hector Storms the Wall,” “The Death of Patroclus,” “Funeral March,” “Armor of the Gods,” “Hector’s Final Hour,” “The Desecration of Hector’s Body, 1 and 2,” and “The Glory of Achilles.” This band, “the loudest in the world,” aims to produce a unique epic sound, influenced by Wagner.
The Triumph of Steel
. Atlantic 7 82423-2. A series of rock songs, with explicit lyrics, which includes “Achilles, Agony and Ecstasy in Eight Parts”: Hector Storms the Wall, The Death of Patroclus, Funeral March, Armor of the Gods, Hector’s Final Hour, Death Hector’s Reward, The Desecration of Hector’s Body, and The Glory of Achilles.
Mikroutsikos, Thanos (1947–).
The Return of Helen
. Opera. Pantos et al. Camerata Orchestra of the Friends of Music, cond. Myrat. EMI Classics 5 56854 2. The libretto in modern Greek (by Christos Lambrakis) presents a psychological portrait of Helen of Troy, of Egypt, and of Sparta. In the booklet for the recording Evelin Voigtman compares the versions of Gluck, Offenbach, Saint-Saëns (who wrote a one-act opera,
) and Strauss.
Manfroce. Nicola (1791–1813).
. Opera, not based on Euripides, about the love of Polyxena and Achilles, his murder, and her sacrifice at his tomb. Antonacci et al. Orchestra Filarmonica Italiana, cond. Bernart. Bongiovanni GB 2119/20-2.
The Golden Apple
. Text by John Latouche. Classic American musical version of the Trojan saga, which incorporates both the
. Original Broadway cast recording. RCA Victor 09026-68934-2. Three songs, “Lazy Afternoon,” “Wind Flowers,” and “By Goona-Goona Lagoon,” are reissued on
(Metropolitan Opera Recording) MET 805CD.
Music for the Iliad
. Written as an accompaniment for readings of a new translation of the
into Danish (1999) by Otto Steen Due. Dacapo 8.224198-99. Contributions were made by six Danish composers of electroacoustic music: Hans Peter Stubbe Teglbjaerg (1963–),
(Books 1–4); Morten Carlsen (1949–),
5-8; Jørgen Teller (b. 1958),
(Books 9–12); Hans Sydow (1968–),
Entropy 1—for virtual voices
(Books 13–16); Gunner Møller Pedersen (1943–),
17-20; Wayne Siegel (b. 1953),
Offenbach, Jacques (1819–1880).
La Belle Hélène
. Most delightful comic operetta about Paris’ wooing of Helen. Nancel et al. Orchestre et Ensemble des Bouffes-Parisiens, cond. Calvi. Accord 290002; Sung in German.
Die Schöne Helena
. Rothenberger et al. Münchner Rundfunkorchester, cond. Mattes. EMI CMS 5 65366 2 (Angel CDMB 65366). Excerpts. Millet, Burles, et al. Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux, cond. Marty. EMI Classics CDM 7 69844 2.
Partch, Harry (1901–1976).
Castor and Pollux, A Dance for the Twin Rhythms of Gemini
. Gate 5 Ensemble of Sausalito. CRI CD 7000. Partch explains: “It begins with the encounter of Zeus, the male swan, with the beautiful Leda, and ends with the hatching of the fertilized eggs—first Castor, then Pollux. From the moment of insemination, each egg uses exactly 234 beats in cracking.”
Rameau, Jean-Phillipe (1683–1764).
Castor et Pollux
. Opera. Souzay et al. Concentus Musicus Wien, cond. Harnoncourt. Teldec 8.35048 ZB.
. Opera. Von Stade et al. Choeurs & Orchestre du Théâtre National de l’Opera de Paris, cond. Leppard. Erato 4509-95312-2; Dardanus. Orchestral suite. English Baroque Soloists, cond. Gardiner. About Dardanus’ marriage to the daughter of King Teucer.
Rossini, Gioacchino (1792–1868).
Le Nozze di Teti e di Peleo
. Cantata. Bartoli, Fló
, vol. 2, Decca 466 328-2 (includes “Il Pianto d’Armonia sulla Morte di Orfeo”); Schäfer et al. Virtuosi di Praga, cond. Andreae. Hänssler CD-No. 91.111.
Schnittke, Alfred (1934–).
Historia von D. Johann Fausten (The History of Dr. Johann Faustus)
. Opera. Raunig, Schwarz, et al. Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg, cond. Albrecht. Based on a collection of short stories; Helen is evoked in a brief scene.
Schweitzer, Anton (1735–1787).
. Lyrical monodrama. Stejskal. Das Landessinfonieorchester Thüringen, Gotha, cond. Breuer. ES-DUR ES 2028. Polyxena sacrifices her own life at the tomb of her beloved Achilles. Also includes the overture to Schweitzer’s opera
Schoeck, Othmar (1886–1957).
. Harrowing operatic masterpiece (based on Kleist’s tragedy) that rivals Strauss’s
. Dernesch et al. Austrian Radio Chorus and Symphony Orchestra, cond. Albrecht. Orfeo C364941B.
. Swiss Youth Symphony Orchestra, cond. Delfs. Claves CD 50 9201.
Schubert, Franz (1797–1828). “Hektors Abschied” (“Hector’s Farewell to Andromache”), “Lied eines Schiffers an die Dioskuren” (“A Sailor’s Song to the Dioscuri”); “Memnon” (Memon sings, as he is dying, to be united with his mother, the Dawn); and “Philoktet” (Philoctetes appeals to Ulysses for the return of his bow).“Amphiaraos,” “Memnon,” “Philoktet,” “Lied eines Schiffers an die Dioskuren,” The Hyperion Schubert Edition 14. Hampson, McLaughlin, and Johnson. Hyperion CDJ33014. Fischer-Dieskau and Moore. Deutsche Grammophon 437 215-2. Vol. 1 (This collection does not include “Hektors Abschied.”)
Strauss, Richard (1864–1949).
Die ägyptische Helena
. Jones et al. Detroit Symphony Orchestra, cond. Dorati. London 430 381-2; Rysanek et al. Bavarian State Opera Orchestra, cond. Keilberth. Melodram MEL 2706. The “awakening scene” is magnificently sung by Leontyne Price in a collection of Strauss arias. RCA Gold Seal 60398-2-RG. Philosophically complicated but musically rewarding opera about Helen in Egypt.
Szymanowski, Karol (1882–1937).
. For soprano and orchestra. Owsinska. Polish State Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Stryja. The text (not printed in the booklet) about Penthesilea’s confession of love is from Wyspianski’s play
. Also includes
Tippett, Michael (1905–1998).
. Opera. Bailey et al. London Sinfonietta, cond. Atherton. London 414 241-2 and Chandos CHAN 9406/7. Opera on the Trojan War, beginning with the birth of Paris and ending with the death of Priam. See Videos.
Songs for Achilles
, with guitar. Ogden and Hill. Hyperion CDA66749. The first song comes from Tippett’s opera
, the two following explore the character of Achilles to create a new song cycle.
Uttini, Francesco (1723–1795).
Thétis and Pelée
. Opera. Selections from the opera. Gustaviansk Opera (Gustavian Opera). Musica Sveciae (Swedish Music Anthology) MSCD 426. Also ballet music from the opera (Gustavian Composers).
Walton, William. (1902–1983).
Troilus and Cressida
. Significant twentieth-century opera. Baker et al. Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, cond. Foster. EMI CMS 5 65550-2 (Angel CDMB 65550). Howarth et al. English Northern Philharmonia, cond. Hickox. Chandos CHA 9370.
Wolf, Hugo (1860–1903).
. Symphonic poem. Orchestre de Paris, cond. Barenboim. Erato 2292-45416-2. Inspired by a drama by Kleist, in three parts: Departure of the Amazons for Troy; Penthesilea’s Dream of the Festival of the Roses, and Combats, Passions, Madness, Annihilation.
Castor et Pollux
. Opera by Jean-Phillipe Rameau. Panzarella, Gens, et al. De Nederlandse Opera, cond. Rousset. Kultur.
Cortege of Eagles
. Dance choreographed and performed by Martha Graham.
3 by Martha Graham
Acrobats of God
. Pyramid. Graham portrays Hecuba, who recalls scenes from her tragic past.
Fury of Achilles
. This B film at least follows the essential plot of Homer (with deviations of course). Yet, despite its failures, it manages to suggest what a powerful cinematic resource the
could be for those with the artistic vision, integrity, and courage to bring it to the screen with affectionate appreciation and genuine understanding.
Heinrich Schliemann: The Rediscovery of Troy
. Documentary. Films for the Humanities.
Helen of Troy
. Film. Directed by Robert Wise. Rosanna Podesta plays Helen (Brigitte Bardot has only a minor role) and Jack Sernas is Paris. Warner Brothers Classics VHS 11557. Directed by Robert Wise. A few good scenes but overall tiresome, with a script that is particularly inept when dealing with material from the
Helen of Troy
. PBS Home Video. Bettany Hughes travels to Sparta and Troy as she explores the historical reality of Helen.
Helen of Troy
. TV movie (2003), starring Sienna Guillory and Matthew Marsden. Universal. This is a retelling of the Trojan saga from the birth of Paris to the murder of Agamemnon and the return of Helen to Menelaus. The writer Ronnie Kern has cleverly manipulated the story, with imaginative inventions, to keep the focus on Helen. The role of Achilles, for example, is reduced to the killing of Hector and the dragging of his body around Troy. There is much to enjoy, nevertheless, and this exciting and absorbing cinematic version of the legend turns out to be the best that we have seen.
. Film about the last days of the Trojan War, with emphasis upon the role of Aeneas, starring Steve Reeves. Sinister Cinema.
The Trojan Women
. Another cinematic treatment (this time in English) of Euripides by the director Michael Cacoyannis. Kino Video. A great cast, Katherine Hepburn as Hecuba, Vanessa Redgrave as Andromache, Geneviève Bujold as Cassandra, and Irene Papas as Helen, makes this movie a treasure. Cacoyannis’
is on DVD. We are waiting for his
In Search of the Trojan War
. TV Documentary, written and directed by Michael Wood. By far the best film documentay about Troy and should be seen by everyone interested in the subject. Excellent interviews with major archaeologists, biographies of important excavators (Schliemann, Dörpfeld, Evans, and Blegen), tours of the major sites, surveys of the excavations, discussion of Homer and the oral tradition that includes recitations by modern bards, and even more. BBC Video.
Judgement of Paris
. Documentary tribute to a famous choreographer, entitled
includes a snippet about Tudor’s comic ballet,
Judgement of Paris
, in which Paris is transformed into a drunken Englishman who must choose among three Parisian prostitutes; Agnes de Mille tells how she was delighted to dance Venus. Dance Horizons Video.
. Opera by Michael Tippett. Rodney MacCann et al. Kent Opera, cond. Roger Norrington. ArtHaus Music. The Compleat Operagoer 61. Fascinating modern work, marred by miscalculations in this production.
La Belle Hélène
. Opera buffa by Offenbach.Vesselina Kasarova, Deon van der Walt, et al. Orchestra of the Zurich Opera House, cond. Harnoncourt. Image Entertainment. Amusing production of a great operetta.
———. Dame Felicity Lott, Michel Senechal, Yann Beuron, et al. Les Musicians du Louvre-Grenoble, cond. Marc Minkowski. Production of the Théâtre Musical de Paris-Chatelet. Kultur.
Offenbach in Paris
. Anne Sofie von Otter et al. Les Musicians du Louvre-Grenoble, cond. Marc Minkowski. Kultur.
. Film about the last days of the Trojan War, with emphasis upon the role of Aeneas, starring Steve Reeves. Sinister Cinema.
. Film. Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Peter O’Toole, et al. Directed by Wolfgang Petersen. Warner Brothers. A version of the Trojan War that ignores or distorts all the great scenes, and plot of the
. Pitt is no Achilles, but Bana is a strong and sympathetic Hector and O’Toole a fine and moving Priam. If you can forget Homer and many traditional elements of the legend, you may be able to enjoy this overlong and overblown spectacle, with its banal script and concentration upon political treachery and the brutality of war. Homer’s battle scenes are much more exciting and filled with humanity, even if on a very rare occasion he may nod.
Troy: Battlefield of Myth and Truth
. Documentary that includes commentary from Manfred Korfmann and focuses upon his recent excavations. Films for the Humanities.
Troy. Myth or Reality
? Documentary that explores the evidence, the legend, and the characters. Eagle Media.
Troy: The Passion of Helen
. Documentary. The legend of Helen re-examined including interviews with Brad Pitt and other stars of the movie
. History Channel. A&E Home Video.
Troy—The True Story of Love, Power, Honor & the Pursuit of Glory
. Documentary. Delta Entertainment.
Troy, Unearthing the Legend
. TV Documentary. The subjects are the Odyssey of Troy, the ancient gold of Troy, and the Trojan city, along with the rise and fall of the Spartans. The History Channel.
. Opera by Berlioz. Placido Domingo, Jessye Norman, Tatiana Troyanos, et al. The Metropolitan Opera Production, cond. James Levine. A stellar cast, especially commendable for the heroic Aeneas of Domingo and the fervent and powerful Cassandra of Norman. Pioneer Classics.
———. Susan Graham, Anna Caterina Antonacci, Production of Thé âtre Musical de Paris -Châtelet. Orchestre Revolutionaire et Romantique cond. Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Directed by Peter Maniura. BBC
———. Deborah Polaski, John Villars, et al. Stage director. Herbert Wernicke. Orchestra de Paris, cond. Sylvain Cambreling. Arthaus Music.
VHS video not on DVD
The Odyssey of Troy (Ancient Mysteries). A&E Home Video. AAE-12307. Despite minor flaws, this is an excellent introduction, especially to the history of the excavations of Troy. We only wish visuals would always accurately depict what is described in the script and that someone (perhaps one of the professors involved) could have told the narrator, Kathleen Turner, how to pronounce Menelaüs.