am 17. Februar 2000
The just cause of feminism is done great harm by books like this that completely fail to read ancient material, contextualy. The "idea" that The Iliad was/is "sexist" would be laughable were it not pernicious because so few people who read Lerner will bother to read Homer, let alone the mountain of scholarly work on the meanings of "his" poems.
Telemecus' sacrifice of 12 slave women has zero to do with "sexism" and everything to do with an ancient concept of divinity rooted in ritualized repetitions of "sacred" numbers.
As in the credits for movies where the studio offers a disclaimer that,"no animals were harmed in the making of this motion picture" someone needs to explain to Ms. Lerner that the "people" in the Iliad and the Odyssey were as real as "Christ's" transubstatiation. And before anyone suggests that the "symbolism" still represents a "sexist" culture, it should be pointed out that the 12 were a symbolic gift to the FEMININE spirit for whom Odysseus was laboring, and that, though it was, by our standards, TODAY, "barbaric" the culture of ancient Greece, viewed the Iliad and the Odyssey as epics in celebration of the power of the feminine, as they understood it.
Let's try to remember, that "Odysseus" was part of a religious service, called the Iliad and the Odyssey, and that the WHOLE of the two books are in fact a description of a fertility cult dedicated to the ancient Greek belief in the power of the earth goddess, and that the entire war is a ritualized expression of worship for the earth goddesses symbol, "Helen", who, goes from Greece to Troy and back, as a symbol of the belief that the masculine (the warriors) must follow the feminine (Helen) and serve her so as to complete the cycle of birth, life, death, and eventualy rebirth in the form of the next, newer generation.
Feminism deserves far more, and far better than this joke of a book.
Anything else is an anacronistic "reading" that says more about Lerner's lack of erudition than it does about "Homer." END
am 10. August 1999
While I completely agree with the other review listed, I just wanted to give a few words of warning. This book is long and quite frankly, boring. While Learner brings up some very interesting ideas about the transition of society from matriarchy to patriachy, and is a decent writer, she is only truly brilliant and inspirational occasionally. I do recommend this book for research purposes and it has a fabulous bibliography for making research easier.
am 29. Februar 2000
While this book can be (and is) boring, and while the anger expressed within might be outdated, Lerner (who was writing in the 80s) does an excellent job of displaying some of the reasons WHY we continue to act as we do. Her discussion of the origins of marriage and female slavery were especially helpful.