83 episodes

Combat and Classics is a series of podcasts and free online seminars for active duty, reserve, and veteran U.S. military members, sponsored by St. John’s College. The podcasts and seminars encourage deep thought and reflection by leaders in the company of their peers. In the discussion-based seminars devoted to what a leader must be and know, participants study historical and fictional leaders from the great books of the western canon. We examine techniques and examples of persuasion and fundamental questions on the nature of man. When participants take the time to reflect, with their peers, on the principles of leadership, they find that they return to their lives and professional positions energized and focused, with a deeper understanding of the context of their decisions, decision-making processes, and leadership roles. Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/brian-wilson5/support

Combat and Classics Podcast Brian Wilson

    • Education
    • 4.8 • 74 Ratings

Combat and Classics is a series of podcasts and free online seminars for active duty, reserve, and veteran U.S. military members, sponsored by St. John’s College. The podcasts and seminars encourage deep thought and reflection by leaders in the company of their peers. In the discussion-based seminars devoted to what a leader must be and know, participants study historical and fictional leaders from the great books of the western canon. We examine techniques and examples of persuasion and fundamental questions on the nature of man. When participants take the time to reflect, with their peers, on the principles of leadership, they find that they return to their lives and professional positions energized and focused, with a deeper understanding of the context of their decisions, decision-making processes, and leadership roles. Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/brian-wilson5/support

    Ep. 82 Homer's "Iliad" Book 24

    Ep. 82 Homer's "Iliad" Book 24

    It's here: our last episode on the Iliad! Achilles continues to mourn Patroclus, and to try to disfigure Hector's body. After days of this, Apollo intervenes, and the gods help Priam to retrieve his son's body from Achilles' tent. Brian, Shilo, and Jeff consider Achilles' "foreign policy" in his dealings with Priam, and the meaning of Homer's epic as a whole. Does the end of the Iliad portray a decline to a world run by liars and dancers, or an ascent to an almost joyful tragic insight into human power? In the final analysis, is it better to be a human being than to be a god? Do we need to read the Odyssey together to answer these questions?


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    • 34 min
    Ep. 81 Homer's "Iliad" Book 23

    Ep. 81 Homer's "Iliad" Book 23

    After our antepenultimate Iliad episode comes... the penultimate episode! In Book 23, Hector is dead, and Achilles mourns Patroclus, who comes to Achilles in a dream and demands a funeral. So Achilles organizes funeral games: chariot and foot races, boxing and wrestling, and more. The Argives compete, and contend over the justice of their competition. We ask: why does Homer's description of the chariot race take up half of the book? Does Achilles do a good job of managing this race and judging its outcome? Join Brian, Shilo, and Jeff as they discuss the "domestic policy" of the post-wrath, or dead, Achilles. Does he now permit pity and skill to come to the fore, and is this a sign of growth or decline? Is the world of pity and skill a world where one person can be good at everything?


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    • 35 min
    Ep. 80 Homer's "Iliad" Book 22

    Ep. 80 Homer's "Iliad" Book 22

    Here's our antepenultimate episode on the Iliad! In Book 22, Apollo, disguised as Agenor, lures Achilles away from Troy. When he sees through the deception, Achilles goes after Hector, and chases him around the city's walls. This goes on until Athena disguises herself as Deiphobus, and tricks Hector into facing Achilles. Then Achilles kills Hector, and drags his corpse around behind his chariot. Brian, Shilo, and Jeff ask: why does Hector decide to face Achilles, rather than taking refuge within the walls of Troy? We discuss whether his choice makes sense, and whether he is driven by a just (or an unjust) shame. We also consider whether Hector could have gotten help, whether he could have negotiated with Achilles, and whether he and Achilles, under different circumstances, could have been friends.


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    • 32 min
    Ep. 79 Homer's "Iliad" Book 21

    Ep. 79 Homer's "Iliad" Book 21

    We're back, with our preantepenultimate episode on the Iliad! In Book 21, we get into the action. Achilles kills so many Trojans that the river Scamander protests the mess he is making. So Achilles fights the river, and nearly dies. Then there is a war between the gods; they lay it on without restraint. Meanwhile, Achilles kills two of Priam's sons, as he watches. And the Trojans are driven back into the gates of Troy. Join Brian, Shilo, and Jeff as they talk about what it might look like to fight a river, and wonder why Achilles cares about how his body looks after he dies. Is Achilles driven by justice in this book, or the noble, or both? Is excellence more visible in a contest between equals, or between unequals? And does Zeus enjoy the suffering of the gods because it makes them better?


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    • 30 min
    Ep. 78 Homer's "Iliad" Book 20

    Ep. 78 Homer's "Iliad" Book 20

    In Book 20, Achilles gets new armor from his mom, and rejoins the battle. Zeus tells the gods to take sides, and to go nuts. And Achilles faces Aeneas and Hector, and fights them, so that the gods have to save them. Brian, Shilo, and Jeff talk about why Achilles' single combat with Aeneas is the centerpiece of the book, and why Achilles and Aeneas talk so much before they fight. Does the combat between Achilles and Aeneas prompt Poseidon to change sides? We also talk about why Zeus wants to see the spectacle of all the soldiers at Troy and all the gods fighting one another. Does Zeus find the suffering of soldiers and gods to be pleasant?


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    • 31 min
    Ep. 77 Homer's "Iliad" Book 19

    Ep. 77 Homer's "Iliad" Book 19

    We're back! And so is Achilles. But what is he back for? Join Brian, Shilo, and Jeff as we ask why the Iliad isn't over, now that Achilles says his wrath is done. We discuss whether Achilles has a new cause for wrath, against Hector, for the death of Patroclus', and whether this new cause is the same or different from his old cause for wrath, against Agamemnon, for the theft of Briseis. Are both causes for wrath based on an injustice? Who really is responsible for Patroclus' death? We also consider how the gods use nectar and ambrosia to embalm Patroclus' corpse and spare Achilles the need to eat. Are the gods' bodies dead?


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    Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/brian-wilson5/support

    • 26 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
74 Ratings

74 Ratings

Trevor Shelley ,

Great discussions

Love the detailed analysis and thoughtful questions through close readings. Thanks!

Virtual bookshelf ,

Loved the series on Xenophon’s Cyrus

Great analysis. I enjoyed listening to the podcast after I read the chapters of the book.

n4bpp ,

Outstanding

Just sit back and enjoy the classics, like being in class.

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