Jonathan S. Burgess


On his book The Death and Afterlife of Achilles

Cover Interview of March 10, 2009

Editor’s note

Originally, this interview ran on the Rorotoko cover page under the headline

“What past Homeric audiences did and did not know about Achilles.”

We highlighted two quotes.

On the first page:

“The tomb associated with Achilles has usually been placed at Cape Sigeion, but recently new evidence has suggested rather a tomb further down the coast.  There is no evidence that these tombs contain the remains of a Homeric hero.  But they were in existence by the time of the composition of the Iliad, and ancient and modern reactions to them provide us with fascinating glimpses into reception of the Homeric poem and early Greek myth.”

On the second:

“The “Achilles’ heel” story as we know it, with a dipping of the infant Achilles in the Styx, probably did not exist in early Greek myth.”