knightlineninja, I do trust that you will beat my head in with relevant Classical knowledge where necessary? 8D?
Thought #1: HERE I AM THIS IS ME WHERE THE HELL ON EARTH COULD I POSSIBLY BE?
First impression: where on earth am I? You hear all sorts of stuff about The Iliad and the Fall of TroyTM, but you open up to the first section of verse and you realise that it isn't just about the Fall of Troy. You don't get the beginning of the Trojan War, you get thrown into the middle of Agamemnon pissing on several people's parades all at once. Which is a nice thought to extrapolate: that Homer isn't the first, that Homer wrote, like everyone else, on the shoulders of giants and/or other (maybe more oral) traditions.
Thought #2: WHICH TRANSLATION AM I IN
I read most of The Odyssey using Fagles' translation, and I really enjoyed it. The translation I'm now using for The Iliad is a tad
Another note to Lattimore's translation: the Greek names are kept very strictly, therefore my head explodes and gets confused with the Latinate versions. Ajax == Aiax (took me way too long to figure that out!) and Achilles gets reverted to Achilleus and Patroclus to Patroklos and OH MY GOD GIVE ME A MANUAL ON GREEK V. LATIN RIGHT NOW
Thought #3: BACKGROUND, PLEASE
One thing about not having much background in the Classics: oh shit was the first impression I had. Everything's about context, and I have so little going in besides what I pick up here and there - suddenly there are a thousand pre-Asiatic Greece terms being flung around like confetti. WHAT YOU DO MEAN WHEN YOU SAY HELLENS, HOMER, I THOUGH HELLENISM == GREEK but no, no, suddenly it's where Achilleus came from. I need a flowchart! At the same time, it's really interesting to see how and where the Greek states could have been scattered Way Back When.
More coherent thoughts + quotes when I have my text on hand again.