Date of Award

Spring 5-4-2017

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Classics, Philosophy, and Religion

First Advisor

Pitts, Angela

Second Advisor

Vasey, Craig

Major or Concentration



This paper analyzes evidence to support the claim that Phoenix is an narratologically central and original Homeric character in the Iliad. Phoenix, the instructor of Achilles, tries to persuade Achilles to protect the ships of Achaeans during his speech. At the end of his speech, Phoenix tells Achilles about the story of Meleager which serves as a warning about waiting too long to fight the Trojans. Achilles rejects Agamemnon's embassy and Phoenix's pleas; therefore, he faces the consequence of Patroclus's death. By using his speech in "Book 9," as the main primary source to analyze Pheonix as a character, the research is focused on his appearances throughout the epic, relationship to Achilles, his life before Troy, and his purpose for being at Troy. This paper will explore counter arguments including the consistent use of dual number during the embassy's travel to Achilles tent, and his abrupt introduction into the epic that contest his authenticity as an original character, and discuss evidence to support the main argument by focusing on his speech in "Book 9," his later appearances in the epic, his relationship to achilles, and the themes that he supports including need, supplicant-exile, persuasion, value, goals, and emotions in the Iliad.

Included in

Classics Commons