The Achaean wall is a curious object that appears in Iliad 7 only to disappear in book 12 with a vehemence that is unique in the Homeric landscape. Puzzling in every other respect, is the wall even a single, coherent object? While the Alexandrians and their successors accepted Nestor's proposal and the construction of the wall as genuinely Homeric, modern critics of the analytic persuasion assume it must be an interpolation. This essay takes its cues from the ancient sources, which I believe indicate the most fruitful way of reading the episode and the wall generally—namely, as an object lesson in Homeric fictionality and its limits in the minds of successive readers of the Homeric poems.


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pp. 1-36
Launched on MUSE
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