On a very cold winter’s night, the Gloucestershire Classical Association was able to offer a warm welcome to Dean Close to our guest speaker, Dr Adrian Kelly, Associate Professor of Classical Languages and Literature at the University of Oxford and a fellow of Balliol College. Dr Kelly possesses a deep love of Homer and is currently writing a commentary on Book XXIII of the Iliad. However, he set aside the funeral games of Patroclos and instead considered  the characteristics of”the man of many ways”, “the much enduring Odysseus”: some critics have attempted to view the Achilles of the Iliad as a kind of ur-epic hero whose excesses are, apparently, absent from the “more civilised/modern” hero, Odysseus. Dr Kelly refuted the idea that Odysseus is somehow a more palatable hero to modern day sensibilities, arguing that he is motivated by the exactly same concerns as Achilles, namely a love of honour and a desire to win glory either on the battlefield or in the political arena -“fame on the lips of men”. The explosion of violence that occurs at the end of the Odyssey as the eponymous hero of the poem takes his vengeance upon the suitors and those who colluded with them is as terrifying, surely, as Achilles’ death-dealing savagery in the Iliad.