Quintus Smyrnaeus picks up were Homer leaves off: the Greeks’ varied successes and defeats on the battlefields surrounding Troy after Hector’s death at the hands of Achilles. The ensuing battles are narrated in stirring verse: complete with cunning strategems, heroic single combats, and devious machinations by Olympic deities to bring about the decisive events in the narrative.
- With Hector dead – who now will assume the mantle of the champion-defender of Ilium?
- Achilles’ prowess is unmatched: virtually ensuring the Trojans’ speedy destruction and thus bringing about the will of Zeus. So why does Zeus himself allow the Greek hero to fall in battle – by the hand of a god?
- Troy inevitably falls: and few escape. Even so: is it possible for the traumatised captives to wreak a signal revenge upon their captors – ensuring their destruction before they can regain their own island homelands?