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Open Lecture: The first sack of Troy and the second
Open Lecture: The first sack of Troy and the second
22.05.2014 19.00 h
The Ithacan Philanthropic Society - Melbourne


Presenter: Chris Mackie
Entry: Free


'There is a story in the Greek myths that the city of Troy was sacked in the previous generation by Heracles. This occurred when Laomedon, the father of Priam, was king of Troy. The story (told fully in Apollodorus) is that Poseidon and Apollo were forced by Zeus to work for Laomedon for a year in several menial roles. Poseidon, in particular, built the walls of Troy and Apollo tended the cattle. Laomedon refused to pay them at the end of the year, and so the gods set a sea-monster on the loose to terrorise the city. Heracles arrives in the Troad and volunteers to save the city if he is paid for his labours. Laomedon agrees to the terms proposed by Heracles, but again breaks his word.

This particular story goes a long way back in the Greek myths, and was certainly known to Homer, who mentions it a number of times in the Iliad. This talk explores the first sack of Troy in the broader story of the myth of the whole city. What are the key elements of the Heraclean victory over the city? What are the central differences in the two defeats of Troy, and how do these play into the Iliadic account of the Trojan defeat? The case will be argued that Homer distinguishes the two campaigns against Troy to emphasise the brutal impact of Agamemnon's defeat of the city.


Chris Mackie studied Latin and Ancient Greek at the University of Newcastle (NSW, Australia), and then wrote his PhD at the University of Glasgow in Scotland on the Roman poem the Aeneid, by Vergil.

He has written and edited numerous books and articles on Roman and Greek topics, especially on the epic poems of Vergil and Homer, and also more Broadly on Greek mythology. Much of his research focuses on the Trojan War, as told by the Greek and Roman sources, and the Way that this has had an impact on the later European tradition of war narratives.

More recently he has developed interests in the Gallipoli region of western Turkey, and is currently on a three-nation team (Australia, New Zealand, and Turkey) doing a Historical and archaeological survey of the Anzac battlefield. Chris Mackie joined La Trobe University in 2010 after 24 years at the University of Melbourne. He is currently Head of the School of Humanities there.


We would like to thank Maria Rerakis and Roxanne Lalopoulos for sponsoring tonight's lecture. Such initiatives assist us in providing these lectures free to the public. If you would like to participate as a sponsor from as little as $100 please send us an email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


The Ithacan Philanthropic Society   -   Website
Level 2, 329 Elizabeth Street
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In October 1916, the Ithacan migrants of Melbourne established the ITHACAN PHILANTHROPIC SOCIETY "The Ulysses", with an inaugural membership of some 153 members. This was in response to pleas for aid from their loved ones in Ithaca who were suffering deprivation during the First World War.

Over the years, however, the Society has been much more than just a philanthropic institution. It has been a constant in the lives of the early Ithacan migrants replacing the homeland which they had left.

The Society takes an active role in the cultural, social, educational and quality of life interests of the Ithacan Community. The Society, as part of its philanthropic role, also makes many monetary contributions to worthy causes, including those outside the immediate Ithacan community. The Society celebrated its 90th Anniversary in 2006.

Alphington Grammar Koinotika Nea - the Greek Community newsletter Requirements for Greek Citizenship