Living Legends, Tales Alive
Breathing Life Anew Into The Myths Of The Past
Behold some beautifully choreographed photography from our video storybook, a tale based on Quintus of Smyrna's 'The Fall of Troy', compiled in the 4th century AD. A sequel to the Iliad or perhaps an older story omitted from the corpus of the Iliad proper, Quintus' account is based on an original, now mostly lost version entitled Aethiopis. This was an epic composed nearly a millennia before the time of Quintus of Smyrna by an author we know of as Arctinus. That Quintus and other ancient authors would compose versions of the story and painters and sculptors create magnificent works of art based on this immortal legend to be preserved for posterity accounts for its popularity.
Here is an amazing account of the hard fought, final battle between the Achaean hero Achilles and his comrades against two allies who come to the aid of the Trojans in their hour of dire need; an army of Amazon warriors led by their queen Penthesilea and a large force from Africa which the ancient Greeks referred to as Aethiopia, hence the title of the older, original work. No greater champions had Achilles and his myrmidons such as Ajax and Diomedes ever faced before in combat than this warrior queen or the mighty ruler of Africa, Memnon and their respective armies which numbered in the thousands. In creating and telling such epics as this, the ancient Greek and Roman bards and authors brilliantly and freely expressed themselves, questioning and examining social morality, prejudice and attitude towards various peoples and nations, as well as study and analyze human feeling and emotion with their fiery insistence on individualism and personal freedom, as Hellenic civilization maintained that the human being was at the center of the Cosmos.
Quintus' work is important even unto our own time as we are witness to the timeless sand ongoing struggle of women seeking equality, endeavoring to manifest their strength and power while daring to break away from those definitions and stereotypes imposed upon them by male patriarchy since the dawn of civilization. Those ancient authors who shed light upon various aspects of gender, race, identity and ego as in this tale beckon us to examine our own inner feelings and attitudes towards those we might consider as different, the other, somehow foreign and outside of our own realm yet sharing and manifesting the universal human emotions of joy and pain, love and hate, impetuosity and restraint, vanity and pragmatism. It is a story reflecting on the struggle between Hellenism which stressed the importance of the individual, the roots and foundations of which created the Western mind to be imitated throughout history and the older, traditional empires who sought to maintain that which had served humanity so well for so long. The commonality of humanity however, unites us all.
The heart beating within the breast defines the character of champions, who wear
An aura of honor upon the crown like a helmet of immortality, indeed bestowed by the gods
'Tis a tale of Achilles, and Penthesilea the queen
Who graceth the legend of Troy
With their names, their noble acts and glorious deeds!
These verses composed, true tales have I heard from the tongues of bards, the pens of poets
Arctinus, Quintus Of Smyrna, Pindar, Ovid…Words powerful, so full of force
Doth they inform us of an age long ago
We shall live unto eternity, and by our acts of daring and bravery
Will those who come after know us, singing our song to their children