The Iliad

The Iliad

3.6 208
by Homer
     
 

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The Iliad sometimes referred to as the Song of Ilion, an epic poem which was attributed to Homer. It takes place during the Trojan War and tells about the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and Warrior Achilles.

BOOK I

The quarrel between Agamemnon and Achilles--Achilles withdraws
from the war, and sends…  See more details below

Overview

The Iliad sometimes referred to as the Song of Ilion, an epic poem which was attributed to Homer. It takes place during the Trojan War and tells about the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and Warrior Achilles.

BOOK I

The quarrel between Agamemnon and Achilles--Achilles withdraws
from the war, and sends his mother Thetis to ask Jove to help
the Trojans--Scene between Jove and Juno on Olympus.

Sing, O goddess, the anger of Achilles son of Peleus, that brought
countless ills upon the Achaeans. Many a brave soul did it send
hurrying down to Hades, and many a hero did it yield a prey to dogs and
vultures, for so were the counsels of Jove fulfilled from the day on
which the son of Atreus, king of men, and great Achilles, first fell
out with one another.

And which of the gods was it that set them on to quarrel? It was the
son of Jove and Leto; for he was angry with the king and sent a
pestilence upon the host to plague the people, because the son of
Atreus had dishonoured Chryses his priest. Now Chryses had come to the
ships of the Achaeans to free his daughter, and had brought with him a
great ransom: moreover he bore in his hand the sceptre of Apollo
wreathed with a suppliant's wreath, and he besought the Achaeans, but
most of all the two sons of Atreus, who were their chiefs.

"Sons of Atreus," he cried, "and all other Achaeans, may the gods who
dwell in Olympus grant you to sack the city of Priam, and to reach your
homes in safety; but free my daughter, and accept a ransom for her, in
reverence to Apollo, son of Jove."

On this the rest of the Achaeans with one voice were for respecting the
priest and taking the ransom that he offered; but not so Agamemnon, who
spoke fiercely to him and sent him roughly away. "Old man," said he,
"let me not find you tarrying about our ships, nor yet coming
hereafter. Your sceptre of the god and your wreath shall profit you
nothing. I will not free her. She shall grow old in my house at Argos
far from her own home, busying herself with her loom and visiting my
couch; so go, and do not provoke me or it shall be the worse for you."

The old man feared him and obeyed. Not a word he spoke, but went by the
shore of the sounding sea and prayed apart to King Apollo whom lovely
Leto had borne. "Hear me," he cried, "O god of the silver bow, that
protectest Chryse and holy Cilla and rulest Tenedos with thy might,
hear me oh thou of Sminthe. If I have ever decked your temple with
garlands, or burned your thigh-bones in fat of bulls or goats, grant my
prayer, and let your arrows avenge these my tears upon the Danaans."

Thus did he pray, and Apollo heard his prayer. He came down furious
from the summits of Olympus, with his bow and his quiver upon his
shoulder, and the arrows rattled on his back with the rage that
trembled within him. He sat himself down away from the ships with a
face as dark as night, and his silver bow rang death as he shot his
arrow in the midst of them. First he smote their mules and their
hounds, but presently he aimed his shafts at the people themselves, and
all day long the pyres of the dead were burning.

For nine whole days he shot his arrows among the people, but upon the
tenth day Achilles called them in assembly--moved thereto by Juno, who
saw the Achaeans in their death-throes and had compassion upon them.
Then, when they were got together, he rose and spoke among them.

"Son of Atreus," said he, "I deem that we should now turn roving home
if we would escape destruction, for we are being cut down by war and
pestilence at once. Let us ask some priest or prophet, or some reader
of dreams (for dreams, too, are of Jove) who can tell us why Phoebus
Apollo is so angry, and say whether it is for some vow that we have
broken, or hecatomb that we have not offered, and whether he will
accept the savour of lambs and goats without blemish, so as to take
away the plague from us."

With these words he sat down, and Calchas son of Thestor, wisest of
augurs, who knew things past present and to come, rose to speak. He it
was who had guided the Achaeans with their fleet to Ilius, through the
prophesyings with which Phoebus Apollo had inspired him. With all
sincerity and goodwill he addressed them thus:--

"Achilles, loved of heaven, you bid me tell you about the anger of King
Apollo, I will therefore do so; but consider first and swear that you
will stand by me heartily in word and deed, for I know that I shall
offend one who rules the Argives with might, to whom all the Achaeans
are in subjection. A plain man cannot stand against the anger of a
king, who if he swallow his displeasure now, will yet nurse revenge<

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940012564818
Publisher:
SAP
Publication date:
01/17/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
344 KB

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