The Iliad ~ Book III and Book IV

The Iliad Read-along

Book III

The Achaians advance across the plain and the Trojans move to meet them.  Alexandros (Paris) struts out to challenge any of the Argive leaders, yet when Menelaus, the husband of Helen, steps forward, in cowardice Alexandros/Paris shrinks back to disappear among the fighters.  Hektor, shamed by his brother’s behaviour, rebukes him firmly:

“Evil Paris, beautiful, woman-crazy, cajoling,

better if you had never been born, or killed unwedded.

Truly, I could have wished it so; it would be far better

than to have you with us to our shame,  for others to sneer at.

Surely now the flowing-haired Achaians laugh at us,

thinking you are our bravest champion, only because your

looks are handsome, but there is no strength in your heart, no courage.” (lines 38-45)

 

Paris agrees that the reprimand is justified, yet still attempts to excuse his behaviour by claiming that he could not refuse a gift (Helen) from a god (Aphrodite), however, to Hektor’s satisfaction, he agrees to fight Menelaus.  Hektor pauses the fighting and declares that whoever is the victor between Paris and Menelaus shall win Helen and her possessions, and thus the rest of them can break oaths, part friends and the war will be at an end.

Hektor dispatches a messenger to the citadel of Troy with the news, and Agamemnon sends for two lambs to use as a sacrifice to seal the pledges of the two sides.  Meanwhile, the goddess, Iris, appears to Helen in the form of Antenor’s son’s wife, Laodike, revealing that Menelaus and Paris will fight for her possession, and Helen sheds a tear for her former life as she goes to the Skaian gate.  There we find king Priam with his wise elders, “men of good counsel”.  Spotting Helen, they say that they aren’t surprised at the discord over her given her beauty, but they wish her far away as she brings grief to the Trojans.  Priam exhibits compassion for her, blaming not her but the gods, and asks her the names of the expedition leader (Agamemnon), the troop marshal (Odysseus), and the warrior who towered over all (gigantic Aias), She describes them, including Idomeneus, then questions the absence of her brothers, Kastor and Polydeuces, not knowng that they are dead in Lakedaimon.

The sacrifice of the lambs is made to seal their oaths, Priam, unable to watch his son’s battle, departs for Ilion (Troy), and Paris and Menelaus arm for battle.  With the first throw, Paris’ spear does not penetrate Menelaus’ shield but Menelaus’ spear does his, and Paris must turn to avoid death.  Menelaus then grabs Paris by his helmet, dragging him towards the Achaians and would have won the contest if Aphrodite did not cause the strap to break and then whisked Paris back to his bedchamber in a thick mist.

After having words with Aphrodite, initially refusing to go to Paris, Helen gives in and visits Paris in his chamber wishing his death, but all he wants is lovemaking. Menealus rages, Agamemnon claims victory and commands that the Trojans honour their pledge and return Helen.

Paris and Helen Jacques Louis David

Paris and Helen (1788) Jacques-Louis David
~ source Wikiart

Helen

While it appears that Helen was a willing captive when Paris fled with her, she now appears to despise him, yet perhaps she despises herself and her role in the war even more.  Many things about Helen are paradoxical: she is the most beautiful woman in the world yet she is causing the most strife and suffering; she must have cared about Paris but now she hates him; while the elders of Troy are kind to her and tell her she is not to blame, on the other hand they realize she is the ignition of the war and wish her worlds away.  She is an intriguing character.

Episodic Displacement

Scholars have noted the odd positioning of the scene where Priam asks Helen about the Achaian warriors.  This is the tenth year of the war, yet Priam is asking for this information for the first time?  As a story, it is unlikely and indicates that the “writer” is not interested in narrative uniformity.  But it certainly works as a recited poem to condense the information.

Jupiter and Juno

Jupiter and Juno [Zeus & Hera] Annibale Carracci
~ source Wikimedia Commons

Book IV

The gods are at odds with each other.  Zeus taunts Hera, then inquires as to why she is so hateful of Troy.

“If you could walk through the gates and through the towering ramparts

and eat Priam and the children of Priam raw, and the other

Trojans, then, then only might you glut at last your anger.” (Lines 34-36)

They agree that if Zeus gives Hera her way with regard to this battle, that she will never again cross him respecting any city he may wish sacked and plundered (I’m not sure that I believe her).  With this new understanding between husband and wife, Hera plots to make the Trojans break their oaths with the Achaians and, in this, Zeus supports her.  Athene flies down to the assembled warriors, merging with the Trojans in the likeness of Laodokos, son of Antenor.  Finding the son of Lykaon, Pandaros, she urges him to speed an arrow at Menelaus to win glory and respect.  As the arrow springs from the bow, Athene misdirects its path but still it strikes Menelaus, drawing a gush of blood. Agamemnon is stunned by the scene and laments Menelaus’ possible death and the victory of the Trojans, however when he learns that the wound is not serious, he calls for Machaon, the physician. As Machaon sucks blood from the gash and applies healing medicines, Agamemnon leaves his chariot with his henchman, Eurymedon, and strides among the warriors, urging them to battle.  He exchanges words of respect with Idomeneus, the Aiantes and Nestor, but rebukes Menestheus and Odysseus, claiming that the latter’s mind is on “profit and treachery,” and that they’re hanging back from the fighting.  Odysseus responds, incensed, finishing with a direct insult:

“Your talk is wind and not meaning” (line 355)

Laughing, Agamemnon takes back his words and moves on.

Next he disparages and insults Diomedes, who stands speechless before the assault and it’s Sthenelos who gives a strong retort, however he is silenced by Diomedes, who urges him to “find not fault” with Agamemnon.  And so they march into battle ,,,,

“Ares drove these on, and the Achaians grey-eyed Athene,

and Terror drove them, and Fear, and Hate whose wrath is relentless,

she the sister and companion of murderous Ares,

she who is only a little thing at the first, but thereafter

grows until she strides on the earth with her head striking heaven.

She then hurled down bitterness equally between both sides

as she walked through the onslaught making men’s pain heavier.” (Lines 439-445)

….. which unravels with many descriptions of the death of warriors and their bloodshed.

Map of the Troad including the site of Troy

Map of the Troad including the site of Troy
~ source Wikipedia

The Trojan “Heroes”

It’s interesting that so far Homer, a Greek poet, portrays the “enemy”, the Trojans, in a rather sympathetic light.  Priam’s kindness is highlighted as well as Hektor’s good sense and bravery.  Keep watching for Homer’s tone when he describes Trojan heroes and characters; it’s illuminating.

Agamemnon

What’s with Agamemnon disparaging further leaders who are on his side?  What is his purpose in behaving like this?  A possibility is that his intent is to force them to fight better but then why is he not treating all the leaders that way?  Did you notice that this book begins with conflict among the gods and ends with conflict between Agamemnon and his leaders/warriors?  Again, here are examples of people who should be getting along but aren’t.  And again, I note, the gods are not behaving any better than the humans.

 

 

⇐ The Iliad – Book I and Book II                        The Iliad – Book V and Book VI ⇒

57 thoughts on “The Iliad ~ Book III and Book IV

  1. Cleo what a wonderful and perfect summary!! LOVED IT! I have read this so many times and I am still intrigued by the characters. You know I find close similarities between the whole Trojan War story and Mahabharata, the Indian epic!

  2. What an excellent summary and discussion, Cleo. You’ve convinced me that I must read this for myself, though I may not make it as a read-along.

  3. Pingback: The Iliad, post 2 | Silvia Cachia

  4. I’ll be here to comment soon. Should finish Book III today and I want to finish it first before reading your post to see how I do with the storyline. 🙂 I’m following Book III much, much better!

  5. I also forgot to mention here or at my post, that Agamemnon’s anger may be related to Achilles refusal to fight. Apparently, Achilles had some gumption that is not found in the other warriors, might as they may be.

    • To me, oddly Agamemnon doesn’t appear angry at Achilles for not fighting. He was angry at his questioning of his authority but it seemed to end there.

      My guess is that Agamemnon is not tired and grumpy (he actually jokes around a bit, but inappropriately, I think) but sees this as a ploy to get these particular men fighting harder. Why only certain men, I’m not sure. There are a number of accusations of men hanging back on both sides? Are these simply empty accusations or truthful happenings? It’s hard to tell. Since some of those accused are seasoned, respected warriors, one would suspect the former, but if they are tired of being there after 9 long years, it could be the latter.

      • You can see how it could totally be weariness after fighting for all those years. Ya know? I mean, 9 years….that’s a LONG time. And wasn’t it the case that many of them did not go home during that whole time?

        • Not only did they not go home, but it took many of them (10) years to get home AFTER the war had finished. I will tell you why at the end!

          • I know it took Odysseus forever to try to get home as I read the first part of The Odyssey a number of years ago. I just never finished reading it….

            I am curious as to why it took them SO long to get home. (I suspect the gods might have had a part in that…)

  6. Regarding Helen: I agree that she is an interesting character. I did a bit of research and she was considered the most beautiful woman in the world of her time. Of course, knowing the story of Paris stealing her away to Troy, then we know of the whole scene previous to that with Aphrodite and the promise to Paris of having the most beautiful woman (i.e. Helen). What is a bit unclear it seems is if Helen was truly abducted against her will or if she actually felt some desire for Paris and stole away with him willingly. It seems because of her reaction in this section of reading in The Iliad, that she did in fact probably like Paris because when Paris is brought back to his bedroom from the battlefield, it points out that Helen didn’t want to go to him and had a longing for Menelaus and her home. Like you said, she must have cared for Paris because now she loathes him and apparently wants to go back to Menelaus. I thought I read somewhere, though, that when Paris came to Menelaus’ home and was offered hospitality, the gods affected Helen in such a way as to desire Paris. Do you know if that is the case or not?

    Your point about the Trojan heroes being displayed in a sympathetic light is interesting. I noticed that. Paris was the offender, though, not the Trojans as a whole. Yes? It is Paris who stole another man’s wife and took her off back to his home. So I can see why Priam would show compassion towards Helen and feel it is not her fault. Of course, if Helen had actually wanted to go with Paris that would shed a different light on the scenario, don’t you think?

    In the meantime, we have one little line or two that tells us that Achilles is still sitting and brooding……

    • It seems that some accounts say Aphrodite made Helen fall in love with Paris and she went willingly but I haven’t found anything scholarly yet to back up that position. However I do feel that she went willingly.

      Priam is compassionate with her yet we can tell that she feels terribly guilty at her role in the war. She feels responsible. So there is either something Priam doesn’t know, or he’s very forgiving.

      Ah yes, brooding Achilles! Quite a mental picture!

      • It does seem that she went willingly…..

        I can’t help but chuckle because when I thought of Achilles sitting on or at his ship brooding, for some reason the image of Gollum (from The Lord of the Rings) bent over on a rock talking to himself came to my mind. LOL Poor Achilles…..

      • I can not speak to whether Heken went with Paris willingly but at this point she seems to be placing the blame on Aphrodite. Lines 399-411 Lattimore’s translation. Or am I simplifying things and this conversation with Aphrodite is her conscience and berating herself for falling in love.

        • I don’t think she’s completely blaming Aphrodite. She feels Aphrodite is responsible but she calls herself hateful. So in another way I think she feels herself to blame also. It’s interesting that she’s worried about the Trojan women laughing at her. It’s as if she wants to belong but doesn’t. Perhaps she feels that she doesn’t belong anywhere anymore.

          I was quite surprised that she spoke to a goddess like that. I wonder if it’s evidence of how little she cares about anything anymore.

  7. Excellent contribution. I thought that she was abducted. If she later developed feelings for Paris, that’s one thing. If she didn’t resist him to take her, that will change things.

    They’re all fighting for what, exactly? What causes war? Maybe in the long run, both sides of the warriors sympathize more with each other than with their leaders? Or those whose unruly passions brought war?

    Both sides understand death the same. I have another comment but I can’t share because it belongs to the next section.

    And Achilles brooding! Hahaha. I have felt for kicking him in the shin more than once.

    • “They’re all fighting for what, exactly?”

      That’s a great question. I would say honour. Paris dishonoured Menelaus by taking Helen. The other leaders honoured their pledges to fight for her return. It actually would be interesting to go through the poem and notate “honour” or “dishonour” whenever something like this occurs, and with the gods as well. I think we would be surprised at the number of notations.

      Why do you feel like kicking Achilles? Don’t you think his action (or inaction) justified? Why or why not?

  8. Cleo. First, my apologies for being all over the place with the comments. I’m trying to focus them more, to see if we can tackle one thing at a time, or at least, just pose to you one question at a time. While I want to fly over the text and make overarching conclusions, I think now it’s more relevant to have a closer look at the very own lines of the poem.

    I went back to the other post, to read your comments.

    1. You say that Achilles decision not to fight, is based on honor -his honor has been challenged by Agamemnon, and his decision is not question by the other soldiers, as it’s his right to decide to not join Agamemnon in battle.

    2. You said that Agamemnon’s decision, on the other hand, speaks of a weakness in his character, -since he could have renounced Chryseis to appease Apollo, thus not antagonizing Achilles.

    3. And then, the gods as a reflection of FATE.

    Add to this, the new questions Karen and I have on the oaths. https://www.degruyter.com/downloadpdf/books/9783110227369/9783110227369.48/9783110227369.48.pdf

    This article is hefty, and it has a lot of information on Agamemnon, Odysseus, Troy, the oaths, the two done in regards to the women, and the one broken by the Troyans. My mind is spinning with the article in a good way, ha ha ha. Lots of info on Agamemnon, Odysseus, Menelaus, motives, oaths and the gods, and the war at the heart of the Iliad as present in other classics texts.

    • And there’s this:

      Agamemnon’s language emphasizes his dilemma. He simultaneously tries to distance himself from the suitors who swore Tyndareos’ oath, as if he was not one of them, but then tries to create an escape clause for himself by suggesting that the gods will not expect someone to keep an oath in certain circumstances, thus implicitly acknowledging that he had sworn the oath. It seems to be true that Agamemnon was not a suitor per se but our earliest source for the oath lists him as swearing it as a proxy for his brother, while he was already married to Clytaemestra (Hes. fr. 197.4‒5),9 and Agamemnon’s own suggestion that the oath could be invalid
      demonstrates that he is, in fact, bound by it. In some very rare cases, it seems that the Greeks believed that oaths could be broken without divine consequences (see §11.1), but Agamemnon’s argument is weak. He implies that he took the oath under compulsion but does not state this as fact, and the oblique claim is not supported by any evidence. If sacrificing Iphigeneia is the only way for the fleet to set sail for Troy – and this is how it has been presented to Agamemnon – then failing to sacrifice her means not only abandoning the expedition, but also breaking his oath. The oath by which Agamemnon is bound thus helps to explain his terrible indecisiveness, a characteristic he bears already in the Iliad but which is further exaggerated in the IA.10

      I believe we may have stumbled upon the heart of The Iliad, -or something, ha ha ha.

      • In this, you are referring to Agamemnon’s sacrifice of his daughter, Iphegenia, in order to get fair winds to sail for Troy? This is only one story and is not taken as gospel that it happened, even though Aeschylus uses it in his trilogy. It is indeed compelling for dramatic effect though. I wrote this in my review of the play, Agamemnon:

        “Agamemon is put in an unbearable position. He is protector of his household, therefore to kill his daughter goes against his moral obligation. On the other hand, if he dismisses Artemis’ command, he would be disobeying Zeus which would denote a refusal to fulfill his familial accountability to his brother, an offence against his very being. He is caught in an inescapable situation. Fate is suffocating him and no matter what his choice, there will be appalling consequences.”

        So for me, this particular circumstance bears more weight on moral obligation vs. obedience to the gods, not oaths. Both are hugely important in Greek life.

        There is also a curse on the House of Atreus, which we haven’t even touched on. I’m not sure if the article brings that in or not. There are many possibilities and I wonder if they are only bringing to light one of them.

        • True, it was more a moral obligation. I don’t know if the article mentions the curse. Now, thanks to your explanation, I have lost interest in the article, LOL. I’m seeing the lack of wisdom in mixing the information from the plays with the Iliad.

          I wanted to inform the Iliad’s reading, but it distorts more than it helps.

    • For point 1, yes; for point 2, kind of. At this point I’m noting what I think are weaknesses but I’m not yet convinced. We shall see. For point 3, yes in a way, but do you see all the deviations that happened before FATE is finally realized?

      I read on your blog part of what you posted about oaths. I tend not to take things as seriously as these scholars. From the short amount I read, they seem to using the Greek dramatic plays for textual back-up, which I’m not certain is entirely accurate. One thing you can be sure of with Greek myths/stories are inconsistencies. We have oaths, but we have men at least trying to break them. We see gods intervening and acting worse than children. All this speaks to me of life, little is certain, men are human and do things that aren’t honourable or even sensible sometimes however, there are many who try to do what is right, and stories passed down can be altered. In any case, what you can be sure of is that nothing is entirely clear.

      • I like your take on this much more, hahaha. You are the perfect person for the read along, to stop me for being sidetracked with too much scholarly opinions.

        Why would they take info from the plays written by other authors?

        I appreciate how you explain the inconsistencies, and life, and men behaving honorably or not. And it’s true there’s no case in trying to settle for their personalities too early.

        • It’s not that I think that’s it’s bad to consider the Greek plays when considering this question ….. there is so little they have to go on that’s it’s probably necessary to have any evidence at all. However, my issue was, from the little I read of the article, that they seemed to rely on them exclusively and then made a conclusion. The thing is, we just don’t know. We can guess but that’s it. And the inclusion of the gods make everything less clear.

          • Oh, Cleo, trust me, the more I looked at the article, the more I thought about it as irrelevant. As you say, it’s, at best, a guessing game.

            It’s better to enjoy the Illiad itself, and to see how much we see ourselves 🙂

  9. Agamemnon shows himself as a breaker of oaths, and someone who refuses to appease -obey the wishes of- the gods. And when he finally goes back on his decision, (he’ll return Briseis ‘intact’), he’ll learn there’s no second chances for certain actions, that sometimes it’s “too late to say sorry”.

    (Does this remind you of Saul and Samuel? When he became too impatient and sacrificed before waiting for Samuel?)

  10. I read your post again and realized that you wrote about Episodic Posturing, which I didn’t understand in my first read until now.

    I’m mulling the new to me knowledge on Achilles not being bound by the suitors oath, and Odysseus and Agamemnon different oath binds, not as suitors but in different capacities. That affects their relationship, I would think.

    • I thought Odysseus was a suitor. Could you tell me where in the article that it says he isn’t? Agamemnon may not have been a suitor but he is the brother of the one dishonoured. I would think that would be binding in itself; responsibility to family.

      • The article said later that Odysseus did not pledge his riches as a suitor of Helen, but pledge the oath to Menelaus to have him help him with Penelope. And that he tries to get out of the responsibility to fight, but can’t.

        And it says that Agamemnon is furious with the auditors and also expresses discontent about having to fight because of their fault, but he himself took the oath, if in a different capacity, as Menelaus’s brother.

        • You see, I think that’s wrong information. I believe he did come as a suitor but believing his suit would not be successful, instead convinced Menelaus to help him court Penelope. So initially, he was a suitor. I believe that there are different texts that list different numbers of suitors as well.

          I’ve not heard of Agamemnon not wanting to fight, but I don’t know enough to have a set opinion.

          • I am going to go by with your information. The article was speculative and maybe either wrong, or I must have read it too fast.

            I’m done with articles that pick from here and from there. Nah. I made a mistake by searching additional information, because much of it may be theories and opinions.

            I’m going to go blank slate, and evaluate Agamemnon and the rest, from whatever I read, and your posts and comments.

          • C.S. Lewis has this to say about reading from a modern standpoint vs. reading from the point of view of an author in his time:

            “A method often recommended may be called the method of The Unchanging Human Heart. According to this method the things which separate one age from another are superficial ……. if we stripped [off the superficialities] …… we should find beneath … an anatomy identical with our own ….. we shall find the Unchanging Human Heart, and on this we are to concentrate.

            I held this theory myself for many years, but I have now abandoned it. I continue, of course, to admit that if you remove from people the things that make them different, what is left must be the same, and that the Human Heart will certainly appear as Unchanging if you ignore its changes ……. [thus] our whole study of the poem will then become a battle between us and the author in which we are trying to twist his work into a shape he never gave it, to make him use the loud pedal where he really used the soft, to force into false prominence what he took in his stride, and to slur over what he actually threw into prominence ……….. I do not say that even on these terms we shall not get some value out of our reading; but we must not imagine that we are appreciating the works the old writers actually wrote …

            Fortunately, there is a better way. Instead of stripping the knight of his armour you can try to put his armour on yourself ………. I would much rather know what I should feel like if I adopted the beliefs of Lucretius than how Lucretius would have felt if he had never entertained them. The possible Lucretius in myself interests me more than the possible C.S. Lewis in Lucretius ……

            To enjoy our full humanity we ought, so far as is possible, to contain within us potentially at all times, and on occasion to actualize, all the modes of feeling and thinking through which man has passed …….. Only thus will you be able to judge the work ‘in the same spirit that its author writ’ and to avoid chimerical criticism. It is better to study the changes in which the being of the Human Heart largely consists than to amuse ourselves with fictions about its immutability ……….””

            I love this quote … it’s one of my favourites!

          • Wow. In awe, Cleo, in awe.

            Where’s this quote from? I have read many of his works but had never read this.

            I’m writing it in my common place book. It’s the bestest of the best, hahaha.

          • It’s from his A Preface to Paradise Lost which I read AFTER I read Paradise Lost. Because of my respect for Lewis and having read so much of his works, I knew that he’d help me appreciate the poem even more and he did!

  11. After I wrote my second post on The Iliad, I decided to read books 3 and 4 again, trying to stick to the text and not to compare to the present moments, or to search too much on what scholars say about the happenings, but trying to stay close to the text.

    Scholars and readers alike, can get stuck at times, -I got stuck-, and they borrow from other sources, such as plays, or other Greek books and authors, and sometimes that can cause added problems, trying to reconcile different opinions, or information on the same god or human as portrayed in a variety of texts.

    There’s also my always present temptation of understanding the Greeks by trying to compare them or see them from our modern angle. While we can’t never fully experience what would have been to be Homer, a listener of his poems, or a person in the times Homer’s narratives occurred, I want to try harder to stay with them and learn what they tell us about life and death, their worldview. I’m realizing that the best way it’s by reading the original text, as I’m doing now, and leaving intros, or other books aside, at least until I finish it.

    I must resist jumping to conclusions too early, and boxing Agamemnon, or Achilles in a set of characteristics or personality traits. I need to pay close attention to the Agamemnon as he talks and walks in The Iliad. So far, I can only say that he asked Achilles for something that Achilles had the right to refuse, and that Agamemnon didn’t take too well, and that the whole thing started the conflict. And now Agamemnon is in battle, rallying his men, Nestor, Odysseus, and Diomedes, and meanwhile, Achilles is brooding.

    The narrative gets a bit confusing, with all these gods in the middle, disguised, -and not-. Though the audience may have well known of the final fate of the armies, the twists and turns caused by the men and gods, are the heart of the book, what keeps me reading it. Something helpful to notice, as you mention, it’s the concept of honor, and its negative, dishonor.

    As for Helen, I’m also with you. She was abducted, okay, but I think she didn’t dislike it completely, and Paris’s handsomeness may have to do with it. Now we see her caught up between the two men, and possibly (I’ll check for her lines when I read these books again, since I have time), she feels guilty. Who wouldn’t, as you say, seeing good men die?

    • With texts like this poem, I think it’s useful to read background information to have a framework for what you’re reading but once you get into reading theories and other people’s opinions, it can be problematic. I would suggest reading lots of original Greek literature and then when you have a grounding, THEN branch out and read the historians theories (I’ve read Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides, Plato, Sophocles, Eurpides, and Aeschylus and still haven’t read a modern history book on ancient Greece or any commentaries. Oh and I’ve read Ovid’s Metamorphoses as well, however Ovid was Roman). Because much of it IS theory. We have so little writing from this time compared to what must have existed. For example, Sophocles wrote approximately 123 plays and only 7 have survived.

      Your instincts are good, Silvia. I feel that the Greeks outlook from this time period was/is very different from ours and we almost have to shed what we know before we begin to understand them. And if you can do this, I think your instincts will help you understand them without dross from other modern authors and even perhaps give you new insights.

      You are so right when you say it’s not the story (which the audience already knew) but how the story develops that’s riveting. A personal parallel I see in this is that while the final outcome of life or certain circumstances might be important, it’s what you do on your journey there that’s the most important … how you treat others, how you behave morally, etc. Homer offers so much food for thought, doesn’t he?

      • Bravo!!!! Love when you say that it is what we do on our journey.

        Thanks for the vote of confidence on my instincts as a reader.

        I love having you as our guide, as my guide, 🙂

        Remain untouched by any modern take on Homer or the Ancients, it’s best to have the background, as you say, but let the story soak on us and towards the end, we will have our time for conclusions and insights.

        What excites me this pass, it’s that the book is being fascinating versus last time when it wasn’t hahaha.

  12. I am beginning to feel like I have fallen down the rabbit’s hole. The information about oaths that Sylvia posted was fascinating. This story just keeps growing. I see a great deal of Greek literature in my future, all of which started with reading the Oresteian Trilogy in September. I am beginning to think that it is a good thing I am nearing retirement.

    • Nooooo, hahaha. The info on the oaths was most likely inaccurate. Read Cleo’s comments carefully. I’m not kidding. The article mixed inconclusive information from the plays, and also brings up a theory that it’s just a theory, and for what I see reading Cleo, -who will deny being an authority but who truly is because of his many years reading the Ancient texts-, it’s not even a necessary theory or one that explains much.

    • Ha, ha! Glad you’re still hanging in there, Connie, and are enjoying your first Homer so much! The Greek plays are wonderful but don’t forget Herodotus; he’s an excellent story-teller with his Histories. And one of my favourites is The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides. Plato’s writing is influenced by his experience of the war so by reading Thucydides, you understand Plato better.

      Ah, retirement! You’re so lucky!

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