Monday, December 21, 2009

The Illiad - First Book - 4

by Homer

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."

Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from Kim by Rudyard Kipling.

More About This Book

From the earliest days of Ancient Greece, the author(s) of this poem were contemporaries of the writers of the Bible's Old Testament.

Summary of First Book: 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.

Painting: The Wrath of Achilles by Michael Drolling, 1819.

More information here:
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