Monday, January 18, 2010

The Illiad - First Book - 8

by Homer

And Achilles answered, "Most noble son of Atreus, covetous beyond
all mankind, how shall the Achaeans find you another prize? We
have no common store from which to take one. Those we took from
the cities have been awarded; we cannot disallow the awards that
have been made already. Give this girl, therefore, to the god,
and if ever Jove grants us to sack the city of Troy we will
requite you three and fourfold."

Then Agamemnon said, "Achilles, valiant though you be, you shall
not thus outwit me. You shall not overreach and you shall not
persuade me. Are you to keep your own prize, while I sit tamely
under my loss and give up the girl at your bidding? Let the
Achaeans find me a prize in fair exchange to my liking, or I will
come and take your own, or that of Ajax or of Ulysses; and he to
whomsoever I may come shall rue my coming. But of this we will
take thought hereafter; for the present, let us draw a ship into
the sea, and find a crew for her expressly; let us put a hecatomb
on board, and let us send Chryseis also; further, let some chief
man among us be in command, either Ajax, or Idomeneus, or
yourself, son of Peleus, mighty warrior that you are, that we may
offer sacrifice and appease the anger of the god."

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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