Monday, February 1, 2010

The Illiad - First Book - 10

by Homer

And Agamemnon answered, "Fly if you will, I shall make you no
prayers to stay you. I have others here who will do me honour,
and above all Jove, the lord of counsel. There is no king here so
hateful to me as you are, for you are ever quarrelsome and ill-
affected. What though you be brave? Was it not heaven that made
you so? Go home, then, with your ships and comrades to lord it
over the Myrmidons. I care neither for you nor for your anger;
and thus will I do: since Phoebus Apollo is taking Chryseis from
me, I shall send her with my ship and my followers, but I shall
come to your tent and take your own prize Briseis, that you may
learn how much stronger I am than you are, and that another may
fear to set himself up as equal or comparable with me."

The son of Peleus was furious, and his heart within his shaggy
breast was divided whether to draw his sword, push the others
aside, and kill the son of Atreus, or to restrain himself and
check his anger. While he was thus in two minds, and was drawing
his mighty sword from its scabbard, Minerva came down from heaven
(for Juno had sent her in the love she bore to them both), and
seized the son of Peleus by his yellow hair, visible to him
alone, for of the others no man could see her. Achilles turned in
amaze, and by the fire that flashed from her eyes at once knew
that she was Minerva. "Why are you here," said he, "daughter of
aegis-bearing Jove? To see the pride of Agamemnon, son of Atreus?
Let me tell you--and it shall surely be--he shall pay for this
insolence with his life."

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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