Monday, March 1, 2010

The Illiad - Book One - 14

by Homer

I came from distant Pylos, and went about among them, for they would
have me come, and I fought as it was in me to do. Not a man now
living could withstand them, but they heard my words, and were
persuaded by them. So be it also with yourselves, for this is the
more excellent way. Therefore, Agamemnon, though you be strong,
take not this girl away, for the sons of the Achaeans have
already given her to Achilles; and you, Achilles, strive not
further with the king, for no man who by the grace of Jove wields
a sceptre has like honour with Agamemnon. You are strong, and
have a goddess for your mother; but Agamemnon is stronger than
you, for he has more people under him. Son of Atreus, check your
anger, I implore you; end this quarrel with Achilles, who in the
day of battle is a tower of strength to the Achaeans."

And Agamemnon answered, "Sir, all that you have said is true, but
this fellow must needs become our lord and master: he must be
lord of all, king of all, and captain of all, and this shall
hardly be. Granted that the gods have made him a great warrior,
have they also given him the right to speak with railing?"

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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