Monday, March 15, 2010

The Illiad - Book One - 16

by Homer

These, then, went on board and sailed their ways over the sea.
But the son of Atreus bade the people purify themselves; so they
purified themselves and cast their filth into the sea. Then they
offered hecatombs of bulls and goats without blemish on the
sea-shore, and the smoke with the savour of their sacrifice rose
curling up towards heaven.

Thus did they busy themselves throughout the host. But Agamemnon
did not forget the threat that he had made Achilles, and called
his trusty messengers and squires Talthybius and Eurybates. "Go,"
said he, "to the tent of Achilles, son of Peleus; take Briseis by
the hand and bring her hither; if he will not give her I shall
come with others and take her--which will press him harder."

He charged them straightly further and dismissed them, whereon
they went their way sorrowfully by the seaside, till they came to
the tents and ships of the Myrmidons. They found Achilles sitting
by his tent and his ships, and ill-pleased he was when he beheld

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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