Saturday, September 14, 2013

TFBT: Randnom Notes from 4.CB22.1x

Iliad 17: 426 “The horses (Achilles) stood out of the fight and wept when they heard that their driver had been laid low by the hand of manslaughtering Hector. … they would neither go back to the ships by the waters of the broad Hellespont, nor yet into battle among the Achaeans; they stood with their chariot stock still as a pillar set over the tomb of some dead man  or woman and bowed their heads to the ground. Hot tears fell from their eyes as they mourned the loss of their charioteer (Patroclus)”  Just something beautiful to share.

Iliad17:119. Ajax knew the hand of the gods in this,

2CB22.1, Class-mate mateuszkulesza  says “While both Meleagros and Achilles share lots of similarities, the circumstances of each hero's actions make a decisive difference in how the story would be interpreted. Achilles, insulted by Agamemnon, chooses not to fight on the offensive. Meleaos, however, choses not to help DEFEND his people from the attackers. It is this distinction that, in my mind, justifies the actions of Achilles but makes those of Meleagros shameful. Agamemnon had to power to save the lives of all his men by simply going home. The attack of Meleagros' city, however, could not have been ended by a simple retreat. Meleagros, therefore, had the DUTY of absorbing his pride and taking action, Achilles only had that as an OPTION.

 Lots of talk in CB22.1 of Achilles as a sprout in and orchard.  So check out; Lycophron, Alexandra 856 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) from"The recesses of Lakinion (Lacinium) [in Italia] wherein a heifer [Thetis] shall fashion an orchard for the goddess Hoplosmia [Hera], furnished with trees. And it shall be for all time an ordinance for women of the land to mourn the nine-cubit hero [Akhilleus, Achilles], third in descent from Aiakos (Aeacus) [grandfather of Akhilleus] and Doris [Thetis' mother], the hurricane of battle strife, and not to deck their radiant limbs with gold, nor array them in fine-spun robes stained with purple - because a goddess [Thetis] to a goddess [Hera] presents that great spur of land [Lakinion] to be her dwelling-place."

 Iliad 17: 570 “for one of the best men among the Myrmidons was killed, radiant Epeigeus, son of noble Agakles who had once upon a time been king in the good city of Boudeion; but presently, having killed a valiant kinsman of his own, he took refuge with Peleus and silver-footed Thetis”  This is like the third of Achilles comrades who were killer of kinsmen.


  1. It would be perfectly OK if Achilles had just stopped fighting.
    However, he did something more. He negotiated divine help for the enemy, knowing that this would bring many wanton deaths, just to make Agamemnon and other Greeks respect him as a warrior.
    Imagine a doctor who sees that people do not value his services as they used to and, to reverse the trend, manages the city to be sprinkled with anthrax!
    So I wonder how any reader of the Iliad could find Achilles' behavior justified. Many of his comrades do so, at least until he rejects the proposed ransom, but they do not know what the reader knows - of Achilles' secret talks with his mom.

  2. Maya, As usual you make a valid comment. Achilles treatment of his fellow Greeks, is just terrible.

    But, we don't love him because he is rational.

    The glory of Achilles is that he manifests that craving in our collective subconscious "To make the bastards pay!" He represents everyone of us who have been publicly and outrageously wrongs and no one rose to our defense. It's Demeter who puts on her blackest veil. Humanity never wrong her, but we were all going to starve to death and the sacrifices to the gods dwindle, unless she gets her daughter back! They fulfill that dream we've all had at some point about our oppressors.

    Plus, it makes great drama!

    It would be interesting to hear the story of the calm rational Achilles who returned to Phthia and lived to a rip old age in ease and comfort. Oh wait, that Achilles doesn't have an epic, no one ever sang about that guy.