HOMER: The Iliad [Book XXIV]

In Book XXIV of Homer’s Iliad, Priam departs from Troy with the intention of ransoming Hector’s corpse from Achilles. Priam’s mission is a dangerous one – the Greeks may seize and hold him as a valuable hostage. Therefore, the god Mercury conducts Priam safely and stealthily through the camp to Achilles’ tent. Continue reading HOMER: The Iliad [Book XXIV]

HOMER: The Iliad [Book XXIII]

In Book XXIII of Homer’s Iliad, Achilles returns to the Greek camp with Hector’s body and places it unceremoniously in the dust next to the bier of Patroclus. Then the Greeks make preparations for Patroclus’ funeral. They construct a funeral pyre on which they lay Patroclus and then Achilles sacrifices several animals and the twelve Trojans whom he took hostage during the slaughter at the river Scamander. “Patroclus, even in the house of Hades; I am now doing all that I have promised you. Twelve brave sons of noble Trojans shall the flames consume along with yourself, but dogs, not fire, shall devour the flesh of Hector son of Priam.” Continue reading HOMER: The Iliad [Book XXIII]

HOMER: The Iliad [Book XXII]

In Book XXII of Homer’s Iliad, the Trojans successfully retreat within the city walls thanks to Agenor’s battle with Achilles. Only the Trojan prince Hector remains outside of the city gates. King Priam and Queen Hecuba, who are watching from the ramparts, beg their son Hector to retreat into the city. “The old man tore his grey hair as he spoke. His mother hard by wept and moaned aloud. But they moved not the heart of Hector, and he stood his ground awaiting huge Achilles as he drew nearer towards him.” Continue reading HOMER: The Iliad [Book XXII]

HOMER: The Iliad [Book XXI]

In Book XXI of Homer’s Iliad, the entire Trojan army flees from the wrath of Achilles. Some Trojans run towards the city, some run towards the river Scamander. Achilles chases those who fled to Scamander and slaughters all but tweleve Trojans, whom he intends to offer as sacrifices to the shade of Patroclus. Continue reading HOMER: The Iliad [Book XXI]

HOMER: The Iliad [Book XX]

In Book XX of Homer’s Iliad, Jove assembles the gods. He is worried that Achilles, in his quest for revenge, will conquer Troy before the time appointed by Fate; and therefore, he rescinds his command to the gods to refrain from interfering in the war. After Jove lifts his ban, many of the gods eagerly descend to Troy in order to aid their favorite side. Continue reading HOMER: The Iliad [Book XX]

HOMER: The Iliad [Book XIX]

In Book XIX of Homer’s Iliad, Thetis brings the newly forged armor to Achilles. She finds him weeping over Patroclus. He tells her that he is worried that Patroclus’ body will decompose while he is away fighting the Trojans and avenging Patroclus’ death. Thetis puts nectar and ambrosia into the nose of Patroclus and assures Achilles that Patroclus’ body will not decompose while he is away. Then she instructs him to assemble the Greek army and inform them that his wrath towards Agamemnon has abated. Continue reading HOMER: The Iliad [Book XIX]

HOMER: The Iliad [Book XVIII]

In Book XVIII of Homer’s Iliad, a Greek soldier informs Achilles that Patroclus was killed in battle. Achilles is overcome by tremendous grief as he listens to the news. “A dark cloud of misery fell upon Achilles as he listened. He filled both hands with dust from off the ground, and poured it over his head, disfiguring his beautiful face, and letting the refuse settle over his shirt so fair and new. He flung himself down at full length, and tore his hair with his hands.” Continue reading HOMER: The Iliad [Book XVIII]

The unexamined life is not worth living.