CLASSICS 102 Lecture Notes March 20
TROJAN WAR, picking up where we left off
START OF TROJAN WAR
Paris goes to Sparta to claim his prize that he earned by
picking Aphrodite in the contest for beauty.
HELEN is the wife of the king of Sparta, MENALAUS
MENALAUS is giving proper Xenia
Menalaus goes to visit a friend while Paris is there.
Paris breaks xenia,
he takes Helen and her stuff while he is away and they sail back
According to greek cultural traditions, this is a great wrong.
earlier traditions have Helen falling in love and wanting to go
later traditions she is taken forcefully, perhaps later story
tellers wanted to lessen her blame.
either way she ends up in troy and the greeks have to go get her.
the greeks didn't immediately jump to war, first menalaus tried
to negotiate for her return
Menalaus and Odysseus sail to troy and try to negotiate for her
return along with all her stuff (her dowry)
the trojans refuse and try to assasinate them, it is only ANTENOR
who justly spares them
when Troy is destroyed, ANTENOR is spared.
since everyone owes Menalaus a favour, he goes back to greece
and gathers everyone and their armies. nearly 1200 ships arived in Troy to fight to get back Helen.
Odysseus and Achilles have to be forced to come.
The greeks also have a hard time leaving greece. everytime they
try to sail off, winds rise up and blow them back to shore. the
reason: AGAMEMNON had offended ARTEMIS by killing a prized stag
of Artemis. a greek seer named CALCHAS looked into what was
going and foudn out that to appease Artemis, a human sacrifice
was needed. Agamemnon chose IPHIGENIA, his daughter.
Iphigenia didn't really die, Artemis saves her and makes her one
of her priests.
this is paralleled by another maiden being sacrificed at the end
of the war
remember that this pisses off his wife, clytemnestra, who
eventually kills agamemnon.
They all take off for Troy now.
As with any greek adventure, you don't just leave and get to
your destination without pre-adventures.
wont go into it
they get there, first greek that jumps off the boat,
PROTESILAUS, is immediately killed by HECTOR.
honour of being the first one killed.
HOMER'S ILIAD is only a small portion of the 10th year of the
doesn't include the first 9 years, nor the Trojan horse.
that info comes from other sources like the odyssey and roman
sources and such
the first nine years: COUNTLESS RAIDS AND SPOILS in the trojan
country side. no successful attacks on the city had every been
accomplished, well fortified, walls built by poseidon and apollo.
greeks couldnt cut off their supply. so they attacked and
conquered outlying cities. by the time you get to the beginning of iliad, greeks had taken
eleven cities around troy.
some of their spoils of war leads to the argument between
achilles and agamemnon which begins the iliad
the argument between achilles and agamemnon deals with women
women were taken as spoils
BRYSEIS goes to ACHILLES
CHRYSEIS goes to AGAMEMNON
in this case, the prized female was given to agamemnon. the
second best, bryseis, was given to achilles. unfortunately for
Agamemnon, chryseis' father, CHRYSES, was a priest of Apollo. He
approached Agamemnon and asked for his daughter back. he offered
agamemnon a ransom and i will also pray to apollo to get him to
send plagues and disease and punishments on the trojans so the
greeks can win the war. but gimme back my daughter.
agamemnon says no way. refuses.
unlike the movie, gods are always fighting and medling and
putting things on track. super important.
because AGAMEMNON refused, CHRYSES prays to APOLLO to send the
plagues and punishments on the greek side instead.
the seer, CALCHAS, sees this and tells agamemnon he has to give
that girl back without accepting a ransom to get rid of the
agamemnon does what calchas says
but aga's pissed cause he has no female. everyone else does. he
is embarassed. so AGAMEMNON TAKES ACHILLES' girl, BRISEIS,
ACHILLES IS PISSED OFF AND HUMILIATED and since he is the
greatest warriors of the greeks and shouldnt be treated as such
HE TELLS AGAMEMNON I QUIT, I'M NOT FIGHTING ACHILLES REFUSES TO FIGHT
the anger of ACHILLES is a huge theme of Iliad. he's angry all
the time. in his anger he almost draws his sword and strikes
fortunately athena shows up and prevents him from doing so.
usually when gods show up, only the person they show up for sees
you see signs of his wrath and anger.
instead he tells agamemnon, i quit, i'm not fighting, and you're
gonna regret this. the greeks will not be successful without me.
i'm the only one who can stop Hector.
he goes back to his tent and pouts
achilles weeps, dishonoured.
he calls his mom, THETIS, and asks her to go to Zeus and
persuade him to make the greeks start losing the war as long as
achilles isn't fighting, all because he is dishonoured and
Thetis asks Zeus to make greeks lose the war for a while.
Zeus is on the side of the Trojans (he got Ganymede from there.
one of his son, SARPEDON, fights for him) so he is down to jam.
he postpones the fate he knows troy must face (burning down) but
gods can mess with fate for a while.
that's how the iliad begins.
we finally get to a scene with the first battle.
the greeks prepare themselves.
aga is described as getting up and seeing if his troops are
ready or if they would rather go home. to his surprise, the
greeks get up and head to the ships, they are tired and fed up
and have been there nine years.
athena shows up again, this time to odysseus, and advises him to use his smooth talking skills to prevent the greeks from
leaving, reminding him that they will eventually win.
aga has great stature but often depicted as bad leader, weak
ruler, shit at controlling or spurring his men into action.
odysseus convinces men not to leave
they prepare for battle. except pouting achilles.
the greeks march out to meet the trojans
though they are the enemy of the greeks, many of the trojans are
still seen as admirable. ESP. HECTOR.
PARIS however is often seen as the opposite of noble hector.
paris sees menalaus and basically pees himself
hector says be courageous and stand up for yourself and fight
for your girl
paris says it isn't his fault he is so handsome
paris says instead of having both sides fight each other, why
don't we have a man to man fight between me and menalaus and the
winner gets helen and her dowry.
the winner gets helen and the loser goes home. no more fighting.
either way, everyone goes home.
that's the arrangement paris comes up with on his own. it will
save face and he will win (he thinks) and no one has to die.
both sides agree to this.
menalaus thinks it is a great idea.
both sides ratify the deal by performing sacrfices to the gods,
making it binding.
Menalaus wipes the floor with him, throws him around, dragging
him by the hair around the battlefield. as menalaus is
strangling him, APHRODITE shows up and saves him last minute and whisks him to his bedroom so he can lick his wounds. Paris just
so since he has disappeared, menalaus thinks he has won and
expects they bring out helen and her stuff and they will go. as
alas! despite this, the fates of many heroes cannot end here.
hector can't live, achilles can't live, the war has to continue,
despite the interference of the humans, the gods have tog et
things in order and get this war moving.
Hera goes to Zeus and says you can't let this stand! I hate the
trojans. Zeus is like you're right, I can't stop the fates.
so because fates rule, the war has to continue.
with the help of Athena, she goes down to the trojan side and
incites a trojan to shoot an arrow at Menalaus.
the truce is immediately broken and the war is back on.
*THOUGH IT SEEMS THE GODS ARE INTERFERING, IT IS ACTUALLY THE
HUMANS INTERFERING WITH THE FATES. THE GODS ARE PUTTING THINGS
BACK ON TRACK.
GREEKS PUSHED BACK
without achilles they are losing
most heroes wounded, greek pushed back to ships
agamemnon is like, maybe i made a mistake
he sends a deligation to tent of achilles to convince him to
return to battle
they are losing cause oof achilles and zeus promise to thetis
aga sends ODYSSEUS, AJAX, AND PHEONIX (an old nurse of achilles)
to achilles to convince him to get back in the war.
aga says he'll return your woman and also a bunch of stuff: women (from lesbos who are great weavers and hawt), horses,
cauldrons, 10 talents of gold, 7 unfired tripods.
then he sweetens the pot by saying after the war you can have
electra for a wife and you can rule 7 cities near the sea, any
amount of gold taken from the trojan loot, and you can have 20
women of troy.
it is unknown if aga knew achilles wouldn't make it back to
smooth talking odysseus helps too by bolstering the reputation
of hector and by reverse psychology, haha, fires achilles up
like "no one could beat hector"
achilles says this is no apology. I WANT AN APOLOGY.
i don't accept cause i didn't get an apology
so he stays in his tent and weeps.
so trojans contine to advance and greeks still losing
PATROCLES, achilles best friend, goes to achilles and is like
since you aren't wearing your armour, can i wear it?
achilles is like sure
so Patrocles takes his armour and chariot and charioteer and
goes back into battle
troy gets scared cause they think achilles is back in there
patrocles kills some trojans. one of them is SARPEDON, a son of
Zeus. zeus can't intervene cause it is sarpedon's fate. the only
thing he can do is save his son's body to be properly buried so
zeus sends sleep and death, HYPNOS and THANATOS, to get the body
and properly bury it.
*THE LOVE/FRIENDSHIP OF ACHILLES AND PATROCLUS IS ANOTHER GREAT
THEME IN THE WAR.
The patching up of patrocles by achilles survives in art but not
in literature. DEATH
patroclus killed by hector thinking it was achilles.
after he is killed, there is a battle for the armour. the greeks
want to fight to win the body to take it and give it a proper
burial, but the trojans want the body to get the armour because
it is divine.
trojans win the battle and hector gets the armour and starts
BUT, achilles knows the weak spots in his own divine armour.
the greeks do get the body of patroclus and drag him back to the
greek camp to give him a proper burial
many scenes in greek artwork of the battle for the body, whether
it is partroclus' body or achilles body'
the battle for the body often occurs in these great epic battles.
patroclus is dead.
the chariot and horses are saved by the greeks even though the
armour is taken by the trojans
zeus breathes courage into the horses so that AUTOMEDON can take
off with them and they aren't captured or kills
zeus laments ever giving achilles these fantastic horses.
ANTILOCHUS is the greek who has to give achilles the bad news
his friend/possibly-lover is dead.
upon hearing, ACHILLES IS SUICIDAL, deeply grieved, feels
guilty, tries to kill himself but the other greeks jump on him
and stop him.
EVERYONE BEGINS TO WEEP. nereids, horses, even briseis.
the death of patroclus ends up being a turning point for the war. so after achilles stops weeping, he is really really mad.
this time at HECTOR
wants to avenge the death
HIS FATE IS NOW BACK ON TRACK, MOVING TOWARDS EARLY HEROIC DEATH
one problem is that he can't fight naked. he needs new armour.
as he is figuring this out, the body of patroculus is washed,
embalmed, and laid out on a bier (pyre).
the problem is that achilles has vowed to not bury patroclus
till hector dies.
furthermore, when i do bury patroclus, i am going to sacrfice
twelve trojans on his grave!
so Athena goes and anoints him with Ambrosia so he doesn't begin
to decay. otherwise he is prepared and someone just has to light
so achilles calls his mom, THETIS, and asks for armour
she asks Hephaestus to whip up some new armour even better than
the last, calls in a favour cause she had raised him when he was
cast out of olympus.
dons his new armour.
homer describes this magnificent armour at length, but the most
impressive peice of the armour was THE SHIELD, hephaestus had
carved many many different releifs on teh front of the shield.
Homer describes them all. scenes of rural life, courts, city
life, shepherds, etc. it is significant because it indicates
what life was like when homer was alive.
COMEBACK OF ACHILLES
he's back and he's mad the wrath of achilles is huge, jsut starts killing trojans left
and right, so much so he is described as spattered with blood.
he does run into AENEAS but since his fate is to survive, the
gods can intervene. poseidon draws a mist over achilles eyes and
aeneas destined to be next king of troy (rome)
so many trojans are killed that bodies start to pile up in the
riverbed of SCAMANDROS. the river god SCAMANDER, was allied with
trojans of course. he gets angry with achilles because of the
pollution of dead bodies.
in his anger he tries to drown achilles. interference!
physically trying to kill a human. but that isn't achilles fate.
poseidon and athena step in and help ach.
ach. has been promised victory.
drowning was considered an unheroic death in antiquity