ENGB30H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Iliad, Achilles, Argos

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23 Nov 2016

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Classical Myth and Literature
Lecture 13: The Iliad Books 5,6, and 9
Battle Scenes: Warrior Conduct
- Solidarity / protecting fallen comrades
o You don’t fight alone but as a member of a group
o Aineias protects Pandaros’ body .-302)
You don’t want a comrade to be dishonoured even if it means
bringing harm to yourself
o Wounded Sarpedon’s request for (ector’s protection ignored .-
o Agamemnon’s morale boosting talk .-532)
Leaving no man behind
Heroic code
Individual warrior is still the heart of the code
This is also an explanation of the Greek fighting style,
where the person beside the warrior is expected to
shield them
- Retreating in battle
o Aineias speaks of withdrawal as a part of doing battle(5.221-223)
o Diomedes speaks of flight as ignoble .-254)
o Emphasis that Argives did not ever turn their backs… but always
backward gave way .-702)
- Taking of prizes
o Echemmmon and Chromios (sons of Priam) stripped of armor; horses
taken by Diomedes (5.159-165)
o Diomedes wants Aineias’s special horses to win ourselves excellent
glory .-273)
Plundering your defeated enemies
For us in a sense it is a war crime, but to them it is a prize
o Andromache alleges that Achilleus left her father’s armor on after
killing him because hid heart respected the dead man .-419)
Could be represented in a positive or negative form
- Taking ransom (or not)
o Menelaos, Agamemnon and Adrestos (6.45ff)
Meneleaos defeats Adrestos and Adrestos offers him a ransom
to let him live
It becomes unclear what the morally preferable thing is
By taking ransom, you aren’t seen as being greedy as
honour will not suffer if someone admits defeat to the
hero’s hand
But we don’t return forgiveness for dishonour
- Foes with private relationships
o Diomedes and Glaukos (6.212ff)
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