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Lecture 4

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York University
HUMA 1105
Donald A Burke

Achaians/Danaans/Argives/Greeks: Achaians are used as a general name for the Greeks • Agamemnon: son of Atreus, husband of Klytaimestra (Clytemnestra) o He is the commander of chief; he is the king of kings o He angers Apollo by refusing to give back Chryseis o He sees it as an upfront to his pride, authority, to give back Chryseis o He has Hubris, which means excessive pride o Eventually, he agrees to let Chryseis go only in exchange for another o He suggests to take Achilles or Odysseus’s concubine o He says twice he will go to his house to take her from the hut (he says this in a way that he thinks he is better than Akhilleus) He is full of boastful speech o He does not go to take the girl by himself but sends 2 henchmen to get her and sends a message that if Akhilleus refuses, he will come back with thousands of men • Menelaos: son of Atreus, husband of Helen, whose abduction by Paris initiated the Trojan War • Agamemnon and Menelaos together are referred to as the two Atreidai, i.e. sons of Atreus o Agamemnon sacrifices his daughter to make it past the seas • Akhilleus (Achilles): son of Peleus and the nymph Thetis, leader of the Myrmidons, the great runner o He draws his sword after he hears of Agamemnon’s plan to take Briseis o Athena intervenes here and stops him from attacking Agamemnon o He does not resist when he hears of Agamemnon’s order, and freely lets the henchmen take Briseis o His anger though does not subside o He prays to his mother Thetis for help (she is of divinity) o He knows Thetis will convince Zeus to help him because Zeus owes her a favour o He wants Agamemnon to be punished • Patroklos: friend of Akhilleus o he is the closest friend of Akhilleus • Kalchas Thestoides: seer, augur, diviner who interprets the will of the gods by scanning the flight of birds o Has a very important role in books 1 & 2 o He fears Agamemnon o He informs the Danaans that Apollo’s wrath is due to the treatment of Chryses, Agamemnon offended him • Nestor: Pylians the orater o he is a good speaker o he believes since Agamemnon is holding the sceptre given by Z
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