Homer Iliad 1: The Quarrel
Achilles – Son of Peleus
Apollo – Son of Zeus
Agamemnon- Son of Atreus
Thetis – mother of Achilles
Hector - Trojan’s greatest champion
Andromache – Hector’s Wife
Apollo sent upon a plague to the people because the Son of Atreus had dishonored
his priest – Chryses.
Chryses came to the ships of the Achaeans to offer a ransom for the freedom of his
daughter but Agamemnon refused.
So Chryses prayed to Apollo, who heard his prayer and brought his wrath upon the
town. For nine days he shot arrows among the people, but on the tenth day Achilles
called them into assembly- inspired by Hera.
Calchas son of Thestor, explained why Apollo was so angry and insisted that they
return the daughter of Chryses to end the turmoil.
Agamemnon still refused to return the girl, so Achilles tried to reason with him,
saying if he gave back the girl they would pay him three times as much as she’s
Agamemnon answered, by saying that he will offer the girl as a sacrifice at sea.
Apollo shocked at how shameless Agamemnon is says that he will return to Phthia-
his home. Agamemnon told him to flee and said that he will come personally to his
tent and take the girl saying he is mightier than Achilles.
After a violent argument Achilles returned to his hut while Agamemnon launched a
ship with 100 cattle on board as a sacrifice for the gods. He then sent his heralds
Talthybius and Eurybates to go to Achilles tent and bring the fair-cheeked Briseis.
Achilles realizing that the heralds were not at fault gave the fair-cheeked Briseis way
and they returned with her back to Agamemnon. Achilles, broken, shed tears and
prayed to his mother. He explained what Agamemnon has done and has pleaded her
to go to Zeus to bring glad tidings. She promised she would and left.
Meanwhile Odysseus brought the daughter of Chyrses aboard the ship as a sacrifice
to Apollo. They cut their throats and thighs and set them on fire, in which they
indulged in cannibalism. Thetis kept her promise and spoke to Zeus, and asked him to honour Achilles by
giving might to the Trojans until the Achaeans give him honor.
Zeus then thought of a way to honor Achilles, he sent a lying dream to Agamemnon.
He instructed the dream to tell Agamemnon to arm the Achaeans with all speed,
since he will capture the city of the Trojans. So the dream did as it was told.
So Agamemnon gathered the Achaeans to tell them of the dream. He then said that
he would test the sons of the Achaeans in speech.
Agamemnon’s scepter was the work of Hephaistos, who gave it to Zeus, who gave it
to Hermes, slayer of the Argos, guide and guardian, who gave it to Pelops the mighty
charioteer, who gave it to Atreus, and when he died he left it to Thyestes who in turn
gave it to Agamemnon after his birth.
Agamemnon tested the Achaeans by telling them that Zeus had tricked him by
saying that they would capture the city of the Trojans but surely he wouldn’t. He
then said that everyone should sail back to his or her homelands (as part of the test
to see if they would flee). And surely the Achaeans tried to flee but were stopped at
In the city of the Trojans, Andromache was trying to dissuade Hector into going to
war. But hector rebuttals saying that he doesn’t want to be a coward in front of his
people. He says he’d rather go there to war than them coming here for that would
endanger his family, his wife.
Achilles came to hector bearing his spear, Hector, scared fled and Achilles chased
him around town.
The gods watching, Zeus feels pity for hector who is dear to him. But Athena
suggests that he has long escaped his doom and is time for him to meet his end in
which Zeus tells her to do as she wishes.
Athena first speaks to Achilles, and persuades him to stand still while she speaks to
hector to try and make him fight Achilles. So she went and spoke to hector in the
form of his brother Deiphobos. Thus she tricked hector into going back to fight
So hector goes back to fight Achilles even though he realized Athena tricked him.
Achilles eventually kills hector and drags his body off with his chariot.
Hesiod, Work and Days
The gods have hid the means of life; otherwise a man would do years worth of work
in a one day and have nothing left to do. The mules would go to waste because they would have no fields to plow. Zeus hid this from the people because Prometheus
tricked him so he planned sorrow and mischief against man.
Zeus hid fire from man but Prometheus stole it and gave it to them. So Zeus planned
great misfortune for mankind.
Zeus then instructed Hephaestus to mix earth and water as the voice and strength of
humankind. He told Athena to teach her needlework and weaving. He told Aphrodite
to put in grace in her (humankind) head and cruel longing and cares that weary the
limbs. He told Hermes to put in her a shameless mind and a deceitful nature. And all
of them obeyed.
Zeus sent the trap in the form of a gift to Epimetheus who did not think about what
Prometheus had said to him about never accepting a gift from Olympian Zeus on
fear of harming mankind. So he took the gift and after receiving it did he understand
what it was.
This woman that Zeus had crafted was the gift sent down and she spread sorrow
and mischief for men. Only hope remained behind in the jar.
But the rest many plagues and diseases had come upon man. Zeus also took away
speech from them. So there is no way to escape the will of Zeus.
Gods and mortal men came from one source. Rest of all the immortal gods who lived
on Olympus made a golden race of mortal men who lived in the time of Croons when
he was reigning in heaven. And they lived like gods without sorrow of heart, free
from toil and grief, they stayed young, strong arms and hands that never failed they
feasted beyond the reach of all evils. When they died it was like the were overcome
with sleep and they had all good things as the earth gave them many fruits without
running out. They lived with ease and peace on their land with many good things.
They were loved and blessed by the gods.
After the earth had taken over that generation the dwellers of Olympus created a
second generation made of silver and less noble by far. It wasn’t like the golden race
neither in body or spirit. His good mothers side a hundred years brought up a child,
playing childishly in his own home. But when they were full grown and were at their
prime, they lived for a short time and in sorrow because of their foolishness they
couldn’t stop sinning and wronging one another. They wouldn’t serve the immortals
or sacrifice on the holy altars. So Zeus got angry and put them away because they
would not give the honor to the gods who lived on Olympus.
When earth had taken away that generation, Zeus made a third generation of mortal
men. A race of bronze made from ash trees. It was in no way equal to the silver age.
But was terrible and strong. They loved the work of Ares and deeds of violence.
They ate no bread but were hard at heart. Their strength was great as their arms
were very strong. Their armor was of bronze as there was no black iron. Their own hands destroyed this generation, as the Black Death got them. They were sent to the
house of Hades and left no name for them.
After the bronze generation vanished, Zeus made another, the fourth generation.
This race was more nobler and more righteous, a god-like race of hero men who are
called demi gods. War destroyed some of them, some in the land of Cadmus at seven
gated Thebes when they fought for the flocks of Oedipus, some when it had brought
them to great sea to Troy for Helen’s sake, some died there. But the others Zeus
made them dwell at the ends of earth. And they lived free of sorrow in the islands of
the blessed. Happy heroes for whom the earth gave honey sweet fruit that
flourished three times a year. And Croons ruled over them.
Then finally Zeus made the fifth generation of man, which is the one that exists now.
It is a race of iron and men never rest from labour and sorrow every day. And the
gods will put sore trouble on them. Zeus will destroy this race of mortal men when
they come to have grey hair on the temples at their birth. The father won’t agree
with his children nor will the children with their father. Nor comrade-to-comrade or
even brother to a brother. Men will dishonor their parents and will grow old quickly.
They wont repay their aged parents the cost of raising them.
Tyranny Oligarchy and Democracy
Herodotus: Tyranny of Cypselus
Time Described: 655-5 BC
The government of Corinth was an Oligarchy, a single clan called the Bacchiadae.
They intermarried to keep power. One of them, Amphion had a lame daughter
named Labda. None of the Bacciadae was willing to marry her so she got married to
Etion, son of Echerates, a man of the village of Petra. Etion was unable to have kids,
so he consulted the oracle in Delphi. It had said to him that no one honours you now
etion even though you deserve to be honoured. Your wife Labda will have a baby
that will spread justice in the city of Corinth.
The news of the oracle reached the Bacchiadae who have been confused with an
earlier message from the oracle which stated that an eagle gives birth among the
rocks to a savage lion he will shake the legs off beneath many. Think hard about this
men of Corinth. The Bacchiadae put these two oracle messages together and decided
to kill the child of Etion in fear of their city.
They sent ten men to go and kill the child of Labda and Etion. Labda didn’t know of