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Chapter 20

Notes for Chapter 20

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James Lynd

The Fall of Troy and its Aftermath The Greeks at Troy - After Hectors death allies from far away came to assist the trojans - Penthesilea (who led a contingent of amazons) was cut down by achilles. - She she lay dying, he took pity on her, but she was mortally wounded - A greek scoundrel, Theorists, called by homer ‘the ugliest man who went to troy’ derid- ed achilles for killing a woamen, so Achilles killed him too. - Paris assisted by apollo shot down achilles as he fought near the scaean gate - A great battle surrounded his body and at last ajax got the corpse over his shoulder and fought his way back to the Greek lines. - They burned his body and mixed his ashes with those do Patroclus - Achilles armor was offered as a prize to the next-best warrior - Everybody knew this to be ajax, son of Telamon - But odysseus was up for it to - Each made a speech before the assembled greeks - > odysseus’ eloquence and testimony from Trojan prisoners that Odysseus intelligence had harmed them more than Ajax brawn won him the armor - Sophocles tells this story in his earliest surviving play Ajax (written before 441 BC) - > ajax went mad with anger and grief at being denied the arms and attacked grek cap- tains menelaus, agamemnon, odysseus and others, cutting them to pieces - so he thought - > when he recovered from his senses he saw himself standing admits a flock of dead shep, covered head to toe in blood - > greek commanders laughed at him - > Shamed, Ajax walked to a secluded cave hear the shore and threw himself on his sword - - > only example of such suicide in greek myth (form of suicide common in roman times) - > Agamemnon first ordered that the body be exposed to be eaten by wild dogs and birds but later relented and gave a proper burial - When Odysseus was on the underworld on his journey home, he saw ghost of Ajax and tried to appease him The Trojan Horse The Fall of Troy and its Aftermath - War still dragged on - Calabash explained that various conditions would have to be met if the city were ever to fall: - > Achilles son Neoptolemus ‘young fighter’ also called Pyrrhus ‘redhead’ conceived when Achilles lived in the women’s quarters on Scyros would have to join the army - > A protective statue of athena as city-protector called the Palladium which had fallen from heaven would have to be taken from the city: and the bow of heracles would have to enter the action - Neoptolemus was summoned from Scyros; Odysseus and Diomedes (or odysseus alone disguised as a beggar) sneaked into troy and stole the statue - Odysseus and Neoptolemus sailed to Lemnos to retrieve Bow from philoctetes (whom greeks had abandoned ten years earlier) - Also consumed with hatred for the greeks that left him he eventually gave up the bow - Sophocles tells the story in his play Philoctetes - a son of asclepius healed his repulsive wound and philoctetes shot and killed paris - Still city did not fall - Odysseus got an artisan to construct an enomous wooden horse - > fifty warriors (amog them Odysseus, Menelaus, diomedes and Neoptolemus) con- cealed themselves in the horses belly - helen suspected it held warriors - So did a priest of Poseidon Laocoon - > he came forward and declared Sinon, like all greeks, to be the liar (hence saying Be- ware Grek even bearing gifts) - > Horse was a trick he said, and the should destroy it and hurled a spear into the hors- es side - > two serpents from the sea made straight for laocoon and his two sons, strangled them in their coils as trojans watched in horror - > obv a sign from divine anger against a man so impious as to strike sacred image - - > actually died for different reason; he had intercourse with his wife within the temple precincts of poseidon) Fall of Troy - Trojans partied and took horse into the citadel The Fall of Troy and its Aftermath - In early hours of morning, greeks descended to the groun from horses belly, opened city gates and admitted their companions who had returned from Tenedos - Slaughter began; killed men, took women captive, burned down city - In euripedes antiwar play Trojan Women a chorus of trojan captives sums up troy’s last agony - > play prodced in 415 just after athenians, after incident go the pelopenessian war, had slaughtered all the male inhabitants of the island of Melos and sold their women and children into slavery - > play may therefore be read as a commentary on Athenian behavior - - > play ran for more than ten year in NYC during vietnam war) - Achilles son Neoptolemus murdered king Priam at altar of zeus - Vergil gives graphic detil in the second book of the Aeneid - Menelaus found helen in her bedroom with her new husbon Deiphobus, also a son of priam, killed him and then was about to kill her, till she showed tits and he said he’d kill her later - > really lived happily ever after - The lesser Ajax raped Cassandra while she clung to image of athena - > this crime excited athena’s wrath who caused much trouble to greeks as they re- turned home - Of all trojan males, only few excaped - > most important was Aeneas, who carried lame of father, achises on his shoulder and led his oung son ascanius (also called Iulus) out of burning city - Greeks distributed trojan women among greek heroes - At odysseus command, Astyanax, Hectors son was ruped from Andromache’s bosom and thrown to his death from the walls ‘only a fool hills the father and allows the son to live’ said odysseus - Neoptolemus carried Polyxena the youngest of Priams daughter to tomb of his father achilles and cut her throat over it, pouring into the grave to quench the dead warriors thirst Observations: Was there really a Trojan War? - Troy was built where the Hellespont mets the Aegean on the only maritime passage between the Black sea dn. The Mediterranean. - > a principle land route between Anatolia dn. Europe The Fall of Troy and its Aftermath - > straight has been a zone of conflict thorought history from the invasions of the Per- sian king xerxes (480BC) and Alex the Great (334BC) to winston Churchill’s catastroph- ic failed Gallipi campaign (1915) and remaind heavily militarized today - Bronze age citadel of troy stood then poised betwee large forces: mights hittites to the easy and might Mycenaeans to west - Nine phases of settlement at the arcahelogical site of Troy - > each super imposed ontop of the next like layers of a cake - Settlement began in about 3000 BC at start of Bronze Age - First seven layers are prehistoric - VIII and IX are G
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