Week 2!

8/31 (in class, 11am-12:30pm) So on the quiz, I definitely made up a warrior name in the book that I swore I saw multiple times, but I really just combined all the names I couldn’t pronounce: Apheleus. Lol. It sounds Greek-y so I just threw it in there. I think I combines Peleus (Achilleus’ father) and Aphrodite or something, not sure. But I probably got a 70 on that.

Achaeans, Danaans, Argives ~> all the Greeks, Trojans ~> just people from Troy

aristeia- a narrative, where a hero is presented at his or her best, normally followed by the blessing of a god/goddess

philos- nearest and dearest

SIBLINGS: Menelaos and Agamemnon, Hector and Paris, Achilles and Patros..?

9/5 (in class, 11am-12:30pm) In this class we’re discussing books 6–8 of the Iliad.

xenia- hospitality, foreign relations

xenos- stranger, guest


philoxenia- love of strangers

philo, anthropoi- friend of humanity = philanthropist


euche- boast, proclamation, precedes a duel

Supplications so far: (1) Criseis to Agmemnon for his daughter Crises (2) Thetis to Zeus on behalf of her son Achilles (3) Trojan soldier Adrestos pleas to Menelaos for his life (4?) Hektor’s wife to him, asking him to stay home from war because he is all she has, and life will be tragic for her and their son if he dies.

(Engineering building lounge, 3:30–5:30) So this story is kind of comedic to me. These characters seem so much larger than life… Agamemnon, Paris, Diomedes. even the Gods have their own pettiness problems… and the way their personalities make for an entertaining drama-filled plot. Why watch New Housewives when you can just watch (or read about) Athena, Aphrodite and Hera? Why watch Two and a Half Men when you can just watch Menelaos and Agamemnon or Paris and Hektor?

How does Hector’s relationship with Andromache compare to the other male-female relationships so far in the Iliad, especially Achilles-Briseis and Paris-Helen? How does it compare with other male-male relationship, like the one between Menelaus and Agamemnon?

Hektor’s relationship with his wife is definitely more real than the other male-female relationships. Briseis hardly shows up and Helen sits back and is being argued and fought over… neither has any real connection with the men that simply seem to “own” them and carry them around as a prize. Hector is definitely very much in love with his wife and loves his son. They actually have a sort of allegiance to each other, whereas in Achilles and Paris’s relationships, they show no allegiance to their women. Hector and Andromache are more similar to the male-male relationships, since those are the ones that are more personal. When Menelaus got hit in the hip by the arrow, Agamemnon rushed to his aid, as there is a sort of allegiance he has to his brother. It’s a beautiful thing.

9/6 (Starbucks, 11:30am-1pm) I did some work last night in my room before going to bed, but I didn’t wanna break up the questions just because it was a different place and time. I’ll just finish the questions here.

Make a list of five things the gods have done so far to influence the events in the Iliad. What have been their motives for their influence? Do you see the gods as “good,” “bad,” or beyond morality? Explain your answer.

(1) Thetis went to Zeus to ask him to favor the Trojans so the Achaians can see how much they need her son, Achilles. She does this because Agamemnon pissed Achilles off, so he left the war, went back home to his room and cried. She just wants to make her son happy. I see Thetis as a mother who spoils her kid. I’m not sure if I can say if she’s inherently good or bad based off her role in this plot. (2) Apollo swooped down and plagued the Achaians for nine days to honor the prayer of Criseis against Agamemnon’s actions. This god is just really eager to kill… I don’t judge him though. If everyone in the story was moral then it’d be boring. I think Apollo kinda just does his job as the god of plague and archery. (3) Hera really doesn’t like the Trojans so when she sees the Greek soldiers a bit too eager to go home, as Agamemnon ordered in book 2, she sends Athena to stop them. This leads to Odysseus making all the soldiers turn back. (4) Aphrodite sees Paris about to lose the duel with Menelaos, so she swoops down and carries him off in a cloud back to Troy, just before his life was about to end. She helps him because she has a soft spot for Paris since he picked her as the most beautiful goddess in the midst of her peers. I see her as behaving just like how any female on Earth would behave. This is goes the same for Hera. She was holding a grudge, Aphrodite exhibited favoritism, both of which females in our world do all the time. Can’t call them good or bad for it. (5) Sooo the next major involvement was when the gods held a meeting after Paris had been put safe and sound in his room, Menelaos wins and the Greeks await their prize: Helen. They don’t know whether to let the war end or stir it up, so after a dialogue between Hera and her husband, Zeus agrees to allow Athena to stir up the Trojans to break the truce, then gives Menelaos courage to fight, continuing the battle. I feel like the gods do this for their own amusement. Hera didn’t want the war to be over so soon after she put in so much work to sabotage the Trojans. The humans are just pawns in their hands. It’s like TV, but you get to control what you see. It’s crazy. I mean, I guess you can say the gods are wrong for puppetting around these humans, but, that seems to be their very purpose.

(in my room, all-nighter, 9pm-6am) I’ll take a break to insert here my comments as I read Book 9 :)

  • “Agamemnon stood before them, shedding tears… groaning heavily…let us run away with our ships to the beloved land of our fathers…” I can’t help but laugh at this portion (9.9–9.28). Agamemnon is actually a whole joke. He has done little to no fighting, (I guess that’s justified, since he is a king or whatever) and thinks Zeus is oh-so against him, and he is the first one… all-powerful Agamemnon… in TEARS. I really can’t lol. He’s such a character.
  • “I was mad, I myself will not deny it.” (9.116) Good job Aggie. Acceptance is the first step to recovery.
  • “…they found Achilleus delighting his heart in a lyre, clear-sounding, splendid and carefully wrought… with this he was pleasuring his heart, and singing of men’s fame…” (9.186–9.198) Alright Achilleus was noble and just, etc in Book 1, but now… he seems selfish and delusional. His bestie Patroklos wasn’t even singing with him, but was just watching in silence. Weirdos.
  • Where is Lesbos? Does the city name have anything to do with the nature of the women there or with the word lesbian?
  • What are heralds? And why did they get drunk before going to Achilleus? (I think my name-spelling is going to vary from time to time in my journals because I read the text, then I go back and have SparkNotes help me decipher things I may have missed, and they use different spellings)

What arguments do Odysseus, Phoenix, and Ajax make to try to persuade Achilles to return to battle? What objections does Achilles have? Do you think these are his real objections or do you think he has other motives as well? Do you agree with his reasons for refusing to accept the offer of Agamemnon and to return to battle?

Odysseus, Phoenix and Ajax use a number of arguments. Ody begins by making a toast to Achilleus and praising him, but also reminding him about the words of his father, Peleus, who basically advised him not to harbor anger in his heart for long, especially when I good measure has been offered to ease your mind. “For consideration is better. Keep from the bad complication of quarrel.” (9.254–9.258) He also says that even if he finds it impossible to let go of his grudge against Agamemnon, he should at least have pity on his fellow soldiers/friends that are dying left and right from the hands of Hector (And the gods!). To this supplication (is it really if they don’t put their head between the other person’s knees?) Achilleus replies that he knows Agamemnon too well, he refutes the offer for the women and riches, and that the very next day he’s planning on leaving anyways. He even tells Phoinix to stay the night and leave with him. He thinks they’ll be fine. He also brought up how if he goes into war, it was his fate to die early, but if he goes away, his life would be longer. Just without the “glory” of being a martyr. Phoinix, a father-figure to Achilleus, says he looks at him as a son, and doesn’t want to see his son make such decisions. Ajax (I assume this is Aias) also says that Achilleus doesn’t remember all the kind things they did for him, and called him pitiless. At this point I’m very suspicious of Achilleus, as I mentioned earlier. He’s seemingly more selfish and prideful. Plus, he’s so calm and serene while a war… that;s destroying HIS people,,, goes on. It doesn’t make any sense! If he was so about justice and morality as I thought before, he would definitely know that the right thing to in this situation is to forgive Agamemnon and go fight for the greater good. He asked for this. He KNOWS they need him. He basically asked for all his friends to die as revenge sacrifice to get back at Agamemnon, so he’s also fake. Red flag. But I’m kinda bummed out about this because I wanted Achilleus to be such a good moral guy in the story. But his true colors are definitely showing itself. I totally disagree with his reasoning. I thought it would’ve been worth it to try his best out in the war, and then maybe if they pray to the gods he can get his fate changed (can he really?).



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