Book 9

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  • Created by: lilleybee
  • Created on: 02-06-17 14:52
  • The Achaeans have suffered terrible losses in battle, such that Agamemnon loses hope and deliberates in the Greek assembly whether to pull out of the war and sent the army home.
  • He blames Zeus for deluding him that he might win.
  • Diomedes (still angry about Agamemnon questioning his courage), claims Zeus has given Agamemnon power but not courage. 
  • He also says Agamemnon can leave if he wants too, but himself and Sthenelos will stay in Troy until the war is won.
  • Nestor praises Diomedes speech, but he stands up to bring it to a proper conclusion, attributing his lack of rhetorical finesse to his youth. 
  • Nestor suggests the Greeks post guards out and rest, Agamemnon should give a feast for the elders and discuss the best course of action.
  • At the feast of the elders, Nestor asks Agamemnon to listen to his advice, reminding him of his advice in book one (not to take Briseis from Achilleus).
  • Agamemnon agrees to listen humbled by his previous blindness and bad decisions.
  • He then goes on to state everything he will give Achilleus if he returns into battle; 20 gleaming cauldrons, 20 Trojan women, 12 racing horses, 10 golden talents, the best loot from Troy, untouched Briseis, 7 new tripods, 7 Lesbians, 7 cities, and Agamemnon’s daughter.
  • All Achilleus has to do is submit to Agamemnon as a greater king and senior in age.
  • Nestor agrees to this offering, and chooses Phonix, Aias and Odysseus to be the members of the embassy to Achilleus’ hut.
  • The Achaeans pray to Zeus that Achilleus will accept the deal.
  • Nestor sternly tells each of the heroes to make every effort they can to persuade Achilleus, focusing on Odysseus most of all. 
  • They leave, praying to Poseidon that Achilleus will accept the deal.
  • They find Achilleus playing the lyre, which he had looted from Eetion’s city, and he was singing to Patroklos of mens glory.
  • Achilleus welcomes the men warmly, and expresses delight that he is being missed in battle. 
  • Achilleus receives his friend as a good host and gives them wine and food - xenia.
  • Odysseus then begins his entreaty, telling Achilleus that the Trojans are pushing close tot he Greek ships, that Zeus is favouring omens of lightening to the Trojan army, that Hektor is on a murderous rampage (aristeia) and cannot be stopped. 
  • Odysseus appeals to Achilleus’ sense of shame, telling him that it is better to enter the fighting late, and to save the Greeks.
  • He reminds Achilleus that Peleus warned his son to control his passion and temper, championed the virtue of goodwill between friends and advised him to let go of his quarrels rather than hold grudges.
  • He then lists the gifts Agamemnon has offered to Achilleus.
  • He reminds him that he can still step


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