Events of Book 23 - The Iliad

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1. How does Achilles light Patroclus' funeral pyre?

  • He prays for assistance from the winds to light it.
  • He captures 100 Trojan women and orders them to light it.
  • He uses Hector's bones form the base of the pyre, which he lights.
  • He orders each of the Myrmidons to hold a burning arrow to the pyre to light it.
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2. How does Diomedes win the chariot race?

  • Athene helps him by robbing the loser of victory.
  • He makes a libation to Apollo who fires a burning arrow at the opposition.
  • He persuades Nestor to distract the competition by calling out bad omens.
  • He convinces Iris to cast bad omens on the competition.

3. What sort of activities occur in the event organised by Achilles, in order to honour Patroclus?

  • Theatre contests, drinking contests, libations to Zeus and gathering of slave women.
  • Sacrificing, mass praying, ceremonial burning and silent ritual.
  • Boxing, archery, wresting and chariot racing.
  • Drinking, eating, dancing and singing.

4. What does Achilles have sacrificed at Patroclus' funeral?

  • 100 Trojan women.
  • 4 Archaean priests.
  • 12 Trojan captives.
  • 20 Greek slave girls.

5. Why does Achilles finally decide to take Antilochus' prize and give it to the loser of the race?

  • Antilochus suggests that Achilles is lying.
  • Menelaus saw Antilochus commit a foul.
  • Ajax heard Antilochus bribing Trygaeus into losing.
  • Nestor saw Antilochus receiving extra strength from Hephaestus.


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