February 6, 2006
Assignment 1- Briseis
Briseis is a mortal on the Trojan side who lived in a city east of Mount Ida called Lyrnessus. She became a widow when Achilles, a Greek hero, killed her 3 brothers and her husband who was King Mynes of Lyrnessus. Achilles then took her as a war prize. When she was brought to a Greek camp Patroclus, who is good friends with Achilles, told her that he would make her Achilles’ wife. In the tenth year of the war a king named Agamemnon has taken a woman named Chryseis as his concubine. Chryseis’ father was Chryses, he was priest to the god Apollo. Apollo is the god of sickness and disease. He put a sickness over the people in Agamemnon’s city. To stop the disease sent by Apollo, Agamemnon decided to give back Chryseis, but decides to take Briseis in her place. This does not go over well with Briseis and makes Achilles extremely angry; this is the major plot point. Achilles says that neither he nor his Myrmidons will fight for the Greek army in the Trojan War until Briseis is returned to him. Patroclus dressed in Achilles’ armor goes into battle leading the Myrmidons, where he later dies. To get Achilles to fight again Agamemnon offers back Briseis along with some other gifts. Agamemnon has a difficult time apologizing to Achilles. An example of this is that he never calls Achilles directly by name, and he tries to avoid taking responsibility for his actions. Achilles accepts but fights for the revenge of Patroclus’ death. Briseis was the main character in the conflict between Achilles and Agamemnon. She and Achilles were never married because he was killed in battle shortly after he got Briseis back. There is not much mention of her in “The Iliad” after his death. The way that Briseis mourns over his death shows that they were in love even though she was his war prize. Back in the times of Troy, women were looked upon as prizes to be won and stolen, Briseis is an example of this.
Odysseus, royal son of Laertes and king of Ithaca, is a prominent character in The Illiad. He was a very popular hero in Greek and Roman mythology. He was perhaps best known as the hero in the Trojan War. Also, Odysseus is the central figure of Homer’s poem The Odyssey. Odysseus definitely has a much smaller and menial role, however a visible one, in Homer’s Illiad than compared to The Odyssey; he possesses the qualities of a stereotypical Homeric hero and is seen as righteous and brave.
In addition, Odysseus serves as an envoy for the Greek king, Agamemnon. Furthermore, he is very instrumental in advising king Agamemnon and controlling the army. Odysseus’s part in the Trojan War was huge and evident in the great stock that Agamemnon put into his cunning. Basically, his advantage was his tactful abilities; he had a keen sense of what to do or say to keep good relations with others. Most importantly, although Odysseus was an accomplished fighter, his leadership and planning skills were of the greatest importance during the ten-year war against the Trojans. It was Odysseus who came up with the idea of the Trojan Horse and the hiding of soldiers inside it.
In short, Odysseus is a messenger for Agamemnon, a great tactician, and a strong, noble, and versatile warrior. True enough, he originally tried to get out of fighting in the Trojan War, because he was reluctant to leave his lovely wife, Penelope, and their new born son, Telemachus. However, once Odysseus was there he committed himself to the fall of Troy. Like many other soldiers, he was loyal and trustworthy. He and his fellow comrades were all at war fighting for the same exact reasons; they were fighting to defend their king’s honor, their family’s honor, and their honor as well.
30 January, 2006
Phoenix, the Wise Tutor
Long ago in Bronze Age, which is the time period the author Homer wrote about in The Iliad people respected the advice of elders, even if they didn’t follow it. Achilles was the main fighter for the Greeks in the Trojan War. Achilles had a tutor and admirable figure growing up named Phoenix. When Achilles was growing up, Phoenix was present a lot and helped raise Achilles into the fighting warrior he was. Therefore, Achilles seems to look up to Phoenix as a mentor, friend, and “father”figure.
Phoenix is the son of Amyntor. Who he had a falling out with because he wasn’t loyal to Phoenix’s mother and their marriage. Phoenix was very close to Peleus, and Achilles. He is the king of Dolopes, and lived on Phthia’s west frontier.
During the war, Achilles gets into a quarrel with Agamemnon. It was mainly because Agamemnon took Achilles beautiful wife Briseis, who was considered to be a great prize to him. Achilles is outraged by this and wants to kill Agamemnon. This is not a good idea because they are both on the same side, and the fighting between them would lead to trouble for the Greeks. This is where Phoenix makes his main appearance in the book. He comes to visit Achilles along with Ajax, and Odysseus. The three of them are very wise, older men who have come to show Achilles the list of gifts that Agamemnon is offering as a truce between them. He even offers his own daughter. Achilles says bad things about Agamemnon and refuses to forgive him. He rejects the gifts and sends Ajax and Odysseus back. Phoenix is welcomed to stay for the night. It seems to me that Achilles was feeling as if he just wanted the advice of those who really know him, which is why Phoenix could stay and the other two had to leave. Phoenix continues to try to tell Achilles to forgive Agamemnon. He does this by telling Achilles about his relationship with his real father. He explains to Achilles how Peleus “adopted” Phoenix as a son of his own. When Achilles was born, Phoenix did the same with him. Phoenix always treated and thought of Achilles as a son. He continues to tell Achilles about the prayers of forgiveness and the story of Meleager, which symbolized the importance of forgiveness.
In conclusion, Phoenix was a very important part of Achilles’ life. He was admired and trusted by Achilles’. Although Achilles’ didn’t take his advice in the end, he still respected Phoenix.
30 Jan 2006
The god of the sun, youth, music, poetry, and oracles is known as Apollo. He
is one of the most
important gods. Apollos is known as the protector of orderliness, simplicity,
reasonableness.He is one of the most important gods, next to his father. The
nympth Leto, and Zeus
are the parents of Apollo. Artemis is his twin sister.Apollo replaced the
Titan Helios as the Sun god.
Both are refereed as by the Greeks, Apollo only being better known. It is said
that the god of sun is
young and has golden hair wich is curly.
Born on the Greek island of Delos because Hera was jealous that her husband,
Zeus was fathering
Leto’s child. Hera had the earth deny Leto to give birth on earth.but thw
land, Delos did not follow that
order. Themis cared for Apollo as a child. The temple of Apollo is Delphi. As
legend states, there was a
great snake that lived at Delphi. It was killed by Apollo and therfor became
his temple. Apollo had
never married, but had many lovers. Calliope is the mother of Orpheus, his
son, a poet and singer. His
other child, Asclepius, the god of medicine, is mothered by Cornis. His other
Daphne, Hyacinthis, Sibyl of Cumae and Cassandra. All of these individuals had
tro face the wrath of
Apollo when they rejected him. Apollo is known for taking action towards those
he disagrees with.
The Illiad, written by Homer, introduces Apollo before any other god. This
god takes the side of
the Trojans during the war. Apollo interferrs with the war many times in this
story in favor of the
Trojans. Chryseis, the prize of Armaemdon, is kidnapped. Her father, Chryses
is a priest of Apollo and
prays to his god for revenge against the Greeks when Agamenon will not return
her. The greeks
become sick as a result of Apollo sending disease arrows on the Greek army.
When Patroclus borrows
Achilles armor to return to battle, he is asked by his friend not to go to
close to the walls of Troy.
Patroclus does not listen. When he tries to get to the walls of Troy, Apollo
pushes him away a few times.
Apollo then takes shape of one of Hector’s uncles, where he tells Hector to
kill Patriclous. The
intervention that Apollo creats is what causes Patriclous’ death. It is also
said that Apollo may have
helped send the arrow into Achilles heel.
Apollo is a god that is extreamly powerful and uses that power to cause
events to happen that he
can control. Apollo is associated with the sun, and is know world wide as a
greek god. Althought this
god is known as a myth, he is still assosiated with music, medicine and youth
in todays world, and is
spoken about as if he really exisited.
February 1, 2006
POSEIDON – THE LORD OF THE SEA
Poseidon is one of the most powerful Gods in Greek history. Known for being the Lord of the Sea, Poseidon did not start off so powerfully.
His father always suspected one of his children would kill him, so as Hera, Hades, Hestia, and Poseidon were born, their father Cronos swallowed each one of them whole. After swallowing five children, their brother Zeus was saved by his mother Rhea who fed her husband a stone instead of their youngest child. Zues grew up far away from his parents and finally retrieved his lost siblings by making his father vomit them up with a potion he and his mother created.
The three brothers became Gods of the earth—each ruling a different part.
Zeus was the supreme ruler—ruler of the heavens. Hades rules the underworld, and Poseidon became the ruler of the sea. Poseidon created a beautiful kingdom under the sea complete with amazing creatures he designed and his own beautiful chariot drawn by dolphins. On land, he also created the first horse. Poseidon could also control the storms in the sky and the waves of the sea. He was the second most powerful god behind his brother Zeus. Amphitrite, granddaughter of the titan Oceanus, is Poseidon’s wife.
In Homer’s “The Iliad”, Poseidon was strongly against the Trojans, siding with the Greeks. At one point when the Trojans had the upper hand in the decade-long war, Poseidon disobeyed his brother Zeus’ orders to not interfere with the war and went down to the battlefield. The God desperately urged the army to have courage and to fight for victory over their enemies. Meanwhile, Zeus was unaware Poseidon has disobeyed him because he was being seduced by his sister and wife Hera, as Poseidon and her had earlier planned. When Zeus heard Poseidon’s yelling from the battlefield, he realized he had been tricked by both Poseidon and Hera. As he tries to control his anger, Zeus sent messenger Iris to retrieve Poseidon from the battlefield because he was directly disobeying his orders. At first, Poseidon is defiant—he is known for his anger and not being the best of sports—but leaves the battlefield out of respect for his brother Zeus, not out of fear.
Although Poseidon may sometimes be defiant and unruly, he is still one of the most powerful, respectable, and infamous Greek Gods ever.
February 3, 2006
Aeneas was one of the many great warriors during the Bronze Age. Aeneas was not only a great warrior, but he was also a Demi-God. A Demi-God is a person of mystically-enhanced human power, this meaning he looked like any other human but was able to run, fight and climb better than a normal human. Aeneas was also was resistant to injury and was inexhaustible, however he was by no means a superhuman, just a Demi-God.
Aeneas was from Latium. He was the son of Anchises and Aphrodite. During his life he was raised mostly by minor goddesses. Aeneas was a descendant of Zeus through his mother, Aphrodite. He was also related to Capys and Assaracus through his father. During the Trojan War, Aeneas was an ally to the Trojans and an enemy to the Greeks.
Aeneas is credited with playing one of the most important rolls in the Trojan War, some say second to Hector. Aeneas was the leader of Troy’s Dardanian allies during the Trojan War, and fought as hard and as long as he could until the gods told him to flee. With his father, son and household gods on his back, he finally left the city, but his wife was lost in the confusion and he never saw her again. After the war, Aeneas led many refugees to Italy and essentially became the founder of the Roman culture, even though the actual city and the whole Roman Empire was not yet formed.
Aeneas’s role in the Iliad was basically that of an ally to the Trojans. He was called upon by Hector to help fight and destroy the Greeks. During this battle Aeneas meets with Achilles to fight, they exchange insults and fight. Aeneas was over-powered and essentially almost killed by Achilles when Poseidon, in sympathy for the Trojans, saves his life by whisking Aeneas off the battlefield. By doing this, many arguments have been made about the fate of Aeneas. Many say it was his fate to be saved and others say if that was his fate he would not have needed rescuing from Poseidon. What ever the circumstance may be, his roll in the Iliad and the War were with out a doubt very important in the efforts of the fight by the Trojans.
Ms. Elisabetta LeJeune
Calchas, son of Thestor, came from a family of soothsayers, or seers. His name can also be spelled as Kalchas. His importance and abilities in The Iliad came through in the first book. A great plague wreaks havoc on the Aegean troops and its leader, Agamemnon has no idea how or why it is happening. He employs Calchas to find the true reason. For an exchange of protection for information, Calchas informs him that Apollo sent down the plague as punishment for taking Briseis as his mistress.
Calchas also informs Agamemnon that he would need to sacrifice his own daughter, Iphigenia, in order for the Greek ships to sail from Aulis. After this was done, the winds blew in the Greeks’ favor. Calchas predicted the length of the Trojan War to be ten years. He also advised the construction of the Trojan horse.
There are a few different stories on the way that Calchas died. On the way home from the fall of Troy, the Greek ships were blindsided by a storm and Calchas was said to be thrown off on a shore in Colophon. It was prophesied that he would die when he met a better seer than he. He was said to have met a man named Mopsus in a grove near Colophon. He was beat in a debate of soothsaying and either killed himself or died of disappointment.
Assignment #1: Andromache, Wife of Hector
If there is one word to describe the character of Andromache, is it loyalty. Andromache is the wife of the Trojan hero, Hector, and the mother of Astayanax; she is the daughter of Eetion, king of Cilian City of Thebes, and family history is a rather depressing one, as her father and brothers were killed by Achilles when he captured their city. Luckily, she had fled to Troy and married Hector, though it would not be long at all until her husband met his fate at the hands of the Greek Hero. Andromache in The Illiad displays the loyalty of a wife, the tragedy that seems to follow her around, and the hardships that she has to live with after the death of her husband and child to the hands of the Greeks.
The role of Andromache is to show and support the family man within the character of Hector, revealing her concern for him to withdraw from battle to save himself. When she is introduced, it was just after Hector spoke and berated his brother for being a coward and not fighting in the war that he helped to start, and Paris chose to spend his time with his love, Helen, while Hector was doing the correct and honorable thing to do, which was to fight to defend his people. Andromache is seen as a loyal, loving wife, who, having lost most of her family to Achilles, seemed to act naturally in wanting her husband to back out of the war. Though her reasons were justified, in Hector’s refusal also revealed how honorable Hector truly was, willing to sacrifice his time with his wife and son in order to do what was right. The last moment that Hector and Andromache spend together is a rather tragic one, as Hector goes to touch his son, only for him to cry in fear from his father’s war helmet. They had laughed, though it would be their last.
Her fate was a depressing one, but one that did not end with her death. Instead, what she has to endure is the deaths of her husband, her son, and then being taken in as spoils of war. After the death of Hector, Troy falls to the hands of the Greeks, and seeing their son as a threat, thanks to Calcus’ prediction of him someday avenging his father’s death, throws him from the walls of Troy. Andromache herself is given to the son of Achilles’, Pryyhus (also known as Neoptolemus) and bore him four children, Molossus, Pielus, Pergamus, and a daughter Amphialus. Upon his death in Phthia at the hands of Orestus, she remarried one of the last remaining children of Priam, Helenus, and had another son named Cestrinus. When Molossus ascended the throne of Epeirus, Andromache and her son Pergamus to Asia Minor, and founded a town there, in which they named after Pergamus. There, the tragic, loving and loyal wife of Hector lived out the rest of her days.
Patroclus’ father, Menoetius has made at least four marriages. All four wives were identified as the mother of Patroclus in different versions. So, which one was mother or step mother was in doubt.
It seems like Patroclus in his youth had fought with a friend, and without meaning to, he had killed the other boy. Consequently, his father took him and went to the king of Peleus to seek refugee.
There Patroclus is when first met Peleus’ son Achilles, They soon became best friends. And, later Peleus held a holy ceremony and purified Patroclus of his crime. Years later, Helen fled Sparta with Prince Paris of Troy. Menelaus and his brother Agamemnon, King Mycenae, started to contemplate war against Troy. Agamemnon tried to conciliate Achilles' anger so that he would fight, by offering him the seven tripods, the seven women, the seven cities, and many other gifts which included Achilles' sweetheart Briseis, whom Agamemnon swore he had not touched. But gifts, were the same as nothing to Achilles, for whom friendship, honor, and being of one heart, was far more important. And so, he turned down the gifts of the man who had committed against him the kind of crime they had come to Troy to take vengeance; for Agamemnon, he reasoned, had taken Briseis from him just as Paris had taken Helen from Menelaus. While Achilles was controlled by his anger, the Myrmidons, including Patroclus, did not participate in the fight, and it is because of this that the Greeks suffered heavy losses and the Trojans were able to attack the Greek ships. Patroclus hasted to return to his tent, begging Achilles to fight or let him fight in his stead and with his amour. And, Achilles changed his mind and gave Patroclus hi amour and sent him to the battle at the front of the Myrmidons, Achilles’ men, advising him not to go in the Trojan’s chase.
But because of the Myrmidons intervention the Trojans were being defeated, so Patroclus disobeyed Achilles. Then in the middle of the battle, Apollo stroke his back, knocking off his helmet and was unprotected, Hector killed him, taking Achilles’ armor. Achilles retrieved Patroclus body, which had being protected in the field and he went back to battle and killed Hector (Prince Paris’ brother). Achilles then organized an athletic competition to honor Patroclus.
- The Norton Anthology of World Literature.
Second Edition, Vol. A-C
Beginning to 1650
February 6, 2006
Hephaestus was the god of fire, the master craftsman. He was a blacksmith and the only god who was lame. Although Hephaestus was considered to be ugly in appearance, he was a creator of beauty. He was a peacemaker and the son of Zeus and Hera. In Book I of the Iliad he tries to convince his mother, Hera, to reconcile differences with his father Zeus. Also, in this book the reader is told how he became lame. He reminds his mother of how Zeus threw him off Mount Olympus all the way down to earth, to the island of Lemnos. To help his mother make peace with Zeus he gives her a beautiful two-handled cup, which he crafted so beautifully. In book I, the reader learns that the houses of the immortals were built by Hephaestus.
There are many references to works of Hephaestus throughout the Iliad. When the Greek army gathered the one who held the scepter made by Hephaestus entitled him to be the only speaker. Homer refers to “the flame of Hephaestus” when the mortals sacrifice to the gods and when the mortals burn the dead bodies from war.
In the Iliad, the main role of Hephaestus was making armor for Achilles in Book XVIII. It is obvious that the armor is among his greatest works because of the lengthy description of the armor. Achilles gave his armor to his friend Patroclus. Patroclus was killed in a fight and the armor is taken by Hector. Achilles decides to fight in revenge for the death of his friend Patroclus, although he is prevented from fighting due to his armor being taken. Achilles’ mother visits Hephaestus to request that he make her son new armor. Hephaestus agrees to make armor that everyone would marvel. He built a massive shield with a silver shield-strap that ran from edge to edge. On the shield he forged two cities filled with mortal men. One side portrayed a city of weddings and wedding feasts. It was a very festive and happy image. On the other side of the shield he portrayed a gloomy war picture. He showed death, destruction, and anguish. These cities were very detailed, life-like and crafted with thoughts of happiness and desperation or war and peace.
In summary, Hephaestus is responsible for the creation of beautiful and magnificent jewelry, drinking vessels, furniture, and palaces. The creation of Achilles armor is his greatest work in the Iliad.
Sal Mortillaro, W0189458
February 5, 2006
English 230, Assignment 1
Iliad Character Assignment (Thetis)
Thetis is the immortal mother of The Iliad’s central character, Achilles. Thetis is a Nereid, or a sea-nymph. The main role of Thetis in The Iliad is her motherly compassion and caring for her son Achilles; there are numerous instances throughout the work where Thetis comes to the aide and comfort of her son. While not a hugely pivotal figure in The Iliad itself, she is responsible for a couple of themes that are central to The Iliad. The ground work for the war begins at the wedding of Thetis to Peleus. At the wedding feast, all of the god’s had been invited, except the goddess of discord. The goddess of discord had shown up anyway, but bearing a gift of a golden apple to Peleus to be awarded to “the fairest” of all present goddesses (those being Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite). Peleus declines to choose which goddess is the fairest and appoints Paris to choose. Paris chooses Aphrodite, the goddess of love, as the fairest and in return she awards Paris with the love of the most beautiful woman in the world; that woman was Helen of Troy and her falling in love with Paris is the event that sets off the war. Inadvertently, by Paris’s choosing of “the fairest”, he draws the battle lines for which goddess will take which side during the war. Another important event that Thetis took part in is when Achilles was a baby, Thetis dipped him into the Styx river in order to make him invulnerable. However, when she dipped him into the river, she was holding him by the heels making the only vulnerable part on his body and thus his downfall in The Iliad.
The epitaph that is used to describe Thetis throughout The Iliad is “silver footed.” In Chapter IX of The Iliad, Thetis tells Achilles that he has two choices when he is contemplating going home; the first is that he can go home to live to an old age, dieing peacefully but yet forgotten or he can continue to fight and die in the war but his name be immortalized forever. This encourages Achilles to stay in the fight and continue to help out the Myrmidons. When Achilles looses his armor to the Trojans, Thetis goes to visit the black-smith god Hephaestus in Book XVIII and gets him to make to make a new weapon, shield, and armor for Achilles. In Book XIV, Thetis convinces Achilles to return the body of Hector back to his father for a proper burial.
Zeus is one of the most important gods of the great mythical war. He was from Olympus. Zeus’s siblings are Hades, Poseidon, and Hera. He is the son of Cronus and Rhea. Zeus has a couple of kids whose names are Apollo, Sarpedon, Aphrodite, Ares, Athena, and Helen. He was involved with Leda, Hera, and Leto. He and Leto are the parents of Apollo. Throughout the war Zeus shows a soft side, a great deal of power, and he obtains lots of respect do to his high social status.
Although Zeus shows a great deal of power and force; he displays some other important characteristics. He revealed a soft side when Thetis asked for his help. She wanted him to allocate a change to benefit the Trojans in battle. She asked him to give the Trojans the strength, power, and the ability to dominate and conquer the Achaeans. She asked him to grant her a wish so her son could gain the respect and social status that he once had. She wanted the Achaeans to suffer for everything they had done and acquire all of her sons’ possessions. Zeus became worried that Hera would hassle him for his decision making. Hera had sensed what occurred and came to question Zeus. He answered to Hera but he kept his promise to Thetis.
Zeus reveals his power in many ways. He has the power to determine how battle will emerge. He has the power to train the wind and sky to his desire. Zeus shows his power when he gives orders, calls meetings, and demands Agamemnon to return Achilles’ prize. Zeus gives an order to Hera. He tells her to mind her own business because he and Thetis have an agreement. He demands her to discontinue the conversation and she follows. He also displays power when meetings are called. He calls the meeting after talking to Thetis and everyone puts their best ear forward. They are all at attention to his power and respect they have for him. His power is shown when he asked Agamemnon to return Achilles possessions. Agamemnon agrees to Zeus and returns Achilles love.
Zeus is well respected by the mortals and Immortals. He tells Thetis to tell her son Achilles to return the body of Hector. Achilles torments the body for a while and finally decided to return it. Hectors’ body is returned and his family and friends were able to give him a proper burial. Respect was greatly given to Zeus. If Zeus did not ask Thetis to tell Achilles to return the body it would have been torn to smithereens.
Zeus plays an important role in the war. He is a great god and held many responsibilities during his time. Zeus showed that he had manlike characteristics. Throughout the story Zeus shows a soft side, a great deal of power, and acquires a great deal of respect from mortals and immortals.
Neil D. Grantham
Feb. 6, 2006
ENGL 230-05 (2:00 MW)
Elizabetta Le Jeune
The Tamer of Horses
Diomedes plays a very important role in Homer’s The Iliad. He is a very prominent warrior, hailing from Argos where he is king, who joins the Greeks against Troy. His father Tydeus was killed in a failed raid on Thebes, which later was conquered in the battle of Epigone, in which Diomedes was a key player.
Diomedes killed many Trojans in The Iliad. He killed Phegeus, brother of Idaios, and scored many horses for the Achaians. Pandoras, son of Laocoon, injured him in the battle. The goddess Pallas Athena came to his aid and revived him, and then he slaughtered Pandoras and many others including Astynoos, Hypeiron, Abas, Polvidos, Xanthus, and Thoon. He also killed two sons of Priam, Echommon and Chromios, and took their weapons and horses. He wounded Aineias, son of Aphrodite, and before he could finish him off, Aphrodite tried to save her son, but Diomedes injured her hand, and she was forced to leave him. Phoebus Apollo was then appointed to protect him. Diomedes also wounded Ares, who was fighting on the Trojan’s side, and with that the Trojans were forced to fall back (Book V).
In Book VI, Diomedes meets up with Glaucus, son of Hippolachus. Before they began fighting each other to the death, they introduced one another, to be certain that neither was fighting an immortal. After talking, they arrived at a truce. The two men’s ancestors, somewhere along the line, had exchanged gifts at one point or another, so to keep within tradition, they traded armor. Diomedes traded his bronze armor for a suit of gold armor, which made Glaucus look like an idiot, and so Zeus, Cronus’ son, stole his wits.
In Book X, Diomedes, along with Odysseus, is sent by Agamemnon to spy on the Trojans, and coincidentally the Trojans were sending a spy, by the name of Dolon, to inspect the Achaian stronghold the same night. Diomedes and Odysseus captured Dolon and interrogated him before Diomedes executed him. They were informed of the location of a Thracian camp, where Rhesus, the king of Thrace, was supposed to be sleeping. Diomedes killed everyone at the encampment, including Rhesus, and then took all of the horses back to the Achaian ships, and he also took the Palladium, which was a wooden statue of Pallas Athena which the Trojans thought would bring them victory in the Trojan War.
Diomedes was the most courageous warrior in the Greek army. He feared no one, not even the immortal gods, though he was favored most by Pallas Athena, who gave him persistent protection. Diomedes is known throughout The Iliad as the “tamer of horses.”
Aphrodite is one of the most recognizable mythological goddess. She has been depicted in renowned works of art. Both Bouguereau and Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus have become an ideal of femininity. Aphrodite, sometimes referred to as Venus, has changed the face of Greek mythology with her jealousy, revenge, interventions, love, beauty, and infidelity. This paper will highlight the key components of her life as well as her role in the epic writing The Iliad by Homer.
Aphrodite is the goddess of love, sexual rapture, and beauty. Her actual birth is unknown. There are two very different origins. The mythological version tells the tale of Cronus cutting off Uranus’ (Zeus) genitals. When his blood and semen dropped to the sea it created foam, out of which Aphrodite appeared fully grown. The second tale comes from The Iliad (Book V). Homer writes that the goddess is the daughter of Dione, also known as Diana. In the epic, after her son, Aeneas, has been wounded, she returns home to Dione where she falls to her knees seeking comfort from her mother.
Aphrodite is one of the few immortals that participated in the institution of marriage. Her father, Zeus, enforced a marriage to Hephaestus for fear that her beauty would cause conflict among the gods. Hephaestus, a great iron worker, traveled frequently creating an ideal situation for Aphrodite’s infidelity. She had love affairs with Ares, Dionysus, and Hermes to name a few.
“The Judgment of Paris” is perhaps the most renowned intervention by Aphrodite in The Iliad. Gods and goddesses were all invited to the marriage of Peleus and Thetis. Eris, the goddess of discord became infuriated because she was not allowed to attend. She devised a plan to cause a disturbance at the party. She arrived with an apple that she threw among the goddesses. It was to go to the most beautiful goddess of all. Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena all felt they were deserving of the apple. It was up to Paris to be the judge. Aphrodite offered Paris the most beautiful woman in the land, Helen of Troy, in exchange for the apple. Paris agreed and her abduction led to the beginning of the Trojan War.
Though Aphrodite is known for love and beauty, it is her ego and inability to accept circumstances that cause her to make fallible decisions. She was the goddess of love, yet incapable of keeping a healthy marriage with Hephaestus. These actions show that goddess or not, she makes human mistakes. Perhaps this is why we are drawn to mythology and the reason Bouguereau and Botticelli chose her as subject matter.
My selected character from Homers epic the Iliad is Achilles; the most feared and respected commander in the poem. Achilles father Peleus is the grandson of Zeus and his devoted mother Thetis, a sea nymph. Achilles is from the Greek town of Phthia and acts as the commander of the Myrmidons. This great leader is often remembered as the greatest warrior of all time. Although Achilles appears to be immortal on the battlefield human characteristics such as ego and selfishness prove to be the cause of much turmoil and death.
The root of Achilles anger is the demand of Agamemnon (leader of the Achaean forces) to give up his prize Briseis. Achilles gives her up but refuses to fight any longer. He feels so insulted that he’d rather see his people die then fight for Agamemnon. The Achaean’s suffer great losses for many days fighting the Trojans without Achilles. Eventually he agrees to Nestors’ (king of Pylos) plan to allow Patroclus to wear his armor in battle. The ego of Achilles is softened when he sees his best friend Patroclus’ dead body. This turn of events forces Achilles to mend his differences with Agamemnon and carry out his new found vendetta against Patroclus’ murderer Hector. Achilles then brutally sacrifices twelve Trojans in preparation for the ensuing battle. The unexpected Trojans are taken forcefully by the Achilles led Achaeans and all but Hector flee behind the walls of Troy. Achilles chases Hector around the city of Troy three times until Athena tricks him into fighting. Achilles kills Hector, Ties the body to his chariot, and violently drags him to the Achaean camp. Eventually Hector’s father King Priam goes to the Achaean camp and pleads with Achilles for the body of his dead son. After being reminded of his own father, a military man, Achilles agrees to return Hectors body. The Iliad ends here with armies at a truce.
Achilles rage is the subject of this epic poem. The ego and selfishness of this great warrior is something that many can relate to but few have actually followed through with. Achilles rage runs strong all the way to the end. His hate for Agamemnon never really goes away its simply redirected. The absence of Achilles anger is only illustrated in memories of his father and in complying with King Priams wishes.
Click here to see a PowerPoint on Hector
Prince of Troy
Hector of the flashing helmet, also known as “breaker of horses”, was the son
of Priam and Hecuba, and leader of the Trojan forces in the great Trojan War.
He was the brother of Paris and Cassandra, and fathered Astyanax with
In Homer’s Iliad, Hector was considered the greatest among the Trojan
warriors, and thought to be a key in a Trojan victory in the war. His battle
with his Greek equivalent, Achilles the swift runner, was the climax of the
Iliad and also the turning point of the war into Greek hands.
In defeating Patroclus and retrieving Achilles’ armor, Hector marks the
undoubted return of Achilles. Grieving over his best friend’s death, Achilles
vows revenge and will at nothing to defeat Hector. The two heroes confront
each other in battle, but for fear of his life, Hector flees. With help from
the god Apollo, Hector runs around the Trojan walls three times before
stopping at the sight of his brother, who was actually the god Athena in
disguise. Hector battles Achilles, thinking his brother is there to help, but
realizes he has been deceived by the gods when he turns around to that his
brother is gone. Achilles throws his spear but misses. As hector goes in for a
killing blow, Athena returns the spear to Achilles’ hand. Not noticing the
return of the spear, Hector continues to charge in. Achilles, after finding an
opening in Hector’s armor by his collar, drives his spear home in a killing
blow. After defeating Hector, Achilles ties Hector to his horse and drags him
around Troy, disgracing the body of his foe. He continues to drag the body of
Hector for days, even after the funeral of Patroclus. Then, confronted by a
grieving Priam, Achilles releases the mangled body of Hector to his father so
that it may be given a proper warriors funeral.
Hectors death foreshadowed the Greek victory in the Trojan War and also the
prophesized death of Achilles.
February 6, 2006
Hera is mainly known and worshiped as the goddess of marriage and birth. Her parents are Cronus and Rhea. Cronus and Rhea are the children of Gaea and Uranus, and they are considered as the original 12 Titans. Hera is the wife and sister of Zeus. Zeus is the most powerful of the gods, and is considered as lord of the sky. Hera is the reigning Queen of Olympus because she is the wife of Zeus. Hera has 5 brothers and sisters. They are Hestia, Hades, Demeter, Poseidon and Zeus.
Hera was considered to be a jealous wife and sister of Zeus because of his numerous affairs. She would often punish her rivals and their children because of her jealousy. You often see pictures of Hera with peacock feathers. The peacock is the symbol of pride.
In the Iliad Thetis and Peleus are having a wedding. All the gods were invited to this wedding except for Eris. This was an insult to Eris, which means “Strife” or “Discord”. Eris came to the wedding anyway and she attended invisibly. Eris placed on the banquet table a golden apple. On the apple it was written, “For the fairest.” The apple was disputed over by Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite. Athena was the daughter of Zeus and the goddess with wisdom and skilled crafts. Aphrodite was also a daughter of Zeus and she was the goddess of sexual passion.
None of the gods would state which of the three was the fairest because of the fear of the two who wouldn’t be chosen turning against them. Zeus ordered the matter to be settled by a mortal and he chose Paris. Paris was the youngest prince of Troy, son of the Trojan king Priam and Queen Hecuba. Each of the gods offered Paris gifts if they were to be chosen. Athena offered Paris power and wisdom in battle, Hera offered him royal power, and Aphrodite offered him Helen. Helen was the most beautiful woman in the world. Paris awarded the apple to Aphrodite. Helen was then taken by Paris and brought to Troy, which was the cause of the Trojan War.
Hera and Athena sided with the Greeks to win the war, because they were not chosen by Paris who was from Troy. Throughout the war the gods become involved and try to manipulate the situations so their side would win. In book 14 Hera manipulates Zeus. Hera wants to influence the outcome of the war, and in order for her to do so she must distract Zeus from watching the war. She seduces Zeus which causes him to fall asleep and she is then free to get in the way of the war.
Hermes was the son of Zeus and Maia. He presided over commerce, wrestling, and other gymnastic exercises, even over thieving, and everything, in short, which required skill and dexterity. He was the messenger of Zeus, and wore a winged cap and winged shoes. Hermes is said to have invented the lyre. He found, one day, a tortoise, of which he took the shell, made holes in the opposite edges of it, and drew cords of linen through them, and the instrument was complete. The cords were nine, in honor of the nine Musses. Hermes gave the lyre to Apollo, and received from him in exchange. In Roman mythology, the god Hermes was called Mercury. He was the messenger of the gods and guide of dead souls to the Underworld. A prankster and inventive genius from birth, Hermes aided the heroes Odysseus and Perseus in their quests.
Hermes was known for his helpfulness to mankind, both in his capacity as immortal herald and on his own initiative. When Perseus set out to face the Gorgon Medusa, Hermes aided him in the quest. According to one version of the myth, he loaned the hero his own magic sandals, which conferred upon the wearer the ability to fly. Some say that Hermes loaned Perseus a helmet of invisibility as well. Also known as the helmet of darkness, this was the same headgear that Hermes himself had worn when he vanquished the giant Hippolytus. This was on the occasion when the gargantuan sons of Earth rose up in revolt against the gods of Olympus.
Hermes' symbol of office as divine messenger was his staff, or caduceus. This was originally a willow wand with entwined ribbons, traditional badge of the herald. But the ribbons were eventually depicted as snakes. To support this mythologically, a story evolved that Hermes used the caduceus to separate two fighting snakes which forthwith twined themselves together in peace.
It was Hermes' job to convey dead souls to the Underworld. And as patron of travelers, he was often shown in a wide-brimmed sun hat of straw. Hermes was known to the Romans as Mercury. His most famous depiction, a statue by Bellini, shows him alight on one foot, wings at his heels, the snaky caduceus in hand and, on his head, a rather stylized combination helmet-of-darkness and sun hat. Hermes is the one who takes priam to the camp of Achilles to receive the body of his son Hector
Ares, the God of War
Ares, the Greek god of war and destruction, is cruel, bloodthirsty, and
impartial. He is associated with dogs or vultures and his symbol is the
spear. Many descriptions portray him as a tall, bearded, and handsome man.
Ares is the son of Zeus and Hera, and his sister, Eris, is his constant
companion. Also associated with Ares is Hades, the god of the underworld. It
is said that whenever a battle was taking place, Ares would race into battle
on his war chariot with Eris and Hades, killing at random. Ares rarely took
sides; his only concern was that there was as much bloodshed as possible.
Unlike other gods and goddesses in Greek mythology, Ares was one dimensional
and unpopular among mortals and gods. Even his own father did not like him
Ares’ major role in the Iliad is the war. His name is rarely mentioned
throughout the books of the Iliad, but the Greeks refer to the fighting and
the battles as the god of war’s doing. Ares promised Hera and Athena that he
would fight alongside the Greeks, but Aphrodite convinced him to side with the
Trojans. He was wounded early on in the Trojan War by Athena and went to his
father for healing, though he was immortal. He returned to the fighting
towards the end of the war.
Ares’ main love is war, but he also had many affairs. One affair which
granted him much attention was with his brother’s beautiful wife, Aphrodite.
Helios, the sun god, spied on the couple and informed the other gods,
including Ares’ brother. They set up a net trap and caught the couple in the
act, humiliating them. After this incident, Ares sped away to his homeland,
Thrace. He and Aphrodite had several children, including Anteros, Deimos,
Harmonia, and Phobos. Ares also has a number of children for other women,
some which are unknown.
Ares is an important individual in Greek mythology because of the
significance of the Trojan War. He was disliked among the Greeks because he
was vain, cruel, and had no other interests but war. Though Ares was
unpopular, his Roman equivalent, Mars, was much more respected. He was
believed to be less cruel and of a higher rank than Ares. Ares is gaining
recent popularity due to his roles in media, including video games and comic
books. Many of these portray him accurately and help the world maintain an
interest in ancient Greek mythology.