The Iliad by Homer – Book 2

The Iliad by Homer – Book 2

 

  • While everyone was asleep, Jove decided that he’d do Achilles a solid by sending a “lying dream” to Agamemnon.
  • The dream took Nestor’s face and told him to rally the troops and start attacking Troy
  • Agamemnon spoke with the elders about his dream before telling the troops
  • Nestor said if anybody else told him something similar, he wouldn’t believe it but this was different because it was Agamemnon
  • The crowd of soldiers rushed to hear him speak:
    • “All right, everyone. Jove’s been telling us that we’d win this war but now he’s telling me to go back home. We’ve been here 9 years and haven’t even made a dent in Troy. Let’s go back home.
    • The crowd cheered at his words, not knowing what he had in mind. They were happy and ran back to their tents to pack their bags and go home.
  • Juno had been watching all of this and made Minerva go speak to the men and make them stay and fight the Trojans and their king, Priam, for keeping Helen.
  • Minerva went down there at once and saw Ulysses alone, too sad to pack up. She told him that it was his duty to keep the men from leaving.
  • He understood and hopped to it. He went straight to Agamemnon and took his scepter. He went to speak to as many men as possible.
  • When speaking to the leaders, he told them that it was cowardly to leave. They had to stick around because Agamemnon wasn’t finished talking. Leaving would piss both him and Jove off.
  • Ulysses spoke to the common soldiers and pulled rank on them, ordering them to do as he said. He waved the scepter around with vague promises of divine anger if they didn’t do as he said.
  • He did a good enough job that everyone stuck around to hear more.
  • Everyone was ready to listen except one rabble rouser named Thersites – a man who always questioned authority. Ulysses beat him about with the scepter until he gave in and shut his mouth
  • Minerva posed as a herald and gathered all the men to hear from him
    • Ulysses said: Agamemnon was testing your mettle and your vows of not leaving without taking Troy and you seem to have failed the test. We’re all having a hard time being away from home but the prophecies promise a victory. We have to remember all the struggles we’ve had to overcome just to get this far. All the sacrifices and hardships and bad omens we’ve gotten past. We’re almost there…
    • Nestor spoke: Shame on all of you to sitting around talking like little kids. What about all the oaths we’ve taken? We should be out there fighting like men. We’ve been promised by Jove to win to capture all the Trojans’ women in return for their taking of Helen. Bad things will happen to anyone who runs away.
    • Agamemnon spoke: Thank you… Nestor, if only I had more of you. What’s been going on is that Achilles and I have been fighting over a woman. I fucked up on that one… Mea culpa! But if we can get past that, we can defeat the Trojans. Let’s get some breakfast and get ready for a fight! Anyone not seen fighting will regret it…
    • The Greeks cheered and went off to their ships. They ate and sacrificed to the gods.
    • Agamemnon spoke to his lieutenants. Thank Jove that we have gotten our shit together. It won’t be long until we take Troy and kill Hector and his men.
    • Jove heard the prayer but wouldn’t fulfill it. He’d take the sacrifice but wanted to fuck with them more. The men sacrificed a bull, cooked it and ate it. After the meal, Nestor told them they should announce the beginning of the battle.
    • Agamemnon ordered everyone around. The chiefs organized their men, while Minerva (posing as a herald) held her gold-tasseled standard and the men marched to war.
    • Homer listed every man and every toe nail marching off to war.
    • Jove sends Iris to tell Priam and the Trojans that the Greeks were coming. Priam was too old to fight, and got Hector to round up his troops. Homer lists all their men, too…

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