The Iliad by Homer – Book 4

The Iliad by Homer – Book 4

 

  • The gods were watching all of this, drinking… Jove turned to Juno and teased her – I see Menelaus has some friends in you and Minerva. I was watching and Venus saved Alexandrus right when he was done for. Should we get them fighting again or have them make peace? If there’s peace, Menelaus can keep Helen and Priam can keep Troy.
  • Minerva and Juno grumbled about the Trojans. Minerva kept quiet but Juno didn’t have the strength – What are you playing at? You can do as you wish but don’t expect the rest of us to accept any of it.
  • Jove – What did Priam ever do to you that you’d want his city burnt to the ground. Are we going to fall out over this? Why is it you only bring this up when it happens to someone you like?
  • Juno – My favorite cities are Argos, Sparta and Mycenae. You can do with them as you please. I won’t get in the way. I’m only your wife and a lesser god than you. If we are going to play these games, you can’t prevent other gods from playing too. Minerva wants to…
  • Jove interrupted – Minerva, go make the Trojans break their promise to the Greeks that they wouldn’t fight them.
  • Minerva didn’t need to be told twice. She made a meteor fall from the sky. The men spoke to each other wondering what the gods meant by that.
  • Minerva disguised herself as a Trojan to find Pandarus and dared him to shoot Menelaus with an arrow. You’ll be a hero and everyone will love you for it.
  • He took out an arrow and shot at Menelaus when nobody was looking.
  • Fortunately, (or unfortunately) the gods guided it toward Menelaus’s buckle and chest plate. It did graze his skin and the blood flowed down his legs.
  • Agamemnon saw the blood and cried out – This is all my fault for letting you decide this in a duel. The Trojans are evil and broke their promise to let you and Paris sort it out. I’ll see Troy burn for killing you.
  • Menelaus – I’m not dead yet. I’ll actually probably pull through. It feels like a scratch.
  • Agamemnon – I see… Well, then…Doctor, see about this wound.
    • The doctor, Machaon, came around, pulled out the arrow, wiped down the blood and put some herbs on the wound.
  • The Trojans put on their armor and got ready to fight.
  • Agamemnon got his troops ready to fight back. He spoke – these Trojans are assholes and will pay for this. We’ll show them what’s what.
  • He shouted at the slackers – What the fuck are you waiting for?
  • He went through the ranks, giving orders to his lieutenants.
  • He went to Nestor, asking him advice on where to put all the men – knights and chariots upfront, foot soldiers in the back. Cowards were in the middle so they couldn’t run away.
  • Agamemnon said to Nestor – I wish you were younger to use your strength as well as your smarts.
  • Nestor – The gods don’t give us everything at the same time. When I was young, I was strong. Now that I’m old, I’m smart. I’ll use my weapon now and leave the hard fighting to the young.
  • There were columns of Greeks just waiting to attack…
  • Agamemnon went to see Diomed and Sthenelus. “Why are you shaking? Your father never did that. I knew him well – killed 50 men in an ambush. You talk a big game but I know he was better”.
  • Diomed was ashamed by this. Sthenelus spoke – Agamemnon, that’s not fair. We took the city of Thebes. It was walled and we were outnumbered. But with the help of Jove, we prevailed. I think we are worthy of our fathers.
  • Diomed informed him that he thinks Agamemnon was trying to encourage them, not scold us.
  • The pair got into their armor and into their chariot.
  • The sound of the Phalanxes (Greeks) sounded like thunder as they marched into battle. The leaders shouted their orders as the men listened.
    • The Trojans sounded like sheep bleating. Many couldn’t speak to one another because they had so many different languages. They were inspired by gods, Mars and Minerva, but also Panic, Strife, Rout. A sadness came over them.
  • Spears and shield clashed. There were cries, shouting, pain, rage, fear, victory. There was blood everywhere.
  • Antilochus, a Greek, sent a spear through a helmet of a Trojan into his skull. Some men stripped dead bodies – commoners and kings – for their armor. There weren’t going to need it anymore. This exposed them to attack – killing some in their greed.
  • Ajax killed Simoeisius striking him through the right breast plate at the nipple and straight through the should. He died leaning on a poplar tree.
    • Priam’s son, Antiplaus, tried to strike at Ajax for this but his Ulysses’s friend, Leucus in the groin.
      • Ulysses saw this and went right to the scene, looked around for who did it. He threw a dart at Democoon, Priam’s bastard son. Ulysses hit him with a spear in the temple and straight through to the other side.
    • Hector and his men were losing ground to the Greeks
    • Apollo called out to the Trojans – Don’t give up. They aren’t any tougher than you. Remember Achilles isn’t even fighting…
  • Minerva responded by encouraging the Greeks.
  • Diores was struck by a stone in the right ankle by Peirous of Thrace. The bones and sinews were crushed. He fell over looking for help – Peirous jumped on his with a spear to the belly. Thoas help him with a stab in the lungs.
  • Even with help from Minerva and Apollo, many Trojans and Greeks laid dead on the ground.

My Video Summary:

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