The Ancient Library

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On this page: Trojan War (continued)



of his friend Patroclus, and sends him, clad in his own armour, with the Myrmidons to the help of the distressed Greeks. Supposing it to be Achilles himself, the Trojans in terror flee from the camp before Patroclus, who pursues them to the town, and lays low vast numbers of the enemy, including the brave Sarpedon, whose corpse in only rescued from the Greeks after a severe fight. At last Patroclus himself is slain by Hector with the help of Apollo [xvi]; Achilles' arms are lost, and even the corpse is with difficulty saved [xvii]. And now Achilles repents of his anger, reconciles himself to Agamemnon, and on the follow­ing day, furnished with new and splendid armour by Hephaestus at the request of Thetis [xviii], avenges the death of his friend on countless Trojans and finally on Hector himself [xxii]. With the burial of Patroclus and the funeral games estab­lished in his honour [xxiii], the restora»ion of Hector's corpse to Priam, and the burial of Hector, for which Achilles allows an armistice of eleven days [xxiv], the Iliad concludes.

Immediately after the death of Hector the later legends bring the Amazons to the help of the Trojans, and their queen Pcnthlsllfa is slain by Achilles. Then appears Memnon, who is also mentioned by Homer; at the head of his ./Ethiopians he slays Antllochus son of Nestor, and is him­self slain by Achilles. And now comes the fulfilment of the oracle given to Agamemnon at Delphi; for at a sacrificial banquet a violent quarrel arises between Achilles and Odysseus, the latter declaring craft and not valour to be the only means of capturing Troy. Soon after, in an attempt to force a way into the hostile town through the Scsean gate, or, according to later legend, at the marriage of Priam's daughter Pfilyxena in the temple of Thymbrsean Apollo, Achilles falls slain by the arrow of Paris, directed by the god. After his burial, Thetis offers the arms of her son as a prize for the bravest of the Greek heroes, and they are adjudged to Odysseus. Thereupon his competitor, the Telamonian Ajax, slays himself. For these losses, however, the Greeks find some com­pensation. Acting on the admonition of Hllenus, son of Priam, who had been cap­tured by Odysseus, that Troy could not be conquered without the arrows of Heracles and the presence of a descendant of J3acus, they fetch to the camp PMloctSUs, the heir of Heracles, who had been abandoned on LemuSs, and NloptOlimus, the young son

of Achilles, who had been brought up on Scyros. The latter, a worthy son of his

1 father, slays the last ally of the Trojans, Eurypylus, the brave son of Telephus; and Philoctetes, with one of the arrows of Heracles, kills Paris. Even when the last condition of the capture of Troy. viz. the removal of the Palladium from the temple of Athene on the citadel, lias been success­fully fulfilled by Diomede and Odysseus,

: the town can only be taken _by_ treachery. On the advice of Athene, Epe~ius, son of Panopeus, builds a gigantic wooden horse, in the belly of which the bravest Greek warriors conceal themselves under the direction of

-. Odysseus, while the rest of the Greeks burn the camp and embark on board ship, only, however, to anchor behind TenedSs. The Trojans, streaming out of the town, find

\ the horse, and are in doubt what to do with it. According to the later legend, they are deceived by the treacherous Sinon, a kins­man of Odysseus, who has of his own free will remained behind. He pretends that he has escaped from the death by sacrifice to which he had been doomed by the malice-of Odysseus, and that the horse has beea erected to expiate the robbery of the Palladium ; to destroy it would be fatal to-Troy, but should it be set on the citadel, Asia would conquer Europe. The fate of Laicoon (q.v.) removes the last doubt from the minds of the Trojans; the city gate being too small, they break down a portion of the wall, and draw the horse up to the citadel as a dedicatory offering for Athene. While they are giving themselves up to transports of joy, Sinon in the night opens the door of the horse. The heroes descend, and light the flames that give to the Greek fleet the preconcerted signal for its return. Thus Troy is captured; all the inhabitants are either slain or carried into slavery, and the city is destroyed. The only survivors of the royal house are Helenus, Cassandra, and Hector's wife Andromache, besides J5neas (q.v.; for the fate of the rest see deiphobds, hecuba, polydorus, 2, polyxena, peiam, teoilus). After Troy has been destroyed and plun­dered, Agamemnon and Menelaus, contrary to custom, call the drunken Greeks to an assembly in the evening. A division ensues, half siding with Menelaus in a desire to return home at once; while Aga­memnon and the other half wish first to appease by sacrifice the deity of Athene, who has been offended by the outrage of the Loorian Ajax (see aias, 1). The army con-

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