More Iliad

Book 2, summarized:

Agamemnon: “Hey, anyone wanna ditch this war and go home?”
Men: “Heck yeah!”
(men bolt for ships)
Agamemnon: “Just testing kidding!”
Storyteller: “Ummm, yeah. Anyway, how ’bout I just give you a long long list of glorious war commanders and we try to pretend this never happened? Okay? Muses, help me out here?”

Though, for all the lists of names are kinda dull, the descriptions of the lands they come from are rather evocative. “Messe, crowded haunt of the wild doves.” “Enipse whipped by the sudden winds.” And of course, “Orchomenos rife with sheep.” 🙂

One guy in the list showed up with only three ships. He’s dismissed by the storyteller as a “lightweight.” I want to know more about him.

One thing that especially caught my attention: Zeus sends Agamemnon a false prophetic dream. All my myth-reading has taught me that one ignores any dreams at one’s peril. But we’re in a different sort of world here, one where dreams need to be evaluated and where maybe blindly trusting them isn’t the tried and true way after all. Huh. (Nestor even says, essentially, “If this dream came from anyone but Agamemnon, I’d assume it was a fake …”)

One more thing: reading this in high school, I was too busy being bemused that there was both a “lesser” and a “greater” Ajax to notice that little Ajax is actually kind of hot:

Little Ajax–a far cry from the size of Telamonian Ajax–
a smaller man but trim in his skintight linen corslet,
he outthrew all Hellenes, all Achaeans with his spear.

In summary: He may be small, but he sure is good with that spear. (cough, cough)

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