Ancient Greek

The most important primary text material on which you need to focus your study are Books 1, 6, 9, 16, 18, 19, and 22. PREPARATION QUESTIONS 1. Why does Agamemnon think that he has the right to take Achilleus’ war prize, Briseis?  Why, from his point of view, is it so important to take Achilleus’ prize?  What is his reasoning?   2. Why does Achilleus think that Agamemnon does not have the right to take his prize?  Why, from Achilleus’ point of view, is it so significant that Agamemnon took his prize?  What is Achilleus’ reasoning? 3. What is timē in the Iliad?  What is the connection between a man’s war prizes on the one hand, and his honour, value, rank, status, and reputation on the other hand? 4. In the Iliad, are the values of Achilleus fundamentally different from the values of Agamemnon, or are their values fundamentally the same?  In what sense are their values the same and in what sense are they different? 5. In Book 9, why does Agamemnon send an embassy to Achilleus’ ships?  Does he do it to apologize to Achilleus?  Does he ask anyone to apologize to Achilleus?   6. In Book 9, Nestor advises Agamemnon to offer “gifts of friendship” to Achilleus.  Why?  What are the ancient Greek words that Nestor uses?   7. In Book 9, Agamemnon tells Nestor that he will offer to Achilleus “gifts in abundance”?  What are the ancient Greek words that Agamemnon uses, which have been mistranslated as “gifts in abundance”?  What do they really mean?  What do these words suggest to you about how Agamemnon views Achilleus?  Does Agamemnon follow Nestor’s advice in offering “gifts of friendship”? 8. In Book 9, what does Odysseus tell Achilleus Agamemnon offers him?  What ancient Greek words does Odysseus use, and why?  How is Odysseus’ offer different from what Agamemnon said he would offer?  How does Achilleus respond to Odysseus?  Why does Achilleus respond this way?  What does Achilleus’ response tell you about how he views Agamemnon? 9. In Book 9, what does Phoinix tell Achilleus that Agamemnon offers him?  What ancient Greek word does Phoinix use, and why?  Does Achilleus accept Phoinix’s offer? 10. In Book 9, Aias does not follow Agamemnon, Nestor, Odysseus, or Phoinix, but tries a new strategy in speaking with Achilleus.  What does Aias tell Achilleus that Agamemnon offers him?  What ancient Greek word does Aias use?  How is Aias’ strategy to persuade Achilleus to return to battle different from Odysseus’ Phoinix’s attempts?  How does Achilleus respond to Aias? 11. Does any member of the embassy tell Achillleus what Agamemnon actually said he would offer?  Why?  And why does Achilleus reject all of the offers from all of the members of the embassy?  What does Achilleus want as compensation for the seizure of Briseis? 12. In Book 9, what does Achilleus’ responses to Odysseus, Phoinix, and Aias tell you about Achilleus’ relationship with Agamemnon?  What does his response tell you about Achilleus’ relationship to those whom he calls the “dearest of all the Achaians”? 13. In Book 18, why does Achilleus decide to return to battle?  Is it because he wants to repair the relationship with Agamemnon?  Or does he return for some other reason?  What is this other reason?  What event has had such a critical impact on Achilleus, and why has Achilleus been impacted in this way? 14. In Book 19 at the assembly, what does Agamemnon tell Achilleus that he offers him at line 138?  What ancient Greek words does he use for “gifts in abundance”?  Has Agamemnon changed his position from Book 9? 15. What is Achilleus’ response to Agamemnon’s offer in Book 19?  Does Achilleus’ response to Agamemnon show that he views the conflict between him and Agamemnon as resolved?  Or has Achilleus been forced to push his hatred for Agamemnon aside in order to address a more urgent need?  What is this more urgent need, and is it possible for Achilleus to address it without reentering battle?  Or does he have to fight? Note 1: The above questions are intended to help you to generate the content that you need in order to write one coherent, focused, and unified response that addresses the main essay assignment question.  It is not sufficient to answer each bulleted question one-by-one and then to submit these answers as an essay.  After you have responded to these questions, you will need to shape your responses into one unified paper that responds effectively to the main assignment question. Note 2: To answer the above questions effectively, you need to engage seriously with the Iliad in light of the content discussed in lectures and tutorials.  While no marks will be deducted for using the Internet provided that you reference all of your sources properly, you should be aware that you will still need to offer support for your argument from the assigned edition of the Iliad, in light of the material discussed in lectures and tutorials.  In this sense, Internet material does not replace, but only adds to, the work that you have to do.

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