Week 2 Readings.pdf - When many are gathered together youll...

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book 9 165 But Atreus’s son led all the Achaian elders together to his hut, and set before them a feast to warm their hearts. 90 So they reached out their hands to the good things ready for them; but when they’d satisfied their desire for food and drink the first to set about weaving a web of counsel for them was old Nestōr, whose past advice too had proven the best. He with friendly intent now spoke before the assembly: 95 “Most glorious son of Atreus, Agamemnōn, lord of men, with you I’ll begin, with you end, since over many men is your royal rule, and Zeus to you has entrusted both scepter and precedent, to make good judgments for them. So you must, above all others, both speak and listen, 100 and implement for another whatever his spirit may bid him declare for our good: yours to fi nish whatever he begins. Now I shall speak out as it seems to me to be best. No other man will conceive a better idea than the one that I’ve long had in mind—and which I still hold now— 105 ever since you, Zeus’s scion, went and took that girl, Briseïs, away from the hut of the furious Achilles— not something I approved of: for my part I tried hard to dissuade you; but you were swayed by your proud spirit, and on a most noble man, whom the very immortals honored, 110 you heaped dishonor by taking, and keeping, that prize of his.
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166 the iliad Yet even now let’s consider how we still might make amends, persuade him with winning gifts and conciliatory words.” To him the lord of men, Agamemnōn, then replied: “Old sir, there was nothing amiss in your telling of my blindness. 115 Deluded I was: I admit it. Worth a whole crowd of common folk is the man whom Zeus cherishes in his heart, as now he’s honored that man and routs the Achaian forces. But since I was blinded, a slave to my wretched passions, I’m willing to make amends, to pay boundless compensation. 120 Let me, before you all, name my splendid gifts: seven tripods untouched by fire, ten talents of gold, twenty shining cauldrons, and a dozen horses— sturdy race winners, whose speed has brought them prizes. Not landless would be that man, nor lacking in possession 125 of precious gold, to whom there accrued the amount of wealth brought to me by my whole-hoofed racehorses’ prizes. I’ll give him, too, seven women, skilled in fine handiwork, from Lesbos, whom—when he took that well-built island himself—I picked out: they surpassed all women in beauty. 130 These will I give him, including her whom I took away, Brīseus’s daughter; and, further, I’ll swear a great oath that I never went up to her bed nor lay with her, as is the custom of humankind, between men and women. All these things will be given him now; and if hereafter 135 the gods grant that we take down Priam’s great city, let him go in and load up his ship with gold and bronze when we, the Achaians, are dividing up the spoils, and choose for himself a score of Trojan women— the most beautiful, after Argive Helen herself! And if 140 we get back to Achaian Argos, rich mother of plowland,
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