~exprez135/mountaen

bb9c3c3aa24fd364dfb3059445078d4c2da2bdf6 — Nate Ijams 2 months ago c4dd448
Iliad journals two and three.
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<!DOCTYPE html><html lang='en'><head><meta charset='utf-8'><meta name='description' content='The Iliad of Homer'/><meta name='thumbnail' content='https://wiki.ijams.me/media/services/thumbnail.jpg' /><link rel='alternate' type='application/rss+xml' title='RSS Feed' href='../links/rss.xml' /><link rel='stylesheet' type='text/css' href='../links/main.css'><link rel='shortcut icon' type='image/png' href='../media/services/icon.png'><title>Tellurium — iliad</title></head><body><header><a href='home.html'><img src='../media/icon/logo.svg' alt='Tellurium'></a></header><nav><ul><li><a href='notes.html'>notes/</a></li></ul><ul><li><a href='iliad.html'>iliad/</a></li></ul><ul><li><a href='iliad_journal_one.html'>iliad-journal-one</a></li></ul></nav><main><figure><img src='../media/diary/1.jpg' alt='The Iliad of Homer picture'/><figcaption>20R10 — The Iliad of Homer</figcaption></figure><h2>The Iliad of Homer</h2><p>Read as part of the Core Curriculum at Columbia University. Page and verse references come from the Richmond Lattimore 2011 edition.</p><p>You can see some of my writing about the book with the navigation system above.</p><img src='../media/generic/iliad.sing.svg' alt="Sing, goddess" />
<!DOCTYPE html><html lang='en'><head><meta charset='utf-8'><meta name='description' content='The Iliad of Homer'/><meta name='thumbnail' content='https://wiki.ijams.me/media/services/thumbnail.jpg' /><link rel='alternate' type='application/rss+xml' title='RSS Feed' href='../links/rss.xml' /><link rel='stylesheet' type='text/css' href='../links/main.css'><link rel='shortcut icon' type='image/png' href='../media/services/icon.png'><title>Tellurium — iliad</title></head><body><header><a href='home.html'><img src='../media/icon/logo.svg' alt='Tellurium'></a></header><nav><ul><li><a href='notes.html'>notes/</a></li></ul><ul><li><a href='iliad.html'>iliad/</a></li></ul><ul><li><a href='iliad_journal_one.html'>iliad-journal-one</a></li><li><a href='iliad_journal_two.html'>iliad-journal-two</a></li><li><a href='iliad_journal_three.html'>iliad-journal-three</a></li></ul></nav><main><figure><img src='../media/diary/1.jpg' alt='The Iliad of Homer picture'/><figcaption>20R10 — The Iliad of Homer</figcaption></figure><h2>The Iliad of Homer</h2><p>Read as part of the Core Curriculum at Columbia University. Page and verse references come from the Richmond Lattimore 2011 edition.</p><p>You can see some of my writing about the book with the navigation system above.</p><p>What struck me most was the ending of this epic. After all the battle, bloodshed, anger, disgust, treachery, and hopelessness of the fighting, we end with the Achaians and the Trojans both going through much effort and pain to honor and mourn those they have lost. Even knowing the future pain of the war, the Achaians burn and celebrate Patroklos while the Trojans strain to recover Hektor. What a reminder of how much *love* still conquers. We might see these figures as near savage in warfare. But life and love, I think, is what they truly value. The Iliad might just be a pacifist work.</p><p>Additional reading:</p><ol><li>Simone Weil: The Iliad or the Poem of Force</li></ol><img src='../media/generic/iliad.sing.svg' alt="Sing, goddess" />
<p>Found a mistake? Submit an <a href='https://git.sr.ht/~exprez135/mountaen/tree/master/src/inc/iliad.htm' target='_blank'>patch</a> to iliad.</p><h3>iliad characters</h3><ul><li><b>Agamemnon</b>: King and leader of the Achaians. Atreus' son. Respected by all the Achaians, except perhaps by Achilleus. Also known as Atreides.</li><li><b>Menelaus</b>: Brother of Agamemnon and son of Atreus. The husband of Helen, on whose behalf the Achaians go to war.</li><li>Helen :</li><li>Achilleus :</li><li>Hektor :</li></ul><h3>iliad vocabulary</h3><ul><li><b>Achaians</b>: Collective name for the Greeks of the Iliad. Also known as the Argives, the Danaans, the Panhellenes, and the Hellenes.</li><li><b>Atreides</b>: Descendant of Atreus. In the Iliad, either Agamemnon or Menelaus.</li><li>Trojans :</li></ul><p><i>Last update on <a href='tracker.html'>20S06</a>, edited 2 times. +4/10fh</i><code style='float:right; font-size:80%'>-----+</code></p></main><footer><a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0'><img src='../media/icon/cc.svg' alt='creative commons'/></a></a><a href='https://fosstodon.org/@exprez135'><img src='../media/icon/fosstodon.png' alt='exprez135@fosstodon.org'/></a><a href='https://git.sr.ht/~exprez135'><img src='../media/icon/sourcehut.svg' alt='sourcehut'/></a><span><a href='nathaniel_ijams.html'>Nathaniel Ijams</a> © 2020 — <a href='about.html'>BY-NC-SA 4.0</a></span></footer></body></html>
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<!DOCTYPE html><html lang='en'><head><meta charset='utf-8'><meta name='description' content='Books 7-12 of The Iliad'/><meta name='thumbnail' content='https://wiki.ijams.me/media/services/thumbnail.jpg' /><link rel='alternate' type='application/rss+xml' title='RSS Feed' href='../links/rss.xml' /><link rel='stylesheet' type='text/css' href='../links/main.css'><link rel='shortcut icon' type='image/png' href='../media/services/icon.png'><title>Tellurium — iliad-journal-one</title></head><body><header><a href='home.html'><img src='../media/icon/logo.svg' alt='Tellurium'></a></header><nav><ul><li><a href='iliad.html'>iliad/</a></li></ul><ul><li><a href='iliad_journal_one.html'>iliad-journal-one/</a></li></ul><ul></ul></nav><main><h2>Books 7-12 of The Iliad</h2><h1 id="journal-one-iliad-books-7-12">Journal One: Iliad Books 7-12</h1>
<!DOCTYPE html><html lang='en'><head><meta charset='utf-8'><meta name='description' content='Books 7-12 of The Iliad'/><meta name='thumbnail' content='https://wiki.ijams.me/media/services/thumbnail.jpg' /><link rel='alternate' type='application/rss+xml' title='RSS Feed' href='../links/rss.xml' /><link rel='stylesheet' type='text/css' href='../links/main.css'><link rel='shortcut icon' type='image/png' href='../media/services/icon.png'><title>Tellurium — iliad-journal-one</title></head><body><header><a href='home.html'><img src='../media/icon/logo.svg' alt='Tellurium'></a></header><nav><ul><li><a href='iliad.html'>iliad/</a></li></ul><ul><li><a href='iliad_journal_one.html'>iliad-journal-one/</a></li><li><a href='iliad_journal_two.html'>iliad-journal-two</a></li><li><a href='iliad_journal_three.html'>iliad-journal-three</a></li></ul><ul></ul></nav><main><h2>Books 7-12 of The Iliad</h2><h1 id="journal-one-iliad-books-7-12">Journal One: Iliad Books 7-12</h1>
<h2 id="book-seven-verses-400-402-pp.-197">Book Seven, Verses 400-402, pp. 197</h2>
<blockquote>
<p>Now let none accept the possessions of Alexandros</p>

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<!DOCTYPE html><html lang='en'><head><meta charset='utf-8'><meta name='description' content='Books 19-24 of The Iliad'/><meta name='thumbnail' content='https://wiki.ijams.me/media/services/thumbnail.jpg' /><link rel='alternate' type='application/rss+xml' title='RSS Feed' href='../links/rss.xml' /><link rel='stylesheet' type='text/css' href='../links/main.css'><link rel='shortcut icon' type='image/png' href='../media/services/icon.png'><title>Tellurium — iliad-journal-three</title></head><body><header><a href='home.html'><img src='../media/icon/logo.svg' alt='Tellurium'></a></header><nav><ul><li><a href='iliad.html'>iliad/</a></li></ul><ul><li><a href='iliad_journal_one.html'>iliad-journal-one</a></li><li><a href='iliad_journal_two.html'>iliad-journal-two</a></li><li><a href='iliad_journal_three.html'>iliad-journal-three/</a></li></ul><ul></ul></nav><main><h2>Books 19-24 of The Iliad</h2><h1 id="journal-three-iliad-books-19-24">Journal Three: Iliad Books 19-24</h1>
<h2 id="book-nineteen-verses-85-94-pp.-416">Book Nineteen, Verses 85-94, pp. 416</h2>
<blockquote>
<p>This is the word the Achaians have spoken often against me</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>and found fault with me in it, yet I am not responsible</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>but Zeus is, and Destiny, and Erinys the mist-walking</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>who in assembly caught my heart in the savage deluion</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>on that day I myself stripped from him the prize of Achilleus.</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>Yet what could I do? It is the god who accomplishes all things.</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>[…]</p>
</blockquote>
<p>I am honestly bemused at this little speech that Agamemnon gives. For all the serious themes of this epic, in its death and destruction and dark destiny, we still see this very human thing: blame fate for faulty functioning instead of the egregious errors of the ego.</p>
<blockquote>
<p>How I am amused</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>At this the speech of the king</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>Destiny, not me!</p>
</blockquote>
<p>And more:</p>
<blockquote>
<p>Sing, goddess, the excuses of Atreus’ son Agamemnon</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>and its humour, which put laughs thousandfold upon the Readers,</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>hurled in their multitudes to the house of Ronald McDonald</p>
</blockquote>
<p>Back to seriousness: the words he speaks here do reflect what the Greeks might be thinking. <em>If</em> it is true that the gods interfere in the world as depicted in this epic, what true choice does a leader like Agamemnon have? If Fate, and Zeus, can say that a certain battle will take place, after certain events take place, in a certain manner, was it ever Agamemnon’s fault for insulting Achilleus? Obviously, to us, we could play off his words as a pure excuse.</p>
<figure>
<img src="sing.svg" alt="Sing, goddess" /><figcaption aria-hidden="true">Sing, goddess</figcaption>
</figure>
<p>But maybe we are asking the wrong question. To approach the question of free will as a question of “whose fault was that?” leads to confusion. The world is greater than us, and any attempt to rationalize it all will lead to failure. I think it’s impossible to reconcile everything: the chaos of nature, the actions of others, our DNA, our childhoods, our experiences, our place in time and geography, etc. All those things that can be blamed, for whatever reason, as the cause of a problem.</p>
<p>Instead, maybe we ought to ask: <em>how shall we be?</em> I think any good answer to that will necessitate something hard: a rejection of self. The Greeks are doomed because they have <strong>pride</strong>. In their pride, they go to die. In their pride, they do not forgive. In their pride, they refuse to submit. With rejection of self, then, comes the ability to act in total humility and selflessness.</p>
<p>I tire, truly, of our concept of <em>truths</em>. Somehow we’ve come to think it’s okay to just play around with ideas for the sake of playing with them. We’ve come to believe that there are many ways of living proper lives. I’m not so sure. I believe in Truth.</p>
<h2 id="book-twenty-verses-490-503-pp.-439">Book Twenty, Verses 490-503, pp. 439</h2>
<blockquote>
<p>As inhuman fire sweeps on in fury through the deep angles</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>of a drywoood mountain […]</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>[…] so Achilleus</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>swept everywhere with his spear like something more than a mortal</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>[…]</p>
</blockquote>
<p>I reference both these verses and the entire section preceding it describing Achilleus in battle.</p>
<p>This to me shows just how glorified Achilleus is. Reading him going from man to man, killing as easily as one might walk, is the closest to OP super hero movie feels I’ve gotten.</p>
<p>All the rest of the epic has described encounters and killings work with relative slowness. Two would approach, words might be said, multiple attacks might be required, and then death and a struggle to strip armour.</p>
<p>Here, unless he is going against a god-protected enemy, Achilleus just ravages through the masses.</p>
<p>Like a tractor through a field, there is no hope.</p>
<p>Achilleus just kills, then kills, then kills. It’s a very great contrast. Achilleus &gt; everyone else.</p>
<p>Greeks do love them some Achille.</p>
<p>Now, who knows how accurate such portrayals of Achilleus are? But don’t we do the same thing? We take someone and make them a hero. Stories arise, their ordinary-ness is forgotten.</p>
<h2 id="book-twenty-one-verses-233-283-pp.-446">Book Twenty-One, Verses 233-283, pp. 446</h2>
<blockquote>
<p>[…] but the river in a boiling surge was upon him</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>[…]</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>And about Achilleus in his confusion a dangerous wave rose</p>
</blockquote>
<p>I spoke during class about my growing conception of the Greek mythology as a fluid, complex world of human nature combined with defined ideas of their pantheon as well as primordial nature.</p>
<p>From this reading, together with e.g. learning of the mythologies of ancient Slavic peoples, I’ve grown to understand, though I know I can’t yet express it in words, a view of the world in which everything is alive. It’s more of an outlook on the world, a lens through which everything is seen, than any rationally defined system.</p>
<p>Here we see a river. On the one hand it is just like the other gods: it has desire, interest, and agency.</p>
<p>Here, though, we see not a human form but a river itself. More of a nature-god than human-god. The same <em>could</em> be said of Zeus: thunder, lightning, storms. All of the world is a continuum. An interaction of essence and force and will and great things and small things, all of which come to form our existence. Nothing is alone. Nothing is isolated.</p>
<p>I also wonder about language. English is a very unusual language. It’s not nearly as nuansed a language as a language like greek. How does our language define our own ideas of the world? Or rather, how is it a reflection of our idea of the world? What do we miss when we use this language? How can we design new languages which change things?</p>
<p>Take, for example, a theoretical language which does not have the genitive or possession. How would that shape our idea of the world? What would a society which made that language look like?</p>
<p>See: Japanese proto-religions.</p>
<figure>
<img src="../media/generic/ocean.jpg" alt="Ocean, the street which surrounds my world" /><figcaption aria-hidden="true">Ocean, the street which surrounds my world</figcaption>
</figure>
<h2 id="book-twenty-two-verses-209-213-pp.-462">Book Twenty-Two, Verses 209-213, pp. 462</h2>
<blockquote>
<p>then the Father balanced his golden scales, and in them</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>he set two fateful portions of death, which lays men prostrate,</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>one for Achilleus, and one for Hektor, breaker of horses,</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>and balanced it by the middle; and Hektor’s death day was heavier</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>and dragged him downward toward death, and Phoibos Apollo forsook him.</p>
</blockquote>
<p>This is a great expression of something I’ve talked about in my previous journals. Here, Zeus lies out their fates on a balance, and Hektor’s fate was the heavier one. And thus he must die at Achilleus’ hand. The gods do not ultimately control fate. This is greater than even them.</p>
<p>Doing some research into this, it’s interesting to see the conceptualization of these ideas change over time. Homer uses <code>moira</code> both as impersonal fate and as the doing of the gods. By the time of Hesiod fate is now person in the form of the three fates. A reminder that these stories and mythologies were in reality just as alive and changing and permeable as our own culture is. What snippets we have of it are lucky finds, impossible preservations.</p>
<p>One thing that I try to keep in mind, especially when it comes time to gather “context” for a reading like this, is that much of our idea of these things is shaped and decided by this very work. It’s not like finding a modern book about economics and being able to get “context” for it by referencing thousands of other works on the subject. Homer’s writing is one of a few. What he writes in large part shaped our understanding of this mythology. How much of the “context” we get is context derived from other sources, and how much is actually just the interpretations of those who have analysed these works before us?</p>
<h2 id="book-twenty-four-verses-163-165-p.-501">Book Twenty-Four, Verses 163-165, p. 501</h2>
<blockquote>
<p>[…] Dung lay thick</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>on the head and neck of the aged man, for he had been rolling</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>in it, he had gathered and smeared it on with his hands.</p>
</blockquote>
<p>Excuseeeeee me?</p>
<h2 id="book-twenty-four-verses-151-256-p.-504">Book Twenty-Four, Verses 151-256, p. 504</h2>
<blockquote>
<p>[…] There were nine</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>sons to whom now the old man gave orders and spoke to them roughly:</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>"Make haste, wicked children, my disgraces. I wish all of you</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>had been killed beside the running ships in the place of Hektor.</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>Ah me, for my evil destiny. I have had the noblest</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>of sons in Troy, but I say not one of them is left to me,</p>
</blockquote>
<p>I’ve mentioned the Lord of the Rings. This is the Lord of the Rings. Here is Denethor, Steward of the White City, mourning the death of his eldest Boromir. Here are nine Faramirs, scolded by their father. Sent running through the city. Though I hope not to their near deaths. Here are the talented, but not the strong, the intelligent, but not the figher.</p>
<p>Besides this parallel, this is a true sign of the importance of certain births in this culture. Here a boy is valued over the girl. And the first-born over any other. Why is it that this is always the case? Because the parents expend the most energy on the first? Because with the first birth the heart is softened? Because the father wants the stability of a known and trusted heir?</p>
<p>I mean, we see first borns killing their fathers over and over in Greek &amp; Roman mythology. Yet still a loving obsession with them.</p>
<figure>
<img src="../media/generic/bird.jpg" alt="Birds bring omens" /><figcaption aria-hidden="true">Birds bring omens</figcaption>
</figure>
<p>Found a mistake? Submit an <a href='https://git.sr.ht/~exprez135/mountaen/tree/master/src/inc/iliad_journal_three.htm' target='_blank'>patch</a> to iliad-journal-three.</p></main><footer><a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0'><img src='../media/icon/cc.svg' alt='creative commons'/></a></a><a href='https://fosstodon.org/@exprez135'><img src='../media/icon/fosstodon.png' alt='exprez135@fosstodon.org'/></a><a href='https://git.sr.ht/~exprez135'><img src='../media/icon/sourcehut.svg' alt='sourcehut'/></a><span><a href='nathaniel_ijams.html'>Nathaniel Ijams</a> © 2020 — <a href='about.html'>BY-NC-SA 4.0</a></span></footer></body></html>
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<!DOCTYPE html><html lang='en'><head><meta charset='utf-8'><meta name='description' content='Books 13-18 of The Iliad'/><meta name='thumbnail' content='https://wiki.ijams.me/media/services/thumbnail.jpg' /><link rel='alternate' type='application/rss+xml' title='RSS Feed' href='../links/rss.xml' /><link rel='stylesheet' type='text/css' href='../links/main.css'><link rel='shortcut icon' type='image/png' href='../media/services/icon.png'><title>Tellurium — iliad-journal-two</title></head><body><header><a href='home.html'><img src='../media/icon/logo.svg' alt='Tellurium'></a></header><nav><ul><li><a href='iliad.html'>iliad/</a></li></ul><ul><li><a href='iliad_journal_one.html'>iliad-journal-one</a></li><li><a href='iliad_journal_two.html'>iliad-journal-two/</a></li><li><a href='iliad_journal_three.html'>iliad-journal-three</a></li></ul><ul></ul></nav><main><h2>Books 13-18 of The Iliad</h2><h1 id="journal-two-iliad-books-13-18">Journal Two: Iliad Books 13-18</h1>
<h2 id="book-thirteen-verses-111-115-pp.-294">Book Thirteen, Verses 111-115, pp. 294</h2>
<blockquote>
<p>Yet even though it be utterly true that the son of Atreus</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>the hero wide-powerful Agamemnon is guilty</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>because he did dishonor to Peleus’ son […]</p>
</blockquote>
<p>This caught my attention because we discussed, or at least someone mentioned, quite the opposite in class. They ascribed <em>guilt</em> to Achilleus, from their impression of the Proem.</p>
<p>Here, guilt is ascribed to Ag. for dishonoring Achilleus and thus spurring the issue in the first place.</p>
<p>Which is it? Do we blame the pride of Achilleus or the foolishness of Ag. in insulting his greatest warrior? Does Homer, and the oral tradition he records, prefer one of these?</p>
<p>I think the Greeks would choose the latter. Yes, Achilleus could have sucked it up and fought. But to them these external measures of honor are very valuable. In a mortal life, glory and legacy are important. To fight and risk death dishonored is, perhaps, unfavourable. In a culture where that honor is so important, how could it not be Agamemnon’s fault for insulting his best warrior?</p>
<p>Perhaps the Proem is concerned less with judgement and more with recalling just how powerful aspects of our existence are.</p>
<p>Achilleus is powerful. How <strong>epic</strong> that him being angry can thus cause so much to pass.</p>
<h2 id="book-fifteen-verses-135-141-pp.-333">Book Fifteen, Verses 135-141, pp. 333</h2>
<blockquote>
<p>Since he will at once leave the Achaians and the high-hearted</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>Trojans, and come back to batter us on Olympos</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>and will catch up as they come the guilty one and the guiltless.</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>[…]</p>
</blockquote>
<p>Here we see Athene plead with Ares to not go down to the fighting against the will of Zeus. He has just discovered that a favoured mortal of his has died.</p>
<p>I’m stunned by the plea that she makes: do not go, for your transgression will bring punishment to us all. Zeus’ anger will be unstoppable.</p>
<p>It’s another example of the many sorts of collective punishments we see:</p>
<ul>
<li><p>Zeus will take it out on the entire pantheon</p></li>
<li><p>the gods’ actions throughout end with the deaths and misfortunes of many mortals, usually because they like one of them (what <em>does</em> make the gods prefer one? What patterns do we see? If they are their son or daughter, special strength, loyal prayer and sacrfice. What can this tell us about the Greeks? The gods’ favoured ones are the set of people they take as their heros).</p></li>
<li><p>the mortals’ own actions cause collective harm because of their culture:</p>
<ul>
<li><p>the dispute over Helen, between two men, ends with the warring of many tribes</p></li>
<li><p>Achilleus’ anger</p></li>
</ul></li>
</ul>
<p>2nd part of the quote: Athene argues to Ares that there are many mortals who will die, so they cannot save them all. Even ones better than Ares’s will die.</p>
<h2 id="book-fifteen-verses-143-148-pp.-334">Book Fifteen, Verses 143-148, pp. 334</h2>
<blockquote>
<p>[…]</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>both of you to go to him with all speed, at Ita;</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>but when you have there and looked upon Zeus’ countenance,</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>then you must do whatever he urges you, and his orders.</p>
</blockquote>
<p>I’m sorry for choosing an example so soon after the previous one, but this is just a sample of a trend found throughout.</p>
<p>I’ve noted that Homer uses the word “but” in a way I don’t expect. Of course, this could be (probably is) a vestige of translation, but it’s worth considering.</p>
<p>When he writes “but when you have there…”, it’s as if, in English, the expectation is that they wouldn’t obey. Why use “but” instead of another conjugation? This is found <em>everywhere</em> in the poem. “But” is usually used in reference to objects of contrast and exception. What other small (or major) nuances of language are we missing as 21st century English speakers?</p>
<p>Are these “but”s αλλα (agga) or δε (de). They might be translated the same way, but they don’t mean the same thing.</p>
<h2 id="book-seventeen-verses-120-131-pp.-378">Book Seventeen, Verses 120-131, pp. 378</h2>
<blockquote>
<p>[…]</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>to try if we can carry back to Achilleus the body</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>which is naked; Hektor of the shining helm has taken his armor."</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>[…]</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>and sprang to his chariot, but handed over the beautiful armor</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>to the Trojans, to take back to the city and to be his great glory.</p>
</blockquote>
<p>What is the significance of the stripping of ones armor? Is the armor some important symbol of honor? Is their armor to them as horns are to deer or feathers to peacocks? Tools in life and prizes in death?</p>
<p>Throughout we see both the stripping of armor as a prize for the victor and the prevention of stripping as a duty for friends left behind.</p>
<p>Together with armor, there is an obsession with the signifiance of a good burial, dying by the land of ones fathers, the feasting of dogs, and the despoiling of bodies.</p>
<p>So, how do we treat and remember the dead? In the moment, we see valiant efforts and sacrifices to secure the physical. In the culture we see this very effort to maintain and preserve the oral tradition of this war.</p>
<h2 id="book-eighteen-verses-32-35-pp.-397">Book Eighteen, Verses 32-35, pp. 397</h2>
<blockquote>
<p>On the other side Antilochos mourned with him, letting the tears fall,</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>and held the hands of Achilleus as he grieved in his proud heart,</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>fearing Achilleus might cut his throat with the iron. […]</p>
</blockquote>
<p>Here, Antilochos has ran as fast as he can to Achilleus to tell him of the falling of Paroklos, his dear friend. Achilleus breaks down in grief, coming closest to the proverbial tearing of robes. Antilochos, however, fears for his life as he comforts Achilleus. What does this tell us about the characters? These are not our children fairy tale heros. Yes, Achilleus is loved. But, even more than that, he is feared.</p>
<p>He is a warrior. One prone to devastating changes of mood. His love could mean riches and his anger death. Even Antilochos, a fellow Greek, and a messenger, worries that Achilleus will kill him for simply telling him bad news. Neither are these just individual heros like the demigods of some other stories. If anything, the listing of names and ships in Book Two tells us that these names mentioned are rulers, tribal chiefs, and kings. Our history is different, our rulers are never at risk. Here, we see warfare where every man fights.</p>
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M src/database/lexicon.ndtl => src/database/lexicon.ndtl +13 -0
@@ 393,6 393,11 @@ ILIAD
  BODY
    <p>Read as part of the Core Curriculum at Columbia University. Page and verse references come from the Richmond Lattimore 2011 edition.</p>
    <p>You can see some of my writing about the book with the navigation system above.</p>
    <p>What struck me most was the ending of this epic. After all the battle, bloodshed, anger, disgust, treachery, and hopelessness of the fighting, we end with the Achaians and the Trojans both going through much effort and pain to honor and mourn those they have lost. Even knowing the future pain of the war, the Achaians burn and celebrate Patroklos while the Trojans strain to recover Hektor. What a reminder of how much *love* still conquers. We might see these figures as near savage in warfare. But life and love, I think, is what they truly value. The Iliad might just be a pacifist work.</p>
    <p>Additional reading:</p>
    <ol>
    <li>Simone Weil: The Iliad or the Poem of Force</li>
    </ol>
  LIST
    iliad characters
    iliad vocabulary


@@ 400,3 405,11 @@ ILIAD
ILIAD-JOURNAL-ONE
  HOST : iliad
  BREF : Books 7-12 of The Iliad

ILIAD-JOURNAL-TWO
  HOST : iliad
  BREF : Books 13-18 of The Iliad

ILIAD-JOURNAL-THREE
  HOST : iliad
  BREF : Books 19-24 of The Iliad

A src/inc/iliad_journal_three.htm => src/inc/iliad_journal_three.htm +149 -0
@@ 0,0 1,149 @@
<h1 id="journal-three-iliad-books-19-24">Journal Three: Iliad Books 19-24</h1>
<h2 id="book-nineteen-verses-85-94-pp.-416">Book Nineteen, Verses 85-94, pp. 416</h2>
<blockquote>
<p>This is the word the Achaians have spoken often against me</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>and found fault with me in it, yet I am not responsible</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>but Zeus is, and Destiny, and Erinys the mist-walking</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>who in assembly caught my heart in the savage deluion</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>on that day I myself stripped from him the prize of Achilleus.</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>Yet what could I do? It is the god who accomplishes all things.</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>[…]</p>
</blockquote>
<p>I am honestly bemused at this little speech that Agamemnon gives. For all the serious themes of this epic, in its death and destruction and dark destiny, we still see this very human thing: blame fate for faulty functioning instead of the egregious errors of the ego.</p>
<blockquote>
<p>How I am amused</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>At this the speech of the king</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>Destiny, not me!</p>
</blockquote>
<p>And more:</p>
<blockquote>
<p>Sing, goddess, the excuses of Atreus’ son Agamemnon</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>and its humour, which put laughs thousandfold upon the Readers,</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>hurled in their multitudes to the house of Ronald McDonald</p>
</blockquote>
<p>Back to seriousness: the words he speaks here do reflect what the Greeks might be thinking. <em>If</em> it is true that the gods interfere in the world as depicted in this epic, what true choice does a leader like Agamemnon have? If Fate, and Zeus, can say that a certain battle will take place, after certain events take place, in a certain manner, was it ever Agamemnon’s fault for insulting Achilleus? Obviously, to us, we could play off his words as a pure excuse.</p>
<figure>
<img src="sing.svg" alt="Sing, goddess" /><figcaption aria-hidden="true">Sing, goddess</figcaption>
</figure>
<p>But maybe we are asking the wrong question. To approach the question of free will as a question of “whose fault was that?” leads to confusion. The world is greater than us, and any attempt to rationalize it all will lead to failure. I think it’s impossible to reconcile everything: the chaos of nature, the actions of others, our DNA, our childhoods, our experiences, our place in time and geography, etc. All those things that can be blamed, for whatever reason, as the cause of a problem.</p>
<p>Instead, maybe we ought to ask: <em>how shall we be?</em> I think any good answer to that will necessitate something hard: a rejection of self. The Greeks are doomed because they have <strong>pride</strong>. In their pride, they go to die. In their pride, they do not forgive. In their pride, they refuse to submit. With rejection of self, then, comes the ability to act in total humility and selflessness.</p>
<p>I tire, truly, of our concept of <em>truths</em>. Somehow we’ve come to think it’s okay to just play around with ideas for the sake of playing with them. We’ve come to believe that there are many ways of living proper lives. I’m not so sure. I believe in Truth.</p>
<h2 id="book-twenty-verses-490-503-pp.-439">Book Twenty, Verses 490-503, pp. 439</h2>
<blockquote>
<p>As inhuman fire sweeps on in fury through the deep angles</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>of a drywoood mountain […]</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>[…] so Achilleus</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>swept everywhere with his spear like something more than a mortal</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>[…]</p>
</blockquote>
<p>I reference both these verses and the entire section preceding it describing Achilleus in battle.</p>
<p>This to me shows just how glorified Achilleus is. Reading him going from man to man, killing as easily as one might walk, is the closest to OP super hero movie feels I’ve gotten.</p>
<p>All the rest of the epic has described encounters and killings work with relative slowness. Two would approach, words might be said, multiple attacks might be required, and then death and a struggle to strip armour.</p>
<p>Here, unless he is going against a god-protected enemy, Achilleus just ravages through the masses.</p>
<p>Like a tractor through a field, there is no hope.</p>
<p>Achilleus just kills, then kills, then kills. It’s a very great contrast. Achilleus &gt; everyone else.</p>
<p>Greeks do love them some Achille.</p>
<p>Now, who knows how accurate such portrayals of Achilleus are? But don’t we do the same thing? We take someone and make them a hero. Stories arise, their ordinary-ness is forgotten.</p>
<h2 id="book-twenty-one-verses-233-283-pp.-446">Book Twenty-One, Verses 233-283, pp. 446</h2>
<blockquote>
<p>[…] but the river in a boiling surge was upon him</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>[…]</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>And about Achilleus in his confusion a dangerous wave rose</p>
</blockquote>
<p>I spoke during class about my growing conception of the Greek mythology as a fluid, complex world of human nature combined with defined ideas of their pantheon as well as primordial nature.</p>
<p>From this reading, together with e.g. learning of the mythologies of ancient Slavic peoples, I’ve grown to understand, though I know I can’t yet express it in words, a view of the world in which everything is alive. It’s more of an outlook on the world, a lens through which everything is seen, than any rationally defined system.</p>
<p>Here we see a river. On the one hand it is just like the other gods: it has desire, interest, and agency.</p>
<p>Here, though, we see not a human form but a river itself. More of a nature-god than human-god. The same <em>could</em> be said of Zeus: thunder, lightning, storms. All of the world is a continuum. An interaction of essence and force and will and great things and small things, all of which come to form our existence. Nothing is alone. Nothing is isolated.</p>
<p>I also wonder about language. English is a very unusual language. It’s not nearly as nuansed a language as a language like greek. How does our language define our own ideas of the world? Or rather, how is it a reflection of our idea of the world? What do we miss when we use this language? How can we design new languages which change things?</p>
<p>Take, for example, a theoretical language which does not have the genitive or possession. How would that shape our idea of the world? What would a society which made that language look like?</p>
<p>See: Japanese proto-religions.</p>
<figure>
<img src="../media/generic/ocean.jpg" alt="Ocean, the street which surrounds my world" /><figcaption aria-hidden="true">Ocean, the street which surrounds my world</figcaption>
</figure>
<h2 id="book-twenty-two-verses-209-213-pp.-462">Book Twenty-Two, Verses 209-213, pp. 462</h2>
<blockquote>
<p>then the Father balanced his golden scales, and in them</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>he set two fateful portions of death, which lays men prostrate,</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>one for Achilleus, and one for Hektor, breaker of horses,</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>and balanced it by the middle; and Hektor’s death day was heavier</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>and dragged him downward toward death, and Phoibos Apollo forsook him.</p>
</blockquote>
<p>This is a great expression of something I’ve talked about in my previous journals. Here, Zeus lies out their fates on a balance, and Hektor’s fate was the heavier one. And thus he must die at Achilleus’ hand. The gods do not ultimately control fate. This is greater than even them.</p>
<p>Doing some research into this, it’s interesting to see the conceptualization of these ideas change over time. Homer uses <code>moira</code> both as impersonal fate and as the doing of the gods. By the time of Hesiod fate is now person in the form of the three fates. A reminder that these stories and mythologies were in reality just as alive and changing and permeable as our own culture is. What snippets we have of it are lucky finds, impossible preservations.</p>
<p>One thing that I try to keep in mind, especially when it comes time to gather “context” for a reading like this, is that much of our idea of these things is shaped and decided by this very work. It’s not like finding a modern book about economics and being able to get “context” for it by referencing thousands of other works on the subject. Homer’s writing is one of a few. What he writes in large part shaped our understanding of this mythology. How much of the “context” we get is context derived from other sources, and how much is actually just the interpretations of those who have analysed these works before us?</p>
<h2 id="book-twenty-four-verses-163-165-p.-501">Book Twenty-Four, Verses 163-165, p. 501</h2>
<blockquote>
<p>[…] Dung lay thick</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>on the head and neck of the aged man, for he had been rolling</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>in it, he had gathered and smeared it on with his hands.</p>
</blockquote>
<p>Excuseeeeee me?</p>
<h2 id="book-twenty-four-verses-151-256-p.-504">Book Twenty-Four, Verses 151-256, p. 504</h2>
<blockquote>
<p>[…] There were nine</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>sons to whom now the old man gave orders and spoke to them roughly:</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>"Make haste, wicked children, my disgraces. I wish all of you</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>had been killed beside the running ships in the place of Hektor.</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>Ah me, for my evil destiny. I have had the noblest</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>of sons in Troy, but I say not one of them is left to me,</p>
</blockquote>
<p>I’ve mentioned the Lord of the Rings. This is the Lord of the Rings. Here is Denethor, Steward of the White City, mourning the death of his eldest Boromir. Here are nine Faramirs, scolded by their father. Sent running through the city. Though I hope not to their near deaths. Here are the talented, but not the strong, the intelligent, but not the figher.</p>
<p>Besides this parallel, this is a true sign of the importance of certain births in this culture. Here a boy is valued over the girl. And the first-born over any other. Why is it that this is always the case? Because the parents expend the most energy on the first? Because with the first birth the heart is softened? Because the father wants the stability of a known and trusted heir?</p>
<p>I mean, we see first borns killing their fathers over and over in Greek &amp; Roman mythology. Yet still a loving obsession with them.</p>
<figure>
<img src="../media/generic/bird.jpg" alt="Birds bring omens" /><figcaption aria-hidden="true">Birds bring omens</figcaption>
</figure>

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<h1 id="journal-two-iliad-books-13-18">Journal Two: Iliad Books 13-18</h1>
<h2 id="book-thirteen-verses-111-115-pp.-294">Book Thirteen, Verses 111-115, pp. 294</h2>
<blockquote>
<p>Yet even though it be utterly true that the son of Atreus</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>the hero wide-powerful Agamemnon is guilty</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>because he did dishonor to Peleus’ son […]</p>
</blockquote>
<p>This caught my attention because we discussed, or at least someone mentioned, quite the opposite in class. They ascribed <em>guilt</em> to Achilleus, from their impression of the Proem.</p>
<p>Here, guilt is ascribed to Ag. for dishonoring Achilleus and thus spurring the issue in the first place.</p>
<p>Which is it? Do we blame the pride of Achilleus or the foolishness of Ag. in insulting his greatest warrior? Does Homer, and the oral tradition he records, prefer one of these?</p>
<p>I think the Greeks would choose the latter. Yes, Achilleus could have sucked it up and fought. But to them these external measures of honor are very valuable. In a mortal life, glory and legacy are important. To fight and risk death dishonored is, perhaps, unfavourable. In a culture where that honor is so important, how could it not be Agamemnon’s fault for insulting his best warrior?</p>
<p>Perhaps the Proem is concerned less with judgement and more with recalling just how powerful aspects of our existence are.</p>
<p>Achilleus is powerful. How <strong>epic</strong> that him being angry can thus cause so much to pass.</p>
<h2 id="book-fifteen-verses-135-141-pp.-333">Book Fifteen, Verses 135-141, pp. 333</h2>
<blockquote>
<p>Since he will at once leave the Achaians and the high-hearted</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>Trojans, and come back to batter us on Olympos</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>and will catch up as they come the guilty one and the guiltless.</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>[…]</p>
</blockquote>
<p>Here we see Athene plead with Ares to not go down to the fighting against the will of Zeus. He has just discovered that a favoured mortal of his has died.</p>
<p>I’m stunned by the plea that she makes: do not go, for your transgression will bring punishment to us all. Zeus’ anger will be unstoppable.</p>
<p>It’s another example of the many sorts of collective punishments we see:</p>
<ul>
<li><p>Zeus will take it out on the entire pantheon</p></li>
<li><p>the gods’ actions throughout end with the deaths and misfortunes of many mortals, usually because they like one of them (what <em>does</em> make the gods prefer one? What patterns do we see? If they are their son or daughter, special strength, loyal prayer and sacrfice. What can this tell us about the Greeks? The gods’ favoured ones are the set of people they take as their heros).</p></li>
<li><p>the mortals’ own actions cause collective harm because of their culture:</p>
<ul>
<li><p>the dispute over Helen, between two men, ends with the warring of many tribes</p></li>
<li><p>Achilleus’ anger</p></li>
</ul></li>
</ul>
<p>2nd part of the quote: Athene argues to Ares that there are many mortals who will die, so they cannot save them all. Even ones better than Ares’s will die.</p>
<h2 id="book-fifteen-verses-143-148-pp.-334">Book Fifteen, Verses 143-148, pp. 334</h2>
<blockquote>
<p>[…]</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>both of you to go to him with all speed, at Ita;</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>but when you have there and looked upon Zeus’ countenance,</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>then you must do whatever he urges you, and his orders.</p>
</blockquote>
<p>I’m sorry for choosing an example so soon after the previous one, but this is just a sample of a trend found throughout.</p>
<p>I’ve noted that Homer uses the word “but” in a way I don’t expect. Of course, this could be (probably is) a vestige of translation, but it’s worth considering.</p>
<p>When he writes “but when you have there…”, it’s as if, in English, the expectation is that they wouldn’t obey. Why use “but” instead of another conjugation? This is found <em>everywhere</em> in the poem. “But” is usually used in reference to objects of contrast and exception. What other small (or major) nuances of language are we missing as 21st century English speakers?</p>
<p>Are these “but”s αλλα (agga) or δε (de). They might be translated the same way, but they don’t mean the same thing.</p>
<h2 id="book-seventeen-verses-120-131-pp.-378">Book Seventeen, Verses 120-131, pp. 378</h2>
<blockquote>
<p>[…]</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>to try if we can carry back to Achilleus the body</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>which is naked; Hektor of the shining helm has taken his armor."</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>[…]</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>and sprang to his chariot, but handed over the beautiful armor</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>to the Trojans, to take back to the city and to be his great glory.</p>
</blockquote>
<p>What is the significance of the stripping of ones armor? Is the armor some important symbol of honor? Is their armor to them as horns are to deer or feathers to peacocks? Tools in life and prizes in death?</p>
<p>Throughout we see both the stripping of armor as a prize for the victor and the prevention of stripping as a duty for friends left behind.</p>
<p>Together with armor, there is an obsession with the signifiance of a good burial, dying by the land of ones fathers, the feasting of dogs, and the despoiling of bodies.</p>
<p>So, how do we treat and remember the dead? In the moment, we see valiant efforts and sacrifices to secure the physical. In the culture we see this very effort to maintain and preserve the oral tradition of this war.</p>
<h2 id="book-eighteen-verses-32-35-pp.-397">Book Eighteen, Verses 32-35, pp. 397</h2>
<blockquote>
<p>On the other side Antilochos mourned with him, letting the tears fall,</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>and held the hands of Achilleus as he grieved in his proud heart,</p>
</blockquote>
<blockquote>
<p>fearing Achilleus might cut his throat with the iron. […]</p>
</blockquote>
<p>Here, Antilochos has ran as fast as he can to Achilleus to tell him of the falling of Paroklos, his dear friend. Achilleus breaks down in grief, coming closest to the proverbial tearing of robes. Antilochos, however, fears for his life as he comforts Achilleus. What does this tell us about the characters? These are not our children fairy tale heros. Yes, Achilleus is loved. But, even more than that, he is feared.</p>
<p>He is a warrior. One prone to devastating changes of mood. His love could mean riches and his anger death. Even Antilochos, a fellow Greek, and a messenger, worries that Achilleus will kill him for simply telling him bad news. Neither are these just individual heros like the demigods of some other stories. If anything, the listing of names and ships in Book Two tells us that these names mentioned are rulers, tribal chiefs, and kings. Our history is different, our rulers are never at risk. Here, we see warfare where every man fights.</p>