Tuesday, 6 May 2014


The Iliad continues…..
While Father Jove was sleeping peacefully on the crest of Ida embracing his wife Juno, far down below on the earth the spirit Sleep rushed to Neptune the sea-god to do his best for the victory of Ahaeans for Juno has hoodwinked her husband Jove to bed with her and she asked me to give him sound sleep. As a result Hector, the bravest warrior of Trojans fought fiercely against Neptune on the side of the Achaeans and they fought like wolves. As a band of reapers mow swaths of wheat or barley upon a rich man’s land, and the sheaves fall thick before them, even so did the Trojans and Achaean soldiers fall upon one another as blood-stained dead bodies. Hector first aimed his spear at Ajax but his aim missed and Ajax took a huge stone and struck Hector at his neck. Hector spun round like and top and fell like a huge tall oak tree and bite the dust. Achaeans came running with a loud cry towards him, hoping to drag the dead body away to their ships. They also tried to would Hector with their arrows, but the princess Polydamas, Aeneas, Agnor, Sarpedon protected the body of Hector and took him to the nearby stream Xanthus and washed him with the sacred water of the river. Then Hector breathed again and opened his eyes. Then he vomited blood, but soon fell back on to the ground, and his eyes were again closed in darkness for he was still stunned by the blow.

When Father Jove woke up from his deep sleep, he saw far below, Hector lying on the ground with his comrades gathered round him, gasping for breath. Jove felt pit for him and looked angrily on Juno who is lying on the bed beside him. He called her ‘mischief-making trickster, ‘you are the greatest vixen living’  Do you not remember one upon a time I had you hanged, fastened two anvils on to your feet and bound your hands in a chain of gold for many days and no god could help you. So don’t repeat this cheating! Juno trembled as Jove spoke and apologised. She also said that it was the doing of Neptune and she was innocent. On hearing this Jove became happy and asked her to go and tell Neptune to leave off fighting and go home. He also advised her to go and tell Apollo lord of the bow to send Hector again into battle and give him fresh strength so that he will forget his present sufferings, and chase the Achaeans back in confusion till they fall among the ships of Achilles. Achilles will then send his comrade Patroclus into battle, and Hector will kill him in front of Illius after he has killed many warriors including my own noble son Sarpedon. Achilles will kill Hector to avenge Patroclus, and from that time I will bring it about that the Achaeans will continue to drive the Trojans back and in the end the Achaeans will take Ilius and thereby fulfilling the counsels of Minerva.
King Apollo helped Hector and Trojans to reap victory by killing hundreds of Achaeans and they have almost reached the ships of Achaeans. Eurypylus,a great warrior of Achaeans was critically wounded in the fight against Hector and Patroclus took him to his tent in the ship and began nursing  him.

Finally Patroclus approached Achilles and told him that all the great warriors of Achaeans have been wounded and hiding in the ships. Many Achaeans are being slaughtered by Hector and his allies. So Achilles must act now and only he could defeat the onslaught of Hector and his allies. Achilles advised Patroclus to go and fight the Trojans. He could put on the armour that Achilles’ mother had made for her son. He asked Patroclus to fall upon the Trojans and save the ships of Achaeans otherwise the Trojans would burn all the ships of Achaeans and they could not return to Greece and perish in the sea. As soon as Patroclus has driven the Trojans from the ships, he must safely come back to Achilles. Though Juno’s thundering husband should put triumph within Patroclus’ reach, do not fight Trojans further in the absence of Achilles, and it would be the glory of Achilles alone to kill Hector and Patroclus never tempts to rob the glory, don’t go near Hector or fight with him. Achilles warned him. Meanwhile Achilles went about everywhere among the tents and asked his Myrmidons put on armour.  Fifty ships had noble Achilles brought to Troy and in each ship there was a crew of fifty oarsmen, over these he set five captains whom he could trust, while he was himself commander over all the Myrmidons. Achilles asked Patroclus to lead all the Myrmidons to the battle against the Trojans to drive them away from the ships.
 Patroclus called out his men at the top of his voice “Myrmidons, followers of Achilles, be men my friends, fight with might and main and drive away the Trojans from all Achaean ships, so that King Agamemnon would be sorry for his mistake in humiliating Achilles”. Patroclus drove his chariot everywhere in the field looking for Hector. Sarpedon, seeing Patroclus, jumped down from his chariot and ran towards Patroclus and he also jumped down to fight Sarpedon and fought like two eagle-beaked vultures. The son of Saturn (Jove) was looking down from Ida saw the fight of Sarpedon and Patroclus and he felt pity for his own son Sarpedon and said to Juno who was his wife and sister “Alas,that it should be the fate of Sarpedon whom I love so dearly to perish by the hand of Patroclus. I am in two minds. Should I save him or let him die, I don’t know what to do. What’s your opinion? He asked Juno. She said, “he is only a mortal, let him die” The matter ended there.
Sarpedon aimed a spear at Patroclus, but it missed him and Patroclus aimed his spear right at the chest of Sarpedon and it went straight to his heart and he fell like some oak or silver poplar or tall pine fell on the ground stretched full length in front of his chariot and horses, moaning and clutching at the blood stained dust. Death closed his eyes and Patroclus planted his heel on his breast and drew out both spear point and Sarpedon’s soul at the same time.
Father Jove is very sad that his own son Sarpedon was killed by Patroclus. So he decided to kill Patroclus with the help of Hector. Therefore he filled pride and foolishness in the mind of Patroclus.

Meanwhile, Patroclus, with many a shout to his horses pursued the Trojans in the pride and foolishness of his heart. Had he but obeyed the warning of Achilles, he would have escaped death, but the cousels of Jove pass man’s understanding; he will put even a brave man to flight and snatch victory from his grasp. On the advice of Father Jove, Phoebus Apollo has taken his stand upon the wall to defeat Patroclus’ purpose of taking the wall of Troy and also help Trojans. Thrice Patroclus charge at an angle of the wall, and thrice did Apollo beat him back. When Patroclus was coming on like a god for yet a fourth time, Apollo shouted to him an awful voice and said “Draw back, noble Patroclus, it is not your lot to sack the city of Trojan chieftains, nor yet will it be that of Achilles who is a far better warrior than you are”. Patroclus withdrew and avoided the anger of Apollo. Meanwhile Hector weas waiting with his horses inside the Scaean gates, in doubt whether to drive out again and continue fighting or call the army inside the gates. Then Apollo approached him in the form of his maternal uncle whom Hector loved much and spoke to Hector thus: “Hector, why have you left off fighting?, drive straight towards Patroclus and if so be, that Phoebus Apollo may grant you a triumph over him, and you may rule him”. These words encouraged Hector and he asked his charioteer Cebriones to drive again into the fight. They drove straight to Patroclus who seeing Hector, spring from his chariot to the ground with a spear in his left hand, and in his right a rough stone as large as his hand could hold. He threw the stone, which hit Cebriones, a bastard son of King Priam and he dropped dead from his chariot. Hector sprang from chariot to the ground and both of them fought for the dead boy like two lions fight fiercely over some high mountain over the body of a stag that they have killed. But the gathered Achaeans forcibly took the body of Cebriones and stripped his armour from his shoulders. Then Patroclus sprang like Mars and his shouting was terrific upon the Trojans and he alone killed twentyseven Trojans in a shortwhile. While he was engaged in human slaughter, Phoebus Apollo walked in thick darkness and the god struck him from behind his back and broad shoulders with the flat of his hand andPatroclus’ eyes turned dizzy and his mind become clouded, and his limbs failed him and he stood as one dazed. On seeing this Hector forced his way through the soldiers and struck Patroclus in the lower part of his belly with a spear, driving the bronze point right through it. Patroclus fell on the dust and Hector shouted at him “Patroclus, you thought that you should sack our city, rob our Trojan women of their freedom,and carry them off in your ships to your own country. Fool; Hector and his fleet horses were ever struggling their utmost to defend them.  I am foremost of all the Trojan warriors to protect Troy and it people”. Then as life ebbed out of Patroclus, the brave warrior said,” Hector, you enjoy victory because Father Jove and Apollo have given you victory. But you too shall live but for a little season; death and the day of your doom are close upon you”. While saying thus, his eyes were closed in death, his soul left his body and flitted down to the house of Hades. Hector stripped Patroclus of his armour and dragged him away to cut off his head and take the body fling before the dogs of Troy. But Ajax came up with his shield like wall before him, on which Hector withdrew under shelter of his men and sprang on to his chariot, giving the armour over to the Trojans to take to the city, as a great trophy for himself. After some time Hector changed his mind and took the armour of Achilles that Patroclus wore in his last hours in the battlefield. Hector put on the armour of Achilles which had been given to Achilles by his mother Tethys.
 Seeing Hector in the armour of Achilles, Jove said to himself, ”You have killed Achilles’ comrade, a brave strong warrior, but it was not well that you should strip the armour from his head and shoulders. For this you shall not return from battle to lay the armour of Achilles before Andromache”.
Meanwhile the fleet runner Antilochus rushed to Achilles and told him the sad news that his greatest comrade Patroclus had fallen and his armour was put on by Hector. A dark cloud of grief fell upon Achilles as he listened. He filled both hands with dust from off the ground, and poured it over his head, disfiguring his handsome face, letting the dust settle over his shirt so fair and new. He flung himself down at full length, and tore his hair with his hands. Then Achilles gave a loud cry and his mother Tethys heard him as she was sitting in the depths of the sea by the old man her father and she also screamed. She went upto Achilles as he lay groaning. “Mother, my dear comrade Patroclus has fallen- he whom I valued more than all others and loved as dearly as my own life. So I will not live nor go  about among mankind unless Hector fall by my spear”. Thetis wept and answered “Then, my son, is your end near at hand-for your own death awaits you full soon after that of Hector. Tomorrow at break of day I shall be here and will bring you goodly armour from King Vulcan”
Achilles arranged a fitting burial for his comrade Patroclus. The famed lame god Vulcan made a beautiful armour and gave it to Thetis and she took the rich and goodly armour to the ships and gave it to her son Achilles.
Achilles told Agamemnon that that he was going to battle to avenge the death of Patroclus and he would fight fasting and without food till Achaeans avenged the Trojans. Meanwhile Jove of many delled Olympus bade Themis gather the gods in council, whereon she went about and called them to the house of Jove. Jove told them that he would watch the fight of the Achaeans and Trojans and all other gods and goddesses can join either Achaeans and Trojans as they wished, but don’t fight against Achilles. Juno, Pallas Minerva, earth encircling Neptune, Mercury bringer of good luck and excellent in all cunning- all these joined the Achaeans. With them also the lame god Vulcan joined. On the Trojan side, Mars, Apollo, Diana, Leto ,the river god Xanthus and Venus stood. God Apollo encouraged Aeneas to fight against Achilles and they fought against each other like two lions. Aeneas drove his spear at the great and terrible shield of Achilles, but Aeneas’ spear did not pierce the shield, for the gold, gift of the god stayed the point. Achilles in his turn threw and struck the round shield of Aeneas and Achilles could have easily killed Aeneas, but Neptune helped Aeneas,  because Jove loved Aeneas above all the sons born to him of mortal women. Noble Anchises for his father and Venus for his mother. Now Jove hated the blood of Priam, while Aeneas shall reign over the Trojans, he and his children’s children that shall be born hereafter.
Phoebus Apollo came upto Hector and said. ”Hector, on no account must you challenge Achilles to single combat; keep a look out for him while you are under cover of the others and away from the thick of fight”. But when Achilles killed Polydorus, the youngest brother of Hector, he could not control himself and fought against Achilles. Hector stood outside the gate of Troy city. But old King Priam asked every Trojan to get inside the gate and he wanted to shut the gate against Achilless. But Hector alone stood outside the gate of Troy city for he decided to battle with Achilles. King Priam again and again begged Hector to go inside the gate and not to fight with Achilles. “Hector, the old man cried, stay not to face this man Achilles, alone and unsupported, or you will meet death hands of Achilles, for he is mightier than you. Come, then, my son within the city to be the guardian of Trojan men and Trojan women, or you will both lose your own life and afford a mighty triumph to the son Peleus. Have pity on your unhappy father”. The old man tore his grey hair as he spoke, but he moved not the heart of Hector. His mother nearby stood and wept. “Hector, she cried, weeping bitterly the while, “Hector, my son, spurn not this breast, but have pity upon me too”. On hearing the words of beloved parents, Hector thought for a while with the heaviness of his heart that if he did not fight against Achilles all Trojans would blame him. Suppose Hector tries to settle with Achilles by giving Helen and allthe wealth taken from Greece, Achilles would not accept them because he wanted to kill Hector, he alone wants the glory of it. So it is better to fight against Achilles and die a heroic death. At that moment Achilles rushed to Hector at it were Mars himself and he brandished his terrible spear and Hector fled in dismay before the gates while Achilles darted after him at his utmost speed. As a mountain falcon, swiftest of all birds, sweeps down upon some cowering dove, the dove flies before him but the falcon with a shrill scream follows close after- Achilles make straight for Hector with all his might, while Hector fled under the Trojan wall as fast as his legs could take him. They ran for a long time along the waggon-road, hills and valleys. All the gods watched them and Jove said that his heart was full of pity for Hector. “So let gods decide whether we should save him or let him fall”. Then Minerva said to Jove, “Father Hector’s death is already decreed by you and you can do as you like, but we don’t feel pity for him” Then Jove said “it is your will shall be done”. On hearing this Minerava is happy and flew down to the plain of Troy and approached Achilles who is still running after Hector and said “You stay here and take breath while I go upto him and pursued Hector to make a stand and fight you”. Achilles obeyed her gladly. Then Minerva disguised herself as Deiphobus, the dearest brother of Hector and spoke to Hector in his voice “Dear brother, I see you are running for a long time and Achilles is chasing you at full speed round the city of Priam, let us wait and attack Achilles, we together”. Hector trusted the words of his brother and faced Achilles boldly. Achilles hurled his spear at Hector but Minerva snatched the spear and gave it back to Achilles without Hector’s seeing her. Hector hurled his last spear at Achilles, but it missed its aim and there was no weapon and cried for the help of his brother Deiphobus for a spear, but there was no man, then he saw the truth and said to himself “Alas! the gods have lured me on to my destruction” He took his sword and rushed to Achilles to kill him, but Achilles struck him with his sword on the neck of Hector and Hector fell headlong.


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