I have been following Eric’s blog Written Words Never Die for 3 years now and each time I read his posts I learn something new. His flash fiction, words of wisdom and fiction is exceptional and if you haven’t read his works, I recommend you do.
‘In peace, sons bury their fathers. In war, fathers bury their sons.’
How does one reconcile the loss of so many offspring, the destruction of their home and the death of their people? Such personal suffering could never be healed. These events litter the history books and still wars happen. Power, greed, the desire to dominate and subjugate, annihilate are the basic premises. The cost of innocent lives, homes, cultures and humanity don’t seem to be considered as long as the end result is achieved, however one gets there. For Priam, the last King of Troy, he witnessed the end.
The ability to inspire and encourage others is a characteristic not many people possess. Some are born with it, a few have to work hard to develop the skill and then there are those who believe who can but have no idea how to lead. Agamemnon is the perfect example of the latter. He ruled by force and show of power. He certainly did not evoke loyalty or a harmonious union. Hektor, Troy’s greatest fighter and hero put the defence of his city and people before his own personal needs. For his bravery and virtue, he was Troy’s favoured and most respected son.
There is a terrible and nasty thread that runs throughout the history of the world—the “rape” of women and girls. Rape is in quotations as there are various definitions of the word:
• The offence of forcing a person, especially a woman, to submit to sexual intercourse against that person’s will;
• The act of despoiling a country in warfare;
• Any violation or abuse—i.e. the rape of justice;
With regards to war, whether thousands or years ago or even today’s so called “enlightened” period, the above definition stands to be true. Women are the “spoils of war”, the male need to dominate, possess and demonstrate power runs in the face of human decency. The Trojan women did try and fight but many were resigned to their fate, raped and abducted, taken to Greece as concubines and slaves. Sadly many were killed. At a recent dig at the site of Troy, a young adolescent girl’s bones have been found, buried in a shallow grave. Evidence of the bones showed trauma and suggests the girl was killed during the siege. For Hektor’s wife, Andromache, a tragic figure in the Iliad with many personal losses, managed to survive the war.
Have you ever said something so profound or honest in your convictions and not believed? It happened and still does, though I’d like to think we are more broadminded and perceptive. I am however reminded of the story of Peter and the Wolf, and the whoppers he told. There’d be a lesson, one for Peter and the village! (Pardon the grammar ;D) Can you then imagine what it would be like to see the tragic end of your family, people and city? Cassandra didn’t have a choice, she saw it all and could not do a thing about it!
The role of women in the Iliad is the central to the story, the war precipitated by the capture of a female of royal lineage along with untold wealth. From the beginning of the story, the tenth year of the war, the Greek forces are plagued with an incurable disease. How and why did it happen? Because of a woman. Female characters do feature throughout the story in one form or another and apart from Helen, one other created such havoc in the Greek camp, their champion and stalwart warrior refused to participate any further.
Originally posted on La Audacia de Aquiles:
“Agamemnon’s Family and the War of Troy”:
The war originated from a quarrel between the goddesses Athena, Hera and Aphrodite after Eris, the goddess of strife and discord, gave them a golden apple, sometimes known as the Apple of Discord, marked “for the fairest” (Kallisti in greek).
Zeus sent the goddesses to Paris, who judged that Aphrodite, as the “fairest”, should receive the apple. In exchange, Aphrodite made Helen, the most beautiful of all women and wife of Menelaus, fall in love with Prince Paris, who took her to Troy.
Agamemnon, the king of Argos or Mycenae, was the husband of Clytemnestra and the father of Iphigenia, Electra, Orestes and Chrysotemis.
Menelaus was Agamemnon’ s brother, and, besides, the king of Sparta.
When Helen, Menelaus’ wife, was abducted by Paris of Troy, Agamemnon commanded the…
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