Homer's Iliad: A Retelling in Prose
This is a retelling of Homer's great epic poem the Iliad in novel form.
Goddess, use me to tell the story of the rage of Achilles, a Greek warrior who had the rage of a god. The rage of the son of Peleus made corpses of many men and sent their souls to the Land of the Dead. Dogs and birds feasted on warriors’ flesh, all because of Achilles and the will of Zeus, king of gods and More
CHAPTER 1: The Rage of Achilles and the Quarrel by the Ships
Goddess, use me to tell the story of the rage of Achilles, a Greek warrior who had the rage of a god. The rage of the son of Peleus made corpses of many men and sent their souls to the Land of the Dead. Dogs and birds feasted on warriors’ flesh, all because of Achilles and the will of Zeus, king of gods and men.
Start telling the story, Muse, from the time when Achilles, the greatest warrior of the Greeks, and Agamemnon, the leader of the Greek forces against Troy, first quarreled by the Greek ships.
The actions of a god led them to quarrel. Apollo, Zeus’ son, raged against Agamemnon and spread the plague throughout the Greek warriors. Many brave warriors died because Agamemnon had disrespected a priest of Apollo, the god of the plague.
Chryses, the priest of Apollo, loved his daughter, whom the Greeks had captured when they conquered the city of Thebe, which was allied with Troy. To get his daughter back, he gathered shining treasure with which to ransom her. He took his shining treasure to the Greek ships while carrying a golden staff on which Apollo’s wreaths were tied, clearly identifying Chryses as a priest of Apollo.
He did everything as he ought to have done. He begged the Greek warriors, and especially Agamemnon and his brother, Menelaus, to accept the shining treasure and give him back his daughter, Chryseis.
He said, respectfully, “Agamemnon, Menelaus, and all you Greek warriors! May Zeus and all the other gods of Mount Olympus allow you to conquer the city of Troy and sail safely home again! But set my beloved daughter free. I love her so much. Take this shining treasure as fair ransom for my daughter! I am the priest of Apollo—respect the archer god who is also the god of the plague.”
The ranks of the Greek warriors approved of the ransom; they shouted, “Respect the priest of Apollo! Respect the suppliant! Respect the old man! Accept the ransom!”
But Agamemnon would not.