Poseidon was one of the Twelve Olympians in ancient Greek religion and myth. He was god of other waters. In pre-Olympian Bronze Age Greece, he was venerated as a chief deity at Thebes, his Roman equivalent is Neptune. Poseidon was protector of seafarers, of many Hellenic cities and colonies. In Homer's Iliad, Poseidon supports the Greeks against the Trojans during the Trojan War. In the Odyssey, during the sea-voyage from Troy back home to Ithaca, the Greek hero Odysseus provokes Poseidon's fury by blinding his son, the Cyclops Polyphemus, resulting in Poseidon punishing him with storms, the complete loss of his ship and companions, a ten-year delay. Poseidon is the subject of a Homeric hymn. In Plato's Timaeus and Critias, the island of Atlantis was Poseidon's domain; the earliest attested occurrence of the name, written in Linear B, is Po-se-da-o or Po-se-da-wo-ne, which correspond to Ποσειδάων and Ποσειδάϝονος in Mycenean Greek. The form Ποτειδάϝων appears in Corinth. A common epithet of Poseidon is Ἐνοσίχθων Enosichthon, "Earth-shaker", an epithet, identified in Linear B, as, E-ne-si-da-o-ne, This recalls his epithets Ennosidas and Ennosigaios indicating the chthonic nature of Poseidon.
The origins of the name "Poseidon" are unclear. One theory breaks it down into an element meaning "husband" or "lord" and another element meaning "earth", producing something like lord or spouse of Da, i.e. of the earth. Walter Burkert finds that "the second element da- remains hopelessly ambiguous" and finds a "husband of Earth" reading "quite impossible to prove."Another theory interprets the second element as related to the word *δᾶϝον dâwon, "water". There is the possibility that the word has Pre-Greek origin. Plato in his dialogue Cratylus gives two alternative etymologies: either the sea restrained Poseidon when walking as a "foot-bond", or he "knew many things". At least a few sources deem Poseidon as a "prehellenic" word, considering an Indo-European etymology "quite pointless". If surviving Linear B clay tablets can be trusted, the name po-se-da-wo-ne occurs with greater frequency than does di-u-ja. A feminine variant, po-se-de-ia, is found, indicating a lost consort goddess, in effect the precursor of Amphitrite.
Poseidon carries the title wa-na-ka in Linear B inscriptions, as king of the underworld. The chthonic nature of Poseidon-Wanax is indicated by his title E-ne-si-da-o-ne in Mycenean Knossos and Pylos, a powerful attribute. In the cave of Amnisos Enesidaon is related with the cult of the goddess of childbirth, she was related with the annual birth of the divine child. During the Bronze Age, a goddess of nature, dominated both in Minoan and Mycenean cult, Wanax was her male companion in Mycenean cult, it is possible that Demeter appears as Da-ma-te in a Linear B inscription, however the interpretetion is still under dispute. In Linear B inscriptions found at Pylos, E-ne-si-da-o-ne is related with Poseidon, Si-to Po-tini-ja is related with Demeter. Tablets from Pylos record sacrificial goods destined for "the Two Queens and Poseidon"; the "Two Queens" may be related with Demeter and Persephone, or their precursors, goddesses who were not associated with Poseidon in periods. The illuminating exception is the archaic and localised myth of the stallion Poseidon and mare Demeter at Phigalia in isolated and conservative Arcadia, noted by Pausanias as having fallen into desuetude.
The violated Demeter was Demeter Erinys. In Arcadia, Demeter's mare-form was worshiped into historical times, her xoanon of Phigaleia shows. A Medusa type with a horse's head with snaky hair, holding a dove and a dolphin representing her power over air and water, it seems that the Arcadian myth is related with the first Greek speaking people who entered the region during the Bronze Age.. Their religious beliefs were mixed with the beliefs of the indigenous population, it is possible that the Greeks did not bring with them other gods except Zeus and the Dioskouroi. The horse was related with the liquid element, with the underworld. Poseidon appears as a beast, the river spirit of the underworld, as it happens in northern-European folklore, not unusually in Greece. Poseidon “Wanax”, is the male companion of the goddess of nature. In the relative Minoan myth, Pasiphaë is mating with the white bull, she bears the hybrid creature Minotaur; the Bull was the old pre-Olympian Poseidon. The goddess of nature and her paredros survived in the Eleusinian cult, where the following words were uttered: " Mighty Potnia bore a strong son"In the sea-dependent Mycenaean culture, there is not sufficient evidence that Poseidon was connected with the sea.
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In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. The war is one of the most important events in Greek mythology and has been narrated through many works of Greek literature, most notably Homer's Iliad; the core of the Iliad describes a period of four days and two nights in the tenth year of the decade-long siege of Troy. Other parts of the war are described in a cycle of epic poems, which have survived through fragments. Episodes from the war provided material for Greek tragedy and other works of Greek literature, for Roman poets including Virgil and Ovid; the war originated from a quarrel between the goddesses 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". 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 Paris, who took her to Troy.
Agamemnon, king of Mycenae and the brother of Helen's husband Menelaus, led an expedition of Achaean troops to Troy and besieged the city for ten years because of Paris' insult. After the deaths of many heroes, including the Achaeans Achilles and Ajax, the Trojans Hector and Paris, the city fell to the ruse of the Trojan Horse; the Achaeans desecrated the temples, thus earning the gods' wrath. Few of the Achaeans returned safely to their homes and many founded colonies in distant shores; the Romans traced their origin to Aeneas, Aphrodite's son and one of the Trojans, said to have led the surviving Trojans to modern-day Italy. The ancient Greeks believed that Troy was located near the Dardanelles and that the Trojan War was a historical event of the 13th or 12th century BC, but by the mid-19th century AD, both the war and the city were seen as non-historical. In 1868, the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann met Frank Calvert, who convinced Schliemann that Troy was a real city at what is now Hissarlik in Turkey.
On the basis of excavations conducted by Schliemann and others, this claim is now accepted by most scholars. Whether there is any historical reality behind the Trojan War remains an open question. Many scholars believe that there is a historical core to the tale, though this may mean that the Homeric stories are a fusion of various tales of sieges and expeditions by Mycenaean Greeks during the Bronze Age; those who believe that the stories of the Trojan War are derived from a specific historical conflict date it to the 12th or 11th century BC preferring the dates given by Eratosthenes, 1194–1184 BC, which corresponds with archaeological evidence of a catastrophic burning of Troy VII. The events of the Trojan War are found in many works of Greek literature and depicted in numerous works of Greek art. There is no authoritative text which tells the entire events of the war. Instead, the story is assembled from a variety of sources, some of which report contradictory versions of the events; the most important literary sources are the two epic poems traditionally credited to Homer, the Iliad and the Odyssey, composed sometime between the 9th and 6th centuries BC.
Each poem narrates only a part of the war. The Iliad covers a short period in the last year of the siege of Troy, while the Odyssey concerns Odysseus's return to his home island of Ithaca following the sack of Troy and contains several flashbacks to particular episodes in the war. Other parts of the Trojan War were told in the poems of the Epic Cycle known as the Cyclic Epics: the Cypria, Little Iliad, Iliou Persis and Telegony. Though these poems survive only in fragments, their content is known from a summary included in Proclus' Chrestomathy; the authorship of the Cyclic Epics is uncertain. It is thought that the poems were written down in the 7th and 6th century BC, after the composition of the Homeric poems, though it is believed that they were based on earlier traditions. Both the Homeric epics and the Epic Cycle take origin from oral tradition. After the composition of the Iliad and the Cyclic Epics, the myths of the Trojan War were passed on orally in many genres of poetry and through non-poetic storytelling.
Events and details of the story that are only found in authors may have been passed on through oral tradition and could be as old as the Homeric poems. Visual art, such as vase painting, was another medium. In ages playwrights and other intellectuals would create works inspired by the Trojan War; the three great tragedians of Athens—Aeschylus and Euripides—wrote a number of dramas that portray episodes from the Trojan War. Among Roman writers the most important is the 1st century BC poet Virgil. In Book 2 of the Aeneid, Aeneas narrates the sack of Troy; the following summary of the Trojan War follows the order of events as given in Proclus' summary, along with the Iliad and Aeneid, supplemented with details drawn from other authors. According to Greek mythology, Zeus had become king of the gods by overthrowing his father Cronus. Zeus was not faithful to his wife and sister Hera, had many relationships from which many children were born. Since Zeus believed that there were too many people populating the earth, he envisioned
Homer is the legendary author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, two epic poems that are the central works of ancient Greek literature. The Iliad is set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek kingdoms, it focuses on a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles lasting a few weeks during the last year of the war. The Odyssey focuses on the ten-year journey home of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, after the fall of Troy. Many accounts of Homer's life circulated in classical antiquity, the most widespread being that he was a blind bard from Ionia, a region of central coastal Anatolia in present-day Turkey. Modern scholars consider these accounts legendary; the Homeric Question – concerning by whom, when and under what circumstances the Iliad and Odyssey were composed – continues to be debated. Broadly speaking, modern scholarly opinion falls into two groups. One holds that most of the Odyssey are the works of a single poet of genius; the other considers the Homeric poems to be the result of a process of working and reworking by many contributors, that "Homer" is best seen as a label for an entire tradition.
It is accepted that the poems were composed at some point around the late eighth or early seventh century BC. The poems are in Homeric Greek known as Epic Greek, a literary language which shows a mixture of features of the Ionic and Aeolic dialects from different centuries. Most researchers believe that the poems were transmitted orally. From antiquity until the present day, the influence of the Homeric epics on Western civilization has been great, inspiring many of its most famous works of literature, music and film; the Homeric epics were the greatest influence on education. Today only the Iliad and Odyssey are associated with the name'Homer'. In antiquity, a large number of other works were sometimes attributed to him, including the Homeric Hymns, the Contest of Homer and Hesiod, the Little Iliad, the Nostoi, the Thebaid, the Cypria, the Epigoni, the comic mini-epic Batrachomyomachia, the Margites, the Capture of Oechalia, the Phocais; these claims are not considered authentic today and were by no means universally accepted in the ancient world.
As with the multitude of legends surrounding Homer's life, they indicate little more than the centrality of Homer to ancient Greek culture. Many traditions circulated in the ancient world concerning Homer. Modern scholarly consensus is; some claims were repeated often. They include that Homer was blind, that he was born in Chios, that he was the son of the river Meles and the nymph Critheïs, that he was a wandering bard, that he composed a varying list of other works, that he died either in Ios or after failing to solve a riddle set by fishermen, various explanations for the name "Homer"; the two best known ancient biographies of Homer are the Life of Homer by the Pseudo-Herodotus and the Contest of Homer and Hesiod. The study of Homer is one of the oldest topics in scholarship, dating back to antiquity. Nonetheless, the aims of Homeric studies have changed over the course of the millennia; the earliest preserved comments on Homer concern his treatment of the gods, which hostile critics such as the poet Xenophanes of Colophon denounced as immoral.
The allegorist Theagenes of Rhegium is said to have defended Homer by arguing that the Homeric poems are allegories. The Iliad and the Odyssey were used as school texts in ancient Greek and Hellenistic cultures, they were the first literary works taught to all students. The Iliad its first few books, was far more intently studied than the Odyssey during the Hellenistic and Roman periods; as a result of the poems' prominence in classical Greek education, extensive commentaries on them developed to explain parts of the poems that were culturally or linguistically difficult. During the Hellenistic and Roman Periods, many interpreters the Stoics, who believed that Homeric poems conveyed Stoic doctrines, regarded them as allegories, containing hidden wisdom; because of the Homeric poems' extensive use in education, many authors believed that Homer's original purpose had been to educate. Homer's wisdom became so praised that he began to acquire the image of a prototypical philosopher. Byzantine scholars such as Eustathius of Thessalonica and John Tzetzes produced commentaries and scholia to Homer in the twelfth century.
Eustathius's commentary on the Iliad alone is massive, sprawling nearly 4,000 oversized pages in a twenty-first century printed version and his commentary on the Odyssey an additional nearly 2,000. In 1488, the Greek scholar Demetrios Chalkokondyles published the editio princeps of the Homeric poems; the earliest modern Homeric scholars started with the same basic approaches towards the Homeric poems as scholars in antiquity. The allegorical interpretation of the Homeric poems, so prevalent in antiquity returned to become the prevailing view of the Renaissance. Renaissance humanists praised Homer as the archetypically wise poet, whose writings contain hidden wisdom, disguised through allegory. In western Europe during the Renaissance, Virgil was more read than Homer and Homer was seen through a Virgilian lens. In 1664, contradicting the widespread praise of Homer as the epitome of wisdom, François Hédelin, abbé d'Aubignac wrote a s
Scheria —also known as Scherie or Phaeacia—was a region in Greek mythology, first mentioned in Homer's Odyssey as the home of the Phaeacians and the last destination of Odysseus in his 10-year journey before returning home to Ithaca. Before leaving Ogygia, Odysseus builds a raft and sails eastwards, instructed by Calypso to navigate using the stars as a celestial reference point. On the eighteenth day appear the shadowy mountains of the land of the Phaeacians, that looked like a shield in the misty deep, but Poseidon spots his raft and seeking vengeance for his son Polyphemus, blinded by Odysseus, produces a storm that torments Odysseus. After three days of struggle with the waves, he is washed up on Scheria. Meanwhile, the goddess Athena, who sneaks into the palace, disguises herself as a sea-captain's daughter and instructs princess Nausicaa, the daughter of King Alcinous in her sleep to go to the seashore to wash her clothes; the next morning and her maids go to the seashore, after washing the clothes, they start to play a game on the beach, with laughs and shouts.
Odysseus, exhausted from his adventure and was sleeping nearby, is awakened by the shouts. He goes to ask for help from the team. Upon seeing the unkempt Odysseus in this state, the maids run away, Nausicaa, encouraged by Athena, stands her ground and talks to him. To excuse the maids, she admits that the Phaeacians are "the farthermost of men, no other mortals are conversant with them", so they run away since they have never seen a stranger before. Nausicaa, being hospitable, provides clothes and drink to Odysseus, directs him to the palace of King Alcinous. Following Nausicaa's orders, Odysseus sought to enter the palace of King Alcinous and plead for mercy from the queen, Arete, so he could make his way home. On his way to the palace, Odysseus meets Athena disguised as a local girl. In her disguised state, Athena advises him about. Athena, knowledgeable that the Phaeacians were hostile towards men from the outlands, cloaked Odysseus in a mist that hid him from the Phaeacians' gaze. Under Athena's protection, Odysseus passes through all of the protection systems of the palace and enters the chamber of King Alcinous.
Odysseus supplicates her. Alcinous and his court are surprised to see a stranger walking into their secured palace, it was only after Echeneus, a Phaeacian elder, urged King Alcinous to welcome the stranger that they offered Odysseus hospitality The front doors of the palace are flanked with two dogs made of silver and gold, constructed by Hephaestus. The walls of the palace are made of bronze that "shines like the sun" and is secured with gates made of gold. Within the walls, there is a magnificent garden with apple and pomegranate trees that grow year-round; the palace is equipped with a lighting system comprising golden statues of young men bearing torches. After Odysseus tells Alcinous and his court the story of his adventures after the Trojan War, the Phaeacians take him to Ithaca on one of their ships; the Phaeacians possessed remarkable ships. They were quite different from the penteconters, the ships used during the Trojan War, they were steered by thought. King Alcinous says that Phaeacians carried Rhadamanthus to Euboea, "which is the furthest of any place" and came back on the same day.
He explains to Odysseus what sort of information the Phaeacian ships require in order to take him home to Ithaca. Tell me your country and city, that our ships may shape their purpose accordingly and take you there. For the Phaeacians have no pilots. Homer describes the Phaeacian ships as fast as a falcon and gives a vivid description of the ship's departure; the ship bounded forward on her way as a four in hand chariot flies over the course when the horses feel the whip. Her prow curvetted as it were the neck of a stallion, a great wave of dark blue water seethed in her wake, she held on her course, a falcon, swiftest of all birds, could not have kept pace with her. Many ancient and modern interpreters favour identification of Scheria with the island of Corfu, within 110 km of Ithaca. Thucydides, in his Peloponnesian War, identifies Scheria as Corfu or, with its ancient name, Corcyra. In I.25.4, he records the Corinthians' resentment of the Corcyraeans, who "could not repress a pride in the high naval position of an island whose nautical renown dated from the days of its old inhabitants, the Phaeacians."
Locals on Corfu had long claimed this, based on the rock outside Corfu harbour, the ship that carried Odysseus back to Ithaca, but was turned to stone by Poseidon, to punish the Phaeacians for helping his enemy, with one blow from the flat of his hand turned her into stone and rooted her to the sea bottom. The Phaeacians did not participate in the Trojan War; the Greek name Φαίακες is derived from phaiós. The Phaeacians in the Odyssey did not know Odysseus, so they called him a "stranger". Odysseus however was the king of the majority of the Ionian Islands, not only of Ithaca, but "of Cephallenia, Crocylea, Aegilips and Zacynthus" so if Scheria was Corfu, it would be surprising that the citizens of one of the Ionian Islands did not
Pylos also known under its Italian name Navarino, is a town and a former municipality in Messenia, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Pylos-Nestoras, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit, it was the capital of the former Pylia Province. It is the main harbour on the Bay of Navarino. Nearby villages include Gialova, Elaiofyto and Palaionero; the town of Pylos has 2,767 inhabitants, the municipal unit of Pylos 5,287. The municipal unit has an area of 143.911 km2. Pylos has a long history, it was a significant kingdom in Mycenaean Greece, with remains of the so-called "Palace of Nestor" excavated nearby, named after Nestor, the king of Pylos in Homer's Iliad. In Classical times, the site was uninhabited, but became the site of the Battle of Pylos in 425 BC, during the Peloponnesian War. Pylos is scarcely mentioned thereafter until the 13th century, when it became part of the Frankish Principality of Achaea. Known by its French name of Port-de-Jonc or its Italian name Navarino, in the 1280s the Franks built the Old Navarino castle on the site.
Pylos came under the control of the Republic of Venice from 1417 until 1500, when it was conquered by the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans used Pylos and its bay as a naval base, built the New Navarino fortress there; the area remained under Ottoman control, with the exception of a brief period of renewed Venetian rule in 1685–1715 and a Russian occupation in 1770–71, until the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence in 1821. Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt recovered it for the Ottomans in 1825, but the defeat of the Turco-Egyptian fleet in the 1827 Battle of Navarino forced Ibrahim to withdraw from the Peloponnese and confirmed Greek independence. Pylos retained its ancient name down to Byzantine times, but appears after the Frankish conquest in the early 13th century under two names: a French one, Port-de-Jonc or Port-de-Junch, with some variants and derivatives: in Italian Porto-Junco, Zunchio or Zonchio, in medieval Catalan Port Jonc, in Latin Iuncum, Zonglon/Zonglos in Greek, etc, it takes that name from the marshes surrounding the place.
A Greek one, Avarinos shortened to Varinos or lengthened to Anavarinos by epenthesis, which became Navarino in Italian and Navarin in French. Its etymology is not certain. A traditional etymology, proposed by the early 15th-century traveller Nompar de Caumont and repeated as late as the works of Karl Hopf, ascribed the name to the Navarrese Company, but this an error as the name was in use long before the Navarrese presence in Greece. In 1830 Fallmereyer proposed that it could originate from a body of Avars who settled there, a view adopted by a few scholars like William Miller; the name of Avarinos/Navarino, although in use before the Frankish period, came into widespread use, eclipsed the French name of Port-de-Jonc and its derivations, only in the 15th century, i.e. after the collapse of the Frankish Principality of Achaea. In the late 14th or early 15th centuries, when it was held by the Navarrese Company, it was known as Château Navarres, called Spanochori by the local Greeks. Under Ottoman rule, the Turkish name was Anavarin.
After the construction of the new Ottoman fortress in 1571/2, it became known as Neokastro among the local Greeks, while the old Frankish castle became known as Palaiokastro. The soil about Navarino is of a red colour, is remarkable for the production of an abundance of squills, which are used in medicine; the rocks, which show themselves in every direction through a scanty but rich soil, are limestone, present a general appearance of unproductiveness round the castle of Navarino. The remains of Navarino, consist of a fort, covering the summit of a hill sloping to the south, but falling in abrupt precipices to the north and east; the town was built on the southern declivity, was surrounded by a wall, allowing for the natural irregularities of the soil, represented a triangle, with the castle at the summit—a form observable in many of the ancient cities of Greece. The Gialova wetland is a regional blessing of nature, it is one of 10 major lagoons in Greece. And has been classified as one of the important bird areas in Europe.
It has been listed as a 1500-acre archaeological site, lying between Gialova and the bay of Voidokilia. Its alternative name of Vivari is Latin, meaning'fishponds'. With a depth, at its deepest point, of no more than four meters, it is the southernmost stopover of birds migrating from the Balkans to Africa, giving shelter to no fewer than 225 bird species, among them heron, lesser kestrel, Audouin's gull, flamingo and imperial eagle, it is Gialova, which plays host to a rare species, nearing extinction throughout Europe, the African chameleon. The observation post of the Greek Ornithological Society allows visitors to find out more and to watch the shallow brackish waters of the lake. Pylos has evidence of continuous human presence dating back to the Neolithic. In Mycenaean times, it was an important centre referred to as Nestor's kingdom of "sandy Pylos" and descri
Nestor of Gerenia was the wise King of Pylos described in Homer's Odyssey. Excavations from 1939 revealed his palace and excavations have resumed at the site. Nestor was the son of Chloris, his wife was either Anaxibia. In late accounts, Nestor had a daughter Epicaste. Nestor was an Argonaut, helped fight the centaurs, participated in the hunt for the Calydonian Boar, he became the King of Pylos after Heracles killed all of Nestor's siblings. He was from Gerena, he and his sons and Thrasymedes, fought on the side of the Achaeans in the Trojan War. Though Nestor was very old when the war began, he was noted for his bravery and speaking abilities. In the Iliad, he gives advice to the younger warriors and advises Agamemnon and Achilles to reconcile, he is too old to engage in combat himself, but he leads the Pylian troops, riding his chariot, one of his horses is killed by an arrow shot by Paris. He had a solid gold shield. Homer calls him by the epithet "the Gerenian horseman." At the funeral games of Patroclus, Nestor advises Antilochus on.
Antilochus was killed in battle by Memnon. In the Odyssey and those who were part of his army had safely returned to Pylos since they did not take part in the looting of Troy upon the Greeks' victory in the Trojan War. Odysseus's son Telemachus travels to Pylos to inquire about the fate of his father. Nestor receives his friend's son, Telemachus kindly and entertains him lavishly but is unable to furnish any information on his father's fate. Appearing in the Odyssey are Nestor's wife Eurydice and their remaining living sons: Echephron, Aretus and Peisistratus. Nestor had two daughters named Pisidice and Polycaste. Nestor's advice in the Iliad, while always respected by his listeners due to his age and experience, is always tempered with a sub-text of humor at his expense due to his boastfulness, as he is never able to dispense the advice without first spending several paragraphs recounting his own heroic actions in the past when faced with similar circumstances. In the Odyssey, Homer's admiration of Nestor is tempered by some humor at his expense: Telemachus, having returned to Nestor's home from a visit to Helen of Troy and Menelaus, urges Peisistratus to let him board his vessel to return home rather than being subjected to a further dose of Nestor's rather overwhelming sense of hospitality.
Peisistratus agrees, although ruefully stating that his father is bound to be furious when he learns of Telemachus's departure. Nestor's advice in the Iliad has been interpreted to have sinister undertones. For example, when Patroclus comes to Nestor for advice in Book 11, Nestor persuades him that it is urgent for him to disguise himself as Achilles. Karl Reinhardt argues that this is contrary to what Patroclus originally wanted – in fact, he is only there to receive information on behalf of Achilles about the wounded Machaon. Reinhardt notes that an "unimportant errand left behind by an all-important one... Patroclus' role as messenger is crucial and an ironic purpose permeates the encounter."Homer offers contradictory portrayals of Nestor as a source of advice. On one hand, Homer describes him as a wise man, yet at the same time Nestor's advice is ineffective. Some examples include Nestor accepting without question the dream Zeus plants in Agamemnon in Book 2 and urging the Achaeans to battle, instructing the Achaeans in Book 4 to use spear techniques that in actuality would be disastrous, in Book 11 giving advice to Patroclus that leads to his death.
Yet Nestor is never questioned and instead is praised. Hanna Roisman explains that the characters in the Iliad ignore the discrepancy between the quality of Nestor's advice and its outcomes because, in the world of the Iliad, "outcomes are in the hands of the arbitrary and fickle gods... heroes are not viewed as responsible when things go awry." In the Iliad, people are judged not in the modern view of results, but as people. Therefore Nestor should be viewed as a good counselor because of the qualities he possesses as described in his introduction in Book 1 – as a man of "sweet words," a "clear-voiced orator," and whose voice "flows sweeter than honey." These are elements that make up Nestor, they parallel the elements that Homer describes as part of a good counselor at Iliad 3.150–152. Therefore, "the definition tells us that Nestor, as a good advisor, possesses the three features... that it designates." Nestor is a good counselor inherently, the consequences of his advice have no bearing on that, a view that differs from how good counselors are viewed today.
Homer, The Iliad with an English Translation by A. T. Murray, Ph. D. in two volumes. Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. Homer, Homeri Opera in five volumes. Oxford, Oxford University Press. 1920. Greek text available at the Perseus Digital Library. Homer, The Odyssey with an English Translation by A. T. Murray, PH. D. in two volumes. Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. Greek text available from the same w
Ajax the Great
Ajax or Aias is a Greek mythological hero, the son of King Telamon and Periboea, the half-brother of Teucer. He plays an important role, is portrayed as a towering figure and a warrior of great courage in Homer's Iliad and in the Epic Cycle, a series of epic poems about the Trojan War, he is referred to as "Telamonian Ajax", "Greater Ajax", or "Ajax the Great", which distinguishes him from Ajax, son of Oileus. Ajax is the son of Telamon, the son of Aeacus and grandson of Zeus, his first wife Periboea, he is the cousin of Achilles, is the elder half-brother of Teucer. His given name is derived from the root of αἰάζω "to lament". Many illustrious Athenians, including Cimon, Miltiades and the historian Thucydides, traced their descent from Ajax. On an Etruscan tomb dedicated to Racvi Satlnei in Bologna there is an inscription that says, aivastelmunsl which means " of Telamonian Ajax". In Homer's Iliad he is described as of great stature, colossal frame and strongest of all the Achaeans. Known as the "bulwark of the Achaeans", he was trained by the centaur Chiron, at the same time as Achilles.
He was described as fearless and powerful but with a high level of combat intelligence. Ajax commands his army wielding a huge shield made of seven cow-hides with a layer of bronze. Most notably, Ajax is not wounded in any of the battles described in the Iliad, he is the only principal character on either side who does not receive substantial assistance from any of the gods who take part in the battles, although, in book 13, Poseidon strikes Ajax with his staff, renewing his strength. Unlike Diomedes and Achilles, Ajax appears as a defensive warrior, instrumental in the defence of the Greek camp and ships and that of Patroclus' body; when the Trojans are on the offensive, he is seen covering the retreat of the Achaeans. While one of the deadliest heroes in the whole poem, Ajax has no aristeia depicting him on the offensive. In the Iliad, Ajax is notable for his abundant strength and courage, seen in two fights with Hector. In Book 7, Ajax is chosen by lot to meet Hector in a duel. Ajax at first gets the better of the encounter, wounding Hector with his spear and knocking him down with a large stone, but Hector fights on until the heralds, acting at the direction of Zeus, call a draw, with the two combatants exchanging gifts, Ajax giving Hector a purple sash and Hector giving Ajax his sharp sword.
The second fight between Ajax and Hector occurs when the latter breaks into the Mycenaean camp, fights with the Greeks among the ships. In Book 14, Ajax throws a giant rock at Hector which kills him. In Book 15, Hector is restored to his strength by returns to attack the ships. Ajax, wielding an enormous spear as a weapon and leaping from ship to ship, holds off the Trojan armies single-handedly. In Book 16, Hector and Ajax duel once again. Hector disarms Ajax and Ajax is forced to retreat, seeing that Zeus is favoring Hector. Hector and the Trojans succeed in burning one Greek ship, the culmination of an assault that finishes the war. Ajax is responsible for the death including Phorcys. Ajax fought in tandem with his brother Teucer, known for his skill with the bow. Ajax would wield his magnificent shield. Achilles was absent during these encounters because of his feud with Agamemnon. In Book 9, Agamemnon and the other Mycenaean chiefs send Ajax and Phoenix to the tent of Achilles in an attempt to reconcile with the great warrior and induce him to return to the fight.
Although Ajax speaks earnestly and is well received, he does not succeed in convincing Achilles. When Patroclus is killed, Hector tries to steal his body. Ajax, assisted by Menelaus, succeeds in fighting off the Trojans and taking the body back with his chariot. Ajax's prayer to Zeus to remove the fog that has descended on the battle to allow them to fight or die in the light of day has become proverbial. According to Hyginus, in total, Ajax killed 28 people at Troy; as the Iliad comes to a close and the majority of other Greek warriors are alive and well. When Achilles dies, killed by Paris and Odysseus are the heroes who fight against the Trojans to get the body and bury it with his companion, Patroclus. Ajax, with his great shield and spear, manages to recover the body and carry it to the ships, while Odysseus fights off the Trojans. After the burial, each claims Achilles' magical armor, forged on Mount Olympus by the smith-god Hephaestus, for himself as recognition for his heroic efforts. A competition is held to determine.
Ajax argues that because of his strength and the fighting he has done for the Greeks, including saving the ships from Hector, driving him off with a massive rock, he deserves the armor. However, Odysseus proves to be more eloquent, with the aid of Athena, the council gives him the armor. Ajax, "Unconquered", furious, becomes crazed and slaughters the Achaians' herds of captured livestock, believing them to be his enemies through a trick of Athena. Unable to deal with this dual dishonor, he falls upon his own sword, "conque