Aphrodite is an ancient Greek goddess associated with love, pleasure and procreation. She is identified with the planet Venus, named after the Roman goddess Venus, with whom Aphrodite was extensively syncretized. Aphrodite's major symbols include myrtles, doves and swans; the cult of Aphrodite was derived from that of the Phoenician goddess Astarte, a cognate of the East Semitic goddess Ishtar, whose cult was based on the Sumerian cult of Inanna. Aphrodite's main cult centers were Cythera, Cyprus and Athens, her main festival was the Aphrodisia, celebrated annually in midsummer. In Laconia, Aphrodite was worshipped as a warrior goddess, she was the patron goddess of prostitutes, an association which led early scholars to propose the concept of "sacred prostitution", an idea, now seen as erroneous. In Hesiod's Theogony, Aphrodite is born off the coast of Cythera from the foam produced by Uranus's genitals, which his son Cronus has severed and thrown into the sea. In Homer's Iliad, she is the daughter of Zeus and Dione.
Plato, in his Symposium 180e, asserts that these two origins belong to separate entities: Aphrodite Ourania and Aphrodite Pandemos. Aphrodite had many other epithets, each emphasizing a different aspect of the same goddess, or used by a different local cult, thus she was known as Cytherea and Cypris, due to the fact that both locations claimed to be the place of her birth. In Greek mythology, Aphrodite was married to the god of blacksmiths and metalworking. Despite this, Aphrodite was unfaithful to him and had many lovers. In the First Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, she seduces the mortal shepherd Anchises. Aphrodite was the surrogate mother and lover of the mortal shepherd Adonis, killed by a wild boar. Along with Athena and Hera, Aphrodite was one of the three goddesses whose feud resulted in the beginning of the Trojan War and she plays a major role throughout the Iliad. Aphrodite has been featured in western art as a symbol of female beauty and has appeared in numerous works of western literature.
She is a major deity in modern Neopagan religions, including the Church of Aphrodite and Hellenismos. Hesiod derives Aphrodite from aphrós "sea-foam", interpreting the name as "risen from the foam", but most modern scholars regard this as a spurious folk etymology. Early modern scholars of classical mythology attempted to argue that Aphrodite's name was of Greek or Indo-European origin, but these efforts have now been abandoned. Aphrodite's name is accepted to be of non-Greek Semitic, but its exact derivation cannot be determined. Scholars in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, accepting Hesiod's "foam" etymology as genuine, analyzed the second part of Aphrodite's name as *-odítē "wanderer" or *-dítē "bright". Michael Janda accepting Hesiod's etymology, has argued in favor of the latter of these interpretations and claims the story of a birth from the foam as an Indo-European mytheme. Witczak proposes an Indo-European compound *abʰor- "very" and *dʰei- "to shine" referring to Eos.
Other scholars have argued that these hypotheses are unlikely since Aphrodite's attributes are different from those of both Eos and the Vedic deity Ushas. A number of improbable non-Greek etymologies have been suggested. One Semitic etymology compares Aphrodite to the Assyrian barīrītu, the name of a female demon that appears in Middle Babylonian and Late Babylonian texts. Hammarström looks to Etruscan, comparing prϑni "lord", an Etruscan honorific loaned into Greek as πρύτανις; this would make the theonym in origin an honorific, "the lady". Most scholars reject this etymology as implausible since Aphrodite appears in Etruscan in the borrowed form Apru; the medieval Etymologicum Magnum offers a contrived etymology, deriving Aphrodite from the compound habrodíaitos, "she who lives delicately", from habrós and díaita. The alteration from b to ph is explained as a "familiar" characteristic of Greek "obvious from the Macedonians"; the cult of Aphrodite in Greece was imported from, or at least influenced by, the cult of Astarte in Phoenicia, which, in turn, was influenced by the cult of the Mesopotamian goddess known as "Ishtar" to the East Semitic peoples and as "Inanna" to the Sumerians.
Pausanias states that the first to establish a cult of Aphrodite were the Assyrians, after the Assyrians, the Paphians of Cyprus, the Phoenicians at Ascalon. The Phoenicians, in turn, taught her worship to the people of Cythera. Aphrodite took on Inanna-Ishtar's associations with procreation. Furthermore, she was known as Ourania, which means "heavenly", a title corresponding to Inanna's role as the Queen of Heaven. Early artistic and literary portrayals of Aphrodite are similar on Inanna-Ishtar. Like Inanna-Ishtar, Aphrodite was a warrior goddess, he mentions that Aphrodite's most ancient cult statues in Sparta and on Cythera showed her bearing arms. Modern scholars note that Aphrodite's warrior-goddess aspects appear in the oldest strata of her worship and see it as an indication of her Near Eastern origins. Nineteenth century classical scholars had a general aversion to the idea that ancient Greek religion was at all influenced by the cultures of the Near East, but Friedrich Got
Euripides was a tragedian of classical Athens. Along with Aeschylus and Sophocles, he is one of the three ancient Greek tragedians for whom a significant number of plays have survived; some ancient scholars attributed 95 plays to him but, according to the Suda, it was 92 at most. Of these, 18 or 19 have survived more or less complete and there are fragments, some substantial, of most of the other plays. More of his plays have survived intact than those of Aeschylus and Sophocles together because his popularity grew as theirs declined—he became, in the Hellenistic Age, a cornerstone of ancient literary education, along with Homer and Menander. Euripides is identified with theatrical innovations that have profoundly influenced drama down to modern times in the representation of traditional, mythical heroes as ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances; this new approach led him to pioneer developments that writers adapted to comedy, some of which are characteristic of romance. Yet he became "the most tragic of poets", focusing on the inner lives and motives of his characters in a way unknown.
He was "the creator of...that cage, the theatre of Shakespeare's Othello, Racine's Phèdre, of Ibsen and Strindberg," in which "...imprisoned men and women destroy each other by the intensity of their loves and hates", yet he was the literary ancestor of comic dramatists as diverse as Menander and George Bernard Shaw. Unique among writers of Ancient Athens, Euripides demonstrated sympathy towards the underrepresented members of society, his male contemporaries were shocked by the'heresies' he put into the mouths of characters, such as these words of his heroine Medea: His contemporaries associated him with Socrates as a leader of a decadent intellectualism, both of them being lampooned by comic poets such as Aristophanes. Whereas Socrates was put on trial and executed as a corrupting influence, Euripides chose a voluntary exile in old age, dying in Macedonia. Recent scholarship casts doubt on ancient biographies of Euripides. For example, it is possible that he never visited Macedonia at all, or, if he did, he might have been drawn there by King Archelaus with incentives that were offered to other artists.
Traditional accounts of the author's life are found in many commentaries and include details such as these: He was born on Salamis Island around 480 BC, with parents Cleito and Mnesarchus, a retailer who lived in a village near Athens. Upon the receipt of an oracle saying that his son was fated to win "crowns of victory", Mnesarchus insisted that the boy should train for a career in athletics. In fact the boy was destined for a career on the stage, where however he was to win only five victories, one of, after his death, he served for a short time as both torch-bearer at the rites of Apollo Zosterius. His education was not confined to athletics: he studied painting and philosophy under the masters Prodicus and Anaxagoras, he had two disastrous marriages and both his wives—Melite and Choerine —were unfaithful. He became a recluse. "There he built an impressive library and pursued daily communion with the sea and sky". He retired to the "rustic court" of King Archelaus in Macedonia, where he died in 406 BC.
However, as mentioned in the introduction, biographical details such as these should be regarded with scepticism. They are derived entirely from three unreliable sources: folklore, employed by the ancients to lend colour to the lives of celebrated authors; this biography is divided into three sections corresponding to the three kinds of sources. Euripides was the youngest in a set of three great tragedians who were contemporaries: his first play was staged thirteen years after Sophocles' debut and only three years after Aeschylus's masterpiece, the Oresteia; the identity of the threesome is neatly underscored by a patriotic account of their roles during Greece's great victory over Persia at the Battle of Salamis—Aeschylus fought there, Sophocles was just old enough to celebrate the victory in a boys' chorus and Euripides was born on the day of the battle. The apocryphal account that he composed his works in a cave on Salamis island was a late tradition and it symbolizes the isolation of an intellectual, rather ahead of his time.
Much of his life and his whole career coincided with the struggle between Athens and Sparta for hegemony in Greece but he didn't live to see the final defeat of his city. It is said that he died in Macedonia after being attacked by the Molossian hounds of King Archelaus and that his cenotaph near Piraeus was struck by lightning—signs of his unique powers, whether for good or ill. In an account by Plutarch, the catastrophic failure of the Sicilian expedition led Athenians to trade renditions of Euripides' lyrics to their enemies in return for food and drink. Plutarch is the source for the story that the victorious Spartan generals, having planned the demolition of Athens and the enslavement of its people, grew merciful after being entertained at a banquet by lyrics from Euripides' play Electra: "they felt that it would be a barbarous act to annihilate a ci
Nepal the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas but includes parts of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. With an estimated population of 26.4 million, it is 48th largest country by population and 93rd largest country by area. It borders China in the north and India in the south and west while Bangladesh is located within only 27 km of its southeastern tip and Bhutan is separated from it by the Indian state of Sikkim. Nepal has a diverse geography, including fertile plains, subalpine forested hills, eight of the world's ten tallest mountains, including Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. Kathmandu is largest city. Nepal is a multiethnic nation with Nepali as the official language; the name "Nepal" is first recorded in texts from the Vedic period of the Indian subcontinent, the era in ancient India when Hinduism was founded, the predominant religion of the country. In the middle of the first millennium BCE, Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, was born in Lumbini in southern Nepal.
Parts of northern Nepal were intertwined with the culture of Tibet. The centrally located Kathmandu Valley is intertwined with the culture of Indo-Aryans, was the seat of the prosperous Newar confederacy known as Nepal Mandala; the Himalayan branch of the ancient Silk Road was dominated by the valley's traders. The cosmopolitan region developed distinct traditional architecture. By the 18th century, the Gorkha Kingdom achieved the unification of Nepal; the Shah dynasty established the Kingdom of Nepal and formed an alliance with the British Empire, under its Rajput Rana dynasty of premiers. The country was never colonized but served as a buffer state between Imperial China and British India. Parliamentary democracy was introduced in 1951, but was twice suspended by Nepalese monarchs, in 1960 and 2005; the Nepalese Civil War in the 1990s and early 2000s resulted in the proclamation of a secular republic in 2008, ending the world's last Hindu monarchy. The Constitution of Nepal, adopted in 2015, establishes Nepal as a federal secular parliamentary republic divided into seven provinces.
Nepal was admitted to the United Nations in 1955, friendship treaties were signed with India in 1950 and the People's Republic of China in 1960. Nepal hosts the permanent secretariat of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, of which it is a founding member. Nepal is a member of the Non Aligned Movement and the Bay of Bengal Initiative; the military of Nepal is the fifth largest in South Asia. Local legends have it that a Hindu sage named "Ne" established himself in the valley of Kathmandu in prehistoric times, that the word "Nepal" came into existence as the place was protected by the sage "Nemi", it is mentioned in Vedic texts. According to the Skanda Purana, a rishi called. In the Pashupati Purana, he is mentioned as a protector, he is said to have taught there. The name of the country is identical in origin to the name of the Newar people; the terms "Nepāl", "Newār", "Newāl" and "Nepār" are phonetically different forms of the same word, instances of the various forms appear in texts in different times in history.
Nepal is the learned Sanskrit form and Newar is the colloquial Prakrit form. A Sanskrit inscription dated 512 CE found in Tistung, a valley to the west of Kathmandu, contains the phrase "greetings to the Nepals" indicating that the term "Nepal" was used to refer to both the country and the people, it has been suggested that "Nepal" may be a Sanskritization of "Newar", or "Newar" may be a form of "Nepal". According to another explanation, the words "Newar" and "Newari" are vulgarisms arising from the mutation of P to V, L to R. Neolithic tools found in the Kathmandu Valley indicate that people have been living in the Himalayan region for at least eleven thousand years. Nepal is first mentioned in the late Vedic Atharvaveda Pariśiṣṭa as a place exporting blankets, in the post-Vedic Atharvashirsha Upanishad. In Samudragupta's Allahabad Pillar it is mentioned as a border country; the Skanda Purana has a separate chapter, known as "Nepal Mahatmya", with more details. Nepal is mentioned in Hindu texts such as the Narayana Puja.
Legends and ancient texts that mention the region now known as Nepal reach back to the 30th century BC. The Gopal Bansa were one of the earliest inhabitants of Kathmandu valley; the earliest rulers of Nepal were the Kiratas, peoples mentioned in Hindu texts, who ruled Nepal for many centuries. Various sources mention up to 32 Kirati kings. Around 500 BCE, small kingdoms and confederations of clans arose in the southern regions of Nepal. From one of these, the Shakya polity, arose a prince who renounced his status to lead an ascetic life, founded Buddhism, came to be known as Gautama Buddha. By 250 BCE, the southern regions had come under the influence of the Maurya Empire of North India and became a vassal state under the Gupta Empire in the 4th century CE. There is a quite detailed description of the kingdom of Nepal in the account of the renowned Chinese Buddhist pilgrim monk Xuanzang, dating from about 645 CE. Stone inscriptions in the Kathmandu Valley are important sources for the history of Nepal.
The kings of the Lichhavi dynasty have been found to have r
A game is a structured form of play undertaken for enjoyment and sometimes used as an educational tool. Games are distinct from work, carried out for remuneration, from art, more an expression of aesthetic or ideological elements. However, the distinction is not clear-cut, many games are considered to be work or art. Games are sometimes played purely sometimes for achievement or reward as well, they can be played alone, in online. The players may have an audience of non-players, such as when people are entertained by watching a chess championship. On the other hand, players in a game may constitute their own audience as they take their turn to play. Part of the entertainment for children playing a game is deciding, part of their audience and, a player. Key components of games are goals, rules and interaction. Games involve mental or physical stimulation, both. Many games help develop practical skills, serve as a form of exercise, or otherwise perform an educational, simulational, or psychological role.
Attested as early as 2600 BC, games are a universal part of human experience and present in all cultures. The Royal Game of Ur, Mancala are some of the oldest known games. Ludwig Wittgenstein was the first academic philosopher to address the definition of the word game. In his Philosophical Investigations, Wittgenstein argued that the elements of games, such as play and competition, all fail to adequately define what games are. From this, Wittgenstein concluded that people apply the term game to a range of disparate human activities that bear to one another only what one might call family resemblances; as the following game definitions show, this conclusion was not a final one and today many philosophers, like Thomas Hurka, think that Wittgenstein was wrong and that Bernard Suits' definition is a good answer to the problem. French sociologist Roger Caillois, in his book Les jeux et les hommes, defined a game as an activity that must have the following characteristics: fun: the activity is chosen for its light-hearted character separate: it is circumscribed in time and place uncertain: the outcome of the activity is unforeseeable non-productive: participation does not accomplish anything useful governed by rules: the activity has rules that are different from everyday life fictitious: it is accompanied by the awareness of a different reality Computer game designer Chris Crawford, founder of The Journal of Computer Game Design, has attempted to define the term game using a series of dichotomies: Creative expression is art if made for its own beauty, entertainment if made for money.
A piece of entertainment is a plaything. Movies and books are cited as examples of non-interactive entertainment. If no goals are associated with a plaything, it is a toy. If it has goals, a plaything is a challenge. If a challenge has no "active agent against whom you compete", it is a puzzle. If the player can only outperform the opponent, but not attack them to interfere with their performance, the conflict is a competition. However, if attacks are allowed the conflict qualifies as a game. Crawford's definition may thus be rendered as: an interactive, goal-oriented activity made for money, with active agents to play against, in which players can interfere with each other. "A game is a system in which players engage in an artificial conflict, defined by rules, that results in a quantifiable outcome." "A game is a form of art in which participants, termed players, make decisions in order to manage resources through game tokens in the pursuit of a goal." According to this definition, some "games" that do not involve choices, such as Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, War are not technically games any more than a slot machine is.
"A game is an activity among two or more independent decision-makers seeking to achieve their objectives in some limiting context." "At its most elementary level we can define game as an exercise of voluntary control systems in which there is an opposition between forces, confined by a procedure and rules in order to produce a disequilibrial outcome." "A game is a form of play with goals and structure." "to play a game is to engage in activity directed toward bringing about a specific state of affairs, using only means permitted by specific rules, where the means permitted by the rules are more limited in scope than they would be in the absence of the rules, where the sole reason for accepting such limitation is to make possible such activity." "When you strip away the genre differences and the technological complexities, all games share four defining traits: a goal, rules, a feedback system, voluntary participation." Games can be characterized by "what the player does". This is referred to as gameplay.
Major key elements identified in this context are tools and rules that define the overall context of game. Games are classified by the com
Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin was an 18th-century French painter. He is considered a master of still life, is noted for his genre paintings which depict kitchen maids and domestic activities. Balanced composition, soft diffusion of light, granular impasto characterize his work. Chardin was born in Paris, the son of a cabinetmaker, left the city, he lived on the Left Bank near Saint-Sulpice until 1757, when Louis XV granted him a studio and living quarters in the Louvre. Chardin entered into a marriage contract with Marguerite Saintard in 1723, whom he did not marry until 1731, he served apprenticeships with the history painters Pierre-Jacques Cazes and Noël-Nicolas Coypel, in 1724 became a master in the Académie de Saint-Luc. According to one nineteenth-century writer, at a time when it was hard for unknown painters to come to the attention of the Royal Academy, he first found notice by displaying a painting at the "small Corpus Christi" on the Place Dauphine. Van Loo, passing by in 1720, bought it and assisted the young painter.
Upon presentation of The Ray in 1728, he was admitted to the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture. The following year he ceded his position in the Académie de Saint-Luc, he made a modest living by "produc paintings in the various genres at whatever price his customers chose to pay him", by such work as the restoration of the frescoes at the Galerie François I at Fontainebleau in 1731. In November 1731 his son Jean-Pierre was baptized, a daughter, Marguerite-Agnès, was baptized in 1733. In 1735 his wife Marguerite died, within two years Marguerite-Agnès had died as well. Beginning in 1737 Chardin exhibited at the Salon, he would prove to be a "dedicated academician" attending meetings for fifty years, functioning successively as counsellor and secretary, overseeing in 1761 the installation of Salon exhibitions. Chardin's work gained popularity through reproductive engravings of his genre paintings, which brought Chardin income in the form of "what would now be called royalties". In 1744 he entered this time to Françoise-Marguerite Pouget.
The union brought a substantial improvement in Chardin's financial circumstances. In 1745 a daughter, Angélique-Françoise, was born, but she died in 1746. In 1752 Chardin was granted a pension of 500 livres by Louis XV. At the Salon of 1759 he exhibited nine paintings. Beginning in 1761, his responsibilities on behalf of the Salon arranging the exhibitions and acting as treasurer, resulted in a diminution of productivity in painting, the showing of'replicas' of previous works. In 1763 his services to the Académie were acknowledged with an extra 200 livres in pension. In 1765 he was unanimously elected associate member of the Académie des Sciences, Belles-Lettres et Arts of Rouen, but there is no evidence that he left Paris to accept the honor. By 1770 Chardin was the'Premier peintre du roi', his pension of 1,400 livres was the highest in the Academy. In 1772 Chardin's son a painter, drowned in Venice, a probable suicide; the artist's last known oil painting was dated 1776. Gravely ill by November of that year, he died in Paris on December 6, at the age of 80.
Chardin worked slowly and painted only more than 200 pictures in total. Chardin's work had little in common with the Rococo painting that dominated French art in the 18th century. At a time when history painting was considered the supreme classification for public art, Chardin's subjects of choice were viewed as minor categories, he favored simple yet beautifully textured still lifes, sensitively handled domestic interiors and genre paintings. Simple stark, paintings of common household items and an uncanny ability to portray children's innocence in an unsentimental manner found an appreciative audience in his time, account for his timeless appeal. Self-taught, Chardin was influenced by the realism and subject matter of the 17th-century Low Country masters. Despite his unconventional portrayal of the ascendant bourgeoisie, early support came from patrons in the French aristocracy, including Louis XV. Though his popularity rested on paintings of animals and fruit, by the 1730s he introduced kitchen utensils into his work.
Soon figures populated his scenes as well in response to a portrait painter who challenged him to take up the genre. Woman Sealing a Letter, which may have been his first attempt, was followed by half-length compositions of children saying grace, as in Le Bénédicité, kitchen maids in moments of reflection; these humble scenes deal with simple, everyday activities, yet they have functioned as a source of documentary information about a level of French society not hitherto considered a worthy subject for painting. The pictures are noteworthy for pictorial harmony. Chardin said about painting, "Who said one paints with colors? One employs colors, but one paints with feeling." A child playing was a favourite subject of Chardin. He depicted an adolescent building a house of cards on at least four occasions; the version at Waddesdon Manor is the most elaborate. Scenes such as these derived from 17th-century Netherlandish vanitas works, which bore messages about th
For the area in Khyber Pass see Shagai Plateau For the area in FATA, Pakistan see Shahgai Shagai, chükö, asyk/ashyk/oshuq refers to the astragalus of the ankle of a sheep or goat. The bones are collected and used for traditional games and fortune-telling throughout Central Asia, games involving the ankle bones may be referred to by the name of the bones, they may be painted bright colours. Such bones have been used throughout history, are thought to be the first forms of dice. In English language sources, shagai may be referred to as "ankle bones", playing with shagai is sometimes called ankle bone shooting. Shagai games are popular during the Mongolian summer holiday of Naadam. In shagai dice, the rolled shagai land on one of four sides: horse, sheep or goat. A fifth side, cow, is possible on uneven ground. Mongolians still exchange shagai today as tokens of friendship; the shagai may be kept in a little pouch. In addition, Mongolians collect wolf shagai, which are viewed as good-luck tokens due to the bone's superficial resemblance to the male genitalia.
In fortunetelling, four shagai are rolled on the ground. The sides with concave indents and camel, are deemed unlucky. A large variety of traditional Mongolian games are played using the shagai pieces. Depending on the game, the anklebones may be tossed like dice, flicked like marbles, shot at with arrows, caught in the hands, or collected according to the roll of a die. In many games, the side on which a tossed piece lands is significant. For one of the most popular games, there are public tournaments held, most played during the traditional Naadam festival. In this game, pieces are flicked with the middle finger of one hand, along a wooden board held in the other hand; the goal is to hit a target piece over a distance of about 10 m. An ankle bone shooting game was played under the name of Ordo at the 2014 World Nomad Games; some other common games are: Horse race A common game played with two, but with more players. Each player flicks one piece in turn along a sequence of stationary pieces representing the race course.
Birthing camels On each turn, a player tosses all the pieces to the ground. The goal is to use the "sheep" pieces to knock the "camel" pieces into sheep position. Cat's game A number of "sheep" are lined up two-by-two; the player throws another object up into the air and catches it again. In the short time while the object is floating, the task is to pick up one piece with the same hand, but not to disturb the others. Full toss Each of two to four players in turn tosses all the pieces. Depending on the number of horses and/or camels landed, the player can collect pieces from the pool, or has to add some. Winner is the player. Open catch Using ten or more pieces, each player in turn places all of them in one hand and tosses them up into the air, he tries to catch as many as possible with the back of the same hand. The caught pieces are tossed up again, as many as possible caught in a fist this time; the caught ones are collected by the player. Winner is. Twelve years Two players in turn toss two pieces like dice for twelve rounds, counting a point for each horse landed.
If no player reaches 12 points, the game restarts, otherwise the higher score wins. Tossing three shagai Any number of players take turns tossing three pieces like dice. Three pieces landing on the same side score two points, two sames give one point. Winner is; the four shagai Players take. All four landing on different sides scores eight points, four sames give four points, two pairs give two points. If a player manages to grab all pieces of a four sames throw, they get the score of that throw. Winner is. Four animals The pieces are divided into four groups, representing herds of different animals as of which side is turned upwards. Players take turns tossing one extra piece like a dice, collecting one from the herd of the type thrown, or putting one back if the respective herd is empty. Once all four herds are depleted, the player who has collected the most pieces wins. Another use of shagai, besides in games and for divination, is as part of musical instruments, such as the Kazakh jetigen, a relative of the Mongolian yatga.
Ed. S. Badamkhatan, БНМАУ-ын угсаатны зүй, Ulaanbaatar 1987, pp. 365–368 InfoMongolia.com: Shagai - Fortune teller - Durvun Berkh UB Post: tournament report The Silver Horde: description and rules "Mongolian Music, Dance, & Oral Narrative: Performing Diverse Identities"
The Iliad is an ancient Greek epic poem in dactylic hexameter, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles. Although the story covers only a few weeks in the final year of the war, the Iliad mentions or alludes to many of the Greek legends about the siege; the epic narrative takes up events prophesied for the future, such as Achilles' imminent death and the fall of Troy, although the narrative ends before these events take place. However, as these events are prefigured and alluded to more and more vividly, when it reaches an end the poem has told a more or less complete tale of the Trojan War; the Iliad is paired with something of a sequel, the Odyssey attributed to Homer. Along with the Odyssey, the Iliad is among the oldest extant works of Western literature, its written version is dated to around the 8th century BC.
In the modern vulgate, the Iliad contains 15,693 lines. According to Michael N. Nagler, the Iliad is a more complicated epic poem than the Odyssey. Note: Book numbers are in parentheses and come before the synopsis of the book. After an invocation to the Muses, the story launches in medias res towards the end of the Trojan War between the Trojans and the besieging Greeks. Chryses, a Trojan priest of Apollo, offers the Greeks wealth for the return of his daughter Chryseis, held captive of Agamemnon, the Greek leader. Although most of the Greek army is in favour of the offer, Agamemnon refuses. Chryses prays for Apollo's help, Apollo causes a plague to afflict the Greek army. After nine days of plague, the leader of the Myrmidon contingent, calls an assembly to deal with the problem. Under pressure, Agamemnon agrees to return Chryseis to her father, but decides to take Achilles' captive, Briseis, as compensation. Achilles furiously will go home. Odysseus takes a ship and returns Chryseis to her father, whereupon Apollo ends the plague.
In the meantime, Agamemnon's messengers take Briseis away. Achilles becomes upset, sits by the seashore, prays to his mother, Thetis. Achilles asks his mother to ask Zeus to bring the Greeks to the breaking point by the Trojans, so Agamemnon will realize how much the Greeks need Achilles. Thetis does so, Zeus agrees. Zeus sends a dream to Agamemnon. Agamemnon heeds the dream but first decides to test the Greek army's morale, by telling them to go home; the plan backfires, only the intervention of Odysseus, inspired by Athena, stops a rout. Odysseus confronts and beats Thersites, a common soldier who voices discontent about fighting Agamemnon's war. After a meal, the Greeks deploy in companies upon the Trojan plain; the poet takes the opportunity to describe the provenance of each Greek contingent. When news of the Greek deployment reaches King Priam, the Trojans respond in a sortie upon the plain. In a list similar to that for the Greeks, the poet describes their allies; the armies approach each other, but before they meet, Paris offers to end the war by fighting a duel with Menelaus, urged by his brother and head of the Trojan army, Hector.
While Helen tells Priam about the Greek commanders from the walls of Troy, both sides swear a truce and promise to abide by the outcome of the duel. Paris is beaten, but Aphrodite rescues him and leads him to bed with Helen before Menelaus can kill him. Pressured by Hera's hatred of Troy, Zeus arranges for the Trojan Pandaros to break the truce by wounding Menelaus with an arrow. Agamemnon rouses the Greeks, battle is joined. In the fighting, Diomedes kills many Trojans, including Pandaros, defeats Aeneas, whom Aphrodite rescues, but Diomedes attacks and wounds the goddess. Apollo warns him against warring with gods. Many heroes and commanders join in, including Hector, the gods supporting each side try to influence the battle. Emboldened by Athena, Diomedes wounds puts him out of action. Hector prevents a rout. Hector enters the city, urges prayers and sacrifices, incites Paris to battle, bids his wife Andromache and son Astyanax farewell on the city walls, rejoins the battle. Hector duels with Ajax, but nightfall interrupts the fight, both sides retire.
The Greeks agree to burn their dead, build a wall to protect their ships and camp, while the Trojans quarrel about returning Helen. Paris offers to return the treasure he took and give further wealth as compensation, but not Helen, the offer is refused. A day's truce is agreed for burning the dead, during which the Greeks build their wall and a trench; the next morning, Zeus prohibits the gods from interfering, fighting begins anew. The Trojans prevail and force the Greeks back to their wall, while Hera and Athena are forbidden to help. Night falls, they camp in the field to attack at first light, their watchfires light the plain like stars. Meanwhile, the Greeks are desperate. Agamemnon admits his error, sends an embassy composed of Odysseus, Ajax and two heralds to offer Briseis and extensive gifts to Achilles, who has be