The Yoruba religion comprises the traditional religious and spiritual concepts and practice of the Yoruba people. Its homeland is in present-day Southwestern Nigeria and the adjoining parts of Benin and Togo known as Yorubaland, it is similar to the Vodun practiced by the neighboring Fon and Ewe people to the west and to the religion of the Edo people to the east. Yoruba religion is the basis for a number of religions in the New World, notably Santería, Trinidad Orisha and Candomblé. Yoruba religious beliefs are part of Itan, the total complex of songs, histories and other cultural concepts which make up the Yoruba society. According to Kola Abimbola, the Yoruba have evolved a robust cosmology. In brief, it holds that all human beings possess what is known as "Ayanmo" and are expected to become one in spirit with Olodumare. Furthermore, the thoughts and actions of each person in Ayé interact with all other living things, including the Earth itself; each person attempts to find their destiny in Orun-Rere.
One's ori-inu must grow in order to consummate union with one's "Iponri". Those who stop growing spiritually, in any of their given lives, are destined for "Orun-Apadi". Life and death are said to be cycles of existence in a series of physical bodies while one's spirit evolves toward transcendence; this evolution is said to be most evident amongst the divine viziers of Olorun. Iwapẹlẹ meditative recitation and sincere veneration is sufficient to strengthen the ori-inu of most people. Well-balanced people, it is believed, are able to make positive use of the simplest form of connection between their Oris and the omnipotent Olu-Orun: an adura for divine support. Prayer to one's Ori Orun produces an immediate sensation of joy. Elegbara initiates contact with spiritual realm on behalf of the petitioner, transmits the prayer to Ayé, he transmits this prayer without distorting it in any way. Thereafter, the petitioner may be satisfied with a personal answer. In the event that he or she is not, the Ifá oracle of the Orisha Orunmila may be consulted.
All communication with Orun, whether simplistic in the form of a personal prayer or complicated in the form of that done by an initiated Babalawo, however, is energized by invoking ase. In the Yoruba belief system, Olodumare has ase over all. Hence, Is considered supreme. Olodumare is the most important "state of existence". Regarded as being all-encompassing, no gender can be assigned. Hence, it is common to hear references to "it" or "they". "They" are the owner of all heads. In this, Olodumare is Supreme. One of the most important human endeavors extolled within the Yoruba literary corpus is the quest to improve one's "Iwa". In this way the teachings transcends religious doctrine, advising as it does that a person must improve his/her civic and intellectual spheres of being. Central to this is the theme of both individual and collective; the Yoruba regard Olodumare as the principal agent of creation. According to a Yoruba account of creation, during a certain stage in this process, the "truth" was sent to confirm the habitability of the newly formed planets.
The earth being one of these was deemed too wet for conventional life. After a successful period of time, a number of divinities led by Obatala were sent to accomplish the task of helping earth develop its crust. On one of their visits to the realm, the arch-divinity Obatala took to the stage equipped with a mollusk that concealed some form of soil; the contents were emptied onto what soon became a large mound on the surface of the water and soon after, the winged-beasts began to scatter this around until the point where it made into a large patch of dry land. Obatala named the place Ife; the land became fertile and plant life began to flourish. From handfuls of earth he began to mold figurines. Meanwhile, as this was happening on earth, Olodumare gathered the gases from the far reaches of space and sparked an explosion that shaped into a fireball, he subsequently sent it to Ife, where it dried much of the land and began to bake the motionless figurines. It was at this point that Olodumare released the "breath of life" to blow across the land, the figurines came into "being" as the first people of Ife.
For this reason, Ife is locally referred to as "Ife Oodaye" - "cradle of existence". An Orisha is an entity that possesses the capability of reflecting some of the manifestations of Olodumare. Yoruba Orishas are described as intermediaries between humankind and the supernatural; the term is translated as "Deities" or "Divinities" or "Gods". Orisha are revered for having control over specific elements by nature, thus being better referred to as the divinities or Imole. So, there are those of their number that are more akin to ancient heroes and/or sages; these are best addre
Pierre de Ronsard
Pierre de Ronsard was a French poet or, as his own generation in France called him, a "prince of poets". Pierre de Ronsard was born at the Manoir de la Possonnière, in the village of Couture-sur-Loir, Vendômois. Baudouin de Ronsard or Rossart was the founder of the French branch of the house, made his mark in the early stages of the Hundred Years' War; the poet's father was Louis de Ronsard, his mother was Jeanne de Chaudrier, of a family both noble and well connected. Pierre was the youngest son. Loys de Ronsard was maître d'hôtel du roi to Francis I, whose captivity after Pavia had just been softened by treaty, he had to quit his home shortly after Pierre's birth; the future poet was educated at home in his earliest years and sent to the Collège de Navarre in Paris at the age of nine. When Madeleine of France was married to James V of Scotland, Ronsard was attached as a page in the Scottish court, where he was encouraged in the idea of making French vernacular translations of classical authors.
A year after the death of the queen, he returned to France. Further travel took him to Flanders and again, for a short time, Scotland, on diplomatic missions under Claude d'Humières, seigneur de Lassigny, until he was attached as secretary to the suite of Lazare de Baïf, the father of his future colleague in the Pléiade and his companion on this occasion, Antoine de Baïf, at the diet of Speyer. Afterwards he was attached in the same way to the suite of the cardinal du Bellay-Langey, his mythical quarrel with François Rabelais dates from this period, his promising diplomatic career was, cut short by an attack of deafness following a 1540 visit, as part of legation to Alsace, that no physician could cure. The institution he chose for the purpose among the numerous schools and colleges of Paris was the Collège Coqueret, the principal of, Jean Daurat — afterwards the "dark star" of the Pléiade, an acquaintance of Ronsard's from having held the office of tutor in the Baïf household. Antoine de Baïf, Daurat's pupil, accompanied Ronsard.
Muretus, a great scholar and by means of his Latin plays a great influence in the creation of French tragedy, was a student here. Ronsard's period of study occupied seven years, the first manifesto of the new literary movement, to apply to the vernacular the principles of criticism and scholarship learnt from the classics, came not from him but from Du Bellay; the Défense et illustration de la langue française of the latter appeared in 1549, the Pléiade may be said to have been launched. It consisted, as its name implies, of seven writers whose names are sometimes differently enumerated, though the orthodox canon is beyond doubt composed of Ronsard, Du Bellay, Baïf, Remy Belleau, Pontus de Tyard, Jodelle the dramatist, Daurat. Ronsard's own work came a little and a rather idle story is told of a trick of Du Bellay's which at last determined him to publish; some single and minor pieces, an epithalamium on Antoine de Bourbon and Jeanne de Navarre, a "Hymne de la France", an "Ode a la Paix," preceded the publication in 1550 of the four first books of the Odes of Pierre de Ronsard.
This was followed in 1552 by the publication of his Amours de Cassandre with the fifth book of Odes, dedicated to the 15-year-old Cassandre Salviati, whom he had met at Blois and followed to her father's Château de Talcy. These books excited a violent literary quarrel. Marot was dead, but he left numerous followers, some of whom saw in the stricter literary critique of the Pléiade, in its outspoken contempt of vernacular and medieval forms, in its strenuous advice to French poetry to "follow the ancients," and so forth, an insult to the author of the Adolescence Clémentine and his school, his popularity in his own time was overwhelming and immediate, his prosperity was unbroken. He published his Hymns, dedicated to Margaret de Valois, in 1555. To this same year belongs his most important and interesting Abrégé de l'art poétique français; the rapid change of sovereigns did Ronsard no harm. Charles IX, King of France, who succeeded his brother after a short time, was better inclined to him than Henry and Francis.
He gave him rooms in the palace. Neither was Charles IX a bad poet; this royal patronage, had its disagreeable side. It excited violent dislike to Ronsard on the part of the Huguenots, who wrote constant pasquinades against him, strove to represent him as a libertine and an atheist, set up his follower Du Bartas as his rival. According to some words of his own, they were not contented with this variety of argument, but attempted to have him assassinated. During this period, Ronsard began writing the epic poem the Franciade, a work, never finished and
Murdeshwar is a town in Bhatkal Taluk of Uttara Kannada district in the state of Karnataka, India. Murdeshwar is another name of the Hindu god Shiva. Famous for the world's second tallest Shiva statue, the town lies on the coast of the Arabian Sea and is famous for the Murdeshwar Temple. Murdeshwar has a railway station on the Mangalore-Mumbai Konkan railway route; the origin of the name "Murdeshwar" dates to the time of Ramayana. The Hindu gods attained immortality and invincibility by worshiping a divine Linga called the Atma-Linga; the Lanka King Ravana wanted to attain immortality by obtaining the Atma-Linga. Since the Atma-Linga belonged to Sri Maheshwara, Ravana worshipped Shiva with devotion. Pleased by his prayers, Sri Mahadeva asked him what he wanted. Ravana asked for the Atma-Linga. Sri Rudra agreed to give him the boon on the condition that it should never be placed on the ground before he reaches Lanka. If the Atma-Linga was placed on the ground, it would be impossible to move it. Having obtained his boon, Ravana started back on his journey to Lanka.
Lord Vishnu, who came to know of this incident, realised that with the Atma-Linga, Ravana may obtain immortality and wreak havoc on earth. He requested him to prevent the Atma-Linga from reaching Lanka. Sri Skandapurvaja knew that Ravana was a devoted person who performed prayer rituals every evening without fail, he decided to make use of this fact and came up with a plan to confiscate the Atma-Linga from Ravana. As Ravana was nearing Gokarna, Sri Mahavishnu blotted out the sun to give the appearance of dusk. Ravana now had to perform his evening rituals but was worried because with the Atma-Linga in his hands, he would not be able to do his rituals. At this time, Sri Shashivarnam in the disguise of a Brahmin boy accosted him. Ravana requested him to hold the Atma-Linga until he performed his rituals, asked him not to place it on the ground. Sri Vinayaka struck a deal with him saying that he would call Ravana thrice, if Ravana did not return within that time, he would place the Atma-Linga on the ground.
Ravana returned to find that Sri Chaturbhuja had placed the Atma-Linga on the ground. Sri Keshava removed his illusion and it was daylight again. Ravana, realising that he had been tricked, tried to destroy the linga. Due to the force exerted by Ravana, some pieces were scattered. One such piece from the head of the linga is said to have fallen in present-day Surathkal; the famous Sadashiva temple is said to be built around that piece of linga. He decided to destroy the covering of the Atma-Linga, threw the case covering it to a place called Sajjeshwar, 37 kilometers away, he threw the lid of the case to a place called Guneshwar and Dhareshwar, 16-19 kilometers away. He threw the cloth covering the Atma-Linga to a place called Mrideshwara in Kanduka-Giri. Mrideshwara has been renamed to Murdeshwar. Murdeshwar Temple and Raja Gopura: This temple is built on the Kanduka Hill, surrounded on three sides by the waters of the Arabian Sea, it is dedicated to Sri Lokankara, a 20-storied gopura is constructed at the temple.
The temple authorities have installed a lift that provides a breath-taking view of the 123-feet Sri Shiva idol from the top of the Raja gopura. There is a Rameshwara linga at the bottom of the hill, where devotees can do seva themselves. A Shaneswar temple has been built next to the idol of Sri Akshayaguna. Two life-size elephants in concrete stand guard at the steps leading to it; the entire temple and temple complex, including the 237.5-feet-tall Raja Gopura, is one among the tallest, was constructed to its present form by businessman and philanthropist R. N. Shetty. There are statues of Sun Chariot on side of a park, statues depicting Arjuna receiving Geetopadesham from Lord Krishna, Ravana being deceived by Ganesha in disguise, Shiva's manifestation as Bhaghirnath, descending Ganga, carved around the hill; the temple is modernised with exception of the sanctum sanctorum, still dark and retains its composure. The main deity is Sri Mridesa Linga called Murdeshwar; the linga is believed to be a piece of the original Atma Linga and is about two feet below ground level.
The devotees performing special sevas like Abhisheka, Rathotsava etc. can view the deity by standing before the threshold of the sanctum and the Linga is illuminated by oil lamps held close by the priests. The Linga is a rough rock inside a hollowed spot in the ground. Entry into the sanctum is banned for all devotees. Statue of Lord Shiva: A huge towering statue of Lord Shiva, visible from great distances, is present in the temple complex, it is the second tallest statue of Lord Shiva in the world. The tallest Lord Shiva statue is in Nepal, known as the; the statue took about two years to build. The statue was built by Shivamogga's Kashinath and several other sculptors, financed by businessman and philanthropist Dr. R. N. Shetty, at a cost of Rs 50 million; the idol is designed such that it thus appears sparkling. Bhatkal Chitrapur Math Gokarna Idagunji Kollur Mangalore Maravanthe beach Om beach Shirali Udupi
Ganesha known as Ganapati, Vinayaka or by numerous other names, is one of the best-known and most worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon. His image is found throughout India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bali and Nepal. Hindu denominations worship him regardless of affiliations. Devotion to Ganesha is diffused and extends to Jains and Buddhists. Although he is known by many attributes, Ganesha's elephant head makes him easy to identify. Ganesha is revered as the remover of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences and the deva of intellect and wisdom; as the god of beginnings, he is honoured at the start of ceremonies. Ganesha is invoked as patron of letters and learning during writing sessions. Several texts relate mythological anecdotes associated with his birth and exploits. Ganesha emerged as a deity as early as the 2nd century CE, but most by the 4th and 5th centuries CE, during the Gupta period, although He inherited traits from Vedic and pre-Vedic precursors. Hindu mythology identifies him as the restored son of Parvati and Shiva of the Shaivism tradition, but he is a pan-Hindu god found in its various traditions.
In the Ganapatya tradition of Hinduism, Ganesha is the supreme deity. The principal texts on Ganesha include the Ganesha Purana, the Mudgala Purana, the Ganapati Atharvashirsa. Brahma Purana and Brahmanda Purana are other two Puranic genre encyclopedic texts that deal with Ganesha. Ganesha has been ascribed many other epithets, including Ganapati and Vighneshvara; the Hindu title of respect Shri is added before his name. The name Ganesha is a Sanskrit compound, joining the words gana, meaning a group, multitude, or categorical system and isha, meaning lord or master; the word gaṇa when associated with Ganesha is taken to refer to the gaṇas, a troop of semi-divine beings that form part of the retinue of Shiva, Ganesha's father. The term more means a category, community, association, or corporation; some commentators interpret the name "Lord of the Gaṇas" to mean "Lord of Hosts" or "Lord of created categories", such as the elements. Ganapati, a synonym for Ganesha, is a compound composed of gaṇa, meaning "group", pati, meaning "ruler" or "lord".
Though the earliest mention of the word Ganapati is found in hymn 2.23.1 of the 2nd-millennium BCE Rigveda, it is however uncertain that the Vedic term referred to Ganesha. The Amarakosha, an early Sanskrit lexicon, lists eight synonyms of Ganesha: Vinayaka, Vighnarāja, Dvaimātura, Gaṇādhipa, Heramba and Gajanana. Vinayaka is a common name for Ganesha that appears in Buddhist Tantras; this name is reflected in the naming of the eight famous Ganesha temples in Maharashtra known as the Ashtavinayak. The names Vighnesha and Vighneshvara refers to his primary function in Hinduism as the master and remover of obstacles. A prominent name for Ganesha in the Tamil language is Pillaiyar. A. K. Narain differentiates these terms by saying that pillai means a "child" while pillaiyar means a "noble child", he adds that the words pallu and pell in the Dravidian family of languages signify "tooth or tusk" "elephant tooth or tusk". Anita Raina Thapan notes that the root word pille in the name Pillaiyar might have meant "the young of the elephant", because the Pali word pillaka means "a young elephant".
In the Burmese language, Ganesha is known as Maha Peinne, derived from Pali Mahā Wināyaka. The widespread name of Ganesha in Thailand is Phra Phikanet; the earliest images and mention of Ganesha names as a major deity in present-day Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam date from the 7th- and 8th-centuries, these mirror Indian examples of the 5th century or earlier. In Sri Lankan Singhala Buddhist areas, he is known as Gana deviyo, revered along with Buddha, Vishnu and others. Ganesha is a popular figure in Indian art. Unlike those of some deities, representations of Ganesha show wide variations and distinct patterns changing over time, he may be portrayed standing, heroically taking action against demons, playing with his family as a boy, or sitting down on an elevated seat, or engaging in a range of contemporary situations. Ganesha images were prevalent in many parts of India by the 6th century; the 13th-century statue pictured is typical of Ganesha statuary from 900–1200, after Ganesha had been well-established as an independent deity with his own sect.
This example features some of Ganesha's common iconographic elements. A identical statue has been dated between 973–1200 by Paul Martin-Dubost, another similar statue is dated c. 12th century by Pratapaditya Pal. Ganesha has the head of a big belly; this statue has four arms, common in depictions of Ganesha. He holds his own broken tusk in his lower-right hand and holds a delicacy, which he samples with his trunk, in his lower-left hand; the motif of Ganesha turning his trunk to his left to taste a sweet in his lower-left hand is a archaic feature. A more primitive statue in one of the Ellora Caves with this general form has been dated to the 7th century. Details of the other hands are difficult to make out on the statue shown. In the standa
The Aeneid is a Latin epic poem, written by Virgil between 29 and 19 BC, that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who travelled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Romans. It comprises 9,896 lines in dactylic hexameter; the first six of the poem's twelve books tell the story of Aeneas's wanderings from Troy to Italy, the poem's second half tells of the Trojans' victorious war upon the Latins, under whose name Aeneas and his Trojan followers are destined to be subsumed. The hero Aeneas was known to Greco-Roman legend and myth, having been a character in the Iliad. Virgil took the disconnected tales of Aeneas's wanderings, his vague association with the foundation of Rome and his description as a personage of no fixed characteristics other than a scrupulous pietas, fashioned the Aeneid into a compelling founding myth or national epic that tied Rome to the legends of Troy, explained the Punic Wars, glorified traditional Roman virtues, legitimized the Julio-Claudian dynasty as descendants of the founders and gods of Rome and Troy.
The Aeneid is regarded as Virgil's masterpiece and one of the greatest works of Latin literature. The Aeneid can be divided into two halves based on the disparate subject matter of Books 1–6 and Books 7–12; these two halves are regarded as reflecting Virgil's ambition to rival Homer by treating both the Odyssey's wandering theme and the Iliad's warfare themes. This is, however, a rough correspondence, the limitations of which should be borne in mind. Virgil begins his poem with a statement of his theme and an invocation to the Muse, falling some seven lines after the poem's inception, he explains the reason for the principal conflict in the story: the resentment held by the goddess Juno against the Trojan people. This is consistent with her role throughout the Homeric epics. In the manner of Homer, the story proper begins in medias res, with the Trojan fleet in the eastern Mediterranean, heading in the direction of Italy; the fleet, led by Aeneas, is on a voyage to find a second home. It has been foretold that in Italy he will give rise to a race both noble and courageous, a race which will become known to all nations.
Juno is wrathful, because she had not been chosen in the judgment of Paris, because her favorite city, will be destroyed by Aeneas's descendants. Ganymede, a Trojan prince, was chosen to be the cupbearer to her husband, Jupiter—replacing Juno's daughter, Hebe. Juno proceeds to Aeolus, King of the Winds, asks that he release the winds to stir up a storm in exchange for a bribe. Aeolus agrees to carry out Juno's orders. Neptune takes notice: although he himself is no friend of the Trojans, he is infuriated by Juno's intrusion into his domain, stills the winds and calms the waters, after making sure that the winds would not bother the Trojans again, lest they be punished more harshly than they were this time; the fleet takes shelter on the coast of Africa, where Aeneas rouses the spirits of his men, reassuring them that they have been through worse situations before. There, Aeneas's mother, Venus, in the form of a huntress similar to the goddess Diana, encourages him and recounts to him the history of Carthage.
Aeneas ventures into the city, in the temple of Juno he seeks and gains the favor of Dido, queen of the city. The city has only been founded by refugees from Tyre and will become a great imperial rival and enemy to Rome. Meanwhile, Venus has her own plans, she goes to her son, Aeneas's half-brother Cupid, tells him to imitate Ascanius. Disguised as such, Cupid offers the gifts expected from a guest. With Dido's motherly love revived as she cradles the boy during a banquet given in honour of the Trojans, Cupid secretly weakens her sworn fidelity to the soul of her late husband, murdered by her brother, Pygmalion. In books 2 and 3, Aeneas recounts the events, he begins the tale shortly after the war described in the Iliad. Cunning Ulysses devised a way for Greek warriors to gain entry into the walled city of Troy by hiding in a large wooden horse; the Greeks pretended to sail away, leaving a warrior, Sinon, to mislead the Trojans into believing that the horse was an offering and that if it were taken into the city, the Trojans would be able to conquer Greece.
The Trojan priest Laocoön saw through the Greek plot and urged the horse's destruction, but his protests fell on deaf ears, so he hurled his spear at the horse. In what would be seen by the Trojans as punishment from the gods, two serpents emerged from the sea and devoured Laocoön, along with his two sons; the Trojans took the horse inside the fortified walls, after nightfall the armed Greeks emerged from it, opening the city's gates to allow the returned Greek army to slaughter the Trojans. In a dream, the fallen Trojan prince, advised Aeneas to flee with his family. Aeneas saw with horror what was happening to his beloved city. At first he tried to fight the enemy, but soon he lost his comrades and was left alone to fend off the Greeks, he witnessed the murder of Priam by Achilles' son Pyrrhus. His mother, appeared to him and led him back to his house. Aeneas tells of his escape with his son, his wife Creusa, his father, after the occurrence
Leaves of Grass
Leaves of Grass is a poetry collection by the American poet Walt Whitman. Although the first edition was published in 1855, Whitman spent most of his professional life writing and re-writing Leaves of Grass, revising it multiple times until his death; this resulted in vastly different editions over four decades—the first, a small book of twelve poems and the last, a compilation of over 400. The poems of Leaves of Grass are loosely connected, with each representing Whitman's celebration of his philosophy of life and humanity; this book is notable for its discussion of delight in sensual pleasures during a time when such candid displays were considered immoral. Where much previous poetry English, relied on symbolism and meditation on the religious and spiritual, Leaves of Grass exalted the body and the material world. Influenced by Ralph Waldo Emerson and the Transcendentalist movement, itself an offshoot of Romanticism, Whitman's poetry praises nature and the individual human's role in it. However, much like Emerson, Whitman does not diminish the role of the spirit.
With one exception, the poems do not follow standard rules for meter and line length. Among the poems in the collection are "Song of Myself", "I Sing the Body Electric", "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking". Editions included Whitman's elegy to the assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd". Leaves of Grass was controversial during its time for its explicit sexual imagery, Whitman was subject to derision by many contemporary critics. Over time, the collection has infiltrated popular culture and been recognized as one of the central works of American poetry. Leaves of Grass has its genesis in an essay called The Poet by Ralph Waldo Emerson, published in 1844, which expressed the need for the United States to have its own new and unique poet to write about the new country's virtues and vices. Whitman, reading the essay, consciously set out to answer Emerson's call as he began working on the first edition of Leaves of Grass. Whitman, downplayed Emerson's influence, stating, "I was simmering, simmering.
On May 15, 1855, Whitman registered the title Leaves of Grass with the clerk of the United States District Court, Southern District of New Jersey, received its copyright. The first edition was published on July 4, 1855, in Brooklyn, at the printing shop of two Scottish immigrants and Andrew Rome, whom Whitman had known since the 1840s; the shop was located at Fulton Street and Cranberry Street, now the site of apartment buildings that bear Whitman's name. Whitman did much of the typesetting for the first edition himself; the book did not include the author's name, instead offered an engraving by Samuel Hollyer depicting Whitman in work clothes and a jaunty hat, arms at his side. Early advertisements for the first edition appealed to "lovers of literary curiosities" as an oddity. Sales on the book were few; the first edition was small, collecting only twelve unnamed poems in 95 pages. Whitman once said. "That would tend to induce people to take me along with them and read me in the open air: I am nearly always successful with the reader in the open air", he explained.
About 800 were printed. The only American library known to have purchased a copy of the first edition was in Philadelphia; the poems of the first edition, which were given titles in issues, were "Song of Myself", "A Song for Occupations", "To Think of Time", "The Sleepers", "I Sing the Body Electric", "Faces", "Song of the Answerer", "Europe: The 72d and 73d Years of These States", "A Boston Ballad", "There Was a Child Went Forth", "Who Learns My Lesson Complete?", "Great Are the Myths". The title Leaves of Grass was a pun. "Grass" was a term given by publishers to works of minor value, "leaves" is another name for the pages on which they were printed. Whitman sent a copy of the first edition of Leaves of Grass to Emerson, who had inspired its creation. In a letter to Whitman, Emerson wrote, "I find it the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom America has yet contributed." He went on, "I am happy in reading it, as great power makes us happy." There have been held to be either six or nine editions of Leaves of Grass, the count depending on how they are distinguished.
Scholars who hold that an edition is an new set of type will count the 1855, 1856, 1860, 1867, 1871–72, 1881 printings. Others add in the 1876, 1888–89, 1891–92 releases, it was Emerson's positive response to the first edition that inspired Whitman to produce a much-expanded second edition in 1856, now 384 pages with a cover price of a dollar. This edition included a phrase from Emerson's letter, printed in gold leaf: "I Greet You at the Beginning of a Great Career." Emerson took offense that this letter was made public and became more critical of the work. The publishers of the 1860 edition and Eldridge, declared bankruptcy shortly after its publication and were unable to pay Whitman. "In regard to money matters", they wrote, "we are short ourselves and it is quite impossible to send the sum". Whitman received only $250, the original plates made their way to Boston publisher Horace Wentworth; when the 456-page book was issued, Whitman said, "It is quite'odd', of course", referring to its appearance: it was bound in orange cloth with symbols like a rising sun with nine spokes of light
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