Words Crush Wednesday – The Homeric Version

Published August 26, 2015 by Iphis of Scyros

And continuing from last week‘s Words Crush Wednesday, Patroclos has finally arrived in Nestor’s hut on Achilles’ errand.  Nestor is playing host to the wounded Machaon, son of Asclepios, when Patroclos arrives.

From Book XI of the Iliad, W.H.D. Rouse translation:

While they were talking together comfortably, Patroclos appeared at the door.  The ancient man sprang up from his chair, and led him in and bade him be seated.  But Patroclos declined:

“No sitting for me, my lord!  I can’t think of it.  Formidable, hot-tempered, is he that sent me, to ask who the wounded man was that you were bringing in.  But I know him myself.  I see it is his honour Machaon.  Now I will go back and tell Achilles.  You know well enough, reverend sir, what he is like.  A terrible man!  He might easily find fault where there is none.”

Actually, I’m going to stop the quote there because it’s such a remarkable speech.  This is the nastiest stuff anyone says about Achilles (well, that any of the Achaians say about him, anyway) and it comes from the one person who loves him best, and who literally sacrifices his own life for him, and then post-mortem insists on their bones being buried in the same golden amphora so that they’ll never be parted.

So why does Patroclos say those things about Achilles here?  It is, to me, one of the larger mysteries of the character.  Is he annoyed at being sent on this errand?  (It is rather beneath his station.)  Is he ticked off that Achilles is being such a selfish brat about all this and getting so many good men killed?  (This one seems likely.)  Is he jealous because Achilles is sleeping with other slave girls now that Briseis is out of the picture, instead of just with Patroclos?  (Yeah, probably not.)  Or is he just being accurate about the fact that Achilles has a hair-trigger temper and will turn on anyone and everyone (except Patroclos) for absolutely anything?

Whatever his reasons, the irony is that this passage actually gives the impression–furthered by Aischylos in the Myrmidons–that Achilles was more in love with Patroclos than Patroclos was with Achilles, which I don’t think is the right way to look at their relationship; they’re more of a partnership of more-or-less equals, y’know?  Though the partnership relationship was somewhat alien in ancient times, I suppose; one did tend to be “more equal” than the other, as it were.  That happens in an age-class society, where even one year’s difference is a significant one.  But the age difference, in their case, was evened out by their class difference, since Patroclos was older and Achilles was more important, so…uh, yeah…I’m probably putting too much thought into this.  (Yeah, I do that.  Plus I don’t really want to go back to reading about the Gracchii right now, even though I really should.)

wcw

One comment on “Words Crush Wednesday – The Homeric Version

Comments are closed.

Vocaloid Tarot

Vocaloid, UTAU and Tarot; individually or all-in-one

Matthew Meyer

the yokai guy

Arwen's Butterflies and Things

My BJD creation blog. Here's where my sewing creations and projects are showcased. Some outfits are for sale. Please use the tags & catagories to navigate this blog. I love comments and reviews!

History From Below

Musings on Daily Life in the Ancient and Early Medieval Mediterranean By Sarah E. Bond

The Bloggess

Like Mother Teresa, only better.

My Tiny Joy

Where little things matter!

Klein's Other Toys

Comics, Funko Pops and Anime figures oh my!

BINARYTHIS

EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT GENDER BUT WERE TOO AFRAID TO ASK

Creating Herstory

Celebrating the women who create history

Kicky Resin

BJDs et al

Lala Land

(>°~°)><(°~°<)

A'Cloth the World

Where Textiles, Fashion, Culture, Communication and Art Come Together.

starshiphedgehog

Occasionally my brain spurts out ideas and this is where I put them

The Social Historian

Adventures in the world of history

medievalbooks

Erik Kwakkel blogging about medieval manuscripts

Sara Letourneau

Poet. Freelance editor and writing coach. SFF enthusiast.

Zounds, Alack, and By My Troth

A tragical-comical-historical-pastoral webcomic by Ben Sawyer

Project Doll House

never too old to play with dolls

knotted things

All about the things that I'm all about.

Eclectic Alli

A bit of this, a bit of that, the meandering thoughts of a dreamer.

Omocha Crush

Secret Confessions of a Toy Addict

C.G.Coppola

Fantasy & Science-Fiction romance Writer

WordDreams...

Jacqui Murray's

Onomastics Outside the Box

Names beyond the Top 100, from many nations and eras

Hannah Reads Books

This is an archival site for old posts. Visit hannahgivens.com for art, puppetry, and links to any current media commentary.

Ariel Hudnall

the writings, musings, and photography of a dream smith

Taking a Walk Through History

Walking back in time to discover the origins of every historical route on earth

SENTENTIAE ANTIQUAE

ΕΥΔΟΞΑ ΑΓΝΩΣΤΑ ΚΑΤΑΓΕΛΑΣΤΑ

Pullips and Junk

We're all mad about Pullips here!

mycupofteaminiatures

Handmade miniatures

Dutch Fashion Doll World

A Dutch Barbie collector in Holland

Confessions of a Doll Collectors Daughter

Reviews and News From the Doll World

It's a Britta Bottle!

Small Stories of a Twenty-Something Adventuring Through Life

DataTater

It's all small stuff.

The Photographicalist

Preserving the photographical perspective

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

We're All Mad Here!

<---This Way | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | That Way--->

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: