Book 5, Part 1.2: The Death of Trojans

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Athena randomly being angry at Ares and pulling him aside seems kind of sudden and odd – – until we remember that Athena just gave the Argives an advantage and wants to be sure Ares doesn’t think to do the same. She wants the Argives to have as much time as possible to kill as many Trojans as possible.

I find Idomeneus to be slightly unhinged and his brother Meriones as being a bit bloodthirsty. I also see both counting the deaths they deal as sacrifices to their gods. I’m not sure why I’m thinking this? I don’t know much about early Crete… But that’s what Idomeneus is doing in the fourth panel, looking up to his god and trying to honour Him with Phaestus’ death. I’m not sure that Phaestus appreciates this…

Honestly, this part of the story I find to be very depressing and I found myself emotional as I drew it. Homer gives us these little windows into the lives of the Trojans who are being killed. The question is why? Are we supposed to feel bad for them? To see their deaths as useless and pointless? Or maybe it’s supposed to make us feel like their deaths are valid. Phereclus has a really horribly painful death – – but he IS the one who made the ships for Paris, so this war is, in some respects, his fault. Pedaeus is an illegitimate son. And yet… Phaestus was just a local Trojan ally. Odios probably was as well. Scamandrios has dedicated himself to Artemis, which means he would have been a young, virgin dude who really had no business being at war. Hypsenor was the son of a priest. Did any of these guys really deserve to die? I think Homer is saying, “Absolutely not.” Which. Is not surprising.Β The Iliad is usually thought of as a Greek work, because it has come down to us from Greeks. However, Homer is said to be from Lydia. Lydia is in Asia Minor. He was from the same area as Trojans.Β The Iliad is often way more pro-Trojan than pro-Achaean/Argive/Greek. The Greeks are vicious and bloodthirsty and angry and cruel. The Trojans are merely trying to defend their city.

I think this is especially clear when we consider the final panel. The Argives toil in war, but the Trojans that they have just killed? They are traders and merchants, craftsmen and artisans, farmers and shepherds. They are innocent.

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