Patroclus has asked permission from Achilles to take the Myrmidons out for battle. Achilles has refused to do battle through his feud with King Agamemnon. So he grants permission to his friend, and gives him his armor to wear while they are out fighting. He makes Patroclus promise to push them clear of the ships and no further. But during the battle, Patroclus does not remember his promise and continues to push forward, where he is struck down by Hector and another soldier. The Myrmidons refuse to leave until they can take his body back with them, but the fighting is fierce. Achilles is saddened by his friends death, and promises revenge. During the next days fighting, Hector himself is killed, and instead of honoring the body and allowing it to buried properly, Achilles binds and drags it behind his chariot. The gods put a mantle around him to keep him from being mangled, but they are angered by the way Achilles is treating the hero of Troy. King Priam brings a ransom treasure to Achilles for the body of his son, and after they eat and drink together, he returns to Troy to allow for proper burial.
Odysseus knows that the Trojans have the Luck of Troy, a black stone that looks like Athene’s shield. It feel from the heavens long ago, and they guard it night and day. If the Luck of Troy could be removed from the city, then the Greeks might have a chance to destroy them once and for all. Helen of Troy meets a beggar at the city gates, and after cleaning him up, she recognizes him for who he is. Odysseus promises her that she will be safe, no matter what happens. When he returns to the Greek encampment with the stone, he is hailed as a hero while the Trojans mourn the loss of their luck.
This week we are reading The Armor of Achilles through The Luck of Troy
- Should Achilles have let Patroclus use his armor and lead his troops into battle?
- What do you think of the funeral games behind held during a wartime?
- Should Helen have informed King Priam about the presence of Odysseus in the city walls?