Crossing into Enemy Lines: Military Intelligence in Iliad 10 and 24
Mary Frances Williams
San Mateo, CA
Combat in the Iliad*
The Iliad is a tale of war1. But war in the world of Homer is far different from that of the modern world or of classical Greece. The Trojan War is essentially conducted in one spot: the plain of Troy. The listener and the reader of the epic is aware that the Greeks have a wall, a ditch, and ships on their beach and that the Trojans possess the fortified city of Troy with a camp outside it. The rather confused action moves from city to plain, to ships, and back. During the day, everyone can see where the enemy is, at least well enough to know which side is yielding or gaining strength. Although the poet occasionally mentions companies of men and describes chariots advancing as the two armies march towards each other (4.297-309; 11.47-52), he says nothing about battle lines being drawn up, or cavalry attacks, or the movement of battle wings. Homer does not mention any significant battle tactics or strategy2. The Trojan War is not a classical (or a modern) war in a strategic or tactical sense. Although the war at Troy may seem at first glance like trench warfare since the armies do not move about much, the soldiers cease fighting at night and return to their camps--they are not constrained in one place.
The Trojan War in the Iliad is a war carried out by Homeric warriors with their own unique code of military behavior. Their aim is to perform great and courageous deeds in order to win fame on the lips of men and so to "survive" long after their deaths as subjects of song and remembrance among both their own people, their neighbors, and their enemies. The attainment of fame or kleos must be achieved by some public action, usually in the course of battle, because only the public deed will become known to all and thus will be able to be both verified and preserved among human collective memory. This public action must be worthy of the praise of the whole community; therefore, it must be an action performed by an individual that saves and protects or otherwise honors the community. Glory (kleos) is connected with honor (time) because both determine the hero's identity, reward him for his excellence, and function to create his immortality. The glory and honor of the hero is based upon his achievement of great deeds, usually in war. The hero is honored because he defended his community: glory and honor are a fitting response by a community for such a great benefaction. The Homeric world, as a result, almost exclusively glorifies the strength and courage exemplified by outstanding actions performed in battle by individual warriors3. In the Iliad Hector says that if he erects a tumulus for an enemy whom he kills, people of later generations will say that it was the tomb of a man killed by Hector and thus Hector's "glory will never die" (to d' emon kleos ou pot' oleitai 7.90-91). This epitomizes the aim and goal of the Homeric warrior-to attain imperishable glory through extraordinary achievements.
Because of this focus on individual combat, Homer says very little in the Iliad about the actions of whole armies in combat. It is, indeed, difficult to think about an army fighting in the Iliad rather than the heroic individual. In terms of military history, the hoplite phalanx appears to have developed later than the composition of the Iliad and Homer is not familiar with it4. Even when the Trojans as a whole attack the Greek ships, Polydamas says that "some are standing on the sidelines/And others are fighting in skirmishes" (12.737-739)--a passage that indicates that even a great Homeric battle consists of individual combat. In a few important instances, both sides decide to let single combat decide the outcome of a battle or even the war, and all the other warriors watch while two heroes fight each other (e.g., Paris and Menelaus in Book 3; Ajax and Hector in Book 7)5. Odysseus and Diomedes, and Antilochus and Menelaus work as pairs killing many with swords and spears. But it is rare for more than two warriors to fight together, and many of the great warriors, like Hector, Achilles, and Diomedes, are individually able to put whole groups of the enemy to flight. In Book 11 Hector pushes all of the Greeks back and Ajax alone is able to keep the Trojans from the Greek ships. Even when Homer reports companies of Trojans attacking the Greek wall and ships, he focuses on the role of the individual leader, specifying their leaders by name, especially Hector and Polydamas (12.88-107), and saying that they never would have succeeded in breaking through the wall without Sarpedon (12.290-297). It is the two Ajaxes, together with Teucer and Pandion, who not only stop but also push back the Trojans in Book 12.
The characteristics of oral epic influenced the presentation of combat in the Iliad. Because of oral epic's reliance upon formulas, Homeric combat scenes conform to particular patterns and frequently involve formulaic lines. Homeric warriors arrive at a battle and although they sometimes fight from chariots, they usually face each other in hand-to-hand combat on foot. This combat relies on accurate spear throws, great strength, and very often the help of the gods. The usual technique is the spear throw, often executed while warriors face each other on foot6. Action in battle in the Iliad is limited: two heroes meet, utter threats and boasts; if they are in chariots, they usually dismount and hurl spears. There are variations as to whether the spear hits or not, whether the victim is killed or wounded, but the number of variations is fixed7. Fenik found a remarkable series of formulaic patterns in the battle books of the Iliad, all of which involve single combat or warriors fighting in pairs8. Although Fenik concludes that the poet is not completely bound by formulaic convention and may introduce variations within these patterns9, consistency in descriptions of fighting predominates in the epic.
Depictions of combat in the Iliad contain some variations in the methods of individual combat. There is fighting from chariots: Nestor and Diomedes drive their chariot straight at Hector's chariot, and while they do so, Diomedes throws his spear, killing Hector's driver (8.118-121). Sometimes swords and arrows come into play: Teucer shoots his arrows at many men, crouching behind Ajax's great shield; Paris exults when he strikes Diomedes while he is busy stripping a corpse (11.369-383); and Pandarus shoots Diomedes (5.95-100). Warriors hurl stones (7.263-272; 16. 734-743) at each other, endure fierce blows, and attempt to block spears, most of which they can see coming at them. Homer says that everything is thrown in war, not just rocks and spears (12.159-161). Heroes possess extraordinary strength: Hector uses brute force when he smashes in the Greek gates with a boulder that would take "two men of today to lift" (12.445-463). But Homeric warriors as individuals, not as a group, perform all of these actions. The Homeric warrior must rely on himself and the gods in order to be successful and survive. Above all, he requires courage and strength so that he can withstand the enemy's best attempts to kill him. And it is the prowess of the individual warrior that frequently determines whether the entire community will survive or fall.
Hector displays a rudimentary battle plan when he forces the Greeks back towards their ships and hems them in there, intending to set the ships on fire (8.213-216). But in that case, since Agamemnon successfully appeals simultaneously to his men's courage and to Zeus to save them (8.218-244), the "plan" is countered by the standard responses of courage and divine prayer and has no more impact in the epic than any other battle charge. Changes in battle tactics almost exclusively involve decisions about whether to advance or retreat, about gathering courage to press on or deciding that it is prudent to yield. Although such decisions may involve a limited amount of strategy, they are more likely to be based on a judicious weighing of appeals to courage versus how much energy remains in an army and whether rest is necessary. This is not always the case: Odysseus relies, says the poet, on experienced swordplay when he is beset by a group of Trojans (11.483-484). But even in this example, experience and internal strength form the basis of a military decision, not strategy or tactics. In the Iliad, with the exception of Book 10, the enemy does nothing secret or devious or not able to be foreseen; and no forms of attack involve intelligence, planning, or very much skill (as opposed to brute force). Likewise, opposition to any planned attack is usually based on courage. It is human courage and effort, along with the favor of the gods that make the difference.
Consequently, in the Iliad primacy is placed upon the open and public deed, the strong and brutal blow, and the ability to outlast an enemy onslaught10. There is no place for the sneaky, the deceptive, or the treacherous military action since these do not befit the heroic, courageous warrior. Those who survive are the strong, the brave, and those favored by the gods. Their actions either in outlasting the enemy or in killing their foes form the basis of their heroic reputations, and it is through those reputations that they secure protection for their families and towns, and honors and respect for themselves (e.g., 6.440-465; 15.596-600, 610-612). Even though the individual deed wins glory, it must be performed for the good of the whole in order to be praiseworthy. Nestor derides Achilles, saying that although he himself performed many glorious deeds in battle when he was young, he did so as part of an army and on behalf of his people. But Achilles' valor, says Nestor, is for himself alone (11.761-764). Nestor indicates that in the worldview of the Iliad, the brave and brilliant deed that is achieved solely for the purpose of individual gratification or notoriety is not worthy of respect since it is separated from the true basis for honor, deeds that protect the entire community.
Actions which benefit the community but which lack elements of individual courage, face-to-face combat, and physical strength are also not worthy of respect by Homeric society. One example of this is that the use of the ambush rarely occurs in the Iliad precisely for this reason: it is contrasted with words of strength and is considered to be the opposite of hand-to-hand combat. Of the three occasions when a particular ambush is described, it is portrayed negatively and is considered to be a cowardly, treacherous, and "womanly" action11. This attitude is in keeping with the Iliad's emphasis on the heroic and courageous deed that is performed by a great hero.
Military Intelligence in the Iliad
Fenik's interesting study of typical battle scenes in the Iliad investigates the relationship between repetitious patterns of combat in the epic and their formulaic lines and repeated words. His detailed study notes certain standard battle actions: ways of throwing spears, fighting from chariots, slashing with swords. But the standard divisions of military intelligence (i.e., interception of messages and interrogation of prisoners; reconnaissance; espionage; and signals) do not conform to Fenik's combat patterns. It is not that categories of intelligence gathering are completely absent from the Iliad. A few examples do occur in the epic. But these references seem to be innovations by the poet that go beyond the formulaic tradition and the adherence to typical battle patterns, (although reconnaissance scenes may be a form of type scene). It could be argued that these references to intelligence gathering are later additions to the text of the Iliad and are indications of new forms of military strategy that gradually developed in the Dark and Archaic Ages12. However, I consider some of them to be poetic devices that the poet employs in order to illustrate certain essential themes in the epic.
When considered from the perspective of military intelligence, the Iliad displays very little understanding that any such thing exists. The Homeric armies, generals, and warriors seem almost unaware of the main divisions of modern military intelligence, namely, interrogation of prisoners, interception of secret messages, signals, reconnaissance, and espionage. In the Iliad, with the exception of Book 10, there is no interrogation of prisoners13. But this is not surprising given the warrior society that Homer depicts. Captured Homeric prisoners would be unable to provide anything of military significance to the enemy since Homeric battles based on highly public, single combat contain no real tactics and are only planned on the basis of the most basic strategy. Everyone on the battlefield may view daylight combat; there is nothing hidden or secret about it. Warriors on each side observe the enemy either attacking or retreating from their positions in or near the battle-this needs no special effort to discover14. Such planning as there is in the Iliad usually takes place either immediately before or during the battle; it would be difficult for an enemy to discover any "plan" in such a short time15.
Warriors on both sides do occasionally speak to each other but they do not know any information about future battles that they could reveal. Although Homeric warriors often take the time to converse and find out about each other before attempting to kill one another, they exchange personal, not military information. And in these exchanges they make no attempt to deceive one another. When warriors converse before combat, they customarily boast about their ancestors, family, and homeland (e.g., Glaucus and Diomedes in Book 6). They also insult each other, such as when Hector calls Diomedes a woman (8.163-166), and brag about their martial ability16. These boasts serve both a psychological purpose, i.e., they encourage the speaker and attempt to intimidate his opponent, and they set the speaker within the larger context of the Homeric world so that if he is victorious or killed everyone will know who he was and whence he came. These boasts do not impart secret or special strategic information-they are in fact designed to be public, open, accurate, and ultimately "published' through word of mouth. There is also no sense that if any of these warriors were captured and interrogated, they would be able to say anything of importance beyond their battlefield boasts and pleas. There are no attempts, outside of Book 10, to gain any military information from captives; and even a plea for ransom is frequently despised (e.g., 6.47-60)17. If ransom is not acceptable, then it is unlikely that strategic information could be traded. And Homeric warriors would be unlikely to be so uncourageous as to inform the enemy about anything essential.
Perhaps for this reason deception is almost unknown in the battles of the Iliad18, and in one of the few instances where it is attempted, it does not succeed. When Patroclus asks Achilles to let him put on Achilles' armor and go into battle in Achilles' place so that the Trojans, mistaking Patroclus for Achilles, will become so terrified they would cease from war, he is attempting to gain military advantage through deception. Patroclus hopes that this ruse will provide the tired Achaeans with a rest from battle and will allow the un-weary men of Achilles' fifty ships to drive away the enemy (16.37-45). But Patroclus' attempt at deception, although it initially frightens the Trojans and causes them to flee (16.278-283), does not deceive them-there is no doubt among the forces of either side that Patroclus himself is fighting, not Achilles19. The poet mentions the attempted disguise and then appears to forget it, perhaps because deception is not suited to the outlook of the Iliad. The Homeric warriors of the Iliad are either incapable of contriving deceptive plans or of succeeding at them if they are attempted. The capacity for and the efficacy of disguise are unique to Odysseus in the Odyssey.
The capture, interception, or deciphering of secret messages are also aspects of military intelligence that are foreign to the Iliad. Homeric warriors have no need to send secret messages to one another since nearly all combat consists of single combat and does not rely on any prearranged plan or strategy. The story of Bellerophon's cipher letter (6.168-169) is an unusual intrusion into the Iliad and that incident only serves to illustrate the general illiteracy of the Homeric warrior (e.g., 7.175-176)20. Warriors in the Iliad do not know what written messages are and could not send one even if they did know.
There is some slight evidence of the use of fire signals in the Iliad. One simile refers to soldiers using fires in order to obtain military help. Athena throws a golden cloud around Achilles' head from which shoots flames. The poet's simile says:
Smoke is rising through the pure upper air
From a besieged city on a distant island,
Its soldiers have fought hard all day,
But at sunset they light innumerable fires (pursoi)
So that their neighbors in other cities
Might see the glare reflected off the sky
And sail to their help as allies in war. (18.207-213)
Murray translates this as "beacon-fires one after another." This is an intriguing suggestion that Homer is referring to a system of fire signals between cities and fortresses, something like the famous beacon signals at the beginning of Aeschylus' Agamemnon which were also represented as a military device of the heroic age21. It is impossible to know if fire signals are a relic from the Mycenaean Bronze Age or refer to a practice that developed in the Dark or Archaic Ages, although a military use of signals occurs throughout the Greek historians and fire would be a most obvious method of signaling. But since fire signals are not mentioned elsewhere in the Iliad, they cannot be considered to be a fundamental element of Homeric warfare and this unusual simile must be considered to be an anomaly in its poetic context.
Very few aspects of military intelligence are found in the Iliad outside of Book 10. The only areas of note are reconnaissance and information provided by the gods.
Reconnaissance, one of the most important categories of military intelligence, is very elementary in the Iliad. There are only two examples (besides Book 10) of it being performed by warriors during battle in the epic, one on either side. In each of these two scenes, the act of reconnaissance is carried out by an elderly warrior who is not part of the fighting, presumably because only such an older figure would not be subject to criticism for being away from the battlefield and thus is able to "look down " on the fighting from a distance and to analyze it. The culture of the Iliad implies that all vigorous young men should be busily involved in actual combat and should not shrink from the field or waste time watching from afar. Only those seriously wounded, the old, or the dead have an excuse for being absent from the battle. As Hector's rebuke to Paris illustrates, wandering off from battle is shameful (3.50-57; 6.325-331; cf. Apollo and Hector 16.720-725)22.
The Greek example of reconnaissance involves Nestor, a well-respected and tough old man. When Nestor hears the din of battle, he informs Machaon that he will go to a place of outlook (es periophn) and see what is happening (14.1-8). Taking a shield and a spear, and standing outside his hut, he immediately observes a deed of shame (eisden ergon aeikes)-the Achaeans being routed (14.9-14). Nestor decides to find Agamemnon and inform him that the wall is down and the Greeks are retreating (14.20-27). Agamemnon's first words to Nestor ask why he is away from the battle (14.41-43), which indicates that being away from battle is an unusual act even for an old warrior. When Agamemnon hears Nestor's report, he gives in to despair and suggests that they launch the ships in preparation for flight. But Odysseus rebukes Agamemnon, and Diomedes argues that all the Greek leaders should go down to the battle in order to urge the men on. Poseidon, disguised as an old man, also appears to Agamemnon and encourages him by saying that there is still a chance of success (14.135-146).
In this example, reconnaissance consists only of the simple act of "looking down" upon the battle from a place of lookout-a mere step outside from Nestor's hut. The emphasis on vision and the ability to see clearly, particularly from a vantage place, is the traditional means of undertaking reconnaissance throughout Greek history23. However, Nestor also illustrates one of the most important aspects of intelligence: the ability to analyze, to understand properly, and immediately act upon the information obtained. Nestor demonstrates that he does not just observe information that he cannot comprehend but rather has some analytical ability. Nestor's warning is of great importance: Agamemnon's reaction shows that the Greeks are close to losing the war. But the response of the Greek leaders to Nestor is drawn from traditional Homeric values. The final decision about what to do is based upon an appeal to courage and the encouragement for battle imparted by a god in disguise. Nestor's use of reconnaissance is not itself a major departure from standard Homeric warfare techniques nor does his evaluation of its information lead to any changes in warfare.
The Trojan example is similar. As old Priam (ho geron) stands upon the wall of Troy, he observes Achilles routing the Trojans. Priam descends from the wall and calls to the gatekeepers to hold the gate open until the Trojans can rush within the city and then to close the gates after them (21.526-536). The Trojans are able to escape inside Troy, and although Achilles nearly takes the city, the Trojans close the gates in time while Apollo rouses Agenor, who keeps Achilles from the gate by leading him away.
Priam, like Nestor, is a wise old man and vigorous warrior; he is not involved in combat because of his age but there is no question of his bravery. Like Nestor again, Priam is able to observe the battle because he is apart from it, able to "look down" upon it from the walls of Troy. But Priam, as the king of Troy, need not consult with any other leader about what to do. He himself analyzes the information based on his own observations and decides how to act. Priam quickly comprehends the dangers that threaten Troy and decides that the Trojans must retreat in order to survive. Priam considers the same choice that Agamemnon did-whether to fight or to flee. He also, like Agamemnon, realizes that the war could be lost in this one battle. Priam's swift action saves Troy, but a god also intervenes, just a Poseidon did in the Greek situation. In this case, too, it is an elderly warrior, one who is no longer able to fight, who is able to provide the proper information, analysis, and action that saves both his army and his city.
A third example of reconnaissance, which is the most perceptive and potentially the most crucial of the three, is found in the advice Andromache gives to Hector. When Andromache urges Hector to stay in the city so that he won't be killed, she additionally suggests that he station his men by the fig tree where, she tells him, the city wall may be scaled since the city is weakest at that point. She points out that the Greeks have tried to attack the wall there before, using their best men, Ajax, Idomeneus, the sons of Atreus, and Diomedes. She adds that she doesn't know whether the Greeks have tried to attack there because they were told to do so by prophecy or because they were driven by something in their hearts (6.438-439). Hector responds that he is concerned about the same thing but he is afraid to be called a coward and must instead fight in battle. He says he knows that Troy will fall some day (6.447-449) but he nevertheless tells Andromache not to worry and to go back to her weaving-war is his concern (6.490-493).
In this extraordinary example it is a woman, a non-combatant, who most accurately observes the battles outside Troy day after day and who realizes where the city wall is weakest. Her advice to Hector about withdrawing from battle and stationing his men defensively where the danger is greatest is both wise and strategically sound24. She even provides a basis for her warning that the Greeks already know about the weakness of the wall-they have already tried to attack at that point with their best soldiers. Andromache clearly has observed the movements of the Greeks by gazing down from the wall upon the battlefield. She even can identify the Greek warriors by name and is able to provide the specific identities of those who fought at the wall. Her remark that she doesn't know how the Greeks knew about the weakness of the wall, whether they learned it through prophecy or by instinct, illustrates the remarkable fact that in the Iliad (and also to a great extent in the Odyssey) accurate military information is hard to come by and is frequently obtained only through the help of the gods. (It is also notable that Andromache does not consider that some Trojan deserter or captive might have provided the Greeks with the information.) But Andromache relies upon her own, extremely acute observations when she offers Hector strategic advice. If the brutal combat of Homer's war is "Hector's work," then the ability to perform intellectual analysis is quite the opposite in Homer and is indeed more suited to women. It is part of the tragedy of Hector that he is conceptually unable to move beyond physical battle or his fatalistic attitude. He cannot comprehend the importance of Andromache's advice and act upon it.
The similarity in structure between the first two reconnaissance scenes indicates that reconnaissance scenes are possibly a form of type scene, like the visit scene, that follows certain set patterns and rules (e.g., an old man notices a problem from a vantage point; decision to act; discussion/decision whether to fight or flee; attack or retreat; intervention of a god). Certainly the poet's choice to include only one pair that is balanced between the Greeks and Trojans suggests that he was carefully aware of such typical patterns and was restrained enough to only include a minimal reference to reconnaissance. But if the reconnaissance scene is a type, then Andromache's use of reconnaissance illustrates the degree to which the poet is capable of altering and expanding in innovative ways his formulaic material since the Andromache scene is remarkable for its originality and contributes to the pathos of Hector's fate.
In the Iliad, these limited examples of reconnaissance and intelligence analysis are solely the provenance not of the warrior but of elderly men and of women, all of whom are unable to take part in combat. Homer says that many old men sat on the walls of Troy observing the battle, men who were too old to fight but who gave excellent advice (3.149-151). Presumably, these men, like Priam and Nestor, regularly advised their soldiers in regard to whatever limited strategy existed in the heroic world. If a younger warrior had given the same order to either the Greeks or the Trojans that Priam did, it is likely that he would have been scorned for being apart from battle or for what would have been perceived as his lack of courage in encouraging retreat. Hector's fear that he would be despised if he stopped fighting aptly illustrates this point (6.440-446)25. But Priam, Nestor, and the other old men, because they had once been warriors and had earned respect from their people through war and their age, have the ability to step back from battle and help in different, more intellectual ways. As Menelaus remarks, "Younger men always have their heads in the clouds. /An old man looks ahead and behind, and the result/Is far better for both parties involved." (3.109-110). This is why Poseidon appears to Agamemnon in Book 14 disguised as an old man in order to offer him advice-only an old man could both dare to offer advice to the Greek leader and have an excuse for being away from the battle when he does so.
The traditional Greek method of reconnaissance, the use of scouts, is not found in the action of the Iliad, although scouts are depicted on the shield of Achilles (18.520-529) and in a simile (5.767-772)26 -passages that provide glimpses into military actions in the world beyond the Iliad. But Priam is able to obtain information about the enemy in an unusual way: he summons Helen on the wall and asks her to identify a number of great Greek warriors, including one who turns out to be her brother-in-law, Agamemnon (3.161-180). Furthermore, Homer says that Iris disguised herself as Polites, a son of Priam, "who often sat as a lookout on top of the barrow of old Aesytes, watching for any movement of Greek troops" (2.790-794)27. Presumably, Priam ordered his son to keep watch and report back to him about any attempts by the enemy to begin battle (a different situation from the other reconnaissance scenes which occur in the middle of combat). The gathering of intelligence is of continuous concern to Priam, and he uses every means at his disposal in order to keep aware of everything happening about him.
The most important military information that is provided to either side in the Iliad comes from the gods. Zeus sends Iris down to Hector to tell him that he should hold back from the fight until he sees Agamemnon wounded and yielding. Only then will Hector be able to press the Greeks back to their ships (11.195-209). This is very important tactical advice since it encourages Hector to save his own strength and that of his men, and to wait to take advantage of the Greeks until they are weary from fighting and dispirited because their commander has been wounded. It also provides Hector with a good excuse for not leaping immediately into the fray. If anyone other than a god had proposed such action to Hector, he would have refused, offended at the slight to his courage.
The gods are much better than humans at performing reconnaissance. Poseidon gazes down from the peak of Samothrace at the plain of Troy, Ida, Troy, and the Greek ships (13.10-16). He pities the difficulties of the Greeks and is angry with Zeus for allowing them to occur. As a result of his observations, Poseidon travels down to the battle and appears to the two Ajaxes in the guise of the prophet Calchas. Poseidon not only encourages the Ajaxes to be strong and not to panic, saying that they will save the Greek army, but also informs them that he has a premonition that the Greek line will hold everywhere except at that one point and gives them strength to persevere there (13.43-58). Ajax realizes that the advice must have come from a god and he supports this by arguing that he could tell this by the tracks that the seer made (13.70-75)28.
The gods are not only able to perform reconnaissance but can influence the ability of humans to do so. The gods sometimes hinder or help human attempts at understanding what is happening in battle through divine interference with human vision. Athena dispels mist from the eyes of the Greeks and floods the Greek army with light so that the entire Greek army is able to see the battlefield, and Hector and his men (15.667-670). The battle cloud that Zeus creates around the body of Patroclus prevents the Greeks from sending a messenger to Achilles. Ajax must pray to Zeus to disperse the fog because the Greeks are unable to see each other or the enemy. But when Zeus takes pity, he scatters the fog so that the sun shines out over the battlefield (17.640-650)29. At 20.321-352, Poseidon scatters mist over Aeneas to save him and then disperses it. The gods help humans see what is happening on the battlefield, but they can just as easily hinder human efforts, and their arbitrary and somewhat malicious interventions indicate how inept humans are at gaining any knowledge through vision.
The gods send messages to Homeric heroes through dreams, prophesies, omens, and messengers and they bring advice to men themselves, appearing in disguise to mortals. The warnings of the gods can be trusted because the gods, particularly Zeus, both know everything and are able to advise accurately (although they often omit information). Because dreams30, omens31, and prophecies must be interpreted by men who often make mistakes about their meaning or who fear that any critical interpretation will offend important individuals (e.g., 1.68-83), they are less trustworthy. Priam declares that he wouldn't have believed any soothsayer or priest, but since Iris herself appeared to him, he will obey Zeus' order to visit Achilles in his camp (24.20-226). Hector, too, is somewhat skeptical, although the gods honor him. In Book 12 of the Iliad, Hector angrily refuses to pay attention to birds after the Trojans observe an eagle holding a snake. The Trojans assume that this is a portent from Zeus warning them not to advance (12.210-229). But Hector insists that one omen is best: to fight for one's country (12.243). When Hector then leads the Trojans across the trench, Zeus provides a wind that blows dust into the eyes of the Greeks, confusing them so that Hector and the Trojans gain glory (12.251-255). This omen signifies that Hector is acting correctly and with the support of Zeus. But the gods also are blamed when men plan badly: Hector asserts that he was hindered from fighting near the ships because Zeus clouded the minds of the Trojans, making their elders cowardly, and kept them back (15.718-725).
In several scenes in the Iliad, a warrior ponders what he should do and then is advised or encouraged by a god (e.g., 1.194-222; 10.507; 15.724-725; 16.712-725)32. Iris tells Achilles that merely showing himself to the Trojan forces will cause them to pull back (18.196-201), and after Agamemnon prays to Zeus to save the Greeks and an omen appears, the Greeks are so encouraged that they counter-attack (8.245-252). These scenes endow heroic characters with a certain psychological complexity while at the same time advice from a god helps to point the Homeric warrior in the right direction. Seers can sometimes "feel" the will of the gods, such as when the Trojan seer Helenus "understands in his heart" what the gods had agreed and convinces Hector that he should challenge the Greeks to single combat (7.46-56). But the gods do not always become involved. Leading warriors often decide questions regarding what action should be taken in battle and whether an army should advance or retreat without intervention by the gods. The Iliad frequently resolves the ambiguity about whether such decisions are divinely sanctioned and correct by scenes in which an omen at the beginning of a mission signifies the favor of the gods for a correct decision (e.g., 12.251-157)33.
Most dreams, prophecies and portents in the Iliad involve the length of time that the war will take, the day that Troy will fall, whether one side will be successful in battle or not, and when a warrior will perish in battle. These are the sorts of questions that men naturally wish to have answered above all others when they contemplate battle or are engaged in it. These are also the questions that are most difficult for humans to answer and properly belong to the realm of the gods. In the dangerous and perplexing world of the Homeric epics, man's ability to understand his environment is extremely limited and his techniques for obtaining information or controlling his situation are almost non-existent. The Homeric warrior is forced to rely on divine assistance for nearly all the information that is necessary for the successful waging of war.
The gods in the Iliad are able to perform reconnaissance, assist humans in their own efforts to gain intelligence, provide accurate information to men, and are all knowing about situations that are confusing to humans. Homeric divinities take the place of what would be in later centuries human efforts at intelligence gathering.
Book 10 and the Iliad
Scholars have long argued that Book 10 is an oddity within the Iliad and have suggested since antiquity that the book is an interpolation into the "real" text34. In the older scholarship, many Analysts and Unitarians agreed that the Doloneia was probably not part of the "original" Iliad35, arguing that there is no good reason for it and that it had no narrative impact on events within the epic. Scholars of the later part of the twentieth century have also had difficulties with Book 10. Kirk declares that the eighth century Iliad was "swollen" in many places by the incorporation of extraneous material that doesn't suit the main theme of the epic36. He adopts the nineteenth century point of view, considering the Doloneia to be one such "inflation" or "elaboration"-a later addition or "a post-Homeric insertion" into the Iliad37. Taplin, who accepts the unity of the Iliad for all other passages in the epic, avers that Book 10 is a "significant exception." Book 10 "contains elements intrusively alien to the character of the rest of the Iliad. Above all, to be blunt, there are no other parts of the poem, so far as I can see, which would be impoverished by the removal of Book 1038." Silk, too, believes that the scholia are probably correct in saying that the Doloneia descended from an Atticised version of the Iliad since characters such as Dolon and Rhesus appear nowhere else in the poem. He asserts that the episode is more "detachable from the poem than any other episode of comparable length39."
But Kirk also finds that Book 10 fits into the Iliad without disturbance and although he believes that it is a later addition, he declares his fondness for it:
[Book 10] is untraditional and inconsistent with the Iliad at many points in respect of weapons, clothes and behavior, and its language is strained or anti-traditional in the rhapsodic manner. It can be removed from the Iliad without a tremor of disturbance and could be inserted just as easily. It is quite exciting, though, and so long as I am not required to associate it with the monumental composer I am happy to accept it as part of that Iliad to which we have grown accustomed. Its irrelevance to the progress of the main plot is no greater than that of much which preceded; and such is the interest of the various components of this first part of the poem that the audience remains happily unconscious of any strong deception40.
Whitman likewise remarks:
[Book 10] bears some significant resemblances to the rest of the Iliad, notably in its conception of the relationship between characters such as Agamemnon and Menelaus, and in the continuation of the fire image. And yet, where everything else is so finely organized, this one episode does introduce a false note, a less mature procedure, with peculiar disregard for a symmetry which must have cost the poet some pains41.
Whitman concludes that it is best to accept that Book 10 was added later to the "original" epic, "perhaps by Pisistratus42."
Book 10 has been criticized as being a disaster stylistically, heroically, thematically, and structurally because Odysseus and Diomedes supposedly behave un-heroically; the action takes place at night; it contains elements of folklore; and it leads to an Achaean victory43. It has also been argued that the book differs from the rest of the epic through its greater use of the vernacular44, abundant Odyssean vocabulary45, rare forms of words46, greater use of "trickery47," and unusual dress and equipment48. Oddly enough, despite Shewan's spirited challenge as far back as 1911 ("the Doloneia cries aloud for defense49"), many modern scholars who disregard nineteenth century Analyst arguments for the rest of the Iliad still cling to these views with respect to the Doloneia.
In contrast to this, a few scholars argue that Book 10 serves an important purpose within the narrative of the Iliad since at the end of Book 8 the Greeks are in despair and uncertain about what to do because of their difficulties in battle, but at the beginning of Book 11 they are confident and ready to resume fighting. Book 10 explains the change in the emotions and outlook of the Greeks because the successful expedition of Odysseus and Diomedes, and their slaughter of Rhesus and his men, provides an emotional uplift for the Greeks50. Some scholars who analyze the structure of the Iliad also consider Book 10 to be an indispensable part of the overall pattern of the epic51. Shewan has firmly refuted grammatical arguments that purported to show that the language of Book 10 is later and unlike the rest of the Iliad52. Most importantly, many older scholars who argued that Book 10 is "late" did so before the discovery of the boar's tusk helmet at Mycenae, a find that revealed that at least parts of Book 10 are among the oldest in the Iliad53.
Fenik has investigated other versions of the Rhesus myth, which do not mention Dolon. He is unable to reconcile inconsistencies in those versions with Book 10 and with the plot of the Iliad because they make Rhesus a more important warrior than Achilles and the magical element of the oracle is "jarring54." In the Iliad, Rhesus' story is so different that he loses all importance and is only a minor figure. Fenik argues that other versions of the Rhesus tale are older than the Iliad and that Dolon is included in Book 10 to help with this change55. He suggests that the original, pre-Iliadic motivation for the night raid was to kill Hector. But this was altered because it was inappropriate for the Iliad: it would be cowardly to kill the hero Hector at night and such an attempt would be doomed to fail since it is inconsistent with the plot of the Iliad56. Fenik persuasively concludes that Book 10 is "clearly fitted to the Iliad, no matter how uncomfortably it sits in its present surroundings57" because the poet adapted his mythic material to the Iliad.
But Book 10 does carefully fit into the Iliad not only in myth but also in theme, structure, and imagery. The importance of Book10 is most clearly revealed when the book is examined in relation to Book 24, with which it shares many similar themes and concerns. It is the idea of crossing into enemy lines and the importance of military intelligence that connects the two books. Book 10 is not an anomaly but rather it foreshadows Book 24, contributing to Book 24's atmosphere and its portrayal of Priam.
Combat and Military Intelligence in Book 10
When Book 10 is viewed from the perspective of traditional Homeric combat, it contains many irregularities. Even though two Greek heroes are the central characters and although they embark on their mission as a pair, just as many pairs of warriors fight together in the battle books of the Iliad, the situation, events, and themes all seem uncommon. The book takes place at night, a unique time for military action in the Iliad58. Combat at night is rare throughout Greek history (as Thucydides remarks) for obvious reasons: soldiers cannot distinguish who is friend or foe, or perceive where to go or fight, or where safety or danger may be. In an epic in which heroic single combat is the ideal, a combat in which victory must be witnessed by the community so that the attaining of kleos can be properly achieved, a secret mission in the dark that is un-witnessed does not seem conducive to winning fame and for that reason might be considered to be un-heroic. Some commentators have argued that Odysseus' killing of Dolon is inappropriate for epic since the killing does not take place in combat and Odysseus lacks any anger that might justify ignoring supplication in battle. Diomedes' slaughter of the sleeping Rhesus has also been viewed as non-heroic since there is no combat and the murder of a sleeping man requires no particular courage59. Consequently, Book 10 contains the unusual characteristics of stealthy and secret night action, killing without combat, and an attack that approximates an ambush. It must be determined whether Odysseus and Diomedes behave in a non-heroic, non-Iliadic manner in Book 10.
Book 10 differs in its content from the other books of the Iliad because it places significantly more emphasis on military intelligence. In fact, since the whole Doloneia consists of an account of two espionage missions, this may precisely be the reason for the changes in behavior, background, theme, and tone in the book. There are no other instances of espionage in the Iliad besides the Doloneia. But Book 10 contains two examples: the attempt by Dolon to get inside Greek lines and obtain information (ek te puthesthai 10.308, 395), and the infiltration into the Trojan forces by Diomedes and Odysseus in order to extract information (puthoito 10.207, 211), their murder of Rhesus, and their theft of his horses. These espionage missions are partly reconnaissance missions (the Greek words for both spy and scout are the same (episkopos and skopos) even as early as Homer). But both Greeks and Trojans go beyond the mere scouting out of the locations of enemy troops because they attempt to discover enemy plans through furtive and secret actions. When Nestor first suggests his plan to the assembled Greeks, he wonders if anyone will dare to go among the Trojans in order to capture someone or hear some rumor about what counsel they devise (e tina pou kai hemin eni Troessi puthoito, hassa te metioosi meta sfisin)-whether they will stay by the ships or withdraw again to the city (10.204-210). Nestor specifically charges some hero with finding out the intentions and plans of the enemy. When Hector assembles the Trojan warriors, he offers a chariot and two horses to whomever would go down to the ships and successfully "spy out" (vek te puthesthai) whether they are guarded" or whether the Greeks are planning to flee and are not keeping watch through the night (10.306-312). Hector challenges his men not only to "spy out" whether there are guards but also to discover the Greek plans. In both cases, reconnaissance is extended into the realm of espionage.
The central scene in the Doloneia involves Odysseus' interrogation of the captive Dolon-a unique and significant incident through which Odysseus and Diomedes gain much more information than they requested and which enables them to kill Rhesus and carry off his horses for their own glory. Only the intelligence methods of intercepting of messages and of signals are lacking in Book 10, but that is not surprising in view of the general illiteracy of the Homeric warrior and the darkness and secrecy in which the Doloneia's action takes place. Book 10 not only contains, as a percentage of the Iliad as a whole, a very significant amount of references to military intelligence gathering but also indicates a change in the focus of the Iliad because military intelligence forms the structural and thematic basis of the entire Doloneia.
Although these departures from tradition may seem to support claims that Book 10 does not belong in the Iliad, it is still possible to salvage the characters of Odysseus and Diomedes, and to integrate the themes and concerns of Book 10 into the Iliad as a whole. Odysseus and Diomedes are still Homeric heroes in the Doloneia and they do not operate beyond the levels of accepted behavior of Homeric warriors.
Nestor, the great old warrior of the Iliad, raises the question to the assembled Greeks about whether any one of them would dare to go among the Trojans and discover their plans (10.204-217). Nestor never abandons the heroic code and he would never encourage un-heroic behavior. Nestor declares that if anyone dared to spy on the Trojans and return unscathed, he would win "great kleos to the heavens" (mega ken hoi hupouranion kleos eie 10.212) and would gain many noble gifts (kai hoi dosis essetai esthle 10.213) and invitations to feasts from all the nobility (aristoi) who command ships (10.214-217). Menelaus, too, says that scouting out (skopiazemen) the enemy during the night requires someone who is very bold at heart (thrasukardios 10.37-41)60, and Agamemnon retorts that such a mission is necessary in order to save the Greeks and their ships-the very outcome of the war depends upon it (10.41-45; cf. Nestor at 10.118, 144-145, 172-174, 192-193). These remarks demonstrate that the mission of Odysseus and Diomedes is one that is acceptable for heroes to undertake, one that will enable them to win kleos because of the danger that is involved and the courage that is required to accomplish it. If they are successful, they will receive the standard form of recognition in conjunction with their kleos : gifts and honors bestowed by the aristocracy of heroic warriors out of respect for their achievements on behalf of the community. This is appropriate because their efforts will have been responsible for saving the Greek army. The Iliad consistently portrays individual human courage and effort (with the favor of the gods) that saves the community as deserving of kleos and time. If ambush is despised in the Iliad because it is considered to be cowardly, then the mission of Odysseus and Diomedes differs from an ambush precisely because it involves great risk and requires tremendous courage to accomplish.
Agamemnon selects Diomedes from among the many who are willing (polloi 10.227), and Diomedes declares that his heart and manly thumos urge him to volunteer (10.220). The fact that many Greeks offer to undertake the task proposed by Nestor and that Diomedes cites his courage when he does so are further indications that the mission of Book 10 is not considered to be either shameful or un-heroic. Homer says that Agamemnon urges Diomedes to choose the "best man" (ton ariston) and not to leave behind a better man because of shame (aidomenos sesi phresi ton men areio/kalleipein) but rather to be ashamed (aidoi) to pick a worse man (10.233-239). The collection of verbs of shame and honor in this passage are too obvious to be ironic. Agamemnon and the Greeks consider that whoever undertook the mission against the Trojans must be one of the "best" warriors and that it would be shameful if it were otherwise. It is shame (aidos) that requires and impels Homeric warriors in the Iliad to seek kleos and to strive to become the best61. But no shame is attached to the mission itself or to those who undertake it, even though it will involve treachery, espionage, and action at night.
The poet deftly demonstrates Diomedes' courage when he depicts Diomedes as the first to accept Nestor's challenge; and Homer himself declares that Odysseus was always courageous (10.231-232). Diomedes, in turn, chooses Odysseus primarily for his courage, employing the same language that he uses to describe himself (10.244). And Agamemnon also uses the vocabulary of heroism, since when he speaks of shame and honor, he means courage and when he urges Diomedes to choose a hero, one of the best men (ton ariston), he again means one of the bravest warriors.
Diomedes is considered to be third, after Ajax, among the eight greatest warriors in the Iliad62. He is notable for his fighting skills; is the one who exhorts the Greeks to continue with the war without Achilles (9.31-49; 9.696-709)63; and is one of the nine warriors who volunteered to fight Hector in single combat in order to decide the war (7.161-169). Diomedes is remarkable in the Iliad because he even dared to fight against the gods (5.327ff.) and lived64. Taplin calls him "Achilles without the complications65."
Likewise, Odysseus is an important figure at key points throughout the epic: he is the one selected to return Chryseis; he rallies the troops (2.185-210); is part of the embassy to Achilles in Book 9; rebukes Agamemnon (14.83-102; 19.181-183); and is the one Agamemnon chooses to fetch the gifts for Achilles (19.192)66. Odysseus is one of the eight best warriors in the Iliad67, is respected even by the enemy for his strategic ability and eloquence (3.209-224), and is the hero of his own Homeric epic. The intelligent Odysseus is the first warrior Nestor wakes in Book 10 when he needs to devise a plan. When Diomedes selects Odysseus, he extols him for his great bravery (10.244-245), his good sense (10.247), and because he is a favorite of Athena (10.245). Odysseus' heroism, bravery, intelligence, and favor of the gods mark him as heroic and praiseworthy. Nestor's respect and Diomedes' praise of Odysseus counter any questions that might be raised about Odysseus' heroism or the appropriateness of their mission.
Throughout the Iliad, Odysseus and Diomedes "repair the confusions and demoralizations that [Agamemnon] inspires68." The two often operate as a pair in the epic: when Agamemnon in despair was ready to order the Greeks to flee from Troy, it was Odysseus who rebuked Agamemnon for his cowardice and Diomedes who urged that all the Greek leaders should encourage the men to remain steadfast in battle (14.83-102)69. The depiction of Odysseus and Diomedes in Book 10 is perfectly consistent with their portrayal in the rest of the epic, the involvement of their characters elevates the episode to one of respectability and importance, and the use of a pair of warriors is typical for the Iliad70. The emphasis on courage in the beginning of Book 10 supports Nestor's claim that the successful warriors will be honored for their valor and achievements. Furthermore, the choice of Odysseus and Diomedes to be the heroes of the action exemplifies the greatness necessary to carry out the mission of Book 10.
The arming of heroes is standard at the beginning of an aristeia71; its occurrence in Book 10 (10.254-271) links the mission of Odysseus and Diomedes with the combat scenes of the battle books. Arming is a ritualized form of preparation for combat, and in this case for the accomplishment of a deed of bravery, and is another method of indicating the danger of the undertaking. Details such as the unusual helmets of the heroes are common in arming scenes and in Book 10 are signs of the uniqueness of the mission-- uncommon night actions of uncommon valor deserve a distinguishing dress72. Odysseus and Diomedes depart "like two lions through the black night, among the weapons, corpses, and blood" (10.297-298). The poet's use of the lion simile to describe Odysseus and Diomedes is a further mark of their heroism since the lion simile is frequently used of warriors in combat elsewhere in the Iliad, including Diomedes (5.161) and Achilles73. Their departure through the corpses and blood highlights the dangers that await them, the heroism required of the two warriors to face such dangers, and the difficulties that are literally in their path.
This consistent language, narrative, and imagery preclude any suggestion that the expedition or characters of Diomedes and Odysseus are contrary to the fundamental heroic values of the Iliad. The use of espionage and reconnaissance is not, therefore, in itself un-heroic or unworthy of the Homeric warrior. Any distinction between the heroic and the shameful lies in the character and aims of the warrior. This difference is further highlighted by the poet's inclusion of the scene in which Hector asks for volunteers to spy on the Greek camp (10.299-331), and Dolon agrees to be a "spy" (skopos 10.324)--but only if he is well paid. The Trojan assembly scene makes the Greeks seem far more respectable. Nestor focused on courage and kleos ; gifts for him are a sign of honor and are awarded after the attainment of glory. Nestor does not offer payment to his warriors so that they will volunteer, but rather asks for whoever is most brave and promises that his excellence and success will be honored. Dolon, on the other hand (whom the poet describes as ugly (kakos) which diminishes his heroic stature), is more contemptible because he is entirely motivated by greed (10.321-323)74 and lacks the heroic ethos and motivation for undertaking great deeds. Dolon is not driven to help his community or eager to prove his valor. His only interest is in winning the rewards offered by Hector. The poet generally portrays the Trojans as weaker, less courageous, and more interested in prizes than the Greeks75. Hector tempts his warriors immediately with mention of great prizes (10.303-312), even before he tells them what he wants them to do, and he must offer the famous horses of Achilles as a reward before Dolon will agree to volunteer. It is not the mission itself that is worthy of being despised in the heroic world, although it is unusual, takes place at night, happens in secret, and is designed to find out and report back information about the enemy. It is the manner in which the warriors think and act that makes a difference: whether they seek glory or wealth, help their own side or betray it, show courage when in danger or burst out crying, divulge information that helps the enemy or keep it to themselves76.
The change in situation and atmosphere in Book 10 makes the information provided by Dolon of much greater importance than what a warrior captured in battle could give. Because it is night, because some on both sides are asleep, and because the Trojans are planning a night raid, Dolon's information about the location of the sleeping Trojan allies and where the guards are positioned is the sort of information that could not, and would not, be provided or needed during the day when everyone is awake and any attack or guards would be visible. But it is information that is essential for the success of any night raid. The change in time of day changes the way in which Homeric warriors operate since battle is always stopped at sunset (e.g., 18.255-260) and only a secret raid could succeed at night. Even though captives are not interrogated elsewhere in the epic, such an action is understandable and essential in the night action of Book 1077.
The poet reveals that the actions of Odysseus and Diomedes are not worthy of condemnation through the contrast that he presents between the two Greek heroes and Dolon. It is the intelligent Odysseus who first becomes aware of Dolon and who suggests to Diomedes that they wait until Dolon passes and then seize him, cutting him off if he tries to run back to the city (10.341-348). Odysseus thus is more perceptive than Dolon, more careful, and more intellectually capable. When the careless Dolon is caught, he bursts into tears and offers to pay a ransom (10.377-381). He then blames Hector for leading his wits astray and for ordering him to "spy out" whether the ships are guarded (10.390-399). Dolon's cowardice is a foil for the bravery of Odysseus and Diomedes. Dolon's willingness to provide extensive information about the precise locations of Hector, his battle-gear and horses, the sentinels, and the sleeping places of the Trojan allies, goes far beyond what Odysseus asks. Dolon's desire to save his own life by betraying his friends casts him in a very poor light and reveals that he is cowardly and un-heroic, unlike Odysseus and Diomedes. Furthermore, Dolon's eagerness to gain the wonderful horses of Achilles, the prize Hector offers him (10.322-333, 330, 392-393, 401-404), emphasizes his foolishness. No mortal except Patroclus is able to drive Achilles' immortal horses (e.g., 23.271-286). Apollo rebukes Hector, saying that Hector is chasing what can never be caught, since Achilles' horses are "hard for any mortal man to control or drive, except for Achilles and he is the son of an immortal mother" (17.75-78; also 10.402-404). If not even Hector is able to control or capture Achilles' horses, how could Dolon, who is certainly not the son of a god or as great a hero as Hector, suppose that he could do so78? Odysseus' and Diomedes' capture of the horses of Rhesus emphasize this difference in the capabilities of the key figures of the Doloneia.
The night raid, too, is not particularly un-Homeric. The danger of a night infiltration or night raid was very real, even if such a raid is not depicted in the Iliad outside of Book 10. The atmosphere of Books 9 and 10 makes this obvious: Nestor had urged Agamemnon to set guards along the wall and trench because the enemy campfires were so close to the Greeks (9.66-68, 76-77), and the guards do take their posts (9.79-88). It is significant the Nestor declares that "this night will either destroy the army or save it" (9.78)-a night raid is expected even before the commencement of the Doloneia79, and Nestor repeatedly refers to the pressing crisis (10.118, 144-145, 172-174, 192-193). Agamemnon is sleepless at the opening of Book 10 because of the Trojans' proximity--he can see their fires and hear them (10.12-15); and he roams about because, he tells Nestor, he must make sure that the guards haven't fallen asleep in view of the probability of a night attack by the enemy (10.97-101). Nestor sleeps outside with his armor and weapons near (10.73-79), as does Diomedes (10.150-156), and Nestor is quick to rise in alarm when someone approaches at night. This anxiety that is present in both books indicates that Book 10 naturally follows upon Book 9 and ties the two books together.
The fear that the enemy might sneak up in the dark is not confined to Book 10. In Book 8 Hector ordered his Trojans to keep watch all night and to guard against a night raid by the Greeks:
Heralds should proclaim throughout the city
That boys and graybeards bivouac tonight
All around the city on our god-built walls.
As for the women, each of them should light
A fire in her house. The city needs to guard
Against a sneak attack while the army is away.
Enough for now. This is sound strategy.
In the morning I will address the troops again.
I hope and pray to Zeus and all gods
To drive off this visitation of foreign dogs
The fates have brought us in the black ships.
For tonight, we will take care of ourselves. (8.517-529)80
The danger is so very real that Hector orders boys, old men, and women to keep guard. All of the city must stay awake and watch for signs of enemy movement. Although Hector prays and trusts in Zeus and the gods for safety, and sacrifices to them (8.557-562), he does not believe that that is sufficient-the Trojans must "take care of [themselves]" by keeping watch through the night for any enemy who might penetrate their defenses. In Book 10 the Greeks have the same worry, and that worry is justified since the Trojans are so near (10.113, 221) and since Hector charges Dolon to find out if the Greek ships are unguarded (10.308-312) so that the Trojans can attack by night. But the Greek guards are awake like "dogs watching a sheepfold" and they keep turning towards the plain whenever they think that they hear the Trojans coming (10.188-189)81. The Trojans, too, have the same concern: Dolon says that the Trojans have not posted guards because they all remain awake out of fear of some raid (10.416-420). The anxiety on both sides in Book 10 is palpable.
The account of Agamemnon' worry in Book 10 is similar to the passages in Books 1 and 2 where he is likewise anxious and unable to sleep. Nestor's advice, his characterization, and the assembly scene in Book 10 are also consistent with similar episodes in Book 1 and with Nestor's portrayal elsewhere in the epic82. In Book 10 the sleepless Agamemnon seeks to devise a plan that will save his army. This idea of a plan to counter a raid by the Trojans and to "save the ships" (10.42-45) fits the context of the epic because the poet has already prepared for it. In Book 9 Achilles told the embassy to report back to Agamemnon that Agamemnon should think up "some other way" to rescue the men and the ships since Achilles would not return to do so (9.421-426). Odysseus dutifully reported to Agamemnon that he should "take counsel" with the men about how to save the ships and the people (9.680-681)83. Nestor, furthermore, had already urged Agamemnon to "take counsel" because the Trojans were so near (9.74-77). Therefore, a scene in Book 10 in which the Greeks contemplate what to do and devise some plan is an appropriate episode; it is the absence of such a scene that would be uncomfortable in the narrative. This plan, as Thornton says, should take into account the absence of Achilles, the defeat of the Greeks, and the closeness of the Trojans84, which the plan in Book 10 does. Nestor first urges the Greeks to deliberate about whether to fight or flee (10.147) and then proffers his idea: a call for a raid into the Trojan camp to obtain information.
The fact that it is Nestor who provides advice to an anxious Agamemnon is particularly fitting not only in light of his previous role as counselor but because in the reconnaissance scenes in Books 14 and 21 it is Nestor and Priam, the elderly warriors, who dare to undertake efforts at reconnaissance. The role of Nestor in Book 10 in instigating the reconnaissance and espionage mission of Odysseus and Diomedes is compatible with the other scenes of reconnaissance in the epic. The elderly warrior takes the initiative and encourages an unusual action that younger warriors would not contemplate because the safety of the entire army is again at stake and such a crisis (axos 10.145; xreio 10.172) demands thoughtful, intelligent, and unique action.
The mission of Odysseus and Diomedes suits the darkness of night that still lingers on from Book 9, and the night action impresses upon the reader/listener the urgent need for haste: the Greeks are in such a difficult position that they cannot wait for daylight or resort to the usual methods of combat to reverse their fortunes. This is what Nestor stresses over and over: the Greeks must make haste or all will be lost (10.118, 172-174). He declares that if the guards do not keep awake, they will become "sport for their enemies" (xarma 10.192-193)-just as Rhesus is for Diomedes. This is what the Homeric night entails: not the risk of combat but of being easily killed in the darkness. It is appropriate that the council of Greek warriors takes place at the spot where Hector had turned back during battle that day (10.197-201). This location has psychological significance: it impresses upon the warriors how very close Hector had come to them in battle, how near he was to victory, and what must be accomplished: pushing back Hector85.
The death of Dolon is not particularly unusual within the context of the epic. Hector's speech in Book 8 urging all to keep watch for a night raid implies that if the Trojans had caught Odysseus or Diomedes, or any other night raider, he would have suffered the same fate as Dolon. Warriors are quick to be suspicious and to challenge anyone at night."Who is it," Nestor demands when Agamemnon comes near, "who goes alone through the dark night when all mortal men are asleep? Who do you want? Speak up and come here! What do you want?" (10.82-85). There is no doubt that Nestor, who slept with his arms nearby, would have attacked anyone who did not answer and would have quickly killed him (like Dolon was killed) on the assumption that he was an enemy86. Agamemnon quickly identifies himself and calls Nestor by name and patronymic (10.97-98) (just as he had instructed Menelaus to summon the Greek soldiers by their names and their father's names (10.68)). The naming helps to reassure Nestor that Agamemnon is a Greek; and it indicates the suspicion that permeated the Greek camp87. Such naming appears to be standard: Odysseus asks Nestor the same question and Nestor responds using Odysseus' name and patronymic (10.141-144). (It is noteworthy that Dolon doesn't identify himself when challenged, a sign that he is an enemy.) Each Greek warrior who moves through his own camp is careful to arm himself beforehand (10.24, 30-31, 135, 149, 178) in preparation for any hostile encounter88. Night raiders and spies are both expected and feared. The intruder Dolon is treated no differently than others elsewhere in the epic, especially when one recalls the brutality typically shown towards captives on the battlefield89. Diomedes' refusal to release Dolon to fight or spy again some other time (10.446-453) indicates the continuing concern about a coming Trojan night raid. A released Dolon could proceed to kill sleeping Greeks, and the Greek heroes would be unable to continue on their own mission with a prisoner hindering them. Furthermore, Dolon's lack of courage removes him from the heroic sphere90. Homer's audience, remarks Shewan, would have appreciated that two brave men had saved the camp91, and this is what the death of Dolon means: his failure to return was a message to Hector that his plans had been discovered and that the Greeks were ready for any Trojan raid. The poet says that Dolon "never returned to bring information (muthon) to Hector" (10.336-337). But Dolon's failure to return was its own message. Dolon's death effectively stopped Hector's attempted night attack92.
It is significant that Athena is on the side of the Greek spies. This gives them respectability, especially since the gods play no role in assisting Dolon. Athena provides a favorable sign when the heroes depart from the Greek camp (10.273-276), is prayed to by both Odysseus and Diomedes at their departure (10.277-282, 283-295) and on their return (10.578-579), and Odysseus dedicates his spoils to her (10.462-468, 571). She also becomes more directly involved in Book 10 when she warns Odysseus and Diomedes to get away from the Thracian camp (10.507-511). But Athena does not behave in any way that is unusual for the gods in the epic. According to Fenik, her involvement is "typically Homeric" in that she doesn't "infringe upon the initiative and credit" of Odysseus and Diomedes93. The favor of the gods is counterbalanced by the reverence of the Greek heroes. The set of prayers to Athena by both Odysseus and Diomedes upon their departure94, which contrasts with Dolon's lack of prayer, and Odysseus' thank offerings to Athena show the two warriors' piety and their intellectual and religious similarity.
The poet's careful attention to Athena's role provides a delicate balance between what might be considered the heroes' intellectual presumption at undertaking such a mission and the role of the gods in the epic. The poet's preoccupation with military intelligence in Book 10 could be interpreted as depicting a human usurpation of the divine prerogatives, a sudden attempt by men to determine and control their surroundings that goes beyond what is proper for Homeric warriors, since this is an area in the Iliad that is usually left to divine intervention and advice deduced through omens and dreams. Most men sleep at night but the gods roam about in the darkness, like Athena and Apollo in Book 10 and Hermes in Book 24. Great temerity is involved when humans act during the "ambrosial night" because it involves penetrating into a space that is dominated by divine beings and in which it is difficult for humans to see clearly and to understand95. The action of the Greeks is not prompted by any divine command, dream, prophecy, or omen: since it is entirely devised by men acting on their own, it runs the risk of angering the Olympians. The bravery of Odysseus and Diomedes would be folly in lesser men, and Dolon (who disregards the gods) certainly displays impious foolishness. But as Hector declares in Book 8, men must rely on themselves in times of crisis (8.529), and the restrained assistance of Athena in Book 10 indicates that the pious, brave, and cunning efforts of Odysseus and Diomedes do not degenerate into the hubris that Dolon exemplifies. Athena signifies through her omen that she approves the undertaking of Odysseus and Diomedes and her warning helps to keep them safe. Athena's role in Book 10 is similar to other passages in the Iliad in which the gods take a passive interest in human decisions and affairs, and only indicate after the fact that the human decision was the correct one. Athena's concern also recalls the involvement of gods in the reconnaissance scenes in the epic; all of these incidents demonstrate how human attempts at intelligence gathering that are successful are intertwined with the help of the gods. It is fitting that Athena, the goddess of doing the right thing at the appropriate time, is the one who favors the heroes. Book 10 illustrates that success in war is not always a matter of brute strength and that if Hector had used a better man than Dolon (and had listened to Andromache), the outcome might have been different for the Trojans. Military intelligence gathering at night that is courageous, intelligent, and favored by the gods falls within the bounds of acceptable heroic behavior.
Comparison Between Books 10 and 24
It is remarkable that there has been no attempt to compare Books 10 and 24 since many of the difficulties that scholars have found with Book 10 are also present in Book 24. For example, it has been argued that both Books 10 and 24 contain "Odyssean phraseology"-language common in the Odyssey but not otherwise found in the Iliad96, and Odyssean scenes. But scholars refuse to analyze the two books in the same way: while Kirk finds that the Dolonea contains this vocabulary of "rhapsodic" elaboration and may be a late addition, he doesn't accept that Book 24 is a later part of the Iliad or that it replaced an alternative ending97. Silk has argued that certain episodes of the Iliad appear to be autonomous and can be read as wholes no matter their situation within the epic: he cites Book 9, the Dolonia of Book 10, and Book 24 as his examples, although he acknowledges that this autonomy may arise because of the unusual situations that are presented in those books98. The "autonomy" of Books 10 and 24 is another example of a correspondence between the two books, as is the suggestion that has been made for both that they are later additions to the text of the Iliad. But although Wilamowitz argued that Book 24 was a later addition to the Iliad, the product of a more humane age offended by the cruelty of Achilles99 because of its sense of pity and its different tone from the rest of the epic, the majority of scholars refuse to find that Book 24 does not belong to the Iliad, considering it to be an essential part of the unity of the poem and something which provides a fitting conclusion to the anger of Achilles in the earlier portion of the epic100.
These two problematic and difficult night books should be examined in comparison with each other. Both Books 10 and 24 are integral parts of the plot, structure, and themes of the Iliad. Book 10, a middle book, and the final book of the Iliad balance each other not only structurally but also thematically. Both emphasize certain key themes, such as the importance of honor, prizes, and courage, and contain night journeys into enemy territory that are filled with danger and suspense. Understanding Book 10 contributes to appreciation of the epic's powerful conclusion.
While the idea of comparing pairs of books of the Iliad is not new and has been attempted with varying degrees of success for decades101, there has never been any effort to compare Books 10 and 24102. Whitman struggled with the question of how to fit Book 10 into an elaborate structural pattern and he concluded, because of his inability to force Book 10 into his preconceived model, that the problem might be the fault of the Dolonia:
Book X obviously does not belong to the Geometric structure as analyzed here, and this fact perhaps should be taken as an indication of its later insertion in the poem. Neither part of the battle, nor of the elaborate rings which enclose the battle, the Doloneia corresponds to nothing formally and leads to nothing dramatically. It is the one part of the Iliad which can be omitted with no damage to the poem at all; the rest is from every point of view profoundly organic. On the other hand, the Doloneia's lack of any place in the Geometric pattern, though it creates a strong supposition, hardly seems sufficient proof for unauthenticity103.
I suggest, on the contrary, that the Doloneia corresponds to a great deal that is in the Iliad and that it is particularly linked to Book 24. The Doloneia provides depth to Priam's journey by highlighting his courage, the unusual nature of his travel, the dangers that lurk in his path, and the fundamental importance of kleos, gifts and rewards in the Iliad. Not only verbal, incidental, and thematic parallels link the two night books, but both also contain the type scene of the visit pattern, which greatly increases their similarity.
The courage of Priam
The poet illustrates Priam's great courage in traveling to meet with Achilles in many different ways. All of the scenes in Book 24 prior to Priam's departure from Troy focus upon the extreme hazard of such a mission. It requires a conference of the gods themselves and then the arrival of a messenger from Zeus before Priam can conceive of doing such a thing. Although Zeus, through Iris, assures Priam that he will be safe and that Hermes will accompany him (24.152-154, 155-8, 171-172, 181-187, 336-338), Priam's declaration that he intends to go causes his wife and family to react with constant grief, as if he were dead104. Taplin remarks, "[T]he extraordinary courage of Priam's enterprise is brought out by the protraction of his departure from 188-329" including his extravagant gestures of prayer and libation to Zeus105 and the extensive laments of his family. Hecuba, indeed, is horrified and afraid for Priam, wondering how he will dare to go alone to Achilles and declaring that if Achilles catches Priam, Achilles will not have any sense of shame but will kill him (24.203-208). She reminds Priam of how many of his sons Achilles has slain and proclaims that Priam's heart is of iron (24.204-205). Priam, too, admits the possibility that Achilles will kill him (24.226-227)106. These laments, prayers, and conversations about death provide a sinister atmosphere and indicate that Priam's journey is extraordinarily dangerous.
The trip into the Greek camp is filled with peril because it is dark, the path is confusing and littered with corpses, and the reader is continually reminded that there are killers all around. Priam is unarmed, in contrast to the specifically mentioned arming of Odysseus, Diomedes, and Dolon. When Hermes appears to Priam in the guise of a man, Priam's elderly herald immediately fears that they will be cut to pieces and says that they should either flee or entreat the stranger to see if he will have pity and spare them (24.352-357). Priam himself is terrified (24.358-359) (but he doesn't flee-another indication of his courage). The approach of Hermes is not only frightening because of the darkness107, but even more so because it takes place on the corpse-strewn battlefield near the place where Dolon was intercepted and killed. (Priam and his herald met Hermes at the same tumulus of Ilus where Dolon said that Hector held his council (theiou para semati Ilou 10.415; mega sema parex Iloio elassan 24.349)108). The horrific killing in Book 10 provides good reason for Priam's terror. When Hermes immediately inquires why Priam is traveling at night among enemies when other men are asleep, reminds him of the danger that faces an old man who cannot defend himself, notes the risk of carrying so much treasure around, and offers to protect him (24.365-371), the perilousness of the situation becomes more pronounced. This is not a safe or customary journey.
The reader or listener's recollection of the events of Book 10 contributes to an impression of Priam's great courage. When Menelaus was aroused from sleep by Agamemnon, he wondered if his brother intended to send some "spy" (episkopon 10.38) against the Trojans and exclaimed that he was terribly afraid that no one would go to scout out (skopiazemen) the enemy during the night (10.37-41) since it required someone very bold at heart (thrasukardios 10.41). When Odysseus noticed Dolon traveling towards the Greek camp, he told Diomedes that he didn't know whether the man coming was a spy (episkopos) upon the ships or one who intended to strip the corpses of the dead (10.342). When Dolon is caught and is asked if Hector sent him to spy (diaskopiasthai 10.388), he reveals much important information about the Trojans and their camp, and he openly says that Hector ordered him to "spy out" the security of the Greek ships (ek te puthesthai 10.395-399). After Dolon is killed so that he will not be able to return to the Trojans and warn them or to come back to spy on or fight the Greeks (10. 449-451), Homer refers to Dolon as the "spy of Hector" (skopon Hektoros 10.526) and Odysseus calls him a scout (skopon 10.561) sent by Hector to spy (dioptera 10.562). The death of Dolon aptly illustrates what fate lies in store for a captured spy and how it was generally believed that only spies or thieves would be out moving about at night on the Trojan plain. Any Greek encountering Priam would have assumed that he was a spy and if caught, Priam would have met the same fate as Dolon. Zeus had insisted that Priam travel alone, with only one herald (hoion 24.148-151, 177-180), and Hecuba had emphasized the dangers of Priam traveling alone (hoios 24.203). Achilles exclaims at how Priam, a mortal, had dared to come alone (hoios) to a man who had slain so many of his sons, when no young man would have done so (24.519-521, 565-566). Priam's solitary journey makes him seem fragile and vulnerable to Dolon's fate, since Dolon likewise traveled alone (hoios 10.385).
But Priam is unlike Dolon because his journey "alone" indicates his "greatness of heart" (24.117). When Priam acts as an individual, he is analogous to the great heroes of the Iliad who demonstrate their excellence through their courage and individual achievements on the battlefield. However, Priam is "alone," yet at the same time he is not alone. Priam's elderly herald and Hermes, his protector, accompany him on his journey. First Priam and the herald form a pair, and then Priam and Hermes do so (while the herald fades into the background). Each pair recalls Odysseus and Diomedes in Book 10 and the pairs of great warriors in the Iliad's combat scenes. Priam's courage contrasts with Dolon's fear and likewise increases his similarity to the Greek warriors in Book 10. Priam's bravery in Book 24 redeems the courage of the Trojans as a whole, while Hermes' divine assistance elevates Priam's character.
There is another important difference between Priam and Dolon: Priam, unlike Dolon, is not driven by self-aggrandizement. Hermes inquires whether Priam is taking the great treasure away from Troy so that he can flee the city while there is still time (24.380-385), and there was an opportunity for Priam to do this. But the fact that such an idea never seems to have crossed Priam's mind and that he doesn't bother to answer Hermes shows Priam's great sense of honor and lack of greed, in contrast to Dolon. The poet, indeed, says that Priam spared nothing from his house when he gathered his treasure together, not even his great cup (24.234-237). Priam even foregoes his own chance at obtaining glory and reward: Hermes provides Priam with information about a coming Greek attack, and if Priam had immediately returned to Troy with this news, he would have won great kleos and time from the Trojans for his daring. Priam, however, does not consider his own glory and continues on his mission to ransom the body of Hector. Priam is also very reticent when he answers Hermes and provides no information that would be helpful to the enemy, even though Hermes appears in the guise of a Greek and it might be presumed that he will treat Priam as Odysseus and Diomedes treated Dolon.
All the meetings, those between Odysseus, Diomedes, and Dolon, between Priam and Hermes, and Priam and Achilles, take place in secret, in the dark, and are dangerous109. Priam not only runs the risk of encountering robbers and killers in the course of his journey but he must face Achilles' murderous wrath and must be on guard because if Agamemnon and others learn of his presence at Achilles' hut, they will harm him110. There are additional reminders of Dolon's fate and hints at the dangers surrounding Priam when Priam kisses the "man-slaying hands of Achilles that had killed so many of his sons" (24.478-479, 505-506) and when Achilles reacts to Priam in anger, threatening Priam with death if he provokes him, and Priam is frightened (24.568-571).
After Priam and the herald lie down to sleep (24.673-674), Hermes approaches and warns Priam that he is sleeping among the enemy and that his sons will have to pay triple the ransom if Agamemnon finds out that Priam is in the camp and captures him (24.683-688). Priam, as king of Troy, would be worth far more than the gifts he brought for Hector because in exchange for the safe return of Priam, the Trojans would very probably have surrendered their city. What Hermes doesn't say, but what were equally possible dangers, is that a captured Priam might be tortured or killed. The Dolonia had revealed how dangerous it was to sleep with enemies about since Priam could have suffered the same fate as Rhesus, and how much important military information could be obtained from a terrified captive. Priam is not uncourageous, but he is old and if he were tortured, he might have revealed something essential to the safety of Troy. But the risk of either death or ransom was an equally great danger. The Lycaon episode and Agamemnon's prior refusal to ransom captives demonstrate that if Priam were captured, he would be in a very dangerous position. Hermes' warning illustrates Priam's courage, the precariousness of his situation, and the divine favor that protected him.
Gifts and Kleos
The prizes that are offered to both the Greek and Trojan raiders and Odysseus' and Diomedes' success in capturing the horses of Rhesus in Book 10 help to prepare for Priam's ransom of Hector in many ways. Priam's gifts are crucial to Book 24 because they are not only a means of ransoming Hector's body, but are a sign of honor for Achilles and a means of softening Achilles' heart (24.143-147, 173-176, 195-196)111. The poet emphasizes the ransom, calling it "the lavish ransom for Hector's head" (24.276; cf. 24. 447, 502, 594) and devoting much attention to the gathering of the ransom in preparation for Priam's journey. The ransom is a key means of winning over Achilles.
This idea of geras or prizes that function as tangible representations of a hero's excellence is a continual theme of the Iliad112. In Book 1 it was the slight to Achilles when Agamemnon took away his prize that caused him to retreat from the Greek army, and in Book 9 Achilles obstinately refuses Agamemnon's efforts to buy his assistance. In Book 23 the poet displayed the fundamental importance not only of awarding prizes to the winners of athletic contests but of honoring the dead. Book 23 helps to prepare for Book 24's conclusion to the epic, in which the ransom of Hector is the final, ultimate expression of epic's demand that the living honor great warriors both in life and in death.
Remarkably, in Book 24, there are variations on the theme. In the earlier part of the epic, prizes are awarded as a sign of excellence and operate in conjunction with honor (time) in order to indicate the attainment of fame (kleos). Priam feels compelled to honor Hector through the performance of funeral rites that will help Hector's kleos flourish. But Priam is only able to honor Hector through the payment of an extravagant "prize" not to Hector, but to Achilles. Priam, by paying a ransom to Hector's enemy, is able to honor his son as well. Moreover, since prizes have gained this fluidity in Book 24, they become signs of the excellence not only of the recipient but also of the giver. Priam, through his generosity, is depicted as worthy of respect just as much as Hector and Achilles are. The ransom of Hector is a sign not only of Achilles' prowess as a warrior but also of Achilles' magnanimity, Hector's achievements in battle, and of Priam' courage and generosity.
Priam was not obligated to ransom the body of his son either on the basis of societal pressure or religious custom. Even though Priam is ordered to act by Zeus, he still demonstrates that he has a choice (he insists to Hecube that he "is willing to go" (boulomai 24.226)). Priam is both commanded by Zeus and desires to act; he exhibits a personal generosity combined with a deference to the gods that corresponds to Achilles' magnanimity coupled with his acknowledgement of the command of Zeus (24.138-140).
Priam, although old and no longer a warrior, achieves his own kleos in Book 24 through his remarkable journey and the courage he displays in confronting Achilles. Kleos in Homer may be won in many different ways besides combat: athletic contests and hunting exhibit strength and endurance. Even women are able to win kleos : in the Odyssey, Penelope does so by her by fidelity and virtue (Od.2.125-126; 24.191-202). In Book 10 Nestor declared that anyone who dared to penetrate the enemy camp, find out any information, and return safely was worthy of the highest kleos. In Book 24, when Priam accomplishes precisely what Nestor had required and what Odysseus and Diomedes had done, he shows that he deserved the greatest respect113. Priam achieves a non-combat form of kleos that is just as remarkable as that won by warriors in the Iliad and he does so through actions that many warriors shrank to undertake.
Priam's kleos is combined with the "prize" he wins through his valor: the body of his son. Achilles awards this "prize" to Priam not only in return for the ransom but because he recognizes that Priam is deserving of honor since he is one whom the gods have protected (24.139-140; 559-567, 570). Achilles treats Priam with great respect even though he had previously repudiated Agamemnon's gifts114. But Agamemnon did not deign to appear to Achilles in person and Achilles considered Agamemnon to be cowardly; Priam behaves in a completely opposite manner and is treated accordingly. Achilles' awe that Priam had dared to come to the Greek camp is a sign of the respect that Priam has earned115. Achilles' welcome of Priam contrasts with the Lycaon scene in which Achilles brutally refused Lycaon's plea, "repudiat[ing] the bond of having eaten together116." Recollection of Lycaon's fate is another reminder of the great danger Priam faces; it shows that for Achilles, eating with another does not in itself produce honor, but eating may be a sign of honor for other qualities. Priam eats with Achilles because Achilles honors him; Achilles does not honor those who merely eat or supplicate. Priam also gains honor through the greatness of his son Hector. In the Iliad, excellence in combat is considered to pass from one generation to the next and warriors assume that sons of greater fathers will be able to slay sons of lesser men117. Therefore, Priam, the father of Hector, must have been one of the very best of Trojan warriors, and Achilles treats him with suitable respect.
Parallels between Book 10 and 24
Richardson divides Book 24 into several sections: the council of the gods and the divine preparations (24.1-197); Priam's preparations for his journey (24.188-321); Priam's journey to and from the camp and his meeting with Achilles (322-718); and the concluding lamentations and funeral of Hector (24.719-804)118. Book 10 displays a similar pattern: a council and preparations, a journey to and from the enemy camp for the purpose of gaining something that is connected with honor; meetings with the enemy; and a return with some prize. Since books divisions were a Hellenistic development, the poet's readers or listeners would have been sensitive to such patterns in the poem and would have mentally associated these similar parts of the epic with each other.
Within this broad similarity of structure, many other congruencies may be found. Book 24 commences like Book 10: in both books darkness arrives and sleep holds all of the army (10.1-2; 24.1-3). But neither Menelaus, nor Agamemnon, nor Achilles are able to sleep, and all arise and perform actions: Menelaus looks for his brother (10.25-35); Agamemnon is distraught because of the defeat of the army that day and searches for Nestor whom he hopes will have some plan to save them (10.3-24). Achilles, sleepless because of grief, drags the corpse of Hector (24.3-22). Both books are unusual in that their action takes place at night. Both emphasize in their beginnings that sleep and rest are normal in association with darkness, that the activities of men at that time are abnormal, and that moving around at night is filled with peril. The gods themselves disapprove of Achilles' behavior, and the poet makes it clear that that Agamemnon's actions are extraordinary because Nestor confronts him, demanding to know who is going through the camp at night when everyone else is asleep. The poet contrasts this abnormal movement with the more typical actions of eating and sleep both at the conclusion of Book 10 after the return of the heroes (10.578) and at the beginning of Book 24 (24.2).
Movement into the enemy camp is another major connection between the two books. Priam does not travel to the Greek camp with the intention of obtaining information but he does gain some-first, through his questioning of Hermes, the information that the Achaeans will besiege the city of Troy at dawn (24.401-404) and the news that his son has not been thrown to the dogs (24.410-423), and later the promise of Achilles that the Trojans will have twelve days to bury Hector (a promise that Achilles keeps). Thus, Priam is a successful "spy" who adds espionage to his efforts at reconnaissance, his stationing of lookouts, and his questioning of Helen in other books-Priam is the most capable intelligence gatherer in the Iliad.
Richardson remarks that when Hermes meets Priam, Hermes pretends to be on a "reconnoitering expedition" like in Book 10 and that he is notable for his ability to act by stealth119. Hermes also interrogates Priam, ostensibly trying to find out where he is going and why he is traveling at night120. Therefore, Hermes is like Odysseus, Diomedes, and Dolon-a "spy" himself and (if he were a Greek) a potential danger not only to Priam but also to Troy. Hermes also illustrates how intelligence gathering is frequently a prerogative of the gods in the Iliad. In both books two "missions" are presented: Odysseus and Diomedes versus Dolon, and Priam and his herald versus "the Greek"/Hermes121. The parallelism introduces the theme of espionage into Book 24, which heightens the atmosphere of danger that surround Priam. It may be deduced that if Agamemnon had discovered Priam, he would have suffered the fate of the spy.
Other parallels between the two books include the piety, prayers, and sacrifices of Diomedes, Odysseus, and Priam; the sleep of Rhesus and Priam; the assistance of the gods in both books; Apollo's warning and waking of a kinsman of Rhesus (10.515-519), and Hermes warning and wakening of Priam; the guards who are either feared to be asleep or who are; the ability of men to move at night unseen; and the safe return home122. The "leisurely build-up"123 of divine and human preparations prior to Priam's journey is matched by Book 10's prolonged description of warriors discussing what to do. A major difference is that the concluding laments and funeral that are so essential to the honor of Hector are absent from Book 10-a fact that emphatically reveals the huge difference between the truly great warrior and non-heroic characters, who because of their failure to accomplish great achievements lack kleos and time.
It is interesting that Priam, who is often referred to as "like a god" in Book 24, encounters a god in a similar place and situation as the meeting between Dolon, Odysseus, and Diomedes, but with a far gentler outcome. The repeated and formulaic line of interrogation, "why are you out during the ambrosial night while all other men are asleep?" (10.386=24. 363) links the two scenes, Odysseus' questioning of Dolon and Hermes' of Priam, and indicates how easily Priam's fate could have changed if he had not encountered a god. There is more graciousness and dignity in the meeting between Hermes and the divinely protected Priam (who ironically says that it is good to honor the gods and then offers Hermes a gift (24.424-429)). Priam desires to bestow a great ransom rather than gain it (like Dolon does) and he is not motivated by greed. Hermes likewise refuses Priam's offer of payment for safe conduct through the enemy camp (24.433-436)-he is equally altruistic. The meetings between Odysseus and Dolon, and Priam and Hermes also differ in that although Hermes is disguised as a young Greek warrior, Priam doesn't beg for his life, succumb to terror, or reveal strategic information to the detriment of the Trojans. It is, in fact, Hermes who acts like Dolon and divulges Greek military intentions to Priam, not the other way around. Priam provides no information at all to Hermes, despite his weakness. Priam allows Hermes to accompany him to the Greek camp because he has no choice-as Hermes says, an old man cannot fight a young one. Priam, like Dolon, is effectively Hermes' prisoner. But Priam does not behave like one.
Parallels in Visit Scenes
Taplin has analyzed the "visit scenes" in Book 1, 9, and 24 of the Iliad. When characters in the Iliad visit each other, their behavior conforms to specific, formulaic patterns of conduct. The narration of the mission of Odysseus and Diomedes in Book 10 also closely fits this pattern. In the following table, references to Book 10 are included in addition to Taplin's information124. The strong similarities between Books 10 and 24 are particularly striking.
| Book 1
(1. 12-43, 326-348
| Book 9
|Book 10|| Book 24
| Old Father
|Two Heralds||Two Warriors|| 1 old man & 1
| To Greek camp;
|Along shore||To Trojan camp||To Greek camp|
| Own Mission;
| Mission for
| For Greeks and
| Protection of
|Prayers to Poseidon|| Prayers to Athena;
| Command of Zeus
and Assistance of
| To public meeting &
to temnt of Archilles
|To tent of Achilles||To camp of Rhesus||To tent of Achilles|
| Mission to ransom
daughter & to fetch
| Mission to offer
gifts to Achilles
| To win gifts and
| To ransom Priam's
|Phoenix bedded||Rhesus bedded|| Priam and herald
| Achilles and Briseis
| Rhesus sleeps;
| Achilles and Briseis
sleep; Priam and herald
| Rhesus killed;
kinsman of Rhesus
warned by Apollo
|Priam qwakened and
warned by Hermes
| Chryses departs;
return of Briseis
|Embassy Returns|| Return of Odysseus
The Greek night mission to the camp of the Trojans in Book 10 is revealed to be acceptable for the Iliad in terms of its narration, the order of events, its choice and depiction of characters, the similarity of its scenes and actions with those in other parts of the epic, and the goals of winning gifts and kleos. The espionage missions in Book 10 pick up themes found in other parts of the epic and reiterate how it is only elderly, respected warriors who initiate reconnaissance and espionage actions in the Iliad. Book 10's depiction of Odysseus and Diomedes is similar to that of heroic warriors in the rest of the epic, and the two heroes are worthy of praise because they courageously act on behalf of the Greek community. Although espionage is rare in the Iliad because it intrudes into the realm of the gods, in Book 10 the divine sanction of Athena marks the unusual mission of Odysseus and Diomedes as acceptable since the gods favor it.
When Book 10 is used as a basis for comparison with Book 24, many similarities are evident. Parallels in the encounters between Dolon, and Odysseus and Diomedes, and Priam and Hermes demonstrate not only the risks that Priam ran and his success as a "spy" but also his great courage. The many correspondences between Books 10 and 24, including the parallels between the visit scenes in both books and in the rest of the Iliad, indicate that Book 10 was not only carefully crafted to fit into the Iliad but that it helps to bind together the beginning and end of the epic. Book 10 also forms a bridge between the important Books 9 and 24 through the themes of kleos, geras, and courage.
|Specific Parallels between Books 10 and 24125|
|Book 10||Book 24|
|Sleep holds the camp (1-2)||Sleep holds the camp (3)|
|Menelaus (25-33) and Agamemnon are unable to sleep (3-24, 88-101)||Achilles is unable to sleep (3-13)|
|Menelaus rises to find Agamemnon (25-35)||Achilles rises and drags Hector's body (13-22)|
|Agamemnon is honored by the people like a god (33)||Priam is like a god (372, 405, 659)|
|Agamemnon brings a message to Nestor (86-101); Menelaus and Nestor waken the Greek warriors||Iris brings a message to Thetis (77-92); Iris brings a message to Priam (143-158)|
|Council of Greeks (194-253)||Council of gods (23-76)|
|Council of Trojans (299-331)||Meeting of Zeus and Thetis (104-119)|
|Flutes and pipes (13)||Priam accuses his sons of only caring about dancing and stealing goats (261-262)|
|Preparations for journey (254-298)||Preparations for journey (265-282)|
|Arming of Odysseus, Diomedes, Dolon (149, 178, 254-271, 332-335)||Priam is unarmed|
|Horses of Rhesus and Achilles are prizes||Priam's mules were gifts of the Mysians (i.e., an honor) (277-278)|
|Journey (272ff.)||Journey (322-442)|
|Greek warriors identify each other by name and patronymic (68, 97-98, 141-144)||Hermes identifies self by patronymic and people (396-397)|
|Night (83, 251-253, 276, 297, 468)||Night (351)|
|Diomedes and Odysseus||Priam and herald; Priam and Hermes|
|Dolon travels alone (hoios 385),||Priam travels alone (148-151, 177-180, 203, 519-521, 565-566)|
|Odysseus interrogates Dolon (383-389)||Hermes interrogates Priam (362-371)|
|Odysseus asks Dolon why he is out at night while all other men are asleep (386)||Hermes asks Priam why he is out at night while all other men are asleep (363)|
|2 missions, one in each direction (Dolon; Odysseus and Diomedes)||Priam on mission to Achilles; Hermes pretends to be on reconnaissance mission against the Trojans|
|Travel into enemy camp||Travel into enemy camp|
|Fear of Dolon on meeting Odysseus (374-376)||Fear of Priam on meeting Hermes (358-360)|
|Odysseus reassures Dolon that he will not be harmed (383)||Zeus reassures Priam that he will not be harmed (152-154, 155-8, 171-172, 181-187, 336-338)|
|Dolon demands pay (321-327)||Priam pays ransom|
|Dolon demands pay (321-327)||Hermes refuses payment (434-436)|
|Dolon does not appeal to gods||Hecuba says that Achilles will have no sense of shame (203-208)|
|Agamemnon urges Diomedes not to leave behind a better man because of shame (aidomenos) but rather to be ashamed (aidoi) to pick a worse man (233-239)||Priam asks Achilles to have respect for the gods (aideio theous 503) and pity|
|Assistance of Athena||Assistance of Hermes|
|Odysseus' prayer to Athena (277-282, 462-464); Diomedes' prayer to Athena (283-294)||Priam's prayer and libation to Zeus (283-313)|
|Omen from Athena for Odysseus (274-276)||Omen from Zeus for Priam (314-321)|
|Diomedes and Odysseus like lions (297)||Achilles like a lion (41, 572)|
|The use of the duel (478, 552)||The use of the duel (618)|
|Guards keep watch sleeplessly (180-189)||Hermes puts the guards to sleep (445-446)|
|Rhesus' guards are asleep (470-471); Apollo is awake (515)||Only Hermes is awake (679-681)|
|Dolon's cowardice and fear||Prism's courage|
|Dolon's head is cut off and rolls in dust (koniesin 455-457)||Andromache remembers how Hector caused many Greeks to "bite the ground" (odax oudas 737-738)|
|Odysseus sees Dolon (339)||Zeus orders that no Greek should see or recognize Priam (336-338)|
|No one is aware of Odysseus and Diomedes as they move through Rhesus' camp (470-475)||No one sees Priam enter the hut (477); Hermes guides Priam's horses through the camp and no one is aware (690-691)|
|Guards continually keep watch for a Trojan attack (180-189)||Trojan lookouts (skopoi) (799) watch lest the Greeks attack early.|
|Supplication by Dolon of Odysseus (454-455)||Supplication by Priam of Achilles (477-506)|
|Dolon says that father will pay ransom (378-381)||Priam does pay ransom for his son's body|
|Sleep of Rhesus and his men (470-475)||Sleep of Priam; all gods and men sleep (677-678)|
|Apollo wakens one of Rhesus' kin (518-519)||Hermes wakens Priam (679-689)|
|Athena warns Odysseus and Diomedes away (507-511)||Hermes warns Priam to get away (679-689)|
|Horses of Rhesus; gold and silver chariot||Ransom of Hector|
|Return with prize horses and chariot||Return with "prize:" Hector's body|
|No lament for Rhesus or Dolon||3 laments for Hector|
|No funeral for Rhesus or Dolon||Hector's funeral|
|Nestor sees Odysseus and Diomedes first on their return (532)||Cassandra sees Priam first on his return (697-701)|
|Nestor says that Zeus loves Odysseus and Diomedes because they returned safely (552)||Zeus says that no harm will come to Priam (152-154, 155-8, 171-172, 181-187, 336-338)|
|Book ends with a meal (578)||Book begins with soldiers' meal (2)|
1 English quotations are from Lombardo's translation. The Greek text is from Allen.
4 Kirk (1962): 186 thinks that hoplite fighting is probably mentioned in two or three passages in Books 13, 16, and perhaps 12. Kirk (1985): 186-187 is uncertain whether hoplite fighting was introduced in Greece in the early 7th or the late 8th century. He adds that even when Homer refers to masses of troops he appears to be speaking of disorganized fighting, of mass groups of single combat. But Kirk (1962) 187-188 notes that two passages, 13.130-135, 145-152 and 16.211-217, where troops are said to be so close-packed that their spears, shields, and helmets touch and they are like a wall, imply "careful training" and he concludes that these passages date to after 750 B.C. However, Van Wees (1994): 3-4 has extensively analyzed the combat of the Iliad and concludes that the hoplite phalanx is not mentioned. Also Grote (1851): 140-141.
6 But sometimes spears are thrown from a chariot (e.g., 5.12-25) and sometimes even at an opponent while his back is turned away (e.g., 8.256-260).
10 E.g., see Redfield (1994): 21 for the "openness" of the Homeric man. Also Mueller (1984): 77-78, 80-82. Vivante (1991): 41 says that there is no particular story of the war or even of a campaign presented by the poet, and there is no "chain of cause and effect" described in the battle scenes." This episodic narrative style contributes to a lack of strategic planning among the characters in the epic. Luce (1975): 108 finds that there is no clear picture of the art of war in the epic and there is a lack of ordered purpose. Van Wees (1998): the outcome of Homeric battle depends on individuals.
11 A. Edwards (1985): 24-27 says that the ambush is mentioned ten times in the Iliad in connection with eight different ambushes of which only three describe a particular ambush as opposed to a general reference. Edwards cites 11.369-395 (Paris' attack on Diomedes by an arrow which is called cowardly); 6.155-195 (Bellerophontes' escape from an ambush); and 4.376-400 (Tydeus escapes from an attack by ambush that is called cowardly). Those who overcome an ambush are considered heroes in the Iliad.
12 It is hazardous to try to date elements in the Iliad. According to Kirk (1962): 183-184, since twin spears are normal on 8th century Attic Geometric pots, they were probably adopted in the Dark Age and went out of fashion with the spread of hoplite fighting in the 8th century. He suggests that passages where two spears are carried may not have been composed before about 950 B.C. Kirk also (1962): 189 finds several passages dealing with the chariot charge to be untraditional because he believes that the chariot was only used for transport. But see Van Wees (1994).
13 However, Hermes' questioning of Priam comes close to being an interrogation. But this example occurs in a night context, not daylight battle. See below.
14 Homer provides one example: Polites, a son of Priam, "often sat as a lookout (skopos) on top of the barrow of old Aesytes, watching for any movement of Greek troops" (2.790-794). Polites appears to be a watchman looking for signs that the Greeks were approaching the battlefield rather than one who analyzes the battle itself.
15 Although in Book 10 Nestor does ask the Greeks whether any one of them would dare to go among the Trojans and capture a straggler to find out their plans (10.204-217), this is in the context of a night raid, which is very different from daylight combat. Daylight attempts at capture and interrogation are never found. See below.
16 Also 7.233-243; 13.809-820; 13.823-832; 20.177-198.
17 Agamemnon insists that sparing a suppliant is a sign of weakness (6.55). See Taplin (1992): 221-224; Gould (1973): 74-77; Fenik (1964): 83-84; Griffin (1980b): 53-56; Pedrick (1982): 125-140; Thornton (1984): 113, 138-139.
18 Agamemnon only mentions Odysseus' reputation for trickery (4.360-361). Deception, however, is common in both the Odyssey and in the Epic Cycle; the story of the Trojan Horse and Odysseus' disguise as a beggar are the most famous examples.
20 Kirk (1962): 184 suggests that both the reference to the "baneful signs" in the story of Bellerophon and the illiteracy of Homeric warriors are references to the Dark Age. Although Bellamy (1989) believes that Homer may have known writing, it was not known to the warriors of the Iliad.
23 Throughout Greek history, armies sent out scouts to perform reconnaissance ahead of a marching army (See Russell (1999)). But in the Iliad, since the Greek army does not move, there is no need for this.
24 Schadewaldt (1997): 134 observes that Andromache, because of her anxiety, enters the male realm "when she presumes to dictate to him a strategy for defense. Anyone who cuts out this end of the speech (433-9), as Aristarchus first did, expects the wife of Hector to ask her husband to act dishonourably. Her appeal that he should stay by the wall becomes acceptable and reasonable only through the details of the plan that she gives and the reminder of earlier attacks there. In her loving lack of understanding, this reasoned argument is in itself affecting. Her useless attempt to follow obstinately the dictates of her love and control her husband in war as well, which is 'men's business', is the final logical step of her anxious heart." But Schadewaldt assumes that Andromache is being emotional, not logical.
25 The poet reports that when Achilles observed the rout of the Greeks, he asked Patroclus to go find out whom Nestor had brought back wounded from battle, with the intent of learning if the Greeks wanted him back (11.599-615). But Achilles is not acting un-heroically since he had already withdrawn from battle, and he is not performing reconnaissance but rather is trying to find out information pertaining to himself.
26 On the shield of Achilles, two scouts (skopoi) advance ahead of an army (18.520-529). When horses driven by Hera fly through the air, one leap of the gods' horses takes them as far into the distance as a lookout (skopei) can see over the wine-blue Aegean (5.767-772).
28 Another example is when Poseidon and Hera sit on a high wall at Troy and watch the battle (20.136-155).
30 Zeus sent a dream to Agamemnon that he would be able to capture Troy (2.1-15). But Agamemnon misinterpreted it, believing that he would capture Troy on that very day (2.37-40).
31 The portent at Aulis-a snake devouring eight baby sparrows and their mother--was interpreted by the seer Calchas to mean that it would take nine years for Troy to fall. Odysseus tells his men that this occurred because it was the ninth year of the war (2.303-332).
32 Fenik (1968): 48 says that it is normal for a god to assume a disguise and enter battle in order to give advice. Divine protection of a warrior is common in the Iliad (Fenik (1968): 227). E.g., 21.284-497; 14.354-386; 17.326-341.
35 Niese (1882): 64-65; Smyth (1914): 60-61; Klingner (1939): 359-362; Rothe (1910): 245, 346, 347-348; Leaf (1892): 190, 388-389; Wilamowitz (1920): 60-64; Ranke (1881): 21ff., 57ff. Shewan (1911): 11-16, 140-146.
37 Kirk (1962): 351-352, 310-311, 227; also Kirk (1965): 218, 222. Kirk believes that most modern and some ancient scholars would agree with him that Book 10 was a post-Homeric insertion. He says that the Doloneia was probably intended for separate recitation (Id.350) and is an "independent unit" never referred to elsewhere in the poem (Id.251). But Fenik (1964): 63 insists that the Doloneia in its present form was "never an 'Einzellied'" in answer to B. Niese (1882): 24-25. Hainsworth (1993): 151 agrees, but he also says that it is reasonable to assume that the Doloneia was added in the sixth century (Id.153). Wace & Stubbings (1962): 46, however, say that Book 10 may be an independent poem but if it is late, it draws on ancient material.
38 Taplin (1992): 11, 152-153. Stanley (1993): 118: "The tone-indeed the atmosphere of the entire book-is a far cry from the heroic norm." Cf. Henry (1905); Lang (1906); Willcock (1976): 113. Schadewaldt (1987): 142 n.4.
39 Silk (1987): 8-9. But Silk also notes a Corinthian cup of c.600 B.C. that depicts Dolon among other characters from the Iliad and he concludes from this that the Doloneia was an accepted part of the Iliad before the time of Pisistratus.
42 Whitman (1958): 284. Mueller (1984): 175 says that the "scholarly consensus" is that Book 10 is late. Bowra (1972): 102 says that it is "reasonable" to regard Book 10 as late but it is not necessarily so.
45 Hainsworth (1993): 154; Kirk (1962): 320; Mazon (1948): 227-228; Leaf (1892): 191, 388-389. Richardson (1993): 16 notes that the Doloneia displays Odysseus' "special skills at deception" and is consequently more Odyssean. Clay (1997): 75 says that the Doloneia is the most "Odyssean" part of the Iliad. Cf. Kirk (1965): 206. Danek (1988): 20-47 has established that the language of Book 10 does not differ from that of the rest of the Iliad in sentence length, particles, or vocabulary. Shewan (1911): 171 finds the Doloneia to have more Iliadic than Odyssean language. The best discussion is still Shewan (1911): 28, 37-47, 127-132 who thoroughly demolishes the Odyssean argument.
46 Hainsworth (1993): 154. Wace & Stubbings (1962): 144 say the use of pro in a temporal sense is confined to Book 10 and the Odyssey. But Shewan (1911): 61-71 says that the "peculiarities of the diction of K" are unimportant and that the translation of pro is uncertain (Id.75).
47 Griffin (1980): 54; Basset (1938): 188 says that Odysseus and Diomedes deceive Dolon by promising him safety and that this should be contrasted with Achilles' avowed hatred of lies. But Shewan (1911): 7 says that the ancients appreciated craft and that capturing Dolon was a way of outwitting Hector-"clean and legitimate" trickery.
49 Shewan (1911): viii.50 Shewan (1911): 8, 143; Beye (1976): 130; Willcock (1976): 114; Sheppard (1922): 84. Willcock (1976): 114 says that Book 10 seems to fit the epic because of the defeat of the Greeks at the end of Book 8. Wace & Stubbings (1962): 46 say that Book 10 was perhaps added for variation between the failure of the embassy and the resumption of fighting. Cf. Toohey (1992): 31. Thornton (1983) is one of the few who integrates Book 10 into a discussion of the Iliad. But Rabel (1991): 283 and Hainsworth (1993): 153-154 assert that Book 10 isn't necessary after the embassy to Achilles and adds nothing to the plot.
51 Stanley (1993): 119, 164. Frazer (1993): 104 says that the book is tailored to fit the epic and assumes the wrath of Achilles and the Achaean defeat in Book 8. Also Leaf (1892): 190. Cf. Owen (1946): 107; Heubeck (1974): 77-79.
53 W. Reichel, Über homerische Waffen, 2nd ed. (1901): 261-265 was the first to notice the connection between the passage and the discovery of the boar's tusk helmet, according to Hainsworth (1993): ad 10.261-265.
55 Fenik (1964): 17-18, 18 n.3 argues that Dolon was inserted into the Iliad because someone was needed to direct Diomedes and Odysseus against Rhesus once the traditional roles of Athena and Hera were removed. But Pohlenze (1954): 507-509 believes that Dolon was part of the original story.
57 Fenik (1964): 19-20, 63. Grote (1851): 253 believed that the book was carefully composed for its place in the epic since it was carefully framed to fit its place in the epic and since it rests on Books 8 & 9, a view accepted even by those who do not consider that Book 10 is by Homer.
58 The Trojans withdraw from battle when the sun sets (18.255-260). The heralds of both sides stop the combat between Hector and Ajax because it is becoming dark (7.288-295, 307-308). Night concludes the battle in Book 8, and Hector says that he would have destroyed the Greeks and their ships if it had not become dark (8.509-515). "It is good to yield to night" (7.296-307) appears to be a formulaic line.
59 Ranke (1881): 40 says that Diomedes' character is tarnished in Book 10 (presumably because he considers the night raid to be un-heroic), but Fenik (1964): 20 n.3 disagrees, saying that Diomedes' portrayal is consistent with his portrait in the Epic Cycle. Shewan (1911): 155 also finds no departure from the heroic ideal in the killing of Dolon.
60 According to Thornton (1983): 69 and Klingner (1940: 342-343, 348, Menelaus' question is a "sign-post" that prepares for Nestor's proposal; it is a type of narrative device that is a common form of foreshadowing in the Iliad. Therefore, the narrative style of Book 10 is consistent with the Iliad.
64 Taplin (1992): 134-135: Athena helps Diomedes and warns him not to fight with any god except Aphrodite (5.124-132. 310). Taplin remarks that "we know of no unhappy future for [Diomedes]." Vivante (1985): 74 says a divine, "nonhuman aura surrounds Diomedes."
69 E.g. 19.60. Willcock (1976): 117 remarks that Odysseus and Diomedes complement each other since the one has sense and foresight and the other is an efficient soldier. Beye (1976): 130 says that Book 10 shows the comradeship of Odysseus and Diomedes and the "heroic and human ideal that Achilles has repeatedly denied."
72 Although Hainsworth (1993): ad 10.254-298 is puzzled by the unusual helmets, wondering why if a leather helmet is preferable to metal because it will not reflect, a boar's tusk helmet is chosen. Perhaps it was a good luck piece, something to provide courage as well as indicate it, as well as a family heirloom.
73 The simile is always used of great warriors in combat (with the exception of Book 10): e.g., Hector (15.275, 630); Hector (18.161); Patroclus and Hector (16.752, 756); Achilles (20.164; 24.572).
76 According to Rabel (1997): 199 Book 10 exhibits a Greek "ethics of cooperation" and the preliminaries for the night raid are drawn out to emphasize the interdependence of the Greeks, in contrast to Achilles' isolation. This type of raid continued throughout Greek history. See Polybius 5.81.4-7. (Cf. Paus.4.28.7).
77 Sheppard (1922): 83 says that what would be out of place in the great battles by day suits the atmosphere of night watches. Also Mueller (1984): 176 who says that the emphasis on "ruthless cunning of Odysseus and Diomedes" differs from the rest of the Iliad, but this might be because it is a "night piece." Thornton (1983): 168 says that things can be done at night which daylight would prevent. But Klingner (1940): 359-362 uses the uniqueness of night to argue that Book 10 is not original to the epic.
78 Willcock (1976): 119 and Rabel (1993): 140 call Dolon "impudent." Bowra (1972): 113 says that Dolon "fall[s] below the heroic norm." Cairns (1993): 126-127 remarks in regard to the Odyssey that in Homer there is an association between aidos and good sense. Dolon is not worthy of respect because he lacks good sense.
79 This passage indicates that Book 10 was carefully inserted into our version of the Iliad.80 Schadewaldt : 101 n.3. Shewan (1911): however, doesn't think that Hector really fears a night raid; rather, he believes that this passage was inserted to foreshadow the Doloneia.
81 The poet's comparison of Odysseus and Diomedes to hounds in pursuit of a wild beast (10.360-364) recalls this simile and by connecting the pursuing heroes to the anxious, defensive watchers the poet emphasizes how their reconnaissance effort is an attempt to save the city.
87 Likewise, when Hermes meets Priam, the terrified Priam inquires who he is and Hermes properly "identifies" himself as a Greek through his people and father's name (24.396-397).
88 The intelligent Odysseus grabs a shield, not a spear, after Nestor wakes him and summons him to the council--an indication that Odysseus expects one of his own men to challenge him as he moves about the camp (10.149). Russell (1999): 36 notes that the time between two and four in the morning is the most vulnerable time for sleepy guards and is the best time for secret movements.
89 MacCleod (1982): 16 says, "mercilessness is a feature of war which Homer deliberately stresses," as he does war's brutality. Shewan (1911): 155 says that there is no departure from the heroic ideal in the killing of Dolon: "the heroic ideal can be, and often is, rated too high." Homeric warriors are often brutal and so is the aftermath of their wars: slaughter of children and slavery.
90 Redfield (1994): 196 says that since Dolon is no warrior, when he is pursued, he becomes prey. Since heroism is a social task (Id.100), Dolon's inability and unwillingness to protect the community indicates his lack of heroism. Van Wees (1992): 69: a lack of excellence brings dishonor to a warrior. Shewan (1911): 156: "a spy has never had gentle treatment in the warfare of any age." Cf. Davidson (1979) who says that Dolon is like a wolf.
91 Shewan (1911): 9. The slaughter of Rhesus is not out of place in an epic in which spears are thrown at opponents while their backs are turned (e.g., 8.256-260) and unarmed suppliants like Lykaon are killed.
92 Hainsworth (1993) ad 10.544-553 strangely remarks that Odysseus and Diomedes exceeded their orders but learned nothing about the Trojan intentions for the morning. But they learned quite a lot about the Trojans' night intentions. Shewan (1911): 156 believes that the capture of Rhesus' horses also countered Hector's threat by answering his promise of the horses of Achilles for Dolon.
94 In Book 23 Athens helps Diomedes win the chariot race by breaking Eumelus' chariot wheel and she enables Odysseus to win the footrace when she causes Ajax to slip (23.409-417, 799-804).
95 _ ad 10.41 (Erbse).
96 Kirk (1962): 320 says Book 24 contains "conspicuous agglomerations of Odyssean words and formulas. So do the Doloneia and the funeral and games of XXIII." Kirk (1965): 206 says that "Odyssean" formulas are found in only Book 10 and 24. Richardson (1993): ad 24.5-11 notes that resemblances to the Odyssey in Book 24 are "not an argument against originality." Wace & Stubbings (1962): 143 say the "late" use of the accusative meaning "among, thoughout" is only found in Books 10 and 24 of the Iliad and Book 1 of the Odyssey. According to Chantraine (1968-1977): 96, 164 examples of the article losing demonstrative force are more frequent in Books 10, 23 & 24 and dia nukta with a temporal sense is only found in the Odyssey and in Books 10 and 24 of the Iliad. But Shewan (1911): 77-89 points out all the problems with interpreting the article in Homer and concludes that the article itself can't mark Book 10 as late or "Odyssean." Shewan (1911) 74-75 finds that dia nukta in the temporal/spatial sense is appropriate for movement in darkness (something lacking in other books) and that the translation of pro in a temporal sense is uncertain. Shipp (1972): 130-131 also says that dia nukta with both a temporal and a spatial sense is found in Book 10 but he adds that its unusual spatial sense in Books 10 and 24 seems to be a matter of context since those books take place at night. MacLeod (1982) finds nothing particularly Odyssean about Book 24.
98 Silk (1987): 39-40. But Hainsworth (1993): 151 notes that Homer is usually linear in his presentation and does not refer back to what he spoke about previously. This makes much of the Iliad "episodic."
101 Perhaps the best known attempt at structural analysis of the Iliad is that of Whitman (1958): 157, 259-260 who tried to match the first and last twelve books in an elaborate pattern based upon the circular structure of Geometric Art. Although Whitman's parallels between scenes in Books 1 and 24 help to tie the beginning and end of the epic together, his extensive analysis veers towards the highly subjective and his attempt to connect the Iliad to Geometric art is tenuous. But Whitman does perform a valuable service for Homeric scholarship in pointing out some of the many patterns that do exist between episodes, scenes, and themes in the different parts of the epic and in showing how these many links contribute to an overall poetic unity. Smyth (1914): 60-61, Myres (1932): 284 and Schein (1997): 349, like Whitman, exclude Book 10. Stanley (1993): 164-166 attempts to construct a series of parallels between Books 10 and 15 as part of his theory of an overall symmetry between books 8-17 but his parallels are doubtful. Richardson (1993): 4-6 notes that Books 1 and 24 are "marked off" from what follows or precedes and contain similar themes. Sheppard (1920): 30 says that it is no accident that the epic begins with a wrong to an old man and ends with the right done to Priam. MacLeod (1982): 32-35 compares Books 1, 2, 9 and 24.
102 But see Reinhardt (1961): 505-506. Rabel (1991): 295 compares Books 9-11 and concludes that Book 10 shows the benefits of joint aristeia by two comrades. Rabel (1997): 199 finds a parallel between Dolon and Priam. Richardson (1993): ad 24.401-404 says that Hermes pretends to be on a "reconnoitering expedition" like in Book 10.
104 Taplin (1992): 264: "But all the apprehension which surrounds [Priam's] departure from Troy should not be seen as impiety or stupidity. It is none the less convincing that the quest should be experienced as desperate and dangerous by the human agents."
107 Taplin (1992): 266. Richardson (1993) ad 24.352-357 notes that the passage is even more dramatic because the poet's usual technique is changed and the type scene of a god meeting a mortal is altered. In this passage the focus is not on the god and his approach, as is usual, but on the humans and their fear.
108 The tomb of Ilus is in the middle of the battlefield (11.180, 393).
111 Zanker (1994): 115-116. Zanker (1994): 118 argues that Achilles responds to Priam not just because of the gifts but also on the basis of altruism. He says that Achilles goes beyond his society's evaluation of time and exchange and makes his decision on the basis of Priam's supplication and independent generosity (Id.83, 85, 88). MacLeod (1982): ad 24.110 and Richardson (1993): ad 24.110 say that Zeus' honor (kudos 14.110) for Achilles is partly shown by Priam's gifts but also through the generosity shown by Achilles. Taplin (1992): 263: Zeus orders that Achilles should win gifts from Priam but should have the opportunity to give back the body of Hector of his own will so that he will gain time (24.74-76).
113 Priam brings back to Troy not only Hector's body but also the "information" about the twelve-day truce.
120 A rare epithet is used of Hermes: euskopos (only at 24.24 and 109) means "keen-sighted" and "watchful." The unusual epithet alaoskopien "[not] unheedless" (10.515) is used of Apollo, and Zeus says that Achilles is not "heedless" (askopos only found at 24.157, 186 in epic).These epithets remind of the scout or spy (episkopos, skopos) of Book 10. They suggest that Hermes is a spy and to link the two books together verbally as well as thematically.
125 For the visit scene in Homer, see Arend (1933): 34-53; Lohmann (1970): 227-231; Edwards (1975): 62ff.; Tsagarakis (1982): 65-73; Richardson (1993): 320. For type scenes in general, see Arend (1922); M. Edwards (1987): 71-77. See Pedrick (1982) for supplication scenes. Arend (1922): 54ff and M. Edwards (1975): 56 note that Priam's departure conforms to a type scene.
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