Is he out of his mind?
I can't make out the eloquent speeches of our best men,
from my distant vantage among the common soldiers,
it seemed for a moment
as if Achilles might draw his sword
and cut our overlord down like a Trojan dog!
What is he even doing there?
He rarely attends these assemblies.
he always says.
"No matter how many speak up,
Agamemnon only hears his favored voices,
and mine is not among them."
He frequently skips these meetings
and is not missed.
"They would notice
if I ever missed a battle,
if I ever missed a raid,
if I missed an enemy's head with my thrusted spear,
but not a council assembly."
on this day,
Achilles had called the meeting himself.
On this day, he has swiped the rod of authority.
On this day,
he has made Agamemnon take notice.
What could he have been thinking?
The assembly breaks.
Officers and soldiers scatter to their rally points
to receive their orders.
Achilles commands the Phthian half of the Myrmidon corps,
but allows Big Ajax to set the battle order
while I attend to Achilles.
The Myrmidons operate under a single command,
but today the followers of Achilles swarm the camp like bees
They have been withdrawn from the field,
They may even be going home,
which must mean that I will be going home as well,
and with Iphis
and with Briseis,
as we had often talked about.
But without first sacking Ilion?
What has he done?
And to what consequence?
discussing oarsman duties on a sudden expedition to Chryse.
"Ludicrous!" says one.
"The first daughter of Chryse
already resides within Agamemnon's tent,
with all of that island's wealth
in exchange for her return.
Why embark in haste on a mission of conquest?
Why fight now when so many are ill?
And why herd our finest cattle onto the outbound ships?"
For an ordinary man,
with an ordinary fate,
decyphering the plan of Agamemnon
is like deciphering the plan of Zeus.
I can only shake my head
at each new piece of the puzzle.
Some momentous shift has occurred,
but I won't get the whole of it from any man or god
other than Achilles, son of Peleus.
I return to our hut
and wait for my world to resume making sense.