Iliad’s Assembly in Ninth Book

This is FREE sample
This text is free, available online and used for guidance and inspiration. Need a 100% unique paper? Order a custom essay.
  • Any subject
  • Within the deadline
  • Without paying in advance
Get custom essay

Throughout the adventurous and thrilling story of the Iliad many assemblies were held to inform the community and the leaders on the current events,to make important decisions for the situations that were presented, and to give motivational speeches. In this paper I will discuss and recount the assembly held in the Iliads ninth book and its importance. A meeting in which many pep talks were given to the discouraged troops. The Iliads assemblies were mainly used to encourage troops and individuals to muster up the courage to fight they are categorized differently from a group of people talking candidly or an embassy or a council which also took place in the Iliad.

Embassies were held with heralds present and in the Iliad consisted of the greek leaders that journeying to the tent of Achilles and speaking with him once they shared a sacrificial meal. Essentially they would relay important messages to someone. And lastly councils also dissimilar to assemblies exclusively were held by greek leaders and elders all men. The council would usually take place after a feast and the most important, wise, and most times the oldest would begin the discussion. Both the composition and the social environment were unlike that of an assembly something more casual. The particular assembly in book nine is called together by Agamemnon to discuss the current panicked state the greeks found themselves in.

Heralds were commanded to spread the news that everyone was to assemble and as the worried camp came together “The Greeks felt like that, pummeled and torn. Agamemnon’s heart was bruised with pain As he went around to the clear-toned criers Ordering them to call each man to assembly,”(IL. 9.9-14). Agamemnon’s reasoning behind calling the meeting was to end the suffering the men were going through. After being deceived by the god Zeus into thinking that they stood a chance in the battle all the lies became apparent at the fallen armies he takes blame for destroying. Agamemnon goes on to tell the troops; “So this is my command for the entire army: Clear out with our ships and head for home.

There’s no hope we will take Troy’s tall town.”(Il 9.29-31). As his guilt tears him apart the reasoning for the meeting is very apparent, giving up on the fight with troy. And although he is ready to throw in the towel members of the army spoke out specifically Diomedes gave a speech stating he will not give up on defeating troy even if all of the army leaves and just he and Sthenelus are left, he did not stand alone on this belief though and everyone cheered. “Will stay, too, until we conquer Troy. And if they won’t— Well, let them all sail back to their own native land. The two of us, Sthenelus and I, will fight on Until we take Ilion. We came here with Zeus.’ He spoke, and all the Greeks cheered” Nestor agreeing with Diomedes speech ends the assembly stating that first Diomedes was out of place when giving his speech and that everyone should eat and return to their duties and stations.

Everyone concurs and they do as they were told. This scene plays a pivotal role in the story as it displays the ideas of the leaders and armies. It resolves the panic that was seen at the start of the book, through both the not so encouraging speeches and the inspirational speeches given. Although the assembly was summoned to potentially end the fighting and return home, escaping a battle they would most likely be defeated in they instead were spurred on to continue with what they were originally doing going back to their stations and the daily grind. Without the meeting Agamemnon would have been on a different page then everyone else, the Iliads story could have also ended very differently with everyone giving in and going home.

Receiving the public’s opinion revealed what actions they should take and after the event had ended the leaders gathered to lay out a plan in a council meeting. The relationship between the warriors and the leaders can also be seen as improving with these encounters, after a speech is given an audience response is recorded in the text so both sides have an understanding of each other. There are some rules to the way the assemblies are held though and the include the way you speak, who your speaking to, when you speak and more.

The etiquette being broken is seen when Diomedes gives his speech, he is a young man and is out of place when he speaks to Agamemnon in that way although his ideas were valid he should have refrained. “No Greek will find fault with your speech Or contradict it. But it is not the whole story. You are still young.” (Il 9.59-61) Another proper way to act while in the meeting is when you speak, if someone else is giving a speech it is rude and also looked down upon. These rules and regulations are some what unspoken, everyone should know there place and speak at the appropriate times, saying proper things.

Other proper decorum includes having the audience seated while the leader stands and gives the first speech as an introduction to the way to proceed. The normal business transacted in the assemblies would consist of a discussion to assist them in whatever crisis they are under, whether it be good or bad to do with war or famine the list could go on. In the ninth book the men were discouraged and needed a pep talk without an assembly they would have been left worried, but instead they were given hope with the speeches of their leaders, warriors, and friends.

“The Achaeans are in great need Of good counsel. The enemies’ campfires Are close to our ships. Can this gladden any heart? This night will either destroy the army or save it.” (Il 9.78-81) The evidence given from the Iliad itself proved my point that the assemblies were an important component to the book and helped move the plot along, it helped by explaining what the different parties involved believed and how they felt in the moment. Although it can be argued that there were way more important scenes than just a meeting of the leaders and people without it the book would be very different. Works Cited Homer. Iliad, trans. Stanley Lombardo. Hackett, 1997.

Cite this paper

Iliad’s Assembly in Ninth Book. (2021, Nov 23). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/iliads-assembly-in-ninth-book/

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Peter is on the line!

Don't settle for a cookie-cutter essay. Receive a tailored piece that meets your specific needs and requirements.

Check it out