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45 Cards in this Set

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The son of the military man Peleus and the sea-nymph Thetis. The most powerful warrior in the Iliad, commands the Myrmidons, soldiers from his homeland of Phthia in Greece. Proud and headstrong, he takes offense easily and reacts with blistering indignation when he perceives that his honor has been slighted. His wrath at Agamemnon for taking his reward , Breises forms the main subject for the Iliad
achilles
King of Mycenae and leader of the Achaean army; brother of King Menelaus of Sparta. Arrogant and often selfish, he provides the Achaeans with strong but sometimes reckless and self-serving leadership. Like Achilles, he lacks consideration and forethought. Most saliently, his tactless appropriation of Achilles’ war prize, the maiden Briseis, creates a crisis for the Achaeans, when Achilles, insulted, withdraws from the war.
agamemnon
Achilles’ beloved friend, companion, and advisor, he grew up alongside the great warrior in Phthia, under the guardianship of Peleus. Devoted to both Achilles and the Achaean cause, he stands by the enraged Achilles but also dons Achilles’ terrifying armor in an attempt to hold the Trojans back.
patroclus
A fine warrior and the cleverest of the Achaean commanders. Along with Nestor, he is one of the Achaeans’ two best public speakers. He helps mediate between Agamemnon and Achilles during their quarrel and often prevents them from making rash decisions.
odysseus
The youngest of the Achaean commanders, he is bold and sometimes proves impetuous. After Achilles withdraws from combat, Athena inspires him with such courage that he actually wounds two gods, Aphrodite and Ares.
diomedes
An Achaean commander, (sometimes called “Telamonian Ajax” or simply “Ajax”) is the second mightiest Achaean warrior after Achilles. His extraordinary size and strength help him to wound Hector twice by hitting him with boulders. He often fights alongside Little Ajax, and the pair is frequently referred to as the “Aeantes.”
great ajax
An Achaean commander, he is the son of Oileus (to be distinguished from Great Ajax, the son of Telamon). He often fights alongside Great Ajax, whose stature and strength complement his small size and swift speed. The two together are sometimes called the “Aeantes.”
little ajax
King of Pylos and the oldest Achaean commander. Although age has taken much of his physical strength, it has left him with great wisdom. He often acts as an advisor to the military commanders, especially Agamemnon. He and Odysseus are the Achaeans’ most deft and persuasive orators, although his speeches are sometimes long-winded.
nestor
King of Sparta; the younger brother of Agamemnon. While it is the abduction of his wife, Helen, by the Trojan prince Paris that sparks the Trojan War, he proves quieter, less imposing, and less arro-gant than Agamemnon. Though he has a stout heart, he is not among the mightiest Achaean warriors.
menelaus
King of Crete and a respected commander. He leads a charge against the Trojans in Book 13.
idomeneus
A healer. He is wounded by Paris in Book 11.
machaon
An important soothsayer. His identification of the cause of the plague ravaging the Achaean army in Book 1 leads inadvertently to the rift between Agamemnon and Achilles that occupies the first nineteen books of the Iliad.
calchas
Achilles’ father and the grandson of Zeus. Although his name often appears in the epic, never appears in person. Priam powerfully invokes the memory of him when he convinces Achilles to return Hector’s corpse to the Trojans in Book 24.
peleus
A kindly old warrior, he helped raise Achilles while he himself was still a young man. Achilles deeply loves and trusts him, and he mediates between him and Agamemnon during their quarrel.
phoenix
The soldiers under Achilles’ command, hailing from Achilles’ homeland, Phthia.
myrmidons
A son of King Priam and Queen Hecuba, he is the mightiest warrior in the Trojan army. He mirrors Achilles in some of his flaws, but his bloodlust is not so great as that of Achilles. He is devoted to his wife, Andromache, and son, Astyanax, but resents his brother Paris for bringing war upon their family and city.
hector
King of Troy and husband of Hecuba, he is the father of fifty Trojan warriors, including Hector and Paris. Though too old to fight, he has earned the respect of both the Trojans and the Achaeans by virtue of his level-headed, wise, and benevolent rule. He treats Helen kindly, though he laments the war that her beauty has sparked.
priam
Queen of Troy, wife of Priam, and mother of Hector and Paris.
hecuba
(also known as “Alexander”) - A son of Priam and Hecuba and brother of Hector. His abduction of the beautiful Helen, wife of Menelaus, sparked the Trojan War. He is self-centered and often unmanly. He fights effectively with a bow and arrow (never with the more manly sword or spear) but often lacks the spirit for battle and prefers to sit in his room making love to Helen while others fight for him, thus earning both Hector’s and Helen’s scorn.
paris
Reputed to be the most beautiful woman in the ancient world, left her husband, Menelaus, to run away with Paris. She loathes herself now for the misery that she has caused so many Trojan and Achaean men. Although her contempt extends to Paris as well, she continues to stay with him.
helen
A Trojan nobleman, the son of Aphrodite, and a mighty warrior. The Romans believed that he later founded their city (he is the protagonist of Virgil’s masterpiece the Aeneid).
aeneas
Hector’s loving wife, begs Hector to withdraw from the war and save himself before the Achaeans kill
andromache
Hector and Andromache’s infant son
astyanax
A young Trojan commander, sometimes figures as a foil for Hector, proving cool-headed and prudent when Hector charges ahead. Polydamas gives the Trojans sound advice, but Hector seldom acts on it.
polydamas
A powerful Trojan warrior, nearly fights a duel with Diomedes. The men’s exchange of armor after they realize that their families are friends illustrates the value that ancients placed on kinship and camaraderie.
glaucus
A Trojan warrior who attempts to fight Achilles in Book 21. He delays Achilles long enough for the Trojan army to flee
agenor
A Trojan sent to spy on the Achaean camp in Book 10.
dolon
A Trojan archer. His shot at Menelaus in Book 4 breaks the temporary truce between the two sides.
pandarus
A Trojan nobleman, advisor to King Priam, and father of many Trojan warriors. He argues that Helen should be returned to Menelaus in order to end the war, but Paris refuses to give her up.
antenor
One of Zeus’s sons. His fate seems intertwined with the gods’ quibbles, calling attention to the unclear nature of the gods’ relationship to Fate.
sarpedon
Chryses’s daughter, a priest of Apollo in a Trojan- allied town.
chryseis
A war prize of Achilles. When Agamemnon is forced to return Chryseis to her father, he appropriates Briseis as compensation, sparking Achilles’ great rage
briseis
A priest of Apollo in a Trojan-allied town; the father of Chryseis, whom Agamemnon takes as a war prize.
chryses
King of the gods and husband of Hera, he claims neutrality in the mortals’ conflict and often tries to keep the other gods from participating in it. However, he throws his weight behind the Trojan side for much of the battle after the sulking Achilles has his mother, Thetis, ask the god to do so.
zeus
Queen of the gods and Zeus’s wife, she is a conniving, headstrong woman. She often goes behind Zeus’s back in matters on which they disagree, working with Athena to crush the Trojans, whom she passionately hates.
hera
The goddess of wisdom, purposeful battle, and the womanly arts; Zeus’s daughter. Like Hera, Athena passionately hates the Trojans and often gives the Achaeans valuable aid.
athena
A sea-nymph and the devoted mother of Achilles, she gets Zeus to help the Trojans and punish the Achaeans at the request of her angry son. When Achilles finally rejoins the battle, she commissions Hephaestus to design him a new suit of armor.
thetis
A son of Zeus and twin brother of the goddess Artemis, is god of the arts and archery. He supports the Trojans and often intervenes in the war on their behalf.
apollo
Goddess of love and daughter of Zeus, she is married to Hephaestus but maintains a romantic relationship with Ares. She supports Paris and the Trojans throughout the war, though she proves somewhat ineffectual in battle.
aphrodite
The brother of Zeus and god of the sea. He holds a long-standing grudge against the Trojans because they never paid him for helping them to build their city. He therefore supports the Achaeans in the war.
poseidon
God of fire and husband of Aphrodite, he is the gods’ metalsmith and is known as the lame or crippled god. Although the text doesn’t make clear his sympathies in the mortals’ struggle, he helps the Achaeans by forging a new set of armor for Achilles and by rescuing Achilles during his fight with a river god.
hephaestus
Goddess of the hunt, daughter of Zeus, and twin sister of Apollo. She supports the Trojans in the war.
artemis
God of war and lover of Aphrodite, he generally supports the Trojans in the war.
ares
The messenger of the gods. He escorts Priam to Achilles’ tent in Book 24.
hermes
Zeus’s messenger
iris