Akhaian Priestess: Don't Leave for Home without One

The Danaans drank deeply of wine and looted the riches of Troy. They too were relieved by the war's end and yet they were still high from the blood lust of battle. Agamemnon and Menelaus called together their troops at sundown, an unheard of thing, and fought between themselves before them. "We go home now!" shouted one. "We stay and make offerings to the deities!" shouted the other. The troops could not think straight nor behave which fanned the argument amongst all of the commanders. Since most were divided even within themselves as to what should be done, they all retired with sour words in their mouths and a belly full of unspent rage.

These were troops unready to re-enter the civilisation of home. Too many years were spent in the madness of war and the deities knew it. The next day part of the armies stayed to give offerings and the other part fled for home, but the divnities did not make it so easy. More than one ship was blown off course. King Nestor floundered his way to Egypt, before rejoining his family. Menelaus with his beloved Helen wandered from shore to shore around the Mediterranean before finding their way to Sparta. Nevertheless, this was a good time for them, becoming reacquainted as husband and wife, and acquainted as true lovers.

Agamemnon was not so lucky. During the war, he had taken the priestess Chryseis as his prize and then later Briseis as her replacement, when he was forced to give Chryseis up. He had taken also Kassandra, the diviner and sister of Paris, as a portion of his booty when Troy was at last defeated. Years before he had taken his wife by murdering her previous husband Tantalus. The deities do not suffer well the sort of pride which perverts the relationships of love into bonds of status, copulation and the production of heirs. When he arrived home his wife had found a lover and together they murdered Agamemnon.

And Odysseus? Odysseus sailed off never to be heard from again. A wise and cunning warrior was lost that day.

Thus, I have sung a tale, a tale I hope I have sung well. By the grace of heaven I present to you something of the world, and now before the world I stand.


As The Tears Go By.

Calling It a Day.

(For when you feel it is time to leave the party)

Copyright © 1998 Katherine Phelps