What is the implication of this statement: "The Trojan women have gone to Athena's temple to make supplications"?Question taken from the prose translation of Ilad, Book VI
The women went to the temple to pray for protection and for their city to be spared. They were in fear because their town was being overrun and their best warriors were being killed. The implications are that when all else seems lost, it is time to pray. The women could not go and fight in the battle, but they could go to the temple and offer prayers for the success of their soldiers.
Hector arrives in Troy and meets his mother Hecuba. Hector tells his mother to pray to Athena (Minerva) for the defeat of Diomedes. Since Hector wanted to pray to Athena, he should have offered the sacrifices himself and gone to the temple himself, but he was dirty from battle and would have had to bathe and clean up, so he sends his mother in his place. Hecuba offers a fancy dress or robe to Athena and the sacrifice of twelve heifers, but the goddess meets this with deaf ears. (http://www.enotes.com/iliad-text/book-vi)
The women lifted up their
hands to the goddess with a loud cry, and Theano took the robe to lay it upon the knees of Minerva, praying the while to the daughter of great Jove. "Holy Minerva," she cried, "protectress of our city, mighty goddess, break the spear of Diomed and lay him low before the Scaean gates. Do this, and we will sacrifice twelve heifers that have never yet known the goad, in your temple, if you will have pity upon the town, with the wives and little ones of the Trojans." (http://www.enotes.com/iliad-text/book-vi)