Why does a conflict take place between Agamemnon and Achilles in the Iliad?

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The conflict between Agamemnon and Achilles occurs over a woman named Briseis. Both Agamemnon and Achilles are awarded a woman as a trophy of war, but when Agamemnon is forced to release his captive, Chryseis, he decides that he is entitled to Achilles's captive, Briseis. Achilles is offended by Agamemnon's decision, and Achilles then decides to refrain from fighting for Agamemnon.


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The quarrel between Agamemnon and Achilles which forms the principal subject of the first half of the Iliad was caused by Agamemnon taking Achilles's concubine Briseis. Agamemnon was forced to give up his own concubine Chryseis at the behest of Apollo, and his assumption that he could simply take Briseis instead so outraged Achilles that he withdrew to the ships and stopped fighting for Agamemnon.

Achilles declares that he loved Briseis, but it appears that he is more concerned with the insult to his honor than the actual loss of the girl. The precise status of the client kings who fought for the High King of...

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