Book 9 Summary and Analysis
Phoinix: old friend and teacher of Achilleus, sent to him with Agamemnon’s peace offer
As Book Nine opens, the Achaians are in a panic. Agamemnon calls an assembly and tearfully suggests fleeing in their ships. It is Diomedes who finally protests against this plan, chastising Agamemnon for cowardice. He succeeds in rallying the Achaians to go on with the fight. Nestor then stands and suggests that a guard be set up outside the wall to protect against a surprise attack, and that a feast be held for the elders as they decide their plan of action.
As the elders feast, Nestor points out that the present difficulty is a direct result of Agamemnon’s feud with Achilleus. He suggests returning Briseis and making peace with Achilleus so that he will return to fight with the Achaians. Agamemnon is now ready to admit fault, and he agrees to return Briseis to Achilleus, along with a sworn oath that he has not touched her and a generous array of gifts. Phoinix, Aias, and Odysseus all friends of Achilleus, are sent to give him the message.
Achilleus warmly receives his friends into his hut, but he is still too angry to accept Agamemnon’s peace offering, explaining that even 10 or 20 times the amount of treasure offered could not repay the wrong done to him. In the morning he plans to sail for home, and he advises his friends to do the same. Phoinix makes an emotional appeal to Achilleus to change his mind and forgive, but to no avail. Odysseus and Aias are sent to take the message back to Agamemnon, while...
(The entire section is 655 words.)