HomeREADERSLITERATUREKhryseis on Homer's Epics of Troy

Khryseis on Homer’s Epics of Troy

The Trojan war broke out because of a woman. Women play an important role in this war. Above all, they occupy a larger place than Helene in the Iliad, which portrays events long after Helene’s abduction: These are Khryseis and Briseis.

The epic opens with a horror scene: Akha army is breaking through the epidemic. Why? After the Achaeans besieged Troy, they wait for years in front of the walls of the mighty city: Troy does not fall either.

Meanwhile, aggressive Achaeans, especially Achilles, try to plunder rich Anatolian cities by embarking on raiding campaigns. Not only do they buy gold, bronze, iron and valuable weapons, they also kidnap elite girls and women from the cities they plunder. Heaps of goods, many captives are laid out and divided among the Achaeans. The biggest share always goes to the king of kings, Agamemnon.

In a landing in the Troas region, Achilles took Khryseis, the daughter of Kryses, the priest of Apollo, as a prisoner of the city of Khryse.

He uses her as his wife in his hut, loves her more and more, preferring her to his married wife, Clytemnestra. However, one day, Chryses comes to get his daughter back with rich liberties, begs and begs, the Achaean leaders want to give the girl back, only Agamemnon resists this request and dismisses Chryses with harsh words. Thereupon, the priest Apollo prayed to the god and avenged the god Chryses (Il. I, 43 ff.)

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