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THE TROJAN WAR, PART THREE: APPEASING DIANA. Remember: Paris, a prince of Troy, has taken Helen, the wife of Menelaus, king of Sparta. All of Greece has rallied behind Menelaus and his brother, Agamemnon, the king of Mycenae and Commander in Chief of all the Greek armies.

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slide1

THE TROJAN WAR,

PART THREE:

APPEASING DIANA

slide2

Remember:

  • Paris, a prince of Troy, has taken Helen, the wife of Menelaus, king of Sparta.
  • All of Greece has rallied behind Menelaus and his brother, Agamemnon, the king of Mycenae and Commander in Chief of all the Greek armies.
  • 1,000 Greek ships have prepared to set sail for Troy.
slide3

The Chariot of Artemis

5th cent. BC red figure vase

Musee du Louvre, Paris, France

During the preparations for departure, a Greek killed an animal sacred to the goddess Diana (Greek name: Artemis).

Some say a soldier killed a pregnant rabbit, others say Agamemnon himself killed one of Diana’s sacred deer.

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The Chariot of Artemis

5th cent. BC red figure vase

Musee du Louvre, Paris, France

Regardless, Diana was so angry at the Greeks that she sent a storm against the ships, prohibiting the Greeks from setting sail for Troy.

slide5

Detail of Calchas from Pompeian painting

Agamemnon asked the Greek prophet, Calchas, how he could make the winds stop blowing.

Calchas’ advice was troubling – in order to appease Diana, Agamemnon would have to sacrifice his daughter, Iphigenia.

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Pompeian wall painting depicting the sacrifice of Iphigenia.

Calchas can be seen on the right-hand side of the painting.

Agamemnon had to trick his wife, Clytemnestra (who also happens to be Helen’s sister) and daughter, Iphigenia, in order to get them to the altar where the sacrifice was to be held.

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Pompeian wall painting depicting the sacrifice of Iphigenia.

Calchas can be seen on the right-hand side of the painting.

Agamemnon had to trick his wife, Clytemnestra (who also happens to be Helen’s sister) and daughter, Iphigenia, in order to get them to the altar where the sacrifice was to be held.

He wrote to his wife and told her that their daughter was going to marry the great Achilles.

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Pompeian wall painting depicting the sacrifice of Iphigenia.

Calchas can be seen on the right side of the painting.

Iphigenia is then taken to the altar where she is sacrificed. According to some versions, Diana pities her at the last moment and replaces her with a deer before whisking her away to become a priestess.

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After many obstacles, the Greeks, led by Agamemnon, set sail for Troy to begin what will be a decade-long war in retaliation for Paris’ theft of Menelaus’ wife, Helen.

Helen of Troy

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

1863