The Rage of Achilles

The seated Agamemnon holds the scepter of authority and sits on a throne, his lower body wrapped in a robe. Achilles, in “heroic nudity,” pulls his sword from its scabbard (“heroic nudity” is an ancient artistic convention of unclear meaning, whereby heroes are shown without clothes). Athena seizes Achilles from behind by the hair. Roman mosaic from Pompeii, c. first century ad.

From Barry B. Powell’s new free verse translation of The Iliad by Homer. Barry B. Powell is Halls-Bascom Professor of Classics Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

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