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The Quarrel of Agamemnon & Menelaus

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image of Mnemosyne

AbstractIn Odyssey Book 3, Nestor relates how a quarrel between the Atreidae led to a split of the Achaean army over departure from Troy. This story implies a representation of Agamemnon and Menelaus, their relationship, and their respective political roles, that is not reconcilable with that of the Iliad. I argue that Nestor’s tale reflects a tradition whose influence is visible in later texts, particularly the Cyclic Nostoi and some dramas of Euripides. While the Iliad clearly ignores this tradition, its language betrays some awareness of it; and in a few cases it is arguable that the Iliad alludes indirectly to a very different conception of Menelaus’s political role in the expedition against Troy.

Affiliations: 1: Queens College, CUNY, Dept. of Classics, Middle Eastern & Asian LanguagesKing Hall 203, 65-30 Kissena Blvd, Flushing, NYUSAbenjamin.sammons@gmail.com

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2014-01-14
2016-12-09

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