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We are continuing our open forum for those participants who are reading the Iliad for the first (or second) time. Feel free to ask questions or present ideas about what we have been reading and discussing!

If you haven't yet read Scrolls 22 and 24, you should do that before answering the questions below. Also, you should view dialogue 5 in the lecture hall.

Discussion questions from Week One, Week Two, and Week Three have been archived. Those message boards are no longer active, but you should be able to review the messages that were posted on them in the last two weeks.

Instructions: Each of the following discussion topics has its own message forum. We hope you will respond to one of the questions below by Sunday, May 1st, 9PM, Eastern Daylight Time. You may respond to more than one, of course, but be aware that each question has its own 'discussion group', so you should address your response specifically to that question. A response in the length of a paragraph is ideal; hypernews works better with many shorter responses than with longer ones, and we encourage you to reply briefly to the responses of others--this will make for true 'dialogue'.

1. In the fight between Hektor and Achilles in Scroll 22, Hektor asks for an agreement that whoever wins will return the body of the loser (22.250ff., compare similar terms in the duel between Hektor and Ajax at Iliad 7.76ff). Achilles refuses, saying that there can be no agreement between them, just as there cannot be between lions and men or between wolves and lambs, and ends his refusal by telling Hektor, " shall now pay me in full for the grief you have caused me on account of my comrades whom you have killed in battle," (See Iliad 22.260-272). What preconditions for the rules of battle that we have seen before are missing, according to Achilles? Is he justified in refusing Hektor's terms? Is Hektor justified in asking for these terms?

Answer Question One Here.

2. At the beginning of Scroll 24, Achilles is still treating the body of Hektor with contumely, and there is a discussion about this among the gods. Looking especially at Apollo's speech (Iliad 24.31ff.), how would you say the idea of kharis or reciprocity plays into the gods' decision? Also, look at Apollo's characterization of Achilles. He says has a mind neither intent on what is right nor is flexible, and compares him to a lion who attacks flocks and gorges on them. (Many posters last week discussed the pastoral scenes on the Shield--any connection here?) Then Apollo seems to claim that Achilles mourns too much for Patroklos. Zeus agrees that Achilles should return the body, but instructs Iris to have Priam bring him great ransom for it--in whose honor is the ransom brought? What are the divine interests and values, and are they the same as the human interests and values?

Answer Question Two Here.

3. Finally, a big, open question. How does the meeting between Priam and Achilles affect our understanding of the litigation scene on the Shield and our discussion of justice and morality throughout the Iliad?

Answer Question Three Here.