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fic: the transformation of patroclus

(this was an assignment for my history class, believe it or not. I may have let it get slightly out of hand. ^^;;)

fanfiction of homer's iliad. completely g-rated. as a side note: iliad ≠ troy the movie. I'm fangirling the real deal here.


“Once, in an age when the gods walked among men more freely than they do today, the forces of the Achaeans mustered and sailed to Troy to sue for the return of the wife of Menelaus of Sparta, Helen the Fair, who had been stolen away by Paris. Among all the hosts of the Greeks, there was no warrior so strong as Achilles, son of Peleus, whose mother was the goddess silver-footed Thetis. And among the hosts there was no man or woman so dear to Achilles as his cousin friend, Patroclus.

“Now it happened that Achilles disputed with Agamemnon, lord of hosts, over a slave-girl, and for this reason he retired with his men from the fighting. And for love of Achilles Patroclus withdrew as well, and whiled away the hours singing to his dear friend, for he was sad to see Achilles’ pride so sorely wounded. When Agamemnon’s embassy came to Achilles, they found them thus idling, Patroclus seated at Achilles’ feet singing of the deeds of men.

“The words of Ajax did not move swift-footed Achilles, nor those of wily Odysseus, nor even of Phoenix, who had raised him as a boy. But their tale of the woes of the Achaeans grieved Patroclus, and when they had left he begged Achilles to give succor to their people, or at least, if he would not relent so far, to set aside his anger enough to let Patroclus help in his place. And so little could Achilles deny Patroclus that at last he permitted his beloved friend to put on the armor his goddess-mother had given him, and go out and fight in his name.

“Patroclus fought mightily, in the armor of Achilles, and the Trojans gave way before him in terror, and he slew many men. But then he met upon the battlefield with Hector, tamer of horses, the greatest warrior of the Trojans, and him Patroclus did not defeat.

“When word was brought to Achilles that Hector had cut down his dear friend and stripped him of his armor, he went mad with grief, and in his rage he flung himself at the Trojan hosts, and brave men fell before him like blades of grass. But the spirit of Patroclus, who was being led away to the Underworld, saw him raving, and wept, for he could not bear his friend’s pain. ‘Please,’ he begged Hermes, conveyor of the dead, ‘let me go to him and comfort him; he is so grieved for love of me.’

“Hermes might not have heeded his prayers, for so many of the dead had made similar ones to him before, but silver-footed Thetis passed by at that moment, and she was touched by pity, for Patroclus and her son. And so she took the spirit of Patroclus by the hand and led him back to the camp of the Achaeans; but Achilles, who sat by his body and wept never-ceasing, could not see him.

“‘Oft have you and my son spent happy hours together in song,’ said Thetis. ‘This and no more can I give you: go and sing to him, and comfort him as you may.’ And the spirit of Patroclus, transformed into a nightingale, fluttered down to Achilles’ shoulder, and sang.

“‘You sing almost as sweetly as my dear friend,’ Achilles said to the bird sadly; ‘I would that he might hear you.’ The nightingale brushed his cheek with an outstretched wing, to wipe away his tears, and chirped until the mighty warrior smiled, his grief in some measure, however small, diminished.”

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
meretricula
Apr. 3rd, 2007 03:11 pm (UTC)
don't you wish you took Rome of Augustus with me, then? =P

(it sucks most of the time, don't worry. this assignment just bit me hard. because, um, achilles + patroclus = fake cousin love.)
athos_silvanus
Apr. 3rd, 2007 08:38 am (UTC)
Amen to that. lovely fic.
meretricula
Apr. 3rd, 2007 03:14 pm (UTC)
thank you!
no_sushi
Apr. 6th, 2007 07:32 pm (UTC)
Nice! And oh sooo platonic... (not what first comes into my head when I think of A/P xD)

On an unrelated note, go check Facebook! I left you a message before I realized that you rarely ever go there. And I'm finally connected to the Harvard network. *purrs*
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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