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At the start of Book 12 of The Iliad, the Trojans decide to charge the Achaean walls and defenses. The city is well-protected, and the Achaeans, who are really the Greeks, even dug a ditch around the wall to make it more difficult for the Trojans to attack. Despite all this effort, we are told that ''they'd built it without sanction from immortal gods - they'd made no splendid offering, no sacrifices to the gods.'' In other words, this really strong wall is doomed.
Hector decides to lead the attack against the city, but when his horses reach the trench, they are too afraid to continue because it is too wide to jump over. Polydamas tells Hector that it is not a good idea to try to cross the trench with the horses. Polydamas argues that everyone will get hurt if they try to jump over it, and that the best idea would be to get off the horses and cross the trench on foot. Hector agrees, and he leads the Trojans forward.
The Bird and the Snake
As Hector and Polydamas rush forward with their troops, an eagle flies over them. The eagle is carrying a large red snake in its talons. The snake is still alive, and it bites the eagle on the neck. The eagle drops the snake in the middle of the troops. They are worried, and believe that ''it was a sign, a powerful omen, from aegis-bearing Zeus.''
Polydamas tells Hector that since the eagle failed to get the snake back to its nest, it means that they too will fail in their mission against the Achaeans. This angers Hector, who tells Polydamas that it is stupid to put faith in a bird. The only true omen is to ''fight for your country.'' Hector doesn't stop there: he tells Polydamas that if he prevents others from going into battle or if he himself runs from the war, ''then you'll die, struck by my spear.'' Hector walks away, and he and his troops start ripping the wall apart.
Success for the Trojans
The Achaeans put up a fierce battle, and throw so many stones at the Trojans that it seems as though it is snowing. Menestheus, a fighter for the Achaeans, sends a messenger to ask Telamonian Ajax and Teucer to join him in defending his section of the wall. The two soldiers kill as many Trojans as possible.
Despite this, Sarpedon, an ally of the Trojans, rips up a section of the wall. The two opposing forces fight at the breach until Hector comes along and throws a rock at the gates, shattering them and allowing all the Trojan soldiers to flood in.
In Book 12 of The Iliad, the Trojans are standing at the wall of the Achaean people. The wall is well-built, but since the Achaeans did not make an offering to the gods to ask for help with the wall, it is doomed to fall.
At first, the Trojans want to charge the wall, but they cannot get their horses to jump over the trench. An eagle flies overhead and drops a snake into the crowd of soldiers. Polydamas tries to convince Hector that this is a bad sign and he should turn back. Hector disregards this, and the Trojans charge the wall. Sarpedon finally tears up a section of the wall, then Hector shatters the gates, allowing the Trojans to charge in.
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