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Nestor Checks on the Battle
Book 14 of The Iliad starts with the Achaean Nestor finishing up his care for the injured Machaon. Nestor grabs his son's shield and heads out to the battle. When he gets there, he sees that the Achaeans are losing. Nestor sees the ''Achaeans in retreat,'' and that the ''wall was breeched.'' He decides to go find Agamemnon and tell him what is happening with the battle.
Nestor Speaks to Agamemnon, Diomedes and Odysseus
Nestor tells Agamemnon ''What's happened so far is over, done with--not even high-thundering Zeus himself could make that something else--our wall is down. We put our faith in it as a firm defence for ships and for ourselves.'' Odysseus, who is also there, decides that they should not give up on the battle and tells Agamemnon. ''Son of Atreus, how can such words as these come from your mouth? / I wish you ruled some other army, some useless men, and were not our leader.''
These are pretty strong words, and Odysseus goes on to demand that they go into the battle. Agamemnon responds that Odysseus's words 'stung' him and says that he will go along with the plan. Since they are injured, Diomedes suggest that they go back and encourage the troops by shouting and encouraging them, rather than fighting physically. Everyone agrees.
Hera Seduces Zeus
When the men head out, the God Poseidon tells Agamemnon ''Troy's kings and leaders may yet make dust while scurrying over this wide plain, / while you watch them running to their city, / back from these huts.'' In other words, despite the fact that the battle is not going well, they may still win.
When Hera sees this, she thinks that it might upset Zeus, so she decides to try to distract him by seducing him. She asks Aphrodite for help seducing Zeus, and also appeals to the God, Sleep, and asks him to put Zeus in a deep sleep after she seduces him. He agrees. She prances off to seduce Zeus. Hera is successful with her scheme and leaves Zeus knocked out with the help of Sleep.
Hector is Wounded
When Sleep has done his job, he tells Poseidon that Zeus is asleep and now is the time to really push forward and help the Achaeans win. In the battle, the Trojan Hector throws his spear at Aias, but the spear hits him where the strap for his sword and the strap for his shield cross in front of chest. Since he is unharmed, Aias picks up a rock and nails Hector right below the neck. Hector's people take him away to rinse his wounds at a river. Things don't look good. When Hector wakes up, he vomits blood. Back on the battle field, the narrator describes the gore and violence of people being killed on both sides of the war.
Book 14 of The Iliad follows the story of Nestor speaking to Diomedes, Odysseus and Agamemnon about how the battle is going. Odysseus tells the group that they must return to the battle, even it is just to encourage the soldiers on the ground. Hera sees this happening and decides to help and distracts Zeus by seducing him. Back on the battle field, Hector gets hit with a large rock and is wounded. His comrades bring him to a river to rinse his wound.
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