Astynome "Chryseis"

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Astynome "Chryseis"

Also Known As: "Cressida"
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Chryses, priest of Apollo
Partner of Agamemnon, king of Mycenae
Mother of Chryses "the Younger"

Managed by: Justin Swanstrom (taking a break)
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Astynome "Chryseis"

We are therefore given to understand that Odysseus weeps because he is deeply ashamed of himself. He had obviously something terrible on his conscience, but what could that be ? A first clue is given in the very beginning of the Iliad where Homer tells us that in the final year of the war the plague was raging in the Achaean camp. The warriors believed that the epidemic was caused by the black magic of a Trojan priest of Apollo, whose daughter, Chryseis, had been kidnapped by the Achaeans and given to their leader Agamemnon. Although Agamemnon was forced by the army to return the girl to her father, the problem of the epidemic was certainly not solved. As the number of his warriors quickly dwindled, Agamemnon offered towns, gold and women to persuade his estranged ally Achilles - and his troops which had remained on the sidelines for some time - to return to the battlefield. But Achilles refused, and the army was under increasing pressure to take Troy before most of its warriors had died of the plague. Since the Trojans were apparently not affected by the disease, the balance of fighting power was increasingly tipped in their favour. At that crucial moment in the war, the wily Odysseus must have pondered how to transmit the plague to the Trojans. After all, it was unfair of the gods to punish the Achaeans with the disease, but not the Trojans. Since those who had died from the plague were cremated on pyres of wood as was Celtic custom, - which in the circumstances was a wise custom indeed - he conceived the idea of constructing a pyre in the shape of a wooden horse on wheels to contain the bodies of the victims of the disease. He let it be known in the enemy camp that the horse was empty and built as an offering to Athene. When the troops were subsequently ordered to burn their huts and take to the sea, simulating a sudden departure home, Odysseus would have two possibilities of winning the war: the first possibility was that the Trojans would put fire to the wooden horse standing in the plain during a religious ceremony dedicated to Athene, discovering too late that there were dead bodies inside. In the opinion of the superstitious and god-fearing people of the time, this error was sure to bring the anger of the gods over the Trojans. The Celts used to offer living humans and animals to their gods, while sacrificing dead bodies was considered as the worst of insults to the Immortals. If that were to happen, the gods would somehow make the Trojans pay dearly for it, thus enhancing the chances of the Achaeans.