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Book I

June 19, 2011
In the war of Troy, the Greeks having sacked some of the neighbouring
towns, and taken from thence two beautiful captives, Chryseis and Briseis,
allotted the first to Agamemnon, and the last to Achilles. Chryses, the
father of Chryseis, and priest of Apollo, comes to the Grecian camp to
ransom her; with which the action of the poem opens, in the tenth year of
the siege. The priest being refused, and insolently dismissed by
Agamemnon, entreats for vengeance from his god; who inflicts a pestilence
on the Greeks. Achilles calls a council, and encourages Chalcas to declare
the cause of it; who attributes it to the refusal of Chryseis. The king,
being obliged to send back his captive, enters into a furious contest with
Achilles, which Nestor pacifies; however, as he had the absolute command
of the army, he seizes on Briseis in revenge. Achilles in discontent
withdraws himself and his forces from the rest of the Greeks; and
complaining to Thetis, she supplicates Jupiter to render them sensible of
the wrong done to her son, by giving victory to the Trojans. Jupiter,
granting her suit, incenses Juno: between whom the debate runs high, till
they are reconciled by the address of Vulcan.

The time of two-and-twenty days is taken up in this book: nine during the
plague, one in the council and quarrel of the princes, and twelve for
Jupiter's stay with the Æthiopians, at whose return Thetis prefers her
petition. The scene lies in the Grecian camp, then changes to Chrysa, and
lastly to Olympus.
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