Three “Codes” Of A Greek Warrior

932 words - 4 pages

Homer?s The Iliad is a story that takes place during the war between the Greeks and the Trojans. The story is told mainly from the side of the Greeks and therefore serves as a perfect display of the 3 ?Codes? of a Greek warrior. These are the Codes of Hospitality, Battle, and Household. The Greek warriors are strict upon themselves in upholding the codes as it is one of their values, and it is evident as many examples of these ?Codes? frequently appear throughout the story.The first of the three is the Code of Hospitality, which requires the host to provide every need and desire for his guests. The Greeks fulfill this requirement time and time again without exception. With every meeting that takes place between two characters, the host always supplies for his guest or guests regardless of whether it be a friend or foe. When Priam goes to Akhilleus to beg for the body of his dead son, Akhilleus immediately says to Priam, ?Come, then, and sit down. We?ll probe our wounds no more but let them rest, though grief lies heavy on us.? (148). Akhilleus is welcoming Priam and offers him a chair and rest above all other orders of business, and although Priam refuses, the code is still upheld as Akhilleus at least makes the gesture. Even after Akhilleus accomplishes Priam?s wish to have Hector?s body returned, he still displays generosity as he says, ?As you wished, sir, the body of your son is now set free?Now let us think of supper.? (150). Akhilleus meets his visitor?s request and still offers him supper as is stated in the Code of Hospitality. However the Code of Hospitality also declares that an exchange of gifts between host and company should occur. As the Gods counsel about the situation over Hector?s corpse, Zeus decrees that, ?Akhilleus is to take fine gifts from Priam, and in return give back Prince Hektor?s body.? (136). When the actual exchange occurs, Akhilleus? officers take ?the piled-up price of Hektor?s body? and in return Akhilleus orders ?(Hektor?s) body bathed and rubbed with oil?Then with his own hands lifting him, Akhilleus (lays) him upon a couch? (150).When away in combat, the Greeks are still able to maintain honor and great valor by upholding their Code of Battle. The Code dictates that as a priority all dead should have proper burial. This instance is evident in Book 7 as the warriors break from battle, and ?The dead are buried during a truce.? (53). This example shows how much respect the fighters have for their fallen comrades as they enter a respite in order to hold proper burial for their deceased. The second condition of the Code of Battle is that friends and relatives are not to fight...

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