The Iliad 3, Helen and Priam have a view of the battlefield of the Trojan war from the walls of the city of troy. In this text, a representation of the past, present and future of troy is represented in the conversations and descriptions that are made.
The past of Troy is indicated by the reference to the past heroes of the war, and the passage indicates on how they made sacrifices in the war. There is mention panthoos, Thymoites, Lampos, Klytios and hiketaon who is said to be a descendant (scion) of Ares. These individuals are said to be men of wise counsel, and this may be taken to imply that they had witnessed the war. It is also mentioned that they were the men who had served in the war since it is said that they had sat in the tower, perhaps the tower in the city of troy during the war. As such, they represent the past as they had participated in the war in capacity as soldiers.
The passage also makes a mention of the fact that these men were at one point the chief men of troy, implying that they played a key role in the war as leaders of the army or chief advisors to those that were conducting the war. It is thus realistic to conclude that since they had served in chief capacities in Troy, they represent that past. The fact that these men were chief individuals in troy may not actually mean that their importance was only during the war, they may have been men of importance in the City of Troy before the war, and thus the allusion to their wise counsel since such level of knowledge would require experience in many matters, not limited to the war. This would be indicative of an allusion to the past of Troy, before the start of the war and during the war, where they must have offered their counsel as to the conduct of the war since their wise counsel is even acknowledged in the Iliad.
These men are said to be in their old age, according to the Iliad, and this means that at some point these men were young, a representation of the past of Troy. “Yet they were excellent speakers still” indicates that the skill of speech was a talent that they had been in possession for many years, thus the allusion still. This is a representation of the past of Troy, a past when those men had acquired the skill that they were in possession still.
There is an indication in the Iliad of the suffering that the Trojans had suffered, perhaps through the period of the war. These hardships that the Trojans had suffered through were a representation of the past of the city of Troy, especially the past period of the City when the war had ranged.
The Iliad 3 also makes an allusion to the past through reference to the start of the war. The start of the war, representing the past, is blamed on the gods who it is claimed misled the Trojans to the sorrowful war against the Achaians. This is a representation of the past of the Troy since it seems that they regret the start of the war, and the sorrowful cost that it had on the people of Troy.
The Iliad 3 also represents that present. Its setting is on the present, the men are described to be in their old age. This is perhaps is a representation of the current state of Troy at which the people are tired of the war, and look back at the past with regret of ever getting into the war with their enemies, the Achaians. These men in the Iliad 3 are said to be no longer involved in fighting, representing their present state. Their inaction during the war represents the present of Troy as at that time, when the people of Troy were already tired of the war and were actually looking back and realising that the war had actually been very costly and sorrowful to the people of Troy.
The Iliad 3 describes the approach of Helen to the men of wise counsel, and the conversation that ensues indicates the present of the Trojan city was the point of discussion. An enquiry to the identity of the Achaian man who was of great power and stature is made to Helen, and she and she answers that it is Atreus, a king a good spearman. This indicates that these wise men of Troy were perhaps looking for a way to bring to an end the sorrowful war which the city had been fighting for so many years.
The present state of Troy is also shown in Iliad 3 through the mention of the sorrowful times that the men were going through. It indicates that at that point, the current state of Troy was very bad, and the regrets that the men have regarding the start of the war with the Achaians is confirmation to this. By blaming the gods for misleading them to a sorrowful war, it means that at that point the war was not going on to the advantage of the Trojans, rather, they were suffering as a result and were seeking ways of making an end to the fighting that was occurring in the battlefield.
The reference to the gallantry of the Achaians also indicates the present of the Trojans. That they could appreciate the bravery of a soldier of an enemy army which they were fighting against is indicative of the present state of their own ranks; that they lacked the same bravery and gallantry within their own ranks, and that the war was going terribly against them. It is also an indication that the Trojans had at that point accepted defeat, and were mulling their chances of making peace with the gallant leader of the army which they regret ever having started a war with.
Another indication of the present sorrowful state of the city of Troy that can be seen from the Iliad 3 is the reference by the old men to the fact that they gods are to blame for that war and not the Achaians that they are fighting against. The old men make an appreciation that their enemies suffer from the same pains that their people also undergo.
The Iliad 3 represents the future of the city of Troy. The description of the old men is one such indirect reference to the future of Troy. That they are old indicates that in the future, the city would miss their wise counsel. A focus on the Iliad is made on the past that they had enjoyed as fighters in the tower, and hoe they had grown old to be men of wise counsel. This indicates that the people of Troy will be lacking leadership should the end of those men come.
The Old men of wise counsel make an indication that they do not blame their actions and those of the people of Troy to go to war on their selves, rather, they blame the gods who they accuse of having misled them. This indicates a future to which the city of Troy have no power to control their future. It indicates that as they blame the gods for their past actions, their future is also dependent on powers beyond their control. It may be taken to mean that the future of the city at that point was well beyond their control and very unpredictable.
The old men of wise counsel in Iliad 3 make an inquiry to the approaching Helen on the name of the brave warrior of the enemy, and are informed that it is the king and leader. This is a portrayal of the future of Troy, where there would be a leader of the city who would not be a native of the city. This means that the future of the city would be under a leadership which had conquered them. They would have a future under a regime which would have defeated them at the war.
The wise old men in Iliad 3 make a point of regretting the sorrowful war. The fact that they are sorrowful from the events of the war, it is indicative of the end of the war which from the conversation seems to be set to occur sooner. In this Iliad, the future of the city of Troy is pronounced; that it would soon be under the governance of a ruler who will conquer it.
One old man makes a supplication for the blessing of the leader and king of the enemy army, and prays for their fortune those who are under him. This is a representation of the future, since it is plausible that the old man knows that the people of the city of Troy will be conquered and be placed under the leadership of the king of the conquering army. As a result, the people of the city of Troy will be subjects of this new leadership, and the payer for good fortune for those under the leadership of the man represents that wish of the old men that even under a future of captivity would be of good fortune even to the people of the city of Troy.
In conclusion, it can be argued that indeed the Iliad 3 represents the past, the present and the future of the people of the city of troy. The Iliad 3, though not directly but through a myriad of representations and references and allusions to individuals and events makes a very good representation of the history, current situation and the future of the city of Troy.
Mueller, Martin. 1984. The Iliad. London: Allen & Unwin.
Powell, Barry B. 2004. Homer. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell.
Seaford, Richard. 1994. Reciprocity and Ritual. Oxford: Oxford University Press.