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It Was Agamemnon

In response to:

Fruits of the Loom from the June 26, 1997 issue

To the Editors:

Of course Chryseis doesn’t speak the lines about “plying the loom and sharing his bed” [NYR, June 26]. If Homer had been writing in the twentieth century, he might have given Chryseis something to say, but in the Iliad she is totally silent. The speaker is in fact Agamemnon (Iliad 1.31). So why didn’t I catch the mistake in proof? Here again I am tempted to quote Agamemnon: “I am not responsible, it was Zeus, and Fate, and the Fury shrouded-in-mist,” (Iliad 19. 86-87) with a little help from the copy-editor who revised my original text.
Mary Lefkowitz
Departments of Greek and Latin
Wellesley College
Wellesley, Massachusetts