In front of Wilhusa
During the whole day, from sunrise to sunset, there had been this infernal noise of weapons, armours and helmets clashing one upon the other. It had begun before dawn, when the red disk of the sun rose above the peaks of mount Ida and sent its first rays down at the plain where the two armies stood one against the other waiting each for the other to begin and for the sun and enough light to beginn the slaughter. As soon as the day broke, the soldiers fell one upon the other with loud cries to inspire awe in the other. Then, suddenly, after these first noisy moments of the battle everything turned so silent that you could hear the clanging of metal upon metal, the heavy breathing of the warriors, the dumb clash of the bodies falling to earth followed by the deep moanings of the dying. From time to time there arouse again shouts or coarse songs from the young soldiers trying to encourage one another. Contrary to the richly clad aristocracy, the heroes, who were being carried far behind the fighting lines on their richly adorn chariots, parading their golden and silver armour, the fighters were only clod in loins or even battling stark naked. The simple soldiers could not afford much armor, they were branding sticks, hacks or when specially favoured, short swords of a metall not expensive to weld. The hardest metall then available was iron, which could only be welded by iron mongers of the high mountains of hattusa who sold their unique weapons to unique prices. To the common folk, the pressed peasants, the soldners, expensive weapons which had to be bought individually by each fighter were not affordable. They were driven forward into quite sure death by the wipes of the sergeants in their back. Here fought very young scouts, some of them mere children, who were lightly clad and nimble enough to slide and crouch below the spears of the heavily armed infantry to drive a breach in the ranks of the enemies phalanxes, to allow riders or chariots to break into the ranks of the heavily armoured infantry, made up of members of the lower aristocracy or free peasants who had had the means of buying themselves the expensive armour, the long spears of iron which they held horizontally before them, part to keep the enemy from them, part to hinder the scouts to evade. The riders flanked by the chariots awaited their turn to enter the war, to be able to attack the enemy when their phalanx was becoming more vulnerable. In their heavy equipment, they were not as nimble as the scouts and would not achieve much against heavily armed enemies. To batter up the ar mement of the enemy was the duty of the lightly armed and therefore nimble scouts. Of course the enemy had also scouts, who tried to hinder the foremarch of the enemy´s scouts. Scouts had to be small and agile to glide between the enemies ranks, crouching on the earth below them. It was very hot from the beginning of the day. Under the scorching sun, many of the heavy armed infantry men lost conscience while waiting and fell down onto the earth. There was an odor of sweat, alcohol, decaying flesh and foul water all over the place, as the day progressed without that any of the combatting forces could gain any substantial victory over the other. As the scouts could not gain terrain, some waggon warriors had proceeded to the front trying serveral times to split the rank of the enemy warriors and had always been beaten back. Now the sun was going down.
The battle was going on as planned by the Trojans. The previous days had elapsed more or less without tangible results. There had been skirmishes of the big chiefs between themselves. But the most important chief, Achilles, the most powerful ally of Agamemnon and the cuckold Menelaos, was absent, since several days he stayed drunk, sulking in the tents by the ships. There had been an usual skirmish over some nice young priestess which had been ravished. The skirmish had swollen, up to a demonstration of might and strength, threatening the leader position of Agamemnon and now Achilles, as the less influential had had to give up his girl. He didn´t take it as sports, he just retired himself together with his Myrmidons from the allied Mykenese forces and sat in his tent, playing dices with Patroclos and sulking since several days. Achilles was the best built hero of Greece, in his strength up to his father and on his beauty after his mother, the nice mermaid Chriseis, herself a daughter of Zeus and as she thought Aphrodice, also this was strongly objected by Hera who pretended that her mother was a mere chambermaid, albeit, she conceded for her husband and indirecty also her interest, so beautiful to submit all men. Achilles was like his presomptive grandfather, who never stood in society to his illegitimate daughter not to anger his all to vindicative wife, a little to straighthardy, for his social standing, and was accustemed to it that his whims would be taken serious by the leaders.
During the last days Achilles sat sulkening in his tent, there had been show offs of the of the knights of both camps, duells that attracted a lot of watchers. Both armies were big and several days had to elapse till they were mobilized, during these days happened the duels, which attracted the people.
You were not yet very choosy concerning the simple soldier, at these times. The footsoldiers were the ones who clutched together first. The were the shields or rather a kind of moving wall between the two armies protecting the noble heroes standing upon their fight carts. The phalanx was invented quite later on by they Athenian citizen army, who for political purposes refreigned from using slaves. The front rows had the purpose of holding back the enemy as long as possible so that the cavalier or waggon fighters in the hind rows
were protected from the cavaliers still fighting in the enthusisasm of the beginning of the day, they had the task to brake the first waves of the attack of the enemy. Because they had to be very flexible, they were only lightly armoured or not armoured at all and they were slaves or serves, amongst the poorest who could not afford an armour and very young mostly near chilrens.
Now, the soldiers of both camps were assembled. These skirmishes, not beetween the important ones, as the real heroes wanted to remain in best condition for the forthcoming battle, had contributed to bring all the most important battling forces into the plain, even if it was more or less for reasons of pure . But now, as the leaders realised that their armies were assembled, they concluded that something had to happen to bring some push into the actions which lay dormants since the beginning of Achilles sulking. The leading kings of the Mykenese league had realised that they had lost ground through these skirmishes, some of the strongest of the nobility had ventured too far and the enemy, the troops from Troy were becoming too bold. The leaders of the Mykenes contacted Prince Patroclos, the right hand and closest friend of Achilles, as their embassy to Achilles who succeeded persuading the sulking king to let him wear his armours, and fight instead of him with some of the Myrmidons against the Trojan army. Most important was that the enemy was frightened because he thought that the strongest ally of the Mykenes was fighting again. So now was one of the crucial battles, the Troyans were pushed back mostly because they dreaded Patroklos fighting in Achilles golden armours made by the God Hephaistion himself.
As said the infantry soldiers at the front were very young, most of them mere boys, from poverty stricken freemen families or even serves or slaves forced to fight for their master. They were sparsely clad, in mere loins, barefoot and with no armouries to protect their body. They were sent before the battle front of the armoured warriors to disturb the enemies´ warrior ranks running between their legs and attacking in spot before trying to run away. Boys still had the recklessness of the person who has nothing to lose which was missing with the grown warriors having some possessions to and a family to defend. The very young boys were able to run between the legs and hampered the fighting strength of the enemy as everybody has scruples slashing on generally weaker enemies. But their death scroll was very high as they were without protection. The war lasted now for several month and by now both the agressor and the defensor used children as scouts, as they were cheaper to hire as grown soldiers and in this early stage of the war nothing was decided yet, you just needed people who could be slaughtered. In the front row you had no chance whatsoever to survive. Soon after the assault the small bodies were lying scattered on the fields, dead or severely injured.
In the war poems like that sung by our bard Homer, they are never mentioned, these young scouts, who were driven by slave drivers into the enemy lines and were used as baits, but in fact they were the ones whose skills decided about defeat or victory. When the war proceeded to the back rows were Prince Hector or the great Achilles were watching and giving their orders, the initial hate, strength and fervours of the soldiers had worn out, driven out by the scorching heat of the sun, the thirst of the warriors usually clenched by strong alcohols, the energy of the flames which had driven the battle at its initial in the morning mists had changed into the heat of the glut. Now was the time for the heroes, fighting on their chariots according to rule which had been elaborated through the centuries by their ancestors to preserve the life of the most valuable being in a monarchy, the king and his family and closest knights. The realistic heroes, they sent baits to be killed and knew of course of every ruse to save their lives to be able in their old age to talk of their deeds to their nephews, like Nestor in his big palace.
On this memorable day we pick out of all the 3650 days this war was to last, while Achilles lay sulkening in the shade of his tent near the ships, the sun had been scorching since it had risen and the heavenly armored warriors were feeling like sausages being grilled, their bodies packed into their iron armours, sweating while carrying their heavy arms; which they wouldn´t leave because they were to precious, and allowed them to protect their lives much better than the poor at the front. They had bought this shield, this armoured shirt, this lance at a high price, had maybe taken up some credit, to avoid being placed in the front rows. They wouldn´t have the money to buy a second set and anyhow, armours were scarcely available and only to a high price in these years of war.
By noon some of them were so doozy that they had fallen down to earth and would have been an easy prey for the enemies if they hadn´t been picked up by their faithful slaves and put on their feet again to be able to throw the javelot and stretch the long lance before them. They were the second row to be involved in the fight, much before the princely heroes of the Illias which sat on stools far behind, far away from the tumult and noise of the battlefield, under trees bordering the river Xanthus, the famous, whose God could become so angry that he ate the soldier in his angryness, already inventing their battle deeds while they watched as the slave drivers drove their young scouts into the front of the enemy. On this day, the valiant and beautiful, fair haired and blue eyed Achilles slept and dreamt that his beloved Patroclos was caressing him, when he awoke in the evening he could not see the walls of royal Troj, could not watch like the old king how Patroclos claid in the armours of Achilles was climbing up to the battlements of Troy and would have taken the city 9 years before the Gods planned it. If the Gods hand not intervened and given some strength back to Herkules, who chased Patroclos back, down the walls and towards the ships of the Mykenes together with his Myrmidons and the other Hellenes, killed him under a tree and chased the whole army back to the ships, Troj would have been taken by a mere subject and not by king Odysseus. He was not on the battle field, combatting, was the hero, he slept and woke only when the beaten and chased Hellenes came running into the ships´ camps closely followed by the now winning trojan soldiers. Only it's red hot disc sitting just down on top of the beach were the ships of the myrmidons were stacked high on wooden sticks, she looms over the great salt water and her disk dives deeper and deeper into the black sea.
In this scarce light, a small, dark-haired boy continues his way towards the dark walls of the town looming oppressively at the edge of the plain before the surrounding high mountains covered in mist. He proceeds very slowly, very circumspectly, trying to avoid the armoured men who are still scattered around discussing the day and what they want to make later on before going back to their quarters and the camp fires around which the small groups of the surviving scouts are gathering. Not an hour ago had he crossed Phaidos, the strongest of all the young scout warriors fighting in the plain before Troy. This boy had been of the enemies of Phaidos, a member of Achilles troup who had fought Hector the whole day to try to kill him for him having killed his best friend, Patroklos. He was Patroklos´page and Phaidos tried to take the weapons he was carrying from him, the warrior axt, shield and the helm of Achilleus, which Hector had stripped of the dead body of Patroklos, to save them for Achilleus who was sulking besides his ships and did not even know that his lover had been killed, had been slain so cowardly by Hector, or was it thanks to an arrow sent by Paris laying in an ambush. Our small hero is Aleksandr, he being the youngest of all the troyans around Hector, whom it befell to bring Patroklos arms back to Troya. Phaidos was to kill him and bring Patroklos arms back to Achilles who as I said was sitting sulking besides his ships. Upon seeing this wonderful boy with his blue-green eyes, his fin
e traits, his slender body and his wonderful smile, Phaidos, who loved beautiful people be they women or men couldn't do what he had in mind because Amor, for this time an ally of mars, hit him by one of his arrows and he fell in love with aleksandre the instant he saw him and from this moment on was his slave. Far away in the clouds Mars laughed delighted, looking at Aphrodite while Pallas Athena was thinking hard to find a reason to try to pay him back. It was deep in the night already, the stars had risen. Through the whole day there had been the terrible clash of metal banging upon metal, the cries of the wounded young warriors who were dying without a proper healing, the smell of the dead bodies and of the detritus the freightened children soldiers were issuing beholding their death face to face and of woman crying for their dead Hero to not let them alone. Now it was quiet all upon the scorched heath stretching itself far from the beaches to the walls of great town. Soldiers were licking their wounds, looking for the corpes of their dead comrades or enemies, from which they could retrieve armours, weapons to be able to subsist on the next day, and gold which enables one to buy some pleasure in these dire times. Sometime they stood for a long time before the corpse of a lost comrade, mourned for him because they had not been able to safe him who had saved their live on a previous occasion, and mourned them. But not for too long, the war was still on, also on small fire because everybody was dead tired still nobody could be sure of an enemy would cruise up the next moment and put an end to the mourners' life. In different places on the battlefield there arouse fires, the fidel servants or the wives and children of the dead heroes had found his corpse and wanted to give him a last goodbye and give him the best possibilities to defend himself when he should be judged by the Gods.
The dark-haired boy, Aleksandr, was the son of Aleksandr of Troy, then married to the heiress of the town and daughter of King Priamos. She had prayed to her father, Zeus, to punish this human who had angered her son Achilleus, by slaying his best friend, when he thought he could punish Agammemnon who had privied him of a nice plaything ,
sulkiing at his ships while the
Troyans attacked the Greek camp. When Aleksandr had witnessed, hidden behind a bush, how Patroklos fell and Hector in his ATE grabbed all his armours and weapons from him and pulled the wonderful body of Patroklos behind his cart, 10 times around the City Walls of Troy, Aleksandr had suddenly thought of an old oracle his father had got, years ago, at Delphi, that he would reign over the biggest Hittite town with the armours, weapons, shield and helm of his most known enemy. He had at once realised that his duty was to fulfill this part of the oracle.
His part was no fruitfully one. Pallas had become terribly angry. Had appeared to Phaidos frightened to death. And in his awe and fear from her, Phaidos could do nothing else then to kill Aleksandr in an ambush and bring the weapons back to the camp of the Myrmidones, throwing them to the feet of Achilleus'. But the Myrmidons and Pallas Athena were to be forfaided another time. Amor´s arrow stuck Phaidos in the middle of his heart. Crouching in his ambush, he heard the birdlike voice of the young Aleksandr singing a praise to Apollo. Touched in heart and ears, he looked up, directly into the candid blue-green big eyes of Aleksandr.
And his destiny was played. He fell to the feet of Aleksandr and confessed him all the bad acts he had thought to do to him. "But now" he continued, "as I have heard Apollos voice and seen into Aphrodites eyes, I cannot do you any harm. You must be the herold of the Gods."
I had the idea to harm you. But now ..... kill me, take me as your slave for the meanest duties. " Aleksandros had always been a good human. He knelt down so that he was at the same height as Phaidos and gave him a kiss, full on his fleshy lips, while tearing his trousers down and giving him a mocking thrash on both backcheeks with his hands. Here I have to become mute because his very loins are now is being caressed by Phaidos hands. But from now on Phaidos followed him everywhere and the two of them became friends.
Though all the weapons of Achill which Patroklos had worn were stolen in the dark night by this brat and Phaidos the valiant warrior of Achilles helped him to carry them into the town of Priamos.
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