The wrath sing, goddess, of Peleus' son,
Achilles, that destructive wrath which
brought countless woes upon the Achaeans,
and sent forth to Hades many valiant souls
of heroes, and made them themselves spoil
for dogs and every bird; thus the plan of
Zeus came to fulfillment, [5] from the time
when first they parted in strife Atreus'
son, king of men, and brilliant Achilles.
Who then of the gods was it that brought
these two together to contend? The son of
Leto and Zeus; for he in anger against the
king roused throughout the host an evil
pestilence, and the people began to perish,
[10] because upon the priest Chryses the son
of Atreus had wrought dishonour.


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Tell me, O Muse, of the man of many devices,
who wandered full many ways after he had
sacked the sacred citadel of Troy. Many were
the men whose cities he saw and whose mind
he learned, aye, and many the woes he
suffered in his heart upon the sea, [5]
seeking to win his own life and the return
of his comrades. Yet even so he saved not
his comrades, though he desired it sore, for
through their own blind folly they
perished--fools, who devoured the kine of
Helios Hyperion; but he took from them the
day of their returning. [10] Of these
things, goddess, daughter of Zeus, beginning
where thou wilt, tell thou even unto us.

  Map of Greece     The Greek peninsula, Europe's southeastern tip, occupies an area of 131,944 square kilometres, and consists of mainland Greece (Attica, Peloponnese, Sterea Ellada, Thessaly, Epirus, Macedonia [Central, Western, & Eastern], Thrace) and the islands of the Aegean and Ionian seas.

   Geographically, it belongs to Europe, since it forms the most southerly extremity of the Balkan peninsula, but it has another special link to Europe through the cluster of Ionian islands which form a chain off Greece's western shores, in the Ionian sea.

   In contrast there are numerous islands in the Aegean sea, some isolated like Crete in the South, and some in groups like the islands of the Northeast Aegean, the Sporades, the Cyclades, and the Dodecanese.

   The Cyclades consist of 39 islands of which only 24 are inhabited. The Sporades lie off the eastern shores of mainland Greece and Euboea (Evia) and retain their genuine island characteristics and unchanged local traditions.

   The Dodecanese group consists of twelve major islands and a number of smaller ones, each with its own distinctive features and peculiarities. Finally, the Saronic Gulf which is the stretch of sea linking the shores of Attica to those of the Peloponnese, contains another group of small islands which adds its own colour to the general surroundings.

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