"So, class, in the Iliad, we see the hero Diomedes, with Athena's help, is able to actually injure Ares. What conclusions can we draw from this passage?"
Clearly, Ares is less of a man than he thinks himself to be. Athena said from off to my right, her Aegis shining too brightly in the fluorescent lighting of the classroom.
Woman! You dare insult me? I will crush you! Ares boomed from the other side of the classroom, his armor and weapons imposing.
"Is it that this demonstrates the importance of heroes within the context of the story?"
"Well, Greg, that's one way to put it, yes. Are there any other interpretations we can apply?" I said. Stepping between the two deities before they tried to obliterate each other.
Perhaps that the glorious Athena needs men to fight her battles. How many heroes do you use, unwilling to fight for yourself, woman? Ares growled, a wicked smile underneath his thick beard.
Unlike you, Athena drew herself up, still far short of her uncle's stature. I am a leader. I don't need to swing a sword when others will do as I command.
"What about the nature of the fight itself?" Ray began. "The gods almost always fight it out through mortals, anyway. Maybe because they're fighting on Earth mortal weapons are more potent. Sure, Diomedes doesn't have the strength to hurt Ares by himself, but Athena does. If the battle were to take place on Olympus, would Diomedes be able to hurt Ares, even with Athena's help?"
"That's a good analysis. It's hard to say for sure as we don't have many myths where full-out battles happen between the gods. Usually Zeus steps in to prevent that kind of chaos."
If I did not, all of Olympus would destroy itself. Kingly Zeus sat in an empty seat, looking remarkably like Laurence Olivier from Clash of the Titans. He also ogled one of my students in a low-cut top.
"Are there any other comments on what we read?"
Clearly wisdom trumps wars. Athena couldn't let it rest. Ares bristled with anger, sneaking a glance at Zeus.
The class went silent, recognizing a wrap-up when they heard it.
"All right. On Monday we'll be doing Aphrodite—"
I'm so looking forward to that. Aphrodite said in my ear as her hand trailed down my back. I had to suppress a shiver.
"—so make sure you do the reading. Remember next week we begin our section on the Norse gods."
Truly we were growing impatient while the Greeks have monopolized the time. Odin tapped his spear to the ground while Thor and Freya looked on.
You know, Thor, I think that fellow Ares shares a certain oafishness with you. Loki said.
At least someone else out there can be clever, Athena smiled.
"Have a good weekend, everyone."
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