The Code of the Aristocracy Achilles is far from being the only hero of the Iliad. There are brilliant separate episodes involving other great heroes–Ajax, Diomedes, Odysseus, Amphilochus, Sarpedon, Aeneas, Hector, and Idomeneus, whose exploits I described in the previous section. The name for these episodes is aristeia—from the Greek word meaning best—the moment of glory. In these scenes we can get a glimpse of a basic principle of Greek morality that will last until the end of antiquity: the pursuit of excellence. In Book VI, as I have already mentioned, the young Lycian warrior Glaucus tells Diomedes, tells him...
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