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Greeks in Aulis

When all the ships of the Greeks gathered again in Aulis, the Greeks pulled their ships ashore. A huge military camp was formed on the shore. Many heroes did not stay in Avlida. They returned home. The leader of the entire army, King Agamemnon, also left Aulida. No one knew when it would be possible to march against Troy again. But what about the Greeks? They need a guide who would show them the way to the shores of Troy. Only could have pointed them to this pathThe phone, with which the Greeks fought only recently. During the battle, he was wounded by a Telephone Achilles in the thigh. No matter how he treated his wound, nothing helped. The wound hurt more and more, the pain became unbearable. Finally, exhausted by suffering, he went to Delphi and there asked Apollo how to heal his wound. The Pythia gave the answer that only the one who wounded him can heal the Telephus. Dressed in rags, on crutches, under the guise of a beggar, Telephus came to Mycenae to the palace of Agamemnon; he decided to ask the king of Mycenae to persuade Achilles to heal the wound. Agamemnon's wife was the first to see the Telephone, Clytemnestra. He revealed to her who he was, and Clytemnestra advised Telephus, when Agamemnon entered, to take the baby out of the cradle Orestes, the son of Agamemnon, run up to the altar and threaten that he will smash Orestes' head on the altar if Agamemnon refuses to help him heal from his wound. Telephus did as Clytemnestra told him. Agamemnon was afraid that he would kill his son Telephus. He agreed to help him and did it willingly, knowing that only a Telephone could show the Greeks the way to Troy. Agamemnon sent envoys for Achilles. Achilles was surprised, he could not understand how he could heal the wound of a Surgeon without knowing the art of medicine. But the wisest of heroes Odysseus told Achilles that Achilles did not need to be a doctor, that Achilles would heal the wound with iron from the tip of the spear with which the wound was inflicted on Telephus. Immediately they scraped iron from Achilles' spear, sprinkled Telephus' wound, and the wound healed. The Phone was delighted. He agreed, as a reward for healing, to lead the Greek fleet to the Trojan shores, which he had previously so stubbornly refused. A guide was now found, but still the Greeks from Aulis could not sail: there was a contrary wind at sea all the time. This wind was sent by the goddess Artemis, angry at Agamemnon for killing her sacred doe. The heroes waited in vain for the wind to change - it did not weaken, it blew all the time in the same direction. The assembled heroes were bored in inaction. Diseases began in the camp, murmurs rose among the soldiers. They were even afraid of their uprising. Finally, the soothsayer Kalkhas announced to the leaders of the Greeks:

Iphigenia is sacrificed
Iphigenia is sacrificed. In the middle, two servants carry Iphigenia, to the right - Calchas, to the left - Agamemnon, at the top - Artemis with a bow and a deer sent by her.
(Wall painting from Pompeii.)

- Only then will the goddess Artemis have mercy on the Greeks when the beautiful daughter of Agamemnon is sacrificed to her Iphigenia.

Agamemnon was saddened when he found out about it, returning to Aulis. He was even ready to completely abandon the campaign near Troy, just to save his daughter's life. It took a long time to convince him Menelaus submitted to the will of Artemis; finally, Agamemnon yielded to his brother's requests and sent a messenger to Mycenae to Clytemnestra, who was supposed to inform her, hiding the real reason, of Agamemnon's command to bring Iphigenia to Aulis - Achilles allegedly wants to get engaged to Iphigenia before setting out on a campaign. Agamemnon sent a messenger to Mycenae, and his pity for his daughter became even stronger. Secretly, he sent another messenger to whom he told Clytemnestra not to take Iphigenia to Aulis. But this second messenger was intercepted by Menelaus. In anger, he reproached Agamemnon for doing what only someone who betrays the common cause can do. Menelaus reproached Agamemnon for a long time. A heated argument arose between the brothers. This dispute was interrupted by a messenger who came, announcing that Clytemnestra had just arrived at the camp of the Greeks with Iphigenia and little Orestes and stopped near the spring near the camp itself.

Agamemnon became desperate. Was he destined by fate to lose his dearly beloved daughter Iphigenia, would he himself have to lead her to death, to the slaughter at the altar of Artemis? Seeing the grief of his brother, even Menelaus is ready to refuse such a sacrifice on the part of his brother. But Agamemnon knows that Calchas will announce the will of the goddess Artemis to the whole army, and then they will force him to sacrifice Iphigenia. Even if Calchas does not announce the will of the goddess, Odysseus will tell everyone about it, because he also knows the will of the goddess.

Full of deep sorrow, Agamemnon went to meet his wife and daughter. He tried to appear calm and cheerful. But he did not succeed. Iphigenia immediately saw that her father was deeply saddened by something. She began to question her father, but he did not tell her anything. Agamemnon did not say anything to his wife either, he only persuaded her to go to Mycenae: Agamemnon did not want Clytemnestra to witness the death of her daughter. Finally, Agamemnon left his wife and daughter and went to Calchas: he wanted to ask him if there was any way to save his daughter.

As soon as Agamemnon left the tent, Achilles came. He wanted to see the king of Mycenae in order to demand from him an immediate action against Troy. Achilles was tired of sitting idle in Aulis, and his Myrmidonians were worried and demanded that they either be led on a campaign or let go home. When Clytemnestra found out who this hero was asking Agamemnon, she turned to Achilles and greeted him as her daughter's fiance. Achilles was surprised. After all, he never told Agamemnon that he wanted to marry his daughter. Clytemnestra was confused when she learned that Achilles had never thought of marrying Iphigenia, and did not know what to say to Achilles. But then came the same slave whom Agamemnon had sent with the second news to Mycenae. He revealed to Clytemnestra why he had summoned her and Iphigenia to Aulis Agamemnon. Clytemnestra was horrified. She was about to lose her daughter. From whom to look for her stitches? She fell on her knees before Achilles, sobbing, she embraced his knees and begged him for protection, conjuring his mother, the great daughter of Nereus, Thetis. Achilles swore, seeing the despair of Clytemnestra, the prophetic sea elder, the god Nereus, to help her. He swore he wouldn't let anyone even touch Iphigenia. Achilles quickly left Agamemnon's tent to put on his armor. When Agamemnon returned to the tent, Clytemnestra began to reproach him with anger for having decided to ruin his own daughter.

What could Agamemnon say to her? After all, it was not by his own will that he decided to sacrifice his own daughter to the goddess Artemis. He could not have done otherwise. He could only say that even if he had yielded to the entreaties of his wife and daughter, the angry Greeks would have killed him and all his relatives, since they sacrifice Iphigenia for the good of all Greece.

Strong excitement has already begun in the camp. The Myrmidonians almost stoned Achilles when he announced that he would not allow the one who was promised to him as a spouse to be sacrificed. All the warriors, led by Odysseus, rushed to Agamemnon's tent with weapons in their hands. Achilles, sword in hand, covered with a shield, stood at the entrance to the tent, ready to defend Iphigenia to the last drop of blood.

But then I stopped everyone who was ready to start a bloody battle Iphigenia. She loudly announced that she was ready to voluntarily go under the sacrificial knife for the sake of a common cause. She does not want to resist the will of the great daughter of Zeus, Artemis. Let them sacrifice her, the ruins of Troy will be an eternal monument to her when the Greeks take her. She convinced the hero Achilles not to defend her, not to start an internecine battle. Achilles submitted to the will of Iphigenia, although he was sorry for the beautiful maiden, whom he loved for her great determination to sacrifice herself for the common good.

Calmly Iphigenia went to the place where the altar was built in honor of the goddess Artemis. Beautiful and majestic, she walked among the countless ranks of Iphigenia's soldiers and stood near the altar. Agamemnon began to cry, looking at his young daughter, and in order not to see her death, he covered his head with his wide cloak. Iphigenia stood quietly at the altar. Everyone kept, at the behest of the herald Talfibiya, a deep silence. The prophetic Kalchas took the sacrificial knife from its sheath and put it in a golden basket. He put a wreath on the virgin's head, as on a sacrifice being led to the altar. Achilles came out of the ranks of the warriors. He took a vessel with sacred water and sacrificial flour with salt, sprinkled water on Iphigenia and the altar, sprinkled flour on the virgin's head and loudly appealed to the goddess Artemis, begging her to send the army a safe voyage to the Trojan shores and victory over the enemies. Kalchas took the sacrificial knife in his hand. Everyone froze. Here he raised a knife to hit Iphigenia with it. Here the knife of the virgin has already touched. But she did not fall with a dying groan at the altar of Iphigenia. A great miracle has happened. The goddess Artemis kidnapped Iphigenia, and instead of her, a deer, struck by the knife of Calchas, was beating in death throes at the altar, staining it with blood. Amazed by the miracle, all the warriors cried out as one person. The prophetic Kalchas also cried out loudly and joyfully:

- This is the sacrifice demanded by the great daughter of the thunderer Zeus - Artemis! Rejoice, Greeks, the goddess promises us a happy voyage and victory over Troy. And indeed, the deer sent by Artemis had not yet been burned on the altar, as the wind had already changed and became favorable. The Greeks hastily began to gather for a long campaign. Everyone in the camp rejoiced. Agamemnon hastened to his tent to inform Clytemnestra of what had happened at the altar, and to hurry her back to Mycenae.

Goddess Artemis, having stolen Iphigenia from the altar, moved her to the shores Euxine Ponta, in the distant Tavrida. There Agamemnon's beautiful daughter Iphigenia became a priestess of the goddess.