The duel sees an effective victory for Menelaus, but Aphrodite rescues Paris and transports him to his bedroom. The goddess then summons Helen and forces her to sleep with him.

BOOK 4 - The Start of the Fighting

The book opens with a scene set on Olympus. In the courtyard of Zeus, the gods are enjoying themselves, drinking and watching the events occurring on earth. In order to provoke Hera, Zeus suggests bringing an end to the war. Unhappy at this, Hera and Athena insist that the war must not cease until Troy has been destroyed. Eventually, a compromise is reached, so that the issue might disturb the gods' peace no longer: the destruction of Troy is granted to Hera on the condition that Zeus, when he so desires, may destroy one of her favourite cities. Having agreed to this, Hera suggests three potential targets- Argos, Sparta and Mycenae. Athena is then dispatched in order to bring about the breaking of the truce by the Trojans.

Arriving at Troy, the goddess persuades Pandarus to shoot an arrow at Menelaus. As a result, the truce is broken and Agamemnon vows that Troy and its people will now be destroyed. As the Trojans advance, Agamemnon reviews his men and their commanders.

The two sides clash for the first time. Homer describes the fighting in detail, moving from the general picture of the multitude engaged, to a succession of individual, specific encounters. By the end of the book, it appears that the contest has been fairly even.

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