Son of Telamon (hence called Telemonian Aias), he is, after Achilleus, the most imposing of the Argive warriors. He is frequently compared to a wall, and, in fact, as the last hero on the field after all the others have been wounded, he practically single-handedly defends the ships, roaming the fortified wall and then fighting from the prow of a boat. In a way, he is the Achaian defensive wall personified. He rarely speaks in council. What he does is defend his comrades to the end by sheer bulk and human will, and he does not give up until, the last man left, his very spear is hacked from his hands.

Diomedes is one of the great fighters for the Achaians. A true warrior, he supports Agamemnon when he feels the commander-in-chief is right and criticizes him when he is wrong. He is aided by Athene and is also responsible for wounding both Aphrodite and Ares — a remarkable feat for a mortal (although it is accomplished with the aid of Athene). He does not have Odysseus’ spark of insight, but he speaks seriously, if haltingly. This may be because he is the youngest of the Achaian commanders. At times he seems too eager for battle, and his killing of Dolon has a touch of ruthlessness about it.

The original husband of Helen, brother of Agamemnon, and king of Sparta, Menelaos has the unlucky distinction of being the person on whose behalf the war is being fought. He is dogged but not quite illustrious. He fights hard, though not particularly skillfully, and seems at times to be protected by Agamemnon. He is willing to bear the burden of responsibility but is not quite up to the challenge.

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