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Ancient Greece
The Iliad and the Odyssey, Part 2



The Iliad and the Odyssey, Part 2
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.05

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    suicide, deathtrap, falling-out, heavy-guarded, hideous, man-eating, sacking, shameless, undetected, underworld, admirers, attest, disarray, fathom, mulled, standoff
     content words:    Trojan War, Since Odysseus, With Apollo, Only Antenor


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The Iliad and the Odyssey, Part 2
By Vickie Chao
  

1     Odysseus, the king of Ithaca, had been away from his home for more than nine years now. He missed his wife, Penelope, and his son, Telemachus, terribly. Yet, because of a promise he had made a long time ago, he had to leave his kingdom for the Trojan War. The Trojan War all began with a beautiful woman named Helen. She was married to Menelaus, king of Sparta. The two were happy together. But since Helen was the prettiest woman in the world, she naturally had a lot of suitors. While most had moved on after she got married, Paris, a Trojan prince, had refused to give up on her. With the help of Aphrodite (the goddess of love), he made Helen fall in love with him. The two eloped.
 
2     Menelaus was determined to get Helen back. He called on all of Helen's former admirers and reminded them of a vow they had made on his wedding day. He demanded they honor it by going to Troy with him and fighting the Trojans. Since Odysseus had once been spellbound by Helen's beauty, he was now obligated to join the war. He really did not want to go. But there was nothing he could do.
 
3     For nearly a decade, the Greeks held Troy under siege. They hoped that the Trojans would surrender. But that day never came. Aside from the never-ending standoff, the Greeks had quite a few problems of their own. Their commander-in-chief, Agamemnon (Menelaus's brother and king of Mycenae), was a terrible leader. One day, he got into a big fight with his best warrior, Achilles. In the end, Achilles left the Greek camps in disgust. He swore that he would never come back! The Trojans were elated with the news. And they soon began to make progress. As much as Achilles detested Agamemnon, he eventually changed his mind. Upon his return, he replaced Agamemnon and became the new commander-in-chief. His first order of business was to avenge the death of his friend, Patroclus. He challenged Hector, Paris's brother and a great Trojan hero, and slew him.

Paragraphs 4 to 10:
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