in Barchester Towers

Chapter 14 – The New Champion

the frogs and the mice

This is a reference to an ancient Greek mock epic poem, Batrachomyomachia, or The Battle of Frogs and Mice.  This work parodies the ancient heroic epics with a battle fought between these two species of small animals.  Eventually, the frogs begin struggling against the forces of the mice, and the gods dispatch a large group of crabs to help the losing frogs.  In this instance, this is a reference to the future war between Mr. Slope and Mr. Arabin and the argument of words and actions which will ensue as a result.  [MD 2005]

Sources:  The New Century: Classical Handbook. Ed. Catherine B. Avery.  New York:  Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1972.


the angers of Agamemnon and Achilles

Homer’s Iliad begins with a quarrel between these two men; Agamemnon is the commander of the Greek forces fighting in the Trojan War, and Achilles is the most powerful Greek warrior. They get into an argument over two captured maidens, and Achilles turns the argument into an all-out refusal to work with Agamemnon.  [MD 2005]

Sources:  Homer, Iliad 1.