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Early in the Iliad, the Achaians convene an assembly. There are a lot of them and they're unruly, too. "[Tihe place of their assembly was shaken, and the earth groaned / as the people took their positions and there was tumult. Nine heralds / shouting set about putting them in order, to make them cease their / clamour and listen to the kings beloved of Zeus."' Clutching the scepter that has come to him ultimately from Zeus, the very symbol of his right to speak and be heard, Agamemnon bitterly proposes that the Achaians give up. Nine years of struggle in vain against the Trojans have revealed that Zeus is adamantly opposed to their prevailing, even if he did once promise victory for Agamemnon. (The Greek gods were anything but trustworthy.)