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μείζων, the son of Telamon; Ajax the son of Oileus (the leader of the western Locrians) was “μείων, οὔ τι τόσος γε ὅσος Τελαμώνιος Αἴας” ( Il. 2. 528).— οὐκ ἦν ἔτι ζῶν. Soon after the death of Achilles, and either just before or just after the coming of Neoptolemus, the Atreidae had awarded the arms to Odysseus. The suicide of Ajax followed closely on the award. He died, then, either just before, or just after, the arrival of Neoptolemus at Troy. Neoptolemus implies that he left Troy for home just after the award (382). Since his indignation is feigned, it might be supposed that the interval between the award and his sailing (for Lemnos) had really been longer. But, even if that interval had been as brief as he represents it, he might still have known, before leaving Troy, that Ajax was dead.

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