Chapter 7. The Death of Pyrrhos
τιν᾽ ἔνδον ἄλσει παλαιτάτῳ
Αἰακιδᾶν κρεόντων τὸ λοιπὸν ἔμμεναι
θεοῦ παρ᾽ εὐτειχέα δόμον, ἡροΐαις δὲ πομπαῖς
θεμισκόπον οἰκεῖν ἐόντα πολυθύτοις
… but it had to be that
one of the royal Aeacids be inside the most ancient grove
for all time to come, by the well-built abode of the god,
and that he should have his home as the one which presides
over the Heroes’ Processions, which are distinguished by
many sacrifices 
By Pindar’s time, the institutions of Delphi reflect no longer simply a pólis that happens to have a sanctuary of Panhellenic importance, but rather, the reverse: the entire community of Delphi now functions as a sacral extension of the Sanctuary.  Accordingly, the status of Pyrrhos at Delphi transcends that of the typical hero: whereas the hero of a pólis is by nature local, the son of Achilles is more of a Panhellenic figure by virtue of being Hero of Delphi.
Φοίβου Ἀπόλλωνος, Πυθοῖ ἔνι πετρηέσσῃ.
ληϊστοὶ μὲν γάρ τε βόες καὶ ἴφια μῆλα,
κτητοὶ δὲ τρίποδές τε καὶ ἵππων ξανθὰ κάρηνα.
nor all the things contained within the stone threshold of the Archer,
Phoebus Apollo, in rocky Delphi.
For cattle and fat sheep can be plundered
and tripods can be won, as well as tawny heads of horses.
It is remarkable that a theme so appropriate to the Hero of Delphi on the level of cult should apply in particular to the Achilles figure in the single instance where the Iliad conjures up directly the traditions of Delphi.
κ]υρ[ιᾶν]  περὶ τιμᾶν
δηρι]αζόμενον κτάνεν 
ἐν τεμέ]νεϊ φίλῳ γᾶς παρ᾽ ὀμφαλὸν εὐρύν
When he [Pyrrhos] quarreled with the attendants
over his rightful tīmaí,
he [Apollo] killed him
in his own precinct, right by the broad center of the Earth.
In another variation on this myth, the killer is not Apollo himself but one of his temple attendants: 
κτέατ᾽ ἄγων Τροΐαθεν ἀκροθινίων·
ἵνα κρεῶν νιν ὕπερ μάχας
ἔλασεν ἀντιτυχόντ᾽ ἀνήρ μαχαίρᾳ.
βάρυνθεν δὲ περισσὰ Δελφοὶ ξεναγέται
And he went to the god
bringing the riches of first-fruit offerings from Troy.
And there a man with a mákhaira smote him
as he got into a quarrel over slices of meat.
And the Delphians, conductors of xénoi , were greatly vexed.
The thematic ingredients of (1) the attendant with the mákhaira ‘sacrificial knife’ and (2) the Delphians as xenāgétai ‘conductors of xénoi’ have interesting variants in still other versions of the myth, where the killer is named as (1) Makhaireús, son of Daítās,  or (2) Philoxenídēs. 
We should note in particular the sacrificial motif of exchanging a vegetal offering for a slice of the sacrificial victim’s meat—called a moîra. In Pindar’s Nemean 7, we have seen Pyrrhos himself being featured as one who acts in the ritual manner of the Delphic theoxénia, in that he is making a grand offering from the rich spoils of Troy in return for a slice of meat from the sacrificial table (above, line 42). In fact, even his offerings are called akrothínia ‘first fruits [of war]’ (line 41)—a word with vegetal connotations in that it is primarily appropriate for designating ‘first fruits [of Earth]’ (e.g., Aeschylus Eumenides 834; etc.).  Pyrrhos gets involved in a quarrel over not receiving his due moîra of meat, and Paean 6 describes the issue in dispute as kūriân [or moiriân!] perì tīmân ‘concerning his rightful tīmaí‘ (line 118).  Moreover, the theme of being deprived of one’s moîra of meat at the sacrificial table is actually attested in the ritual lore of Delphi.
The internal motivation for this interesting description has to do with a story about Aesop and how he ridiculed this ritual at Delphi.  Elsewhere too, we find what seem to be mostly jesting allusions to the same ritual practice, as in the following proverb: 
If you sacrifice at Delphi, you will not eat any meat yourself.
Apportioning moîrai [portions], they feasted a very glorious daís [feast].
We will have more to observe about moîrai later. For now it will suffice to add that the notion of ‘division’ latent in daís becomes overt in expressions involving δαιτὸς ἐίσης ‘of an equal daís‘ (as at Iliad I 468, 602; II 431; VII 320; XXIII 56)—denoting situations where everyone has his proper share at the sacrificial feast. 
… delighting in war as well as in the daís
The key, I submit, to such a close relationship of the Aeacids to the daís is the etymological connection of the word with the notion inherent in daíomai ‘divide, apportion, allot’. This notion constitutes a mythological theme that runs through the whole line of Aeacids, starting with the prime ancestor himself. The hero Aiakos, in the words of Pindar, was so fair and just as to be worthy of settling matters pertaining to the gods themselves:
τατον ἐπιχθονίων. ὃ καὶ
δαιμόνεσσι δίκας ἐπείραινε
Aiakos … the most cherished of mortals,
who rendered díkai [judgments, justice] even for the gods 
The correlation here of the word díkē with the concept of making fair allotments reminds us of the wording used to describe how the honor of Achilles himself is to be tested one more time in the Iliad. As the actual setting for Agamemnon’s final offer of compensation to Achilles in return for having at the outset deprived him of his fair share, Odysseus proposes the holding of a special daís:
πιείρῃ, ἵνα μή τι δίκης ἐπιδευὲς ἔχῃσθα
But let him [Agamemnon] make amends to you [Achilles] with a rich daís in the tents,
so that you may have no lack in díkē .
It is at this dais, when Achilles is to be tested one more time with the compensation offered by Agamemnon (Iliad XIX 268–281), that he even bids his fellow Achaeans to go and feast (Iliad XIX 275)—though without his participation. 
καὶ Κρόνου παῖδας βασιλῆας ἴδον χρυ-
σέαις ἐν ἕδραις, ἕδνα τε
And the gods had a daís with each of them [Peleus and Kadmos],
and they [Peleus and Kadmos] saw the royal children of Kronos sitting on their golden seats, and they
received wedding-gifts from them.
The singular occasion for the daís of Peleus, where the Olympian gods themselves attended, was the feast of his wedding with Thetis—a traditional theme celebrated by the Cypria as an appropriate setting for the onset of the entire Trojan Cycle (Proclus 102.14–15 Allen). There is an evocative reference to the theme of this daís even in the Iliad, where Hera reminds Apollo that he too had attended:
δαίνυ᾽ ἔχων φόρμιγγα
And all you gods attended the wedding.  And you too were feasting among them
and you had your lyre with you.
At this daís celebrating a marriage that led to the conception of Achilles himself, Zeus willed that Éris ‘Strife’ would bring about a neîkos ‘quarrel’ among the gods; these specific themes of éris/neîkos at a daís constitute the opening scene of the Cypria in particular and of the Trojan Cycle in general (Proclus 102.13–19: Éris/neîkos at 14/15).  Short range, these themes are appropriate to the motivation of the Trojan War; long range, the very same themes also provide a setting for the evolution of Achilles as a heroic figure. 
éris is always dear to you, as well as wars and battles 
ἠτίμησεν· ἑλὼν γὰρ ἔχει γέρας, αὐτὸς ἀπούρας
But Agamemnon, king of men, has taken away his tīmḗ ;
for he got and keeps his géras, having himself taken it away.
In this particular case, of course, the géras is a captive girl. Elsewhere in the Iliad, however, the same word refers to a choice cut of meat, le morceau du héros, awarded to the foremost warrior of the moment:
δαίνυντ᾽, οὐδέ τι θυμὸς ἐδεύετο δαιτὸς ἐΐσης·
νώτοισιν δ᾽ Αἴαντα διηνεκέεσσι γέραιρεν
ἥρως Ἀτρεΐδης, εὐρὺ κρείων Ἀγαμέμνων
But when they finished with their efforts and prepared the daís [feast],
they had the daís [feasted], and there was no thūmós lacking in a fair daís [allotment].
And wide-ruling Agamemnon the hero, son of Atreus, gave as géras to Ajax the whole back [of beef]. 
Let us contrast again the concern over the tīmḗ of Achilles in Iliad I: The situation is unlike that of Ajax in Iliad VII, in that Iliad I lacks the setting of a daís. Even later on in the Iliad, there seems to be a set of insistent allusions to this initial Iliadic divergence from the theme of the daís, as when Odysseus says to Achilles:
ἠμὲν ἐνὶ κλισίῃ Ἀγαμέμνονος Ἀτρεΐδαο
ἠδὲ καὶ ἐνθάδε νῦν· πάρα γὰρ μενοεικέα πολλὰ
δαίνυσθ᾽· ἀλλ᾽ οὐ δαιτὸς ἐπηράτου ἔργα μέμηλεν …
Hail, Achilles! You are not without a fair daís
either in the tent of Agamemnon son of Atreus
or here and now. There is at hand much that would suit your ménos, for you to have as daís . But the concern is not
about a pleasant daís …
The detailed side-stepping here of the theme of a dais draws all the more attention to it. The wording of this passage, so strikingly parallel in detail to the one we have considered immediately before (Iliad VII 319–322), again conjures up for us the theme of awarding, in the context of a daís, the choice cut of meat—this time to the foremost warrior of the Iliad in its entirety. And the speaker is Odysseus, who had quarreled in another traditional scene with Achilles himself at a daís where the preeminence of the epic heroes was somehow at stake (Odyssey viii 72–82). Later on in the Iliad, again it will be Odysseus who proposes a daís as the setting for Agamemnon’s making amends to Achilles (Iliad XIX 179–180), and it will be at this daís that Achilles finally witnesses the undoing of his loss of tīmḗ (Iliad XIX 268–281). 
ὅς τ᾽ ἐπεὶ ἂρ μεγάλῃ τε βίῃ καὶ ἀγήνορι θυμῷ
εἴξας εἶσ᾽ ἐπὶ μῆλα βροτῶν, ἵνα δαῖτα λάβῃσιν
But, like a lion, he [Achilles] knows savage ways
—a lion that yields to its great bíē and overweening thūmós ,
and goes after the sheep of men, in order to get a daís . 
The use of the word daís in this image of stark savagery is particularly striking as it applies to the Achilles figure. Actually, this characterization of the Iliadic hero is quite in tune with a latent dimension that keeps surfacing at moments of intense heroic anguish, as when Achilles is grieving over his dead hetaîros:
τέρπετο, πρὶν πολέμου στόμα δύμεναι αἱματόεντος
nor was he gladdened in his thūmós
until he entered the jaws of bloody war
The verb térpomai ‘be gladdened’ can conventionally designate gratification by way of eating (e.g., Iliad XI 780), and it is precisely this theme of eating that functions as the immediate context for the passage under consideration. The elders of the Achaeans are imploring Achilles to eat (Iliad XIX 303–304), but he refuses and insists on keeping a fast (Iliad XIX 304–308, 319–321); while he is fasting, he actually reminisces about the meals that Patroklos used to serve up to him (Iliad XIX 314–318, especially 316). This grim juxtaposition of two images, the bloody jaws of war and the hero who goes without meals while Patroklos lies unavenged, is only part of a ghastly Iliadic theme that finally comes to a head at the moment when a victorious Achilles is standing triumphant over the sprawled figure of a dying Hektor and says:
μ᾽ ἀποταμνόμενον κρέα ἔδμεναι, οἷα ἔοργας
I wish that somehow my ménos and thūmós impelled me
to slice you up and eat your meat raw, for the things you did.
We recall the simile, uttered by Apollo himself, comparing Achilles to a carnivorous lion whose thūmós impels it to its daís ‘feast’ of sheep (Iliad XXIV 41–43).  So also here, the ménos and thūmós of Achilles are bringing our hero to the verge of a bestial deed. In another simile comparing Achilles with a raging lion (Iliad XX 164–175), the beast is described as impelling itself to fight:
… and it is impelling itself to fight
The stance of the beast is then directly compared to the manner in which the ménos and thūmós of Achilles impel him to fight:
so also the ménos and overweening thūmós of Achilles impelled him onwards 
In effect, then, the simile is saying that Achilles has the thūmós of a lion, in that the beast’s intrinsic behavior is set in the same way as Achilles is driven by his thūmós. Little wonder, then, that Achilles qualifies as thūmoléōn ‘he who has the thūmós of a lion’ (as at Iliad VII 228).  Little wonder, moreover, that the mother of Hektor reviles Achilles as ōmēstḗs ‘eater of raw meat’ (Iliad XXIV 207). 
… and Achilles distributed the meat