Some of the Greeks hold funerals for Nireus and Machaon, victims of Eurypylus. Machaon’s grief-stricken brother Podalirius is offered consolation by Nestor. The Greek forces are driven back to their wall by Eurypylus. A truce allows burial of the dead. Meanwhile Odysseus and Diomedes find Neoptolemus eager to join the war, in spite of the pleading of his mother, Deïdamia. They return to Troy just in time to rescue the Greek cause. Neoptolemus is given his father’s armor, and he rushes into battle. The book closes with his formal welcome from Phoenix and the Greek commanders. Both sides are now confident of success.
The embassy of Odysseus and Diomedes to Scyros was told in the Little Iliad. Sophocles and Euripides wrote plays entitled Men of Scyros, now lost, which treated the same episode. Deïdamia’s tearful farewells are inspired by the scene between Jason and his mother, Alcimede, in Book 1 of Apollonius’ Argonautica. Neoptolemus is mentioned in both the Iliad (19.327–33) and the Odyssey (11.505–37).