Edith Hamilton says of the tragic figures of Greek drama "and yet in some strange fashion their remoteness does not diminish their profoundly tragic and individual appeal. They suffer greatly and passionately and therefore they are greatly, passionately alive." (The Greek Way, W W Norton and Co, New York, 1942, p 329) That does not, however, prevent the Greeks from laying down rules for the culture of love. Troilus, a son of King Priam of Troy and Cressida, daughter of a seer, Calchas, love each other. During the Trojan War, Calchas goes over to the Greeks but Cressida stays back. Later, she is sent to the Greeks in an exchange of prisoners. There, she takes up with a Greek commander, Diomede, becoming a symbol of fickleness in literature. Their story has been told in many ways. Chaucer wrote a beautiful poem about it, which is sympathetic throughout. According to some, he fell in love with Cressida, in the course of writing, as Tolstoy had fallen in love with his Anna. He presents Cressida as generous and tender but a realist. She genuinely loves Troilus but, when it comes to yielding to him, she tells him "N' had I or now, my swete herte dere/ Ben yolde, y-wis I were not here." Parting from him to be delivered to the Greeks, she promises to return in ten days but is unable to do so and accepts Diomede as a lover. Shakespeare is less sympathetic: "Yea let them say, to stick the heart of falsehood/As false as Cressid." Actually, the story has nothing to do with Homer. European medieval writers wrote first about it and grafted it to Iliad. And the attitude towards Cressida that these writers attributed to the Homeric Greeks was harsh. According to them, the gods punished her cruelly for infidelity and blasphemy. Their story has Cressida being abandoned by Diomede and disowned by her father and the gods taking away her joy and beauty and making her leprous. One day, as she sits by the road with her lepers' cup and clapper, Troilus passes with a troop of Trojan soldiers. Neither recognises the other. Troilus gives her alms and goes on. Then she gradually recalls his face. Before dying, she sends him the ring he had given her as a token of love. One really cannot see the source of this anger of the medieval folk at Cressida. She did not leave Troy of her will. She took to Diomede because she found it impossible to return to Troy in ten days or even in ten years and only Diomede could give her protection among the Greeks. Anyway Troilus had, meanwhile, been killed by Achilles. Yes we sing of the first love. But, as Turgenev says, it may chronologically come after several. She loses her beauty and health, in the medieval story, and is abandoned by her second lover and her father and is reduced to begging only because the romantics of the middle ages found her behaviour outrageous. One supposes she should have, according to them, pined away for Troilus. Surely it is better to die of longing than of leprosy. So much for the Greek idea of passionate suffering. Actually, the condemnation of her behaviour is rooted in the feudal idea of property. The lord's women belong to him in the same manner as his land. If the lord is the first man in a woman's life, she is his for the rest of it. Her liaison with another man is a violation of the lord's feudal rights. Therefore the essence of her womanhood is fealty to him. The custom of suttee among the Hindus was an extreme form of this notion. It came somewhere in the early medieval period with the consolidation of property.