For the student of Greek literature authority starts with Homer. One might indeed have chosen to write about Homer himself, or his poems, as images of authority in later times, but I have preferred to be more literal-minded and to take one of the Iliad’s most obviously authoritative emblems, Agamemnon’s skēptron (neither ‘sceptre’ nor ‘staff’ is quite adequate, 1 and the safest plan is probably to avoid translation altogether).