The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Iliad, by Homer
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Title: The Iliad
Author: Homer
Translator: Theodore Alois Buckley
Release Date: August 23, 2007 [eBook #22382]
[Most recently updated: August 18, 2023]
Language: English
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Literally Translated,








The present translation of the Iliad will, it is hoped, be found to convey, more accurately than any which has preceded it, the words and thoughts of the original. It is based upon a careful examination of whatever has been contributed by scholars of every age towards the elucidation of the text, including the ancient scholiasts and lexicographers, the exegetical labours of Barnes and Clarke, and the elaborate criticisms of Heyne, Wolf, and their successors.

The necessary brevity of the notes has prevented the full discussion of many passages where there is great room for difference of opinion, and hence several interpretations are adopted without question, which, had the editor’s object been to write a critical commentary, would have undergone a more lengthened examination. The same reason has compelled him, in many instances, to substitute references for extracts, indicating rather than quoting those storehouses of information, from whose abundant contents he would gladly have drawn more copious supplies. Among the numerous works to which he has had recourse, the following deserve particular mention-Alberti’s invaluable edition of Hesychius, the Commentary of Eustathius, and Buttmann’s Lexilogus.

In the succeeding volume, the Odyssey, Hymns, and minor poems will be produced in a similar manner.

Ch. Ch., Oxford.




Apollo, enraged at the insult offered to his priest, Chryses, sends a pestilence upon the Greeks. A council is called, and Agamemnon, being compelled to restore the daughter of Chryses, whom he had taken from him, in revenge deprives Achilles of Hippodameia. Achilles resigns her, but refuses to aid the Greeks in battle, and at his request, his mother, Thetis, petitions Jove to honour her offended son at the expense of the Greeks. Jupiter, despite the opposition of Juno, grants her request.

Sing, Ο goddess, the destructive wrath of Achilles, son of Peleus, which brought countless woes upon the Greeks, 1 and hurled many valiant souls of heroes down to Hades, and made themselves 2 a prey to dogs and to all birds [but the will of Jove was being accomplished], from the time when Atrides, king of men, and noble Achilles, first contending, were disunited.

Footnote 1: (return) Although, as Ernesti observes, the verb προίαψεν does not necessarily contain the idea of a premature death, yet the ancient interpreters are almost unanimous in understanding it so. Thus Eustathius, p. 13, ed. Bas.: μετὰ βλάζης είς Αιδην πρὁ το δέοντος ἔπεμφεν, ὡς τῆς προθέσεως (i.e. προ) καιρικόν τι δηλούσης, ἢ ἁπλὡς ἔπεμψεν, ώς πλεοναζούσης τἤς προθέσεως. Hesych. t. ii. p. 1029, s. ν.: προίαψεν—δηλοῖ δε διὰ τἤς λέξεως τὴν μετ' ỏδὑνης αὐτῶν ἀπώλειαν. Cf. Virg. Æn. xii. 952: “Vitaque cum gemitu fugit indignata sub umbras,” where Servius well observes, “quia discedebat a juvene: nam volunt philosophi, invitam animam discedere a corpore, cum quo adhuc habitare legibus naturæ poterat.” I have, however, followed Ernesti, with the later commentators.

Footnote 2: (return) I.e. their bodies. Cf. Æ. i. 44, vi. 362, where there is a similar sense of the pronoun.

Which, then, of the gods, engaged these two in strife, so that they should fight? 3 The son of Latona and Jove; for he, enraged with the king, stirred up an evil pestilence through the army [and the people kept perishing] 4; because the son of Atreus had dishonoured the priest Chryses: for he came to the swift ships of the Greeks to ransom his daughter, and bringing invaluable ransoms, having in his hands the fillets of far-darting Apollo on his golden sceptre. And he supplicated all the Greeks, but chiefly the two sons of Atreus, the leaders of the people:

“Ye sons of Atreus, and ye other well-greaved Greeks, to you indeed may the gods, possessing the heavenly dwellings, grant to destroy the city of Priam, and to return home safely: but for me, liberate my beloved daughter, and accept the ransoms, reverencing the son of Jove, far-darting Apollo.”

Footnote 3: (return) Rut see Anthon.

Footnote 4: (return) Observe the full force of the imperfect tense.

Upon this, all the other Greeks shouted assent, that the priest should be reverenced, and the splendid ransoms accepted; yet was it not pleasing in his mind to Agamemnon, son of Atreus; but he dismissed him evilly, and added a harsh mandate:

“Let me not find thee, old man, at the hollow barks, either now loitering, or hereafter returning, lest the staff and fillet of the god avail thee not. 5 For her I will not set free; sooner shall old age come upon her, at home in Argos, far away from her native land, employed in offices of the loom, and preparing 6 my bed. But away! irritate me not, that thou mayest return the safer.”

Footnote 5: (return) Of χραισμεῖν, Buttmann, Lexil. p. 546, observes that “it is never found in a positive sense, but remained in ancient usage in negative sentences only; as, ‘it is of no use to thee,’ or, ‘it helps thee not,’ and similar expressions.”

Footnote 6: (return) The old mistake of construing ἀντιόωσαν “sharing,” which still clings to the translations, is exploded by Buttm. Lex. p. 144. Eust. and Heysch. both give εὺτρεπίζονσαν as one of the interpretations; and that such is the right one is evident from the collateral phrase πορσύνειν λέχος in Od. iii. 403. Λμφιζέζηκας is the perfect tense, but with the force of the present.

Thus he spoke; but the old man was afraid, and obeyed the command. And he went in silence along the shore of the loud-resounding sea; but then, going apart, the aged man prayed much to king Apollo, whom fair-haired Latona bore:

“Hear me, god of the silver bow, who art wont to protect Chrysa and divine Cilla, and who mightily rulest over Tenedos: O Sminthius, 7 if ever I have roofed 8 thy graceful temple, or if, moreover, at any time I have burned to thee the fat thighs of bulls or of goats, accomplish this entreaty for me. Let the Greeks pay for my tears, by thy arrows.”

Footnote 7: (return) An epithet derived from σμίνθος, the Phrygian name for a mouse: either because Apollo had put an end to a plague of mice among that people, or because a mouse was thought emblematical of augury.—Grote, Hist. of Greece, vol. i. p. 68, observes that this “worship of Sminthian Apollo, in various parts of the Troad and its neighbouring territory, dates before the earliest period of Æolic colonization.” On the Homeric description of Apollo, see Müller, Dorians, vol. i. p. 315.

Footnote 8: (return) Not “crowned,” as Heyne says; for this was a later custom.—See Anthon and Arnold.

Thus he spoke praying; but to him Phoebus Apollo hearkened. And he descended from the summits of Olympus, enraged in heart, having upon his shoulders his bow and quiver covered on all sides. But as he moved, the shafts rattled forthwith 9 upon the shoulders of him enraged; but he went along like unto the night. Then he sat down apart from the ships, and sent among them an arrow, and terrible arose the clang of the silver bow. First he attacked the mules, and the swift 10 dogs; but afterwards despatching a pointed arrow against [the Greeks] themselves, he smote them, and frequent funeral-piles of the dead were continually burning. Nine days through the army went the arrows of the god; but on the tenth, Achilles called the people to an assembly; for to his mind the white-armed goddess Juno had suggested it; for she was anxious concerning the Greeks, because she saw them perishing. But when they accordingly were assembled, and were met together, swift-footed Achilles, rising up amidst them, [thus] spoke:

“O son of Atreus! now do I think that we would consent to return, having been defeated in our purpose, if we should but escape death, since at the same time 11 war and pestilence subdue the Greeks. But come now, let us consult some prophet, or priest, or even one who is informed by dreams (for dream also is from Jove), 12 who would tell us on what account Phoebus Apollo is so much enraged with us: whether he blames us on account of a vow [unperformed], or a hecatomb [unoffered]; and whether haply he may be willing, having partaken of the savour of lambs and unblemished goats, to avert from us the pestilence.”

Footnote 9: (return) The force of ἄρα is noticed by Nägelsbach.

Footnote 10: (return) Or “white.” Hesych. ταχεῖς, λευκούς.

Footnote 11: (return) Ammonius, p. 14, foolishly supposes that ἁμοῦ here denotes place, ἰν Τροίᾳ. Valcknaer justly supports the ordinary interpretation.

Footnote 12: (return) Cf. Plin. Ep. i. 18, and Duport, Gnom. Hom. p. 3, sq.

He indeed, thus having spoken, sat down; but to them there arose by far the best of augurs, Calchas, son of Thestor, who knew the present, the future, and the past, 13 and who guided the ships of the Greeks to Ilium, by his prophetic art, which Phoebus Apollo gave him, who, being well disposed, 14 addressed them, and said:

“O Achilles, dear to Jove, thou biddest me to declare the wrath of Apollo, the far-darting king. Therefore will I declare it; but do thou on thy part covenant, and swear to me, that thou wilt promptly assist me in word and hand. For methinks I shall irritate a man who widely rules over all the Argives, and whom the Greeks obey. For a king is more powerful 15 when he is enraged with an inferior man; for though he may repress his wrath 16 for that same day, yet he afterwards retains his anger in his heart, until he accomplishes it; but do thou consider whether thou wilt protect me.”

But him swift-footed Achilles, answering, addressed: “Taking full confidence, declare the divine oracle, whatsoever thou knowest. For, by Apollo, dear to Jove, to whom thou, praying, O Calchas, dost disclose predictions to the Greeks, no one of all the Greeks, while I am alive and have sight upon the earth, shall lay heavy hands upon thee at the hollow ships; not even if thou wast to name Agamemnon, who now boasts himself to be much the most powerful of the Greeks.” 17

Footnote 13: (return) A common formula in the ancient poets to express the eternity of things. Empedocles apud Pseud. Arist. de Mundo: άνθ' ὅσα τ' ὴν, ὅσα τ' εστὶ, καὶ ὄσσα τε ἔσται ὀπίσσω. Virg. Georg. iv. 392: “Novit namque omnia vates, Quæ sint, quæ fuerint, quæ mox ventura trahantur”.

Footnote 14: (return) See Abresch. on Æschyl. p. 287. Ernesti.

Footnote 15: (return) ἀγανακτοῦσί γἀρ διὰ τὴν ὑπεροχήν. A—rist. Rhet. ii. 2, quoting this verse.

Footnote 16: (return) Lit. “digest his bile”. Homer’s distinction between χόλος and κότος is observed by Nemesius, de Nat. Hom. § 21.

Footnote 17: (return) I have used “Greeks” wherever the whole army is evidently meant. In other instances I have retained the specific names of the different confederate nations.

And upon this, the blameless prophet then took confidence, and spoke: “Neither is he enraged on account of a vow [unperformed], nor of a hecatomb [unoffered], but on account of his priest, whom Agamemnon dishonoured; neither did he liberate his daughter, nor did he receive her ransom. Wherefore has the Far-darter given woes, and still will he give them; nor will he withhold his heavy hands from the pestilence, before that [Agamemnon] restore to her dear father the bright-eyed 18 maid, unpurchased, unransomed, and conduct a sacred hecatomb to Chrysa; then, perhaps, having appeased, we might persuade him.”

Footnote 18: (return) See Arnold.

He indeed, having thus spoken, sat down. But to them arose the hero, the son of Atreus, wide-ruling Agamemnon, 19 agitated; and his all-gloomy heart was greatly filled with wrath, and his eyes were like unto gleaming fire. Sternly regarding Calchas most of all, he addressed [him]:

“Prophet of ills, not at any time hast thou spoken anything good for me; but evils are always gratifying to thy soul to prophesy, 20 and never yet hast thou offered one good word, nor accomplished [one]. And now, prophesying amongst the Greeks, thou haranguest that forsooth the Far-darter works griefs to them upon this account, because I was unwilling to accept the splendid ransom of the virgin daughter of Chryses, since I much prefer to have her at home; and my reason is, I prefer her even to Clytemnestra, my lawful wife; for she is not inferior to her, either in person, or in figure, or in mind, or by any means in accomplishments. But even thus I am willing to restore her, if it be better; for I wish the people to be safe rather than to perish. But do thou immediately prepare a prize for me, that I may not alone, of the Argives, be without a prize; since it is not fitting. For ye all see this, that my prize is going elsewhere.”

Footnote 19: (return) “In the assembly of the people, as in the courts of justice, the nobles alone speak, advise, and decide, whilst the people merely listen to their ordinances and decisions, in order to regulate their own conduct accordingly; being suffered, indeed, to follow the natural impulse of evincing, to a certain extent, their approbation or disapprobation of their superiors, but without any legal means of giving validity to their opinion.” Müller, Gk. Lit. p. 30.

Footnote 20: (return) But we must not join μαντεύεσθαι with κικά.—Nägelsbach.

But him swift-footed godlike Achilles then answered: “Most noble son of Atreus, most avaricious of all! for how shall the magnanimous Greeks assign thee a prize? Nor do we know of many common stores laid up anywhere. But what we plundered 21 from the cities, these have been divided, and it is not fitting that the troops should collect these brought together again. But do thou now let her go to the God, and we Greeks will compensate thee thrice, or four-fold, if haply Jove grant to us to sack the well-fortified city of Troy.”

Footnote 21: (return) More closely: “took from the cities, when we destroyed them.”

But him answering, king Agamemnon addressed: “Do not thus, excellent though thou be, godlike Achilles, practise deceit in thy mind; since thou shalt not overreach, nor yet persuade me. Dost thou wish that thou thyself mayest have a prize, whilst I sit down idly, 22 wanting one? And dost thou bid me to restore her? If, however, the magnanimous Greeks will give me a prize, having suited it to my mind, so that it shall be an equivalent, [it is well]. But if they will not give it, then I myself coming, will seize your prize, or that of Ajax, 23 or Ulysses, 24 and will bear it away; and he to whom I may come shall have cause for anger. On these things, however, we will consult afterwards. But now come, let us launch a sable ship into the boundless sea, and let us collect into it rowers in sufficient number, and place on board a hecatomb; and let us make the fair-cheeked daughter of Chryses to embark, and let some one noble man be commander, Ajax or Idomeneus, or divine Ulysses; or thyself, son of Peleus, most terrible of all men, that thou mayest appease for us the Far-darter, having offered sacrifices.”

Footnote 22: (return) Buttmann would take αὔτως as = frustra.

Footnote 23: (return) Tecmessa.

Footnote 24: (return) Laodice, daughter of Cyenus.

But him swift-footed Achilles sternly regarding, addressed: “Ha! 25 thou clad in impudence, thou bent on gain, how can any of the Greeks willingly obey thy orders, either to undertake a mission, or to fight bravely with men? For I did not come hither to fight on account of the warlike Trojans, seeing that they are blameless as respects me. Since they have never driven away my oxen, nor my horses either nor ever injured my crops in fertile and populous Phthia: for very many shadowy mountains, and the resounding sea, are between us. But thee, O most shameless man, we follow, that thou mayest rejoice; seeking satisfaction from the Trojans for Menelaus, and for thy pleasure, shameless one! for which things thou hast neither respect nor care. And now thou hast threatened that thou wilt in person wrest from me my prize, for which I have toiled much, and which the sons of the Greeks have given me. Whenever the Greeks sacked a well-inhabited city of the Trojans, I never have had a prize equal to thine; although my hands perform the greater portion of the tumultuous conflict, yet when the division [of spoil] may come, a much greater prize is given to thee, while I come to my ships, when I am fatigued with fighting, having one small and agreeable. But now I will go to Phthia, for it is much better to return home with our curved ships; for I do not think that thou shalt amass wealth and treasures while I am dishonoured here.”

Footnote 25: (return) See my note on Od. i. p. 2, n. 11, ed. Bohn.

But him, the king of men, Agamemnon, then answered: “Fly, by all means, if thy mind urges thee; nor will I entreat thee to remain on my account: there are others with me who will honour me, but chiefly the all-wise Jove. For to me thou art the most odious of the Jove-nourished princes, for ever is contention agreeable to thee, and wars and battles. If thou be very bold, why doubtless a deity has given this to thee. Going home with thy ships and thy companions, rule over the Myrmidons; for I do not regard thee, nor care for thee in thy wrath; but thus will I threaten thee: Since Phoebus Apollo is depriving me of the daughter of Chryses, 26 her indeed I will send, with my own ship, and with my own friends; but I myself, going to thy tent, will lead away the fair-cheeked daughter of Brises, 27 thy prize; that thou mayest well know how much more powerful I am than thou, and that another may dread to pronounce himself equal to me, and to liken himself openly [to me].”

Footnote 26: (return) Astynome. Cf. Eustath. fol. 58.

Footnote 27: (return) Hippodameia.

Thus he spoke, and grief arose to the son of Peleus, and the heart within, in his hairy breast, was pondering upon two courses; whether, drawing his sharp sword from his thigh, he should dismiss them, 28 and should kill the son of Atreus, or should put a stop to his wrath, and restrain his passion. While he was thus pondering in his heart and soul, and was drawing his mighty sword from the scabbard, came Minerva from heaven; for her the white-armed goddess Juno had sent forward, equally loving and regarding both from her soul. And she stood behind, and caught the son of Peleus by his yellow hair, appearing to him alone; but none of the others beheld her. But Achilles was amazed, and turned himself round, and immediately recognized Pallas Minerva; and awe-inspiring her eyes appeared to him. And addressing her, he spoke winged words:

“Why, O offspring of ægis-bearing Jove, hast thou come hither? Is it that thou mayest witness the insolence of Agamemnon, the son of Atreus? But I tell thee, what I think will be accomplished, that he will probably soon lose his life by his haughtiness.”

Footnote 28: (return) The princes assembled.

But him in turn the azure-eyed goddess Minerva addressed: “I came from heaven to assuage thy wrath, if thou wilt obey me; for the white-armed goddess Juno sent me forward, equally loving and regarding both from her soul. But come, cease from strife, nor draw the sword with thine hand. But reproach by words, as the occasion may suggest; for thus I declare, and it shall be accomplished, that thrice as many splendid gifts shall be presented to thee, because of this insolent act; only restrain thyself, and obey us.”

But her answering, 29 swift-footed Achilles addressed: “It behoves me to observe the command of you both, O goddess, although much enraged in my soul; for so it is better. Whosoever obeys the gods, to him they hearken propitiously.”

Footnote 29: (return) Columna on Ennius, p. 17, ed. Hessel., compares “Ollei respondet Rex Albaï longaï,” and “Ollei respondet suavis sonus Egeriäi,” observing that this formula was probably as common in the heroic annals of Ennius as τὸν δ' ὰπαμειξόμενος is in Homer.

He spoke, and held still his heavy hand upon the silvery hilt, and thrust back the great sword into the scabbard, nor did he disobey the mandate of Minerva; but she had gone to Olympus, to the mansions of ægis-bearing Jove, amongst the other deities. But the son of Peleus again addressed Atrides with injurious 30 words, nor as yet ceased from anger:

“Wine-bibber, having the countenance of a dog, but the heart of a stag, never hast thou at any time dared in soul to arm thyself with the people for war, nor to go to ambuscade with the chiefs of the Greeks; for this always appears to thee to be death. Certainly it is much better through the wide army of the Achæans, to take away the rewards of whoever may speak against thee. A people-devouring king [art thou], since thou rulest over fellows of no account; for assuredly, son of Atreus, thou [otherwise] wouldst have insulted now for the last time. But I will tell thee, and I will further swear a great oath: yea, by this sceptre, which will never bear leaves and branches, nor will bud again, after it has once left its trunk on the mountains; for the axe has lopped it all around of its leaves and bark; but now the sons of the Greeks, the judges, they who protect the laws [received] from Jove, bear it in their hands; and this will be a great oath to thee; surely will a longing desire for Achilles come upon all the sons of the Achæans at some future day, and thou, although much grieved, wilt be unable to assist them, when many dying shall fall by the hand of man-slaying Hector. Then enraged, wilt thou inwardly fret thy soul, that thou didst in no way honour the bravest of the Greeks.”

Footnote 30: (return) Epimerism. Hom. in Cramer’s Anecdott. vol. i. p. 24. άταρτηρός, η παρά την άτην, ο σημαίνει την βλάξην, άτηρός.—Hesych. βλαξρός, άτηρός.

Thus spoke the son of Peleus; and he cast upon the earth his sceptre studded with golden nails, and sat down. But on the other hand, the son of Atreus was enraged; therefore to them arose the sweet-voiced Nestor, 31 the harmonious orator of the Pylians, from whose tongue flowed language sweeter than honey. During his life two generations of articulately-speaking men had become extinct, who, formerly, were reared and lived with him in divine Pylus, but he was now ruling over the third; who, wisely counselling, addressed them, and said:

Footnote 31: (return) I must refer the reader to a most happy sketch of Nestor’s exploits and character in Crete’s Hist, of Greece, vol. i. p. 153.

“Ο gods! surely a great sorrow comes upon the Grecian land. Verily, Priam would exult, and the sons of Priam, and the other Trojans, would greatly rejoice in their souls, if they were to hear these things of you twain contending: you who in council and in fighting surpass the Greeks. But be persuaded; for ye are both younger than I am. For already, in former times, I have associated with men braver than you, and they never disdained me. I never saw, nor shall I see, such men as Pirithous, and Dryas, shepherd of the people, and Cæneus, and Exadius, and god-like Polyphemus, 32 and Theseus, the son of Ægeus, like unto the immortals. Bravest indeed were they trained up of earthly men; bravest they were, and they fought with the bravest Centaurs of the mountain caves, and terribly slew them. With these was I conversant, coming from Pylus, far from the Apian land; for they invited me, and I fought to the best of my power; but with them none of these who now are mortals upon the earth could fight. And even they heard my counsels, and obeyed my words. But do ye also obey, since it is better to be obedient; nor do thou, although being powerful, take away the maid from him, but leave it so, seeing that the sons of the Greeks first gave [her as] a prize on him. Nor do thou, Ο son of Peleus, feel inclined to contend against the king; since never yet has any sceptre-bearing king, to whom Jove has given glory, been allotted an equal share of dignity. But though thou be of superior strength, and a goddess mother has given thee birth, yet he is superior in power, inasmuch as he rules more people. Do thou, son of Atreus, repress thine anger; for it is I that 33 entreat thee to forego thy resentment on behalf of Achilles, who is the great bulwark of destructive war to all the Achæans.”

Footnote 32: (return) A prince of the Lapithæ, not the Cyclops.

Footnote 33: (return) See Anthon, who has well remarked the force of the particles.

But him king Agamemnon answering addressed: “Of a truth thou hast said all these things, old man, according to what is right. But this man is desirous to be above all other men; he wishes to have the mastery, and lord it over all, and to prescribe to all; with which his desires I think some one will not comply. But if the ever-existing gods have made him a warrior, do they therefore give him the right to utter insults?”

But him noble Achilles interruptingly answered: “Yea, forsooth, 34 I may be called a coward and a man of no worth, if now I yield to thee in everything, whatever thou mayest say. Enjoin these things to other men; for dictate not to me, for I think that I shall no longer obey thee. But another thing will I tell thee, and do thou store it in thy mind: I will not contend with my hands, neither with thee, nor with others, on account of this maid, since ye, the donors, take her away. But of the other effects, which I have at my swift black ship, of those thou shalt not remove one, taking them away, I being unwilling. But if [thou wilt], come, make trial, that these also may know: quickly shall thy black blood flow around my lance.”

Footnote 34: (return) Properly elliptical—I have done right; for, &c.—Crusius.

Thus these twain, striving with contrary words, arose, and they broke up the assembly at the ships of the Greeks. The son of Peleus on his part repaired to his tents and well-proportioned 35 ships, with the son of Menoetius, 36 and his companions. But the son of Atreus 37 launched his swift ship into the sea, and selected and put into it twenty rowers, and embarked a hecatomb for the god. And he led the fair daughter of Chryses and placed her on board, and the very wise Ulysses embarked as conductor. They then embarking, sailed over the watery paths. But the son of Atreus ordered the armies to purify themselves; 38 and they were purified, and cast forth the ablutions into the sea. And they sacrificed to Apollo perfect hecatombs of bulls and goats, along the shore of the barren sea; and the savour involved in 39 smoke ascended to heaven. Thus were they employed in these things through the army. Nor did Agamemnon cease from the contention which at first he threatened against Achilles. But he thus addressed Talthybius and Eurybates, who were his heralds and zealous attendants: 40

Footnote 35: (return) Equal on both sides, so as to preserve a balance. But Blomfield, Obs. on Matth. Gr. § 124, prefers to render it “ships of due size,” as [δαις ειση], ver. 468, “an equalized meal.”

Footnote 36: (return) Patroclus.

Footnote 37: (return) So Anthon, comparing ver. 142.

Footnote 38: (return) Not a mere medicinal measure, but a symbolical putting away of the guilt, which, through Agamemnon’s transgression, was brought upon the army also.—Wolf.

Footnote 39: (return) Not about the smoke, but in the smoke; for περί denotes also the staying within the compass of an object.—Nägelsbach.

Footnote 40: (return) θεράπων is a voluntary servant, as opposed to δούλος.—See Arnold.

“Going to the tent of Achilles, the son of Peleus, lead away fair Brisëis, having taken her by the hand; but if he will not give her, then I myself, coming with great numbers, will take her, and this will be more grievous 41 to him.”

Thus speaking, he despatched them, having added 42 a harsh command. But they reluctantly went along the shore of the barren sea, and came to the tents and ships of the Myrmidons. And they found him sitting at his tent and his black ship: nor did Achilles, seeing them, rejoice. But they, confused, and reverencing the king, stood still, nor addressed him at all, nor spoke [their bidding]. But he perceived [it] in his mind, and said:

“Hail, heralds, messengers of Jove, 43 and also of men, come near, for ye are not blamable to me in the least, but Agamemnon, who has sent you on account of the maid Brisëis. However, come, noble Patroclus, lead forth the maid, and give her to them to conduct; but let these be witnesses [of the insult offered me], both before the blessed gods, and before mortal men, and before the merciless king. But if ever again there shall be need of me to avert unseemly destruction from the rest, [appeal to me shall be in vain], 44 for surely he rages with an infatuated mind, nor knows at all how to view the future and the past, in order that the Greeks may fight in safety at their ships.”

Thus he spoke. And Patroclus obeyed his dear companion, and led forth fair-cheeked Brisëis from the tent, and gave her to them to conduct; and they returned along by the ships of the Greeks. But the woman went with them reluctantly, whilst Achilles, weeping, 45 immediately sat down, removed apart from his companions, upon the shore of the hoary sea, gazing on the darkling main; and much he be sought his dear mother, stretching forth his hands:

Footnote 41: (return) Hesych. ρίγιον, φοβερώτερον, χαλεπώτερον.

Footnote 42: (return) “Misit eos, minaci jusso dato.”—Heyne.

Footnote 43: (return) So called from their inviolability,—άσνλον γαρ και θείον το γένος των κηρύκων.—Schol. Και εζήν αντοίς πανταχόσε άδεώς ίεναι.—Pollux, viii. They were properly sacred to Mercury (id. iv. 9. Cf. Feith, Antiq. Homer, iv. 1), but are called the messengers of Jove, as being under his special protection, with a reference to the supporting of regal authority.

Footnote 44: (return) Observe the aposiopesis.

Footnote 45: (return) Not for the loss of Briseïs, but on account of the affront.

“O mother, since thou hast borne me, to be but short-lived, at least then ought high-thundering Olympian Jove to have vouchsafed honour to me; but now he has not honoured me ever so little; for the son of Atreus, wide-ruling Agamemnon, has dishonoured me; for he, taking away my prize, possesses it, himself having wrested it [from me].”

Thus he spoke, weeping. But to him his venerable mother hearkened, sitting in the depths of the ocean beside her aged sire. And immediately she rose up from the hoary deep, like a mist. And then she sat before him weeping, and soothed him with her hand, and addressed him, and spoke aloud:

“Son, why weepest thou—on account of what has grief come upon thy mind? Declare it, nor hide it in thy soul, that we both may know it.”

But her, sighing deeply, swift-footed Achilles addressed: “Thou knowest; why should I tell all these things to thee, already knowing [them]? We went against Thebe, 46 the sacred city of Eëtion; and this we plundered, and brought hither all [the spoil]. And these things indeed the sons of the Greeks fairly divided among themselves, and selected for Agamemnon the fair-cheeked daughter of Chryses. But Chryses, priest of the far-darting Apollo, came afterwards to the fleet ships of the brazen-mailed Greeks, about to ransom his daughter, and bringing invaluable ransoms, having in his hand the fillets of far-darting Apollo, on his golden sceptre. And he supplicated all the Greeks, but chiefly the two sons of Atreus, the leaders of the people. Upon this all the other Greeks shouted assent, that the priest should be reverenced, and the splendid ransoms accepted: yet it was not pleasing to Agamemnon, son of Atreus, in his mind; but he dismissed him evilly, and added a harsh mandate. The old man therefore went back enraged; but Apollo hearkened to him praying, for he was very dear to him. And he sent a destructive arrow against the Greeks; and the forces were now dying one upon another, and the shafts of the god went on all sides through the wide army of the Greeks. But to us the skilful seer unfolded the divine will of the Far-darter. Straightway I first exhorted that we should appease the god; but then rage seized upon the son of Atreus, and instantly rising, he uttered a threatening speech, which is now accomplished; for the rolling-eyed Greeks attend her to Chrysa with a swift bark, and bring presents to the king; but the heralds have just now gone from my tent, conducting the virgin daughter of Brisëis, whom the sons of the Greeks gave to me. But do thou, if thou art able, aid thy son. Going to Olympus, supplicate Jove, if ever thou didst delight the heart of Jove as to anything, by word or deed; for I frequently heard thee boasting in the palaces of my sire, when thou saidest that thou alone, amongst the immortals, didst avert unworthy destruction from the cloud-collecting son of Saturn, when the other Olympian inhabitants, Juno, and Neptune, and Pallas Minerva, wished to bind him. But thou, O goddess, having approached, freed him from his chains, having quickly summoned to lofty Olympus, the hundred-handed, whom the gods call Briareus, and all men Ægeon, because he was superior to his father in strength, 47 who then sat by the son of Saturn, exulting in renown. Him then the blessed gods dreaded, nor did they bind [Jove]. Of these things now reminding him, sit beside him, and embrace his knees, if in anywise he may consent to aid the Trojans, and hem in 48 at their ships, and along the sea, the Greeks [while they get] slaughtered, that all may enjoy their king, and that the son of Atreus, wide-ruling Agamemnon, may know his baleful folly, 49 when he in no wise honoured the bravest of the Greeks.”

Footnote 46: (return) Thebe was situated on the border of Mysia, on the mountain Placus, in the district afterwards called Adramyttium. The inhabitants were Cilicians.—See Heyne, and De Pinedo on Steph. Byz. s.v. p. 307, n. 58.

Footnote 47: (return) Briareus as the son of Neptune or of Uranus and Terra.—See Arnold. The fable is ridiculed by Minucius Felix, § 22.

Footnote 48: (return) See Buttm. Lexil. pp. 257, 261, Fishlake’s translation.

Footnote 49: (return) The idea of infatuation is not, however, necessarily implied in ἄτη. See Buttm. Lex. p. 5, sq.

But him Thetis then answered, shedding down a tear: “Alas! my son, wherefore have I reared thee, having brought thee forth in an evil hour. Would that thou wert seated at the ships tearless and uninjured; for thy destined life is but for a very short period, nor very long; but now art thou both swift-fated and wretched above all mortals: therefore have I brought thee forth in my palace under an evil fate. However, to tell thy words to thunder-delighting Jove, I myself will go to snow-clad Olympus, if by chance he will be persuaded. But do thou, now sitting at the swift ships, wage resentment against the Greeks, and totally abstain from war. For yesterday Jove went to Oceanus, 50 to the blameless Æthiopians, to a banquet, and with him went all the gods. But on the twelfth day he will return to Olympus; and then will I go to the brazen-floored palace of Jove, and suppliantly embrace his knees, and I think that he will be persuaded.”

Footnote 50: (return) According to Homer, the earth is a circular plane, and Oceanus is an immense stream encircling it, from which the different rivers run inward.

Thus having said, she departed, and left him there wrathful in his soul for his well-girded maid, whom they had taken from him against his will. But Ulysses, meantime, came to Chrysa, bringing the sacred hecatomb. But they, when they had entered the deep haven, first furled their sails, and stowed them in the sable bark; they next brought the mast to its receptacle, lowering it quickly by its stays, and they rowed the vessel forwards with oars into its moorage; they heaved out the sleepers, and tied the hawsers. They themselves then went forth on the breakers of the sea, and disembarked the hecatomb to far-darting Apollo, and then they made the daughter of Chryses descend from the sea-traversing bark. Then wise Ulysses, leading her to the altar, placed her in the hands of her dear father, and addressed him:

“O Chryses, Agamemnon, king of men, sent me forth to conduct to thee thy daughter, and to sacrifice a sacred hecatomb to Phœbus for the Greeks, that we may appease the king, who now has sent evils fraught with groanings upon the Argives.”

Thus having spoken, he placed her in his hands; but he rejoicing received his beloved daughter. Then they immediately placed in order the splendid hecatomb for the god around the well-built altar. After that they washed their hands, and held up the pounded barley. 51 But for them, Chryses, uplifting his hands, prayed with loud voice:

Footnote 51: (return) “Salted barley meal,”—Anthon; “whole barley,”—Voss; but Buttmann, Lexil. p. 454, in a highly amusing note, observes, “no supposition of a regular and constant distinction between the Greeks and Romans, the one using barley whole and the other coarsely ground, possible as the thing may be in itself, is to be entertained without the express testimony of the ancients.”

“Hear me, O thou of the silver bow, who art wont to protect Chrysa and divine Cilla, and who mightily rulest over Tenedos! already indeed at a former time didst thou hear me praying, and didst honour me, and didst very much afflict the people of the Greeks, now also accomplish for me this further request: even now avert from the Greeks this unseemly pestilence.”

Thus he spoke praying, and him Phœbus Apollo heard. But after they had prayed, and sprinkled the pounded barley, they first bent back [the neck of the victims], killed them, and flayed them, and cut out the thighs, and wrapped them round with the fat, having arranged it in double folds; then laid the raw flesh upon them. Then the old man burned them on billets, and poured sparkling wine upon them; and near him the youths held five-pronged spits in their hands. But after the thighs were roasted, and they had tasted the entrails, they then cut the rest of them into small pieces, and fixed them on spits, and roasted them skilfully, and drew all the viands [off the spits].

But when they had ceased from their labour, and had prepared the banquet, they feasted; nor did their soul in anywise lack a due allowance of the feast: but when they had dismissed the desire of drink and food, the youths on the one hand filled the goblets with wine to the brim, 52 and handed round the wine to all, having poured the first of the wine into the cups. 53 But the Grecian youths throughout the day were appeasing the god by song, chanting the joyous Pæan, 54 hymning the Far-darter, and he was delighted in his mind as he listened. But when the sun had set, and darkness came on, then they slept near the hawsers of their ships. But when the mother of dawn, 55 rosy-fingered morning, appeared, straightway then they set sail for the spacious camp of the Achæans, and to them far-darting Apollo sent a favourable gale. But they erected the mast and expanded the white sails. The wind streamed 56 into the bosom of the sail; and as the vessel briskly ran, the dark wave roared loudly around the keel; but she scudded through the wave, holding on her way. But when they reached the wide armament of the Greeks, they drew up the black ship on the continent, far upon the sand, and stretched long props under it; but they dispersed themselves through their tents and ships.

Footnote 52: (return) See Buttm. Lexil. p. 291, sqq. The custom of crowning the goblets with flowers was of later origin.

Footnote 53: (return) See Battm. p. 168. The customary libation is meant.

Footnote 54: (return) On the Pæan, see Müller, Gk. Lit. iii. § 4. and Dorians, vol. i. p. 370.

Footnote 55: (return) See Loewe on Odyss. ii. 1, and my translation. Kennedy renders it “ushering in the dawn.”

Footnote 56: (return) See Buttm. p. 484. I am partly indebted to Anthon in rendering this expression.

But the Jove-sprung son of Peleus, swift-footed Achilles, continued his wrath, sitting at his swift ships, nor ever did he frequent the assembly of noble heroes, nor the fight, but he pined away his dear heart, remaining there, although he longed for the din and the battle.

Now when the twelfth morning from that time arose, 57 then indeed all the gods who are for ever went together to Olympus, but Jupiter preceded. But Thetis was not forgetful of the charges of her son, but she emerged from the wave of the sea, and at dawn ascended lofty heaven and Olympus; 58 and she found the far-seeing son of Saturn sitting apart from the others, on the highest summit of many-peaked Olympus, and then she sat down before him, and embraced his knees with her left hand, but with the right taking him by the chin, imploring, she thus addressed king Jove, the son of Saturn:

“O father Jove, if ever I have aided thee among the immortals, either in word or deed, accomplish for me this desire: honour my son, who is the most short-lived of others; for now indeed Agamemnon, the king of men, has disgraced him; for he possesses his prize, he himself having borne it away. Do thou at least, Olympian Jove all counselling, honour him: and so long grant victory to the Trojans, until the Greeks shall reverence my son, and shall advance him in honour.”

Footnote 57: (return) Cf. ver. 425.

Footnote 58: (return) Οὐρανός is here the upper clear region of air,—the ether, into which Olympus soared up.—Voss.

Thus she spoke; but cloud-compelling Jove answered her nothing, but sat silent for a long time. And as Thetis seized his knees, fast clinging she held them, and thus again entreated: “Do but now promise to me explicitly, and grant or refuse, (for in thee there is no dread,) that I may well know how far I am the most dishonoured goddess amongst all.”

But her cloud-compelling Jove, deeply moved, addressed: “Truly now this [will be] a grievous matter, since thou wilt cause me to give offence to Juno, when she shall irritate me with reproachful words. For, even without reason, she is perpetually chiding me amongst the immortal gods, and also says that I aid the Trojans in battle. But do thou on thy part now depart, lest Juno behold thee: but these things shall be my care, until I perform them. But if [thou wilt have it thus], so be it; I will nod to thee with my head, that thou mayest feel confidence. For this from me is the greatest pledge among the immortals: for my pledge, even whatsoever I shall sanction by nod, is not to be retracted, neither fallacious nor unfulfilled.”

The son of Saturn spoke, and nodded thereupon with his dark eyebrows. And then the ambrosial locks of the king were shaken over him from his immortal head; and he made mighty Olympus tremble. Thus having conferred, they separated. She at once plunged from splendid Olympus into the profound sea. But Jove on the other hand [returned] to his palace. But all the gods rose up together from their seats to meet their sire; nor did any dare to await 59 him approaching, but all rose in his presence. Thus indeed he sat there on his throne; nor was Juno unconscious, having seen that silver-footed Thetis, the daughter of the marine old man, had joined in deliberation with him. Forthwith with reproaches she accosted Saturnian Jove:

“Which of the gods again, O deceitful one, has been concerting measures with thee? Ever is it agreeable to thee, being apart from me, plotting secret things, to decide thereon; nor hast thou ever yet deigned willingly to tell me one word of what thou dost meditate.”

Footnote 59: (return) Heyne supplies “sedendo.”

To her then replied the father of men and gods: “O Juno, build up no hopes of knowing all my counsels; difficult would they be for thee, although thou art my consort. But whatever it may be fit for thee to hear, none then either of gods or men shall know it before thee: but whatever I wish to consider apart from the gods, do thou neither inquire into any of these things, nor investigate them.”

But him the large-eyed, venerable Juno then answered: “Most dread son of Saturn, what a word hast thou spoken? Heretofore have I ever questioned thee much, nor pryed [into thy secrets]; but thou mayest very quietly deliberate on those things which thou desirest. But at present I greatly fear in my soul, lest silver-footed Thetis, the daughter of the marine old man, may have influenced thee: for at dawn she sat by thee and embraced thy knees: to her I suspect thou didst plainly promise that thou wouldest honour Achilles, and destroy many at the ships of the Greeks.”

But her answering, cloud-compelling Jove addressed: “Perverse one! thou art always suspecting, nor do I escape thee. Nevertheless thou shalt produce no effect at all, but thou shalt be farther from my heart: and this will be more bitter to thee. But granted this be so, it appears to be my pleasure. 60 But sit down in peace, and obey my mandate, lest as many deities as are in Olympus avail thee not against me, I drawing near, 61 when I shall lay my resistless hands upon thee.”

Footnote 60: (return) I.e., say that what you suspect is correct; well then, such is my will.

Footnote 61: (return) I prefer taking ίονθ' for ίοντα, not for ίοντε, as Buttmann wished.—See Anthon.

Thus he spoke: but venerable, large-eyed Juno feared, and sat down silent, having bent her heart to submission. But the heavenly gods murmured throughout the palace of Jove. And the renowned artificer, Vulcan, began to harangue them, doing kind offices to his beloved mother, white-armed Juno:

“Truly now these will be grievous matters, and no longer tolerable, if ye twain contend thus on account of mortals, and excite uproar among the deities. Nor will there be any enjoyment in the delightful banquet, since the worse things prevail. 62 But to my mother I advise, she herself being intelligent, to gratify my dear father Jove, lest my sire may again reprove her, and disturb our banquet. For if the Olympian Thunderer wishes to hurl [us] from our seats 63—for he is much the most powerful. But do thou soothe him with gentle words; then will the Olympian king straightway be propitious to us.”

Footnote 62: (return) Cf. Duport, Gnom. Hom. p. 9. The saying is almost proverbial.

Footnote 63: (return) An aposiopesis; understand, “he can easily do so.”

Thus then he spoke, and rising, he placed the double cup 64 in the hand of his dear mother, and addressed her:

“Be patient, my mother, and restrain thyself, although grieved, lest with my own eyes I behold thee beaten, being very dear to me; nor then indeed should I be able, though full of grief, to assist thee; for Olympian Jove is difficult to be opposed. For heretofore, having seized me by the foot, he cast me, desiring at one time to assist you, down from the heavenly threshold. All day was I carried down through the air, and I fell on Lemnos 65 with the setting sun: and but little life was in me by that time. There the Sintian 66 men forthwith received and tended 67 me, having fallen.”

Thus he spoke: but the white-armed goddess Juno smiled; and smiling she received the cup from the hand of her son. But he, beginning from left to right, 68 kept pouring out for all the other gods, drawing nectar from the goblet. And then inextinguishable laughter arose among the immortal gods, when they saw Vulcan bustling about 69 through the mansion.

Footnote 64: (return) See my note on Od. iii. p. 30, n. 13, ed. Bohn. It was “a double cup with a common bottom in the middle.”—Crusius.

Footnote 65: (return) Hercules having sacked Troy, was, on his return, driven to Cos by a storm raised by Juno, who was hostile to him, and who had contrived to cast Jupiter into a sleep, that he might not interrupt her purpose. Jupiter awaking, in resentment of the artifice practised upon him, bound her feet to iron anvils, which Vulcan attempting to loose, was cast headlong down to Lemnos by his enraged sire.

Footnote 66: (return) A race of robbers, of Tyrrhenian origin (according to Müller), and the ancient inhabitants of Lemnos. This island was ever after sacred to Vulcan. Cf. Lactant. i. 15; Milton, P.L. i. 740, sqq.

Footnote 67: (return) See Arnold.

Footnote 68: (return) This meaning of ένδέξια is due to Buttmann.

Footnote 69: (return) See Buttmann, Lexil. p. 481.

Thus, then, they feasted 70 the entire day till the setting sun; nor did the soul want anything of the equal feast, nor of the beautiful harp, which Apollo held, nor of the Muses, who accompanied him, responding in turn, with delicious voice.

Footnote 70: (return) “The gods formed a sort of political community of their own, which had its hierarchy, its distribution of ranks and duties, its contentions for power and occasional revolutions, its public meetings in the agora of Olympus, and its multitudinous banquets or festivals.”—Grote, vol. i. p. 463. Cf. Müller, Gk. Lit. ii. § 2.

But when the splendid light of the sun was sunk, they retired to repose, each one to his home, where renowned Vulcan, lame of both legs, with cunning skill had built a house for each. But the Olympian thunderer Jove went to his couch, where he lay before, when sweet sleep came upon him. There, having ascended, he lay down to rest, and beside him golden-throned Juno.



Jove sends a dream to Agamemnon, in consequence of which he re-assembles the army. Thersites is punished for his insolent speech, and the troops are restrained from seeking a return homewards. The catalogue of the ships and the forces of the confederates follows.

The rest, then, both gods and horse-arraying men, 71 slept all the night: but Jove sweet sleep possessed not; but he was pondering in his mind how he might honour Achilles, and destroy many at the ships of the Greeks. But this device appeared best to him in his mind, to send a fatal dream 72 to Agamemnon, the son of Atreus. And addressing him, he spoke winged words:

“Haste away, pernicious dream, to the swift ships of the Greeks. Going into the tent of Agamemnon, son of Atreus, utter very accurately everything as I shall command thee. Bid him arm the long-haired Achæans 73 with all their array; for now perhaps he may 74 take the wide-wayed city of the Trojans; for the immortals who possess the Olympian mansions no longer think dividedly, for Juno, supplicating, hath bent all [to her will]. And woes are impending over the Trojans.”

Thus he spake: and the dream 75 accordingly departed, as soon as it heard the mandate. And quickly it came to the swift ships of the Greeks, and went unto Agamemnon, the son of Atreus. But him it found sleeping in his tent, and ambrosial slumber was diffused around. And he stood over his head, like unto Nestor, the son of Neleus, him, to wit, whom Agamemnon honoured most of the old men. To him assimilating himself, the divine dream addressed him:

Footnote 71: (return) See Anthon, who observes that “fighting from on horseback was not practised in the Homeric times.”

Footnote 72: (return) Some would personify Oneirus, as god of dreams.

Footnote 73: (return) Observe the distinction, for the Abantes, ver. 542, and the Thracians, iv. 533, wore their hair differently.

Footnote 74: (return) κεν limits the assertion to probability, so that Jupiter does not utter a direct falsehood.

Footnote 75: (return) In defence of this cheating conduct of Jove, at which Plato was much scandalized, Coleridge, p. 154, observes: “The οὖλος ὄνειρος was a lying spirit, which the father of gods and men had a supreme right to commission for the purpose of working out his ultimate will.”

“Sleepest thou, son of the warrior, horse-taming Atreus? It becomes not a counsel-giving man, to whom the people have been intrusted, and to whom so many things are a care, to sleep all the night. But now quickly attend to me; for I am a messenger to thee from Jove, who, although far distant, greatly regards and pities thee. He orders thee to arm the long-haired Greeks with all their array, for now mayest thou take the wide-wayed city of the Trojans, since the immortals, who possess the Olympian mansions, no longer think dividedly; for Juno, supplicating, hath bent all [to her will], and woes from Jove are impending over the Trojans. But do thou preserve this in thy recollection, nor let forgetfulness possess thee, when sweet sleep shall desert thee.”

Thus then having spoken, he departed, and left him there pondering these things in his mind, which were not destined to be accomplished. For he, foolish, thought that he would take the city of Priam on that day; nor knew he the deeds which Jupiter was really devising; for even he was about yet to impose additional hardships and sorrows upon both Trojans and Greeks, through mighty conflicts. But he awoke from his sleep, and the heavenly voice was diffused around him. He sat up erect, and put on his soft tunic, beautiful, new; and around him he threw his large cloak. And he bound his beautiful sandals on his shining feet, and slung from his shoulders the silver-studded sword. He also took his paternal sceptre, ever imperishable, with which he went to the ships of the brazen-mailed Greeks.

The goddess Aurora now 76 ascended wide Olympus, announcing the dawn to Jove and the other immortals. But he 77 on his part ordered the clear-voiced heralds to summon the long-haired Achæans 78 to an assembly. They therefore summoned them, and the people were very speedily assembled. First the assembly of magnanimous elders sat at the ship of Nestor, the Pylus-born king. Having called them together, he propounded a prudent counsel:

Footnote 76: (return) ῥα appears to mark the regular transition from one event to another.

Footnote 77: (return) Agamemnon.

Footnote 78: (return) See on ver. 11.

“Hear me, my friends: a divine dream came to me in sleep, during the ambrosial night, very like unto the noble Nestor, in form, in stature, and in mien. And it stood above my head, and addressed me: ‘Sleepest thou, son of the warrior, horse-taming Atreus? It becomes not a counsellor, to whom the people have been intrusted, and to whom so many things are a care, to sleep all the night. But now quickly attend to me; for I am a messenger to thee from Jove, who, although far distant, greatly regards and pities thee. He orders thee to arm the long-haired Greeks with all their array, for now mayest thou take the wide-wayed city of the Trojans; for the immortals, who possess the Olympian mansions, no longer think dividedly, for Juno, supplicating, has bent all [to her will], and woes from Jove are impending over the Trojans; but do thou preserve this in thy thoughts.’ Thus having spoken, flying away, it departed; but sweet sleep resigned me. But come, [let us try] if by any means we can arm the sons of the Greeks. But first with words will I sound their inclinations, as is right, and I will command them to fly with their many-benched ships; but do you restrain them with words, one in one place, another in another.”

He indeed having thus spoken, sat down; but Nestor, who was king of sandy Pylus, rose up, who wisely counselling, harangued them, and said:

“O friends, generals and counsellors of the Argives, if any other of the Greeks had told this dream, we should have pronounced it a fabrication, and withdrawn ourselves [from the reciter]. But now he has seen it, who boasts himself [to be] by far the greatest man in the army. But come on, if by any means we can arm the sons of the Greeks.”

Thus then having spoken, he began to depart from the assembly; and they, the sceptre-bearing princes, arose, and obeyed the shepherd of the tribes, and the hosts rushed forward. Even as the swarms of clustering bees, 79 issuing ever anew from the hollow rock, go forth, and fly in troops over the vernal 80 flowers, and some have flitted in bodies here, and some there; thus of these [Greeks] many nations from the ships and tents kept marching in troops in front of the steep shore to the assembly. And in the midst of them blazed Rumour, messenger of Jove, urging them to proceed; and they kept collecting together. The assembly was tumultuous, and the earth groaned beneath, as the people seated themselves, and there was a clamour; but nine heralds vociferating restrained them, if by any means they would cease from clamour, and hear the Jove-nurtured princes. With difficulty at length the people sat down, and were kept to their respective 81 seats, having desisted from their clamour, when king Agamemnon arose, holding the sceptre, which Vulcan had laboriously wrought. Vulcan in the first place gave it to king Jove, the son of Saturn, and Jove in turn gave it to his messenger, the slayer of Argus. 82 But king Mercury gave it to steed-taming Pelops, and Pelops again gave it to Atreus, shepherd of the people. But Atreus, dying, left it to Thyestes, rich in flocks; but Thyestes again left it to Agamemnon to be borne, that he might rule over many islands, 83 and all Argos. 84 Leaning upon this, he spoke words amongst the Greeks:

Footnote 79: (return) The dative here implies direction, ἐπὶ increasing its force, according to Stadelmann and Kühner, who are followed by Anthon. I have restored the old interpretation, which is much less far-fetched, and is placed beyond doubt by Virgil’s imitations.—“per florea rura,” Æn. i. 430; “floribus insidunt variis.” Æn. vi. 708. “Among fresh dews and flowers, Fly to and fro.”—Milton. P.L. i. 771.

Footnote 80: (return) I. e. over the flowers in the spring-time, when bees first appear. See Virg. l. c. Eurip. Hipp. 77, μέλισσα λειμῶν' ᾐρινὸν ὂιέρχεται.—Nicias, Anthol. i. 31, ἔαρ φαίνουσα μέλισσα.—Longus, i. 4.

Footnote 81: (return) Observe the distributive use of κατά. Cf. Od. iii. 7.

Footnote 82: (return) Mercury. Cf. Ovid. Met. i. 624. sqq.

Footnote 83: (return) On the extended power of Agamemnon, see Thucyd. i. 9.

Footnote 84: (return) On this sceptre, the type of the wealth and influence of the house of the Atrides, see Grote. vol. i. p. 212.

“O friends, Grecian heroes, servants of Mars, Jove, the son of Saturn, has entangled me in a heavy misfortune. Cruel, who before indeed promised to me, and vouchsafed by his nod, that I should return home, having destroyed well-fortified Ilium. But now he has devised an evil deception, and commands me to return to Argos, inglorious, after I have lost many of my people. So forsooth it appears to be agreeable to all-powerful Jove, who has already overthrown the citadels of many cities, yea, and will even yet overthrow them, for transcendent is his power. For this were disgraceful even for posterity to hear, that so brave and so numerous a people of the Greeks warred an ineffectual war, and fought with fewer men; but as yet no end has appeared. For if we, Greeks and Trojans, having struck a faithful league, 85 wished that both should be numbered, and [wished] to select the Trojans, on the one hand, as many as are townsmen; and if we Greeks, on the other hand, were to be divided into decades, and to choose a single man of the Trojans to pour out wine [for each decade], many decades would be without a cupbearer. 86 So much more numerous, I say, the sons of the Greeks are than the Trojans who dwell in the city. But there are spear-wielding auxiliaries from many cities, who greatly stand in my way, and do not permit me wishing to destroy the well-inhabited city. Already have nine years of mighty Jove passed away, and now the timbers of our ships have rotted, and the ropes have become untwisted. 87 Our wives and infant children sit in our dwellings expecting us; but to us the work for which we came hither remains unaccomplished, contrary to expectation. But come, as I shall recommend, let us all obey; let us fly with the ships to our dear native land, for at no future time shall we take wide-wayed Troy.”

Footnote 85: (return) Ὂρκια is probably used as an adjective, understanding ὶερεῖα, the victims that were slain in order to ratify the oath. See however Buttm. Lexil. p. 439.

Footnote 86: (return) The Greeks doubled the Trojans in number. See Anthon.

Footnote 87: (return) Observe the change of construction in λέλυνται with the neuter plural. Apollon. de Syntaxi, iii. 11. Τὰ σπάρτα λέλυνται καταλληλότερον τοῦ δοῦρα σέσηπε.

Thus he spoke; and to them he aroused the heart in their breasts, to all throughout the multitude, whoever had not heard his scheme. 88 And the assembly was moved, as the great waves of the Icarian Sea, which, indeed, both the south-east wind and the south are wont to raise, 89 rushing from the clouds of father Jove. And as when the west wind 90 agitates the thick-standing corn, rushing down upon it impetuous, and it [the crop] bends with its ears; so was all the assembly agitated. Some with shouting rushed to the ships, but from beneath their feet the dust stood suspended aloft; and some exhorted one another to seize the vessels, and drag them to the great ocean; and they began to clear the channels. The shout of them, eager [to return] home, rose to the sky, and they withdrew the stays from beneath the vessels. Then truly a return had happened to the Argives, contrary to destiny, had not Juno addressed herself to Minerva:

Footnote 88: (return) I. e. his real object. Cf. vs. 75, sqq.

Footnote 89: (return) Spitzner and the later editors unite in reading κινήση for κινήσει from the Venice MS. See Arnold.

Footnote 90: (return)

——“As thick as when a field

Of Ceres, ripe for harvest, waving bends

Her bearded grove of ears, which way the wind

Sways them.”—Paradise Lost, iv. 980.

“Alas! indomitable daughter of ægis-bearing Jove, thus now shall the Argives fly home to their dear native land, over the broad back of the deep, and leave to Priam glory, and to the Trojans Argive Helen, on whose account many Greeks have perished at Troy, far from their dear native land? But go now to the people of the brazen-mailed Greeks, and restrain each man with thy own flattering words, nor suffer them to launch to the sea their evenly-plied 91 barks.” Thus she spoke, nor did the azure-eyed goddess Minerva refuse compliance. But she, hastening, descended down from the summits of Olympus, and quickly reached the swift ships of the Achæans. Then she found Ulysses, of equal weight with Jove in counsel, standing still; nor was he touching his well-benched, sable bark, since regret affected him in heart and mind. But standing near him, azure-eyed Minerva said:

Footnote 91: (return) I.e. rowed on both sides. But Rost and Liddell (s.v.) prefer “swaying, rocking on both sides.”

“Jove-sprung son of Laertes, Ulysses of many wiles, thus then will ye fly home to your dear native land, embarking in your many-benched ships? And will ye then leave to Priam glory, and to the Trojans Argive Helen, on whose account many Greeks have fallen at Troy, far from their dear native land? But go now to the people of the Greeks, delay not; and restrain each man by thy own flattering words, nor suffer them to launch to the sea their evenly-plied barks.”

Thus she spoke, but he knew the voice of the goddess speaking. Then he hastened to run, and cast away his cloak, but the herald Eurybates, the Ithacensian, who followed him, took it up. But he, meeting Agamemnon, son of Atreus, received from him 92 the ever-imperishable paternal sceptre, with which he went through the ships of the brazen-mailed Greeks.

Footnote 92: (return) This is an instance of the σχῆμα Σικελικόν, as in H. O. 88, γίνεται δε παραλαμξανομένης δοτικῆς πτώσεως άντι γενικῆς και κατὰ παράλειψιν τού παρἁ προθέσεως.—Lesbonax, περί σχημ. ρ. 181, ed. Valck.

Whatsoever king, indeed, or distinguished man he chanced to find standing beside him, he checked him with gentle words:

“Strange man! it ill becomes thee, coward-like, to be in trepidation; but both sit down thyself, and make the other people sit down, for thou hast not as yet clearly ascertained what the intention of Atrides is. He is now making trial of, and will quickly punish the sons of the Greeks. We have not all heard what he said in council. Take care lest he, being incensed, do some mischief to the sons of the Greeks. For the anger of a Jove-nurtured king is great; his honour too is from Jove, and great-counselling Jove loves him.”

But on the other hand, whatever man of the common people he chanced to see, or find shouting out, him would he strike with the sceptre, and reprove with words:

“Fellow, sit quietly, and listen to the voice of others, who are better than thou; for thou art unwarlike and weak, nor ever of any account either in war or in council. We Greeks cannot all by any means govern here, for a government of many is not a good thing; 93 let there be but one chief, one king, 94 to whom the son of wily Saturn has given a sceptre, and laws, that he may govern among them.”

Footnote 93: (return) See Aristot. Polit. iv. 4, and Cicer. de Off. i. 8. This true maxim has been often abused by tyrants, as by Dion (Corn. Nepos, Dion, § 6, 4), Caligula (Sueton. Cal. 22), and Domitian (id. 12).

Footnote 94: (return) On the aristocratic character of Homer’s poetry, see Müller, Gk Lit. iv. § 2.

Thus he, acting as chief, was arranging the army. But they again rushed with tumult from the ships and tents to an assembly, as when the waves of the much-resounding sea roar against the lofty beach, and the deep resounds.

The others indeed sat down, and were kept to their respective seats. But Thersites alone, immediate in words, was wrangling; who, to wit, knew in his mind expressions both unseemly and numerous, so as idly, and not according to discipline, to wrangle with the princes, but [to blurt out] whatever seemed to him to be matter of laughter to the Greeks. And he was the ugliest man who came to Ilium. He was bandy-legged, 95 and lame of one foot; his shoulders were crooked, and contracted towards his breast; and his head was peaked 96 towards the top, and thin woolly hair was scattered over it. To Achilles and Ulysses he was particularly hostile, for these two he used to revile. But on this occasion, shouting out shrilly, he uttered bitter taunts against noble Agamemnon; but the Greeks were greatly irritated against him, and were indignant in their minds. But vociferating aloud, he reviled Agamemnon with words:

Footnote 95: (return) See Buttm. Lexil. p. 540, § 8.

Footnote 96: (return) See Buttm. p. 537, who derives φοζος from φώγειν, to dry, as if φωξός, warped by heat.

“Son of Atreus, of what dost thou now complain, or what dost thou want? Thy tents are full of brass, and many chosen women are in thy tents, whom we Greeks bestow on thee the first of all, whenever we capture a city. Dost thou still require gold, which some one of the horse-taming Trojans shall bring from Troy, as a ransom for his son, whom I, or some other of the Greeks, having bound, may lead away? Or a young maid, that thou mayest be mingled in dalliance, and whom thou for thyself mayest retain apart 97 [from the rest]? Indeed it becomes not a man who is chief in command, to lead the sons of the Greeks into evil. Ο ye soft ones, vile disgraces, Grecian dames, no longer Grecian men, 98 let us return home, home! 99 with our ships, and let us leave him here to digest his honours at Troy, that he may know whether we really aid him in anything or not. He, who but just now has dishonoured Achilles, a man much more valiant than himself; for, taking away, he retains his prize, he himself having seized it. But assuredly there is not much anger in the heart of Achilles; but he is forbearing; for truly, were it not so, Ο son of Atreus, thou wouldest have insulted now for the last time.”

Footnote 97: (return) Not being compelled to restore her, like the daughter of Chryses.

Footnote 98: (return) Virg. Æn. ix. 617: “Ο vere Phrygiæ, neque enim Phryges!”

Footnote 99: (return) This is Nägelsbach’s spirited rendering of οίκαδε περ.

Thus spoke Thersites, reviling Agamemnon, the shepherd of the people. But godlike Ulysses immediately stood beside him, and eyeing him with scowling brow, reproached him with harsh language:

“Thersites, reckless babbler! noisy declaimer though thou be, refrain, nor be forward singly to strive with princes; for I affirm that there is not another mortal more base than thou, as many as came with the son of Atreus to Ilium. Wherefore do not harangue, having kings in thy mouth, nor cast reproaches against them, nor be on the watch for a return. Not as yet indeed do we certainly know how these matters will turn out, whether we sons of the Greeks shall return to our advantage or disadvantage. Wherefore, now thou sittest reviling Agamemnon, son of Atreus, the leader of the people, because the Grecian heroes give him very many gifts, whilst thou, insulting, dost harangue. But I declare to thee, which shall also be accomplished: if ever again I catch thee raving, as now thou art, no longer may the head of Ulysses rest upon his shoulders, and no longer may I be called the father of Telemachus, unless I seizing thee divest thee of thy very garments, thy coat, thy cloak, and those which cover thy loins; and send thyself weeping to the swift ships, having beaten thee out of the assembly with severe blows.”

Thus he spoke, and smote him with the sceptre upon the back and the shoulders; but he writhed, and plenteous tears fell from him, and a bloody weal arose under the sceptre upon his back. But he sat down and trembled; and grieving, looking foolish, he wiped away the tears. They, although chagrined, laughed heartily at him, and thus one would say, looking towards the person next him:

“O strange! surely ten thousand good deeds has Ulysses already performed, both originating good counsels, and arousing the war. But now has he done this by far the best deed amongst the Greeks, in that he has restrained this foul-mouthed reviler from his harangues. Surely his petulant mind will not again urge him to chide the kings with scurrilous language.”

Thus spake the multitude; but Ulysses, the sacker of cities, arose, holding the sceptre, and beside him azure-eyed Minerva, likened unto a herald, ordered the people to be silent, that at the same time the sons of the Greeks, both first and last, might hear his speech, and weigh his counsel. He wisely counselling, addressed them, and said:

“O son of Atreus, the Greeks wish to render thee now, O king, the meanest amongst articulately-speaking men; nor perform their promise to thee, 100 which they held forth, coming hither from steed-nourishing Argos, that thou shouldest return home, having destroyed well-fortified Ilium. For, like tender boys, or widowed women, they bewail unto one another to return home. And truly it is a hardship to return [so], having been grieved. For he is impatient who is absent even for a single month from his wife, remaining with his many-benched ship, 101 though wintry storms and the boisterous sea may be hemming in; 102 but to us it is [now] the ninth revolving year since we have been lingering here. Wherefore I am not indignant that the Greeks are growing impatient by their curved ships; but still it would be disgraceful both to remain here so long, and to return ineffectually. Endure, my friends, and remain yet awhile, that we may know whether Calchas prophesies truly or not. For this we well know, and ye are all witnesses, whom the Fates of death carried not off yesterday and the day before, when the ships of the Greeks were collected at Aulis, bearing evils to Priam and the Trojans, and we round about the fountain, at the sacred altars, offered perfect hecatombs to the immortals, beneath a beauteous plane-tree, whence flowed limpid water. 103 There a great prodigy appeared; a serpent, spotted on the back, horrible, which the Olympian himself had sent forth into the light, having glided out from beneath the altar, proceeded forthwith to the plane-tree. And there were the young of a sparrow, an infant offspring, on a topmost branch, cowering amongst the foliage, eight in number; but the mother, which had brought forth the young ones, was the ninth. Thereupon he devoured them, twittering piteously, while the mother kept fluttering about, lamenting her dear young; but then, having turned himself about, he seized her by the wing, screaming around. But after he had devoured the young of the sparrow, and herself, the god who had displayed him rendered him very portentous, for the son of wily Saturn changed him into a stone; but we, standing by, were astonished at what happened. Thus, therefore, the dreadful portents of the gods approached the hecatombs. Calchas, then, immediately addressed us, revealing from the gods: ‘Why are ye become silent, ye waving-crested Greeks? For us, indeed, provident Jove has shown a great sign, late, of late accomplishment, the renown of which shall never perish. As this [serpent] has devoured the young of the sparrow, eight in number, and herself, the mother which brought out the brood, was the ninth, so must we for as many years 104 wage war here, but in the tenth we shall take the wide-wayed city.’ He indeed thus harangued: and all these things are now in course of accomplishment. But come, ye well-greaved Greeks, remain all here, until we shall take the great city of Priam.”

Footnote 100: (return) See Grote, vol. i. p. 392, n. 2.

Footnote 101: (return) I have followed Wolf, taking σὺν υνὶ πολυζύγῳ in connection with μενών. Others most awkwardly make σὺν=παρά.

Footnote 102: (return) Cf. Buttm. Lexil. s. v. εἰλεῖν.

Footnote 103: (return) Pausanias, ix. 20, says that both the spring and the remains of the tree were shown in his time. The whole of this fable has been translated into verse by Cicero, de Div. ii. 30. Compare the following passage of Apuleius de Deo Socr. p. 52, ed. Elm. “Calchas longe præstabilis ariolari, simul alites et arborem contemplatus est, actutum sua divinitate et tempestates flexit, et classem deduxit, et decennium prædixit.”

Footnote 104: (return) I. e. for nine. It is remarkable that so little notice has been taken of this story by the later poets. But the sacrifice of Iphigenia was a more attractive subject for tragedy or episode, and took the place of the Homeric legend.

Thus he [Ulysses] spoke, and the Greeks loudly shouted, applauding the speech of divine Ulysses; but all around the ships echoed fearfully, by reason of the Greeks shouting. Then the Gerenian 105 knight Nestor addressed them:

“O strange! assuredly now ye are talking like infant children, with whom warlike achievements are of no account. Whither then will your compacts and oaths depart? Into the fire now must the counsels and thoughts of men have sunk, and the unmixed libations, and the right hands in which we trusted; for in vain do we dispute with words, nor can we discover any resource, although we have been here for a long time. But do thou, O son of Atreus, maintaining, as before, thy purpose firm, command the Greeks in the hard-fought conflicts; and abandon those to perish, one and both, 106 who, separated from the Greeks, are meditating [but success shall not attend them] to return back to Argos, before they know whether the promise of ægis-bearing Jove be false or not. For I say that the powerful son of Saturn assented on that day, when the Argives embarked in their swift ships, bearing death and fate to the Trojans, flashing 107 his lightning on the right, and showing propitious signs. Let not any one, therefore, hasten to return home before each has slept with a Trojan wife, and has avenged the cares 108 and griefs of Helen. But if any one is extravagantly eager to return home, let him lay hands upon his well-benched black ship, that he may draw on death and fate before others. But do thou thyself deliberate well, O king, and attend to another; nor shall the advice which I am about to utter be discarded. Separate the troops, Agamemnon, according to their tribes and clans, that kindred may support kindred, and clan. If thou wilt thus act, and the Greeks obey, thou wilt then ascertain which of the generals and which of the soldiers is a dastard, and which of them may be brave, for they will fight their best, 109 and thou wilt likewise learn whether it is by the divine interposition that thou art destined not to dismantle the city, or by the cowardice of the troops, and their unskilfulness in war.”

Footnote 105: (return) Nestor took this name from a city of Messena (Gerenium, a, or ia. See Arnold, and Pinedo on Steph. Byz. s.v. Γερηνία), where he was brought up, probably after Pylos had been destroyed by Hercules.

Footnote 106: (return) Proverbially meaning a few, but probably referring to Achilles and Thersites. See the Scholiast.

Footnote 107: (return) Observe this bold change of construction, and compare Valck. on Lesbonax, at the end of his edition of Ammonius, p. 188.

Footnote 108: (return) Hesych. ὁρμήματα, μερίμναι. Etym. Μ. ἐνθυμήματα, φροντίδες. See Buttm. Lexil. p. 440, sqq. Helen certainly shows some repentance in iii. 176.

Footnote 109: (return) “Pro virili parte,” Wolf. Cf. i. 271.

But him answering, king Agamemnon addressed: “Old man, now indeed, as at other times, dost thou excel the sons of the Greeks in council. For, would, O father Jove, Minerva, and Apollo, that I were possessed of ten such fellow-counsellors among the Greeks! So should the city of Priam quickly fall, captured and destroyed by our hands. But upon me hath ægis-bearing Jove, the son of Saturn, sent sorrow, who casts me into unavailing strifes and contentions. For I and Achilles have quarrelled on account of a maid with opposing words: but I began quarrelling. But if ever we shall consult in common, no longer then shall there be a respite from evil to the Trojans, no, not for ever so short a time. Now go to your repast, that we may join battle. Let each one well sharpen his spear, and well prepare 110 his shield. Let him give fodder to his swift-footed steeds, and let each one, looking well to his chariot, get ready for war; that we may contend all day in the dreadful battle. Nor shall there be a cessation, not for ever so short a while, until night coming on shall part the wrath of the heroes. The belt of the man-protecting 111 shield shall be moist with sweat around the breasts of each one, and he shall weary his hand round his spear; and each one’s horse shall sweat, dragging the well-polished chariot. But whomsoever I shall perceive desirous to remain at the beaked ships, apart from the battle, it will not be possible for him afterwards to escape the dogs and the birds.”

Thus he spoke, but the Argives shouted aloud, as when a wave [roars] against the steep shore, when the south wind urges it, coming against an out-jutting rock; for this the billows from all kinds of winds never forsake, when they may be here or there. And rising up, the people hastened forth, scattered from ship to ship, and raised up smoke among the tents, and took repast. And one sacrificed to some one of the immortal gods, and [another to another,] praying to escape death and the slaughter of war. But king Agamemnon offered up a fat ox, of five years old, to the powerful son of Saturn, and summoned the elder chiefs of all the Greeks, Nestor first of all, and king Idomeneus, but next the two Ajaxes, 112 and the son of Tydeus, and sixth Ulysses, of equal weight with Jove in council. But Menelaus, valiant in the din 113 of war, came of his own accord, 114 for he knew his brother in his heart, how he was oppressed. Then they stood around the ox, and raised up the pounded barley cakes: and king Agamemnon, praying amidst them, said:

Footnote 110: (return) Schol. εύτρεπισάτω.

Footnote 111: (return) These shields were so large, that they covered nearly the whole person.

Footnote 112: (return) One the son of Telamon, the other the son of Oïleus.

Footnote 113: (return) This translation is, I think, far bolder than “loud-voiced,” or “good in the battle-shout.” Βοῂ contains the whole idea of the tumultuous noise heard in the heat of battle, and thence the battle itself. Thus the Schol. ὁ ἐv τῷ πολἐμω γενναἲος; and Hesych. κατὰ τῂν μάχην ανδρεἲος.

Footnote 114: (return) Opposed to κλητὸς, as in Oppian, Hal. iii. 360, κλητοί τ' αύτό μολοί τε. See Plato Sympos. p. 315, G. Læm. Why Menelaus did so, is no matter to us, and probably was no mystery to his brother.

“O Jove, most glorious, most great dark-cloud-collector, dwelling in the air, may not the sun set, nor darkness come on, before I have laid prostrate Priam’s hall, blazing, and consumed its gates with the hostile fire; and cut away Hector’s coat of mail around his breast, split asunder with the brass; and around him may many comrades, prone in the dust, seize the earth with their teeth.”

Thus he spoke, nor as yet did the son of Saturn assent, but he accepted the offering, and increased abundant toil. But after they had prayed, and thrown forward the bruised barley, they first drew back [the neck of the victim,] slew it, and flayed it, then cut out the thighs, and covered them in the fat, having arranged it in a double fold, and then laid the raw flesh upon them. And they roasted them upon leafless billets. Next, having pierced the entrails with spits, they held them over the fire. But then, after the thighs were roasted, and they had tasted the entrails, they cut the rest of them into small pieces, and fixed them on spits, and roasted them skilfully, and drew them all off [the spits]. But when they had ceased from labour, and had prepared the banquet, they feasted; nor did their soul in anywise lack a due allowance of the feast. But when they had dismissed the desire of drink and food, them the Gerenian knight Nestor began to address:

“Most glorious son of Atreus, Agamemnon, king of men, let us now no longer sit prating 115 here, nor let us long defer the work which the deity now delivers into our hands. But come, let the heralds of the brazen-mailed Greeks, summoning the people, assemble them at the ships, and let us thus in a body pass through the wide army of the Greeks, that we may the sooner awaken keen warfare.”

Footnote 115: (return) See Buttm. Lexil. p. 398, Anthon, and Arnold.

Thus he spoke, nor did Agamemnon, king of men, refuse compliance. Immediately he ordered the clear-voiced heralds to summon the waving-crested Greeks to battle. These then gave the summons, and they were hastily assembled, and the Jove-nurtured kings, who were with the son of Atreus, kept hurrying about arranging them. But amongst them was azure-eyed Minerva, holding the inestimable ægis, which grows not old, and is immortal: from which one hundred golden fringes were suspended, all well woven, and each worth a hundred oxen in price. With this she, looking fiercely about, 116 traversed the host of the Greeks, inciting them to advance, and kindled strength in the breast of each to fight and contend unceasingly. Thus war became instantly sweeter to them than to return in the hollow ships to their dear native land.

As when a destructive 117 fire consumes an immense forest upon the tops of a mountain, and the gleam is seen from afar: so, as they advanced, the radiance from the beaming brass glittering on all sides reached heaven through the air.

Footnote 116: (return) See Liddell and Scott.

Footnote 117: (return) Literally “invisible.” Hence “making invisible, destructive.” Cf. Buttm. Lex. s. v. ἀΐδηλος.

And of these—like as the numerous nations of winged fowl, of geese, or cranes, or long-necked swans, on the Asian mead, by the waters of Cayster, fly on this side and on that, disporting with their wings, alighting beside each other clamorously, and the meadow resounds—so the numerous nations of these [the Greeks] from the ships and tents poured themselves forth into the plain of Scamander, countless as the flowers and leaves are produced in spring.

As the numerous swarms of clustering flies which congregate round the shepherd’s pen in the spring season, when too the milk overflows the pails; so numerous stood the head-crested Greeks upon the plain against the Trojans, eager to break [their lines].

And these, 118 as goat-herds easily separate the broad flocks of the goats, when they are mingled in the pasture, so did the generals here and there marshal them to go to battle; and among them commander Agamemnon, resembling, as to his eyes and head, the thunder-delighting Jove, as to his middle, Mars, and as to his breast, Neptune.

Footnote 118: (return) In τοὺς δὲ there is an anacoluthon similar to the one in vs. 459

As a bull in the herd is greatly eminent above all, for he surpasses the collected cattle, such on that day did Jove render Agamemnon, distinguished amongst many, and conspicuous amongst heroes.

Tell me now, ye Muses, who possess the Olympian mansions (for ye are goddesses, and are [ever] present, and ken all things, whilst we hear but a rumour, nor know anything 119), who were the leaders and chiefs of the Greeks. For I could not recount nor tell the multitude, not even if ten tongues, and ten mouths were mine, [not though] a voice unwearied, 120 and a brazen heart were within me; unless the Olympic Muses, daughters of ægis-bearing Jove, reminded me of how many came to Ilium. However, I will rehearse the commanders of the ships, and all the ships.

Footnote 119: (return) Cf. Æn. vii. 644:—

“Et meministis enim, Divæ, et memorare potestis:

Ad nos vix tenuis famæ perlabitur aura.”

Milton, Par. Lost, i. 27:—

“Say first, for Heav’n hides nothing from thy view,

Nor the deep tract of Hell——”

Footnote 120: (return) Cf. Æn. vi. 625 sqq.; Georg. ii. 42; Valer. Flacc, vi. 36; Silius, iv. 527; Claudian, 6 Cons. Hon. 436. This hyperbolical mode of excusing poetic powers is ridiculed by Persius, Sat. vi. 1.


Peneleus, and Leïtus, and Arcesilaus, and Prothoënor, and Clonius, commanded the Bœotians; both those who tilled Hyrie, and rocky Aulis, and Schœnos, and Scholos, and hilly Eteonus, Thespia, Græa, and the ample plain of Mycalessus; and those who dwelt about Harma, and Ilesius, and Erythræ; and those who possessed Elion, Hyle, Peteon, Ocalea, and the well-built city Medeon, Copæ, Eutressis, and Thisbe abounding in doves; and those who possessed Coronæa, and grassy Haliartus, and Platæa; and those who inhabited Glissa, and those who dwelt in Hypothebæ, the well-built city, and in sacred Onchestus, the beauteous grove of Neptune; and those who inhabited grape-clustered Arne, and those [who inhabited] Midea, and divine Nissa, and remote Anthedon: fifty ships of these went to Troy, and in each embarked a hundred and twenty Bœotian youths.

Those who inhabited Aspledon, and Minyean Orchomenus, these Ascalaphus and Ialmenus, the sons of Mars, led, whom Astyoche bore to powerful Mars in the house of Actor, son of Azis: a modest virgin, when she ascended the upper part of her father’s house; but the god secretly embraced her. Of these thirty hollow ships went in order.

Moreover, Schedius and Epistrophus, sons of magnanimous Iphitus, the son of Naubolus, led the Phoceans, who possessed Cyparissus, and rocky Python, and divine Crissa, and Daulis, and Panopea; and those who dwelt round Anemoria and Hyampolis, and near the sacred river Cephissus, and those who possessed Lilæa, at the sources of Cephissus: with these forty dark ships followed. They indeed, 121 going round, arranged the lines of the Phoceans; and they were drawn up in array near the Bœotians, and towards the left wing.

Footnote 121: (return) Schedius and Epistrophus.

Swift-footed Ajax, the son of Oileus, was leader of the Locrians; less in stature than, and not so tall as Ajax, the son of Telamon, but much less. He was small indeed, wearing a linen corslet, but in [the use of] the spear he surpassed all the Hellenes and Achæans, who inhabited Cynus, Opus, Calliarus, Bessa, Scarpha, and pleasant Augeia, and Tarpha, and Thronium, around the streams of Boagrius. But with him forty dark ships of the Locrians followed, who dwell beyond sacred Eubœa.

The Abantes, breathing strength, who possessed Eubœa, and Chalcis, and Eretria, and grape-clustered Histiæa, and maritime Cerinthus, and the towering city of Dium, and those who inhabited Carystus and Styra: the leader of these was Elephenor, of the line of Mars, the son of Chalcodon, the magnanimous prince of the Abantes. With him the swift Abantes followed, with flowing locks behind, warriors skilled with protended spears of ash, to break the corslets on the breasts of their enemies. With him forty dark ships followed.

Those besides who possessed Athens, the well-built city, the state of magnanimous Erechtheus, whom Minerva, the daughter of Jove, formerly nursed (but him the bounteous earth brought forth), and settled at Athens in her own rich temple: there the sons of the Athenians, in revolving years, appease her with [sacrifices of] bulls and lambs 122—them Menestheus, son of Peteus, commanded. “No man upon the earth was equal to him in marshalling steeds and shielded warriors in battle; Nestor alone vied with him, for he was elder. With him fifty dark ships followed.”

But Ajax 123 led twelve ships from Salamis, and leading arranged them where the phalanxes of the Athenians were drawn up.

Footnote 122: (return) Grote, Hist. of Greece, vol. i. p. 75, observes, “Athene is locally identified with the soil and people of Athens, even in the Iliad: Erechtheus, the Athenian, is born of the earth, but Athene brings him up, nourishes him, and lodges him in her own temple, where the Athenians annually worship him with sacrifice and solemnities. It was altogether impossible to make Erechtheus son of Athene,—the type of the goddess forbade it; but the Athenian myth-creators, though they found this barrier impassable, strove to approach to it as near as they could.” Compare also p. 262, where he considers Erechtheus “as a divine or heroic, certainly a superhuman person, and as identified with the primitive germination of Attic man.”

Footnote 123: (return) : The son of Telamon.

Those who possessed Argos, and well-fortified Tiryns, Hermione, and which encircle the Asine deep bay, Trœzene, and Eionæ, and vine-planted Epidaurus, and those who possessed Ægina, and Mases, Achæan youths. Their leader then was Diomede, brave in war, and Sthenelus, the dear son of much-renowned Capaneus; and with these went Euryalus the third, god-like man, the son of king Mecisteus, Talaus’ son; and all these Diomede brave in war commanded. With these eighty dark ships followed.

Those who possessed Mycenæ, the well-built city, and wealthy Corinth, 124 and well-built Cleonæ, and those who inhabited Ornia, and pleasant Aræthyrea, and Sicyon, where Adrastus first reigned: and those who possessed Hyperesia, and lofty Gonoessa, and Pellene, and those who [inhabited] Ægium, and all along the sea-coast, 125 and about spacious Helice. Of these, king Agamemnon, the son of Atreus, commanded a hundred ships: and with him by far the most and bravest troops followed; and he had clothed himself in dazzling brass, exulting in his glory, that he shone conspicuous amongst all heroes; for he was the most eminent, and led by far the most numerous troops. 126

Footnote 124: (return) An anachronism, as Corinth, before its capture by the Dorians, was called Ephyra (as in II. vi. 152). “Neque est, quod miremur ab Homero nominari Corinthum, nam ex persona poetæ et hanc urbem, et quasdam Ionum colonias iis nominibus appellat, quibus vocabantur ætate ejus, multo post Ilium captum conditæ.”—Vell. Paterc. i. 3.

Footnote 125: (return) I. e. the later Achaia.—Arnold.

Footnote 126: (return) On the superior power of Agamemnon, see Grote, vol. i. p. 211 and compare II. ix. 69.

But those who possessed great Lacedæmon, full of clefts, and Pharis and Sparta, and dove-abounding Messa, and Brysiæ, and pleasant Augeiæ; and those who possessed Amyclæ, and Helos, a maritime city; and those who possessed Laas, and dwelt round Œtylus. Of these his brother Menelaus, brave in battle, commanded sixty ships, but they were armed apart [from Agamemnon’s forces]. Amidst them he himself went, confiding in his valour, inciting them to war; but especially he desired in his soul to avenge the remorse of Helen and her groans.

Those who inhabited Pylos and pleasant Arene, and Thryos, by the fords of Alphœus, and well-built Æpy, and Cyparesseis and Amphigenia, and Pteleum, and Helos, and Dorium: and there it was the Muses, meeting the Thracian Thamyris, as he was coming from Œchalia, from Œchalian Eurytus, caused him to cease his song; for he averred, boasting, that he could obtain the victory, 127 even though the Muses themselves, the daughters of ægis-bearing Jove, should sing. But they, enraged, made him blind, and moreover deprived him of his power of singing, and caused him to forget the minstrel-art. These the Gerenian horseman Nestor commanded: and with him ninety hollow ships proceeded in order.

Those who possessed Arcadia, under the breezy 128 mountain of Cyllene, near the tomb of Æpytus, where are close-fighting heroes; those who inhabited Pheneus, and sheep-abounding Orchomenus, and Ripe and Stratie, and wind-swept Enispe, and who possessed Tegea and pleasant Mantinea; and those who held Stymphalus, and dwelt in Parrhasie; of these king Agapenor, the son of Ancæus, commanded sixty ships; but aboard each ship went many Arcadian heroes skilled in war. But the son of Atreus, Agamemnon himself, the king of heroes, gave them the well-benched ships, to pass over the dark sea; since they had no care of naval works.

Footnote 127: (return) Respecting the connection of this story with the early poetic contests, see Müller, Gk. Lit. iv. 2, whose interesting remarks are, unfortunately, too long for a note.

Footnote 128: (return) i. e. lofty.

Those who inhabited Buprasium and noble Elis, as much as Hyrmine, and distant Myrsinus, and the Olenian rock, and Alisium, contain within; of these the leaders were four; but ten swift ships followed each hero, and many Epeans went aboard them. Amphimachus and Thalpius, sons, the one of Cteatus, the other of Eurytus, Actor’s son, commanded some: brave Diores, son of Amarynceus, commanded others: and god-like Polyxenus, son of Agasthenes, the son of king Augeas, commanded the fourth division.

Those from Dulichium, and the Echinades, sacred islands, which lie beyond the sea, facing Elis. 129 Over these presided Meges, son of Phyleus, equal to Mars, whom the knight Phyleus, beloved by Jove, begat, who, enraged against his father, once on a time removed to Dulichium. With him forty dark ships followed.

Moreover Ulysses led the magnanimous Cephallenians, those who possessed Ithaca and leaf-quivering Neritos, and who dwelt in Crocylea and rugged Ægilips, and those who possessed Zacynthus, and those who inhabited Samos, and those who possessed the continent, and dwelt in the places lying opposite; these Ulysses commanded, equal to Jove in council. With him followed twelve red-sided ships.

Thoas, son of Andræmon, led the Ætolians, those who inhabited Pleuron, and Olenus, and Pylene, and maritime Chalcis, and rocky Calydon. For the sons of magnanimous Œneus were no more, nor was he himself surviving; moreover, fair-haired Meleager was dead. 130 To him [Thoas,] therefore, was intrusted the chief command, to rule the Ætolians, and with him forty dark ships followed.

Footnote 129: (return) “This description of the Echinades has something equivocal in it, which is cleared up, if we suppose it addressed to the inhabitants of the Asiatic side of the Archipelago. But if, with Pope, we understand the words ‘beyond the sea’ to relate to Elis, I think we adopt an unnatural construction to come at a forced meaning; for the old Greek historians tell us, that those islands are so close upon the coast of Elis, that in their time many of them had been joined to it by means of the Achelous.”—Wood on Homer, p. 8, sq.

Footnote 130: (return) Grote, Hist, of Greece, vol. i. p. 197, after referring to the Homeric legend respecting Meleager in II. xi. 525, sqq., remarks that “though his death is here indicated only indirectly, there seems little doubt that Homer must have conceived the death of the hero as brought about by the maternal curse: the unrelenting Erinnys executed to the letter the invocations of Althæa, though she herself must have been willing to retract them.”

Spear-renowned Idomeneus commanded the Cretans, those who possessed Gnossus and well-walled Gortyna and Lyctos, and Miletus, and white Lycastus and Phæstus, and Rhytium, well-inhabited cities; and others who inhabited the hundred-towned Crete. These spear-famed Idomeneus commanded, and Meriones, equal to man-slaying Mars: with these followed eighty dark ships.

But Tlepolemus, the brave and great descendant of Hercules, led from Rhodes nine ships of the haughty Rhodians, those who inhabited Rhodes, arranged in three bands, Lindus, and Ialyssus, and white Camirus. These spear-famed Tlepolemus led, he whom Astyochea brought forth to the might of Hercules, 131 whom [Astyochea] he [Hercules] carried out of Ephyre, from the river Selleis, after having laid waste many cities of nobly-descended youths. Now Tlepolemus, after he had been trained up in the well-built palaces, straightway slew the beloved uncle of his father, Licymnius, now grown old, a branch of Mars; and instantly he built a fleet; and having collected many troops, he departed, 132 flying over the ocean; for him the sons and grandsons of the might of Hercules had threatened. And he indeed came wandering to Rhodes, suffering woes. And they, divided into three parts, dwelt in tribes, and were beloved of Jove, who rules over gods and men: and on them the son of Saturn poured down immense wealth.

Footnote 131: (return) As in the Odyssey, I prefer preserving the quaint simplicity of these antiquated periphrases.

Footnote 132: (return) Grote, History of Greece, vol. i. p. 33, has collected the Homeric instances of exile “for private or involuntary homicide,” observing, however, from the Schol. on Il. xi. 690, “that Homer never once describes any of them to have either received or required purification for the crime.”

Nireus moreover led three equal ships from Syme, Nireus son of Aglaea, and king Charopus, Nireus, the fairest of men that came to Ilium, of all the other Greeks, next to the unblemished son of Peleus. But he was feeble, and few troops followed him.

But those who possessed Nisyrus, and Crapathus, and Casus, and Cos, the city of Eurypylus, and the Calydnæ isles, Phidippus and Antiphus, both sons of the Thessalian king, the son of Hercules, commanded. Thirty hollow ships of these went in order.

But now, [O muse, recount] those, as many as inhabited Pelasgian Argos, both those who dwelt in Alos and Alope, and Trechin, and those who possessed Phthia, and Hellas famous for fair dames. But they are called Myrmidons, and Hellenes, and Achæans: of fifty ships of these was Achilles chief. But they remembered not dire-sounding war, for there was no one who might lead them to their ranks. For swift-footed Achilles lay at the ships, enraged on account of the fair-haired maid Brisëis, whom he carried away from Lyrnessus, after having suffered many labours, and having laid waste Lyrnessus and the walls of Thebes; and he killed Mynetes and spear-skilled Epistrophus, sons of king Evenus, the son of Selepius. On her account he lay grieving, but speedily was he about to be roused.

Those who possessed Phylace and flowery Pyrrhasus, the consecrated ground of Ceres, and Iton the mother of sheep, maritime Antron, and grassy Ptelon. These warlike Protesilaus, whilst he lived, commanded; but him the black earth then possessed. His wife, lacerated all around, had been left at Phylace, and his palace half finished. For a Trojan man slew him, as he leaped ashore from his ship much the first of the Greeks. Nor were they, however, without a leader, although they longed for their own leader; for gallant Podarces marshalled them, Podarces, son of sheep-abounding Iphiclus, the son of Phylacis, own brother of magnanimous Protesilaus, younger by birth; but the warlike hero Protesilaus was older and braver. His troops wanted not a leader, but lamented him, being brave; with him forty dark ships followed.

Those who inhabited Phære by the lake Bœbeïs, Bœbe, and Glaphyræ, and well-built Iaolcus; these Eumeles, the beloved son of Admetus, commanded in eleven ships, whom Alcestis, divine amongst women, most beautiful in form of the daughters of Pelias, brought forth by Admetus.

Those who inhabited Methone and Thaumacia, and possessed Melibœa, and rugged Olizon; these Philoctetes, well skilled in archery, commanded in seven ships. Fifty sailors, well skilled in archery, went on board each to fight valiantly. But he lay in an island enduring bitter pangs, in divine Lemnos, where the sons of the Greeks had left him suffering with the evil sting of a deadly serpent. There he lay grieving; but soon were the Argives at the ships destined to remember their king Philoctetes. Nor were they however without a leader, though they longed for their own leader; but Medon, the bastard son of Oïleus, whom Rhina brought forth by city-wasting Oïleus, marshalled them.

Those who possessed Tricca, and hilly Ithome, and those who possessed Œchalia, the city of Œchalian Eurytus; Podalirius and Machaon, two excellent physicians, 133 both sons of Æsculapius, led these. With them thirty hollow ships went in order.

Footnote 133: (return) Grote, vol. i. p. 348, remarks that the “renown of Podalirius and Machaon was further prolonged in the subsequent poem of Arctinus, the Iliu-Persis, wherein the one was represented as unrivalled in surgical operations, the other as sagacious in detecting and appreciating morbid symptoms. It was Podalirius who first noticed the glaring eyes and disturbed deportment which preceded the suicide of Ajax.”

Those who possessed Ormenium, and the fountain Hyperia, and those who possessed Asterium and the white tops of Titanus; these Eurypylus, the brave son of Evæmon, commanded. With him forty dark ships followed.

Those who possessed Argissa, and inhabited Gyrtone, and Orthe, and Elone, and the white city Oloosson: these the stout warrior Polypœtes, son of Pirithous, whom immortal Jove begat, commanded. Him renowned Hippodamia brought forth by Pirithous, on the day when he took vengeance on the shaggy Centaurs, and drove them from Mount Pelion, and chased them to the Æthiceans. He was not the only leader; with him commanded warlike Leonteus, son of magnamimous Coronus, the son of Cœneus. With these forty dark ships followed.

But Gyneus led two-and-twenty ships from Cyphus. Him the Enienes followed, and the Peræbi, stout warriors, who placed their habitations by chilly Dodona, and those who tilled the fields about delightful Titaresius, which pours its fair-flowing stream into the Peneus; nor is it mingled with silver-eddied Peneus, but flows on the surface of it like oil. For it is a streamlet of the Stygian wave, the dreadful [pledge of] oath.

Prothoüs, son of Tenthredon, commanded the Magnetes, who dwell about the Peneus, and leaf-quivering Pelion: these swift Prothoüs led; and with him forty dark ships followed.

These then were the leaders and chieftains of the Greeks. Do thou, then, O muse, tell me who was the most excellent of these, of the kings and their steeds, who followed the son of Atreus to Troy. The steeds of the descendant of Pheres were indeed by far the most excellent, which Eumelus drove, swift as birds, like in hair, like in age, and level in [height of] back by the plumb-line. 134 These, bearing with them the terror of Mars, both mares, silver-bowed Apollo fed in Pieria. 135 Of the heroes Telamonian Ajax was by far the best, whilst Achilles continued wrathful, for he was by far the bravest; and the steeds which bore the irreproachable son of Peleus surpassed those of Eumelus. But he on his part lay in his dark sea-traversing ships, breathing wrath against the son of Atreus, Agamemnon, the shepherd of the people. But his forces meantime amused themselves with quoits and javelins, hurling [them,] and with their bows; and their steeds stood, each near his chariot, feeding on lotus and lake-fed parsley. And the well-fastened chariots lay in the tents of their lords. But they, longing for their warlike chief, wandered hither and thither through the camp, and did not fight.

But they went along, as if the whole earth was being fed upon by fire, 136 and the earth groaned beneath, as in honour of thunder-rejoicing Jove when angry, 137 when he strikes the earth around Typhœus in Arimæ, 138 where they say is the tomb of Typhœus; thus indeed beneath their feet the earth groaned mightily, as they went, and very swift they passed over the plain.

Footnote 134: (return) I. e. exactly equal in height, as if they had been measured.

Footnote 135: (return) This degradation of Apollo used to be commemorated in the theoria in honour of the god. See Müller Dor. vol. i. p. 233.

Footnote 136: (return) Such was the glitter of their arms.

Footnote 137: (return) See Arnold.

Footnote 138: (return) A volcanic district of Mysia.

But swift-footed Iris came from aegis-bearing Jove, a messenger to the Trojans, with a woeful announcement. They all, collected together, both young and old, were holding councils at the gates of Priam. But swift-footed Iris standing near, accosted them: and she likened herself in voice to Polites, son of Priam, who, trusting to the swiftness of his feet, sat at watch for the Trojans on the top of the tomb 139 of old Æsyetus, watching when the Greeks should set forth from the ships. To him having likened herself, swift-footed Iris addressed them:

“Old man, ever are injudicious words pleasing to thee, as formerly in time of peace: but now has an inevitable war arisen. Truly I have already very often been present at the conflicts of heroes, but never have I beheld such brave and numerous forces. For very like unto the leaves or the sand proceed they through the plain, about to fight for the city. Hector, for it is to thee in particular I give advice: and do thou act thus; for many are the allies through the great city of Priam; and different are the languages 140 of the widely-spread men. Let then each hero command those of whom he is the chief: but do thou, marshalling the citizens, be leader of them.”

Thus she said. But Hector was not ignorant of the voice of the goddess; and he instantly dismissed the council, and they rushed to arms. And the portals were opened, and the troops rushed out, both foot and horse; and much tumult arose.

Now there is a certain lofty mound before the city, far in the plain, that may be run round, 141 which men indeed call Batiea, but the immortals, the tomb of nimbly-springing Myrinna. There the Trojans and their allies were then marshalled separately.

Footnote 139: (return) On the height of the ancient tombs, see my note on Odyss. ii. p. 21, n. 35, ed. Bohn.

Footnote 140: (return) Cf. iv. 437, where this variety of dialects is again mentioned, and Müller, Greek Lit. i. § 4.

Footnote 141: (return) I. e. standing clear on all sides.

The Trojans, in the first place, great helmet-nodding Hector, son of Priam, commanded. With him far the most numerous and the bravest troops were armed, ardent with their spears.

The Dardanians, in the next place, Æneas, the gallant son of Anchises, commanded (him to Anchises the divine goddess Venus bore, couched with him a mortal on the tops of Ida): not alone, but with him the two sons of Antenor, Archelochus and Acamas, skilled in every kind of fight.

But the Trojans who inhabited Zeleia, 142 beneath the lowest foot of Ida, wealthy and drinking the dark water of Æsepus, these Pandarus, the valiant son of Lycaon, commanded, to whom even Apollo himself gave his bow.

Footnote 142: (return) Cf. iv. 119. “The inhabitants of Zeleia worshipped Apollo, and Zeleia was also called Lycia; facts which show that there was a real connection between the name of Lycia and the worship of Apollo, and that it was the worship of Apollo which gave the name to this district of Troy, as it had done to the country of the Solymi.”—Müller, Dor. vol. i. p. 248.

Those who possessed Adrestæ, and the city of Apæsus, and possessed Pityea, and the lofty mountain Tercia; these Adrastus and linen-mailed Amphius commanded, the two sons of Percosian Merops, who was skilled in prophecy above all others; nor was he willing to suffer his sons to go into the man-destroying fight. But they did not obey him, for the fates of sable death impelled them.

Those who dwelt around Percote and Practius, and possessed Sestos and Abydos, and divine Arisbe; these Asius, son of Hyrtacus, prince of heroes, commanded: Asius, son of Hyrtacus, whom large and fiery steeds bore from Arisbe, from the river Selleïs.

Hippothoüs led the tribes of the spear-skilled Pelasgians, of those who inhabited fertile Larissa; Hippothoüs and Pylæus of the line of Mars, the two sons of Pelasgian Lethus, son of Teutamus, commanded these.

But Acamus and the hero Piroüs led the Thracians, all that the rapidly flowing Hellespont confines within.

Euphemus, son of heaven-descended Trœzenus, son of Ceas, was commander of the warlike Cicones.

But Pyræchmes led the Pæonians, who use darts fastened by a thong, far from Amydon, from wide-flowing Axius, from Axius, whose stream is diffused the fairest over the earth.

But the sturdy heart of Pylæmenes from the Eneti, whence is the race of wild mules, led the Paphlagonians, those who possessed Cytorus, and dwelt around Sesamus, and inhabited the famous dwellings around the river Parthenius, and Cromna, Ægialus, and the lofty Erythine hills.

But Hodius and Epistrophus, far from Alybe, whence is a rich product of silver, commanded the Halizonians. Chromis and the augur Ennomus commanded the Mysians, but he avoided not sable death through his skill in augury, for he was laid low by the hands of Achilles in the river, where he made havoc of the other Trojans also.

Phorcys and godlike Ascanius far from Ascania, led the Phrygians, and they eagerly desired to engage in battle.

But Mesthles and Antiphus led the Mæonians, both sons of Talæmeneus, whom the lake Gygæa bore; these led the Mæonians, born beneath Mount Tmolus.

Nastes commanded the barbarous-voiced Carians, who possessed Miletus, and the leaf-topped mountain of Pethiri, and the streams of Mæander, and the lofty tops of Mycale. These indeed Amphimachus and Nastes commanded, Nastes and Amphimachus the famous sons of Nomion, who foolish went to battle decked with gold like a young girl 143; nor did this by any means ward off bitter death; but he was laid low by the hands of the swift-footed son of Æacus at the river, and warlike Achilles took away the gold.

Footnote 143: (return) It was customary for virgins to wear golden ornaments in great profusion. See Porson on Eur. Hec. 153.

But Sarpedon and gallant Glaucus from Lycia afar, from the eddying Xanthus, led the Lycians.



Just as the armies are on the point of engaging, Paris proposes a single combat, but, on Menelaus advancing, retires in affright. Being rebuked by Hector, he consents to engage Menelaus, and a treaty is arranged. Paris is vanquished, but is brought back safe to Ilium by Venus, who appeases the anger of Helen. Menelaus, as conqueror, calls upon the Trojans to fulfil the conditions of the challenge.

But after they had each been marshalled along with their leaders, the Trojans, on the one hand, moved along with both clamour and battle-shout, like birds; just as is the noise of cranes forth under heaven, which, after they have escaped the winter and immeasurable 144 shower, with a clamour do these wing their way towards the streams of the ocean, bearing slaughter and fate to the Pygmæan men; and they then at early dawn bring fatal strife. But the Greeks, on the other hand, breathing might, 145 advanced in silence, anxious in mind to aid one another.

Footnote 144: (return) See Alberti on Hesych. s. v., t. i. p. 126; lit. “what even a god would not say.”—Buttm. Lexil. p. 359.

Footnote 145: (return) Par. Lost, i. 559:

“——thus they,

Breathing united force with fixed thought,

Moved on in silence.”

As when the south wind sheds a mist over the top of a mountain, by no means friendly to the shepherds, but more serviceable even than night to the robber, and one can see [only] so far as he hurls a stone. So under the feet of them proceeding an eddying dust kept rising: and very speedily they traversed the plain.

But when they now were near, approaching each other, godlike Alexander advanced in front of the Trojans, having a panther’s skin on his shoulders, and his crooked bow, and a sword; but he brandishing two spears tipped with brass, challenged all the bravest of the Greeks to fight against him in grievous conflict.

But when Mars-beloved Menelaus perceived him advancing before the host, taking long strides, as a hungering lion exults, when happening on a carcase of large size, having found either a horned stag or a wild goat. For he greedily devours it, although swift hounds and vigorous youths pursue him. Thus Menelaus rejoiced, having beheld with his eyes godlike Alexander. For he thought he would be revenged upon the guilty wretch: forthwith, therefore, with his arms he leaped from his chariot to the earth.

But when, therefore, godlike Alexander perceived him appearing among the foremost warriors, he was smitten in his heart, and gave way back into the band of his companions, avoiding death. And as when any one having seen a serpent in the thickets of a mountain, has started back, and tremor has seized his limbs under him, and he has retired backwards, and paleness seizes his cheeks: thus godlike Alexander shrank back into the band of the haughty Trojans, dreading the son of Atreus.

But Hector having seen him, upbraided him with opprobrious words: “Cursed Paris, 146 most excellent in form, thou woman-raving seducer, would that thou hadst either not been born, or that thou hadst perished unmarried. This, indeed, I would wish, and indeed it would be much better, than that thou shouldst thus be a disgrace and scandal to others. In truth the long-haired Achæans may laugh, having suspected that thou wast a noble champion, because a fine person belongs [to thee]; but there is not strength in thy soul, nor any nerve. Didst thou, being such a one, having sailed over the ocean in sea-traversing ships, having collected congenial associates, and mingled with foreigners, take away a beauteous lady, from the Apian land, the spouse of martial men, a great detriment to thy father, to the city, and to all the people; a joy indeed to our enemies, but a disgrace to thyself? Couldst thou not have awaited warlike Menelaus? Then shouldst thou have known of how brave a man thou dost possess the blooming spouse. Nor will thy harp, and the gifts of Venus, and thy hair, and thy figure avail thee, when thou shalt be mingled with the dust. 147 But the Trojans are very pusillanimous; else wouldst thou have been arrayed in a garment of stone, on account of the evils which thou hast done.” 148

Him then godlike Alexander in turn addressed: “Hector, since thou hast reproached me justly, and not unjustly, [I will submit]. Ever is thy spirit unwearied, like an axe, which penetrates the wood, [driven] by the man who with art cuts out the naval plank, and it increases the force of the man: so in thy breast is there an intrepid heart. Reproach me not with the lovely gifts of golden Venus: the distinguished gifts of the gods are by no means to be rejected, whatever indeed they give; for no one can choose them at his own pleasure. Now, however, if thou desirest me to wage war and to fight, cause the other Trojans and all the Greeks to sit down, but match me and Mars-beloved Menelaus to contend in the midst for Helen and all the treasures. And whichever of us shall conquer, and shall be superior, having received all the treasures without reserve, and the woman, let him conduct them home. But let the rest of you, striking a friendship and faithful league, inhabit fertile Troy; and let them return to the steed-nourishing Argos, and fair-damed Achaia.”

Footnote 146: (return) Δὑς here denotes the evils which fatally resulted to Paris and his friends (so δυσελένας, “baleful Helen,” Eur. Or. 1388. Cf. Æsch. Ag. 689, sqq.) in consequence of his having been preserved, despite the omens attending his birth. See Hygin. Fab. xci. Hence the Schol. on Il. x. i. 96, derive his name of Paris, ὅτι τὸν μόνον παοῆλθεν.

Footnote 147: (return) Cf. Hor. Od. i. 15, 13:—

“Nequicquam, Veneris præsidio ferox,

Pectes cæsariem, grataque feminis

Imbelli cithara carmina divides: . . .

. . . tamen, heu! sorus adulteros

Crines pulvere collines.”

Footnote 148: (return) I. e. thou wouldst have been stoned to death.

Thus he spoke, but Hector on the other hand rejoiced greatly, having heard his speech; and having advanced into the centre, holding his spear by the middle, he restrained the phalanxes of the Trojans, and they all sat down. Against him the waving-haired Achæans were directing their bows, and taking aim, were going to hurl with shafts and with stones. But Agamemnon, he, 149 the king of men, exclaimed aloud:

Footnote 149: (return) Mark the force of the pronoun.

“Withhold, Argives! cast not, ye sons of the Aenæans; for helm-nodding Hector stands as if intending to propose something.”

Thus he spoke; but they abstained from battle, and instantly became silent. But Hector between both [armies] spoke thus:

“Hear from me, ye Trojans, and well-greaved Greeks, the proposal of Alexander, on whose account this strife has arisen. He advises that the other Trojans and all the Greeks should lay down their beauteous arms upon the bounteous earth; but that he and Mars-beloved Menelaus alone should fight in the midst for Helen and all the treasures; and whichever shall conquer, and shall be superior, having received all the treasures without reserve, and the woman, let him conduct them home: but let the rest of us strike a friendship and faithful league.”

Thus he said, and all became mute in silence. But amidst them Menelaus, valiant in the din of war, thus spoke:

“Now hear me also; for anguish has invaded my soul most: but I purpose that the Greeks and Trojans should now be separated, since ye have suffered many evils on account of my quarrel and the beginning of [this strife through] Alexander. And to whichever of us death and fate has been ordained, let him die; but do the rest of you be very speedily separated. And bring lambs—one white, the other black—to the Earth and to the Sun; and we will bring another to Jove. Moreover ye shall bring the might of Priam, that he may strike the league himself, for his sons are overbearing and faithless; lest any one, by transgression, violate the covenant of Jove. For the minds of younger men are ever fluctuating; but for those among whom a senior is present, he looks at the same time both backward and forward, in order that the best results may accrue to both parties.”

Thus he spoke. But both Greeks and Trojans rejoiced, hoping to have respite from grievous war. And they accordingly reined back their horses to the ranks [of the foot], but dismounted themselves, and put off their arms, and laid them down on the ground near each other; and around [each pile of arms] there was a little space.

But Hector despatched two heralds to the city with speed, to bring the lambs, and to call Priam. While, on the other hand, king Agamemnon sent Talthybius to go to the hollow ships, and ordered him to bring a lamb. And he did not disobey noble Agamemnon.

And meantime came Iris a messenger to white-armed Helen, likening herself to her husband’s sister, the wife of Antenor’s son, most excelling in beauty of the daughters of Priam, Laodice, whom the son of Antenor, king Helicaon, possessed. But she found her in her palace, and she was weaving an ample web, a double [mantle], 150 resplendent, and on it was working many labours both of the horse-taming Trojans and the brazen-mailed Greeks, which on her account they suffered at the hands of Mars. Standing near, the swift-footed Iris accosted her thus:

“Come hither, dear lady, 151 that thou mayest view the wondrous deeds of the horse-taming Trojans, and of the brazen-mailed Greeks, who formerly against each other waged tearful war in the plain, eager for destructive battle. Now, however, they sit in silence (and the war has ceased), leaning on their shields, and near them their long spears are fixed. But Alexander and Mars-beloved Menelaus are about to fight for thy sake with their long spears, and thou shalt be called the dear wife of him who conquers.”

Thus having spoken, the goddess infused a tender desire into her mind both of her former husband, and of her city, and her parents. And instantly veiling herself in white linen robes, 152 she rushed from her chamber, shedding a tender tear: not alone, for two domestics accompanied her, Œthra, daughter of Pittheus, and large-eyed Clymene. Then they quickly came to where the Scæan gates were. But Priam and Panthous, and Thymœtes, Lampus, Clytius, Hicetaon, an offshoot of Mars, Ucalegon, and Antenor, both prudent, elders of the people, sat at the Scæan gates, long since desisting from war, through old age: but good orators, like unto the Cicadæ, 153 which, in the woods, sitting on a tree, send forth a delicate voice; such leaders of the Trojans at that time were sitting on the tower. But when they saw Helen coming to the tower, in low tone they addressed to each other winged words:

Footnote 150: (return) By χλαιναν is understood a mantle which could be worn doubled. Others suppose it means cloth of double tissue.

Footnote 151: (return) An affectionate use of the word νύμϕα, which properly means a bride or young wife.

Footnote 152: (return) The plural is used to denote a long, flowing robe.

Footnote 153: (return) some the cicada or τεττιξ, this is to be considered to be the balm-cricket.

“It is not a subject for indignation, that Trojans and well-greaved Greeks endure hardships for a long time on account of such a woman. In countenance she is wondrous like unto the immortal goddess, but even so, although being such, let her return in the ships, nor be left a destruction to us and to our children hereafter.”

Thus they spoke. But Priam called Helen,—“Coming hither before us, dear daughter, sit by me, that thou mayest see thy former husband, thy kindred, and thy friends—(thou art not at all in fault towards me; the gods, in truth, are in fault towards me, who have sent against me the lamentable war of the Greeks)—that thou mayest name for me this mighty man, who is this gallant and tall Grecian hero. Certainly there are others taller in height; but so graceful a man have I never yet beheld with my eyes, nor so venerable; for he is like unto a kingly man.”

But him Helen, one of the divine women, answered in [these] words: “Revered art thou and feared by me, dear father-in-law; would that an evil death had pleased me, when I followed thy son hither, having left my marriage-bed, my brothers, my darling 154 daughter, and the congenial company of my equals. But these things were not done: therefore I pine away with weeping. But this will I tell thee, which thou seekest of me and inquirest. This is wide-ruling Agamemnon, son of Atreus, in both characters, 155 a good king and a brave warrior. He was the brother-in-law, moreover, of shameless me, if ever indeed he was.” 156

Footnote 154: (return) See Buttm. Lexil. s. v. and Arnold.

Footnote 155: (return) Observe the force of the neuter.

Footnote 156: (return) Si unquam fuit, quod nunc non est ampleus. i.e. si recte dici potest fuisse, quod ita sui factum est dissimile, ut fuisse unquam vix credas.”—Herm. on Vig. p. 946, quoted by Anthon.

Thus she spoke. But him the old man admired, and said “O blessed son of Atreus, happy-born, fortunate, truly indeed were many Achæan youths made subject to thee. Before now I entered vine-bearing Phrygia, where I beheld many Phrygians, heroes on fleet horses, the forces of Otreus and godlike Mygdon, who encamped there near the banks of the Sangarius. For I also, being an ally, was numbered with them on that day, when the man-opposing Amazons came. But not even these were so numerous as the black-eyed Greeks.”

But next perceiving 157 Ulysses, the old man asked her: “Come, tell me of this one also, dear daughter, who he is? he is less indeed in height 158 than Agamemnon, the son of Atreus, but is broader to behold in shoulders and breast. His arms lie up on the fertile earth, but he himself, like a ram, goes round the ranks of the men. I for my part compare him to a thick-fleeced ram, which wanders through a great flock of snowy sheep.”

Footnote 157: (return) This whole passage may be compared with the similar enumeration and description of the seven Argive chieftains in Eurip. Phœn. 119, sqq.

Footnote 158: (return) Not “a head less” in height; for line 169 would then mean that Agamemnon was a head less than others, and consequently Ulysses would be two heads under the ordinary size. Anthon has adopted this common mistake, although Wolf had pointed it out.

But him Helen, sprung from Jove, answered: “Now, this one again is the son of Laertes, much-scheming Ulysses, who was bred in the country of Ithaca, rugged though it be, skilled in all kinds of stratagems and prudent counsels.”

Her then the sage Antenor addressed in reply: “O lady, assuredly hast thou spoken this word very truly: for already in former times divine Ulysses came hither also, on an embassy concerning thee, with Mars-beloved Menelaus. I received them as guests, and entertained them in my palace, and became acquainted with the genius of both, and their prudent counsels; but when they were mingled with the assembled Trojans, Menelaus indeed overtopped him, as they stood by his broad shoulders; but when both were sitting, Ulysses was more majestic. 159 But when they began to weave words and counsels for all, Menelaus, on his part, would harangue very fluently; a few [words] indeed, but very sweetly, since he was not loquacious, nor a random talker, though he was younger in age. But when much-counselling Ulysses arose, he stood and looked down, fixing his eyes on the earth, but he neither moved his sceptre backwards nor forwards, but held it unmoved like an unskilful man: you would say indeed that he was a very irritable man, as well as devoid of reason. But when he did send forth the mighty voice from his breast, and words like unto wintry flakes of snow, no longer then would another mortal contend with Ulysses. And beholding, we then marvelled not so much at the aspect of Ulysses, [as at his words].”

Footnote 159: (return) Observe the Attic construction, where the genitive would have been expected. So Od. M. 73. Il. ii 317. Compared by Lesbonax, περὶ σχημ. p. 183, sq. ed. Valck. See, also, my note on Æsch. Prom, p. 8, ed. Bohn; intpp. on Theocrit. i. 48.

Then in the third place, having beheld Ajax, the old man asked: “Who is that other Achæan hero, valiant and great, out-topping the Argives by his head and broad shoulders?”

But him long-robed Helen answered, divine of women: “This indeed is mighty Ajax, the bulwark of the Achæans: on the other side, amongst the Cretans, stands Idomeneus like unto a god: but around him the leaders of the Cretans are collected. Often did Mars-beloved Menelaus entertain him in our palace, when he would come from Crete. But now I behold all the other rolling-eyed Greeks, whom I could easily recognize, and pronounce their names; but two leaders of the people I cannot see: horse-taming Castor, and Pollux skilled in boxing, twin brothers, whom the same mother brought forth with me. Either they have not followed from pleasant Lacedæmon, or they indeed have followed hither in the sea-traversing ships, but now are reluctant to enter the fight of the heroes, fearing the disgrace, and the many reproaches which are mine.”

Thus she spoke; but them the life-bestowing earth already possessed: there in Lacedæmon, in their dear native land. 160

Footnote 160: (return) They had fallen in combat with Lynceus and Idas, whilst besieging Sparta.—Hygin. Poet. Ast. ii. 22. According, however, to other mythologists, they shared immortality in turns. See Od. xi. 302. Virg. Æu. vi. 121; with Servius, and Apollodor. iii. ll. 2.

But heralds through the city were bearing the firm pledges of the gods, two lambs and joyous wine, the fruit of the earth, in a goat-skin flagon. But the herald Idæus also brought a splendid goblet, and golden cups; and standing by him, incited the old man in these words:

“Arise, son of Laomedon; the chiefs of the horse-breaking Trojans, and of the brazen-mailed Greeks, call thee to descend into the plain, that thou mayest ratify a faithful league. For Alexander and Mars-beloved Menelaus are about to fight with long spears for the woman. But let the woman and the effects attend the conqueror; but let the rest of us, having struck a friendship and faithful league, inhabit fruitful Troy, and they shall return to horse-feeding Argos, and to Achaia, famed for fair dames.”

Thus he said, but the old man shuddered, and ordered his attendants to yoke his horses; and they briskly obeyed. Priam then mounted his chariot, and drew back the reins: and beside him Antenor mounted the beautiful chariot. So they guided their fleet steeds through the Scæan gates, towards the plain.

But when they had now come between the Trojans and the Greeks, descending from their steeds to the fruitful earth, they advanced into the midst of the Trojans and Greeks. Then Agamemnon, king of heroes, immediately arose, and much-counselling Ulysses arose. But the illustrious heralds collected together the faithful pledges of the gods, and mixed wine in a bowl, and poured water upon the hands of the kings. And the son of Atreus, drawing with his hands his dagger, which was always suspended at the huge sheath of his sword, cut off hairs from the heads of the lambs: and then the heralds distributed them to the chiefs of the Trojans and the Greeks. Amongst them the son of Atreus prayed earnestly, having stretched forth his hands:

“O father Jove, ruling from Ida, most glorious, most mighty,—and thou, O sun, who beholdest all things, and nearest all things—and ye rivers, and thou earth, and ye below who punish men deceased, whosoever swears with perjury, be ye witnesses and preserve the faithful league. If, on the one hand, Alexander should slay Menelaus, let him thenceforth retain Helen and all her possessions; but let us return in our sea-traversing ships. But if, on the contrary, yellow-haired Menelaus slay Alexander, let the Trojans then restore Helen and all her treasures, and pay a fine to the Argives such as is just, and which may be [recorded] amongst posterity. But if Priam and the sons of Priam will not pay me the fine, on Alexander falling, then will I afterwards fight on account of the fine, remaining here till I find an end of the war.”

He spoke, and cut the throats of the lambs with the cruel steel, and he laid them on the earth panting, wanting life; for the brass had taken away their [vital] strength. Then having drawn wine from the goblet, they poured it into the cups, and prayed to the immortal gods. But thus some one of the Greeks and Trojans said:

“Ο Jove, most glorious, most mighty, and ye other immortal gods, whoever first shall offend against the leagues, so let the brain of themselves and of their children stream upon the ground like this wine, and let their wives be mingled with other men.”

Thus they said, nor yet did the son of Saturn ratify [their vows]. Then Priam, the son of Dardanus, addressed them:

“Hear me, ye Trojans, and ye well-greaved Greeks: I, indeed, return again to wind-swept Ilion, since I can by no means endure to behold with these eyes my dear son fighting with Mars-beloved Menelaus. Jove, certainly, knows this, and the other immortal gods, to which of them the event of death is destined.”

He spoke, and the godlike man placed the lambs in the chariot, and ascended himself, and drew back the reins; and beside him Antenor mounted the very beautiful chariot. They on their part returning went back towards Ilion.

But Hector on the other hand, the son of Priam, and divine Ulysses, first measured the ground; then taking the lots, they shook them in the brazen helmet, [to decide] which should hurl the brazen spear first. But the people meantime supplicated, and stretched forth their hands to the gods; and thus some one of the Greeks and Trojans said:

“O father Jove, ruling from Ida, most glorious, most mighty, whichever has caused these evil works to both sides, grant that he, being slain, may enter the house of Pluto, but that to us, on the other hand, there may be friendship and a faithful league.”

Thus then they spoke, and now mighty helm-quivering Hector shook the lots, looking backward; and quickly the lot of Paris leaped forth. They then sat down in their ranks, where the fleet steeds of each stood, and their varied arms lay. But divine Alexander, the husband of fair-haired Helen, put on his beauteous armour around his shoulders. In the first place, around his legs he placed his beautiful greaves fitted with silver clasps; then again he put on his breast the corslet of his brother Lycaon, for it fitted him; but around his shoulders he slung his brazen, silver-studded sword and then his huge and solid shield. But on his valiant head he placed a well-wrought helmet, crested with horse-hair, and the crest nodded dreadfully from above; and he grasped his doughty spear, which fitted to his hands. In this same manner the martial Menelaus put on his arms.

But they, when they were armed from each side of the throng, advanced to the middle between the Trojans and Greeks, looking dreadfully; and amazement seized the beholders, both the horse-breaking Trojans and the well-greaved Greeks. They then stood near in the measured-out space, brandishing their spears, incensed against each other. Alexander first hurled his long-shadowed spear, and smote the shield of the son of Atreus, equal on all sides, nor did the brass break, for the point was bent upon the strong shield: but next Menelaus, son of Atreus, commenced the attack with his brazen spear, praying to father Jove:

“O king Jove, grant [me] to avenge myself [on him] who first injured me, and subdue impious Alexander under my hands, that every one, even of future men, may shudder to offer injury to a guest who may have afforded [him] an hospitable reception.”

He spoke; and brandishing, he hurled his long-shadowed spear, and smote the shield of the son of Priam, equal on all sides; and through the glittering shield went the impetuous spear, and was stuck firmly into the deftly-wrought corslet: and the spear pierced right through his soft tunic beside the flank: but he bent sideways, and evaded black death. Next the son of Atreus having drawn his silver-studded sword, raising it, struck the cone 161 of his helmet, but it fell from his hand shivered round about into three or four pieces. And the son of Atreus groaned aloud, looking towards the wide heaven:

Footnote 161: (return) Buttmann, Lexil. p. 521, makes φαλος to be the same as κωνος, a metal ridge in which the plume was fixed.

“Ο father Jove, none other of the gods is more baleful than thou. Certainly I hoped to be revenged upon Alexander for his wickedness: but now my sword has been broken in my hands, and my spear has been hurled from my hand in vain, nor have I smote him.”

He spoke; and rushing on, he seized him by the horse-hair tufted helmet, and turning, began to drag him to the well-greaved Greeks: but the richly-embroidered band under his tender throat was choking him, which was drawn under his chin as the strap of his helmet. And now he had dragged him away, and obtained infinite glory, had not Venus, the daughter of Jove, quickly perceived it, who broke for him 162 the thong, [made] from the hide of an ox slaughtered by violence: and thereupon the empty helmet followed with his strong hand. It, then, the hero whirling round, cast to the well-greaved Greeks, and his dear companions took it up. And he [Menelaus] again rushed on, desiring to slay him with his brazen spear: but him [Paris] Venus very easily, as being a goddess, rescued, and covered him in a thick mist; then placed him down in his fragrant chamber, exhaling perfumes.

Footnote 162: (return) I.e. Menelaus.—to his confusion.

But she herself, on the other hand, went to call Helen, and she found her on the lofty tower, and many Trojan dames around her. Then with her hand catching her by the fragrant mantle, she shook her: and likening herself to an ancient dame, a spinner of wool, who used to comb fair wool for her when dwelling at Lacedæmon, and she loved her much: to her having likened herself, divine Venus accosted [Helen]:

“Come hither, Alexander calls thee to return home. He himself is in his chamber and turned bed, shining both in beauty and attire; nor wouldst thou say that he had returned after having fought with a hero, but that he was going to the dance, or that just ceasing from the dance, he sat down.”

Thus she said, and agitated the heart in her breast: and when she beheld the all-beauteous neck of the goddess, and her lovely bosom, and her flashing eyes, she was awe-struck, and spoke a word, and said:

“Strange one! why dost thou desire to deceive me in these things? Wilt thou lead me anywhere farther on to one of the well-inhabited cities, either of Phrygia or pleasant Mæonia, if there be any of articulately-speaking men dear to thee there? Is it because Menelaus, having now conquered noble Alexander, wishes to bring hated me home, that therefore with artful purpose thou now standest near me? Going, sit with him thyself, and renounce the path of the gods. And mayest thou no more return on thy feet to Olympus: but always grieve beside him, and watch him, until he either make thee his consort, or he indeed [make thee] his handmaid. But there I will not go to adorn his couch, for it would be reprehensible: all the Trojan ladies henceforth will reproach me. But I shall have woes without measure in my soul.”

But her, divine Venus, incensed, thus addressed: “Wretch, provoke me not, lest in my wrath I abandon thee, and detest thee as much as heretofore I have wonderfully loved thee, and lest I scatter destructive hate in the midst of the Trojans and Greeks, and thou perish by an evil fate.”

Thus she spoke: but Helen, sprung from Jove, dreaded, and she went covered with a white transparent robe, in silence; and escaped the notice of all the Trojan dames, for the goddess led the way.

But when they reached the very beautiful palace of Alexander, then the maids, on their part, turned themselves speedily to their tasks; but she, divine of women, ascended into her lofty-roofed chamber: and then laughter-loving Venus, carrying, placed a seat for her opposite Alexander: there Helen, daughter of the ægis-bearing Jove, sat, averting her eyes, and reproached her husband with these words:

“Thou hast come from the war: would that thou hadst perished there, slain by that brave hero, who was my former husband. Certainly, thou didst formerly boast, that thou wast superior to Mars-beloved Menelaus, in might, in hands, and at the spear. But go now, challenge Mars-beloved Menelaus to fight once more against thee! But I advise thee to refrain, nor unadvisedly wage war and fight against fair-haired Menelaus, lest perchance thou mayest be subdued beneath his spear.”

But her Paris answering addressed in words: “Woman! assail me not in soul with reproachful taunts; for now indeed has Menelaus conquered by Minerva’s aid; but I in turn will vanquish him, for gods are with us also. But come, let us delight in dalliance, reclining together, for never before did love so fondly enwrap my soul, not even when formerly, having borne thee away from pleasant Lacedæmon, I sailed in the sea-traversing ships, and was united with thee in love and in the couch in the island Cranaë; so now am I enamoured of thee, and sweet desire possesses me.”

He spoke, and led the way, ascending the couch; but his wife followed with him: they therefore rested upon their perforated couch.

Meanwhile the son of Atreus was wandering through the crowd like to a savage beast, if anywhere he could perceive godlike Alexander. But none of the Trojans or their illustrious allies could then point out Alexander to Mars-beloved Menelaus; for neither through friendship would they have concealed him, if any one did see him; for he was hateful to them all, like sable death. But amongst them spoke Agamemnon, king of heroes:

“Hear me, ye Trojans, Greeks, and allies: the victory indeed appears [to belong to] Mars-beloved Menelaus. Do ye therefore restore Argive Helen and her treasures with her, and pay the fine which is fitting, and which shall be remembered by future men.”

Thus spoke the son of Atreus, and the other Greeks approved.



Paris not being slain, the combat left it doubtful whether Helen should be returned or not; but Juno extorts a promise from Jove of the final destruction of Troy. Minerva then persuades Pandarus to break the truce by aiming an arrow at Menelaus. The wound is, however, cured by Machaon. The Trojans proceed to the battle, while Agamemnon exhorts the chieftains of the Greeks. The fight then commences, Mars and Apollo encouraging the Trojans, Minerva and the other deities the Greeks.

Now they, the gods, sitting on the golden floor 163 with Jove, were engaged in consultation, and amidst them venerable Hebe poured out the nectar: but they pledged 164 one another with golden cups, looking towards the city of the Trojans. Forthwith the son of Saturn attempted to irritate Juno, speaking with a covert allusion, with reproachful words: 165

“Two goddesses, indeed, are auxiliaries to Menelaus, Argive 166 Juno and Minerva of Alalcomenæ: 167 and yet these, forsooth, sitting apart, amuse themselves with looking on; but to the other, on the contrary [Paris], laughter-loving Venus is ever present, 168 and averts fate from him. Even now has she saved him, thinking that he was about to die. But the victory, indeed, belongs to Mars-beloved Menelaus: let us therefore consult how these things shall be, whether we shall again excite the destructive war, and dreadful battle-din, or promote friendship between both parties. And if, moreover, this shall perchance 169 be grateful and pleasing to all, the city of king Priam, indeed, may be inhabited, but let Menelaus lead back again Argive Helen.”

Footnote 163: (return) “On the golden floor of Jove’s abode.”—Cowper.

Footnote 164: (return) Athenæus, i. ll, εδεξιουντο, προπινοντες εαυτοις, ταις δεξιαις. Cf. xi. 14. Hesych. δειδεκτο, εδεξιουτο, δια φιλιας ησπαζετο και λογων.

Footnote 165: (return) I am indebted to Arnold for this version.

Footnote 166: (return) So called from her temple at Argos. See Pausan. ii. 17; Apul. Met. vi. p. 458; Servius on Æn. i. 28.

Footnote 167: (return) She had a temple at Alalcomenæ, in Bœotia. Cf. Pausan. ix. 33; Steph. Byz. ν. αλαλκομενιον.

Footnote 168: (return) On the affinity of βλωσκειν and μολεΐν, see Buttm. Lexil. p. 84.

Footnote 169: (return) Read αυ πως for αυτως, with Aristarchus, Wolf, Spitzner.

Thus he spoke: but Minerva and Juno murmured with closed lips, for they were sitting near, and were devising evils for the Trojans. Minerva, indeed, was silent, nor said anything, indignant with her father Jove, for dreadful rage possessed her. But Juno could not retain her fury in her breast, but addressed him:

“Most baleful son of Saturn! what a sentence hast thou uttered! How dost thou wish to render my labour vain, and my sweat fruitless, which I have sweated through with toil? For the steeds are tired to me assembling the host, evils to Priam and to his sons. Do so: but all we the other gods do not approve.”

But her cloud-compelling Jove, in great wrath, answered: “Strange one! how now do Priam and the sons of Priam work so many wrongs against thee, that thou desirest implacably to overturn the well-built city of Ilion? But if thou, entering the gates and the lofty walls, couldst devour alive 170 Priam and the sons of Priam, and the other Trojans, then perhaps thou mightst satiate thy fury. Do as thou wilt, lest this contention be in future a great strife between thee and me. But another thing I tell thee, and do thou lay it up in thy soul: whenever haply I, anxiously desiring, shall wish to destroy some city, where men dear to thee are born, retard not my rage, but suffer me; for I have given thee this of free will, though with unwilling mind. For of those cities of earthly men, which are situated under the sun and the starry heaven, sacred Ilion was most honoured by me in my heart, and Priam and the people of Priam skilled in the ashen spear. For there my altars never lacked a due banquet and libation, and savour; for this honour were we allotted.”

Footnote 170: (return) Literally, “eat raw.” Cf. Xenoph. Anab. iv. 8, 14. Τουτους ην πως δυνωμεθα, και ωμους δει καταφαγειν.—Clarke.

Him then the venerable full-eyed Juno answered: “There are three cities, indeed, most dear to me: Argos, and Sparta, and wide-wayed Mycenæ; 171 destroy these whenever they become hateful to thy soul. In behalf of these I neither stand forth, nor do I grudge them to thee: for even were I to grudge them, and not suffer thee to destroy them, by grudging I avail nothing, since thou art much more powerful. And yet it becomes [thee] to render my labour not fruitless; for I am a goddess, and thence my race, whence thine; and wily Saturn begat me, very venerable on two accounts, both by my parentage, and because I have been called thy spouse. Moreover, thou rulest amongst all the immortals. But truly let us make these concessions to each other: I, on my part, to thee, and thou to me; and the other immortal gods will follow. Do thou without delay bid Minerva go to the dreadful battle-din of the Trojans and Greeks, and contrive that the Trojans may first begin to injure the most renowned Greeks, contrary to the leagues.”

Footnote 171: (return) “It certainly seems to me, that, in a reference so distinct to the three great Peloponnesian cities which the Dorians invaded and possessed, Homer makes as broad an allusion to the conquests of the Heraclidæ, not only as would be consistent with the pride of an Ionic Greek in attesting the triumphs of the national Dorian foe, but as the nature of a theme cast in a distant period, and remarkably removed, in its general conduct, from the historical detail of subsequent events, would warrant to the poet.”—Bulwer, Athens, i. 8. The correctness of this view, however, depends upon the true date of Homer’s existence.

Thus she spoke; nor did the father of gods and men disobey. Instantly he addressed Minerva in winged words:

“Go very quickly to the army, among the Trojans and Greeks, and contrive that the Trojans may first begin to injure the most renowned Greeks, contrary to the league.”

Thus having spoken, he urged on Minerva already inclined; she hastening descended the heights of Olympus; such as the star which the son of wily Saturn sends, a sign either to mariners, or to a wide host of nations, and from it many sparks are emitted. Like unto this Pallas Minerva hastened to the earth, and leaped into the midst [of the army]; and astonishment seized the horse-breaking Trojans and the well-greaved Greeks, looking on. And thus would one say, looking at some other near him:

“Doubtless evil war and dreadful battle-din will take place again, or Jove is establishing friendship between both sides, he who has been ordained the arbiter of war amongst men.” 172

Footnote 172: (return) Duport, Gnom. Hom. p. 20, compares the words of Belisarius in Procop. Vandal. i. Μαχονται μεν ανθρωποι, βραζευει δε ο Θεος οπως ποτε αυτω δοκει, και το του πολεμου δίδωσι κρατος.

Thus then did some one of the Greeks and Trojans say; but she like a hero entered the host of the Trojans, the brave warrior Laodocus, son of Antenor, seeking godlike Pandarus, if anywhere she might find him. She found the blameless and valiant son of Lycaon standing, and around him the brave ranks of shielded warriors, who had followed him from the streams of Æsepus; and standing near, she thus to him spoke winged words:

“Wouldst thou now hearken to me in anything, O warlike son of Lycaon? Thou wouldst venture then to aim a swift arrow at Menelaus. Doubtless thou wouldst bear away both thanks and glory from all the Trojans, but of all, chiefly from the prince Alexander, from whom, indeed, first of all, thou wouldst receive splendid gifts, if he should see martial Menelaus, the son of Atreus, subdued by this weapon, ascending the sad pile. But come, aim an arrow at renowned Menelaus; and vow to Lycian-born 173 Apollo, the renowned archer, that thou wilt sacrifice a splendid hecatomb of firstling lambs, having returned home to the city of sacred Zeleia.”

Footnote 173: (return) This is probably the true interpretation, and is given by the Scholiast, Hesychius, and others. But Heraclides, Alleg. § 6, says that Apollo is so called επειδη του κατα την ορθριον ωραν λυκαυγους εστιν αιτιοι, η οτι λυκαζαντα γεννα, τουτεστι τον ενιαυτον. Cf. Macrob. Sat. i. 17; Serv. on Æn. iv. 377.

Thus spoke Minerva, and she persuaded his mind for him, unthinking one. Straightway he uncased his well-polished bow, made from [the horn of] a wild, bounding goat, which he indeed surprising once on a time in ambush, as it was coming out of a cavern, struck, aiming at it beneath the breast; but it fell supine on the rock. Its horns had grown sixteen palms from its head; and these the horn-polishing artist, having duly prepared, fitted together, and when he had well smoothed all, added a golden tip. And having bent the bow, he aptly lowered it, having inclined it against the ground; but his excellent companions held their shields before him, lest the martial sons of the Greeks should rise against him, before warlike Menelaus, the chief of the Greeks, was wounded. Then he drew off the cover of his quiver, and took out an arrow, fresh, winged, a cause of gloomy ills. Forthwith he fitted the bitter arrow to the string, and vowed to Lycian-born Apollo, the renowned archer, that he would sacrifice a splendid hecatomb of firstling lambs, having returned home to the city of sacred Zeleia. Having seized them, he drew together the notch [of the arrow] and the ox-hide string; the string, indeed, he brought near to his breast, and the barb to the bow. But after he had bent the great bow into a circle, the bow twanged, the bowstring rang loudly, and the sharp-pointed shaft bounded forth, impatient to wing its flight through the host.

Nor did the blessed immortal gods forget thee, O Menelaus; 174 but chiefly the spoil-hunting daughter of Jove, who, standing before thee, averted the deadly weapon. She as much repelled it from thy body, as a mother repels a fly from her infant, when it shall have laid itself down in sweet sleep. But she herself guided it to that part where the golden clasps of the girdle bound it, and the double-formed corslet met. 175 The bitter arrow fell on his well-fitted belt, and through the deftly-wrought belt was it driven, and it stuck in the variegated corslet and the brazen-plated belt which he wore, the main defence of his body, a guard against weapons, which protect him most; through even this did it pass onwards, and the arrow grazed the surface of the hero’s skin, and straightway black gore flowed from the wound. And as when some Mæonian 176 or Carian woman tinges ivory with purple colour, to be a cheek-trapping for steeds; in her chamber it lies, and many charioteers desire to bear it, but it lies by as an ornament for the king, both as a decoration to the steed, and a glory to the rider: so, Menelaus, were thy well-proportioned thighs, and legs, and fair feet below, stained with gore.

Footnote 174: (return) It is elegantly observed by Coleridge, p. 160, that “it is principally owing to our sense of the dramatic probability of the action of the divinities in the Iliad that the heroes do not seem dwarfed by their protectors; on the contrary, the manifest favourite of the gods stands out in a dilated and more awful shape before our imagination, and seems, by the association, to be lifted up into the demigod.”

Footnote 175: (return) “Occurrebat sagittæ, obvius erat ei penetranti.”—Heyne. But it is better to understand, “where the plates of the cuirass meet and overlay the ζωμα].”—Arnold.

Footnote 176: (return) I.e. Lydian.

Then Agamemnon, the king of men, shuddered, as he beheld the black gore flowing from the wound, and Mars-beloved Menelaus himself shuddered. But when he saw the string 177 and the barbs still outside, his courage was once more collected in his breast. But Agamemnon, deeply sighing, and holding Menelaus with his hand, spoke thus amidst them, and all his companions kept groaning with him:

Footnote 177: (return) With which the iron head was fastened to the shaft.

“Ο dear brother, now have I ratified a treaty which will prove thy death, exposing thee alone to fight with the Trojans for the Greeks; since the Trojans have thus wounded thee, and trampled on the faithful league. But by no means shall the league and the blood of the lambs be in vain, and the pure libations, and the right hands in which we confided. For even although Olympian Jove has not immediately brought them to pass, he will however bring them to pass at last; and at a great price have they paid the penalty, 178 to wit, with their own heads, and their wives and children. For this I know well in mind and soul. A day will be, when sacred Ilium shall perish, and Priam, and the people of ashen-speared Priam; and when Saturnian Jove, lofty-throned, dwelling in the æther, will himself shake his gloomy ægis over all, wrathful on account of this treachery. These things, indeed, shall not be unaccomplished; but to me there will be grief on thy account, O Menelaus, if thou shalt die and fulfil the fate of life; then, indeed, branded with shame, shall I return to much longed-for Argos. For quickly the Greeks will bethink themselves of their fatherland, and we shall leave Argive Helen a boast to Priam and to the Trojans, and the earth will rot thy bones lying in Troy, near to an unfinished work. And thus will some one of the haughty Trojans exclaim, leaping upon the tomb of glorious Menelaus: ‘Would that Agamemnon thus wreaked his vengeance against all, as even now he has led hither an army of the Greeks in vain, and has now returned home into his dear native land, with empty ships, having left behind him brave Menelaus.’ Thus will some one hereafter say: then may the wide earth yawn for me.”

Footnote 178: (return) The past tense for the future: implying that the hour of retribution is so certain, that it may be considered already arrived.

But him fair-haired Menelaus accosted, cheering him: “Have courage, nor in anywise frighten the people of the Achæans. The sharp arrow has not stuck in a vital part, but before [it reached a vital part], the variegated belt, and the girdle beneath, and the plate which brass-working men forged, warded it off.”

King Agamemnon answering him replied: “Would that it were so, O beloved Menelaus; but the physician shall probe the wound, and apply remedies, which may ease thee of thy acute pains.”

He spoke; and thus accosted Talthybius, the divine herald: “Talthybius, summon hither with all speed the hero Machaon, son of the blameless physician Æsculapius, that he may see martial Menelaus, the chief of the Greeks, whom some skilful archer of the Trojans, or of the Lycians, has wounded with a shaft; a glory, indeed, to him, but a grief to us.”

He spoke; nor did the herald disobey when he had heard. But he proceeded to go through the forces of the brazen-mailed Greeks, looking around for the hero Machaon: him he saw standing, and round him the brave ranks of the shield-bearing hosts, who followed him from steed-nourishing Tricca. Standing near, he spoke winged words:

“Come, O son of Æsculapius, Agamemnon, king of men, calls thee, that thou mayest see martial Menelaus, the son of Atreus, whom some skilful archer of the Trojans or of the Lycians has wounded with a dart; a glory indeed to him, but a grief to us.”

Thus he spoke, and incited his soul within his breast. And they proceeded to go through the host, through the wide army of the Greeks; but when they had now arrived where fair-haired Menelaus had been wounded (but around him were collected as many as were bravest, in a circle, while the godlike hero stood in the midst), instantly thereupon he extracted the arrow from the well-fitted belt. But while it was being extracted, the sharp barbs were broken. Then he loosed the variegated belt, and the girdle beneath, and the plated belt which brass-workers had forged. But when he perceived the wound, where the bitter shaft had fallen, having sucked out the blood, he skilfully sprinkled on it soothing remedies, 179 which, benevolent Chiron had formerly given to his father.

Footnote 179: (return) Celsus, Pref. “Podalirius et Machaon, bello Trajano ducem Agamemnonem secuti, non mediocrem opem commilitonibus suis attulerunt. Quos tamen Homerus non in pestilentia neque in variis generibus morborum aliquid attulisse auxilii, sed vulneribus tantummodo ferro et medicamentis mederi solitos esse proposuit. Ex quo apparet, has partes medicinæ solas ab his esse tentatas, easque esse vetustissimas.”

Whilst they were thus occupied around warlike Menelaus, meantime the ranks of the shielded Trojans advanced; and these again put on their arms, and were mindful of battle. Then would you not see divine Agamemnon slumbering, nor trembling nor refusing to fight; but hastening quickly to the glorious fight. He left his steeds, indeed, and his brass-variegated chariot; and these his servant Eurymedon, son of Ptolymæus, the son of Piräis, held apart panting. Him he strictly enjoined to keep them near him, against the time when weariness should seize his limbs, commanding over many. But he on foot traversed the ranks of the heroes, and whichever of the swift-horsed Greeks he saw hastening, them standing beside, he encouraged with words:

“Argives! remit nought of your fierce ardour, for father Jove will not be an abettor to falsehoods, but certainly vultures will devour the tender bodies of those very persons, who first offered injury, contrary to the league; and we, after we shall have taken the city, will carry off in our ships their dear wives, and their infant children.”

But whomsoever on the other hand he saw declining hateful battle, them he much rebuked with angry words:

“Argives, ye arrow-fighters, 180 subjects for disgrace, are ye not ashamed? Why stand ye here astounded, like fawns, which, when they are wearied, running through the extensive plain, stand, and have no strength in their hearts? Thus do ye stand amazed, nor fight. Do ye await the Trojans until they come near, where your fair-prowed galleys are moored on the shore of the hoary sea, that ye may know whether the son of Saturn will stretch forth his hand over you.”

Footnote 180: (return) If it be remembered that archery, in comparison with fighting close-handed, handed, was much despised (cf. Soph. Aj. 1120, sqq.; Eur. Herc. Fur. 160), the term ἰόμωροι (οἱ περὶ τοὺς ἰοὺς μεμορημένοι, Apoll. Lex. and Hesych.) need not be forced into any of the out-of-the-way meanings which Anthon and others have assigned to it.

Thus he, acting as commander, kept going through the ranks of heroes, and he came to the Cretans, going through the throng of men. But they were armed around warlike Idomeneus. Idomeneus, on his part, [commanded] in the van, like a boar in strength; but Meriones urged on the hindmost phalanxes for him. Seeing these, Agamemnon, the king of men, rejoiced, and instantly accosted Idomeneus, in bland words:

“O Idomeneus, I honour thee, indeed, above the swift-horsed Greeks, as well in war, as in any other work, and at the banquet, when the nobles of the Argives mix in their cups the dark-red honourable 181 wine: for though the other crested Greeks drink by certain measures, thy cup always stands full, as [mine] to me, that thou mayest drink when thy mind desires it. But hasten into war, such as formerly thou didst boast to be.”

Footnote 181: (return) See my note on Od.

But him Idomeneus, the leader of the Cretans, in turn answered: “Son of Atreus, a very congenial ally will I be to thee, as first I promised and assented. But exhort the other crested Greeks that we may fight with all haste, since the Trojans have confounded the league: death and griefs shall be theirs hereafter, since they first offered injury, contrary to the league.”

Thus he spoke: and the son of Atreus passed on, joyous at heart, and he came to the Ajaces, going through the troops of the heroes. But they were armed, and with them followed a cloud of infantry. As when a goat-herd from a hill-top perceives a cloud traversing the deep, beneath the north-western blast; and to him, standing at a distance, it appears while coming over the ocean, darker than pitch, and brings with it a mighty whirlwind; 182 he both shudders on seeing it, and drives his flock into a cave. Such, with the Ajaces, moved into hostile battle the dense dark phalanxes of Jove-nurtured youths, bristling with shields and spears. And king Agamemnon seeing them, rejoiced, and accosting them, spoke winged words:

Footnote 182: (return) The waterspout, which is often followed by hurricanes, is meant. See Arnold.

“Ye Ajaces, leaders of the brazen-mailed Argives, ye two, indeed, for it becomes me not, I in no respect desire to incite; for ye yourselves mightily instigate the people to fight valiantly. Would that, O father Jove, Minerva, and Apollo, such courage were in the breasts of all; soon then would the city of king Priam bend to its fall, taken and destroyed by our hands.”

Thus having said, he left them there and went to the others; there he found Nestor, the harmonious orator of the Pylians, marshalling his associates, and exhorting them to battle, mighty Pelagon, Alastor, Chromius, and prince Hæmon, and Bias the shepherd of the people. In front, indeed, he placed the cavalry 183 with their horses and chariots, but the foot, both numerous and brave, in the rear, to be the stay of the battle; but the cowards he drove into the middle, that every man, even unwilling, might fight from necessity. At first, indeed, he gave orders to the horsemen; these he commanded to rein in their horses, nor to be confused with the crowd. “And let no person, relying on his skill in horsemanship, and on his strength, desire alone, before the rest, to fight with the Trojans, nor let him retreat: for [if so], ye will be weaker. And whatever man, from his own chariot, can reach that of another, let him stretch out with his spear; 184 for so it is much better: for thus the ancients overturned cities and walls, keeping this purpose and resolution in their breasts.”

Footnote 183: (return) I. e. those who fought from chariots.

Footnote 184x: (return) With Arnold and Anthon, I follow Köppen’s interpretation. The meaning is, whoever, without leaping from his own chariot, can reach that of another, should commence the attack. This was less dangerous than dismounting.

Thus the old man, long since well skilled in wars, exhorted them, and king Agamemnon rejoiced when he saw him; and accosting him, spoke winged words:

“O old man, would that thy knees could so follow thee, and thy strength were firm as is the courage in thy breast. But old age, common alike to all, wearies thee. Would that some other man had thy age, and that thou wert amongst the more youthful.”

Him then the Gerenian knight Nestor answered: “Son of Atreus, I myself would much wish to be so, as when I killed Eruthalion. But the gods never give all things at the same time to men. If I were a young man then, now in turn old age invades me. Yet even so, I will be with the horse, and will exhort them with counsel and words: for this is the office of old men. But let the youths, who are younger than I am, and confide in their strength, brandish their spears.”

Thus he spoke; and the son of Atreus passed him by, rejoicing at heart. Next he found the horseman Menestheus, son of Peteus, standing, and around him the Athenians skilled in the war-shout: but crafty Ulysses stood near; and round him stood the ranks of the Cephallenians not feeble; for not yet had the troops of these heard the shout, since lately the roused phalanxes of the horse-subduing Trojans and of the Greeks moved along; but they stood waiting till another division of the Greeks, coming on, should charge the Trojans and begin the battle. Having seen these, therefore, Agamemnon, the king of men, reproved them, and, accosting them, spoke winged words:

“O son of Peteus, Jove-nurtured king, and thou, accomplished in evil wiles, crafty-minded [Ulysses], why trembling do ye refrain from battle, and wait for others? It became you, indeed, being amongst the first, to stand and meet the ardent battle. For ye are the first invited by me to the feast when we Greeks prepare a banquet for the chiefs. Then it is pleasant to you to eat the roasted meats, and to quaff cups of sweet wine, as long as ye please. But now would ye in preference be spectators, though ten divisions of the Greeks should fight in your presence with the ruthless brass.”

But him sternly regarding, crafty Ulysses answered thus: “Son of Atreus, what a word has escaped the barrier of thy teeth! How canst thou say that we are remiss in fighting? Whenever we Greeks stir up fierce conflict against the horse-taming Trojans, thou shalt see, if thou desirest, and if these things are a care to thee, the beloved father of Telemachus mingled with the foremost of the horse-taming Trojans. But thou sayest these things rashly.”

But him king Agamemnon, when he perceived that he was angry, smiling, addressed, and he retracted his words:

“Noble son of Laertes, much-contriving Ulysses, I neither chide thee in terms above measure, nor exhort thee. For I am aware that thy mind in thy breast kens friendly counsels: for thou thinkest the same that I do. But come, we shall settle these disputes at a future time, should anything evil have now been uttered. But may the gods render all these things vain.”

Thus having spoken, he left them there, and went to others; he found magnanimous Diomede, son of Tydeus, standing by his horses and brass-mounted 185 chariot. Near him stood Sthenelus, son of Capaneus. And having seen him too, king Agamemnon reproved him, and accosting him thus, spoke winged words:

“Alas! O son of warlike horse-breaking Tydeus, why dost thou tremble? Why dost thou explore the intervals of the ranks? 186 It was not with Tydeus thus customary to tremble, but to fight with the enemy far before his dear companions. So they have said, who beheld him toiling: for I never met, nor have I beheld him: but they say that he excelled all others. For certainly with godlike Polynices he entered Mycenæ without warlike array, a guest, collecting forces: they 187 were then preparing an expedition against the sacred walls of Thebes, and supplicated much that they would give renowned auxiliaries. But they [the Mycenæans] were willing to give them, and approved of it, as they urged; but Jove changed [their design], showing unpropitious omens. But, after they departed, and proceeded on their way, they came to rushy, grassy Asopus. Then the Achæans sent Tydeus upon an embassy. 188 Accordingly he went, and found many Cadmeans feasting in the palace of brave Eteocles. Then the knight Tydeus, though being a stranger, feared not, being alone amongst many Cadmeans: but challenged them to contend [in games], and easily conquered in all, so mighty a second was Minerva to him. But the Cadmeans, goaders of steeds, being enraged, leading fifty youths, laid a crafty ambuscade for him returning: but there were two leaders, Mæon, son of Hæmon, like unto the immortals, and Lycophontes, persevering in fight, the son of Autophonus. Tydeus, however, brought cruel death upon them. He killed them all, but sent one only to return home: for he dismissed Mæon, obeying the portents of the gods. Such was Ætolian Tydeus. But he begat a son, inferior to himself in battle, but superior in council.”

Footnote 185: (return) Properly, “fastened, soldered.”

Footnote 186: (return) Lit. “the bridges of the war.” He was looking to see where there was a chance of escape by running between the ranks.

Footnote 187: (return) Polynices and Adrastus. The reader will do well to compare Grote vol. i. p. 371.

Footnote 188: (return) To Thebes.

Thus he spoke; but brave Diomede answered nothing, reverencing the rebuke of the venerable king.

But him the son of renowned Capaneus answered: “Son of Atreus, lie not, knowing how to tell truth. We, indeed, boast to be far better than our fathers. We too have taken the citadel of seven-gated Thebes, leading fewer troops under the wall sacred to Mars, confiding in the portents of the gods, and in the aid of Jove: but they perished through their own infatuation. Wherefore, never place my ancestors in the same rank with me.”

Him sternly regarding, brave Diomede accosted thus: “My friend 189 Sthenelus, sit in silence, and obey my words; for I blame not Agamemnon, the shepherd of the people, for thus exhorting the well-greaved Greeks to fight. Glory shall attend him, if, indeed, the Greeks shall conquer the Trojans, and take sacred Ilium; but great grief shall be his, on the other hand, the Greeks being cut off. But come now, and let us be mindful of impetuous valour.”

Footnote 189: (return) Τέττα is an affectionate phrase applied to an elder, like papa. Compare Alberti on Hesych. v. ἀπφία, t. i. p. 505, and on ἅττα, p. 606; Helladius, Chrestom. p. 9, ed. Meurs.

He spoke, and from his chariot leaped with his arms upon the earth, and dreadfully sounded the brass on the breast of the prince, as he moved rapidly along: then truly would fear have seized even a brave spirit.

As when on the loud-resounding shore a wave of the sea is impelled in continuous succession beneath the north-west wind which has set it in motion; at first indeed it raises itself aloft in the deep, but then dashed against the land, it roars mightily; and being swollen it rises high around the projecting points, and spits from it the foam of the sea: thus then the thick phalanxes of the Greeks moved incessantly on to battle. Each leader commanded his own troops. The rest went in silence (nor would you have said that so numerous an army followed, having the power of speech in their breasts), silently reverencing their leaders. And around them all their arms of various workmanship shone brightly; clad with which, they proceeded in order. But the Trojans, as the sheep of a rich man stand countless in the fold, whilst they are milked of their white milk, continually bleating, having heard the voice of their lambs—thus was the clamour of the Trojans excited through the wide army. For there was not the same shout of all, nor the same voice, but their language was mixed, for the men were called from many climes. These Mars urged on, but those blue-eyed Minerva, 190 and Terror, and Rout, and Strife, insatiably raging, the sister and attendant of homicide Mars, she raises her head, small indeed at first, but afterwards she has fixed her head in heaven, and stalks along the earth. Then also she, going through the crowd, increasing the groaning of the men, cast into the midst upon them contention alike destruction to all.

Footnote 190: (return)

“On th’ other side, Satan alarm’d

Collecting all his might dilated stood,

Like Teneriff or Atlas unremoved:

His stature reach’d the sky.”—Paradise Lost, iv. 985.

But they, when now meeting, they had reached the same place, at once joined their ox-hide shields, and their spears, and the might of brazen-mailed warriors; and the bossy shields met one another, and much battle-din arose. There at the same time were heard both the groans and shouts of men slaying and being slain; and the earth flowed with blood. As when wintry torrents flowing down from the mountains, mix in a basin the impetuous water from their great springs in a hollow ravine, and the shepherd in the mountains hears the distant roar—so arose the shouting and panic of them, mixed together.

Antilochus first killed a Trojan warrior, Echepolus, son of Thalysias, valiant in the van. Him he first struck on the cone of his horse-plumed helmet, and the brazen point fixed itself in his forehead, then pierced the bone, and darkness veiled his eyes; and he fell, like a tower, in fierce conflict. Him fallen, king Elephenor, the offspring of Chalcodon, chief of the magnanimous Abantes, seized by the feet, and was drawing him beyond the reach of darts in haste, that with all haste he might despoil him of his armour: but that attempt was short; for magnanimous Agenor having descried him dragging the body, wounded him with a brazen spear in the side, which, as he stooped, appeared from beneath the covert of his shield, and he relaxed his limbs [in death]. His soul therefore left him. But over him arose a fierce conflict of Trojans and of Greeks. But they like wolves rushed on each other, and man bore down man. Then Telamonian Ajax smote the blooming youth Simoïsius, son of Anthemion, whom formerly his mother, descending from Ida, brought forth on the banks of Simois, when, to wit, she followed her parents to view the flocks; wherefore they called him Simoïsius. Nor did he repay to his dear parents the price of his early nurture, for his life was short, he being slain with a spear by magnanimous Ajax. For him advancing first, he [Ajax] struck on the breast, near the right pap: and the brazen spear passed out through his shoulder on the opposite side. He fell on the ground in the dust, like a poplar, winch has sprung up in the moist grass-land of an extensive marsh,—branches grow smooth, yet upon the very top, which the chariot-maker lops with the shining steel, that he might bend [it as] a felloe for a beauteous chariot. Drying, it lies indeed on the banks of the river. So did the high-born Ajax spoil Simoïsius, the descendant of Anthemion. But at him Antiphus, of the varied corslet, the son of Priam, took aim through the crowd with a sharp spear. From whom, indeed, it erred: but he struck Leucus, the faithful companion of Ulysses, in the groin, as he was drawing the body aside; but he fell near it, and the body dropped from his hand. For him slain, Ulysses was much enraged in mind; and he rushed through the van, armed in shining brass; and advancing very near, he stood, and casting his eyes all around him, hurled with his glittering spear. But the Trojans retired in confusion, as the hero hurled; he did not, however, hurl the spear in vain, but struck Democoon, the spurious son of Priam, who came from Abydos, from [tending] the swift mares. 191 Him Ulysses, enraged for his companion, struck with his spear in the temple, and the brazen point penetrated through the other temple, and darkness veiled his eyes. Falling he made a crash, and his arms resounded upon him. Both the foremost bands and illustrious Hector fell back. The Argives shouted aloud, and dragged the bodies away: then they rushed farther forward; and Apollo was enraged, looking down from Pergamus; and, shouting out, exhorted the Trojans:

Footnote 191: (return) Priam had a stud at Abydos, on the Asiatic coast of the Hellespont.—Scholiast.

“Arouse ye, ye horse-breaking Trojans, nor yield the battle to the Greeks; since their flesh is not of stone, nor of iron, that when they are struck, it should withstand the flesh-rending brass; neither does Achilles, the son of fair-haired Thetis, fight, but at the ships he nourishes his vexatious spleen.”

Thus spoke the dreadful god from the city. But most glorious Tritonian Pallas, the daughter of Jove, going through the host, roused the Greeks wherever she saw them relaxing.

Then fate ensnared Diores, son of Amarynceus; for he was struck with a jagged hand-stone, at the ankle, on the right leg; but Pirus, son of Imbrasus, who came from Ænos, the leader of the Thracian warriors, struck him. The reckless stone entirely crushed both tendons and bones; supine in the dust he fell, stretching forth both hands to his dear companions, and breathing forth his soul. But Pirus, he who struck him, ran up, and pierced him in the navel with his spear; and thereupon all his entrails poured forth upon the ground, and darkness veiled his eyes.

But him 192 Ætolian Thoas struck, rushing on with his spear, in the breast over the pap, and the brass was fastened in his lungs: Thoas came near to him, and drew the mighty spear out of his breast; then he unsheathed his sharp sword, and with it smote him in the midst of the belly, and took away his life. But he did not spoil him of his armour, for his companions stood round him, the hair-tufted Thracians, holding long spears in their hands, who drove him from them, though being mighty, and valiant, and glorious; but he, retreating, was repulsed with force. Thus these two were stretched in the dust near to each other; Pirus, indeed, the leader of the Thracians, and Diores, the leader of the brazen-mailed Epeans; and many others also were slain around.

Then no longer could any man, having come into the field, find fault with the action, who, even as yet neither wounded from distant blows, 193 nor pierced close at hand with the sharp brass, might be busied in the midst, and whom spear-brandishing Minerva might lead, taking him by the hand, and might avert from him the violence of the darts; for many of the Trojans and of the Greeks on that day were stretched prone in the dust beside one another.

Footnote 192: (return) Pirus.

Footnote 193: (return) Observe the distinction between ἄϑλητος and ἀκούτατος. See Anthon; Ammonius, p. 29; Valck. Βεϑλῆσθαι μεν ἐστι τὸ ἐκ βολης ετρὼσθαί, καἰ ἐκ τῶν ἐναντίων οὐτᾶσθαι δὲ, τὸ ἐκ χειρὸς τετρῶσθαι.



The exploits of Diomedes, who, irritated by a wound from Pandarus, fights with unremitted fury, and even wounds Venus and Mars, who were aiding the Trojans.

Then, moreover, Pallas Minerva gave strength and daring to Diomede, the son of Tydeus, that he might become conspicuous amongst all the Argives, and might bear off for himself excellent renown. And she kindled from his helmet and his shield an unwearied fire, like unto the summer 194 star, which shines 195 very brightly, having been bathed in the ocean. Such a fire she kindled from his head and shoulders, and she urged him into the midst, where the greatest numbers were in commotion.

Footnote 194: (return) I. e. the dog star, Sirius, whose rising marked the beginning of the ὀπώρα, or season extending from the middle of July to the middle of September. It is said to be most brilliant at its time of rising. Cf. Apoll. iii. 956: Ὅς δή τοι καλὸς μὲν ἀρίζηλός τ' ἐσιδέσθαί Ἀντέλλει.

Footnote 195: (return) This use of the subjunctive mood is called the σχῆμα Ἰϑύκειον by Lesbonax, p. 179, ed. Valck.

Now there was amongst the Trojans one Dares, rich, blameless, the priest of Vulcan; and he had two sons, Phegeus and Idæus, well skilled in all kinds of battle: these twain, apart [from their companions], rushed to meet [Diomede]; they on their part, from their two-horse chariot, but he, from the ground, made the attack on foot. When these, therefore, advancing against each other, were now near, Phegeus first hurled forth his long-shadowed spear, and the point of the spear went over the left shoulder of the son of Tydeus, nor did it strike him. But the son of Tydeus next rushed on with his brazen javelin; nor did the weapon fly in vain from his hand, but struck his [Phegeus’s] breast between the paps, and forced him from his chariot. Then Idæus leaped down, having left the very beautiful chariot, nor ventured to protect his slain brother. [In vain,] for not even he would have escaped gloomy fate, but Vulcan snatched him away, and saved him, having enveloped him in darkness, that the old man might not be altogether sad. But the son of magnanimous Tydeus having taken the horses, gave them to his companions to lead to the hollow ships. When the magnanimous Trojans beheld the sons of Dares, the one 196 flying, the other slain at the chariot, the hearts of all were discomfited. But azure-eyed Minerva, seizing him by the hand, thus addressed impetuous Mars: “Mars, Mars, man-slayer, gore-stained, stormer of walls, should we not suffer the Trojans and the Greeks to fight, to which side soever father Jove may give glory; but let us retire, and avoid the wrath of Jove?”

Thus having said, she led impetuous Mars from the battle, and afterwards seated him on grassy 197 Scamander. Then the Greeks turned the Trojans to flight, and each of the leaders slew his man. First Agamemnon, king of men, hurled from his chariot huge Hodius, chief of the Halizonians. For in the back of him first turned [in flight], between his shoulders he fixed the spear, and drove it through his breast; and falling, he made a crash, and his arms resounded upon him.

But next Idomeneus killed Phæstus, the son of Mæonian Borus, who had come from fertile Tarne. Him, just as he was mounting his chariot, 198 spear-famed Idomeneus, with his long lance, wounded in the right shoulder: he fell from his chariot, and hateful darkness seized him. Then the attendants of Idomeneus despoiled him of his arms.

Footnote 196: (return) observe the construction by apposition, soph. ant. 21: τὼ κασιγνήτω, τὸν μὲν προτίσας, τὸν δ' ἀτιμάσας ἔχει.—561: τὼ παῖδε φημὶ τώδε τὴν μὲν ἀρτίως ἄνουν πεϕάνθαι, τὴν δ' ἀϕ' οὗ τὰ πρῶτ' ἔϕυ.

Footnote 197: (return) see buttm. lexil. p. 324, sqq.

Footnote 198: (return) I shall generally adopt this translation of ϊπποι, with anthon.

Menelaus, the son of Atreus, slew with his sharp 199 spear Scamandrius, son of Strophius, clever in the chase, an excellent huntsman; for Diana herself taught him to shoot all kinds of beasts, which the wood in the mountains nurtures. But then at least arrow-rejoicing Diana availed him not, nor his skill in distant shooting, in which he had been formerly instructed. But spear-renowned Menelaus, son of Atreus, wounded him, flying before him, with a spear in the back, between the shoulders, and drove [the spear] through his breast. Prone he fell, and his arms resounded upon him.

Meriones slew Phereclus, son of the artist Harmon, who knew how to form with his hands all ingenious things (for Pallas Minerva loved him exceedingly): who also for Alexander had built the equal ships, source of woes, which were a bane to all the Trojans and to himself, since he did not understand the oracles of the gods. 200 Meriones, indeed, when following he overtook him, struck him in the right hip; but the point went right through beneath the bone, near the bladder; and on his knees he fell lamenting, and death overshadowed him.

Footnote 199: (return) Apoll. Lex. Hom. p. 604, ed. Villois: ὀξυόεντι. Ὸ μὲν Ἀπίων, όξεῖ ἔγχει, ὀξυόεντι δὲ, ὀξυΐνῳ. With Anthon, I prefer Apion’s interpretation. Others explain it “beechen,” or “thorn-wood.” Cf. Alberti on Hesych. p. 766.

Footnote 200: (return) A doubtful line, but probably referring to an oracle by which the Trojans were recommended to avoid maritime affairs. Cf. Procl. Chrestom. p. 472, ed. Gaisf.

But Meges next slew Pedæus, son of Antenor, who, indeed, was a spurious son, yet noble Theano brought him up with care, equally with her own dear children, gratifying her husband. Him the spear-famed son of Phyleus, on his part, coming near, smote on the back of the head with his sharp spear; the steel cut through his teeth under his tongue. In the dust he fell, and caught the cold steel in his teeth.

But Eurypylus, son of Evæmon, slew noble Hypsenor, son of magnanimous Dolopion, who was priest of Scamander, and was honoured as a god by the people; him, as he was flying before him, Eurypylus, then, the illustrious son of Evæmon, struck in the shoulder in his flight, rushing on with his sword, and cut off his heavy hand: then the gory hand fell in the field; but blood-red death and stern fate seized his eyes.

Thus they on their part laboured in the violent fight. But you would not have known the son of Tydeus, to which side he belonged, whether he was mixed with the Trojans or with the Greeks. For he rushed through the plain, like unto a river swollen by mountain-streams, which flowing rapidly throws down bridges: and this, neither the fortified dams can restrain, nor the fences of the richly-blooming fields check, as it comes suddenly, when the rain-storm of Jove bears down heavily: many hopeful works of vigorous youths are wont to fall by it. Thus by the son of Tydeus were the close phalanxes of the Trojans thrown into confusion; nor did they withstand him, although being numerous.

When, therefore, Pandarus, the illustrious son of Lycaon, saw him rushing through the field, discomfiting the phalanxes before him, he drew his crooked bow, and smote him rushing on, striking him upon the right shoulder [on] the cavity of the corslet: the bitter shaft flew on and broke through to the other side; and the corslet was stained with blood. Whereupon the illustrious son of Lycaon exclaimed aloud:

“Rush on, ye magnanimous Trojans, spurrers of steeds, for the bravest of the Greeks is wounded; nor do I think that he will long endure the violent arrow, if king Apollo, the son of Jove, really urged me proceeding from Lycia.”

Thus he spoke, vaunting; but him [Diomede] the swift arrow did not subdue: but having retreated, he stood before his horses and chariot, and thus accosted Sthenelus, son of Capaneus:

“Haste, dear son of Capaneus, descend from thy chariot, that thou mayest draw from my shoulder the bitter shaft.”

Thus he spoke, and Sthenelus leaped from his chariot to the ground, and, standing by him, drew the swift, deeply-piercing arrow forth from his shoulder, and the blood spurted out through the twisted mail. Then Diomede, brave in battle, prayed:

“Hear me, O daughter of aegis-bearing Jove, unwearied, if ever favouring thou stoodest by me and my sire in the hostile fight, now in turn befriend me, O Minerva. And grant me to slay this man, and that he may approach within the aim of my spear, who being beforehand has struck me, and boasts, and says that I shall not long behold the brilliant light of the sun.”

Thus he spoke, praying, and Pallas Minerva heard him, and made light his limbs, his feet, and his hands above, and standing near him, spoke winged words:

“With confidence, now, O Diomede, fight against the Trojans; for into thy soul have I sent that intrepid ancestral might, such as the shield-brandishing knight Tydeus was wont to possess: and moreover I have taken away the darkness from thine eyes, which before was upon them, that thou mayest discern a god and also a man. Wherefore now, if any divinity come hither, making trial of thee, do thou by no means fight against any other immortal gods; but if Venus, daughter of Jove, should come into battle, wound her at all events with the sharp brass.”

Thus on her part having spoken, azure-eyed Minerva departed: but the son of Tydeus, returning again, was mixed with the van; and ardent as he before was in spirit to fight against the Trojans, then, indeed, thrice as much courage possessed him. Like as a lion, whom the shepherd in the country, by his fleecy sheep, has grazed indeed, while overleaping the court-yard, but has not killed; he [the shepherd] has merely roused his ardour; but afterwards he ventures no farther aid, but on the contrary retires within the fold, while the sheep, deserted, fly in consternation. These, indeed, are huddled in masses one upon another, but he [the lion] leaps joyfully from the lofty fold. 201 So was brave Diomede joyfully mixed with the Trojans.

Then he slew Astynoüs, and Hypenor the shepherd of the people: having smote the one above the pap with the brazen lance, but the other he smote with his huge sword on the collar-bone at the shoulder, and separated the shoulder from the neck and back. These, indeed, he left, but rushed on Abas and Polyïdus, the sons of Eurydamas, the aged interpreter of dreams; to whom going to the war, the old man did not interpret their dreams; but brave Diomede spoiled them when slain. Then he went against Xanthus and Thoon, the sons of Phænops, both dearly cherished; 202 but he was worn by sad old age, and did not beget another son to leave over his possessions. These, then, Diomede slew, and took their life from both, but to their father left grief and mournful cares, since he did not receive them returning alive from battle; but his next of kin 203 divided the inheritance amongst them.

Footnote 201: (return) A very doubtful line.

Footnote 202: (return) Cf. Buttm. Lexil. p. 511.

Footnote 203: (return) Schol.: Χηρωσταὶ, οὶ τὸν χῆρον οῖκον διανεμόμενοι κληρονόμοι. Apoll. Lex. p. 854: Οὶ μακρόθεν προσήκοντες κατὰ γένος, καὶ χῆρα ὄντα τῶν σύνεγγυς τὰ χρήματα κληρονομοῦντες.

Then he seized Echemon and Chromius, two sons of Dardanian Priam, being in one chariot. As when a lion, leaping amidst the herd, has broken the neck of a heifer or of an ox pasturing in a thicket; so did the son of Tydeus forcibly dislodge them both from the chariot against their wills, and then spoiled them of their arms. But the steeds he gave to his companions, to drive to the ships.

But him Æneas beheld devastating the ranks of men, and he hastened to go both through the battle and the din of spears, seeking godlike Pandarus, if anywhere he might find him. He found the blameless and valiant son of Lycaon, and stood before him, and spoke [this] word to him:

“O Pandarus, where are thy bow and thy winged shafts, and thy renown, with which no man here at least contends with thee, nor does any person in Lycia boast to be braver than thou? But come, having raised thy hands to Jove, aim an arrow against this man, (whoever he be, who is thus prevailing, and who has already wrought many ills against the Trojans, since he has relaxed the knees of many and of brave), unless he be some god, wrathful against the Trojans, angry on account of sacrifices [not offered]: and unless the severe wrath of a deity be upon us.”

Him the illustrious son of Lycaon answered in turn: “Æneas, counsellor of the brazen-mailed Trojans, I assimilate him in all respects to the warlike son of Tydeus, recognizing him by his shield and oblong helmet, and looking on his steeds: but I do not know certainly whether he be a god. But if this man, whom I speak of, be the warlike son of Tydeus, he does not perform these frantic deeds without divine aid, but some one of the immortals stands near, wrapped round as to his shoulders 204 in a cloud, who has turned into another course the swift shaft just about to hit him. For but just now I aimed an arrow at him, and struck him on the right shoulder, entirely through the cavity of his corslet; and I thought I should hurl him down to Pluto; yet did I not altogether subdue him; some god, of a truth, is wrathful. And steeds and chariots are not present, which I might ascend: but somewhere in the palaces of Lycaon [are] eleven chariots, beautiful, newly-built, lately made: coverings are spread around them: and beside each of them stand steeds yoked in pairs, eating white barley and wheat. Of a truth the aged warrior Lycaon gave me, on setting out, very many commands in his well-built palaces: he ordered me, having ascended my steeds and my chariot, to command the Trojans in the fierce conflicts; but I heeded him not (and truly it would have been much better), sparing my steeds, lest they, accustomed to feed largely, should want food, to my cost, 205 the men being shut up [in the city]. Thus I left them; but I have come on foot to Troy, relying on my bow and arrows, but these were not destined to profit me. For lately I aimed [a shaft] at two chiefs, at the son of Tydeus and the son of Atreus; and having struck, I drew blood manifestly from both; but I roused them the more. Therefore, with evil fate I took down my curved bow from the peg, on that day when I led the Trojans to pleasant Ilium, doing a favour to divine Hector. But if I shall return, and shall with these eyes behold my country, and my wife, and my lofty-roofed great palace, immediately may some hostile man cut off my head, if I do not put this bow into the shining fire, having broken it with my hands; for it attends on me to no purpose.”

Footnote 204: (return) Cf. Hor. Od. i. 2, 31: “Nube candentes humeros amictus.”

Footnote 205: (return) Observe the force of μοι.

Him then Æneas, the leader of the Trojans, addressed in turn: “Speak not so: but it will not be otherwise, before that we twain, with horses and chariot, going against this man, make trial of him with arms. But come, ascend my chariot; that thou mayest see of what kind are the steeds of Tros, skilful in the plain to pursue rapidly here and there, and to retreat; they also shall bring us safe again to the city, if Jove will a second time afford glory to Diomede, the son of Tydeus. But come, take the whip now, and the shining reins, and I will descend from the chariot, that I may fight; or do thou await this man, and the steeds shall be my care.”

Him then the illustrious son of Lycaon answered in turn: “Æneas, do thou thyself hold the reins and thy own steeds: the better will they bear along the curved chariot under their accustomed charioteer, if we shall fly back from the son of Tydeus; lest they, taking fright, should become restive, and be unwilling to bear us away from the war, missing thy voice, and the son of magnanimous Tydeus, rushing on us, should slay ourselves, and drive away thy solid-hoofed steeds. But do thou thyself drive the chariot and thy own steeds, but with my sharp spear will I receive him advancing.”

Thus having said, ascending the variegated chariot, they directed the swift steeds impetuously against the son of Tydeus. But Sthenelus, the illustrious son of Capaneus, perceived them, and immediately to the son of Tydeus he spoke winged words:

“Diomede, son of Tydeus, most dear to my soul, I perceive two valiant men eager to fight against thee, possessing immense might; one, indeed, well-skilled in the bow, 206 Pandarus, and moreover he boasts to be the son of Lycaon, and Æneas, [who] boasts to be born the son of magnanimous Anchises; but Venus is his mother. But come, let us now retire, having ascended our horses, nor thus, I pray thee, run furiously through the van, lest thou shouldst lose thy dear life.”

But him sternly regarding, brave Diomede thus addressed: “Talk not to me of retreat, 207 since I think thou wilt not persuade me. It becomes not my nature to fight in a skulking manner, nor to tremble; as yet my strength is unimpaired. I am averse to mount the chariot, but even as I am will I advance to meet them: spear-brandishing Minerva does not suffer me to tremble. Never shall the swift horses bear these twain both back again from us, supposing even one of them shall escape. But another thing I tell thee, and do thou lay it up in thy soul, if most prudent Minerva should grant me the glory to kill both, then do thou detain here these swift steeds, stretching forth the reins from the rim, and, mindful, rush upon the horses of Æneas, and drive them from the Trojans to the well-greaved Greeks. For they are of that breed which far-seeing Jove gave as a price to Tros for his son Ganymede; wherefore they are the best of steeds, as many as are under the east and the sun. From this breed Anchises, king of men, stole them, having supplied mares without the knowledge of Laomedon: of the breed of these six were foaled in his courts. Reserving four himself, he nourished them at the manger, and two, skilled in rousing terror, he gave to Æneas. If we can take these, we shall have borne away excellent glory.”

Footnote 206: (return) This bold change of construction, where one would have expected τὸν μὲν, τὸν, δὲ, has been noticed by Lesbonax, p. 186.

Footnote 207: (return) But Anthon, I think, with more spirit, renders this, “Speak not at all fearward.”

Thus they were speaking such things to each other; but the others soon drew near, urging onward their swift steeds. The illustrious son of Lycaon first accosted Diomede:

“Stout-hearted, warlike-minded, son of illustrious Tydeus, certainly my swift shaft, my bitter arrow has not slain thee. Now again will I try with my spear, whether I can hit my mark.” 208

He said, and brandishing [it], he sent forth his long-shadowed spear, and struck the shield of Tydides: but the brazen spear flying straight through, approached the corslet. Then the son of Lycaon shouted loudly over him:

“Thou art wounded in the flank, through and through, nor do I think thou wilt endure it much longer: but to me hast thou given great glory.”

But him the valiant son of Tydeus, undisturbed, addressed: “Thou hast erred, nor hast thou reached thine aim; 209 but I certainly think thou wilt not cease, till one of you at least, having fallen, shall satiate Mars, the warrior of the bull’s-hide shield, with his blood.”

Footnote 208: (return) This is the best manner of expressing the full meaning of τύχωμι.

Footnote 209: (return) I. e. given a mortal wound.

Thus having spoken, he hurled forth [his lance], and Minerva directed the weapon to his nose, near the eye; and it passed quite through his white teeth: and then unwearied, the brass cut the root of his tongue, and the point came out at the bottom of his chin. From his chariot he fell, and his variegated, shining 210 arms resounded upon him; but his swift-footed steeds started aside through fright, and there were his soul and strength dissolved. Æneas then bounded down with his shield and long spear, fearing lest the Greeks by any means should take the body away from him. He walked round it, therefore, like a lion, confiding in his strength: and before him he stretched out his lance, and his shield equal on all sides, shouting dreadfully, eager to slay him, whoever might come against him. But the son of Tydeus seized in his grasp a hand-stone, a huge affair, such as no two men could carry, such at least as mortals are now; but he even alone easily wielded it. With it he struck Æneas on the hip, where the thigh is turned in the hip;—they call it the socket;—the socket he smote violently, and broke besides both tendons, and the rugged stone tore off the skin. But the hero having fallen on his knees, remained so, and supported himself with his strong hand upon the ground, and dark night veiled his eyes.

Footnote 210: (return) But Buttm. Lexil. p. 65 prefers “agile,” i. e. easily-wielded.

And there, of a truth, Æneas, the king of men, had perished, unless Venus, the daughter of Jove, had quickly perceived him, his mother, who brought him forth to Anchises as he fed his oxen; 211 but around her own dear son she spread her white arms, and before him she extended the folds of her shining robe, as a fence against arrows, lest any of the swift-horsed Greeks having cast the steel into his breast, should take away his life. She, indeed, stealthily bore off her beloved son from the battle. Nor was the son of Capaneus forgetful of those commands which warlike Diomede gave him: but he detained his own solid-hoofed steeds apart from the tumult, having stretched forth the reins from the rim; and rushing forward, drove from the Trojans to the well-greaved Greeks the beautiful-maned steeds of Æneas, and gave them to Deipylus, his beloved companion (whom he honoured above all his coevals, because he possessed in his mind sentiments congenial with himself), to drive them to the hollow ships: but the hero himself, having ascended his chariot, took the splendid reins; and instantly drove his solid-hoofed steeds after the son of Tydeus with ardour; but Diomede pursued Venus with the cruel steel, 212 knowing that she was an unwarlike goddess, nor [one] of those goddesses who administer the war of men, neither Minerva, nor city-destroying Bellona. But when he had now overtaken her, having pursued her through a great crowd, then the son of magnanimous Tydeus, having stretched forward, wounded the feeble [goddess] in the extremity of the hand, bounding on with the sharp brass. Instantly the spear pierced through the skin, through her ambrosial robe (which the Graces themselves had wrought), at the extremity [of the hand] above the palm. Immortal blood flowed from the goddess, ichor, such, to wit, as flows from the blessed gods. For they eat not bread, nor drink dark wine; therefore are they bloodless, and are called immortal. But she screaming aloud, cast her son from her: and him Phoebus Apollo rescued in his hands in a sable cloud, lest any of the swift-horsed Greeks, casting the steel into his breast, should take away his life. But warlike Diomede shouted loudly after her:

Footnote 211: (return) Cf. Theocrit. i. 105: Ού λέγεται τὰν Κύπριν ὸ βουκόλος, ἕρπε ποτ' Ἰδὰν, Ἔρπε ποτ' Ἀγχίσαν. See Hymn, in Vener. 54, sqq.; and Grote, Hist. of Greece, vol. i. p. 73.

Footnote 212: (return) It is well known that these battles and woundings of the gods gave so much scandal to Plato, that he wished to cast Homer out of his republic, much to the indignation of Heraclides Ponticus, Alleg. Hom. p. 511. The fathers of the early church made no small use of Plato’s opinion on this head. Cf. Euseb. P. E. ii. 10; Tertull. Apol. § xiv.; Augustin, C. D. ii. 14; Minucius Felix, 22; who all make use of his testimony as an argument against Paganism. See Coleridge, Classic Poets, p. 64.

“Withdraw, O daughter of Jove, from war and battle. Is it not sufficient that thou dost practise deception upon feeble women? But if thou wilt go to the war, I certainly think thou wilt hereafter dread battle, even though thou but hearest of it elsewhere.”

Thus he spoke: but she departed, distracted [with pain], for she was grievously exhausted. But swift-footed Iris having taken her, led her outside the crowd, oppressed with griefs; but she began to turn livid as to her beauteous skin. Then she found impetuous Mars sitting at the left of the battle; and his spear and swift horses had been enveloped in darkness. But she, falling on her knees, with many entreaties besought from her dear brother his golden-frontleted steeds:

“Dear brother, render me a service, and give me thy steeds, that I may go to Olympus, where is the seat of the immortals. I am grievously oppressed with a wound which a mortal man, the son of Tydeus, inflicted on me, who now would fight even with father Jove.”

Thus she spoke: but Mars gave her the golden-frontleted steeds. But she mounted the chariot, grieving in her heart; and Iris mounted beside her, and took the reins in her hands, and scourged them to go on, and they flew not unwillingly. And immediately then they reached the seat of the gods, the lofty Olympus. There nimble, swift-footed Iris stayed the steeds, having loosed them from the chariot, and set before them ambrosial fodder. But the goddess Venus fell at the knees of her mother Dione; and she embraced her daughter in her arms, and soothed her with her hand, and addressed her, and said:

“Which of the heavenly gods, beloved daughter, has wantonly done such things to thee, as if thou hadst openly wrought some evil?”

But her laughter-loving Venus answered: “The son of Tydeus, haughty Diomede, has wounded me, because I was withdrawing from battle my beloved son Æneas, who is by far most dear to me of all. For it is no longer the destructive contest of Trojans and of Greeks; but now the Greeks fight even with the immortals.”

But her Dione, divine one of goddesses, answered: “Endure, my daughter, and bear up, although grieved; for many of us, possessing Olympian habitations, have in times past endured pains at the hand of men, 213 imposing heavy griefs on one another. Mars, in the first place, endured it, when Otus and valiant Ephialtes, the sons of Aloëus, bound him in a strong chain. He was chained in a brazen prison for thirteen months: and perhaps Mars, insatiate of war, had perished there, had not his stepmother, all-fair Eëribæa, told it to Mercury; but he stole Mars away, already exhausted, for the cruel chain subdued him. Juno also suffered, when the brave son of Amphitryon smote her in the right breast with a three-pronged shaft. Then most irremediable pain seized her. Amongst these Pluto also endured a swift shaft, when the same hero, the son of ægis-bearing Jove, afflicted him with pains at Pylos amongst the dead, having wounded him. But he went to the palace of Jove, and the lofty Olympus, grieving in his heart, and transfixed with pains; for the shaft had pierced into his huge shoulder, and tortured his soul. But Pæon healed him, sprinkling pain-assuaging remedies, for he was not at all mortal. Audacious, regardless one! who felt no compunction in doing lawless deeds,—who with his bow violated the gods that dwell in Olympus. But against thee azure-eyed goddess Minerva has excited this man. Infatuate! nor does the son of Tydeus know this in his mind, that he is by no means long-lived who fights with the immortals, nor ever at his knees will sons lisp a father’s name, as he returns from war and dreadful battle. Therefore, let the son of Tydeus now, though he be very brave, have a care, lest a better than thou fight with him: lest at a future time Ægialëa, the very prudent daughter of Adrastus, the noble spouse of horse-taming Diomede, grieving, should rouse her servants from sleep, longing for the husband of her youth, the bravest of the Greeks.”

Footnote 213: (return) Speaking of these humiliations of the gods, Grote, Hist. t. i. p. 78, well observes: “The god who serves is for a time degraded; but the supreme god who commands the servitude is in the like proportion exalted, whilst the idea of some sort of order and government among these super-human beings was never lost sight of.”

She spoke, and with her palms wiped off the ichor from her hand: the hand was healed, and the severe pains mitigated. But then Minerva and Juno looking on, provoked Saturnian Jove with heart-cutting words; but amidst them azure-eyed goddess Minerva thus began speaking:

“Father Jove, wilt thou indeed be angry with me on account of what I shall say? Surely it must be that Venus, inspiring some one of the Grecian women with a desire of accompanying the Trojans, whom now she exceedingly loves, while caressing one of those fair-robed Grecian women, has torn her delicate hand against a golden buckle.”

Thus she spoke: but the father of men and gods smiled, and having called, he thus accosted golden Venus:

“Not to thee, daughter mine, are intrusted warlike works; but do thou confine thyself to the desirable offices of marriage, and all these things shall be a care to swift Mars and to Minerva.”

Thus they, indeed, were speaking such things to each other. But Diomede, doughty in the din of battle, rushed upon Æneas, conscious that Apollo himself held over him his hands. But he revered not the mighty god, for he always longed to slay Æneas, and despoil him of his glorious armour. Thrice then, immediately, he rushed on, eager to slay him, and thrice Apollo repelled his shield with violence; but when at length the fourth time he rushed on, like a god, the far-darting Apollo menacing terribly, addressed him: “Consider, O son of Tydeus, and retire, nor wish to think things equal with the gods; for the race of the immortal gods and of men walking on the earth is in nowise similar.”

Thus he spoke: but the son of Tydeus retired a little, biding the wrath of far-darting Apollo. But Apollo placed Æneas apart from the crowd, in sacred Pergamus, where his temple was. 214 Latona and shaft-rejoicing Diana healed him in the mighty shrine, and adorned him with glory. But silver-bowed Apollo formed a phantom like unto Æneas himself and such in arms. Around the phantom the Trojans and the noble Greeks smote on each others’ breasts the well-battered ox-hide shields, and the light bucklers. Then at length Phœbus Apollo addressed impetuous Mars:

Footnote 214: (return) “On the Trojan citadel of Pergamus itself was a temple of Apollo, Diana and Latona; and hence Homer represents these three deities protecting the falling city.”—Μüller, Dorians, vol. i. p. 248.

“Mars! Mars! man-slaughterer, gore-tainted, wall-batterer! wouldst not thou now, meeting this man, the son of Venus, withdraw him from the battle, who would even now cope with father Jove? First, indeed, in close combat, he wounded Venus in the hand, at the wrist; but then he assailed me, like unto a god.”

Thus having spoken, he sat down on lofty Pergamus; but destructive Mars aroused the ranks of the Trojans, going through them, assimilating himself to Acamus, the swift leader of the Thracians, and thus he harangued the Jove-nourished sons of Priam:

“Ye sons of Priam, Jove-nourished king, how long will ye suffer the people to be slain by the Greeks? Is it until they fight around the well-made gates? A hero lies prostate, whom we honoured equally with noble Hector, the son of magnanimous Anchises. But come, let us rescue from the assault our excellent companion.”

Thus having spoken, he excited the might and courage of heart. Then Sarpedon much rebuked noble Hector:

Hector, where now has that strength gone, which thou didst formerly possess? Thou saidst, I ween, that thou, with thy kindred and thy brothers, couldst defend the city without the forces and allies. Now I can neither see nor perceive any of these; but they crouch down, like dogs but a lion: we, on the contrary, who are here mere allies, bear the brunt of the fight. Even I, being thine ally, have come from a very great distance; for far off is Lycia, at lying Xanthus, where I left my beloved wife and my infant son, and many possessions, which he who is poor covets: but I, nevertheless, exhort the Lycians, and ready myself to fight with that hero; and yet there is here to me such store as the Greeks can carry or let. But thou standest still, and dost not exhort even the forces to stand and to defend their wives. Beware perchance, as though ensnared in the meshes of an alluring net, thou become a prey and a spoil to hostile for quickly will they destroy thy well-inhabited city. As it behoves thee, both night and day, to interest thyself in these matters, beseeching the chiefs of thy far-summoned force to persevere with ardour, and forego their violent strife.

Thus spoke Sarpedon, but his speech gnawed the heart of Hector, and immediately he leaped from his chariot with his armour to the ground, and brandishing his sharp spear, went in all directions through the army, exhorting the battle; and he stirred up a grievous conflict. The Trojans rallied and stood against the Greeks; but the Greeks stood in close array, withstood them, nor fled.

And as the wind scatters the chaff about the threshing-floors, when men are winnowing [it], and yellow Ceres is separating both the grain and the chaff, the winds rush along; and the chaff-heaps 215 grow white beneath; thus then the Greeks became white with the chaff from above, which indeed through them, as they again mingled in the combat, the feet of the steeds struck up [the ground] to the brazen heaven; for the charioteers turning back. But they directed the strength of theirs straight forward; and fierce Mars spread a vapour over the battle, aiding the Trojans, going about everywhere, echoing the commands of golden-sworded Phœbus Apollo and ordered him to excite the courage of the Trojans, whenever he should see Pallas Minerva departing; for she was an ally of the Greeks. But he sent forth Æneas from his very rich shrine and infused strength into the breast of the shepherd of the people.

Footnote 215: (return) But cf. Schol. οἱ τόποι εἰς οὓς τὰ ἄχυρα ἐκπίπτει.

Then Æneas placed himself amidst his companions and they rejoiced when they saw him approaching alive, unhurt and having excellent strength. They did not ever, ask any questions; for a different labour did not pale which the silver-bowed god and man-slaughtering war and Strife insatiably raging, had excited. But then Greeks, the two Ajaces, and Ulysses and Diomede, urged on to fight. But they, even by themselves, feared neither the violent attacks 216 of the Trojans, nor their shouts: but remained firm, like unto clouds, which the son of Saturn, during a calm, has placed upon the lofty mountains, at rest, when the might of Boreas sleeps, 217 and of the other impetuous winds, which, blowing with shrill blasts, disperse the shadowy clouds. Thus the Greeks awaited the Trojans, standing firm, nor fled. But the son of Atreus kept hurrying through the host, exhorting them much:

“O friends, be men, and assume a valiant heart, and feel shame 218 towards each other through the fierce engagements: for more of those men who dread shame are safe, than are slain; but from fugitives neither does any glory arise, nor any assistance.”

He spoke, and darted with his spear quickly, and struck Dëicoon, son of Pergasis, a warrior chief, the companion of magnanimous Æneas, whom the Trojans honoured equally with the sons of Priam; since he was prompt to fight amidst the van. Him then king Agamemnon struck in the shield with his spear, but it [the shield] did not repel the spear, for even through this it passed onwards, and pierced him through the belt, at the lower part of the stomach. And he made a crash as he fell, and his arms rattled over him.

Here then Æneas slew some brave heroes of the Greeks,—Crethon and Orsilochus, the sons of Diocles: their father, indeed, rich in sustinence, 219 dwelt in well-built Pheræ; but his origin was from the river Alpheus, which flows widely through the land of the Pylians. Alpheus begat Orsilochus, a prince over many men; but Orsilochus begat magnanimous Diocles; and of Diocles were born two sons, Crethon and Orsilochus, well skilled in all kinds of battle. These, indeed, in the bloom of youth, in their sable ships followed with the Argives to Ilium famed for noble steeds, seeking honour for the sons of Atreus, Agamemnon and Menelaus: but there the end of death overshadowed them.

Footnote 216: (return) Such seems to be the force of the plural βίας.

Footnote 217: (return) “Ascending, while the north wind sleeps.”—Milton, P. L. ii. 489.

Footnote 218: (return) I. e. be ashamed to fly or give way. Compare Plato, Sympos. p. 317, F. G. ed. Læm., where he dwells upon the advantages of friends fighting together, as rendering men ashamed of any cowardly action.

Footnote 219: (return) This construction with the genitive is very common in Latin. Virg. Georg. ii. 468: “dives opum.” Æn. i. 18; Hor. Ep. ii. 2, 31; Od. iv. 8, 5; Silius, i. 393.

They two, 220 just as two lions have been reared under their dam, amid the thickets of a deep wood, on a mountain’s heights; they in process of time seizing oxen and fat sheep, lay waste the stalls of men, till at length they are themselves killed by the hands of men with the sharp brass; such these two, subdued by the hands of Æneas, fell like lofty firs. Then Menelaus, brave in the din of war, pitied them fallen, and went through the van, equipped in shining brass, brandishing his spear; for Mars kindled his strength, with the design that he should be subdued by the hands of Æneas.

But him Antilochus, son of magnanimous Nestor, beheld, and proceeded through the van, for he feared much for the shepherd of the people, lest he should suffer anything, and greatly disappoint them of [the fruits of] their labour. And now they were stretching forth their hands and sharp spears against each other, eager to fight; but Antilochus stood very near the shepherd 221 of the people. But Æneas, though a brisk warrior, remained not, when he beheld the two heroes standing near each other. When, therefore, they had drawn the dead bodies 222 to the people of the Greeks, they gave the miserable pair into the hands of their companions; and they themselves, returning back, fought in the van.

Footnote 220: (return) The order is, τώγε, οἴω λέοντε δύω. Anthon refers to Kühner 1. 443, 4, p. 97, Jelf’s Translation.

Footnote 221: (return) See note on ver. 50.

Footnote 222: (return) Of the sons of Diocles.

Then they slew Pylæmenes, equal to Mars, general of the magnanimous shielded Paphlagonians. Him indeed the son of Atreus, spear-renowned Menelaus, wounded with a spear as he stood, having smote him on the collar-bone. But Antilochus on his part smote the charioteer Mydon, his brave attendant, the son of Atymnias (now he was in the act of turning his solid-hoofed steeds), having struck him with a hand-stone on the elbow; immediately the reins, white with ivory, fell from his hands on the ground in the dust. But Antilochus, rushing on, smote him with his sword in the temple, and panting he fell from the well-made chariot, headlong in the dust, on his head and his shoulders. Very long he stood (for he fell on deep sand), till the two horses, striking him, cast him to the ground in the dust: but Antilochus lashed them on, and drove them to the army of the Greeks.

But them Hector discerned through the ranks, and rushed on them, vociferating, and with him followed the brave phalanxes of the Trojans. Mars and venerable Bellona led them; she, on the one hand, bearing with her tumultuous Din, but Mars, on the other, brandished a huge spear in his hands. At one time, indeed, he paced before Hector, at another after him.

But him Diomede, brave in fight, seeing, trembled. As when a man, uncertain of his course, passing over a great plain, has stopped at a swift-flowing river, running into the sea, beholding it boiling with foam, and retreats back in haste: so then did the son of Tydeus retire, and he said to the host:

“O friends, how do we all admire noble Hector, that he is both a spearman and a daring warrior! But with him one at least of the gods is ever present, who wards off death; even now Mars in person stands by him like unto a mortal man. But retreat back, [with your faces] turned always to the Trojans, nor desire to fight valiantly against the gods.”

Thus then he said: but the Trojans advanced very near them. There Hector slew two heroes skilled in battle, Menesthes and Anchialus, being in one chariot. But mighty Telamonian Ajax pitied them falling; and advancing he stood very near them, and launched with his shining spear, and smote Amphius, son of Selagus, who, exceedingly rich in property and crops, dwelt in Pæsus. But fate had led him as an ally to Priam and his sons. Him Telamonian Ajax smote on the belt, and the long-shadowed spear was fixed in the pit of his stomach. Falling, he made a crash, and illustrious Ajax ran up to him, about to spoil [him of] his armour; but the Trojans poured upon him sharp spears, shining all around, and his shield received many. But he, pressing on him with his heel, drew from the body his brazen spear; however, he was not able to take off from his shoulders any other beautiful armour, for he was pressed upon with weapons. He also dreaded the stout defence of haughty Trojans, 223 who, both numerous and doughty, stood around, stretching forth their spears, and who drove him away from them, although being mighty, and valiant, and renowned. But he, retiring, was repelled by force.

Footnote 223: (return) Cf. Lex. Seg. 6, p. 336. Bekk.: ἀγέρωχος, σεμνὸς, ὑπερόπτης, ϑρασύς. On the different and doubtful etymologies of this word, see Alberti on Hesych. t. i. p, 44, and Buttm. Lexil. p. 19, sq.

Thus they, on the one hand, toiled through the violent conflict. But violent fate urged on Tlepolemus, the brave and great son of Hercules, against godlike Sarpedon. But when they, the son and grandson of cloud-collecting Jove, were now rushing against one another, Tlepolemus first addressed him [Sarpedon]:

“Sarpedon, chief of the Lycians, what necessity is there for thee, being a man unskilled in war, to tremble here? Falsely do they say that thou art the offspring of ægis-bearing Jove, since thou art far inferior to those heroes, who were of Jove, in the time of ancient men. But what sort do they say that Hercules was, my bold-minded, lion-hearted father? who formerly coming hither, on account of the steeds of Laomedon, with six ships only, and with a few men, laid waste the city of Ilium, and widowed its streets. But thou hast an ignoble mind, and thy forces are perishing away; nor do I think that thou wilt be an assistance to the Trojans, having come from Lycia, not even if thou be exceedingly valiant; but that, slain by me, thou wilt pass through the gates of Hades.”

But him Sarpedon, leader of the Lycians, in return accosted: “Tlepolemus, he indeed overturned sacred Ilium, through the folly of the hero, famous Laomedon, who reproved with harsh language him who had deserved well, nor did he give back the steeds, on account of which he came from afar. But I tell thee that here slaughter and gloomy death will befall thee at my hands; and that, subdued by my spear, thou wilt give glory to me, and a spirit to steed-famed 224 Pluto.”

Footnote 224: (return) An epithet probably derived from the steeds (“inferni raptoris equos,” Claudian, de R. P. i. 1) employed in the abduction of Proserpine.

Thus spoke Sarpedon: but Tlepolemus raised his ashen spear, and from their hands, at the same moment, flew the long spears. Sarpedon, on his part, struck the centre of [his adversary’s] neck, and the grievous weapon passed right through; and gloomy night overspread his eyes. But Tlepolemus in the meantime had struck Sarpedon in the left thigh with his long spear; and the spear, rushing with violence, passed through, grazing the bone: but his father as yet averted death.

His noble companions bore godlike Sarpedon from the battle; but the long spear, trailed along with him, pained him; but this no one of them hastening noticed, nor thought of extracting from his thigh the ashen spear, that he might ascend the chariot; for such anxiety did his attendants entertain for him. But on the other side the well-greaved Greeks carried Tlepolemus from the fight; and divine Ulysses, possessing an enduring heart, perceived them, and his soul was stirred within him. And then he anxiously pondered in his mind and soul, whether he should pursue farther the son of loud-thundering Jove, or should take away the lives of many more Lycians. But it was not fated for magnanimous Ulysses to slay the brave son of Jove with the sharp spear. Therefore Minerva turned his thoughts towards the multitude of the Lycians. Then he slew Cœranus, and Alastor, and Chromius, and Alcander, and Halius, and Noëmon, and Prytanis. And yet more Lycians would noble Ulysses have slain, had not mighty crest-tossing Hector quickly perceived him. He therefore went through the van, armed in shining brass, bearing terror to the Greeks: then Sarpedon, the son of Jove, rejoiced at him approaching, and spoke [this] mournful address:

“O son of Priam, I pray thee, suffer me not to lie a prey to the Greeks, but aid me. Even then 225 let life forsake me in thy city; since I was not destined to gladden my dear wife and infant son, returning home to my dear fatherland.”

Footnote 225: (return) I. e. when you have rescued my body from the foe, I will die content in Troy.—Anthon.

Thus he spoke: but him plume-waving Hector answered nought, but flew past him, in order that he might repel the Greeks with all haste, and take away the lives of many. His noble companions meantime placed godlike Sarpedon under a very beautiful beech of ægis-bearing Jove. Stout Pelagon then, who was his beloved companion, forced out the ashen spear from his thigh. Thereupon animation left him, and darkness was poured over his eyes; but he again revived, for the breeze of Boreas, breathing upon him around, refreshed in spirit him panting with difficulty.

But the Greeks, on account of Mars and brazen-helmed Hector, neither were driven at any time back to their sable ships, nor did they advance forward to battle; but always kept giving ground, since they had heard that Mars was with the Trojans.

Then whom first, whom last did Hector, the son of Priam, and brazen Mars slay? The godlike Teuthras, and moreover the knight Orestes, the Ætolian spearman Trechus, and Œnomaus, and Helenus of the race of Œnops, and Oresbius of flexible 226 belt, who dwelt in Hyla, near the lake Cephissus, very intent on wealth: and near him dwelt other Bœotians, having a very rich territory.

Footnote 226: (return) Cf. Buttm. Lexil. p. 66. I. e. “a belt which he could easily move, and which, from its suppleness and flexibility, yielded to the pressure of his person.”—Anthon.

When therefore the white-armed goddess Juno perceived these Greeks perishing in the violent engagement, straightway to Minerva she addressed winged words:

“Strange! O daughter of ægis-bearing Jove, unwearied one, certainly we have made a vain promise to Menelaus, that he should return after having destroyed well-walled Ilium, if we suffer destructive Mars thus to rage. But come, let us too bethink ourselves of some powerful aid.”

Thus she spoke; nor did the azure-eyed goddess Minerva disobey her. Juno, on her part, venerable goddess, daughter of mighty Saturn, quickly moving, harnessed her gold-caparisoned steeds; but Hebe speedily applied to the chariot, to the iron axletree on both sides, the curved wheels, golden, with eight spokes. Of these, indeed, the felloe is of gold, imperishable: but above [are] brazen tires fastened on them, wonderful to be seen; but the circular naves on both sides are of silver; and the body 227 was stretched on with gold and silver thongs (there was a double circular rim); from this projected a silver pole; at its extremity she bound the golden, beauteous yoke, and to it attached the beautiful golden poitrels. But Juno, longing for conquest and battle, led the swift-footed steeds under the yoke.

Footnote 227: (return) δίφρος is properly the seat, but is here put for the whole chariot.

Minerva, on the other hand, the daughter of ægis-bearing Jove, let flow down on her father’s floor her dainty robe of variegated hue, which she herself had wrought and worked with her own hands: then she, having put on her tunic, equipped herself for the tearful war in the armour of cloud-compelling Jove, and around her shoulders she then threw the fringed ægis, dreadful, around which on all sides Terror appears plumed. Thereon was Strife, thereon Fortitude, and thereon was chilling Pursuit; 228 on it was the Gorgonian head of the dreadful monster, dire, horrible, a portent of ægis-bearing Jove. On her head she placed her four-crested helmet, with a spreading metal ridge, 229 golden, sufficient for the heavy-armed of a hundred cities. She then stepped into her shining chariot with her feet; and took her spear, heavy, huge, and sturdy, with which she, sprung from a dread sire, subdues the ranks of heroic men, with whomsoever she is wroth. But Juno with the lash quickly urged on the steeds. The gates of heaven creaked spontaneously, the gates which the Hours guarded, to whom are intrusted the mighty heaven and Olympus, as well to open the dense cloud as to close it. In this way, indeed, through these gates, they drove their steeds, urged on with the goad: and they found the son of Saturn sitting apart from the other gods on the highest summit of many-peaked Olympus. There staying her steeds, the white-armed goddess Juno interrogated supreme Saturnian Jove, and thus addressed him:

“O father Jove, art thou not indignant at Mars for these bold deeds,—how numerous and how choice a multitude of Greeks he has destroyed rashly, nor as became him: a grief indeed to me; but Venus and silver-bowed Apollo in quiet are delighted, having let slip this frantic [god], who knows no rights. Father Jove, wilt thou be angry with me if I drive Mars from the battle, having dreadfully wounded him?”

Footnote 228: (return) Compare ροίωξις and αλίωξις, similarly personified, in Hesiod, Scut. Herc. 134, and Virg. Æn. viii. 701:

“—tristesque ex æthere Diræ,

Et scissâ gaudens vadit Discordia pallâ;

Quam cum sanguineo sequitur Bellona flagello.”

Footnote 229: (return) See note on iii. 362.

But her answering, cloud-compelling Jove addressed:

“Come, incite the pillaging Minerva against him, who is very wont to cause him to approach grievous woes.”

Thus he spoke: nor did the white-armed goddess Juno disobey, but she lashed on her steeds. They flew, not unwillingly, midway between the earth and the starry heaven. Now, as much haze 230 as a man sees with his eyes, sitting upon some lofty point, and looking over the darkling ocean, so far do the high-sounding steeds of the gods clear at one bound. But when they now reached Troy, and the two flowing rivers, where Simois and Scamander unite their streams, there the white-armed goddess Juno stayed her steeds, having loosed them from the chariot, and shed a dense mist around them. But to them Simois afforded ambrosial food to feed on.

But they went on, like unto timid doves in their pace, hastening to assist the Grecian heroes. But when they had now arrived where the most numerous 231 and the bravest stood collected in dense array round horse-breaking Diomede, like raw-devouring lions or wild boars, whose strength is not feeble, there standing, the white-armed goddess Juno shouted aloud, having likened herself to great-hearted, brazen-voiced Stentor, who was accustomed to shout as loud as fifty other men:

Footnote 230: (return) Opposed to the pure air of æther. See Buttm. Lexil. p. 37, sqq.

Footnote 231: (return) Observe the elegant position of the plural verb between two singular substantives, according to the Schema Alemanicum. Compare Od. K, 513, and Il. Y, 138, which have been pointed out by Lesbonax, p. 179, ed. Valck.

“Shame! ye Greeks! foul subjects of disgrace! admirable in form [alone]. As long, indeed, as divine Achilles was wont to be engaged in the war, the Trojans were not in the habit of advancing beyond the Dardan gates; for they dreaded his mighty spear; but now they fight at the hollow ships, far away from the city.”

Thus saying, she aroused the strength and courage of each. The azure-eyed goddess Minerva rushed towards the son of Tydeus; but she found that prince by his steeds and chariot, cooling the wound which Pandarus had inflicted on him with a shaft. For perspiration had afflicted him beneath the broad belt of his well-orbed shield: with this was he afflicted, and he was fatigued as to his hand; and raising the belt, he wiped away the black gore. Then the goddess touched the yoke of the horses, and said:

“Little like himself has Tydeus begotten a son. Tydeus was certainly small in body, but a warrior. And even when I suffered him not to fight, nor to rush furiously to battle, when he came far from the Greeks, an ambassador to Thebes to the numerous Cadmeans, I commanded him to feast quietly in the palaces; but he, retaining his doughty spirit, as before, challenged the youths, the Cadmeans, and easily conquered them in everything; so great an auxiliary was I to him. But thee, indeed, I stand by and preserve, and I exhort thee freely to fight against the Trojans. But either weariness, from great toil, has entered thy limbs, or at least disheartening fear in some manner possesses thee. Thou art not henceforth to be deemed at least the son of Tydeus, the gallant son of Æneus.”

But her valiant Diomede answering addressed: “I know thee, O goddess, daughter of ægis-bearing Jove; therefore will I willingly tell this word to thee, nor will I conceal it. Neither does any disheartening fear possess me, nor any sloth: but as yet I am mindful of thy mandates, which thou didst enjoin. Thou didst not suffer me to fight with the other happy gods; but if Venus, the daughter of Jove, should come into the battle, to wound her at least with the sharp steel. Wherefore now I myself retire, and have ordered all the other Greeks to be collected here: for I perceive Mars dispensing the battle.”

But him the azure-eyed goddess Minerva then answered: “Diomede, son of Tydeus, most dear to my soul, neither fear this Mars at all, nor any other of the immortals; such an auxiliary am I to thee. But come, first direct thy solid-hoofed steeds against Mars, strike him in close combat, nor regard impetuous Mars, this frenzied and unnatural pest, shifter from one to another; who lately haranguing promised me and Juno, that he would fight against the Trojans, and aid the Greeks; but now he mixes with the Trojans, and has forgotten these.”

Thus having said, she forced Sthenelus from his horses to the ground, dragging him back with her hand; but he promptly leaped down. Then the goddess herself, infuriate, ascended the chariot beside noble Diomede, and greatly did the beechen axle groan under the weight; for it bore a dreadful goddess and a very brave hero. Then Pallas Minerva seized the scourge and the reins. Straightway she drove the solid-hoofed steeds against Mars first. He, indeed, had just slain huge Periphas, the illustrious son of Ochesius, by far the bravest of the Ætolians. Him indeed gore-stained Mars slew; but Minerva put on the helmet of Pluto that impetuous Mars might not see her.

But when man-slaughtering Mars saw noble Diomede, he suffered huge Periphas to lie there, where first slaying him he had taken away his life, but he went straight against horse breaking Diomede. And when these came near, advancing against each other, Mars first, over the yoke and the reins of the steeds, stretched himself forward with his brazen spear, eager to take away his life. It then the azure-eyed goddess Minerva having caught in her hand, turned from the chariot, so as to be borne away in vain. But next Diomede, valiant in the din of war, made the attack with his brazen spear; and Pallas Minerva firmly fastened it in his lowest flank, where he was girt with his belt. In that very part striking, she wounded him, and tore his beautiful skin, and drew out the spear again. Then roared brazen Mars, as loud as nine or ten thousand men roar in war, joining the strife of battle. And then fear seized the terrified Greeks and Trojans, so loud bellowed Mars, insatiate of war.

And as when from the clouds, a gloomy haze appears, a heavy-blowing wind arising from heat; such did brazen Mars appear to Diomede, son of Tydeus, going amid the clouds into the broad heaven. Quickly he reached lofty Olympus, the seat of the gods, and sat near Saturnian Jove, grieving in his heart, and showed the immortal blood flowing down from the wound, and complaining, he spoke winged words:

“Father Jove, art thou not incensed beholding these violent deeds? Ever, of a truth, are we deities suffering most grievous woes from the machinations of each other, and [whilst] conferring favour upon men. We all are indignant with thee; 232 for thou hast begotten a mad, pernicious daughter, to whom evil works are ever a care. For all the other gods, as many as are in Olympus, obey thee, and unto thee each of us is subject. But her thou restrainest not by words, nor by any act, but dost indulge her, since thou thyself didst beget this destructive daughter. Who now has urged on Diomede, the overbearing son of Tydeus, to rage against the immortal gods. Venus he first wounded, in close fight, in the hand at the wrist; and, equal to a god, he afterwards rushed on myself; but my swift feet withdrew me; [otherwise] I should certainly for a long time have endured woes there amidst the dreadful heaps of slain, or living should have been exhausted by the strokes of the brass.”

Footnote 232: (return) Or, “through thee we are all at variance,” taking σοί as put for διά σέ with Lesbonax, πεοί σχημ. p. 186; Hesychius, t. ii. p. 1234, and the Scholiast.

Him sternly regarding, cloud-compelling Jove addressed: “Complain not to me, inconstant one, sitting by me: for thou art most hateful to me, of all the gods that possess Olympus: for to thee discord is ever grateful, and wars and battles: thou hast thy mother Juno’s insufferable and unbending disposition, which I myself can scarcely repress with words. Wherefore I think thou sufferest these things by her instigation. Yet no longer can I endure thy suffering pain, for thou art my offspring, and to me thy mother brought thee forth. But hadst thou, destructive as thou art, been born of any other of the gods, even long since hadst thou been far lower than the sons of Uranus.”

Thus he spoke, and ordered Pæon to heal him: and Pæon healed him, spreading [on his wound] pain-assuaging medicines; for he was not by any means mortal. As when fig-tree juice, 233 on being stirred about, curdles the white milk, fluid before, and it very rapidly coagulates, while one is mixing it; thus at that time did he speedily heal impetuous Mars. Hebe then washed him, and put on him beautiful garments. Then, exulting in glory, near Saturnian Jove he sat down.

And now again Argive Juno and the powerful assistant Minerva returned to the palace of mighty Jove, after having stayed man-slaying Mars from his deeds of slaughter.

Footnote 233: (return) Used as rennet.



The gods having left the field, victory now inclines to the side of the Greeks, and Helenus counsels Hector to order a public supplication to Minerva in the citadel. While Hector is gone to the city for that purpose, Diomedes and Glaucus recognize the friendship which had formerly existed between their fathers, and exchange armour in token of amity. Hecuba and the Trojan matrons present a robe to Minerva, and offer up prayers for their country. Hector reproves Paris, and brings him back to the field, having first taken an affecting farewell of his wife and child.

And now the dreadful battle of the Trojans and the Greeks was abandoned. Often here and there the battle raged through the plain, [the combatants] directing against each other their brass-tipped spears, between the rivers of Simois and Xanthus.

First Telamonian Ajax, the bulwark of the Greeks, broke through the phalanx of the Trojans, and gave light 234 to his companions, smiting the good and mighty hero Acamas, son of Eyssorus, who was the bravest amongst the Thracians. First he struck him on the ridge of the horse-haired helmet; and the brazen spear fixed itself in his forehead, and passed on within the bone; but darkness veiled his eyes.

Footnote 234: (return) I. e. the light of hope. Cf. Virg. Æn. ii, 281: “O lux Dardaniæ, spes ô fidissima Teucrûm.” Quintus Calab. iii. 561. Έπεὶ σύ μοι ὶερoν ᾗμαρ, καὶ ϕάος ὴελίοιο πέλες.

But Diomede, brave in the din of war, slew Axylus, the son of Teuthras, who dwelt in well-built Arisba, rich in wealth, and he was beloved by men, for dwelling in a house near the public way, he was wont to afford entertainment to all. But none of them [his guests] coming up before him, warded off sad death; but [Diomede] deprived both of life, himself and his attendant Calesius, who then was the charioteer of his steeds, and both these entered the earth.

And Euryalus slew Dresus and Opheltius; and afterwards went against Æsepus and Pedasus, whom formerly the Naiad nymph Abarbarea brought forth to blameless Bucolion. Bucolion was the son of illustrious Laomedon, eldest by birth, but him his mother brought forth secretly. While [Bucolion] was a shepherd, he was mingled in love and nuptials with her amongst the sheep; but she becoming pregnant, brought forth twin sons. And truly the son of Mecisteus 235 relaxed their strength and their illustrious limbs, and tore the armour from their shoulders. And next warlike Polypœtes slew Astyalus. Ulysses killed Percosian Pidytes with his brazen spear; and Agamemnon, king of men, slew Elatus. He dwelt at lofty Pedasus, on the banks of fair-flowing Satniois. The hero Leïtus slew Phylacus flying; and Eurypylus killed and spoiled Melanthius.

Footnote 235: (return) Euryalus.

In the next place Menelaus, valiant in the din of war, took Adrastus alive; for his two steeds, flying bewildered over the plain, coming in violent contact with a branch of tamarisk, and having broken the curved chariot at the extremity of the pole, themselves flew towards the city, whither others also fled terrified. But he was rolled from his chariot near the wheel, prone in the dust on his mouth: but near him stood Menelaus, the son of Atreus, holding his long-shadowed spear. Adrastus then embracing his knees supplicated him:

“Take me alive, O son of Atreus, and receive a worthy ransom; in my wealthy father’s [house] 236 lie abundant stores, brass and gold, and well-wrought steel; out of which my sire will bestow on thee countless ransom-gifts, if he shall hear that I am alive at the ships of the Greeks.”

Thus he spoke; and persuaded his mind in his breast, and already he was on the point of consigning him to the care of his attendant to conduct him to the ships of the Greeks: but Agamemnon running up, met him, and shouting in a chiding tone, spoke:

“O soft one, O Menelaus, why art thou thus so much concerned for these men? In sooth very kind offices were done to thee in thy family by the Trojans. 237 Of whom let none escape utter destruction, and our hands; not even him whom the mother carries, being an infant in her womb, let not even him escape; but let all the inhabitants of Ilium perish totally, without burial-rites, and obscure.”

Footnote 236: (return) Supply οϊκῳ or δόμω.

Footnote 237: (return) Ironically spoken.

Thus having said, the hero changed his brother’s mind, having advised right things: but he, with his hand, thrust back the hero Adrastus from him; and him king Agamemnon smote in the belly, and he was cast supine. But the son of Atreus planting his heel upon his breast, drew out the ashen spear.

Then Nestor exhorted the Greeks, exclaiming aloud: “O friends, Grecian heroes, servants of Mars, let no one now, desirous of spoil, linger behind, that he may return bringing abundance to the ships; but let us slay the men, and afterwards at your leisure, shall ye spoil the dead bodies through the plain.”

Thus having said, he aroused the might and courage of each. And then truly had the Trojans retreated into Ilium, under the influence of the Mars-beloved Greeks, conquered through their own cowardice, had not Helenus, son of Priam, by far the best of augurs, standing near, spoken these words to Æneas and to Hector:

“Æneas and Hector, since upon you chiefly of the Trojans and Lydians the labour devolves, because ye are the bravest for every purpose, both to fight and to take counsel, stand here, and stay the forces before the gates, running in all directions, before that, on the contrary, flying they fall into the arms of their wives, and become a triumph to the enemies. But after ye have exhorted all the phalanxes, we remaining here will fight against the Greeks, though much pressed, for necessity urges us. But Hector, do thou go to the city, and then speak to thy mother and mine; and let her, collecting together the matrons of distinction 238 into the temple of azure-eyed Minerva, on the lofty citadel, [and] having opened the doors of the sacred house with the key, let her place on the knees of fair-haired Minerva the robe which seems to her the most beautiful, and the largest in her palace, and which is much the most dear to her. And let her promise to sacrifice to that goddess in her temple twelve yearling heifers, as yet ungoaded, if she will take compassion on the city and on the wives and infant children of the Trojans: if indeed she will avert from sacred Ilium the son of Tydeus, that ferocious warrior, the dire contriver of flight: whom I declare to be the bravest of the Greeks; nor have we ever to such a degree dreaded Achilles, chiefest of men, whom they say is from a goddess: but this man rages excessively, nor can any equal him in might.”

Footnote 238: (return) Hesych. Γεραιάς ἐντίμους γυναὶκας, τὰς γέρας τι ἐχούσας.

Thus he said, but Hector was by no means disobedient to his brother; and instantly from his chariot he leaped to the ground with his arms, and brandishing his sharp spears, he went in all directions through the army, inciting them to fight: and he stirred up dreadful battle. But they rallied round, and stood opposite the Greeks. But the Greeks retreated, and desisted from slaughter; for they thought that some of the immortals, from the starry heaven, had descended to aid the Trojans, in such a way did they rally. But Hector exhorted the Trojans, exclaiming aloud:

“Courageous Trojans and far-summoned 239 allies, be men, my friends, and recall to mind your daring valour, whilst I go to Ilium, and tell to the aged counsellors, and to our wives, to pray to the gods, and to vow them hecatombs.”

Footnote 239: (return) Or τηλεκλειτοί, far-famed. See Anthon on v. 491.

Thus having spoken, crest-tossing Hector departed; but about him the black hide, the border which surrounded his bossy shield, kept striking his ankles and his neck.

But Glaucus, son of Hippolochus, and the son of Tydeus met in the midst of both armies, eager to fight. But when now they were near, going against each other, Diomede, brave in the din of war, first addressed him:

“Who of mortal men art thou, O most brave? For never yet have I beheld thee in the glorious fight: but now indeed thou hast far surpassed all in thy confidence, since thou hast awaited my long-shadowed spear. Certainly they are sons of the hapless who meet my strength. But, if one of the immortals, thou art come from heaven, I would not fight with the celestial gods. For valiant Lycurgus, the son of Dryas, did not live long, who contended with the heavenly gods; he who once pursued the nurses of raving Bacchus through sacred Nyssa; but they all at once cast their sacred implements 240 on the ground, smitten by man-slaying Lycurgus with an ox-goad; but Bacchus, too, terrified, sunk under the wave of the sea, and Thetis received him affrighted in her bosom; for dreadful trembling had seized him, on account of the threat of the man. With him the peaceful-living gods were afterwards enraged, and the son of Saturn rendered him blind, nor did he live much longer, for he became an object of aversion to all the immortal gods. Wherefore I should not wish to fight with the blessed gods. But if thou art any one of mortals, who eat the fruit of the earth, come hither, that thou mayest speedily reach the goal of death.”

Footnote 240: (return) Not merely the thyrsi. See Anthon.

Him then the renowned son of Hippolochus addressed in turn: “Magnanimous son of Tydeus, why dost thou inquire of my race? As is the race of leaves, even such is the race of men. 241 Some leaves the wind sheds upon the ground, but the fructifying wood produces others, and these grow up in the season of spring. Such is the generation of men; one produces, another ceases [to do so]. But if thou wouldst learn even these things, that thou mayest well know my lineage (for many know it), there is a city, Ephyra, in a nook of horse-pasturing Argos; there dwelt Sisyphus, who was the most cunning of mortals, Sisyphus, son of Æolus; and he begat a son, Glaucus. But Glaucus begat blameless Bellerophon; to whom the gods gave beauty and agreeable manliness. But against him Prœtus devised evils in his soul: who accordingly banished him from the state (since he was far the best of the Greeks; for Jove had subjected them to his sceptre). With him the wife of Prœtus, noble Antea, 242 passionately longed to be united in secret love; but by no means could she persuade just-minded, wise-reflecting Bellerophon. She, therefore, telling a falsehood, thus addressed king Prœtus: ‘Mayest thou be dead, O Prœtus! or do thou slay Bellerophon, who desired to be united in love with me against my will.’ Thus she said: but rage possessed the king at what he heard. He was unwilling, indeed, to slay him, for he scrupled this in his mind; but he sent him into Lycia, and gave to him fatal characters, writing many things of deadly purport on a sealed tablet; and ordered him to show it to his father-in-law, to the end that he might perish. He therefore went into Lycia, under the blameless escort of the gods; but when now he had arrived at Lycia and at the river Xanthus, the king of wide Lycia honoured him with a willing mind. Nine days did he entertain him hospitably, and sacrificed nine oxen; but when the tenth rosy-fingered morn appeared, then indeed he interrogated him, and desired to see the token, 243 whatever it was, that he brought from his son-in-law Prœtus. But after he had received the fatal token of his son-in-law, first he commanded him to slay the invincible Chimæra; but she was of divine race, not of men, in front a lion, behind a dragon, in the middle a goat, 244 breathing forth the dreadful might of gleaming fire. And her indeed he slew, relying on the signs of the gods. Next he fought with the illustrious Solymi: and he said that he entered on this as the fiercest fight among men. Thirdly, he slew the man-opposing Amazons. But for him returning the king wove another wily plot. Selecting the bravest men from wide Lycia, he placed an ambuscade; but they never returned home again, for blameless Bellerophon slew them all. But when [Iobates] knew that he was the offspring of a god, he detained him there, and gave him his daughter: 245 he also gave him half of all his regal honour. The Lycians also separated for him an enclosure of land, excelling all others, pleasant, vine-bearing, and arable, that he might cultivate it. But this woman brought forth three children to warlike Bellerophon, Isandrus, Hippolochus, and Laodamia. Provident Jove, indeed, had clandestine intercourse with Laodamia, and she brought forth godlike, brazen-helmed Sarpedon. But when now even he [Bellerophon] was become odious to all the gods, he, on his part, wandered alone 246 through the Aleïan plain, 247 pining in his soul, and shunning the path of men. But Mars, insatiable of war, slew his son Isandrus, fighting against the illustrious Solymi. And golden-reined Diana, being enraged, slew his daughter. But Hippolochus begat me, and from him I say that I am born; me he sent to Troy, and gave me very many commands, always to fight bravely, and to be superior to others; and not to disgrace the race of my fathers, who were by far the bravest in Ephyra, and ample Lycia. From this race and blood do I boast to be.”

Footnote 241: (return) On this popular Homeric proverb, see Duport, Gnom. Hom. p. 31, sq.

Footnote 242: (return) She is more frequently called Sthenobœa, or Sthenebœa, as by Apollodor. ii. 3,1; Serv. on Æn. v. 118. Fulgentius, iii. præf., agrees with Homer, giving a ridiculously philosophical explanation of the whole story.

Footnote 243: (return) Although Apollodorus, l. c. says, ἔδωκεν έπιστολὰς αὐτῷ πρὸς Ίοζάτην κομίσειν, and Hygin. Fab. lvii. “Scripsit tabellas, et mittit eum ad Iobaten regem,” there is no reason to believe that letters, properly so called, were yet invented. See Knight, Prolegg. p. lxxiv. lxxxii.; Wood, on the original genius of Homer, p. 249, sqq.; Müller, Lit. of Greece, iv. 5 (Bulwer, Athens, i. 8, boldly advocates the contrary opinion); and Anthon’s note. Compare the similar story of Phædra and Hippolytus.

Footnote 244: (return) For the different descriptions of the Chimæra, the mythological student may compare Muncker on Hygin. Fab. lvii. p. 104.

Footnote 245: (return) Philonoë, the sister of Antea.

Footnote 246: (return) This “melancholy madness” of Bellerophon has been well illustrated by Duport, p. 31. Burton, Anatomy, p. 259, observes, “They delight in floods and waters, desert places, to walk alone in orchards, gardens, private walks, back lanes, averse from company, as Diogenes in his tub, or Timon Misanthropus; they abhor all companions at last, even their nearest acquaintances and most familiar friends; confining themselves therefore to their private houses or chambers, they will diet themselves, feed and live alone.” Hence melancholy was called the “morbus Bellerophonteus.” See Bourdelot on Heliodor. p. 25.

Footnote 247: (return) Properly, “the Plain of Wandering.” It lay between the rivers Pyramus and Pinarus, in Cilicia. Cf. Dionys. Perieg. 872. Κεῖθι δὲ καὶ πεδίον τὸ Ἀλήϊον, οὗ κατὰ νῶτα Ἀνθρώπων ἀπάνευθεν ἀλώμενος ίνδιάασκε.

Thus he said: and Diomede, valiant in the din of war, rejoiced. His spear indeed he fixed in the all-nurturing earth, and next addressed the shepherd of the people in courteous words:

“Certainly thou art my father’s ancient guest; for in his halls noble Œneus once entertained blameless Bellerophon, having detained him for twenty days; and they bestowed valuable gifts of hospitality on each other. Œneus on his part gave a belt shining with purple; and Bellerophon in turn a golden double cup; and this I left in my halls when I was coming hither. But Tydeus I remember not, for he left me whilst I was yet young, when the people of the Greeks perished at Thebes. Wherefore I am a guest friend to thee in the midst of Argos, and thou art the same to me in Lycia, whenever I shall visit their state. But let us also in the crowd avoid even each other’s spears. For there are many Trojans and illustrious allies for me to slay, whomsoever the deity shall present, and I shall overtake with my feet. And there are many Greeks in turn for thee to slay, whomsoever thou canst. But let us exchange arms with each other, that even these may know that we profess to be friends by our ancestors.”

Thus then having spoken, leaping down from their steeds, they took each other’s hand, and plighted faith. Then Saturnian Jove took away prudence from Glaucus, who exchanged armour with Diomede, the son of Tydeus, [giving] golden [arms] for brazen; the value of a hundred beeves 248 for the value of nine.

But when Hector arrived at the Scæan gates and the beech-tree, around him ran the Trojan wives and daughters inquiring for their sons, their brothers, their friends, and husbands. But he then ordered all in order to supplicate the gods, for evils were impending over many.

But when now he had arrived at the very beautiful dwelling of Priam, built with well-polished porticoes; but in it were fifty chambers 249 of polished marble, built near one another, where lay the sons of Priam with their lawful wives; and opposite, on the other side, within the hall, were the twelve roofed chambers of his daughters, of polished marble, built near to one another, where the sons-in-law of Priam slept with their chaste wives. There his fond mother met him, as she was going to Laodice, the most excellent in form of her daughters: and she hung upon his hand, and addressed him, and spoke:

Footnote 248: (return) See Gellius, ii. 23. It must be remembered that in the ancient times, when there was no money, cattle formed the standard of barter.

Footnote 249: (return) Cf. Virg. Æn. ii. 503; Eur. Hec. 421.

“My son, why hast thou come, having left the bold fight? Certainly the abominable sons of the Greeks harass thee much, fighting around thy city: thy mind hath urged thee to come hither, to uplift thy hands to Jove from the lofty citadel. But wait till I bring thee genial wine, that first thou mayest make a libation to Jove, and to the other immortal gods, and then thou shalt refresh thyself, if thou wilt drink. For to a wearied man wine greatly increases strength; since thou art wearied aiding thy kinsmen.”

But her mighty crest-tossing Hector then answered: “Bring me not genial wine, venerable mother, lest thou enervate me, and I forget my might and valour. But I dread to pour out dark-red wine to Jove with unwashed hands: nor is it by any means lawful for me, defiled with blood and gore, to offer vows to the cloud-compelling son of Saturn. But go thou to the temple of Minerva the pillager, with victims, having assembled the matrons of distinction. And the robe which is the most beautiful and the largest in the palace, and by far the most esteemed by thyself, that place on the knees of the fair-haired goddess, and vow that thou wilt sacrifice to her, in her temple, twelve heifers, yearlings, ungoaded, if she will take compassion on the city, and the wives and infant children of the Trojans; if she will avert from sacred Ilium the son of Tydeus, that fierce warrior, the valiant author of terror. Do thou, on thy part, go to the temple of the pillager Minerva; but I will go after Paris, that I may call him, if he is willing to hear me speaking. Would that the earth might there open for him, for him hath Olympian Jove reared as a great bane to the Trojans, to magnanimous Priam, and to his sons. Could I but behold him descending to Hades, I might say that my soul had forgotten its joyless woe.”

Thus he spoke: but she, going to her palace, gave orders to her maids: and they assembled through the city the matrons of distinction. But she descended into her fragrant chamber, where were her variously-embroidered robes, the works of Sidonian females, which godlike Alexander himself had brought from Sidon, sailing over the broad ocean, in that voyage in which he carried off Helen, sprung from a noble sire. Hecuba, taking one of these which was most beauteous with various hues, and largest, brought it as a gift to Minerva; and it glittered like a star, and lay the undermost of all. But she hastened to set out, and many venerable matrons hurried along with her.

But when they arrived at the temple of Minerva, in the lofty citadel, fair-cheeked Theano, the daughter of Cisseus, wife of horse-breaking Antenor, opened to them the gates; for the Trojans had made her priestess of Minerva. They all, with a loud wailing, upraised their hands to Minerva. But fair-cheeked Theano having received the garment, placed it on the knees of fair-haired Minerva, and making vows, thus prayed to the daughter of mighty Jove:

“Venerable Minerva, guardian of the city, divine one of goddesses, break now the spear of Diomede, and grant that he may fall prostrate before the Scæan gates, that we may forthwith sacrifice to thee in thy temple twelve yearling untamed heifers, if thou wilt pity the city, and the wives of the Trojans, and their infant children.”

So she spake in prayer, but Pallas Minerva refused. Thus they, on their part, offered vows to the daughter of mighty Jove.

But Hector had gone to the beautiful halls of Alexander, which he himself had built with the aid of men, who then were the most skilful artificers in fruitful Troy: who made for him a chamber, a dwelling-room, and hall, in the lofty citadel, near the palaces of Priam and Hector. There Jove-beloved Hector entered, and in his hand he held a spear of eleven cubits; the brazen point of the spear shone in front, and a golden ring encircled it. But him he found in his chamber preparing his very beauteous armour, his shield and corslet, and fitting his curved bow. Argive Helen sat amongst her female servants, and assigned their tasks to her maids of renowned work. But Hector, seeing, reproached him with foul words:

“Infatuate; not befittingly hast thou conceived this rage in thy mind: the people are perishing, fighting around the city and the lofty wall: and on thy account the battle and war are blazing around the city. Truly thou wouldst thyself reprove another, if ever thou sawest any person remiss in the hateful battle. But arise, lest perchance the city should quickly blaze with hostile fire.”

But him godlike Alexander then addressed: “Hector, since thou hast with reason reproved me, and not without reason, therefore will I tell thee; but do thou attend and hear me. I was sitting in my chamber, neither so much from anger nor indignation against the Trojans, but [because] I wished to give way to grief. But now my wife, advising me with soothing words, hath urged me to the battle, and to myself also it seems to be better: for victory alternates to men. But come now, wait, let me put on my martial arms; or go on, and I will follow, and I think that I shall overtake thee.”

Thus he said, but crest-tossing Hector did not answer him. But Helen addressed him [Hector] with soothing words: “Brother-in-law of me, shameless authoress of mischief-devising, fearful wretch, would that, on the day when first my mother brought me forth, a destructive tempest of wind had seized and borne me to a mountain, or into the waves of the much-resounding ocean, where the billow would have swept me away before these doings had occurred. But since the gods have thus decreed these evils, I ought at least to have been the wife of a braver man, who understood both the indignation and the many reproaches of men. But this man’s sentiments are neither constant now, nor will they be hereafter; wherefore I think he will reap the fruits [of them]. But come now, enter, and sit on this seat, brother-in-law, since toils have greatly encompassed thy mind, on account of shameless me, and of the guilt of Alexander; on whom Jove hath imposed an unhappy lot, that, even in time to come, we should be a subject of song to future men.”

But her mighty crest-tossing Hector then answered: “Do not bid me sit, Helen, though courteous, for thou wilt not persuade me. For now is my mind urged on, that I may aid the Trojans, who have great regret for me absent. But do thou arouse him [Paris], and let him hasten, that he may overtake me being within the city. For I will go home, that I may see my domestics, my beloved wife, and my infant son. For I know not whether I shall ever again return to them, or whether the gods will now subdue me under the hands of the Greeks.”

Thus having said, crest-tossing Hector departed; and immediately he then arrived at his well-situated palace, nor did he find white-armed Andromache in the halls; but she stood lamenting and weeping on the tower, with her son and her well-robed maid. But Hector, when he found not his blameless wife within, went and stood at the threshold, and said to the female servants:

“I pray you, maids, tell me truly whither went white-armed Andromache from the palace? Has she gone anywhere [to the dwellings] of her husband’s sisters, or [to those] of any of her well-robed brother-in-laws’ wives, or to the temple of Minerva, where the other fair-haired Trojan matrons are appeasing the dreadful goddess?”

Him then the active housewife in turn addressed: “Hector, since thou biddest me to tell the truth, she has not gone to any of her husband’s sisters, nor to any of her well-robed brother-in-laws’ wives, nor to the temple of Minerva, where the other fair-haired Trojan matrons are appeasing the dreadful goddess. But she went to the lofty tower of Ilium, when she heard that the Trojans were worn out, and that the valour of the Greeks was great. She is now on her way, hastening to the wall, like unto one frenzied, and the nurse, along with her, bears the child.”

Thus spoke the housewife, but Hector hastened away from the palace, back the same way through the well-built streets. When he had arrived at the Scæan gates, after passing through the great city (for by this way he was about to pass out into the plain), there met him his richly-dowered spouse running, Andromache, daughter of magnanimous Eetion: Eetion, who dwelt in woody Hypoplacus, in Hypoplacian Thebes, reigning over Cilician men. His daughter then was possessed by brazen-helmed Hector. She then met him; and with her came a maid, carrying in her bosom the tender child, an infant quite, the only son of Hector, like unto a beauteous star. Him Hector had named Scamandrius, but others Astyanax; for Hector alone protected Ilium. He indeed, gazing in silence upon his son, smiled. But Andromache stood near to him, weeping, and she hung upon his hand, and addressed him, and spoke:

“Strange man! this thy valour will destroy thee; nor dost thou pity thy infant child and unhappy me, who very soon will be bereft of thee, for presently the Greeks will slay thee, all attacking thee at once. For me much better it were to sink into the earth, when bereft of thee; for there will no longer be any other comfort for me when thou shalt draw on thy destruction; but sorrows only. Nor have I father or venerable mother. For divine Achilles slew my father, and laid waste the well-inhabited city of the Cilicians, lofty-gated Thebes. He slew Eetion, but spoiled him not, he scrupled in his mind [to do] that; but he burned him together with his well-wrought arms, and heaped a tomb over him, and around [him] the mountain nymphs, daughters of ægis-bearing Jove, planted elms. Moreover, the seven brothers besides, whom I had at home, all these indeed departed to Hades in one day. For divine, swift-footed Achilles slew them all, amidst their crooked hoofed oxen and their snowy sheep. And my mother, who ruled in woody Hypoplacus, after that he had led her hither with other treasures, he sent back at liberty, having received countless ransom-gifts. But her the shaft-rejoicing Diana slew in my father’s hall. But, Ο Hector, to me thou art both father and venerable mother and brother; thou art also my blooming consort. But come now, pity me, and abide here in the tower, nor make thy child an orphan and thy wife a widow. And place a company at the wild fig-tree, where the city is chiefly easy of ascent, and the wall can be scaled. For going to this very quarter, the bravest [of the Greeks] have thrice assaulted, the two Ajaces, and most renowned Idomeneus, and the sons of Atreus, and the brave son of Tydeus. Certainly some person well skilled in prophecy mentioned it to them, or their own mind impels and orders them.”

But her then in turn the mighty crest-tossing Hector addressed: “Assuredly to me also are all these things a subject of anxiety, dear wife, but I am exceedingly ashamed of the Trojans and the long-robed Trojan dames, if I, like a dastard, [keeping] aloof, should avoid the battle: nor does my mind incline me thus, for I have learned to be always brave, and to fight in the foremost among the Trojans, seeking to gain both my father’s great glory and mine own. For well I know this in my mind and soul; a day will arrive when sacred Ilium shall perish, and Priam, and the people of Priam skilled in the ashen spear. But to me the grief that is to come will not be so great on account of the Trojans, neither for Hecuba herself, nor for king Priam, nor for my brothers, who, many and excellent, are destined to fall in the dust beneath hostile men, as for thee, when some one of the brazen-mailed Greeks shall lead thee away weeping, having deprived thee of the day of freedom. And, perchance, being in Argos, thou mayest weave the web at the command of some other dame, and bear water from the fountain of Messeïs, or Hyperia, very unwillingly; and hard necessity will oppress thee; whilst some one, hereafter beholding thee pouring forth tears, will say, ‘This was the wife of Hector, who was the bravest in battle of the horse-breaking Trojans, when they fought round Ilium.’ Thus will some one hereafter say; but fresh anguish will be thine, from the want of such a husband, to avert the day of servitude. But may the heaped earth cover me dead, before I hear of this lamentation and abduction.”

Thus having said, illustrious Hector stretched out [his arms] for his son; but the child, screaming, shrunk back to the bosom of the well-zoned nurse, affrighted at the aspect of his dear sire, fearing the brass and the horse-haired crest, seeing it nodding dreadfully from the top of the helmet: gently his loving father smiled, and his revered mother. Instantly illustrious Hector took the helmet from his head, and laid it all-glittering on the ground; and having kissed his beloved child, and fondled him in his hands, thus spoke, praying to Jove and to the other gods:

“Jove, and ye other gods, grant that this my son also may become, even as I am, distinguished amongst the Trojans, so powerful in might, and bravely to rule over Ilium. And may some one hereafter say [concerning him], returning from the fight, ‘He indeed is much braver than his sire.’ And let him bear away the bloody spoils, having slain the foe, and let his mother rejoice in her soul.”

Thus having said, he placed the boy in the hands of his beloved spouse; but she smiling tearfully received him in her fragrant bosom. Her husband regarding her, pitied her, and soothed her with his hand, and addressed her, and said:

“Beloved, be not at all too sad in thine heart on my account. For no man shall send me prematurely to the shades. But I think there is no one of men who has escaped fate, neither the coward nor the brave man, after he has once been born. But do thou, going home, take care of thy own works, thy web and distaff, and command thy maids to perform their task; but war shall be a care to all the men who are born in Ilium, and particularly to me.”

Thus having spoken, illustrious Hector took up the horse-haired helmet, and his beloved wife departed home, looking back from time to time, and shedding copious tears. Then immediately she reached the very commodious palace of man-slaying Hector, and within she found many maids, and in all of them she excited grief. They, indeed, bewailed in his own palace Hector still alive, for they thought that he would never return back again from battle, escaping the might and the hands of the Greeks.

Nor did Paris delay in his lofty halls; but he, after he had put on his famous arms, variegated with brass, then hastened through the city, relying on his swift feet. And as 250 when a stabled courser, fed with barley at the stall, having broken his cord, runs prancing over the plain, elate with joy, being accustomed to bathe in some fair-flowing river. He bears aloft his head, and his mane is tossed about on his shoulders: but he, relying on his beauty, 251 his knees easily bear him to the accustomed pastures 252 of the mares. Thus Paris, the son of Priam, shining in arms like the sun, exulting descended down from the citadel of Pergamus, but his swift feet bore him, and immediately after he found his noble brother Hector, when he was now about to depart from the place where he was conversing with his spouse.

Footnote 250: (return) Cf. Ennius apud Macrob. iv. 3:

“Et tunc sicut equus, qui de præsepibus actus,

Vincla sueis magneis animeis abrumpit, et inde

Fert sese campi per cærula, lætaque prata,

Celso pectore, sæpe jubam quassat simul altam;

Spiritus ex anima calida spumas agit albas.”

Footnote 251: (return) Observe the anacoluthon.

Footnote 252: (return) An instance of hendiadys.

Him godlike Alexander first addressed: “Honoured brother, assuredly now I am altogether detaining thee, although hastening, nor have I come in due time as thou didst order.”

Him then crest-tossing Hector answering addressed: “Strange man! not any man indeed, who is just, could dispraise thy deeds of war, for thou art brave. But willingly art thou remiss, and dost not wish [to fight]; and my heart is saddened in my breast, when I hear dishonourable things of thee from the Trojans, who have much toil on thy account. But let us away, these things we shall arrange hereafter, if ever Jove shall grant us to place a free goblet in our halls to the heavenly everlasting gods, when we shall have repulsed the well-greaved Greeks from Troy.”



Hector challenges the bravest of the Greeks to single combat, and nine of the chiefs having cast lots, Ajax is appointed to meet him. Having protracted the contest till night, the combatants exchange gifts, and separate. A truce is then made for the purpose of burying the dead, and the Greeks fortify their camp.

Thus having said, illustrious Hector rushed forth from the gates, and with him went his brother Alexander, for both were eager in soul to wage war and to fight. As when the deity hath given a prosperous wind to expecting mariners, after they have become weary, agitating the deep with well-polished oars, and their limbs are relaxed with toil; thus then did those two appear to the expecting Trojans. Then they slew, the one, 253 indeed, Menesthius, son of king Areithoüs, who dwelt in Arne, whom the club-bearer Areithoüs and large-eyed Philomedusa brought forth; but Hector smote Eïoneus with his sharp spear upon the neck, under his well-wrought brazen helmet, 254 and relaxed his limbs. And Glaucus, son of Hippolochus, leader of the Lycian heroes, in fierce engagement smote Iphinous, son of Dexias, upon the shoulder with his spear, as he vaulted on his swift mares.

Footnote 253: (return) I. e. Paris. The construction is an instance of the σχήμα καθ' όλον και μέρος. See Jelf, Gk. Gr. §478, and my note on Æsch. Prom. p. 8, ed. Bohn.

Footnote 254: (return) Apollonius, Lex. p. 734. seems to regard the στεφάνη as a distinct kind of helmet, or cap. So, also, the Schol. and Hesych. t. ii. p. 186, and p. 1266. Others understand the rim of the helmet. Paschal, de Coronis, i. 2: “Eam galeæ partem quam Hesychius dicit habere εξοχάς, id quod in galea eminentissimum est. Et vero apud Plutarchum distinguitur το κράνος galea από της στεφάνης, ab ejus parte quæ est in ipsius summitate.”

But he fell from his mares on the ground, and his limbs were relaxed.

But when the azure-eyed goddess Minerva saw them destroying the Greeks, in fierce engagement, she descended straightway, rushing down from the tops of Olympus to sacred Ilium. Then Apollo hastened to meet her, having perceived her from Pergamus, for he wished victory to the Trojans. And they met each other at the beech-tree. Her first king Apollo, the son of Jove, addressed:

“Why again dost thou, O daughter of mighty Jove, come ardently from Olympus, and why has thy mighty soul impelled thee? It is that thou mightst give to the Greeks the doubtful victory of battle, for thou dost not pity the Trojans perishing. But if thou obeyest me in aught, which indeed would be much better, let us now make the war and conflict to cease this day, afterwards shall they fight until they find an end of Ilium; since it is pleasing to the mind of you goddesses to overthrow this city.” 255

Footnote 255: (return) On the partisan deities for and against Troy, cf. Dionys. 817.

“Ιλιον, ἣν ἐπόλισσε οσειδάων καἰ Απόλλων,

Ιλιον, ἣν ἀλάπαζαν Ἀθηναίη τε καἰ Ἣρη”.

See Grote’s Hist, of Greece, vol. i. p. 68.

But him in turn the azure-eyed goddess Minerva thus addressed: “Be it so, Far-darter; for I myself, meditating the same things, came down from Olympus to the Trojans and the Greeks. But come, how dost thou intend to make the battle of men to cease?”

Her then in turn king Apollo, the son of Jove, addressed: “Let us arouse the valiant spirit of horse-breaking Hector, if perchance he will challenge some one of the Greeks to fight against him singly opposed in grievous combat. And the well-greaved Greeks enraged will urge on some single man to fight with noble Hector.”

Thus he spoke, nor did the azure-eyed goddess disobey. But Helenus, the dear son of Priam, perceived in his mind the counsel, which seemed good to the gods deliberating. He therefore went and stood near Hector, and thus accosted him:

“Hector, son of Priam, equal to Jove in wisdom, wilt thou obey me in aught? for I am thy brother. Cause all the rest of the Trojans and the Greeks to sit down, but do thou thyself challenge whoever is the bravest of the Greeks to fight against thee in grievous combat. For it is not yet thy fate to die, and draw on fate; for to this effect have I heard the voice of the immortal gods.”

Thus he spoke. But Hector in turn rejoiced exceedingly, having heard his advice, and accordingly advancing into the midst, grasping his spear in the middle, he restrained the phalanxes of the Trojans; and they all sat down. Agamemnon also caused the well-greaved Greeks to sit down; and Minerva also, and silver-bowed Apollo, sat like unto vulture birds, on a lofty beech-tree of their sire, the ægis-bearing Jove, delighted with the heroes; of these the ranks sat thick, horribly bristling with shields, and helmets, and spears. And as the ripple of the west wind, just risen, is poured over the ocean, and the sea begins to darken under it, such sat the ranks of the Greeks and Trojans in the plain: but Hector thus spoke in the midst of both armies:

“Hear me, ye Trojans, and ye well-greaved Greeks, whilst I speak what the mind in my breast commands me. Saturnian Jove, indeed, sitting aloft, has not ratified the leagues, but devising evils against both sides, ordains them, till either ye take well-turreted Troy, or yourselves fall at your sea-traversing ships. Amongst you, indeed, there are the bravest of all the Greeks, of whom whomsoever his mind orders to fight with me, let him come hither from amongst all, to be a champion against noble Hector. This then do I propose, but let Jove be our witness; if, on the one hand, he shall slay me with his long-pointed spear, having stripped off my armour, let him bear it to the hollow ships, but send my body home, that the Trojans and the wives of the Trojans may make me, deceased, a partaker of the funeral pyre. But if, on the other hand, I shall slay him, and Apollo shall give me glory, having stripped off his armour, I will bear it to sacred Ilium, and I will hang it up on the temple of far-darting Apollo: but his body I will send back to the well-benched ships, that the long-haired Greeks may perform his exsequies, and pile up for him a tomb on the wide Hellespont. And hereafter will some one of future men say, as he sails over the sea in his many-benched ship: ‘This, indeed, is the tomb of a hero long since deceased, whom once, bearing himself doughtily, illustrious Hector slew.’ Thus hereafter will some one say; but this my glory shall never perish.”

Thus he said, but all became mute in silence. Ashamed indeed they were to refuse, and yet they dreaded to accept [the challenge]. At length, however, Menelaus stood up, and spoke amongst them, rebuking them with reproaches, and he groaned greatly in spirit:

“Alas! ye boasters! Greek dames! no longer Grecian men! certainly will these things be a disgrace, most grievously grievous, if none of the Greeks will now go against Hector. But may ye all become water and earth, sitting there each of you, faint-hearted; utterly inglorious: but I myself will be armed against him. But the issues of victory are rested in the immortal gods.”

Thus having spoken, he put on his beautiful arms. Then, indeed, Ο Menelaus, would the end of life have befallen thee at the hands of Hector, since he was much the better man, had not the princes of the Greeks, starting up suddenly, restrained thee, and the son of Atreus himself, wide-ruling Agamemnon, seized thee by the right hand, and addressed thee, and spoke:

“Thou art mad, O Menelaus! offspring of Jove, nor hast thou any need of such madness: restrain thyself, although grieved, nor wish for the sake of contention to fight with a braver man than thyself, Hector, the son of Priam, whom others also dread. Nay, even Achilles, who is much braver than thou, dreads to meet him 256 in the glorious fight. But now, going to the troop of thy companions, sit down. Against him the Greeks will set up some other champion. Although he be intrepid and insatiable of battle, I think that he will gladly bend his knee, 257 if he shall escape from the hostile battle and the grievous fight.”

Footnote 256: (return) Lesbonax, περί σχημ. p. 182, reads τούτόν γε—άντιολήσαι, which Valckenaer, and with reason, thinks a more recherché and genuine reading than τούτῳ. Lesbonax compares the Attic phrase άρέσκει με for μοι Cf. Aristoph. Ran. 103, with the Scholiast.

Footnote 257: (return) I.e. sit down through fatigue, “de iis qui longo labore seu cuisu fessi quiescunt et vires recipiunt.”—Heyne.

Thus speaking, the hero dissuaded his brother’s mind, advising him rightly; and he obeyed. His joyful attendants then stripped the armour from his shoulders. Then Nestor arose amidst the Greeks, and said:

“O gods, surely great grief comes upon the Grecian land. Certainly the aged knight Peleus, the excellent counsellor and adviser of the Myrmidons, will greatly lament, who formerly interrogated me, greatly rejoiced in his palace, inquiring the race and offspring of all the Greeks. If he now heard of them all crouching down under Hector, often indeed would he uplift his hands to the immortals, [praying] that his soul, [separated] from his limbs, might depart into the house of Pluto. For would, Ο father Jove, and Minerva, and Apollo, I were young, as when the assembled Pylians and the spear-skilled Arcadians fought by the rapid Celadon, at the walls of Phæa, about the streams of Jardan. With them Ereuthalion, god-like hero, stood in the van, bearing on his shoulders the armour of king Areïthous, of noble Areïthous, whom men and beauteous-girt women called by surname Corynetes, since he fought not with a bow, nor with a long spear, but used to break the phalanxes with an iron club. Him Lycurgus slew by stratagem, not by strength, in a narrow defile, where his iron club did not ward off destruction from him; for Lycurgus, anticipating, pierced him right through the waist with his spear, and he was dashed to the ground on his back; and he spoiled him of the armour which brazen Mars had given him, and he indeed afterwards bore them himself in the battle of Mars. But when Lycurgus had grown old in his palaces, he gave them to his beloved attendant Ereuthalion, to be borne: and he, having his armour, challenged all the bravest: but these trembled and feared very much: nor did any one dare [to withstand him]. But my bold mind, by its confidence, urged me on to fight him: now I was the youngest of them all; and I fought with him, and Minerva gave me glory. And I slew this most mighty and valiant hero, for vast he lay stretched out on this side and on that. Would that [now] I were thus young, and my strength entire—so quickly should crest-tossing Hector meet with a contest. But those of you who are the bravest of all the Greeks, not even you promptly desire to go against Hector.”

Thus did the old man upbraid them; and nine heroes in all arose. Much the first arose Agamemnon, the king of men; after him arose brave Diomede, son of Tydeus, and after them the Ajaces, clad in impetuous valour: after them Idomeneus, and Meriones, the armour-bearer of Idomeneus, equal to man-slaughtering Mars. After them Eurypylus, the gallant son of Evæmon. And there [also arose] Thoas, son of Andræmon, and divine Ulysses. All these wished to fight with noble Hector. But these again the Gerenian knight Nestor addressed:

“Decide now, exclusively by lot, who shall obtain [the accepting of the challenge]; for he indeed will aid the well-greaved Greeks; and he will also delight his own soul, if he shall escape safe from the hostile war and the grievous fight.”

Thus he spoke, and they marked each his own lot, and they cast them into the helmet of Agamemnon, the son of Atreus. The people supplicated, and raised their hands to the gods, and thus would one of them say, looking towards the wide heaven:

“Ο father Jove, grant that Ajax obtain the lot, or the son of Tydeus, or the king himself of rich Mycenæ.”

Thus they spake, and the Gerenian knight Nestor shook [the lots], and the lot of Ajax, which indeed they wished for, leaped forth from the helmet. Then a herald bearing it around through the multitude, beginning at the right, showed it to all the chiefs of the Greeks. But they, not recognizing it, disclaimed it severally. But, when at last the herald, carrying it round through the multitude, came to him, illustrious Ajax, who had inscribed and cast it into the helmet, he [Ajax] stretched forth his hand, and the herald standing near, placed it in it. Having inspected it, he knew his own mark, and rejoiced in his soul. He cast it on the ground at his feet, and said:

“Ο friends, surely the lot is mine, and I myself rejoice in my soul, since I think that I shall conquer noble Hector. But come, while I put on my warlike arms, do ye meantime pray to Jove, the Saturnian king, silently within yourselves, that the Trojans may not hear; or even openly, since we fear no one at all. For no one willingly shall, by force, overcome me against my will, nor through my inexperience; since I hope I have not been so ignorantly 258 born and bred at Salamis.”

Footnote 258: (return) I. e. ignorant of arms.

Thus he spoke: but they prayed to Jove, the Saturnian king; and thus would one of them say looking towards the wide heaven:

“O father Jove, ruling from Ida, most glorious, most mighty, grant to Ajax to bear away victory, and illustrious glory. But if thou lovest Hector also, and carest for him, grant equal might and glory to both.”

Thus they spake, and Ajax was arming himself in splendid brass. But when he had put on all his armour around his body, then he rushed forward: as moves mighty Mars, who goes to war amidst men, whom the son of Saturn has engaged to fight with the strength of soul-gnawing strife, such mighty Ajax advanced, the bulwark of the Greeks, smiling with grim countenance; but he advanced, taking long strides with his feet beneath, brandishing his long-shadowed spear. The Greeks, on their part, rejoiced much on beholding him, but dire dismay seized the Trojans, each one as to his limbs, and the soul panted in the breast of Hector himself. But now he could not in anywise retract through fear, nor retire back into the crowd of the people, since he had challenged to the fight. But Ajax drew near, bearing a shield, like a tower, brazen, covered with seven ox-hides, which for him the artist Tychius labouring had wrought, dwelling at his home in Hyla, by far the most excellent of leather-cutters, who for him had made a moveable shield, of seven hides of very fat bulls, and drawn over it an eighth [layer] of brass. Carrying this before his breast, Telamonian Ajax stood very near Hector, and menacing addressed him:

“Ο Hector, now thou, alone with me alone, shalt plainly know, what kind of chiefs are present with the Greeks, even besides Achilles, the breaker of ranks, the lion-hearted. But he, indeed, abides at his high-beaked sea-traversing ships, enraged against Agamemnon, the shepherd of the people. Yet we are such, even many of us, who can go against thee; but begin the battle and the strife.”

Him then in turn the mighty crest-tossing Hector addressed: “Thou Jove-sprung Ajax, son of Telamon, ruler of forces, tamper not with me as with a weak boy, or a woman, who knows not warlike deeds. But I well know both battles and man-slaughterings. I know how to shift my dry shield to the right and to the left; wherefore to me it belongs to fight unwearied. I am also skilled to rush to the battle of swift steeds. I know too, how, in hostile array, to move skilfully in honour of glowing Mars. But I do not desire to wound thee, being such, watching stealthily, but openly, if haply I may strike thee.”

He spoke, and brandishing hurled forth his long-shadowed spear, and smote the mighty seven-hided shield of Ajax on the outside brass, which was the eighth [layer] thereon. And the unwearied brass cutting through, penetrated six folds, and was stuck fast in the seventh hide. Next, Jove-sprung Ajax in turn sent forth his very long spear, and struck the all-equal shield of Priam’s son. Through the shining shield passed the impetuous spear, and was fastened in his very ingeniously-wrought corslet, and from the opposite side the spear cut his tunic near the flank. But he inclined himself, and avoided black death. Then they both, having drawn out their long spears with their hands, joined battle, like unto raw-devouring lions, or wild boars, whose strength is not feeble. Then indeed the son of Priam struck the midst of his [Ajax’s] shield with his spear; it broke not through the brass, but the point of it was bent. But Ajax, bounding forward, pierced his shield: and the spear went right through, and repelled him as he rushed on: it glanced over his neck, cutting it, and black gore gushed forth. But not even thus did crest-tossing Hector cease from the battle: but retiring back, he seized in his hand, a black, rough, huge stone, lying in the plain. With it he struck the mighty seven-hided shield of Ajax, in the midst of the boss, and the brass rang around. Ajax next taking up a much larger stone, whirling, discharged it, and applied immense strength. And he broke through the shield, having struck with a rock like unto a millstone, and he wounded him in the knee; and he was stretched supine, having come into violent contact with his shield; but Apollo quickly raised him. And now in close combat hand to hand, they would have wounded each other with their swords, had not the heralds, the messengers of gods and men, arrived, one of the Trojans, the other of the brazen-mailed Greeks, Talthybius and Idæus, both prudent men. And between both armies they held their sceptres, but the herald Idæus, skilled in prudent counsels, said:

“No longer, my dear sons, war or fight, for cloud-collecting Jove loves you both: ye both are warriors, and this we all know. Night is now approaching, and it is good to obey night.” 259

Footnote 259: (return) Cf. Æn. ii. 8:—

——“et jam nox humida cœlo

Præcipitat, suadentque cadentia sidera somnos.”

But him Telamonian Ajax answering addressed: “Idæus, order Hector to speak these words, for he challenged all the bravest [of our side] to battle. Let him begin, and I will entirely obey, if indeed he does so.”

But him crest-tossing Hector addressed in turn: “Ajax, since some god has given thee size, and might, and prudence, and thou art the most excellent of the Greeks at the spear, let us now cease from battle and contest for this day; hereafter will we fight again, till the Deity shall separate us, and give the victory to either. Now night is approaching, and it is good to obey night, that thou mayest gladden all the Greeks at the ships, and chiefly those friends and companions which are thine; but I will gladden the Trojans and the train-bearing Trojan matrons, through the great city of king Priam, the dames who, praying for me, are entering the deities’ temple. 260 But come, let us both mutually give very glorious gifts, that some one of the Greeks and Trojans may say thus: ‘They certainly fought in a soul-gnawing strife, but then again being reconciled, they parted in friendship.’”

Footnote 260: (return) Ἀγών is defined by Apollonius, p. 26, ό τόπος είς ὃν συνάγονται. Hesychius, p. 79, makes it equivalent to ἄθροισμα, and also calls it the place where combatants fight. Porphyry, Quæst. Hom. p. cvii. ed. Barnes, τὸν ναόν ἤτοι ϑεῖον τόπον ὄντα, ἢ ϑεῖον ἄθροισμα περιέχοντα. So, also, the Scholiast.

Thus then having spoken, he gave him a silver-studded sword, presenting it with the sheath and the well-wrought belt. But Ajax gave [to him] a belt, splendid with purple. Then they twain being separated, the one went to the people of the Greeks, and the other to the crowd of the Trojans: and they rejoiced when they saw him coming alive and safe, having escaped the strength and the invincible hands of Ajax; and led him to the city, not having had any hopes that he was safe. But the well-greaved Greeks, on the other hand, led away Ajax, rejoicing in victory, to divine Agamemnon. When now they were in the tents of the son of Atreus, then Agamemnon, king of men, sacrificed for them an ox, a male, five years old, to the most powerful son of Saturn. This they flayed, and dressed it; made divisions of the whole of it, and skilfully divided these into smaller portions, and fixed them on spits, and roasted them very cleverly, and drew off all. But when they had ceased from labour, and had prepared the banquet, they feasted, nor did their soul in anywise lack a due proportion of the feast. The valiant son of Atreus, far-ruling Agamemnon, honoured Ajax with an entire chine. 261 But when they had dismissed the desire of drink and of food, for them the aged man Nestor first of all began to frame advice, whose counsel before also had appeared the best, who, wisely counselling, harangued them, and said:

Footnote 261: (return) The same honour is paid to Æneas in Virg. Æn. viii. 181. Cf. Xenoph. Rep. Lac. XV. 4.

“Son of Atreus, and ye other chiefs of all the Greeks, many of the long-haired Achæans have perished, whose black blood fierce Mars has now shed near fair-flowing Scamander, and their souls have descended to the shades! Therefore it behoves you to cause the battle of the Greeks to cease with the dawn, and let us, collected together, carry the bodies hither on chariots, with oxen and mules, and burn them at a little distance from the ships, that each may carry home the bones [of the deceased] to their children, when we return again to our father-land. And let us, going out, heap up in the plain one common tomb for all, round the pyre, and beside it let us speedily erect lofty towers, as a bulwark of our ships and of ourselves; and in it let us make a well-fitted gate, that through it there may be a passage for the chariots. But outside let us sink, near at hand, a deep trench, which, being circular, may serve as a defence to both steeds and men, lest at any time the war of the haughty Trojans should press sorely.”

Thus he spoke, and all the princes approved of his counsel. But of the Trojans also was a panic-struck and turbulent council held in the lofty citadel of Ilium, at the gates of Priam; and to them wise Antenor thus began to harangue:

“Hear me, ye Trojans and Dardanians and allies, that I may tell you what the soul in my breast commands me. Come then, let us restore Argive Helen, and her treasures with her to the sons of Atreus to lead away; for now we are fighting after having violated the faithful leagues. Wherefore I think that nothing better will be brought to pass by us, unless we act thus.”

He, having thus said, sat down; but to them arose divine Alexander, the husband of fair-haired Helen, who answering him spoke winged words:

“O Antenor, thou no longer speakest these things grateful to me. Thou knowest how to devise another counsel better than this; but if, in truth, thou speakest this seriously, the gods themselves have now deprived thee of thy senses. But I will declare my opinion amidst the horse-subduing Trojans; I openly declare I will not give up my wife: but the treasures, whatever I have brought home from Argos, all these I am willing to give, and even to add others from my own home.”

Thus having spoken, he sat down; but to them arose Priam, son of Dardanus, a counsellor equal to the gods; who thus wisely harangued them, and said:

“Hear me, ye Trojans, and Dardanians, and allies, that I may tell you what the soul in my breast commands. Now take repast through the army, as heretofore, and be attentive to the watch, and let each be mindful of guard. But in the morning let Idæus proceed to the hollow ships, to announce to the sons of Atreus, Agamemnon and Menelaus, the resolution of Alexander, on whose account the contention has arisen; and let him add this prudent request also, whether they wish to desist from horrid-sounding war, until we burn the dead; afterwards will we fight again till fate separate us, and give the victory to one or other of us.”

Thus he said: but they heard him very attentively, and obeyed. Then they took their repast throughout the city, by companies. In the morning Idæus went to the hollow ships. He found the Greeks, the servants of Mars, in council, at the stern of 262 Agamemnon’s ship: and the clear-voiced herald, standing in the midst of them, spoke thus:

“Ye sons of Atreus, and ye other chiefs of all the Greeks, Priam and the other illustrious Trojans command me to tell you, if it be agreeable and pleasing to you, the determination of Alexander, on whose account this contention has arisen.”

Footnote 262: (return) Dative for genitive, by the Schema Colophonium. See Lesbonax, p. 181, ed. Valck.

“Whatever treasures Alexander brought in the hollow ships to Troy, (would that he first had perished,) all these is he willing to give up, and even to add others from his own home: but he says that he will not restore the wedded spouse of glorious Menelaus: certainly the Trojans, at least, advise him. They also order me to make this proposal, to wit, whether ye are willing to desist from dreadful-sounding war, until we shall burn the dead: afterwards we shall fight again, till fate separate us, and give the victory to one of us.”

Thus he said, but they all became mute in silence. At length Diomede, brave in the din of war, spoke thus amongst them:

“Let none now receive the treasures of Alexander, nor Helen: for it is plain, even [to him] who is a mere infant, that the issues of destruction impend over the Trojans.”

Thus he said, and all the sons of the Greeks shouted, admiring the words of horse-breaking Diomede: and then Agamemnon, king of men, thus addressed Idæus:

“Idæus, thou thyself hearest, indeed, the sentiments of the Greeks, how they answer thee; and such also pleases me. But concerning the dead, I grudge not that [you] should burn them; for there is no grudge towards the dead bodies, when they are dead, hastily to perform their obsequies with fire: 263 but let loud-resounding Jove, the husband of Juno, be witness of the treaties.”

Footnote 263: (return) Literally, “to appease [the dead].”

Thus having said, he raised his sceptre to all the gods. But Idæus returned to sacred Ilium. And the Trojans and Dardanians all sat assembled in council, expecting when Idæus might return. He came, and declared his message, standing in the midst of them. But they prepared themselves very speedily for both purposes, some to carry away the bodies, and others to gather wood. The Greeks also on the other side hastened from their well-benched ships, some to carry away the bodies, and others to collect wood.

Then, indeed, the sun freshly struck the fields [with its rays], ascending heaven from the calmly-flowing, deep-moving ocean. But they met one another. Then was it difficult to distinguish each man [amongst the slain]; but washing off with water the bloody gore, and pouring over them warm tears, they placed them upon the chariots; nor did mighty Priam suffer them to give way to grief. In silence, therefore, they heaped the bodies on the pile, grieving at heart. But when they had burned them in the fire, they returned to sacred Ilium. In like manner also, on the other side, the well-greaved Greeks heaped the bodies on the pile, grieving in their heart; and having burned them with fire, they returned to the hollow ships. And when it was not yet morning, but still twilight, then a chosen band of Greeks arose about the pile; and going out from the plain, they made around it one common tomb, and near it they built a wall and lofty towers, a bulwark of their ships and of themselves. In them they made well-fitted gates, that through them there might be a passage for the chariots. Without they dug a deep ditch, near it, broad and large, and in it fixed palisades. Thus the long-haired Greeks on their part laboured.

But the gods on the contrary sitting beside the thundering Jove, were admiring the mighty work of the brazen-mailed Greeks; but to them Neptune, the earth-shaker, thus began to speak:

“O father Jove, is there any mortal on the boundless earth, who will any more disclose his mind and counsel to the immortals? Dost thou not perceive how the long-haired Greeks have built a wall before their shipping, and have drawn a ditch all round, nor have they given splendid hecatombs to the gods? The fame of this [work] will certainly be wherever light is diffused: but they will forget that [wall] which I and Phœbus Apollo, toiling, built round the city for the hero Laomedon.” 264

Him, greatly enraged, the cloud-compelling Jove addressed:

“Ha! thou far-ruling earth-shaker, what hast thou said? Another of the gods, who is much weaker than thou in hands and in might might have dreaded this idea; but thy glory shall assuredly extend as far as light is diffused. Howbeit, when the crest-waving Greeks shall have departed with their ships into their dear fatherland, do thou, overthrowing this wall, sink it all in the deep, and again cover the great shore with sand. Thus may this mighty rampart of the Greeks be wholly effaced.”

Footnote 264: (return) Grote, Hist. p. 78, well observes that the “subsequent animosity of Neptune against Troy was greatly determined by the sentiment of the injustice of Laomedon.” On the discrepancy between this passage and XXI. 442, see Müller, Dor. vol. i. p. 249

Thus were they conversing on such matters among themselves. But the sun had set, and the work of the Greeks was finished. They slaughtered oxen through the tents, and took their repast. Many ships (which Euneüs, son of Jason, whom Hypsipyle bore to Jason, shepherd of the people, sent,) arrived from Lemnos, bringing wine. The son of Jason gave of wine a thousand measures, to be brought separately, as a gift to the sons of Atreus, Agamemnon and Menelaus. Thence the long-haired Greeks bought 265 wine, some for brass, some for shining iron, others for hides, some for the oxen themselves, and some for slaves; and they prepared an abundant feast. Through the whole night, indeed, the long-haired Greeks feasted; and the Trojans too, and their allies, through the city. And all night thundering fearfully, provident Jove was devising evils for both parties; but pale fear seized them. And they poured wine from their cups on the earth, nor did any one dare to drink before he had made a libation to the supreme son of Saturn. They then lay down, and enjoyed the boon of sleep.

Footnote 265: (return) Theophilus Jctus. iii. tit. xxiii. § 1. Καὶ τοῦτό ἐστι τὸ ἐν τῷ πλήθει θρυλλούμενον τῇ τῶν πραγμάτων ἐναλλαγῇ πρᾶσιν καὶ ἀγορασίαν συνίστασθαι, καὶ τοῦτο τὸ εῖδος πράσεως ἀρχαιότατον εἶναι. He then alleges these lines of Homer as the earliest known instance of barter.



Jove assembles the gods, and forbids them to interfere between the Greeks and Trojans. He then repairs to Ida, where, having consulted the scales of destiny, he directs his lightning against the Greeks. Nestor, in the chariot of Diomede, goes against Hector, whose charioteer is slain by Diomede. Jove again interposes his thunders, and the Greeks seek refuge within the rampart. Upon a favourable omen accompanying the prayer of Agamemnon, Diomede and the rest set out, and Teucer performs great exploits, but is disabled by Hector. Juno and Minerva are prevented interfering by Jove, and Hector takes measures to insure the safety of Troy during the night.

Now did saffron-mantled morn diffuse herself over all the earth, and thunder-rejoicing Jove made an assembly of the gods on the highest peak of many-topped Olympus. And he himself harangued them, and all the other deities hearkened (to his command): 266

“Hear me, all ye gods and all ye goddesses, that I may tell you what the soul in my breast prompts me. Let no female deity, therefore, nor any male, attempt to infringe this my injunction; but do ye all at once assent, that I may very speedily bring these matters to their issue. Whomsoever of the gods I shall discover, having gone apart from [the rest], wishing to aid either the Trojans or the Greeks, disgracefully smitten shall he return to Olympus: or seizing, I will hurl him into gloomy Tartarus, very far hence, where there is a very deep gulf beneath the earth, and iron portals, and a brazen threshold, as far below Hades as heaven is from earth; 267 then shall he know by how much I am the most powerful of all the gods. But come, ye gods, and try me, that ye may all know. Having suspended a golden chain from heaven, do all ye gods and goddesses suspend yourselves therefrom; yet would ye not draw down from heaven to earth your supreme counsellor Jove, not even if ye labour ever so much: but whenever I, desiring, should wish to pull it, I could draw it up together, earth, and ocean, and all: then, indeed, would I bind the chain around the top of Olympus, and all these should hang aloft. By so much do I surpass both gods and men.” 268

Footnote 266: (return) I. e. dii obsequtii sunt, ut convocati convenirent.—Heyne.

Footnote 267: (return) See the notes of Newton on Parad. Lost, i. 74.

Footnote 268: (return) Referring to this address of Jove, Coleridge remarks: “Although the supremacy of Jove comes far short of the true conception of almighty power, the characteristic point which seems to be fairly established is, that he is the active and ruling power of the popular mythology, the supreme and despotic chief of an aristocracy of weaker divinities, accustomed to consult with them and liable to their opposition and even violence, yet, upon the whole, substantially aristocratic, and independent of any recognized permanent superior.”—Classic Poets, p. 159.

Thus he said. But they all became mute in silence, wondering at his speech; for he spoke very menacingly. But at length the azure-eyed goddess Minerva thus spoke in the midst:

“O sire of ours! son of Saturn! most supreme of kings! well do we all know that thy strength is irresistible: yet do we truly mourn for the warlike Greeks, who are now perishing, fulfilling their evil fate. But nevertheless, we will refrain from war, since thus thou commandest. Yet will we suggest counsel to the Greeks, which will avail them, that they may not all perish because thou art wrathful.”

But her the cloud-impelling Jove smiling addressed: “Be of good cheer, Tritonia, my dear daughter—I speak not with a serious intent; but I am willing to be lenient towards thee.”

Thus having said, under his chariot he yoked his brazen-footed, swift-flying steeds, adorned with golden manes. He himself put on gold about his person, and took his golden well-made whip, and ascended the chariot; and lashed them on to proceed, and they, not unwilling, flew midway between the earth and starry heaven. He came to spring-fed Ida, the mother of wild beasts, to Gargarus, where he had a consecrated enclosure, and a fragrant altar. There the father of gods and men stopped his steeds, having loosed them from the chariot, and poured a thick haze around. But he sat upon the summits, exulting in glory, looking upon the city of the Trojans and the ships of the Greeks.

Meanwhile the long-haired Greeks were taking their repast in a hurried manner through the tents, and after that they put on their armour. But the Trojans, on the other side, were arming themselves through the city, fewer in number; yet even thus, they were eager to fight in battle, compelled by necessity, in defence of their children and their wives. And the gates were opened wide, and the forces rushed out, both chariot warriors and foot, and much tumult arose. But when these collecting together came into one place, they clashed together shields and spears, and the might of brazen-mailed men; but the bossy shields approached one another, and much tumult arose. There at the same time were both lamentation and boasting of men destroying and destroyed, and the earth flowed with blood. As long as the forenoon lasted, and the sacred day was in progress, so long did the weapons touch both, and the people fell. But when the sun had ascended the middle heaven, then at length did Father Jove raise the golden scales, and placed in them two destinies of long-reposing death, [the destinies] both of the horse-breaking Trojans and of the brazen-mailed Greeks, and holding them in the middle, he poised them; but the fatal day of the Greeks inclined low. The destinies of the Greeks, indeed, rested on the bounteous earth, but those of the Trojans on the contrary were elevated to the wide heaven.

But he himself mightily thundered from Ida, and sent his burning lightning against the army of the Greeks: they having seen it, were amazed, and pale fear seized them all. Then neither Idomeneus, nor Agamemnon, nor the two Ajaces, the servants of Mars, dared to remain. Gerenian Nestor alone, the guardian of the Greeks, remained, not willingly, but one of his horses was disabled, which noble Alexander, husband of fair-haired Helen, had pierced with an arrow in the top of the forehead, where the forelocks of horses grow out of the head, and is most fatal. 269 In torture he reared, for the arrow had entered the brain; and he disordered the [other] horses, writhing round the brazen barb. Whilst the old man hastening, was cutting away the side reins of the horse with his sword, then were the swift steeds of Hector coming through the crowd, bearing the bold charioteer Hector. And then the old man would certainly have lost his life, if Diomede, brave in the din of battle, had not quickly observed it; and he shouted, dreadfully exhorting Ulysses, [thus]:

Footnote 269: (return) Or “opportune” viz for inflicting a fatal wound.—Kennedy.

“Jove-born son of Laërtes, much-contriving Ulysses, whither dost thou fly, turning thy back in the throng, like a coward? [Beware], lest some man with a spear transpierce thee in the back, flying. But stay, that we may repel the fierce hero from the aged man.”

Thus he spoke: but much-enduring, noble Ulysses heard him not, but passed by to the hollow ships of the Greeks. But the son of Tydeus, though being alone, was mixed with the van, and stood before the steeds of the aged son of Neleus, and addressing him, spoke winged words:

“O old man, certainly the youthful warriors greatly oppress thee: but thy strength is relaxed, and tiresome old age attends thee: thy servant is exhausted, and thy steeds are slow. But come, ascend my chariot, that thou mayest see what kind are the steeds of Tros, skilled to fly and to pursue very rapidly, here and there, through the plain; which lately I took from Æneas, authors of flight. Let the attendants take care of those steeds [of thine], but let us direct these against the horse-breaking Trojans, that even Hector may know whether my spear also rages madly in my hands.” Thus he said: but the Gerenian knight Nestor disobeyed him not. Accordingly, at once their attendants, brave Sthenelus and valorous Eurymedon, took care of Nestor’s steeds: and the two chiefs ascended the chariot of Diomede. Nestor took the shining reins in his hands, and lashed the steeds, and soon they came near Hector. At him rushing impetuously forward, the son of Tydeus launched a spear; but the weapon missed him, and struck his attendant charioteer in the breast, near the pap, who was holding the reins of the steeds, Eniopeus, the son of magnanimous Thebæus: but he fell from the chariot, and the swift steeds started back, and there his soul and his strength were dissolved. But excessive grief overshadowed Hector in his mind, on account of [the loss of] his charioteer. There, though grieving for his companion, he let him lie, and sought a bold charioteer: nor did his steeds long want a guide; for soon he found courageous Archeptolemus, the son of Iphitus, whom then he made to mount the swift-footed steeds, and gave the reins into his hands.

Then, indeed, had slaughter arisen, and dreadful deeds had been done, and [the Trojans] had been pent up in Ilium like lambs, had not the father of both men and gods quickly perceived it. Therefore, dreadfully thundering he sent forth his glowing thunderbolt, and cast it into the earth before the steeds of Diomede: but there arose a terrible flame of burning sulphur, and the two frightened steeds crouched trembling beneath the chariot. Moreover, the beautiful reins fell from the hands of Nestor, and he feared in his soul, and addressed Diomede:

“Son of Tydeus, come now, turn thy solid-hoofed steeds to flight. Dost thou not perceive that victory from Jove does not attend thee? For now, this very day, of a truth, Saturnian Jove awards him glory; afterwards again will he give it to us, if he shall be willing. By no means can a man impede the will of Jove, not even a very mighty one; since he is by far the most powerful.”

But him Diomede, brave in the din of war, then answered: “Old man, certainly thou hast said all this rightly: but this grievous sorrow invades my heart and my soul: for Hector at some time will say, haranguing amongst the Trojans, ‘The son of Tydeus, routed by me, fled to his ships.’ Thus at some time will he boast: but then may the earth yawn wide for me.”

But him the Gerenian knight Nestor then answered: “Alas! warlike son of Tydeus, what hast thou said? Even though Hector call thee coward and unwarlike, yet the Trojans and Dardanians, and the wives of the stout-hearted shield-bearing Trojans, whose vigorous husbands thou hast prostrated in the dust, will not believe him.”

Thus having said, he turned the solid-hoofed steeds to flight, back into the crowd. But the Trojans and Hector, with a mighty shout, poured destructive missiles upon them. And then after him loud roared mighty crest-tossing Hector:

“Son of Tydeus, the swift-horsed Greeks honoured thee, indeed, above [others] with a seat, with meat, and full cups; but now will they dishonour thee; for thou hast become like a woman. Away! timorous girl! since thou shalt never climb our towers, I giving way, nor bear away our women in thy ships; first shall I give thee thy doom.”

Thus he said; but the son of Tydeus debated whether to turn his steeds, and to fight against him. Thrice, indeed, he thought in mind and soul, but thrice, on the other hand, the provident Jove thundered from the Idæan mountains, giving a signal to the Trojans, the alternating success of battle. But Hector exhorted the Trojans, vociferating aloud:

“Ye Trojans and Lycians, and close-fighting Dardanians, be men, my friends, and be mindful of impetuous might! I know the son of Saturn hath willingly accorded me victory and great renown, but to the Greeks destruction. Fools, who indeed built those weak, worthless walls, which shall not check my strength; but our steeds will easily overleap the dug trench. But when, indeed, I come to their hollow ships, then let there be some memory of burning fire, that I may consume their fleet with the flame, and slay the Argives themselves at the ships, bewildered by the smoke.”

Thus having spoken, he cheered on his steeds, and said: “Xanthus, and thou Podargus, and Æthon, and noble Lampus, now repay to me the attention, with which, in great abundance, Andromache, the daughter of magnanimous Eetion, gave to you the sweet barley, mixing wine also [for you] to drink, whenever your mind ordered it, even before me, who boast to be her vigorous husband. But follow and hasten, that we may take the shield of Nestor, the fame of which has now reached the heaven, that it is entirely golden, the handles and itself: but, from the shoulders of horse-breaking Diomede, the well-made corslet, which the artist Vulcan wrought. If we can take these, I expect that the Greeks this very night will ascend their swift ships.”

Thus he said boasting; but venerable Juno was indignant, and shook herself on her throne, and made great Olympus tremble; and openly accosted the mighty deity, Neptune:

“Alas! far-ruling Earth-shaker, dost thou not in thy soul pity the perishing Greeks? But they bring thee many and grateful gifts to Helice and Ægæ. Do thou, therefore, will to them the victory. For if we were willing, as many of us as are assistants to the Greeks, to repulse the Trojans and restrain far-sounding Jove, then might he grieve sitting alone there on Ida.”

But her king Neptune, greatly excited, thus addressed: “Juno, petulant 270 in speech, what hast thou said? I would not wish, indeed, that we, the other gods, should fight with Saturnian Jove, since he is by far most powerful.”

Footnote 270: (return) Compare the phrase καθάπτεσθαι επεεσσιν.—Od. ii. 240. Suidas: Απτοεπής' απτόητος εν τᾤ λέγειν. Apollon. Lex. p. 188: “Απτωτε, ή απτόητε τοις λόγοις, ή καθαπτομενη δια των λόγων.”

Thus indeed were they holding such converse with each other. But whatever space before the ships the trench belonging to the tower enclosed, was filled with horses and shielded men crowded together. 271 But Hector, the son of Priam, equal to swift Mars, had crowded them thus, when Jupiter awarded him glory. And now would he have burned the equal ships with blazing fire, had not venerable Juno put it into the soul of Agamemnon, himself actively engaged, briskly to urge on the Greeks. He therefore hastened to go along the tents and ships of the Greeks, holding in his stout hand his great purple robe. But in the huge black ship of Ulysses he stood, which was in the midst, that he might shout audibly to either side, as well to the tent of Telamonian Ajax, as to that of Achilles, for they had drawn up their equal ships at the extremities of the line, relying on their valour and the strength of their hands. Then he shouted distinctly, calling upon the Greeks:

“Shame! ye Greeks, foul subjects of disgrace! gallant in form [alone]! Where are those boastings gone, when we professed ourselves the bravest; those which, once in Lemnos, vain braggarts! ye did utter, eating much flesh of horned oxen, and drinking-goblets crowned with wine, 272 that each would in battle be equivalent to a hundred and even two hundred of the Trojans? But now, indeed, we are not equal to Hector alone, who shortly will burn our ships with flaming fire. Ο father Jove, hast thou indeed ever yet afflicted with such destruction any one of mighty kings, and so deprived him of high renown? And yet I say that I never passed by thy fair altar in my many-benched ship, coming here with ill luck. 273 But on all I burned the fat of oxen and the thighs, desiring to sack well-walled Troy. But, Ο Jove, accomplish for me this vow, at least permit us to escape and get away; nor suffer the Greeks to be thus subdued by the Trojans.”

Footnote 271: (return) Observe that των belongs to ίππων and ανδρών, and that όσον εκ νηών από πύργου τάφρος εεργε, means that “the space between the rampart and the sea was enclosed.” Από does not govern πυργου, but is compounded with εεργε.

Footnote 272: (return) Cf. Buttm. Lexil. p. 292, sqq. who has, however, been long since anticipated by Paschal. de Coron. i. 4.

Footnote 273: (return) Schol. Έρρων, επί φθορ παοαγενόμενος. See Alberti on Hesych, s. v. t. i. p. 1445. So, also, Apollon. p. 364: Έπΐ φθορᾴ πορενόμενος.

Thus he said: and the Sire 274 pitied him weeping, and granted to him that the army should be safe, and not perish. And forthwith he sent an eagle, the most perfect 275 of birds, holding a fawn in his talons, the offspring of a swift deer: and near the very beauteous altar of Jove he cast down the fawn, where the Greeks were sacrificing to Panomphæan 276 Jove.

When, therefore, they saw that the bird had come from Jove, they rushed the more against the Trojans, and were mindful of battle. Then none of the Greeks, numerous as they were, could have boasted that he had driven his swift steeds before Diomede, and urged them beyond the ditch, and fought against [the enemy]; for far the first he slew a helmeted Trojan hero, Agelaus, son of Phradmon. He, indeed, was turning his horses for flight; but as he was turning, Diomede fixed his spear in his back, between his shoulders, and drove it through his breast. He fell from his chariot, and his arms rattled upon him. After him the sons of Atreus, Agamemnon and Menelaus; after them the Ajaces, clad in impetuous valour; after them, Idomeneus and Meriones, the armour-bearer of Idomeneus, equal to man-slaughtering Mars; and after them Eurypylus, the illustrious son of Evæmon. Teucer came the ninth, stretching his bent 277 bow, and stood under the shield of Telamonian Ajax. Then Ajax, indeed, kept moving the shield aside, and the hero looking around, when shooting, he had hit any one in the crowd, the one 278 falling there, lost his life. But he 279 retiring like a child to his mother, sheltered himself beneath Ajax, and he covered him with his splendid shield. Then what Trojan first did blameless Teucer slay? Orsilochus first, and Ormenus, and Ophelestes, and Dætor, and Chromius, and godlike Lycophontes, and Amopaon, son of Polyæmon, and Melanippus—all, one after the other, he stretched upon the bounteous earth. But Agamemnon, king of men, rejoiced at seeing him destroying the phalanxes of the Trojans with his stout bow. And advancing near him he stood, and thus addressed him:

Footnote 274: (return) See my note on Æsch. Prom. p. 3, n. 3, ed. Bohn.

Footnote 275: (return) I. e. with reference to augury. Hesych. p. 1360, explains it by επιτελεστικώτατον (see Alberti). The eagle is said to have foretold Jove’s own sovereignty, and hence to have been placed among the constellations. Cf. Hygin. Poet. Astr. ii. 16; Eratosthen. Catast. 30; Serv. on Æn. ix. 564.

Footnote 276: (return) So called, as being the author of all augury.

Footnote 277: (return) I. e. prepared for action.

Footnote 278: (return) I. e. the wounded man.

Footnote 279: (return) Teucer.

“Teucer, beloved one, son of Telamon, ruler of forces, shoot thus, if perchance thou mayest become a light 280 to the Greeks, and to thy father Telamon, who brought thee up carefully, being a little one, and treated thee with care in his palace, though being a spurious son. Him, though far away, do thou exalt with glory. But I will declare to thee, as it shall be brought to pass, if ægis-bearing Jove and Minerva shall grant me to sack the well-built city of Ilium, next to myself I will place an honourable reward in thy hands, either a tripod, or two steeds with their chariot, or some fair one, who may ascend the same couch with thee.”

Footnote 280: (return) See on vi. 6.

But him blameless Teucer answering, addressed: “Most glorious son of Atreus, why dost thou urge on me hastening; nor, as far as I have any strength, do I loiter: but from the time we have driven the Trojans towards Ilium, since that period have I slain men, intercepting them with my shafts. Already have I discharged eight long-bearded arrows, and they have all been fixed in the bodies of warlike youths; but I cannot strike this raging dog.”

He said; and another arrow from the string he shot right against Hector, for his mind was eager to strike him; and him indeed he missed: but in the breast he struck blameless Gorgythion with an arrow, the brave son of Priam. Him his fair mother Castianira, like unto a goddess in person, brought forth, being wedded from Æsyma. And as a poppy, which in the garden is weighed down with fruit and vernal showers, droops its head to one side, so did his head incline aside, depressed by the helmet. But Teucer discharged another arrow from the string against Hector, for his mind longed to strike him. Yet even then he missed, for Apollo warded off the shaft: but he struck in the breast, near the pap, Archeptolemus, the bold charioteer of Hector, rushing to battle: and he fell from his chariot, and his swift steeds sprang back. There his soul and strength were dissolved. But sad grief darkened the mind of Hector, on account of his charioteer. Then indeed he left him, although grieved for his companion, and ordered his brother Cebriones, being near, to take the reins of the steeds; but he was not disobedient, having heard him. Then [Hector] himself leaped from his all-shining chariot to the ground, roaring dreadfully: and he seized a large stone in his hand, and went straight against Teucer, for his mind encouraged him to strike him. He on his part took out a bitter arrow from his quiver, and applied it to the string: but him, on the other hand, near the shoulder, where the collar-bone separates the neck and breast, and it is a particularly fatal spot, there, as he was drawing back [the bow], the active warrior Hector 281 with a rugged stone struck him earnestly rushing against him. He broke his bowstring, and his hand was numbed at the wrist-joint. Falling on his knees he stood, and the bow dropped from his hands. But Ajax did not neglect his fallen brother; for running up, he protected him, and stretched his shield before him. Afterwards his two dear companions, Mecistheus, son of Echius, and noble Alastor, coming up, carried him, groaning heavily, to the hollow ships.

Footnote 281: (return) See Buttm. Lexil. p. 64.

But again did Olympian Jove rouse the strength of the Trojans; and they drove back the Greeks straight to the deep foss. But Hector went in the van, looking grim through ferocity; as when some dog, relying on his swift feet, seizes from the rear a wild boar or lion on the haunch and buttocks, and marks him as he turns: so Hector hung on the rear of the long-haired Greeks, always slaying the hindmost: and they fled. But when they flying had passed through the stakes and the foss, and many were subdued beneath the hands of the Trojans, they, on the one hand, remaining at the ships were restrained, and having exhorted one another, and raised their hands to all the gods, they prayed each with a loud voice. But, on the other hand, Hector, having the eyes of a Gorgon, or of man-slaughtering Mars, drove round his beauteous-maned steeds in all directions.

But them [the Greeks] white-armed goddess Juno having beheld, pitied them, and thus straightway to Minerva addressed winged words:

“Alas! daughter of ægis-bearing Jove, shall we no longer be anxious about the perishing Greeks, although in extremity;—who now, indeed, fulfilling evil fate, are perishing by the violence of one man? for Hector, the son of Priam, rages, no longer to be endured, and already has he done many evils.”

But her the azure-eyed goddess Minerva in turn addressed: “And beyond doubt this warrior would have lost his vigour and his life, destroyed by the hands of the Greeks in his fatherland, were it not that this my sire rages with no sound mind; cruel, ever unjust, a counteractor of my efforts. Nor does he remember aught of my services, that I have very often preserved his son, when oppressed by the labours of Eurystheus. He truly wept to heaven; but me Jove sent down from heaven to aid him. But had I known this in my prudent 282 mind, when he sent me to [the dwelling] of the gaoler Pluto to drag from Erebus the dog of hateful Pluto, he had not escaped the profound stream of the Stygian wave. But now, indeed, he hates me, and prefers the wish of Thetis, who kissed his knees, and took his beard in her hand, beseeching him to honour city-destroying Achilles, The time will be when he will again call me his dear Minerva. But do thou now harness for us thy solid-hoofed steeds, while I, having entered the palace of ægis-bearing Jove, equip myself with arms for war, that I may see whether crest-tossing Hector, the son of Priam, will rejoice at us, as I appear in the walks 283 of war. Certainly also some one of the Trojans will satiate the dogs and birds with his fat and flesh, having fallen at the ships of the Greeks.”

Footnote 282: (return) The Scholiast, and Apollon. Lex. p. 658, interpret πευκαλίμσι, πικραΐς και δυνεταἴς. Perhaps “sharp devising” would be the best translation.

Footnote 283: (return) Literally, “bridges,” i. e. the open spaces between the different battalions.

Thus she said: nor did the white-armed goddess Juno disobey her. Juno, on her part, venerable goddess, daughter of mighty Saturn, running in haste, caparisoned the golden-bridled steeds. But Minerva, the daughter of ægis-bearing Jove, let fall upon the pavement of her father her beauteous variegated robe, which she had wrought and laboured with her own hands. But she, having put on the coat of mail of cloud-compelling Jove, was equipped in armour for the tearful war. She mounted her flaming chariot on her feet, and took her heavy, huge, sturdy spear, with which she is wont to subdue the ranks of heroic men, with whomsoever she, sprung from a powerful sire, is enraged. But Juno with the lash speedily urged on the steeds. The portals of heaven opened spontaneously, which the Hours 284 guarded, to whom are intrusted the great heaven and Olympus, either to open the dense cloud, or to close it. Then through these they guided their goaded steeds.

Footnote 284: (return) Hence the Hours also possess the office of tending and harnessing the horses of the sun, as is shown by Dausq. on Quint. Calab. i. p. 9.

But father Jove, when he beheld them from Ida, was grievously enraged, and roused golden-winged Iris to bear this message:

“Away, depart, swift Iris, turn them back, nor suffer them to come against me; for we shall not advantageously engage in battle. For thus I speak, and it shall moreover be accomplished, I will lame their swift steeds under their chariot, dislodge them from the chariot, and break the chariot; nor for ten revolving years shall ye be healed of the wounds which the thunderbolt shall inflict: that Minerva may know when she may be fighting with her sire. But with Juno I am neither so indignant nor so angry; for she is ever accustomed to counteract me, in whatever I intend.”

Thus he said: but Iris, swift as the storm, hastened to bear the message. Down from the Idæan mountains she went to great Olympus: meeting them in the foremost gates of many-valleyed Olympus, she restrained them, and pronounced to them the message of Jove:

“Where do ye go? Why does your soul rage in your breasts? The sun of Saturn does not suffer you to aid the Greeks. For thus has the son of Saturn threatened, and he will assuredly perform it, to lame your swift steeds under your chariot, and dislodge yourselves from the chariot, and break the chariot; nor for ten revolving years shall ye be healed of the wounds which his thunderbolt shall inflict: that thou, Ο Azure-eyed, mayest know when thou art fighting with thy sire. But with Juno he is neither so indignant nor so angry; for she is always accustomed to counteract him in whatever he devises. But thou, most insolent and audacious hound! if thou in reality shalt dare to raise thy mighty spear against Jove—” 285

Footnote 285: (return) Observe the aposiopesis.

Thus indeed having said, swift-footed Iris departed. Then Juno addressed these words to Minerva:

“Alas! daughter of ægis-bearing Jove, I cannot any longer suffer that we ourselves shall fight against Jove, on account of mortals. Of whom let one perish, and let another live, whoever may chance. But let him, meditating his own affairs in his mind, adjudicate to the Trojans and the Greeks as is fair.”

Thus then having said, she turned back the solid-hoofed steeds. The Hours unyoked for them the fair-maned steeds, and bound them to the ambrosial mangers; but they tilted the chariots against the splendid walls. But they themselves sat, mingled with the other deities, on their golden couches, sad at heart.

Then father Jove drove his beauteous-wheeled chariot and steeds from Ida to Olympus, and came to the seats of the gods. His horses, indeed, the illustrious Earth-shaker loosed, but he laid the chariot on its support, spreading a linen coverlet [over it]. But loud-sounding Jove himself sat on his golden throne, and mighty Olympus was shaken under his feet. But Minerva and Juno by themselves sat apart from Jove, nor did they at all address him, nor question him. But he knew in his mind, and said:

“Why are ye so sad, Minerva and Juno? Indeed, ye have not laboured long in glorious battle to destroy the Trojans, against whom ye have taken grievous hatred. Not all the gods in Olympus could altogether turn me to flight, such are my strength and my invincible hands. But trembling seized the shining limbs of both of you, before ye saw battle, and the destructive deeds of war. For so I tell you, which would also have been performed: no more should ye, stricken with my thunder, have returned in your chariots to Olympus, where are the seats of the immortals.”

Thus he said: but Minerva and Juno murmured. They sat near each other, and were devising evils for the Trojans.

Minerva, indeed, was silent, nor said anything, angry with father Jove, for wild rage possessed her. But Juno contained not her wrath in her breast, but addressed him:

“Most terrible son of Saturn, what hast thou said? Well do we know that thy might is invincible: yet do we lament the warlike Greeks, who will now perish, fulfilling their evil destiny. But nevertheless, we will desist from war, if thou desirest it. But we will suggest counsel to the Greeks, which will avail them, that they may not all perish, thou being wrathful.”

But her cloud-compelling Jove answering, addressed: “To-morrow, if thou wilt, O venerable, large-eyed Juno, thou shalt behold the very powerful son of Saturn even with greater havoc destroying the mighty army of the warlike Greeks. For warlike Hector will not cease from battle before that he arouse the swift-footed son of Peleus at the ships. On that day, when they indeed are fighting at the ships, in a very narrow pass, for Patroclus fallen. For thus is it fated. But I do not make account of thee enraged, not if thou shouldst go to the furthest limits of land and ocean, where Iapetus and Saturn sitting, are delighted neither with the splendour of the sun that journeys on high, nor with the winds; but profound Tartarus [is] all around—not even if wandering, thou shouldst go there, have I regard for thee enraged, since there is nothing more impudent than thou.”

Thus he said: but white-armed Juno answered nought. And the bright light of the sun fell into the ocean, drawing dark night over the fruitful earth. 286 The light set to the Trojans indeed unwilling; but gloomy and much-desired light came on, grateful to the Greeks.

Footnote 286: (return) Beautifully expressed by Ennius apud Macrob. Sat. vi. 4: “Interea fax Occidit, Oceanumque rubra tractim obruit æthra.” See Columna on Εnn. p. 113, ed. Hessel.

But illustrious Hector then formed a council of the Trojans, having led them apart from the ships, at the eddying river, in a clear space, where the place appeared free from dead bodies. But alighting to the ground from their horses, they listened to the speech which Hector, beloved of Jove, uttered. In his hand he held a spear of eleven cubits: and before him shone the golden point of the spear, and a golden ring surrounded it. Leaning on this, he spoke winged words:

“Hear me, ye Trojans, and Dardanians, and allies: I lately thought that having destroyed the ships and all the Greeks, I should return back to wind-swept Ilium. But darkness has come on first, which has now been the chief means of preserving the Greeks and their ships on the shore of the sea. But, however, let us now obey dark night, and make ready our repasts; and do ye loose from your chariots your beautiful-maned steeds, and set fodder before them: and quickly bring from the city oxen and fat sheep; bring sweet wine and bread from your homes; and besides collect many fagots, that all night till Aurora, mother of dawn, we may kindle many fires, and the splendour may ascend to heaven: lest haply in the night the long-haired Greeks attempt to fly over the broad ridge of the ocean. That they may not at all events without toil and without harm ascend their ships: but [let us] take care that each of them may have to heal a wound 287 at home, being stricken either with an arrow, or with a sharp spear, bounding into his ship; that every other too may dread to wage tearful war against the horse-breaking Trojans. Let the heralds, dear to Jove, proclaim through the city, that the youths at the age of puberty, and the hoary-templed sages, keep watch around the city, in the god-built turrets; and let the females also, the feebler sex, in their halls each kindle a mighty fire: and let there be some strong guard, lest a secret band enter the city, the people being absent. Thus let it be, magnanimous Trojans, as I say: and let the speech, which is now most salutary, be thus spoken. But for that which will be [most expedient] in the morning, I will [then] speak amongst the horse-breaking Trojans. Making vows both to Jove and to the other gods, I hope to banish hence those dogs borne hither by the fates, whom the fates bear in their black ships. 288 But let us keep watch during the night, and in the morning, at dawn, equipped with arms, let us stir up sharp conflict at the hollow ships. I will see whether valiant Diomede, the son of Tydeus, will force me back from the ships to our walls, or whether I shall bear away his bloody spoils, having slain him with my brazen spear. To-morrow shall he make manifest his valour, if he shall withstand my assaulting spear. But I think that he will lie wounded amongst the first at sunrise to-morrow, and many companions around him. Would that I were so certainly immortal, and free from old age all my days, and honoured, as Minerva and Apollo are honoured, as [I am certain] that this day will bring evil upon the Greeks.”

Footnote 287: (return) Literally, “digest a weapon,” i.e. have a wound to attend to. So telum and vulnus are used for each other in Latin.

Footnote 288: (return) Surely this line is a gloss upon κηρεσσιφορητους.

Thus Hector harangued them; but the Trojans applauded aloud. And they loosed from the yoke their sweating steeds, and bound them with halters, each to his own chariot. Quickly they brought from the city oxen and fat sheep: and they brought sweet wine, and bread from their homes, and also collected many fagots. But the winds raised the savour from the plain to heaven.

But they, greatly elated, sat all night in the ranks of war, and many fires blazed for them. As when in heaven the stars appear very conspicuous 289 around the lucid moon, when the æther is wont to be without a breeze, and all the pointed rocks and lofty summits and groves appear, but in heaven the immense æther is disclosed, and all the stars are seen, and the shepherd rejoices in his soul. Thus did many fires of the Trojans kindling them appear before Ilium, between the ships and the streams of Xanthus. A thousand fires blazed in the plain, and by each sat fifty men, at the light of the blazing fire. But their steeds eating white barley and oats, standing by the chariots, awaited beautiful-throned Aurora.

Footnote 289: (return) Cf. Æsch. Ag. 6: Λαμπρούς δυνάστας, ἐμπρεποντας αίθέρι.



By advice of Nestor, Agamemnon sends Ulysses, Phœnix, and Ajax, to the tent of Achilles to sue for a reconciliation. Notwithstanding the earnest appeal of Phœnix, their errand proves fruitless.

Thus the Trojans indeed kept guard: but a mighty 290 Flight, the companion of chill Fear, seized upon the Greeks; and all the chiefs were afflicted with intolerable grief. And as two winds, the north and south, which both blow from Thrace, 291 rouse the fishy deep, coming suddenly [upon it]; but the black billows are elevated together; and they dash much sea-weed out of the ocean; so was the mind of the Greeks distracted within their bosoms.

Footnote 290: (return) “In Il. 1,2, the θεσπεσίη φυζα of the Achæans is not to be explained as a supernatural flight, occasioned by the gods. It is a great and general flight, caused by Hector and the Trojans. For although this was approved of and encouraged by Jupiter, yet his was only that mediate influence of the deity without which in general nothing took place in the Homeric battles.”—Buttm. Lexil. p. 358. Cf. Coleridge, p. 160.

Footnote 291: (return) Wood, p. 46, explains this from the situation of Ionia. Heyne, however, observes, “comparatio e mente poetæ instituitur, non ex Agamemnonis persona.”

But Atrides, wounded to the heart with great sorrow, kept going round, giving orders to the clear-voiced heralds, to summon each man by name to an assembly, but not to call aloud; and he himself toiled among the first. And they sat in council, grieved, and Agamemnon arose, shedding tears, like a black-water fountain, which pours its gloomy stream from a lofty rock. Thus he, deeply sighing, spoke words to the Greeks:

“O friends, leaders and chieftains over the Greeks, Jove, the son of Saturn, has greatly entangled me in a grievous calamity: cruel, who once promised me, and assented, that I should return, having destroyed well-built Ilium. But now has he plotted an evil fraud, and orders me to return inglorious to Argos, after I have lost much people. Thus, doubtless, will it be agreeable to almighty Jove, who has already overthrown the heights of many cities, and will still overthrow them, for his power is greatest. But come, let us all obey as I advise: let us fly with the ships to our dear fatherland, for now we shall not take wide-wayed Troy.”

Thus he spoke; but they were all still in silence, and the sons of the Greeks being sad, kept silent long: at length Diomede, brave in the din of battle, spoke:

“Son of Atreus, thee will I first oppose, speaking inconsiderately, as is lawful, in the assembly; but be not thou the least offended. First among the Greeks didst thou disparage my valour, saying that I was unwarlike and weak; 292 and all this, as well the young as the old of the Greeks know. One of two things hath the son of crafty Saturn given thee: he has granted that thou shouldst be honoured by the sceptre above all; but valour hath he not given thee, which is the greatest strength. Strange man, dost thou then certainly think that the sons of the Greeks are unwarlike and weak, as thou sayest? If indeed thy mind impels thee, that thou shouldst return, go: the way lies open to thee, and thy ships stand near the sea, which very many followed thee from Mycenæ. But the other long-haired Greeks will remain until we overthrow Troy: but if they also [choose], let them fly with their ships to their dear fatherland. But we twain, I and Sthenelus, 293 will fight, until we find an end of Troy; for under the auspices of the deity we came.”

Footnote 292: (return) Cf. iv. 370, sqq.

Footnote 293: (return) Heyne compares Julius Cæsar, Com. B. G. i. 40. “Si præterea nemo sequatur (contra Ariovistum), tamen se cum sola decima legione iturum dicit.”

Thus he spoke; but all the sons of the Greeks applauded, admiring the speech of steed-breaking Diomede. But them the knight Nestor, rising up, addressed:

“Son of Tydeus, pre-eminently indeed art thou brave in battle, and the best in council amongst all thine equals. No one has censured thy discourse, nor contradicts it, as many as are the Greeks; but thou comest not to an end of discussion. 294 Assuredly thou art youthful, and mightst be my youngest son for age, yet thou speakest prudent words to the kings of the Greeks, for thou hast said aright. But come, I who boast to be older than thou, will speak out, and discuss everything: nor will any one, not even king Agamemnon, disregard my speech. Tribeless, lawless, homeless is he, who loves horrid civil war. But now, however, let us obey dark night, and make ready suppers. But let the respective guards lie down beside the trench, dug without the wall. To the youth, indeed, I enjoin these things; but next, Atrides, do thou begin, for thou art supreme. Give a banquet to the elders; it becomes thee, and is not unseemly. Full are thy tents of wine, which the ships of the Greeks daily bring over the wide sea from Thrace. Thou hast every accommodation, and rulest over many people. But when many are assembled, do thou obey him who shall give the best advice; for there is great need of good and prudent [advice] to all the Greeks, since the enemy are burning many fires near the ships; and who can rejoice at these things? But this night will either ruin the army or preserve it.”

Footnote 294: (return) I. e. thou hast not said all that might have been said on the subject.

Thus he spoke; and they heard him very attentively, and obeyed. But the guards rushed forth with their arms, [those around] Thrasymedes, the son of Nestor, the shepherd of the people, Ascalaphus and Ialmenus, sons of Mars, Meriones, Aphareus, and Deïpyrus, as well as the son of Creon, noble Lycomedes. There were seven leaders of the guards, and a hundred youths marched along with each, holding long spears in their hands. Proceeding to the space between the trench and the wall, there they sat down, and there kindled a fire, and prepared each his supper.

But Atrides conducted the assembled elders of the Greeks to his tent, and set before them a strength-recruiting banquet; and they laid their hands upon the viands placed before them. But when they had dismissed the desire of eating and drinking, to them first of all did aged Nestor, whose advice had previously appeared best, begin to interweave advice; who wisely counselling, addressed them, and said:

“Most glorious Atrides, king of men, Agamemnon, with thee shall I end, and with thee shall I commence. Since thou art a king of many nations, and Jove hath placed in thine hands both a sceptre and laws, that thou mayest consult for their advantage. Therefore is it necessary that thou in particular shouldst deliver and hear an opinion, and also accomplish that of another, when his mind urges any one to speak for the [public] good; but on thee will depend whatever takes the lead. Yet will I speak as appears to me to be best. For no other person will propound a better opinion than that which I meditate, both of old and also now, from that period when thou, O nobly born, didst depart, carrying off the maid Briseïs from the tent of the enraged Achilles; by no means according to my judgment; for I very strenuously dissuaded thee from it: but having yielded to thy haughty temper, thou didst dishonour the bravest hero, whom even the immortals have honoured; for, taking away his reward, thou still retainest it. Yet even now let us deliberate how we may succeed in persuading him, appeasing him with agreeable gifts and soothing words.”

But him the king of men, Agamemnon, again addressed: “Old man, thou hast not falsely enumerated my errors. I have erred, nor do I myself deny it. That man indeed is equivalent to many troops, whom Jove loves in his heart, as now he hath honoured this man, and subdued the people of the Greeks. But since I erred, having yielded to my wayward disposition, I desire again to appease him, and to give him invaluable presents. Before you all will I enumerate the distinguished gifts: seven tripods untouched by fire, 295 and ten talents of gold, and twenty shining caldrons, and twelve stout steeds, victorious in the race, which have borne off prizes by their feet. No pauper would the man be, nor in want of precious gold, to whom as many prizes belong as [these] solid-hoofed steeds have brought to me. I will likewise give seven beautiful Lesbian women, skilful in faultless works; whom I selected when he himself took well-inhabited Lesbos, who excel the race of women in beauty. These will I give him, and amongst them will be her whom then I took away, the daughter of Briseïs; and I will swear moreover a mighty oath, that I never ascended her bed, nor embraced her, as is the custom of human beings—of men and women. All these shall immediately be ready; and if, moreover, the gods grant that we destroy the great city of Priam, let him fill his ships abundantly with gold and brass, entering in when we the Greeks divide the spoil. Let him also choose twenty Trojan women, who may be fairest next to Argive Helen. But if we reach Achæan Argos, the udder of the land, 296 he may become my son-in-law; and I will honour him equally with Orestes, who is nurtured as my darling son, in great affluence. Now, I have three daughters in my well-built palace,—Chrysothemis, Laodice, and Iphianassa. Of these let him lead the beloved one, whichsoever he may choose, without marriage-dower, to the house of Peleus; but I will give very many dowries, so many as no man ever yet gave to his daughter. I will, moreover, give him seven well-inhabited cities,—Cardamyle, Enope, and grassy Ira, glorious Pheræ, with deep-pastured Anthea, fair Æpeia, and vine-bearing Pedasus; which are all near the sea, the last towards sandy Pylus. But in them dwell men rich in flocks and herds, who will honour him like a god with gifts, and beneath his sceptre will pay rich tributes. These will I bestow upon him, ceasing from his anger. Let him be prevailed upon. Pluto indeed is implacable and inexorable, wherefore he is the most hateful of all the gods to men. Let him likewise yield to me, inasmuch as I am more kingly, and because I boast to be older [than he].”

But him the Gerenian knight Nestor then answered: “Most glorious son of Atreus, king of men, Agamemnon, thou indeed offerest gifts by no means despicable to king Achilles. But come, let us urge chosen men, who may go with all speed to the tent of Achilles, the son of Peleus. Come then, these will I select, but let them obey. First of all indeed let Phœnix, dear to Jove, be the leader; next then mighty Ajax and divine Ulysses: and of the heralds, let Hodius and Eurybates follow with them. But bring water for the hands, and command to observe well-omened words, 297 that we may supplicate Saturnian Jove, if perchance he will take pity.”

Footnote 295: (return) I. e. not yet brought into common use.

Footnote 296: (return) A beautiful expression, denoting the fertility of the land. Cf. Albert. on Hesych. t. ii. p. 806. So νησοιο μαστός in Callim. II. in Del. 48.

Footnote 297: (return) The translation, “favour us with their voices,” is nonsense, while “keep silence” is by no means the meaning of εύφημήσαι. Kennedy rightly explains it, “abstain from expressions unsuitable to the solemnity of the occasion, which, by offending the god, might defeat the object of their supplications.” See Servius on Virg. Æn. v. 71; Lamb, on Hor. Od. iii. 1, 2; Broukhus. on Tibull. ii. 1, 1.

Thus he spoke, and delivered an opinion agreeable to them all. Immediately indeed the heralds poured water upon their hands, and the youths crowned the goblets with wine; then they distributed them to all, having poured the first of the wine into the cups. But when they had made libations, and drunk as much as their mind desired, they hastened from the tent of Agamemnon, the son of Atreus. To them the Gerenian knight Nestor gave many charges, looking wistfully upon each, particularly upon Ulysses, that they should endeavour to persuade the blameless son of Peleus.

They twain then went along the shore of the loud-sounding sea, praying earnestly to earth-shaking [Neptune], who encompasses the earth, that they might easily persuade the great mind of the grandson of Æacus. But they came to the tents and ships of the Myrmidons, and they found him delighting his soul with his clear-toned harp, beautiful, curiously wrought, and upon it was a silver comb. This he had taken from amongst the spoils, having destroyed the city of Eëtion, and with it he was delighting his soul, and singing the glorious deeds 298 of heroes. Patroclus alone sat opposite to him in silence, waiting upon the descendant of Æacus when he should cease to sing. Then they advanced farther, and divine Ulysses preceded; and they stood before him; whilst Achilles, astonished, leaped up, with his lyre, quitting the seat where he had been sitting. In like manner Patroclus, when he beheld the heroes, arose, and swift-footed Achilles taking them by the hand, addressed them:

“Hail, warriors, ye indeed have come as friends. Surely [there is] some great necessity [when ye come], who are to me, although enraged, dearest of the Greeks.”

Footnote 298: (return) Or the renown of heroes. So Apollon. i. 1: αλαιγενεων κλεα φώτων Μνησομαι.

Thus having spoken, divine Achilles led them forward, and seated them upon couches and purple coverlets; then straightway he addressed Patroclus, who was near:

“Place a larger goblet, O son of Menœtius, mix purer wine, 299 and prepare a cup for each, for men most dear [to me] are beneath my roof.”

Footnote 299: (return) I. e. less diluted than usual. On this quaint picture of ancient manners, compared with the customs of the Hebrew fathers, compare Coleridge, p. 151.

Thus he spoke; and Patroclus obeyed his dear companion. But he [Achilles] placed in the flame of the fire a large dressing-block, and upon it he laid the chine of a sheep and of a fat goat, with the back of a fatted sow, abounding in fat. Automedon then held them for him, and noble Achilles cut them up; and divided them skilfully into small pieces, and transfixed them with spits; whilst the son of Menœtius, a godlike hero, kindled a large fire. But when the fire had burned away, and the flame grew languid, strewing the embers, he extended the spits over them, and sprinkled them with sacred salt, raising them up from the racks. But when he had dressed them, and had thrown them upon kitchen tables, Patroclus, taking bread, served it out upon the board in beautiful baskets: but Achilles distributed the flesh. But he himself sat opposite to noble Ulysses, against the other wall, and ordered Patroclus, his companion, to sacrifice to the gods; and he accordingly cast the first morsels 300 into the fire. And they stretched forth their hands to the prepared viands which lay before them. But when they had dismissed the desire of eating and drinking, Ajax nodded to Phoenix, but noble Ulysses observed it, and having filled his goblet with wine, he pledged Achilles:

Footnote 300: (return) Hesych. and Phrynicus (for their glosses should probably be joined), θνηλάς' άπαρχάς των τεθυμἑνων.

“Health, Achilles. We are not wanting of a complete feast, either in the tent of Agamemnon, son of Atreus, or even here also, for many strength-recruiting dainties are here; but the business of an agreeable feast is not our care. We, O thou Jove-nurtured one, contemplating it, rather dread a very great disaster, as it is matter of doubt whether the well-benched ships be saved or destroyed, unless thou puttest on thy might. For near the ships and the wall the high-minded Trojans and their far-summoned allies have pitched their camp, kindling many fires throughout the host; and they say that they will no longer restrain themselves, but that they will fall upon our black vessels. 301 And Saturnian Jove exhibiting to them propitious signs, darts his lightning; and Hector, looking fiercely round in valour, rages terribly, trusting in Jove, nor reverences at all either men or gods, but great madness hath come upon him. He prays that divine morn may speedily come. For he declares that he will cut off the poop-ends 302 of the ships, and burn [the ships] themselves with ravaging fire, and slaughter the Greeks beside them, discomforted by the smoke. Wherefore do I greatly fear in my mind lest the gods may fulfil his threats, and it be destined for us to perish in Troy, far from steed-nourishing Argos. Rise then, if thou hast the intention, although late, to defend the harassed sons of the Greeks from the violent onslaught of the Trojans. To thyself it will hereafter be a cause of sorrow, nor is it possible in any manner to discover a remedy for a disaster when received; wherefore reflect much beforehand, how thou mayest avert the evil day from the Greeks. O my friend, surely thy father Peleus charged thee, on that day when he sent thee from Phthia to Agamemnon, ‘My son, Minerva and Juno will bestow valour, if they choose; but restrain thy great-hearted soul within thy breast, because humanity is better; and abstain from injurious contention, that both the youth and elders of the Greeks may honour thee the more.’ Thus did the old man give charge, but thou art forgetful. Yet even now desist, and lay aside thy mind-corroding wrath. To thee Agamemnon gives worthy gifts, ceasing from indignation. But if [thou wilt] hear from me, and I will repeat to thee how many presents Agamemnon in his tents hath promised thee: seven tripods, untouched by the fire, and ten talents of gold, twenty shining caldrons, and twelve stout steeds, victorious in the race, which have borne off prizes by their feet. No pauper, nor in want of precious gold, would that man be to whom so many prizes belonged as the steeds of Agamemnon have borne off by their fleetness. He will likewise give seven beautiful women, skilful in faultless works, Lesbians, whom he selected when thou thyself didst take well-inhabited Lesbos, who then excelled the race of women in beauty. These will he give thee, and amongst them will be her whom once he took away, the daughter of Briseïs; and he will moreover swear a mighty oath, that he never ascended her bed, nor embraced her, as is the custom. O king, both of men and women. All these shall immediately be in waiting; and if, moreover, the gods grant that we pillage the vast city of Priam, entering, thou mayest fill thy ships abundantly with gold and brass, when we, the Greeks, divide the spoil. Thou shalt also choose twenty Trojan women, who may be fairest next to Argive Helen. But if we reach Achæan Argos, the udder of the land, thou mayest become his son-in-law, and he will honour thee equally with Orestes, who is nurtured as his darling son, in great affluence. But he has three daughters in his well-built palace,—Chrysothemis, Laodice, and Iphianassa. Of these thou shalt conduct the most beloved whomsoever thou mayest choose, without marriage-gifts, to the house of Peleus; but he will give very many dowries, such as no man yet gave his daughter. He will moreover give thee seven well-inhabited cities,—Cardamyle, Enope, and grassy Ira, glorious Pheræ, with deep-pastured Anthea, fair Æpeia, and vine-bearing Pedasus; which are all near the sea, the last towards sandy Pylus. But in them dwell men abounding in flocks and herds, who will honour thee with gifts like a god, and under thy sceptre pay rich tributes. These will he fulfil to thee ceasing from thy wrath. But if indeed the son of Atreus himself and his gifts be more hateful to thee from thine heart, at least have pity upon all the other Greeks, harassed throughout the army, who will honour thee as a god; for surely thou wilt obtain very great honour among them. For now mayest thou slay Hector, since he hath already come very near thee, possessing destructive fury; since he declares that no one of the Greeks whom the ships have conveyed hither is his equal.”

Footnote 301: (return) But Heyne, “non locum tuituros [nos], sed in naves fugituros et discessuros.”

Footnote 302: (return) This interpretation is substantiated by Heyne, from Il. O, 717. The άκροστόλια, or figure-heads, are not meant here.

But him swift-footed Achilles answering, addressed: “Most noble son of Laertes, much-scheming Ulysses, it behoves me indeed to speak my opinion without reserve, even as I think, and as will be accomplished, that ye may not, sitting beside me, keep whining 303 one after another. Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is he who conceals one thing in his mind and utters another. But I will speak as appears to me to be best; and I think that neither Agamemnon, the son of Atreus, nor the other Greeks will persuade me; since there is no gratitude to him who fights ever ceaselessly with hostile men. An equal portion [falls] to him who loiters, as if one continually fight; and the coward is in equal honour with the brave. The man of no deeds, and the man of many, are wont equally to die; nor does anything lie by me as a store, 304 because I have suffered sorrows in my soul, ever risking my life to fight. And as the bird brings food to her unfledged young when she hath found it, although she fares badly herself; so have I too spent many sleepless nights, and gone through bloody days in combat, fighting with heroes for their wives’ sakes. Twelve cities indeed of men have I wasted with my ships, and on foot I say eleven throughout the fertile Troad. 305 From all these have I carried off many and precious spoils, and bearing them, have given all to Agamemnon, the son of Atreus; whilst he, remaining behind at the swift ships, receiving them, hath distributed but few, but retained many. To the chiefs and kings hath he given other prizes; to whom indeed they remain entire: but from me alone of the Greeks hath he taken it away, and he possesses my spouse, dear to my soul, with whom reclining, let him delight himself. But why is it necessary that the Greeks wage war with the Trojans? Or from what necessity did the son of Atreus, assembling an army, lead it hither? Was it not on account of fair-haired Helen? Do the sons of Atreus alone, of articulate-speaking men, love their wives? [Surely not], since whatever man is good and prudent loves and cherishes his spouse; thus I too loved her from my soul, though the captive of my spear. And now since he hath snatched my reward from my hands, and deceived me, let him not make trial of me, already well informed, for he will not persuade me; but let him consider with thee, O Ulysses, and the other kings, how he may repel the hostile fire from the ships. Assuredly he has already accomplished many labours without me. He has already built a rampart, and drawn a trench broad [and] large beside it; and planted in it palisades; but not even thus can he restrain the might of man-slaughtering Hector. Whilst I indeed fought amongst the Greeks, Hector chose not to arouse the battle at a distance from the wall, but he came [only] as far as the Scæan gates, and the beech-tree. There once he awaited me alone, and with difficulty escaped my attack. But since I choose not to war with noble Hector, to-morrow, 306 having performed sacrifices to Jove and all the gods, [and] having well laden my ships, when I shall have drawn them down to the sea, thou shalt behold, if thou wilt, and if such things be a care to thee, my ships early in the morn sailing upon the fishy Hellespont, and men within them, eager for rowing; and if glorious Neptune grant but a prosperous voyage, on the third day I shall surely reach fertile Phthia. 307 Now there I have very many possessions, which I left, coming hither, to my loss. 308 And I will carry hence other gold and ruddy brass, well-girdled women, and hoary iron, which I have obtained by lot. But the reward which he gave, king Agamemnon, the son of Atreus, hath himself insultingly taken from me: to whom do thou tell all things as I charge thee, openly, that the other Greeks also may be indignant, if he, ever clad in impudence, still hope to deceive any of the Greeks; nor let him dare, dog-like as he is, to look in my face. I will neither join in counsels nor in any action with him; for he hath already deceived and offended me, nor shall he again overreach me with words. It is enough for him [to do so once]: but in quiet 309 let him perish, for provident Jove hath deprived him of reason. Hateful to me are his gifts, and himself I value not a hair. 310 Not if he were to give me ten and twenty times as many gifts as he now has, and if others were to be added from any other quarter; nor as many as arrive at Orchomenos, or Egyptian Thebes, 311 where numerous possessions are laid up in the mansions, and where are one hundred gates, 312 from each of which rush out two hundred men with horses and chariots. Nor if he were to give me as many as are the sands and dust, not even thus shall Agamemnon now persuade my mind, until he indemnify me for all his mind-grieving insult. But I will not wed the daughter of Agamemnon, the son of Atreus, not if she were fit to contend in beauty with golden Venus, or were equal in accomplishments to azure-eyed Minerva; not even thus will I wed her. Let him then select another of the Greeks who may suit him, and who is more the king; for if the gods preserve me, and I reach home, then will Peleus himself hereafter bestow upon me a lady in marriage. There are many Grecian women throughout Hellas and Phthia, daughters of chieftains who defend the cities. Whomsoever of these I may choose, I will make my beloved wife; and there my generous soul very much desires that I, wedding a betrothed spouse, a fit partner of my bed, should enjoy the possessions which aged Peleus hath acquired. For not worth my life are all the [treasures] which they say the well-inhabited city Ilium possessed, whilst formerly at peace, before the sons of the Greeks arrived; nor all which the stony threshold of the archer Phœbus Apollo contains within it, in rocky Pytho. 313 By plunder, oxen and fat sheep are to be procured, tripods are to be procured, and the yellow heads of steeds; but the life of man cannot be obtained nor seized, so as to return again, when once it has passed the enclosure of the teeth. For my goddess mother, silver-footed Thetis, declares that double destinies lead me on to the end of death. If, on the one hand, remaining here, I wage war around the city of the Trojans, return is lost to me, but my glory will be immortal; but if, on the other hand, I return home to my dear fatherland, my excellent glory is lost, but my life will be lasting, nor will the end of death speedily seize upon me. And to others also would I give advice to sail home, for ye will not find an end of lofty Ilium; for far-sounding Jove hath stretched over it his hand, and the people have taken courage. But do ye, departing, bear back this message to the chiefs of the Greeks, for such is the office of ambassadors, that they devise within their minds some other better plan, which for them may preserve their ships, and the army of the Greeks in the hollow barks; since this, which they have now devised, is not expedient for them, while I cherish my wrath. But let Phœnix, remaining here, recline beside us, that to-morrow, if he will, he may follow me in the ships to my dear fatherland, although I will by no means lead him away by compulsion.”

Footnote 303: (return) This word is etymologically connected with τρνγών. It properly signifies the moaning of the dove.

Footnote 304: (return) Schol. περισσόν τί εστι. Kennedy explains it: “nor have all the toils which I have undergone been productive of any superior advantage to me.”

Footnote 305: (return) See a list of these cities in Heyne’s note.

Footnote 306: (return) Observe the broken construction, well suited to the irritability of the speaker.

Footnote 307: (return) Cf. Cicero de Div. i. 25.

Footnote 308: (return) “Εῤῥων, ἐπί φθορᾷ.” (ita etym. magn.) παραγενόμενος. Cf. Alberti on Hesych. t. i. p. 1445.

Footnote 309: (return) “Εκηλος forcibly expresses the condition of one who is advancing imperceptibly, though surely, to final ruin.”—Kennedy.

Footnote 310: (return) See Kennedy, and Duport, Gnom. p. 52, who compare the phrases “pilo minus amare”, “pili facere.” There is, however, much uncertainty respecting the origin and meaning of the proverb. Cf. Alberti on Hesych. t. i. p. 1246.

Footnote 311: (return) “Thebes was the centre of Egyptian power and commerce, probably long before Memphis grew into importance, or before the Delta was made suitable to the purposes of husbandry by the cutting of canals and the raising of embankments.”—Egyptian Antiquities, vol. i. p. 66.

Footnote 312: (return) Although Denon (see Egypt. Antt. p. 62) regards this as an unmeaning expression, Heyne well observes: “numerus centenarius ponitur pro magno: et portis semel memoratis, multitudo hominum declaratur per numerum exeuntium.”

Footnote 313: (return) Cf. Müller, Dorians, vol. i. pp. 26, 268.

Thus he spoke; but they all became mute in silence, marvelling at his speech, for he answered with much vehemence. At length, however, the aged knight, Phœnix, addressed him, shedding tears, for he greatly feared for the ships of the Greeks:

“If indeed, Ο illustrious Achilles, thou dost now meditate a return within thy mind, nor art at all willing to repel the destructive fire from the swift ships, because indignation hath fallen upon thy soul; how then can I, my dear child, be left here alone by thee? for aged Peleus, the breaker of steeds, sent me forth with thee on that day, when he despatched thee from Phthia to Agamemnon, a boy, not yet skilled either in equally-destroying war, nor in counsels where men also become illustrious. On which account he sent me forth to teach thee all these things, that thou mightest become both an orator in words and a performer in deeds. Thus then, my dear child, I wish not at length to be left by thee, not even if a god himself, having divested me of old age, should promise that he would render me a blooming youth, such as I was when first I quitted fair-damed Hellas, flying the contentions of my father Amyntor, son of Ormenus; who was enraged with me on account of a fair-haired concubine whom he himself loved, but dishonoured his wife, my mother. But she continually would embrace my knees in supplication, that I should first have connection with the concubine, that she might loathe the old man. Her I obeyed, and did so; but my father immediately perceiving it, uttered many execrations, and invoked the hateful Erinnys, that no dear son, sprung from me, should ever be placed upon his knees; and the gods ratified his execrations, both infernal Jove and dread Proserpine. Then my soul within my mind could no longer endure that I should sojourn in the palace whilst my father was enraged. My friends, indeed, and relations, being much about me, detained me there within the halls, entreating [me to stay]. Many fat sheep and stamping-footed, crooked-horned oxen they slaughtered; many swine abounding in fat were stretched out to be roasted in the flame of Vulcan, and much of the old man’s wine was drunk out of earthen vessels. Nine nights did they sleep around me: whilst, taking it in turns, they kept watch; nor was the fire ever extinguished, one in the portico of the well-fenced hall, and another in the vestibule, before the chamber-doors. But when at length the tenth shady night had come upon me, then indeed I rushed forth, having burst the skilfully-joined doors of the apartment, and I easily overleaped the fence of the hall, escaping the notice of the watchmen and the female domestics. Afterwards I fled thence through spacious Hellas, and came to fertile Phthia, the mother of sheep, to king Peleus; who kindly received me, and loved me even as a father loves his only son, born in his old age 314 to ample possessions. He made me opulent, and bestowed upon me much people, and I inhabited the extreme shores of Phthia, ruling over the Dolopians. Thee too, Ο godlike Achilles, have I rendered what thou art, 315 loving thee from my soul; since thou wouldst not go with another to the feast, nor take food in the mansion, until I, placing thee upon my knees, satisfied thee with viands, previously carving them, and supplied thee with wine. Often hast thou wetted the tunic upon my breast, ejecting the wine in infant peevishness. 316 Thus have I borne very many things from thee, and much have I laboured, thinking this, that since the gods have not granted an offspring to me from myself, I should at least make thee my son, O Achilles, like unto the gods, that thou mightst yet repel from me unworthy destiny. But O Achilles, subdue thy mighty rage; it is by no means necessary for thee to have a merciless heart. Flexible are even the gods themselves, whose virtue, honour, and might are greater [than thine]. Even these, when any one transgresses and errs, do men divert [from their wrath] by sacrifices and appeasing vows, and frankincense and savour. For Prayers also are the daughters of supreme Jove, 317 both halt, and wrinkled, and squint-eyed; which following on Ate from behind, are full of care. But Ate is robust and sound in limb, wherefore she far outstrips all, and arrives first at every land, doing injury to men; whilst these afterwards cure them. 318 Whosoever will reverence the daughters of Jove approaching, him they are wont greatly to aid, and hear when praying. But whosoever will deny and obstinately refuse them, then indeed, drawing near, they entreat Saturnian Jove, that Ate may follow along with him, that being injured [in turn], he may pay the penalty. But Ο Achilles, do thou too yield honour to accompany the daughters of Jove, which bends the minds of other brave men; for if Atrides brought not gifts, and did not mention others in futurity, but would ever rage vehemently, I for my part would not advise that, casting away wrath, thou shouldst defend the Greeks, although greatly in need. But now he at once gives both many immediately, and promises others hereafter; moreover, he hath despatched the best men to supplicate thee, having selected throughout the Grecian army those who are dearest to thyself; whose entreaty do not thou despise, nor their mission, although formerly fault was not to be found with thee, because thou wert enraged. Thus also have we heard the renown of heroes of former days, when vehement wrath came upon any, [that] they were both appeasable by gifts, and to be reconciled by words. I remember this ancient and by no means modern deed, of what sort it was; and I will repeat it among you all, being friends. The Curetes and Ætolians, obstinate in battle, fought around the city of Calydon, and slaughtered each other; the Ætolians, in defence of lofty Calydon, the Curetes, eager to lay it waste in war; for between them had golden-throned Diana excited mischief, indignant because Œneus had not offered the first-fruits in sacrifice in the fertile spot of ground: 319 whilst the other gods feasted on hecatombs, but to the daughter of mighty Jove alone he sacrificed not. Either he forgot, 320 or did not think of it, but he did greatly err in mind. But she, the daughter of Jove, delighting in arrows, enraged, sent against [him] a sylvan wild boar, with white tusks, which did much detriment, as is the wont [of boars], to the land of Œneus. And many tall trees, one after another, did he prostrate on the ground, with their very roots and the blossom of their fruit. But him Meleager, son of Œneus, slew, assembling huntsmen and dogs from many cities; for he would not have been subdued by a few mortals: so mighty was he, and he caused many to ascend the sad funeral-pile. Still she (Diana) excited around him 321 a great tumult and war between the Curetes and magnanimous Ætolians, for the head and bristly skin of the boar. 322 Whilst warlike Meleager fought, so long were the Curetes unsuccessful; nor were they able, although numerous, to remain without the wall. But when wrath, which swells the minds of others, though very prudent, within their breasts, came upon Meleager, for, enraged at heart with his dear mother Althæa, he remained inactive beside his wedded wife, fair Cleopatra, daughter of Marpessa, the handsome-footed child of Evenus and Idas, who was then the bravest of earthly men, and even lifted a bow against king Phœbus Apollo, for the sake of his fair-ankled spouse. Her [Cleopatra] then her father and venerable mother in the palace were accustomed to call by the surname of Alcyone, because her mother, having the plaintive note of sad Alcyone, 323 lamented when far-darting Phœbus Apollo stole her away. Beside her he [Meleager] remained inactive, brooding 324 over his sad anger, enraged because of the curses of his mother, who, much grieving, prayed to the gods on account of the murder of her brethren. 325 Often with her hands did she strike the fruitful earth, calling upon Pluto and dread Proserpine, reclining upon her knees, whilst her bosom was bedewed with tears, to give death to her son: but her the Erinnys, wandering in gloom, possessing an implacable heart, heard from Erebus. Then immediately was there noise and tumult of these 326 excited round the gates, the towers being battered. Then did the elders of the Ætolians entreat him, and sent chosen priests to the gods, that he would come forth and defend them, promising a great gift. Where the soil of fertile Calydon was richest, there they ordered him to choose a beautiful enclosure of fifty acres; the one half, of land fit for vines, to cut off the other half of plain land, free from wood, for tillage. Much did aged Œneus, breaker of steeds, beseech him, having ascended to the threshold of his lofty-roofed chamber, shaking the well-glued door-post, supplicating his son. And much also his sisters and venerable mother entreated him, but he the more refused; and much [prayed] the companions who were dearest and most friendly of all; but not even thus did they persuade the soul within his breast, until his chamber was violently assailed, and the Curetes were in the act of scaling the ramparts, and firing the great city. Then indeed at length his fair-girdled spouse, weeping, supplicated Meleager, and recounted all the disasters, as many as happen to men whose city may be taken. In the first place, they slay the men, 327 whilst fire reduces the city to ashes; and others carry off the children and deep-zoned women. Then was his soul disturbed when he heard of evil deeds, and he hasted to go and gird the all-glittering armour around his body. Thus he repelled the evil day from the Ætolians, yielding to his own inclination; but they did not make good to him the many and pleasing gifts; but he nevertheless warded off evil. But revolve not such things within thy mind, O my friend, nor let the deity 328 thus turn thee, since it would be more dishonourable to assist the ships [when already] set on fire. Rather come for the gifts, for the Greeks will honour thee equally with a god. If again without gifts thou enter the man-destroying battle, thou wilt not receive equal honour, although warding off the war.”

But him swift-footed Achilles, answering, addressed: “Phœnix, respected father, old man, Jove-nurtured, to me there is no need of this honour, for I conceive that I have been honoured by the behest of Jove, which will detain me at the crooked ships whilst breath remains in my bosom, and my knees have the power of motion. But I will tell thee something else, and do thou revolve it in thy mind. Disturb not my soul, weeping and lamenting, gratifying the hero Atrides; it is not at all necessary that thou love him, that thou mayest not be hated by me, who love thee. It is proper for thee with me to give annoyance to him who hath annoyed me. Rule equally with me, and receive my honour in half. 329 These will bear back my message; but do thou, remaining here, recline upon a soft bed, and with morn appearing let us consult whether we shall return to our native land or remain.”

Footnote 314: (return) See, however, Buttm. Lexil. p. 510, sqq., who considers that τηλύγετος simply means “tenderly beloved; only that it is a more forcible expression for this idea, as is evident from the bad sense in which the word is used at II. v. 470, where the meaning of a child spoiled by the love of its parents is evident.”

Footnote 315: (return) I.e. I reared thee to thy present age. Lit. “I made thee so great.”

Footnote 316: (return) If any one should despise these natural details as trifling and beneath the dignity of poetry, I can only recommend a comparison with Æsch. Choeph. 750, sqq., and Shakspeare’s nurse in “Romeo and Juliet.” In such passages, the age of the supposed speaker is the best apology for the poet.

Footnote 317: (return) See Duport, Gnom. Hom. p. 57.

Footnote 318: (return) Perhaps it was from this passage that Sterne took his sublime idea of the Recording Angel blotting out the oath which the Accusing Spirit had carried up to heaven.

Footnote 319: (return) Cf. Hesiod, Theog. 54. Μνημοσύνη, γουνοῖσιν ἐλευθῆρος μεδέουσα. Like οὖθαρ ἀρούρης, in ver. 141, it is an expression denoting excessive fertility.

Footnote 320: (return) So Xenoph. de Venat. § 1. Οἴνεως δ' ἐν γήρᾳ ἐπιλαθομένου τῆς ϑεοῦ. See an excellent sketch of the story in Grote, vol. i. p. 195, sqq. Cf. Hygin. Fab. clxxii.; Lactant. Arg. fab. Ovid. viii. 4; Antonin. Lib. Met. § 2.

Footnote 321: (return) I. e. the boar.

Footnote 322: (return) On the legend of this war, see Apollodor. i. 8, 2; Callimach. Ib. Dian. 216; Ovid, Met. viii. 260. A catalogue of the heroes who accompanied Meleager is given by Hyginus, Fab. clxxiii.

Footnote 323: (return) See Antonin. Liberal. Met. § 2. who follows Homer rather closely.

Footnote 324: (return) Literally, “digesting.”

Footnote 325: (return) See n. 2, p. 41, and on the death of Meleager, by his mother burning a fatal brand, Apollodor. i. c.; Zenobius Cent. Adag. v. 33; Anton. Lib. Met. § 2.

Footnote 326: (return) I. e. the Calydonians.

Footnote 327: (return) This catalogue of the horrors of war seems to have been in the minds of Sallust, Cat. § 51, and Cicero, Or. iv. in Catil.

Footnote 328: (return) Rudolf on Ocellus Lucan. p. 266, well observes, “Antiquissimis temporibus, quorum repetere memoriam possumus, δαίμων nihil aliud erat, quam deus. Horn. Od. γ, 165, 160; Il. γ, 420; II. λ, 791. Neque in eo vocabuli discrimen est, si aut prosunt hominibus, aut iis nocent; utroque enim modo δαίμονες dicuntur.” Kennedy and some of the translators have erred on this point.

Footnote 329: (return) I. e. καϑ' ἥμισυ. See Heyne.

He said, and in silence nodded to Patroclus from beneath his brows, that he should strew a thick bed for Phœnix, whilst they were meditating to withdraw as quickly as possible from the tent. But them godlike Telamonian Ajax addressed:

“O Jove-born son of Laertes, crafty Ulysses, let us go, for the object of our address appears not to me to be attainable, in this way at least, and we must report the message to the Greeks with all haste, although it be not good. They now sit expecting us; but Achilles stores up within his breast a fierce and haughty soul, unyielding; nor does he regard the friendship of his companions, with which we have honoured him at the ships beyond others. Merciless one! and truly some one hath accepted compensation even for a brother’s death, or his own son slain, whilst [the murderer] remains at home among his people, having paid many expiations: and the mind and noble soul of the other is appeased upon his having received compensation. But in thy breast the gods have put an unyielding and evil mind, for the sake of a maid only; whereas we now offer thee seven far excelling, and many other gifts beside them. Do thou then assume a propitious disposition; and have respect to thy house, for we are guests beneath thy roof from the multitude of the Greeks, and desire to be most dear and friendly to thee beyond all the Achæans, as many as they are.”

But him swift-footed Achilles, answering, addressed: “Most noble Ajax, son of Telamon, chief of the people, thou appearest to me to have said all this from thy soul, yet does my heart swell with indignation as often as I recollect those things, how the son of Atreus hath rendered me dishonoured among the Greeks, as if it were some contemptible stranger. But go ye, and carry back my message, for I shall not think of bloody war, before the son of warlike Priam, noble Hector, slaughtering the Greeks, shall reach the ships of the Myrmidons, and burn the ships with fire. But about my tent and black ship, however, I think that Hector, although eager, will desist from combat.”

Thus he spake; but they, each having seized a double goblet, having made libations, went back by the side of the fleet, and Ulysses led the way. But Patroclus gave orders to his companions and female domestics to strew, with all haste, a thick couch for Phœnix; and they, obedient, spread a bed as he desired,—sheep-skins, coverlets, and the fine fabric of flax: there lay the old man, and awaited heavenly Morn. But Achilles slept in the recess of his well-made tent; and beside him lay a lady, fair-cheeked Diomede, daughter of Phorbas, whom he had brought from Lesbos. And Patroclus on the other side reclined: and by him also lay fair-waisted Iphis, whom noble Achilles gave him, having taken lofty Scyros, a city of Enyeus.

But when they were within the tents of Atrides, the sons of the Greeks, rising one after another, received them with golden cups, and interrogated thus. And first the king of men, Agamemnon, inquired:

“Come, tell me, O Ulysses, much praised, great glory of the Greeks, whether does he wish to ward off the hostile fire from the ships, or has he refused, and does wrath still posses his haughty soul?”

But him much-enduring, noble Ulysses then addressed: “Most glorious son of Atreus, Agamemnon, king of men, he wills not to extinguish his wrath, but is the more filled with anger, and despises thee as well as thy gifts. He bids thee thyself consult with the Greeks, in what manner thou mayest preserve both the ships and the army of the Greeks, but has himself threatened, that with the rising dawn he will launch into the main his well-benched, equally-plied vessels. And he has declared that he would advise others also to sail home, since ye will not now effect the destruction of lofty Ilium; for far-resounding Jove hath greatly stretched forth his hand [over it], and the people have taken courage. Thus he spoke; and here are these who followed me, Ajax, and the two heralds, both prudent men, to tell these things. But aged Phœnix hath lain down there, for thus he ordered, that in the morning, if he chose, he might follow him in the ships to his dear father-land; but he will by no means carry him off against his will.”

Thus he spake; and they all became mute in silence, marvelling at his speech, for he harangued with great vehemence. Long were the sorrowing sons of the Greeks mute, till at length Diomede, valiant in the din of battle, addressed them:

“Most glorious son of Atreus, king of men, Agamemnon, would that thou hadst not supplicated the illustrious son of Peleus, offering countless gifts, for he is haughty even otherwise: 330 now again hast thou excited him much more to insolence. Let us, however, leave him alone, whether he go or remain, for he will fight again at that time when his mind within his breast urges, and the Deity incites him. But come, let us all obey as I shall advise: go now to rest, having satisfied your hearts with food and wine, for this is force and vigour. But when fair rosy-fingered morn has shone forth, draw up the infantry and cavalry with all haste before the ships, cheering them: and do thou thyself likewise fight in the foremost ranks.”

Thus he spake, but all the kings approved, admiring the speech of Diomede, the breaker of steeds. Having then offered libations, they departed each to his tent; there they lay down to to rest, and enjoyed the boon of sleep. 331

Footnote 330: (return) I am indebted to Milton.

Footnote 331: (return) Id.



Diomede and Ulysses, as spies, penetrate the camp of the Trojans by night, and first entrap and slay Dolon, who had set out on the same errand for the Trojans. Having obtained from him the desired information, they then attack the Thracians, and slay their king, Rhesus, while asleep. At the suggestion of Minerva, they then return to the camp.

The other chiefs, indeed, of all the Greeks were sleeping the whole night at the ships, overcome by soft slumber; but sweet sleep possessed not Agamemnon, the son of Atreus, shepherd of the people, revolving many things in his mind. As when the husband of fair-haired Juno thunders, preparing either an abundant, immense shower, or hail or snow, when the snow whitens the fields; or somewhere [preparing] the wide mouth 332 of bitter war; so frequently groaned Agamemnon in his breast from the bottom of his heart, and his mind was troubled within him. As often indeed as he looked towards the Trojan plain, he wondered at the many fires which were burning before Ilium, the sound of flutes and pipes, and the tumult of men. But when he looked towards the ships and army of the Greeks, he tore up many hairs from his head by the roots, 333 [enraged at] Jove who dwells aloft, and deeply he groaned in his noble heart. But this plan appeared best to him in his judgment; to repair first to Neleian Nestor, [and see] whether with him he might contrive some blameless counsel, which might be an averter of evil. Rising, therefore, he wrapped his coat around his breast, and beneath his smooth feet bound the beautiful sandals; next he threw around him the blood-stained skin of a huge, tawny 334 lion, stretching to his ankles, and grasped his spear. In like manner, a tremor possessed Menelaus, for neither did sleep rest upon his eyelids, [through fear] lest the Greeks should suffer aught, who on his account had come over the wide sea to Troy, waging daring war. First with a spotted leopard’s skin he covered his broad back; and next, lifting his brazen helmet, placed it upon his head, and grasped a spear in his stout hand. But he went to awaken his brother, who had the chief command of all the Greeks, and was honoured by the people like a god. Him he found by the prow of his ship, putting his bright armour around his shoulders; and arriving, he was welcome to him. Him first Menelaus, valiant in the din of war, addressed: “Why arm thus, my respected brother? Or whom dost thou urge of thy companions to go as a spy amongst the Trojans? In truth I very much fear that no one will undertake this deed, going alone through the dead of night to reconnoitre the enemy. Any one [who does so] will be bold-hearted indeed.”

Footnote 332: (return) Cicero pro Arch. § 5, “Totius belli ore ac faucibus.”

Footnote 333: (return) Or “one after another.” Schol.: ἐπ' ἀλλήλους, ἢ προῤῥίζους. See Merrick on Tryphiodor. 388; Alberti on Hesych. t. ii. p. 1029.

Footnote 334: (return) Or, “active, raging.” The other interpretation is, however, favoured by Virg. Æn. ii. 721: “Fulvique insternor pelle leonis.”

But him king Agamemnon, answering, addressed: “O Jove-nurtured Menelaus, need of prudent counsel [comes upon] both thee and me, which will protect and preserve the Greeks and their ships, since the mind of Jove is altered. Surely he has rather given his attention to the Hectorean sacrifices; for never have I beheld, nor heard a person who related, that one man has devised so many arduous deeds in one day as Hector, dear to Jove, hath performed upon the sons of the Greeks in such a manner, [although] the dear child neither of a goddess nor of a god. But such deeds hath he done as I conceive will long and for many a day be a cause of care to the Greeks; so many evils hath he wrought against the Greeks. But go now, call Ajax and Idomeneus, running quickly to their ships, but I will go to noble Nestor, and exhort him to arise, if he be willing to go to the sacred company 335 of guards and give orders; for to him will they most attentively listen, because his son commands the guards, along with Meriones, the armour-bearer of Idomeneus; for to them we intrusted the chief charge.”

Footnote 335: (return) Some picked troop chosen for the especial purpose of keeping watch. Heyne compares Σ, 504: ἱερὸς κύκλος; Ω, 681: λαθὼν ἱεροὺς πυλαωρούς. Compare, also, the ἱερὸς λόχος of the Thebans, Plutarch, in Pelop. t. i. p. 285; E. Athen. xiii. p. 561.

But him Menelaus, valiant in the din of war, then answered: “In what manner dost thou command and exhort me in thy speech? Shall I remain there with them, waiting till thou come, or shall I run back again to thee, after I have duly given them orders?”

But him, in turn, Agamemnon, king of men, addressed: “Wait there, lest, as we come, we miss 336 one another; for there are many ways through the camp. But shout aloud whithersoever thou goest, and enjoin them to be watchful, accosting each man by a name from his paternal race, 337 honourably addressing all; nor be thou haughty in thy mind. Nay, let even us ourselves labour, whatever be our station, so heavy a calamity hath Jove laid upon us at our birth.”

Thus saying, he dismissed his brother, having duly charged him. But he hastened to go to Nestor, the shepherd of the people. Him he found on his soft couch beside his tent and black ship, and by him lay his variegated arms, a shield, two spears, and a glittering helmet: beside him also lay a flexible belt, with which the old man girded himself, when he was arming for man-destroying war, leading on his people; since he by no means yielded to sad old age. Being supported on his elbow, 338 and lifting up his head, he addressed the son of Atreus, and questioned him in [these] words:

Footnote 336: (return) Buttmann, Lexil. p. 85, comes to the conclusion that “we must include ἀθροτάζειν among the forms of άμαρτάνω, whose etymological connections, as long as we are ignorant of them, we can easily do without.”

Footnote 337: (return) Instances of this complimentary style of address occur in ver. 144. Διογενὲς Λαερτιάδη. 86: Νέστορ Νηληϊάδη.

Footnote 338: (return) Cf. Propert. 1. 3, 34. “Sic ait in molli fixa toro cubitum.”

“Who art thou who comest thus alone by the ships, along the army, during the gloomy night, when other mortals are asleep? Whether seeking any of the guards, or any of thy companions? Speak, nor approach me in silence; of what is there need to thee?”

But him Agamemnon, king of men, then answered: “O Nestor, son of Neleus, great glory of the Greeks, thou wilt recognize Agamemnon, the son of Atreus, whom beyond all Jove hath plunged into toils continually, whilst breath remains in my breast, or my knees have the power of motion. I wander 339 thus, because sweet sleep sits not on mine eyes, but war and the calamities of the Greeks are my care. For I greatly fear for the Greeks, neither is my heart firm, but I am confounded. 340 My heart leaps without my breast, and my fair limbs tremble beneath. But if thou canst do aught (since neither doth sleep come upon thee), come, let us go down to the guards, that we may see whether, worn out by toil and [overpowered] 341 by sleep, they slumber, and are altogether forgetful of the watch. And hostile men are encamped near, nor do we at all know but that they perhaps meditate in their minds to engage even during the night.” 342

But him Nestor, the Gerenian knight, then answered: “Agamemnon, most glorious son of Atreus, king of men, assuredly provident Jove will not accomplish to Hector all those devices, which now, perhaps, he expects; but I think that he will labour under even more cares if Achilles shall but turn away his heart from heavy wrath. Yet will I willingly follow thee; and let us moreover incite others, both spear-renowned Diomede, and Ulysses, swift Ajax, and the valiant son of Phyleus. But if any one going, would call godlike Ajax, and king Idomeneus; for their ships are the farthest off, 343 and by no means near at hand. But I will chide Menelaus, dear and respected though he be, nor will I conceal, even if thou shouldst be displeased with me, since thus he sleeps, and has permitted thee alone to labour. For now ought he to labour, supplicating among all the chiefs, for a necessity, no longer tolerable, invades us.”

Footnote 339: (return) Æsch. Ag. 12: Εὐτ' ἂν δὲ νυκτίπλαγκτον ἔνδροσόν τ' ἔχω Ευνὴν ὀνείροις οὐκ ἐπισκοπουμένην Ἑμὴν, ϕόθος γὰρ ἀνθ' ὄπνου παραστατεῖ.

Footnote 340: (return) Cicero ad Attic, ix. 6: “Non angor, sed ardeo dolore; οὐδέ μοι ἦτορ ἔμπεδον, ἀλλ' ἀλαλύκτημαι. Non sum, inquam, mihi crede, mentis compos.”

Footnote 341: (return) Observe the zeugma, which has been imitated by Hor. Od. III. 4, 11: “Ludo fatigatumque somno.” Compare the learned dissertation on this subject by D’Orville on Chariton, iv. 4, p. 440, sqq. ed. Lips.

Footnote 342: (return) Æsch. Sept. c. Th. 28: Λέγει μεγίστην προσζολὴν Ἀχαΐδα Νυκτηγορεῖσθαι κἀπιθουλεύειν πόλει.

Footnote 343: (return) Soph. Aj. 3: Καὶ νῦν ἐπὶ sκηναῖϛ σε ναυτικαῖϛ ὁρῶ Αἴαντος, ἔνθα τάξιν ἐσχάτην ἔχει.

But him Agamemnon, king of men, in turn addressed: “Old man, at other times I would even bid thee blame him, for he is frequently remiss, and is not willing to labour, yielding neither to sloth, nor thoughtlessness of mind, but looking to me, and awaiting my commencement. But now he arose long before me, and stood beside me; him I have sent before to call those whom thou seekest. But let us go, and we shall find them before the gates among the guards; for there I bade them be assembled.”

But him the Gerenian knight Nestor then answered: “If so, none of the Greeks will be angry, nor disobey when he may exhort or give orders to any.”

Thus saying, he put on his tunic around his breast, and beneath his shining feet he placed the beautiful sandals, and fastened about him his purple cloak with a clasp, double, ample; 344 and the shaggy pile was thick upon it: and he seized a doughty spear, pointed with sharp brass. He proceeded first to the ships of the brazen-mailed Achæans; then the Gerenian knight Nestor, vociferating, aroused from his sleep Ulysses, equal to Jove in counsel. But the voice immediately penetrated his mind, and he came out from the tent, and addressed them:

“Why, I pray, wander ye thus alone through the ambrosial night, near the ships, through the army; what so great necessity now comes upon you?”

Footnote 344: (return) Schol.: Τὴν μεγάλην, ωστε καὶ διπλῇ αὐτή χρώμενον ἔχειν ἐκτεταμένην. The epithet φοινικόεσσα denotes that it was the garb of royalty.

But him Nestor, the Gerenian knight, then answered: “Jove-sprung son of Laertes, much-scheming Ulysses, be not indignant, for so great a sorrow hath oppressed the Greeks. But follow, that we may arouse even another, whomsoever it is fit, to deliberate whether to fly or fight.”

Thus he spake, and much-counselling Ulysses returning into his tent, flung around his shoulders his variegated shield, and followed them. But they proceeded to Diomede, the son of Tydeus, and him they found without, before his tent, with his arms; and his companions slept around him. Beneath their heads they had their shields, and their spears were fixed erect upon the nether point; 345 and afar off glittered the brass, like the lightning of father Jove. The hero himself however slumbered, and beneath him was strewed the hide of a wild bull; but under his head was spread a splendid piece of tapestry. Standing by him, the Gerenian knight Nestor awoke him, moving him on the heel with his foot, 346 he roused him, and upbraided [him] openly:

“Arise, son of Tydeus, why dost thou indulge in sleep all night? Hearest thou not how the Trojans are encamped upon an eminence in the plain near the ships, and that now but a small space keeps them off?”

Footnote 345: (return) Σαυρωτῆροι' τοῖς στύραξιν τῶν οπίσω τῶν δοράτων. Hesychius, who also, with reference to the present passage, has Σαυρωτῆρος' τοῦ σιδηρίου. Pollux, x. 31, well explains it, τὸ τοῦ δόρατος ἰστάμενον It is also called στύραξ and στυρά.

Footnote 346: (return) Not “calce pedis movens.” See Kennedy.

Thus he spoke: but he leaped up very quickly from slumber, and addressing him, spoke winged words:

“Indefatigable art thou, old man: never, indeed, dost thou cease from labour. Are there not even other younger sons of the Greeks, who, going about in every direction, might arouse each of the kings? But, O old man, thou art impossible to be wearied.”

But him then the Gerenian knight Nestor in turn addressed: “Truly, my friend, thou hast spoken all these things aright. I have to be sure blameless sons, and I have numerous troops, some of whom indeed, going round, might give the summons. But a very great necessity hath oppressed the Greeks, and now are the affairs of all balanced on a razor’s edge 347, whether there be most sad destruction to the Greeks, or life. Yet go now, since thou art younger, arouse swift Ajax, and the son of Phyleus, if thou hast pity on me.”

Footnote 347: (return) Herodot. vii. 11: Επὶ ξυροῦ γὰp τῆς ἀκμῆς ἔχεται ἡμῖν τα πράγματα. Soph. Antig. 996: Φρόνει βεζὼς αὖ νῦν ἐπὶ ξυροῦ τύνη. Theocrit. xxii. 6: Ἀνθρώπων σωτῆρες ἐπὶ ξυοοῦ ἤδη ἐόντων.

Thus he spake; but the other threw around his shoulders the skin of a huge tawny lion, reaching to his feet, and took his spear. He hastened forth, and the hero, having aroused the rest, led them thence.

But when they now came to the assembled guards, they found not the leaders of the guards slumbering, but all were sitting vigilantly with their arms. As dogs with care keep watch around the sheep in a fold, hearing the furious wild beast, which comes through the wood from the mountains, but much clamour of men and dogs is against it, and sleep is utterly lost to them; so was sweet slumber lost to their eyelids, keeping guard during the sad night, for they were ever turned towards the plain, whensoever they heard the Trojans advancing. But the old man seeing them, rejoiced, and encouraged them with a speech, and addressing them, spoke winged words:

“Thus now, dear children, keep watch; nor let sleep seize upon any, lest we become a mockery to the enemy.”

Thus saying, he crossed the trench; and with him followed the chiefs of the Greeks, as many as had been summoned to the council. Along with these went Meriones, and the illustrious son of Nestor; for they had invited them, that they might consult with them. Having therefore passed over the dug trench, they sat down in a clear space, where a piece of ground appeared free from fallen dead bodies, whence impetuous Hector had turned back, having destroyed the Greeks, when night at length enveloped them. There sitting down, they addressed words to each other, and to them the Gerenian knight Nestor began discourse:

“O friends, would not now some man put such confidence in his own daring mind as to go against the magnanimous Trojans, if perchance he might take some of the enemy straying in the outskirts of the camp, or perhaps even learn some report among the Trojans, what they deliberate among themselves; whether they intend to remain here by the ships at a distance, or are about to return to the city, since they have subdued the Greeks? Could he but hear all this, and come back to us unscathed, great glory would be his under heaven amongst all men, and he shall have a good reward. For as many chiefs as command the vessels, of all these each will give a black sheep, a ewe, having a lamb at its udders; to which indeed no possession will be like; and he will ever be present at our banquets and feasts.”

Thus he spoke; and they were all mute in silence; but to them Diomede, valiant in the din of battle, said:

“Nestor, my heart and gallant spirit urge me to enter the camp of the hostile Trojans, which is near; but if some other man were to go along with me, there would be more pleasure, and it would be more encouraging. For when two go together, the one perceives before the other how the advantage may be. But if one being alone should observe anything, his perception is nevertheless more tardy, and his judgment weak.”

Thus he spoke: and the greater number wished to follow Diomede. The two Ajaces wished it, servants of Mars; Meriones wished it; the son of Nestor very earnestly desired it; the spear-renowned son of Atreus, Menelaus, desired it; and hardy Ulysses was eager to penetrate the crowd of the Trojans; for ever daring was his mind within his breast. Among them, however, Agamemnon, the king of men, spoke:

“Diomede, son of Tydeus, most dear to my soul, select the companion whom thou desirest, the bravest of those who present themselves, since many are ready. Nor do thou, paying deference in thy mind, leave indeed the better, and select as follower the worse, through respect [for rank]; looking neither to family, nor whether one is more the king.”

Thus he spake, for he feared for yellow-haired Menelaus; but amongst them Diomede, brave in the din of battle, again spoke:

“If then ye now order me to select a companion myself, how can I now forget godlike Ulysses, whose heart is prudent, and spirit gallant in all labours; and whom Pallas Minerva loves. He following, we should both return even from burning fire, for he is skilled in planning beyond [all others].”

But him much-enduring, noble Ulysses in turn addressed: “Son of Tydeus, neither praise me beyond measure, nor at all blame, for thou speakest these things amongst Argives, who are acquainted with them already. But let us go, for night hastens on, and morn is at hand. The stars have already far advanced, and the greater portion of the night, by two parts, has gone by, but the third portion remains.”

Thus having spoken, they clad themselves in their terrible arms. To Diomede, Thrasymedes, firm in war, gave his two-edged sword, because his own was left at the ships, and a shield. Upon his head he placed his bull’s-hide helmet, coneless, crestless, which is called cataityx, 348 and protects the heads of blooming youths. And Meriones gave a bow, quiver, and sword to Ulysses, and put upon his head a casque of hide; and within, it was firmly bound with many straps; whilst without, the white teeth of an ivory-tusked boar set thick together on all sides fenced it well, and skilfully; and in the midst a woollen head-piece 349 was sewed. It Autolycus once brought from Eleon, the city of Amyntor, son of Hormenus, having broken into his large mansion. He gave it, however, to Amphidamas, the Cytherian, to bear to Scandea, and Amphidamas bestowed it upon Molus, to be a gift of hospitality, but he gave it to his son Meriones to be worn. Then at last, being placed around, it covered the head of Ulysses. But they, when they had girt themselves in dreadful arms, hastened to advance, and left all the chiefs at the same place. And to them near the way, Pallas Minerva sent a heron upon the right hand: they did not discern it with their eyes, because of the gloomy night, but heard it rustling. And Ulysses was delighted on account of the bird, and prayed to Minerva:

“Hear me, thou daughter of ægis-bearing Jove, who standest by me in all labours, nor do I escape thy notice, having moved. 350 Now again do thou, O Minerva, especially befriend me, and grant that, covered with glory, we may return back to the well-benched barks, having performed a mighty deed, which will surely occasion care to the Trojans.”

Footnote 348: (return) “The καταῖτυξ might be termed the undress helmet of the chief who wore it.”—Kennedy.

Footnote 349: (return) Or, “it was stuffed with felt.”—Oxford Transl. “Wool was inlaid between the straps, in order to protect the head, and make the helmet fit closer.”—Kennedy.

Footnote 350: (return) Soph. Aj. 18: Καὶ νῦν ἐπέγνως εὖ μ ἐπ' ἀνδρὶ δυσμενεῖ Βάσιν ευκλοῦντ'.

Then Diomede, brave in the din of battle, next prayed: “Now hear me, too, O daughter of Jove, invincible. Attend me, as once thou didst attend my sire, the noble Tydeus, to Thebes, what time he went as an ambassador for the Achæans; he left the brazen-mailed Achæans at the Asopus, and he himself bore thither a mild message to the Cadmæans: but when returning he performed many arduous deeds, with thy aid, O noble goddess, when thou propitious didst stand beside him. Thus now willingly stand by and protect me; and in return I will sacrifice to thee a heifer of a year old, with broad forehead, untamed, which no man hath yet brought under the yoke. This will I sacrifice to thee, encircling its horns with gold.”

Thus they spoke, praying; and Pallas Minerva heard them. But when they had supplicated the daughter of mighty Jove, they hastened to advance, like two lions, through the dark night, through slaughter, through bodies through arms, and black blood.

Nor did Hector allow the gallant Trojans to sleep; but he summoned all the chiefs together, as many as were leaders and rulers over the Trojans. Having summoned them together, he framed prudent counsel:

“Who, undertaking it for me, will accomplish this deed for a great reward? And there shall be sufficient payment for him; for I will give a chariot and two rough-maned steeds, which excel in speed at the swift sailing ships of the Greeks, to him whosoever would dare (he will also obtain glory for himself) to approach near the swift-sailing ships, and learn whether the fleet ships are guarded as formerly, or whether, now subdued by our hands, they meditate flight among themselves, nor wish to keep watch during the night, overcome with grievous toil.”

Thus he spoke; but they were all still in silence. But among the Trojans there was one Dolon, the son of Eumedes, a divine herald, rich in gold, and wealthy in brass, who in aspect indeed was deformed, but [was] swift-footed, and he was an only [son] among five sisters. Who then, standing by, addressed the Trojans and Hector:

“Hector, my heart and gallant spirit urge me to approach the swift-sailing ships, and gain information. But come, raise up thy sceptre to me, and swear that thou wilt assuredly give me the horses and chariot, variegated with brass, which now bear the illustrious son of Peleus, and I will not be a vain spy to thee, nor frustrate thy expectation; for I will go so far into the camp till I reach the ship of Agamemnon, where the chiefs will perchance be consulting whether to fly or fight.”

Thus he spoke; but he took the sceptre in his hand and swore to him: “Let Jove himself now be my witness, the loudly-thundering spouse of Juno, that no other man of the Trojans shall be carried by these horses: but I declare that thou shalt entirely have the glory of them.”

Thus he spoke, and indeed swore a vain oath; 351 nevertheless he encouraged him. Immediately he threw around his shoulders his crooked bow, and put on above the hide of a grey wolf, with a casque of weasel-skin upon his head; and seized a sharp javelin. And he set out to go from the camp towards the ships: nor was he destined to bring back intelligence to Hector, returning from the ships. But when now he had quitted the crowd of horses and men, he eagerly held on his way. But him godlike Ulysses observed advancing, and addressed Diomede:

Footnote 351: (return) “There is no necessity for supposing that Hector meditated any deceit. The poet contemplates the event, which frustrated his hopes, and rendered his oath nugatory.”—Kennedy.

“Hark! Diomede, a man comes from the camp; I know not whether as a spy upon our vessels, or to plunder some of the dead bodies. But let us suffer him first to pass by a little through the plain, and afterwards, hastily rushing upon him, let us take him. If, however, he surpasses us in speed, attacking him with the spear, let us continually drive him from the camp towards the ships, lest by chance he escape towards the city.”

Then having thus spoken, they lay down out of the pathway among the dead; but he, in thoughtlessness, ran hastily past. But when now he was as far off as is the space ploughed at one effort 352 by mules (for they are preferable to oxen in drawing the well-made plough through the deep fallow), they indeed ran towards him; but he stood still, hearing a noise; for he hoped within his mind that his companions had come from the Trojans to turn him back, Hector having ordered. But when now they were distant a spear’s cast, or even less, he perceived that they were enemies, and moved his active knees to fly; and they immediately hastened to follow. As when two rough-toothed hounds, skilled in the chase, ever incessantly pursue through the woody ground either a fawn or hare, whilst screaming it flies before; thus did Tydides and Ulysses, sacker of cities, pursue him ever steadily, having cut him off from his own people. But when now flying towards the ships, he would speedily have mingled with the watch, then indeed Minerva infused strength into Tydides, that none of the brazen-mailed Greeks might be beforehand in boasting that he had wounded him, but he himself come second; then gallant Diomede, rushing on him with his spear, addressed him:

“Either stop, or I will overtake thee with my spear; nor do I think that thou wilt long escape certain destruction from my hand.”

Footnote 352: (return) See the Scholiast, and Kennedy’s note.

He said, and hurled his spear, but intentionally missed the man. Over the right shoulder the point of the well-polished spear stuck in the ground. Then indeed he stood still, and trembled, stammering (and there arose a chattering of the teeth in his mouth), pale through fear. Panting they overtook him, and seized his hands; but he weeping, spoke thus:

“Take me alive, and I will ransom myself; for within [my house] I have brass, and gold, and well-wrought iron; from which my father will bestow upon you countless ransoms, if he shall hear that I am alive at the ships of the Greeks.”

But him much-planning Ulysses answering addressed: “Take courage, nor suffer death at all to enter thy mind; but come, tell me this, and state it correctly: Why comest thou thus alone from the camp towards the fleet, through the gloomy night, when other mortals sleep? Whether that thou mightst plunder any of the dead bodies, or did Hector send thee forth to reconnoitre everything at the hollow ships? Or did thy mind urge thee on?”

But him Dolon then answered, and his limbs trembled under him: “Contrary to my wish, Hector hath brought me into great detriment, who promised that he would give me the solid-hoofed steeds of the illustrious son of Peleus, and his chariot adorned with brass. And he enjoined me, going through the dark and dangerous 353 night, to approach the enemy, and learn accurately whether the swift ships be guarded as before, or whether, already subdued by our hands, ye plan flight with yourselves, nor choose to keep watch during the night, overcome by severe toil.”

Footnote 353: (return) Buttm. Lexil. p. 369: “I translate θοὴ νύξ by the quick and fearful night; and if this be once admitted as the established meaning of the Homeric epithet, it will certainly be always intelligible to the hearer and full of expression. ‘Night,’ says a German proverb, ‘is no man’s friend;’ the dangers which threaten the nightly wanderer are formed into a quick, irritable, hostile goddess. Even the other deities are afraid of her, who is (Il. Θ, 259) θεῶν δμήτειρα καὶ ἀνδρῶν; and Jupiter himself, in the midst of his rage, refrains from doing what might be νυκτὶ θοὴ ἀποθύμια. Nor is the epithet less natural when the night is not personified: for as ὀξεῖς καιροί are dangerous times, so by this word θοή it may be intended to mark the swiftness and imminency of dangers which threaten men who go διὰ νύκτα μέλαιναν.”

But him crafty Ulysses smiling addressed: “Assuredly thy mind aimed at mighty gifts, the horses of warlike Æacides; but these are difficult to be governed by mortal men, and to be driven by any other than Achilles, whom an immortal mother bore. But come, tell me this, and state correctly; where now, when coming hither, didst thou leave Hector, the shepherd of the people? Where lie his martial arms, and where his steeds? And how [stationed are] the watches and tents of the other Trojans? What do they consult among themselves? Do they meditate to remain there at a short distance from the ships, or will they return again to the city, since, forsooth, they have subdued the Greeks?”

But him Dolon, the son of Eumedes, again addressed: “Therefore will I indeed detail these things to thee very correctly. Hector, with those, as many as are counsellors, is deliberating upon plans at the tomb of divine Ilus, apart from the tumult: but for the watches of which thou inquirest, O Hero, no chosen [band] defends or watches the camp. But as many as are the hearths of fires among the Trojans, those at them are they to whom there is compulsion; 354 and they are both wakeful, and exhort one another to keep watch. But the allies, on the contrary, summoned from afar, are sleeping; for they commit it to the Trojans to keep watch, for their children and wives lie not near them.”

Footnote 354: (return) Construe, κατὰ τόσας μὲν πυρὸς ἐσχάρας, ὅσαι ἰισὶ Τρώων, οἵδε οἶσιν ἀνάγκη ἐστὶν, ἐγρηγόρθασι, κ. τ. λ.

But him much-planning Ulysses answering addressed: “In what manner now do they sleep: mingled with the horse-breaking Trojans, or apart? Tell me, that I may know.”

But him Dolon, the son of Eumedes, answered: “Therefore will I indeed detail these things also very correctly. On the one hand, towards the sea, [are] the Carians and Pœonians, armed with crooked bows, the Lelegans, and Cauconians, and noble Pelasgians. Towards Thymbra, on the other, the Lycians are allotted their place, and the haughty Mysians, the horse-breaking Phrygians, and the Mæonian cavalry 355 warriors. But why inquire ye of me these things separately? For if ye are now eager to penetrate the host of the Trojans, those Thracians lately arrived are apart, the last of all the others. And among them is their king Rhesus, son of Eioneus. And his horses are the most beautiful and largest I have seen. They are whiter than snow, and like to the winds in speed. And his chariot is well adorned with both gold and silver; and he himself came, wearing golden armour of mighty splendour, a marvel to behold; which does not indeed suit mortal men to wear, but the immortal gods. But now remove me to the swift ships, or, having bound me with a cruel bond, leave me here until ye return, and make trial of me, whether I have indeed spoken to you truly, or not.”

Footnote 355: (return) I.e. charioteers.

But him then valiant Diomede sternly regarding, addressed: “Think not within thy mind to escape from me, O Dolon, although thou hast reported good tidings, since thou hast once come into my hands. For if indeed we shall now release thee, or set thee at liberty, hereafter thou wouldst surely return to the swift ships of the Achæans, either in order to become a spy, or to fight against us. But if, subdued by my hands, thou lose thy life, thou wilt not ever afterwards be a bane to the Greeks.”

He said; and the other was preparing to supplicate him, taking him by the chin with his strong hand; but he, rushing at him with his sword, smote the middle of his neck, and cut through both the tendons; and the head of him, still muttering, was mingled with the dust. From his head they took the weasel-skin helmet, and the wolf skin, with the bent bow and long spear; and noble Ulysses raised them on high with his hand to Minerva, the goddess of plunder, and praying, spake:

“Rejoice, O goddess, in these, for thee, first of all the immortals in Olympus, do we invoke; but guide us likewise to the horses and tents of the Thracian men.”

Thus he said; and raising them high above himself, he hung them on a tamarisk-branch. But beside it he placed a conspicuous mark, pulling up handfuls of reeds, 356 and the wide-spreading branches of the tamarisk, lest they should escape their notice whilst they were returning through the dark and dangerous night. Then both advanced onwards through arms and black blood; and proceeding, they came immediately to the band of the Thracian heroes. But they were sleeping, overpowered with fatigue; and their beautiful armour lay upon the ground beside them, carefully in order, in three rows: and by each of them [stood] a yoke of horses. Rhesus slept in the midst, and beside him his swift horses were fastened by the reins to the outer rim 357 of the chariot. And Ulysses first observing, pointed him out to Diomede:

“This [is] the man, O Diomede, and these [are] the horses, which Dolon, whom we slew, pointed out to us. But come now, exert thy mighty strength; nor does it at all become thee to stand leisurely with thy armour. Loose therefore the steeds, or do thou slay the men, and the horses shall be my care.”

Footnote 356: (return) Συμμάρψας. Ernesti says: “Confregit leviter arundines, et addidit similiter confractis myricæ frondibus.”

Footnote 357: (return) Ernesti regards ἐπιδιϕριάδος as an adjective, with ἄντυγος understood.

Thus he spoke; but into him azure-eyed Minerva breathed valour, and he slaughtered, turning himself on every side, and a dreadful groaning arose of those smitten with the sword; and the earth grew red with blood. As when a lion, coming upon unprotected flocks of goats or sheep, rushes upon them, designing evils, so fell the son of Tydeus upon the Thracian men, until he had slain twelve. But much-counselling Ulysses—whomsoever Diomede standing beside struck with the sword—him Ulysses dragged backwards, seizing by the foot; meditating these things in his mind, that the fair-maned steeds should pass through easily, nor should tremble in spirit, treading on the corses; for as yet they were unused to them. But when now the son of Tydeus had reached the king, him, the thirteenth, he deprived of sweet life, panting; for by the counsel of Minerva an evil dream had stood over his head during the night, [in likeness of] the son of Œneus: but in the meantime patient Ulysses was untying the solid-hoofed steeds. With the reins he bound them together and drove them from the crowd, lashing them with his bow, because he thought not of taking with his hands the splendid lash from the well-wrought chariot seat; and then he whistled as a signal to noble Diomede. But he remaining, was meditating what most daring deed he should do; whether seizing the car, where lay the embroidered armour, he should drag it out by the pole 358 or bear it away, raising it aloft; or take away the life of more of the Thracians. Whilst he was revolving these things within his mind, Minerva in the meantime standing near, addressed noble Diomede:

“Be mindful now of a return to the hollow ships, O son of magnanimous Tydeus, lest thou reach them, having been put to flight; or lest some other god perchance arouse the Trojans.”

Footnote 358: (return) Understand κατὰ ῥυμοῦ.

Thus she spoke; and he understood the voice of the goddess speaking, and he quickly ascended the chariot. And Ulysses lashed on [the horses] with his bow, and they fled to the swift ships of the Greeks.

Nor did silver-bowed Apollo keep a vain watch. When he beheld Minerva accompanying the son of Tydeus, enraged with her, he descended into the vast army of the Trojans, and roused Hippocoön, a counsellor of the Thracians, the gallant cousin of Rhesus. And he, leaping up from sleep, when he beheld the place empty where the fleet horses had stood, and the men panting amidst the dreadful slaughter, immediately then wept aloud, and called upon his dear companion by name. A clamour and immeasurable tumult of the Trojans running together arose, and they looked with wonder at the marvellous deeds, which men having perpetrated, had returned to the hollow ships.

But when now they came where they had slain the spy of Hector, there Ulysses, dear to Jove, reined in his fleet steeds. But the son of Tydeus, leaping to the ground, placed the bloody spoils in the hands of Ulysses, and then ascended the chariot. And he lashed on the steeds, and both, not unwilling, fled towards the hollow ships, for thither it was agreeable to their minds [to go]. But Nestor first heard the sound, and said:

“O friends, leaders and rulers over the Greeks, shall I speak falsely, or say the truth? Still my mind impels me. The noise of swift-footed steeds strikes upon my ears. O that now Ulysses and gallant Diomede would immediately drive some solid-hoofed steeds from the Trojans! But greatly do I fear in mind lest these bravest of the Greeks suffer aught from the rude host of Trojans.”

Not yet was the whole speech uttered, when they themselves arrived. Then indeed they descended to the ground, and [their friends] rejoicing, saluted them with the right hand and kind expressions. But [first] the Gerenian knight Nestor asked them:

“Come, tell me, most excellent Ulysses, great glory of the Greeks, how took ye these horses? [Whether] penetrating the camp of the Trojans; or did some god, meeting, supply you with them? They are very like unto the rays of the sun. I indeed always mingle with the Trojans, nor can I say that I remain at the ships, although being an old warrior: yet have I never beheld nor remarked such horses, but I think that some god, meeting you, hath given them. For cloud-compelling Jove loves you both, and the daughter of ægis-bearing Jove, azure-eyed Minerva.”

But him crafty Ulysses answering addressed: “O Nestor, offspring of Neleus, great glory of the Greeks, a god indeed, if willing, could easily have given better horses even than these, since they (the gods) are much more powerful. But those steeds about which thou inquirest, old man, are Thracian, lately arrived, and valiant Diomede slew their lord, and beside him twelve companions, all of the bravest. The thirteenth, a spy, we killed, near the ships, whom Hector sent forth, and the other illustrious Trojans, to be a spy, forsooth, [of our army].”

Thus saying, he drove the solid-hoofed steeds across the ditch, exulting, and with him went the other Greeks rejoicing. But when they came to the well-constructed tent of Diomede, they tied the steeds by the skilfully-cut reins to the horses’ stall, where stood the swift-footed steeds of Diomede, eating sweet corn. In the stern of his vessel Ulysses laid the bloody spoils of Dolon, until they could present them as a sacred gift to Minerva. Then having gone into the sea, they washed off the abundant sweat from around their legs, their neck, and thighs. But when the wave of the sea had washed away the abundant sweat from their bodies, and they were refreshed in their dear heart, entering the well-polished baths, they bathed. But having bathed and anointed themselves with rich oil, they sat down to a repast; and drawing forth sweet wine from a full bowl, they poured it out in libation to Minerva.



Agamemnon distinguishes himself, but, being wounded, retires from the field. Diomede is wounded by Paris: Ulysses by Socus. Ajax and Menelaus then go to the relief of Ajax, and Eurypylus, who had joined them, is shot in the thigh by Paris, who also wounds Machaon. Nestor conveys Machaon from the field. Achilles sends Patroclus to the tent of Nestor, who exhorts Patroclus to engage in battle, assuming the armour of Achilles.

But Aurora was rising from her couch, from beside glorious Tithonus, that she might bear light to immortals and to mortals, when Jove sent forth fell Discord to the swift ships of the Greeks, bearing in her hands the portent of war. And she stood upon the huge 359 black ship of Ulysses, which was in the centre, to shout to both sides, as well to the tents of Telamonian Ajax, as to those of Achilles; who had both drawn up their equal ships at the very extremities, relying on their valour and strength of hands. There standing, the goddess shouted both loudly and terribly, in Orthian strain, 360 to the Greeks, and implanted mighty strength in the heart of each, to war and fight incessantly. And immediately war became more sweet to them, than to return in the hollow ships to their dear fatherland. Then the son of Atreus shouted aloud, and ordered the Greeks to be girded; and arrayed himself, putting on his shining armour. First he put upon his legs his beautiful greaves, fitted with silver clasps; next he placed around his breast a corslet which Cinyras once gave him, to be a pledge of hospitality. For a great rumour was heard at Cyprus, that the Greeks were about to sail to Troy in ships: wherefore he gave him this, gratifying the king. Ten bars indeed [of the corslet] were of dark cyanus 361, twelve of gold, and twenty of tin; and three serpents of cyanus stretched towards the neck on each side, like unto rainbows, which the son of Saturn hath fixed in a cloud 362, a sign to articulate-speaking men. Then around his shoulders he hung his sword, on which glittered golden studs; and a silver scabbard enclosed it, fitted with golden rings. Next he took up his shield, mortal-covering 363, variously wrought, strong, beautiful, around which were ten brazen orbs. Upon it were twenty white bosses of tin, and in the midst was [one] of dark cyanus. On it a grim-visaged Gorgon was placed as an ornament, looking horribly, and around [were] Terror and Flight. The belt was of silver, but round it a snake of cyanus was twisted, and there were three heads entwined, springing from one neck. Upon his head also he placed his helmet, adorned with studs on all sides, having four bosses, crested with horse-hair, and dreadfully nodded the tuft from above. He then took two strong spears, tipped with brass, sharp; and the brass of them glittered afar, even to heaven: and Minerva and Juno thundered above, honouring the king of Mycenæ, rich in gold.

Then indeed each gave orders to his own charioteer to hold there his horses in good order by the fosse; whilst they themselves on foot 364, arrayed with their armour, rushed forth; and an inextinguishable clamour arose before morning. And they 365 were marshalled in the foreground with the cavalry at the trench; the cavalry followed at a little interval; but the son of Saturn aroused a dreadful tumult, and sent down dew-drops, moist with blood, from the air above, because he was about to hurl many brave souls on to Hades.

On the other side, on the contrary, the Trojans [drew up] on a hill in the plain around both mighty Hector, blameless Polydamas, and Æneas, who, among the Trojans, was honoured by the people as a god; and the three sons of Antenor, Polybus, noble Agenor, and youthful Acamas, like unto the immortals. And Hector in the van carried his shield, equal on all sides. And as when a pernicious star makes its appearance from the clouds, at one time shining, and dark again hath entered the clouds; so Hector, giving orders, appeared now among the first, and now among the last; and he glittered all over with brass, like the lightning of ægis-bearing Jove.

Footnote 359: (return) Cf. Buttm. Lexil. p. 378, sqq.

Footnote 360: (return) I. e. shrill, at the full pitch of the voice. Cf. Æsch. Pers. Μολπηδὸν ηὐϕήμησεν, ὄρθιον δ' ἄμα Άντηλάλαξε.

Footnote 361: (return) I have retained this word, as we cannot ascertain what precise metal is meant.

Footnote 362: (return) Cf. Genes. ix. 13.

Footnote 363: (return) See Buttm. Lexil. p. 33.

Footnote 364: (return) Cf. Hesych. t. i. p. 1065, with Alberti’s note.

Footnote 365: (return) I. e. the chiefs.

And they,—as when reapers opposite to each other form swathes of wheat or barley along the field of a rich man, and the frequent handfuls fall,—so the Trojans and Greeks, rushing against one another, kept slaughtering: and neither thought of pernicious flight. And they held their heads equal in combat, and rushed on like wolves; whilst lamentable Discord, looking on, exulted: for she alone of the gods was present with them contending. But the other gods were not present with them, but sat quiet in their palaces, where beautiful mansions were built for each, along the summits of Olympus. All however blamed the Saturnian collector of dark clouds, because he wished to afford glory to the Trojans. But the sire did not regard them, but retiring by himself, sat down apart from the others, exulting in glory, looking both upon the city of the Trojans, and the ships of the Greeks, and the brightness of armour, and the slaying, and slain.

Whilst it was morn, and the sacred day was increasing, so long the weapons reached both sides, and the people fell. But at the time when the wood-cutter 366 has prepared his repast in the dells of a mountain, when he has wearied his hands hewing down lofty trees, and satiety comes upon his mind, and the desire of sweet food seizes his breast; then the Greeks, by their valour, broke the phalanxes, cheering their companions along the ranks. But Agamemnon first leaped forth, and slew the hero Bianor, the shepherd of the people, and then also his companion, Oïleus, the goader of steeds. For he then, leaping from the chariot, stood against him; but he (Agamemnon) smote him, as he was rushing straight forward, with his sharp spear, in the forehead; nor did the visor, heavy with brass, retard the weapon, but it penetrated both it and the bone, and all the brain within was stained with gore. Him then he subdued while eagerly rushing on. And Agamemnon, king of men, left them there with their bosoms all bare, for he had stripped off their tunics. Next he went against Isus and Anthipus, two sons of Priam, [the one] illegitimate, and [the other] legitimate, being both in one chariot, in order to slay them. The spurious [son] guided the chariot, whilst illustrious Antiphus fought. Them Achilles had once bound with tender osiers on the summits of Ida, taking them while pasturing their sheep; and had liberated them for a ransom. Then however the son of Atreus, wide-ruling Agamemnon, struck one upon the breast above the pap with his spear; and again he smote Antiphus beside the ear with his sword, and hurled him from his chariot. Hastening up, he despoiled them of their beautiful armour, recognizing them; for he had formerly seen them at the swift ships, when swift-footed Achilles brought them from Ida. And as a lion, returning to his lair, easily crushes the little fawns of the fleet hind, seizing them in his strong teeth, and deprives them of their tender life, whilst she, although she happen [to be] very near, cannot aid them; for a dreadful tremor comes upon herself; but hastening, she immediately flies through the thick oak groves and the forest, sweating, through the attack of the wild beast. Thus no one of the Trojans was then able to avert destruction from these, but they themselves were put to flight by the Greeks. Next [he attacked] Pisander and Hippolochus, brave in battle, the sons of warlike Antimachus, who having accepted gold from Paris, rich gifts, would not suffer them to restore Helen to yellow-haired Menelaus. His two sons, then, Agamemnon, king of men, seized, being in one chariot, for they drove their fleet horses together; for the splendid reins had fallen from their hands, and they were confounded. But the son of Atreus rushed against them like a lion, and they, on the contrary, supplicated [him] from the chariot:

“Take us alive, O son of Atreus, and thou shalt receive worthy ransoms. For many treasures lie in the houses of Antimachus, brass, gold, and variously-wrought iron. From these would our father give infinite ransoms, if he should hear that we were alive at the ships of the Greeks.”

Footnote 366: (return) Compare the similar allusion to rustic pursuits in xvi. 779, with Buttm. Lexil. p. 89.

Thus both weeping addressed the king with soothing words; but heard an unsoothing reply: “If indeed ye be the sons of warlike Antimachus, who once in an assembly of the Trojans, ordered that they should there put to death Menelaus, coming as an ambassador along with godlike Ulysses, and not send him back to the Greeks—now surely shall ye pay the penalty of the unmerited insolence of your father.”

He said, and hurled Pisander from his horses to the ground, striking him on the breast with his spear; and he was stretched supine upon the soil. But Hippolochus leaped down, whom next he slew upon the ground, having lopped off his hands with his sword, and cut off his neck; and it (the head) like a cylinder, he hurled forward, to be rolled through the crowd. These then he left there; and where very many phalanxes were thrown into confusion, there he rushed, and at the same time other well-greaved Greeks. Infantry slew infantry, flying from necessity, and horse [slew] horse, slaughtering with the brass (whilst the dust was raised by them from the plain, which the loud-sounding feet of the horses excited); but king Agamemnon, constantly slaying, pursued, cheering on the Greeks. And as when a destructive fire falls upon a woody forest, and the wind whirling carries it on all sides, whilst the branches fall with the roots, overwhelmed by the violence of the flame; so fell the heads of the flying Trojans, at the hand of Agamemnon, son of Atreus, and many lofty-necked steeds rattled their empty chariots through the ranks 367 of the battle, longing for their faultless charioteers; but they lay upon the earth, far more agreeable to the vultures than to their wives.

Footnote 367: (return) Literally, “the bridges,” i. e. the open spaces between the lines.

But Jove withdrew Hector out of the reach of weapons, of dust, of slaughter, blood and tumult, whilst Atrides pursued, loudly cheering on the Danai. [The Trojans] meanwhile rushed through the middle of the plain towards the wild fig-tree, near the tomb of Ilus, the descendant of ancient Dardanus, eager to reach the city; but Atrides still followed shouting, and stained his invincible hands with dusty gore. But when now they reached the Scæan gates and the beech-tree, there at length they halted, and awaited each other. Others, however, still fled through the middle of the plain, like oxen which a lion, coming at the depth of night, hath put tremblingly to flight—all, but to some one dreadful destruction is apparent; whose neck he first completely breaks, seizing it in his strong teeth; and then laps up both the blood and all the entrails: thus did the son of Atreus, king Agamemnon, follow them, always killing the hindermost; and they kept flying. Many fell prone and supine from their chariots, by the hands of the son of Atreus; for before [all others] he raged exceedingly with the spear. But when now he was about soon to reach the city and the lofty wall, then indeed the father both of men and gods, descending from heaven, seated himself upon the tops of Ida, of many rills. And he held the lightning in his hands, and aroused golden-winged Iris to bear his message:

“Come, swift Iris, deliver this message to Hector. As long as he may behold Agamemnon, the shepherd of the people, raging in the van, [and] destroying the ranks of men, so long let 368 him retreat, and let him exhort the rest of the army to fight with the enemy during the violent contest. But when he (Agamemnon) shall have mounted his steeds, either smitten by a spear, or wounded by an arrow, then will I supply him with strength to slay, 369 until he reach the well-benched ships, and the sun set, and sacred darkness come on.”

Footnote 368: (return) Cf. ver. 204.

Footnote 369: (return) The Greeks.

Thus he spake; nor did rapid Iris, swift as the wind on her feet, disobey. But she descended from the mountains of Ida, towards sacred Ilium. She found noble Hector, son of warlike Priam, standing in the midst of the horses and well-joined chariots: and having approached, swift-footed Iris addressed him:

“Hector, son of Priam, equal in counsel to Jove, Jove hath sent me forward to deliver to thee this message: As long as thou seest Agamemnon, the shepherd of the people, raging amongst the van, [and] destroying the ranks of men, so long do thou abstain from combat, but exhort the rest of the army to fight with the enemy during the violent contest. But when he shall have mounted his steeds, either smitten with a spear, or wounded by an arrow, then will he supply thee with strength to slay, until thou reach the well-benched ships, and the sun set, and sacred darkness come on.”

Thus having spoken, swift-footed Iris departed. But Hector with his armour sprang from his chariot to the ground, and brandishing sharp spears, ranged through the army on every side, inciting them to fight, and stirred up the dreadful battle. They indeed rallied, and stood opposite to the Greeks; but the Greeks, on the other hand, strengthened their phalanxes. And the battle was renewed, and they stood front to front. But Agamemnon first rushed on, for he wished to fight far before all.

Tell me now, ye muses, possessing Olympian dwellings, who first, either of the Trojans or illustrious allies, now came against Agamemnon? Iphidamas, son of Antenor, both valiant and great, who was nurtured in fertile Thrace, the mother of flocks. Cisseus, his maternal grandfather, who begat fair-cheeked Theano, reared him in his house whilst yet a little boy: but when he had attained the measure of glorious youth, he there detained him, and gave him his own daughter. And having married her, he came from the bridal chamber, on the rumour of the Greeks, with twelve curved vessels which followed him. The equal ships indeed he afterwards left at Percote, but he, proceeding on foot, had arrived at Troy; and he it was who then came against Agamemnon, the son of Atreus. When these, advancing against each other, were now near, the son of Atreus on his part missed, and his spear was turned aside. But Iphidamas smote him upon the belt, under the corslet; and he put his strength to it, relying on his strong hand. Yet he pierced not the flexible belt, but meeting with the silver long before, the point was turned like lead. Then indeed wide-ruling Agamemnon, seeing it in his hand, pulled it towards him, exasperated, like a lion, and plucked it from his hand; and he smote him on the neck with his sword, and relaxed his limbs. Thus he, unhappy, while aiding his citizens, falling there, slept a brazen sleep, away from his lawful virgin wife, whose charms he had not yet known, although he had given many presents [for her]. 370 First he gave a hundred oxen, and then he promised a thousand goats and sheep together, which were pastured for him in countless numbers. Him Agamemnon, son of Atreus, at that time stripped [of his arms], and went through the army of the Greeks, bearing his rich armour. Whom when Coon, 371 the eldest born of Antenor, conspicuous amongst men, then beheld, violent grief darkened his eyes, for his brother having fallen, and he stood aside with his spear, escaping the notice of noble Agamemnon. And he wounded him in the middle of the arm, below the elbow, and the point of the shining spear passed right through to the other side. Then indeed Agamemnon, the king of men, shuddered; but not even thus did he abstain from battle or from war, but he rushed upon Coon, holding his wind-nurtured spear. 372 He on his part was eagerly dragging by the foot Iphidamas his brother, and begotten by the same father, and was calling upon every brave man, when [Agamemnon] wounded him with his polished brazen spear below the bossy shield, whilst dragging him through the crowd, and relaxed his limbs; and, standing beside him, cut off his head over Iphidamas. There the sons of Antenor, fulfilling their destiny at the hands of the king, the son of Atreus, descended to the abode of Hades. But he was ranging about through the ranks of other men, with his spear, his sword, and huge stones, whilst the warm blood yet oozed from his wound. When, however, the wound grew dry, and the blood ceased [to flow], sharp pains possessed the strength of Atreus’s son. And as when the sharp pang seizes a woman in travail, piercing, which the Ilithyiæ, daughters of Juno, who preside over childbirth, send forth, keeping bitter pangs in their possession; so did sharp anguish enter the strength of the son of Atreus. And he sprang into his chariot, and ordered his charioteer to drive on to the hollow ships; for he was tortured at heart. And vociferating, he shouted aloud to the Greeks:

“O friends, leaders, and rulers over the Argives, repel ye now the severe battle from the sea-traversing barks, since provident Jove does not permit me to combat all day with the Trojans.”

Footnote 370: (return) On this custom, cf. ix. 146, xviii. 593.

Footnote 371: (return) The name and fate of this hero unclassically remind us of the “gone coon” of American celebrity, immortalized in the “at homes” of the late Charles Matthews.

Footnote 372: (return) “The Scholiasts and Eustathius explain this epithet by the received opinion that trees in exposed situations are usually the strongest and most vigorous from their frequent agitation by the wind.”—Kennedy.

Thus he spoke; and the charioteer lashed on the fair-maned steeds towards the hollow ships; and they, not unwilling, flew. They were covered with foam as to their breasts, and were sprinkled beneath with dust, as they bore the afflicted king apart from the battle. But Hector, when he observed Agamemnon going apart, exhorted both the Trojans and Lycians, shouting aloud:

“Ye Trojans, Lycians, and close-fighting Dardanians, be men, my friends, and be mindful of impetuous might. The bravest hero has departed, and Saturnian Jove has given great glory to me. But straightway urge your solid-hoofed horses against the gallant Greeks, that ye may bear off higher glory.”

Thus saying, he aroused the courage and spirit of each. As when perchance some huntsman should urge his white-toothed dogs against a rustic wild boar or lion; so Hector, the son of Priam, equal to man-slaughtering Mars, urged the magnanimous Trojans against the Greeks. He himself, having mighty courage, advanced among the first, and rushed into the battle, like unto a storm blowing from above, and which rushing down, stirs up the purple deep.

Then whom first and whom last, did Hector, son of Priam, slay, when Jove gave him glory? Assæus indeed first, and Autonoüs, and Opites, and Dolops, son of Clytis, and Opheltius, and Agelaus, and Æsymnus, and Orus, and Hipponoüs, persevering in fight. These leaders of the Greeks he then slew, and afterwards the common crowd; as when the west wind drives to and fro the clouds of the impetuous 373 south, lashing them with an impetuous blast, and many a swollen 374 billow is rolled along, whilst the foam is scattered on high by the far-straying blast of the wind; thus were many heads of the people subdued by Hector. Then indeed would there have been ruin; and inevitable deeds had been done, and the flying Greeks had fallen in flight into their ships, had not Ulysses encouraged Diomede, the son of Tydeus:

“Son of Tydeus, through what cause are we forgetful of impetuous might? But come hither, my friend, stand by me; for surely it will be a disgrace if indeed crest-tossing Hector take the ships.”

Him then valiant Diomede, answering, addressed: “I indeed will remain, and be courageous; although there will be little use 375 for us, since cloud-compelling Jove chooses to give glory to the Trojans rather than to us.”

Footnote 373: (return) Or “serenizing, causing a clear sky.” Heyne compares “albus notus,” in Horace. But see Kennedy.

Footnote 374: (return) Neuter of the Ionic adjective τρόϕις=μέγας, εὐτραϕής.

Footnote 375: (return) Hesychius: Ἦδος· ἡδονή, κα ὄϕελος.

He said, and hurled Thymbræus from his chariot to the ground, striking him with his spear upon the left pap; but Ulysses [slew] Molion, the godlike attendant of the king. These then they left, since they caused them to cease from war. Then both, advancing through the multitude, excited confusion; as when two boars, full of courage, rush upon the hounds; so they returning to the fight, cut down the Trojans; and the Greeks joyfully gained a respite, avoiding noble Hector. Next they took a chariot and two warriors, the bravest of the people, the two sons of Percosian Merops, who above all was skilled in augury, nor would permit his sons to march to the man-destroying war: yet did they not obey him, because the destinies of black death led them on. Them spear-renowned Diomede, the son of Tydeus, depriving of life and breath, despoiled of their splendid armour. And Ulysses slew Hippodamus and Hyperochus.

Then the son of Saturn, looking down from Ida, stretched for them the contest with equal tension, and they slaughtered one another. The son of Tydeus indeed wounded on the hip, with his spear, the hero Agastrophus, son of Pæon; for his horses were not at hand for him to take flight; but he had erred greatly in his mind, for his attendant kept them apart, whilst he rushed on foot through the foremost combatants, till he lost his life. But Hector quickly perceived it along the ranks, and hastened towards them, shouting; and with him followed the phalanxes of the Trojans. Diomede, brave in the din of battle, beholding him, shuddered, and immediately addressed Ulysses, who was near:

“Towards us is this great destruction, dreadful Hector, now rolled. But come, let us stand firm, and awaiting, repulse [him].”

He said, and brandishing his long-shadowed spear, hurled it, and smote him on the summit of the helmet on his head; nor, aiming did he miss. But brass wandered from brass, nor did it reach the white skin; for the threefold oblong helmet stopped it, which Phœbus Apollo had given him. Hector hastily retired to a distance, and was mingled with the crowd. And he (Hector) falling upon his knee, remained so, and supported himself with his strong hand against the earth, whilst dark night overshadowed his eyes. But whilst the son of Tydeus was following after the impulse of the spear far through the foremost combatants, where it was fixed in the earth, Hector, in the meantime, breathed again, and springing again into his chariot, drove into the crowd, and avoided black death. And valiant Diomede, rushing upon him with his spear, addressed him:

“Dog, thou hast escaped indeed death at present, although destruction approached near thee. Now again has Phœbus Apollo rescued thee, to whom thou art wont to offer prayers, advancing into the clash of spears. But I will assuredly make an end of thee, meeting thee again, if perchance any one of the gods be an ally to me. Now, however, I will go against others, whomsoever I can find.”

He said, and slew the spear-renowned son of Pæon. But Paris, the husband of fair-haired Helen, leaning against a pillar, at the tomb of the deceased hero, Dardanian Ilus, the aged leader of the people, bent his bow against the son of Tydeus, the shepherd of the people. Whilst he was removing the variegated corslet from the breast of gallant Agastrophus, the shield from his shoulders, and his heavy casque, he (Paris) in the meantime was drawing back the horn of his bow, and struck him on the broad part of the right foot, nor did the weapon escape in vain from his hand; and the arrow went entirely into the ground. And he, laughing very joyfully, sprang from his ambuscade, and boasting, spoke:

“Thou art struck, nor has the weapon escaped me in vain. Would that, striking thee in the lower part of the groin, I had deprived thee of life. Thus, indeed, would the Trojans have respired from destruction, who now are thrilled with horror at thee, as bleating goats at the lion.”

But him valiant Diomede, undismayed, addressed:

“Archer, reviler, decked out with curls, woman’s man, if now in arms thou wouldst make trial of me, hand to hand, thy bow should not avail thee, and numerous arrows 376 whereas now, having grazed the broad part of my foot, thou boastest thus. I regard it not, as though a woman had wounded me, or a silly boy: for idle is the weapon of an unwarlike, good-for-nothing man. From me, indeed, it is otherwise; for if one be touched but slightly, the weapon is piercing, and forthwith renders him lifeless; and the cheeks of his wife are furrowed on both sides, and his children are orphans; but crimsoning the earth with his blood, he putrefies, and the birds around him are more numerous than the women.”

Footnote 376: (return) Cf. iii. 39, sqq.; Hor. Od. i. 15, 13.

Thus he spoke; but spear-renowned Ulysses coming near, stood before him, and he (Diomede) sitting down behind him, drew the swift shaft out of his foot, and severe agony darted through his body. Then he leaped into his chariot, and commanded his charioteer to drive to the hollow ships; for he was grieved at heart. But spear-renowned Ulysses was left alone, nor did any of the Greeks remain beside him, as fear had seized upon all. Wherefore, groaning inwardly, he addressed his own mighty soul:

“Alas! what will become of me? Great would be the disgrace if I fly, alarmed at the multitude; but worse would it be if I were taken alone: but the son of Saturn hath struck the rest of the Greeks with terror. But wherefore does my spirit discuss these things with me? for I know that cowards indeed retire from the battle; but whosoever should be brave in combat, it is altogether necessary that he stand firmly, whether he be wounded, or wound another.”

Whilst he revolved these things within his mind and soul, the ranks of the shielded Trojans in the meantime came upon him, and enclosed him in the midst, placing [their] bane in the midst of them. As when dogs and vigorous youths rush against a boar on all sides, but he comes out from a deep thicket, sharpening his white tusk within his crooked jaws; on all sides they rush upon him, and a gnashing of teeth arises: but they remain at a distance from him, terrible as he is: so the Trojans did rush round Ulysses, dear to Jove. But he wounded above the shoulder blameless Deïopites, springing upon him with his sharp spear; and afterwards he slew Thoön and Ennomous. With his spear he next wounded Chersidamas, when leaping from his chariot, in the navel, below his bossed shield; but he, falling amid the dust, grasped the earth with the hollow of his hand. These indeed he left, and next wounded with his spear Charops, son of Hippasus, and brother of noble Socus. But Socus, godlike hero, hastened to give him aid; and approaching very near, he stood, and addressed him in these words:

“O illustrious Ulysses, insatiable in crafts and toil, to-day shalt thou either boast over the two sons of Hippasus, having slain such heroes, and stripped them of their arms, or else stricken by my spear, thou shalt lose thy life.”

Thus saying, he smote him upon the shield equal on all sides. The rapid weapon penetrated the shining shield, and was fixed through the curiously-wrought corslet, and tore off all the skin from his sides. But Pallas Minerva suffered it not to be mingled with the entrails of the hero. And Ulysses perceived that the weapon had not come upon him mortally, and retiring, he addressed [this] speech to Socus:

“Ah! wretch; very soon indeed will dreadful destruction overtake thee. Without doubt thou hast caused me to cease from fighting with the Trojans, but I declare that death and black fate shall be thine this day; and that, subdued beneath my spear, thou shalt give glory to me, and thy soul to steed-famed Pluto.” 377

Footnote 377: (return) Probably so called from the steeds (“inferni raptoris equos,” Claud. de Rapt. Pros. i. 1) by which he stole away Proserpine. See the Scholiast.

He said, and the other, turning again to flight, had begun to retreat, but whilst he was turning, he (Ulysses) fixed his spear in his back between the shoulders, and drove it through his breast. Falling, he made a crash, and noble Ulysses boasted over him:

“O Socus, son of warlike, horse-breaking Hippasus, the end of death has anticipated thee, nor hast thou escaped. Ah! wretch, neither thy father nor venerable mother shall close thine eyes for thee, dead as thou art, but ravenous birds shall tear thee, flapping about thee with dense wings: but when I die, the noble Greeks will pay me funeral honours.”

So saying, he plucked the strong spear of warlike Socus out of his flesh and bossy shield; and his blood gushed forth as he drew it out, and tortured his mind. But the magnanimous Trojans, when they beheld the blood of Ulysses, encouraging one another through the crowd, all rushed on against him; whilst he kept retreating backwards, and called to his companions. Thrice did he then shout as much as the head of mortal could contain, and thrice warlike Menelaus heard him exclaiming, and instantly addressed Ajax, being near:

“Most noble Ajax, son of Telamon, chieftain of the people, the cry of invincible Ulysses has come upon me, like to that, as if the Trojans were greatly pressing upon him, being alone, having cut him off in the sharp fight. Wherefore let us go through the crowd, as it is better to aid him. I fear lest being left alone amidst the Trojans, he suffer aught, although being brave, and there be great want [of him] to the Greeks.”

Thus speaking, he led the way, and the godlike hero followed along with him. Then they found Ulysses, dear to Jove; and around him followed the Trojans, like tawny jackals round an antlered stag when wounded in the mountains, which a man hath stricken with an arrow from the bowstring. Him indeed, flying, it escapes on its feet, as long as the blood is warm, and its knees have the power of motion. But when the swift arrow hath subdued it, the raw-devouring jackals destroy it in a shady grove among the mountains. Chance, however, brings thither the destructive lion: the jackals then fly in terror, and he devours. So at that time followed the Trojans, numerous and brave, round warlike, crafty Ulysses; but the hero, rushing on with his spear, warded off the merciless day. Then Ajax came near, bearing his shield, like a tower, and stood beside him; and the Trojans fled, terrified, different ways. In the meantime warlike Menelaus, taking him by the hand, withdrew [him] from the throng, till his attendant drove his horses near. But Ajax, springing upon the Trojans, slew Doryclus, son of Priam, an illegitimate son; and next wounded Pandocus. Lysander he wounded, and Pyrasus, and Pylartes. And as when an overflowing river comes down on the plain, a torrent from the mountains, accompanied by the shower of Jove, and bears along with it many dry oaks and many pines, and casts forth the swollen torrent into the sea; so illustrious Ajax, routing [them], pursued [them] along the plain, slaughtering both horses and men. Nor as yet had Hector heard it; for he was fighting on the left of the battle, on the banks of the river Scamander; for there chiefly fell the heads of men, and an inextinguishable clamour had arisen around mighty Nestor, and warlike Idomeneus. Among these did Hector mingle, performing arduous deeds with his spear and equestrian skill, and he was laying waste the phalanxes of youths. Nevertheless the noble Greeks would not have retired from the way, had not Paris, the husband of fair-haired Helen, disabled Machaon, the shepherd of the people, performing prodigies of valour, wounding him on the right shoulder with a triple-barbed arrow. For him then the valour-breathing Greeks trembled, lest perchance they should slay him, the battle giving way, and immediately Idomeneus addressed noble Nestor:

“O Neleian Nestor, great glory of the Greeks, come, ascend thy chariot, and let Machaon mount beside thee; and direct thy solid-hoofed horses with all speed towards the ships, for a medical man is equivalent to many others, both to cut out arrows, and to apply mild remedies.” 378

Footnote 378: (return) Scribonius Largus, Compos. Med. cc. “Neque chirurgia sine diætetica, neque hæc sine chirurgia, id est, sine ea parte quæ medicamentorum utilium usum habeat, perfici possunt; sed aliæ ab aliis adjuvantur, et quasi consumantur.” Where John Rhodius well observes: “Antiquos chirurgos Homerus Chironis exemplo herbarum succis vulnera sanasse memorat. Hunc et sectiones adhibuisse notat Pindarus Pyth. Od. iii. Neque ingeniorum fons Ιλ. Λ. τὸ ἐκτάμνειν omisit.” Cf. Celsus, Pref. with the notes of Almeloveen, and lib. vii. præf., where the chirurgical part of ancient medicine is amusingly discussed.

Thus he spoke, nor did the Gerenian knight Nestor disobey. Forthwith he ascended his chariot, and Machaon, the son of Æsculapius, blameless physician, mounted beside him; but he lashed on the steeds, and they flew not unwillingly towards the hollow ships, for there it was agreeable to their inclination [to go].

But Cebriones, sitting beside Hector, perceived the Trojans in confusion, and addressed him in [these] words: “Hector, we two are mingling here with the Greeks in the outskirt of evil-sounding battle, whilst the other Trojans are thrown into confusion in crowds, both their horses and themselves. Telamonian Ajax is routing them, for I know him well, for around his shoulders he bears a broad shield. But let us also direct our horses and chariot thither, where cavalry and infantry, having engaged in the evil strife, are slaughtering each other, and inextinguishable tumult hath arisen.”

Thus then having spoken, he lashed on the fair-maned steeds with his shrill-cracking lash. But they, sensible of the stroke, speedily bore the swift chariot through Trojans and Greeks, trampling on both corses and shields. With blood the whole axletree was stained beneath, and the rims around the chariot-seat, which the drops from the horses’ hoofs, and from the wheel-tires, spattered. But he longed to enter the crowd of heroes, and to break through, springing upon them. And he sent destructive tumult upon the Greeks, and abstained very little from the spear. Among the ranks of other men indeed he ranged with his spear, his sword, and with huge stones; but he shunned the conflict of Telamonian Ajax.

But lofty-throned Jove excited fear within Ajax, and he stood confounded, and cast behind him his shield of seven bulls’ hides. Panic-struck he retired, gazing on all sides like a wild beast, turning to and fro, slowly moving knee after knee. As when dogs and rustic men drive a ravening lion from the stall of oxen, who, keeping watch all night, do not allow him to carry off the fat of their cattle, but he, eager for their flesh, rushes on, but profits nought, for numerous javelins fly against him from daring hands, and blazing torches, at which he trembles, although furious; but in the morning he stalks away with saddened mind: so Ajax, sad at heart, then retired, much against his will, from the Trojans; for he feared for the ships of the Greeks. And as when a stubborn ass, upon whose sides 379 many sticks have already been broken, entering in, browses on the tall crop, but the boys still beat him with sticks, although their strength is but feeble, and with difficulty drive him out, when he is satiated with food, so then at length the magnanimous Trojans and far-summoned allies continually followed Ajax, the mighty son of Telamon, striking the middle of his shield with missile weapons. And Ajax, sometimes wheeling about, was mindful of impetuous might, and checked the phalanxes of the horse-breaking Trojans, but again he would turn himself to fly. But he prevented all from advancing to the swift ships, whilst standing himself between the Trojans and Greeks he raged impetuously. And spears hurled against him from daring hands, stuck, some indeed in his ample shield, and many, though eager to glut themselves with his flesh, stood fixed in the ground between, before they could reach his fair skin.

Footnote 379: (return) Such seems to be the force of ἀμϕίς.

Whom when Eurypylus, the illustrious son of Evæmon, perceived pressed hard with many darts, advancing he stood beside him, and took aim with his shining spear; and smote Apisaon, son of Phausias, shepherd of the people, in the liver, under the diaphragm; and immediately relaxed his limbs. And when godlike Alexander observed him stripping off the armour of Apisaon, he instantly bent his bow against Eurypylus, and smote him with an arrow upon the right thigh; and the reed was broken, and pained his thigh. Then he fell back into the column of his companions, avoiding fate, and shouting, he cried with a loud voice to the Greeks:

“O friends, leaders, and rulers over the Greeks, rallying, stand firm, and ward off the merciless day from Ajax, who is hard pressed with darts; nor do I think that he will escape from the dread-resounding battle. But by all means stand firm round mighty Ajax, the son of Telamon.”

So spake the wounded Eurypylus, and they stood very near him, resting their shields upon their shoulders, and lifting up their spears. But Ajax came to meet them, and turning about, stood firm, when he reached the body of his comrades. Thus they indeed combated like blazing fire.

In the meantime the Neleian steeds, sweating, bore Nestor from the battle, and conveyed Machaon, the shepherd of the people. And noble Achilles, swift of foot, looking forth, beheld him; for he stood upon the prow of his great ship, gazing at the severe labour and lamentable rout. Straightway he addressed Patroclus, his companion, calling [to him] from the ship; and he, hearing him within the tent, came forth, like unto Mars: but it was the beginning of misfortune to him. Him first the gallant son of Menœtius addressed: “Why dost thou call me, Achilles, and what need hast thou of me?”

But him swift-footed Achilles answering, addressed: “Noble son of Menœtius, most dear to my soul, soon I think that the Greeks will stand round my knees entreating, for a necessity no longer tolerable invades them. But go now, Patroclus, dear to Jove, ask Nestor what man this is whom he is carrying wounded from the battle. Behind, indeed, he wholly resembles Machaon, the son of Æsculapius, but I have not beheld the countenance of the man: for the horses passed by me, hastening onward.”

Thus he spoke, and Patroclus was obedient to his dear comrade, and hastened to run to the tents and ships of the Greeks.

But when they came to the tent of the son of Neleus, they themselves descended to the fertile earth, and Eurymedon, the attendant of the old man, unyoked the mares from the chariot; whilst they refreshed themselves from the sweat upon their tunics, 380 standing towards the breeze beside the shore of the sea, and afterwards, entering the tent, they sat down upon couches. But for them fair-curled Hecamede prepared a mixture, she whom the old man had brought from Tenedos, when Achilles laid it waste, the daughter of magnanimous Arsinoüs, whom the Greeks selected for him, because he surpassed all in counsel. First she set forward for them a handsome, cyanus-footed, well-polished table; then upon it a brazen tray, and on it an onion, a relish 381 for the draught, as well as new honey, and beside it the fruit of sacred corn. Likewise a splendid cup 382 near them, which the old man had brought from home, studded with golden nails. Its handles were four, and around each were two golden pigeons feeding, and under it were two bottoms. Another indeed would have removed it with difficulty from the table, being full; but aged Nestor raised it without difficulty. In it the woman, like unto the goddesses, had mixed for them Pramnian wine, and grated over it a goat’s-milk cheese with a brazen rasp, and sprinkled white flour upon it: then bade them drink, as soon as she had prepared the potion. But when drinking they had removed parching thirst, they amused themselves, addressing each other in conversation. And Patroclus stood at the doors, a godlike hero.

Footnote 380:(return) “Construe ἀπεψ· κατὰ τὸν ιδρῶχιτ. I.e. refreshed, cooled themselves, by standing in front of the breeze and drying off the perspiration with which their garments were saturated.”—Kennedy.

Footnote 381:(return) Probably the onion acted as a stimulant to drinking, as anchovies and olives are now used.

Footnote 382: (return) It was an ἀμϕικύπελλον. Cf. i. 584, and Buttm. Lexil. p. 93. There were two doves round each handle, making eight in all.

But the old man, perceiving him, rose from his splendid seat, and taking him by the hand, led him, in, and bade him be seated. But Patroclus, on the other side, declined, and uttered [this] reply:

“No seat [for me], O Jove-nurtured sage, nor wilt thou persuade me. Revered and irascible 383 is he who sent me forth to inquire who this man is whom thou leadest wounded; but even I myself know, for I perceive Machaon, the shepherd of the people. Now, however, in order to deliver my message, I will return again an ambassador to Achilles; for well dost thou know, O Jove-nurtured sage, what a terrible man he is; soon would he blame even the blameless.”

Footnote 383: (return) Or “respected,” as the Oxford translator renders it.

But him the Gerenian knight Nestor then answered: “But why indeed does Achilles thus compassionate the sons of the Greeks, as many as have been wounded with weapons? Nor knows he how great sorrow hath arisen throughout the army; for the bravest lie in the ships, smitten in the distant or the close fight. 384 Stricken is brave Diomede, the son of Tydeus, and wounded is spear-renowned Ulysses, as well as Agamemnon. Eurypylus also has been wounded in the thigh with an arrow; and this other have I lately brought from battle, smitten with an arrow from the bowstring: yet Achilles, being brave, regards not the Greeks, nor pities them. Does he wait until the swift ships near the sea, contrary to the will of the Greeks, be consumed with the hostile fire, and we ourselves be slain one after the other? For my strength is not as it formerly was in my active members. Would that I were thus young, and my might was firm, as when a contest took place between the Eleans and us, about the driving away some oxen, when, driving away in reprisal, I slew Itymoneus, the valiant son of Hypeirochus, who dwelt in Elis: for he, defending his cattle, was smitten among the first by a javelin from my hand, and there fell; and his rustic troops fled on every side. And we drove from the plain a very great booty, fifty droves of oxen, as many flocks of sheep, as many herds of swine, and as many broad herds of goats, one hundred and fifty yellow steeds, all mares, and beneath many there were colts. And these we drove within Neleian Pylus, at night towards the city; but Neleus was delighted in his mind, because many things had fallen to my lot, going as a young man to the war. But with the appearing morn, heralds cried aloud for those to approach to whom a debt was due in rich Elis; and the leading heroes of the Pylians assembling, divided [the spoil], (because the Epeans owed a debt to many); for we in Pylus, [being] few, were overwhelmed with evil. For the Herculean might, coming in former years, did us mischief, and as many as were bravest were slain. For we, the sons of illustrious Neleus, were twelve; of whom I alone am left, but all the rest have perished. Elated at these things, the brazen-mailed Epeans, insulting us, devised wicked deeds. But the old man chose for himself a herd of cattle and a large flock of sheep, selecting three hundred and their shepherds; for even to him a great debt was due in rich Elis: four horses, victorious in the race, with their chariots, which had gone for the prizes; for they were about to run for a tripod; but Augeas, king of men, detained them there, and dismissed the charioteer, grieved on account of his steeds. At which words and deeds the old man, being wroth, chose out for himself mighty numbers, and gave the rest to the people to divide, that no one might go away defrauded by him of his just proportion. We indeed accomplished each of these things, and were performing sacrifices to the gods through the city, when on the third day they all came at once, both the citizens themselves and their solid-hoofed steeds, in full force: and with them were armed the two Molions, being still youths, nor as yet very skilled in impetuous might. There is a certain city, a lofty hill, Thryoëssa, far away at the Alpheus, the last of sandy Pylus; this they invested, eager to overthrow it. But when they had crossed the whole plain, Minerva, hastening from Olympus, came to us by night as a messenger, that we should be armed; nor did she assemble an unwilling people at Pylus, but one very eager to fight. Still Neieus would not allow me to be armed, but concealed my horses, for he said that I was not at all acquainted with warlike deeds. Yet even thus was I conspicuous amongst our cavalry, even although being on foot; for thus did Minerva conduct me to battle. There is a certain river, Minyeïus, emptying itself into the sea near Arena, where we, the Pylian horsemen, awaited divine Morn, whilst the swarms of infantry poured in. Thence in full force, equipped in armour, we came at mid-day to the sacred stream of Alpheus. There having offered fair victims to almighty Jove, a bull to the Alpheus, and a bull to Neptune, but an untrained heifer to blue-eyed Minerva, we then took supper through the army by troops; and we each slept in our arms along the river’s stream. In the meantime the magnanimous Epeans stood around, desirous to lay waste the city; but a mighty work of Mars first appeared to them: for as soon as the splendid sun was elevated above the earth, we were engaged in the battle, praying to Jove and to Minerva. But when now the battle of the Pylians and Eleans began, I first slew a man, the warrior Molion, and bore away his solid-hoofed steeds: he was the son-in-law of Augeas, and possessed his eldest daughter, yellow-haired Agamede, who well understood as many drugs as the wide earth nourishes. Him advancing against [me], I smote with my brazen spear. He fell in the dust, and springing into his chariot, I then stood among the foremost combatants; but the magnanimous Epeans fled terrified in different directions when they beheld the hero fallen, the leader of their cavalry, he who was the best to fight. But I rushed upon them like unto a black whirlwind; and I took fifty chariots, and in each two men bit the ground with their teeth, vanquished by my spear. And now indeed I should have slain the youthful Molions, the sons 385 of Actor, had not their sire, wide-ruling Neptune, covering them with a thick haze, preserved them from the war. Then Jove delivered into the hands of the Pylians great strength, for so long did we follow them through the long 386 plain, both slaying them, and gathering up rich armour, until he had driven our horses to Buprasium, fertile in wheat, to the rock Olenia and Alesium, where it is called Colone: whence Minerva turned back the people. Then having killed the last man, I left him; but the Greeks guided back their swift steeds from Buprasium to Pylus; and all gave glory to Jove, of the gods, and to Nestor, of men. Thus was I, as sure as ever I existed, among men: but Achilles will enjoy his valour alone: surely I think that he will hereafter greatly lament, when the people have bitterly perished. O my friend, Menœtius did assuredly thus command thee on that day when he sent thee from Phthia to Agamemnon. For we being both within, I and noble Ulysses, distinctly heard all things in the halls, as he charged you: but we were come to the well-inhabited palace of Peleus, collecting an army through fertile Greece. There then we found the hero Menœtius within, as well as thee, and Achilles besides; but the aged horseman, Peleus, was burning the fat thighs of an ox to thunder-rejoicing Jove, within the enclosure 387 of his palace, and held a golden cup, pouring the dark wine over the blazing sacrifice. Both of you were then employed about the flesh of the ox, whilst we stood in the vestibule; but Achilles, astonished, leaped up, and led us in, taking us by the hand, and bade us be seated: and he set in order before us the offerings of hospitality which are proper for guests. But when we were satiated with eating and drinking, I began discourse, exhorting you to follow along with us. Ye were both very willing, and they both commanded you many things. Aged Peleus in the first place directed his son Achilles ever to be the bravest, and to be conspicuous above others; but to thee again Menœtius, the son of Actor, thus gave charge: ‘My son, Achilles indeed is superior in birth; but thou art the elder. And he is much superior in strength: but still do thou frequently suggest to him proper advice, and admonish and direct him, and he will surely be obedient in what is for [his own] good.’ Thus did the old man command thee; but thou art forgetful: but even now do thou mention these things to warlike Achilles, if perchance he may be obedient. Who knows if, advising him, thou mayest, with the gods’ assistance, arouse his mind? For the admonition of a friend is good. But if within his mind he avoid some prophecy, and his venerable mother has told him anything from Jove, let him at least send thee forth; and with thee let the other forces of the Myrmidons follow, if indeed thou mayest be some aid to the Greeks. Let him likewise give his beautiful armour to thee, to be borne into battle, if perchance the Trojans, assimilating thee to him, may abstain from the conflict, and the warlike sons of the Greeks, already afflicted, may respire; and there be a little respite from fighting. 388 But you, [who are] fresh, will, with fighting, easily drive back men wearied, towards the city, from the ships and tents.”

Footnote 384: (return) Cf iv. 540, for the distinction between βεϑλημένοι and οὐτάμενοι.

Footnote 385: (return) I. e. the reputed sons.

Footnote 386: (return) See Schol. Etym. M. s.v., and Alberti on Hesych. t, ii. p. 1247

Footnote 387: (return) Properly, the fence or barrier of the enclosure.

Footnote 388: (return) There are several different interpretations for this line: 1. Schneider explains it: “They have but short time to respire; for if not at once assisted, they will be destroyed.” 2. “Short will be the cessation from war.” 3. “A cessation, or breathing-time, from war, although short, will be agreeable.” 4. “Supply ‘may be’, and translate, ‘and that there may be a short breathing-time from the battle;’ although this last involves some tautology with the preceding line.”—Ed. Dubl.

Thus he spake, and he aroused the spirit within his breast; and he hastened to run to the ships to Achilles, the grandson of Æacus. But when now Patroclus, running, arrived at the ships of godlike Ulysses, where were their forum and seat of justice, and there the altars of their gods also were erected, there Eurypylus, the noble son of Evæmon, wounded with an arrow in the thigh, limping from the battle, met him. Down his back ran the copious sweat from his shoulders and head, and from the grievous wound oozed the black blood; nevertheless his mind was firm. Seeing him, the gallant son of Menœtius pitied him, and, grieving, spoke winged words:

“Alas! unhappy men, leaders and rulers over the Greeks, are ye then thus destined, far away from your friends and native land, to satiate the swift dogs at Troy with your white fat? But come, tell me this, O Jove-nurtured hero, Eurypylus, will the Greeks still at all sustain mighty Hector, or will they now be destroyed, subdued by his spear?”

But him prudent Eurypylus in turn addressed: “No longer, Jove-nurtured Patroclus, will there be aid for the Greeks, but they will fall back upon the black ships. For already all, as many as were once bravest, lie at the ships, stricken or wounded by the hands of the Trojans, whose strength ever increases. But do thou now, indeed, save me, leading me to my black ship; and cut out the arrow from my thigh, and wash the black blood 389 from it with warm water; then sprinkle upon it mild drugs, salubrious, which they say thou wert taught by Achilles, whom Chiron instructed, the most just of the Centaurs. For the physicians, Podalirius and Machaon, the one, I think, having a wound, lies at the tents, and himself in want of a faultless physician, and the other awaits the sharp battle of the Trojans upon the plain.”

Footnote 389: (return) Cf. Virg. Æn. x. 834: “Vulnera siccabat lymphis.” The manner in which this was done is described by Celsus, v. 26: “Si profusionem timemus, siccis lineamentis vulnus implendum est, supraque imponenda gpongia ex aqua frigida expressa, ac manu super comprimenda.” Cf. Athen. ii. 4.

But him again the brave son of Menœtius addressed: “How then will these things turn out? What shall we do, O hero Eurypylus? I go that I may deliver a message to warlike Achilles, with which venerable Nestor, guardian of the Greeks, has intrusted me: but even thus I cannot neglect thee, afflicted.”

He said, and having laid hold of the shepherd of the people under his breast, bore him to the tent, and his attendant, when he saw him, spread under him bulls’ hides. There [Patroclus] laying him at length, cut out with a knife the bitter, sharp arrow from his thigh, and washed the black blood from it with warm water. Then he applied a bitter, pain-assuaging root, rubbing it in his hands, which checked all his pangs: the wound, indeed, was dried up, and the bleeding ceased.



The Trojans assail the rampart, and Hector, despite an omen, which Polydamas interprets unfavourably, attacks and forces the gate, and opens a way to the ships.

Thus then at the tents the valiant son of Menœtius was healing the wounded Eurypylus: but the Greeks and Trojans kept fighting in masses; nor was the ditch of the Greeks destined to prove a barrier any longer, and the wide wall from above, which they had erected in defence of the ships; but they had drawn a foss around (nor had they given splendid hecatombs to the gods); that it enclosing within, might defend the swift ships and the great booty. But it was built against the will of the immortal gods, therefore it remained not perfect for any long period. 390 As long as Hector was alive, and Achilles indignant, and the city of king Priam unravaged, so long was the mighty wall of the Greeks firm. But when all the bravest of the Trojans were dead, and many of the Greeks were subdued, but others left surviving, when in the tenth year the city of Priam was sacked, and the Greeks went in their ships to their dear fatherland; then at length Neptune and Apollo took counsel to demolish the wall, introducing the strength of rivers, as many as flow into the sea from the Idæan mountains, both the Rhesus and the Heptaporus, the Caresus and the Rhodius, the Granicus and the Æsepus, the divine Scamander and the Simoïs, where many shields and helmets fell in the dust, and the race of demigod men. The mouths of all these Phœbus Apollo turned to the same spot, and for nine days he directed their streams against the wall; and Jove in the meantime rained continually, that he might the sooner render the walls overwhelmed by the sea. But the Earth-shaker [Neptune] himself, holding the trident in his hands, led them on; and then dispersed among the billows all the foundations of beams and stones which the Greeks had laid with toil. And he made [all] level along the rapid Hellespont, and again covered the vast shore with sands, having demolished the wall: but then he turned the rivers to go back into their own channels, in which they had formerly poured their sweet-flowing water. 391

Footnote 390: (return) Cf. Pseudo-Socrat. Epist. i. ολλοῖς δὲ πολλὰ καὶ τῶν ἄλλων εἴρηται ποιητῶν περὶ θεῶν' καὶ ὅτι τὰ μὲν κατὰ τὴν αὐτῶν βούλησιν πραττόμενα ἐπὶ τὸ λώϊον ἐκθαίνει, τὰ δὲ παρὰ θεὸν ἀλυσιτελῆ ὑπάρχει τοῖς πράξασι, where Duport, p. 72, thinks there is a reference to the present passage.

Footnote 391: (return) On the present state of the Troad, which appears, from physical facts, to justify the mythical description of Homer,—see Heyne and Kennedy. Compare Virg. Æn. ii. 610, sqq.; Tryphiodor. 566, sqq. and 680, sqq.

Thus were Neptune and Apollo about to act hereafter; but then the battle and clamour burned around the well-built wall, and the stricken joists of the towers resounded: but the Greeks, subdued by the scourge 392 of Jove, were detained, hemmed in at the hollow ships, dreading Hector, the furious cause of flight; for he fought, as formerly, equal to a whirlwind. And as when a boar or lion is occupied amongst the dogs and huntsmen, looking dreadfully with strength, and they, drawing themselves up in a square form, 393 stand against him, and hurl frequent javelins from their hands; but never is his noble heart alarmed, nor is he put to flight; but his courage proves his death. And frequently he turns round, trying the ranks of men; and wheresoever he has directed his attack, there the ranks of men give way: so Hector, going through the crowd, rolled along, inciting his companions to cross the trench. Nor did the swift-footed horses dare [it]; 394 but they loudly neighed, standing upon the precipitous brink; for the wide ditch affrighted [them], nor was it easy to leap across, [by standing] near, 395 or to pass it, for overhanging brinks stood round it on both sides, and beneath it was fortified with sharp palisades, which the sons of the Greeks had fixed, close-set and large, as a defence against hostile men. There a horse, drawing a swift-rolling chariot, could not readily enter, but the infantry eagerly desired it, if they could accomplish it. Then indeed Polydamas, standing near, addressed daring Hector:

Footnote 392: (return) Heyne compares Il. xiii. 812; Pseud.—Eur. Rhes. 37; Find. Pyth. iv. 390; Tryphiod. 596. The Scholiast on both passages, Hesychius, t. i. p. 1006, and the Schol. on Oppian. Hal. v. 282, suppose that the lightning is meant; but it is far better to understand, with Heyne, “terrore divinitus immisso.”

Footnote 393: (return) See Heyne, and Alberti on Hesych. t. ii. p. 1083.

Footnote 394: (return) Cf. Statius, Theb. x. 517:—

“——ut patulas saltu transmittere fossas

Horror equis; hærent trepidi, atque immane paventes

Abruptum mirantur agi.”

Footnote 395: (return) Understand ἐκ τοῦ σχεδὸν, “adstando prope ad fossæ oram, ut saltu facilius transilias.”—Heyne.

“Hector, and ye other leaders of the Trojans, and allies, unwisely do we drive our fleet steeds through the trench, which is very difficult to pass; since sharp palisades stand in it, and near them is the wall of the Greeks. Wherefore it is by no means possible for the cavalry to descend, or to fight, for it is a narrow place, where I think they would be wounded. For if indeed lofty-thundering Jove, designing evil, destroys the Greeks, but wishes to assist the Trojans, certainly I would wish this to take place even immediately, that the Greeks perish here inglorious, away from Argos. If, however, they rally, and a repulse from the ships take place, and we be entangled in the dug trench, I do not suppose that then even a messenger will return back to the city from the Greeks. But come, let us all be persuaded as I shall advise. Let the servants keep our horses at the trench, and let us, all on foot, clad in armour, follow Hector in a close body; but the Greeks will not withstand us, if indeed the end of destruction hang over them.”

Thus spake Polydamas; but the safe counsel pleased Hector; and immediately he leaped with his armour from his chariot on the ground. Nor did the other Trojans assemble on horseback, but dismounting, they rushed on, when they beheld noble Hector. Then each commanded his own charioteer to rein his steeds in good order there at the trench, and they, separating, drawing themselves up, and being arranged in five columns, followed along with their leaders. Some then went with Hector and illustrious Polydamas, who were most numerous and brave, and who were most resolutely desirous, having broken down the wall, to fight at the hollow ships. And Cebriones followed as a third; for Hector left another, inferior to Cebriones, with his chariot. Others Paris commanded, and Alcathous, and Agenor. The third band Helenus and godlike Deïphobus, two sons of Priam; but the third [commander] was the hero Asius, Asius son of Hyrtacus, whom fiery, tall steeds brought from Arisba, from the river Selleïs. But the fourth, Æneas, the brave son of Anchises, led; along with him were the two sons of Antenor, Archilochus and Acamas, well skilled in every kind of fight. But Sarpedon commanded the illustrious allies, and chose to himself Glaucus and warlike Asteropæus; for they appeared to him, next to himself decidedly the bravest of the rest: for he, indeed, excelled among all. When they then had fitted each other together 396 with interlaced ox-hide bucklers, they advanced, full of courage, direct against the Greeks, nor expected that they would sustain them, but that they would fall in flight into their black ships.

Then the other Trojans and far-summoned allies obeyed the counsel of blameless Polydamas; but Asius, son of Hyrtacus, leader of heroes, was unwilling to relinquish his horses and attendant charioteer, but with them advanced to the swift ships,—foolish! Nor was he destined to return again, borne on his steeds and chariot from the ships to wind-swept Ilium, having avoided evil destiny. For him unlucky fate first encircled from the spear of Idomeneus, the illustrious son of Deucalion. For he rushed towards the left of the ships, by the way in which the Greeks were returning from the plain with their horses and chariots. Thither he drove his horses and his chariot, nor did he find the gates closed 397 in the portal, or the long bar up, but the men held them wide open, that they might safely receive at the ships any of their companions flying from the battle. He designedly guided his steeds right onward in that way, and [his troops], shrilly shouting, followed along with him; for they supposed that the Greeks could no longer sustain them, but would fall in flight into the black ships—fools! for at the gates they found two very brave heroes, the magnanimous sons of the warlike Lapithæ, the one the son of Pirithous, gallant Polypœtes, the other Leonteus, equal to man-slaughtering Mars. These two then stood before the lofty gates, as tall oaks on the mountains, which abide the wind and rain at all seasons, remaining firmly fixed by their great and wide-spreading roots; so they too, trusting to their hands and strength, awaited mighty Asius coming on, nor fled. But the troops, lifting high their well-seasoned bucklers, advanced with loud shouting directly towards the well-built wall, round their king Asius, and Iämenus, and Orestes, Acamas, the son of Asius, Thoon, and Œnomäus. Hitherto indeed these, remaining within, were exhorting the well-armed Greeks to fight for the ships; but when they perceived the Trojans rushing against the wall, and confusion and flight of the Greeks arose, both darting out, fought before the gates, like unto wild boars, which await the approaching tumult of men and dogs in the mountains, and, advancing obliquely to the attack, break down the wood around them, cutting it to the root; and a gnashing of teeth arises from beneath, till some one, having taken aim, deprive them of life. So resounded the shining brass upon their breasts, smitten in front, for very valiantly they fought, trusting to the troops above, and to their own valour. But they hurled stones down from the well-built towers, defending themselves, their tents, and the swift-voyaging ships. And as snow-flakes fall upon the earth, which the violent wind, having disturbed the shady clouds, pours down thick upon the fertile soil; thus poured the weapons from the hands as well of the Greeks as of the Trojans; and the helmets and bossy shields, smitten with large stones, sounded drily around. Then indeed Asius, son of Hyrtacus, groaned, and smote both his thighs, and indignant exclaimed:

“Father Jove, surely now at least thou also hast become utterly deceitful; for I did not expect that the Grecian heroes would abide our strength and invincible hands. But they, as wasps flexible 398 in the middle, and bees, [which] make their dwellings in a rugged path, nor quit their hollow mansion; but awaiting the huntsmen, fight for their offspring; so are these unwilling to retire from the gates, though being only two, until they be either killed or taken.”

Footnote 396: (return) “Put for ἄραρον τὰς ἀσπίδας ἀλλήλων, ἐπ' ἀλλήλοις, clipeos consertos manibus ante se tenebant, συνασπισμῷ facto.”—Heyne. Kennedy well observes that “we may trace here the rude outline of the celebrated phalanx, which formed so prominent a feature of the Macedonian tactics.”

Footnote 397: (return) From this passage, Heyne observes that the gates must have opened inwards, being secured from within by a double bolt (cf. ver. 455, sqq.). See D’Orville on Chariton, i. xii. p. 274, ed. Lips. On the ὀχεῖς, on bars, cf. Pollux, x. 4.

Footnote 398: (return) Or “streaked.” See Porphyr. Quæst. iii. But Buttmann, Lexil. p. 64, dwells much upon the force of μέσον, observing, “in no insect is flexibility more evident than in the wasp, where the lower part of its body is joined as it were by a point with the upper.”

Thus he spake, nor did he persuade the mind of Jove, saying these things: for his soul designed to bestow glory upon Hector. In the meantime others were waging the battle at other gates; but difficult would it be for me, as if I were a god, to enumerate all these things; for around the wall in every direction a furiously-raging fire of stones was aroused, 399 and the Greeks, although grieving, fought from necessity for their ships; and all the gods were sorrowful in their minds; as many as were allies to the Greeks in battle.

Footnote 399: (return)

“Through the long walls the stony showers were heard,

The blaze of flames, the flash of arms appeared.”—Pope.

But the Lapithæ began the battle and contest. Then the son of Pirithous, brave Polypœtes, smote Damasus with his spear, through his brazen-cheeked helmet; nor did the brazen casque withstand, but the brazen blade burst quite through the bone, and all the brain within was shattered. Thus he subdued him, rushing on, and afterwards he slew Pylon and Ormenus. And Leonteus, a branch of Mars, wounded Hippomachus, the son of Antimachus, with his spear, striking him at the belt. Next, drawing his sharp sword from the sheath, he, rushing through the crowd, smote Antiphates first, hand to hand, and he was dashed on his back to the ground; then Menon and Iämenus, and Orestes, all one over another he brought to the fertile earth.

Whilst they were stripping off their glittering armour, those youths, meantime, who were most numerous and most brave, and who were most eager to break down the wall, and burn the ships with fire, followed Polydamas and Hector, and they anxiously deliberated, standing at the trench. For an augury had appeared on the left to them while eager to cross, a high-flying eagle dividing the people, 400 bearing in his talons a monstrous blood-stained serpent, alive, still panting; nor was it yet forgetful of fighting; for, while holding it, writhing backwards, it wounded him upon the breast near the neck; but he let it drop from him to the ground, afflicted with anguish, and threw it into the midst of the crowd, and, flapping his wings, he fled away with the breeze of the wind. And the Trojans shuddered as they beheld the spotted serpent lying in the midst, a prodigy of ægis-bearing Jove. Then Polydamas, standing near, addressed gallant Hector:

“Hector, somehow or other thou art ever chiding me in the assemblies, although proposing good counsels; because it is by no means becoming for a man, being a citizen, to harangue contrary to thee, either in council or at any time in war; but ever to increase thy authority. Yet will I again speak as appears to me to be best. Let us not go about to fight with the Greeks for their ships; for thus do I think it will end, as sure as this augury has come to the Trojans desiring to cross, the high-flying eagle upon the left dividing the army, bearing in its talons a huge blood-stained serpent, [still] living; but presently it dropped it, before it reached its dear home, nor succeeded in carrying it to give it to its young: so we, if even we shall with great force break through the gates and wall of the Greeks, and the Greeks shall give way,—not in order shall we return by the same way from the ships: for we shall leave many Trojans, whom the Greeks, fighting for the ships, will subdue with the brass. Thus indeed would the diviner, who truly kens omens in his mind, interpret, and the people would obey him.”

Footnote 400: (return) Either flying between the ranks of the Trojans, or between the two opposing armies. Compare Cicero’s translation, de Divin. i. 47, and Virg. Æn. xi. 751, sqq. (with Macrob. Sat. v. 13), and xii. 247, sqq. The event of the Trojan war proved that Polydamas was right in his interpretation.

But him sternly regarding, crest-tossing Hector thus addressed: “O Polydamas, thou dost not say things agreeable to me: besides, thou knowest how to devise other counsel better than this. If, however, thou really speakest this with seriousness, then truly have the gods destroyed thy judgment from thee, who advisest me to be forgetful of the counsels of lofty-thundering Jove, which he hath himself undertaken for me, and confirmed. And thou exhortest me to obey the wing-expanding birds; which I very little regard, nor do I care for them, whether they fly to the right towards the Morn and the Sun, or to the left towards the darkening west; but let us obey the will of mighty Jove, who rules over all mortals and immortals. There is one augury, the best, to fight for our country. 401 Why dost thou dread the war and conflict? For although all the rest of us should perish round the ships of the Greeks, there is no fear that thou wilt perish, for thy heart is not persevering in the fight, nor warlike. But if thou darest to abstain from the combat, or dissuading, dost avert another from the battle, immediately stricken by my spear, shalt thou lose thy life.”

Thus then having spoken, he led the way, but they followed him with an immense clamour. Then thunder-delighting Jove raised a storm of wind from the Idæan mountains, which bore the dust directly towards the ships; moreover, he weakened the courage of the Greeks, but bestowed glory upon the Trojans and Hector: so that, relying upon his prodigies, and [their own] strength, they endeavoured to break through the mighty wall of the Greeks. They tore down the niched battlements of the towers, and demolished the breast-works, 402 and with levers they upheaved the projecting buttresses, which the Greeks had planted first in the earth, as supporters of the towers. These then they tore down, and hoped to break through the wall of the Greeks.

Yet did not the Greeks retire as yet from the way; but fencing up the embrazures with their ox-hide shields, they wounded from behind them the enemy coming up under the wall. And both the Ajaces ranged in every direction upon the towers, cheering on, rousing the valour of the Greeks. One [they addressed] 403 with soothing, another they rebuked with harsh expressions, whomsoever they beheld totally neglectful of battle:

Footnote 401: (return) Cf. Aristot. Rhet. ii. 22; Cicero Ep. ad Attic, ii. 3. See, also, Duport, Gnom. Horn. p. 73.

Footnote 402: (return) Observe the zeugma, and compare Il. Ω. 8, Γ. 327; Od. Ξ. 291; and the most elaborate and accurate note on this construction of D’Orville on Charit. iv. 4, p. 440, sqq. ed. Lips., with Burm. and Schwabe on Phædr. iv. 17, 31; Duker on Flor. iii. 21, 26.

Footnote 403: (return) Id.

“O friends, whoever of the Greeks is excelling, or moderate, or inferior (since all men are not alike in war), now is there work for all; and ye yourselves, I ween, know this. Let not any one be turned back towards the ships, hearing the threatener [Hector], but advance onwards, and exhort each other, if perchance Olympic Jove, the darter of lightning, may grant that, having repulsed the conflict, we may pursue the enemy to the city.”

Thus they, shouting in front, cheered on the attack of the Greeks. But of them—as when frequent flakes of snow fall upon a winter’s day, when provident Jove has begun to snow, displaying his weapons in the sight of men, and, having lulled the winds, pours it down incessantly, till he covers the tops and highest peaks of the lofty mountains, and the lotus plains and rich husbandry of men: and likewise it is poured out upon the havens and shores of the hoary sea; but the approaching wave restrains its progress, whilst all other things are covered beneath it, when the shower of Jove comes down heavily; so flew the frequent stones from those hurling on both sides, some indeed towards the Trojans, and others from the Trojans towards the Greeks. And along the whole wall a tumult arose.

Yet never would the Trojans and illustrious Hector have burst open the gates of the wall, and the long bolt, had not provident Jove urged on his son, Sarpedon, against the Greeks, like a lion against crooked-horned oxen. But he immediately held before him his shield, equal on all sides, beautiful, brazen, plated; which the brazier indeed had plated over, and underneath had sewed together thick bulls’ hides, with successive golden wires round its orb. He then, holding this before him, advanced, brandishing two spears, like a lion reared in the mountains, which hath been long in want of flesh, and whose valiant mind impels him to go even to the well-fenced fold, about to make an attempt upon the sheep. And although he there find the shepherds keeping watch about their flocks with dogs and spears, still he cannot bear to be driven away, without having made trial of the fold, but, springing in, he either carries [one] off, or is himself wounded among the first by a javelin from a quick hand. Thus then did his mind impel godlike Sarpedon to attack the wall, and to burst through the barriers; and instantly he addressed Glaucus, son of Hippolochus:

“Glaucus, 404 why are we especially honoured in Lycia, both with the [first] seat in banquet, and with full goblets, and why do all look to us as to gods? Why do we also possess a great and beautiful enclosure of the vine-bearing and corn-bearing land on the banks of Xanthus? Now, therefore, it behoves us, advancing among the foremost Lycians, to stand firm, and to bear the brunt of the raging fight; so that some one of the closely-armed Lycians may say, ‘By no means inglorious do our kings govern Lycia, and eat the fat sheep, and [drink] 405 the choice sweet wine; but their valour likewise is excelling, because they fight among the foremost Lycians.’ O dear friend, if indeed, by escaping from this war, we were destined to be ever free from old age, and immortal, neither would I combat myself in the van, nor send thee into the glorious battle. But now—for of a truth ten thousand Fates of death press upon us, which it is not possible for a mortal to escape or avoid—let us on: either we shall give glory to some one, or some one to us.”

Thus he spake, nor did Glaucus turn aside or disobey, but both advanced straight forward, leading a numerous band of Lycians. But Menestheus, the son of Peteus, beholding them, shuddered, for they were advancing towards his company, bearing destruction. He looked round along the line of the Greeks, if he might see any of the leaders who could ward off the fight from his companions, and perceived the two Ajaces, insatiable of war, standing, and Teucer, lately come from his tent, near at hand. Yet was it not possible for him to be heard when shouting, so great was the din; and the crash of stricken shields, and of horse-hair crested helmets, and of the gates, reached to heaven. For they had assailed all, 406 and they, standing beside them, endeavoured to enter, bursting them open by force. But immediately he despatched the herald Thoötes to Ajax:

Footnote 404: (return) Milton, P.L. ii. 450:—-

“—— wherefore do I assume

These royalties, and not refuse to reign,

Refusing to accept as great a share

Of hazard as of honour, due alike

To him who reigns, and so much to him due

Of hazard more, as he above the rest

High honoured sits?”

Footnote 405: (return) Zeugma. See on ver. 268.

Footnote 406: (return) Three interpretations are given for this line:—1. “All the gates were attacked.” 2. “All the gates were bolted.”—Butt. 3. Change the nominative case to the accusative, and translate—“They (the Lycians) had attacked all the gates.”—Ed. Dubl.

“Go, noble Thoötes, running, call Ajax, rather indeed both: for this would be by far the best of all, since in a short while heavy destruction will arise here. For so vigorously do the leaders of the Lycians press on, who even before were impetuous in the sharp contest. If, however, labour and contest have arisen to them there, at least let brave Telamonian Ajax come, and with him let Teucer follow, well skilled in archery.”

Thus he spoke, nor did the herald, having heard him, disobey, but he hastened to run along the wall of the brazen-mailed Greeks, and proceeding, he stood beside the Ajaces and immediately addressed them:

“Ye Ajaces, leaders of the brazen-mailed Greeks, the beloved son of Jove-nourished Peteus adjures you to come thither, that ye may participate in his toil, though for a short time. Both indeed in preference, for this would be by far the best of all things, since soon will heavy destruction arise there. For so vigorously do the leaders of the Lycians press on, who even before were impetuous in the sharp contest. But if here also war and contest have arisen, at least let brave Telamonian Ajax come alone, and with him let Teucer follow, well skilled in archery.”

Thus he spake, nor did mighty Telamonian Ajax disobey. Instantly he addressed to the son of Oïleus winged words:

“Ajax, do thou and gallant Lycomedes, standing here, incite the Greeks to fight bravely, whilst I go thither and oppose the battle; but I will return again instantly, after I shall have assisted them.”

Thus then having spoken, Telamonian Ajax departed, and with him went Teucer, his brother, sprung from the same father; and Pandion, along with them, carried the bent bow of Teucer. As soon as they reached the tower of magnanimous Menestheus, going within the wall (for they came to [their friends] being hard pressed: and the brave leaders and chiefs of the Lycians were mounting upon the breast-works like unto a dark whirlwind), but they engaged to fight in opposition, and a clamour arose. Telamonian Ajax first slew a man, the companion of Sarpedon, magnanimous Epicles, striking him with a rugged stone, which, mighty in size, lay highest up against a pinnacle within the wall. Not easily would a man support it with both hands, such as mortals now are, not although being very youthful; but he, raising it aloft, hurled it, and burst the four-coned helmet, and along with it crushed all the bones of the skull: but he, like unto a diver, fell from the lofty tower, and life deserted his bones. Teucer likewise with a shaft wounded Glaucus, the brave son of Hippolochus, as he was rushing on, against the lofty wall, in a part where he perceived his arm naked; and made him cease from combat. But he sprang back from the wall, concealing himself, that none of the Greeks might perceive him wounded, and insult him with words. Then grief came upon Sarpedon on account of Glaucus departing, as soon as he observed it; though he nevertheless was not neglectful of the contest: but he taking aim, wounded Alcmaon, son of Thestor, with his spear, and extracted the spear; but he. following the weapon, fell prone, and his armour, variously decked with brass, resounded upon him. Sarpedon then seizing the buttress with his sturdy hands, pulled, and it all followed entirely; but the wall was stripped away from above, and he formed a way for many. Then Ajax and Teucer aiming at him together, the one smote him with an arrow in the splendid belt of his mortal-girding shield, around his breast; but Jove averted the fate from his son, that he might not be slain at the sterns of the ships. But Ajax, springing upon him, struck his shield, and pierced him quite through with his spear, and forcibly checked him eager. And then he fell back for a little from the buttress, but did not altogether retreat, because his spirit hoped to bear off glory. And turning round, he encouraged the godlike Lycians:

“O Lycians, why are ye thus remiss in your impetuous force? It is difficult for me, although being brave, having alone burst through, to form a way to the ships. But follow along with me; for the labour of the greater number is better.”

Thus he spake; and they, reverencing the exhortation of their king, pressed on with more alacrity round their counsel-giving king. And the Greeks, on the other side, strengthened their phalanxes within the wall, because a great work presented itself to them. For neither could the gallant Lycians, bursting through the wall of the Greeks, make their way to the ships, nor could the warlike Greeks repulse the Lycians from the wall, since first they approached it. But as two men, holding measures in their hands, dispute, in a common field, 407 concerning their boundaries, who in a small space contend for their equitable right; thus did the buttresses separate these [warriors], and, for them, each smote the well-rounded ox-hide shields around each other’s breasts, and the light bucklers of each other. And many were wounded upon the body with the merciless brass, whether the back of any combatant, averted, was laid bare, and many right through the shield itself. Everywhere the towers and buttresses were sprinkled, on both sides, with the blood of heroes, from the Trojans and the Greeks. Yet not even thus could they cause a flight of the Greeks, but they held themselves, as a just woman, who labours with her hands, does the scales, 408 who, poising both the weight and the wool, draws them on either side to equalize them, that she may procure a scanty pittance for the support of her children. Thus equally was their battle and war extended, before the time when Jove gave superior glory to Hector, the son of Priam, who first leaped within the wall of the Greeks, and shouted with a penetrating voice, calling out to the Trojans:

“Push on, ye horse-breaking Trojans, burst through the wall of the Greeks, and hurl the fiercely-blazing fire against the ships.”

Thus he spake, cheering them on; but they all heard him with their ears, and rushed against the wall in great numbers, and then mounted the battlements, carrying their pointed spears. But Hector seizing it, took up a stone, which stood before the gates, widening out at the base, 409 but sharp above; which two men, the strongest of the people, such as mortals now are, could not easily raise from the ground upon a waggon. He, however, brandished it easily and alone, because the son of wise Saturn had rendered it light to him.

Footnote 407: (return) I.e. a field, to part of which each lays claim. Μέτρα seem to be the lines used in measuring ground (“linea mensuralis,” Siculus Flaccus, p. 23, ed. Goes.)

Footnote 408: (return) Milton, P.L. vi. 245:—-

——“long time in even scale

The battle hung.”

Footnote 409: (return) See Eustathius.

As when a shepherd without difficulty carries the fleece of a male sheep, taking it in either hand, and but a small weight oppresses him; so Hector, raising the stone, bore it right against the beams which strengthened the closely-jointed gates, double and lofty; but two cross-bars secured them within, and one key fitted them. But advancing, he stood very near, and exerting his strength, struck them in the middle, standing with his legs wide asunder, that the blow of the weapon might not be weak. And he tore away both hinges, and the stone fell within with a great weight; and the gates crashed around; nor did the bars withstand it, but the beams were rent asunder in different directions by the impulse of the stone. There illustrious Hector rushed in, in aspect like unto the dreadful night; and he glittered in terrible brass, with which he was girt around his body. And he held two spears in his hands, nor could any one, opposing, restrain him, except the gods, after he had leaped within the gates; but his eyes gleamed with fire. And turning to the crowd, he cheered on the Trojans to ascend the wall, and they obeyed him encouraging. Straightway indeed some crossed the wall, and others were poured in through the well-wrought gates, but the Greeks were routed towards the hollow barks, and an unyielding 410 tumult ensued.

Footnote 410: (return) See Buttm. Lexil. p. 405.



Neptune engages on the Grecian side, and the battle proceeds. Deïphobus is repulsed by Meriones. Teucer kills Imbrius, and Hector Amphimachus. Neptune, assuming the likeness of Thoas, exhorts Idomeneus, who goes forth with Meriones to battle, when the former slays Othryoneus and Asius. Deïphobus attacks Idomeneus, but misses him, and slays Hypsenor. Idomeneus slays Alcathous, over whose body a sharp contest ensues.

But after Jove, then, had brought the Trojans and Hector near the ships, he left them to endure labour and toil at them incessantly; but he himself turned back his shining eyes apart, looking towards the land of the equestrian Thracians and the close-fighting Mysians, and the illustrious Hippomolgi, milk-nourished, simple in living, and most just men. 411 But to Troy he no longer now turned his bright eyes; for he did not suppose in his mind that any one of the immortals, going, would aid either the Trojans or the Greeks.

Footnote 411: (return) Arrian, Exp. Alex. iv. p. 239, referring to this passage of Homer, observes, οἰκοῦσι δὲ ἐν τῇ Ἀσίᾳ οὗτοι αὐτόνομοι, οὐχ ἥκιστα διὰ πενίαν τε καὶ δικαιότητα. Dionysius, Perieg. 309, seems, as Hill observes, to consider the name ἱππημολγοί as applicable not to one single clan, but to the whole of the Sarmatian nomads, milk being one of the principal articles of their diet, as among the Suevi (Cæsar, B.G. iv. 1), and the ancient Germans (id. vi. 22). Callimachus, Hymn iii., applies the epithet to the Cimmerians. The epithet ἀβίων (or ἀβιῶν=bowless, not living by archery: cf. Alberti on Hesych. t. i. pp. 17, 794) is involved in doubt, and the ancients themselves were uncertain whether to regard it as a proper name or an epithet. (Cf. Steph. Byz. s. v., p. 7, ed. Pined.; Villois on Apoll. Lex. p. 14; Duport, Gnom. Horn. p. 74, sqq.) It seems best to understand with Strabo, vii. p. 460, nations ἀπ' ὀλίγων εὐτελῶς ζὧντας. Knight wished to throw out these verses altogether, alleging that allusion is made in them to the discipline of Zamolxis, with which Homer must have been wholly unacquainted.

Nor did king Neptune keep a vain watch; for he sat aloft upon the highest summit of the woody Thracian Samos, admiring the war and the battle. For from thence all Ida was visible, and the city of Priam was visible, and the ships of the Greeks. Then coming out of the sea, he sat down, and he pitied the Greeks, subdued by the Trojans, and was very indignant with Jove. But presently he descended down, from the rugged mountain, rapidly advancing on foot, and the high hills and woods trembled beneath the immortal feet of Neptune, advancing. Thrice indeed he strode, advancing, and with the fourth step he reached Ægæ, his destined goal. There distinguished mansions, golden, glittering, ever incorruptible, were erected to him in the depths of the sea. Coming thither, he yoked beneath his chariot the brazen-footed steeds, swiftly flying, crested with golden manes. But he himself placed gold around his person, took his golden lash, well wrought, and ascended his chariot. He proceeded to drive over the billows, and the monsters of the deep 412 sported beneath him on all sides from their recesses, nor were ignorant of their king. For joy the sea separated; and they flew very rapidly, nor was the brazen axle moist beneath. And his well-bounding steeds bore him to the ships of the Greeks.

Now there is an ample cave 413 in the recesses of the deep sea, between Tenedos and rugged Imbrus. There earth-shaking Neptune stopped his horses, loosing them from the chariot, and cast beside [them] ambrosial fodder to eat. And round their feet he threw golden fetters, irrefragable, indissoluble, that they might there steadily await their king returning, but he departed towards the army of the Greeks.

Footnote 412: (return) So I have ventured to render κήτεα. Nonius Marcell. v. Cetarii—“cete in mari majora sunt piscium genera.” Thus Quintus Calaber, v. 94, imitating this passage, has δελφινες, and Hesychius defines κητών by θύννων φορά, the word evidently meaning any huge fish. Cf. Buttm. Lexil. p. 378, sq.

Footnote 413: (return) Compare the description of the cave of Nereus, in Apoll. Rhod. iv. 771, sqq., and of the river Peneus, in Virg. Georg. iv. 359, sqq., with my note on Æsch. Prom. p. 11, ed. Bohn.

The Trojans, however, in crowds, like unto a flame or a whirlwind, followed Hector, the son of Priam, with insatiable ardour, shouting loudly, and exclaiming; for they hoped to capture the ships of the Greeks, and slay all the Greeks beside them. But earth-ruling, earth-shaking Neptune, coming from the deep sea, aroused the Greeks, assimilating his person and indefatigable voice to Calchas. The Ajaces he first addressed, though themselves were earnest:

“Ye Ajaces, ye indeed, mindful of valour, not of direful flight, will preserve the people of the Greeks. For in any other place, indeed, I do not dread the audacious hands of the Trojans, who in great numbers have surmounted the great wall, because the well-greaved Greeks will sustain them all. But in that place I grievously fear lest we suffer any thing, where infuriated Hector, like unto a flame, leads on who boasts to be the son of almighty Jove. But may some of the gods thus put it in your minds, that ye stand firmly yourselves, and exhort others; thus may ye drive him, although impetuous, from the swift-sailing ships, even if Jove himself excites him.”

He said, and earth-ruling Neptune, striking both with his sceptre, filled them with violent might, and made their limbs light and their feet and hands above. But he, like as a swift-winged hawk is impelled to fly, which, lifted up from a rugged, lofty rock, has hastened to pursue another bird over the plain; so darted earth-shaking Neptune from them. But fleet Ajax, the son of Oïleus, recognized him first of the two, and straightway addressed Ajax, the son of Telamon:

“O Ajax, since some one of the gods, who possess Olympus, likening himself to the soothsayer, exhorts us to fight beside the ships (neither is this Calchas, the prophesying augur; for I readily recognized the traces of his feet and legs when departing; for the gods are easily distinguished), even to myself, the soul within my bosom is more incited to war and to fight, and my feet beneath and hands above eagerly desire it.”

But him Telamonian Ajax answering, addressed: “So also to me are my strong hands upon my spear eager, and my courage is aroused, and I am hurried along by both my feet under me; and I eagerly long, even alone, to combat with Hector, the son of Priam, insatiably raging.”

Thus they addressed these words to each other, joyful in the desire of battle 414 which the god had infused into their minds. In the meanwhile the Earth-ruler (Neptune) aroused the Achæans in the rear, who were recruiting their spirit at the swift ships; whose limbs were at the same time relaxed with toilsome labour, and grief was arising in their minds, beholding the Trojans, who with a tumult had surmounted the vast wall. But beholding them, they poured forth tears from beneath their eyebrows, for they expected not to escape destruction: but the Earth-shaker intervening, easily aroused the brave phalanxes. To Teucer and Leius he first came, exhorting them, and to the hero Peneleus, and Thoas, and Deipyrus, and to Meriones and Antilochus, skilful in war. These he encouraging, spoke winged words:

Footnote 414: (return) See Heyne, who compares the Latin gestire. Hesych.: Χάρμη, η ρετά χαράς μάχη.

“O shame! Argives, young men, I trust that our ships will be preserved by your fighting; but if ye be remiss in the destructive battle, the day is now come [for us] to be subdued by the Trojans. Ye gods, surely I behold with my eyes a great marvel, terrible, which I never expected would be brought to pass, that the Trojans should approach our ships; who formerly, like unto timid stags, which through the wood are the prey of lynxes, pards, and wolves, foolishly straying about, weak, nor fit for combat: so the Trojans formerly would not stand even for a little against the might and prowess of the Greeks. But now, far away from the city, they combat at the hollow ships, through the perverseness of our general, and the indifference of the troops; who, disputing with him, are unwilling to defend the swift ships, but are slain among them. Yet although in reality the hero, the son of Atreus, wide-ruling Agamemnon, be altogether in fault, in that he hath dishonoured the swift-footed son of Peleus, still it is by no means our duty to be remiss in battle, but let us the sooner repair [the mischief]; 415 the minds of the brave are easily appeased. But they by no means honourably remit your impetuous valour, being all the bravest in the army: I indeed would not quarrel with a man who should desist from combat, being unwarlike; but with you I am indignant from my heart. O soft ones! surely will ye soon create some greater evil by this inertness: but do each of you in his mind ponder on the shame and reproach; for certainly a mighty contest hath arisen. Now indeed brave Hector, good in the din of war, combats at the ships, and hath burst through the gates and the long bar.”

Footnote 415: (return) Τὸ γεγονὸς ἀμάρτημα: Schol. For the metaphorical use of άκεσταί, cf. Soph. Ant. 1026. Ὅστις ἐς κακὸν εσὼν ἀκεῖται μηδ' ἀκίνητος πέλει So εὐιατότερος διὰ τὸ μεταπεισθῆναι ἄν, Aristot. Eth. vii. 2.

Thus then Neptune, exhorting, aroused the Greeks. But round the two Ajaces firm phalanxes stood, which not even Mars, coming amongst them, would have found fault with, nor Minerva, the confounder of armies; for the bravest selected awaited the Trojans and noble Hector; knitting spear with spear, shield with shield, 416 one upon another, 417 so that shield pressed upon shield, helmet upon helmet, and man upon man. And the horse-haired helmets of them, nodding, touched each other with their splendid ridges, 418 so closely stood they to one another; and spears in the act of being hurled, were brandishing from their daring hands, whilst they wished [to go] straight [against the enemy], and were eager to fight. But the combined Trojans first made the attack, and impetuous Hector first rushed against them: as a destructively-rolling stone from a rock, which a wintry torrent drives down the brow, having burst with a mighty shower the stays of the rugged rock, and bounding along, it rolls, and the forest resounds beneath it: but straightway it runs on uninterruptedly until it reach the plain, but then it rolls no longer, though impelled; so Hector for a while threatened that he would easily come as far as the sea, to the tents and ships of the Greeks, slaughtering. But when now he met the firm phalanxes, he stopped, being come into close contact; and the sons of the Greeks, opposing, repulsed him from them, striking him with their swords and two-edged spears; but retiring, he was compelled to withdraw; and he cried out shouting audibly to the Trojans:

“Ye Trojans and Lycians, and close-fighting Dardanians, stand firm. Not long will the Greeks withstand me, although they have drawn themselves up in very dense array. 419 But, I conceive, they will retire from my spear, if in truth the most powerful of the gods, the high-thundering husband of Juno, hath urged me on.”

Footnote 416: (return) See the learned remarks of Duport, p. 76, sq. To quote parallel passages would be endless.

Footnote 417: (return) Literally, “from the roots.” So οίχεται—προθελυμνα, Tryphiodor. 388. Cf. Alberti on Hesych. t. ii. p. 1029; Apoll. Lex. p. 676.

Footnote 418: (return) See Buttm. Lexil. p. 523. The φάλος formed a socket for the plume.

Footnote 419: (return) Lit. “tower-wise,” forming a solid square.

So saying, he aroused the might and courage of each. But Deïphobus, the son of Priam, walked amongst them, high-minded, and he held his shield equal on all sides before him, proceeding with light step, and advancing under protection of his shield. Then Meriones took aim with his shining spear, and struck him (nor did he miss) upon the bull’s-hide shield, equal on all sides, which he did not pierce; for the long spear, far before was broken at the socket. But Deïphobus held his bull’s-hide shield far from him, for he dreaded in his mind the spear of warlike Meriones; but that hero fell back into the column of his companions, for he was grievously enraged on both accounts, both for [the loss] of the victory, and of the spear which he had broken. Accordingly he proceeded to pass by the tents and ships of the Greeks, to bring a long spear which had been left in his tent; whilst the others fought, and a mighty tumult arose.

Then Telamonian Teucer first slew a hero, the warrior Imbrius, son of Mentor, rich in steeds; and he dwelt at Pedæum before the sons of the Greeks arrived, and had married Medesicaste, the illegitimate daughter of Priam. But when the equally-plied ships of the Greeks arrived, he came back to Ilium, and excelled among the Trojans; and dwelt with Priam, who honoured him equally with his sons. Him the son of Telamon smote under the ear with his long javelin, and plucked out the spear; but he indeed fell, like an ash, which, on the summit of a mountain conspicuous from afar, cut down with a brazen axe, strews its tender foliage on the earth. Thus he fell, and his armour, variegated with brass, rang about him. Then Teucer rushed on, eager to strip him of his armour; but Hector hurled his shining spear at him, hastening. He, however, seeing it from the opposite side, avoided, by a small space, the brazen spear; and [Hector] wounded with his javelin, on the breast, Amphimachus, son of Cteas, the son of Actor, advancing to the battle; and, falling, he gave a crash, and his arms rang upon him. Then Hector rushed to tear from the head of magnanimous Amphimachus the helmet fitted to his temples, but Ajax hurled with his shining spear at Hector, rushing on. Yet it never reached his body, for he was protected all over with terrible brass; but he smote him upon the boss of the shield, and repulsed him with great violence; and he retired from both bodies, and the Greeks drew them away. Then Stichius and noble Menestheus, the leaders of the Athenians, carried Amphimachus to the army of the Greeks, but the two Ajaces, eager for impetuous combat, [carried] Imbrius. As two lions bear a goat through the thick copse-wood, snatching it from the sharp-toothed dogs, holding it high above the earth in their jaws; so the two warriors, the Ajaces, holding him [Imbrius] aloft, stripped off his armour; but the son of Oïleus, enraged on account of Amphimachus, severed his head from his tender neck, and sent it rolling like a ball through the crowd; but it fell before the feet of Hector in the dust.

Then indeed was Neptune grieved at heart for his grandson, slain in the grievous fight; and he proceeded to go along the tents and ships of the Greeks, exhorting the Greeks, and prepared disasters for the Trojans. But spear-renowned Idomeneus then met him, returning from a companion who had lately come to him from the battle, wounded in the ham with the sharp brass, whom his comrades had carried in, and he, having given directions to the surgeons, was returning from his tent; for he still desired to participate in the fight. Him king Neptune addressed, assimilating himself, as to his voice, to Thoas, son of Andræmon, who governed the Ætolians throughout all Pleuron and lofty Calydon, and who was honoured by the people as a god:

“Idomeneus, thou counsellor of the Cretans, where indeed are the threats gone, with which the sons of the Greeks threatened the Trojans?” Whom again in return, Idomeneus, the leader of the Cretans, addressed: “No man, O Thoas, as far as I know, is at present to blame; for we are all skilled in warring. Neither does disheartening fear detain any one, nor does any one, yielding to sloth, shirk evil strife; but thus, doubtless, it will be agreeable to the all-powerful son of Saturn, that here, far away from Argos, the Greeks shall perish inglorious. But, Thoas—for formerly thou wast warlike, and urged on others when thou didst behold them negligent—so now desist not thyself, but exhort each man.”

But him earth-shaking Neptune then answered: “Never may that man, O Idomeneus, return from Troy, but let him here be the sport of the dogs, whosoever voluntarily this day shall relax from fighting. But come, taking up arms, advance hither; for it behoves us to hasten these things, if we may be of any service, although but two; for useful is the valour of men, even the very pusillanimous, if combined, whereas we both understand how to fight even with the brave.”

So saying, the god departed again to the toil of heroes. But Idomeneus, when now he had reached his well-made tent, put on his rich armour around his body, and seized two spears, and hastened to go, like unto the lightning, which the son of Saturn, seizing in his hand, brandishes from glittering Olympus, showing a sign to mortals; and brilliant are its rays: so shone the brass around the breast of him running. Then Meriones, his good attendant, met him yet near the tent,—for he was going to fetch a brazen spear; and the strength of Idomeneus addressed him:

“Meriones, son of Molus, swift of foot, dearest of my companions, why comest thou thus, quitting the war and the contest? Art thou at all wounded, and does the point of a spear afflict thee? Or comest thou to me on any message? For I myself am not desirous to sit within my tent, but to fight.”

But him prudent Meriones in turn answered: “Idomeneus, thou counsellor of the brazen-mailed Cretans, I come, if there be any spear left within thy tents, to take it: because I indeed have broken that which I formerly had, having struck the shield of ferocious Deïphobus.” Whom again in turn Idomeneus, leader of the Cretans, addressed: “Thou wilt find, if thou desirest [to select from them], one-and-twenty spears standing in my tent against the shining walls, which I have taken from the slain Trojans; for I affirm that I do not fight with hostile men, standing at a distance from them. Hence I have both spears, and bossy shields, and helmets, and corslets, brightly polished.”

But him again prudent Meriones addressed in turn: “At my tent also and black ship are there many spoils of the Trojans; but they are not near, so that I might take them. For neither do I conceive that I am forgetful of valour, but I stand among the foremost in glory-giving battle, whenever the contest of war has arisen. I am rather unobserved perhaps, when fighting by some other of the brazen-mailed Greeks; but I think that thou knowest me.”

Whom again Idomeneus, leader of the Cretans, addressed in turn: “I know what thou art as to valour: what necessity is there for thee to enumerate these things? For if now all we the bravest at the ships should be selected for an ambuscade, where the courage of men is especially distinguished, where both the coward as well as the brave man is made apparent—for the complexion of the coward on the one hand is changed from this to that, nor is his heart calm within his bosom, so that he can rest without trembling, but he shifts his position, and sits upon both his feet, whilst his heart greatly palpitates within his breast, as he is expecting death; and a chattering of his teeth arises. But neither is the complexion of the brave man changed, nor is he at all disturbed, after he first sits down in the ambush of heroes; but he burns to be mingled with all haste in direful fight—[no one], in that case, would find fault with thy courage and might. For if, labouring [in the battle], thou wert wounded from a distance, or smitten in close fight, the weapon would not fall upon thy neck behind, nor upon thy back; but it would pierce through either thy breast, or thy stomach, as thou wast rushing forward amid the conflict 420 of foremost combatants. But come, no longer let us speak of these things, standing like infatuated persons, lest perhaps some one chide us inordinately; but do thou, going to the tent, take a strong spear.”

Footnote 420: (return) Hesych. Όαριστυν μάχην. Etym. Μ. fol. 131, Β. 2. 'Αντί του εv τη των τρωταγωνιστων oμιλίᾳ (which is its proper meaning, as derived from oaρ) και συναναστρoφη.

Thus be spake, and Meriones, equal to swift Mars, quickly took from the tent a brazen spear; and he went along with Idomeneus, very eager for war. But as man-destroying Mars enters the battle—with whom Terror, his dear son, at the same time powerful and undismayed, follows, who strikes fear into the warrior even of resolute soul: these indeed are armed from Thrace, along with the Ephyri or with the magnanimous Phlegyans; neither do they hear both, but they give glory to one or the other—so Meriones and Idomeneus, leaders of heroes, advanced to battle equipped with helmets of glittering brass; and Meriones first addressed him in these words:

“Son of Deucalion, where dost thou meditate to enter the throng? To the right of all the army, or at the centre, or upon the left? Since nowhere [else] 421 in the battle do I conceive that the long-haired Greeks so much require support.”

Footnote 421: (return) I.e. nowhere so much as on the left.

But him Idomeneus, the leader of the Cretans, in turn addressed: “Among the centre ships indeed there are others to aid them, both the Ajaces and Teucer, who is the most skilful of the Greeks in archery, and brave also in standing fight; who will sufficiently harass, even to satiety, Hector, the son of Priam, although most urgent of battle, and although being very gallant. Hard will it be for him, although very desirous of fighting, having overpowered their strength and invincible hands, to fire the ships, unless the son of Saturn himself cast a flaming torch upon the swift ships. Nor indeed will mighty Telamonian Ajax yield to any man who may be a mortal, and who may eat the fruit of Ceres, who is vulnerable by brass and by large stones. Not even to warlike Achilles would he give way, at least in standing fight; but in speed he is by no means able to contend with him. Guide us, therefore, to the left of the army that we may quickly know whether we shall afford glory to any one, or any one to us.”

Thus he spoke. But Meriones, equal to rapid Mars, began to proceed, until he came to [that part of] the army whither he had ordered him. But they, when they beheld Idomeneus, like unto a flame in might, both him and his attendant, in variously-wrought armour, they all, exhorting one another along the crowd, advanced against him, and an equal contest arose at the sterns of their ships. And as when storms sweep along, [driven] by the shrill winds, on a day when the dust around the roads [is] very abundant, and they at the same time raise up a large cloud of dust; so came on the battle of these together, and they were eager in their minds to slaughter one another throughout the throng with the sharp brass. And the mortal-destroying combat bristles with the long spears which they held, flesh-rending; and the brazen splendour from the gleaming helmets, the newly-burnished corslets, and the shining shields, coming together, dazzled their eyes. Very brave-hearted would he be who, when beholding their toil, could have rejoiced, and would not be disturbed.

But the two powerful sons of Saturn, favouring different sides, planned grievous toils for the heroes. On the one hand, Jove willed victory to the Trojans and to Hector, glorifying swift-footed Achilles; yet he desired not entirely to destroy the Grecian people before Ilium, but was honouring Thetis and her magnanimous son. On the other hand, Neptune, coming amongst them, encouraged the Greeks, having secretly emerged from the hoary deep; for he grieved that they should be subdued by the Trojans, and he was greatly indignant with Jove. The same race indeed was to both, and the same lineage, but Jove was born first, 422 and knew more. For this reason [Neptune] avoided aiding them openly, but always kept privately inciting them through the army, assimilated to a man. They indeed alternately stretched over both the cord of vehement contest and equally destructive war, irrefragable and indissoluble, which relaxed the knees of many. Then, although half-hoary Idomeneus, encouraging the Greeks, rushing upon the Trojans, created night; for he slew Othryoneus, who had come from Cabesus, staying within [Priam’s house]. 423 He had lately come after the rumour of the war, and demanded Cassandra, the most beautiful in form of the daughters of Priam, without a dowry; and he had promised a mighty deed, to repulse in spite of themselves the sons of the Greeks from Troy. But to him aged Priam had promised her, and pledged himself 424 to give her; therefore he fought, trusting in these promises. But Idomeneus took aim at him with his shining spear, and hurling it, struck him, strutting proudly; nor did the brazen corslet which he wore resist it, but he fixed it in the middle of his stomach. And falling, he gave a crash, and [the other] boasted and said:

“Othryoneus! above all men indeed do I praise thee, if thou wilt now in truth accomplish all which thou hast undertaken for Dardanian Priam: but he also promised thee his daughter. We likewise, promising these things, will accomplish them to thee. We will give thee the most beautiful in form of the daughters of the son of Atreus to wed, bringing her from Argos, if along with us thou wilt destroy the well-inhabited city of Ilium. But follow, that we may treat with thee respecting the marriage of the sea-traversing ships; since we are by no means bad brothers-in-law.”

Footnote 422: (return) Heyne compares xiv. 204. The Erinnys were supposed to avenge any disrespect offered to an elder brother by a younger.

Footnote 423: (return) Literally, “being within from Cabesus.”

Footnote 424: (return) Lit. “bowed assent.”

So saying, the hero Idomeneus dragged him by the foot through the brisk battle. But to him Asius came as an avenger, on foot, before his steeds; which his attendant charioteer always kept breathing over his shoulders; 425 and in his mind he longed to strike Idomeneus, but he (Idomeneus) anticipating him, smote him with his spear in the throat, below the chin, and drove the brass quite through. And he fell, as when some oak falls, or white poplar, 426 or towering 427 pine, which timber-workers have cut down upon the mountains with lately-whetted axes, to become ship timber. So he lay, stretched out before his horses and chariot, gnashing his teeth, grasping the bloody dust. But the charioteer was deprived of the senses which he previously had, nor dared he turn back the horses that he might escape from the hands of the enemy: but him warlike Antilochus, striking, transfixed in the middle with his spear; nor did the brazen corslet which he wore resist, but he fixed it in the centre of his stomach. Then, panting, he fell from the well-made chariot-seat, and Antilochus, the son of magnanimous Nestor, drove away the horses from the Trojans to the well-armed Greeks. But Deïphobus, enraged on account of Asius, drew very near to Idomeneus, and hurled with his shining spear. Idomeneus, however, having perceived it opposite, avoided the brazen spear, for he was concealed behind his shield equal on all sides, which he bore, constructed of the hides of bulls, and glittering brass, fitted with two handles. Behind this he collected himself entirely, and the brazen spear flew over him. But the shield returned a dry 428 sound, the spear grazing it obliquely. Yet he (Deïphobus) sent it not in vain from his heavy hand, but he struck Hypsenor, son of Hippasus. the shepherd of the people, upon the liver, below the breast, and straightway relaxed his knees under him. But Deïphobus vainly boasted over him, loudly exclaiming:

Footnote 425: (return) I.e. close by Asius (κατ' ώμων), he having descended for the purpose of rescuing the body of Othryoneus.—Kennedy.

Footnote 426: (return) “Ἠ λευκη, populus alba.”—Heyne.

Footnote 427: (return) Βλωθρός is connected with βλώσκω, as βληχρός with βλίττω. See Buttm. Lexil. p. 194. Hesych.: Βλωθρή' εύαυζής, ή προζαίνουσα καΐ άνω θρώσκουσα. Schol. on Apoll. Rhod. i. 322: ίτυν βλωθρήν Όμηρος, την άχρι του αιθέρος μολίσκουσαν.

Footnote 428: (return) So v. 441: αυον άυσεν. So “aridus sonus,” in Lucret. vi, 113; “aridus fragor,” Virg. Georg. I. 357, noticed by Quintil. I.O. viii. 3. A dry, grating, half-crackling sound is meant.

“Surely not unavenged lies Asius; I rather think that he will rejoice in his mind, though going into the strong-gated, massy [dwelling] of Hades, since I have given him a guide.”

Thus he spoke; but grief came upon the Greeks at his boasting, and it particularly agitated the mind of warlike Antilochus. Yet, grieved as he was, he neglected not his companion, but running, he protected him, and covered him over with his shield. Him then his two dear companions, Mecisteus, son of Echius, and noble Alastor, supporting, bore to the hollow ships, deeply groaning. In the meantime Idomeneus ceased not his mighty valour; but always burned either to cover some of the Trojans with pitchy night, 429 or himself to fall with a crash, repelling destruction from the Greeks. Then the hero Alcathous, the beloved son of Æsyetas (and he was the son-in-law of Anchises, for he had married Hippodamia, the eldest of his daughters, whom her father and venerable mother loved from their hearts, whilst in their home, because she excelled all of her age in beauty, in accomplishments, and prudence, for which reason also the most distinguished man in wide Troy had wedded her), him Neptune subdued under Idomeneus, having dimmed his shining eyes, and fettered his fair limbs. For he was able neither to fly back nor to turn aside, but him, standing motionless, like a pillar or lofty-branching tree, the hero Idomeneus wounded with his spear in the middle of the breast, and burst the brazen coat around him, which formerly warded off destruction from his body: but then it sent forth a dry sound, severed by the spear. Falling, he gave a crash, and the spear was fixed in his heart, which, palpitating, shook even the extremity of the spear; and there at length the impetuous Mars 430 spent its force. But Idomeneus boasted prodigiously over him, loudly exclaiming:

Footnote 429: (return) I.e. death.

Footnote 430: (return) Here put for the weapon.

“Deïphobus! do we judge rightly that it is a fair return, that three should be slain for one, since thus thou boastest? But do thou thyself also, wretch, stand against me, that thou mayest know of what nature I am, who have come hither the offspring of Jove, who first begat Minos, the guardian of Crete. Minos again begat Deucalion, his blameless son, and Deucalion begat me, king over many men in wide Crete. But now the ships have brought me hither, an evil both to thee and to thy father, and the other Trojans.”

Thus he spoke, but Deïphobus hesitated between two opinions, whether, falling back, he should join to himself some one of the magnanimous Trojans, or make trial although alone. But to him, thus deliberating, it appeared preferable to go in search of Æneas; whom he found standing at the rear of the army, for he was ever indignant with noble Priam, because he by no means honoured him, though being valiant among heroes. And, standing near, he addressed to him winged words:

“Æneas, thou counsellor of the Trojans, now does it greatly behove thee to aid thy brother-in-law, if indeed any regard reaches thee. But follow, let us bring aid to Alcathous, who, being thy brother-in-law, nourished thee whilst very young, in his palace, and whom spear-famed Idomeneus hath slain.”

Thus he spoke, and roused the courage in his breast, and he, greatly desirous of battle, went to meet Idomeneus. Yet fear seized not Idomeneus like a tender boy, but he stood still, like a boar in the mountains, confident in his prowess, and who abides the mighty din of men advancing against him, in a desert place, 431 and bristles up his back; his eyes, too, gleam with fire, and he whets his teeth, eager to keep at bay both dogs and men. So spear-renowned Idomeneus awaited Æneas, swift in the battle-din, coming against him, nor retired; but he shouted to his companions, looking to Ascalaphus, and Aphareus, and Deïpyrus, and Meriones, and Antilochus, skilful in fight. Exhorting these, he addressed to them winged words:

Footnote 431: (return) Or, “in the sheep-pasture.”

“Hither, my friends, and aid me alone, for I greatly dread swift-footed Æneas, rushing on, who is coming upon me; who is very powerful to slay men in battle, and possesses the bloom of youth, which is the greatest strength. For if we were of the same age, with the spirit that I now possess, quickly would either he bear off great glory, or I would.”

Thus he spoke; but they all, having one determination in their minds, stood near him, inclining their shields upon their shoulders. Æneas, on the other hand, animated his companions, looking towards Deïphobus, Paris, and noble Agenor, who, together with himself, were leaders of the Trojans. These also the people followed, as sheep follow from their pasture after the ram in order to drink; and the shepherd then is rejoiced in his mind. So was the soul of Æneas gladdened in his breast, when he beheld a body of troops following himself. These therefore engaged in close fight round Alcathous with long spears, whilst the brass resounded horribly on the breasts of them, aiming at each other through the crowd. But two warlike men, conspicuous among the rest, Æneas and Idomeneus, equal to Mars, longed to lacerate each other’s flesh with the ruthless brass. But Æneas first hurled his javelin at Idomeneus; but he, perceiving it opposite, avoided the brazen spear; and the spear of Æneas sank quivering into the earth; for it fled in vain from his sturdy hand. Idomeneus next smote Œnomaus in the middle of the stomach, and the spear burst the cavity of his corslet, and penetrating, drank his entrails through; but falling amid the dust, he grasped the earth with the hollow of his hand. Then Idomeneus plucked out the long spear from his body, but was unable to tear off the other rich armour from his shoulders, for he was pressed hard by weapons. For no longer were the sinews of his feet firm as he rushed, either to hasten on after his own dart, 432 or avoid [that of another]. Wherefore also in standing fight, he warded off the fatal day, nor did his feet any longer bear him with ease in retreating from the battle. But against him, gradually retiring, Deïphobus took aim with his glittering spear, for he ever had a rooted hatred towards him. But then too he missed, and struck with his javelin Ascalaphus, the son of Mars, and drove the stout spear through his shoulder; and tailing amid the dust, he grasped the earth with his hand.

Footnote 432: (return) So as to recover it.

Not yet, however, had loudly-roaring, 433 impetuous Mars heard that his son had fallen in the violent fight; but he sat upon the summit of Olympus, beneath golden clouds, excluded [from the battle] by the will of Jove, where also the other immortal gods were restrained from the war. In the meantime they engaged in close fight round Ascalaphus. Deïphobus indeed tore the shining helmet from Ascalaphus; and Meriones, equal to swift Mars, springing [upon him], smote [him] with his spear in the arm, and the crested 434 casque, falling from his hand, rang upon the earth. Immediately Meriones, leaping upon him like a vulture, plucked out the tough spear from the lower part of his arm, and retired back again into the crowd of his comrades. But him Polites, his own brother, throwing his hands round his waist, carried out of the dread-sounding battle, till he reached his fleet steeds, which awaited him in the rear of the combat and the war, having both a charioteer and a variegated car; which then carried him towards the city, groaning heavily [and] afflicted; and the blood flowed from his recently-wounded hand: but the others kept fighting, and an unquenchable clamour arose. Then Æneas rushing upon Aphareus, the son of Caletor, smote him with his sharp spear upon the throat, when turned towards him. And his head was bent to one side, then his shield clung to him, and his helmet; and around him life-destroying death was spread. Antilochus, however, observing Thoas turning around, attacking, wounded him; and cut away all the vein, which, running quite along the back, reaches to the neck. All this he cut off; but he fell on his back in the dust, stretching out both hands to his beloved companions. Then Antilochus sprang upon him, and stripped the armour from his shoulders, looking around; for the Trojans surrounding him, struck his wide and ornamented shield with their darts, nor were they able to graze with the dire brass the tender body of Antilochus within it; because earth-shaking Neptune protected the son of Nestor all round, even amongst many weapons. For never indeed was he apart from the enemy, but he turned himself about among them: nor did he hold his spear without motion, but continually moving, it was whirled about; and he prepared within his mind, either to hurl it at some one afar off, or to rush upon some one close at hand. But meditating these things amid the throng, he escaped not the notice of Adamas, the son of Asias, who smote him in the middle of his shield with the sharp brass, attacking him in close combat; but azure-haired Neptune weakened the spear, grudging 435 him the life [of Antilochus]. Part of it remained there, like a stake burned in the fire, 436 in the shield of Antilochus, and the other half lay upon the ground; whilst he gave backwards into the crowd of his companions, shunning death. Meriones, however, following him departing, smote him with his spear between the private parts and the navel, where a wound 437 is particularly painful to miserable mortals. There he fixed the spear in him; and he falling, struggled panting around the spear, as an ox, when cowherds in the mountains, forcibly binding him with twisted cords, lead [him] away unwilling. So he, wounded, throbbed, though but for a short time, and not very long, until the hero Meriones coming near, plucked the spear from his body; and darkness veiled his eyes. But Helenas, close at hand, struck Deïpyrus upon the temple with his huge Thracian sword, and cut away the three-coned helmet; which, being dashed off, fell upon the ground; and some one of the combating Greeks lifted it up, having rolled between his feet; whilst dim night enveloped his eyes. Then grief seized the son of Atreus, Menelaus, brave in the din of battle, and he advanced, threatening the hero, king Helenus; brandishing his sharp spear, whilst the other drew the horn of his bow. Together then they darted, the one eager to launch his fir-tree spear, and the other an arrow from the string. Then indeed the son of Priam smote him in the breast with an arrow, on the cavity of the corslet, but the bitter shaft rebounded. As when from the broad winnowing-fan in a large threshing-floor, the black-coated beans or vetches leap at the shrill blast, and the force of the winnower; so, strongly repulsed by the corslet of glorious Menelaus, the bitter arrow flew afar. But Menelaus, the son of Atreus, brave in the din of battle, smote him upon the hand which held his well-polished bow; and in the bow the brazen spear was fixed from the opposite side, through his hand. Then he retired back into the crowd of his companions, avoiding death, hanging down his hand at his side, but the ashen spear was trailed along with him. And then magnanimous Agenor extracted it from his hand, and bound [the hand] itself sling-ways in well-twisted sheep’s wool, which his attendant carried for the shepherd of the people.

Footnote 433: (return) Βριήπυος=έρίγδουπος. The Schol. on Apoll. Rh. iii. 860, observes: Βρί, έπιτάσεως έστίν, ὡς τὁ Βριήπυος.

Footnote 434: (return) The meaning of αὐλῶπις is rather uncertain. According to the Schol. and Hesychius, it means a helmet that has the openings for the eyes oblong (παραμήκεις ἔχουσα τὰς τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν ὀπάς), or a helmet with a long crest (έκτεταμένον λόφον).

Footnote 435: (return) Φθονήσας Άδάμαντι, μὴ τὁν βίον Άντιλόχου ἀφέληται.

Footnote 436: (return) The “præustæ sudes” of Cæsar, Β.G. ν. 40. These were among the rustic weapons of antiquity, as may be seen from Virg. Æn. vii. 523.

“Non jam certamine agresti

Stipitibus duris agitur, sudibusve præustis;

Sed ferro ancipiti decernunt.”

Footnote 437: (return) Cf. vs. 444.

But Pisander went direct against glorious Menelaus, because evil Fate led him towards the end of death, to be subdued by thee, O Menelaus, in the dire battle. When therefore they were near, advancing against each other, the son of Atreus indeed missed, and his spear was turned aside from him; but Pisander smote the shield of glorious Menelaus, nor could he drive the spear quite through; because the broad shield kept it off, and the spear was broken at the extremity: still he rejoiced in his mind, and hoped for victory. The son of Atreus, however, drawing his silver-studded sword, sprang upon Pisander; but he drew from beneath his shield a handsome battle-axe of well-wrought brass, fixed upon either side of an olive handle, long, well-polished; and at once they struck each other. Then he (Pisander) cut away the cone of the helmet, thick with horse-hair, under the very crest, but (Menelaus smote) him, approaching, upon the forehead, above the root of the nose. And the bones crashed, and his blood-stained eyes fell at his feet upon the ground in the dust: and falling, he writhed. Then he (Menelaus) placing his heel upon his breast, despoiled him of his armour, and boasting, spoke [this] speech:

“Thus, 438 then, shall ye abandon the ships of the Greeks, who possess swift steeds, ye treaty-breaking Trojans, insatiate of dire battle. Of other injury and disgrace ye indeed lack nothing with which ye have injured me, vile dogs, nor have ye at all dreaded in your minds the heavy wrath of high-thundering, hospitable Jove, who will yet destroy for you your lofty city; ye who unprovoked departed, carrying off my virgin spouse, and much wealth, after ye had been hospitably received by her. Now again do ye eagerly desire to hurl destructive fire upon the sea-traversing ships, and to slay the Grecian heroes. But ye shall yet be restrained, impetuous as ye be, from war. O father Jove, assuredly they say that thou excellest all others, men and gods, in prudence, yet from thee do all these things proceed. How much dost thou gratify these insolent Trojan men, whose violence is ever pernicious, and who cannot be satisfied with war, equally destructive to all! Of all things is there satiety,—of sleep, of love, of sweet singing, and of faultless dancing, with which one would much more readily satisfy his desire, than with war; but the Trojans are insatiate of battle.”

Footnote 438: (return) I.e. by being slain one after another.

So saying, having stripped the bloody armour from the body, illustrious Menelaus gave it to his companions, whilst he, advancing, was again mixed with the foremost combatants. Then Harpalion, the son of king Pylæmenes, who had then followed his dear father to wage war at Troy, leaped upon him; nor returned he back to his native land. [He it was] who then, close at hand, struck the middle of Atrides’ shield with his lance, nor was he able to drive quite through the brass; but he retired back into the crowd of his companions, avoiding death, looking around on all sides, lest any one should touch his body 439 with a spear. Meriones, however, shot a brazen-pointed arrow at him retreating, and struck him upon the right hip, and the arrow penetrated to the other side, through the bladder, below the bone. Sinking down, therefore, in the same place, breathing out his life in the arms of his beloved companions, like a worm, he lay stretched upon the ground, whilst his black blood flowed, and moistened the earth. Around him the magnanimous Paphlagonians were employed, and, lifting him upon a chariot, they bore him to sacred Ilium, grieving; and with them went his father, shedding tears: but no vengeance was taken for his dead son.

Footnote 439: (return) As the usual construction of έπανρεΐν is with a genitive, Heyne would supply μή τις έπαύρη αύτού κατά χρόα.

But Paris was greatly enraged in his soul on account of his being slain, for he had been his guest among many Paphlagonians; wherefore, enraged on his account, he sent forth a brazen arrow. Now there was one Euchenor, son of the diviner Polyïdus, wealthy and brave, inhabiting a dwelling at Corinth, who, well knowing his fatal destiny, had arrived in a ship. For often had Polyïdus, good old man, told him, that he would perish in his halls of a grievous disease, or be subdued by the Trojans among the ships of the Greeks; wherefore he avoided at once the severe mulct 440 of the Achæans, and odious disease, that he might not suffer sorrows in his mind. Him he (Paris) smote below the jaw and the ear; and his spirit quickly departed from his members, and hateful darkness seized him.

Thus indeed they fought like 441 unto a burning fire. But Hector, dear to Jove, had not learned, nor knew at all, how at the left of the ships his people were being slaughtered by the Greeks, for the victory was on the point of being the Grecians’; so much did earth-shaking Neptune encourage the Greeks, and moreover himself assisted with his strength; but he (Hector) pressed on where first he had sprung within the gates and wall, breaking the thick ranks of the shielded Greeks. There were the ships of Ajax and Protesilaus, drawn up upon the shore of the hoary sea; but above 442 them the wall was built very low; there themselves and their horses were most impetuous in the combat. There 443 the Bœotians and long-robed Iaonians, the Locrians, the Phthians, and the illustrious Epeans, restrained him from the ships, fiercely rushing on; but were unable to drive away from them noble Hector, like unto a flame. The chosen men of the Athenians stood in the van; among whom Menestheus, son of Peteus, had the command; and with him followed Phidas, Stichius, and brave Bias, Meges, the son of Phyieus, Amphion, and Dracius, led the Epeans, and over the Phthians were Medon and Podarces, steady in fight (Medon indeed was the spurious offspring of godlike Oïleus, and the brother of Ajax; but he dwelt at Phylace, away from his native country, 444 having slain a man, the brother of his stepmother Eriopis, whom Oïleus had married. But the other was the son of Iphiclus, of Phylace). These in arms before the magnanimous Phthians, fought among the Bœotians, defending the ships.

Footnote 440: (return) As Corinth was under the authority of Agamemnon, he would have been compelled to pay a fine for refusing the service. Compare the ἀτιμία της ἀστραείας at Athens. See Potter, Antiq. i. 23.

Footnote 441: (return) Cf. xi. 595, with the note.

Footnote 442: (return) I.e. before them.

Footnote 443: (return) I.e. where Hector broke in.

Footnote 444: (return) See my note on ii. p. 42, n. 2.

But Ajax, the swift son of Oïleus, never separated from Telamonian Ajax, not even for a little time; but as in a fallow field two black bullocks possessing equal spirit, draw a well-joined plough,—but meanwhile copious sweat breaks forth around the roots of their horns; and them the well-polished yoke alone separates on either side, advancing along the furrows, and [the plough] cuts 445 up the bottom of the soil; so they twain, joined together, stood very near to each other. And then many and brave troops followed the son of Telamon as companions, who received from him his shield, whenever fatigue and sweat came upon his limbs. But the Locrians followed not the great-souled son of Oïleus, for their heart remained not firm to them in the standing fight, because they had not brazen helmets crested with horse-hair, nor had they well-orbed shields and ashen spears; but they followed along with him to Ilium, trusting in the bows and the well-twisted sheep’s wool, with which, frequently hurling, they broke the phalanxes of the Trojans. At that time indeed these (the Ajaces) in the van, with their variously-wrought armour, fought against the Trojans and brazen-armed Hector, whilst (the Locrians) shooting from the rear, lay concealed; nor were the Trojans any longer mindful of combat, for the arrows put them in confusion.

Then surely would the Trojans have retreated with loss from the ships and tents to lofty Ilium, had not Polydamas, standing near, addressed bold Hector:

“Hector, thou art impossible to be persuaded by advice. 446 Because indeed a god hath given thee, above others, warlike deeds, for this reason dost thou also desire to be more skilled than others in counsel? But by no means canst thou thyself obtain all things at once. 447 To one indeed hath the deity given warlike deeds; to another dancing; and to another the harp and singing. To another again far-sounding Jove implants a prudent mind in his bosom, of which many men reap the advantage, as it (prudence) even preserves cities; and he himself (who possesses it) especially knows (its value). Yet will I speak as appears to me best; because the encircling host 448 of war burns round thee on all sides, and the magnanimous Trojans, since they have crossed the walls, some indeed stand apart with their arms, and others fight, the fewer against the greater number, scattered amongst the ships. But retiring back, summon hither all the chiefs. And then we can better discuss the whole plan; whether we shall enter upon the many-benched ships, if indeed the deity will give us victory; or depart uninjured from the barks; because of a truth I fear lest the Greeks repay their debt of yesterday, since a man, insatiate in war, still remains at the ships, who I conceive will no longer abstain entirely from battle.” Thus spoke Polydamas, but the faultless advice pleased Hector; and immediately he leaped with his armour from his chariot to the ground, and, addressing him, spoke winged words:

Footnote 445: (return) Τέμει refers to ἄροτρον in v. 703, not to ζυγόν.

Footnote 446: (return) Put for ἀμήχανόν ἐστι πείθειν σε.

Footnote 447: (return) A favourite proverb. Cf. Duport, Gnom. p. 81.

Footnote 448: (return) So “corona,” in Latin.

“Polydamas, do thou retain here all the bravest, whilst I will come back again immediately after I have given proper orders to the [troops].” He said, and shouting, he rushed on, like unto a snowy mountain, and flew through the Trojans and the allies. But they all crowded round valour-loving Polydamas, the son of Panthous, as soon as they heard the voice of Hector. He, however, ranged through the foremost combatants, seeking if he could anywhere find Deïphobus, the might of king Helenus, and Adamas, the son of Asias, and Asius, the son of Hyrtacus. Some he found no longer quite unhurt, nor yet destroyed, whilst others again lay at the sterns of the ships of the Greeks, having lost their lives by the hands of the Greeks; and others were stricken or wounded within the wall. But he quickly found noble Alexander, the husband of fair-haired Helen, on the left of the lamentable battle, cheering of his companions, and encouraging them to fight; and, standing near, he addressed him with reproachful words:

“Accursed Paris, fine only in person, woman-mad, seducer, where are Deïphobus and the might of king Helenus, and Adamas, the son of Asias, and Asius, the son of Hyrtacus? Where also is Othryoneus? Now lofty Ilium all perishes from its summit, 449 now is its final destruction certain.”

Footnote 449: (return) The Latin “a culmine,” as in Virg. Æn. ii. 290, 603. So Æsch.

But him godlike Alexander in turn addressed: “Hector, since it is thy intention to find fault with me when innocent, at some other time perhaps, I may be more neglectful of the fight; [but not now], since neither did my mother bear me altogether unwarlike. For from the time when thou didst stir up the battle of thy companions at the ships, from that time, remaining here, have we engaged incessantly with the Greeks; and those comrades are dead for whom thou inquirest. Deïphobus and the might of king Helenus alone have withdrawn, both wounded in the hand with long spears; but the son of Saturn hath warded off death [from them]. But now lead on, wheresoever thy heart and soul urge thee; and we will follow with determined minds, nor do I think that thou wilt be at all in want of valour, as much strength as is in us. It is not possible even for one, although keenly desirous, to fight beyond his strength.”

So saying, the hero persuaded the mind of his brother, and they hastened to advance towards that place where especially was the battle and contest; round Cebriones and excellent Polydamas, Phalces and Orthæus, and godlike Polyphœtes, and Palmys, and Ascanius and Morys, the sons of Hippotion, who the day before had come as a relief guard 450 from fertile Ascania: and Jove then urged them to fight. But they marched like unto the blast of boisterous winds, which rushes down to the plain, urged by the thunder of father Jove, and with a dreadful tumult 451 is mingled with the ocean; and in it [rise] many boiling billows of the much-resounding sea, swollen, whitened with foam, first indeed some and then others following.

Footnote 450: (return) See Buttm. Lexil. p. 358. Choeph. 679: Κατ' ἄκρας ένθάδ' ὡς πορθούμεθα. Soph. Ant. 206: Ἠθέλησε μὲν πυρὶ πρῆσαι κατ' ἄκρας. Eurip. Phœn. 1192: Κατ' ἄκρων περγάμων ἑλεῖν πόλιν.

Footnote 451: (return) ολέμου διάδοχοι, τοῖς προτέροις ἷσοι.—Eustathius.

So the Trojans, first indeed some in battle array, and then others glittering in brass, followed along with their leaders. But Hector, the son of Priam, equal to man-slaughtering Mars, led the van, and held before him his shield, equal on all sides, thick with skins; and much brass was laid over it: and round his temples his gleaming helmet was shaken. Stepping forward, he tried the phalanxes around on every side, if perchance they would give way to him, advancing under cover of his shield. Yet he disturbed not the courage of the Greeks in their breasts: but Ajax, far-striding, first challenged him:

“O noble Sir, draw nearer: why dost thou thus frighten the Greeks? We Greeks are by no means unskilful in battle, although we are subdued by the evil scourge 452 of Jove. Thy soul, forsooth, hopes, I suppose, to plunder the ships; but we also have hands ready to repulse thee immediately. Assuredly, long before shall thy well-inhabited city be taken and destroyed by our hands. But to thee thyself, I say, the time draws near, when, flying, thou shalt pray to father Jove and the other immortals, that thy fair-maned steeds, which shall bear thee to the city, raising dust over the plain, may become swifter than hawks.”

Footnote 452: (return) See note on xii. 37.

Whilst he was thus speaking, a bird flew over him on the right—a lofty-flying eagle; upon which the people of the Greeks shouted, encouraged by the omen; but illustrious Hector replied:

“O babbling and vain-boasting Ajax, what hast thou said? Would that I were as sure of becoming for ever the child of ægis-bearing Jove, that the venerable Juno had borne me, and that I were honoured as Minerva and Apollo are honoured, as that this day now certainly brings destruction upon all the Greeks; and among others thou shalt be slain, if thou wilt dare to abide my long spear, which shall tear for thee thy dainty person, and thou shalt satiate the dogs and birds of the Trojans with thy fat and flesh, falling at the ships of the Greeks.”

Thus then having spoken, he led on; and they followed along with him with a mighty shout, and the troops likewise shouted in the rear. The Greeks, on the other side, raised a shout, nor were they forgetful of their valour, but they awaited the bravest of the Trojans, assaulting. But the clamour of both reached to the æther and the shining splendour 453 of Jove.

Footnote 453: (return) Cf. Pind. Ol. iii. 43: Αὐγαῖς ἁλίου. So “auras ætherias,” Virg. Georg. ii. 291. Lucret. i. 208, “Dias-luminis auras.”—Kennedy.



Agamemnon and the other wounded chiefs visit the battle with Nestor. Juno, having borrowed the cestus of Venus, first obtains the assistance of Sleep, and then hastens to Ida to inveigle Jove. She prevails, Jove sleeps, and Neptune seizes the opportunity to aid the Trojans.

But the shouting did not entirely escape the notice of Nestor, although drinking, but he addressed winged words to the son of Æsculapius: “Consider, noble Machaon, how these things will be; greater, certainly, [grows] the shouting of the blooming youths at the ships. But sitting here at present, drink indeed the dark wine, until fair-haired Hecamede has warmed the tepid baths, and washed away the bloody gore; whilst I, going with speed to a watchtower, will gain information.”

So saying, he took the well-made shield of his own son, horse-breaking Thrasymedes, [which was] lying in the tent, all shining with brass (for he had the shield of his sire); and seized a strong spear, pointed with sharp brass; and stood without the tent, and soon beheld an unseemly deed,—these [the Greeks] in confusion, and those, the haughty Trojans, routing them in the rear; but the wall of the Greeks had fallen. And as when the vast deep blackens with the noiseless 454 wave, foreboding with no effect, the rapid courses of the shrill blasts, nor yet is it rolled forwards or backwards, before some decisive blast comes down from Jove: so meditated the old man, distracted in his mind between two opinions: whether he should go amongst the throng of fleet-horsed Greeks, or to Agamemnon, the son of Atreus, shepherd of the people. But to him thus reflecting, it appeared better to go in quest of the son of Atreus. Meanwhile they kept slaughtering each other, contending, and the solid brass around their bodies rang, as they were stricken with the swords and two-edged spears.

Footnote 454: (return) Literally, “deaf.” So “surdi fluctus,” Ovid, Epist. xviii. 211; “Omnia surda tacent,” Propert. iv. 3, 53; “Surdaque vota condidit Ionio,” Pers. Sat. vi. 28.

But the Jove-cherished kings, coming up from the vessels, met Nestor, as many as had been wounded with the brass,—Tydides, and Ulysses, and Agamemnon, the son of Atreus. Their ships indeed were drawn up upon the shore of the hoary deep, very far away from the battle; for they had drawn the first as far as the plain, and had built a wall at their sterns. For, broad as it was, the shore was by no means able to contain their vessels, and the people were crowded. Wherefore they drew them up in rows one behind the other, and filled the wide mouth of the whole shore, as much as the promontories enclosed. There then were they walking together, leaning upon the spear, in order to behold the tumult and the battle; and the heart in their bosoms was grieved. But aged Nestor met them, and terrified the souls in the breasts of the Greeks: whom first king Agamemnon addressing, said:

“O Neleïan Nestor, great glory of the Greeks, why, leaving the man-destroying battle, comest thou hither? Truly I fear lest impetuous Hector make good his speech, as once he threatened, haranguing among the Trojans, that he would not return to Ilium from the ships, before that he had burned the ships with fire, and slain us also: thus indeed he harangued; and now are all things fulfilling. Ye gods, surely the other well-greaved Greeks, as well as Achilles, store up wrath against me in their minds; nor are they willing to fight at the sterns of the ships.”

But him the Gerenian knight Nestor then answered: “Assuredly these things are in active accomplishment, nor could even lofty-thundering Jove himself contrive them otherwise; for the wall, in which we trusted that it would be an impregnable defence to the ships and to ourselves, has now fallen. But they are sustaining an obstinate contest at the swift ships; nor couldst thou any longer distinguish, though examining particularly, on which side the Greeks, confounded, are routed; so promiscuously are they slain, whilst the shout reaches heaven. Let us, however, deliberate how these things will be, if counsel avail anything; although I advise not that we enter the battle; for it is by no means proper that a wounded man should fight.”

But him then answered Agamemnon, king of men. “Nestor, since they are combating at the sterns of the ships, and the constructed rampart avails not, nor the ditch, at which the Greeks suffered much, and hoped in their minds that it would be an impregnable defence to the ships and to themselves, surely it will be agreeable to all-powerful Jove that the Greeks perish here, inglorious, far away from Argos. For I was conscious when he willingly gave assistance to the Greeks, and I now know that he honours those [the Trojans] equally with the happy gods, but hath fettered our courage and our hands. But come, let us all obey as I shall advise. Let us draw down the ships, as many as are drawn up first near the sea, and launch them all into the vast ocean. Let us moor them at anchor in the deep, till mortal-deceiving 455 night arrive, if even then the Trojans may abstain from battle, and then we may perhaps draw down all the vessels; for there is no disgrace in flying from evil, not even during the night. It is better for a flying man to escape from evil, than to be taken.”

Footnote 455: (return) 'Αβρότη is akin to ἤμβροτον from άμαρτάνω, and therefore = “making mortals go astray,” or else = άμβροσιη in ii. 57. See Buttm. Lexil. p. 82. Or it may be regarded as the “nox intempesta,” i.e. “muita nox, qua nihil agi tempestivum est,” Censorinus de Die Nat. xxiv.

But him sternly regarding, wise Ulysses then addressed: “Son of Atreus, what speech hath escaped thy lips? Lost man! thou shouldst command some worthless army, and not rule over us, to whom Jove hath granted, from youth even unto old age, to accomplish toilsome wars, until we, each of us, shall perish. Dost thou then desire thus to leave wide-wayed Troy, on account of which we have endured so many woes? Be silent, lest some other of the Greeks hear a speech, which a man ought not to have brought through his mouth, whoever understands in his mind how to speak prudent things, who is a sceptre-bearer, and whom so many people obey, as many as thou dost govern among the Greeks. For now do I reprobate thy judgment, in what thou hast said; who commandest us, whilst the war and battle are waged, to draw down the well-benched ships to the sea, in order that the wishes of the Trojans may be still better fulfilled, victorious though they be, and dire destruction fall upon us: for the Greeks will not maintain the fight whilst the ships are being dragged to the sea, but will look back, and retire from the combat. Then will thy counsel be injurious, O leader of the people.”

But him Agamemnon, the king of men, then answered: “Much, O Ulysses, hast thou touched me to the soul with thy severe reproof; yet I commanded not the sons of the Greeks against their will to draw the well-benched ships down to the sea. But now would that there were one, either young or old, who would deliver an opinion better than this; it would be to my joy.” 456

But among them Diomede, valiant in the din of battle, also spoke: “The man is near, we need not seek far, if indeed ye are willing to be persuaded; and do not find fault each through wrath, because I am by birth the youngest amongst you; for I boast that my race is from a noble sire, Tydeus, whom the heaped-up earth 457 covers at Thebes. For to Portheus were born three distinguished sons, and they dwelt in Pleuron and lofty Calydon: Agrius and Melas, but the third was the knight Œneus, the father of my father, who was conspicuous among them for valour. He indeed remained there, but my father, as an exile, dwelt at Argos, for so Jove willed and the other gods. But he married [one] of the daughters 458 of Adrastus, and he inhabited a mansion opulent in resources, and corn-bearing fields were his in abundance, and there were many rows 459 of plants around him. Numerous were his herds, and he surpassed the Greeks in the use of the spear; but these things ye ought to know, since it is a truth. Do not, therefore, dispute the opinion freely delivered, which I give advisedly, deeming that I am base by birth, and unwarlike. Come, then, let us go to battle, wounded as we are, from necessity. There, then, let us ourselves approach the combat, out [of the reach] of weapons, lest any one receive wound upon wound; and, encouraging others, we will urge them on, who hitherto, gratifying their souls, have stood apart, nor fought.”

Footnote 456: (return) For this use of the dative, cf. Plato Phædon, § 24. So Tacit. Agric. “Quibus bellum volentibus erat.”—Kennedy. Cf. Æsch. Prom. s.i., ἀσμένῳ δέ σοι Ἡ ποικιλείμων νῦζ ἀποκρύψει φάος.

Footnote 457: (return) See my note on Od. ii. p. 21, n. 35, ed. Bohn, and an admirable dissertation on these classic barrow-tombs in Stephen’s notes on Saxo-Grammaticus, pp. 90-92.

Footnote 458: (return) Deipyle. See Scholiast.

Footnote 459: (return) Not “gardens.” Schol. Theocrit. i. 48. Ὄρχατον τὴν ἐπιστιχον φυτείαν ... καὶ Αριστοφάνης τὸ μεταξὺ τῶν φυτῶν μετόρχμιον ἐκάλεσεν ἐν τοῖς γεωργοῖς' καὶ Ἡσίοδος ὄρχον λέγει τὴν ἐπιστιχον τῶν ἀμπέλων φυτείαν. Cf. Schol. on Lycophr. 857; Hesych. t. ii. p. 792.

Thus he spoke; and to him they all listened readily, and obeyed. Wherefore they hastened to advance, and the king of men, Agamemnon, led them.

Nor did the illustrious Earth-shaker keep a negligent look-out, but he went amongst them like unto an aged man, and he caught the right hand of Agamemnon, the son of Atreus, and addressing him, spoke winged words:

“Son of Atreus, now perchance the revengeful heart of Achilles rejoices in his breast, beholding the slaughter and rout of the Greeks; since there is no feeling in him, not even a little. May he, however, thus perish, and may a god cover him with disgrace. But with thee the blessed gods are not yet altogether enraged, but again the leaders and chiefs of the Trojans will perchance raise the dust upon the wide plain, and thou wilt behold them flying towards the city from the ships and the tents.”

So saying, he shouted aloud, rushing over the plain. As loud as nine or ten thousand men shout, beginning the contest of Mars, so loud a cry did king Neptune send forth from his breast; and he cast great resolution into every heart among the Greeks, to war and to fight incessantly.

But golden-throned Juno, standing, looked down with her eyes from the summit of Olympus, and immediately recognized her own brother, [who was] also her brother-in-law, exerting himself through the glorious battle, and she rejoiced in her mind. She also beheld Jove sitting upon the highest top of many-rilled Ida, and he was hateful to her soul. Then the venerable large-eyed Juno next anxiously considered how she could beguile the mind of ægis-bearing Jove. And now this plan appeared best to her mind, to proceed to Ida, having well arrayed herself, if perchance he might desire to lie beside her form 460 in dalliance, so that she might pour upon his eyelids and vigilant mind careless and genial sleep. And she proceeded to her chamber, which Vulcan, her dear son, had made for her, and had fitted the thick doors to the lintels with a secret bolt; 461 and this no other god could remove. There entering in, she closed the shining doors. First she washed all impurities from her lovely person with rich oil, ambrosial, 462 and anointed herself with rich oil, ambrosial and agreeable, 463 which was odoriferous to her; and the perfume of which, when shaken in the brazen-floored 464 mansion of Jove, reached even to earth and to heaven. With this having anointed her body, and having also combed her hair, with her hands she arranged her shining locks, beautiful, ambrosial, [which flowed] from her immortal head. Next she threw around her an ambrosial robe, which Minerva had wrought 465 for her in needlework, and had embroidered much varied work upon it, and she fastened it upon her breast with golden clasps. Then she girded herself with a zone, adorned with a hundred fringes, and in her well-perforated ears placed her triple-gemmed, elaborate, 466earrings, and much grace shone from [her]. From above she, divine of goddesses, covered herself with a veil, beautiful, newly wrought, and it was bright as the sun; and beneath her shining feet she fastened her beautiful sandals. But when she had arranged all her ornaments around her person, she proceeded straight from her chamber; and having called Venus apart from the other gods, addressed her in speech:

Footnote 460: (return) Construe παραδραθέειν ᾖ χροιῇ.

Footnote 461: (return) Respecting the different meanings of κλεὶς, see Kennedy.

Footnote 462: (return) See Buttm. Lexil. p 81, 3.

Footnote 463: (return) Buttmann, p. 242, regards έδανὸς as “perhaps a stronger and higher meaning of ἐός, or ἒός, good, which may be compared with οὐτιδανός, μηκεδανός.”

Footnote 464: (return) See my note on Od. ii. 2.

Footnote 465: (return) “The proper sense of ἔξυσε is, scraped or rubbed over and its use here is best explained by supposing a reference to some process among the ancients whereby a shining appearance was given to their vestments, as by calendering or glazing with us.”—Kennedy.

Footnote 466: (return) Μορόεντα, περὶ ἃ ἐμόρησεν ὁ τεχνίτης.—Schol.

“Wilt thou now be at all obedient to me, dear child, in what I shall say? Or wilt thou refuse, enraged in thy mind on this account, because I aid the Greeks whilst thou [aidest] the Trojans?”

But her Venus, the daughter of Jove, then answered: “Juno, venerable goddess, daughter of mighty Saturn, declare whatsoever thou dost meditate; for my mind urges me to accomplish it, if indeed I can accomplish it, and if it be practicable.”

But her the venerable Juno, meditating guile, addressed: “Give now to me that loveliness and desire with which thou dost subdue all, immortals, and mortal men; for I go to visit the limits of the fertile earth, and Oceanus, the parent of the gods, and mother Tethys; who, receiving me from Rhea, nurtured and educated me with care in their abodes, when far-resounding Jove cast down Saturn beneath the earth and the fruitless sea. These I go to visit, and I will put an end to eternal quarrels. 467 For already have they abstained for a length of time from the couch and embrace of each other, since anger fell upon their mind. But if, by persuading their hearts by my words, I should lead them back to the bed, to be united in love, then should I always be called by them beloved and revered.”

Footnote 467: (return) These passages were regarded by the ancients as referring to the perpetual strife of the elements. Thus Plato, in Theætet. says: Ὅμηρος εἰπὼν, Ὠκεανόν τε θεῶν γένεσιν, καὶ μητέρα Τηθὺν, πάντα εἴρηκεν ἔκγονα ροῆς τε καὶ κινήσεως. See Sextus Empir. adv. Grammat. i. 13, p. 280, ed. Fabr.; Stobæus, Ecl. i. 11. Grote, vol. i. p. 16, note, observes that, “Oceanus and Tethys seem to be presented in the Iliad as the primitive father and mother of the gods,” although he says that “Uranos and Gæa, like Oceanus, Tethys, and Nyx, are with Homer great and venerable gods, but neither the one nor the other present the character of predecessors of Kronos and Zeus.”

But her laughter-loving Venus in turn addressed: “It is not possible nor becoming to refuse thy request, for thou reclinest in the arms of mightiest Jove.”

She said, and loosed from her bosom the embroidered, variegated cestus; 468 where all allurements were enclosed. In it were love, and desire, converse, seductive speech, which steals away the mind even of the very prudent. This then she placed in her hands, spoke, and addressed her:

“Take 469 this, now place in thy bosom this variegated belt, in which all things are contained; and I think that thou wilt not return with thy object unaccomplished, whatsoever thou desirest in thy mind.”

Footnote 468: (return) I have avoided translating “cestus,” as it is very doubtful what is meant by it. It could not have been an ordinary girdle, since it was to be hidden in the bosom (ver. 219), and since its power appears to have been secret. See Heyne’s note.

Footnote 469: (return) Τῆ is an old imperative from a root ΤΑ—“formed like ζῆν, according to Doric analogy.... In all cases it stands either quite absolute, that is, with the object understood, or the accusative belongs to a verb immediately following.”—Buttm. Lexil. pp. 505, sq.

Thus she spake, and the large-eyed, venerable Juno smiled, and smiling, then placed it in her bosom. But Venus, the daughter of Jove, departed to the palace; and Juno, hastening, quitted the summit of Olympus, and, having passed over Pieria and fertile Emathia, she hastened over the snowy mountains of equestrian Thrace, most lofty summits, nor did she touch the ground with her feet. From Athos she descended to the foaming deep, and came to Lemnos, the city of divine Thoas, where she met Sleep, the brother of Death; to whose hand she then clung, and spoke, and addressed him:

“O Sleep, 470 king of all gods and all men, 471 if ever indeed thou didst listen to my entreaty, now too be persuaded; and I will acknowledge gratitude to thee all my days. Close immediately in sleep for me the bright eyes of Jove under his eyelids, after I couch with him in love; and I will give thee, as gifts, a handsome golden throne, for ever incorruptible. And my limping son, Vulcan, adorning it, shall make it, and below thy feet he shall place a footstool, upon which thou mayest rest thy shining feet while feasting.”

Footnote 470: (return) Cf. Hesiod, Theog. 214. The dying words of Gorgias of Leontium are very elegant: Ἤδε με ὁ ὕπνος ἄρχεται παρακατατίθεσθαι τῶ ἀδελφῳ.—Ælian, Var. Hist. ii. 35.

Footnote 471: (return) So in the Orphic hymn: Ὕπνε, ἄναξ πάντων μακάρων θνητῶν τ' άνθρώπων.

But her sweet Sleep answering, addressed: “Juno, venerable goddess, daughter of great Saturn, any other of the everlasting gods could I easily lull to sleep, and even the flowing of rapid Ocean, who is the parent of all; but I could not approach Saturnian Jove, nor lull him to sleep, unless, at least, he himself command me. For once already, at least, has he terrified me by his threats, on that day when the magnanimous son of Jove (Hercules) sailed from Ilium, having sacked the city of the Trojans. Then I lulled the mind of ægis-bearing Jove, being poured gently around him, whilst thou wast planning evils in thy mind [against the hero], rousing the blasts of bitter winds over the deep; and thou didst afterwards carry him away apart from all his friends to well-inhabited Cos. But he, when awakened, was enraged, hurling about the gods through his mansion, and me chiefly of all he sought, and would have cast me down, a lost one, from the æther into the deep, had not Night, vanquisher of gods and men, preserved me, to whom I came flying. So he restrained himself, angry as he was; for he dreaded lest he should do things which were disagreeable to swift 472 Night. And now again dost thou urge me to perform this another dangerous deed.”

But him the venerable large-eyed Juno in turn answered: “Ο Sleep, why thinkest thou these things within thy mind? Canst thou suppose that far-sounding Jove favours the Trojans, as he was enraged on account of Hercules, his own son? But come, [do this], and I will give thee one of the younger Graces to wed, and to be called thy spouse, Pasithea, 473 whom thou fondly desirest day after day.”

Footnote 472: (return) But see Buttm. Lexil. p. 369. Translate, “quick and fearful night.”

Footnote 473: (return) The most beautiful of the Graces,—“blandarum prima sororum,” according to Statius, Theb. ii. 286. Cf. Virg. Æn. i. 267, sqq.

Thus she spoke; but Sleep was delighted, and, answering, addressed her: “Come now, swear to me by the inviolable water of the Styx, and touch with one hand the fertile earth, and with the other the marble sea; so that all the gods beneath, around Saturn, may be witnesses between us, that thou wilt surely give me one of the younger Graces, Pasithea, whom I will desire all my days.”

Thus he spoke, nor did the white-armed goddess Juno disobey, but she swore as he desired, and named all gods who dwell under Tartarus, which are called Titans. 474 When then she had sworn, and performed her oath, they both proceeded, leaving the city of Lemnos and Imbrus, mantled in haze, quickly making their way; and they came to Ida of many rills, the mother of wild beasts, to Lectos, where first they quitted the sea: but they both advanced over the land, and the summit of the wood was shaken beneath their feet. There Sleep on his part remained, before the eyes of Jove should perceive him; ascending a lofty fir, which then growing the highest upon Ida, sprung up through the air to the clouds. There he sat, thickly covered with the fir branches, like unto a shrill bird, which, living in the mountains, the gods call Chalcis, and men Cymindis.

Footnote 474: (return) On this oath, see Grote, vol. i. p. 17.

But Juno proceeded hastily to Gargarus, the summit of lofty Ida, and cloud-compelling Jove beheld her. But the instant he beheld her, that instant 475 desire entirely shadowed around his august mind, just as when they first were united in love, retiring to the bed, without the knowledge of their dear parents. And he stood before her, and spoke, and addressed her:

“Wherefore hastening from Olympus, Juno, comest thou hither, but thy horses and chariot are not near, which thou mayest ascend.”

Footnote 475: (return) Cf. Theocrit. ii. 82: Ὡς ἴδον, ώς ἐμάνην, ώς μεῦ περὶ θυμὸς ἴάφθη. iii. 42: Ὡς ἴδον, ὡς ἐμάνη. Ovid, Epist. xii. 33: “Ut vidi, ut perii, nec notis ignibus arsi.”

But him the venerable Juno, meditating guiles, addressed; “I go to visit the limits of the fertile earth, and Oceanus, the parent of the gods, and mother Tethys, who nurtured and trained me with care in their palaces. Them I go to see, and will take away their bitter quarrels. For already they abstain a long while from the couch and embrace of each other; since anger has invaded their minds. But my steeds, which will bear me over dry and wet, stand near the base of Ida with many rills. Now, however, on thy account have I come hither from Olympus, lest perchance thou shouldst afterwards be angry with me, were I to depart in secret to the abode of deep-flowing Oceanus?”

But her cloud-collecting Jove answering, addressed: “Juno, thither thou canst go even by-and-by, but come [now], let us, reclining, be delighted with love; for never at any time did the love of a goddess or a woman, poured around the heart within my breast, so subdue me: neither when I loved the wife of Ixion, who bore Pirithous, a counsellor equal to the gods; nor when [I loved] fair-ankled Danaë, the daughter of Acrisius, who bore Perseus, most illustrious of all men; nor when with that of the celebrated daughter of Phoenix, 476 who bore to me Minos and godlike Rhadamanthus: 477 nor yet when [I loved] Semele, nor Alcmena in Thebes, who brought forth my valiant son Hercules: but Semele bore [me] Bacchus, a joy to mortals: nor when [I loved] Ceres, the fair-haired queen: nor when glorious Latona nor thyself; as I now love thee, and sweet desire seizes me.”

Footnote 476: (return) But Europa is generally considered to be the daughter of Agenor. See Grote, vol. i. p. 350.

Footnote 477: (return) On the career of Rhadamanthus, who is “after death promoted to an abode of undisturbed bliss in the Elysian plain at the extremity of the earth,” see Grote, vol. i. p. 300.

But him venerable Juno, meditating guiles, addressed: “Most shameless son of Saturn, what word hast thou spoken? If now thou desire to recline in love upon the summit of Ida, where all places are exposed, how will it be, if any of the immortal gods should perceive us sleeping, and, going amongst all the gods, disclose it? I for my part could never return to thy mansion, arising from the couch; for surely it would be unbecoming. But if in truth thou desirest it, and it be agreeable to thy soul, there is a chamber of thine which Vulcan, thy beloved son, formed for thee, and fitted its secure doors to its lintels. Thither let us repair, about to recline, since an embrace is indeed thy desire.”

But her cloud-collecting Jove, answering, addressed:

“Fear not, O Juno, that any of either gods or men shall behold this. Such a golden cloud will I spread around, that not even the Sun may see us through it, although his eye is very keen to behold.” 478

Thus he spake, and the son of Saturn encircled his wife in his arms. And the divine earth produced 479 fresh herbage under them, the dewy lotus, and the crocus, and the hyacinth, close and soft, which elevated them from the earth. Upon this [couch] they reclined, and clothed themselves above with a beautiful golden cloud; and lucid dew-drops fell from it.

Footnote 478: (return) On the god Hêlios, and his overseeing influence, the student should compare Grote, vol. i. p. 466.

Footnote 479: (return) So Milton, describing the couch of our first parents, P. L. iv. 700:—-

—— “underfoot the violet,

Crocus, and hyacinth with rich inlay,

Broider’d the ground.”

Thus quietly slumbered the sire upon the summit of Gargarus, subdued by sleep and love, and held his spouse in his arms. But sweet Sleep hastened to run to the ships of the Greeks, that he might deliver a message to Neptune, the shaker of the earth. And, standing near, he addressed to him winged words:

“Now, Neptune, heartily give aid to the Greeks, and bestow glory upon them, at least for a little, whilst yet Jove sleeps; since I have enveloped him in a veil 480 of soft slumber, and Juno hath deceived [him], that he might sleep in love.”

Footnote 480: (return) Observe the force of περικάλυψα.

So saying, he indeed departed to the illustrious tribes of men; but he still more impelled [Neptune] to assist the Greeks, and immediately springing forward far into the van, he exhorted them:

“O Greeks, yet again do we yield the victory to Hector, the son of Priam, that he may seize the ships and bear away glory? For so indeed he supposes and boasts, because Achilles remains at the hollow ships, enraged at heart. However, there would not be a great need of him, if the rest of us were incited to assist one another. But come? let us all obey as I shall advise. Let us, clad with shields, as many as are best and greatest in the army, who are covered as to our heads with glittering helmets, and hold the longest spears in our hands, advance, and I will lead the way; nor do I think that Hector, the son of Priam, will await us, though very eager. Whatsoever man also is obstinate in the fight, and bears but a small shield upon his shoulder, let him give it to an inferior man, and let him clothe himself in a larger shield.”

Thus he spoke; but they listened to him readily, and obeyed. The kings themselves, Tydides, Ulysses, and Agamemnon, son of Atreus, marshalled [the troops], wounded as they were; and, going about among them all, exchanged their martial arms, the brave [soldier] put on the good [armour], and the worse they gave to the inferior man. But when they had girded the splendid brass around their bodies, they began to advance; and earth-shaking Neptune led them on, grasping in his firm hand a dreadful tapering sword, like unto a thunderbolt, with which [sword] it is not possible to engage in destructive battle, for the fear [of it] restrains men.

On the other side again illustrious Hector drew up the Trojans. Then truly azure-haired Neptune and illustrious Hector drew forth the severest struggle of war, the one indeed aiding the Trojans, and the other the Greeks. But the sea was dashed up to the tents and ships of the Greeks and they engaged with a mighty shout. Not so loudly does the billow of the ocean roar against the main land, when driven from the deep by the rough blast of Boreas; nor so great is the crackling of blazing fire in the glens of a mountain, when it is raised aloft to consume the wood; nor so loud howls the wind amidst the high-foliaged oaks (which, in particular, loudly roars in its wrath), as was the cry of the Trojans and Greeks shouting dreadfully, when they rushed one upon the other.

At Ajax illustrious Hector first took aim with his spear, as he was turned right against him; nor did he miss. [He struck him] where the two belts were crossed upon his breast, both that of the shield and that of the silver-studded sword; for these protected the tender skin: but Hector was enraged because his swift weapon had fled from his hand in vain, and he retired back into the crowd of his companions, shunning death. At him then, retiring, mighty Telamonian Ajax [threw] with a stone, for [stones] in great numbers were rolled about among the feet of the combatants, props for the fleet barks; lifting up one of these, he struck him upon the breast, above the orb of the shield, near the neck. And, throwing, he twirled it like a top, and it (the stone) rolled round on all sides. As when, beneath a violent stroke from father Jove, an oak falls uprooted, and a terrible smell of sulphur arises from it; but confidence no longer possesses the man, whosoever being near beholds it, because the thunderbolt of mighty Jove is terrible: so rapidly upon the ground fell the might of Hector in the dust. And he dropped his spear from his hand, his shield and helmet followed above him, and his armour, variegated with brass, rang upon him. Then the sons of the Greeks, loudly shouting, rushed in, hoping to draw him off, and they hurled numerous javelins; but no one was able either to strike from a distance, or to smite close at hand, the shepherd of the people, for the bravest [of the warriors], Polydamas, Æneas, and noble Agenor, Sarpedon, leader of the Lycians, and illustrious Glaucus, first threw themselves round him. And no one of the rest neglected him, but they held their well-orbed shields before him. But his companions, up-raising him in their hands, bore him out of the conflict, till they reached his fleet horses, which stood for him in rear of the combat and the war, holding both the charioteer and the variegated car; which then carried him towards the city, groaning heavily. 481

Footnote 481: (return) Milton, P.L. vi. 335:—

“Forthwith on all sides to his aid was run

By angels many and strong, who interposed

Defence, while others bore him on their shields

Back to his chariot, where it stood retired

From off the files of war; there they him laid,

Gnashing for anguish, and despite, and shame.”

But when now they came to the ford of the rapid-flowing current of eddying Xanthus, whom immortal Jove begat, there they removed him from his car to the ground, and poured water over him; but he breathed again, and looked up with his eyes; and, sitting upon his knees, disgorged black blood. Again he fell back upon the ground, and dark night overshadowed his eyes; for the blow still subdued his spirits.

But when the Greeks saw Hector going apart, they pressed the more on the Trojans, and were mindful of contest. Then swift Oïlean Ajax before others, leaping forward with his fir-tree spear, wounded Satnius, son of Enops, whom a Naiad, the fairest nymph, bore to Enops, when keeping his flocks by the banks of Satnio. Him the spear-renowned son of Oïleus, drawing near, wounded in the flank; but he fell supine, and round him the Trojans and Greeks engaged in a valiant battle. But to him spear-brandishing Polydamas, son of Panthous, came as an avenger, and smote Prothoënor, son of Areïlochus, upon the right shoulder. The tough spear passed on through his shoulder, but falling in the dust, he grasped the earth with his hand. And Polydamas boasted mightily over him, shouting aloud:

“I do not think, indeed, that the weapon hath fled vainly from the sturdy hand of the magnanimous son of Panthous, but some one of the Greeks has received it in his body; and I think that he, leaning upon it, will descend to the mansion of Pluto.”

Thus he spoke, but grief arose among the Greeks at his boasting, and particularly agitated the mind of warlike Ajax, the son of Telamon, for he had fallen very near him; and he immediately hurled with his shining spear at him departing. Polydamas himself indeed avoided black fate, springing off obliquely; but Archilochus, son of Antenor, received [the blow], for to him the gods had doomed destruction. Him then he struck upon the last vertebra, in the joining of the head and neck, and he disjoined both tendons; but the head, the mouth, and the nostrils of him falling, met the ground much sooner than his legs and knees. Then Ajax in turn cried out to blameless Polydamas:

“Reflect, O Polydamas, and tell me the truth; is not this man worthy to be slain in exchange of Prothoënor? He appears not to me indeed a coward, nor [sprung] from cowards, but [to be] the brother or the son of horse-breaking Antenor, for he seems most like him as to his race.”

Thus he spoke, well knowing [him], but grief possessed the minds of the Trojans. Then Acamas, stalking round his brother, wounded with his spear Promachus, the Bœotian; whilst he was dragging him off by the feet. But over him Acamas greatly boasted, calling out aloud:

“Ye Argive archers, 482 insatiable in threats, assuredly not to us alone will toil and sorrow accrue, but thus thou also wilt at some time be slain. Consider how your Promachus sleeps, subdued by my spear, that a requital for my brother might not be long unpaid. Therefore should a man wish a brother to be left in his family, as an avenger of his death.”

Footnote 482: (return) See note on iv. 242.

Thus he spoke; but grief arose among the Greeks as he boasted, and he particularly agitated the mind of warlike Peneleus. Accordingly he rushed upon Acamas, who awaited not the charge of king Peneleus; but he wounded Ilioneus, son of Phorbas, rich in flocks, whom Mercury loved most of all the Trojans, and had presented with possessions; and to whom his mother bore Ilioneus alone. Him then he wounded below the brow, in the socket of the eye, and he forced out the pupil: but the spear went forward through the eye, and through the back of the head; and he sat down, stretching out both his hands. But Peneleus, drawing his sharp sword, smote him upon the middle of the neck, and lopped off his head with its helmet to the ground, and the strong spear still remained in his eye. But he (Peneleus), holding it up like a poppy, shouted to the Trojans, and boasting spoke thus:

“Tell for me, ye Trojans, the beloved father and mother of illustrious Ilioneus, that they may lament him in their halls; for neither shall the wife of Promachus, the son of Alegenor, present herself with joy to her dear husband coming [back], when we, sons of the Greeks, return from Troy with our ships.”

Thus he spoke; but pale fear seized upon them all, and each gazed about, [seeking] where he might escape utter destruction.

Tell me now, ye muses, possessing Olympian dwellings, which of the Greeks now first bore away gore-stained spoils of men, when the illustrious Earth-shaker turned the [tide of] battle.

Telamonian Ajax then first wounded Hyrtius, son of Gyrtias, leader of the undaunted Mysians; and Antilochus spoiled Phalces and Mermerus; Meriones slew Morys and Hippotion; and Teucer slew Prothous and Periphœtes. But the son of Atreus next wounded upon the flank Hyperenor, the shepherd of the people, and the spear, cutting its way, drank his entrails; and his soul, expelled, fled in haste through the inflicted wound, and darkness veiled his eyes. But Ajax, the swift son of Oïleus, slew the most; because there was not one equal to him on foot, to follow the flying men, when Jove had excited flight amongst them.



Jove awaking, and finding the Trojans routed, menaces Juno. He then sends Iris to desire Neptune to relinquish the battle, and Apollo to restore Hector to health. Armed with the ægis, Apollo puts the Greeks to flight; who are pursued home to their fleet, while Telamonian Ajax slays twelve Trojans who were bringing fire to burn it.

But after the fugitives had crossed both the ramparts and the trench, and many were subdued by the hands of the Greeks, the rest were at length detained, waiting beside their chariots, pallid with fear, and terrified. But Jove arose on the summits of Ida, from beside golden-throned Juno; and starting up, he stood and beheld the Trojans and Greeks, those indeed in confusion, and the Greeks throwing them into confusion in the rear; and amongst them king Neptune. Hector he beheld lying upon the plain, and his companions sat round him: 483 but he was afflicted with grievous difficulty of respiration, and devoid of his senses, 484 vomiting blood, for it was not the weakest of the Greeks who had wounded him. The father of men and gods, seeing, pitied him, and sternly regarding Juno, severely addressed her:

“O Juno, of evil arts, impracticable, thy stratagem has made noble Hector cease from battle, and put his troops to flight. Indeed I know not whether again thou mayest not be the first to reap the fruits of thy pernicious machinations, and I may chastise thee with stripes. Dost thou not remember when thou didst swing from on high, and I hung two anvils from thy feet, and bound a golden chain around thy hands, that could not be broken? And thou didst hang in the air and clouds, and the gods commiserated thee throughout lofty Olympus; but standing around, they were not able to release thee; but whomsoever I caught, seizing, I hurled from the threshold [of heaven], till he reached the earth, hardly breathing. Nor even thus did my vehement anger, through grief for divine Hercules, leave me; whom thou, prevailing upon the storms, with the north wind, didst send over the unfruitful sea, designing evils, and afterwards bore him out of his course, to well-inhabited Cos. I liberated him, indeed, and brought him back thence to steed-nourishing Argos, although having accomplished many toils. These things will I again recall to thy memory, that thou mayest cease from deceits; in order that thou mayest know whether the intercourse and a couch will avail thee, in which thou wast mingled, coming apart from the gods, and having deceived me.”

Footnote 483: (return) Δὴ here has the force of demum.

Footnote 484: (return) Ἐξεστηκὼς τῇ ψυχῇ.—Scholiast.

Thus he spoke; but venerable large-eyed Juno shuddered, and, addressing him, spoke winged words:

“Be witness now, Earth, and boundless Heaven above, and the water of Styx gliding beneath, which is the greatest and most dreaded oath amongst the blessed gods; likewise thy sacred head, and our own nuptial couch, by which I would not rashly swear at any time, that it is not by my instigation that earth-shaking Neptune harasses the Trojans and Hector, and aids the other side; but certainly his own mind incites and orders him; for, beholding the Greeks oppressed at the ships, he took compassion on them. And even him would I advise to go there, where thou, O Cloud-collector, mayest command.”

Thus she spoke; but the father of men and gods smiled, and answering her, spoke winged words:

“If indeed thou from henceforth, O venerable, large-eyed Juno, wouldst sit amongst the immortals, being of the same mind with me, then truly would Neptune, even although he very much wishes otherwise, immediately change his mind to the same point, to thy wish and mine. But if indeed thou speakest in sincerity and truly, go now to the assemblies of the gods, and call Iris to come hither, and Apollo, renowned in archery, that she may go to the people of the brazen-mailed Greeks, and tell king Neptune, ceasing from battle, to repair to his own palaces; but let Phœbus Apollo excite Hector to battle, and breathe strength into him again, and make him forgetful of the pains which now afflict him in his mind: but let him again put the Greeks to flight, exciting unwarlike panic [amongst them], and, flying, let them fall back upon the many-benched ships of Achilles, the son of Peleus. Then shall he stimulate his companion Patroclus, whom illustrious Hector shall slay with his spear before Ilium, [Patroclus] having slain many other youths, and with them my son, noble Sarpedon; but noble Achilles shall slay Hector. From this time forward will I always continually effect for thee, that there shall be a retreat [of the Trojans] from the ships, until the Greeks, by the counsels of Minerva, shall take lofty Ilium. However, I shall not abate my anger, nor will I here permit any of the immortals to assist the Greeks, before that the request of the son of Peleus be completed; as first I promised to him, and nodded assent with my head, on that day when the goddess Thetis touched my knees, beseeching me that I would honour Achilles, the destroyer of cities.”

Thus he spoke, nor did the white-armed goddess Juno disobey, but went down from the Idæan mountains to lofty Olympus. And as when the mind of a man flashes swiftly [in thought], who, having traversed over many a land, thinks within his prudent heart, “I was here, I was there,” and deliberates much: thus quickly hastening, up sprung venerable Juno. But she reached lofty Olympus, and came in upon the immortal gods, assembled in the house of Jove but they beholding her, all rose up and welcomed her with their cups. The rest, however, she neglected, but received a goblet from fair-cheeked Themis; for she first running, came to meet her, and addressing her, spoke winged words:

“Why, O Juno, hast thou come [hither], and art like unto one in consternation? Has then the son of Saturn, who is thy husband, greatly terrified thee?”

But her the white-armed goddess Juno then answered: “Do not, O goddess Themis, ask me these things; even thou thyself knowest how overbearing and cruel a spirit is his. But do thou preside over the equal feast, in the palaces of the gods, and thou shalt hear these things along with all the immortals, what evil deeds Jove denounces. Nor do I at all think that the mind will equally rejoice to all, neither to mortals nor to the gods, although some one even yet be feasting pleasantly.”

Thus having spoken, venerable Juno sat down; but the gods were grieved throughout the palace of Jove. But she laughed with her lips [only], nor was her forehead above her dark brows exhilarated; 485 and, indignant, she spoke amongst them all:

“Senseless we, who are thus foolishly enraged with father Jove! Of a truth we still desire to restrain him, approaching near, either by persuasion or by force; whilst he, sitting apart, does not regard, nor is moved, for he says he is decidedly the most mighty in strength and power among the immortal gods. Wherefore endure whatever evil he may please to send upon each of you; for now already, I think, misfortune hath been inflicted upon Mars, since his son has perished in the fight, the dearest of mortals, Ascalaphus, whom impetuous Mars calls his own.”

Footnote 485: (return) Compare Virg. Æn. i. 211: “Spem vultu simulat, premit altum corde dolorem” with Seneca ad Pol. 24. Nemesian. Eclog. iv. 17. “Quid vultu mentem premis, ac spem fronte serenas.” Liv. xxviii. 8: “Mœrebat quidem et angebatur.... in concilio tamen dissimulans ægritudinem, elato nimo disseruit.”

Thus she spake; but Mars smote his brawny thighs with his dropped hands, and sorrowing, addressed them:

“Do not now blame me, ye who possess the Olympic mansions, repairing to the ships of the Greeks, to avenge the slaughter of my son, even although it should be my fate, smitten with the thunderbolt of Jove, to lie together with the dead bodies in blood and dust.”

Thus he spake, and he commanded Fear and Flight to yoke his steeds, but he himself girded on his shining armour. Then indeed some other greater and more grievous wrath and indignation had fallen upon the immortals from Jove, had not Minerva, greatly fearing for all the gods, leaped forth from the vestibule, and left the throne where she sat. From his head she snatched the helmet, and the shield from his shoulders, and taking the brazen spear out of his strong hand, she placed it upright; and rebuked impetuous Mars with [these] words:

“Infuriated one, infatuated in mind, thou art undone! are thy ears indeed useless for hearing, and have thy sense and shame perished? Dost thou not hear what the white-armed goddess Juno says, and she has just now come from Olympian Jove? Dost thou thyself wish, having fulfilled many misfortunes, to return to Olympus very much grieved, and by compulsion, and also to create a great evil to all the rest? For he will immediately leave the Trojans and magnanimous Greeks, and will come against us, about to disturb us in Olympus; and will seize us one after the other, whoever is culpable and who is not. Wherefore I exhort thee now to lay aside thy wrath on account of thy son, for already some one, even superior to him in strength and in hands, either is slain, or will be hereafter; for it would be a difficult task to liberate [from death] the race and offspring of all men.”

So saying, she seated impetuous Mars upon his throne. But Juno called Apollo outside the house, and Iris, who is the messenger among the immortal gods, and addressing them, spoke winged words:

“Jove orders you twain to repair with all haste to Ida, but when ye arrive, and look upon the countenance of Jove, do whatsoever he may urge and command.”

Then indeed, having thus spoken, venerable Juno retired, and sat down upon her throne; but they, hastening, flew and arrived at Ida of many rills, the mother of wild beasts. They found the far-seeing son of Saturn sitting upon lofty Gargarus, and an odoriferous cloud encircled him around. But coming before cloud-compelling Jove, they stood; nor was he enraged in his mind, beholding them, because they quickly obeyed the commands of his dear wife. And first to Iris he addressed winged words:

“Haste, begone, fleet Iris, tell all these things to king Neptune, nor be thou a false messenger. Order him, having ceased from the battle and the war, to repair to the assemblies of the gods, or to the vast sea. If, however, he will not obey my words, but shall despise them, let him then consider in his mind and soul, lest, however powerful he may be, he may not be able to withstand me coming against him; for I say that I am superior to him in strength, and elder in birth; but his heart fears riot to assert himself equal to me, whom even the others dread.”

Thus he spoke, nor was wind-footed, swift Iris disobedient: but she descended from the Idæan mountains to sacred Ilium. And as when snow drifts from the clouds, or cold hail, by the impulse of cloud-dispelling 486 Boreas, so quickly swift Iris with eagerness flew along, and standing near illustrious Neptune, she addressed him:

“O azure-haired Earth-shaker, I have come hither, bringing a certain message to thee from ægis-bearing Jove. He has commanded thee, having ceased from the battle and the war, to repair either to the assemblies of the gods or to the vast sea. But if thou wilt not obey his words, but shalt despise them, he threatens that he will come hither himself to fight against thee; and advises thee to avoid his hands, because he asserts that he is greatly superior to thee in strength, and elder in birth: but thy heart does not fear to profess that thou art equal to him, whom even the others dread.”

But her illustrious Neptune, greatly indignant, then addressed: “Gods! powerful though he be, he surely has spoken proudly, if he will by force restrain me unwilling, who am of equal honour. For we are three brothers [descended] from Saturn, whom Rhea brought forth: Jupiter and I, and Pluto, governing the infernal regions, the third; all things were divided into three parts, and each was allotted his dignity. 487 I in the first place, the lots being shaken, was allotted to inhabit for ever the hoary sea, and Pluto next obtained the pitchy darkness; but Jove in the third place had allotted to him the wide heaven in the air and in the clouds. Nevertheless the earth is still the common property of all, and lofty Olympus. Wherefore I shall not live according to the will of Jove, but although being very powerful, let him remain quiet in his third part; and let him by no means terrify me as a coward with his hands. For it would be better for him to insult with terrific language the daughters and sons whom he hath begotten, who will also through necessity attend to him, exhorting them.”

But him the fleet wind-footed Iris then answered: “O 488 azure-haired Earth-shaker, shall I really thus bear back from thee to Jove this relentless and violent reply? Or wilt thou change it at all? The minds of the prudent indeed are flexible. Thou knowest that the Furies are ever attendant on the elders.” 489

Footnote 486: (return) More literalty, “producing clear air.” So Eustathius, or Eumathius, Erotic. ii. p. 14: Αἰθρηγενέτης Βοῤῥάς. Heyne prefers “in aere genitus.”

Footnote 487: (return) On this division of things, see Servius on Virg. Æn. i. 143; Fulgent Myth. i. 1, 3. The Scholiasts attempt to refer it to the ancient theory of the elements.

Footnote 488: (return) These three verses were elegantly applied by Sostrates in mitigating the intemperate language which Antigonus would fain have addressed to Ptolemy Philadelphus. See Sextus Emp. adv. Gramm. i. 13, p. 276.

Footnote 489: (return) The Furies are said to wait on men in a double sense; either for evil, as upon Orestes after he had slain his mother; or else for good, as upon elders when they are injured, to protect them and avenge their wrongs. This is an instance that the pagans looked upon birthright as a right divine. Eustath. quoted in ed. Dubl. cf. ix. 507.

But her again earth-shaking Neptune in turn addressed: “Goddess Iris, very rightly hast thou delivered this opinion; moreover, it is good when a messenger knows fitting things. But on this account severe indignation comes upon my heart and soul, because he wishes to chide with angry words me, equal to him by lot, and doomed to an equal destiny. Nevertheless, at present, although being indignant, I will give way. But another thing will I tell thee, and I will threaten this from my soul; if indeed, without me and prey-hunting Minerva, Juno, Mercury, and king Vulcan, he shall spare lofty Ilium, nor shall wish to destroy it, and give great glory to the Greeks; let him know this, that endless animosity shall arise between us.”

So saying, the Earth-shaker quitted the Grecian army, and proceeding, he plunged into the deep; but the Grecian heroes longed for him. And then cloud-compelling Jove addressed Apollo:

“Go now, dear Phœbus, to brazen-helmed Hector; for already hath earth-encircling Neptune departed to the vast sea, avoiding our dreadful anger; for otherwise the rest, who are infernal gods, being around Saturn, would surely have heard our quarrel. This, however, is much better for me as well as for himself, that he hath first yielded to my hands, accounting himself worthy of blame, because the matter would not have been accomplished without sweat. But do thou take the fringed ægis in thy hands, with which, by violently shaking it, do thou greatly terrify the Grecian heroes. To thyself, however, O far-darting [Apollo], let illustrious Hector be a care. So long then arouse his great might unto him, until the Greeks in flight reach the ships and the Hellespont. Thenceforth I shall myself deliberate in deed and word, how the Greeks also may revive from labour.”

Thus he spoke, nor did Apollo disobey his sire, but he descended from the Idæan mountains like unto a swift hawk the dove-destroyer, the swiftest of birds. He found the son of warlike Priam, noble Hector, sitting; for he no longer lay [on the ground], but had just collected his senses, recognizing his friends around him. But the panting and perspiration had ceased, since the will of ægis-bearing Jove had aroused him. Then far-darting Apollo, standing near, addressed him:

“Hector, son of Priam, why sittest thou apart from the rest, failing in strength? Has any grief invaded thee?”

But him then crest-tossing Hector languidly addressed: “And who art thou, best of the gods, who inquirest face to face? Hast thou not heard that Ajax, brave in the din of battle, smote me with a stone upon the breast, and caused me to cease from impetuous valour, when slaying his companions at the sterns of the Grecian ships? And truly I thought that I should this day behold the dead, and the mansion of Pluto, since I was [on the point of] breathing out my dear life.”

But him far-darting king Apollo addressed in turn: “Be of good courage now, so great an assistant has the son of Saturn sent forth from Ida to stand up and help thee, Phœbus Apollo, of the golden sword: who am accustomed to defend at the same time thyself and the lofty city. But come, encourage now thy numerous cavalry to drive their fleet steeds towards the hollow ships; but I, going before, will level the whole way for the horses, and I will turn to flight the Grecian heroes.”

Thus speaking, he inspired great strength into the shepherd of the people. As when some stalled horse, fed on barley 490 at the manger, having snapped his halter, runs over the plain, striking the earth with his feet (accustomed to bathe in the smooth-flowing river), exulting, he holds his head on high, and around his shoulders his mane is dishevelled; and, trusting to his beauty 491—his knees easily bear him to the accustomed places and pasture of the mares: so Hector swiftly moved his feet and knees, encouraging the horsemen, after he had heard the voice of the god. But they—as dogs and rustic men rush against either a horned stag or wild goat; which however a lofty rock and shady forest protect, nor is it destined for them to catch it; but at their clamour 492 a bushy-bearded lion appears in the way, and turns them all back, although ardently pursuing: thus the Greeks hitherto indeed ever kept following in troops, striking with their swords and double-edged spears. But when they beheld Hector entering the ranks of heroes, they were troubled, and the courage of all fell at their feet.

Footnote 490: (return) Cf. vi. 508; and on άκοστήσας, Buttm. Lexil. p. 75, sq.

Footnote 491: (return) Observe the abrupt change of construction.

Footnote 492: (return) Ὕπὸ ἰαχῆς, attracted by their shouting.

Then Thoas, the son of Andræmon, addressed them, by far the bravest of the Ætolians, skilled in the use of the javelin, and brave in the standing fight; few also of the Greeks excelled him in the council when the youths contended in eloquence. Who wisely counselling, harangued them, and said:

“O gods, surely I behold with mine eyes this mighty miracle, since Hector has thus risen again, having escaped death. Certainly the mind of each was in great hopes that he had died by the hands of Telamonian Ajax. But some one of the gods has again liberated and preserved Hector, who hath already relaxed the knees of many Greeks; as I think is about [to occur] now also, for not without far-sounding Jove does he stand in the van, thus earnest. But come, let us all obey as I shall desire. Let us order the multitude to retreat towards the ships. But let us, as many as boast ourselves to be the best in the army, take a stand, if indeed, opposing, we may at the outset interrupt him, upraising our spears; and I think that he, although raging, will dread in mind to enter the band of the Greeks.”

Thus he spoke; but all heard him attentively, and obeyed. Those around the Ajaces and king Idomeneus, Teucer, Meriones, and Meges, equal to Mars, calling the chiefs together, marshalled their lines against Hector and the Trojans; whilst the multitude in the rear retreated to the ships of the Greeks. But the Trojans in close array pressed forward; and Hector, taking long strides, led the way; but before him walked Phœbus Apollo, clad as to his shoulders with a cloud, 493 and he held the mighty, dreadful, fringed, 494 dazzling ægis, which the artist Vulcan had given to Jove, to be borne along for the routing of men. Holding this in his hands, he led on the people. But the Greeks remained in close array, and a shrill shout arose on both sides. [Many] arrows bounded from the strings, and many spears from gallant hands: some were fixed in the bodies of warlike youths, but many half way, before they had touched the fair body, stuck in the earth, longing to satiate themselves with flesh. As long as Phœbus Apollo held the ægis unmoved in his hands, so long did the weapons reach both sides, and the people fell. But when, looking full in the faces of the swift-horsed Greeks, he shook it, and he himself besides shouted very loudly, then he checked the courage in their breasts, and they became forgetful of impetuous valour. But they, as when two wild beasts, in the depth of the dark night, 495 disturb a drove of oxen or a great flock of sheep, coming suddenly upon them, the keeper not being present—so the enfeebled Greeks were routed; for amongst them Apollo sent terror, and gave glory to the Trojans and to Hector. Then indeed man slew man, when the battle gave way. Hector slew Stichius and Arcesilaus; the one the leader of the brazen-mailed Bœotians; but the other the faithful companion of magnanimous Menestheus. But Æneas slew Medon and Iasus: Medon indeed was the illegitimate son of godlike Oïleus, and brother of Ajax; and he dwelt in Phylace, away from his father-land, having slain a man, the brother of his stepmother Eriopis, whom Oïleus had betrothed. Iasus, however, was appointed leader of the Athenians, and was called the son of Sphelus, the son of Bucolus. But Polydamas slew Mecistis, and Polites Echius, in the van, and noble Agenor slew Klonius. Paris also wounded Dëiochous in the extremity of the shoulder from behind, whilst he was flying amongst the foremost combatants; and drove the brass quite through.

Footnote 493: (return) “Nube candentes humeros amictus, Augur Apollo.”—Hor. Od. 2, 31.

Footnote 494: (return) Cf. ii. 448. Literally, “shaggy, rugged, with fringes around.”

Footnote 495: (return) Cf. Buttm. Lexil. p. 89, whose translation of νυκτὸς ἀμολγῷ I have followed.

Whilst they were spoiling these of their armour, the Greeks in the meantime falling into the dug trench and stakes, fled here and there; and from necessity entered within the rampart. But Hector, shouting aloud, exhorted the Trojans to rush upon the ships, and to let go the bloody spoils: “And whatever person I 496 shall perceive apart from the ships anywhere, there will I cause his death; nor indeed shall his male and female relatives make him when dead partaker of a funeral pile, but dogs shall tear him before our city.”

Footnote 496: (return) Observe this sudden and animated change of person, which has been noticed by Longinus, xxvii. and Dionys. Halic. de Hom. Poes. § 8. This irregularity is very common in the Greek Testament. Cf. Luke v. 14; Acts i. 4; xvii. 3; xxiii. 22; xxv. 8; with the notes of Kuinoel and Pricæus.

So saying, with the lash upon the shoulder he drove on his horses against the ranks, cheering on the Trojans; but they all shouting along with him, directed their car-drawing steeds with a mighty clamour. But Phœbus Apollo in front of them, easily overthrowing the banks of the deep ditch with his feet, cast [them] into the middle; and bridged a causeway long and wide, as far as the cast of a spear reaches, when a man, making trial of his strength, hurls it. In that way they poured onward by troops, and Apollo [went] before them, holding the highly-prized ægis. But he overthrew the wall of the Greeks very easily, as when any boy does the sand from the shore; who, when amusing himself in childishness he has made playthings, again destroys them with his feet and hands. Thus, O archer Phœbus, didst thou destroy the great labour and toil of the Greeks, and didst excite flight amongst themselves. In this manner indeed, remaining, they were penned up at the ships; animating each other, and raising up their hands to all the gods, they each loudly offered vows. But the guardian of the Greeks, Gerenian Nestor, most particularly prayed, stretching forth his hands to the starry heaven: “O father Jove, if ever any one in fruitful Argos, to thee burning the fat thighs of either oxen or sheep, supplicated that he might return, and thou didst promise and assent; be mindful of these things, O Olympian, and avert the cruel day; nor thus permit the Greeks to be subdued by the Trojans.”

Thus he spoke, praying: but provident Jove loudly thundered, hearing the prayers of the Neleïan old man. But the Trojans, when they understood the will of ægis-bearing Jove, rushed the more against the Greeks, and were mindful of battle. And as a mighty wave of the wide-flowing ocean dashes over the sides of a ship, when the force of the wind impels it (for that most of all increases waves); so the Trojans with a mighty shout mounted over the wall. And having driven in their horses, they fought at the sterns, hand to hand with two-edged spears, the one party from their chariots, but the other on high from their black ships, having ascended them with long poles which lay in their vessels, for fighting by sea, well glued, and clad on the tip with brass.

But Patroclus, as long indeed as the Greeks and Trojans fought round the wall, without the swift ships, so long he sat in the tent of valour-loving Eurypylus, and delighted him with his discourse; and to the severe wound he applied medicines, assuagers of dark pains. But when he perceived that the Trojans had burst within the walls, and moreover that a clamour and flight of the Greeks had arisen, then indeed he groaned, and smote both his thighs with his downward-bent hands; and lamenting spoke:

“O Eurypylus, I cannot any longer remain here with thee, although needing much, for now has a mighty contest arisen. But let thy attendant entertain thee, and I will hasten to Achilles, that I may encourage him to fight. And who knows whether, with God’s assistance, persuading, I may move his soul? for the admonition of a companion is effectual.” But him his feet then bore away thus speaking. Meanwhile the Greeks firmly withstood the Trojans rushing on, nor were they able to repel them from the ships, although being fewer; nor could the Trojans, breaking through the phalanxes of the Greeks, be mingled with the tents or ships. But as a plumb-line in the hands of a skilful shipwright (who knows well the whole art by the precepts of Minerva) correctly adjusts the naval plank, so was the battle and war equally extended. Some indeed supported the conflict round one ship, and others round another, but Hector advanced against glorious Ajax. Thus these two undertook the task round one ship, nor were they able, the one to drive the other away and burn the ship with fire, nor the other to repulse him, since a divinity had brought him near. Then illustrious Ajax smote upon the breast with his spear Caletor, son of Clytius, bearing fire against the ship; and falling, he resounded, and the torch fell from his hand. But when Hector perceived with his eyes his cousin fallen in the dust before the black ship, he cheered on the Trojans and Lycians, loudly exclaiming:

“Ye Trojans and Lycians, and close-fighting Dardanians, do not now retire from the fight in this narrow pass. But preserve the son of Clytius, lest the Greeks despoil him of his armour, having fallen in the contest at the ships.” Thus having spoken, he took aim with his shining spear at Ajax, whom he missed; but [he smote] Lycophron, the son of Mastor, the servant of Ajax, a Cytherean, who dwelt with him, since he had killed a man amongst the celebrated Cythereans. He struck him on the head over the ear, with the sharp brass, whilst he was standing near Ajax: but he fell supine to the ground from the stern of the ship in the dust, and his limbs were relaxed. Then Ajax shuddered, and accosted his brother: “Dear Teucer, now is our faithful companion, the son of Mastor, whom being domesticated in Cythera, we honoured equally with our beloved parents in our palaces; but him magnanimous Hector has slain. Where now are thy death-bearing arrows and bow, which Phœbus Apollo gave thee?”

Thus he spoke; but he understood; and running, he stood near him, holding in his hand his bent bow, and arrow-bearing quiver; and very quickly he shot his arrows amongst the Trojans. He struck Clitus, the illustrious son of Pisenor, the companion of Polydamas, the renowned son of Panthous, holding the reins in his hands. He indeed was employed in [guiding] the horses; for he directed them there, where the most numerous phalanxes were thrown in confusion, gratifying Hector and the Trojans. But soon came evil upon him, which no one averted from him, although eager; for the bitter shaft fell upon his neck from behind, and he fell from the chariot, whilst his horses started back, rattling the empty car. But king Polydamas very quickly perceived it, and first came to meet his horses. Them he intrusted to Astynous, son of Protiaon, and exhorted him much to keep the horses near him within sight; but he himself returning was mingled with the foremost combatants. Teucer, however, drew another arrow against brazen-armed Hector, and would have made him cease from battle, at the ships of the Greeks, if striking him while bravely fighting, he had taken away his life. But it did not escape the prudent mind of Jove, who protected Hector, and deprived Teucer, the son of Telamon, of glory; and who (Jove) broke the well-twisted string, in his blameless bow, as he was drawing against [Hector]; but the brass-laden arrow was turned off in another direction, and the bow fell from his hand. Then Teucer shuddered, and addressed his brother:

“Ye gods! a deity, without doubt, cuts short the plans of our battle, who has shaken the bow from my hand, and has snapped asunder the newly-twisted string which I tied to it this morning, that it might sustain the shafts frequently bounding from it.”

But him the mighty Telamonian Ajax then answered: “O my friend, permit then thy bow and numerous arrows to lie aside, since a god has confounded them, envying the Greeks; but, taking a long spear in thy hands, and a shield upon thy shoulder, fight against the Trojans, and encourage the other forces. Nor let them take the well-benched ships without labour at least, although having subdued us, but let us be mindful of the fight.”

Thus he spoke; and he placed his bow within the tents. Then around his shoulders he hung a four-fold shield, and upon his brave head fixed a well-made helmet, crested with horse-hair, and the plume nodded dreadfully from above. And he grasped a stout spear, tipped with sharp brass, and hastened to advance, and running very quickly, stood beside Ajax. But when Hector perceived the arrows of Teucer frustrated, he encouraged the Trojans and Lycians, calling aloud:

“Ye Trojans, Lycians, and close-fighting Dardanians, be men, my friends, and be mindful of impetuous valour at the hollow ships; for I have beheld with my eyes the arrows of their chief warrior rendered vain by Jove. Easily recognizable amongst men is the power of Jove, as well among those into whose hands he has delivered superior glory, as those whom he deteriorates, and does not wish to defend. As now he diminishes the might of the Greeks, and aids us. But fight in close array at the ships, and whichever of you, wounded or stricken, shall draw on his death and fate, let him die; it is not inglorious to him to die fighting for his country; but his wife shall be safe, and his children left behind him, his house and patrimony unimpaired, if indeed the Greeks depart with their ships to their dear father-land.”

So saying, he kindled the strength and spirit of each: and Ajax again, on the other side, animated his companions:

“Shame, oh Argives! now is the moment for us either to perish, or to be preserved and to repel destruction from the ships. Do ye expect that if crest-tossing Hector capture the ships, ye will reach on foot each his native land? Do ye not hear Hector, who now rages to fire the ships, inciting all his people? Nor indeed does he invite them to come to a dance, but to battle. But for us there is no opinion or design better than this, to join in close fight our hands and strength. Better, either to perish at once, or live, rather than thus uselessly to be wasted away 497 for a length of time in dire contention at the ships, by inferior men.”

Footnote 497: (return) The verb στρεύγεσθαι, which may be compared with ἀπολιβάζειν in Od. xii. 351, is interpreted by Apollonius καταπονεῖσθαι. Cf. Hesych. t. i. p. 1603, t. ii. p. 1278.

So saying, he aroused the strength and courage of each. Then Hector indeed slew Schedius, son of Perimedes, prince of the Phoceans; and Ajax slew Laodamas, leader of the infantry, the illustrious son of Antenor. Polydamas slew Cyllenian Otus, the companion of the son of Phyleus, chief of the magnanimous Epeans. Meges rushed upon him, perceiving it, but Polydamas stooped obliquely, and he missed him; for Apollo did not suffer the son of Panthous to be subdued among the foremost warriors. But he wounded Crœsmus in the middle of the breast with his spear, but falling, he resounded; and he stripped the arms from his shoulders. In the meantime Dolops, the descendant of Lampus, well skilled in the spear, leaped upon him (he whom Lampus, son of Laomedon, the best of men, begat, skilled in impetuous fight), who then attacking him in close fight, struck the middle of Meges’s shield with his spear: but the thick corslet defended him, which he wore, compact in its cavities. This Phyleus formerly brought from Ephyre, from the river Selleïs: for his host, Euphetes, king of men, had given it to him, to bear into the battle as a defence against the enemy; and which then warded off destruction from the body of his son. But Meges with his sharp spear smote the base of the highest cone of his brazen horse-haired helmet, and struck off his horse-haired crest; and the whole fell on the ground in the dust, lately shining with purple. Whilst the one (Meges) standing firm, fought with the other (Dolops), and still expected victory; meanwhile, warlike Menelaus came as an assistant to him (Meges), and stood at his side with his spear, escaping notice, and wounded him from behind in the shoulder; but the spear, driven with violence, passed through his breast, proceeding farther; and he fell on his face. Both then rushed on, about to tear the brazen armour from his shoulders; but Hector strenuously exhorted all his relations, and rebuked the gallant Melanippus first, the son of Hicetaon. He till then had fed his curved-footed oxen at Percote, the enemy being yet at a distance; but when the equally-plied barks of the Greeks had arrived, he came back to Troy, and was distinguished amongst the Trojans; and he dwelt near Priam, and he honoured him equally with his sons. But Hector rebuked him; and spoke and addressed him:

“Shall we be thus remiss, O Melanippus? Is not thy heart moved, thy kinsman being slain? Dost thou not perceive how busy they are about the arms of Dolops? But follow; for it is no longer justifiable to fight at a distance with the Greeks, before that either we slay them, or that they tear lofty Ilium from its summit, and slay its citizens.” So saying, he led on, and the godlike hero followed with him. But mighty Telamonian Ajax aroused the Greeks.

“O my friends, be men, and set honour 498 in your hearts, and have reverence for each other during the vehement conflicts. For more of those men who reverence [each other] are saved than slain; but of the fugitives, neither glory arises, nor any defence.”

Footnote 498: (return) Cf. v. 530, xiii. 121, with the notes.

Thus he spoke, but they too were eager to repel [the enemy]. And they fixed his advice in their mind, and enclosed the ships with a brazen fence; but Jove urged on the Trojans. And Menelaus, brave in the din of battle, incited Antilochus:

“O Antilochus, no other of the Greeks is younger than thou, nor swifter of foot, nor strong, as thou [art], to fight. Would 499 that, attacking some hero of the Trojans, thou couldst wound him.”

Footnote 499: (return) Εἰ is put for εἴθε.

So saying, he on his part withdrew again, and he aroused him. But he (Antilochus) leaped forth from amongst the foremost warriors, and took aim with his shining spear, gazing around him; but the Trojans retired, the hero hurling. But he did not cast his weapon in vain, for he struck magnanimous Melanippus, the son of Hicetaon, in the breast, near the pap, advancing to the battle. And falling, he made a crash, and his arms rang upon him. But Antilochus sprang upon him, as a dog that rushes on a wounded fawn, which the huntsman aiming at, has wounded, leaping from its lair, and relaxed its limbs under it. Thus, O Melanippus, did warlike Antilochus spring on thee, about to despoil thee of thy armour: but he did not escape noble Hector, who came against him, running through the battle. But Antilochus did not await him, though being an expert warrior, but he fled, like unto a wild beast that has done some mischief, which, having slain a dog or herdsman in charge of oxen, flies, before a crowd of men is assembled: so fled the son of Nestor; but the Trojans and Hector, with great clamour, poured forth their deadly weapons. Yet when he reached the band of his own companions, being turned round, he stood. But the Trojans, like raw-devouring lions, rushed upon the ships, and were fulfilling the commands of Jove; who ever kept exciting their great strength, and enervated the courage of the Greeks, and took away their glory; but encouraged those. For his mind wished to bestow glory on Hector, the son of Priam, that he might cast the dreadfully-burning, indefatigable fire upon the crooked barks; and accomplish all the unseasonable prayer of Thetis.

For this did provident Jove await, till he should behold with his eyes the flame of a burning vessel; for from that time he was about to make a retreat of the Trojans from the ships, and to afford glory to the Greeks. Designing these things, he aroused Hector, the son of Priam, against the hollow ships, although himself very eager. But he raged, as when Mars [rages], brandishing his spear, or [when] a destructive fire rages in the mountains, in the thickets of a deep wood. And foam arose about his mouth, and his eyes flashed from beneath his grim eyebrows; and the helm was shaken awfully upon the temples of Hector, fighting; for Jove himself from the æther was an assistant to him, and honoured and glorified him alone amongst many men; because he was destined to be short-lived: for Pallas Minerva already impelled him towards the fatal day, by the might of the son of Peleus. And he wished to break the ranks of heroes, trying them, wheresoever he beheld the greatest crowd and the best arms. But not thus was he able to break through them, although very eager; for they, compact in squares, sustained his attack, as a lofty, huge cliff, being near the hoary deep, which abides the impetuous inroads of the shrill winds, and the swollen billows which are dashed against it. Thus the Greeks firmly awaited the Trojans, nor fled. But he, gleaming with fire on all sides, rushed upon the crowd; and fell upon them, as when an impetuous wave, wind-nurtured from the clouds, dashes against a swift ship, and it [the ship] is wholly enveloped with the spray, and a dreadful blast of wind roars within the sail: but the sailors tremble in mind, fearing, because they are borne but a little way from death: thus was the mind of the Greeks divided in their breasts. He, however, like a destructive lion coming upon oxen which feed in myriads in the moist ground of a spacious marsh, and amongst them a keeper not very skilful in fighting with a wild beast for the slaughter of a crooked-horned ox; 500 he indeed always accompanies the foremost or the hindmost cattle, whilst [the lion] springing into the midst, devours an ox, and all the rest fly in terror; thus then were the Greeks wondrously put to flight by Hector and father Jove, all—but [Hector] slew only Mycenæan Periphetes, the dear son of Copreus, who went with a messenger of king Eurystheus to mighty Hercules. From this far inferior father sprung a son superior in all kinds of accomplishments, as well in the race as in the combat, and who in prudence was among the first of the Mycenæans, who at that time gave into the hands of Hector superior glory. For, turning backwards, he trod upon the rim of his shield which he bore, a fence against javelins, which reached to his feet; by this incommoded, he fell upon his back, and the helmet terribly sounded round the temples of him fallen. But Hector quickly perceived, and running, stood near him, and fixed his spear in his breast, and slew him near his beloved companions, nor indeed were they able, although grieved for their comrade, to avail him, for they themselves greatly feared noble Hector. But they retreated within the line of their ships, 501 and the extreme ships enclosed them, which were first drawn up: and the others were poured in. The Argives, therefore, from necessity, retreated from the foremost vessels, and remained there at their tents in close array, and were not dispersed through the camp, for shame and fear restrained them, and they unceasingly exhorted one another with shouting. More particularly did Gerenian Nestor, the guardian of the Greeks, adjure them by their parents, earnestly supplicating each man:

“O my friends, be men, and place a sense of reverence 502 of other men in your minds. Call to memory, each of you, your children, wives, property, and parents, as well he to whom they survive as he to whom they are dead; for by those not present I here supplicate you to stand bravely, nor be ye turned to flight.” So saying, he aroused the might and spirit of each. But for them Minerva removed the heaven-sent cloud of darkness from their eyes; and abundant light arose to them on both sides, both towards the ships and towards the equally destructive battle. Then they observed Hector, brave in the din of battle, and his companions, as well whatever of them stood behind and did not fight as those who fought the battle at the swift ships. Nor was it longer pleasing to the mind of great-hearted Ajax to stand there where the other sons of the Greeks stood together; but he went about upon the decks of the vessels, taking long strides, and wielding in his hands a great sea-fighting pole, studded with iron nails, twenty-two cubits long. And as when a man well skilled in vaulting upon steeds, who, after he has selected four horses out of a greater number, driving them from the plain, urges them towards a mighty city, along the public way; and him many men and women behold with admiration; but he, always leaping up firmly and safely, changes alternately from one to the other, 503 whilst they are flying along: so went Ajax along many decks of swift ships, shouting loudly, and his voice reached to the sky; and, always terribly shouting, he ordered the Greeks to defend their ships and tents. Nor, indeed, did Hector remain among the crowd of well-corsleted Trojans; but as the tawny eagle pounces upon a flock of winged birds, feeding on a river’s bank, either geese or cranes, or long-necked swans, so did Hector direct his course towards an azure-prowed vessel, rushing against it; but Jove, with a very mighty hand, impelled him from behind, and animated his forces along with him. Again was a sharp contest waged at the ships. You would have said that unwearied and indefatigable they met each other in battle, so furiously they fought. And to them fighting this was the opinion: the Greeks, indeed, thought that they could not escape from destruction, but must perish. But the soul of each within his breast, to the Trojans, hoped to burn the ships, and slay the Grecian heroes. They thinking these things, opposed one another.

Footnote 500: (return) I.e. about its carcase. The Scholiast also gives another interpretation, viz. “to prevent his killing an ox;” but Kennedy, with reason, prefers the former one.

Footnote 501: (return) They now held their ships in view, which were arranged in a two-fold line, from the outermost whereof the Greeks were driven in upon their tents, disposed in the intermediate position between the lines of the vessels.”—Kennedy.

Footnote 502: (return) Cf. v. 530.

Footnote 503: (return) As the “desultores” (Liv. xxiii. 29). Hence “desultor amoris,” in Ovid, Amor. i. 3, 15, to denote an inconstant lover; “desultoria scientia,” Apuleius, Met. i. præf., speaking of his own varied fable.

But Hector seized the stern of a sea-traversing bark, beautiful, swift, which had carried Protesilaus 504 to Troy, but did not bear him back again to his father-land. Round his ship the Greeks and Trojans were now slaying one another in close combat; nor did they indeed at a distance await the attacks of arrows and of javelins, but standing near, having one mind, they fought with sharp battle-axes and hatchets, with large swords and two-edged spears. And many fair swords, black-hilted, with massive handles, fell to the ground, some indeed from the hands, and others from the shoulders of the contending heroes; and the dark earth streamed with gore. But Hector, after he had seized [the vessel] by the stern, did not let go, holding the furthest 505 edge with his hands, and he cheered on the Trojans:

“Bring fire, and at the same time do yourselves together excite the battle. Now hath Jove vouchsafed us a day worth all, 506 to take the ships, which, coming hither against the will of the gods, brought many evils upon us through the cowardice of our elders, who kept me back when desirous myself to fight at the sterns of the ships, and restrained the people. But if, indeed, far-sounding Jove then injured 507 our minds, he now impels and orders us.” Thus he spoke, but they rushed the more against the Greeks. Even Ajax no longer sustained them, for he was overwhelmed with darts; but, thinking he should fall, retired back a short space to the seven-feet bench, and deserted the deck of his equal ship. There he stood watching, and with his spear continually repulsed the Trojans from the ships, whoever might bring the indefatigable fire; and always shouting dreadfully, he animated the Greeks:

“O my friends, Grecian heroes, servants of Mars, be men, my friends, and be mindful of impetuous strength. Whether do we think that we have any assistants in the rear, or any stronger rampart which may avert destruction from the men? Indeed there is not any other city near, fortified with towers, where we may be defended, having a reinforcing army; but bordering on the sea, we sit in the plain of the well-armed Trojans, far away from our native land; therefore safety is in our exertions, not in remission of battle.”

He said, and furious, charged with his sharp spear whoever of the Trojans was borne towards the hollow ships with burning fire, for the sake of Hector who incited them;—him Ajax wounded, receiving him with his long spear; and he slew twelve in close fight before the ships.

Footnote 504: (return) The reader will do well to read the beautiful sketch of this hero’s deification after death in Philostratus’s preface to the Heroica. He was the first of the Greeks who fell, being slain by Hector as he leaped from the vessel (Hygin. Fab. ciii.; Auson. Epigr. xx.). He was buried on the Chersonese, near the city Plagusa. Hygin. P.A. ii. 40.

Footnote 505: (return) The Oxford translator renders ἄφλαστον “the tafferel.”

Footnote 506: (return) This is, I think, much more spirited than the Scholiast’s πάντων πόνων ἰσόῤῥοπον, or πάντων τῶν τολμηθέντων. Supply, therefore, ήμάτων.

Footnote 507: (return) I.e. befooled our senses, taking away our proper spirit. So Theognισ has υοοῖ βεβλαμμένος ἐσθλοῦ.



Patroclus at length obtains permission from Achilles, and enters the fight, on condition that he should return after liberating the Greeks from their immediate peril. He comes opportunely to the assistance of Ajax, routs the Trojans, and kills Sarpedon, whose body, but without the armour, is rescued by Hector and Glaucus. Forgetful of his promise to Achilles, Patroclus pursues the Trojans to their very walls. He is driven back by Apollo, but slays the charioteer of Hector, Cebriones. He is suddenly afflicted with stupor by Apollo, and dies by the hand of Hector, whose death he foretells. Hector pursues Automedon with the chariot of Achilles towards the ships.

Thus, then, they were fighting for the well-benched ship. But Patroclus stood beside Achilles, the shepherd of the people, shedding warm 508 tears; as a black-water fountain, which pours its sable tide down from a lofty rock. But swift-footed noble Achilles, seeing, pitied him, and addressing him, spoke winged words:

“Why weepest thou, O Patroclus, as an infant girl, who, running along with her mother, importunes to be taken up, catching her by the robe, and detains her hastening; and weeping, looks at her [mother] till she is taken up?—like unto her, O Patroclus, dost thou shed the tender tear. Dost thou bear any tidings to the Myrmidons, or to me myself? Or hast thou alone heard any news from Phthia? They say that, indeed, Menœtius, the son of Actor, still lives, and that Peleus, the son of Æacus, lives amongst the Myrmidons: for deeply should we lament for either of them dying. Or dost thou mourn for the Greeks, because they thus perish at their hollow ships, on account of their injustice? Speak out, nor conceal it in thy mind, that we both may know.”

Footnote 508: (return) Longus, iv. 7: Δάκρυα ἦν ἐπὶ τούτοις θερμότερα, which Mollus, referring to Homer, thus explains: “Lacrymæ, quæ ex magno impetu, et animi affectu quasi calido, neutiquam simulatæ prosiliebant.”

But deeply sighing, O knight Patroclus, him thou didst address: “O Achilles, son of Peleus, by far the bravest of the Greeks, be not indignant; since a grief so heavy does oppress the Greeks: for now all they, as many as were formerly most valiant, lie in the ships, wounded or stricken. Brave Diomede, indeed, the son of Tydeus, is wounded, and spear-renowned Ulysses is stricken, as also Agamemnon; and Eurypylus is also wounded in the thigh with an arrow. About these, indeed, physicians skilled in many remedies are employed healing their wounds: but thou, O Achilles, art inexorable. Never may such anger seize me at least, as thee, O cruelly brave, dost preserve. What other after-born man will be defended by thee, if thou will not avert unworthy ruin from the Greeks? merciless one! Certainly the knight Peleus was not thy father, nor Thetis thy mother; but the grey 509 Ocean produced thee, and the lofty rocks; for thy mind is cruel. But if thou wouldst avoid any oracle in thy mind, and thy venerable mother has told any to thee from Jove, at least send me quickly, and at the same time give me the rest of the army of the Myrmidons, if perchance I may become any aid to the Greeks. Grant me also to be armed on my shoulders with thy armour, if perchance the Trojans, likening me to thee, may cease from battle, and the warlike sons of the Greeks, now fatigued, breathe again; and there be a short respite from war. 510 But we [who are] fresh, can easily repulse men worn out with battle from our ships and tents towards the city.”

Footnote 509: (return) Alluding to the colour of the ocean when ruffled by a storm. With the following passage compare Theocrit. iii. 15, sqq.; Eurip. Bacch. 971, sqq.; Virg. Æn. iv. 365, sqq.; Eψl. viii. 43, sqq., with Macrob. Sat. v. 11.

Footnote 510: (return) Cf. xi. 800, with the note.

Thus he spoke, supplicating, very rash; for, assuredly, he was about to supplicate for himself evil death and fate. Whom, deeply sighing, swift-footed Achilles addressed:

“Alas! most noble Patroclus, what hast thou said? I neither regard any oracle which I have heard, nor has my venerable mother told anything to me from Jove. But this bitter grief comes upon my heart and soul, when a man who excels in power, wishes to deprive his equal 511 of his portion, and to take back his reward because he excels in power.”

Footnote 511: (return) I.e. in dignity.

“This to me is a bitter grief, since I have suffered sorrows in my mind. The maid whom the sons of the Greeks selected as a reward for me, and [whom] I won by my spear, having sacked a well-fortified city, her has king Agamemnon, son of Atreus, taken back out of my hands, as from some dishonoured alien. But we shall allow these things to be among the things that were; 512 nor is it right, indeed, to be continually enraged in one’s mind. Certainly I affirmed that I would not put a stop to my wrath, before that clamour and war should reach my ships. But do thou put on thy shoulders my famous armour, and lead on the war-loving Myrmidons to battle; since now a black cloud of Trojans hath strongly surrounded the ships, and the Greeks are hemmed in by the shore of the sea, possessing now but a small portion of land. And the whole city of the Trojans has rushed on, confident, because they behold not the front of my helmet gleaming near. Certainly, quickly flying, would they have filled the trenches with their bodies, if king Agamemnon had known mildness to me: but now they are fighting around the army. For the spear does not rage in the hands of Diomede, the son of Tydeus, to avert destruction from the Greeks: nor do I at all hear the voice of Agamemnon shouting from his odious head; but [the voice] of man-slaughtering Hector, animating the Trojans, resounds: whilst they with a shout possess the whole plain, conquering the Greeks in battle. Yet even thus, Patroclus, do thou fall on them bravely, warding off destruction from the ships; nor let them consume the vessels with blazing fire, and cut off thy own return. But obey, as I shall lay the sum of my advice in thy mind, in order that thou mayest obtain for me great honour and glory from all the Greeks; and they may send back to me the beautiful maid, and afford [me] besides rich presents. Having repulsed the enemy from the ships, return back: and if, indeed, the loud-thundering husband of Juno permit thee to obtain glory, do not be desirous of fighting with the warlike Trojans apart from me; for thou wouldst render me more dishonoured; nor, exulting in the battle and havoc, lead on as far as Ilium, slaughtering the Trojans, lest some of the immortal gods come down from Olympus [against thee]; for far-darting Apollo greatly loves them. But return after thou hast given safety to the ships, and allow the others to contend through the plain. For would that, O father Jove, Minerva, and Apollo, not one of the Trojans, as many as there are, may escape death, nor any of the Greeks: whilst to us two it [may be granted] to avoid destruction, that we alone might overthrow the sacred bulwarks of Troy.”

Footnote 512: (return) I.e. “Let bygones be bygones.”—Dublin Ed.

Thus they indeed discussed these matters with each other. But Ajax no longer remained firm, 513 for he was pressed hard with weapons; because the counsel of Jove overpowered him, and the fierce Trojans hurling. And a dreadful clang did his glittering helmet round his temples emit, being struck, and he was constantly smitten upon the well-made studs of his casque. He was fatigued in the left shoulder, by always firmly holding his moveable shield; nor could they, pressing him all around with their weapons, drive him [from his place]. Unceasingly afflicted was he with severe panting, and everywhere from his limbs poured copious perspiration, nor was he able to respire; for everywhere evil was heaped upon evil.

Footnote 513: (return) Compare the splendid description in Ennius apud Macrob. Sat. vi. 3:—

Undique conveniunt, vel imber, tela Tribuno.

Configunt parmam, tinnit hastilibus umbo,

Æratæ sonitant galeæ: sed nec pote quisquam

Undique nitendo corpus discerpere ferro.

Semper abundanteis hastas frangitque, quatitque,

Totum sudor habet corpus, multumque laborat:

Nec respirandi fit copia præpete ferro.

Cf. Virg. Æn. ix. 806, sqq.; Stat. Theb. ii. 668, sqq.

Declare now to me, ye Muses, possessing Olympic habitations, how first the fire fell upon the ships of the Greeks!

Hector, standing near, struck the ashen spear of Ajax with his great sword, at the socket of the blade behind, and cut it quite off; Telamonian Ajax indeed vainly brandished the mutilated spear in his hand; but the brazen blade rang, falling upon the earth at a distance from him. Then Ajax knew in his blameless soul, and shuddered at the deeds of the gods; because the lofty thundering Jove cut off his plans of war, and willed the victory to the Trojans. Wherefore he retired out of the reach of the weapons, and they hurled the indefatigable fire at the swift ships, the inextinguishable flame of which was immediately diffused around. Thus indeed the flame surrounded the stern; but Achilles, smiting his thighs, addressed Patroclus:

“Haste, O most noble steed-directing Patroclus (I perceive, indeed, the fury of the hostile fire at the ships), lest they now take the vessels, and there be not an opportunity of flying; put on thy armour very quickly, and I shall assemble the forces.”

Thus he spoke; but Patroclus armed himself in glittering brass. First, indeed, he put the beautiful greaves around his legs, fitted with clasps; next he placed the corslet of the swift-footed descendant of Æacus upon his breast, variegated, and studded with stars; and suspended from his shoulders his silver-studded sword, brazen, and then the great and sturdy shield. But upon his gallant head he placed the well-made helmet, crested with horse-hair; and dreadfully the plume nodded from above. He took besides two strong spears, which well fitted his hands; but the spear alone of blameless Æacides, ponderous, large, and strong, he did not take; which, indeed, no other of the Greeks could brandish, but Achilles alone knew how to wield it; a Pelian ash which Chiron had given to his sire, [cut] from the tops of Pelion, about to be death to heroes. He also commanded Automedon quickly to yoke the steeds, whom, next to rank-breaking Achilles, he most honoured, because he was most faithful to him in battle, to stand the charge. Wherefore Automedon yoked the fleet horses, Xanthus and Balius, which kept pace with the winds. Them the Harpy Podargé bore to Zephyrus, the wind, while feeding in the meadows by the stream of Oceanus. And in the outer harness he fastened illustrious Pedasus, whom Achilles led away long since, having sacked the city of Eëtion; and which [steed], though being mortal, accompanied immortal steeds. But Achilles, going about, armed all the Myrmidons through the tents with their armour; but they, like carnivorous wolves, in whose hearts is immense strength, and which, having slain a great horned stag in the mountains, tearing, devour it; but the jaws of all are red with blood: and then they rush in a pack, lapping with slender tongues the surface of the dark water from a black-water fountain, vomiting forth clots of blood; but the courage in their breasts is dauntless, and their stomach is distended: so rushed the leaders and chiefs of the Myrmidons round the brave attendant of swift-footed Æacides, and amongst them stood warlike Achilles, animating both the steeds and the shield-bearing warriors.

Fifty were the swift galleys which Achilles, dear to Jove, led to Troy; and in each were fifty men, companions at the benches. But he had appointed five leaders, in whom he put trust, to command them; and he himself, being very powerful, governed. One troop indeed Menesthius, with flexible corslet, commanded, the son of Sperchius, a Jove-descended river; whom the daughter of Peleus, fair Polydora, bore to indefatigable Sperchius, a woman having been embraced by a god; although, according to report, to Borus, son of Perieres, who openly espoused her, giving infinite marriage gifts. But warlike Eudorus commanded another [company], clandestinely begotten, whom Polymela, the daughter of Phylas, graceful in the dance, bore. Her the powerful slayer of Argus 514 loved, beholding her with his eyes among the dancers at a choir of golden-bowed Diana, huntress-maid; and immediately ascending to an upper chamber, pacific Mercury secretly lay with her: whence she bore to him a son, Eudorus, swift to run, and also a warrior. But after that birth-presiding Ilithyia had brought him into light, and he beheld the splendour of the sun, the mighty strength of Echecleus, son of Actor, led her to his house when he had given innumerable marriage-gifts; whilst aged Phylas carefully nurtured and educated him, tenderly loving him, as if being his own son. The third, warlike Pisander led, the son of Mæmalus, who, after the companion of the son of Peleus, surpassed all the Myrmidons in fighting with the spear. The fourth, the aged knight Phœnix commanded; and Alcimedon, the illustrious son of Laërceus, the fifth. But when Achilles, marshalling them well, had placed all with their leaders, he enjoined this strict command:

“Ye Myrmidons, let none of you be forgetful of the threats with which, at the swift ships, ye did threaten the Trojans, during all my indignation, and blamed me, each of you [in this manner]: ‘O cruel son of Peleus! surely thy mother nurtured thee in wrath: relentless! thou who at the ships detainest thy companions against their will. Let us at least return home again in our sea-traversing barks, since pernicious wrath has thus fallen upon thy mind.’ These things ye frequently said to me, when assembled; and now the great task of war appears, of which ye were hitherto desirous. Let each one here, having a valiant heart, fight against the Trojans.”

Footnote 514: (return) Mercury.

Thus speaking, he aroused the might and spirit of each, and their ranks were condensed the more when they heard the king. As when a man constructs the wall of a lofty mansion with closely-joined stones, guarding against the violence of the winds, so closely were their helmets and bossed shields linked: then shield pressed upon shield, helmet upon helmet, and man upon man; and the horse-hair crests upon the shining cones of [their helmets] nodding, touched each other; so close stood they to each other. Before all were armed two warriors. Patroclus and Automedon, having one mind, to fight in the front of the Myrmidons. But Achilles hastened to go into his tent; and he opened the lid of a chest, beautiful, variously adorned, which silver-footed Thetis placed, to be carried in his ship, having filled it well with garments, and wind-resisting cloaks, and napped tapestry. And in it was a cup curiously wrought, nor did any other of men drink dark wine from it, nor did he pour out [from it] libations to any of the gods, except to father Jove. This then, taking from the coffer, he first purified with sulphur, and then washed in a crystal rivulet of water; but he himself washed his hands, and drew off the dark wine. Next, standing in the middle of the area, he prayed, and offered a libation of wine, looking up to heaven; nor did he escape the notice of thunder-rejoicing Jove:

“O king Jove, Dodonean, Pelasgian, dwelling afar off, presiding over wintry Dodona; but around dwell thy priests, the Selli, with unwashed feet, and sleeping upon the ground; certainly thou didst formerly hear my voice when praying: thou hast honoured me, and hast greatly injured the people of the Greeks; wherefore now also accomplish this additional request for me; for I myself will remain in the assemblage 515 of ships, but I am sending forth my companion with the numerous Myrmidons to battle; along with him, do thou send forth glory, O far-sounding Jove! embolden his heart within his breast, that even Hector may know whether my attendant, even when alone, knows how to wage war, or [only] when these invincible hands rage with him, when I likewise go forth to the slaughter of Mars. But after he has repelled the contest and the tumult from the ships, unscathed let him return to me, to the swift barks, with all his armour and his close-fighting companions.”

Footnote 515: (return) So θεῖον ἀγῶνα, vi. 298. The Scholiast interprets it ἐν ναυστάθμῳ.

Thus he spoke, praying; and provident Jove heard him. One part indeed the Sire granted him, but refused the other. He granted that he should repel the conflict and tumult from the ships, but he refused that he should return safe from the battle. He, on his part, having made a libation and prayed to father Jove, again entered his tent, and replaced the cup in the chest. Then coming out, he stood before the tent, for he still wished in his mind to behold the grievous conflict of Trojans and Greeks.

But those that were armed at the same time with magnanimous Patroclus, marched orderly, till they rushed upon the Trojans, with high hopes. Immediately they were poured out, like unto wasps dwelling by the road-side, which silly boys are wont to irritate, incessantly harassing them, possessing cells by the way-side; and cause a common evil to many. And if by chance any traveller, passing by, unintentionally disturb them, then they, possessing a valiant heart, all fly forth, and fight for their young. The Myrmidons then, having the heart and courage of these, poured out from the ships, and an inextinguishable tumult arose. But Patroclus cheered on his companions, loudly shouting:

“Ye Myrmidons, companions of Achilles, the son of Peleus, be men, my friends, and be mindful of impetuous valour; that we, his close-fighting servants, may honour the son of Peleus, who is by far the bravest of the Greeks at the ships; and that the son of Atreus, wide-ruling Agamemnon, may know his fault, that he nothing honoured the bravest of the Greeks.”

Thus speaking, he aroused the might and spirits of each: and in dense array they fell upon the Trojans: but the ships re-echoed dreadfully around from the Greeks shouting. But the Trojans, when they beheld the brave son of Menœtius, himself and his attendant glittering in arms, the mind to all of them was disturbed, and the phalanxes were deranged, deeming that the swift-footed son of Peleus at the ships had cast away his wrath, and resumed friendship: then each one gazed about where he might escape utter destruction.

But Patroclus first took aim with his shining spear from the opposite side right into the midst, where they were huddled together in greatest numbers at the stern of the ship of magnanimous Protesilaus, and wounded Pyræchmes, who led the Pæonian equestrian warriors from Amydon, from the wide-flowing Axius. Him he smote upon the right shoulder, and he fell on his back in the dust groaning; but the Pæonians, his companions, were put to flight around him, for Patroclus caused fear to them all, having slain their leader, who was very brave to fight. And he drove them from the ships, and extinguished the blazing fire. But the ship was left there half-burnt, whilst the Trojans were routed with a prodigious tumult: and the Greeks were poured forth amongst the hollow ships; and mighty confusion was created. And as when, from the lofty summit of a great mountain, 516 lightning-driving Jove dislodges a dense cloud, and all the eminences and highest ridges and glens appear, whilst the boundless æther is burst open 517 throughout the heaven; so the Greeks respired for a little, having repelled the hostile fire from their vessels. But of battle there was no cessation: for the Trojans were by no means yet totally routed from the black ships by the warlike Greeks, but still resisted, and retreated from the ships from necessity. Then of the generals, man slew man, the fight being scattered; and first, the brave son of Menœtius forthwith with his sharp spear smote the thigh of Areïlochus when turned about, and drove the brass quite through: but the spear broke the bone, and he fell prone upon the earth. But warlike Menelaus then wounded Thoas in the breast, exposed near the shield, and relaxed his limbs. But Phylides, perceiving Amphiclus rushing against him, anticipated him, taking aim at the extremity of his leg, where the calf of a man is thickest; the tendons were severed all round 518 by the point of the spear, and darkness overshadowed his eyes. Then the sons of Nestor, the one, Antilochus, struck Atymnius with his sharp spear, and drove the brazen lance through his flank; and he fell before him: but Maris, standing before the carcase, rushed upon Antilochus hand to hand with his spear, enraged on account of his brother; but godlike Thrasymedes, taking aim, anticipated him before he had wounded [Antilochus], nor did he miss him, [but wounded him] immediately near the shoulder; and the point of the spear cut off the extremity of the arm from the muscles, and completely tore away the bone. Falling, he made a crash, and darkness veiled his eyes. Thus to Erebus went these two, subdued by two brothers, the brave companions of Sarpedon, the spear-renowned sons of Amisodarus, who nourished the invincible 519 Chimæra, a destruction to many men. But Ajax, the son of Oïleus, rushing upon Cleobulus, took him alive, impeded in the crowd; and there relaxed his strength, striking him upon the neck with his hilted sword. And the whole sword was warmed over with blood, and purple 520 death and stern fate possessed his eyes.

Footnote 516: (return) Milton, P.L. ii. 488:—

“As when from mountain tops the dusky clouds

Ascending, while the north wind sleeps, o’er-spread

Heav’n’s cheerful face, the louring element

Scowls o’er the darkened landskip snow, or shower;

If chance the radiant sun with farewell sweet

Extend his evening beam, the fields revive,

The birds their notes renew and bleating herds

Attest their joy, that hill and valley rings.”

Footnote 517: (return) Virg. Æn. i. 591:—

“Vix ea fatus erat, cum circumfusa repente

Scindit se nubes, et in æthera purgat apertum.”

Cf. Drakenb. on Silius, iii. 196; Kuinoel on Matth. iii. 16; Acts vii. 55.

Footnote 518: (return) Heyne would construe αἰχμῇ with περὶ, referring to viii. 86; xiii. 441, 570; Pind. Nem. viii. 40.

Footnote 519: (return) On the adjective ἀμαιμακέτην, see intpp. on Soph. Œd. R. 176; Œd. Col. 127.

Footnote 520: (return) I.e. “atra mors,” Tibull. i. 3, 5. Cf. vs. 370: Θανάτου μέλαν νέφος.

Then Peneleus and Lycon engaged in close combat, for they had missed each other with their spears, and both had hurled in vain; 521 therefore they ran on again with their swords; then Lycon on his part struck the cone of the horse-hair-crested helmet, and the sword was broken at the hilt.

Footnote 521: (return) On μέλεος see Kennedy. Suidas: Ὁ μὲν οιητὴς (i.e. Homer) ἐπὶ τοῦ ματαίου ἐνδέχεται τὸ Μέλεος οἱ δὲ τραγικοὶ, ἐπὶ τοῦ οἰκτροῦ· So Hesych. μέλεος' μάταιος.

But Peneleus smote him in the neck below the ear, and the whole sword entered, and the skin alone retained it: the head hung down, and his limbs were relaxed.

Meriones also, overtaking him with rapid feet, wounded Acamas in the right shoulder, as he was about to ascend his chariot; and he fell from his chariot, and darkness was poured over his eyes.

But Idomeneus struck Erymas in the mouth with the pitiless brass; and the brazen weapon passed right through from the opposite side down under the brain, and then cleft the white bones. And his teeth were dashed out, and both eyes were filled with gore, which, gaping, he forced 522 out from his mouth and from his nostrils; and the black cloud of death enveloped him. Thus these leaders of the Greeks slew each a man. And as destructive wolves impetuously rush on lambs or kids, snatching them from the flocks, which are dispersed upon the mountains by the negligence of the shepherd; but they, perceiving them, immediately tear in pieces them, having an unwarlike heart: so did the Greeks rush upon the Trojans, but they were mindful of dire-sounding flight, and forgot resolute valour. But mighty Ajax ever longed to aim his javelin at brazen-armed Hector; but he, from his skill in war, covering himself as to his broad shoulders with a bull’s-hide shield, watched the hissing of the arrows and the whizzing of the javelins. Already indeed he knew the victory of battle was inclining to the other side; yet even thus he remained, and saved his beloved companions.

Footnote 522: (return) Made to rush with a bubbling noise, the verb here “expressing the violent streaming of a liquid.” See Buttm. Lexil. p. 484; and compare my note on Æsch. Ag. p. 137, n. 2, ed. Bohn.

And as when from Olympus comes a cloud into heaven, 523 after a clear sky, when Jove stretches forth a whirlwind, thus was the clamour and rout of those [flying] from the ships. Nor did they repass [the trench] in seemly plight, but his fleet-footed steeds bore away Hector with his arms; and he deserted the Trojan people, whom against their will the deep trench detained. And many fleet car-drawing steeds left in the foss the chariots of their masters, broken at the extremity of the pole. But Patroclus pursued, vehemently cheering on 524 the Greeks, and devising destruction for the Trojans; but they, with clamour and rout, filled all the ways after they were dispersed. A storm [of dust] was tossed up beneath the clouds, and the solid-hoofed horses pressed back towards the city, from the ships and tents. But Patroclus, wherever he perceived the army in greatest confusion, thither directed [his steeds], exclaiming in a threatening manner; whilst beneath his axles men fell prone from their chariots, and the chariots were overturned. Then, from the opposite side, the fleet immortal steeds, which the gods had given as splendid presents to Peleus, eagerly pressing on, bounded quite across the trench; for his mind urged him against Hector, for he longed to strike him, but his swift horses kept bearing him away.

Footnote 523: (return) Heaven is here distinguished from Olympus, as in i. 597, and Tibull. iv. i. 131:—

“Jupiter ipse levi vectus per inania curru

Adfuit, et cœlo vicinum liquit Olympum.”

Footnote 524: (return) From this sense of κελεύω arises its nautical meaning, also κελευστὴς, the man who gives the signal and cheers on the rowers. See Mollus on Long. Past. iii. 14. So Athenæus, xii. p. 535: Χρυσόγονος μὲν ἤυλει τὸ τριηρικόν. Καλλιπίδης δὲ ὁ τραγῳδὸς ἐκέλευε.

And as beneath a whirlwind the whole dark earth is oppressed on an autumnal day, when Jove pours forth his most violent stream; when, forsooth, enraged he gives vent to his wrath against men, who by violence decree perverse judgments in the assembly, and drive out justice, not regarding the vengeance of the gods; and all their rivers are flooded as they flow, and the torrents sever asunder many mountains, and flowing headlong into the dark sea, roar mightily, and the husbandry-works 525 of men are diminished; so loudly moaned the Trojan mares running along. But Patroclus, when he had cut off the first phalanxes, drove them back again towards the ships, and did not permit them, desiring it, to ascend towards the city; but, pressing on, he slew them between the ships, and the river, and the lofty wall, and he exacted revenge for many. Then indeed he smote with his shining spear Pronous first, bared as to his breast beside the shield, and relaxed his limbs: and falling, he gave a crash. But next, attacking Thestor, son of Enops (who indeed sat huddled in his well-polished chariot, for he was panic-struck in his mind, and the reins had then dropped from his hands), he standing near, smote him with his spear on the right cheek, and drove it through his teeth. Then catching the spear, he dragged him over the rim [of the chariot]; as when a man, sitting upon a jutting rock, [draws] with a line and shining brass 526 a large fish entirely out of the sea; so he dragged from his chariot with his shining spear, him gaping. Then he hurled him upon his mouth, and life left him as he fell. Then next he struck with a stone on the middle of the head, Eryalus, rushing against him, and it was totally split asunder into two parts in his strong helmet. He therefore fell prone upon the earth, and fatal death was diffused around him. Afterwards Erymas, and Amphoterus, Epaltes, and Tlepolemus, son of Damastor, Echius and Pyris, Icheus, Euïppus, and Polymelus, son of Argeus, all one over the other he heaped upon the fertile earth.

Footnote 525: (return) For this agricultural use of ἔργα cf. Oppian, Cyn. ii. 151: άντη δ' ἔργα βοῶν. Nicander, Ther. 473: ἔργα νομέων. Virg. Georg. i. 325: “Et pluvia ingenti sata læta, boumque labores diluit.”

Footnote 526: (return) I.e. the hook. So “ære, the brass cutwater,” Virg. Æn. i. 35.

But when Sarpedon perceived his loose-girt 527 companions subdued by the hands of Patroclus, the son of Menœtius, exhorting, he shouted to the godlike Lycians:

“Oh shame! Lycians, where do ye fly? 528 Now be strenuous: for I will oppose this man, that I may know who he is who is victorious: and certainly he has done many evils to the Trojans, since he has relaxed the limbs of many and brave men.”

He spoke, and leaped from his chariot with his armour to the ground; but Patroclus, on the other side, when he beheld him, sprang from his car. Then they, as bent-taloned, crook-beaked vultures, loudly screaming, fight upon a lofty rock, so they, shouting, rushed against each other. But the son of the wily Saturn, beholding them, felt compassion, and addressed Juno, his sister and wife: 529

“O woe is me, because it is fated that Sarpedon, most dear to me of men, shall be subdued by Patroclus, the son of Menœtius. But to me, revolving it in my mind, my heart is impelled with a twofold anxiety, 530 either that having snatched him alive from the mournful battle, I may place him among the rich people of Lycia, or now subdue him beneath the hands of the son of Menœtius.”

Footnote 527: (return) Τοὺς μὴ ὑποζωννυμένους μίτρας τοῖς χιτῶσιν.—Eustath.

Footnote 528: (return) Tzetzes on Hesiod, Opp. 184, reads ἐστόν, observing that it is τὸ δυϊκὸν ἀντὶ τοῦ πληθυντικοῦ.

Footnote 529: (return) Virg. Æn. i. 50: “Jovisque et soror et conjux.” Hor. Od. iii. 3, 64: “Conjuge me Jovis et sorore.” Aθson. 343, 4: “Et soror et conjux fratris regina dearum.”

Footnote 530: (return) Cf. Virg. Æn. iv. 285:—

“Atque animum nunc huc celerem, nune dividit illuc,

In partesque rapit varias, perque omnia versat.”

x. 680. Ter. Andr. i. 5, 25. Ovid, Met. vii. 19; x. 373. Plato, Rep. iii. p. 433, B. ed. Læm. finds great fault with Homer for thus debasing the character of Jove. His remarks are reiterated by Clemens Alexandr. Protr. p. 16, 50, and Minucius Felix, § 22.

Then the large-eyed, venerable Juno answered: “Most dread son of Saturn, what a word hast thou spoken? Whether dost thou wish to liberate from sad death a mortal man long since doomed to fate? Do so; but all we, the other gods, will not assent to it. But another thing I will tell thee, and do thou revolve it in thy mind. If indeed thou sendest this Sarpedon safe home, reflect whether some other of the gods may not also wish to send his beloved son [safe home] from the violent conflict; for many sons of immortals fight round the great city of Priam, upon whom thou wilt bring heavy wrath. If, however, he be dear to thee, and thy heart pities him, let him indeed be subdued in the violent conflict, beneath the hands of Patroclus, the son of Menœtius: but when his spirit and life shall have left him, send death and sweet sleep to bear him until they reach the people of expansive Lycia. There will his brethren and friends perform his obsequies with a tomb and a pillar; for this is the honour of the dead.”

Thus she spoke, nor did the father of gods and men disobey; but he poured down upon the earth bloody dew-drops, 531 honouring his beloved son, whom Patroclus was about to slay in fertile-soiled Troy, far away from his native land.

Footnote 531: (return) There is a similar prodigy in Hesiod, Scut. Here. 384: Κάδδ' ἄρ' ἀπ' ουρανόθεν ψιάδας βάλεν αἱματοέσσας, Σῆμα τιθεὶς πολέμοιο ἑῷ μεγαθαρσέϊ παιδί. Tzetzes there refers to the present passage, regarding it as ominous of the death of Sarpedon. Cf. Lomeier, De Lustrationibus, xii. p. 143.

But when, advancing, they were now near each other, then indeed Patroclus [struck] illustrious Thrasymelus, who was the brave companion of king Sarpedon, him he struck upon the lower part of the belly, and relaxed his limbs. Then Sarpedon, attacking second, missed him with his splendid javelin; but he wounded his horse Pedasus, with his spear, in the right shoulder; but he groaned, breathing out his life, and fell in the dust, moaning, and his spirit fled from him. But the two [other steeds] leaped asunder, and the yoke crashed, and the reins were entangled about them, when the side horse lay in the dust. But spear-renowned Automedon found an end of this. Drawing his long sword from his robust thigh, rising, he cut away the farther horse, nor did he act slothfully. And the two [remaining horses] were set aright, and were directed by the reins; and they [the men] again engage in life-devouring combat.

Then again Sarpedon missed [him] with his shining spear, and the point of the weapon passed over the left shoulder of Patroclus, nor did it wound him. But Patroclus rushed on with his javelin, and the weapon did not escape in vain from his hand, for he struck him where the midriff encloses the compact 532 heart. And he fell, as when falls some oak, or poplar, or lofty pine, which the workmen fell in the mountains with newly-sharpened axes, to be a naval timber: so he lay stretched out before his horses and chariot, gnashing with his teeth, grasping the bloody dust. As a lion slays a bull, coming among a herd, tawny, noble-spirited, among the stamping 533 oxen, and he perishes, bellowing, beneath the jaws of the lion; so the leader of the shielded Lycians was indignant, 534 being slain by Patroclus, and addressed his dear companion by name:

Footnote 532: (return) “By comparing the different uses of ἀδινὸς together, one thing is clear, that all the meanings which can occur in them, proceed from one, which is that in the epithet of the heart, dense or compact, which physical idea the word retains, according to the Homeric usage, in Od. τ. 516, as a fixed epithet of the heart, although there its physical state has nothing to do with the context.” Buttm. Lexil. p. 33.

Footnote 533: (return) See Buttm. Lexil. p. 267.

Footnote 534: (return) “Indignata anima gemebat,”—Heyne, comparing Æn. xii. Ult. “Vitaque cum gemitu fugit indignata sub umbras.”

“Glaucus, dear friend, warrior amongst heroes, now it greatly behoves thee to be a hero and a bold warrior; now if thou art impetuous, let destructive battle be thy desire. First indeed, going in every direction, exhort the leaders of the Lycians to fight around Sarpedon, and do thou thyself also fight for me with thy spear. For I will hereafter be a cause of shame and disgrace to thee, all thy days, throughout, if indeed the Greeks despoil me of my armour, falling in the conflict at the ships. But persevere, and animate all the army.”

While he was thus speaking, the end of death covered him as to his eyes and nostrils; but Patroclus, trampling with his heel upon his breast, drew out the spear from his body, and the midriff 535 followed with it; and he drew out at the same time his life and the point of the weapon. But the Myrmidons there held his panting steeds, eager to fly along, since they had quitted the chariots of their lords. Then bitter grief arose to Glaucus, hearing the voice [of his friend], and his heart was grieved because he could not aid him. But grasping his own arm in his hand, he compressed it; for grievously the wound pained him, which Teucer, with an arrow, had inflicted upon him, as he was rushing against the lofty wall, warding off the battle from his companions. Wherefore, praying, he addressed far-darting Apollo:

Footnote 535: (return) Probably the pericardium is meant.

“Hear, O king, thou who art somewhere in the rich state of Lycia, or in Troy; for thou canst everywhere hear a man afflicted, as sorrow now comes upon me. For indeed I have this grievous wound, and my hand is penetrated on every side with acute pains, nor can the blood be stanched, but my shoulder is oppressed with it. For neither can I firmly I hold my spear, nor, advancing, fight with the enemy; moreover a very brave hero has fallen, Sarpedon, the son of Jove; but he aids not even his own son. But heal for me this severe wound, O king; assuage my pains, and grant me strength, that, cheering on my companions, the Lycians, I may urge them to fight; and may myself fight for the dead body.”

Thus he spoke praying; but Phœbus Apollo heard him. Immediately he allayed the pains, and dried the black gore from the grievous wound, and instilled strength into his soul. But Glaucus knew in his mind, and rejoiced because the mighty god had quickly heard him praying. First then, going about in all directions, he aroused the heroes, leaders of the Lycians, to fight for Sarpedon; and then he went to the Trojans, advancing with long strides to Polydamas, son of Panthous, and noble Agenor. He also went after Æneas and brazen-armed Hector, and, standing near, addressed to him winged words:

“O Hector, now hast thou altogether neglected thine allies, who are losing their lives for thy sake, far away from their friends and father-land; but thou dost not wish to aid them. Sarpedon lies low, the leader of the shield-bearing Lycians, who protected Lycia by his justice and his valour. Him hath brazen Mars subdued with a spear at the hands of Patroclus. But stand near, my friends, and be indignant in your minds, lest the Myrmidons spoil his armour, and unworthily treat the body, enraged on account of the Greeks, as many as have perished, whom we have slain with our spears at the ships.”

Thus he spoke; but intolerable, unyielding grief wholly possessed the Trojans, for he had been a pillar of their city, though being a foreigner; for many forces followed along with him, among whom he himself was the most valiant in battle. They therefore advanced eagerly straight against the Greeks, ardent with desire; but Hector led the way, enraged on account of Sarpedon. But the valiant heart of Patroclus, son of Menœtius, aroused the Greeks. First he addressed the Ajaces, though they themselves were also eager:

“O Ajaces, now let it be a delightful thing to you both to repel [the foe]; be ye such as of old ye were amongst heroes, or even braver. Sarpedon lies low, the man who first broke through 536 the wall of the Greeks. But oh! that taking him, we could treat him with indignity, and spoil the armour from his shoulders, and subdue with the cruel brass some one of his companions keeping [us] off from him.”

Footnote 536: (return) We must understand him as having done so in company with Hector, otherwise this passage would be at variance with xii. 290, 437.

Thus he spoke; but they also themselves were ready to repel [the foe]. But when they had strengthened their phalanxes on both sides, the Trojans and Lycians, as well as the Myrmidons and Achæans, they closed to fight round the dead body, shouting dreadfully, and loudly rattled the arms of men. But Jove stretched pernicious night over the violent contest, that there might be a destructive toil of battle around his dear son. The Trojans first drove back the rolling-eyed Greeks; for a man was smitten, by no means the most inferior among the Myrmidons, noble Epigeus, son of magnanimous Agacles, who formerly ruled in well-inhabited Budium; but then having slain a noble kinsman, he came as a suppliant to Peleus and silver-footed Thetis: they sent him to follow with the rank-breaker Achilles, to steed-renowned Ilium, that he might fight with the Trojans. Him then, while seizing the body, illustrious Hector struck upon the head with a stone; and it was entirely split in two in his strong helmet; and he fell prone upon the corpse, and soul-destroying death was diffused around him. Then to Patroclus grief arose, on account of his companion slain; and he rushed right through the foremost warriors, like unto a swift hawk, which has put to flight jackdaws or starlings; so, O equestrian Patroclus, didst thou rush right against the Lycians and Trojans; for thou wert enraged in thine heart for thy companion. And he struck Sthenelaus, the beloved son of Ithæmeneus, on the neck with a stone, and broke his tendons: and the foremost warriors and illustrious Hector gave back. And as far as is the cast of a long javelin, which a man may have sent forth striving either in the game, or even in war, on account of life-destroying enemies; so far did the Trojans retire, and the Greeks repelled them. But Glaucus, the leader of the shield-bearing Lycians, first turned, and slew magnanimous Bathycles, the beloved son of Chalcon, who, inhabiting dwellings in Hellas, was conspicuous among the Myrmidons for his riches and wealth. Him then Glaucus, turning suddenly round, wounded in the middle of the breast with his spear, when, pursuing, he had overtaken him. But he made a crash as he fell; and deep grief possessed the Greeks, because a brave warrior had thus fallen; but the Trojans greatly rejoiced, and, advancing in crowds, stood round him; nor were the Greeks forgetful of valour, but they directed their strength straight against them. Then again Meriones slew a hero of the Trojans, the warrior Laogonus, the gallant son of Onetor, who was the priest of Idæan Jove, and was honoured like a god by the people. He smote him under the jaw and ear, and his soul immediately departed from his limbs, and dreadful darkness overshadowed him. 537 But Æneas hurled a brazen spear at Meriones, for he hoped to hit him, advancing under protection of his shield. He, however, observing it in front, avoided the brazen spear; for he stooped forward, and the long javelin was fixed in the ground behind him, and the nether point 538 of the spear was shaken; then the rapid weapon spent its force. Thus the javelin of Æneas, quivering entered the earth, for it had fled in vain from his strong hand. Then Æneas was enraged in his mind, and said:

“Meriones, quickly indeed, although being a dancer, 539 would my spear have made thee cease for ever, if I had struck thee.”

Footnote 537: (return) It has been well observed that Homer never describes a wound as mortal, except when it is inflicted in a part really vital.

Footnote 538: (return) The οὐρίαχος was the same as the σαυρωτὴρ. See Glossæ Herodoteæ, and Hesych. p. 820.

Footnote 539: (return) A probable allusion to the Pyrrhic dance, which was in use among the Cretans, from whose country Meriones had come. See the Scholiast, and Müller, Dorians, vol. ii, p. 349.

But him then in turn spear-renowned Meriones answered: “Æneas, it were difficult for thee, although being brave, to extinguish the valour of all men, whosoever may come against thee about to repulse thee; for thou too art mortal. And if I, taking aim, should strike thee in the middle with my sharp spear, although being brave, and confiding in thy might, thou wouldst give glory to me, but thy soul to steed-famed Pluto.”

Thus he spoke; but him the brave son of Menœtius rebuked: “Meriones, why dost thou, although being brave, harangue thus? O, my friend, the Trojans will not retire from the corse by opprobrious words: first will the earth possess some of them; for the emergency of battle is placed in the hands, but of counsel in words; wherefore it is by no means necessary to multiply words, but to fight.”

So saying, he on his part led the way, and along with him the godlike hero followed. And as the crash of woodcutting men arises in the dells of a mountain, and the sound is heard from afar; so the noise of these, smitten with swords and two-edged spears, arose from the wide-extended plain, from brass, from leather, and from well-prepared bull’s-hide shields. Nor would a man, although very discerning, have recognized noble Sarpedon, since he was totally involved, from his head to the soles of his feet, with weapons, and blood, and dust. But they still crowded round the corse, as when flies in the stall hum around the pails full of milk, during the spring season, when the milk makes moist the vessel. So they still crowded round the body: nor did Jove ever turn his bright eyes from the violent conflict; but he ever beheld them, and meditated many evil things in his mind concerning the death of Patroclus, anxiously deliberating whether now illustrious Hector should kill him with his spear in the brave battle, over godlike Sarpedon, and spoil the armour from his shoulders, or whether he should still increase the severe labour to the multitude. To him, thus reflecting, it appeared better that the brave servant of Achilles, the son of Peleus, should repulse the Trojans and brazen-armed Hector, towards the city, and take away the life of many. Into Hector, therefore, first [of all], he sent unwarlike flight, and ascending his chariot, he turned himself to flight, and advised the other Trojans to fly, for he recognized the sacred scales of Jove. 540 Then not even the brave Lycians remained, but were all turned in flight, when they beheld their king wounded to the heart, lying in the heap of dead; for many had fallen over him, whilst the son of Saturn stretched on the violent strife. But after they had taken from the shoulders of Sarpedon the brazen and glittering armour, the gallant son of Menœtius gave them to his companions to carry to the hollow ships; and then cloud-compelling Jove addressed Apollo:

“Come now, dear Phœbus, going, cleanse Sarpedon, [withdrawn] from among the heap of weapons, of sable gore, and afterwards bearing him far away, lave him in the stream of the river, and anoint him with ambrosia, and put around him immortal garments, then give him in charge to the twin-brothers. Sleep and Death, swift conductors, to be borne away, who will quickly place him in the rich state of wide Lycia. There will his brethren and kindred perform his obsequies with a tomb and a pillar, 541 for this is the honour of the dead.”

Footnote 540: (return) I.e. He perceived that the fortune of the battle was changed by the will of Jove.

Footnote 541: (return) I.e. A cippus, or column reared upon the tomb. See Pollux, viii. 14, and the Scriptores Rei Agrim. p. 88, ed. Goes.

Thus he spoke; nor was Apollo inattentive to his father, but he descended from the Idæan mountains to the grievous conflict. Immediately removing noble Sarpedon out of [the reach of] weapons, and bearing him far away, he laved him in the stream of the river, anointed him with ambrosia, and placed around him immortal garments, then gave him in charge to the twin-brothers, Sleep and Death, swift conductors, to be borne away with them; who accordingly quickly placed him in the rich state of wide Lycia.

In the meantime Patroclus, cheering on his steeds, and Automedon, followed upon the Trojans and Lycians, and came to great harm,—infatuate one!—but if he had observed the direction of the son of Peleus, he had certainly escaped the evil fate of black death. But the counsel of Jove is ever better than that of men, who puts to flight even the valiant man, and easily deprives him of victory, even when he himself has impelled him to fight; who then also excited courage in his breast. Then whom first, and whom last, didst thou slay, O Patroclus, when the gods now called thee on to death? Adrastus indeed first, Autonous and Echeclus, and Perimus, son of Megas, and Epistor and Melanippus; but then Elasus, and Mulius, and Pylartes. These he slew, but the others were, each of them, mindful of flight. Then indeed had the sons of the Greeks taken lofty-gated Troy, by the hands of Patroclus, for he raged greatly beyond [others] with his spear, had not Phœbus Apollo stood upon a well-built tower, meditating destructive things to him, and assisting the Trojans. Thrice indeed Patroclus mounted a buttress of the lofty wall, and thrice did Apollo repel him with violence, striking his glittering shield with his immortal hands. But when now, godlike, he rushed on the fourth time, far-casting Apollo, threatening fearfully, addressed him:

“Retire, thou Jove-sprung Patroclus; by no means is it destined that the city of the magnanimous Trojans should be destroyed by thy spear, nor by Achilles, who is much better than thou.”

Thus he spoke, but Patroclus retired far back, avoiding the wrath of far-darting Apollo. But Hector detained his steeds at the Scæan 542 gates; for he doubted whether, having driven again into the crowd, he should fight, or should loudly command the people to be collected within the walls. To him then, meditating these things, Phœbus Apollo stood near, having assimilated himself to a hero youthful and brave, to Asius, who was the maternal uncle of horse-breaking Hector, own brother of Hecuba, and the son of Dymas, who dwelt in Phrygia, by the streams of the Sangarius: to him Phœbus Apollo, assimilating himself, spoke:

Footnote 542: (return) Schneider on Nicander, Ther. 264-9, p. 229, observes: “In Homerica Iliade fuerunt olim qui Σκαιὰς πύλας, quæ alibi Dardaniæ dicuntur, interpretabantur obliquas, teste Hesychio: ἢ διὰ τὸ σκολιὰς εἶναι κατὰ τὴν εἰσβολήν. Plane uti Servius ad Æn. iii. 351: ‘Scæa porta dicta est—nec ab itinere ingressis scævo id est sinistro, quod ingressi non recto sed sinistro eunt itinere, sed a cadavere Laomedontis, hoc est scæomate, quod in ejus fuerit superliminio.’ Ita Vitruvius, i. 5, 2; unde vides, quomodo notio sinistri et obliqui in hac voce coaluerit. Notio ipsa serius tandem invaluisse videtur: antiquiorem enim Nicandreo locum ignore.”

“Hector, why dost thou cease from battle? Nor does it at all become thee. Would that I were so much superior to thee as I am inferior; then indeed wouldst thou quickly have retired from the battle to thy loss. But come, direct thy solid-hoofed steeds against Patroclus, if perchance thou mayest slay him, and Apollo may give thee glory.” So saying, the god on his part went again through the labour of men; but illustrious Hector on his part commanded warlike Cebriones to lash on his steeds to the battle, whilst Apollo, proceeding, entered the throng; and sent an evil tumult among the Greeks; but gave glory to the Trojans and Hector. Then indeed did Hector neglect the other Greeks, nor slew them; but directed his solid-hoofed horses against Patroclus. But Patroclus, on the other side, leaped from his chariot to the ground, in his left hand holding his spear; but in the other he seized a stone, white, rugged, which his hand embraced around. Putting his force to it, he hurled it; nor did it err far from the man, nor was the weapon hurled in vain, 543 for in the forehead with the sharp stone he smote the charioteer of Hector, Cebriones, the illegitimate son of illustrious Priam, whilst holding the reins of the horses. But the stone crushed both his eyebrows, nor did the bone sustain it, and his eyes fell amid the dust upon the ground before his feet. But he then, like unto a diver, fell from the well-formed chariot-seat, and life left his bones. But him insulting, thou didst address, O equestrian Patroclus:

Footnote 543: (return) See Kennedy. Others make βέλος the accusative, and take ἁλίωσε transitively.

“O gods! truly he is a very active man! how nimbly he dives! if indeed he were anywhere in the fishy sea, this man, groping for oysters, might have satisfied many, plunging from his ship, although it might be stormy; so easily now in the plain does he dive from his chariot! Without doubt there are divers among the Trojans.”

So saying, he advanced against the hero Cebriones, having the force of a lion, which, ravaging the folds, is wounded in the breast, and his own courage destroys him; thus, O Patroclus, ardent, didst thou spring upon Cebriones; whilst Hector, on the other side, leaped from his chariot to the ground. These two, as lions, fought for Cebriones, when both being hungry fight with utmost courage for a slaughtered stag in mountain tops. So, for Cebriones, these two masters of the fight, Patroclus, son of Menœtius, and illustrious Hector, wished to rend each other’s body with the pitiless brass. Hector indeed, after he seized him by the head, did not let him go; but Patroclus, on the other side, held [him by the] foot; and now the rest of the Trojans and Greeks engaged in the violent conflict.

And as the East and South winds strive with each other, in the dells of a mountain, to shake a deep wood, beech, ash, and rugged cornel, but they strike their long-extended boughs against each other with an immense sound, and a crash of them breaking [arises]; thus the Trojans and Greeks, leaping upon each other, slaughtered, but neither were mindful of pernicious flight. And many sharp spears were fixed round Cebriones, and winged arrows bounding from the string; and many huge stones smote the shields of those fighting round him; but he, mighty over mighty space, lay in a whirlwind of dust, forgetful of his equestrian skill.

As long indeed as the sun was ascending the middle heaven, so long did the weapons reach both sides effectually, and the people kept falling. But when the sun had passed over towards the west, then indeed the Greeks were superior, contrary to fate. They drew the hero Cebriones from the weapons, out of the tumult of Trojans, and took the armour from his shoulders. But Patroclus, devising evils against the Trojans, rushed on. Thrice then he charged, equal to swift Mars, shouting horridly, and thrice he slew nine heroes. But when, like unto a god, he made the attack for the fourth time, then indeed, O Patroclus, was the end of thy life manifest; for Phœbus, terrible in the dire battle, met thee. He did not indeed perceive him coming through the crowd, for he advanced against him covered with much darkness; but he stood behind, and smote him with his flat hand upon the back and broad shoulders, and his eyes were seized with giddiness. 544 And from his head Phœbus Apollo struck the helmet, and the oblong helmet rattled, rolling under the horses’ feet, and the crest was defiled with blood and dust; although before this it was not permitted that [this] helmet, crested with horse-hair, should be contaminated by the dust; for it protected the head of a godlike hero, even the venerable forehead of Achilles; but Jove then gave it to Hector to wear upon his head; but his destruction was near. But the long-shadowed spear, great, sturdy, pointed [with brass], was utterly shattered in his hands; whilst the shield, which reached to his heels, with its belt, fell to the ground; and king Apollo, the son of Jove, unbound his corslet. But stupor seized his brain, and his fair limbs were relaxed under him, and he stood astounded. But a Trojan, hero, Euphorbus, the son of Panthous, who excelled those of his own age in the spear, in horsemanship, and in swiftness of foot, smote him close at hand with his sharp spear, in the back between the shoulders. For even before this he had hurled twenty men from their horses, at first coming with his chariot, learning [the art] of war. He [it was] who first hurled a weapon at thee, O knight Patroclus, nor did he subdue thee; for he ran back, and was mingled with the crowd, having plucked the ashen spear out of thy body; nor did he await Patroclus, though being unarmed, in the fight. Patroclus, however, subdued by the blow of the god, and by the spear, retired into the crowd of his companions, avoiding death. But Hector, when he perceived magnanimous Patroclus retiring, wounded with a sharp spear, went through the ranks near him, and smote him with his javelin in the lowest part of the groin, and drove the brass quite through. Falling, he gave a crash, and greatly grieved the people of the Greeks. As when a lion presses on an unwearied boar in fight, and they twain, high spirited, contend upon the mountain tops for a small rill, for they both desire to drink, but the lion subdues him by force, panting much; so Hector, the son of Priam, in close fight with his spear, deprived the gallant son of Menœtius of life, having slain many; and, boasting over him, spoke winged words:

Footnote 544: (return) Swam round, probably from exhaustion. Celsus; i. 3: “Si quando insuetus aliquis laboravit, aut si multo plus, quam solet, etiam is qui assuevit...... oculi caligant.” The affection is well described by Cælius Aurol. Chron. i. 2: “Repentina visus tenebratio, atque nebula, cum capitis vertigine.”

“Patroclus, doubtless thou didst think to waste our city, and to carry off in thy ships the Trojan women to thy dear father-land, having taken away their day of freedom,—infatuated one! But in defence of these, the fleet steeds of Hector hasten with their feet to war, and I myself, who avert the day of slavery 545 from them, am conspicuous amongst the war-loving Trojans in [the use of] the spear. But the vultures shall devour thee here. Unhappy man! Nor indeed did Achilles, although being brave, aid thee, who remaining behind, doubtless enjoined many things to thee, going forth: ‘Do not return to me, O equestrian Patroclus, to the hollow barks, before thou rendest the blood-stained garment around the breast of man-slaughtering Hector.’ Thus, doubtless, he addressed thee, and persuaded the mind of foolish thee.”

But him, O knight Patroclus, breathing faintly, thou didst address: “Even now, Hector, vaunt greatly, for Jove, the son of Saturn, and Apollo, have given thee the victory, who subdued me easily; for they stripped the armour from my shoulders. But if even twenty such [as thou] had opposed me, they had all perished here, subdued by my spear. But destructive fate, and the son of Latona, have slain me, and of men, Euphorbus; whilst thou, the third, dost despoil me slain. Another thing will I tell thee, and do thou ponder it in thy soul. 546 Not long, indeed, shalt thou thyself advance in life, but death and violent fate already stand near thee, subdued by the hands of Achilles, the blameless descendant of Æacus.”

Footnote 545: (return) So ἐλεύθερον ἧμαρ in ver. 830. Thus ἀνάγκη ἀμφίπτολις, “slavery caused by the capture of a city,” Æsch. Choeph. 75.

Footnote 546: (return) This prophecy of the dying Patroclus seems to have attracted the notice of Aristotle, if we may believe Sextus, Empir. adv. Phys. ix. p. 553: “Οταν γάρ, φησίν, ἐν τῷ ὑπνοῦν καθ' ἑαυτὴν γίνεται ἡ ψυχή, τότε τὴν ἴδιον ἀπολαβοῦσα φύσιν προμαντεύεται τε καὶ προαγορεύει τὰ μέλλοντα' τοιαύτη δέ ἐστι καὶ ἐν τῷ κατὰ τὸν θάνατον χωρίζεσθαι τῶν σωμάτων.” He then refers to the similar example of Hector prophesying the death of Achilles, xxiii. 358, sqq.

Him then, having thus spoken, the end of death then overshadowed. But his soul flying from his members, departed to Hades, bewailing its lot, 547 relinquishing manliness and youth. But him dead illustrious Hector addressed:

“Why now, Patroclus, dost thou prophesy cruel destruction to me? Who knows whether Achilles, the son of fair-haired Thetis, stricken by my spear, may not be the first to lose his life?”

Footnote 547: (return) See my note on προῖαψεν, II. i. 3. and Heyne.

Thus having spoken, he extracted the brazen spear from the wound, pressing on him with his heel; and thrust him prostrate from the spear. Then immediately, with the spear, he went against Automedon, the godlike servant of swift-footed Æacides, for he was anxious to strike him. But the fleet immortal steeds, which the gods bestowed on Peleus, splendid gifts, bore him away.



Euphorbus, attempting to despoil Patroclus of his armour, is slain by Menelaus. It falls to the lot of Hector, but he retires on the approach of Ajax. Being rebuked by Glaucus, he returns, and a fierce contest is renewed over the body of Patroclus. The chariot of Achilles is bravely defended by Automedon, but the Greeks at last begin to give way, even Ajax being seized with consternation. Meriones and Menelaus, however, succeed in carrying off the body of Patroclus, although the Greeks are completely routed.

Nor did Patroclus, subdued in fight by the Trojans, escape the notice of the son of Atreus, Mars-beloved Menelaus; but he advanced through the foremost warriors, armed in glittering brass. And round him he walked, like a dam around its calf, having brought forth for the first time, moaning, not being before conscious of parturition: thus did yellow-haired Menelaus walk around Patroclus. But before him he extended his spear, and his shield on all sides equal, anxious to slay him, whoever indeed should come against him. Nor was the son of Panthus, of the good ashen spear, neglectful of blameless Patroclus, fallen; but he stood near him, and addressed warlike Menelaus:

“O Menelaus! son of Atreus, Jove-nurtured one, leader of the people, retire, and leave the body, and let alone the bloody spoils; for not any of the illustrious Trojans or allies smote Patroclus with the spear in the violent conflict before me. Wherefore permit me to bear away the great glory amongst the Trojans, lest I should strike thee, and take away thy sweet life.”

But him yellow-haired Menelaus, very indignant, addressed:

“Father Jove, certainly it is not fitting to boast inordinately. Not so great is the might of a panther, nor a lion, nor of a destructive wild boar, whose most mighty courage rages in his heart, violently in its strength, as much as the sons of Panthus, of the good ashen spear, breathe forth. Nor did the might of horse-breaking Hyperenor enjoy his youth, when he reproached me, and withstood me; and said that I was the most reproachful warrior amongst the Greeks; nor did he, I think, returning upon his feet, gratify his dear wife and respected parents. Thus certainly will I dissolve thy strength, if thou wilt stand against me. But I advise thee, retiring, to go back into the crowd; nor do thou stand against me, before thou suffer any harm: for it is a fool that perceives a thing when it is done.” 548

Footnote 548: (return) Cf. Hesiod, Opp. 216: αθὼν δέ τε νήπιος ἔγνω. Plato, Sympos. p. 336, A.: Ἀλλ' ἀπὸ τῶν ἡμετέρων παθημάτων γνόντα, εὐλαβηθῆναι, καὶ μὴ, κατὰ τὴν παροιμίαν, ὥσπερ νήπιον, παθόντα γνῶναι. Æsch. Ag. 177: Τὸν πάθει μάθος θέντα κυρίως ἔχειν—καὶ παρ' ἄκοντας ἤλθε σωφρονεῖν. See Proclus on Hesiod, Opp. 89.

Thus he spoke, but persuaded him not; but he answering, spoke:

“Now indeed, O Jove-nurtured Menelaus, shalt thou make atonement for my brother, whom thou hast slain, and [over whom] thou speakest boastingly; and thou hast widowed his wife in the recess of her new bridal chamber, and caused accursed mourning and sorrow to his parents. Certainly I should be some alleviation of woe to them wretched, if indeed, bearing back thy head and armour, I should place them in the hands of Panthus and noble Phrontis. Nor shall the labour of valour or flight be untried or invincible any longer.”

So saying, he smote [him] upon the shield equal on all sides, nor did the brass break through, for the point was bent in the stout shield: and Menelaus, the son of Atreus, next made the attack with his brazen spear, having prayed to father Jove. He smote him upon the lowest part of the gullet as he retired, and he himself forcibly impressed [the spear], relying on his strong hand; and the point went quite through his soft neck. And falling, he made a crash, and his armour rang upon him. And his locks, like unto the Graces, were bedewed with blood, and his curls, which were bound with gold and silver. And as a man rears a widely-blooming plant of olive, fair budding, in a solitary place, where water is wont to spring 549 up in abundance, and which the breezes of every wind agitate, and it buds forth with a white flower; but a wind, suddenly coming on with a mighty blast, overturns it from the furrow, and stretches it upon the earth: so the son of Panthus, Euphorbus, skilled in [the use of] the ashen spear, Menelaus, son of Atreus, when he had slain [him], spoiled of his armour. As when any mountain-nurtured lion, relying on his strength, has carried off from the pasturing herd a heifer, which is the best; but first he breaks its neck, seizing it in his strong teeth, and then tearing it in pieces, laps up the blood and all the entrails; whilst around him dogs and herdsmen shout very frequently from a distance, nor do they wish to go against him, for pale fear violently seizes them: thus the soul of no one within his breast dared to advance against glorious Menelaus. Then indeed the son of Atreus had easily borne off the celebrated arms of the son of Panthus, had not Phœbus Apollo envied him, who immediately aroused Hector, equal to fleet Mars, against him, assimilating himself to the hero Mentes, leader of the Cicones; and addressing him, he spoke winged words:

“Hector, now indeed thou art thus running, pursuing things not to be overtaken, the steeds of warlike Achilles; they indeed are difficult to be managed by mortal men, or to be driven by any other than Achilles, whom an immortal mother bore. In the meanwhile Menelaus, the warlike son of Atreus, protecting Patroclus, has slain the bravest of the Trojans, Euphorbus, the son of Panthus, and made him cease from impetuous valour.”

Footnote 549: (return) This perfect has much the same usage as ἐπενήνοθε, 219.

Thus having spoken, the god on his part again departed into the labour of the men; but heavy grief oppressed Hector as to his dark soul. Then, indeed, he looked around through the ranks, and immediately observed the one bearing away the famous armour, and the other lying upon the ground; and the blood flowed through the inflicted wound. But he advanced through the foremost warriors, armed in shining brass, shrilly shouting, like unto the inextinguishable flame of Vulcan. Nor did he escape the notice of the son of Atreus, loudly exclaiming; but he, deeply sighing, thus communed with his own great-hearted soul:

“Ah me! if I leave the beautiful armour and Patroclus, who lies here for the sake of my honour, [I dread] lest some one of the Greeks, whoever perceives it, will be indignant; but if, being alone, I fight with Hector and the Trojans, from shame, [I fear] lest many surround me, [being] alone. But crest-tossing Hector is leading all the Trojans hither. But wherefore has my soul been thus debating? Whenever a man desires, in opposition to a deity, to fight with a hero whom a god honours, soon is a great destruction hurled upon him; wherefore no one of the Greeks will blame me, who may perceive me retiring from Hector, since he wars under the impulse of a god. But if I could hear Ajax, brave in the din of war, both of us, again returning, would be mindful of battle even against a god, if by any means we could draw off the body for the sake of Achilles, the son of Peleus: of evils, certainly it would be the better.” 550

Footnote 550: (return) “The evil here spoken of, and of which a choice is presented to Menelaus, are loss of both the body and the armour of Patroclus, or of either separately. The first alternative he is resolved on guarding against by summoning Ajax to his aid; of the last two, he prefers the abandonment of the arms, i.e. σύλη, spoliation of the corpse, to ἀείκεια, its disfigurement.”—Kennedy.

While he was thus deliberating these things in his mind and soul, the ranks of the Trojans were meanwhile advancing; and Hector led the way. But he retired back, and quitted the corpse, turning round as a shaggy-bearded lion, which dogs and men drive from the stall with spears and clamour; out his valiant heart within his breast is shaken, and he, unwilling, departs from the fold: thus did yellow-haired Menelaus retire from Patroclus. And being turned round, he stood, when he had reached the band of his companions, looking all around for mighty Ajax, the son of Telamon; whom he very quickly perceived upon the left of the whole battle, encouraging his companions, and urging them to fight: for Phœbus Apollo had cast a heaven-sent panic amongst them. But he made haste to run, and, immediately standing near, spoke:

“Ajax, hither, friend, let us hasten in defence of slain Patroclus, if we can bear his naked corse at least to Achilles; for his armour crest-tossing Hector possesses.”

Thus he spoke, but he roused the courage of warlike Ajax, and he advanced through the foremost warriors, and with him yellow-haired Menelaus. Hector on his part, after he had despoiled him of his beautiful armour, was dragging Patroclus, that he might sever the head from the shoulders with the sharp brass, and, carrying off the body, might give it to the Trojan dogs, when Ajax came near, bearing his shield, like a tower. Then Hector, retiring back, retreated into the throng of his companions, and sprung up into his chariot; but he gave the handsome armour to the Trojans to carry to the city, to be a great glory to him. But Ajax, with his broad shield covering around the son of Menœtius, stood like a lion over her young; against which, when leading her whelps, the huntsmen rush together in the wood; whilst he looks dreadful in his might, and draws down all his eyebrows, concealing his eyes: so strode Ajax round the hero Patroclus. On the other side stood the son of Atreus, warlike Menelaus, augmenting the great grief in his bosom.

But Glaucus, the son of Hippolochus, leader of the Lycian heroes, looking sternly at Hector, upbraided him with harsh language: “Hector, most excellent as to appearance, certainly thou art greatly deficient in fighting; doubtless good fame possesses thee without reason, since thou art a fugitive. Consider now, how alone with the people [who are] born in Ilium, thou mayest preserve the state and city, for none of the Lycians, at all events, will go to fight with the Greeks for thy city; since indeed there is no gratitude for fighting ever incessantly with hostile men. How indeed, inglorious one, hast thou preserved an inferior man in the throng, and suffered Sarpedon, at once thy guest and companion, to become a prey and booty to the Greeks; who, when alive, was a great advantage to thy city and thyself; but now thou didst not attempt to drive away the dogs from him. Wherefore if any of the Lycian warriors will now obey me, go home, 551 and utter destruction will be manifest to Troy. For if now that confident, intrepid strength, was in the Trojans, which enters heroes who in the defence of their country undertake toil, and conflict with hostile men, immediately might we draw Patroclus into Ilium. But if he, lifeless, should come to the great city of king Priam, and we had drawn him away from the battle, quickly indeed would the Greeks ransom [to us] the beautiful armour of Sarpedon, and we might bear himself also into Troy; for the attendant of that man is slain, who is by far the bravest of the Greeks at the ships, and whose servants are close-fighting warriors. But thou, forsooth, hast not dared to stand against magnanimous Ajax, beholding his eyes in the battle of the enemy, nor to fight against him; for he is more brave than thou.”

Footnote 551: (return) Take ἴμεν (ἰέναι) imperatively, or understand ἐπιπείσεται ἐμοὶ ὤστε αὐτὸν ἰέναι εἰς οἷκον, ἄμεινον ἂν εἴη οὕτως ἄρα ὄλεθρος, κ. τ. λ. See Kennedy.

But him sternly regarding, crest-tossing Hector addressed: “O Glaucus, why hast thou, being such as thou art, spoken haughtily? I’ faith, friend, I thought that thou didst excel in judgment the others, as many as inhabit fertile Lycia; but now I altogether blame thy understanding, since thou hast thus spoken, thou who sayest that I do not withstand mighty Ajax. Neither have I dreaded the battle, nor the tumult of steeds; but the counsel of ægis-bearing Jove is ever superior, who puts even the valiant man to flight, and easily takes away the victory; but at another time he himself impels him to fight. But come hither, my friend, stand by me, and behold my conduct. Truly I shall always be a coward, as thou sayest, or I will restrain even some of the Greeks, although very eager, from keeping defence over dead Patroclus.”

Thus saying, he cheered on the Trojans, loudly shouting, “Ye Trojans and Lycians, and close-fighting Dardanians, be men, my friends, and be mindful of impetuous valour, whilst I put on the armour of illustrious Achilles, beautiful, of which I despoiled mighty Patroclus, having slain him.”

Thus having spoken, crest-tossing Hector departed from the glowing battle, and, running very quickly, overtook his companions, not far off, following with swift feet those who were bearing towards the city the renowned arms of Achilles. Then standing apart from the mournful battle, he changed his armour. His own indeed he gave to the warlike Trojans to bear to sacred Ilium; but he put on the immortal arms of Achilles, the son of Peleus, which the heavenly gods had bestowed on his dear father; but he indeed, growing old, presented them to his son; but the son grew not old in the armour of his father.

But when cloud-compelling Jove beheld him apart, accoutred in the armour of divine Pelides, then shaking his head, he said to his own soul:

“Ah! luckless one; nor is death at all in thy thoughts, which is now near thee; but thou puttest on the immortal armour of the bravest hero, at whom others also tremble; and thou hast slain his companion, both gentle and brave, and thou hast taken the armour from his head and shoulders not according to propriety. But now will I give into thy hands a great victory, a compensation for this, that Andromache shall never receive from thee, having returned from the battle, the illustrious arms of the son of Peleus.”

The son of Saturn spoke, and moreover nodded with his sable brows. But the armour fitted the person of Hector, and Mars, the dreadful warrior, entered him. And his limbs were inwardly filled with might and strength, and he went after the illustrious allies, exclaiming aloud; and glittering in his armour, to all of them he presented the appearance of the magnanimous son of Peleus. But going among them, he animated each with his words,—Mesthles, Glaucus, Medon, and Thersilochus, Asteropæus, Disenor, and Hippothoüs, Phorcys, Chromius, and Ennomus the augur. Exhorting these, he spoke winged words:

“Hear, ye countless troops of allies dwelling around, for I did not assemble you here, each from his own city, seeking or wanting a crowd, but that ye might willingly defend for me the wives and infant children of the Trojans from the warlike Greeks. Thinking these things, I wear away my people by gifts and provisions [to you], and I satisfy the desire of each of you. Wherefore now let some one, being turned round straight, either perish or be saved; for these are the chances of war. 552 Nevertheless, whoever will drag Patroclus, although dead, to the horse-breaking Trojans, and to whom Ajax shall yield, [to him] will I present one-half of the spoils, but I myself will keep the other half; and glory shall be to him as much as to me.”

Thus he spoke; but they, lifting up their spears, advanced with condensed might 553 direct against the Greeks; and their mind eagerly hoped to draw away the dead body from Telamonian Ajax:—fools! truly over it he took away the life from many. And then Ajax addressed Menelaus, good in the din of war:

Footnote 552: (return) See Duport, Gnom. Hom. p. 97.

Footnote 553: (return) Schol.: Στίφος ποιήσαντες, συνασπίσαντες, εἰς τὸ αύτὸ πάντες ὁρμήσαντες. A curious interpretation is given in the Glossaries: “Βοίζω, post cibum denuo impetum facio.” See Alberti on Hesych. p. 766.

“O my friend, O Jove-nurtured Menelaus, no longer do I expect that even we ourselves will return from battle. Nor do I fear so much about the dead body of Patroclus, which will quickly satiate the dogs and birds of the Trojans, as much as I fear for my own head, lest it suffer anything, and for thine, for Hector, that cloud of war, overshadows all things; whilst to us, on the other hand, utter destruction appears. But come, call the bravest of the Greeks, if any one will hear.”

Thus he spoke; nor did Menelaus, good in the din of war, disobey; but he shouted, crying with a loud voice to the Greeks:

“Ο friends, leaders and chieftains of the Greeks, ye who with Agamemnon, the son of Atreus, and Menelaus, drink the public wine, 554 and command each his forces; but honour and glory follows from Jove. Difficult would it be for me to look to each of the leaders, for so great a strife of battle burns. But let some one advance, and let him be indignant in his mind, that Patroclus should become a sport to Trojan dogs.”

Footnote 554: (return) I.e. who are supplied from the public resources,—τὰ ἐκ τῶν κοινῶν καὶ δημοσίων χρημάτων χορηγούμενα τοῖς βασιλεῦσι.—Schol.

Thus he spoke; but quickly the swift Oïlean Ajax heard, and first advanced opposite, running through the battle; after him Idomeneus, and Meriones, the armour-bearer of Idomeneus, equal to man-slaughtering Mars. But who in his mind could recount the names of the others as many as afterwards aroused the battle of the Greeks? But the Trojans, in close array, first made the onset, and Hector led them on.

But as when, at the mouths 555 of a river flowing from Jove, the great wave roars against the stream, while around the lofty shores resound, the wave being ejected [upon the beach], with so loud a clamour did the Trojans advance: but the Greeks stood round the son of Menœtius, having one spirit, protected by their brazen shields; whilst over their shining helmets the son of Saturn poured a thick haze; for he did not formerly hate the son of Menœtius when, being alive, he was the attendant of Achilles, therefore he was loth that he should become a prey to the Trojan dogs of the enemy; and so he excited his companions to defend him. The Trojans, however, first dislodged the dark-eyed Greeks, and they, leaving the dead body, retreated; nor did the magnanimous Trojans slay any of them with their spears, although desirous, but drew off the body. But the Greeks were about to be absent from him a very short while, for very quickly did Ajax rally them, who, next to the renowned son of Peleus, excelled the other Greeks in beauty and in deeds. And he broke through the front ranks, resembling a wild boar in strength, which amongst the mountains easily disperses the dogs and blooming youths through the woods, turning to bay; so the son of illustrious Telamon, noble Ajax, having made the attack, easily routed the phalanxes of the Trojans who had surrounded Patroclus, and mostly expected to drag him to their city, and bear away glory. Meanwhile Hippothous, the illustrious son of Pelasgian Lethus, was dragging him by the foot through the violent conflict, having bound him with a strap at the ancle round the tendons, gratifying Hector and the Trojans. But soon came evil upon him, which no one, even of those desiring it, averted from him. Him the son of Telamon, rushing through the crowd, smote in close fight through the brazen-cheeked helmet. The horse-haired helmet was cleft by the point of the weapon, stricken by the great spear and strong hand; and the brain, bloody, gushed out of the wound at the cone of the helmet; 556 and his strength was there relaxed. Then he let fall from his hands the foot of magnanimous Patroclus, to lie upon the earth, and near him he himself fell, prone upon the dead body, far away from fertile Larissa: nor did he repay the debt of nourishment to his beloved parents, for his life was short, subdued by the spear of magnanimous Ajax. But Hector again aimed at Ajax with his shining spear; he, however, seeing it opposite, avoided the brazen spear by a little; but he struck Schedius, the magnanimous son of Iphitus, by far the bravest of the Phoceans, who inhabited dwellings in renowned Panopëus, ruling over many men. Him he smote under the middle of the clavicle, and the brazen point of the weapon went quite through, near the extremity of the shoulder. Falling, he made a crash, and his arms rang upon him. Then Ajax again smote warlike Phorcys, the son of Phænops, in the middle of the belly, while defending Hippothous. And he broke the cavity of the corslet, and the brazen weapon drank his entrails through; and falling in the dust, he seized the earth with the palm of his hand. The foremost warriors and illustrious Hector retreated; but the Greeks shouted loudly, and drew off the bodies, both Phorcys and Hippothous, and they loosed the armour from their shoulders.

Footnote 555: (return) Schol. Apoll. Rhod. i. 11: Τῶν ποταμῶν οἱ συμβάλλοντες τόποι τῇ θαλάσσῃ, προχοαὶ λέγονται, where he quotes this instance from Homer.

Footnote 556: (return) See iii. 372, “the part of the helmet in which the crest was inserted—unless αἰλὸν be taken metaphorically, and by παρ' αὐλὸν be meant the stream of blood, as from a pipe.”—Oxford Transl.

Then again would the Trojans, [routed] by the warlike Greeks, have gone up to Ilium, subdued through cowardice; but the Argives on their part, by their valour and might, would have obtained glory, even contrary to the destined will of Jove, had not Apollo himself excited Æneas, in body like unto Periphas the herald, son of Epytis, who knowing prudent counsels in his mind, had grown old, as a herald, with his aged sire. Assimilating himself to him, Apollo, the son of Jove, addressed him:

“O Æneas, how could ye preserve lofty Ilium against the deity, since I behold these other men relying on their bravery, and might, and valour, and their number, and possessing a dauntless host? Yet Jove wills the victory to us, rather than to the Danai; yet ye greatly tremble, nor fight.”

Thus he spoke; but Æneas, seeing him before him, recognized far-darting Apollo; and loudly shouting, addressed Hector:

“O Hector, and ye other leaders of the Trojans and allies, this now indeed is a shame, that we, subdued by cowardice, should go up to Ilium, [driven] by the warlike Achæans. For already even now some one of the gods, having stood near to me, declared that Jove, the highest counsellor, is an ally of the battle [to us]. Wherefore let us go direct against the Greeks, nor let them quietly move the dead Patroclus to the ships.”

Thus he spoke, and then springing forth, stood far before the front ranks. But they rallied, and stood opposed to the Greeks. Then Æneas wounded with his spear Leocritus, son of Arisbas, the brave companion of Lycomedes. Him falling, warlike Lycomedes pitied, and advancing very near, he stood, and hurled with his shining spear, and struck Apisaon, the son of Hippasis, shepherd of the people, in the liver, beneath the diaphragm, and immediately relaxed his limbs. He had come from fertile Pæonia, and next to Asteropæus, was the bravest to fight. Warlike Asteropæus pitied him-fallen, and he rushed forward, willing to fight with the Greeks. But not yet could he [do so], for [those] standing around Patroclus were fenced in on every side with shields, and held their spears before them; for Ajax went eagerly among all, greatly cheering them on. He suffered not any one either to retire from the body, nor any of the Greeks to fight in front, excelling the others, but vigorously to stalk around for defence, and to combat in close fight. Thus did mighty Ajax command; but the earth was moistened with purple gore, whilst upon each other fell the dead bodies of the Trojans and courageous allies, and of the Greeks; for neither did they fight bloodlessly, although far fewer perished, because they were ever mindful throughout the tumult to repel severe labour from each other.

Thus indeed they fought, like a fire; nor would you say that the Sun was safe, or the Moon, for they were wrapt in dark haze in the combat, as many of the bravest as stood around the dead son of Menœtius. The other Trojans and well-armed Greeks, however, fought at ease 557 beneath the atmosphere; the piercing splendour of the sun was expanded over them, and a cloud did not appear over all the earth, nor the mountains. Resting at intervals, they fought, avoiding the cruel weapons of each other, standing far asunder; whilst those in the middle suffered hardships from darkness and from war, and were afflicted by the ruthless brass, as many as were most brave. But two heroes, illustrious men, Thrasymedes and Antilochus, had not yet heard that blameless Patroclus was dead; but thought that, still alive, he was fighting with the Trojans in the foremost tumult. But these, watching the slaughter and flight of their companions, fought apart, since Nestor had so ordered, urging [them] on to battle from the black ships. But to these all day a mighty contest of severe strife arose, and ever incessantly the knees, the legs, and the feet of each under him, the hands and the eyes of those fighting around the brave companion of swift-footed Æacides, were defiled with fatigue and perspiration. And as when a man gives the hide of a huge ox, saturated with grease, to his people to stretch, but they, having received, stretch it, standing apart from each other in a circle, and straightway the moisture exudes, and the oily matter enters, many pulling it, till it is stretched in every direction; so they, on both sides, dragged the body here and there in a small space; for the mind of the Trojans, on the one hand, eagerly hoped to draw him to Ilium, but of the Greeks, on the other, to the hollow ships. Around him arose a fierce tumult; nor could Mars, the exciter of troops, nor Minerva, having beheld it, have found fault, not even if wrath had particularly come upon her; such an evil labour of men and horses did Jove extend over Patroclus on that day. Nor as yet did noble Achilles at all know that Patroclus was dead, because they fought far from the swift ships, beneath the wall of the Trojans. He never thought in his mind that he was dead; but that alive, having approached the gates, he would return back, since he did not at all suppose that he could sack the city without him, for he had often heard this from his mother, hearing it apart, who used to tell him the design of mighty Jove. Yet his mother had not then told him so great an evil as had happened, that the companion by far most dear to him had perished.

Footnote 557: (return) I.e. resting at intervals, as it is explained in ver. 373.

But they, ever around the dead body, holding their sharp spears, charged incessantly, and slaughtered one another, and thus would some of the brazen-mailed Greeks say:

“O friends, surely it will not be honourable for us to retreat to the hollow ships; but [rather] let the black earth here gape for all. This indeed would at once be better for us, than that we should permit the horse-breaking Trojans to drag him to their city, and obtain glory.”

And thus also would some one of the magnanimous Trojans say:

“Ο friends, although it be our destiny that all be equally subdued beside this man, never let any one retire from the battle.”

Thus, then, some one said, and aroused the spirit of each. Thus indeed were they fighting; and the iron clangour 558 reached the brazen heaven through the unfruitful air. But the horses of Æacides being apart from the combat, wept, when first they perceived that their charioteer had fallen in the dust, beneath man-slaughtering Hector. Automedon, indeed, the brave son of Diores, frequently urged them on, beating them with the sharp lash, and frequently addressed them in mild terms and in threats; but they chose neither to go back to the ships towards the wide Hellespont nor into the battle among the Greeks; but, as a pillar remains firm, which stands at the tomb of a dead man or woman, so they remained detaining the splendid chariot motionless, and drooping their heads to the earth. But warm tears 559 flowed from their eyelids to the earth, complaining from desire of their charioteer; and their thick mane was defiled, flowing down on both sides from the collar at the yoke. But the son of Saturn beholding them lamenting, felt compassion, and shaking his head, communed with his own mind:

“Ah! luckless pair, why did we give you to king Peleus, a mortal; for ye are free from old age, and immortal? Was it that ye might endure griefs with unhappy men? For there is not anything at all more wretched than man, 560 of all, as many as breathe and move over the earth. But Hector, the son of Priam, shall not be borne by you, even in the curiously-wrought chariot, for I will not permit it. Is it not enough that he both possesses those arms, and vainly boasts? But into your knees and spirit will I cast vigour, that ye may safely bear Automedon from the battle to the hollow ships; for still will I give glory to them (the Trojans), to slay, until they reach the well-benched ships, till the sun set, and sacred darkness come on.”

Footnote 558: (return) Clarke compares Æn. xii. 284, from Ennius, apud Macrob. vi. 1: “Hastati spargunt hastas, fit ferreus imber.” See Columna’s notes. p. 82, ed. Hessel. The Scholiast rather interprets it, of a strong and violent shout, στερεὸς καὶ πολὺ ἰσχυρός.

Footnote 559: (return) See Virg. Æn. xi. 89, sqq. with Servius, Quintus Calab. iii. 740: Ούδὲ μιν ἄμβροτοι ἵπποι ἀταρβέος Αἰακίδαο Μίμνον ἀδάκρυτοι παρὰ νήεσιν' ἀλλὰ καὶ αὐτοὶ Μύροντο σφετέροιο δαϊκταμένου βασιλῆος. Οὐδ' ἔθελον μογεροῖσιν ἔτ' ἀνδράσιν, οὐδὲ μεθ' ἵπποις Μίσγεσθ' Ἀργείων, ὀλοὸν περὶ πένθος ἔχοντες.

Footnote 560: (return) On this comfortable and satisfactory sentiment, see the lugubrious collection of parallel passages in Duport, p. 98.

So saying, he breathed strong vigour into the steeds; and they, shaking the dust from their manes to the ground, quickly bore the rapid car amongst the Trojans and Greeks. And against them 561 fought Automedon, though grieved for his companion, rushing along in his chariot like a vulture among the geese. For he fled easily from the tumult of the Trojans, and easily did he rush on, pursuing through the dense throng. Yet did he not slay the men when he pressed onward to pursue; for it was by no means possible for him, being alone in the sacred 562 car, to assault with the spear and to rein in the fleet steeds. At length, however, a companion, the hero Alcimedon, son of Laërceus, the son of Æmon, beheld him with his eyes, and stood behind his chariot, and addressed Automedon:

Footnote 561: (return) The Trojans.

Footnote 562: (return) I.e. splendid, of surpassing workmanship. Others refer the epithet to the divine gift mentioned in ver. 443, to the fabrication of the chariot by the god Vulcan, or to the origin of Achilles himself from a goddess.

“Which of the gods, O Automedon, has placed a foolish counsel in thy bosom, and taken from thee sound judgment; inasmuch as alone thou fightest in the foremost ranks with the Trojans? Thy companion indeed is slain; and Hector himself vaunts, having upon his shoulders the armour of Æacides.”

Him then Automedon, the son of Diores, addressed:

“Alcimedon, what other of the Greeks, then, is like thee, to subdue and restrain the spirit of immortal steeds, unless Patroclus, whilst alive, a counsellor equal to the gods? Now, however, death and fate possess him. Nevertheless, do thou take the lash and beautiful reins; but I will descend from the chariot, that I may fight.” 563

Footnote 563: (return) Alcimedon in this address condemns the imprudence of his friend, who, in this moment of imminent danger, takes upon him the joint offices of warrior (παραβάτης) and charioteer (ἡνίοχος).

Thus he spoke, but Alcimedon, ascending the chariot, swift in war, instantly took in his hands the lash and reins, whilst Automedon leaped down; but illustrious Hector perceived this, and immediately addressed Æneas, being near:

“Æneas, counsellor of the brazen-mailed Trojans, I have observed these two steeds of Achilles proceeding through the battle with unskilful charioteers. I therefore may hope to capture them, if thou, at least, desire it in thy mind; for standing opposite, they will not dare to withstand us, rushing on to fight in battle.”

Thus he spoke; nor did the brave son of Anchises disobey. Both advanced direct, covered as to their shoulders with bulls’ hides, dry, thick; and upon them much brass was plated. But along with them went both Chromius and god-like Aretus: and their mind greatly hoped to slay them, and to drive away the long-necked steeds. Foolish, 564 for they were not destined to return back bloodlessly from Automedon, for he, having prayed to father Jove, was filled with fortitude and valour, as to his dark mind, and immediately addressed Alcimedon, his faithful comrade:

Footnote 564: (return) Cf. Æn. x. 501, sqq. So Milton, P.L. ix. 404:—

“O much deceived, much failing, hapless Eve,

Of thy presumed return! event perverse!”

“O Alcimedon, do not now detain the steeds far from me; but [keep them] breathing closely at my back; for I do not think that Hector, the son of Priam, will abstain from violence, before that he has mounted the beautiful-maned horses of Achilles, having slain both of us, and put to rout the ranks of Grecian heroes; or himself be slain among the first.”

Thus saying, he called upon the Ajaces, and Menelaus: “Ye Ajaces, leaders of the Greeks, and Menelaus, leave then the dead body to those, as many as are bravest, to defend it on all sides, and to repulse the ranks of men; but from us who are alive avert the merciless day. For hither violently rush through the lamentable fight Hector and Æneas, who are the best of the Trojans. But all these things rest upon the knees of the gods; for I also will hurl, and all these things will be a care to Jove.”

He said; and, brandishing, hurled his long-shadowed spear, and struck upon the shield of Aretus, equal on all sides; it however did not repel the spear, but the brass went entirely through, and passed through the belt into the bottom of his belly. And as when a man in youthful vigour, holding a sharp axe, cuts through the whole tendon, striking behind the horns of a wild bull; but it, leaping forward, falls; so he, springing forward, fell supine; and the sharp spear, quivering in his entrails, relaxed his limbs. Then Hector took aim at Automedon with his shining spear, but he, seeing it in front of him, avoided the brazen weapon; for he bent forward. But the long spear was fixed in the ground behind him; and moreover the nether end of the spear was shaken; but there then the strong weapon spent its force. Then truly they would have engaged hand to hand with their swords, had not the eager Ajaces, who came through the crowd, at the call of their companion, separated them. But Hector, Æneas, and godlike Chromius, greatly dreading them, retired back again, and left Aretus lying there, lacerated as to his heart; but him Automedon, equal to swift Mars, despoiled of his armour, and, boasting, uttered this speech:

“Surely now I have a little relieved my heart of sorrow for the dead son of Menœtius, although having slain but an inferior man.”

Thus having spoken, seizing the gore-stained spoils, he placed them in the chariot, and mounted himself, bloody as to his feet and hands above, like some lion which has fed upon a bull. Again over Patroclus was the direful battle extended, grievous, lamentable; and Minerva excited the contention, descending from heaven; for far-sounding Jove sent her forth to encourage the Greeks, as his intention was now changed. As Jove extends a purple rainbow from heaven to mortals, to be a signal either of war, or of a chilling storm, which causes men to cease from their works upon the earth, and afflicts the cattle; so she, having obscured herself in a purple cloud, entered the army of the Greeks, and aroused every man. First, however, she addressed the son of Atreus, gallant Menelaus, inciting him, for he was near her, assimilating herself, in her form and unwearied voice, to Phœnix:

“Thine, of a truth, will shame and disgrace now be, O Menelaus, if the swift dogs tear the faithful companion of illustrious Achilles beneath the wall of the Trojans; therefore bravely hold on, and urge on all the people.” Whom, in return, Menelaus, good in the din of war, addressed: “Phœnix, father, old man long since born, would that Minerva would give me strength, and ward off the force of the weapons. Then indeed would I be willing to stand by and defend Patroclus; for dying, he greatly affected my mind with grief. But Hector has the dreadful force of fire, nor does he cease slaying with his spear; for to him Jove affords glory.”

Thus he spoke; but the azure-eyed goddess Minerva rejoiced, because to her he had prayed first of all the gods. But in his shoulders and knees she put strength, and placed in his bosom the boldness of a fly, which, although frequently driven away from a human body, persists in biting,—and the blood of man is sweet to it. With such confidence she filled his dark soul: and he advanced towards Patroclus, and took aim with his splendid spear. Now there was among the Trojans one Podes, the son of Eëtion, rich and brave; whom of his people Hector chiefly honoured, for he was his dear companion in the banquet. Him yellow-haired Menelaus smote upon the belt while hastening to flight, and drove the brazen weapon quite through. He, falling, gave a crash, and Menelaus, the son of Atreus, dragged away the body from the Trojans to the crowd of his companions. But Apollo, standing near, excited Hector in the likeness of Phœnops, son of Asias, who, inhabiting dwellings at Abydos, was most dear to him of all his guests. Assimilating himself to him, far-darting Apollo spoke:

“Hector, what other of the Greeks will any more fear thee, since now thou dreadest Menelaus, who indeed before was but an effeminate warrior, but now departs done, bearing off the dead corse from the Trojans? He has slain, in the front ranks, Podes, the son of Eëtion, thy comrade, faithful and brave.”

Thus he spoke; but him a dark cloud of grief overshadowed, and he went through the front ranks, armed in glittering brass. And then the son of Saturn took his ægis, fringed and splendid, and covered Ida with clouds; but having flashed his lightning, he thundered very loudly, and shook it (the mountain); and (he) gave victory to the Trojans, but put the Greeks to flight.

Peneleus, the Bœotian, first was leader of the flight; for he was wounded slightly 565 on the tip of the shoulder with a spear, being always turned frontwards; but the spear of Polydamas grazed even to the bone, for he, coming close, had wounded him. Next Hector wounded Leïtus, son of magnanimous Alectryon, on the hand at the wrist, and caused him to cease from battle. Then looking around him, he trembled, since he no longer hoped in his mind [to be able] to fight with the Trojans, holding his spear in his hand. But Idomeneus had struck, on the corslet, upon the breast near the pap, Hector rushing after Leïtus: the long spear, however, was broken at the socket; and the Trojans shouted. But he [Hector] discharged his javelin at Idomeneus, the son of Deucalion, as he was standing in his car: him he missed by a little, but struck Coeranus, the attendant and charioteer of Meriones, who had followed him from well-situated Lyctus. For at first on foot, having left his equally-plied ships, he came, and would have secured a decided victory to the Trojans, had not Coeranus quickly driven on his swift-footed steeds: to him then he (Coeranus) came as a help, and warded off the merciless day; but he himself lost his life beneath man-slaughtering Hector. Him he smote beneath the jaw-bone and ear, and the extremity of the spear forced out his teeth and cut through the middle of his tongue. He fell from his chariot, and the reins dropped to the ground; and Meriones, stooping, lifted them from the plain in his own hands, and addressed Idomeneus:

“Lash on, now, until thou reach the swift ships; for even thou thyself perceivest that victory is no longer on the side of the Achæans.”

Footnote 565: (return) Ἐπιλίγδην, on the surface, δι' ἐπιπολῆς·—Kennedy.

Thus he spake; and Idomeneus lashed on the beautiful-maned steeds to the hollow ships; for fear now seized his mind.

Nor did Jove escape notice of magnanimous Ajax and Menelaus, when he for the present gave the dubious victory to the Trojans; but to them the mighty Ajax, son of Telamon, began to speak:

“Alas! even he who is very stupid might now know that father Jove himself is aiding the Trojans; for the weapons of them all take effect, whoever may throw them, whether coward or brave man. Jove certainly directs them all. But the weapons of all of us fall to the earth in vain. Come, however, let us devise the best plan, both how we may drag off the corse, and how we ourselves may be a source of joy to our beloved comrades, having returned home. They, of a truth, beholding us here, are grieved, and think that we shall no longer resist the might and invincible hands of man-slaughtering Hector. But, would there were some companion who would quickly bring word to Achilles, since I think he has not yet heard the mournful tidings, that his dear comrade has died. But nowhere can I see such a person among the Greeks, for they and their steeds are together enveloped in darkness. O father Jove, liberate at least the sons of the Greeks from darkness; make a clear atmosphere, and grant us to see with our eyes; then destroy us in the light, 566 if thus it be pleasing to thee.”

Footnote 566: (return) A prayer well worthy of Ajax. Ammian. Marcell. xxviii.: “Per horrorem tenebrarum—quo tempore hebetari solent obstrictæ terroribus mentes; ut inter innumera multa Ajax quoque Homericus docet, optans perire potius luce, quam pati formidinis augmenta nocturnæ.” Cf. Longin. ix.

Thus he spoke; but the Sire felt compassion for him weeping, and immediately dissipated the haze, and removed the cloud. And the sun shone forth, and the whole battle was displayed, and then Ajax addressed Menelaus, good in the din of war:

“Look around now, O Jove-nurtured Menelaus, if anywhere thou canst perceive, yet alive, Antilochus, the son of magnanimous Nestor. Urge him, going speedily, to tell to warlike Achilles, that the comrade, by far most dear to him, has perished.”

Thus he spoke; nor did Menelaus, good in the din of war, disobey. But he hastened to go, like some lion from a fold, which after that he is fatigued, harassing both dogs and men, who watching all night, suffer him not to carry off the fat of the oxen; but he, desirous of flesh, rushes on, but nothing profits; for many javelins fly against him from daring hands, and blazing torches, which, eager as he is, he dreads; but early in the morning he goes apart with saddened mind. So, most unwilling, from Patroclus went Menelaus, brave in the din of war; because he greatly feared lest the Greeks, through grievous terror, should leave him a prey to the enemy. And much, therefore, he exhorted Meriones and the Ajaces:

“Ye Ajaces, leaders of the Greeks, and Meriones, now let each one be mindful of the gentleness of wretched Patroclus; for when alive, he knew how to be mild to all; but now, indeed, Death and Fate overtake him.”

Thus then having spoken, yellow-haired Menelaus departed, gazing round in all directions, like an eagle, which, they say, sees most acutely of birds beneath the sky, and which, though being aloft, the swift-footed hare does not escape, when lying beneath the dense-foliaged thicket; but he pounces upon it, and quickly seizing it, deprives it of life. Thus, O Jove-nurtured Menelaus, were thy shining eyes turned round in all directions through the band of thy numerous companions, if anywhere thou mightst behold the son of Nestor, yet living. But him he very soon perceived upon the left of all the battle, encouraging his companions, and inciting them to fight; and standing near, yellow-haired Menelaus addressed [him]:

“Ho! hither come, Antilochus, Jove-nurtured, that thou mayest hear the sad message which—would that it had not happened. I think, indeed, that thou thyself looking, perceivest that a god rolls disaster upon the Greeks, but that victory is on the side of the Trojans; for Patroclus, the bravest of the Greeks, is slain; and a great longing [after him] has befallen the Greeks. But do thou quickly tell it to Achilles, running to the ships of the Greeks, if perchance quickly he may bring in safety to his ships the unarmed body; for crest-tossing Hector possesses the armour.”

Thus he spoke; but Antilochus shuddered, hearing the news; and long did a want of words possess him; and his eyes were filled with tears, and his liquid voice was interrupted. Yet not even thus did he neglect the command of Menelaus; but he hastened to run, and gave his armour to Laodocus, his blameless companion, who, near him, managed the solid-hoofed steeds. Him, however, his feet bore, weeping, from the battle, about to communicate the evil news to Achilles, son of Peleus.

Nor, O Jove-nurtured Menelaus, was thy mind willing to aid the harassed comrades, in the place whence Antilochus had departed, and great longing after him was caused to the Pylians; but to them he sent noble Thrasymedes, and he himself went again towards the hero Patroclus; but arriving, he stood beside the Ajaces, and immediately addressed them:

“Him, indeed, I have now despatched to the swift ships, to go to swift-footed Achilles: yet I do not think that he will come, although greatly enraged with noble Hector; for being unarmed, he could by no means fight with the Trojans. Let even us then ourselves deliberate upon the best plan, as well how we shall draw off the body, as also how we ourselves may escape Death and Fate from the clamour of the Trojans.”

But him mighty Telamonian Ajax then answered:

“All things correctly hast thou spoken, O illustrious Menelaus. But do thou, and Meriones, stooping quickly under it, having lifted it up, bear the body from the fight; whilst we two of like name, possessing equal courage, will fight with the Trojans and with noble Hector, we who even formerly have sustained the sharp conflict, remaining by each other.”

Thus he spoke; but they with great exertion lifted up the body in their arms from the ground: but the Trojan army shouted in their rear when they saw the Greeks raising up the dead body, and rushed on like dogs, which spring upon a wounded boar, before the youthful hunters. One while indeed they run, eager to tear him asunder, but again, when he turns upon them, relying on his strength, then they retreat, and fly in different directions hither and thither: so the Trojans sometimes steadily pursued in a body, striking with their swords and two-edged spears; but when again the Ajaces, turning round upon them, stood, then was their colour changed, nor dared any one, rushing forward, to combat for the corpse.

Thus they with alacrity bore the body from the fight towards the hollow ships; but the fierce battle was extended to them like a flame, which assailing, [and] being suddenly excited, sets fire to a city of men, and the houses diminish in the mighty blaze; whilst the force of the wind roars through it: so a horrid tumult of steeds and warlike heroes followed them departing. But as mules, exerting vast strength, 567 drag from a mountain along a rugged path either a beam or a large piece of timber for ship-building, but the spirit within them, as they hasten, is wearied equally with fatigue and perspiration; so they with alacrity bore away the body, whilst the Ajaces behind them checked [the enemy]; as a barrier of wood, stretched straight across a plain, restrains water; which checks the furious courses even of rapid rivers, and immediately turning them, directs the streams of all into the plain; nor can they at all burst through it, though flowing with violence. So the Ajaces in the rear always repulsed the attack of the Trojans, who, however, followed along with them; but two amongst them in particular, Æneas, son of Anchises, and illustrious Hector. And as a cloud of starlings or jackdaws, shrilly chattering, 568 flies away when they perceive a hawk advancing, which brings death to small birds; so then from Æneas and Hector departed the sons of the Greeks, loudly clamouring, and were forgetful of the fight. And much beautiful armour of the flying Greeks fell both in and about the trench; but there was no cessation from the battle.

Footnote 567: (return) Literally, “girding themselves with strength.”

Footnote 568: (return) Or, “shouting in presage of their doom,” as Heyne and Kennedy would take it, a meaning borne out by προΐδωσιν. Cf. Longus. Past. ii. 12: Οἱ κωμῆται ταραχθέντες, ἐπιπήδωσιν αὐτοῖς ὡσεὶ ψᾶρες, ἢ κολο οί.



Thetis comforts her son for the death of Patroclus, and promises to procure him new armour from Vulcan. At the command of Juno, Achilles comes forth and strikes terror into the enemy. The body of Patroclus is rescued, and prepared for funeral rites, and Vulcan forges a suit of armour and a splendid shield for Achilles.

Thus they, then, 569 were fighting, like a blazing fire; but swift-footed Antilochus came as a messenger to Achilles. Him he found in front of his lofty-prowed ships, revolving in his mind those things which had already been accomplished; and then groaning, he communed with his own mind:

Footnote 569: (return) This is to be taken in connection with ver. 148 of the last book, as the regular narrative is interrupted by the message of Antilochus and the grief of Achilles.

“Ah me! why are the long-haired Achæans driven back in confusion to the ships, routed through the plain? [I fear] lest the gods have accomplished evil sorrows to my soul, as my mother once informed me, and told me that the bravest of the Myrmidons, I being yet alive, would leave the light of the sun, by the hands of the Trojans. Too surely now the valiant son of Menœtius is dead,—obstinate one! certainly I desired him, having repelled the hostile fire, to return to the ships, nor to fight bravely with Hector.”

Whilst he was revolving these things in his mind and in his soul, in the meantime the son of illustrious Nestor drew near, shedding warm tears, and delivered his sad message:

“Alas! O son of warlike Peleus, surely thou wilt hear a very grievous message, which—would that it had not taken place. Patroclus lies low; and around his unarmed corse they are now fighting, whilst crest-tossing Hector possesses his armour.”

Thus he spoke; but him a black cloud of grief overshadowed, and taking the burnt ashes with both hands, he poured them on his head, and denied his comely countenance; but the dark ashes everywhere adhered to his rich 570 tunic. But he, mighty, lay extended at great length in the dust, and tearing, he disordered his hair with his hands. The handmaids, whom Achilles and Patroclus had taken, grieved in their souls, shrieked aloud, and ran out of the door round warlike Achilles; and all smote their breasts with their hands, 571 and the limbs of each were relaxed. Antilochus, on the other side, lamented, shedding tears, holding the hands of Achilles; (and he kept groaning within his generous heart,) for he feared lest he should cut his throat with his sword. Then he moaned dreadfully, and his venerable mother heard him, sitting in the depths of the sea, beside her aged father, and immediately lamented: and all the goddesses assembled around her, as many Nereïdes as were at the bottom of the sea. There were Glauce, Thaleia, and Cymodoce, Nesæa, Spio, Thoa, and large-eyed Halia, Cymothoë, Actæa, and Limnorea, Melita, Iæra, Amphithoë, and Agave, Doto, Proto, Pherusa, and Dynamene, Dexamene, Amphinome, and Callianira, Doris, Panope, and distinguished Galatea, Nemertes, Apseudes, and Callianassa. There were also Clymene, Ianira, and Ianassa, Mæra, Orithya, and fair-haired Amathea, and other Nereïdes which were in the depths of the sea. But the resplendent cave was full of them, and all at once they beat their breasts; but Thetis began the lamentation:

Footnote 570: (return) So νεκτάρεον ἑανόν, iii. 385.—Heyne.

Footnote 571: (return) In illustration of this custom of mourners, cf. Virg. Æn. i. 484:—

“Crinibus Iliades passis, peplumque ferebant

Suppliciter tristes, et tunsæ pectora palmis.”

Ovid, Fast. iv. 454: “Et feriunt mœstæ pectora nuda manus.” Silius, xii. 528. Petronius, ciii. p. 509, ed. Burm.: “Sparsis prosequi crinibus, aut nudatum pectus plangere;” cxv.: “Percussi semel iterumque pectus.” See Westerhov, on Ter. Hec. ii. 3, 49; Northmore on Tryphiodor. 34; and Blomf. on Æsch. Choeph. 27.

“Hear, sister Nereïdes, that hearing ye may all well know what griefs are in my mind. Woe is me wretched! woe is me who have in an evil hour brought forth the bravest [of men], I who, after having borne a son, blameless and valiant, the chief of heroes, and he grew up 572 like a young tree: having reared him like a sapling in a fruitful spot of a field, I afterwards sent him forth in the curved ships to Ilium, to fight against the Trojans; but I shall not receive him again, having returned home to the palace of Peleus. But whilst he lives and beholds the light of the sun, he grieves, 573 nor can I, going to him, avail him aught. Yet will I go, that I may see my beloved son, and hear what grief comes upon him remaining away from the battle.”

Thus having spoken, she left the cave; but they all went along with her, weeping, and the wave of the ocean was cleft around for them. 574 But when they reached fertile Troy, they in order ascended the shore, where the fleet ships of the Myrmidons were drawn up round swift Achilles. Then his venerable mother, shrilly wailing, stood near to him deeply lamenting, and took the head of her son, and, mourning, addressed to him winged words:

Footnote 572: (return) Ἀνέδραμον is used in the same way by Herodot. vii. 156, viii. 55; Theocrit. xviii. 29. It corresponds to our English phrase “to run up.”

Footnote 573: (return) I.e. he continues to do so, and will, till his death.

Footnote 574: (return) Σφίσι is the dativus commodi.

“O son, why weepest thou, and what sorrow has come upon thy mind? Speak out, nor conceal it. Those things indeed are fulfilled for thee from Jove, as thou didst formerly pray, lifting up thy hands—that all the sons of the Greeks, wanting thee, should, be collected at the ships, and suffer disgraceful deeds.”

But her swift-footed Achilles addressed, deeply groaning:

“Mother mine, these things indeed the Olympian king hath accomplished for me; but what pleasure is there in them to me, since Patroclus, my dear companion, is dead, whom I honoured beyond all my companions, equally with my own head? Him have I lost; and Hector, having slain him, has stripped off his mighty armour, a wonder to be seen, beautiful; which the other gods gave to Peleus, splendid gifts, on that day when they laid thee in the bed of a mortal man. Would that thou hadst dwelt there among the immortal marine inhabitants, and that Peleus had wedded a mortal spouse. But now [thou hast been wedded, to the end] that immeasurable grief may be upon thy mind for thy son slain, whom thou shalt not again receive, having returned home. Since even my mind urges me not to live nor have intercourse with men, unless Hector first lose his life, smitten by my spear, and pay the penalty for the slaughter 575 of Patroclus, the son of Menœtius.”

But him Thetis in turn addressed, pouring forth tears: “Short-lived thou wilt be, O my son, as thou sayest, for fate is ready for thee immediately after Hector.” Then, heavily sighing, swift-footed Achilles addressed her: “May I die then immediately, since it was not destined that I should aid my companion now slain; but he indeed hath perished far away from his native land, and longed for me to be an averter of his doom. But now 576—since I shall not return to my dear father-land, nor have been a preservation 577 to Patroclus, or to my other companions, who have been subdued in great numbers by noble Hector; but sit beside the ships, an useless weight on the earth, being such as is none of the brazen-mailed Achæans in war, though in council there are others superior; would that therefore contention might be extinguished from gods and men; and anger, which is wont to impel even the very wisest to be harsh; and which, much sweeter than distilling honey, like smoke, rises in the breasts of men; so now did Agamemnon, king of men, enrage me: but although greatly grieved, let us leave these things to pass by as done, subduing, from necessity, our own spirit within our bosoms: but now will I go, that I may find Hector, the destroyer of my dear friend, and I will accept death whensoever Jove and the other immortal gods shall please to accomplish it. For not even the might of Hercules escaped death, who was very dear to king Jove, the son of Saturn; but fate subdued him, and the grievous wrath of Juno. So also shall I lie, when I am dead, if a similar fate be destined for me; but now may I bear away illustrious glory, and compel some one of the Trojan women and deep-robed Dardanians to sigh frequently, wiping away the tears from her tender cheeks with both hands; and may they know that I have long ceased from battle. 578 Wherefore do not hinder me from the combat, although loving me, for thou wilt not persuade me.”

Footnote 575: (return) Ελώρια is the more usual form, but ἔλωρα is recognized by Hesychius. “If correct,” Kennedy says, “it may be explained by the existence of ἔλωρον from ἔλωρ (Hesych. t.i. p. 1186, from Il. v. 488), signifying the price of slaughter, by the same analogy as θρέπτρον (iv. 478) the price of nutrition.”

Footnote 576: (return) Observe the long hyperbaton, resulting from the excitement of the speaker.

Footnote 577: (return) Literally, “light.”

Footnote 578: (return) I.e. they shall find out the difference when I make my appearance

Him then the silver-footed goddess Thetis answered: “Certainly this is true, O son, nor is it an evil thing to avert utter destruction from our friends when afflicted. But thy beautiful arms, brazen and shining, are detained among the Trojans, which crest-tossing Hector himself, having on his shoulders, boasts of: yet I suspect that he will not long glory in them, for death is near to him. But do thou by no means enter the slaughter of Mars before thou beholdest me with thine eyes coming hither. For at dawn I will return with the rising sun, bearing beautiful armour from king Vulcan.”

Thus having spoken, she turned round from her son, and being turned, addressed her marine sisters: “Enter ye now the broad bosom of the deep, about to behold the marine old man, and the mansions of my sire, and tell him all things; but I go to lofty Olympus, to Vulcan, the skilful artist, to try if he is willing to give my son illustrious, glittering armour.”

Thus she spoke, but they immediately sank beneath the wave of the sea. But Thetis, the silver-footed goddess, again departed to Olympus, that she might bear the illustrious armour to her beloved son. Her, on the one hand, her feet bore towards Olympus: but the Greeks, flying with a heaven-sent uproar from man-slaughtering Hector, reached the ships and the Hellespont. Nor had the well-greaved Greeks drawn off the dead body of Patroclus, the attendant of Achilles, out of the reach of weapons; for now again both infantry and cavalry pursued him, and Hector, the son of Priam, like unto a flame in violence. Thrice did illustrious Hector seize him behind by the feet, eager to draw him away, and loudly shouted to the Trojans; and thrice did the two Ajaces, clad in impetuous might, forcibly repulse him from the corse; whilst he, with steady purpose, ever relying on his might, sometimes charged through the crowd, and sometimes again stopped, loudly shouting; but never retreated altogether. But as night-watching 579 shepherds are by no means able to drive away from a carcase a tawny lion, greatly hungering; so were the two warriors, the Ajaces, unable to drive away Hector, the son of Priam, from the body. And now indeed would he have dragged it off, and obtained great glory, had not fleet wind-footed Iris come as a messenger to the son of Peleus, running down from Olympus, that he should arm himself unknown to Jove and the other gods; for Juno sent her forth; and standing near, she addressed to him winged words:

Footnote 579: (return) Cf. Luke ii. 8, with the notes of Wetstein and Kypke. Although ἄγραυλοι may simply mean “dwelling in the fields,” as in Apollon. Rh. iv. 317, it is better to follow the interpretation of Hesychius: Οἱ ἐν ἀγροῖς διανυκτερεύοντες. But cf. Alberti, t.i. p. 64.

“Arise, son of Peleus, most terrible of all men; defend Patroclus, for whom 580 a dire contest is maintained before the ships. But they are slaughtering each other, the one party fighting for the slain corpse, whilst the other, the Trojans, rush on, that they may drag him away to wind-swept Ilium; and above all, illustrious Hector desires to seize him, for his mind prompts him to fix his head upon stakes, having cut it from the tender neck. But up, nor lie longer; but let reverence 581 touch thy soul, that Patroclus should be a source of delight to Trojan dogs. A disgrace would be to thee, if the dead body should come at all defiled.”

Footnote 580: (return) I.e. for whose body.

Footnote 581: (return) “Σέβας is commonly rendered pudor, nearly synonymous with αἰδώς. Its meaning is however more forcible, viz. esteem it as an act of impiety to abandon the body to insult.”—Kennedy.

But her noble, swift-footed Achilles, then answered: “Which of the gods, O goddess Iris, sent thee as a messenger to me?”

But him fleet, wind-footed Iris, again addressed: “Juno sent me forth, the glorious spouse of Jove, nor does the lofty-throned son of Saturn know it, nor any other of the immortals who inhabit snowy Olympus.”

But her swift-footed Achilles answering, addressed: “And how can I go to the slaughter? for they possess my armour. Besides, my dear mother does not permit me to be armed, before that with my eyes I behold her coming, for she hath promised that she will bear me beautiful armour from Vulcan. But I indeed know not of another, whose splendid armour I could put on, 582 except the shield of Ajax, son of Telamon.”

Footnote 582: (return) Ἀλλ' οὐδενὸς οἶδα ἀρμόζουτάν μοι πανοπλίαν.—Schol.

“But he, I hope, mingles in the front ranks, slaying with his spear round the head of Patroclus.”

But him fleet-footed Iris again addressed: “Well too do we know that they possess thy distinguished armour: yet even thus, going towards the ditch, show thyself to the Trojans, if perchance the Trojans, terrified, may desist from battle, and the warlike, harassed sons of the Greeks may breathe again; and there be a short respite from fighting.” 583

Footnote 583: (return) Cf. xv. 42.

Thus indeed having spoken, swift-footed Iris departed; but Achilles, dear to Jove, arose; and around his strong shoulders Minerva threw her fringed ægis. And the divine one of goddesses crowned his head around with a golden cloud, and from it she kindled a shining flame. And as when smoke, ascending from a city, reaches the æther from an island afar off, which foes invest, who [pouring out] from their city, contend all day in hateful fight: but with the setting sun torches blaze one after another, 584 and the splendour arises, rushing upwards, for [their] neighbours to behold, if perchance they may come with ships, as repellers of the war; thus did the flame from the head of Achilles reach the sky. He stood, having advanced from the wall to the trench, nor mingled with the Greeks, for he reverenced the prudent advice of his mother. There standing, he shouted, and Pallas Minerva, on the other side, vociferated, and stirred up immense tumult among the Trojans. And as the tone is very clear, when a trumpet sounds, while deadly foes are investing a city; so distinct then was the voice of the descendant of Æacus. But when they heard the brazen voice of Achilles, the soul was disturbed to all, whilst the beautiful-maned steeds turned the chariots backwards, for they presaged sorrows in their mind. The charioteers were panic-struck when they beheld the terrific, indefatigable flame, blazing over the head of magnanimous Pelides; for the azure-eyed goddess Minerva lighted it. Thrice over the trench loudly shouted noble Achilles, and thrice were the Trojans and their illustrious allies thrown into confusion. There then perished twelve bravest heroes by their chariots and spears, whilst the Greeks, dragging Patroclus with joy out of the reach of weapons, stretched him on a bier; but his beloved companions stood round him mourning, and with them followed swift-footed Achilles, shedding warm tears, when he beheld his faithful comrade lying upon a bier, lacerated with the sharp brass: whom indeed he had sent forth with his horses and chariots to battle, but did not receive him again, having returned.

Footnote 584: (return) Hesychius: ἐπήτριμοι, ἀλλεπάλληλοι. Cf. Oppian, Cyn. i. 321; iii. 275. The orthography ἐπίτριμοι is equally correct, according to Abresch.

But the large-eyed, venerable Juno sent the unwearied sun, to return to the flowing of the ocean, against his inclination. The sun then set, and the noble Greeks desisted from the violent conflict, and the equally destructive battle. The Trojans again, on the other side, retiring from the violent combat, loosed their fleet steeds from their chariots. But they assembled in the council before they bethought them of their banquet. The assembly consisted of persons standing up, nor did any one dare to sit; for fear possessed all, because Achilles had appeared, who had long abstained from the direful combat. Among them prudent Polydamas, the son of Panthus, began to speak, for he alone saw both the future and the past. He was the companion of Hector, and they were born in one night, but the one excelled in counsel, and the other greatly in the spear. He wisely counselling, harangued them, and spoke:

“My friends, consider well on both sides; for I advise that we now return to the city, nor await the sacred Morn in the plain near the ships; for we are far away from the wall. As long indeed as this man was wroth with noble Agamemnon, so long were the Greeks more easy to fight with. For even I was delighted, passing the night by the swift barks, expecting that we should take the equally-plied barks; but now greatly do I fear swift-footed Pelides: so violent is his soul, nor will he be content to remain in the plain, where usually the Trojans and Greeks in the intervening space divide 585 the force of war, but he will combat for the city and our wives. We will go, then, towards the city—be persuaded by me—for so it must be. Ambrosial night at present hath made swift-footed Pelides cease; but if, rushing forth to-morrow with his arms, he shall find us here, then will some one know him; for gladly will he reach sacred Ilium, whosoever shall escape: but dogs and vultures will devour many of the Trojans. O that such [tidings] may be far from our ears. 586 But if we be obedient to my words, although sad, we shall have protection 587 in the assembly during the night, and the towers and lofty gates, and the valves fitted to them, long, well polished, fastened together, will protect the city. But to-morrow, at early dawn, we will stand on the towers, arrayed in armour; and it would be difficult for him, even if he should wish it, coming from the ships, to fight with us around the wall. Back again will he go to the ships, after he has satiated his high-necked steeds with a varied course, driving beneath the city. But his mind will not permit him to rush within, nor will he ever lay it waste; sooner shall the fleet dogs devour him.”

Footnote 585: (return) This is expressive of the vicissitudes of the conflict.

Footnote 586: (return) Eἴθε δέ μοι τοῦτο οὐ μόνον μὴ ὀφθείη, ἀλλὰ μηδὲ ἀκουσθείη.—Schol.

Footnote 587: (return) One of the Scholiasts, however, would take σθένος as=στρατιὰν, i.e. we shall keep the troops in a body. But see Kennedy.

Him, then, crest-tossing Hector sternly regarding, addressed:

“No longer, O Polydamas, dost thou speak these things agreeable to me, thou who advisest us, returning, to be cooped up in the city. Are ye not yet satiated with being shut up within the towers? Formerly indeed all articulate-speaking men pronounced the city of Priam rich in gold and in brass; but now have the rich treasures of our houses perished, and many possessions have already departed to Phrygia and agreeable Mœonia, to be sold, since mighty Jove was enraged. But at this crisis, when the son of politic Saturn has granted me to obtain glory at the ships, and to hem in the Greeks by the sea, no longer, foolish man, disclose these counsels to the people: for none of the Trojans will obey; nor will I permit them. But come, let us all obey as I shall advise. At present take supper in your ranks throughout the army; be mindful of the watch, and keep guard each [of you]; but whosoever of the Trojans is particularly anxious about his possessions, collecting them together, let him give them to the people to be publicly consumed; it is better that any of them should enjoy them than the Greeks. But to-morrow, with the dawn, arrayed in armour, let us excite sharp conflict at the hollow ships, and if truly noble Achilles has arisen at the ships, it will be the worse for him, if he wishes [to fight]: I indeed will not fly him from the horrid-sounding battle, but will stand very obstinately against him, whether he bear away great glory, or I bear it away. Mars [is] common, 588 and even slays the slayer.”

Footnote 588: (return) See Duport, p. 104, and Clarke’s note. Livy translates it, “communis Mars belli;” observing, “communis Mars, et incertus belli eventus.”

Thus Hector harangued, and the Trojans shouted in applause: foolish men, for Pallas Minerva had taken their senses away from them. For they assented to Hector, advising destructive things, whilst no one [assented to] Polydamas, who advised prudent counsel. Then they took supper through the army. But the Greeks, lamenting all night, wept over Patroclus, but among them Pelides led the ceaseless lamentation, placing his man-slaying hands upon the breast of his companion, very frequently sighing; as the well-bearded lion, from whom the stag-hunter has stolen the cubs out of the thick forest; and he is grieved, coming afterwards. And through many valleys he goes, tracking the footsteps of the man, if anywhere he may find him; for very keen rage possesses him. So, deeply sighing, he addressed the Myrmidons:

“Alas! vain indeed was the promise I uttered on that day, encouraging the hero Menœtius in our halls; for I said that I would bring back his illustrious son to Opus, having wasted Troy, and obtained a share of the spoil. But Jove fulfils not for men all their intentions; for it is fated that we shall both stain with blood the same earth here in Troy; but neither shall aged horse-driving Peleus receive me in his palaces, returning, nor my mother Thetis, but the earth shall here hold me. Now, however, O Patroclus! since after thee I go beneath the earth, I shall not perform thy funeral rites, before that I bring hither the arms and head of magnanimous Hector, thy murderer, and behead twelve illustrious sons of the Trojans, before thy pile, enraged on account of thee slain. Meanwhile thou shall lie thus at the crooked ships; and round thee Trojan [dames] and deep-bosomed Dardanians shall weep and shed tears night and day; whom we ourselves have toiled to get by our valour and the long spear, laying waste the rich cities of articulate-speaking men.”

Thus having spoken, noble Achilles ordered his companions to surround a large tripod with fire, that as soon as possible they might wash away the bloody gore from Patroclus. They then placed a bathing tripod on the blazing fire, and poured water into it, and taking fagots, lighted them under it. The fire indeed encircled the belly of the tripod, and the water was warmed. But when the water boiled in the sonorous brass, then they both washed him, and anointed him with rich oil. And they filled up his wounds with ointment nine years old; and laying him upon a bed, they covered him with fine linen from head to foot; and over all, with a white mantle. 589 All night then the Myrmidons, lamenting Patroclus, wept around swift-footed Achilles. But Jove addressed Juno, his sister and wife:

“And at length thou hast accomplished thy object, O large-eyed, venerable Juno, having aroused swift-fooled Achilles. Surely the waving-crested Greeks are born from thy very self.”

Footnote 589: (return) Cf. Virg. Æn. vi. 218, sqq.; xi. 36, sqq. I shall defer discussing the heroic funeral-rites till the twenty-third book.

But him large-eyed, venerable Juno then answered:

“Most imperious son of Saturn, what a word hast thou spoken? Surely now any man who is mortal, and knows not so many designs, might accomplish this against a man. How therefore ought not I, who boast myself to be chief of the goddesses, both from birth and also because I am called thy wife (and thou rulest over all the immortals), being enraged with the Trojans, to [be able to] design evils against them.”

Thus indeed they conversed with one another. But silver-footed Thetis reached the abode of Vulcan, incorruptible, starry, remarkable amongst the immortals, brazen, which the lame-footed himself had constructed. Him she found sweating, exerting himself at the bellows, earnestly working; for he was making full twenty tripods to stand around the wall of his well-built palace. Under the base of each he placed golden wheels, that of their own accord they might enter the heavenly council, and again return home—a wonder to be seen. So much finish had they, but he had not yet added the well-made handles, which he was preparing; and he was forging the rivets. Whilst he was toiling at these things with, skilful mind, meanwhile Thetis, the silver-footed goddess, came to him. But the beautiful and fair-veiled Charis, whom illustrious Vulcan had espoused, advancing, beheld her; and hung upon her hand, and addressed her, and spoke:

“Why, O long-robed Thetis, venerable, beloved, dost thou visit our abode? Formerly thou wast not in the habit of coming frequently. 590 But follow farther onwards, that I may set before thee hospitable fare.”

Thus having spoken, the divine of goddesses led on. Then indeed she placed her upon a silver-studded throne, beautiful, variously wrought, and there was a stool under her feet. But she called Vulcan, the distinguished artist, and spoke this word:

“Come hither, Vulcan, Thetis now has need of thee.”

But her illustrious Vulcan then answered: “Assuredly then an awful and revered goddess is within, who saved me when distress came upon me, fallen down far by the contrivance of my shameless mother, who wished to conceal me, being lame. 591 Then should I have suffered sorrows in my mind, had not Eurynome and Thetis received me in their bosom; Eurynome, daughter of the refluent Ocean. With them for nine years wrought I in brass many ingenious works of art, buckles, twisted bracelets, and clasp-tubes, in the hollow cave; whilst round us flowed the immense stream of Ocean, murmuring with foam: nor did any other either of gods or mortal men know it; but Thetis and Eurynome, who preserved me, knew it. She now comes to my house; wherefore there is need that I should repay all the rewards of my safety to fair-haired Thetis. But set now before her good hospitable fare, whilst I lay aside my bellows and all my tools.”

Footnote 590: (return) Θαμίζειν answers to the Latin “visere,” “frequentare.” Suidas, Θαμίζεις· πυκνάζεις, συχνάσεις. Plato, Rep. i. p. 410, B.: Οὐδὲ θαμίζεις ἡμῖν καταβαίνων εἰς τὸν ειραιᾶ. Themist. Or. v. p. 152: Μηδὲ θαμίζει δορυφοροῦσα εἰς τὰ βασίλεια. Philostr. Vit. Soph. i. 7, p. 254: Θαμίζων εἰς τὰ στρατόπεδα. Cf. Alciphron, Ep. i. 4, p. 20, iii. 5, p. 286.

Footnote 591: (return) “Hephæstos is the son of Hêrê without a father, and stands to her in the same relation as Athênê to Zeus: her pride and want of sympathy are manifested by her casting him out at once, in consequence of his deformity.”—Grote, vol. i. p. 79.

He spoke and rose, a wondrous bulk, 592 from his anvil-block, limping, and his weak legs moved actively beneath him. The bellows he laid apart from the fire, and all the tools with which he laboured he collected into a silver chest. With a sponge he wiped, all over, his face and both his hands, his strong neck and shaggy breast; then put on his tunic and seized his stout sceptre. But he went out of the doors limping, and golden handmaids, like unto living maidens, moved briskly about the king; and in their bosoms was prudence with understanding, and within them was voice and strength; and they are instructed in works by the immortal gods. These were busily occupied 593 by the king’s side; but he, hobbling along, sat down upon a splendid throne near where Thetis was, and hung upon her hand, and spoke, and addressed her:

“Why, long-robed Thetis, venerable and dear, hast thou come to our abode? For indeed thou didst not often come before. Make known what thou desirest, for my mind orders me to perform it, 594 if in truth I can perform it, and if it is to be performed.”

Footnote 592: (return) I have endeavoured to express Buttmann’s idea respecting the meaning of αἴητον. See Lexil. p. 44-7. He concludes that it simply means great, but with a collateral notion of astonishment implied, connecting it with ἀγητός.

Footnote 593: (return) See Buttmann, Lexil. p. 481.

Footnote 594: (return) Virg. Æn. i. 80:

“——Tuus, ô regina, quid optes,

Explorare labor: mini jussa capessere fas est.”

Him then Thetis, pouring forth tears, answered: “O Vulcan, has any then, as many as are the goddesses in Olympus, endured so many bitter griefs in her mind, as, to me above all, Jove, the son of Saturn, has given sorrows? Me, from among the other marine inhabitants, has he subjected to a man, to Peleus, son of Æacus; and I have endured the couch of a man very much against my will. He, indeed, now lies in his palaces, afflicted with grievous old age; but now other [woes] are my lot. After he had granted me to bring forth aud nurture a son, distinguished among heroes, and who grew up like a plant; him having reared, as a plant in a fertile spot of the field, I sent forth in the crooked barks to Ilium, to fight with the Trojans; but him I shall not receive again, having returned home to the mansion of Peleus. As long, however, as he lives to me, and beholds the light of the sun, he suffers sorrow, nor am I, going to him, able to avail him aught. The maid whom the sons of the Greeks selected as a reward for him, her hath king Agamemnon taken back again from his hands. Certainly, grieving for her, he has been wasting his soul; whilst the Trojans were hemming in the Greeks at the ships, nor suffered them to go beyond the gates: but the elders of the Greeks supplicated him, and named many distinguished presents. But then he refused to avert destruction, yet he clad Patroclus in his own armour, and sent him forth to the battle, and he gave with him much people. All day they fought round the Scæan gates, and certainly on that day had overturned Troy, had not Apollo slain, among the foremost warriors, the gallant son of Menœtius, after having done much mischief, and given glory to Hector. On this account do I now approach thy knees, if thou wilt give to my short-lived son a shield and helmet, and beautiful greaves, joined with clasps, and a corslet: for what were his, his faithful companion has lost, subdued by the Trojans; and he (Achilles) lies upon the ground, grieving in his soul.”

Her then illustrious Vulcan answered: “Take courage, nor let these things be cause of uneasiness in thy mind; for would that I could so surely conceal him from dread-sounding death, when grievous fate approaches him, as that beautiful armour shall be ready for him, such as any one of many men shall hereafter admire, whosoever may behold it.”

So saying, he left her there, and went towards the bellows, which he turned towards the fire, and commanded them to work. And full twenty bellows blew in the furnaces, exciting a varied well-regulated 595 blast, to be ready for him, at one time busy, at another the reverse, as Vulcan pleased, and that the work might be complete. He cast into the fire impenetrable brass, and tin, precious gold and silver; but next he placed the mighty anvil on the stock, and took in [one] hand his strong hammer, and with the other grasped the forceps.

Footnote 595: (return) I.e. one that would either blow, or not, according as the progress of the work required. The student will do well to compare Virg. Georg. iv. 171, sqq., Æn. viii. 449, sqq., and Callimach. in Dian. 59, sqq.

First of all he formed a shield, 596 both large and solid, decorating it all over, and around it he threw a shining border, triple and glittering, and from it [there hung] a silver belt. Of the shield itself, there were five folds; but on it he formed many curious works, with cunning skill. On it he wrought the earth, and the heaven, and the sea, the unwearied sun, and the full moon. On it also [he represented] all the constellations with which the heaven is crowned, the Pleiades, the Hyades, and the strength of Orion, and the Bear, 597 which they also call by the appellation of the Wain, which there revolves, and watches Orion; 598 but it alone is free 599 from the baths of the ocean.

Footnote 596: (return) See Coleridge, Classic Poets, p. 182, sqq.; Riccius, Dissert. Hom. t.i.p. 216; Feith, Antiq. Hom. iv. 10, 4. In reading this whole description, care must be taken to allow for the freedom of poetic description, as well as for the skill of the supposed artificer.

Footnote 597: (return) Cf. Virg. Georg. i. 137; Æn. i. 748, iii. 516.

Footnote 598: (return) Orion ascends above the horizon, as though in pursuit of the Wain, which in return seems to observe his movements. Manilius, i. 500: “Arctos et Orion adversis frontibus ibant,” which is compared by Scaliger, p. 28.

Footnote 599: (return) Aratus, Dios. 48: Ἄρκτοι κυανεοῦ πεφυλαγμένοι κεανοῖο. Virg. Georg. i. 246: “Arctos Oceani metuentes æquore tingi.” The student of ancient astronomy will do well to compare Scaliger on Manil. i, p. 43, 2; Casaub. on Strabo, i. init.

In it likewise he wrought two fair cities 600 of articulate-speaking men. In the one, indeed, there were marriages and feasts; and they were conducting the brides from their chambers through the city with brilliant torches, 601 and many a bridal song 602 was raised. The youthful dancers were wheeling round, and amongst them pipes and lyres uttered a sound; and the women standing, each at her portals, admired. And people were crowded together in an assembly, and there a contest had arisen; for two men contended for the ransom-money of a slain man: the one affirmed that he had paid all, appealing to the people; but the other denied, [averring] that he had received nought: and both wished to find an end [of the dispute] before a judge. 603 The people were applauding both,—supporters of either party, and the heralds were keeping back the people; but the elders sat upon polished stones, in a sacred 604 circle, and [the pleaders 605] held in their hands the staves of the clear-voiced heralds; with these then they arose, and alternately pleaded their cause. Moreover, in the midst lay two talents of gold, to give to him who should best establish his claim among them. But round the other city sat two armies of people glittering in arms; and one of two plans was agreeable to them, 606 either to waste it, or to divide all things into two parts,—the wealth, whatever the pleasant city contained within it. They, however, had not yet complied, but were secretly arming themselves for an ambuscade. Meanwhile, their beloved wives and young children kept watch, standing above, and amongst them the men whom old age possessed. But they (the younger men) advanced; but Mars was their leader, and Pallas Minerva, both golden, and clad in golden dresses, beautiful and large, along with their armour, radiant all round, and indeed like gods; but the people were of humbler size. 607 But when they now had reached a place where it appeared fit to lay an ambuscade, by a river, where there was a watering-place for all sorts of cattle, there then they settled, clad in shining steel. There, apart from the people, sat two spies, watching when they might perceive the sheep and crooked-horned oxen. These, however, soon advanced, and two shepherds accompanied them, amusing themselves with their pipes, for they had not yet perceived the stratagem. Then they, discerning them, ran in upon them, and immediately slaughtered on all sides the herds of oxen, and the beautiful flocks of snow-white sheep; and slew the shepherds besides. But they, when they heard the great tumult amongst the oxen, previously sitting in front of the assembly, 608 mounting their nimble-footed steeds, pursued; and soon came up with them. Then, having marshalled themselves, they fought a battle on the banks of the river, and wounded one another with their brazen spears. Amongst them mingled Discord and Tumult, and destructive Fate, holding one alive, recently wounded, another unwounded, but a third, slain, she drew by the feet through the battle; and had the garment around her shoulders crimsoned with the gore of men. 609 But they turned about, like living mortals, and fought, and drew away the slaughtered bodies of each other.

Footnote 600: (return) Cf. Hesiod, Scut. Herc. 270, sqq.

Footnote 601: (return) The escort took place at even-tide.

Footnote 602: (return) On the origin of this term, see Serv. on Virg. Æn. i. 655.

Footnote 603: (return) Or, “on the testimony of witnesses.” See Kennedy.

Footnote 604: (return) See Heyne on x. 56. So σέλμα σεμνὸν, “the seat of justice.”—Æsch. Ag. 183.

Footnote 605: (return) See Kennedy, who has collected the Homeric passages concerning lawsuits.

Footnote 606: (return) I.e. the enemy. The alternative was that the townsmen should either surrender half their possessions, or submit to indiscriminate pillage. See Kennedy.

Footnote 607: (return) This custom of representing gods and heroes of larger stature than ordinary folk prevails almost universally in the Egyptian monuments and sculptures.

Footnote 608: (return) “Εἴρα vel ἴρα est locus concionis, et ipse cœtus.”—Heyns.

Footnote 609: (return) Cf. Æn. vi.: “Tisiphoneque sedens, palla succincta cruenta.” Stat. Theb. i. 109: “Riget horrida tergo Palla, et cærulei redeunt in pectore nodi.”

On it he also placed a soft fallow field, 610 rich glebe, wide, thrice-ploughed; and in it many ploughmen drove hither and thither, turning round their teams. But when, returning, they reached the end of the field, then a man, advancing, gave into their hands a cup of very sweet wine; but they turned themselves in series, 611 eager to reach the [other] end of the deep fallow. But it was all black behind, similar to ploughed land, which indeed was a marvel beyond [all others].

On it likewise he placed a field of deep corn, where reapers were cutting, having sharp sickles in their hands. Some handfuls fell one after the other upon the ground along the furrow, and the binders of sheaves tied others with bands. Three binders followed [the reapers], whilst behind them boys gathering the handfuls, [and] bearing them in their arms, continually supplied them; and amongst them the master stood by the swathe 612 in silence, holding a sceptre, delighted in heart. But apart, beneath an oak, servants were preparing a banquet, and sacrificing a huge ox, they ministered; whilst women sprinkled much white barley 613 [on the meat], as a supper for the reapers.

Footnote 610: (return) With the whole of this description of the shield of Achilles, the lover of poetry should compare Milton, P.L. xi. 638, sqq. with the remarks of Bishop Newton.

Footnote 611: (return) But Hesychius by ὄγμους understood αὔλακας, “the furrows.” See Schneid. on Nicand. Ther. 371.

Footnote 612: (return) I here follow the Oxford translator. The term βασιλεὺς is well in accordance with the simple manners of the early ages, when kings were farmers on a large scale. Many of our Saviour’s parables present a similar association of agriculture with the regal dignity.

Footnote 613: (return) Probably a religious rite. Cf. i. 449, 458.

On it likewise he placed a vineyard, heavily laden with grapes, beautiful, golden; but the clusters throughout were black; and it was supported throughout by silver poles. Round it he drew an azure trench, and about it a hedge 614 of tin; but there was only one path to it, by which the gatherers went when they collected the vintage. Young virgins and youths, of tender minds, bore the luscious fruit in woven baskets, 615 in the midst of whom a boy played sweetly on a shrill harp; and with tender voice sang gracefully to the chord; whilst they, beating [the ground] in unison with dancing and shouts, followed, skipping with their feet.

Footnote 614: (return) Ἐφύτευσεν ἀμπελῶνα, καὶ φραγμὸν αὐτῷ περιέθηκε. Matt, xxi 33. See Rosemüller on Jer. v. 5.

Footnote 615: (return) “Vimineis calathis,” Copa, 16. Propert. iii. 11, 31.

In it he also wrought a herd of oxen with horns erect. But the kine were made of gold and of tin, and rushed out with a lowing from the stall to the pasture, beside a murmuring stream, along the breeze-waving reeds. 616 Four golden herdsmen accompanied the oxen, and nine dogs, swift of foot, followed. But two terrible lions detained the bull, roaring among the foremost oxen, and he was dragged away, loudly bellowing, and the dogs and youths followed for a rescue. They indeed, having torn off the skin of the great ox, lapped up his entrails and black blood; and the shepherds vainly pressed upon them, urging on their fleet dogs. These however refused to bite the lions, but, standing very near, barked, and shunned them.

On it illustrious Vulcan also formed a pasture in a beautiful grove full of white sheep, and folds, and covered huts and cottages.

Illustrious Vulcan likewise adorned it with a dance, like unto that which, in wide Gnossus, Dædalus contrived for fair-haired Ariadne. There danced youths and alluring 617 virgins, holding each other’s hands at the wrist. These wore fine linen robes, but those were dressed in well-woven tunics, shining 618 as with oil; these also had beautiful garlands, and those wore golden swords, [hanging] from silver belts. Sometimes, with skilful feet, they nimbly bounded [round]; as when a potter, sitting, shall make trial of a wheel fitted to his hands, whether it will run: and at other times again they ran back to their places through one another. But a great crowd surrounded the pleasing dance, amusing themselves; and amongst them two tumblers, beginning their song, spun round through the midst.

Footnote 616: (return) See Knight and Kennedy.

Footnote 617: (return) Literally, “finders of oxen,” i.e. so attractive as to be certain of receiving a good dowry, paid, after the ancient custom, in cattle.

Footnote 618: (return) This must have been some kind of oil-cloth, unless we read στίλβοντες with Kennedy. The meaning is very obscure.

But in it he also formed the vast strength of the river Oceanus, near the last border of the well-formed shield.

But when he had finished the shield, large and solid, he next formed for him a corslet, brighter than the splendour of fire. He also made for him a strong helmet, fitted to his temples, beautiful and variously ornamented, and on it placed a golden crest; and made greaves for him of ductile tin.

But when renowned Vulcan had with toil made all the armour, lifting it up, he laid it before the mother of Achilles; but she, like a hawk, darted down from snowy Olympus, bearing from Vulcan the shining armour.



Thetis, having brought Achilles his new armour, and promised to preserve the body of Patroclus from corruption, he is reconciled to Agamemnon, and being miraculously invigorated by Minerva, goes forth to battle, regardless of the prediction of his fate by his horse Xanthus.

Saffron-robed Morn was rising from the streams of ocean, that she might bear light to immortals and mortals; 619 but she (Thetis) came to the ships, bearing the gifts from the god. Her dear son she found lying upon Patroclus, bitterly lamenting, and his numerous companions were lamenting around him. But near to him stood the divine of goddesses, and hung upon his hand and spoke, and addressed him:

Footnote 619: (return)

“To resalute the world with sacred light

Leucothea waked, and with fresh dews embalm’d

The earth.”—Par. Lost. xi. 132.

“My son, let us suffer him now to lie, grieved although we be, since first he has been laid low by the counsel of the gods: but do thou receive these distinguished arms from Vulcan, very beautiful, such as no man has ever worn upon his shoulders.”

Having thus spoken, the goddess placed the armour before Achilles; and they, all curiously wrought, clashed aloud. Then tremor seized all the Myrmidons, nor did any one dare to look directly at them, but they fled in fear. But when Achilles saw them, the more rage entered him; and his eyes shone terribly beneath his eyelids, like a flame; and he was delighted, holding in his hands the splendid gifts of the god. But after he had delighted his mind, beholding these artificial works, he immediately addressed to his mother winged words:

“Mother mine, the god hath indeed given arms, such as are fit to be works of immortals, nor that a mortal man could make. Truly now will I arm myself; but I very much fear lest, in the meantime, the flies, having entered the gallant son of Menœtius, by his spear-inflicted wounds, create maggots, and pollute the corse, (for life in it is destroyed,) and all the parts of the body grow putrid.”

But him the silver-footed goddess Thetis then answered:

“My child, let not these things be a care to thy mind. I will endeavour to drive away from him the fierce swarms, the flies which devour heroes slain in battle. For although he lie an entire year, his body shall always be uncorrupted, or even better. But do thou, having summoned the Grecian heroes to an assembly, having renounced thy wrath towards Agamemnon, the shepherd of the people, arm thyself quickly for war, and put on thy might.”

Thus, therefore, having spoken, she infused into him the most daring courage, and then instilled into Patroclus, through the nostrils, ambrosia and ruby nectar, 620 that his body might be uncorrupted.

Footnote 620: (return) Milton, P.L. v. 633: “with angels’ food, and rubied nectar flows.”

But noble Achilles went along the shore of the sea, shouting fearfully, and aroused the Grecian heroes; so that even those who used formerly to remain in the assemblage of the ships, both those who were pilots, and who held the rudders of the ships, and the pursers [who] were at the ships, dispensers of food, even these then indeed went to the assembly, because Achilles appeared, for he had long abstained from the grievous battle. And two servants of Mars, the warlike son of Tydeus, and noble Ulysses, went limping, leaning upon a spear; for they still had painful wounds; and advancing, they sat in the front seats. But last came the king of men, Agamemnon, having a wound; for him also, in the sharp battle, Coon, son of Antenor, had wounded with his brazen spear. Then when all the Greeks were assembled, swift-footed Achilles, rising up amongst them, said:

“Son of Atreus, this would surely have been somewhat better for both thee and me, 621 when we two, grieved at heart, raged with soul-devouring contention for the sake of a girl. Would that Diana had slain her with an arrow in the ships on that day, when wasting, I took Lyrnessus; then indeed so many Greeks had not seized the mighty ground in their teeth under the hands of the enemy, I being continually enraged. This however was better for Hector and the Trojans, but I think the Greeks will long remember the contention of you and me. But let us leave these things as passed, although grieved, subduing from necessity the soul within our bosoms. And now I terminate my wrath, nor is it at all fit that I always obstinately be enraged; but come quickly, incite the long-haired Achæans to battle, in order that still I may make trial of the Trojans, going against them; if they wish to pass the night at the ships; but of them I think that any will very gladly bend the knee, whoever shall escape out of the destructive fight from my spear.”

Footnote 621: (return) I.e. it would have been better for us to have been friends, as we now are, than enemies. The construction is interrupted, to suit the agitation of the speaker.

Thus he spoke; but the well-greaved Greeks rejoiced, the magnanimous son of Peleus renouncing his wrath. But them, the king of men, Agamemnon, also addressed out of the same place, from his seat, nor advancing into the midst:

“O friends! heroes of the Greeks, servants of Mars, it is becoming indeed that ye should hearken to me, thus rising, nor is it convenient that thou shouldst interrupt; for [it is] difficult, even for one being skilled. 622 But in a great uproar of men, how can any one hear or speak? but he is interrupted, although being a clear-toned orator. I indeed will direct myself to the son of Peleus; but do ye, the other Greeks, understand, and carefully learn my meaning. Often already have the Greeks spoken this saying to me, and have rebuked me; but I am not to blame, 623 but Jove, and Fate, and Erinnys, roaming amid the shades, who, during the assembly, cast into my mind a sad injury, on that day, when I myself took away the reward of Achilles. But what could I do? for the deity accomplishes all things; pernicious Até, the venerable daughter of Jove, who injures all. Her feet are tender, for she does not approach the ground, but she walks over the heads of men, injuring mankind, and one at least 624 [she] fetters. For at one time she injured even Jove, who, they say, is the most powerful of men and gods; but him Juno, being a female, deceived by her guile on that day when Alemene was about to bring forth mighty Hercules in well-walled Thebes. He indeed, boasting, had said among all the gods:

“Hear me, 625 all ye gods and all ye goddesses, whilst I speak those things which the mind within my bosom urges. This day Ilithyia, presiding over births, shall bring into the light a certain man, who shall be ruler over all his neighbours,—[one] of those men of the blood of my race!”

Footnote 622: (return) I.e. even a good speaker can do nothing without a fair hearing.

Footnote 623: (return) Cf. iii. 164. Seneca, (Ed. 1019) “Fati ista culpa est.” Cf. Duport. p. 106. Æsch. Choeph. 910: Ἡ μοῖρα τούτων, ὧ τέκνον, παραιτία.

Footnote 624: (return) “A delicate censure of Achilles.”—Oxford Transl.

Footnote 625: (return) Cf. Pindar, Ol. iii. 50-105, and Il. v. iii. I have followed Heyne’s construing, supplying τινα.

But him the august Juno addressed, devising guile: “Thou shalt lie, nor shalt thou insure accomplishment to thy speech. But come, swear a firm oath to me, O Olympian! that he shall indeed be ruler over all his neighbours, who shall this day fall between the feet of a woman, among those men, who are of the blood of thy family.”

Thus she spoke, but Jove perceived not her crafty design, but he swore the mighty oath, and afterwards was much befooled. 626 Then Juno springing forth, quitted the top of Olympus, and came speedily to Achaean Argos, where she knew the noble spouse of Sthenelus, the son of Perseus. And she, indeed, was pregnant of her beloved son; and the seventh month was at hand; and she brought him into light, being deficient the number of months; but kept back the delivery of Alemene, and restrained the Ilithyiæ; and herself bearing the message, addressed Jove, the son of Saturn:

Footnote 626: (return) Injured, vexed by his infatuation. Juno was thinking of Eurystheus but Jove of Hercules.

“Father Jove, hurler of the red lightning, I will put a certain matter in thy mind. A noble man is now born, who shall rule the Argives, Eurystheus, the son of Perseus, thy offspring; nor is it unbecoming that he should govern the Argives.”

“Thus she spoke; but sharp grief smote him in his deep mind; and immediately he seized Até by her head of shining curls, enraged in his mind, and swore a powerful oath, that Até, who injures all, should never again return to Olympus and the starry heaven.

“Thus saying, he cast her from the starry heaven, whirling her round in his hand, but she quickly reached the works of men. On her account he always groaned, 627 when he beheld his beloved son suffering unworthy toil under the labours of 628 Eurystheus.

“So I also, when the great crest-tossing Hector was thus 629 destroying the Greeks at the sterns of the ships, was not able to forget the wrong which I had formerly foolishly committed. But since I have suffered harm, and Jove has taken away my reason, I am willing again to appease thee, and to give infinite presents. But arise to the battle, and incite the other people, and I myself [will pledge myself] to furnish all the presents, as many as noble Ulysses yesterday, going to thee, promised in thy tents. Yet, if thou wilt, wait a little, although hastening to battle, and my servants, taking the presents from my ship, shall bring them, that thou mayest see that I will present [thee] with appeasing offerings.”

But him swift-footed Achilles answering, addressed; “Most glorious son of Atreus, king of men, Agamemnon, whether thou wilt furnish gifts, as is meet, or keep them with thee, [will be seen]; but now let us very quickly be mindful of the contest; for it is not fitting to waste time in idle talk, 630 nor to delay; as a mighty work is yet undone. But as some one may again behold Achilles among the front ranks, destroying the phalanxes of the Trojans with his brazen spear, so also let some one of you, keeping this in mind, fight with [his] man.”

Footnote 627: (return) On the servitude of Hercules, see Grote, vol. i. p. 128.

Footnote 628: (return) I.e. imposed by.

Footnote 629: (return) “The parallel implied here is of the havoc occasioned by Hector, and the laborious tasks imposed by Eurystheus. Such appears to be the force of the particle.”—Kennedy.

Footnote 630: (return) Hesych.; Κλοτοπεύειν· παραλογίζεσθαι...... οτραγγύεσθαι.

But him Ulysses, of many wiles, answering, addressed: “Not thus, brave as thou art, O godlike Achilles, urge on the sons of the Greeks, fasting, towards Ilium, about to fight with the Trojans; for the conflict will not be for a short time only, when once the phalanxes of men shall mingle, and a god breathe might into both. But command the Greeks to be fed at the ships with food and wine, for this is might and vigour. For a man, unrefreshed by food, would not be able to fight against [the enemy] all day to the setting sun; for although he might desire in his mind to fight, yet his limbs gradually grow languid, and thirst and hunger come upon him, and his knees fail him as he goes. The man, on the other hand, who is satiated with wine and food, fights all day with hostile men, the heart within his breast is daring, nor are his limbs at all fatigued before that all retire from battle. But come, dismiss the people, and order a repast to be made ready; and let the king of men, Agamemnon, bring the gifts into the midst of the assembly, that all the Greeks may see them with their eyes, and thou mayest be delighted in thy mind. Let him, moreover, swear an oath to thee, standing up among the Greeks, that he has never ascended her bed, nor has been mingled with her, as is the custom, O king, of men and wives; and to thee thyself, also, let the soul within thy breast be placid. Then let him next conciliate thee by a rich banquet within his tents, that thou mayest not have aught wanting of redress. And for the future, O son of Atreus, thou wilt be more just towards another; for it is by no means unworthy that a king should appease a man, when he 631 may first have given offence.”

Footnote 631: (return) Understand βασιλεύς.

But him the king of men, Agamemnon, in return addressed:

“I rejoice, O son of Laërtes, having heard thy speech, for with propriety hast thou gone through and enumerated all things. These things I am willing to swear, and my mind orders me, in presence of a god, nor will I perjure myself. But let Achilles remain here, at least for a little while, though hastening to battle, and do all ye others remain assembled, until they bring the gifts from my tent, and we strike faithful leagues. To thyself, however, [O Ulysses], I give this charge, and order thee, selecting the principal youths of all the Greeks, to bear from my ship the gifts, as many as we yesterday promised that we should give to Achilles, and to lead [hither] the women. But let Talthybius also quickly prepare for me through the wide army of the Greeks, a boar to sacrifice to Jove and the sun.”

Him answering, swift-footed Achilles then addressed:

“Most glorious son of Atreus, king of men, Agamemnon, at some other time ought they rather to attend to these things, when any cessation of battle hereafter be, and so much ardour be not in my bosom: but at present those lie mangled, whom Hector, son of Priam, subdued, when Jove gave him the glory: but ye urge [them] to food! Now indeed I should excite the sons of the Greeks to fight, fasting, but with the setting sun, to prepare a large supper, after we have revenged our disgrace. Before that neither drink nor food shall pass down my throat, my companion being slain, who lies in my tent, torn with the sharp brass, turned towards the vestibule, whilst his comrades mourn around these things are not a care to my mind, but slaughter and bloodshed, and the dreadful groans of heroes.”

But him much-scheming Ulysses answering, addressed:

“O Achilles, son of Peleus, by far the bravest of the Greeks, thou art superior indeed to me, and not a little more valiant with the spear, but I indeed excel thee much in prudence; because I was born before thee, and know more: wherefore let thy mind be restrained by my words. Soon is there a satiety of contest to the men, a most abundant crop of whom the brass pours upon the earth; but the harvest is very small, when Jove, who is the umpire of the battle of men, inclines his scales. It is by no means fit that the Greeks should lament the dead with the stomach, for in great numbers and one upon another are they every day falling; when therefore could any one respire from toil? But it is necessary to bury him, whosoever may die, having a patient mind, weeping for a day. 632 But as many as survive the hateful combat should be mindful of drinking and of food, in order that we may ever the more ceaselessly contend with our enemies, clad as to our bodies in impenetrable brass; nor let any of the troops lie by awaiting another exhortation. For evilly will that exhortation come upon him, whoever may be left at the ships of the Greeks; but advancing in a body, let us stir up the keen battle against the horse-breaking Trojans.”

Footnote 632: (return) Libanius, Or. ix. in Julian.: Ὤ πολλὰ συγκινήσας ἐπὶ σαυτῷ δάκρυα, οὐκ ἐπ' ἤματι κατὰ τὸ ἔπος, ὀλοφυρμοι τυχῶν. See Duport, p. 111.

He said, and chose as his companions the sons of glorious Nestor, and Meges, son of Phyleus, Thoas, and Meriones, Lycomedes, son of Creon, and Melanippus; and they proceeded to go towards the tent of Agamemnon, son of Atreus. Immediately after the word was spoken, and the work was perfected. Seven tripods they bore from the tent, which he had promised him, and twenty splendid goblets, and twelve steeds; and straightway led forth seven blameless women, skilled in works, but the eighth was fair-cheeked Briseïs. But Ulysses, placing 633 ten whole talents of gold, led the way, and with him the other youths of the Greeks bore the presents, and placed them in the midst of the assembly; but Agamemnon rose up; and Talthybius, like unto a god in his voice, stood beside the shepherd of the people, holding a boar in his hands. Then the son of Atreus, drawing the knife with his hands, which always hung by the great scabbard of his sword, cutting off the forelock of the boar, prayed, lifting up his hands to Jove; but all the Greeks sat in silence in the same spot, listening in a becoming manner to the king. But praying, he spoke, looking towards the wide heaven:

Footnote 633: (return) I.e. in the scale, in order to be weighed.

“Now first let Jove be witness, the most supreme and best of gods, and Earth, and Sun, and ye Furies, who beneath the earth chastise men, whoever may swear a falsehood; never have I laid hands upon the maid Briseïs, needing her for the sake of the couch, or any other purpose; but inviolate has she remained in my tents. But if any of these things be false, may the gods inflict on me those very many distresses which they inflict when men sin in swearing.”

He said, and cut the throat of the boar with the ruthless brass; which Talthybius, whirling round, cast into the mighty water of the hoary sea, as food for fishes. But Achilles, rising, said among the war-loving Greeks:

“O father Jove, certainly thou givest great calamities to men; for never could Atrides have so thoroughly aroused the indignation in my bosom, nor foolish, led away the girl, I being unwilling, but Jove for some intent wished death should happen to many Greeks. But now go to the repast, that we may join battle.”

Thus then he spoke, and dissolved the assembly in haste. 634

Footnote 634: (return) So Od. viii. 38: Θοὴν ἀλεγύνετε δαῖτα, i.e. θοῶς. Virg. Æn. iv. 226: “Celeres defer mea dicta per auras,” which Servius interprets, “celer, vel celeriter.”

They indeed were separated, each to his own ship; but the magnanimous Myrmidons were occupied about the gifts, and, bearing them, went to the ship of godlike Achilles. These they laid up in the tents, and placed the women in seats; but the illustrious attendants drove the horses to the stud. But afterwards Briseïs, like unto golden Venus, when she beheld Patroclus lacerated with the sharp spear, throwing herself about him, wept aloud, and with her hands tore her breast and tender neck, and fair countenance. 635 Then the woman, like unto the goddesses, weeping, said:

“O Patroclus! most dear to my wretched soul, I left thee indeed alive, departing from my tent, but now returning, I find thee dead, O chieftain of the people! How in my case evil ever succeeds evil. The hero indeed to whom my father and venerable mother had given me, 636 I saw pierced with the sharp brass before the city; and three beloved brothers whom the same mother had brought forth to me, all drew on the destructive day. Nevertheless, thou didst not suffer me to weep, when swift Achilles slew my husband, and laid waste the city of divine Mynes, but thou saidst thou wouldst render me the wedded wife 637 of noble Achilles, lead me in the ships to Phthia, and prepare the nuptial feast amongst the Myrmidons. Therefore do I insatiably lament thee dead, being ever gentle.”

Footnote 635: (return) On these ancient signs of lamentation cf. Virg. Æn. iv. 672; xii. 605; Silius, viii. 153; Tusc. Quæst. iii. 26. Æsch. Choeph. 22: ρέπει παρήϊς φοινίοις ἀμυγμοῖς. Eur. Hel. 1098: αρῇδι τ' ὄνυχα φόνιον ἐμβαλῶ χροός. Orest. 950: Τιθεῖσα λευκὸν ὄνυχα δίὰ παρηΐδων, αἱματηρὸν ἄταν. Artemidor. i. Ἐν τοῖς πένθεσι λάβωνται τὰς παρείας οἱ ἄνθρωποι. See Comm. on Petron. cxi.

Footnote 636: (return) The consent of both parents was necessary to a contract of marriage. See Feith, Antiq. Hom. ii. 13, 3.

Footnote 637: (return) She appears to have been, at present, only betrothed.

Thus she spoke, weeping; and the women lamented for Patroclus, as a pretext, but [really] each for her own ills. And around him (Achilles) were collected the elders of the Greeks, entreating him to take refreshment; but he, moaning, refused:

“I entreat [you], if any of my beloved companions would be obedient to me, bid me not satiate my heart with food or drink, since heavy grief hath invaded me; but I will wait entirely till the setting sun, and will endure.”

So saying, he dismissed the other kings: but two sons of Atreus remained; and noble Ulysses, Nestor, Idomeneus, and the aged knight Phœnix, constantly endeavouring to delight him sorrowing; nor was he at all delighted, before he should enter the mouth 638] of bloody war. But remembering [Patroclus], he frequently heaved [a sigh], and said:

Footnote 638: (return) So Ennius, p. 128. Hessel.: “Belli ferratos posteis portasque refregit.” Virg. Æn. i. 298: “Claudentur belli portæ.” Stat. Theb. v. 136: “Movet ostia belli.”

“Surely once, thou too, O unhappy one! dearest of my companions, wouldst thyself have set before me a plentiful feast, within my tent, speedily and diligently, when the Greeks hastened to make tearful war upon the horse-breaking Trojans. But now thou liest mangled; but my heart is without drink and food, though they are within, from regret for thee; for I could not suffer anything worse, not even if I were to hear of my father being dead, who now perhaps sheds the tender tear in Phthia from the want of such a son; while I, in a foreign people, wage war against the Trojans, for the sake of detested Helen: or him, my beloved son, who is nurtured for me at Scyros, if indeed he still lives, godlike Neoptolemus. For formerly the mind within my bosom hoped that I alone should perish here in Troy, far from steed-nourishing Argos, and that thou shouldst return to Phthia, that thou mightst lead back my son in thy black ship from Scyros, and mightst show him everything, my property, my servants, and my great, lofty-domed abode. For now I suppose that Peleus is either totally deceased, or that he, barely alive, suffers pain from hateful old age, and that he is continually expecting bad news respecting me, when he shall hear of my being dead.”

Thus he spoke, weeping; and the elders also groaned, remembering, each of them, the things which they had left in their dwellings. But the son of Saturn felt compassion, seeing them weeping, and immediately to Minerva addressed winged words:

“O daughter mine, thou entirely now desertest thy valiant hero. Is Achilles then no longer at all a care to thee in thy mind? He himself is sitting before his lofty-beaked ships, bewailing his dear companion; while the others have gone to a banquet; but he is unrefreshed and unfed. Go, therefore, instil into his breast nectar and delightful ambrosia, that hunger may come not upon him.”

So saying, he urged on Minerva, who was before eager. But she, like unto a broad-winged, shrill-voiced harpy, leaped down from the heavens through the air. The Greeks, however, were then arming themselves throughout the camp, when she instilled into the bosom of Achilles nectar and delightful ambrosia, that unpleasant hunger might not come upon his limbs. Then she went to the solid mansion of her powerful sire, and they, apart, poured forth from the swift ships.

And as when thick snow-flakes fly down from Jove, beneath the force of the cold, air-clearing Boreas; so from the ships were borne out crowded helmets, shining brightly, and bossed shields, strong-cavitied corslets, and ashen spears. But the sheen reached to heaven, and all the earth around smiled beneath the splendour of the brass; and a trampling of the feet of men arose beneath. In the midst noble Achilles was armed, and there was a gnashing of his teeth, and his eyes shone like a blaze of fire; but intolerable grief entered his heart within him, and, enraged against the Trojans, he put on the gifts of the god, which Vulcan, toiling, had fabricated for him. First around his legs he placed the beautiful greaves, joined with silver clasps, next he put on the corslet round his breast, and suspended from his shoulders the brazen, silver-studded sword; then he seized the shield, large and solid, the sheen of which went to a great distance, as of the moon. 639 And as when from the sea the blaze of a burning fire shines to mariners, which is lit aloft amongst the mountains in a solitary place; but the storm bears them against their inclination away from their friends over the fishy deep; so from the shield of Achilles, beautiful and skilfully made, the brightness reached the sky. But raising it, he placed the strong helmet upon his head; and the helmet, crested with horse-hair, shone like a star; and the golden tufts which Vulcan had diffused thick around the cone were shaken. Then noble Achilles tried himself in his arms if they would fit him, and if his fair limbs would move freely in them; but they were like wings to him, and lifted up the shepherd of the people. And from its sheath he drew forth his paternal spear, heavy, great, and stout, which no other of the Greeks was able to brandish, but Achilles alone knew how to hurl it—a Pelian ash, which Chiron had cut for his father from the top of Pelion, to be a destruction to heroes. But Automedon and Alcimus, harnessing the steeds, yoked them; and beautiful collars were upon them. They put the bridles into their jaws, and drew back the reins towards the well-glued car, when Automedon, seizing the shining lash, fitted to his hand, leaped into the car; Achilles, armed for battle, mounted behind him, glittering in his armour like the shining sun; and terribly he gave command to the horses of his sire:

Footnote 639: (return) Milton, P. L. i. 284:

“........ his pond’rous shield

Ethereal temper, massy, large, and round,

Behind him cast; the broad circumference

Hung on his shoulders like the moon.”

“Xanthus, and Balius, illustrious offspring of Podarges, resolve now in a different manner to bring back your charioteer in safety to the body of the Greeks, after we are satiated with battle, nor leave him there dead, like Patroclus.”

But from beneath the yoke, Xanthus, his swift-footed steed, addressed him, and immediately hung down his head, and his whole mane, drooping from the ring which was near the yoke, reached the ground. But the white-armed goddess Juno gave him the power of speech:

“Now, at least, we will bear thee safe, O impetuous Achilles: but the fatal day draws nigh to thee; nor are we to blame, but a mighty deity and violent destiny. For not by our laziness, or sloth, have the Trojans stripped the armour from the shoulders of Patroclus; but the bravest of the gods, whom fair-haired Latona brought forth, slew him among the front ranks, and gave glory to Hector. And [though] we can run even with the blast of Zephyrus, which they say is the most fleet, yet to thyself it is fated that thou shouldst be violently subdued by a god and a man.”

Of him, having thus spoken, the Furies restrained the voice: but him swift-footed Achilles, greatly indignant, addressed:

“O Xanthus, why dost thou predict my death to me? For it is not at all necessary for thee. Well do I myself know that it is my fate to perish here, far away from my dear father and mother. Nevertheless I will not cease before the Trojans are abundantly satiated with war.”

He spoke, and shouting amongst the front ranks, directed on his solid-hoofed steeds.



Jove permits the gods to join in the battle, and they take their respective places on either side. Æneas engages Achilles, but is rescued by Neptune. Hector, in revenge for the death of his brother Polydorus, also attacks Achilles, and is only saved from death by the intervention of Apollo. Achilles then slays many Trojans.

Thus around thee, O son of Peleus, were the Achæans armed, insatiable in fight, beside their crooked ships; and the Trojans, on the other side, on the acclivity 640 of the plain. But Jove ordered Themis to summon the gods to an assembly, from the top of many-valleyed Olympus, and she, going round, ordered them to proceed to the palace of Jove. Nor was any one of the rivers absent, save Oceanus, nor of the nymphs who inhabit the pleasant groves and springs of rivers, and the grassy meads. Then, coming to the habitation of cloud-compelling Jove, they sat down upon shining polished benches, which Vulcan with cunning skill had made for father Jove. Thus were they assembled within the palace of Jove: nor did Neptune disobey the goddess, but he came to them from the sea. Then he sat in the midst, and inquired the design of Jove:

Footnote 640: (return) See x. 160; xi. 56.

“Why again, O hurler of the glowing lightning, hast thou summoned the gods to an assembly? Dost thou deliberate anything respecting the Trojans and Greeks? For now their combat and the battle are on the point of being kindled.”

But him cloud-compelling Jove answering, addressed:

“Thou knowest, O earth-shaker, my design within my breast, [and] for whose sake I have assembled you; for though about to perish, they are a care to me. I will, however, remain sitting on the top of Olympus, whence looking, I shall delight my soul; but depart the rest of you, that ye may go to the Trojans and Greeks. Give aid to both, according as is the inclination of each. For if Achilles alone shall fight against the Trojans, they will not even for a little sustain the swift-footed son of Peleus. Formerly even beholding him, they fled terrified; but now when he is grievously enraged in his mind on account of his companion, I fear lest he overthrow the wall, even contrary to fate.”

Thus spoke Saturnian Jove, and he stirred up the unyielding 641 contest; and the gods hastened to proceed to the battle, having discordant minds. Juno, indeed, and Pallas Minerva [went] to the assemblage of the ships, as well as earth-shaking Neptune, and useful Mercury, who excelled in a prudent mind, with whom went Vulcan, looking savage in his might, limping, and under him his weak limbs moved with all their force. But to the Trojans [went] crest-tossing Mars, and with him unshorn Phœbus, 642 and Diana, delighting in archery, Latona, Xanthus, and laughter-loving Venus. As long as the gods were apart from mortal men, so long the Greeks were greatly elated, because Achilles appeared, for he had long abstained from the dire battle; and a violent tremor came upon the Trojans, upon each of them as to their limbs, fearing because they beheld the swift-footed son of Peleus glittering in arms, equal to man-slaughtering Mars. But after the Olympians had come to the crowd of men, then arose fierce Contention, the exciter of the people, and Minerva shouted, sometimes standing beside the trench, outside the wall, at other times she loudly shouted along the echoing shores. But Mars yelled aloud on the other side, like unto a dark whirlwind, keenly animating the Trojans from the lofty city, at other times running along the Simoïs over Callicolone. 643

Thus the blessed gods, inciting both sides, engaged, and among them made severe contention to break out. But dreadfully from above thundered the father of gods and men; whilst beneath Neptune shook the boundless earth and the lofty summits of the mountains. The roots and all the summits of many-rilled Ida were shaken, and the city of the Trojans, and the ships of the Greeks. Pluto himself, king of the nether world, trembled beneath, and leaped up from his throne, terrified, and shouted aloud, lest earth-shaking Neptune should rend asunder the earth over him, and disclose to mortals and immortals his mansions, terrible, squalid, which even the gods loathe. So great a tumult arose from the gods engaging in combat. Against king Neptune, indeed, stood Phœbus Apollo, having his winged shafts, and against Mars the azure-eyed goddess Minerva. Opposed to Juno stood the goddess of the golden bow, huntress Diana, rejoicing in archery, the sister of Apollo; and opposite Latona, the preserver, 644 useful Mercury. Against Vulcan also was the great deep-eddying river, which the gods call Xanthus, and men the Scamander.

Footnote 641: (return) Buttm. Lexil. p. 406, 3: “The adjective αλίαστος, literally unbending, unyielding, not to be turned, became the epithet of a violent, uncontrollable, incessant tumult, battle, lamentation, &c, as at Iλ. M. 471; B. 797; Ω. 760; and as an adverb at Ω. 549.”

Footnote 642: (return) Hor. Od. i. xxii. 2: “Intonsum, pueri, dicite Cynthium.” Tibull. i. 4, 37: “Solis æterna est Phœbo, Bacchoque juventa: hanc decet intonsus crinis utrumque Deum.” Various reasons are assigned for this; such as, “quia occidendo et renascendo semper est juvenior,” Fulgent. Myth. i. 17; or, “quod ipse sit sol, et sol ignis est, qui nunquam senescit,” Lutat. on Stat. Theb. i. 694. The inhabitants of Hieropolis, however, worshipped a bearded Apollo.—Macr. Sat. i. 17.

Footnote 643: (return) A rising ground which lay on the road from Troy towards the sea-coast, on the other side of the Simoïs, commanding the entire plain. Hence it is the rendezvous of the gods who favoured the Trojans.

Footnote 644: (return) We find a collateral verb σωκεῖιν=valere, in Æsch. Eum. 36. Apollon. Lex. p. 762; Hesych. t. ii. p. 1334, derive σῶκως from σωσίοικος, the former connecting it with ἐριούνιος, ὁ μεγάλως ὀνίσκων, τοῦτ' ἔστι ὀφελῶν.

Thus indeed gods went against gods; but Achilles chiefly longed to penetrate through the crowd against Hector, the son of Priam; for with his blood his mind particularly ordered him to satiate Mars, the invincible warrior. But Apollo, exciter of troops, immediately aroused Æneas against the son of Peleus, and infused into him strong courage. And he likened himself in voice to Lycaon, the son of Priam, and having likened himself to him, Apollo, the son of Jove, said:

“O Æneas, counsellor of the Trojans, where are thy threats which, whilst carousing, thou didst promise to the leaders of the Trojans, that thou wouldst fight against Achilles, the son of Peleus?”

But him Æneas, answering, addressed in turn:

“Son of Priam, why dost thou order me, not wishing it, these things, to fight against magnanimous Pelides? For shall I not now for the first time stand against swift-footed Achilles, but already, on another occasion, he chased me with his spear from Ida, when he attacked our cattle, and laid waste Lyrnessus and Pedasus: but Jove preserved me, who excited my strength and nimble limbs. Certainly I should have been subdued beneath the hands of Achilles, and Minerva, who, preceding, gave him victory, and encouraged him to slay the Lelegans and Trojans with his brazen spear. Wherefore it is not possible that a man should fight against Achilles, because one of the gods is ever beside him, who averts destruction. Besides, also, his weapon flies direct, nor stops before it has pierced through human flesh; though if the deity would extend an equal scale of victory, not very easily would he conquer me, although he boasts himself to be all brazen.”

But him again king Apollo, the son of Jove, addressed:

“But do thou also pray, O hero, to the immortal gods, for they say that thou too art sprung from Venus, the daughter of Jove, but he from an inferior goddess; for the one is from Jove, and the other from the aged sea-god. But direct thy invincible brass right against him, nor let him at all avert thee by haughty words and threats.”

Thus saying, he breathed great courage into the shepherd of the people; and he advanced through the front ranks, accoutred in shining brass. Nor did the son of Anchises escape the notice of white-armed Juno, going against the son of Peleus through the ranks of men; but, calling the gods together, she addressed them:

“Consider now, both Neptune and Minerva, in your minds, how these things shall be. This Æneas, accoutred in shining brass, has advanced against the son of Peleus; and Phœbus Apollo has urged him on. But come, let us, however, turn him back again; or let some one of us stand by Achilles, and give him great strength, nor let him at all be wanting in courage; that he may know that the mightiest of the immortals love him; and that those, on the contrary, are vain, who hitherto avert war and slaughter from the Trojans. But we have all come down from Olympus, about to participate in this battle, lest he should suffer anything among the Trojans to-day; but hereafter he shall suffer those things, as many as Fate at his birth wove in his thread [of destiny], 645 to him, what time his mother brought him forth. But if Achilles shall not learn these things from the voice of a god, he will afterwards be afraid when any god comes against him in battle; for the gods, when made manifest, are terrible to be seen manifestly.” 646

But her then earth-shaking Neptune answered:

“Juno, be not beyond reason enraged; nor is it at all necessary. I, indeed, would not desire that we should engage the other gods in a battle, since we are much more powerful. 647 Rather let us, going out of the way, sit down upon a place of observation, 648 but the war shall be a care to mortals. But if Mars shall begin the combat, or Apollo, or shall restrain Achilles, and not suffer him to fight, then immediately shall the strife of contention there arise to us; and I think that they, having very speedily decided it, will return to Olympus, and mix with the assembly of other gods, violently subdued by necessity under our hands.”

Thus then having spoken, the azure-haired [god] led the way to the lofty mound-raised wall of divine Hercules, which the Trojans and Pallas Minerva had made, that, flying, he might escape from the sea-monster, when pursued from the shore to the plain. There then Neptune sat down, and the other gods, and drew an indissoluble cloud around their shoulders; whilst on the other side they sat upon the tops of Callicolone, around thee, O archer Apollo, and Mars, the sacker of cities. Thus they sat on both sides, planning designs, yet both were unwilling to commence grievous war; but Jove, sitting aloft, cheered them on. All the plain, however, was filled with them, and glittered with the brass of men and horses, and the earth echoed under the feet of them rushing together. But two heroes, by far the most valiant, advanced towards [each other] into the midst of both armies, eager to fight,—Æneas, the son of Anchises, and noble Achilles. And first Æneas, threatening, advanced, nodding with his strong casque; and before his breast he held his impetuous shield, and shook his brazen spear. But on the other side Pelides rushed against him like a destructive lion, which men assembled together, a whole village, are anxious to kill. He, however, at first despising them, proceeds; but when some one of vigorous youths has wounded him with a dart, yawning, he collects himself [for a spring], 649 and the foam arises round his teeth, and his valiant soul groans within his breast, and he lashes his sides and thighs on both sides with his tail, and rouses himself to battle; then, grimly glaring, he is borne straight on by his strength, if he can kill some of the men, or is himself destroyed in the first crowd. Thus did his might and noble soul urge Achilles to go against magnanimous Æneas. But when now, advancing, they approached each other, swift-footed, noble Achilles first addressed the other:

Footnote 645: (return) See Duport, p. 114. On the web woven by the Fates for man’s life, see Virg. Ecl. iv. 46; Catullus, lxiv. 328. But this passage of Homer seems to imply the ancient notion, that the Fates might be delayed, but never set aside. Cf. Nemes. de Nat. Horn. i. 36; Censorin. de die Nat. xiv.; Serv. on Æn. vii. 398.

Footnote 646: (return) “Deos manifesto in lumine vidi.”—Virg. Æn. iv. 358. On the belief that the sight of a god was attended with danger, cf. Liv. i. xvi. where Proculus beseeches the apparition of Romulus “ut contra intueri fas esset.” See intpp. on Exod. xxxiii. 20; Judges xiii. 22.

Footnote 647: (return) I am half inclined to condemn this verse as spurious, with Ernesti. It is wanting in MS. Lips, and ed. Rom., and does not appear to have been read by Eustathius.

Footnote 648: (return) Compare the “Contemplantes” of Lucan, sub init., where the gods seek a similar place of observation.

Footnote 649: (return) So ἀλεὶς in xv. 403. “It is also used in the same way of a warrior, who, whilst he is preparing to rush on his enemy, or expecting his attack, draws himself up together, or, as we say, puts himself in an attitude of attack or defence.”—Buttm. Lexil. p. 258.

“Why, O Æneas, coming through so great a length of crowd, dost thou stand against me? Does then thy soul urge thee to fight with me, hoping that thou wilt govern the horse-breaking Trojans in the place 650 of Priam? Yet even if thou shalt slay me, not thus will Priam place this reward in thy hand: for he has sons; and he is himself steady, nor inconstant. Or, if thou slayest me, have the Trojans cut off for thee an enclosure 651 of soil surpassing others, suited to vines and the plough, that thou mayest cultivate it? Still I hope thou wilt effect it with difficulty. For I think I have at some other time put thee to flight with my spear. Dost thou not remember when I impetuously drove thee, when alone, from the oxen, with rapid feet, down the Idæan mountains? Then indeed thou didst never turn round while flying, but didst escape thence into Lyrnessus; but I wasted it, having attacked it with the aid of Minerva and father Jove. The women also I led away captives, having taken away their day of freedom; but Jove and the other gods preserved thee. However, I do not think they will protect thee now, as thou castest in thy mind; but I exhort thee, retiring, to go into the crowd, nor stand against me, before thou suffer some evil; but [it is] a fool [who] knows a thing [only] when it is done.”

Footnote 650: (return) Άγτὶ..... βασιλείας is Gaza’s correct paraphrase.

Footnote 651: (return) Cf 194.

But him Æneas answered in turn, and said:

“Do not think, O son of Peleus, to affright me, like an infant boy, with words; since I also well know how to utter both threats and reproaches. But we know each other’s race, and we know our parents, hearing the words of mortal men long since uttered; although by sight, indeed, neither dost thou know mine, nor I thine. They say, indeed, that thou art the offspring of renowned Peleus, and of thy mother Thetis, the fair-haired sea-nymph; whereas I boast myself to be sprung from magnanimous Anchises, and Venus is my mother. Of these the one or the other shall this day lament their beloved son; for I think we shall not return from the battle thus separated by childish words. But if thou desirest to be taught these matters, that thou mayest well know our race (for many men know it), cloud-compelling Jove indeed first begat Dardanus. 652 And he built Dardania, for sacred Ilium, the city of articulate-speaking men, was not as yet built in the plain, and they still dwelt at the foot of many-rilled Ida. Dardanus again begat a son, king Erichthonius, who was then the richest of mortal men; whose three thousand mares pastured through the marsh, rejoicing in their tender foals. Boreas, however, was enamoured of some of these when pasturing, and having likened himself to an azure-maned steed, covered them; and they, becoming pregnant, brought forth twelve female foals; which when they bounded upon the fruitful earth, ran over the highest fruit of the stalks of corn, nor did they break them: 653 but when they sported over the broad back of the ocean, they ran along the surface of the ridge of the hoary sea. But Erichthonius begat Tros, king of the Trojans. From Tros again were descended three illustrious sons, Ilus, Assaracus, and godlike Ganymede, who indeed was the handsomest of mortal men; and whom the gods caught up into heaven, to pour out wine for Jove, 654 that, on account of his beauty, he might be with the immortals. Ilus again begat his renowned son Laomedon; but Laomedon begat Tithonus and Priam, Lampus, Clytius, and Hicetaon, a branch of Mars; and Assaracus Capys, who also begat his son Anchises. But Anchises begat me, and Priam noble Hector. Of this race and blood do I boast myself to be. But Jove increases and diminishes valour to men, as he pleases; for he is the most powerful of all. But come, let us no longer talk of these things, like little boys, standing in the middle combat of the strife. For it is possible for both to utter very many reproaches, so that a hundred-oared galley 655 would not contain the burthen; for the language of mortals is voluble, 656 and the discourses in it numerous and varied: and vast is the distribution 657 of words here and there. Whatsoever word thou mayest speak, such also wilt thou hear. But what need is there to us of disputes and railing, that we should quarrel with each other like women, who, being angry with a soul-destroying strife, proceeding into the middle of the way, chide each other with many things true and not true: for rage also suggests those things? 658 With words, however, thou shalt not turn me, courageous, from my valour, before thou lightest against me with thy brass; but come, quickly let us make trial of each other with brazen spears.”

Footnote 652: (return) On Dardanus, the eponymus of Dardania, see Grote, vol. i. p. 387, where the whole legend of Troy is admirably discussed. Cf. Virg. Æn. i. 292; iii. 167, where the Roman poet has made use of Homer in tracing the pedigree of Æneas to Jove.

Footnote 653: (return) This hyperbole has been emulated by numberless poets. Cf. Oppian, Cyn. i. 231; Apollon. Rh. i. 183; Quintus Calab. viii. 156; Virg. Æn. vii. 808; Claudian in 3rd Cons. Hon. i. 97.

Footnote 654: (return) Cf. Pindar, Ol. i. 69, and Serv. on Æn. i. 32.

Footnote 655: (return) Compare the Latin phrase, “plaustra convitiorum,” and Duport, p. 116.]

Footnote 656: (return) Στρεπτή—ὑyρa καί εύλύγιστος.—Eustath.

Footnote 657: (return) Νομος, έπινέμησις έφ' έκάτεοα.—Eustath. See Kennedy.

Footnote 658: (return) I.e. prompts to utter all sorts of things, true and false.”—Oxf. Tr.

He spoke, and hurled his brazen spear against the dreadful shield, terrible [to be seen], and the huge buckler resounded with the stroke of the javelin. But the son of Peleus, alarmed, held the shield from him with his strong hand, for he supposed that the long spear of great-hearted Æneas would easily penetrate; foolish! nor did he reflect in his mind and soul, that the glorious gifts of the gods are not easy to be subdued by mortal men, nor to yield. Nor then did the heavy spear of warlike Æneas penetrate the shield; but the gold stopped it, the gift of the god. It penetrated, however, through two folds, but there were still three; since Vulcan had drawn five folds over it, two brazen, two inside of tin, and one golden; in which the brazen spear was stopped. But Achilles next sent forth his long-shadowed spear, and struck against the shield of Æneas, equal on all sides, at the outside edge, where the thinnest brass ran round it, and the ox-hide was thinnest upon it; but the Pelian ash broke through, and the shield was crushed by it. But Æneas crouched, 659 and being terrified, held the shield from him; whilst the spear [passing] over his back, stuck in the earth eager [to go on], for it had burst through both orbs of the mighty 660 shield. But he, having escaped the long spear, stood still, but immoderate sadness was poured over his eyes, terrified, because the weapon had stuck so near him. But Achilles eagerly sprang upon him, drawing his sharp sword, and shouting dreadfully. Then Æneas seized in his hand a stone, a great weight, which not two men could bear, such as men now are; but he, though alone, easily wielded it. Then indeed had Æneas smitten him, rushing on, with the stone, either upon the helmet or the shield, which kept off grievous destruction from him; and Pelides, in close fight, had taken away his life with the sword, had not earth-shaking Neptune quickly perceived it, and immediately addressed this speech to the immortal gods:

Footnote 659: (return) See on ver. 168.

Footnote 660: (return) Cf. Buttm. Lexil. p. 83. The Schol. and Hesych. t. i. p. 296, interpret it “man-encircling.”

“Ye gods! certainly there now is grief to me, on account of magnanimous Æneas, 661 who will quickly descend to Hades, subdued by the son of Peleus, foolish, being persuaded by the words of far-darting Apollo; nor can he by any means avert 662 sad destruction from him. But why now should this guiltless 663 man suffer evils gratuitously, on account of sorrows due to others, for he always presents gifts agreeable to the gods who inhabit the wide heaven? But come, let us withdraw him from death, lest even the son of Saturn be angry, if indeed Achilles slay this man: moreover, it is fated that he should escape, that the race of Dardanus, whom Jove loved above all the children that were descended from him and mortal women, may not perish without offspring, and become extinct. For already hath the son of Saturn hated the race of Priam, and the might of Æneas shall now rule over the Trojans, and the sons of his sons, who may be born in after-times.”

Footnote 661: (return) The remarks of Grote, vol. i. p. 428, sqq. on the character and position of Æneas throughout the Iliad, deserve much attention.

Footnote 662: (return) “The examples of χραισμεῖν are frequent enough in Homer to enable us safely to assert, from a comparison of them, that it never has (at least in his writings) the more general meaning of to be useful, to help, but, without an exception, the more definite sense of to ward off..... by examining passages we find, that even where no accusative is expressed, the evil to be warded off may always be inferred from the context.”—Buttm. Lexil. p. 542.

Footnote 663: (return) He had wished to restore Helen. See Liv. i. 1.

But him large-eyed venerable Juno then answered:

“O earth-shaker! do thou thyself reflect within thy mind, with respect to Æneas, whether thou wilt withdraw him, or suffer him, being brave, to be subdued by Achilles, the son of Peleus. For already we two, I and Pallas Minerva, have sworn many oaths amongst all the immortals, that we will never help to avert the evil day from the Trojans, not even when all Troy, fired, shall burn with consuming flame, and the warlike sons of the Greeks fire it.”

But when earth-shaking Neptune heard this, he hastened to go through the battle and the clash of spears; and came where were Æneas and renowned Achilles. And immediately he shed a darkness upon the eyes of Achilles, son of Peleus, and he drew out the ashen spear, well guarded with brass, from the shield of magnanimous Æneas; and laid it before the feet of Achilles, and pushed on Æneas, lifting him high up from the ground. But Æneas leaped over many ranks of men and many of horses, impelled by the hand of the god, and came to the rear of the troubled fight, where the Caucones were arrayed for war. But very near him came earth-shaking Neptune, and addressing him, spoke winged words:

“O Æneas, which of the gods commanded thee, thus mad, to combat against Achilles, who is at once more valiant than thou, and more dear to the immortals? But retire whenever thou shalt be opposed to him, lest, even contrary to fate, thou arrive at the habitation of Pluto. But when Achilles shall have attained his death and destiny, then again, being confident, fight among the front ranks, because no other of the Greeks shall slay thee.”

So saying, he left him there, when he had told him all, and immediately afterwards dissipated the thick darkness from the eyes of Achilles, and he then saw very clearly with his eyes; whereupon groaning, he addressed his magnanimous soul:

“Ye gods! certainly I behold this, a great marvel with mine eyes. The spear indeed lies upon the ground, nor do I at all perceive the man at whom I hurled it, desiring to kill him. Undoubtedly Æneas, too, was dear to the immortal gods, although I supposed that he boasted thus idly. Let him go; there will be no spirit in him hereafter to make trial of me, who even now rejoicing, has escaped from death. But come, having encouraged the warlike Greeks, I will make trial of the other Trojans, going against them.”

He spoke, and sprang into the ranks, and cheered on every man:

“No longer now stand off from the Trojans, O noble Greeks, but on! let man advance against man, and let him be eager to engage. Difficult is it for me, although being valiant, to attack so many warriors, and to fight with them all. Not even Mars, who is an immortal god, nor yet Minerva, could charge and toil against the force of such a conflict. Yet whatever I can do with hands, with feet, and with strength, I declare that I will no longer be remiss, not ever so little; but I will go right through their line, nor do I think that any Trojan will rejoice, whoever may come near my javelin.”

Thus he spoke, encouraging them; but illustrious Hector, upbraiding, animated the Trojans, and said that he would go against Achilles:

“Ye magnanimous Trojans, fear not the son of Peleus. I, too, could fight with words even with the immortals, but with the spear it is difficult, for they are far more powerful. Nor shall Achilles give effect to all his words; but one part he shall fulfil, and the other leave half imperfect. Against him will I go, even though he were like to fire as to his hands; and to shining iron, as to his might.”

Thus he spoke, inciting them; but the Trojans opposite quickly raised their spears; their strength was mingled together, and a shout arose. Then also Phœbus Apollo, standing near, addressed Hector:

“Hector, do not at all fight in the van with Achilles, but receive him in the crowd, and from the tumult, lest by any chance he hit thee, or strike thee with the sword in close combat.”

Thus he spoke, and Hector sunk back again into the thick body of men, dismayed when he heard the voice of the god speaking. But Achilles leaped among the Trojans, clad with courage as to his soul, shouting dreadfully; and first slew gallant Iphition, son of Otrynteus, the leader of many people, whom the nymph Naïs bore to Otrynteus, the sacker of cities, under snowy Tmolus, in the rich district of Hyda. 664 Him, eagerly rushing straight forward, noble Achilles struck with his javelin in the middle of the head; and it was entirely split in two. He gave a crash as he fell, and noble Achilles boasted over him:

Footnote 664: (return) A town of Mæonia in Lydia. See Steph. Byz. s. v.

“O son of Otrynteus, most terrible of all men, thou liest; death is here upon thee. Thy birth, however, is at the Gygæan lake, where is thy paternal land, beside fishy Hyllus, and eddying Hermus.”

Thus he spoke, boasting; but darkness covered his (Iphition’s) eyes, but the horses of the Greeks tore him with the tires of the wheels in the front ranks. After him Achilles smote Demoleon, son of Antenor, a brave repeller of the fight, in the temples, through his brazen-cheeked helmet. Nor indeed did the brazen casque resist it, but through it the eager javelin broke the bone, and the whole brain within was defiled; and he subdued him, ardent. Next he wounded with his spear in the back, Hippodamas, as he was leaping down from his chariot, while flying before him. But he breathed out his soul, and groaned, like as when a bull, dragged round the Heliconian king, 665 bellows, as the youths drag him; and the earth-shaker is delighted with them: so, as he moaned, his fierce soul left his bones. But he went with his spear against godlike Polydorus, 666 the son of Priam; but him his father did not permit to fight, because he was the youngest among all, and dearest to him, and surpassed all in speed. Then, indeed, through youthful folly, exhibiting the excellence of his speed, he ran among the front ranks till he lost his life. Him noble swift-footed Achilles smote rushing by, in the middle of the back, where the golden rings of his belt clasped together, and the doubled corslet met. Right through at the navel pierced the point of the spear, and uttering a groan, he fell upon his knees; a black cloud enveloped him, and stooping down, he gathered his intestines in his hands. But when Hector perceived his brother Polydorus holding his intestines in his hands, and rolled on the earth, a darkness was immediately poured over his eyes, nor could he any longer be employed afar off, but advanced towards Achilles, like unto a flame, brandishing his sharp spear. On the other hand, Achilles, as soon as he saw him, leaped up, and boasting, spoke:

“Near is the man who has most stung my soul, who has slain my cherished companion; no longer indeed let us dread each other through the bridges 667 of war.”

Footnote 665: (return) Neptune was a favourite god among the Ionians (cf. Müller, Dor. vol. i. p. 417), but derived this name from Helice, a town in the northern coast of the Peloponnese, out of which the principal Achæan families were driven by Tisamenus, whose tomb was shown there. See Müller, id. p. 74.

Footnote 666: (return) This is not the Polydorus of Virgil and Euripides, but the son of Laothoe, daughter of Altas, king of the Lelegans.

Footnote 667: (return) See iv. 371.

He spoke, and sternly regarding [him], addressed noble Hector:

“Come nearer, that thou mayest the sooner reach the end of death.”

But him, not daunted, crest-tossing Hector addressed:

“O son of Peleus, do not expect to terrify me now like a little boy, at least with words; since I myself also well know how to speak both revilings and reproaches. I know that thou indeed art brave, and that I am inferior to thee. But these things indeed are placed at the knees of the gods, whether, although being inferior, I shall take away thy life, striking thee with my spear, since my weapon also is sharp at the point.”

He spoke, and, brandishing, sent forth his spear; and Minerva with a breath turned it back from glorious Achilles, having breathed very gently; but it came back to noble Hector, and lay before his feet. But Achilles, eager to slay him, rushed furiously on, shouting dreadfully; but Apollo, as a god, very easily snatched him away, and covered him with abundant haze. Thrice indeed swift-footed noble Achilles rushed on with his brazen spear, and thrice he smote the deep haze. But when he rushed on the fourth time, like unto a god, he, dreadfully chiding, addressed to him winged words:

“Dog, now again hast thou escaped death. Assuredly evil came very near thee, but Phœbus Apollo has now again preserved thee, to whom thou art wont to pray, when going into the clang of spears. Yet will I certainly finish thee, meeting thee hereafter, if indeed any of the gods be an ally to me also. At present, however, I will go after others of the Trojans, whomsoever I can.”

So saying, he struck Dryops with his spear in the middle of the neck, and he fell before his feet. Him then he left, and then detained Demuchus, son of Philetor, brave and great, wounding [him] in the knee, with his spear, whom then striking with his great sword, he deprived of life. But attacking both, he pushed Laogonus and Dardanus, the sons of Bias, from their chariot to the ground, wounding one with his spear, and striking the other in close combat with his sword. Also Tros, the son of Alastor, who came towards him, taking him by the knees, if on any terms he would spare him, and dismiss him alive, nor slay him, taking pity on their equal age: fool! who knew not that he would not be persuaded. For he was by no means a tender-minded nor gentle man, but very ferocious. He (Tros) indeed clasped his knees with his hands, desiring to supplicate him, but he (Achilles) wounded him in the liver with his sword; and his liver fell out, and the black blood from it filled his bosom, and darkness veiled his eyes, wanting life. But standing near Mulius, he smote him with his javelin on the ear, and immediately the brazen blade went through the other ear. Then, with his large-hilted sword, he smote Echeclus, son of Antenor, in the centre of the head, and the whole sword became tepid with blood; but purple Death and violent Fate seized his eyes. Then Deucalion, where the tendons of the elbow unite, there he pierced him through his hand with his brazen spear; but he, weighed down as to his hand, awaited him, perceiving death before him. But he (Achilles) smiting his neck with his sword, knocked the head off afar with its helmet, and the marrow sprang forth from the spine; and Deucalion lay extended on the ground. Then he hastened to go towards Rigmus, the renowned son of Pireus, who had come from fertile Thrace; whom he smote in the middle with his javelin, and the brass was fixed in his stomach; and he fell from his chariot: and Achilles wounded in the back, with his sharp javelin, Areïthoüs, the attendant, while turning back the steeds, and threw him from the chariot: and the horses were thrown into confusion. And as the blazing fire burns through the deep dells of a dry mountain, and the dense forest is consumed, and the wind agitating, turns round the flame on all sides; thus he raged in every direction with his spear, like unto a deity, following those that were to be slain; and the black earth flowed with blood. As when any one yokes broad fore-headed bulls to trample out white barley on the well-levelled floor, and it easily becomes small beneath the feet of the bellowing oxen; so the solid-hoofed horses, driven by magnanimous Achilles, trod down together both corses and shields. And the whole axletree beneath was polluted with gore, and the rings which were round the chariot seat, which the drops from the horses’ hoofs spattered, as well as from the felloes. But the son of Peleus was eager to bear away glory, and was polluted with gore as to his invincible hands.



Having divided the Trojan army, Achilles drives one part towards the city, and the other into the Xanthus, where he takes twelve youths alive, in order to sacrifice them at the tomb of Patroclus. He then slays Lycaon and Asteropæus, deriding the river-god, Xanthus, as unable to aid his friends. The river endeavours to overwhelm him by the aid of Simoïs, but Vulcan defends him from the danger. Single combats of the gods then follow, but they afterwards retire to Olympus. Apollo then leads Achilles away, assuming the form of Agenor, and the Trojans are thus enabled to regain the city.

But when they at last reached the course of the fairly-flowing river, the eddying Xanthus, which immortal Jove begat; there separating them, he pursued some indeed through the plain towards the city, by the [same] way that the Greeks, on the preceding day, being astounded, had fled, when illustrious Hector raged. By that way were they poured forth terrified; but Juno expanded a dense cloud before them, to check them: but the other half were rolled into the deep-flowing river, with silver eddies. But they fell in with a great noise; and the deep streams resounded, and the banks around murmured; but they, with clamour, swam here and there, whirled about in the eddies. 668 As when locusts, driven by the force of fire, fly into the air, to escape to a river, but the indefatigable fire, suddenly kindled, blazes, and they fall, through terror into the water: thus, by Achilles, was the resounding river of deep-eddied Xanthus filled promiscuously with horses and men. But the Jove-sprung [hero] left his spear upon the banks, leaning against a tamarisk; and he leaped in, like unto a god, having only his sword, and meditated destructive deeds in his mind. And he smote on all sides, and a shocking lamentation arose of those who were stricken by the sword, and the water was reddened with blood. And, as when the other fish, flying from a mighty dolphin, fill the inmost recesses of a safe-anchoring harbour, frightened; for he totally devours whatever he can catch; so the Trojans hid themselves in caves along the streams of the terrible river. But he, when he was wearied as to his hands, slaying, chose twelve youths alive out of the river, a penalty for dead Patroclus, the son of Menœtius. These he led out [of the river], stupified, like fawns. And he bound their hands behind them 669 with well-cut straps, which they themselves bore upon their twisted tunics; and gave them to his companions to conduct to the hollow ships. But he rushed on again, desiring to slay.

Footnote 668: (return) Virg. Æn. i. 118: “Apparent rari nantes in gurgite vasto.” With the following description may be compared Æsch. Ag. 670: Ὁρῶμεν ἀνθοῦν πέλαγος Αἰγαῖον νεκρῶν ἀνδρῶν Ἀχαίων ναυτικῶν τ' ἐρειπίων. Aristid. Panath. p. 142: Ὡς δὲ ἑώρα τὴν θάλατταν αἵματι καὶ ῥοθίῳ ῥέ