The Iliad of Homer (1873)
by Homer
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Literally Translated, WITH EXPLANATORY NOTES.






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.





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, O 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: Although, as Ernesti observes, the verb [Greek: proiapsen] 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.: [Greek: meta blazes eis Aioen pro to deontos epemphen, os tes protheseos] (i.e. pro) [Greek: kairikon ti delouses, e aplos epemphen, os pleonazouses tes protheseos.] Hesych. t. ii. p. 1029, s. n.: [Greek: proiapsen—deloi de dia tes lezeos ten met' odunes auton apoleian]. Cf. Virg. AEn. 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 naturae poterat." I have, however, followed Ernesti, with the later commentators.]

[Footnote 2: I.e. their bodies. Cf. AE. 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: Rut see Anthon.]

[Footnote 4: 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: Of [Greek: chraismein], 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: The old mistake of construing [Greek: antioosan] "sharing," which still clings to the translations, is exploded by Buttm. Lex. p. 144. Eust. and Heysch. both give [Greek: eutrepizonsan] as one of the interpretations; and that such is the right one is evident from the collateral phrase [Greek: porsynein lechos] in Od. iii. 403. [Greek: Lyphizezkas] 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: An epithet derived from [Greek: sminthos], 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 AEolic colonization." On the Homeric description of Apollo, see Mueller, Dorians, vol. i. p. 315.]

[Footnote 8: 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 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: The force of [Greek: ara] is noticed by Naegelsbach.]

[Footnote 10: Or "white." Hesych. [Greek: tacheis, leykous].]

[Footnote 11: Ammonius, p. 14, foolishly supposes that [Greek: amou] here denotes place, [Greek: in Troia]. Valcknaer justly supports the ordinary interpretation.]

[Footnote 12: 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: A common formula in the ancient poets to express the eternity of things. Empedocles apud Pseud. Arist. de Mundo: [Greek: Panth' osa t' en, osa t' esti, kai ossa te estai opiso]. Virg. Georg. iv. 392: "Novit namque omnia vates, Quae sint, quae fuerint, quae mox ventura trahantur."]

[Footnote 14: See Abresch. on AEschyl. p. 287. Ernesti.]

[Footnote 15: [Greek: anagaktousi gar dia ten yperochen]. A—rist. Rhet. ii. 2, quoting this verse.]

[Footnote 16: Lit. "digest his bile". Homer's distinction between [Greek: cholos] and [Greek: kotos] is observed by Nemesius, de Nat. Hom. Sec. 21.]

[Footnote 17: 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: 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: "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." Mueller, Gk. Lit. p. 30.]

[Footnote 20: But we must not join [Greek: manteyesthai] with [Greek: kika].—Naegelsbach.]

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: 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: Buttmann would take [Greek: autos] as = frustra.]

[Footnote 23: Tecmessa.]

[Footnote 24: 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: 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: Astynome. Cf. Eustath. fol. 58]

[Footnote 27: 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 aegis-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: 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: Columna on Ennius, p. 17, ed. Hessel., compares "Ollei respondet Rex Albai longai," and "Ollei respondet suavis sonus Egeriaei," observing that this formula was probably as common in the heroic annals of Ennius as [Greek: ton d' apameixomenos] 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 aegis-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 Achaeans, 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 Achaeans 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: Epimerism. Hom. in Cramer's Anecdott. vol. i. p. 24. [Greek: atarteros, e para ten aten, o semainei ten blaxen, ateros].—Hesych. [Greek: blaxros, ateros].]

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: 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.]

"O 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 Caeneus, and Exadius, and god-like Polyphemus,[32] and Theseus, the son of AEgeus, 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, O 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 Achaeans."

[Footnote 32: A prince of the Lapithae, not the Cyclops.]

[Footnote 33: 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: 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: Equal on both sides, so as to preserve a balance. But Blomfield, Obs. on Matth. Gr. Sec. 124, prefers to render it "ships of due size," as [Greek: dais eise], ver. 468, "an equalized meal."]

[Footnote 36: Patroclus.]

[Footnote 37: So Anthon, comparing ver. 142.]

[Footnote 38: 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: Not about the smoke, but in the smoke; for [Greek: peri] denotes also the staying within the compass of an object.—Naegelsbach.]

[Footnote 40: [Greek: therapon] is a voluntary servant, as opposed to [Greek: doulos].—See Arnold.]

"Going to the tent of Achilles, the son of Peleus, lead away fair Briseis, 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 Briseis. 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 Briseis 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: Hesych. [Greek: rigion phoberoteron chalepoteron].]

[Footnote 42: "Misit eos, minaci jusso dato."—Heyne.]

[Footnote 43: So called from their inviolability,—[Greek: asylon gar kai theion to genos to kerykon].—Schol. [Greek: Kai ezen antois pantachose adeos ienai].—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: Observe the aposiopesis.]

[Footnote 45: Not for the loss of Briseis, 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 Eetion; 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 tohim. 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 Briseis, 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 AEgeon, 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: 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: There is some doubt whether Homer considered Briareus as the son of Neptune or of Uranus and Terra.—See Arnold. The fable is ridiculed by Minucius Felix, Sec. 22.]

[Footnote 48: See Buttm. Lexil. pp. 257, 261, Fishlake's translation.]

[Footnote 49: The idea of infatuation is not, however, necessarily implied in [Greek: ate]. 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 AEthiopians, 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: 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 Phoebus 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: "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 Phoebus 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 Paean,[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 Achaeans, 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: See Buttm. Lexil. p. 291, sqq. The custom of crowning the goblets with flowers was of later origin.]

[Footnote 53: See Battm. p. 168. The customary libation is meant.]

[Footnote 54: On the Paean, see Mueller, Gk. Lit. iii. Sec. 4. and Dorians, vol. i. p. 370.]

[Footnote 55: See Loewe on Odyss. ii. 1, and my translation. Kennedy renders it "ushering in the dawn."]

[Footnote 56: 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: Cf. ver. 425.]

[Footnote 58: [Greek: Ouranos] 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: 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: I.e., say that what you suspect is correct; well then, such is my will.]

[Footnote 61: I prefer taking [Greek: ionth'] for [Greek: ionta], not for [Greek: ionte], 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: Cf. Duport, Gnom. Hom. p. 9. The saying is almost proverbial.]

[Footnote 63: 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: 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: 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: A race of robbers, of Tyrrhenian origin (according to Mueller), 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: See Arnold.]

[Footnote 68: This meaning of [Greek: endexia] is due to Buttmann.]

[Footnote 69: 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: "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. Mueller, Gk. Lit. ii. Sec. 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 Achaeans[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: See Anthon, who observes that "fighting from on horseback was not practised in the Homeric times."]

[Footnote 72: Some would personify Oneirus, as god of dreams.]

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

[Footnote 74: [Greek: ken] limits the assertion to probability, so that Jupiter does not utter a direct falsehood.]

[Footnote 75: In defence of this cheating conduct of Jove, at which Plato was much scandalized, Coleridge, p. 154, observes: "The [Greek: oulos oneiros] 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 Achaeans[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: [Greek: oa] appears to mark the regular transition from one event to another.]

[Footnote 77: Agamemnon.]

[Footnote 78: 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: The dative here implies direction, [Greek: epi] increasing its force, according to Stadelmann and Kuehner, 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," AEn. i. 430; "floribus insidunt variis." AEn. vi. 708. "Among fresh dews and flowers, Fly to and fro."—Milton. P.L. i. 771.]

[Footnote 80: I. e. over the flowers in the spring-time, when bees first appear. See Virg. l. c. Eurip. Hipp. 77, [Greek: melissa leimon' erinon oierchetai].—Nicias, Anthol. i. 31, [Greek: era phainousa melissa].—Longus, i. 4.]

[Footnote 81: Observe the distributive use of [Greek: kata]. Cf. Od. iii. 7.]

[Footnote 82: Mercury. Cf. Ovid. Met. i. 624. sqq.]

[Footnote 83: On the extended power of Agamemnon, see Thucyd. i. 9.]

[Footnote 84: 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: [Greek: Orkia] is probably used as an adjective, understanding [Greek: iereia], the victims that were slain in order to ratify the oath. See however Buttm. Lexil. p. 439.]

[Footnote 86: The Greeks doubled the Trojans in number. See Anthon.]

[Footnote 87: Observe the change of construction in [Greek: leluntai] with the neuter plural. Apollon. de Syntaxi, iii. 11. [Greek: Ta sparta leluntai katalleloteron tou doura sesepe].]

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: I. e. his real object. Cf. vs. 75, sqq.]

[Footnote 89: Spitzner and the later editors unite in reading [Greek: kinese] for [Greek: kinesei] from the Venice MS. See Arnold.]

[Footnote 90:

——"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 aegis-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 Achaeans. 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: 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: This is an instance of the [Greek: schema Sikelikon], as in H. O. 88, [Greek: ginetai de paralamxanomenes dotikes ptoseos anti genikes kai kata paraleipsin tou para protheseos].—Lesbonax, [Greek: peri schem.] r. 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: 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, Sec. 6, 4), Caligula (Sueton. Cal. 22), and Domitian (id. 12).]

[Footnote 94: On the aristocratic character of Homer's poetry, see Mueller, Gk Lit. iv. Sec. 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: See Buttm. Lexil. p. 540, Sec. 8.]

[Footnote 96: See Buttm. p. 537, who derives [Greek: phozos] from [Greek: phogein], to dry, as if [Greek: phoxos], 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. O 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, O son of Atreus, thou wouldest have insulted now for the last time."

[Footnote 97: Not being compelled to restore her, like the daughter of Chryses.]

[Footnote 98: Virg. AEn. ix. 617: "O vere Phrygiae, neque enim Phryges!"]

[Footnote 99: This is Naegelsbach's spirited rendering of [Greek: oikade per].]

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: See Grote, vol. i. p. 392, n. 2.]

[Footnote 101: I have followed Wolf, taking [Greek: oun uni polyzygo] in connection with [Greek: menon]. Others most awkwardly make [Greek: sun=para].]

[Footnote 102: Cf. Buttm. Lexil. s. v. [Greek: eilein].]

[Footnote 103: 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 praestabilis ariolari, simul alites et arborem contemplatus est, actutum sua divinitate et tempestates flexit, et classem deduxit, et decennium praedixit."]

[Footnote 104: 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 aegis-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: Nestor took this name from a city of Messena (Gerenium, a, or ia. See Arnold, and Pinedo on Steph. Byz. s.v. [Greek: Gerenia]), where he was brought up, probably after Pylos had been destroyed by Hercules.]

[Footnote 106: Proverbially meaning a few, but probably referring to Achilles and Thersites. See the Scholiast.]

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

[Footnote 108: Hesych. [Greek: ormemata, merimnai]. Etym. M. [Greek: enthymemata, phrontides]. See Buttm. Lexil. p. 440, sqq. Helen certainly shows some repentance in iii. 176.]

[Footnote 109: "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 aegis-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: Schol. [Greek: eutrepisato].]

[Footnote 111: These shields were so large, that they covered nearly the whole person.]

[Footnote 112: One the son of Telamon, the other the son of Oileus.]

[Footnote 113: This translation is, I think, far bolder than "loud-voiced," or "good in the battle-shout." [Greek: Boe] contains the whole idea of the tumultuous noise heard in the heat of battle, and thence the battle itself. Thus the Schol. [Greek: o en to polemo gennaios]; and Hesych. [Greek: kata ten machen andreios].]

[Footnote 114: Opposed to [Greek: kletos], as in Oppian, Hal. iii. 360, [Greek: kletoi t' auto moloi te]. See Plato Sympos. p. 315, G. Laem. 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: 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 aegis, 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: See Liddell and Scott.]

[Footnote 117: Literally "invisible." Hence "making invisible, destructive." Cf. Buttm. Lex. s. v. [Greek: aidelos].]

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: In [Greek: tous de] 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 aegis-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: Cf. AEn. vii. 644:—

"Et meministis enim, Divae, et memorare potestis: Ad nos vix tenuis famae 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: Cf. AEn. 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 Leitus, and Arcesilaus, and Prothoenor, and Clonius, commanded the Boeotians; both those who tilled Hyrie, and rocky Aulis, and Schoenos, and Scholos, and hilly Eteonus, Thespia, Graea, and the ample plain of Mycalessus; and those who dwelt about Harma, and Ilesius, and Erythrae; and those who possessed Elion, Hyle, Peteon, Ocalea, and the well-built city Medeon, Copae, Eutressis, and Thisbe abounding in doves; and those who possessed Coronaea, and grassy Haliartus, and Plataea; and those who inhabited Glissa, and those who dwelt in Hypothebae, 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 Boeotian 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 Lilaea, 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 Boeotians, and towards the left wing.

[Footnote 121: 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 Achaeans, 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 Euboea.

The Abantes, breathing strength, who possessed Euboea, and Chalcis, and Eretria, and grape-clustered Histiaea, 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: 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: The son of Telamon.]

Those who possessed Argos, and well-fortified Tiryns, Hermione, and which encircle the Asine deep bay, Troezene, and Eionae, and vine-planted Epidaurus, and those who possessed AEgina, and Mases, Achaean 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 Mycenae, the well-built city, and wealthy Corinth,[124] and well-built Cleonae, and those who inhabited Ornia, and pleasant Araethyrea, and Sicyon, where Adrastus first reigned: and those who possessed Hyperesia, and lofty Gonoessa, and Pellene, and those who [inhabited] AEgium, 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: 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 poetae et hanc urbem, et quasdam Ionum colonias iis nominibus appellat, quibus vocabantur aetate ejus, multo post Ilium captum conditae."—Vell. Paterc. i. 3.]

[Footnote 125. I. e. the later Achaia.—Arnold.]

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

But those who possessed great Lacedaemon, full of clefts, and Pharis and Sparta, and dove-abounding Messa, and Brysiae, and pleasant Augeiae; and those who possessed Amyclae, and Helos, a maritime city; and those who possessed Laas, and dwelt round oetylus. 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 Alphoeus, and well-built AEpy, 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 oechalia, from oechalian 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 aegis-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 AEpytus, 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 Ancaeus, 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: Respecting the connection of this story with the early poetic contests, see Mueller, Gk. Lit. iv. 2, whose interesting remarks are, unfortunately, too long for a note.]

[Footnote 128: 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 AEgilips, 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 Andraemon, led the AEtolians, those who inhabited Pleuron, and Olenus, and Pylene, and maritime Chalcis, and rocky Calydon. For the sons of magnanimous oeneus 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 AEtolians, and with him forty dark ships followed.

[Footnote 129: "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: 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 Althaea, 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 Phaestus, 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.

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