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THE ILIAD OF HOMER

Rendered into English Prose for
the use of those who cannot
read the original

by Samuel Butler

BOOK I

SingO goddessthe anger of Achilles son of Peleusthat
brought countless ills upon the Achaeans. Many a brave soul did
it send hurrying down to Hadesand many a hero did it yield a
prey to dogs and vulturesfor so were the counsels of Jove
fulfilled from the day on which the son of Atreusking of men
and great Achillesfirst fell out with one another.

And which of the gods was it that set them on to quarrel? It was
the son of Jove and Leto; for he was angry with the king and sent
a pestilence upon the host to plague the peoplebecause the son
of Atreus had dishonoured Chryses his priest. Now Chryses had
come to the ships of the Achaeans to free his daughterand had
brought with him a great ransom: moreover he bore in his hand the
sceptre of Apollo wreathed with a suppliant's wreathand he
besought the Achaeansbut most of all the two sons of Atreus
who were their chiefs.

Sons of Atreus,he criedand all other Achaeans, may the gods
who dwell in Olympus grant you to sack the city of Priam, and to
reach your homes in safety; but free my daughter, and accept a
ransom for her, in reverence to Apollo, son of Jove.

On this the rest of the Achaeans with one voice were for
respecting the priest and taking the ransom that he offered; but
not so Agamemnonwho spoke fiercely to him and sent him roughly
away. "Old man said he, let me not find you tarrying about our
shipsnor yet coming hereafter. Your sceptre of the god and your
wreath shall profit you nothing. I will not free her. She shall
grow old in my house at Argos far from her own homebusying
herself with her loom and visiting my couch; so goand do not
provoke me or it shall be the worse for you."

The old man feared him and obeyed. Not a word he spokebut went
by the shore of the sounding sea and prayed apart to King Apollo
whom lovely Leto had borne. "Hear me he cried, O god of the
silver bowthat protectest Chryse and holy Cilla and rulest
Tenedos with thy mighthear me oh thou of Sminthe. If I have
ever decked your temple with garlandsor burned your thigh-bones
in fat of bulls or goatsgrant my prayerand let your arrows
avenge these my tears upon the Danaans."

Thus did he prayand Apollo heard his prayer. He came down
furious from the summits of Olympuswith his bow and his quiver
upon his shoulderand the arrows rattled on his back with the


rage that trembled within him. He sat himself down away from the
ships with a face as dark as nightand his silver bow rang death
as he shot his arrow in the midst of them. First he smote their
mules and their houndsbut presently he aimed his shafts at the
people themselvesand all day long the pyres of the dead were
burning.

For nine whole days he shot his arrows among the peoplebut upon
the tenth day Achilles called them in assembly--moved thereto by
Junowho saw the Achaeans in their death-throes and had
compassion upon them. Thenwhen they were got togetherhe rose
and spoke among them.

Son of Atreus,said heI deem that we should now turn roving
home if we would escape destruction, for we are being cut down by
war and pestilence at once. Let us ask some priest or prophet, or
some reader of dreams (for dreams, too, are of Jove) who can tell
us why Phoebus Apollo is so angry, and say whether it is for some
vow that we have broken, or hecatomb that we have not offered,
and whether he will accept the savour of lambs and goats without
blemish, so as to take away the plague from us.

With these words he sat downand Calchas son of Thestorwisest
of augurswho knew things past present and to comerose to
speak. He it was who had guided the Achaeans with their fleet to
Iliusthrough the prophesyings with which Phoebus Apollo had
inspired him. With all sincerity and goodwill he addressed them
thus:-


Achilles, loved of heaven, you bid me tell you about the anger
of King Apollo, I will therefore do so; but consider first and
swear that you will stand by me heartily in word and deed, for I
know that I shall offend one who rules the Argives with might, to
whom all the Achaeans are in subjection. A plain man cannot stand
against the anger of a king, who if he swallow his displeasure
now, will yet nurse revenge till he has wreaked it. Consider,
therefore, whether or no you will protect me.

And Achilles answeredFear not, but speak as it is borne in
upon you from heaven, for by Apollo, Calchas, to whom you pray,
and whose oracles you reveal to us, not a Danaan at our ships
shall lay his hand upon you, while I yet live to look upon the
face of the earth--no, not though you name Agamemnon himself, who
is by far the foremost of the Achaeans.

Thereon the seer spoke boldly. "The god he said, is angry
neither about vow nor hecatombbut for his priest's sakewhom
Agamemnon has dishonouredin that he would not free his daughter
nor take a ransom for her; therefore has he sent these evils upon
usand will yet send others. He will not deliver the Danaans
from this pestilence till Agamemnon has restored the girl without
fee or ransom to her fatherand has sent a holy hecatomb to
Chryse. Thus we may perhaps appease him."

With these words he sat downand Agamemnon rose in anger. His
heart was black with rageand his eyes flashed fire as he
scowled on Calchas and saidSeer of evil, you never yet
prophesied smooth things concerning me, but have ever loved to
foretell that which was evil. You have brought me neither comfort
nor performance; and now you come seeing among Danaans, and
saying that Apollo has plagued us because I would not take a
ransom for this girl, the daughter of Chryses. I have set my
heart on keeping her in my own house, for I love her better even
than my own wife Clytemnestra, whose peer she is alike in form


and feature, in understanding and accomplishments. Still I will
give her up if I must, for I would have the people live, not die;
but you must find me a prize instead, or I alone among the
Argives shall be without one. This is not well; for you behold,
all of you, that my prize is to go elsewhither.

And Achilles answeredMost noble son of Atreus, covetous beyond
all mankind, how shall the Achaeans find you another prize? We
have no common store from which to take one. Those we took from
the cities have been awarded; we cannot disallow the awards that
have been made already. Give this girl, therefore, to the god,
and if ever Jove grants us to sack the city of Troy we will
requite you three and fourfold.

Then Agamemnon saidAchilles, valiant though you be, you shall
not thus outwit me. You shall not overreach and you shall not
persuade me. Are you to keep your own prize, while I sit tamely
under my loss and give up the girl at your bidding? Let the
Achaeans find me a prize in fair exchange to my liking, or I will
come and take your own, or that of Ajax or of Ulysses; and he to
whomsoever I may come shall rue my coming. But of this we will
take thought hereafter; for the present, let us draw a ship into
the sea, and find a crew for her expressly; let us put a hecatomb
on board, and let us send Chryseis also; further, let some chief
man among us be in command, either Ajax, or Idomeneus, or
yourself, son of Peleus, mighty warrior that you are, that we may
offer sacrifice and appease the the anger of the god.

Achilles scowled at him and answeredYou are steeped in
insolence and lust of gain. With what heart can any of the
Achaeans do your bidding, either on foray or in open fighting? I
came not warring here for any ill the Trojans had done me. I have
no quarrel with them. They have not raided my cattle nor my
horses, nor cut down my harvests on the rich plains of Phthia;
for between me and them there is a great space, both mountain and
sounding sea. We have followed you, Sir Insolence! for your
pleasure, not ours--to gain satisfaction from the Trojans for
your shameless self and for Menelaus. You forget this, and
threaten to rob me of the prize for which I have toiled, and
which the sons of the Achaeans have given me. Never when the
Achaeans sack any rich city of the Trojans do I receive so good a
prize as you do, though it is my hands that do the better part of
the fighting. When the sharing comes, your share is far the
largest, and I, forsooth, must go back to my ships, take what I
can get and be thankful, when my labour of fighting is done. Now,
therefore, I shall go back to Phthia; it will be much better for
me to return home with my ships, for I will not stay here
dishonoured to gather gold and substance for you.

And Agamemnon answeredFly if you will, I shall make you no
prayers to stay you. I have others here who will do me honour,
and above all Jove, the lord of counsel. There is no king here so
hateful to me as you are, for you are ever quarrelsome and illaffected.
What though you be brave? Was it not heaven that made
you so? Go home, then, with your ships and comrades to lord it
over the Myrmidons. I care neither for you nor for your anger;
and thus will I do: since Phoebus Apollo is taking Chryseis from
me, I shall send her with my ship and my followers, but I shall
come to your tent and take your own prize Briseis, that you may
learn how much stronger I am than you are, and that another may
fear to set himself up as equal or comparable with me.

The son of Peleus was furiousand his heart within his shaggy
breast was divided whether to draw his swordpush the others


asideand kill the son of Atreusor to restrain himself and
check his anger. While he was thus in two mindsand was drawing
his mighty sword from its scabbardMinerva came down from heaven
(for Juno had sent her in the love she bore to them both)and
seized the son of Peleus by his yellow hairvisible to him
alonefor of the others no man could see her. Achilles turned in
amazeand by the fire that flashed from her eyes at once knew
that she was Minerva. "Why are you here said he, daughter of
aegis-bearing Jove? To see the pride of Agamemnonson of Atreus?
Let me tell you--and it shall surely be--he shall pay for this
insolence with his life."

And Minerva saidI come from heaven, if you will hear me, to
bid you stay your anger. Juno has sent me, who cares for both of
you alike. Cease, then, this brawling, and do not draw your
sword; rail at him if you will, and your railing will not be
vain, for I tell you--and it shall surely be--that you shall
hereafter receive gifts three times as splendid by reason of this
present insult. Hold, therefore, and obey.

Goddess,answered Achilleshowever angry a man may be, he
must do as you two command him. This will be best, for the gods
ever hear the prayers of him who has obeyed them.

He stayed his hand on the silver hilt of his swordand thrust it
back into the scabbard as Minerva bade him. Then she went back to
Olympus among the other godsand to the house of aegis-bearing
Jove.

But the son of Peleus again began railing at the son of Atreus
for he was still in a rage. "Wine-bibber he cried, with the
face of a dog and the heart of a hindyou never dare to go out
with the host in fightnor yet with our chosen men in ambuscade.
You shun this as you do death itself. You had rather go round and
rob his prizes from any man who contradicts you. You devour your
peoplefor you are king over a feeble folk; otherwiseson of
Atreushenceforward you would insult no man. Therefore I say
and swear it with a great oath--nayby this my sceptre which
shalt sprout neither leaf nor shootnor bud anew from the day on
which it left its parent stem upon the mountains--for the axe
stripped it of leaf and barkand now the sons of the Achaeans
bear it as judges and guardians of the decrees of heaven--so
surely and solemnly do I swear that hereafter they shall look
fondly for Achilles and shall not find him. In the day of your
distresswhen your men fall dying by the murderous hand of
Hectoryou shall not know how to help themand shall rend your
heart with rage for the hour when you offered insult to the
bravest of the Achaeans."

With this the son of Peleus dashed his gold-bestudded sceptre on
the ground and took his seatwhile the son of Atreus was
beginning fiercely from his place upon the other side. Then
uprose smooth-tongued Nestorthe facile speaker of the Pylians
and the words fell from his lips sweeter than honey. Two
generations of men born and bred in Pylos had passed away under
his ruleand he was now reigning over the third. With all
sincerity and goodwillthereforehe addressed them thus:-


Of a truth,he saida great sorrow has befallen the Achaean
land. Surely Priam with his sons would rejoice, and the Trojans
be glad at heart if they could hear this quarrel between you two,
who are so excellent in fight and counsel. I am older than either
of you; therefore be guided by me. Moreover I have been the
familiar friend of men even greater than you are, and they did


not disregard my counsels. Never again can I behold such men as
Pirithous and Dryas shepherd of his people, or as Caeneus,
Exadius, godlike Polyphemus, and Theseus son of Aegeus, peer of
the immortals. These were the mightiest men ever born upon this
earth: mightiest were they, and when they fought the fiercest
tribes of mountain savages they utterly overthrew them. I came
from distant Pylos, and went about among them, for they would
have me come, and I fought as it was in me to do. Not a man now
living could withstand them, but they heard my words, and were
persuaded by them. So be it also with yourselves, for this is the
more excellent way. Therefore, Agamemnon, though you be strong,
take not this girl away, for the sons of the Achaeans have
already given her to Achilles; and you, Achilles, strive not
further with the king, for no man who by the grace of Jove wields
a sceptre has like honour with Agamemnon. You are strong, and
have a goddess for your mother; but Agamemnon is stronger than
you, for he has more people under him. Son of Atreus, check your
anger, I implore you; end this quarrel with Achilles, who in the
day of battle is a tower of strength to the Achaeans.

And Agamemnon answeredSir, all that you have said is true, but
this fellow must needs become our lord and master: he must be
lord of all, king of all, and captain of all, and this shall
hardly be. Granted that the gods have made him a great warrior,
have they also given him the right to speak with railing?

Achilles interrupted him. "I should be a mean coward he cried,
were I to give in to you in all things. Order other people
aboutnot mefor I shall obey no longer. Furthermore I say--and
lay my saying to your heart--I shall fight neither you nor any
man about this girlfor those that take were those also that
gave. But of all else that is at my ship you shall carry away
nothing by force. Trythat others may see; if you domy spear
shall be reddened with your blood."

When they had quarrelled thus angrilythey roseand broke up
the assembly at the ships of the Achaeans. The son of Peleus went
back to his tents and ships with the son of Menoetius and his
companywhile Agamemnon drew a vessel into the water and chose a
crew of twenty oarsmen. He escorted Chryseis on board and sent
moreover a hecatomb for the god. And Ulysses went as captain.

Thesethenwent on board and sailed their ways over the sea.
But the son of Atreus bade the people purify themselves; so they
purified themselves and cast their filth into the sea. Then they
offered hecatombs of bulls and goats without blemish on the
sea-shoreand the smoke with the savour of their sacrifice rose
curling up towards heaven.

Thus did they busy themselves throughout the host. But Agamemnon
did not forget the threat that he had made Achillesand called
his trusty messengers and squires Talthybius and Eurybates. "Go
said he, to the tent of Achillesson of Peleus; take Briseis by
the hand and bring her hither; if he will not give her I shall
come with others and take her--which will press him harder."

He charged them straightly further and dismissed themwhereon
they went their way sorrowfully by the seasidetill they came to
the tents and ships of the Myrmidons. They found Achilles sitting
by his tent and his shipsand ill-pleased he was when he beheld
them. They stood fearfully and reverently before himand never a
word did they speakbut he knew them and saidWelcome,
heralds, messengers of gods and men; draw near; my quarrel is not
with you but with Agamemnon who has sent you for the girl


Briseis. Therefore, Patroclus, bring her and give her to them,
but let them be witnesses by the blessed gods, by mortal men, and
by the fierceness of Agamemnon's anger, that if ever again there
be need of me to save the people from ruin, they shall seek and
they shall not find. Agamemnon is mad with rage and knows not how
to look before and after that the Achaeans may fight by their
ships in safety.

Patroclus did as his dear comrade had bidden him. He brought
Briseis from the tent and gave her over to the heraldswho took
her with them to the ships of the Achaeans--and the woman was
loth to go. Then Achilles went all alone by the side of the hoar
seaweeping and looking out upon the boundless waste of waters.
He raised his hands in prayer to his immortal motherMother,
he criedyou bore me doomed to live but for a little season;
surely Jove, who thunders from Olympus, might have made that
little glorious. It is not so. Agamemnon, son of Atreus, has done
me dishonour, and has robbed me of my prize by force.

As he spoke he wept aloudand his mother heard him where she was
sitting in the depths of the sea hard by the old man her father.
Forthwith she rose as it were a grey mist out of the wavessat
down before him as he stood weepingcaressed him with her hand
and saidMy son, why are you weeping? What is it that grieves
you? Keep it not from me, but tell me, that we may know it
together.

Achilles drew a deep sigh and saidYou know it; why tell you
what you know well already? We went to Thebe the strong city of
Eetion, sacked it, and brought hither the spoil. The sons of the
Achaeans shared it duly among themselves, and chose lovely
Chryseis as the meed of Agamemnon; but Chryses, priest of Apollo,
came to the ships of the Achaeans to free his daughter, and
brought with him a great ransom: moreover he bore in his hand the
sceptre of Apollo, wreathed with a suppliant's wreath, and he
besought the Achaeans, but most of all the two sons of Atreus who
were their chiefs.

On this the rest of the Achaeans with one voice were for
respecting the priest and taking the ransom that he offered; but
not so Agamemnonwho spoke fiercely to him and sent him roughly
away. So he went back in angerand Apollowho loved him dearly
heard his prayer. Then the god sent a deadly dart upon the
Argivesand the people died thick on one anotherfor the arrows
went everywhither among the wide host of the Achaeans. At last a
seer in the fulness of his knowledge declared to us the oracles
of Apolloand I was myself first to say that we should appease
him. Whereon the son of Atreus rose in angerand threatened that
which he has since done. The Achaeans are now taking the girl in
a ship to Chryseand sending gifts of sacrifice to the god; but
the heralds have just taken from my tent the daughter of Briseus
whom the Achaeans had awarded to myself.

Help your brave son, therefore, if you are able. Go to Olympus,
and if you have ever done him service in word or deed, implore
the aid of Jove. Ofttimes in my father's house have I heard you
glory in that you alone of the immortals saved the son of Saturn
from ruin, when the others, with Juno, Neptune, and Pallas
Minerva would have put him in bonds. It was you, goddess, who
delivered him by calling to Olympus the hundred-handed monster
whom gods call Briareus, but men Aegaeon, for he is stronger even
than his father; when therefore he took his seat all-glorious
beside the son of Saturn, the other gods were afraid, and did not
bind him. Go, then, to him, remind him of all this, clasp his


knees, and bid him give succour to the Trojans. Let the Achaeans
be hemmed in at the sterns of their ships, and perish on the
sea-shore, that they may reap what joy they may of their king,
and that Agamemnon may rue his blindness in offering insult to
the foremost of the Achaeans.

Thetis wept and answeredMy son, woe is me that I should have
borne or suckled you. Would indeed that you had lived your span
free from all sorrow at your ships, for it is all too brief;
alas, that you should be at once short of life and long of sorrow
above your peers: woe, therefore, was the hour in which I bore
you; nevertheless I will go to the snowy heights of Olympus, and
tell this tale to Jove, if he will hear our prayer: meanwhile
stay where you are with your ships, nurse your anger against the
Achaeans, and hold aloof from fight. For Jove went yesterday to
Oceanus, to a feast among the Ethiopians, and the other gods went
with him. He will return to Olympus twelve days hence; I will
then go to his mansion paved with bronze and will beseech him;
nor do I doubt that I shall be able to persuade him.

On this she left himstill furious at the loss of her that had
been taken from him. Meanwhile Ulysses reached Chryse with the
hecatomb. When they had come inside the harbour they furled the
sails and laid them in the ship's hold; they slackened the
forestayslowered the mast into its placeand rowed the ship to
the place where they would have her lie; there they cast out
their mooring-stones and made fast the hawsers. They then got out
upon the sea-shore and landed the hecatomb for Apollo; Chryseis
also left the shipand Ulysses led her to the altar to deliver
her into the hands of her father. "Chryses said he, King
Agamemnon has sent me to bring you back your childand to offer
sacrifice to Apollo on behalf of the Danaansthat we may
propitiate the godwho has now brought sorrow upon the Argives."

So saying he gave the girl over to her fatherwho received her
gladlyand they ranged the holy hecatomb all orderly round the
altar of the god. They washed their hands and took up the
barley-meal to sprinkle over the victimswhile Chryses lifted up
his hands and prayed aloud on their behalf. "Hear me he cried,
O god of the silver bowthat protectest Chryse and holy Cilla
and rulest Tenedos with thy might. Even as thou didst hear me
aforetime when I prayedand didst press hardly upon the
Achaeansso hear me yet againand stay this fearful pestilence
from the Danaans."

Thus did he prayand Apollo heard his prayer. When they had done
praying and sprinkling the barley-mealthey drew back the heads
of the victims and killed and flayed them. They cut out the
thigh-boneswrapped them round in two layers of fatset some
pieces of raw meat on the top of themand then Chryses laid them
on the wood fire and poured wine over themwhile the young men
stood near him with five-pronged spits in their hands. When the
thigh-bones were burned and they had tasted the inward meats
they cut the rest up smallput the pieces upon the spits
roasted them till they were doneand drew them off: thenwhen
they had finished their work and the feast was readythey ate
itand every man had his full shareso that all were satisfied.
As soon as they had had enough to eat and drinkpages filled the
mixing-bowl with wine and water and handed it roundafter giving
every man his drink-offering.

Thus all day long the young men worshipped the god with song
hymning him and chaunting the joyous paeanand the god took
pleasure in their voices; but when the sun went downand it came


on darkthey laid themselves down to sleep by the stern cables
of the shipand when the child of morningrosy-fingered Dawn
appeared they again set sail for the host of the Achaeans. Apollo
sent them a fair windso they raised their mast and hoisted
their white sails aloft. As the sail bellied with the wind the
ship flew through the deep blue waterand the foam hissed
against her bows as she sped onward. When they reached the
wide-stretching host of the Achaeansthey drew the vessel
ashorehigh and dry upon the sandsset her strong props beneath
herand went their ways to their own tents and ships.

But Achilles abode at his ships and nursed his anger. He went not
to the honourable assemblyand sallied not forth to fightbut
gnawed at his own heartpining for battle and the war-cry.

Now after twelve days the immortal gods came back in a body to
Olympusand Jove led the way. Thetis was not unmindful of the
charge her son had laid upon herso she rose from under the sea
and went through great heaven with early morning to Olympus
where she found the mighty son of Saturn sitting all alone upon
its topmost ridges. She sat herself down before himand with her
left hand seized his kneeswhile with her right she caught him
under the chinand besought himsaying:-


Father Jove, if I ever did you service in word or deed among the
immortals, hear my prayer, and do honour to my son, whose life is
to be cut short so early. King Agamemnon has dishonoured him by
taking his prize and keeping her. Honour him then yourself,
Olympian lord of counsel, and grant victory to the Trojans, till
the Achaeans give my son his due and load him with riches in
requital.

Jove sat for a while silentand without a wordbut Thetis still
kept firm hold of his kneesand besought him a second time.
Incline your head,said sheand promise me surely, or else
deny me--for you have nothing to fear--that I may learn how
greatly you disdain me.

At this Jove was much troubled and answeredI shall have
trouble if you set me quarrelling with Juno, for she will provoke
me with her taunting speeches; even now she is always railing at
me before the other gods and accusing me of giving aid to the
Trojans. Go back now, lest she should find out. I will consider
the matter, and will bring it about as you wish. See, I incline
my head that you may believe me. This is the most solemn promise
that I can give to any god. I never recall my word, or deceive,
or fail to do what I say, when I have nodded my head.

As he spoke the son of Saturn bowed his dark browsand the
ambrosial locks swayed on his immortal headtill vast Olympus
reeled.

When the pair had thus laid their plansthey parted--Jove to his
housewhile the goddess quitted the splendour of Olympusand
plunged into the depths of the sea. The gods rose from their
seatsbefore the coming of their sire. Not one of them dared to
remain sittingbut all stood up as he came among them. There
thenhe took his seat. But Junowhen she saw himknew that he
and the old merman's daughtersilver-footed Thetishad been
hatching mischiefso she at once began to upbraid him.
Trickster,she criedwhich of the gods have you been taking
into your counsels now? You are always settling matters in secret
behind my back, and have never yet told me, if you could help it,
one word of your intentions.


Juno,replied the sire of gods and menyou must not expect to
be informed of all my counsels. You are my wife, but you would
find it hard to understand them. When it is proper for you to
hear, there is no one, god or man, who will be told sooner, but
when I mean to keep a matter to myself, you must not pry nor ask
questions.

Dread son of Saturn,answered Junowhat are you talking
about? I? Pry and ask questions? Never. I let you have your own
way in everything. Still, I have a strong misgiving that the old
merman's daughter Thetis has been talking you over, for she was
with you and had hold of your knees this self-same morning. I
believe, therefore, that you have been promising her to give
glory to Achilles, and to kill much people at the ships of the
Achaeans.

Wife,said JoveI can do nothing but you suspect me and find
it out. You will take nothing by it, for I shall only dislike you
the more, and it will go harder with you. Granted that it is as
you say; I mean to have it so; sit down and hold your tongue as I
bid you for if I once begin to lay my hands about you, though all
heaven were on your side it would profit you nothing.

On this Juno was frightenedso she curbed her stubborn will and
sat down in silence. But the heavenly beings were disquieted
throughout the house of Jovetill the cunning workman Vulcan
began to try and pacify his mother Juno. "It will be
intolerable said he, if you two fall to wrangling and setting
heaven in an uproar about a pack of mortals. If such ill counsels
are to prevailwe shall have no pleasure at our banquet. Let me
then advise my mother--and she must herself know that it will be
better--to make friends with my dear father Jovelest he again
scold her and disturb our feast. If the Olympian Thunderer wants
to hurl us all from our seatshe can do sofor he is far the
strongestso give him fair wordsand he will then soon be in a
good humour with us."

As he spokehe took a double cup of nectarand placed it in his
mother's hand. "Cheer upmy dear mother said he, and make the
best of it. I love you dearlyand should be very sorry to see
you get a thrashing; however grieved I might beI could not help
for there is no standing against Jove. Once before when I was
trying to help youhe caught me by the foot and flung me from
the heavenly threshold. All day long from morn till evewas I
fallingtill at sunset I came to ground in the island of Lemnos
and there I laywith very little life left in metill the
Sintians came and tended me."

Juno smiled at thisand as she smiled she took the cup from her
son's hands. Then Vulcan drew sweet nectar from the mixing-bowl
and served it round among the godsgoing from left to right; and
the blessed gods laughed out a loud applause as they saw him
bustling about the heavenly mansion.

Thus through the livelong day to the going down of the sun they
feastedand every one had his full shareso that all were
satisfied. Apollo struck his lyreand the Muses lifted up their
sweet voicescalling and answering one another. But when the
sun's glorious light had fadedthey went home to bedeach in
his own abodewhich lame Vulcan with his consummate skill had
fashioned for them. So Jovethe Olympian Lord of Thunderhied
him to the bed in which he always slept; and when he had got on
to it he went to sleepwith Juno of the golden throne by his


side.

BOOK II

Now the other gods and the armed warriors on the plain slept
soundlybut Jove was wakefulfor he was thinking how to do
honour to Achillesand destroyed much people at the ships of the
Achaeans. In the end he deemed it would be best to send a lying
dream to King Agamemnon; so he called one to him and said to it
Lying Dream, go to the ships of the Achaeans, into the tent of
Agamemnon, and say to him word for word as I now bid you. Tell
him to get the Achaeans instantly under arms, for he shall take
Troy. There are no longer divided counsels among the gods; Juno
has brought them to her own mind, and woe betides the Trojans.

The dream went when it had heard its messageand soon reached
the ships of the Achaeans. It sought Agamemnon son of Atreus and
found him in his tentwrapped in a profound slumber. It hovered
over his head in the likeness of Nestorson of Neleuswhom
Agamemnon honoured above all his councillorsand said:-


You are sleeping, son of Atreus; one who has the welfare of his
host and so much other care upon his shoulders should dock his
sleep. Hear me at once, for I come as a messenger from Jove, who,
though he be not near, yet takes thought for you and pities you.
He bids you get the Achaeans instantly under arms, for you shall
take Troy. There are no longer divided counsels among the gods;
Juno has brought them over to her own mind, and woe betides the
Trojans at the hands of Jove. Remember this, and when you wake
see that it does not escape you.

The dream then left himand he thought of things that were
surely not to be accomplished. He thought that on that same day
he was to take the city of Priambut he little knew what was in
the mind of Jovewho had many another hard-fought fight in store
alike for Danaans and Trojans. Then presently he wokewith the
divine message still ringing in his ears; so he sat uprightand
put on his soft shirt so fair and newand over this his heavy
cloak. He bound his sandals on to his comely feetand slung his
silver-studded sword about his shoulders; then he took the
imperishable staff of his fatherand sallied forth to the ships
of the Achaeans.

The goddess Dawn now wended her way to vast Olympus that she
might herald day to Jove and to the other immortalsand
Agamemnon sent the criers round to call the people in assembly;
so they called them and the people gathered thereon. But first he
summoned a meeting of the elders at the ship of Nestor king of
Pylosand when they were assembled he laid a cunning counsel
before them.

My friends,said heI have had a dream from heaven in the
dead of night, and its face and figure resembled none but
Nestor's. It hovered over my head and said, 'You are sleeping,
son of Atreus; one who has the welfare of his host and so much
other care upon his shoulders should dock his sleep. Hear me at
once, for I am a messenger from Jove, who, though he be not near,
yet takes thought for you and pities you. He bids you get the
Achaeans instantly under arms, for you shall take Troy. There are
no longer divided counsels among the gods; Juno has brought them
over to her own mind, and woe betides the Trojans at the hands of
Jove. Remember this.' The dream then vanished and I awoke. Let us


now, therefore, arm the sons of the Achaeans. But it will be well
that I should first sound them, and to this end I will tell them
to fly with their ships; but do you others go about among the
host and prevent their doing so.

He then sat downand Nestor the prince of Pylos with all
sincerity and goodwill addressed them thus: "My friends said
he, princes and councillors of the Argivesif any other man of
the Achaeans had told us of this dream we should have declared it
falseand would have had nothing to do with it. But he who has
seen it is the foremost man among us; we must therefore set about
getting the people under arms."

With this he led the way from the assemblyand the other
sceptred kings rose with him in obedience to the word of
Agamemnon; but the people pressed forward to hear. They swarmed
like bees that sally from some hollow cave and flit in countless
throng among the spring flowersbunched in knots and clusters;
even so did the mighty multitude pour from ships and tents to the
assemblyand range themselves upon the wide-watered shorewhile
among them ran Wildfire Rumourmessenger of Joveurging them
ever to the fore. Thus they gathered in a pell-mell of mad
confusionand the earth groaned under the tramp of men as the
people sought their places. Nine heralds went crying about among
them to stay their tumult and bid them listen to the kingstill
at last they were got into their several places and ceased their
clamour. Then King Agamemnon roseholding his sceptre. This was
the work of Vulcanwho gave it to Jove the son of Saturn. Jove
gave it to Mercuryslayer of Argusguide and guardian. King
Mercury gave it to Pelopsthe mighty charioteerand Pelops to
Atreusshepherd of his people. Atreuswhen he diedleft it to
Thyestesrich in flocksand Thyestes in his turn left it to be
borne by Agamemnonthat he might be lord of all Argos and of the
isles. Leaningthenon his sceptrehe addressed the Argives.

My friends,he saidheroes, servants of Mars, the hand of
heaven has been laid heavily upon me. Cruel Jove gave me his
solemn promise that I should sack the city of Priam before
returning, but he has played me false, and is now bidding me go
ingloriously back to Argos with the loss of much people. Such is
the will of Jove, who has laid many a proud city in the dust, as
he will yet lay others, for his power is above all. It will be a
sorry tale hereafter that an Achaean host, at once so great and
valiant, battled in vain against men fewer in number than
themselves; but as yet the end is not in sight. Think that the
Achaeans and Trojans have sworn to a solemn covenant, and that
they have each been numbered--the Trojans by the roll of their
householders, and we by companies of ten; think further that each
of our companies desired to have a Trojan householder to pour out
their wine; we are so greatly more in number that full many a
company would have to go without its cup-bearer. But they have in
the town allies from other places, and it is these that hinder me
from being able to sack the rich city of Ilius. Nine of Jove's
years are gone; the timbers of our ships have rotted; their
tackling is sound no longer. Our wives and little ones at home
look anxiously for our coming, but the work that we came hither
to do has not been done. Now, therefore, let us all do as I say:
let us sail back to our own land, for we shall not take Troy.

With these words he moved the hearts of the multitudeso many of
them as knew not the cunning counsel of Agamemnon. They surged to
and fro like the waves of the Icarian Seawhen the east and
south winds break from heaven's clouds to lash them; or as when
the west wind sweeps over a field of corn and the ears bow


beneath the blasteven so were they swayed as they flew with
loud cries towards the shipsand the dust from under their feet
rose heavenward. They cheered each other on to draw the ships
into the sea; they cleared the channels in front of them; they
began taking away the stays from underneath themand the welkin
rang with their glad criesso eager were they to return.

Then surely the Argives would have returned after a fashion that
was not fated. But Juno said to MinervaAlas, daughter of
aegis-bearing Jove, unweariable, shall the Argives fly home to
their own land over the broad sea, and leave Priam and the
Trojans the glory of still keeping Helen, for whose sake so many
of the Achaeans have died at Troy, far from their homes? Go about
at once among the host, and speak fairly to them, man by man,
that they draw not their ships into the sea.

Minerva was not slack to do her bidding. Down she darted from the
topmost summits of Olympusand in a moment she was at the ships
of the Achaeans. There she found Ulyssespeer of Jove in
counselstanding alone. He had not as yet laid a hand upon his
shipfor he was grieved and sorry; so she went close up to him
and saidUlysses, noble son of Laertes, are you going to fling
yourselves into your ships and be off home to your own land in
this way? Will you leave Priam and the Trojans the glory of still
keeping Helen, for whose sake so many of the Achaeans have died
at Troy, far from their homes? Go about at once among the host,
and speak fairly to them, man by man, that they draw not their
ships into the sea.

Ulysses knew the voice as that of the goddess: he flung his cloak
from him and set off to run. His servant Eurybatesa man of
Ithacawho waited on himtook charge of the cloakwhereon
Ulysses went straight up to Agamemnon and received from him his
ancestralimperishable staff. With this he went about among the
ships of the Achaeans.

Whenever he met a king or chieftainhe stood by him and spoke
him fairly. "Sir said he, this flight is cowardly and
unworthy. Stand to your postand bid your people also keep their
places. You do not yet know the full mind of Agamemnon; he was
sounding usand ere long will visit the Achaeans with his
displeasure. We were not all of us at the council to hear what he
then said; see to it lest he be angry and do us a mischief; for
the pride of kings is greatand the hand of Jove is with them."

But when he came across any common man who was making a noisehe
struck him with his staff and rebuked himsayingSirrah, hold
your peace, and listen to better men than yourself. You are a
coward and no soldier; you are nobody either in fight or council;
we cannot all be kings; it is not well that there should be many
masters; one man must be supreme--one king to whom the son of
scheming Saturn has given the sceptre of sovereignty over you
all.

Thus masterfully did he go about among the hostand the people
hurried back to the council from their tents and ships with a
sound as the thunder of surf when it comes crashing down upon the
shoreand all the sea is in an uproar.

The rest now took their seats and kept to their own several
placesbut Thersites still went on wagging his unbridled
tongue--a man of many wordsand those unseemly; a monger of
seditiona railer against all who were in authoritywho cared
not what he saidso that he might set the Achaeans in a laugh.


He was the ugliest man of all those that came before
Troy--bandy-leggedlame of one footwith his two shoulders
rounded and hunched over his chest. His head ran up to a point
but there was little hair on the top of it. Achilles and Ulysses
hated him worst of allfor it was with them that he was most
wont to wrangle; nowhoweverwith a shrill squeaky voice he
began heaping his abuse on Agamemnon. The Achaeans were angry and
disgustedyet none the less he kept on brawling and bawling at
the son of Atreus.

Agamemnon,he criedwhat ails you now, and what more do you
want? Your tents are filled with bronze and with fair women, for
whenever we take a town we give you the pick of them. Would you
have yet more gold, which some Trojan is to give you as a ransom
for his son, when I or another Achaean has taken him prisoner? or
is it some young girl to hide and lie with? It is not well that
you, the ruler of the Achaeans, should bring them into such
misery. Weakling cowards, women rather than men, let us sail
home, and leave this fellow here at Troy to stew in his own meeds
of honour, and discover whether we were of any service to him or
no. Achilles is a much better man than he is, and see how he has
treated him--robbing him of his prize and keeping it himself.
Achilles takes it meekly and shows no fight; if he did, son of
Atreus, you would never again insult him.

Thus railed Thersitesbut Ulysses at once went up to him and
rebuked him sternly. "Check your glib tongueThersites said
be, and babble not a word further. Chide not with princes when
you have none to back you. There is no viler creature come before
Troy with the sons of Atreus. Drop this chatter about kingsand
neither revile them nor keep harping about going home. We do not
yet know how things are going to benor whether the Achaeans are
to return with good success or evil. How dare you gibe at
Agamemnon because the Danaans have awarded him so many prizes? I
tell youtherefore--and it shall surely be--that if I again
catch you talking such nonsenseI will either forfeit my own
head and be no more called father of Telemachusor I will take
youstrip you stark nakedand whip you out of the assembly till
you go blubbering back to the ships."

On this he beat him with his staff about the back and shoulders
till he dropped and fell a-weeping. The golden sceptre raised a
bloody weal on his backso he sat down frightened and in pain
looking foolish as he wiped the tears from his eyes. The people
were sorry for himyet they laughed heartilyand one would turn
to his neighbour sayingUlysses has done many a good thing ere
now in fight and council, but he never did the Argives a better
turn than when he stopped this fellow's mouth from prating
further. He will give the kings no more of his insolence.

Thus said the people. Then Ulysses rosesceptre in handand
Minerva in the likeness of a herald bade the people be still
that those who were far off might hear him and consider his
council. He therefore with all sincerity and goodwill addressed
them thus:-


King Agamemnon, the Achaeans are for making you a by-word among
all mankind. They forget the promise they made you when they set
out from Argos, that you should not return till you had sacked
the town of Troy, and, like children or widowed women, they
murmur and would set off homeward. True it is that they have had
toil enough to be disheartened. A man chafes at having to stay
away from his wife even for a single month, when he is on
shipboard, at the mercy of wind and sea, but it is now nine long


years that we have been kept here; I cannot, therefore, blame the
Achaeans if they turn restive; still we shall be shamed if we go
home empty after so long a stay--therefore, my friends, be
patient yet a little longer that we may learn whether the
prophesyings of Calchas were false or true.

All who have not since perished must remember as though it were
yesterday or the day beforehow the ships of the Achaeans were
detained in Aulis when we were on our way hither to make war on
Priam and the Trojans. We were ranged round about a fountain
offering hecatombs to the gods upon their holy altarsand there
was a fine plane-tree from beneath which there welled a stream of
pure water. Then we saw a prodigy; for Jove sent a fearful
serpent out of the groundwith blood-red stains upon its back
and it darted from under the altar on to the plane-tree. Now
there was a brood of young sparrowsquite smallupon the
topmost boughpeeping out from under the leaveseight in all
and their mother that hatched them made nine. The serpent ate the
poor cheeping thingswhile the old bird flew about lamenting her
little ones; but the serpent threw his coils about her and caught
her by the wing as she was screaming. Thenwhen he had eaten
both the sparrow and her youngthe god who had sent him made him
become a sign; for the son of scheming Saturn turned him into
stoneand we stood there wondering at that which had come to
pass. Seeingthenthat such a fearful portent had broken in
upon our hecatombsCalchas forthwith declared to us the oracles
of heaven. 'WhyAchaeans' said he'are you thus speechless?
Jove has sent us this signlong in comingand long ere it be
fulfilledthough its fame shall last for ever. As the serpent
ate the eight fledglings and the sparrow that hatched themwhich
makes nineso shall we fight nine years at Troybut in the
tenth shall take the town.' This was what he saidand now it is
all coming true. Stay herethereforeall of youtill we take
the city of Priam."

On this the Argives raised a shouttill the ships rang again
with the uproar. Nestorknight of Gerenethen addressed them.
Shame on you,he criedto stay talking here like children,
when you should fight like men. Where are our covenants now, and
where the oaths that we have taken? Shall our counsels be flung
into the fire, with our drink-offerings and the right hands of
fellowship wherein we have put our trust? We waste our time in
words, and for all our talking here shall be no further forward.
Stand, therefore, son of Atreus, by your own steadfast purpose;
lead the Argives on to battle, and leave this handful of men to
rot, who scheme, and scheme in vain, to get back to Argos ere
they have learned whether Jove be true or a liar. For the mighty
son of Saturn surely promised that we should succeed, when we
Argives set sail to bring death and destruction upon the Trojans.
He showed us favourable signs by flashing his lightning on our
right hands; therefore let none make haste to go till he has
first lain with the wife of some Trojan, and avenged the toil and
sorrow that he has suffered for the sake of Helen. Nevertheless,
if any man is in such haste to be at home again, let him lay his
hand to his ship that he may meet his doom in the sight of all.
But, O king, consider and give ear to my counsel, for the word
that I say may not be neglected lightly. Divide your men,
Agamemnon, into their several tribes and clans, that clans and
tribes may stand by and help one another. If you do this, and if
the Achaeans obey you, you will find out who, both chiefs and
peoples, are brave, and who are cowards; for they will vie
against the other. Thus you shall also learn whether it is
through the counsel of heaven or the cowardice of man that you
shall fail to take the town.


And Agamemnon answeredNestor, you have again outdone the sons
of the Achaeans in counsel. Would, by Father Jove, Minerva, and
Apollo, that I had among them ten more such councillors, for the
city of King Priam would then soon fall beneath our hands, and we
should sack it. But the son of Saturn afflicts me with bootless
wranglings and strife. Achilles and I are quarrelling about this
girl, in which matter I was the first to offend; if we can be of
one mind again, the Trojans will not stave off destruction for a
day. Now, therefore, get your morning meal, that our hosts join
in fight. Whet well your spears; see well to the ordering of your
shields; give good feeds to your horses, and look your chariots
carefully over, that we may do battle the livelong day; for we
shall have no rest, not for a moment, till night falls to part
us. The bands that bear your shields shall be wet with the sweat
upon your shoulders, your hands shall weary upon your spears,
your horses shall steam in front of your chariots, and if I see
any man shirking the fight, or trying to keep out of it at the
ships, there shall be no help for him, but he shall be a prey to
dogs and vultures.

Thus he spokeand the Achaeans roared applause. As when the
waves run high before the blast of the south wind and break on
some lofty headlanddashing against it and buffeting it without
ceasingas the storms from every quarter drive themeven so did
the Achaeans rise and hurry in all directions to their ships.
There they lighted their fires at their tents and got dinner
offering sacrifice every man to one or other of the godsand
praying each one of them that he might live to come out of the
fight. Agamemnonking of mensacrificed a fat five-year-old
bull to the mighty son of Saturnand invited the princes and
elders of his host. First he asked Nestor and King Idomeneus
then the two Ajaxes and the son of Tydeusand sixthly Ulysses
peer of gods in counsel; but Menelaus came of his own accordfor
he knew how busy his brother then was. They stood round the bull
with the barley-meal in their handsand Agamemnon prayed
sayingJove, most glorious, supreme, that dwellest in heaven,
and ridest upon the storm-cloud, grant that the sun may not go
down, nor the night fall, till the palace of Priam is laid low,
and its gates are consumed with fire. Grant that my sword may
pierce the shirt of Hector about his heart, and that full many of
his comrades may bite the dust as they fall dying round him.

Thus he prayedbut the son of Saturn would not fulfil his
prayer. He accepted the sacrificeyet none the less increased
their toil continually. When they had done praying and sprinkling
the barley-meal upon the victimthey drew back its headkilled
itand then flayed it. They cut out the thigh-boneswrapped
them round in two layers of fatand set pieces of raw meat on
the top of them. These they burned upon the split logs of
firewoodbut they spitted the inward meatsand held them in the
flames to cook. When the thigh-bones were burnedand they had
tasted the inward meatsthey cut the rest up smallput the
pieces upon spitsroasted them till they were doneand drew
them off; thenwhen they had finished their work and the feast
was readythey ate itand every man had his full shareso that
all were satisfied. As soon as they had had enough to eat and
drinkNestorknight of Gerenebegan to speak. "King
Agamemnon said he, let us not stay talking herenor be slack
in the work that heaven has put into our hands. Let the heralds
summon the people to gather at their several ships; we will then
go about among the hostthat we may begin fighting at once."

Thus did he speakand Agamemnon heeded his words. He at once


sent the criers round to call the people in assembly. So they
called themand the people gathered thereon. The chiefs about
the son of Atreus chose their men and marshalled themwhile
Minerva went among them holding her priceless aegis that knows
neither age nor death. From it there waved a hundred tassels of
pure goldall deftly wovenand each one of them worth a hundred
oxen. With this she darted furiously everywhere among the hosts
of the Achaeansurging them forwardand putting courage into
the heart of eachso that he might fight and do battle without
ceasing. Thus war became sweeter in their eyes even than
returning home in their ships. As when some great forest fire is
raging upon a mountain top and its light is seen afareven so as
they marched the gleam of their armour flashed up into the
firmament of heaven.

They were like great flocks of geeseor cranesor swans on the
plain about the waters of Caysterthat wing their way hither and
thitherglorying in the pride of flightand crying as they
settle till the fen is alive with their screaming. Even thus did
their tribes pour from ships and tents on to the plain of the
Scamanderand the ground rang as brass under the feet of men and
horses. They stood as thick upon the flower-bespangled field as
leaves that bloom in summer.

As countless swarms of flies buzz around a herdsman's homestead
in the time of spring when the pails are drenched with milkeven
so did the Achaeans swarm on to the plain to charge the Trojans
and destroy them.

The chiefs disposed their men this way and that before the fight
begandrafting them out as easily as goatherds draft their
flocks when they have got mixed while feeding; and among them
went King Agamemnonwith a head and face like Jove the lord of
thundera waist like Marsand a chest like that of Neptune. As
some great bull that lords it over the herds upon the plaineven
so did Jove make the son of Atreus stand peerless among the
multitude of heroes.

And nowO Musesdwellers in the mansions of Olympustell me-for
you are goddesses and are in all places so that you see all
thingswhile we know nothing but by report--who were the chiefs
and princes of the Danaans? As for the common soldiersthey were
so that I could not name every single one of them though I had
ten tonguesand though my voice failed not and my heart were of
bronze within meunless youO Olympian Musesdaughters of
aegis-bearing Jovewere to recount them to me. NeverthelessI
will tell the captains of the ships and all the fleet together.

PeneleosLeitusArcesilausProthoenorand Clonius were
captains of the Boeotians. These were they that dwelt in Hyria
and rocky Aulisand who held SchoenusScolusand the highlands
of Eteonuswith ThespeiaGraiaand the fair city of
Mycalessus. They also held HarmaEilesiumand Erythrae; and
they had EleonHyleand Peteon; Ocalea and the strong fortress
of Medeon; CopaeEutresisand Thisbe the haunt of doves;
Coroneaand the pastures of Haliartus; Plataea and Glisas; the
fortress of Thebes the less; holy Onchestus with its famous grove
of Neptune; Arne rich in vineyards; Mideasacred Nisaand
Anthedon upon the sea. From these there came fifty shipsand in
each there were a hundred and twenty young men of the Boeotians.

Ascalaphus and Ialmenussons of Marsled the people that dwelt
in Aspledon and Orchomenus the realm of Minyas. Astyoche a noble
maiden bore them in the house of Actor son of Azeus; for she had


gone with Mars secretly into an upper chamberand he had lain
with her. With these there came thirty ships.

The Phoceans were led by Schedius and Epistrophussons of mighty
Iphitus the son of Naubolus. These were they that held
Cyparissusrocky Pythoholy CrisaDaulisand Panopeus; they
also that dwelt in Anemorea and Hyampolisand about the waters
of the river Cephissusand Lilaea by the springs of the
Cephissus; with their chieftains came forty shipsand they
marshalled the forces of the Phoceanswhich were stationed next
to the Boeotianson their left.

Ajaxthe fleet son of Oileuscommanded the Locrians. He was not
so greatnor nearly so greatas Ajax the son of Telamon. He was
a little manand his breastplate was made of linenbut in use
of the spear he excelled all the Hellenes and the Achaeans.
These dwelt in CynusOpousCalliarusBessaScarphefair
AugeaeTarpheand Thronium about the river Boagrius. With him
there came forty ships of the Locrians who dwell beyond Euboea.

The fierce Abantes held Euboea with its citiesChalcisEretria
Histiaea rich in vinesCerinthus upon the seaand the
rock-perched town of Dium; with them were also the men of
Carystus and Styra; Elephenor of the race of Mars was in command
of these; he was son of Chalcodonand chief over all the
Abantes. With him they camefleet of foot and wearing their hair
long behindbrave warriorswho would ever strive to tear open
the corslets of their foes with their long ashen spears. Of these
there came fifty ships.

And they that held the strong city of Athensthe people of great
Erechtheuswho was born of the soil itselfbut Jove's daughter
Minervafostered himand established him at Athens in her own
rich sanctuary. Thereyear by yearthe Athenian youths worship
him with sacrifices of bulls and rams. These were commanded by
Menestheusson of Peteos. No man living could equal him in the
marshalling of chariots and foot soldiers. Nestor could alone
rival himfor he was older. With him there came fifty ships.

Ajax brought twelve ships from Salamisand stationed them
alongside those of the Athenians.

The men of Argosagainand those who held the walls of Tiryns
with Hermioneand Asine upon the gulf; TroezeneEionaeand the
vineyard lands of Epidaurus; the Achaean youthsmoreoverwho
came from Aegina and Mases; these were led by Diomed of the loud
battle-cryand Sthenelus son of famed Capaneus. With them in
command was Euryalusson of king Mecisteusson of Talaus; but
Diomed was chief over them all. With these there came eighty
ships.

Those who held the strong city of Mycenaerich Corinth and
Cleonae; OrneaeAraethyreaand Licyonwhere Adrastus reigned
of old; Hyperesiahigh Gonoessaand Pellene; Aegium and all the
coast-land round about Helice; these sent a hundred ships under
the command of King Agamemnonson of Atreus. His force was far
both finest and most numerousand in their midst was the king
himselfall glorious in his armour of gleaming bronze--foremost
among the heroesfor he was the greatest kingand had most men
under him.

And those that dwelt in Lacedaemonlying low among the hills
PharisSpartawith Messe the haunt of doves; BryseaeAugeae
Amyclaeand Helos upon the sea; Laasmoreoverand Oetylus;


these were led by Menelaus of the loud battle-crybrother to
Agamemnonand of them there were sixty shipsdrawn up apart
from the others. Among them went Menelaus himselfstrong in
zealurging his men to fight; for he longed to avenge the toil
and sorrow that he had suffered for the sake of Helen.

The men of Pylos and Areneand Thryum where is the ford of the
river Alpheus; strong AipyCyparisseisand Amphigenea; Pteleum
Helosand Doriumwhere the Muses met Thamyrisand stilled his
minstrelsy for ever. He was returning from Oechaliawhere
Eurytus lived and reignedand boasted that he would surpass even
the Musesdaughters of aegis-bearing Joveif they should sing
against him; whereon they were angryand maimed him. They robbed
him of his divine power of songand thenceforth he could strike
the lyre no more. These were commanded by Nestorknight of
Gereneand with him there came ninety ships.

And those that held Arcadiaunder the high mountain of Cyllene
near the tomb of Aepytuswhere the people fight hand to hand;
the men of Pheneus alsoand Orchomenus rich in flocks; of
RhipaeStratieand bleak Enispe; of Tegea and fair Mantinea; of
Stymphelus and Parrhasia; of these King Agapenor son of Ancaeus
was commanderand they had sixty ships. Many Arcadiansgood
soldierscame in each one of thembut Agamemnon found them the
ships in which to cross the seafor they were not a people that
occupied their business upon the waters.

The menmoreoverof Buprasium and of Elisso much of it as is
enclosed between HyrmineMyrsinus upon the sea-shorethe rock
Olene and Alesium. These had four leadersand each of them had
ten shipswith many Epeans on board. Their captains were
Amphimachus and Thalpius--the oneson of Cteatusand the other
of Eurytus--both of the race of Actor. The two others were
Dioresson of Amaryncesand Polyxenusson of King Agasthenes
son of Augeas.

And those of Dulichium with the sacred Echinean islandswho
dwelt beyond the sea off Elis; these were led by Megespeer of
Marsand the son of valiant Phyleusdear to Jovewho
quarrelled with his fatherand went to settle in Dulichium. With
him there came forty ships.

Ulysses led the brave Cephallenianswho held IthacaNeritum
with its forestsCrocylearugged AegilipsSamos and Zacynthus
with the mainland also that was over against the islands. These
were led by Ulyssespeer of Jove in counseland with him there
came twelve ships.

Thoasson of Andraemoncommanded the Aetolianswho dwelt in
PleuronOlenusPyleneChalcis by the seaand rocky Calydon
for the great king Oeneus had now no sons livingand was himself
deadas was also golden-haired Meleagerwho had been set over
the Aetolians to be their king. And with Thoas there came forty
ships.

The famous spearsman Idomeneus led the Cretanswho held Cnossus
and the well-walled city of Gortys; Lyctus alsoMiletus and
Lycastus that lies upon the chalk; the populous towns of Phaestus
and Rhytiumwith the other peoples that dwelt in the hundred
cities of Crete. All these were led by Idomeneusand by
Merionespeer of murderous Mars. And with these there came
eighty ships.

Tlepolemusson of Herculesa man both brave and large of


staturebrought nine ships of lordly warriors from Rhodes. These
dwelt in Rhodes which is divided among the three cities of
LindusIelysusand Cameirusthat lies upon the chalk. These
were commanded by Tlepolemusson of Hercules by Astyocheawhom
he had carried off from Ephyraon the river Selleisafter
sacking many cities of valiant warriors. When Tlepolemus grew up
he killed his father's uncle Licymniuswho had been a famous
warrior in his timebut was then grown old. On this he built
himself a fleetgathered a great followingand fled beyond the
seafor he was menaced by the other sons and grandsons of
Hercules. After a voyageduring which he suffered great
hardshiphe came to Rhodeswhere the people divided into three
communitiesaccording to their tribesand were dearly loved by
Jovethe lord of gods and men; wherefore the son of Saturn
showered down great riches upon them.

And Nireus brought three ships from Syme--Nireuswho was the
handsomest man that came up under Ilius of all the Danaans after
the son of Peleus--but he was a man of no substanceand had but
a small following.

And those that held NisyrusCrapathusand Casuswith Costhe
city of Eurypylusand the Calydnian islandsthese were
commanded by Pheidippus and Antiphustwo sons of King Thessalus
the son of Hercules. And with them there came thirty ships.

Those again who held Pelasgic ArgosAlosAlopeand Trachis;
and those of Phthia and Hellas the land of fair womenwho were
called MyrmidonsHellenesand Achaeans; these had fifty ships
over which Achilles was in command. But they now took no part in
the warinasmuch as there was no one to marshal them; for
Achilles stayed by his shipsfurious about the loss of the girl
Briseiswhom he had taken from Lyrnessus at his own great peril
when he had sacked Lyrnessus and Thebeand had overthrown Mynes
and Epistrophussons of king Evenorson of Selepus. For her
sake Achilles was still grievingbut ere long he was again to
join them.

And those that held Phylace and the flowery meadows of Pyrasus
sanctuary of Ceres; Itonthe mother of sheep; Antrum upon the
seaand Pteleum that lies upon the grass lands. Of these brave
Protesilaus had been captain while he was yet alivebut he was
now lying under the earth. He had left a wife behind him in
Phylace to tear her cheeks in sorrowand his house was only half
finishedfor he was slain by a Dardanian warrior while leaping
foremost of the Achaeans upon the soil of Troy. Stillthough his
people mourned their chieftainthey were not without a leader
for Podarcesof the race of Marsmarshalled them; he was son of
Iphiclusrich in sheepwho was the son of Phylacusand he was
own brother to Protesilausonly youngerProtesilaus being at
once the elder and the more valiant. So the people were not
without a leaderthough they mourned him whom they had lost.
With him there came forty ships.

And those that held Pherae by the Boebean lakewith Boebe
Glaphyraeand the populous city of Iolcusthese with their
eleven ships were led by Eumelusson of Admetuswhom Alcestis
bore to himloveliest of the daughters of Pelias.

And those that held Methone and Thaumaciawith Meliboea and
rugged Olizonthese were led by the skilful archer Philoctetes
and they had seven shipseach with fifty oarsmen all of them
good archers; but Philoctetes was lying in great pain in the
Island of Lemnoswhere the sons of the Achaeans left himfor he


had been bitten by a poisonous water snake. There he lay sick and
sorryand full soon did the Argives come to miss him. But his
peoplethough they felt his loss were not leaderlessfor Medon
the bastard son of Oileus by Rheneset them in array.

Thoseagainof Tricca and the stony region of Ithomeand they
that held Oechaliathe city of Oechalian Eurytusthese were
commanded by the two sons of Aesculapiusskilled in the art of
healingPodalirius and Machaon. And with them there came thirty
ships.

The menmoreoverof Ormeniusand by the fountain of Hypereia
with those that held Asteriusand the white crests of Titanus
these were led by Eurypylusthe son of Euaemonand with them
there came forty ships.

Those that held Argissa and GyrtoneOrtheEloneand the white
city of Oloossonof these brave Polypoetes was leader. He was
son of Pirithouswho was son of Jove himselffor Hippodameia
bore him to Pirithous on the day when he took his revenge on the
shaggy mountain savages and drove them from Mt. Pelion to the
Aithices. But Polypoetes was not sole in commandfor with him
was Leonteusof the race of Marswho was son of Coronusthe
son of Caeneus. And with these there came forty ships.

Guneus brought two and twenty ships from Cyphusand he was
followed by the Enienes and the valiant Peraebiwho dwelt about
wintry Dodonaand held the lands round the lovely river
Titaresiuswhich sends its waters into the Peneus. They do not
mingle with the silver eddies of the Peneusbut flow on the top
of them like oil; for the Titaresius is a branch of dread Orcus
and of the river Styx.

Of the MagnetesProthous son of Tenthredon was commander. They
were they that dwelt about the river Peneus and Mt. Pelion.
Prothousfleet of footwas their leaderand with him there
came forty ships.

Such were the chiefs and princes of the Danaans. WhothenO
Musewas the foremostwhether man or horseamong those that
followed after the sons of Atreus?

Of the horsesthose of the son of Pheres were by far the finest.
They were driven by Eumelusand were as fleet as birds. They
were of the same age and colourand perfectly matched in height.
Apolloof the silver bowhad bred them in Perea--both of them
maresand terrible as Mars in battle. Of the menAjaxson of
Telamonwas much the foremost so long as Achilles' anger lasted
for Achilles excelled him greatly and he had also better horses;
but Achilles was now holding aloof at his ships by reason of his
quarrel with Agamemnonand his people passed their time upon the
sea shorethrowing discs or aiming with spears at a markand in
archery. Their horses stood each by his own chariotchamping
lotus and wild celery. The chariots were housed under coverbut
their ownersfor lack of leadershipwandered hither and thither
about the host and went not forth to fight.

Thus marched the host like a consuming fireand the earth
groaned beneath them when the lord of thunder is angry and lashes
the land about Typhoeus among the Arimiwhere they say Typhoeus
lies. Even so did the earth groan beneath them as they sped over
the plain.

And now Irisfleet as the windwas sent by Jove to tell the bad


news among the Trojans. They were gathered in assemblyold and
youngat Priam's gatesand Iris came close up to Priam
speaking with the voice of Priam's son Politeswhobeing fleet
of footwas stationed as watchman for the Trojans on the tomb of
old Aesyetesto look out for any sally of the Achaeans. In his
likeness Iris spokesayingOld man, you talk idly, as in time
of peace, while war is at hand. I have been in many a battle, but
never yet saw such a host as is now advancing. They are crossing
the plain to attack the city as thick as leaves or as the sands
of the sea. Hector, I charge you above all others, do as I say.
There are many allies dispersed about the city of Priam from
distant places and speaking divers tongues. Therefore, let each
chief give orders to his own people, setting them severally in
array and leading them forth to battle.

Thus she spokebut Hector knew that it was the goddessand at
once broke up the assembly. The men flew to arms; all the gates
were openedand the people thronged through themhorse and
footwith the tramp as of a great multitude.

Now there is a high mound before the cityrising by itself upon
the plain. Men call it Batieiabut the gods know that it is the
tomb of lithe Myrine. Here the Trojans and their allies divided
their forces.

Priam's songreat Hector of the gleaming helmetcommanded the
Trojansand with him were arrayed by far the greater number and
most valiant of those who were longing for the fray.

The Dardanians were led by brave Aeneaswhom Venus bore to
Anchiseswhen shegoddess though she washad lain with him
upon the mountain slopes of Ida. He was not alonefor with him
were the two sons of AntenorArchilochus and Acamasboth
skilled in all the arts of war.

They that dwelt in Telea under the lowest spurs of Mt. Idamen
of substancewho drink the limpid waters of the Aesepusand are
of Trojan blood--these were led by Pandarus son of Lycaonwhom
Apollo had taught to use the bow.

They that held Adresteia and the land of Apaesuswith Pityeia
and the high mountain of Tereia--these were led by Adrestus and
Amphiuswhose breastplate was of linen. These were the sons of
Merops of Percotewho excelled in all kinds of divination. He
told them not to take part in the warbut they gave him no heed
for fate lured them to destruction.

They that dwelt about Percote and Practiuswith SestosAbydos
and Arisbe--these were led by Asiusson of Hyrtacusa brave
commander--Asiusthe son of Hyrtacuswhom his powerful dark bay
steedsof the breed that comes from the river Selleishad
brought from Arisbe.

Hippothous led the tribes of Pelasgian spearsmenwho dwelt in
fertile Larissa--Hippothousand Pylaeus of the race of Marstwo
sons of the Pelasgian Lethusson of Teutamus.

Acamas and the warrior Peirous commanded the Thracians and those
that came from beyond the mighty stream of the Hellespont.

Euphemusson of Troezenusthe son of Ceoswas captain of the
Ciconian spearsmen.

Pyraechmes led the Paeonian archers from distant Amydonby the


broad waters of the river Axiusthe fairest that flow upon the
earth.

The Paphlagonians were commanded by stout-hearted Pylaemanes from
Enetaewhere the mules run wild in herds. These were they that
held Cytorus and the country round Sesamuswith the cities by
the river PartheniusCromnaAegialusand lofty Erithini.

Odius and Epistrophus were captains over the Halizoni from
distant Alybewhere there are mines of silver.

Chromisand Ennomus the augurled the Mysiansbut his skill in
augury availed not to save him from destructionfor he fell by
the hand of the fleet descendant of Aeacus in the riverwhere he
slew others also of the Trojans.

Phorcysagainand noble Ascanius led the Phrygians from the far
country of Ascaniaand both were eager for the fray.

Mesthles and Antiphus commanded the Meonianssons of Talaemenes
born to him of the Gygaean lake. These led the Meonianswho
dwelt under Mt. Tmolus.

Nastes led the Cariansmen of a strange speech. These held
Miletus and the wooded mountain of Phthireswith the water of
the river Maeander and the lofty crests of Mt. Mycale. These were
commanded by Nastes and Amphimachusthe brave sons of Nomion. He
came into the fight with gold about himlike a girl; fool that
he washis gold was of no avail to save himfor he fell in the
river by the hand of the fleet descendant of Aeacusand Achilles
bore away his gold.

Sarpedon and Glaucus led the Lycians from their distant landby
the eddying waters of the Xanthus.

BOOK III

When the companies were thus arrayedeach under its own captain
the Trojans advanced as a flight of wild fowl or cranes that
scream overhead when rain and winter drive them over the flowing
waters of Oceanus to bring death and destruction on the Pygmies
and they wrangle in the air as they fly; but the Achaeans marched
silentlyin high heartand minded to stand by one another.

As when the south wind spreads a curtain of mist upon the
mountain topsbad for shepherds but better than night for
thievesand a man can see no further than he can throw a stone
even so rose the dust from under their feet as they made all
speed over the plain.

When they were close up with one anotherAlexandrus came forward
as champion on the Trojan side. On his shoulders he bore the skin
of a pantherhis bowand his swordand he brandished two
spears shod with bronze as a challenge to the bravest of the
Achaeans to meet him in single fight. Menelaus saw him thus
stride out before the ranksand was glad as a hungry lion that
lights on the carcase of some goat or horned stagand devours it
there and thenthough dogs and youths set upon him. Even thus
was Menelaus glad when his eyes caught sight of Alexandrusfor
he deemed that now he should be revenged. He sprangtherefore
from his chariotclad in his suit of armour.


Alexandrus quailed as he saw Menelaus come forwardand shrank in
fear of his life under cover of his men. As one who starts back
affrightedtrembling and palewhen he comes suddenly upon a
serpent in some mountain gladeeven so did Alexandrus plunge
into the throng of Trojan warriorsterror-stricken at the sight
of the son of Atreus.

Then Hector upbraided him. "Paris said he, evil-hearted Paris
fair to seebut woman-madand false of tonguewould that you
had never been bornor that you had died unwed. Better sothan
live to be disgraced and looked askance at. Will not the Achaeans
mock at us and say that we have sent one to champion us who is
fair to see but who has neither wit nor courage? Did you not
such as you areget your following together and sail beyond the
seas? Did you not from your a far country carry off a lovely
woman wedded among a people of warriors--to bring sorrow upon
your fatheryour cityand your whole countrybut joy to your
enemiesand hang-dog shamefacedness to yourself? And now can you
not dare face Menelaus and learn what manner of man he is whose
wife you have stolen? Where indeed would be your lyre and your
love-tricksyour comely locks and your fair favourwhen you
were lying in the dust before him? The Trojans are a weak-kneed
peopleor ere this you would have had a shirt of stones for the
wrongs you have done them."

And Alexandrus answeredHector, your rebuke is just. You are
hard as the axe which a shipwright wields at his work, and
cleaves the timber to his liking. As the axe in his hand, so keen
is the edge of your scorn. Still, taunt me not with the gifts
that golden Venus has given me; they are precious; let not a man
disdain them, for the gods give them where they are minded, and
none can have them for the asking. If you would have me do battle
with Menelaus, bid the Trojans and Achaeans take their seats,
while he and I fight in their midst for Helen and all her wealth.
Let him who shall be victorious and prove to be the better man
take the woman and all she has, to bear them to his home, but let
the rest swear to a solemn covenant of peace whereby you Trojans
shall stay here in Troy, while the others go home to Argos and
the land of the Achaeans.

When Hector heard this he was gladand went about among the
Trojan ranks holding his spear by the middle to keep them back
and they all sat down at his bidding: but the Achaeans still
aimed at him with stones and arrowstill Agamemnon shouted to
them sayingHold, Argives, shoot not, sons of the Achaeans;
Hector desires to speak.

They ceased taking aim and were stillwhereon Hector spoke.
Hear from my mouth,said heTrojans and Achaeans, the saying
of Alexandrus, through whom this quarrel has come about. He bids
the Trojans and Achaeans lay their armour upon the ground, while
he and Menelaus fight in the midst of you for Helen and all her
wealth. Let him who shall be victorious and prove to be the
better man take the woman and all she has, to bear them to his
own home, but let the rest swear to a solemn covenant of peace.

Thus he spokeand they all held their peacetill Menelaus of
the loud battle-cry addressed them. "And now he said, hear me
toofor it is I who am the most aggrieved. I deem that the
parting of Achaeans and Trojans is at handas well it may be
seeing how much have suffered for my quarrel with Alexandrus and
the wrong he did me. Let him who shall diedieand let the
others fight no more. Bringthentwo lambsa white ram and a
black ewefor Earth and Sunand we will bring a third for Jove.


Moreoveryou shall bid Priam comethat he may swear to the
covenant himself; for his sons are high-handed and ill to trust
and the oaths of Jove must not be transgressed or taken in vain.
Young men's minds are light as airbut when an old man comes he
looks before and afterdeeming that which shall be fairest upon
both sides."

The Trojans and Achaeans were glad when they heard thisfor they
thought that they should now have rest. They backed their
chariots toward the ranksgot out of themand put off their
armourlaying it down upon the ground; and the hosts were near
to one another with a little space between them. Hector sent two
messengers to the city to bring the lambs and to bid Priam come
while Agamemnon told Talthybius to fetch the other lamb from the
shipsand he did as Agamemnon had said.

Meanwhile Iris went to Helen in the form of her sister-in-law
wife of the son of Antenorfor Helicaonson of Antenorhad
married Laodicethe fairest of Priam's daughters. She found her
in her own roomworking at a great web of purple linenon which
she was embroidering the battles between Trojans and Achaeans
that Mars had made them fight for her sake. Iris then came close
up to her and saidCome hither, child, and see the strange
doings of the Trojans and Achaeans. Till now they have been
warring upon the plain, mad with lust of battle, but now they
have left off fighting, and are leaning upon their shields,
sitting still with their spears planted beside them. Alexandrus
and Menelaus are going to fight about yourself, and you are to be
the wife of him who is the victor.

Thus spoke the goddessand Helen's heart yearned after her
former husbandher cityand her parents. She threw a white
mantle over her headand hurried from her roomweeping as she
wentnot alonebut attended by two of her handmaidsAethrae
daughter of Pittheusand Clymene. And straightway they were at
the Scaean gates.

The two sagesUcalegon and Antenorelders of the peoplewere
seated by the Scaean gateswith PriamPanthousThymoetes
LampusClytiusand Hiketaon of the race of Mars. These were too
old to fightbut they were fluent oratorsand sat on the tower
like cicales that chirrup delicately from the boughs of some high
tree in a wood. When they saw Helen coming towards the tower
they said softly to one anotherSmall wonder that Trojans and
Achaeans should endure so much and so long, for the sake of a
woman so marvellously and divinely lovely. Still, fair though she
be, let them take her and go, or she will breed sorrow for us and
for our children after us.

But Priam bade her draw nigh. "My child said he, take your
seat in front of me that you may see your former husbandyour
kinsmen and your friends. I lay no blame upon youit is the
godsnot you who are to blame. It is they that have brought
about this terrible war with the Achaeans. Tell methenwho is
yonder huge hero so great and goodly? I have seen men taller by a
headbut none so comely and so royal. Surely he must be a king."

Sir,answered Helenfather of my husband, dear and reverend
in my eyes, would that I had chosen death rather than to have
come here with your son, far from my bridal chamber, my friends,
my darling daughter, and all the companions of my girlhood. But
it was not to be, and my lot is one of tears and sorrow. As for
your question, the hero of whom you ask is Agamemnon, son of
Atreus, a good king and a brave soldier, brother-in-law as surely


as that he lives, to my abhorred and miserable self.

The old man marvelled at him and saidHappy son of Atreus,
child of good fortune. I see that the Achaeans are subject to you
in great multitudes. When I was in Phrygia I saw much horsemen,
the people of Otreus and of Mygdon, who were camping upon the
banks of the river Sangarius; I was their ally, and with them
when the Amazons, peers of men, came up against them, but even
they were not so many as the Achaeans.

The old man next looked upon Ulysses; "Tell me he said, who is
that othershorter by a head than Agamemnonbut broader across
the chest and shoulders? His armour is laid upon the groundand
he stalks in front of the ranks as it were some great woolly ram
ordering his ewes."

And Helen answeredHe is Ulysses, a man of great craft, son of
Laertes. He was born in rugged Ithaca, and excels in all manner
of stratagems and subtle cunning.

On this Antenor saidMadam, you have spoken truly. Ulysses once
came here as envoy about yourself, and Menelaus with him. I
received them in my own house, and therefore know both of them by
sight and conversation. When they stood up in presence of the
assembled Trojans, Menelaus was the broader shouldered, but when
both were seated Ulysses had the more royal presence. After a
time they delivered their message, and the speech of Menelaus ran
trippingly on the tongue; he did not say much, for he was a man
of few words, but he spoke very clearly and to the point, though
he was the younger man of the two; Ulysses, on the other hand,
when he rose to speak, was at first silent and kept his eyes
fixed upon the ground. There was no play nor graceful movement of
his sceptre; he kept it straight and stiff like a man unpractised
in oratory--one might have taken him for a mere churl or
simpleton; but when he raised his voice, and the words came
driving from his deep chest like winter snow before the wind,
then there was none to touch him, and no man thought further of
what he looked like.

Priam then caught sight of Ajax and askedWho is that great and
goodly warrior whose head and broad shoulders tower above the
rest of the Argives?

That,answered Helenis huge Ajax, bulwark of the Achaeans,
and on the other side of him, among the Cretans, stands Idomeneus
looking like a god, and with the captains of the Cretans round
him. Often did Menelaus receive him as a guest in our house when
he came visiting us from Crete. I see, moreover, many other
Achaeans whose names I could tell you, but there are two whom I
can nowhere find, Castor, breaker of horses, and Pollux the
mighty boxer; they are children of my mother, and own brothers to
myself. Either they have not left Lacedaemon, or else, though
they have brought their ships, they will not show themselves in
battle for the shame and disgrace that I have brought upon them.

She knew not that both these heroes were already lying under the
earth in their own land of Lacedaemon.

Meanwhile the heralds were bringing the holy oath-offerings
through the city--two lambs and a goatskin of winethe gift of
earth; and Idaeus brought the mixing bowl and the cups of gold.
He went up to Priam and saidSon of Laomedon, the princes of
the Trojans and Achaeans bid you come down on to the plain and
swear to a solemn covenant. Alexandrus and Menelaus are to fight


for Helen in single combat, that she and all her wealth may go
with him who is the victor. We are to swear to a solemn covenant
of peace whereby we others shall dwell here in Troy, while the
Achaeans return to Argos and the land of the Achaeans.

The old man trembled as he heardbut bade his followers yoke the
horsesand they made all haste to do so. He mounted the chariot
gathered the reins in his handand Antenor took his seat beside
him; they then drove through the Scaean gates on to the plain.
When they reached the ranks of the Trojans and Achaeans they left
the chariotand with measured pace advanced into the space
between the hosts.

Agamemnon and Ulysses both rose to meet them. The attendants
brought on the oath-offerings and mixed the wine in the
mixing-bowls; they poured water over the hands of the chieftains
and the son of Atreus drew the dagger that hung by his swordand
cut wool from the lambs' heads; this the men-servants gave about
among the Trojan and Achaean princesand the son of Atreus
lifted up his hands in prayer. "Father Jove he cried, that
rulest in Idamost glorious in powerand thou oh Sunthat
seest and givest ear to all thingsEarth and Riversand ye who
in the realms below chastise the soul of him that has broken his
oathwitness these rites and guard themthat they be not vain.
If Alexandrus kills Menelauslet him keep Helen and all her
wealthwhile we sail home with our ships; but if Menelaus kills
Alexandruslet the Trojans give back Helen and all that she has;
let them moreover pay such fine to the Achaeans as shall be
agreed uponin testimony among those that shall be born
hereafter. And if Priam and his sons refuse such fine when
Alexandrus has fallenthen will I stay here and fight on till I
have got satisfaction."

As he spoke he drew his knife across the throats of the victims
and laid them down gasping and dying upon the groundfor the
knife had reft them of their strength. Then they poured wine from
the mixing-bowl into the cupsand prayed to the everlasting
godssayingTrojans and Achaeans among one anotherJove, most
great and glorious, and ye other everlasting gods, grant that the
brains of them who shall first sin against their oaths--of them
and their children--may be shed upon the ground even as this
wine, and let their wives become the slaves of strangers.

Thus they prayedbut not as yet would Jove grant them their
prayer. Then Priamdescendant of DardanusspokesayingHear
me, Trojans and Achaeans, I will now go back to the wind-beaten
city of Ilius: I dare not with my own eyes witness this fight
between my son and Menelaus, for Jove and the other immortals
alone know which shall fall.

On this he laid the two lambs on his chariot and took his seat.
He gathered the reins in his handand Antenor sat beside him;
the two then went back to Ilius. Hector and Ulysses measured the
groundand cast lots from a helmet of bronze to see which should
take aim first. Meanwhile the two hosts lifted up their hands and
prayed sayingFather Jove, that rulest from Ida, most glorious
in power, grant that he who first brought about this war between
us may die, and enter the house of Hades, while we others remain
at peace and abide by our oaths.

Great Hector now turned his head aside while he shook the helmet
and the lot of Paris flew out first. The others took their
several stationseach by his horses and the place where his arms
were lyingwhile Alexandrushusband of lovely Helenput on his


goodly armour. First he greaved his legs with greaves of good
make and fitted with ancle-clasps of silver; after this he donned
the cuirass of his brother Lycaonand fitted it to his own body;
he hung his silver-studded sword of bronze about his shoulders
and then his mighty shield. On his comely head he set his helmet
well-wroughtwith a crest of horse-hair that nodded menacingly
above itand he grasped a redoubtable spear that suited his
hands. In like fashion Menelaus also put on his armour.

When they had thus armedeach amid his own peoplethey strode
fierce of aspect into the open spaceand both Trojans and
Achaeans were struck with awe as they beheld them. They stood
near one another on the measured groundbrandishing their
spearsand each furious against the other. Alexandrus aimed
firstand struck the round shield of the son of Atreusbut the
spear did not pierce itfor the shield turned its point.
Menelaus next took aimpraying to Father Jove as he did so.
King Jove,he saidgrant me revenge on Alexandrus who has
wronged me; subdue him under my hand that in ages yet to come a
man may shrink from doing ill deeds in the house of his host.

He poised his spear as he spokeand hurled it at the shield of
Alexandrus. Through shield and cuirass it wentand tore the
shirt by his flankbut Alexandrus swerved asideand thus saved
his life. Then the son of Atreus drew his swordand drove at the
projecting part of his helmetbut the sword fell shivered in
three or four pieces from his handand he criedlooking towards
HeavenFather Jove, of all gods thou art the most despiteful; I
made sure of my revenge, but the sword has broken in my hand, my
spear has been hurled in vain, and I have not killed him.

With this he flew at Alexandruscaught him by the horsehair
plume of his helmetand began dragging him towards the Achaeans.
The strap of the helmet that went under his chin was choking him
and Menelaus would have dragged him off to his own great glory
had not Jove's daughter Venus been quick to mark and to break the
strap of oxhideso that the empty helmet came away in his hand.
This he flung to his comrades among the Achaeansand was again
springing upon Alexandrus to run him through with a spearbut
Venus snatched him up in a moment (as a god can do)hid him
under a cloud of darknessand conveyed him to his own
bedchamber.

Then she went to call Helenand found her on a high tower with
the Trojan women crowding round her. She took the form of an old
woman who used to dress wool for her when she was still in
Lacedaemonand of whom she was very fond. Thus disguised she
plucked her by perfumed robe and saidCome hither; Alexandrus
says you are to go to the house; he is on his bed in his own
room, radiant with beauty and dressed in gorgeous apparel. No one
would think he had just come from fighting, but rather that he
was going to a dance, or had done dancing and was sitting down.

With these words she moved the heart of Helen to anger. When she
marked the beautiful neck of the goddessher lovely bosomand
sparkling eyesshe marvelled at her and saidGoddess, why do
you thus beguile me? Are you going to send me afield still
further to some man whom you have taken up in Phrygia or fair
Meonia? Menelaus has just vanquished Alexandrus, and is to take
my hateful self back with him. You are come here to betray me. Go
sit with Alexandrus yourself; henceforth be goddess no longer;
never let your feet carry you back to Olympus; worry about him
and look after him till he make you his wife, or, for the matter
of that, his slave--but me? I shall not go; I can garnish his bed


no longer; I should be a by-word among all the women of Troy.
Besides, I have trouble on my mind.

Venus was very angryand saidBold hussy, do not provoke me;
if you do, I shall leave you to your fate and hate you as much as
I have loved you. I will stir up fierce hatred between Trojans
and Achaeans, and you shall come to a bad end.

At this Helen was frightened. She wrapped her mantle about her
and went in silencefollowing the goddess and unnoticed by the
Trojan women.

When they came to the house of Alexandrus the maid-servants set
about their workbut Helen went into her own roomand the
laughter-loving goddess took a seat and set it for her facing
Alexandrus. On this Helendaughter of aegis-bearing Jovesat
downand with eyes askance began to upbraid her husband.

So you are come from the fight,said she; "would that you had
fallen rather by the hand of that brave man who was my husband.
You used to brag that you were a better man with hands and spear
than Menelaus. Gothenand challenge him again--but I should
advise you not to do sofor if you are foolish enough to meet
him in single combatyou will soon fall by his spear."

And Paris answeredWife, do not vex me with your reproaches.
This time, with the help of Minerva, Menelaus has vanquished me;
another time I may myself be victor, for I too have gods that
will stand by me. Come, let us lie down together and make
friends. Never yet was I so passionately enamoured of you as at
this moment--not even when I first carried you off from
Lacedaemon and sailed away with you--not even when I had converse
with you upon the couch of love in the island of Cranae was I so
enthralled by desire of you as now.On this he led her towards
the bedand his wife went with him.

Thus they laid themselves on the bed together; but the son of
Atreus strode among the thronglooking everywhere for
Alexandrusand no manneither of the Trojans nor of the allies
could find him. If they had seen him they were in no mind to hide
himfor they all of them hated him as they did death itself.
Then Agamemnonking of menspokesayingHear me, Trojans,
Dardanians, and allies. The victory has been with Menelaus;
therefore give back Helen with all her wealth, and pay such fine
as shall be agreed upon, in testimony among them that shall be
born hereafter.

Thus spoke the son of Atreusand the Achaeans shouted in
applause.

BOOK IV

Now the gods were sitting with Jove in council upon the golden
floor while Hebe went round pouring out nectar for them to drink
and as they pledged one another in their cups of gold they looked
down upon the town of Troy. The son of Saturn then began to tease
Junotalking at her so as to provoke her. "Menelaus said he,
has two good friends among the goddessesJuno of Argosand
Minerva of Alalcomenebut they only sit still and look onwhile
Venus keeps ever by Alexandrus' side to defend him in any danger;
indeed she has just rescued him when he made sure that it was all
over with him--for the victory really did lie with Menelaus. We


must consider what we shall do about all this; shall we set them
fighting anew or make peace between them? If you will agree to
this last Menelaus can take back Helen and the city of Priam may
remain still inhabited."

Minerva and Juno muttered their discontent as they sat side by
side hatching mischief for the Trojans. Minerva scowled at her
fatherfor she was in a furious passion with himand said
nothingbut Juno could not contain herself. "Dread son of
Saturn said she, whatprayis the meaning of all this? Is my
troublethento go for nothingand the sweat that I have
sweatedto say nothing of my horseswhile getting the people
together against Priam and his children? Do as you willbut we
other gods shall not all of us approve your counsel."

Jove was angry and answeredMy dear, what harm have Priam and
his sons done you that you are so hotly bent on sacking the city
of Ilius? Will nothing do for you but you must within their walls
and eat Priam raw, with his sons and all the other Trojans to
boot? Have it your own way then; for I would not have this matter
become a bone of contention between us. I say further, and lay my
saying to your heart, if ever I want to sack a city belonging to
friends of yours, you must not try to stop me; you will have to
let me do it, for I am giving in to you sorely against my will.
Of all inhabited cities under the sun and stars of heaven, there
was none that I so much respected as Ilius with Priam and his
whole people. Equitable feasts were never wanting about my altar,
nor the savour of burning fat, which is honour due to ourselves.

My own three favourite cities,answered Junoare Argos,
Sparta, and Mycenae. Sack them whenever you may be displeased
with them. I shall not defend them and I shall not care. Even if
I did, and tried to stay you, I should take nothing by it, for
you are much stronger than I am, but I will not have my own work
wasted. I too am a god and of the same race with yourself. I am
Saturn's eldest daughter, and am honourable not on this ground
only, but also because I am your wife, and you are king over the
gods. Let it be a case, then, of give-and-take between us, and
the rest of the gods will follow our lead. Tell Minerva to go and
take part in the fight at once, and let her contrive that the
Trojans shall be the first to break their oaths and set upon the
Achaeans.

The sire of gods and men heeded her wordsand said to Minerva
Go at once into the Trojan and Achaean hosts, and contrive that
the Trojans shall be the first to break their oaths and set upon
the Achaeans.

This was what Minerva was already eager to doso down she darted
from the topmost summits of Olympus. She shot through the sky as
some brilliant meteor which the son of scheming Saturn has sent
as a sign to mariners or to some great armyand a fiery train of
light follows in its wake. The Trojans and Achaeans were struck
with awe as they beheldand one would turn to his neighbour
sayingEither we shall again have war and din of combat, or
Jove the lord of battle will now make peace between us.

Thus did they converse. Then Minerva took the form of Laodocus
son of Antenorand went through the ranks of the Trojans to find
Pandarusthe redoubtable son of Lycaon. She found him standing
among the stalwart heroes who had followed him from the banks of
the Aesopusso she went close up to him and saidBrave son of
Lycaon, will you do as I tell you? If you dare send an arrow at
Menelaus you will win honour and thanks from all the Trojans, and


especially from prince Alexandrus--he would be the first to
requite you very handsomely if he could see Menelaus mount his
funeral pyre, slain by an arrow from your hand. Take your home
aim then, and pray to Lycian Apollo, the famous archer; vow that
when you get home to your strong city of Zelea you will offer a
hecatomb of firstling lambs in his honour.

His fool's heart was persuadedand he took his bow from its
case. This bow was made from the horns of a wild ibex which he
had killed as it was bounding from a rock; he had stalked itand
it had fallen as the arrow struck it to the heart. Its horns were
sixteen palms longand a worker in horn had made them into a
bowsmoothing them well downand giving them tips of gold. When
Pandarus had strung his bow he laid it carefully on the ground
and his brave followers held their shields before him lest the
Achaeans should set upon him before he had shot Menelaus. Then he
opened the lid of his quiver and took out a winged arrow that had
not yet been shotfraught with the pangs of death. He laid the
arrow on the string and prayed to Lycian Apollothe famous
archervowing that when he got home to his strong city of Zelea
he would offer a hecatomb of firstling lambs in his honour. He
laid the notch of the arrow on the oxhide bowstringand drew
both notch and string to his breast till the arrow-head was near
the bow; then when the bow was arched into a half-circle he let
flyand the bow twangedand the string sang as the arrow flew
gladly on over the heads of the throng.

But the blessed gods did not forget theeO Menelausand Jove's
daughterdriver of the spoilwas the first to stand before thee
and ward off the piercing arrow. She turned it from his skin as a
mother whisks a fly from off her child when it is sleeping
sweetly; she guided it to the part where the golden buckles of
the belt that passed over his double cuirass were fastenedso
the arrow struck the belt that went tightly round him. It went
right through this and through the cuirass of cunning
workmanship; it also pierced the belt beneath itwhich he wore
next his skin to keep out darts or arrows; it was this that
served him in the best steadnevertheless the arrow went through
it and grazed the top of the skinso that blood began flowing
from the wound.

As when some woman of Meonia or Caria strains purple dye on to a
piece of ivory that is to be the cheek-piece of a horseand is
to be laid up in a treasure house--many a knight is fain to bear
itbut the king keeps it as an ornament of which both horse and
driver may be proud--even soO Menelauswere your shapely
thighs and your legs down to your fair ancles stained with blood.

When King Agamemnon saw the blood flowing from the wound he was
afraidand so was brave Menelaus himself till he saw that the
barbs of the arrow and the thread that bound the arrow-head to
the shaft were still outside the wound. Then he took heartbut
Agamemnon heaved a deep sigh as he held Menelaus's hand in his
ownand his comrades made moan in concert. "Dear brother he
cried, I have been the death of you in pledging this covenant
and letting you come forward as our champion. The Trojans have
trampled on their oaths and have wounded you; nevertheless the
oaththe blood of lambsthe drink-offerings and the right hands
of fellowship in which we have put our trust shall not be vain.
If he that rules Olympus fulfil it not here and nowhe will yet
fulfil it hereafterand they shall pay dearly with their lives
and with their wives and children. The day will surely come when
mighty Ilius shall be laid lowwith Priam and Priam's people
when the son of Saturn from his high throne shall overshadow them


with his awful aegis in punishment of their present treachery.
This shall surely be; but howMenelausshall I mourn youif it
be your lot now to die? I should return to Argos as a by-word
for the Achaeans will at once go home. We shall leave Priam and
the Trojans the glory of still keeping Helenand the earth will
rot your bones as you lie here at Troy with your purpose not
fulfilled. Then shall some braggart Trojan leap upon your tomb
and say'Ever thus may Agamemnon wreak his vengeance; he brought
his army in vain; he is gone home to his own land with empty
shipsand has left Menelaus behind him.' Thus will one of them
sayand may the earth then swallow me."

But Menelaus reassured him and saidTake heart, and do not
alarm the people; the arrow has not struck me in a mortal part,
for my outer belt of burnished metal first stayed it, and under
this my cuirass and the belt of mail which the bronze-smiths made
me.

And Agamemnon answeredI trust, dear Menelaus, that it may be
even so, but the surgeon shall examine your wound and lay herbs
upon it to relieve your pain.

He then said to TalthybiusTalthybius, tell Machaon, son to the
great physician, Aesculapius, to come and see Menelaus
immediately. Some Trojan or Lycian archer has wounded him with an
arrow to our dismay, and to his own great glory.

Talthybius did as he was toldand went about the host trying to
find Machaon. Presently he found standing amid the brave warriors
who had followed him from Tricca; thereon he went up to him and
saidSon of Aesculapius, King Agamemnon says you are to come
and see Menelaus immediately. Some Trojan or Lycian archer has
wounded him with an arrow to our dismay and to his own great
glory.

Thus did he speakand Machaon was moved to go. They passed
through the spreading host of the Achaeans and went on till they
came to the place where Menelaus had been wounded and was lying
with the chieftains gathered in a circle round him. Machaon
passed into the middle of the ring and at once drew the arrow
from the beltbending its barbs back through the force with
which he pulled it out. He undid the burnished beltand beneath
this the cuirass and the belt of mail which the bronze-smiths had
made; thenwhen he had seen the woundhe wiped away the blood
and applied some soothing drugs which Chiron had given to
Aesculapius out of the good will he bore him.

While they were thus busy about Menelausthe Trojans came
forward against themfor they had put on their armourand now
renewed the fight.

You would not have then found Agamemnon asleep nor cowardly and
unwilling to fightbut eager rather for the fray. He left his
chariot rich with bronze and his panting steeds in charge of
Eurymedonson of Ptolemaeus the son of Peiraeusand bade him
hold them in readiness against the time his limbs should weary of
going about and giving orders to so manyfor he went among the
ranks on foot. When he saw men hasting to the front he stood by
them and cheered them on. "Argives said he, slacken not one
whit in your onset; father Jove will be no helper of liars; the
Trojans have been the first to break their oaths and to attack
us; therefore they shall be devoured of vultures; we shall take
their city and carry off their wives and children in our ships."


But he angrily rebuked those whom he saw shirking and disinclined
to fight. "Argives he cried, cowardly miserable creatures
have you no shame to stand here like frightened fawns whowhen
they can no longer scud over the plainhuddle togetherbut show
no fight? You are as dazed and spiritless as deer. Would you wait
till the Trojans reach the sterns of our ships as they lie on the
shoreto see whether the son of Saturn will hold his hand over
you to protect you?"

Thus did he go about giving his orders among the ranks. Passing
through the crowdhe came presently on the Cretansarming round
Idomeneuswho was at their headfierce as a wild boarwhile
Meriones was bringing up the battalions that were in the rear.
Agamemnon was glad when he saw himand spoke him fairly.
Idomeneus,said heI treat you with greater distinction than
I do any others of the Achaeans, whether in war or in other
things, or at table. When the princes are mixing my choicest
wines in the mixing-bowls, they have each of them a fixed
allowance, but your cup is kept always full like my own, that you
may drink whenever you are minded. Go, therefore, into battle,
and show yourself the man you have been always proud to be.

Idomeneus answeredI will be a trusty comrade, as I promised
you from the first I would be. Urge on the other Achaeans, that
we may join battle at once, for the Trojans have trampled upon
their covenants. Death and destruction shall be theirs, seeing
they have been the first to break their oaths and to attack us.

The son of Atreus went onglad at hearttill he came upon the
two Ajaxes arming themselves amid a host of foot-soldiers. As
when a goat-herd from some high post watches a storm drive over
the deep before the west wind--black as pitch is the offing and a
mighty whirlwind draws towards himso that he is afraid and
drives his flock into a cave--even thus did the ranks of stalwart
youths move in a dark mass to battle under the Ajaxeshorrid
with shield and spear. Glad was King Agamemnon when he saw them.
No need,he criedto give orders to such leaders of the
Argives as you are, for of your own selves you spur your men on
to fight with might and main. Would, by father Jove, Minerva, and
Apollo that all were so minded as you are, for the city of Priam
would then soon fall beneath our hands, and we should sack it.

With this he left them and went onward to Nestorthe facile
speaker of the Pylianswho was marshalling his men and urging
them onin company with PelagonAlastorChromiusHaemonand
Bias shepherd of his people. He placed his knights with their
chariots and horses in the front rankwhile the foot-soldiers
brave men and manywhom he could trustwere in the rear. The
cowards he drove into the middlethat they might fight whether
they would or no. He gave his orders to the knights first
bidding them hold their horses well in handso as to avoid
confusion. "Let no man he said, relying on his strength or
horsemanshipget before the others and engage singly with the
Trojansnor yet let him lag behind or you will weaken your
attack; but let each when he meets an enemy's chariot throw his
spear from his own; this be much the best; this is how the men of
old took towns and strongholds; in this wise were they minded."

Thus did the old man charge themfor he had been in many a
fightand King Agamemnon was glad. "I wish he said to him,
that your limbs were as supple and your strength as sure as your
judgment is; but agethe common enemy of mankindhas laid his
hand upon you; would that it had fallen upon some otherand that
you were still young."


And Nestorknight of GereneansweredSon of Atreus, I too
would gladly be the man I was when I slew mighty Ereuthalion; but
the gods will not give us everything at one and the same time. I
was then young, and now I am old; still I can go with my knights
and give them that counsel which old men have a right to give.
The wielding of the spear I leave to those who are younger and
stronger than myself.

Agamemnon went his way rejoicingand presently found Menestheus
son of Peteostarrying in his placeand with him were the
Athenians loud of tongue in battle. Near him also tarried cunning
Ulysseswith his sturdy Cephallenians round him; they had not
yet heard the battle-cryfor the ranks of Trojans and Achaeans
had only just begun to moveso they were standing stillwaiting
for some other columns of the Achaeans to attack the Trojans and
begin the fighting. When he saw this Agamemnon rebuked them and
saidSon of Peteos, and you other, steeped in cunning, heart of
guile, why stand you here cowering and waiting on others? You two
should be of all men foremost when there is hard fighting to be
done, for you are ever foremost to accept my invitation when we
councillors of the Achaeans are holding feast. You are glad
enough then to take your fill of roast meats and to drink wine as
long as you please, whereas now you would not care though you saw
ten columns of Achaeans engage the enemy in front of you.

Ulysses glared at him and answeredSon of Atreus, what are you
talking about? How can you say that we are slack? When the
Achaeans are in full fight with the Trojans, you shall see, if
you care to do so, that the father of Telemachus will join battle
with the foremost of them. You are talking idly.

When Agamemnon saw that Ulysses was angryhe smiled pleasantly
at him and withdrew his words. "Ulysses said he, noble son of
Laertesexcellent in all good counselI have neither fault to
find nor orders to give youfor I know your heart is rightand
that you and I are of a mind. Enough; I will make you amends for
what I have saidand if any ill has now been spoken may the gods
bring it to nothing."

He then left them and went on to others. Presently he saw the son
of Tydeusnoble Diomedstanding by his chariot and horseswith
Sthenelus the son of Capaneus beside him; whereon he began to
upbraid him. "Son of Tydeus he said, why stand you cowering
here upon the brink of battle? Tydeus did not shrink thusbut
was ever ahead of his men when leading them on against the foe-so
at leastsay they that saw him in battlefor I never set
eyes upon him myself. They say that there was no man like him. He
came once to Mycenaenot as an enemy but as a guestin company
with Polynices to recruit his forcesfor they were levying war
against the strong city of Thebesand prayed our people for a
body of picked men to help them. The men of Mycenae were willing
to let them have onebut Jove dissuaded them by showing them
unfavourable omens. Tydeusthereforeand Polynices went their
way. When they had got as far the deep-meadowed and rush-grown
banks of the Aesopusthe Achaeans sent Tydeus as their envoy
and he found the Cadmeans gathered in great numbers to a banquet
in the house of Eteocles. Stranger though he washe knew no fear
on finding himself single-handed among so manybut challenged
them to contests of all kindsand in each one of them was at
once victoriousso mightily did Minerva help him. The Cadmeans
were incensed at his successand set a force of fifty youths
with two captains--the godlike hero Maeonson of Haemonand
Polyphontesson of Autophonus--at their headto lie in wait for


him on his return journey; but Tydeus slew every man of them
save only Maeonwhom he let go in obedience to heaven's omens.
Such was Tydeus of Aetolia. His son can talk more gliblybut he
cannot fight as his father did."

Diomed made no answerfor he was shamed by the rebuke of
Agamemnon; but the son of Capaneus took up his words and said
Son of Atreus, tell no lies, for you can speak truth if you
will. We boast ourselves as even better men than our fathers; we
took seven-gated Thebes, though the wall was stronger and our men
were fewer in number, for we trusted in the omens of the gods and
in the help of Jove, whereas they perished through their own
sheer folly; hold not, then, our fathers in like honour with us.

Diomed looked sternly at him and saidHold your peace, my
friend, as I bid you. It is not amiss that Agamemnon should urge
the Achaeans forward, for the glory will be his if we take the
city, and his the shame if we are vanquished. Therefore let us
acquit ourselves with valour.

As he spoke he sprang from his chariotand his armour rang so
fiercely about his body that even a brave man might well have
been scared to hear it.

As when some mighty wave that thunders on the beach when the west
wind has lashed it into fury--it has reared its head afar and now
comes crashing down on the shore; it bows its arching crest high
over the jagged rocks and spews its salt foam in all
directions--even so did the serried phalanxes of the Danaans
march steadfastly to battle. The chiefs gave orders each to his
own peoplebut the men said never a word; no man would think it
for huge as the host wasit seemed as though there was not a
tongue among themso silent were they in their obedience; and as
they marched the armour about their bodies glistened in the sun.
But the clamour of the Trojan ranks was as that of many thousand
ewes that stand waiting to be milked in the yards of some rich
flockmasterand bleat incessantly in answer to the bleating of
their lambs; for they had not one speech nor languagebut their
tongues were diverseand they came from many different places.
These were inspired of Marsbut the others by Minerva--and with
them came PanicRoutand Strife whose fury never tiressister
and friend of murderous Marswhofrom being at first but low in
staturegrows till she uprears her head to heaventhough her
feet are still on earth. She it was that went about among them
and flung down discord to the waxing of sorrow with even hand
between them.

When they were got together in one place shield clashed with
shield and spear with spear in the rage of battle. The bossed
shields beat one upon anotherand there was a tramp as of a
great multitude--death-cry and shout of triumph of slain and
slayersand the earth ran red with blood. As torrents swollen
with rain course madly down their deep channels till the angry
floods meet in some gorgeand the shepherd on the hillside hears
their roaring from afar--even such was the toil and uproar of the
hosts as they joined in battle.

First Antilochus slew an armed warrior of the TrojansEchepolus
son of Thalysiusfighting in the foremost ranks. He struck at
the projecting part of his helmet and drove the spear into his
brow; the point of bronze pierced the boneand darkness veiled
his eyes; headlong as a tower he fell amid the press of the
fightand as he dropped King Elephenorson of Chalcodon and
captain of the proud Abantes began dragging him out of reach of


the darts that were falling around himin haste to strip him of
his armour. But his purpose was not for long; Agenor saw him
haling the body awayand smote him in the side with his
bronze-shod spear--for as he stooped his side was left
unprotected by his shield--and thus he perished. Then the fight
between Trojans and Achaeans grew furious over his bodyand they
flew upon each other like wolvesman and man crushing one upon
the other.

Forthwith Ajaxson of Telamonslew the fair youth Simoeisius
son of Anthemionwhom his mother bore by the banks of the
Simoisas she was coming down from Mt. Idawhere she had been
with her parents to see their flocks. Therefore he was named
Simoeisiusbut he did not live to pay his parents for his
rearingfor he was cut off untimely by the spear of mighty Ajax
who struck him in the breast by the right nipple as he was coming
on among the foremost fighters; the spear went right through his
shoulderand he fell as a poplar that has grown straight and
tall in a meadow by some mereand its top is thick with
branches. Then the wheelwright lays his axe to its roots that he
may fashion a felloe for the wheel of some goodly chariotand it
lies seasoning by the waterside. In such wise did Ajax fell to
earth Simoeisiusson of Anthemion. Thereon Antiphus of the
gleaming corsletson of Priamhurled a spear at Ajax from amid
the crowd and missed himbut he hit Leucusthe brave comrade of
Ulyssesin the groinas he was dragging the body of Simoeisius
over to the other side; so he fell upon the body and loosed his
hold upon it. Ulysses was furious when he saw Leucus slainand
strode in full armour through the front ranks till he was quite
close; then he glared round about him and took aimand the
Trojans fell back as he did so. His dart was not sped in vain
for it struck Democoonthe bastard son of Priamwho had come to
him from Abydoswhere he had charge of his father's mares.
Ulyssesinfuriated by the death of his comradehit him with his
spear on one templeand the bronze point came through on the
other side of his forehead. Thereon darkness veiled his eyesand
his armour rang rattling round him as he fell heavily to the
ground. Hectorand they that were in frontthen gave round
while the Argives raised a shout and drew off the deadpressing
further forward as they did so. But Apollo looked down from
Pergamus and called aloud to the Trojansfor he was displeased.
Trojans,he criedrush on the foe, and do not let yourselves
be thus beaten by the Argives. Their skins are not stone nor iron
that when hit them you do them no harm. Moreover, Achilles, the
son of lovely Thetis, is not fighting, but is nursing his anger
at the ships.

Thus spoke the mighty godcrying to them from the citywhile
Jove's redoubtable daughterthe Trito-bornwent about among the
host of the Achaeansand urged them forward whenever she beheld
them slackening.

Then fate fell upon Dioresson of Amarynceusfor he was struck
by a jagged stone near the ancle of his right leg. He that hurled
it was Peirousson of Imbrasuscaptain of the Thracianswho
had come from Aenus; the bones and both the tendons were crushed
by the pitiless stone. He fell to the ground on his backand in
his death throes stretched out his hands towards his comrades.
But Peirouswho had wounded himsprang on him and thrust a
spear into his bellyso that his bowels came gushing out upon
the groundand darkness veiled his eyes. As he was leaving the
bodyThoas of Aetolia struck him in the chest near the nipple
and the point fixed itself in his lungs. Thoas came close up to
himpulled the spear out of his chestand then drawing his


swordsmote him in the middle of the belly so that he died; but
he did not strip him of his armourfor his Thracian comrades
men who wear their hair in a tuft at the top of their heads
stood round the body and kept him off with their long spears for
all his great stature and valour; so he was driven back. Thus the
two corpses lay stretched on earth near to one anotherthe one
captain of the Thracians and the other of the Epeans; and many
another fell round them.

And now no man would have made light of the fighting if he could
have gone about among it scatheless and unwoundedwith Minerva
leading him by the handand protecting him from the storm of
spears and arrows. For many Trojans and Achaeans on that day lay
stretched side by side face downwards upon the earth.

BOOK V

Then Pallas Minerva put valour into the heart of Diomedson of
Tydeusthat he might excel all the other Argivesand cover
himself with glory. She made a stream of fire flare from his
shield and helmet like the star that shines most brilliantly in
summer after its bath in the waters of Oceanus--even such a fire
did she kindle upon his head and shoulders as she bade him speed
into the thickest hurly-burly of the fight.

Now there was a certain rich and honourable man among the
Trojanspriest of Vulcanand his name was Dares. He had two
sonsPhegeus and Idaeusboth of them skilled in all the arts of
war. These two came forward from the main body of Trojansand
set upon Diomedhe being on footwhile they fought from their
chariot. When they were close up to one anotherPhegeus took aim
firstbut his spear went over Diomed's left shoulder without
hitting him. Diomed then threwand his spear sped not in vain
for it hit Phegeus on the breast near the nippleand he fell
from his chariot. Idaeus did not dare to bestride his brother's
bodybut sprang from the chariot and took to flightor he would
have shared his brother's fate; whereon Vulcan saved him by
wrapping him in a cloud of darknessthat his old father might
not be utterly overwhelmed with grief; but the son of Tydeus
drove off with the horsesand bade his followers take them to
the ships. The Trojans were scared when they saw the two sons of
Daresone of them in fright and the other lying dead by his
chariot. Minervathereforetook Mars by the hand and said
Mars, Mars, bane of men, bloodstained stormer of cities, may we
not now leave the Trojans and Achaeans to fight it out, and see
to which of the two Jove will vouchsafe the victory? Let us go
away, and thus avoid his anger.

So sayingshe drew Mars out of the battleand set him down upon
the steep banks of the Scamander. Upon this the Danaans drove the
Trojans backand each one of their chieftains killed his man.
First King Agamemnon flung mighty Odiuscaptain of the Halizoni
from his chariot. The spear of Agamemnon caught him on the broad
of his backjust as he was turning in flight; it struck him
between the shoulders and went right through his chestand his
armour rang rattling round him as he fell heavily to the ground.

Then Idomeneus killed Phaesusson of Borus the Meonianwho had
come from Varne. Mighty Idomeneus speared him on the right
shoulder as he was mounting his chariotand the darkness of
death enshrouded him as he fell heavily from the car.


The squires of Idomeneus spoiled him of his armourwhile
Menelausson of Atreuskilled Scamandrius the son of Strophius
a mighty huntsman and keen lover of the chase. Diana herself had
taught him how to kill every kind of wild creature that is bred
in mountain forestsbut neither she nor his famed skill in
archery could now save himfor the spear of Menelaus struck him
in the back as he was flying; it struck him between the shoulders
and went right through his chestso that he fell headlong and
his armour rang rattling round him.

Meriones then killed Phereclus the son of Tectonwho was the son
of Hermona man whose hand was skilled in all manner of cunning
workmanshipfor Pallas Minerva had dearly loved him. He it was
that made the ships for Alexandruswhich were the beginning of
all mischiefand brought evil alike both on the Trojans and on
Alexandrus himself; for he heeded not the decrees of heaven.
Meriones overtook him as he was flyingand struck him on the
right buttock. The point of the spear went through the bone into
the bladderand death came upon him as he cried aloud and fell
forward on his knees.

Megesmoreoverslew Pedaeusson of Antenorwhothough he was
a bastardhad been brought up by Theano as one of her own
childrenfor the love she bore her husband. The son of Phyleus
got close up to him and drove a spear into the nape of his neck:
it went under his tongue all among his teethso he bit the cold
bronzeand fell dead in the dust.

And Eurypylusson of Euaemonkilled Hypsenorthe son of noble
Dolopionwho had been made priest of the river Scamanderand
was honoured among the people as though he were a god. Eurypylus
gave him chase as he was flying before himsmote him with his
sword upon the armand lopped his strong hand from off it. The
bloody hand fell to the groundand the shades of deathwith
fate that no man can withstandcame over his eyes.

Thus furiously did the battle rage between them. As for the son
of Tydeusyou could not say whether he was more among the
Achaeans or the Trojans. He rushed across the plain like a winter
torrent that has burst its barrier in full flood; no dykesno
walls of fruitful vineyards can embank it when it is swollen with
rain from heavenbut in a moment it comes tearing onwardand
lays many a field waste that many a strong man's hand has
reclaimed--even so were the dense phalanxes of the Trojans driven
in rout by the son of Tydeusand many though they werethey
dared not abide his onslaught.

Now when the son of Lycaon saw him scouring the plain and driving
the Trojans pell-mell before himhe aimed an arrow and hit the
front part of his cuirass near the shoulder: the arrow went right
through the metal and pierced the fleshso that the cuirass was
covered with blood. On this the son of Lycaon shouted in triumph
Knights Trojans, come on; the bravest of the Achaeans is
wounded, and he will not hold out much longer if King Apollo was
indeed with me when I sped from Lycia hither.

Thus did he vaunt; but his arrow had not killed Diomedwho
withdrew and made for the chariot and horses of Sthenelusthe
son of Capaneus. "Dear son of Capaneus said he, come down from
your chariotand draw the arrow out of my shoulder."

Sthenelus sprang from his chariotand drew the arrow from the
woundwhereon the blood came spouting out through the hole that
had been made in his shirt. Then Diomed prayedsayingHear me,


daughter of aegis-bearing Jove, unweariable, if ever you loved my
father well and stood by him in the thick of a fight, do the like
now by me; grant me to come within a spear's throw of that man
and kill him. He has been too quick for me and has wounded me;
and now he is boasting that I shall not see the light of the sun
much longer.

Thus he prayedand Pallas Minerva heard him; she made his limbs
supple and quickened his hands and his feet. Then she went up
close to him and saidFear not, Diomed, to do battle with the
Trojans, for I have set in your heart the spirit of your knightly
father Tydeus. Moreover, I have withdrawn the veil from your
eyes, that you know gods and men apart. If, then, any other god
comes here and offers you battle, do not fight him; but should
Jove's daughter Venus come, strike her with your spear and wound
her.

When she had said this Minerva went awayand the son of Tydeus
again took his place among the foremost fightersthree times
more fierce even than he had been before. He was like a lion that
some mountain shepherd has woundedbut not killedas he is
springing over the wall of a sheep-yard to attack the sheep. The
shepherd has roused the brute to fury but cannot defend his
flockso he takes shelter under cover of the buildingswhile
the sheeppanic-stricken on being desertedare smothered in
heaps one on top of the otherand the angry lion leaps out over
the sheep-yard wall. Even thus did Diomed go furiously about
among the Trojans.

He killed Astynousand Hypeiron shepherd of his peoplethe one
with a thrust of his spearwhich struck him above the nipple
the other with a sword-cut on the collar-bonethat severed his
shoulder from his neck and back. He let both of them lieand
went in pursuit of Abas and Polyidussons of the old reader of
dreams Eurydamas: they never came back for him to read them any
more dreamsfor mighty Diomed made an end of them. He then gave
chase to Xanthus and Thoonthe two sons of Phaenopsboth of
them very dear to himfor he was now worn out with ageand
begat no more sons to inherit his possessions. But Diomed took
both their lives and left their father sorrowing bitterlyfor he
nevermore saw them come home from battle aliveand his kinsmen
divided his wealth among themselves.

Then he came upon two sons of PriamEchemmon and Chromiusas
they were both in one chariot. He sprang upon them as a lion
fastens on the neck of some cow or heifer when the herd is
feeding in a coppice. For all their vain struggles he flung them
both from their chariot and stripped the armour from their
bodies. Then he gave their horses to his comrades to take them
back to the ships.

When Aeneas saw him thus making havoc among the rankshe went
through the fight amid the rain of spears to see if he could find
Pandarus. When he had found the brave son of Lycaon he said
Pandarus, where is now your bow, your winged arrows, and your
renown as an archer, in respect of which no man here can rival
you nor is there any in Lycia that can beat you? Lift then your
hands to Jove and send an arrow at this fellow who is going so
masterfully about, and has done such deadly work among the
Trojans. He has killed many a brave man--unless indeed he is some
god who is angry with the Trojans about their sacrifices, and and
has set his hand against them in his displeasure.

And the son of Lycaon answeredAeneas, I take him for none


other than the son of Tydeus. I know him by his shield, the visor
of his helmet, and by his horses. It is possible that he may be a
god, but if he is the man I say he is, he is not making all this
havoc without heaven's help, but has some god by his side who is
shrouded in a cloud of darkness, and who turned my arrow aside
when it had hit him. I have taken aim at him already and hit him
on the right shoulder; my arrow went through the breastpiece of
his cuirass; and I made sure I should send him hurrying to the
world below, but it seems that I have not killed him. There must
be a god who is angry with me. Moreover I have neither horse nor
chariot. In my father's stables there are eleven excellent
chariots, fresh from the builder, quite new, with cloths spread
over them; and by each of them there stand a pair of horses,
champing barley and rye; my old father Lycaon urged me again and
again when I was at home and on the point of starting, to take
chariots and horses with me that I might lead the Trojans in
battle, but I would not listen to him; it would have been much
better if I had done so, but I was thinking about the horses,
which had been used to eat their fill, and I was afraid that in
such a great gathering of men they might be ill-fed, so I left
them at home and came on foot to Ilius armed only with my bow and
arrows. These it seems, are of no use, for I have already hit two
chieftains, the sons of Atreus and of Tydeus, and though I drew
blood surely enough, I have only made them still more furious. I
did ill to take my bow down from its peg on the day I led my band
of Trojans to Ilius in Hector's service, and if ever I get home
again to set eyes on my native place, my wife, and the greatness
of my house, may some one cut my head off then and there if I do
not break the bow and set it on a hot fire--such pranks as it
plays me.

Aeneas answeredSay no more. Things will not mend till we two
go against this man with chariot and horses and bring him to a
trial of arms. Mount my chariot, and note how cleverly the horses
of Tros can speed hither and thither over the plain in pursuit or
flight. If Jove again vouchsafes glory to the son of Tydeus they
will carry us safely back to the city. Take hold, then, of the
whip and reins while I stand upon the car to fight, or else do
you wait this man's onset while I look after the horses.

Aeneas,replied the son of Lycaontake the reins and drive;
if we have to fly before the son of Tydeus the horses will go
better for their own driver. If they miss the sound of your voice
when they expect it they may be frightened, and refuse to take us
out of the fight. The son of Tydeus will then kill both of us and
take the horses. Therefore drive them yourself and I will be
ready for him with my spear.

They then mounted the chariot and drove full-speed towards the
son of Tydeus. Sthenelusson of Capaneussaw them coming and
said to DiomedDiomed, son of Tydeus, man after my own heart, I
see two heroes speeding towards you, both of them men of might
the one a skilful archer, Pandarus son of Lycaon, the other,
Aeneas, whose sire is Anchises, while his mother is Venus. Mount
the chariot and let us retreat. Do not, I pray you, press so
furiously forward, or you may get killed.

Diomed looked angrily at him and answered: "Talk not of flight
for I shall not listen to you: I am of a race that knows neither
flight nor fearand my limbs are as yet unwearied. I am in no
mind to mountbut will go against them even as I am; Pallas
Minerva bids me be afraid of no manand even though one of them
escapetheir steeds shall not take both back again. I say
furtherand lay my saying to your heart--if Minerva sees fit to


vouchsafe me the glory of killing bothstay your horses here and
make the reins fast to the rim of the chariot; then be sure you
spring Aeneas' horses and drive them from the Trojan to the
Achaean ranks. They are of the stock that great Jove gave to Tros
in payment for his son Ganymedeand are the finest that live and
move under the sun. King Anchises stole the blood by putting his
mares to them without Laomedon's knowledgeand they bore him six
foals. Four are still in his stablesbut he gave the other two
to Aeneas. We shall win great glory if we can take them."

Thus did they conversebut the other two had now driven close up
to themand the son of Lycaon spoke first. "Great and mighty
son said he, of noble Tydeusmy arrow failed to lay you low
so I will now try with my spear."

He poised his spear as he spoke and hurled it from him. It struck
the shield of the son of Tydeus; the bronze point pierced it and
passed on till it reached the breastplate. Thereon the son of
Lycaon shouted out and saidYou are hit clean through the
belly; you will not stand out for long, and the glory of the
fight is mine.

But Diomed all undismayed made answerYou have missed, not hit,
and before you two see the end of this matter one or other of you
shall glut tough-shielded Mars with his blood.

With this he hurled his spearand Minerva guided it on to
Pandarus's nose near the eye. It went crashing in among his white
teeth; the bronze point cut through the root of his tongue
coming out under his chinand his glistening armour rang
rattling round him as he fell heavily to the ground. The horses
started aside for fearand he was reft of life and strength.

Aeneas sprang from his chariot armed with shield and spear
fearing lest the Achaeans should carry off the body. He bestrode
it as a lion in the pride of strengthwith shield and spear
before him and a cry of battle on his lips resolute to kill the
first that should dare face him. But the son of Tydeus caught up
a mighty stoneso huge and great that as men now are it would
take two to lift it; nevertheless he bore it aloft with ease
unaidedand with this he struck Aeneas on the groin where the
hip turns in the joint that is called the "cup-bone." The stone
crushed this jointand broke both the sinewswhile its jagged
edges tore away all the flesh. The hero fell on his kneesand
propped himself with his hand resting on the ground till the
darkness of night fell upon his eyes. And now Aeneasking of
menwould have perished then and therehad not his mother
Jove's daughter Venuswho had conceived him by Anchises when he
was herding cattlebeen quick to markand thrown her two white
arms about the body of her dear son. She protected him by
covering him with a fold of her own fair garmentlest some
Danaan should drive a spear into his breast and kill him.

Thusthendid she bear her dear son out of the fight. But the
son of Capaneus was not unmindful of the orders that Diomed had
given him. He made his own horses fastaway from the
hurly-burlyby binding the reins to the rim of the chariot. Then
he sprang upon Aeneas's horses and drove them from the Trojan to
the Achaean ranks. When he had so done he gave them over to his
chosen comrade Deipyluswhom he valued above all others as the
one who was most like-minded with himselfto take them on to the
ships. He then remounted his own chariotseized the reinsand
drove with all speed in search of the son of Tydeus.


Now the son of Tydeus was in pursuit of the Cyprian goddess
spear in handfor he knew her to be feeble and not one of those
goddesses that can lord it among men in battle like Minerva or
Enyo the waster of citiesand when at last after a long chase he
caught her uphe flew at her and thrust his spear into the flesh
of her delicate hand. The point tore through the ambrosial robe
which the Graces had woven for herand pierced the skin between
her wrist and the palm of her handso that the immortal blood
or ichorthat flows in the veins of the blessed godscame
pouring from the wound; for the gods do not eat bread nor drink
winehence they have no blood such as oursand are immortal.
Venus screamed aloudand let her son fallbut Phoebus Apollo
caught him in his armsand hid him in a cloud of darknesslest
some Danaan should drive a spear into his breast and kill him;
and Diomed shouted out as he left herDaughter of Jove, leave
war and battle alone, can you not be contented with beguiling
silly women? If you meddle with fighting you will get what will
make you shudder at the very name of war.

The goddess went dazed and discomfited awayand Irisfleet as
the winddrew her from the throngin pain and with her fair
skin all besmirched. She found fierce Mars waiting on the left of
the battlewith his spear and his two fleet steeds resting on a
cloud; whereon she fell on her knees before her brother and
implored him to let her have his horses. "Dear brother she
cried, save meand give me your horses to take me to Olympus
where the gods dwell. I am badly wounded by a mortalthe son of
Tydeuswho would now fight even with father Jove."

Thus she spokeand Mars gave her his gold-bedizened steeds. She
mounted the chariot sick and sorry at heartwhile Iris sat
beside her and took the reins in her hand. She lashed her horses
on and they flew forward nothing lothtill in a trice they were
at high Olympuswhere the gods have their dwelling. There she
stayed themunloosed them from the chariotand gave them their
ambrosial forage; but Venus flung herself on to the lap of her
mother Dionewho threw her arms about her and caressed her
sayingWhich of the heavenly beings has been treating you in
this way, as though you had been doing something wrong in the
face of day?

And laughter-loving Venus answeredProud Diomed, the son of
Tydeus, wounded me because I was bearing my dear son Aeneas, whom
I love best of all mankind, out of the fight. The war is no
longer one between Trojans and Achaeans, for the Danaans have now
taken to fighting with the immortals.

Bear it, my child,replied Dioneand make the best of it. We
dwellers in Olympus have to put up with much at the hands of men,
and we lay much suffering on one another. Mars had to suffer when
Otus and Ephialtes, children of Aloeus, bound him in cruel bonds,
so that he lay thirteen months imprisoned in a vessel of bronze.
Mars would have then perished had not fair Eeriboea, stepmother
to the sons of Aloeus, told Mercury, who stole him away when he
was already well-nigh worn out by the severity of his bondage.
Juno, again, suffered when the mighty son of Amphitryon wounded
her on the right breast with a three-barbed arrow, and nothing
could assuage her pain. So, also, did huge Hades, when this same
man, the son of aegis-bearing Jove, hit him with an arrow even at
the gates of hell, and hurt him badly. Thereon Hades went to the
house of Jove on great Olympus, angry and full of pain; and the
arrow in his brawny shoulder caused him great anguish till Paeeon
healed him by spreading soothing herbs on the wound, for Hades
was not of mortal mould. Daring, head-strong, evildoer who recked


not of his sin in shooting the gods that dwell in Olympus. And
now Minerva has egged this son of Tydeus on against yourself,
fool that he is for not reflecting that no man who fights with
gods will live long or hear his children prattling about his
knees when he returns from battle. Let, then, the son of Tydeus
see that he does not have to fight with one who is stronger than
you are. Then shall his brave wife Aegialeia, daughter of
Adrestus, rouse her whole house from sleep, wailing for the loss
of her wedded lord, Diomed the bravest of the Achaeans.

So sayingshe wiped the ichor from the wrist of her daughter
with both handswhereon the pain left herand her hand was
healed. But Minerva and Junowho were looking onbegan to taunt
Jove with their mocking talkand Minerva was first to speak.
Father Jove,said shedo not be angry with me, but I think
the Cyprian must have been persuading some one of the Achaean
women to go with the Trojans of whom she is so very fond, and
while caressing one or other of them she must have torn her
delicate hand with the gold pin of the woman's brooch.

The sire of gods and men smiledand called golden Venus to his
side. "My child said he, it has not been given you to be a
warrior. Attendhenceforthto your own delightful matrimonial
dutiesand leave all this fighting to Mars and to Minerva."

Thus did they converse. But Diomed sprang upon Aeneasthough he
knew him to be in the very arms of Apollo. Not one whit did he
fear the mighty godso set was he on killing Aeneas and
stripping him of his armour. Thrice did he spring forward with
might and main to slay himand thrice did Apollo beat back his
gleaming shield. When he was coming on for the fourth timeas
though he were a godApollo shouted to him with an awful voice
and saidTake heed, son of Tydeus, and draw off; think not to
match yourself against gods, for men that walk the earth cannot
hold their own with the immortals.

The son of Tydeus then gave way for a little spaceto avoid the
anger of the godwhile Apollo took Aeneas out of the crowd and
set him in sacred Pergamuswhere his temple stood. Therewithin
the mighty sanctuaryLatona and Diana healed him and made him
glorious to beholdwhile Apollo of the silver bow fashioned a
wraith in the likeness of Aeneasand armed as he was. Round this
the Trojans and Achaeans hacked at the bucklers about one
another's breastshewing each other's round shields and light
hide-covered targets. Then Phoebus Apollo said to MarsMars,
Mars, bane of men, blood-stained stormer of cities, can you not
go to this man, the son of Tydeus, who would now fight even with
father Jove, and draw him out of the battle? He first went up to
the Cyprian and wounded her in the hand near her wrist, and
afterwards sprang upon me too, as though he were a god.

He then took his seat on the top of Pergamuswhile murderous
Mars went about among the ranks of the Trojanscheering them on
in the likeness of fleet Acamas chief of the Thracians. "Sons of
Priam said he, how long will you let your people be thus
slaughtered by the Achaeans? Would you wait till they are at the
walls of Troy? Aeneas the son of Anchises has fallenhe whom we
held in as high honour as Hector himself. Help methento
rescue our brave comrade from the stress of the fight."

With these words he put heart and soul into them all. Then
Sarpedon rebuked Hector very sternly. "Hector said he, where
is your prowess now? You used to say that though you had neither
people nor allies you could hold the town alone with your


brothers and brothers-in-law. I see not one of them here; they
cower as hounds before a lion; it is weyour allieswho bear
the brunt of the battle. I have come from afareven from Lycia
and the banks of the river Xanthuswhere I have left my wifemy
infant sonand much wealth to tempt whoever is needy;
neverthelessI head my Lycian soldiers and stand my ground
against any who would fight me though I have nothing here for the
Achaeans to plunderwhile you look onwithout even bidding your
men stand firm in defence of their wives. See that you fall not
into the hands of your foes as men caught in the meshes of a net
and they sack your fair city forthwith. Keep this before your
mind night and dayand beseech the captains of your allies to
hold on without flinchingand thus put away their reproaches
from you."

So spoke Sarpedonand Hector smarted under his words. He sprang
from his chariot clad in his suit of armourand went about among
the host brandishing his two spearsexhorting the men to fight
and raising the terrible cry of battle. Then they rallied and
again faced the Achaeansbut the Argives stood compact and firm
and were not driven back. As the breezes sport with the chaff
upon some goodly threshing-floorwhen men are winnowing--while
yellow Ceres blows with the wind to sift the chaff from the
grainand the chaff-heaps grow whiter and whiter--even so did
the Achaeans whiten in the dust which the horses' hoofs raised to
the firmament of heavenas their drivers turned them back to
battleand they bore down with might upon the foe. Fierce Mars
to help the Trojanscovered them in a veil of darknessand went
about everywhere among theminasmuch as Phoebus Apollo had told
him that when he saw PallasMinerva leave the fray he was to put
courage into the hearts of the Trojans--for it was she who was
helping the Danaans. Then Apollo sent Aeneas forth from his rich
sanctuaryand filled his heart with valourwhereon he took his
place among his comradeswho were overjoyed at seeing him alive
soundand of a good courage; but they could not ask him how it
had all happenedfor they were too busy with the turmoil raised
by Mars and by Strifewho raged insatiably in their midst.

The two AjaxesUlysses and Diomedcheered the Danaans on
fearless of the fury and onset of the Trojans. They stood as
still as clouds which the son of Saturn has spread upon the
mountain tops when there is no air and fierce Boreas sleeps with
the other boisterous winds whose shrill blasts scatter the clouds
in all directions--even so did the Danaans stand firm and
unflinching against the Trojans. The son of Atreus went about
among them and exhorted them. "My friends said he, quit
yourselves like brave menand shun dishonour in one another's
eyes amid the stress of battle. They that shun dishonour more
often live than get killedbut they that fly save neither life
nor name."

As he spoke he hurled his spear and hit one of those who were in
the front rankthe comrade of AeneasDeicoon son of Pergasus
whom the Trojans held in no less honour than the sons of Priam
for he was ever quick to place himself among the foremost. The
spear of King Agamemnon struck his shield and went right through
itfor the shield stayed it not. It drove through his belt into
the lower part of his bellyand his armour rang rattling round
him as he fell heavily to the ground.

Then Aeneas killed two champions of the DanaansCrethon and
Orsilochus. Their father was a rich man who lived in the strong
city of Phere and was descended from the river Alpheuswhose
broad stream flows through the land of the Pylians. The river


begat Orsilochuswho ruled over much people and was father to
Diocleswho in his turn begat twin sonsCrethon and Orsilochus
well skilled in all the arts of war. Thesewhen they grew up
went to Ilius with the Argive fleet in the cause of Menelaus and
Agamemnon sons of Atreusand there they both of them fell. As
two lions whom their dam has reared in the depths of some
mountain forest to plunder homesteads and carry off sheep and
cattle till they get killed by the hand of manso were these two
vanquished by Aeneasand fell like high pine-trees to the
ground.

Brave Menelaus pitied them in their falland made his way to the
frontclad in gleaming bronze and brandishing his spearfor
Mars egged him on to do so with intent that he should be killed
by Aeneas; but Antilochus the son of Nestor saw him and sprang
forwardfearing that the king might come to harm and thus bring
all their labour to nothing; whentherefore Aeneas and Menelaus
were setting their hands and spears against one another eager to
do battleAntilochus placed himself by the side of Menelaus.
Aeneasbold though he wasdrew back on seeing the two heroes
side by side in front of himso they drew the bodies of Crethon
and Orsilochus to the ranks of the Achaeans and committed the two
poor fellows into the hands of their comrades. They then turned
back and fought in the front ranks.

They killed Pylaemenes peer of Marsleader of the Paphlagonian
warriors. Menelaus struck him on the collar-bone as he was
standing on his chariotwhile Antilochus hit his charioteer and
squire Mydonthe son of Atymniuswho was turning his horses in
flight. He hit him with a stone upon the elbowand the reins
enriched with white ivoryfell from his hands into the dust.
Antilochus rushed towards him and struck him on the temples with
his swordwhereon he fell head first from the chariot to the
ground. There he stood for a while with his head and shoulders
buried deep in the dust--for he had fallen on sandy soil till his
horses kicked him and laid him flat on the groundas Antilochus
lashed them and drove them off to the host of the Achaeans.

But Hector marked them from across the ranksand with a loud cry
rushed towards themfollowed by the strong battalions of the
Trojans. Mars and dread Enyo led them onshe fraught with
ruthless turmoil of battlewhile Mars wielded a monstrous spear
and went aboutnow in front of Hector and now behind him.

Diomed shook with passion as he saw them. As a man crossing a
wide plain is dismayed to find himself on the brink of some great
river rolling swiftly to the sea--he sees its boiling waters and
starts back in fear--even so did the son of Tydeus give ground.
Then he said to his menMy friends, how can we wonder that
Hector wields the spear so well? Some god is ever by his side to
protect him, and now Mars is with him in the likeness of mortal
man. Keep your faces therefore towards the Trojans, but give
ground backwards, for we dare not fight with gods.

As he spoke the Trojans drew close upand Hector killed two men
both in one chariotMenesthes and Anchialusheroes well versed
in war. Ajax son of Telamon pitied them in their fall; he came
close up and hurled his spearhitting Amphius the son of
Selagusa man of great wealth who lived in Paesus and owned much
corn-growing landbut his lot had led him to come to the aid of
Priam and his sons. Ajax struck him in the belt; the spear
pierced the lower part of his bellyand he fell heavily to the
ground. Then Ajax ran towards him to strip him of his armourbut
the Trojans rained spears upon himmany of which fell upon his


shield. He planted his heel upon the body and drew out his spear
but the darts pressed so heavily upon him that he could not strip
the goodly armour from his shoulders. The Trojan chieftains
moreovermany and valiantcame about him with their spearsso
that he dared not stay; greatbrave and valiant though he was
they drove him from them and he was beaten back.

Thusthendid the battle rage between them. Presently the
strong hand of fate impelled Tlepolemusthe son of Herculesa
man both brave and of great statureto fight Sarpedon; so the
twoson and grandson of great Jovedrew near to one another
and Tlepolemus spoke first. "Sarpedon said he, councillor of
the Lycianswhy should you come skulking here you who are a man
of peace? They lie who call you son of aegis-bearing Jovefor
you are little like those who were of old his children. Far other
was Herculesmy own brave and lion-hearted fatherwho came here
for the horses of Laomedonand though he had six ships onlyand
few men to follow himsacked the city of Ilius and made a
wilderness of her highways. You are a cowardand your people are
falling from you. For all your strengthand all your coming from
Lyciayou will be no help to the Trojans but will pass the gates
of Hades vanquished by my hand."

And Sarpedoncaptain of the LyciansansweredTlepolemus, your
father overthrew Ilius by reason of Laomedon's folly in refusing
payment to one who had served him well. He would not give your
father the horses which he had come so far to fetch. As for
yourself, you shall meet death by my spear. You shall yield glory
to myself, and your soul to Hades of the noble steeds.

Thus spoke Sarpedonand Tlepolemus upraised his spear. They
threw at the same momentand Sarpedon struck his foe in the
middle of his throat; the spear went right throughand the
darkness of death fell upon his eyes. Tlepolemus's spear struck
Sarpedon on the left thigh with such force that it tore through
the flesh and grazed the bonebut his father as yet warded off
destruction from him.

His comrades bore Sarpedon out of the fightin great pain by the
weight of the spear that was dragging from his wound. They were
in such haste and stress as they bore him that no one thought of
drawing the spear from his thigh so as to let him walk uprightly.
Meanwhile the Achaeans carried off the body of Tlepolemus
whereon Ulysses was moved to pityand panted for the fray as he
beheld them. He doubted whether to pursue the son of Joveor to
make slaughter of the Lycian rank and file; it was not decreed
howeverthat he should slay the son of Jove; Minervatherefore
turned him against the main body of the Lycians. He killed
CoeranusAlastorChromiusAlcandrusHaliusNoemonand
Prytanisand would have slain yet morehad not great Hector
marked himand sped to the front of the fight clad in his suit
of mailfilling the Danaans with terror. Sarpedon was glad when
he saw him comingand besought himsayingSon of Priam, let
me not be here to fall into the hands of the Danaans. Help me,
and since I may not return home to gladden the hearts of my wife
and of my infant son, let me die within the walls of your city.

Hector made him no answerbut rushed onward to fall at once upon
the Achaeans and kill many among them. His comrades then bore
Sarpedon away and laid him beneath Jove's spreading oak tree.
Pelagonhis friend and comradedrew the spear out of his thigh
but Sarpedon fainted and a mist came over his eyes. Presently he
came to himself againfor the breath of the north wind as it
played upon him gave him new lifeand brought him out of the


deep swoon into which he had fallen.

Meanwhile the Argives were neither driven towards their ships by
Mars and Hectornor yet did they attack them; when they knew
that Mars was with the Trojans they retreatedbut kept their
faces still turned towards the foe. Whothenwas first and who
last to be slain by Mars and Hector? They were valiant Teuthras
and Orestes the renowned charioteerTrechus the Aetolian
warriorOenomausHelenus the son of Oenopsand Oresbius of the
gleaming girdlewho was possessed of great wealthand dwelt by
the Cephisian lake with the other Boeotians who lived near him
owners of a fertile country.

Now when the goddess Juno saw the Argives thus fallingshe said
to MinervaAlas, daughter of aegis-bearing Jove, unweariable,
the promise we made Menelaus that he should not return till he
had sacked the city of Ilius will be of no effect if we let Mars
rage thus furiously. Let us go into the fray at once.

Minerva did not gainsay her. Thereon the august goddessdaughter
of great Saturnbegan to harness her gold-bedizened steeds. Hebe
with all speed fitted on the eight-spoked wheels of bronze that
were on either side of the iron axle-tree. The felloes of the
wheels were of goldimperishableand over these there was a
tire of bronzewondrous to behold. The naves of the wheels were
silverturning round the axle upon either side. The car itself
was made with plaited bands of gold and silverand it had a
double top-rail running all round it. From the body of the car
there went a pole of silveron to the end of which she bound the
golden yokewith the bands of gold that were to go under the
necks of the horses Then Juno put her steeds under the yoke
eager for battle and the war-cry.

Meanwhile Minerva flung her richly embroidered vesturemade with
her own handson to her father's thresholdand donned the shirt
of Jovearming herself for battle. She threw her tasselled aegis
about her shoulderswreathed round with Rout as with a fringe
and on it were Strifeand Strengthand Panic whose blood runs
cold; moreover there was the head of the dread monster Gorgon
grim and awful to beholdportent of aegis-bearing Jove. On her
head she set her helmet of goldwith four plumesand coming to
a peak both in front and behind--decked with the emblems of a
hundred cities; then she stepped into her flaming chariot and
grasped the spearso stout and sturdy and strongwith which she
quells the ranks of heroes who have displeased her. Juno lashed
the horses onand the gates of heaven bellowed as they flew open
of their own accord--gates over which the Hours presidein whose
hands are Heaven and Olympuseither to open the dense cloud that
hides themor to close it. Through these the goddesses drove
their obedient steedsand found the son of Saturn sitting all
alone on the topmost ridges of Olympus. There Juno stayed her
horsesand spoke to Jove the son of Saturnlord of all. "Father
Jove said she, are you not angry with Mars for these high
doings? how great and goodly a host of the Achaeans he has
destroyed to my great griefand without either right or reason
while the Cyprian and Apollo are enjoying it all at their ease
and setting this unrighteous madman on to do further mischief. I
hopeFather Jovethat you will not be angry if I hit Mars hard
and chase him out of the battle."

And Jove answeredSet Minerva on to him, for she punishes him
more often than any one else does.

Juno did as he had said. She lashed her horsesand they flew


forward nothing loth midway betwixt earth and sky. As far as a
man can see when he looks out upon the sea from some high beacon
so far can the loud-neighing horses of the gods spring at a
single bound. When they reached Troy and the place where its two
flowing streams Simois and Scamander meetthere Juno stayed them
and took them from the chariot. She hid them in a thick cloud
and Simois made ambrosia spring up for them to eat; the two
goddesses then went onflying like turtledoves in their
eagerness to help the Argives. When they came to the part where
the bravest and most in number were gathered about mighty Diomed
fighting like lions or wild boars of great strength and
endurancethere Juno stood still and raised a shout like that of
brazen-voiced Stentorwhose cry was as loud as that of fifty men
together. "Argives she cried; shame on cowardly creatures
brave in semblance only; as long as Achilles was fightingif his
spear was so deadly that the Trojans dared not show themselves
outside the Dardanian gatesbut now they sally far from the city
and fight even at your ships."

With these words she put heart and soul into them allwhile
Minerva sprang to the side of the son of Tydeuswhom she found
near his chariot and horsescooling the wound that Pandarus had
given him. For the sweat caused by the hand that bore the weight
of his shield irritated the hurt: his arm was weary with pain
and he was lifting up the strap to wipe away the blood. The
goddess laid her hand on the yoke of his horses and saidThe
son of Tydeus is not such another as his father. Tydeus was a
little man, but he could fight, and rushed madly into the fray
even when I told him not to do so. When he went all unattended as
envoy to the city of Thebes among the Cadmeans, I bade him feast
in their houses and be at peace; but with that high spirit which
was ever present with him, he challenged the youth of the
Cadmeans, and at once beat them in all that he attempted, so
mightily did I help him. I stand by you too to protect you, and I
bid you be instant in fighting the Trojans; but either you are
tired out, or you are afraid and out of heart, and in that case I
say that you are no true son of Tydeus the son of Oeneus.

Diomed answeredI know you, goddess, daughter of aegis-bearing
Jove, and will hide nothing from you. I am not afraid nor out of
heart, nor is there any slackness in me. I am only following your
own instructions; you told me not to fight any of the blessed
gods; but if Jove's daughter Venus came into battle I was to
wound her with my spear. Therefore I am retreating, and bidding
the other Argives gather in this place, for I know that Mars is
now lording it in the field.

Diomed, son of Tydeus,replied Minervaman after my own
heart, fear neither Mars nor any other of the immortals, for I
will befriend you. Nay, drive straight at Mars, and smite him in
close combat; fear not this raging madman, villain incarnate,
first on one side and then on the other. But now he was holding
talk with Juno and myself, saying he would help the Argives and
attack the Trojans; nevertheless he is with the Trojans, and has
forgotten the Argives.

With this she caught hold of Sthenelus and lifted him off the
chariot on to the ground. In a second he was on the ground
whereupon the goddess mounted the car and placed herself by the
side of Diomed. The oaken axle groaned aloud under the burden of
the awful goddess and the hero; Pallas Minerva took the whip and
reinsand drove straight at Mars. He was in the act of stripping
huge Periphasson of Ochesius and bravest of the Aetolians.
Bloody Mars was stripping him of his armourand Minerva donned


the helmet of Hadesthat he might not see her; whentherefore
he saw Diomedhe made straight for him and let Periphas lie
where he had fallen. As soon as they were at close quarters he
let fly with his bronze spear over the reins and yokethinking
to take Diomed's lifebut Minerva caught the spear in her hand
and made it fly harmlessly over the chariot. Diomed then threw
and Pallas Minerva drove the spear into the pit of Mars's stomach
where his under-girdle went round him. There Diomed wounded him
tearing his fair flesh and then drawing his spear out again. Mars
roared as loudly as nine or ten thousand men in the thick of a
fightand the Achaeans and Trojans were struck with panicso
terrible was the cry he raised.

As a dark cloud in the sky when it comes on to blow after heat
even so did Diomed son of Tydeus see Mars ascend into the broad
heavens. With all speed he reached high Olympushome of the
godsand in great pain sat down beside Jove the son of Saturn.
He showed Jove the immortal blood that was flowing from his
woundand spoke piteouslysayingFather Jove, are you not
angered by such doings? We gods are continually suffering in the
most cruel manner at one another's hands while helping mortals;
and we all owe you a grudge for having begotten that mad
termagant of a daughter, who is always committing outrage of some
kind. We other gods must all do as you bid us, but her you
neither scold nor punish; you encourage her because the pestilent
creature is your daughter. See how she has been inciting proud
Diomed to vent his rage on the immortal gods. First he went up to
the Cyprian and wounded her in the hand near her wrist, and then
he sprang upon me too as though he were a god. Had I not run for
it I must either have lain there for long enough in torments
among the ghastly corpes, or have been eaten alive with spears
till I had no more strength left in me.

Jove looked angrily at him and saidDo not come whining here,
Sir Facing-both-ways. I hate you worst of all the gods in
Olympus, for you are ever fighting and making mischief. You have
the intolerable and stubborn spirit of your mother Juno: it is
all I can do to manage her, and it is her doing that you are now
in this plight: still, I cannot let you remain longer in such
great pain; you are my own offspring, and it was by me that your
mother conceived you; if, however, you had been the son of any
other god, you are so destructive that by this time you should
have been lying lower than the Titans.

He then bade Paeeon heal himwhereon Paeeon spread pain-killing
herbs upon his wound and cured himfor he was not of mortal
mould. As the juice of the fig-tree curdles milkand thickens it
in a moment though it is liquideven so instantly did Paeeon
cure fierce Mars. Then Hebe washed himand clothed him in goodly
raimentand he took his seat by his father Jove all glorious to
behold.

But Juno of Argos and Minerva of Alalcomenenow that they had
put a stop to the murderous doings of Marswent back again to
the house of Jove.

BOOK VI

THE fight between Trojans and Achaeans was now left to rage as it
wouldand the tide of war surged hither and thither over the
plain as they aimed their bronze-shod spears at one another
between the streams of Simois and Xanthus.


FirstAjax son of Telamontower of strength to the Achaeans
broke a phalanx of the Trojansand came to the assistance of his
comrades by killing Acamas son of Eussorusthe best man among
the Thraciansbeing both brave and of great stature. The spear
struck the projecting peak of his helmet: its bronze point then
went through his forehead into the brainand darkness veiled his
eyes.

Then Diomed killed Axylus son of Teuthranusa rich man who lived
in the strong city of Arisbeand was beloved by all men; for he
had a house by the roadsideand entertained every one who
passed; howbeit not one of his guests stood before him to save
his lifeand Diomed killed both him and his squire Calesiuswho
was then his charioteer--so the pair passed beneath the earth.

Euryalus killed Dresus and Opheltiusand then went in pursuit of
Aesepus and Pedasuswhom the naiad nymph Abarbarea had borne to
noble Bucolion. Bucolion was eldest son to Laomedonbut he was a
bastard. While tending his sheep he had converse with the nymph
and she conceived twin sons; these the son of Mecisteus now slew
and he stripped the armour from their shoulders. Polypoetes then
killed AstyalusUlysses Pidytes of Percoteand Teucer Aretaon.
Ablerus fell by the spear of Nestor's son Antilochusand
Agamemnonking of menkilled Elatus who dwelt in Pedasus by the
banks of the river Satnioeis. Leitus killed Phylacus as he was
flyingand Eurypylus slew Melanthus.

Then Menelaus of the loud war-cry took Adrestus alivefor his
horses ran into a tamarisk bushas they were flying wildly over
the plainand broke the pole from the car; they went on towards
the city along with the others in full flightbut Adrestus
rolled outand fell in the dust flat on his face by the wheel of
his chariot; Menelaus came up to him spear in handbut Adrestus
caught him by the knees begging for his life. "Take me alive he
cried, son of Atreusand you shall have a full ransom for me:
my father is rich and has much treasure of goldbronzeand
wrought iron laid by in his house. From this store he will give
you a large ransom should he hear of my being alive and at the
ships of the Achaeans."

Thus did he pleadand Menelaus was for yielding and giving him
to a squire to take to the ships of the Achaeansbut Agamemnon
came running up to him and rebuked him. "My good Menelaus said
he, this is no time for giving quarter. Hasthenyour house
fared so well at the hands of the Trojans? Let us not spare a
single one of them--not even the child unborn and in its mother's
womb; let not a man of them be left alivebut let all in Ilius
perishunheeded and forgotten."

Thus did he speakand his brother was persuaded by himfor his
words were just. Menelausthereforethrust Adrestus from him
whereon King Agamemnon struck him in the flankand he fell: then
the son of Atreus planted his foot upon his breast to draw his
spear from the body.

Meanwhile Nestor shouted to the ArgivessayingMy friends,
Danaan warriors, servants of Mars, let no man lag that he may
spoil the dead, and bring back much booty to the ships. Let us
kill as many as we can; the bodies will lie upon the plain, and
you can despoil them later at your leisure.

With these words he put heart and soul into them all. And now the
Trojans would have been routed and driven back into Iliushad


not Priam's son Helenuswisest of augurssaid to Hector and
AeneasHector and Aeneas, you two are the mainstays of the
Trojans and Lycians, for you are foremost at all times, alike in
fight and counsel; hold your ground here, and go about among the
host to rally them in front of the gates, or they will fling
themselves into the arms of their wives, to the great joy of our
foes. Then, when you have put heart into all our companies, we
will stand firm here and fight the Danaans however hard they
press us, for there is nothing else to be done. Meanwhile do you,
Hector, go to the city and tell our mother what is happening.
Tell her to bid the matrons gather at the temple of Minerva in
the acropolis; let her then take her key and open the doors of
the sacred building; there, upon the knees of Minerva, let her
lay the largest, fairest robe she has in her house--the one she
sets most store by; let her, moreover, promise to sacrifice
twelve yearling heifers that have never yet felt the goad, in the
temple of the goddess, if she will take pity on the town, with
the wives and little ones of the Trojans, and keep the son of
Tydeus from falling on the goodly city of Ilius; for he fights
with fury and fills men's souls with panic. I hold him mightiest
of them all; we did not fear even their great champion Achilles,
son of a goddess though he be, as we do this man: his rage is
beyond all bounds, and there is none can vie with him in prowess

Hector did as his brother bade him. He sprang from his chariot
and went about everywhere among the hostbrandishing his spears
urging the men on to fightand raising the dread cry of battle.
Thereon they rallied and again faced the Achaeanswho gave
ground and ceased their murderous onsetfor they deemed that
some one of the immortals had come down from starry heaven to
help the Trojansso strangely had they rallied. And Hector
shouted to the TrojansTrojans and allies, be men, my friends,
and fight with might and main, while I go to Ilius and tell the
old men of our council and our wives to pray to the gods and vow
hecatombs in their honour.

With this he went his wayand the black rim of hide that went
round his shield beat against his neck and his ancles.

Then Glaucus son of Hippolochusand the son of Tydeus went into
the open space between the hosts to fight in single combat. When
they were close up to one another Diomed of the loud war-cry was
the first to speak. "Whomy good sir said he, who are you
among men? I have never seen you in battle until nowbut you are
daring beyond all others if you abide my onset. Woe to those
fathers whose sons face my might. Ifhoweveryou are one of the
immortals and have come down from heavenI will not fight you;
for even valiant Lycurgusson of Dryasdid not live long when
he took to fighting with the gods. He it was that drove the
nursing women who were in charge of frenzied Bacchus through the
land of Nysaand they flung their thyrsi on the ground as
murderous Lycurgus beat them with his oxgoad. Bacchus himself
plunged terror-stricken into the seaand Thetis took him to her
bosom to comfort himfor he was scared by the fury with which
the man reviled him. Thereon the gods who live at ease were angry
with Lycurgus and the son of Saturn struck him blindnor did he
live much longer after he had become hateful to the immortals.
Therefore I will not fight with the blessed gods; but if you are
of them that eat the fruit of the grounddraw near and meet your
doom."

And the son of Hippolochus answeredson of Tydeuswhy ask me of
my lineage? Men come and go as leaves year by year upon the
trees. Those of autumn the wind sheds upon the groundbut when


spring returns the forest buds forth with fresh vines. Even so is
it with the generations of mankindthe new spring up as the old
are passing away. Ifthenyou would learn my descentit is one
that is well known to many. There is a city in the heart of
Argospasture land of horsescalled Ephyrawhere Sisyphus
livedwho was the craftiest of all mankind. He was the son of
Aeolusand had a son named Glaucuswho was father to
Bellerophonwhom heaven endowed with the most surpassing
comeliness and beauty. But Proetus devised his ruinand being
stronger than hedrove him from the land of the Argivesover
which Jove had made him ruler. For Anteawife of Proetuslusted
after himand would have had him lie with her in secret; but
Bellerophon was an honourable man and would notso she told lies
about him to Proteus. 'Proetus' said she'kill Bellerophon or
diefor he would have had converse with me against my will.' The
king was angeredbut shrank from killing Bellerophonso he sent
him to Lycia with lying letters of introductionwritten on a
folded tabletand containing much ill against the bearer. He
bade Bellerophon show these letters to his father-in-lawto the
end that he might thus perish; Bellerophon therefore went to
Lyciaand the gods convoyed him safely.

When he reached the river Xanthus, which is in Lycia, the king
received him with all goodwill, feasted him nine days, and killed
nine heifers in his honour, but when rosy-fingered morning
appeared upon the tenth day, he questioned him and desired to see
the letter from his son-in-law Proetus. When he had received the
wicked letter he first commanded Bellerophon to kill that savage
monster, the Chimaera, who was not a human being, but a goddess,
for she had the head of a lion and the tail of a serpent, while
her body was that of a goat, and she breathed forth flames of
fire; but Bellerophon slew her, for he was guided by signs from
heaven. He next fought the far-famed Solymi, and this, he said,
was the hardest of all his battles. Thirdly, he killed the
Amazons, women who were the peers of men, and as he was returning
thence the king devised yet another plan for his destruction; he
picked the bravest warriors in all Lycia, and placed them in
ambuscade, but not a man ever came back, for Bellerophon killed
every one of them. Then the king knew that he must be the valiant
offspring of a god, so he kept him in Lycia, gave him his
daughter in marriage, and made him of equal honour in the kingdom
with himself; and the Lycians gave him a piece of land, the best
in all the country, fair with vineyards and tilled fields, to
have and to hold.

The king's daughter bore Bellerophon three childrenIsander
Hippolochusand Laodameia. Jovethe lord of counsellay with
Laodameiaand she bore him noble Sarpedon; but when Bellerophon
came to be hated by all the godshe wandered all desolate and
dismayed upon the Alean plaingnawing at his own heartand
shunning the path of man. Marsinsatiate of battlekilled his
son Isander while he was fighting the Solymi; his daughter was
killed by Diana of the golden reinsfor she was angered with
her; but Hippolochus was father to myselfand when he sent me to
Troy he urged me again and again to fight ever among the foremost
and outvie my peersso as not to shame the blood of my fathers
who were the noblest in Ephyra and in all Lycia. Thisthenis
the descent I claim."

Thus did he speakand the heart of Diomed was glad. He planted
his spear in the groundand spoke to him with friendly words.
Then,he saidyou are an old friend of my father's house.
Great Oeneus once entertained Bellerophon for twenty days, and
the two exchanged presents. Oeneus gave a belt rich with purple,


and Bellerophon a double cup, which I left at home when I set out
for Troy. I do not remember Tydeus, for he was taken from us
while I was yet a child, when the army of the Achaeans was cut to
pieces before Thebes. Henceforth, however, I must be your host in
middle Argos, and you mine in Lycia, if I should ever go there;
let us avoid one another's spears even during a general
engagement; there are many noble Trojans and allies whom I can
kill, if I overtake them and heaven delivers them into my hand;
so again with yourself, there are many Achaeans whose lives you
may take if you can; we two, then, will exchange armour, that all
present may know of the old ties that subsist between us.

With these words they sprang from their chariotsgrasped one
another's handsand plighted friendship. But the son of Saturn
made Glaucus take leave of his witsfor he exchanged golden
armour for bronzethe worth of a hundred head of cattle for the
worth of nine.

Now when Hector reached the Scaean gates and the oak treethe
wives and daughters of the Trojans came running towards him to
ask after their sonsbrotherskinsmenand husbands: he told
them to set about praying to the godsand many were made
sorrowful as they heard him.

Presently he reached the splendid palace of King Priamadorned
with colonnades of hewn stone. In it there were fifty
bedchambers--all of hewn stone--built near one anotherwhere the
sons of Priam slepteach with his wedded wife. Opposite these
on the other side the courtyardthere were twelve upper rooms
also of hewn stone for Priam's daughtersbuilt near one another
where his sons-in-law slept with their wives. When Hector got
therehis fond mother came up to him with Laodice the fairest of
her daughters. She took his hand within her own and saidMy
son, why have you left the battle to come hither? Are the
Achaeans, woe betide them, pressing you hard about the city that
you have thought fit to come and uplift your hands to Jove from
the citadel? Wait till I can bring you wine that you may make
offering to Jove and to the other immortals, and may then drink
and be refreshed. Wine gives a man fresh strength when he is
wearied, as you now are with fighting on behalf of your kinsmen.

And Hector answeredHonoured mother, bring no wine, lest you
unman me and I forget my strength. I dare not make a
drink-offering to Jove with unwashed hands; one who is
bespattered with blood and filth may not pray to the son of
Saturn. Get the matrons together, and go with offerings to the
temple of Minerva driver of the spoil; there, upon the knees of
Minerva, lay the largest and fairest robe you have in your
house--the one you set most store by; promise, moreover, to
sacrifice twelve yearling heifers that have never yet felt the
goad, in the temple of the goddess if she will take pity on the
town, with the wives and little ones of the Trojans, and keep the
son of Tydeus from off the goodly city of Ilius, for he fights
with fury, and fills men's souls with panic. Go, then, to the
temple of Minerva, while I seek Paris and exhort him, if he will
hear my words. Would that the earth might open her jaws and
swallow him, for Jove bred him to be the bane of the Trojans, and
of Priam and Priam's sons. Could I but see him go down into the
house of Hades, my heart would forget its heaviness.

His mother went into the house and called her waiting-women who
gathered the matrons throughout the city. She then went down into
her fragrant store-roomwhere her embroidered robes were kept
the work of Sidonian womenwhom Alexandrus had brought over from


Sidon when he sailed the seas upon that voyage during which he
carried off Helen. Hecuba took out the largest robeand the one
that was most beautifully enriched with embroideryas an
offering to Minerva: it glittered like a starand lay at the
very bottom of the chest. With this she went on her way and many
matrons with her.

When they reached the temple of Minervalovely Theanodaughter
of Cisseus and wife of Antenoropened the doorsfor the Trojans
had made her priestess of Minerva. The women lifted up their
hands to the goddess with a loud cryand Theano took the robe to
lay it upon the knees of Minervapraying the while to the
daughter of great Jove. "Holy Minerva she cried, protectress
of our citymighty goddessbreak the spear of Diomed and lay
him low before the Scaean gates. Do thisand we will sacrifice
twelve heifers that have never yet known the goadin your
templeif you will have pity upon the townwith the wives and
little ones of the Trojans." Thus she prayedbut Pallas Minerva
granted not her prayer.

While they were thus praying to the daughter of great Jove
Hector went to the fair house of Alexandruswhich he had built
for him by the foremost builders in the land. They had built him
his housestorehouseand courtyard near those of Priam and
Hector on the acropolis. Here Hector enteredwith a spear eleven
cubits long in his hand; the bronze point gleamed in front of
himand was fastened to the shaft of the spear by a ring of
gold. He found Alexandrus within the housebusied about his
armourhis shield and cuirassand handling his curved bow;
theretoosat Argive Helen with her womensetting them their
several tasks; and as Hector saw him he rebuked him with words of
scorn. "Sir said he, you do ill to nurse this rancour; the
people perish fighting round this our town; you would yourself
chide one whom you saw shirking his part in the combat. Up then
or ere long the city will be in a blaze."

And Alexandrus answeredHector, your rebuke is just; listen
therefore, and believe me when I tell you that I am not here so
much through rancour or ill-will towards the Trojans, as from a
desire to indulge my grief. My wife was even now gently urging me
to battle, and I hold it better that I should go, for victory is
ever fickle. Wait, then, while I put on my armour, or go first
and I will follow. I shall be sure to overtake you.

Hector made no answerbut Helen tried to soothe him. "Brother
said she, to my abhorred and sinful selfwould that a whirlwind
had caught me up on the day my mother brought me forthand had
borne me to some mountain or to the waves of the roaring sea that
should have swept me away ere this mischief had come about. But
since the gods have devised these evilswouldat any ratethat
I had been wife to a better man--to one who could smart under
dishonour and men's evil speeches. This fellow was never yet to
be depended uponnor never will beand he will surely reap what
he has sown. Stillbrothercome in and rest upon this seatfor
it is you who bear the brunt of that toil that has been caused by
my hateful self and by the sin of Alexandrus--both of whom Jove
has doomed to be a theme of song among those that shall be born
hereafter."

And Hector answeredBid me not be seated, Helen, for all the
goodwill you bear me. I cannot stay. I am in haste to help the
Trojans, who miss me greatly when I am not among them; but urge
your husband, and of his own self also let him make haste to
overtake me before I am out of the city. I must go home to see my


household, my wife and my little son, for I know not whether I
shall ever again return to them, or whether the gods will cause
me to fill by the hands of the Achaeans.

Then Hector left herand forthwith was at his own house. He did
not find Andromachefor she was on the wall with her child and
one of her maidsweeping bitterly. Seeingthenthat she was
not withinhe stood on the threshold of the women's rooms and
saidWomen, tell me, and tell me true, where did Andromache go
when she left the house? Was it to my sisters, or to my brothers'
wives? or is she at the temple of Minerva where the other women
are propitiating the awful goddess?

His good housekeeper answeredHector, since you bid me tell you
truly, she did not go to your sisters nor to your brothers'
wives, nor yet to the temple of Minerva, where the other women
are propitiating the awful goddess, but she is on the high wall
of Ilius, for she had heard the Trojans were being hard pressed,
and that the Achaeans were in great force: she went to the wall
in frenzied haste, and the nurse went with her carrying the
child.

Hector hurried from the house when she had done speakingand
went down the streets by the same way that he had come. When he
had gone through the city and had reached the Scaean gates
through which he would go out on to the plainhis wife came
running towards himAndromachedaughter of great Eetion who
ruled in Thebe under the wooded slopes of Mt. Placusand was
king of the Cilicians. His daughter had married Hectorand now
came to meet him with a nurse who carried his little child in her
bosom--a mere babe. Hector's darling sonand lovely as a star.
Hector had named him Scamandriusbut the people called him
Astyanaxfor his father stood alone as chief guardian of Ilius.
Hector smiled as he looked upon the boybut he did not speak
and Andromache stood by him weeping and taking his hand in her
own. "Dear husband said she, your valour will bring you to
destruction; think on your infant sonand on my hapless self who
ere long shall be your widow--for the Achaeans will set upon you
in a body and kill you. It would be better for meshould I lose
youto lie dead and buriedfor I shall have nothing left to
comfort me when you are gonesave only sorrow. I have neither
father nor mother now. Achilles slew my father when he sacked
Thebe the goodly city of the Cilicians. He slew himbut did not
for very shame despoil him; when he had burned him in his
wondrous armourhe raised a barrow over his ashes and the
mountain nymphsdaughters of aegis-bearing Joveplanted a grove
of elms about his tomb. I had seven brothers in my father's
housebut on the same day they all went within the house of
Hades. Achilles killed them as they were with their sheep and
cattle. My mother--her who had been queen of all the land under
Mt. Placus--he brought hither with the spoiland freed her for a
great sumbut the archer-queen Diana took her in the house of
your father. Nay--Hector--you who to me are fathermother
brotherand dear husband--have mercy upon me; stay here upon
this wall; make not your child fatherlessand your wife a widow;
as for the hostplace them near the fig-treewhere the city can
be best scaledand the wall is weakest. Thrice have the bravest
of them come thither and assailed itunder the two Ajaxes
Idomeneusthe sons of Atreusand the brave son of Tydeus
either of their own biddingor because some soothsayer had told
them."

And Hector answeredWife, I too have thought upon all this, but
with what face should I look upon the Trojans, men or women, if I


shirked battle like a coward? I cannot do so: I know nothing save
to fight bravely in the forefront of the Trojan host and win
renown alike for my father and myself. Well do I know that the
day will surely come when mighty Ilius shall be destroyed with
Priam and Priam's people, but I grieve for none of these--not
even for Hecuba, nor King Priam, nor for my brothers many and
brave who may fall in the dust before their foes--for none of
these do I grieve as for yourself when the day shall come on
which some one of the Achaeans shall rob you for ever of your
freedom, and bear you weeping away. It may be that you will have
to ply the loom in Argos at the bidding of a mistress, or to
fetch water from the springs Messeis or Hypereia, treated
brutally by some cruel task-master; then will one say who sees
you weeping, 'She was wife to Hector, the bravest warrior among
the Trojans during the war before Ilius.' On this your tears will
break forth anew for him who would have put away the day of
captivity from you. May I lie dead under the barrow that is
heaped over my body ere I hear your cry as they carry you into
bondage.

He stretched his arms towards his childbut the boy cried and
nestled in his nurse's bosomscared at the sight of his father's
armourand at the horse-hair plume that nodded fiercely from his
helmet. His father and mother laughed to see himbut Hector took
the helmet from his head and laid it all gleaming upon the
ground. Then he took his darling childkissed himand dandled
him in his armspraying over him the while to Jove and to all
the gods. "Jove he cried, grant that this my child may be even
as myselfchief among the Trojans; let him be not less excellent
in strengthand let him rule Ilius with his might. Then may one
say of him as he comes from battle'The son is far better than
the father.' May he bring back the blood-stained spoils of him
whom he has laid lowand let his mother's heart be glad.'"

With this he laid the child again in the arms of his wifewho
took him to her own soft bosomsmiling through her tears. As her
husband watched her his heart yearned towards her and he caressed
her fondlysayingMy own wife, do not take these things too
bitterly to heart. No one can hurry me down to Hades before my
time, but if a man's hour is come, be he brave or be he coward,
there is no escape for him when he has once been born. Go, then,
within the house, and busy yourself with your daily duties, your
loom, your distaff, and the ordering of your servants; for war is
man's matter, and mine above all others of them that have been
born in Ilius.

He took his plumed helmet from the groundand his wife went back
again to her houseweeping bitterly and often looking back
towards him. When she reached her home she found her maidens
withinand bade them all join in her lament; so they mourned
Hector in his own house though he was yet alivefor they deemed
that they should never see him return safe from battleand from
the furious hands of the Achaeans.

Paris did not remain long in his house. He donned his goodly
armour overlaid with bronzeand hasted through the city as fast
as his feet could take him. As a horsestabled and fedbreaks
loose and gallops gloriously over the plain to the place where he
is wont to bathe in the fair-flowing river--he holds his head
highand his mane streams upon his shoulders as he exults in his
strength and flies like the wind to the haunts and feeding ground
of the mares--even so went forth Paris from high Pergamus
gleaming like sunlight in his armourand he laughed aloud as he
sped swiftly on his way. Forthwith he came upon his brother


Hectorwho was then turning away from the place where he had
held converse with his wifeand he was himself the first to
speak. "Sir said he, I fear that I have kept you waiting when
you are in hasteand have not come as quickly as you bade me."

My good brother,answered Hectoryou fight bravely, and no
man with any justice can make light of your doings in battle. But
you are careless and wilfully remiss. It grieves me to the heart
to hear the ill that the Trojans speak about you, for they have
suffered much on your account. Let us be going, and we will make
things right hereafter, should Jove vouchsafe us to set the cup
of our deliverance before ever-living gods of heaven in our own
homes, when we have chased the Achaeans from Troy.

BOOK VII

WITH these words Hector passed through the gatesand his brother
Alexandrus with himboth eager for the fray. As when heaven
sends a breeze to sailors who have long looked for one in vain
and have laboured at their oars till they are faint with toil
even so welcome was the sight of these two heroes to the Trojans.

Thereon Alexandrus killed Menesthius the son of Areithous; he
lived in Arneand was son of Areithous the Mace-manand of
Phylomedusa. Hector threw a spear at Eioneus and struck him dead
with a wound in the neck under the bronze rim of his helmet.
Glaucusmoreoverson of Hippolochuscaptain of the Lyciansin
hard hand-to-hand fight smote Iphinous son of Dexius on the
shoulderas he was springing on to his chariot behind his fleet
mares; so he fell to earth from the carand there was no life
left in him.

WhenthereforeMinerva saw these men making havoc of the
Argivesshe darted down to Ilius from the summits of Olympus
and Apollowho was looking on from Pergamuswent out to meet
her; for he wanted the Trojans to be victorious. The pair met by
the oak treeand King Apollo son of Jove was first to speak.
What would you havesaid hedaughter of great Jove, that
your proud spirit has sent you hither from Olympus? Have you no
pity upon the Trojans, and would you incline the scales of
victory in favour of the Danaans? Let me persuade you--for it
will be better thus--stay the combat for to-day, but let them
renew the fight hereafter till they compass the doom of Ilius,
since you goddesses have made up your minds to destroy the city.

And Minerva answeredSo be it, Far-Darter; it was in this mind
that I came down from Olympus to the Trojans and Achaeans. Tell
me, then, how do you propose to end this present fighting?

Apolloson of JoverepliedLet us incite great Hector to
challenge some one of the Danaans in single combat; on this the
Achaeans will be shamed into finding a man who will fight him.

Minerva assentedand Helenus son of Priam divined the counsel of
the gods; he therefore went up to Hector and saidHector son of
Priam, peer of gods in counsel, I am your brother, let me then
persuade you. Bid the other Trojans and Achaeans all of them take
their seats, and challenge the best man among the Achaeans to
meet you in single combat. I have heard the voice of the
ever-living gods, and the hour of your doom is not yet come.

Hector was glad when he heard this sayingand went in among the


Trojansgrasping his spear by the middle to hold them backand
they all sat down. Agamemnon also bade the Achaeans be seated.
But Minerva and Apolloin the likeness of vulturesperched on
father Jove's high oak treeproud of their men; and the ranks
sat close ranged togetherbristling with shield and helmet and
spear. As when the rising west wind furs the face of the sea and
the waters grow dark beneath itso sat the companies of Trojans
and Achaeans upon the plain. And Hector spoke thus:-


Hear me, Trojans and Achaeans, that I may speak even as I am
minded; Jove on his high throne has brought our oaths and
covenants to nothing, and foreshadows ill for both of us, till
you either take the towers of Troy, or are yourselves vanquished
at your ships. The princes of the Achaeans are here present in
the midst of you; let him, then, that will fight me stand forward
as your champion against Hector. Thus I say, and may Jove be
witness between us. If your champion slay me, let him strip me of
my armour and take it to your ships, but let him send my body
home that the Trojans and their wives may give me my dues of fire
when I am dead. In like manner, if Apollo vouchsafe me glory and
I slay your champion, I will strip him of his armour and take it
to the city of Ilius, where I will hang it in the temple of
Apollo, but I will give up his body, that the Achaeans may bury
him at their ships, and the build him a mound by the wide waters
of the Hellespont. Then will one say hereafter as he sails his
ship over the sea, 'This is the monument of one who died long
since a champion who was slain by mighty Hector.' Thus will one
say, and my fame shall not be lost.

Thus did he speakbut they all held their peaceashamed to
decline the challengeyet fearing to accept ittill at last
Menelaus rose and rebuked themfor he was angry. "Alas he
cried, vain braggartswomen forsooth not mendouble-dyed
indeed will be the stain upon us if no man of the Danaans will
now face Hector. May you be turned every man of you into earth
and water as you sit spiritless and inglorious in your places. I
will myself go out against this manbut the upshot of the fight
will be from on high in the hands of the immortal gods."

With these words he put on his armour; and thenO Menelausyour
life would have come to an end at the hands of hands of Hector
for he was far better the manhad not the princes of the
Achaeans sprung upon you and checked you. King Agamemnon caught
him by the right hand and saidMenelaus, you are mad; a truce
to this folly. Be patient in spite of passion, do not think of
fighting a man so much stronger than yourself as Hector son of
Priam, who is feared by many another as well as you. Even
Achilles, who is far more doughty than you are, shrank from
meeting him in battle. Sit down your own people, and the Achaeans
will send some other champion to fight Hector; fearless and fond
of battle though he be, I ween his knees will bend gladly under
him if he comes out alive from the hurly-burly of this fight.

With these words of reasonable counsel he persuaded his brother
whereon his squires gladly stripped the armour from off his
shoulders. Then Nestor rose and spokeOf a truth,said he
the Achaean land is fallen upon evil times. The old knight
Peleus, counsellor and orator among the Myrmidons, loved when I
was in his house to question me concerning the race and lineage
of all the Argives. How would it not grieve him could he hear of
them as now quailing before Hector? Many a time would he lift his
hands in prayer that his soul might leave his body and go down
within the house of Hades. Would, by father Jove, Minerva, and
Apollo, that I were still young and strong as when the Pylians


and Arcadians were gathered in fight by the rapid river Celadon
under the walls of Pheia, and round about the waters of the river
Iardanus. The godlike hero Ereuthalion stood forward as their
champion, with the armour of King Areithous upon his shoulders--
Areithous whom men and women had surnamed 'the Mace-man,' because
he fought neither with bow nor spear, but broke the battalions of
the foe with his iron mace. Lycurgus killed him, not in fair
fight, but by entrapping him in a narrow way where his mace
served him in no stead; for Lycurgus was too quick for him and
speared him through the middle, so he fell to earth on his back.
Lycurgus then spoiled him of the armour which Mars had given him,
and bore it in battle thenceforward; but when he grew old and
stayed at home, he gave it to his faithful squire Ereuthalion,
who in this same armour challenged the foremost men among us. The
others quaked and quailed, but my high spirit bade me fight him
though none other would venture; I was the youngest man of them
all; but when I fought him Minerva vouchsafed me victory. He was
the biggest and strongest man that ever I killed, and covered
much ground as he lay sprawling upon the earth. Would that I were
still young and strong as I then was, for the son of Priam would
then soon find one who would face him. But you, foremost among
the whole host though you be, have none of you any stomach for
fighting Hector.

Thus did the old man rebuke themand forthwith nine men started
to their feet. Foremost of all uprose King Agamemnonand after
him brave Diomed the son of Tydeus. Next were the two Ajaxesmen
clothed in valour as with a garmentand then Idomeneusand
Meriones his brother in arms. After these Eurypylus son of
EuaemonThoas the son of Andraemonand Ulysses also rose. Then
Nestor knight of Gerene again spokesaying: "Cast lots among you
to see who shall be chosen. If he come alive out of this fight he
will have done good service alike to his own soul and to the
Achaeans."

Thus he spokeand when each of them had marked his lotand had
thrown it into the helmet of Agamemnon son of Atreusthe people
lifted their hands in prayerand thus would one of them say as
he looked into the vault of heavenFather Jove, grant that the
lot fall on Ajax, or on the son of Tydeus, or upon the king of
rich Mycene himself.

As they were speakingNestor knight of Gerene shook the helmet
and from it there fell the very lot which they wanted--the lot of
Ajax. The herald bore it about and showed it to all the
chieftains of the Achaeansgoing from left to right; but they
none of them owned it. Whenhoweverin due course he reached
the man who had written upon it and had put it into the helmet
brave Ajax held out his handand the herald gave him the lot.
When Ajax saw his mark he knew it and was glad; he threw it to
the ground and saidMy friends, the lot is mine, and I rejoice,
for I shall vanquish Hector. I will put on my armour; meanwhile,
pray to King Jove in silence among yourselves that the Trojans
may not hear you--or aloud if you will, for we fear no man. None
shall overcome me, neither by force nor cunning, for I was born
and bred in Salamis, and can hold my own in all things.

With this they fell praying to King Jove the son of Saturnand
thus would one of them say as he looked into the vault of heaven
Father Jove that rulest from Ida, most glorious in power,
vouchsafe victory to Ajax, and let him win great glory: but if
you wish well to Hector also and would protect him, grant to each
of them equal fame and prowess.


Thus they prayedand Ajax armed himself in his suit of gleaming
bronze. When he was in full array he sprang forward as monstrous
Mars when he takes part among men whom Jove has set fighting with
one another--even so did huge Ajaxbulwark of the Achaeans
spring forward with a grim smile on his face as he brandished his
long spear and strode onward. The Argives were elated as they
beheld himbut the Trojans trembled in every limband the heart
even of Hector beat quicklybut he could not now retreat and
withdraw into the ranks behind himfor he had been the
challenger. Ajax came up bearing his shield in front of him like
a wall--a shield of bronze with seven folds of oxhide--the work
of Tychiuswho lived in Hyle and was by far the best worker in
leather. He had made it with the hides of seven full-fed bulls
and over these he had set an eighth layer of bronze. Holding this
shield before himAjax son of Telamon came close up to Hector
and menaced him sayingHector, you shall now learn, man to man,
what kind of champions the Danaans have among them even besides
lion-hearted Achilles cleaver of the ranks of men. He now abides
at the ships in anger with Agamemnon shepherd of his people, but
there are many of us who are well able to face you; therefore
begin the fight.

And Hector answeredNoble Ajax, son of Telamon, captain of the
host, treat me not as though I were some puny boy or woman that
cannot fight. I have been long used to the blood and butcheries
of battle. I am quick to turn my leathern shield either to right
or left, for this I deem the main thing in battle. I can charge
among the chariots and horsemen, and in hand to hand fighting can
delight the heart of Mars; howbeit I would not take such a man as
you are off his guard--but I will smite you openly if I can.

He poised his spear as he spokeand hurled it from him. It
struck the sevenfold shield in its outermost layer--the eighth
which was of bronze--and went through six of the layers but in
the seventh hide it stayed. Then Ajax threw in his turnand
struck the round shield of the son of Priam. The terrible spear
went through his gleaming shieldand pressed onward through his
cuirass of cunning workmanship; it pierced the shirt against his
sidebut he swerved and thus saved his life. They then each of
them drew out the spear from his shieldand fell on one another
like savage lions or wild boars of great strength and endurance:
the son of Priam struck the middle of Ajax's shieldbut the
bronze did not breakand the point of his dart was turned. Ajax
then sprang forward and pierced the shield of Hector; the spear
went through it and staggered him as he was springing forward to
attack; it gashed his neck and the blood came pouring from the
woundbut even so Hector did not cease fighting; he gave ground
and with his brawny hand seized a stonerugged and hugethat
was lying upon the plain; with this he struck the shield of Ajax
on the boss that was in its middleso that the bronze rang
again. But Ajax in turn caught up a far larger stoneswung it
aloftand hurled it with prodigious force. This millstone of a
rock broke Hector's shield inwards and threw him down on his back
with the shield crushing him under itbut Apollo raised him at
once. Thereon they would have hacked at one another in close
combat with their swordshad not heraldsmessengers of gods and
mencome forwardone from the Trojans and the other from the
Achaeans--Talthybius and Idaeus both of them honourable men;
these parted them with their stavesand the good herald Idaeus
saidMy sons, fight no longer, you are both of you valiant, and
both are dear to Jove; we know this; but night is now falling,
and the behests of night may not be well gainsaid.

Ajax son of Telamon answeredIdaeus, bid Hector say so, for it


was he that challenged our princes. Let him speak first and I
will accept his saying.

Then Hector saidAjax, heaven has vouchsafed you stature and
strength, and judgement; and in wielding the spear you excel all
others of the Achaeans. Let us for this day cease fighting;
hereafter we will fight anew till heaven decide between us, and
give victory to one or to the other; night is now falling, and
the behests of night may not be well gainsaid. Gladden, then, the
hearts of the Achaeans at your ships, and more especially those
of your own followers and clansmen, while I, in the great city of
King Priam, bring comfort to the Trojans and their women, who vie
with one another in their prayers on my behalf. Let us, moreover,
exchange presents that it may be said among the Achaeans and
Trojans, 'They fought with might and main, but were reconciled
and parted in friendship.'

On this he gave Ajax a silver-studded sword with its sheath and
leathern baldricand in return Ajax gave him a girdle dyed with
purple. Thus they partedthe one going to the host of the
Achaeansand the other to that of the Trojanswho rejoiced when
they saw their hero come to them safe and unharmed from the
strong hands of mighty Ajax. They led himthereforeto the city
as one that had been saved beyond their hopes. On the other side
the Achaeans brought Ajax elated with victory to Agamemnon.

When they reached the quarters of the son of AtreusAgamemnon
sacrificed for them a five-year-old bull in honour of Jove the
son of Saturn. They flayed the carcassmade it readyand
divided it into joints; these they cut carefully up into smaller
piecesputting them on the spitsroasting them sufficiently
and then drawing them off. When they had done all this and had
prepared the feastthey ate itand every man had his full and
equal shareso that all were satisfiedand King Agamemnon gave
Ajax some slices cut lengthways down the loinas a mark of
special honour. As soon as they had had enough to eat and drink
old Nestor whose counsel was ever truest began to speak; with all
sincerity and goodwillthereforehe addressed them thus:-


Son of Atreus, and other chieftains, inasmuch as many of the
Achaeans are now dead, whose blood Mars has shed by the banks of
the Scamander, and their souls have gone down to the house of
Hades, it will be well when morning comes that we should cease
fighting; we will then wheel our dead together with oxen and
mules and burn them not far from the ships, that when we sail
hence we may take the bones of our comrades home to their
children. Hard by the funeral pyre we will build a barrow that
shall be raised from the plain for all in common; near this let
us set about building a high wall, to shelter ourselves and our
ships, and let it have well-made gates that there may be a way
through them for our chariots. Close outside we will dig a deep
trench all round it to keep off both horse and foot, that the
Trojan chieftains may not bear hard upon us.

Thus he spokeand the princess shouted in applause. Meanwhile
the Trojans held a councilangry and full of discordon the
acropolis by the gates of King Priam's palace; and wise Antenor
spoke. "Hear me he said, TrojansDardaniansand alliesthat
I may speak even as I am minded. Let us give up Argive Helen and
her wealth to the sons of Atreusfor we are now fighting in
violation of our solemn covenantsand shall not prosper till we
have done as I say."

He then sat down and Alexandrus husband of lovely Helen rose to


speak. "Antenor said he, your words are not to my liking; you
can find a better saying than this if you will; ifhoweveryou
have spoken in good earnestthen indeed has heaven robbed you of
your reason. I will speak plainlyand hereby notify to the
Trojans that I will not give up the woman; but the wealth that I
brought home with her from Argos I will restoreand will add yet
further of my own."

On thiswhen Paris had spoken and taken his seatPriam of the
race of Dardanuspeer of gods in councilrose and with all
sincerity and goodwill addressed them thus: "Hear meTrojans
Dardaniansand alliesthat I may speak even as I am minded. Get
your suppers now as hitherto throughout the citybut keep your
watches and be wakeful. At daybreak let Idaeus go to the ships
and tell Agamemnon and Menelaus sons of Atreus the saying of
Alexandrus through whom this quarrel has come about; and let him
also be instant with them that they now cease fighting till we
burn our dead; hereafter we will fight anewtill heaven decide
between us and give victory to one or to the other."

Thus did he speakand they did even as he had said. They took
supper in their companies and at daybreak Idaeus went his way to
the ships. He found the Danaansservants of Marsin council at
the stern of Agamemnon's shipand took his place in the midst of
them. "Son of Atreus he said, and princes of the Achaean host
Priam and the other noble Trojans have sent me to tell you the
saying of Alexandrus through whom this quarrel has come aboutif
so be that you may find it acceptable. All the treasure he took
with him in his ships to Troy--would that he had sooner
perished--he will restoreand will add yet further of his own
but he will not give up the wedded wife of Menelausthough the
Trojans would have him do so. Priam bade me inquire further if
you will cease fighting till we burn our dead; hereafter we will
fight anewtill heaven decide between us and give victory to one
or to the other."

They all held their peacebut presently Diomed of the loud
war-cry spokesayingLet there be no taking, neither treasure,
nor yet Helen, for even a child may see that the doom of the
Trojans is at hand.

The sons of the Achaeans shouted applause at the words that
Diomed had spokenand thereon King Agamemnon said to Idaeus
Idaeus, you have heard the answer the Achaeans make you-and I
with them. But as concerning the dead, I give you leave to burn
them, for when men are once dead there should be no grudging them
the rites of fire. Let Jove the mighty husband of Juno be witness
to this covenant.

As he spoke he upheld his sceptre in the sight of all the gods
and Idaeus went back to the strong city of Ilius. The Trojans and
Dardanians were gathered in council waiting his return; when he
camehe stood in their midst and delivered his message. As soon
as they heard it they set about their twofold laboursome to
gather the corpsesand others to bring in wood. The Argives on
their part also hastened from their shipssome to gather the
corpsesand others to bring in wood.

The sun was beginning to beat upon the fieldsfresh risen into
the vault of heaven from the slow still currents of deep Oceanus
when the two armies met. They could hardly recognise their dead
but they washed the clotted gore from off themshed tears over
themand lifted them upon their waggons. Priam had forbidden the
Trojans to wail aloudso they heaped their dead sadly and


silently upon the pyreand having burned them went back to the
city of Ilius. The Achaeans in like manner heaped their dead
sadly and silently on the pyreand having burned them went back
to their ships.

Now in the twilight when it was not yet dawnchosen bands of the
Achaeans were gathered round the pyre and built one barrow that
was raised in common for alland hard by this they built a high
wall to shelter themselves and their ships; they gave it strong
gates that there might be a way through them for their chariots
and close outside it they dug a trench deep and wideand they
planted it within with stakes.

Thus did the Achaeans toiland the godsseated by the side of
Jove the lord of lightningmarvelled at their great work; but
Neptunelord of the earthquakespokesayingFather Jove,
what mortal in the whole world will again take the gods into his
counsel? See you not how the Achaeans have built a wall about
their ships and driven a trench all round it, without offering
hecatombs to the gods? The fame of this wall will reach as far as
dawn itself, and men will no longer think anything of the one
which Phoebus Apollo and myself built with so much labour for
Laomedon.

Jove was displeased and answeredWhat, O shaker of the earth,
are you talking about? A god less powerful than yourself might be
alarmed at what they are doing, but your fame reaches as far as
dawn itself. Surely when the Achaeans have gone home with their
ships, you can shatter their wall and fling it into the sea; you
can cover the beach with sand again, and the great wall of the
Achaeans will then be utterly effaced.

Thus did they converseand by sunset the work of the Achaeans
was completed; they then slaughtered oxen at their tents and got
their supper. Many ships had come with wine from Lemnossent by
Euneus the son of Jasonborn to him by Hypsipyle. The son of
Jason freighted them with ten thousand measures of winewhich he
sent specially to the sons of AtreusAgamemnon and Menelaus.
From this supply the Achaeans bought their winesome with
bronzesome with ironsome with hidessome with whole heifers
and some again with captives. They spread a goodly banquet and
feasted the whole night throughas also did the Trojans and
their allies in the city. But all the time Jove boded them ill
and roared with his portentous thunder. Pale fear got hold upon
themand they spilled the wine from their cups on to the ground
nor did any dare drink till he had made offerings to the most
mighty son of Saturn. Then they laid themselves down to rest and
enjoyed the boon of sleep.

BOOK VIII

NOW when Morningclad in her robe of saffronhad begun to
suffuse light over the earthJove called the gods in council on
the topmost crest of serrated Olympus. Then he spoke and all the
other gods gave ear. "Hear me said he, gods and goddesses
that I may speak even as I am minded. Let none of you neither
goddess nor god try to cross mebut obey me every one of you
that I may bring this matter to an end. If I see anyone acting
apart and helping either Trojans or Danaanshe shall be beaten
inordinately ere he come back again to Olympus; or I will hurl
him down into dark Tartarus far into the deepest pit under the
earthwhere the gates are iron and the floor bronzeas far


beneath Hades as heaven is high above the earththat you may
learn how much the mightiest I am among you. Try me and find out
for yourselves. Hangs me a golden chain from heavenand lay hold
of it all of yougods and goddesses together--tug as you will
you will not drag Jove the supreme counsellor from heaven to
earth; but were I to pull at it myself I should draw you up with
earth and sea into the bargainthen would I bind the chain about
some pinnacle of Olympus and leave you all dangling in the mid
firmament. So far am I above all others either of gods or men."

They were frightened and all of them of held their peacefor he
had spoken masterfully; but at last Minerva answeredFather,
son of Saturn, king of kings, we all know that your might is not
to be gainsaid, but we are also sorry for the Danaan warriors,
who are perishing and coming to a bad end. We will, however,
since you so bid us, refrain from actual fighting, but we will
make serviceable suggestions to the Argives that they may not all
of them perish in your displeasure.

Jove smiled at her and answeredTake heart, my child,
Trito-born; I am not really in earnest, and I wish to be kind to
you.

With this he yoked his fleet horseswith hoofs of bronze and
manes of glittering gold. He girded himself also with gold about
the bodyseized his gold whip and took his seat in his chariot.
Thereon he lashed his horses and they flew forward nothing loth
midway twixt earth and starry heaven. After a while he reached
many-fountained Idamother of wild beastsand Gargaruswhere
are his grove and fragrant altar. There the father of gods and
men stayed his horsestook them from the chariotand hid them
in a thick cloud; then he took his seat all glorious upon the
topmost crestslooking down upon the city of Troy and the ships
of the Achaeans.

The Achaeans took their morning meal hastily at the shipsand
afterwards put on their armour. The Trojans on the other hand
likewise armed themselves throughout the cityfewer in numbers
but nevertheless eager perforce to do battle for their wives and
children. All the gates were flung wide openand horse and foot
sallied forth with the tramp as of a great multitude.

When they were got together in one placeshield clashed with
shieldand spear with spearin the conflict of mail-clad men.
Mighty was the din as the bossed shields pressed hard on one
another--death--cry and shout of triumph of slain and slayers
and the earth ran red with blood.

Now so long as the day waxed and it was still morning their
weapons beat against one anotherand the people fellbut when
the sun had reached mid-heaventhe sire of all balanced his
golden scalesand put two fates of death within themone for
the Trojans and the other for the Achaeans. He took the balance
by the middleand when he lifted it up the day of the Achaeans
sank; the death-fraught scale of the Achaeans settled down upon
the groundwhile that of the Trojans rose heavenwards. Then he
thundered aloud from Idaand sent the glare of his lightning
upon the Achaeans; when they saw thispale fear fell upon them
and they were sore afraid.

Idomeneus dared not stay nor yet Agamemnonnor did the two
Ajaxesservants of Marshold their ground. Nestor knight of
Gerene alone stood firmbulwark of the Achaeansnot of his own
willbut one of his horses was disabled. Alexandrus husband of


lovely Helen had hit it with an arrow just on the top of its head
where the mane begins to grow away from the skulla very deadly
place. The horse bounded in his anguish as the arrow pierced his
brainand his struggles threw others into confusion. The old man
instantly began cutting the traces with his swordbut Hector's
fleet horses bore down upon him through the rout with their bold
charioteereven Hector himselfand the old man would have
perished there and then had not Diomed been quick to markand
with a loud cry called Ulysses to help him.

Ulysses,he criednoble son of Laertes where are you flying
to, with your back turned like a coward? See that you are not
struck with a spear between the shoulders. Stay here and help me
to defend Nestor from this man's furious onset.

Ulysses would not give earbut sped onward to the ships of the
Achaeansand the son of Tydeus flinging himself alone into the
thick of the fight took his stand before the horses of the son of
Neleus. "Sir said he, these young warriors are pressing you
hardyour force is spentand age is heavy upon youyour squire
is naughtand your horses are slow to move. Mount my chariot and
see what the horses of Tros can do--how cleverly they can scud
hither and thither over the plain either in flight or in pursuit.
I took them from the hero Aeneas. Let our squires attend to your
own steedsbut let us drive mine straight at the Trojansthat
Hector may learn how furiously I too can wield my spear."

Nestor knight of Gerene hearkened to his words. Thereon the
doughty squiresSthenelus and kind-hearted Eurymedonsaw to
Nestor's horseswhile the two both mounted Diomed's chariot.
Nestor took the reins in his hands and lashed the horses on; they
were soon close up with Hectorand the son of Tydeus aimed a
spear at him as he was charging full speed towards them. He
missed himbut struck his charioteer and squire Eniopeus son of
noble Thebaeus in the breast by the nipple while the reins were
in his handsso that he died there and thenand the horses
swerved as he fell headlong from the chariot. Hector was greatly
grieved at the loss of his charioteerbut let him lie for all
his sorrowwhile he went in quest of another driver; nor did his
steeds have to go long without onefor he presently found brave
Archeptolemus the son of Iphitusand made him get up behind the
horsesgiving the reins into his hand.

All had then been lost and no help for itfor they would have
been penned up in Ilius like sheephad not the sire of gods and
men been quick to markand hurled a fiery flaming thunderbolt
which fell just in front of Diomed's horses with a flare of
burning brimstone. The horses were frightened and tried to back
beneath the carwhile the reins dropped from Nestor's hands.
Then he was afraid and said to DiomedSon of Tydeus, turn your
horses in flight; see you not that the hand of Jove is against
you? To-day he vouchsafes victory to Hector; to-morrow, if it so
please him, he will again grant it to ourselves; no man, however
brave, may thwart the purpose of Jove, for he is far stronger
than any.

Diomed answeredAll that you have said is true; there is a
grief however which pierces me to the very heart, for Hector will
talk among the Trojans and say, 'The son of Tydeus fled before me
to the ships.' This is the vaunt he will make, and may earth then
swallow me.

Son of Tydeus,replied Nestorwhat mean you? Though Hector
say that you are a coward the Trojans and Dardanians will not


believe him, nor yet the wives of the mighty warriors whom you
have laid low.

So saying he turned the horses back through the thick of the
battleand with a cry that rent the air the Trojans and Hector
rained their darts after them. Hector shouted to him and said
Son of Tydeus, the Danaans have done you honour hitherto as
regards your place at table, the meals they give you, and the
filling of your cup with wine. Henceforth they will despise you,
for you are become no better than a woman. Be off, girl and
coward that you are, you shall not scale our walls through any
flinching upon my part; neither shall you carry off our wives in
your ships, for I shall kill you with my own hand.

The son of Tydeus was in two minds whether or no to turn his
horses round again and fight him. Thrice did he doubtand thrice
did Jove thunder from the heights of Ida in token to the Trojans
that he would turn the battle in their favour. Hector then
shouted to them and saidTrojans, Lycians, and Dardanians,
lovers of close fighting, be men, my friends, and fight with
might and with main; I see that Jove is minded to vouchsafe
victory and great glory to myself, while he will deal destruction
upon the Danaans. Fools, for having thought of building this weak
and worthless wall. It shall not stay my fury; my horses will
spring lightly over their trench, and when I am at their ships
forget not to bring me fire that I may burn them, while I
slaughter the Argives who will be all dazed and bewildered by the
smoke.

Then he cried to his horsesXanthus and Podargus, and you
Aethon and goodly Lampus, pay me for your keep now and for all
the honey-sweet corn with which Andromache daughter of great
Eetion has fed you, and for she has mixed wine and water for you
to drink whenever you would, before doing so even for me who am
her own husband. Haste in pursuit, that we may take the shield of
Nestor, the fame of which ascends to heaven, for it is of solid
gold, arm-rods and all, and that we may strip from the shoulders
of Diomed. the cuirass which Vulcan made him. Could we take these
two things, the Achaeans would set sail in their ships this
self-same night.

Thus did he vauntbut Queen Juno made high Olympus quake as she
shook with rage upon her throne. Then said she to the mighty god
of NeptuneWhat now, wide ruling lord of the earthquake? Can
you find no compassion in your heart for the dying Danaans, who
bring you many a welcome offering to Helice and to Aegae? Wish
them well then. If all of us who are with the Danaans were to
drive the Trojans back and keep Jove from helping them, he would
have to sit there sulking alone on Ida.

King Neptune was greatly troubled and answeredJuno, rash of
tongue, what are you talking about? We other gods must not set
ourselves against Jove, for he is far stronger than we are.

Thus did they converse; but the whole space enclosed by the
ditchfrom the ships even to the wallwas filled with horses
and warriorswho were pent up there by Hector son of Priamnow
that the hand of Jove was with him. He would even have set fire
to the ships and burned themhad not Queen Juno put it into the
mind of Agamemnonto bestir himself and to encourage the
Achaeans. To this end he went round the ships and tents carrying
a great purple cloakand took his stand by the huge black hull
of Ulysses' shipwhich was middlemost of all; it was from this
place that his voice would carry fartheston the one hand


towards the tents of Ajax son of Telamonand on the other
towards those of Achilles--for these two heroeswell assured of
their own strengthhad valorously drawn up their ships at the
two ends of the line. From this spot thenwith a voice that
could be heard afarhe shouted to the DanaanssayingArgives,
shame on you cowardly creatures, brave in semblance only; where
are now our vaunts that we should prove victorious--the vaunts we
made so vaingloriously in Lemnos, when we ate the flesh of horned
cattle and filled our mixing-bowls to the brim? You vowed that
you would each of you stand against a hundred or two hundred men,
and now you prove no match even for one--for Hector, who will be
ere long setting our ships in a blaze. Father Jove, did you ever
so ruin a great king and rob him so utterly of his greatness?
Yet, when to my sorrow I was coming hither, I never let my ship
pass your altars without offering the fat and thigh-bones of
heifers upon every one of them, so eager was I to sack the city
of Troy. Vouchsafe me then this prayer--suffer us to escape at
any rate with our lives, and let not the Achaeans be so utterly
vanquished by the Trojans.

Thus did he prayand father Jove pitying his tears vouchsafed
him that his people should livenot die; forthwith he sent them
an eaglemost unfailingly portentous of all birdswith a young
fawn in its talons; the eagle dropped the fawn by the altar on
which the Achaeans sacrificed to Jove the lord of omens; when
thereforethe people saw that the bird had come from Jovethey
sprang more fiercely upon the Trojans and fought more boldly.

There was no man of all the many Danaans who could then boast
that he had driven his horses over the trench and gone forth to
fight sooner than the son of Tydeus; long before any one else
could do so he slew an armed warrior of the TrojansAgelaus the
son of Phradmon. He had turned his horses in flightbut the
spear struck him in the back midway between his shoulders and
went right through his chestand his armour rang rattling round
him as he fell forward from his chariot.

After him came Agamemnon and Menelaussons of Atreusthe two
Ajaxes clothed in valour as with a garmentIdomeneus and his
companion in arms Merionespeer of murderous Marsand Eurypylus
the brave son of Euaemon. Ninth came Teucer with his bowand
took his place under cover of the shield of Ajax son of Telamon.
When Ajax lifted his shield Teucer would peer roundand when he
had hit any one in the throngthe man would fall dead; then
Teucer would hie back to Ajax as a child to its motherand again
duck down under his shield.

Which of the Trojans did brave Teucer first kill? Orsilochusand
then Ormenus and OphelestesDaetorChromiusand godlike
LycophontesAmopaon son of Polyaemonand Melanippus. these in
turn did he lay low upon the earthand King Agamemnon was glad
when he saw him making havoc of the Trojans with his mighty bow.
He went up to him and saidTeucer, man after my own heart, son
of Telamon, captain among the host, shoot on, and be at once the
saving of the Danaans and the glory of your father Telamon, who
brought you up and took care of you in his own house when you
were a child, bastard though you were. Cover him with glory
though he is far off; I will promise and I will assuredly
perform; if aegis-bearing Jove and Minerva grant me to sack the
city of Ilius, you shall have the next best meed of honour after
my own--a tripod, or two horses with their chariot, or a woman
who shall go up into your bed.

And Teucer answeredMost noble son of Atreus, you need not urge


me; from the moment we began to drive them back to Ilius, I have
never ceased so far as in me lies to look out for men whom I can
shoot and kill; I have shot eight barbed shafts, and all of them
have been buried in the flesh of warlike youths, but this mad dog
I cannot hit.

As he spoke he aimed another arrow straight at Hectorfor he was
bent on hitting him; nevertheless he missed himand the arrow
hit Priam's brave son Gorgythion in the breast. His motherfair
Castianeiralovely as a goddesshad been married from Aesyme
and now he bowed his head as a garden poppy in full bloom when it
is weighed down by showers in spring--even thus heavy bowed his
head beneath the weight of his helmet.

Again he aimed at Hectorfor he was longing to hit himand
again his arrow missedfor Apollo turned it aside; but he hit
Hector's brave charioteer Archeptolemus in the breastby the
nippleas he was driving furiously into the fight. The horses
swerved aside as he fell headlong from the chariotand there was
no life left in him. Hector was greatly grieved at the loss of
his charioteerbut for all his sorrow he let him lie where he
felland bade his brother Cebrioneswho was hard bytake the
reins. Cebriones did as he had said. Hector thereon with a loud
cry sprang from his chariot to the groundand seizing a great
stone made straight for Teucer with intent kill him. Teucer had
just taken an arrow from his quiver and had laid it upon the
bow-stringbut Hector struck him with the jagged stone as he was
taking aim and drawing the string to his shoulder; he hit him
just where the collar-bone divides the neck from the chesta
very deadly placeand broke the sinew of his arm so that his
wrist was lessand the bow dropped from his hand as he fell
forward on his knees. Ajax saw that his brother had fallenand
running towards him bestrode him and sheltered him with his
shield. Meanwhile his two trusty squiresMecisteus son of
Echiusand Alastorcame up and bore him to the ships groaning
in his great pain.

Jove now again put heart into the Trojansand they drove the
Achaeans to their deep trench with Hector in all his glory at
their head. As a hound grips a wild boar or lion in flank or
buttock when he gives him chaseand watches warily for his
wheelingeven so did Hector follow close upon the Achaeansever
killing the hindmost as they rushed panic-stricken onwards. When
they had fled through the set stakes and trench and many Achaeans
had been laid low at the hands of the Trojansthey halted at
their shipscalling upon one another and praying every man
instantly as they lifted up their hands to the gods; but Hector
wheeled his horses this way and thathis eyes glaring like those
of Gorgo or murderous Mars.

Juno when she saw them had pity upon themand at once said to
MinervaAlas, child of aegis-bearing Jove, shall you and I take
no more thought for the dying Danaans, though it be the last time
we ever do so? See how they perish and come to a bad end before
the onset of but a single man. Hector the son of Priam rages with
intolerable fury, and has already done great mischief.

Minerva answeredWould, indeed, this fellow might die in his
own land, and fall by the hands of the Achaeans; but my father
Jove is mad with spleen, ever foiling me, ever headstrong and
unjust. He forgets how often I saved his son when he was worn out
by the labours Eurystheus had laid on him. He would weep till his
cry came up to heaven, and then Jove would send me down to help
him; if I had had the sense to foresee all this, when Eurystheus


sent him to the house of Hades, to fetch the hell-hound from
Erebus, he would never have come back alive out of the deep
waters of the river Styx. And now Jove hates me, while he lets
Thetis have her way because she kissed his knees and took hold of
his beard, when she was begging him to do honour to Achilles. I
shall know what to do next time he begins calling me his
grey-eyed darling. Get our horses ready, while I go within the
house of aegis-bearing Jove and put on my armour; we shall then
find out whether Priam's son Hector will be glad to meet us in
the highways of battle, or whether the Trojans will glut hounds
and vultures with the fat of their flesh as they be dead by the
ships of the Achaeans.

Thus did she speak and white-armed Junodaughter of great
Saturnobeyed her words; she set about harnessing her
gold-bedizened steedswhile Minerva daughter of aegis-bearing
Jove flung her richly vesturemade with her own handson to the
threshold of her fatherand donned the shirt of Jovearming
herself for battle. Then she stepped into her flaming chariot
and grasped the spear so stout and sturdy and strong with which
she quells the ranks of heroes who have displeased her. Juno
lashed her horsesand the gates of heaven bellowed as they flew
open of their own accord--gates over which the Hours presidein
whose hands are heaven and Olympuseither to open the dense
cloud that hides them or to close it. Through these the goddesses
drove their obedient steeds.

But father Jove when he saw them from Ida was very angryand
sent winged Iris with a message to them. "Go said he, fleet
Iristurn them backand see that they do not come near mefor
if we come to fighting there will be mischief. This is what I
sayand this is what I mean to do. I will lame their horses for
them; I will hurl them from their chariotand will break it in
pieces. It will take them all ten years to heal the wounds my
lightning shall inflict upon them; my grey-eyed daughter will
then learn what quarrelling with her father means. I am less
surprised and angry with Junofor whatever I say she always
contradicts me."

With this Iris went her wayfleet as the windfrom the heights
of Ida to the lofty summits of Olympus. She met the goddesses at
the outer gates of its many valleys and gave them her message.
What,said sheare you about? Are you mad? The son of Saturn
forbids going. This is what he says, and this is he means to do,
he will lame your horses for you, he will hurl you from your
chariot, and will break it in pieces. It will take you all ten
years to heal the wounds his lightning will inflict upon you,
that you may learn, grey-eyed goddess, what quarrelling with your
father means. He is less hurt and angry with Juno, for whatever
he says she always contradicts him but you, bold hussy, will you
really dare to raise your huge spear in defiance of Jove?

With this she left themand Juno said to MinervaOf a truth,
child of aegis-bearing Jove, I am not for fighting men's battles
further in defiance of Jove. Let them live or die as luck will
have it, and let Jove mete out his judgements upon the Trojans
and Danaans according to his own pleasure.

She turned her steeds; the Hours presently unyoked themmade
them fast to their ambrosial mangersand leaned the chariot
against the end wall of the courtyard. The two goddesses then sat
down upon their golden thronesamid the company of the other
gods; but they were very angry.


Presently father Jove drove his chariot to Olympusand entered
the assembly of gods. The mighty lord of the earthquake unyoked
his horses for himset the car upon its standand threw a cloth
over it. Jove then sat down upon his golden throne and Olympus
reeled beneath him. Minerva and Juno sat aloneapart from Jove
and neither spoke nor asked him questionsbut Jove knew what
they meantand saidMinerva and Juno, why are you so angry?
Are you fatigued with killing so many of your dear friends the
Trojans? Be this as it may, such is the might of my hands that
all the gods in Olympus cannot turn me; you were both of you
trembling all over ere ever you saw the fight and its terrible
doings. I tell you therefore-and it would have surely been--I
should have struck you with lighting, and your chariots would
never have brought you back again to Olympus.

Minerva and Juno groaned in spirit as they sat side by side and
brooded mischief for the Trojans. Minerva sat silent without a
wordfor she was in a furious passion and bitterly incensed
against her father; but Juno could not contain herself and said
What, dread son of Saturn, are you talking about? We know how
great your power is, nevertheless we have compassion upon the
Danaan warriors who are perishing and coming to a bad end. We
will, however, since you so bid us, refrain from actual fighting,
but we will make serviceable suggestions to the Argives, that
they may not all of them perish in your displeasure.

And Jove answeredTo-morrow morning, Juno, if you choose to do
so, you will see the son of Saturn destroying large numbers of
the Argives, for fierce Hector shall not cease fighting till he
has roused the son of Peleus when they are fighting in dire
straits at their ships' sterns about the body of Patroclus. Like
it or no, this is how it is decreed; for aught I care, you may go
to the lowest depths beneath earth and sea, where Iapetus and
Saturn dwell in lone Tartarus with neither ray of light nor
breath of wind to cheer them. You may go on and on till you get
there, and I shall not care one whit for your displeasure; you
are the greatest vixen living.

Juno made him no answer. The sun's glorious orb now sank into
Oceanus and drew down night over the land. Sorry indeed were the
Trojans when light failed thembut welcome and thrice prayed for
did darkness fall upon the Achaeans.

Then Hector led the Trojans back from the shipsand held a
council on the open space near the riverwhere there was a spot
clear of corpses. They left their chariots and sat down on the
ground to hear the speech he made them. He grasped a spear eleven
cubits longthe bronze point of which gleamed in front of it
while the ring round the spear-head was of gold. Spear in hand he
spoke. "Hear me said he, TrojansDardaniansand allies. I
deemed but now that I should destroy the ships and all the
Achaeans with them ere I went back to Iliusbut darkness came on
too soon. It was this alone that saved them and their ships upon
the seashore. Nowthereforelet us obey the behests of night
and prepare our suppers. Take your horses out of their chariots
and give them their feeds of corn; then make speed to bring sheep
and cattle from the city; bring wine also and corn for your
horses and gather much woodthat from dark till dawn we may burn
watchfires whose flare may reach to heaven. For the Achaeans may
try to fly beyond the sea by nightand they must not embark
scatheless and unmolested; many a man among them must take a dart
with him to nurse at homehit with spear or arrow as he is
leaping on board his shipthat others may fear to bring war and
weeping upon the Trojans. Moreover let the heralds tell it about


the city that the growing youths and grey-bearded men are to camp
upon its heaven-built walls. Let the women each of them light a
great fire in her houseand let watch be safely kept lest the
town be entered by surprise while the host is outside. See to it
brave Trojansas I have saidand let this suffice for the
moment; at daybreak I will instruct you further. I pray in hope
to Jove and to the gods that we may then drive those fate-sped
hounds from our landfor 'tis the fates that have borne them and
their ships hither. This nightthereforelet us keep watchbut
with early morning let us put on our armour and rouse fierce war
at the ships of the Achaeans; I shall then know whether brave
Diomed the son of Tydeus will drive me back from the ships to the
wallor whether I shall myself slay him and carry off his
bloodstained spoils. To-morrow let him show his mettleabide my
spear if he dare. I ween that at break of dayhe shall be among
the first to fall and many another of his comrades round him.
Would that I were as sure of being immortal and never growing
oldand of being worshipped like Minerva and Apolloas I am
that this day will bring evil to the Argives."

Thus spoke Hector and the Trojans shouted applause. They took
their sweating steeds from under the yokeand made them fast
each by his own chariot. They made haste to bring sheep and
cattle from the citythey brought wine also and corn from their
houses and gathered much wood. They then offered unblemished
hecatombs to the immortalsand the wind carried the sweet savour
of sacrifice to heaven--but the blessed gods partook not thereof
for they bitterly hated Ilius with Priam and Priam's people. Thus
high in hope they sat through the livelong night by the highways
of warand many a watchfire did they kindle. As when the stars
shine clearand the moon is bright--there is not a breath of
airnot a peak nor glade nor jutting headland but it stands out
in the ineffable radiance that breaks from the serene of heaven;
the stars can all of them be told and the heart of the shepherd
is glad--even thus shone the watchfires of the Trojans before
Ilius midway between the ships and the river Xanthus. A thousand
camp-fires gleamed upon the plainand in the glow of each there
sat fifty menwhile the horseschamping oats and corn beside
their chariotswaited till dawn should come.

BOOK IX

THUS did the Trojans watch. But Paniccomrade of blood-stained
Routhad taken fast hold of the Achaeansand their princes were
all of them in despair. As when the two winds that blow from
Thrace--the north and the northwest--spring up of a sudden and
rouse the fury of the main--in a moment the dark waves uprear
their heads and scatter their sea-wrack in all directions--even
thus troubled were the hearts of the Achaeans.

The son of Atreus in dismay bade the heralds call the people to a
council man by manbut not to cry the matter aloud; he made
haste also himself to call themand they sat sorry at heart in
their assembly. Agamemnon shed tears as it were a running stream
or cataract on the side of some sheer cliff; and thuswith many
a heavy sigh he spoke to the Achaeans. "My friends said he,
princes and councillors Of the Argivesthe hand of heaven has
been laid heavily upon me. Cruel Jove gave me his solemn promise
that I should sack the city of Troy before returningbut he has
played me falseand is now bidding me go ingloriously back to
Argos with the loss of much people. Such is the will of Jovewho
has laid many a proud city in the dust as he will yet lay others


for his power is above all. Nowthereforelet us all do as I
say and sail back to our own countryfor we shall not take
Troy."

Thus he spokeand the sons of the Achaeans for a long while sat
sorrowful therebut they all held their peacetill at last
Diomed of the loud battle-cry made answer sayingSon of Atreus,
I will chide your folly, as is my right in council. Be not then
aggrieved that I should do so. In the first place you attacked me
before all the Danaans and said that I was a coward and no
soldier. The Argives young and old know that you did so. But the
son of scheming Saturn endowed you by halves only. He gave you
honour as the chief ruler over us, but valour, which is the
highest both right and might he did not give you. Sir, think you
that the sons of the Achaeans are indeed as unwarlike and
cowardly as you say they are? If your own mind is set upon going
home--go--the way is open to you; the many ships that followed
you from Mycene stand ranged upon the seashore; but the rest of
us stay here till we have sacked Troy. Nay though these too
should turn homeward with their ships, Sthenelus and myself will
still fight on till we reach the goal of Ilius, for heaven was
with us when we came.

The sons of the Achaeans shouted applause at the words of Diomed
and presently Nestor rose to speak. "Son of Tydeus said he, in
war your prowess is beyond questionand in council you excel all
who are of your own years; no one of the Achaeans can make light
of what you say nor gainsay itbut you have not yet come to the
end of the whole matter. You are still young--you might be the
youngest of my own children--still you have spoken wisely and
have counselled the chief of the Achaeans not without discretion;
nevertheless I am older than you and I will tell you everything;
therefore let no mannot even King Agamemnondisregard my
sayingfor he that foments civil discord is a clanless
hearthless outlaw.

Now, however, let us obey the behests of night and get our
suppers, but let the sentinels every man of them camp by the
trench that is without the wall. I am giving these instructions
to the young men; when they have been attended to, do you, son of
Atreus, give your orders, for you are the most royal among us
all. Prepare a feast for your councillors; it is right and
reasonable that you should do so; there is abundance of wine in
your tents, which the ships of the Achaeans bring from Thrace
daily. You have everything at your disposal wherewith to
entertain guests, and you have many subjects. When many are got
together, you can be guided by him whose counsel is wisest--and
sorely do we need shrewd and prudent counsel, for the foe has lit
his watchfires hard by our ships. Who can be other than dismayed?
This night will either be the ruin of our host, or save it.

Thus did he speakand they did even as he had said. The
sentinels went out in their armour under command of Nestor's son
Thrasymedesa captain of the hostand of the bold warriors
Ascalaphus and Ialmenus: there were also MerionesAphareus and
Deipyrusand the son of Creionnoble Lycomedes. There were
seven captains of the sentinelsand with each there went a
hundred youths armed with long spears: they took their places
midway between the trench and the walland when they had done so
they lit their fires and got every man his supper.

The son of Atreus then bade many councillors of the Achaeans to
his quarters prepared a great feast in their honour. They laid
their hands on the good things that were before themand as soon


as they had enough to eat and drinkold Nestorwhose counsel
was ever truestwas the first to lay his mind before them. He
thereforewith all sincerity and goodwill addressed them thus.

With yourself, most noble son of Atreus, king of men, Agamemnon,
will I both begin my speech and end it, for you are king over
much people. Jove, moreover, has vouchsafed you to wield the
sceptre and to uphold righteousness, that you may take thought
for your people under you; therefore it behooves you above all
others both to speak and to give ear, and to out the counsel of
another who shall have been minded to speak wisely. All turns on
you and on your commands, therefore I will say what I think will
be best. No man will be of a truer mind than that which has been
mine from the hour when you, sir, angered Achilles by taking the
girl Briseis from his tent against my judgment. I urged you not
to do so, but you yielded to your own pride, and dishonoured a
hero whom heaven itself had honoured--for you still hold the
prize that had been awarded to him. Now, however, let us think
how we may appease him, both with presents and fair speeches that
may conciliate him.

And King Agamemnon answeredSir, you have reproved my folly
justly. I was wrong. I own it. One whom heaven befriends is in
himself a host, and Jove has shown that he befriends this man by
destroying much people of the Achaeans. I was blinded with
passion and yielded to my worser mind; therefore I will make
amends, and will give him great gifts by way of atonement. I will
tell them in the presence of you all. I will give him seven
tripods that have never yet been on the fire, and ten talents of
gold. I will give him twenty iron cauldrons and twelve strong
horses that have won races and carried off prizes. Rich, indeed,
both in land and gold is he that has as many prizes as my horses
have won me. I will give him seven excellent workwomen, Lesbians,
whom I chose for myself when he took Lesbos--all of surpassing
beauty. I will give him these, and with them her whom I erewhile
took from him, the daughter of Briseus; and I swear a great oath
that I never went up into her couch, nor have been with her after
the manner of men and women.

All these things will I give him nowand if hereafter the gods
vouchsafe me to sack the city of Priamlet him come when we
Achaeans are dividing the spoiland load his ship with gold and
bronze to his liking; furthermore let him take twenty Trojan
womenthe loveliest after Helen herself. Thenwhen we reach
Achaean Argoswealthiest of all landshe shall be my son-in-law
and I will show him like honour with my own dear son Oresteswho
is being nurtured in all abundance. I have three daughters
ChrysothemisLaodiceand lphianassalet him take the one of
his choicefreely and without gifts of wooingto the house of
Peleus; I will add such dower to boot as no man ever yet gave his
daughterand will give him seven well established cities
CardamyleEnopeand Hirewhere there is grass; holy Pherae and
the rich meadows of Anthea; Aepea alsoand the vine-clad slopes
of Pedasusall near the seaand on the borders of sandy Pylos.
The men that dwell there are rich in cattle and sheep; they will
honour him with gifts as though he were a godand be obedient to
his comfortable ordinances. All this will I do if he will now
forgo his anger. Let him then yield; it is only Hades who is
utterly ruthless and unyielding--and hence he is of all gods the
one most hateful to mankind. Moreover I am older and more royal
than himself. Thereforelet him now obey me."

Then Nestor answeredMost noble son of Atreus, king of men,
Agamemnon. The gifts you offer are no small ones, let us then


send chosen messengers, who may go to the tent of Achilles son of
Peleus without delay. Let those go whom I shall name. Let
Phoenix, dear to Jove, lead the way; let Ajax and Ulysses follow,
and let the heralds Odius and Eurybates go with them. Now bring
water for our hands, and bid all keep silence while we pray to
Jove the son of Saturn, if so be that he may have mercy upon us.

Thus did he speakand his saying pleased them well.
Men-servants poured water over the hands of the guestswhile
pages filled the mixing-bowls with wine and waterand handed it
round after giving every man his drink-offering; thenwhen they
had made their offeringsand had drunk each as much as he was
mindedthe envoys set out from the tent of Agamemnon son of
Atreus; and Nestorlooking first to one and then to anotherbut
most especially at Ulysseswas instant with them that they
should prevail with the noble son of Peleus.

They went their way by the shore of the sounding seaand prayed
earnestly to earth-encircling Neptune that the high spirit of the
son of Aeacus might incline favourably towards them. When they
reached the ships and tents of the Myrmidonsthey found Achilles
playing on a lyrefairof cunning workmanshipand its
cross-bar was of silver. It was part of the spoils which he had
taken when he sacked the city of Eetionand he was now diverting
himself with it and singing the feats of heroes. He was alone
with Patrocluswho sat opposite to him and said nothingwaiting
till he should cease singing. Ulysses and Ajax now came in--
Ulysses leading the way--and stood before him. Achilles sprang
from his seat with the lyre still in his handand Patroclus
when he saw the strangersrose also. Achilles then greeted them
sayingAll hail and welcome--you must come upon some great
matter, you, who for all my anger are still dearest to me of the
Achaeans.

With this he led them forwardand bade them sit on seats covered
with purple rugs; then he said to Patroclus who was close by him
Son of Menoetius, set a larger bowl upon the table, mix less
water with the wine, and give every man his cup, for these are
very dear friends, who are now under my roof.

Patroclus did as his comrade bade him; he set the chopping-block
in front of the fireand on it he laid the loin of a sheepthe
loin also of a goatand the chine of a fat hog. Automedon held
the meat while Achilles chopped it; he then sliced the pieces and
put them on spits while the son of Menoetius made the fire burn
high. When the flame had died downhe spread the emberslaid
the spits on top of themlifting them up and setting them upon
the spit-racks; and he sprinkled them with salt. When the meat
was roastedhe set it on plattersand handed bread round the
table in fair basketswhile Achilles dealt them their portions.
Then Achilles took his seat facing Ulysses against the opposite
walland bade his comrade Patroclus offer sacrifice to the gods;
so he cast the offerings into the fireand they laid their hands
upon the good things that were before them. As soon as they had
had enough to eat and drinkAjax made a sign to Phoenixand
when he saw thisUlysses filled his cup with wine and pledged
Achilles.

Hail,said heAchilles, we have had no scant of good cheer,
neither in the tent of Agamemnon, nor yet here; there has been
plenty to eat and drink, but our thought turns upon no such
matter. Sir, we are in the face of great disaster, and without
your help know not whether we shall save our fleet or lose it.
The Trojans and their allies have camped hard by our ships and by


the wall; they have lit watchfires throughout their host and deem
that nothing can now prevent them from falling on our fleet.
Jove, moreover, has sent his lightnings on their right; Hector,
in all his glory, rages like a maniac; confident that Jove is
with him he fears neither god nor man, but is gone raving mad,
and prays for the approach of day. He vows that he will hew the
high sterns of our ships in pieces, set fire to their hulls, and
make havoc of the Achaeans while they are dazed and smothered in
smoke; I much fear that heaven will make good his boasting, and
it will prove our lot to perish at Troy far from our home in
Argos. Up, then, and late though it be, save the sons of the
Achaeans who faint before the fury of the Trojans. You will
repent bitterly hereafter if you do not, for when the harm is
done there will be no curing it; consider ere it be too late, and
save the Danaans from destruction.

My good friendwhen your father Peleus sent you from Phthia to
Agamemnondid he not charge you saying'SonMinerva and Juno
will make you strong if they choosebut check your high temper
for the better part is in goodwill. Eschew vain quarrellingand
the Achaeans old and young will respect you more for doing so.'
These were his wordsbut you have forgotten them. Even now
howeverbe appeasedand put away your anger from you. Agamemnon
will make you great amends if you will forgive him; listenand I
will tell you what he has said in his tent that he will give you.
He will give you seven tripods that have never yet been on the
fireand ten talents of gold; twenty iron cauldronsand twelve
strong horses that have won races and carried off prizes. Rich
indeed both in land and gold is he who has as many prizes as
these horses have won for Agamemnon. Moreover he will give you
seven excellent workwomenLesbianswhom he chose for himself
when you took Lesbos--all of surpassing beauty. He will give you
theseand with them her whom he erewhile took from youthe
daughter of Briseusand he will swear a great oathhe has never
gone up into her couch nor been with her after the manner of men
and women. All these things will he give you now downand if
hereafter the gods vouchsafe him to sack the city of Priamyou
can come when we Achaeans are dividing the spoiland load your
ship with gold and bronze to your liking. You can take twenty
Trojan womenthe loveliest after Helen herself. Thenwhen we
reach Achaean Argoswealthiest of all landsyou shall be his
son-in-lawand he will show you like honour with his own dear
son Oresteswho is being nurtured in all abundance. Agamemnon
has three daughtersChrysothemisLaodiceand Iphianassa; you
may take the one of your choicefreely and without gifts of
wooingto the house of Peleus; he will add such dower to boot as
no man ever yet gave his daughterand will give you seven
well-established citiesCardamyleEnopeand Hire where there
is grass; holy Pheras and the rich meadows of Anthea; Aepea also
and the vine-clad slopes of Pedasusall near the seaand on the
borders of sandy Pylos. The men that dwell there are rich in
cattle and sheep; they will honour you with gifts as though were
a godand be obedient to your comfortable ordinances. All this
will he do if you will now forgo your anger. Moreoverthough you
hate both him and his gifts with all your heartyet pity the
rest of the Achaeans who are being harassed in all their host;
they will honour you as a godand you will earn great glory at
their hands. You might even kill Hector; he will come within your
reachfor he is infatuatedand declares that not a Danaan whom
the ships have brought can hold his own against him."

Achilles answeredUlysses, noble son of Laertes, I should give
you formal notice plainly and in all fixity of purpose that there
be no more of this cajoling, from whatsoever quarter it may come.


Him do I hate even as the gates of hell who says one thing while
he hides another in his heart; therefore I will say what I mean.
I will be appeased neither by Agamemnon son of Atreus nor by any
other of the Danaans, for I see that I have no thanks for all my
fighting. He that fights fares no better than he that does not;
coward and hero are held in equal honour, and death deals like
measure to him who works and him who is idle. I have taken
nothing by all my hardships--with my life ever in my hand; as a
bird when she has found a morsel takes it to her nestlings, and
herself fares hardly, even so many a long night have I been
wakeful, and many a bloody battle have I waged by day against
those who were fighting for their women. With my ships I have
taken twelve cities, and eleven round about Troy have I stormed
with my men by land; I took great store of wealth from every one
of them, but I gave all up to Agamemnon son of Atreus. He stayed
where he was by his ships, yet of what came to him he gave
little, and kept much himself.

Nevertheless he did distribute some meeds of honour among the
chieftains and kingsand these have them still; from me alone of
the Achaeans did he take the woman in whom I delighted--let him
keep her and sleep with her. Whypraymust the Argives needs
fight the Trojans? What made the son of Atreus gather the host
and bring them? Was it not for the sake of Helen? Are the sons of
Atreus the only men in the world who love their wives? Any man of
common right feeling will love and cherish her who is his ownas
I this womanwith my whole heartthough she was but a fruitling
of my spear. Agamemnon has taken her from me; he has played me
false; I know him; let him tempt me no furtherfor he shall not
move me. Let him look to youUlyssesand to the other princes
to save his ships from burning. He has done much without me
already. He has built a wall; he has dug a trench deep and wide
all round itand he has planted it within with stakes; but even
so he stays not the murderous might of Hector. So long as I
fought the Achaeans Hector suffered not the battle range far from
the city walls; he would come to the Scaean gates and to the oak
treebut no further. Once he stayed to meet me and hardly did he
escape my onset: nowhoweversince I am in no mood to fight
himI will to-morrow offer sacrifice to Jove and to all the
gods; I will draw my ships into the water and then victual them
duly; to-morrow morningif you care to lookyou will see my
ships on the Hellespontand my men rowing out to sea with might
and main. If great Neptune vouchsafes me a fair passagein three
days I shall be in Phthia. I have much there that I left behind
me when I came here to my sorrowand I shall bring back still
further store of goldof red copperof fair womenand of iron
my share of the spoils that we have taken; but one prizehe who
gave has insolently taken away. Tell him all as I now bid you
and tell him in public that the Achaeans may hate him and beware
of him should he think that he can yet dupe others for his
effrontery never fails him.

As for me, hound that he is, he dares not look me in the face.
I will take no counsel with him, and will undertake nothing in
common with him. He has wronged me and deceived me enough, he
shall not cozen me further; let him go his own way, for Jove has
robbed him of his reason. I loathe his presents, and for himself
care not one straw. He may offer me ten or even twenty times what
he has now done, nay--not though it be all that he has in the
world, both now or ever shall have; he may promise me the wealth
of Orchomenus or of Egyptian Thebes, which is the richest city in
the whole world, for it has a hundred gates through each of which
two hundred men may drive at once with their chariots and horses;
he may offer me gifts as the sands of the sea or the dust of the


plain in multitude, but even so he shall not move me till I have
been revenged in full for the bitter wrong he has done me. I will
not marry his daughter; she may be fair as Venus, and skilful as
Minerva, but I will have none of her: let another take her, who
may be a good match for her and who rules a larger kingdom. If
the gods spare me to return home, Peleus will find me a wife;
there are Achaean women in Hellas and Phthia, daughters of kings
that have cities under them; of these I can take whom I will and
marry her. Many a time was I minded when at home in Phthia to woo
and wed a woman who would make me a suitable wife, and to enjoy
the riches of my old father Peleus. My life is more to me than
all the wealth of Ilius while it was yet at peace before the
Achaeans went there, or than all the treasure that lies on the
stone floor of Apollo's temple beneath the cliffs of Pytho.
Cattle and sheep are to be had for harrying, and a man buy both
tripods and horses if he wants them, but when his life has once
left him it can neither be bought nor harried back again.

My mother Thetis tells me that there are two ways in which I may
meet my end. If I stay here and fightI shall not return alive
but my name will live for ever: whereas if I go home my name will
diebut it will be long ere death shall take me. To the rest of
youthenI say'Go homefor you will not take Ilius.' Jove
has held his hand over her to protect herand her people have
taken heart. Gothereforeas in duty boundand tell the
princes of the Achaeans the message that I have sent them; tell
them to find some other plan for the saving of their ships and
peoplefor so long as my displeasure lasts the one that they
have now hit upon may not be. As for Phoenixlet him sleep here
that he may sail with me in the morning if he so will. But I
will not take him by force."

They all held their peacedismayed at the sternness with which
he had denied themtill presently the old knight Phoenix in his
great fear for the ships of the Achaeansburst into tears and
saidNoble Achilles, if you are now minded to return, and in
the fierceness of your anger will do nothing to save the ships
from burning, how, my son, can I remain here without you? Your
father Peleus bade me go with you when he sent you as a mere lad
from Phthia to Agamemnon. You knew nothing neither of war nor of
the arts whereby men make their mark in council, and he sent me
with you to train you in all excellence of speech and action.
Therefore, my son, I will not stay here without you--no, not
though heaven itself vouchsafe to strip my years from off me, and
make me young as I was when I first left Hellas the land of fair
women. I was then flying the anger of father Amyntor, son of
Ormenus, who was furious with me in the matter of his concubine,
of whom he was enamoured to the wronging of his wife my mother.
My mother, therefore, prayed me without ceasing to lie with the
woman myself, that so she hate my father, and in the course of
time I yielded. But my father soon came to know, and cursed me
bitterly, calling the dread Erinyes to witness. He prayed that no
son of mine might ever sit upon knees--and the gods, Jove of the
world below and awful Proserpine, fulfilled his curse. I took
counsel to kill him, but some god stayed my rashness and bade me
think on men's evil tongues and how I should be branded as the
murderer of my father; nevertheless I could not bear to stay in
my father's house with him so bitter a against me. My cousins and
clansmen came about me, and pressed me sorely to remain; many a
sheep and many an ox did they slaughter, and many a fat hog did
they set down to roast before the fire; many a jar, too, did they
broach of my father's wine. Nine whole nights did they set a
guard over me taking it in turns to watch, and they kept a fire
always burning, both in the cloister of the outer court and in


the inner court at the doors of the room wherein I lay; but when
the darkness of the tenth night came, I broke through the closed
doors of my room, and climbed the wall of the outer court after
passing quickly and unperceived through the men on guard and the
women servants. I then fled through Hellas till I came to fertile
Phthia, mother of sheep, and to King Peleus, who made me welcome
and treated me as a father treats an only son who will be heir to
all his wealth. He made me rich and set me over much people,
establishing me on the borders of Phthia where I was chief ruler
over the Dolopians.

It was IAchilleswho had the making of you; I loved you with
all my heart: for you would eat neither at home nor when you had
gone out elsewheretill I had first set you upon my kneescut
up the dainty morsel that you were to eatand held the wine-cup
to your lips. Many a time have you slobbered your wine in baby
helplessness over my shirt; I had infinite trouble with youbut
I knew that heaven had vouchsafed me no offspring of my ownand
I made a son of youAchillesthat in my hour of need you might
protect me. NowthereforeI say battle with your pride and beat
it; cherish not your anger for ever; the might and majesty of
heaven are more than oursbut even heaven may be appeased; and
if a man has sinned he prays the godsand reconciles them to
himself by his piteous cries and by frankincensewith
drink-offerings and the savour of burnt sacrifice. For prayers
are as daughters to great Jove; haltwrinkledwith eyes
askancethey follow in the footsteps of sinwhobeing fierce
and fleet of footleaves them far behind himand ever baneful
to mankind outstrips them even to the ends of the world; but
nevertheless the prayers come hobbling and healing after. If a
man has pity upon these daughters of Jove when they draw near
himthey will bless him and hear him too when he is praying; but
if he deny them and will not listen to themthey go to Jove the
son of Saturn and pray that he may presently fall into sin--to
his ruing bitterly hereafter. ThereforeAchillesgive these
daughters of Jove due reverenceand bow before them as all good
men will bow. Were not the son of Atreus offering you gifts and
promising others later--if he were still furious and implacable-I
am not he that would bid you throw off your anger and help the
Achaeansno matter how great their need; but he is giving much
nowand more hereafter; he has sent his captains to urge his
suitand has chosen those who of all the Argives are most
acceptable to you; make not then their words and their coming to
be of none effect. Your anger has been righteous so far. We have
heard in song how heroes of old time quarrelled when they were
roused to furybut still they could be won by giftsand fair
words could soothe them.

I have an old story in my mind--a very old one--but you are all
friends and I will tell it. The Curetes and the Aetolians were
fighting and killing one another round Calydon--the Aetolians
defending the city and the Curetes trying to destroy it. For
Diana of the golden throne was angry and did them hurt because
Oeneus had not offered her his harvest first-fruits. The other
gods had all been feasted with hecatombs, but to the daughter of
great Jove alone he had made no sacrifice. He had forgotten her,
or somehow or other it had escaped him, and this was a grievous
sin. Thereon the archer goddess in her displeasure sent a
prodigious creature against him--a savage wild boar with great
white tusks that did much harm to his orchard lands, uprooting
apple-trees in full bloom and throwing them to the ground. But
Meleager son of Oeneus got huntsmen and hounds from many cities
and killed it--for it was so monstrous that not a few were
needed, and many a man did it stretch upon his funeral pyre. On


this the goddess set the Curetes and the Aetolians fighting
furiously about the head and skin of the boar.

So long as Meleager was in the field things went badly with the
Curetesand for all their numbers they could not hold their
ground under the city walls; but in the course of time Meleager
was angered as even a wise man will sometimes be. He was incensed
with his mother Althaeaand therefore stayed at home with his
wedded wife fair Cleopatrawho was daughter of Marpessa daughter
of Euenusand of Ides the man then living. He it was who took
his bow and faced King Apollo himself for fair Marpessa's sake;
her father and mother then named her Alcyonebecause her mother
had mourned with the plaintive strains of the halcyon-bird when
Phoebus Apollo had carried her off. Meleagerthenstayed at
home with Cleopatranursing the anger which he felt by reason of
his mother's curses. His mothergrieving for the death of her
brotherprayed the godsand beat the earth with her hands
calling upon Hades and on awful Proserpine; she went down upon
her knees and her bosom was wet with tears as she prayed that
they would kill her son--and Erinys that walks in darkness and
knows no ruth heard her from Erebus.

Then was heard the din of battle about the gates of Calydon, and
the dull thump of the battering against their walls. Thereon the
elders of the Aetolians besought Meleager; they sent the chiefest
of their priests, and begged him to come out and help them,
promising him a great reward. They bade him choose fifty
plough-gates, the most fertile in the plain of Calydon, the
one-half vineyard and the other open plough-land. The old warrior
Oeneus implored him, standing at the threshold of his room and
beating the doors in supplication. His sisters and his mother
herself besought him sore, but he the more refused them; those of
his comrades who were nearest and dearest to him also prayed him,
but they could not move him till the foe was battering at the
very doors of his chamber, and the Curetes had scaled the walls
and were setting fire to the city. Then at last his sorrowing
wife detailed the horrors that befall those whose city is taken;
she reminded him how the men are slain, and the city is given
over to the flames, while the women and children are carried into
captivity; when he heard all this, his heart was touched, and he
donned his armour to go forth. Thus of his own inward motion he
saved the city of the Aetolians; but they now gave him nothing of
those rich rewards that they had offered earlier, and though he
saved the city he took nothing by it. Be not then, my son, thus
minded; let not heaven lure you into any such course. When the
ships are burning it will be a harder matter to save them. Take
the gifts, and go, for the Achaeans will then honour you as a
god; whereas if you fight without taking them, you may beat the
battle back, but you will not be held in like honour.

And Achilles answeredPhoenix, old friend and father, I have no
need of such honour. I have honour from Jove himself, which will
abide with me at my ships while I have breath in my body, and my
limbs are strong. I say further--and lay my saying to your
heart--vex me no more with this weeping and lamentation, all in
the cause of the son of Atreus. Love him so well, and you may
lose the love I bear you. You ought to help me rather in
troubling those that trouble me; be king as much as I am, and
share like honour with myself; the others shall take my answer;
stay here yourself and sleep comfortably in your bed; at daybreak
we will consider whether to remain or go.

On this she nodded quietly to Patroclus as a sign that he was to
prepare a bed for Phoenixand that the others should take their


leave. Ajax son of Telamon then saidUlysses, noble son of
Laertes, let us be gone, for I see that our journey is vain. We
must now take our answer, unwelcome though it be, to the Danaans
who are waiting to receive it. Achilles is savage and
remorseless; he is cruel, and cares nothing for the love his
comrades lavished upon him more than on all the others. He is
implacable--and yet if a man's brother or son has been slain he
will accept a fine by way of amends from him that killed him, and
the wrong-doer having paid in full remains in peace among his own
people; but as for you, Achilles, the gods have put a wicked
unforgiving spirit in your heart, and this, all about one single
girl, whereas we now offer you the seven best we have, and much
else into the bargain. Be then of a more gracious mind, respect
the hospitality of your own roof. We are with you as messengers
from the host of the Danaans, and would fain he held nearest and
dearest to yourself of all the Achaeans.

Ajax,replied Achillesnoble son of Telamon, you have spoken
much to my liking, but my blood boils when I think it all over,
and remember how the son of Atreus treated me with contumely as
though I were some vile tramp, and that too in the presence of
the Argives. Go, then, and deliver your message; say that I will
have no concern with fighting till Hector, son of noble Priam,
reaches the tents of the Myrmidons in his murderous course, and
flings fire upon their ships. For all his lust of battle, I take
it he will be held in check when he is at my own tent and ship.

On this they took every man his double cupmade their
drink-offeringsand went back to the shipsUlysses leading the
way. But Patroclus told his men and the maid-servants to make
ready a comfortable bed for Phoenix; they therefore did so with
sheepskinsa rugand a sheet of fine linen. The old man then
laid himself down and waited till morning came. But Achilles
slept in an inner roomand beside him the daughter of Phorbas
lovely Diomedewhom he had carried off from Lesbos. Patroclus
lay on the other side of the roomand with him fair Iphis whom
Achilles had given him when he took Scyros the city of Enyeus.

When the envoys reached the tents of the son of Atreusthe
Achaeans rosepledged them in cups of goldand began to
question them. King Agamemnon was the first to do so. "Tell me
Ulysses said he, will he save the ships from burningor did
be refuseand is he still furious?"

Ulysses answeredMost noble son of Atreus, king of men,
Agamemnon, Achilles will not be calmed, but is more fiercely
angry than ever, and spurns both you and your gifts. He bids you
take counsel with the Achaeans to save the ships and host as you
best may; as for himself, he said that at daybreak he should draw
his ships into the water. He said further that he should advise
every one to sail home likewise, for that you will not reach the
goal of Ilius. 'Jove,' he said, 'has laid his hand over the city
to protect it, and the people have taken heart.' This is what he
said, and the others who were with me can tell you the same
story--Ajax and the two heralds, men, both of them, who may be
trusted. The old man Phoenix stayed where he was to sleep, for so
Achilles would have it, that he might go home with him in the
morning if he so would; but he will not take him by force.

They all held their peacesitting for a long time silent and
dejectedby reason of the sternness with which Achilles had
refused themtill presently Diomed saidMost noble son of
Atreus, king of men, Agamemnon, you ought not to have sued the
son of Peleus nor offered him gifts. He is proud enough as it is,


and you have encouraged him in his pride still further. Let him
stay or go as he will. He will fight later when he is in the
humour, and heaven puts it in his mind to do so. Now, therefore,
let us all do as I say; we have eaten and drunk our fill, let us
then take our rest, for in rest there is both strength and stay.
But when fair rosy-fingered morn appears, forthwith bring out
your host and your horsemen in front of the ships, urging them
on, and yourself fighting among the foremost.

Thus he spokeand the other chieftains approved his words. They
then made their drink-offerings and went every man to his own
tentwhere they laid down to rest and enjoyed the boon of sleep.

BOOK X

NOW the other princes of the Achaeans slept soundly the whole
night throughbut Agamemnon son of Atreus was troubledso that
he could get no rest. As when fair Juno's lord flashes his
lightning in token of great rain or hail or snow when the
snow-flakes whiten the groundor again as a sign that he will
open the wide jaws of hungry wareven so did Agamemnon heave
many a heavy sighfor his soul trembled within him. When he
looked upon the plain of Troy he marvelled at the many watchfires
burning in front of Iliusand at the sound of pipes and flutes
and of the hum of menbut when presently he turned towards the
ships and hosts of the Achaeanshe tore his hair by handfuls
before Jove on highand groaned aloud for the very disquietness
of his soul. In the end he deemed it best to go at once to Nestor
son of Neleusand see if between them they could find any way of
the Achaeans from destruction. He therefore roseput on his
shirtbound his sandals about his comely feetflung the skin of
a huge tawny lion over his shoulders--a skin that reached his
feet--and took his spear in his hand.

Neither could Menelaus sleepfor hetooboded ill for the
Argives who for his sake had sailed from far over the seas to
fight the Trojans. He covered his broad back with the skin of a
spotted pantherput a casque of bronze upon his headand took
his spear in his brawny hand. Then he went to rouse his brother
who was by far the most powerful of the Achaeansand was
honoured by the people as though he were a god. He found him by
the stern of his ship already putting his goodly array about his
shouldersand right glad was he that his brother had come.

Menelaus spoke first. "Why said he, my dear brotherare you
thus arming? Are you going to send any of our comrades to exploit
the Trojans? I greatly fear that no one will do you this service
and spy upon the enemy alone in the dead of night. It will be a
deed of great daring."

And King Agamemnon answeredMenelaus, we both of us need shrewd
counsel to save the Argives and our ships, for Jove has changed
his mind, and inclines towards Hector's sacrifices rather than
ours. I never saw nor heard tell of any man as having wrought
such ruin in one day as Hector has now wrought against the sons
of the Achaeans--and that too of his own unaided self, for he is
son neither to god nor goddess. The Argives will rue it long and
deeply. Run, therefore, with all speed by the line of the ships,
and call Ajax and Idomeneus. Meanwhile I will go to Nestor, and
bid him rise and go about among the companies of our sentinels to
give them their instructions; they will listen to him sooner than
to any man, for his own son, and Meriones brother in arms to


Idomeneus, are captains over them. It was to them more
particularly that we gave this charge.

Menelaus repliedHow do I take your meaning? Am I to stay with
them and wait your coming, or shall I return here as soon as I
have given your orders?Wait,answered King Agamemnonfor
there are so many paths about the camp that we might miss one
another. Call every man on your way, and bid him be stirring;
name him by his lineage and by his father's name, give each all
titular observance, and stand not too much upon your own dignity;
we must take our full share of toil, for at our birth Jove laid
this heavy burden upon us.

With these instructions he sent his brother on his wayand went
on to Nestor shepherd of his people. He found him sleeping in his
tent hard by his own ship; his goodly armour lay beside him--his
shieldhis two spears and his helmet; beside him also lay the
gleaming girdle with which the old man girded himself when he
armed to lead his people into battle--for his age stayed him not.
He raised himself on his elbow and looked up at Agamemnon. "Who
is it said he, that goes thus about the host and the ships
alone and in the dead of nightwhen men are sleeping? Are you
looking for one of your mules or for some comrade? Do not stand
there and say nothingbut speak. What is your business?"

And Agamemnon answeredNestor, son of Neleus, honour to the
Achaean name, it is I, Agamemnon son of Atreus, on whom Jove has
laid labour and sorrow so long as there is breath in my body and
my limbs carry me. I am thus abroad because sleep sits not upon
my eyelids, but my heart is big with war and with the jeopardy of
the Achaeans. I am in great fear for the Danaans. I am at sea,
and without sure counsel; my heart beats as though it would leap
out of my body, and my limbs fail me. If then you can do
anything--for you too cannot sleep--let us go the round of the
watch, and see whether they are drowsy with toil and sleeping to
the neglect of their duty. The enemy is encamped hard and we know
not but he may attack us by night.

Nestor repliedMost noble son of Atreus, king of men,
Agamemnon, Jove will not do all for Hector that Hector thinks he
will; he will have troubles yet in plenty if Achilles will lay
aside his anger. I will go with you, and we will rouse others,
either the son of Tydeus, or Ulysses, or fleet Ajax and the
valiant son of Phyleus. Some one had also better go and call Ajax
and King Idomeneus, for their ships are not near at hand but the
farthest of all. I cannot however refrain from blaming Menelaus,
much as I love him and respect him--and I will say so plainly,
even at the risk of offending you--for sleeping and leaving all
this trouble to yourself. He ought to be going about imploring
aid from all the princes of the Achaeans, for we are in extreme
danger.

And Agamemnon answeredSir, you may sometimes blame him justly,
for he is often remiss and unwilling to exert himself--not
indeed from sloth, nor yet heedlessness, but because he looks to
me and expects me to take the lead. On this occasion, however, he
was awake before I was, and came to me of his own accord. I have
already sent him to call the very men whom you have named. And
now let us be going. We shall find them with the watch outside
the gates, for it was there I said that we would meet them.

In that case,answered Nestorthe Argives will not blame him
nor disobey his orders when he urges them to fight or gives them
instructions.


With this he put on his shirtand bound his sandals about his
comely feet. He buckled on his purple coatof two thicknesses
largeand of a rough shaggy texturegrasped his redoubtable
bronze-shod spearand wended his way along the line of the
Achaean ships. First he called loudly to Ulysses peer of gods in
counsel and woke himfor he was soon roused by the sound of the
battle-cry. He came outside his tent and saidWhy do you go
thus alone about the host, and along the line of the ships in the
stillness of the night? What is it that you find so urgent?And
Nestor knight of Gerene answeredUlysses, noble son of Laertes,
take it not amiss, for the Achaeans are in great straits. Come
with me and let us wake some other, who may advise well with us
whether we shall fight or fly.

On this Ulysses went at once into his tentput his shield about
his shoulders and came out with them. First they went to Diomed
son of Tydeusand found him outside his tent clad in his armour
with his comrades sleeping round him and using their shields as
pillows; as for their spearsthey stood upright on the spikes of
their butts that were driven into the groundand the burnished
bronze flashed afar like the lightning of father Jove. The hero
was sleeping upon the skin of an oxwith a piece of fine carpet
under his head; Nestor went up to him and stirred him with his
heel to rouse himupbraiding him and urging him to bestir
himself. "Wake up he exclaimed, son of Tydeus. How can you
sleep on in this way? Can you not see that the Trojans are
encamped on the brow of the plain hard by our shipswith but a
little space between us and them?"

On these words Diomed leaped up instantly and saidOld man,
your heart is of iron; you rest not one moment from your labours.
Are there no younger men among the Achaeans who could go about to
rouse the princes? There is no tiring you.

And Nestor knight of Gerene made answerMy son, all that you
have said is true. I have good sons, and also much people who
might call the chieftains, but the Achaeans are in the gravest
danger; life and death are balanced as it were on the edge of a
razor. Go then, for you are younger than I, and of your courtesy
rouse Ajax and the fleet son of Phyleus.

Diomed threw the skin of a great tawny lion about his shoulders-a
skin that reached his feet--and grasped his spear. When he had
roused the heroeshe brought them back with him; they then went
the round of those who were on guardand found the captains not
sleeping at their posts but wakeful and sitting with their arms
about them. As sheep dogs that watch their flocks when they are
yardedand hear a wild beast coming through the mountain forest
towards them--forthwith there is a hue and cry of dogs and men
and slumber is broken--even so was sleep chased from the eyes of
the Achaeans as they kept the watches of the wicked nightfor
they turned constantly towards the plain whenever they heard any
stir among the Trojans. The old man was glad bade them be of good
cheer. "Watch onmy children said he, and let not sleep get
hold upon youlest our enemies triumph over us."

With this he passed the trenchand with him the other chiefs of
the Achaeans who had been called to the council. Meriones and the
brave son of Nestor went alsofor the princes bade them. When
they were beyond the trench that was dug round the wall they held
their meeting on the open ground where there was a space clear of
corpsesfor it was here that when night fell Hector had turned
back from his onslaught on the Argives. They sat downtherefore


and held debate with one another.

Nestor spoke first. "My friends said he, is there any man bold
enough to venture the Trojansand cut off some straggleror us
news of what the enemy mean to do whether they will stay here by
the ships away from the cityor whethernow that they have
worsted the Achaeansthey will retire within their walls. If he
could learn all this and come back safely herehis fame would be
high as heaven in the mouths of all menand he would be rewarded
richly; for the chiefs from all our ships would each of them give
him a black ewe with her lamb--which is a present of surpassing
value--and he would be asked as a guest to all feasts and
clan-gatherings."

They all held their peacebut Diomed of the loud war-cry spoke
sayingNestor, gladly will I visit the host of the Trojans over
against us, but if another will go with me I shall do so in
greater confidence and comfort. When two men are together, one of
them may see some opportunity which the other has not caught
sight of; if a man is alone he is less full of resource, and his
wit is weaker.

On this several offered to go with Diomed. The two Ajaxes
servants of MarsMerionesand the son of Nestor all wanted to
goso did Menelaus son of Atreus; Ulysses also wished to go
among the host of the Trojansfor he was ever full of daring
and thereon Agamemnon king of men spoke thus: "Diomed said he,
son of Tydeusman after my own heartchoose your comrade for
yourself--take the best man of those that have offeredfor many
would now go with you. Do not through delicacy reject the better
manand take the worst out of respect for his lineagebecause
he is of more royal blood."

He said this because he feared for Menelaus. Diomed answeredIf
you bid me take the man of my own choice, how in that case can I
fail to think of Ulysses, than whom there is no man more eager to
face all kinds of danger--and Pallas Minerva loves him well? If
he were to go with me we should pass safely through fire itself,
for he is quick to see and understand.

Son of Tydeus,replied Ulyssessay neither good nor ill about
me, for you are among Argives who know me well. Let us be going,
for the night wanes and dawn is at hand. The stars have gone
forward, two-thirds of the night are already spent, and the third
is alone left us.

They then put on their armour. Brave Thrasymedes provided the son
of Tydeus with a sword and a shield (for he had left his own at
his ship) and on his head he set a helmet of bull's hide without
either peak or crest; it is called a skull-cap and is a common
headgear. Meriones found a bow and quiver for Ulyssesand on his
head he set a leathern helmet that was lined with a strong
plaiting of leathern thongswhile on the outside it was thickly
studded with boar's teethwell and skilfully set into it; next
the head there was an inner lining of felt. This helmet had been
stolen by Autolycus out of Eleon when he broke into the house of
Amyntor son of Ormenus. He gave it to Amphidamas of Cythera to
take to Scandeaand Amphidamas gave it as a guest-gift to Molus
who gave it to his son Meriones; and now it was set upon the head
of Ulysses.

When the pair had armedthey set outand left the other
chieftains behind them. Pallas Minerva sent them a heron by the
wayside upon their right hands; they could not see it for the


darknessbut they heard its cry. Ulysses was glad when he heard
it and prayed to Minerva: "Hear me he cried, daughter of
aegis-bearing Joveyou who spy out all my ways and who are with
me in all my hardships; befriend me in this mine hourand grant
that we may return to the ships covered with glory after having
achieved some mighty exploit that shall bring sorrow to the
Trojans."

Then Diomed of the loud war-cry also prayed: "Hear me too said
he, daughter of Joveunweariable; be with me even as you were
with my noble father Tydeus when he went to Thebes as envoy sent
by the Achaeans. He left the Achaeans by the banks of the river
Aesopusand went to the city bearing a message of peace to the
Cadmeians; on his return thencewith your helpgoddesshe did
great deeds of daringfor you were his ready helper. Even so
guide me and guard me nowand in return I will offer you in
sacrifice a broad-browed heifer of a year oldunbrokenand
never yet brought by man under the yoke. I will gild her horns
and will offer her up to you in sacrifice."

Thus they prayedand Pallas Minerva heard their prayer. When
they had done praying to the daughter of great Jovethey went
their way like two lions prowling by night amid the armour and
blood-stained bodies of them that had fallen.

Neither again did Hector let the Trojans sleep; for he too called
the princes and councillors of the Trojans that he might set his
counsel before them. "Is there one said he, who for a great
reward will do me the service of which I will tell you? He shall
be well paid if he will. I will give him a chariot and a couple
of horsesthe fleetest that can be found at the ships of the
Achaeansif he will dare this thing; and he will win infinite
honour to boot; he must go to the ships and find out whether they
are still guarded as heretoforeor whether now that we have
beaten them the Achaeans design to flyand through sheer
exhaustion are neglecting to keep their watches."

They all held their peace; but there was among the Trojans a
certain man named Dolonson of Eumedesthe famous herald--a man
rich in gold and bronze. He was ill-favouredbut a good runner
and was an only son among five sisters. He it was that now
addressed the Trojans. "IHector said he, Will to the ships
and will exploit them. But first hold up your sceptre and swear
that you will give me the chariotbedight with bronzeand the
horses that now carry the noble son of Peleus. I will make you a
good scoutand will not fail you. I will go through the host
from one end to the other till I come to the ship of Agamemnon
where I take it the princes of the Achaeans are now consulting
whether they shall fight or fly."

When he had done speaking Hector held up his sceptreand swore
him his oath sayingMay Jove the thundering husband of Juno
bear witness that no other Trojan but yourself shall mount those
steeds, and that you shall have your will with them for ever.

The oath he swore was bootlessbut it made Dolon more keen on
going. He hung his bow over his shoulderand as an overall he
wore the skin of a grey wolfwhile on his head he set a cap of
ferret skin. Then he took a pointed javelinand left the camp
for the shipsbut he was not to return with any news for Hector.
When he had left the horses and the troops behind himhe made
all speed on his waybut Ulysses perceived his coming and said
to DiomedDiomed, here is some one from the camp; I am not sure
whether he is a spy, or whether it is some thief who would


plunder the bodies of the dead; let him get a little past us, we
can then spring upon him and take him. If, however, he is too
quick for us, go after him with your spear and hem him in towards
the ships away from the Trojan camp, to prevent his getting back
to the town.

With this they turned out of their way and lay down among the
corpses. Dolon suspected nothing and soon passed thembut when
he had got about as far as the distance by which a mule-plowed
furrow exceeds one that has been ploughed by oxen (for mules can
plow fallow land quicker than oxen) they ran after himand when
he heard their footsteps he stood stillfor he made sure they
were friends from the Trojan camp come by Hector's orders to bid
him return; whenhoweverthey were only a spear's castor less
away form himhe saw that they were enemies as fast as his legs
could take him. The others gave chase at onceand as a couple of
well-trained hounds press forward after a doe or hare that runs
screaming in front of themeven so did the son of Tydeus and
Ulysses pursue Dolon and cut him off from his own people. But
when he had fled so far towards the ships that he would soon have
fallen in with the outpostsMinerva infused fresh strength into
the son of Tydeus for fear some other of the Achaeans might have
the glory of being first to hit himand he might himself be only
second; he therefore sprang forward with his spear and said
Stand, or I shall throw my spear, and in that case I shall soon
make an end of you.

He threw as he spokebut missed his aim on purpose. The dart
flew over the man's right shoulderand then stuck in the ground.
He stood stock stilltrembling and in great fear; his teeth
chatteredand he turned pale with fear. The two came breathless
up to him and seized his handswhereon he began to weep and
saidTake me alive; I will ransom myself; we have great store
of gold, bronze, and wrought iron, and from this my father will
satisfy you with a very large ransom, should he hear of my being
alive at the ships of the Achaeans.

Fear not,replied Ulysseslet no thought of death be in your
mind; but tell me, and tell me true, why are you thus going about
alone in the dead of night away from your camp and towards the
ships, while other men are sleeping? Is it to plunder the bodies
of the slain, or did Hector send you to spy out what was going on
at the ships? Or did you come here of your own mere notion?

Dolon answeredhis limbs trembling beneath him: "Hectorwith
his vain flattering promiseslured me from my better judgement.
He said he would give me the horses of the noble son of Peleus
and his bronze-bedizened chariot; he bade me go through the
darkness of the flying nightget close to the enemyand find
out whether the ships are still guarded as heretoforeor
whethernow that we have beaten themthe Achaeans design to
flyand through sheer exhaustion are neglecting to keep their
watches."

Ulysses smiled at him and answeredYou had indeed set your
heart upon a great reward, but the horses of the descendant of
Aeacus are hardly to be kept in hand or driven by any other
mortal man than Achilles himself, whose mother was an immortal.
But tell me, and tell me true, where did you leave Hector when
you started? Where lies his armour and his horses? How, too, are
the watches and sleeping-ground of the Trojans ordered? What are
their plans? Will they stay here by the ships and away from the
city, or now that they have worsted the Achaeans, will they
retire within their walls?


And Dolon answeredI will tell you truly all. Hector and the
other councillors are now holding conference by the monument of
great Ilus, away from the general tumult; as for the guards about
which you ask me, there is no chosen watch to keep guard over the
host. The Trojans have their watchfires, for they are bound to
have them; they, therefore, are awake and keep each other to
their duty as sentinels; but the allies who have come from other
places are asleep and leave it to the Trojans to keep guard, for
their wives and children are not here.

Ulysses then saidNow tell me; are they sleeping among the
Trojan troops, or do they lie apart? Explain this that I may
understand it.

I will tell you truly all,replied Dolon. "To the seaward lie
the Cariansthe Paeonian bowmenthe Lelegesthe Cauconians
and the noble Pelasgi. The Lysians and proud Mysianswith the
Phrygians and Meonianshave their place on the side towards
Thymbra; but why ask about an this? If you want to find your way
into the host of the Trojansthere are the Thracianswho have
lately come here and lie apart from the others at the far end of
the camp; and they have Rhesus son of Eioneus for their king. His
horses are the finest and strongest that I have ever seenthey
are whiter than snow and fleeter than any wind that blows. His
chariot is bedight with silver and goldand he has brought his
marvellous golden armourof the rarest workmanship--too splendid
for any mortal man to carryand meet only for the gods. Now
thereforetake me to the ships or bind me securely hereuntil
you come back and have proved my words whether they be false or
true."

Diomed looked sternly at him and answeredThink not, Dolon, for
all the good information you have given us, that you shall escape
now you are in our hands, for if we ransom you or let you go, you
will come some second time to the ships of the Achaeans either as
a spy or as an open enemy, but if I kill you and an end of you,
you will give no more trouble.

On this Dolon would have caught him by the beard to beseech him
furtherbut Diomed struck him in the middle of his neck with his
sword and cut through both sinews so that his head fell rolling
in the dust while he was yet speaking. They took the ferret-skin
cap from his headand also the wolf-skinthe bowand his long
spear. Ulysses hung them up aloft in honour of Minerva the
goddess of plunderand prayed sayingAccept these, goddess,
for we give them to you in preference to all the gods in Olympus:
therefore speed us still further towards the horses and
sleeping-ground of the Thracians.

With these words he took the spoils and set them upon a tamarisk
treeand they marked the place by pulling up reeds and gathering
boughs of tamarisk that they might not miss it as they came back
through the' flying hours of darkness. The two then went onwards
amid the fallen armour and the bloodand came presently to the
company of Thracian soldierswho were sleepingtired out with
their day's toil; their goodly armour was lying on the ground
beside them all orderly in three rowsand each man had his yoke
of horses beside him. Rhesus was sleeping in the middleand hard
by him his horses were made fast to the topmost rim of his
chariot. Ulysses from some way off saw him and saidThis,
Diomed, is the man, and these are the horses about which Dolon
whom we killed told us. Do your very utmost; dally not about your
armour, but loose the horses at once--or else kill the men


yourself, while I see to the horses.

Thereon Minerva put courage into the heart of Diomedand he
smote them right and left. They made a hideous groaning as they
were being hacked aboutand the earth was red with their blood.
As a lion springs furiously upon a flock of sheep or goats when
he finds without their shepherdso did the son of Tydeus set
upon the Thracian soldiers till he had killed twelve. As he
killed them Ulysses came and drew them aside by their feet one by
onethat the horses might go forward freely without being
frightened as they passed over the dead bodiesfor they were not
yet used to them. When the son of Tydeus came to the kinghe
killed him too (which made thirteen)as he was breathing hard
for by the counsel of Minerva an evil dreamthe seed of Oeneus
hovered that night over his head. Meanwhile Ulysses untied the
horsesmade them fast one to another and drove them off
striking them with his bowfor he had forgotten to take the whip
from the chariot. Then he whistled as a sign to Diomed.

But Diomed stayed where he wasthinking what other daring deed
he might accomplish. He was doubting whether to take the chariot
in which the king's armour was lyingand draw it out by the
poleor to lift the armour out and carry it off; or whether
againhe should not kill some more Thracians. While he was thus
hesitating Minerva came up to him and saidGet back, Diomed, to
the ships or you may be driven thither, should some other god
rouse the Trojans.

Diomed knew that it was the goddessand at once sprang upon the
horses. Ulysses beat them with his bow and they flew onward to
the ships of the Achaeans.

But Apollo kept no blind look-out when he saw Minerva with the
son of Tydeus. He was angry with herand coming to the host of
the Trojans he roused Hippocoona counsellor of the Thracians
and a noble kinsman of Rhesus. He started up out of his sleep and
saw that the horses were no longer in their placeand that the
men were gasping in their death-agony; on this he groaned aloud
and called upon his friend by name. Then the whole Trojan camp
was in an uproar as the people kept hurrying togetherand they
marvelled at the deeds of the heroes who had now got away towards
the ships.

When they reached the place where they had killed Hector's scout
Ulysses stayed his horsesand the son of Tydeusleaping to the
groundplaced the blood-stained spoils in the hands of Ulysses
and remounted: then he lashed the horses onwardsand they flew
forward nothing loth towards the ships as though of their own
free will. Nestor was first to hear the tramp of their feet. "My
friends said he, princes and counsellors of the Argivesshall
I guess right or wrong?--but I must say what I think: there is a
sound in my ears as of the tramp of horses. I hope it may Diomed
and Ulysses driving in horses from the Trojansbut I much fear
that the bravest of the Argives may have come to some harm at
their hands."

He had hardly done speaking when the two men came in and
dismountedwhereon the others shook hands right gladly with them
and congratulated them. Nestor knight of Gerene was first to
question them. "Tell me said he, renowned Ulysseshow did you
two come by these horses? Did you steal in among the Trojan
forcesor did some god meet you and give them to you? They are
like sunbeams. I am well conversant with the Trojansfor old
warrior though I am I never hold back by the shipsbut I never


yet saw or heard of such horses as these are. Surely some god
must have met you and given them to youfor you are both of you
dear to Joveand to Jove's daughter Minerva."

And Ulysses answeredNestor son of Neleus, honour to the
Achaean name, heaven, if it so will, can give us even better
horses than these, for the gods are far mightier than we are.
These horses, however, about which you ask me, are freshly come
from Thrace. Diomed killed their king with the twelve bravest of
his companions. Hard by the ships we took a thirteenth man--a
scout whom Hector and the other Trojans had sent as a spy upon
our ships.

He laughed as he spoke and drove the horses over the ditchwhile
the other Achaeans followed him gladly. When they reached the
strongly built quarters of the son of Tydeusthey tied the
horses with thongs of leather to the mangerwhere the steeds of
Diomed stood eating their sweet cornbut Ulysses hung the
blood-stained spoils of Dolon at the stern of his shipthat they
might prepare a sacred offering to Minerva. As for themselves
they went into the sea and washed the sweat from their bodies
and from their necks and thighs. When the sea-water had taken all
the sweat from off themand had refreshed themthey went into
the baths and washed themselves. After they had so done and had
anointed themselves with oilthey sat down to tableand drawing
from a full mixing-bowlmade a drink-offering of wine to
Minerva.

BOOK XI

AND now as Dawn rose from her couch beside Tithonusharbinger of
light alike to mortals and immortalsJove sent fierce Discord
with the ensign of war in her hands to the ships of the Achaeans.
She took her stand by the huge black hull of Ulysses' ship which
was middlemost of allso that her voice might carry farthest on
either sideon the one hand towards the tents of Ajax son of
Telamonand on the other towards those of Achilles--for these
two heroeswell-assured of their own strengthhad valorously
drawn up their ships at the two ends of the line. There she took
her standand raised a cry both loud and shrill that filled the
Achaeans with couragegiving them heart to fight resolutely and
with all their mightso that they had rather stay there and do
battle than go home in their ships.

The son of Atreus shouted aloud and bade the Argives gird
themselves for battle while he put on his armour. First he girded
his goodly greaves about his legsmaking them fast with ankleclasps
of silver; and about his chest he set the breastplate
which Cinyras had once given him as a guest-gift. It had been
noised abroad as far as Cyprus that the Achaeans were about to
sail for Troyand therefore he gave it to the king. It had ten
courses of dark cyanustwelve of goldand ten of tin. There
were serpents of cyanus that reared themselves up towards the
neckthree upon either sidelike the rainbows which the son of
Saturn has set in heaven as a sign to mortal men. About his
shoulders he threw his swordstudded with bosses of gold; and
the scabbard was of silver with a chain of gold wherewith to hang
it. He took moreover the richly-dight shield that covered his
body when he was in battle--fair to seewith ten circles of
bronze running all round it. On the body of the shield there were
twenty bosses of white tinwith another of dark cyanus in the
middle: this last was made to show a Gorgon's headfierce and


grimwith Rout and Panic on either side. The band for the arm to
go through was of silveron which there was a writhing snake of
cyanus with three heads that sprang from a single neckand went
in and out among one another. On his head Agamemnon set a helmet
with a peak before and behindand four plumes of horse-hair that
nodded menacingly above it; then he grasped two redoubtable
bronze-shod spearsand the gleam of his armour shot from him as
a flame into the firmamentwhile Juno and Minerva thundered in
honour of the king of rich Mycene.

Every man now left his horses in charge of his charioteer to hold
them in readiness by the trenchwhile he went into battle on
foot clad in full armourand a mighty uproar rose on high into
the dawning. The chiefs were armed and at the trench before the
horses got therebut these came up presently. The son of Saturn
sent a portent of evil sound about their hostand the dew fell
red with bloodfor he was about to send many a brave man
hurrying down to Hades.

The Trojanson the other side upon the rising slope of the
plainwere gathered round great Hectornoble PolydamasAeneas
who was honoured by the Trojans like an immortaland the three
sons of AntenorPolybusAgenorand young Acamas beauteous as a
god. Hector's round shield showed in the front rankand as some
baneful star that shines for a moment through a rent in the
clouds and is again hidden beneath them; even so was Hector now
seen in the front ranks and now again in the hindermostand his
bronze armour gleamed like the lightning of aegis-bearing Jove.

And now as a band of reapers mow swathes of wheat or barley upon
a rich man's landand the sheaves fall thick before themeven
so did the Trojans and Achaeans fall upon one another; they were
in no mood for yielding but fought like wolvesand neither side
got the better of the other. Discord was glad as she beheld them
for she was the only god that went among them; the others were
not therebut stayed quietly each in his own home among the
dells and valleys of Olympus. All of them blamed the son of
Saturn for wanting to give victory to the Trojansbut father
Jove heeded them not: he held aloof from alland sat apart in
his all-glorious majestylooking down upon the city of the
Trojansthe ships of the Achaeansthe gleam of bronzeand
alike upon the slayers and on the slain.

Now so long as the day waxed and it was still morningtheir
darts rained thick on one another and the people perishedbut as
the hour drew nigh when a woodman working in some mountain forest
will get his midday meal--for he has felled till his hands are
weary; he is tired outand must now have food--then the Danaans
with a cry that rang through all their ranksbroke the
battalions of the enemy. Agamemnon led them onand slew first
Bienora leader of his peopleand afterwards his comrade and
charioteer Oileuswho sprang from his chariot and was coming
full towards him; but Agamemnon struck him on the forehead with
his spear; his bronze visor was of no avail against the weapon
which pierced both bronze and boneso that his brains were
battered in and he was killed in full fight.

Agamemnon stripped their shirts from off them and left them with
their breasts all bare to lie where they had fallen. He then went
on to kill Isus and Antiphus two sons of Priamthe one a
bastardthe other born in wedlock; they were in the same
chariot--the bastard drivingwhile noble Antiphus fought beside
him. Achilles had once taken both of them prisoners in the glades
of Idaand had bound them with fresh withes as they were


shepherdingbut he had taken a ransom for them; nowhowever
Agamemnon son of Atreus smote Isus in the chest above the nipple
with his spearwhile he struck Antiphus hard by the ear and
threw him from his chariot. Forthwith he stripped their goodly
armour from off them and recognized themfor he had already seen
them at ships when Achilles brought them in from Ida. As a lion
fastens on the fawns of a hind and crushes them in his great
jawsrobbing them of their tender life while he on his way back
to his lair--the hind can do nothing for them even though she be
close byfor she is in an agony of fearand flies through the
thick forestsweatingand at her utmost speed before the mighty
monster--sono man of the Trojans could help Isus and Antiphus
for they were themselves flying panic before the Argives.

Then King Agamemnon took the two sons of AntimachusPisander and
brave Hippolochus. It was Antimachus who had been foremost in
preventing Helen's being restored to Menelausfor he was largely
bribed by Alexandrus; and now Agamemnon took his two sonsboth
in the same chariottrying to bring their horses to a stand--for
they had lost hold of the reins and the horses were mad with
fear. The son of Atreus sprang upon them like a lionand the
pair besought him from their chariot. "Take us alive they
cried, son of Atreusand you shall receive a great ransom for
us. Our father Antimachus has great store of goldbronzeand
wrought ironand from this he will satisfy you with a very large
ransom should he hear of our being alive at the ships of the
Achaeans."

With such piteous words and tears did they beseech the kingbut
they heard no pitiful answer in return. "If said Agamemnon,
you are sons of Antimachuswho once at a council of Trojans
proposed that Menelaus and Ulysseswho had come to you as
envoysshould be killed and not suffered to returnyou shall
now pay for the foul iniquity of your father."

As he spoke he felled Pisander from his chariot to the earth
smiting him on the chest with his spearso that he lay face
uppermost upon the ground. Hippolochus fledbut him too did
Agamemnon smite; he cut off his hands and his head--which he sent
rolling in among the crowd as though it were a ball. There he let
them both lieand wherever the ranks were thickest thither he
flewwhile the other Achaeans followed. Foot soldiers drove the
foot soldiers of the foe in rout before themand slew them;
horsemen did the like by horsemenand the thundering tramp of
the horses raised a cloud of dust from off the plain. King
Agamemnon followed afterever slaying them and cheering on the
Achaeans. As when some mighty forest is all ablaze--the eddying
gusts whirl fire in all directions till the thickets shrivel and
are consumed before the blast of the flame--even so fell the
heads of the flying Trojans before Agamemnon son of Atreusand
many a noble pair of steeds drew an empty chariot along the
highways of warfor lack of drivers who were lying on the plain
more useful now to vultures than to their wives.

Jove drew Hector away from the darts and dustwith the carnage
and din of battle; but the son of Atreus sped onwardscalling
out lustily to the Danaans. They flew on by the tomb of old Ilus
son of Dardanusin the middle of the plainand past the place
of the wild fig-tree making always for the city--the son of
Atreus still shoutingand with hands all bedrabbled in gore; but
when they had reached the Scaean gates and the oak treethere
they halted and waited for the others to come up. Meanwhile the
Trojans kept on flying over the middle of the plain like a herd
of cows maddened with fright when a lion has attacked them in the


dead of night--he springs on one of themseizes her neck in the
grip of his strong teeth and then laps up her blood and gorges
himself upon her entrails--even so did King Agamemnon son of
Atreus pursue the foeever slaughtering the hindmost as they
fled pell-mell before him. Many a man was flung headlong from his
chariot by the hand of the son of Atreusfor he wielded his
spear with fury.

But when he was just about to reach the high wall and the city
the father of gods and men came down from heaven and took his
seatthunderbolt in handupon the crest of many-fountained Ida.
He then told Iris of the golden wings to carry a message for him.
Go,said hefleet Iris, and speak thus to Hector--say that so
long as he sees Agamemnon heading his men and making havoc of the
Trojan ranks, he is to keep aloof and bid the others bear the
brunt of the battle, but when Agamemnon is wounded either by
spear or arrow, and takes to his chariot, then will I vouchsafe
him strength to slay till he reach the ships and night falls at
the going down of the sun.

Iris hearkened and obeyed. Down she went to strong Ilius from the
crests of Idaand found Hector son of Priam standing by his
chariot and horses. Then she saidHector son of Priam, peer of
gods in counsel, father Jove has sent me to bear you this
message--so long as you see Agamemnon heading his men and making
havoc of the Trojan ranks, you are to keep aloof and bid the
others bear the brunt of the battle, but when Agamemnon is
wounded either by spear or arrow, and takes to his chariot, then
will Jove vouchsafe you strength to slay till you reach the
ships, and till night falls at the going down of the sun.

When she had thus spoken Iris left himand Hector sprang full
armed from his chariot to the groundbrandishing his spear as he
went about everywhere among the hostcheering his men on to
fightand stirring the dread strife of battle. The Trojans then
wheeled roundand again met the Achaeanswhile the Argives on
their part strengthened their battalions. The battle was now in
array and they stood face to face with one anotherAgamemnon
ever pressing forward in his eagerness to be ahead of all others.

Tell me now ye Muses that dwell in the mansions of Olympuswho
whether of the Trojans or of their allieswas first to face
Agamemnon? It was Iphidamas son of Antenora man both brave and
of great staturewho was brought up in fertile Thracethe
mother of sheep. Cisseshis mother's fatherbrought him up in
his own house when he was a child--Cissesfather to fair Theano.
When he reached manhoodCisses would have kept him thereand
was for giving him his daughter in marriagebut as soon as he
had married he set out to fight the Achaeans with twelve ships
that followed him: these he had left at Percote and had come on
by land to Ilius. He it was that now met Agamemnon son of Atreus.
When they were close up with one anotherthe son of Atreus
missed his aimand Iphidamas hit him on the girdle below the
cuirass and then flung himself upon himtrusting to his strength
of arm; the girdlehoweverwas not piercednor nearly sofor
the point of the spear struck against the silver and was turned
aside as though it had been lead: King Agamemnon caught it from
his handand drew it towards him with the fury of a lion; he
then drew his swordand killed Iphidamas by striking him on the
neck. So there the poor fellow laysleeping a sleep as it were
of bronzekilled in the defence of his fellow-citizensfar from
his wedded wifeof whom he had had no joy though he had given
much for her: he had given a hundred-head of cattle downand had
promised later on to give a thousand sheep and goats mixedfrom


the countless flocks of which he was possessed. Agamemnon son of
Atreus then despoiled himand carried off his armour into the
host of the Achaeans.

When noble CoonAntenor's eldest sonsaw thissore indeed were
his eyes at the sight of his fallen brother. Unseen by Agamemnon
he got beside himspear in handand wounded him in the middle
of his arm below the elbowthe point of the spear going right
through the arm. Agamemnon was convulsed with painbut still not
even for this did he leave off struggling and fightingbut
grasped his spear that flew as fleet as the windand sprang upon
Coon who was trying to drag off the body of his brother--his
father's son--by the footand was crying for help to all the
bravest of his comrades; but Agamemnon struck him with a
bronze-shod spear and killed him as he was dragging the dead body
through the press of men under cover of his shield: he then cut
off his headstanding over the body of Iphidamas. Thus did the
sons of Antenor meet their fate at the hands of the son of
Atreusand go down into the house of Hades.

As long as the blood still welled warm from his wound Agamemnon
went about attacking the ranks of the enemy with spear and sword
and with great handfuls of stonebut when the blood had ceased
to flow and the wound grew drythe pain became great. As the
sharp pangs which the Eilithuiaegoddesses of childbirth
daughters of Juno and dispensers of cruel painsend upon a woman
when she is in labour--even so sharp were the pangs of the son of
Atreus. He sprang on to his chariotand bade his charioteer
drive to the shipsfor he was in great agony. With a loud clear
voice he shouted to the DanaansMy friends, princes and
counsellors of the Argives, defend the ships yourselves, for Jove
has not suffered me to fight the whole day through against the
Trojans.

With this the charioteer turned his horses towards the shipsand
they flew forward nothing loth. Their chests were white with foam
and their bellies with dustas they drew the wounded king out of
the battle.

When Hector saw Agamemnon quit the fieldhe shouted to the
Trojans and Lycians sayingTrojans, Lycians, and Dardanian
warriors, be men, my friends, and acquit yourselves in battle
bravely; their best man has left them, and Jove has vouchsafed me
a great triumph; charge the foe with your chariots that you may
win still greater glory.

With these words he put heart and soul into them alland as a
huntsman hounds his dogs on against a lion or wild boareven so
did Hectorpeer of Marshound the proud Trojans on against the
Achaeans. Full of hope he plunged in among the foremostand fell
on the fight like some fierce tempest that swoops down upon the
seaand lashes its deep blue waters into fury.

Whatthen is the full tale of those whom Hector son of Priam
killed in the hour of triumph which Jove then vouchsafed him?
First AsaeusAutonousand Opites; Dolops son of Clytius
Opheltius and Agelaus; AesymnusOrus and Hipponous steadfast in
battle; these chieftains of the Achaeans did Hector slayand
then he fell upon the rank and file. As when the west wind
hustles the clouds of the white south and beats them down with
the fierceness of its fury--the waves of the sea roll highand
the spray is flung aloft in the rage of the wandering wind--even
so thick were the heads of them that fell by the hand of Hector.


All had then been lost and no help for itand the Achaeans would
have fled pell-mell to their shipshad not Ulysses cried out to
DiomedSon of Tydeus, what has happened to us that we thus
forget our prowess? Come, my good fellow, stand by my side and
help me, we shall be shamed for ever if Hector takes the ships.

And Diomed answeredCome what may, I will stand firm; but we
shall have scant joy of it, for Jove is minded to give victory to
the Trojans rather than to us.

With these words he struck Thymbraeus from his chariot to the
groundsmiting him in the left breast with his spearwhile
Ulysses killed Molion who was his squire. These they let lienow
that they had stopped their fighting; the two heroes then went on
playing havoc with the foelike two wild boars that turn in fury
and rend the hounds that hunt them. Thus did they turn upon the
Trojans and slay themand the Achaeans were thankful to have
breathing time in their flight from Hector.

They then took two princes with their chariotthe two sons of
Merops of Percotewho excelled all others in the arts of
divination. He had forbidden his sons to go to the warbut they
would not obey himfor fate lured them to their fall. Diomed son
of Tydeus slew them both and stripped them of their armourwhile
Ulysses killed Hippodamus and Hypeirochus.

And now the son of Saturn as he looked down from Ida ordained
that neither side should have the advantageand they kept on
killing one another. The son of Tydeus speared Agastrophus son of
Paeon in the hip-joint with his spear. His chariot was not at
hand for him to fly withso blindly confident had he been. His
squire was in charge of it at some distance and he was fighting
on foot among the foremost until he lost his life. Hector soon
marked the havoc Diomed and Ulysses were makingand bore down
upon them with a loud cryfollowed by the Trojan ranks; brave
Diomed was dismayed when he saw themand said to Ulysses who was
beside himGreat Hector is bearing down upon us and we shall be
undone; let us stand firm and wait his onset.

He poised his spear as he spoke and hurled itnor did he miss
his mark. He had aimed at Hector's head near the top of his
helmetbut bronze was turned by bronzeand Hector was
untouchedfor the spear was stayed by the visored helm made with
three plates of metalwhich Phoebus Apollo had given him. Hector
sprang back with a great bound under cover of the ranks; he fell
on his knees and propped himself with his brawny hand leaning on
the groundfor darkness had fallen on his eyes. The son of
Tydeus having thrown his spear dashed in among the foremost
fightersto the place where he had seen it strike the ground;
meanwhile Hector recovered himself and springing back into his
chariot mingled with the crowdby which means he saved his life.
But Diomed made at him with his spear and saidDog, you have
again got away though death was close on your heels. Phoebus
Apollo, to whom I ween you pray ere you go into battle, has again
saved you, nevertheless I will meet you and make an end of you
hereafter, if there is any god who will stand by me too and be my
helper. For the present I must pursue those I can lay hands on.

As he spoke he began stripping the spoils from the son of Paeon
but Alexandrus husband of lovely Helen aimed an arrow at him
leaning against a pillar of the monument which men had raised to
Ilus son of Dardanusa ruler in days of old. Diomed had taken
the cuirass from off the breast of Agastrophushis heavy helmet
alsoand the shield from off his shoulderswhen Paris drew his


bow and let fly an arrow that sped not from his hand in vainbut
pierced the flat of Diomed's right footgoing right through it
and fixing itself in the ground. Thereon Paris with a hearty
laugh sprang forward from his hiding-placeand taunted him
sayingYou are wounded--my arrow has not been shot in vain;
would that it had hit you in the belly and killed you, for thus
the Trojans, who fear you as goats fear a lion, would have had a
truce from evil.

Diomed all undaunted answeredArcher, you who without your bow
are nothing, slanderer and seducer, if you were to be tried in
single combat fighting in full armour, your bow and your arrows
would serve you in little stead. Vain is your boast in that you
have scratched the sole of my foot. I care no more than if a girl
or some silly boy had hit me. A worthless coward can inflict but
a light wound; when I wound a man though I but graze his skin it
is another matter, for my weapon will lay him low. His wife will
tear her cheeks for grief and his children will be fatherless:
there will he rot, reddening the earth with his blood, and
vultures, not women, will gather round him.

Thus he spokebut Ulysses came up and stood over him. Under this
cover he sat down to draw the arrow from his footand sharp was
the pain he suffered as he did so. Then he sprang on to his
chariot and bade the charioteer drive him to the shipsfor he
was sick at heart.

Ulysses was now alone; not one of the Argives stood by himfor
they were all panic-stricken. "Alas said he to himself in his
dismay, what will become of me? It is ill if I turn and fly
before these oddsbut it will be worse if I am left alone and
taken prisonerfor the son of Saturn has struck the rest of the
Danaans with panic. But why talk to myself in this way? Well do I
know that though cowards quit the fielda herowhether he wound
or be woundedmust stand firm and hold his own."

While he was thus in two mindsthe ranks of the Trojans advanced
and hemmed him inand bitterly did they come to rue it. As
hounds and lusty youths set upon a wild boar that sallies from
his lair whetting his white tusks--they attack him from every
side and can hear the gnashing of his jawsbut for all his
fierceness they still hold their ground--even so furiously did
the Trojans attack Ulysses. First he sprang spear in hand upon
Deiopites and wounded him on the shoulder with a downward blow;
then he killed Thoon and Ennomus. After these he struck
Chersidamas in the loins under his shield as he had just sprung
down from his chariot; so he fell in the dust and clutched the
earth in the hollow of his hand. These he let lieand went on to
wound Charops son of Hippasus own brother to noble Socus. Socus
hero that he wasmade all speed to help himand when he was
close to Ulysses he saidFar-famed Ulysses, insatiable of craft
and toil, this day you shall either boast of having killed both
the sons of Hippasus and stripped them of their armour, or you
shall fall before my spear.

With these words he struck the shield of Ulysses. The spear went
through the shield and passed on through his richly wrought
cuirasstearing the flesh from his sidebut Pallas Minerva did
not suffer it to pierce the entrails of the hero. Ulysses knew
that his hour was not yet comebut he gave ground and said to
SocusWretch, you shall now surely die. You have stayed me from
fighting further with the Trojans, but you shall now fall by my
spear, yielding glory to myself, and your soul to Hades of the
noble steeds.


Socus had turned in flightbut as he did sothe spear struck
him in the back midway between the shouldersand went right
through his chest. He fell heavily to the ground and Ulysses
vaunted over him sayingO Socus, son of Hippasus tamer of
horses, death has been too quick for you and you have not escaped
him: poor wretch, not even in death shall your father and mother
close your eyes, but the ravening vultures shall enshroud you
with the flapping of their dark wings and devour you. Whereas
even though I fall the Achaeans will give me my due rites of
burial.

So saying he drew Socus's heavy spear out of his flesh and from
his shieldand the blood welled forth when the spear was
withdrawn so that he was much dismayed. When the Trojans saw that
Ulysses was bleeding they raised a great shout and came on in a
body towards him; he therefore gave groundand called his
comrades to come and help him. Thrice did he cry as loudly as man
can cryand thrice did brave Menelaus hear him; he turned
thereforeto Ajax who was close beside him and saidAjax,
noble son of Telamon, captain of your people, the cry of Ulysses
rings in my ears, as though the Trojans had cut him off and were
worsting him while he is single-handed. Let us make our way
through the throng; it will be well that we defend him; I fear he
may come to harm for all his valour if he be left without
support, and the Danaans would miss him sorely.

He led the way and mighty Ajax went with him. The Trojans had
gathered round Ulysses like ravenous mountain jackals round the
carcase of some horned stag that has been hit with an arrow--the
stag has fled at full speed so long as his blood was warm and his
strength has lastedbut when the arrow has overcome himthe
savage jackals devour him in the shady glades of the forest. Then
heaven sends a fierce lion thitherwhereon the jackals fly in
terror and the lion robs them of their prey--even so did Trojans
many and brave gather round crafty Ulyssesbut the hero stood at
bay and kept them off with his spear. Ajax then came up with his
shield before him like a walland stood hard bywhereon the
Trojans fled in all directions. Menelaus took Ulysses by the
handand led him out of the press while his squire brought up
his chariotbut Ajax rushed furiously on the Trojans and killed
Doryclusa bastard son of Priam; then he wounded Pandocus
LysandrusPyrasusand Pylartes; as some swollen torrent comes
rushing in full flood from the mountains on to the plainbig
with the rain of heaven--many a dry oak and many a pine does it
engulfand much mud does it bring down and cast into the sea-even
so did brave Ajax chase the foe furiously over the plain
slaying both men and horses.

Hector did not yet know what Ajax was doingfor he was fighting
on the extreme left of the battle by the banks of the river
Scamanderwhere the carnage was thickest and the war-cry loudest
round Nestor and brave Idomeneus. Among these Hector was making
great slaughter with his spear and furious drivingand was
destroying the ranks that were opposed to him; still the Achaeans
would have given no groundhad not Alexandrus husband of lovely
Helen stayed the prowess of Machaonshepherd of his peopleby
wounding him in the right shoulder with a triple-barbed arrow.
The Achaeans were in great fear that as the fight had turned
against them the Trojans might take him prisonerand Idomeneus
said to NestorNestor son of Neleus, honour to the Achaean
name, mount your chariot at once; take Machaon with you and drive
your horses to the ships as fast as you can. A physician is worth
more than several other men put together, for he can cut out


arrows and spread healing herbs.

Nestor knight of Gerene did as Idomeneus had counselled; he at
once mounted his chariotand Machaon son of the famed physician
Aesculapiuswent with him. He lashed his horses and they flew
onward nothing loth towards the shipsas though of their own
free will.

Then Cebriones seeing the Trojans in confusion said to Hector
from his place beside himHector, here are we two fighting on
the extreme wing of the battle, while the other Trojans are in
pell-mell rout, they and their horses. Ajax son of Telamon is
driving them before him; I know him by the breadth of his shield:
let us turn our chariot and horses thither, where horse and foot
are fighting most desperately, and where the cry of battle is
loudest.

With this he lashed his goodly steedsand when they felt the
whip they drew the chariot full speed among the Achaeans and
Trojansover the bodies and shields of those that had fallen:
the axle was bespattered with bloodand the rail round the car
was covered with splashes both from the horses' hoofs and from
the tyres of the wheels. Hector tore his way through and flung
himself into the thick of the fightand his presence threw the
Danaans into confusionfor his spear was not long idle;
nevertheless though he went among the ranks with sword and spear
and throwing great stoneshe avoided Ajax son of Telamonfor
Jove would have been angry with him if he had fought a better man
than himself.

Then father Jove from his high throne struck fear into the heart
of Ajaxso that he stood there dazed and threw his shield behind
him--looking fearfully at the throng of his foes as though he
were some wild beastand turning hither and thither but
crouching slowly backwards. As peasants with their hounds chase a
lion from their stockyardand watch by night to prevent his
carrying off the pick of their herd--he makes his greedy spring
but in vainfor the darts from many a strong hand fall thick
around himwith burning brands that scare him for all his fury
and when morning comes he slinks foiled and angry away--even so
did Ajaxsorely against his willretreat angrily before the
Trojansfearing for the ships of the Achaeans. Or as some lazy
ass that has had many a cudgel broken about his backwhen he
into a field begins eating the corn--boys beat him but he is too
many for themand though they lay about with their sticks they
cannot hurt him; still when he has had his fill they at last
drive him from the field--even so did the Trojans and their
allies pursue great Ajaxever smiting the middle of his shield
with their darts. Now and again he would turn and show fight
keeping back the battalions of the Trojansand then he would
again retreat; but he prevented any of them from making his way
to the ships. Single-handed he stood midway between the Trojans
and Achaeans: the spears that sped from their hands stuck some of
them in his mighty shieldwhile manythough thirsting for his
bloodfell to the ground ere they could reach him to the
wounding of his fair flesh.

Now when Eurypylus the brave son of Euaemon saw that Ajax was
being overpowered by the rain of arrowshe went up to him and
hurled his spear. He struck Apisaon son of Phausius in the liver
below the midriffand laid him low. Eurypylus sprang upon him
and stripped the armour from his shoulders; but when Alexandrus
saw himhe aimed an arrow at him which struck him in the right
thigh; the arrow brokebut the point that was left in the wound


dragged on the thigh; he drew backthereforeunder cover of his
comrades to save his lifeshouting as he did so to the Danaans
My friends, princes and counsellors of the Argives, rally to the
defence of Ajax who is being overpowered, and I doubt whether he
will come out of the fight alive. Hither, then, to the rescue of
great Ajax son of Telamon.

Even so did he cry when he was wounded; thereon the others came
nearand gathered round himholding their shields upwards from
their shoulders so as to give him cover. Ajax then made towards
themand turned round to stand at bay as soon as he had reached
his men.

Thus then did they fight as it were a flaming fire. Meanwhile the
mares of Neleusall in a lather with sweatwere bearing Nestor
out of the fightand with him Machaon shepherd of his people.
Achilles saw and took notefor he was standing on the stern of
his ship watching the hard stress and struggle of the fight. He
called from the ship to his comrade Patrocluswho heard him in
the tent and came out looking like Mars himself--here indeed was
the beginning of the ill that presently befell him. "Why said
he, Achillesdo you call me? What do you want with me?" And
Achilles answeredNoble son of Menoetius, man after my own
heart, I take it that I shall now have the Achaeans praying at my
knees, for they are in great straits; go, Patroclus, and ask
Nestor who it is that he is bearing away wounded from the field;
from his back I should say it was Machaon son of Aesculapius, but
I could not see his face for the horses went by me at full
speed.

Patroclus did as his dear comrade had bidden himand set off
running by the ships and tents of the Achaeans.

When Nestor and Machaon had reached the tents of the son of
Neleusthey dismountedand an esquireEurymedontook the
horses from the chariot. The pair then stood in the breeze by the
seaside to dry the sweat from their shirtsand when they had so
done they came inside and took their seats. Fair Hecamedewhom
Nestor had had awarded to him from Tenedos when Achilles took it
mixed them a mess; she was daughter of wise Arsinousand the
Achaeans had given her to Nestor because he excelled all of them
in counsel. First she set for them a fair and well-made table
that had feet of cyanus; on it there was a vessel of bronze and
an onion to give relish to the drinkwith honey and cakes of
barley-meal. There was also a cup of rare workmanship which the
old man had brought with him from homestudded with bosses of
gold; it had four handleson each of which there were two golden
doves feedingand it had two feet to stand on. Any one else
would hardly have been able to lift it from the table when it was
fullbut Nestor could do so quite easily. In this the womanas
fair as a goddessmixed them a mess with Pramnian wine; she
grated goat's milk cheese into it with a bronze graterthrew in
a handful of white barley-mealand having thus prepared the mess
she bade them drink it. When they had done so and had thus
quenched their thirstthey fell talking with one anotherand at
this moment Patroclus appeared at the door.

When the old man saw him he sprang from his seatseized his
handled him into the tentand bade him take his place among
them; but Patroclus stood where he was and saidNoble sir, I
may not stay, you cannot persuade me to come in; he that sent me
is not one to be trifled with, and he bade me ask who the wounded
man was whom you were bearing away from the field. I can now see
for myself that he is Machaon, shepherd of his people. I must go


back and tell Achilles. You, sir, know what a terrible man he is,
and how ready to blame even where no blame should lie.

And Nestor answeredWhy should Achilles care to know how many
of the Achaeans may be wounded? He recks not of the dismay that
reigns in our host; our most valiant chieftains lie disabled,
brave Diomed, son of Tydeus, is wounded; so are Ulysses and
Agamemnon; Eurypylus has been hit with an arrow in the thigh, and
I have just been bringing this man from the field--he too wounded
with an arrow. Nevertheless, Achilles, so valiant though he be,
cares not and knows no ruth. Will he wait till the ships, do what
we may, are in a blaze, and we perish one upon the other? As for
me, I have no strength nor stay in me any longer; would that I
were still young and strong as in the days when there was a fight
between us and the men of Elis about some cattle-raiding. I then
killed Itymoneus, the valiant son of Hypeirochus, a dweller in
Elis, as I was driving in the spoil; he was hit by a dart thrown
by my hand while fighting in the front rank in defence of his
cows, so he fell and the country people around him were in great
fear. We drove off a vast quantity of booty from the plain, fifty
herds of cattle and as many flocks of sheep; fifty droves also of
pigs, and as many wide-spreading flocks of goats. Of horses,
moreover, we seized a hundred and fifty, all of them mares, and
many had foals running with them. All these did we drive by night
to Pylus, the city of Neleus, taking them within the city; and
the heart of Neleus was glad in that I had taken so much, though
it was the first time I had ever been in the field. At daybreak
the heralds went round crying that all in Elis to whom there was
a debt owing should come; and the leading Pylians assembled to
divide the spoils. There were many to whom the Epeans owed
chattels, for we men of Pylus were few and had been oppressed
with wrong; in former years Hercules had come, and had laid his
hand heavy upon us, so that all our best men had perished. Neleus
had had twelve sons, but I alone was left; the others had all
been killed. The Epeans presuming upon all this had looked down
upon us and had done us much evil. My father chose a herd of
cattle and a great flock of sheep--three hundred in all--and he
took their shepherds with him, for there was a great debt due to
him in Elis, to wit four horses, winners of prizes. They and
their chariots with them had gone to the games and were to run
for a tripod, but King Augeas took them, and sent back their
driver grieving for the loss of his horses. Neleus was angered by
what he had both said and done, and took great value in return,
but he divided the rest, that no man might have less than his
full share.

Thus did we order all thingsand offer sacrifices to the gods
throughout the city; but three days afterwards the Epeans came in
a bodymany in numberthey and their chariotsin full array
and with them the two Moliones in their armourthough they were
still lads and unused to fighting. Now there is a certain town
Thryoessaperched upon a rock on the river Alpheusthe border
city Pylus. This they would destroyand pitched their camp about
itbut when they had crossed their whole plainMinerva darted
down by night from Olympus and bade us set ourselves in array;
and she found willing soldiers in Pylosfor the men meant
fighting. Neleus would not let me armand hid my horsesfor he
said that as yet I could know nothing about war; nevertheless
Minerva so ordered the fight thatall on foot as I wasI fought
among our mounted forces and vied with the foremost of them.
There is a river Minyeius that falls into the sea near Areneand
there they that were mounted (and I with them) waited till
morningwhen the companies of foot soldiers came up with us in
force. Thence in full panoply and equipment we came towards noon


to the sacred waters of the Alpheusand there we offered victims
to almighty Jovewith a bull to Alpheusanother to Neptuneand
a herd-heifer to Minerva. After this we took supper in our
companiesand laid us down to rest each in his armour by the
river.

The Epeans were beleaguering the city and were determined to
take it, but ere this might be there was a desperate fight in
store for them. When the sun's rays began to fall upon the earth
we joined battle, praying to Jove and to Minerva, and when the
fight had begun, I was the first to kill my man and take his
horses--to wit the warrior Mulius. He was son-in-law to Augeas,
having married his eldest daughter, golden-haired Agamede, who
knew the virtues of every herb which grows upon the face of the
earth. I speared him as he was coming towards me, and when he
fell headlong in the dust, I sprang upon his chariot and took my
place in the front ranks. The Epeans fled in all directions when
they saw the captain of their horsemen (the best man they had)
laid low, and I swept down on them like a whirlwind, taking fifty
chariots--and in each of them two men bit the dust, slain by my
spear. I should have even killed the two Moliones, sons of Actor,
unless their real father, Neptune lord of the earthquake, had
hidden them in a thick mist and borne them out of the fight.
Thereon Jove vouchsafed the Pylians a great victory, for we
chased them far over the plain, killing the men and bringing in
their armour, till we had brought our horses to Buprasium, rich
in wheat, and to the Olenian rock, with the hill that is called
Alision, at which point Minerva turned the people back. There I
slew the last man and left him; then the Achaeans drove their
horses back from Buprasium to Pylos and gave thanks to Jove among
the gods, and among mortal men to Nestor.

Such was I among my peersas surely as ever wasbut Achilles
is for keeping all his valour for himself; bitterly will he rue
it hereafter when the host is being cut to pieces. My good
frienddid not Menoetius charge you thuson the day when he
sent you from Phthia to Agamemnon? Ulysses and I were in the
houseinsideand heard all that he said to you; for we came to
the fair house of Peleus while beating up recruits throughout all
Achaeaand when we got there we found Menoetius and yourself
and Achilles with you. The old knight Peleus was in the outer
courtroasting the fat thigh-bones of a heifer to Jove the lord
of thunder; and he held a gold chalice in his hand from which he
poured drink-offerings of wine over the burning sacrifice. You
two were busy cutting up the heiferand at that moment we stood
at the gateswhereon Achilles sprang to his feetled us by the
hand into the houseplaced us at tableand set before us such
hospitable entertainment as guests expect. When we had satisfied
ourselves with meat and drinkI said my say and urged both of
you to join us. You were ready enough to do soand the two old
men charged you much and straitly. Old Peleus bade his son
Achilles fight ever among the foremost and outvie his peers
while Menoetius the son of Actor spoke thus to you: 'My son'
said he'Achilles is of nobler birth than you arebut you are
older than hethough he is far the better man of the two.
Counsel him wiselyguide him in the right wayand he will
follow you to his own profit.' Thus did your father charge you
but you have forgotten; neverthelesseven nowsay all this to
Achilles if he will listen to you. Who knows but with heaven's
help you may talk him overfor it is good to take a friend's
advice. Ifhoweverhe is fearful about some oracleor if his
mother has told him something from Jovethen let him send you
and let the rest of the Myrmidons follow with youif perchance
you may bring light and saving to the Danaans. And let him send


you into battle clad in his own armourthat the Trojans may
mistake you for him and leave off fighting; the sons of the
Achaeans may thus have time to get their breathfor they are
hard pressed and there is little breathing time in battle. You
who are freshmight easily drive a tired enemy back to his walls
and away from the tents and ships."

With these words he moved the heart of Patrocluswho set off
running by the line of the ships to Achillesdescendant of
Aeacus. When he had got as far as the ships of Ulysseswhere was
their place of assembly and court of justicewith their altars
dedicated to the godsEurypylus son of Euaemonmet himwounded
in the thigh with an arrowand limping out of the fight. Sweat
rained from his head and shouldersand black blood welled from
his cruel woundbut his mind did not wander. The son of
Menoetius when he saw him had compassion upon him and spoke
piteously sayingO unhappy princes and counsellors of the
Danaans, are you then doomed to feed the hounds of Troy with your
fat, far from your friends and your native land? Say, noble
Eurypylus, will the Achaeans be able to hold great Hector in
check, or will they fall now before his spear?

Wounded Eurypylus made answerNoble Patroclus, there is no hope
left for the Achaeans but they will perish at their ships. All
they that were princes among us are lying struck down and wounded
at the hands of the Trojans, who are waxing stronger and
stronger. But save me and take me to your ship; cut out the arrow
from my thigh; wash the black blood from off it with warm water,
and lay upon it those gracious herbs which, so they say, have
been shown you by Achilles, who was himself shown them by Chiron,
most righteous of all the centaurs. For of the physicians
Podalirius and Machaon, I hear that the one is lying wounded in
his tent and is himself in need of healing, while the other is
fighting the Trojans upon the plain.

Hero Eurypylus,replied the brave son of Menoetiushow may
these things be? What can I do? I am on my way to bear a message
to noble Achilles from Nestor of Gerene, bulwark of the Achaeans,
but even so I will not be unmindful of your distress.

With this he clasped him round the middle and led him into the
tentand a servantwhen he saw himspread bullock-skins on the
ground for him to lie on. He laid him at full length and cut out
the sharp arrow from his thigh; he washed the black blood from
the wound with warm water; he then crushed a bitter herbrubbing
it between his handsand spread it upon the wound; this was a
virtuous herb which killed all pain; so the wound presently dried
and the blood left off flowing.

BOOK XII

SO THE son of Menoetius was attending to the hurt of Eurypylus
within the tentbut the Argives and Trojans still fought
desperatelynor were the trench and the high wall above itto
keep the Trojans in check longer. They had built it to protect
their shipsand had dug the trench all round it that it might
safeguard both the ships and the rich spoils which they had
takenbut they had not offered hecatombs to the gods. It had
been built without the consent of the immortalsand therefore it
did not last. So long as Hector lived and Achilles nursed his
angerand so long as the city of Priam remained untakenthe
great wall of the Achaeans stood firm; but when the bravest of


the Trojans were no moreand many also of the Argivesthough
some were yet left alive--whenmoreoverthe city was sacked in
the tenth yearand the Argives had gone back with their ships to
their own country--then Neptune and Apollo took counsel to
destroy the walland they turned on to it the streams of all the
rivers from Mount Ida into the seaRhesusHeptaporusCaresus
RhodiusGrenicusAesopusand goodly Scamanderwith Simois
where many a shield and helm had fallenand many a hero of the
race of demigods had bitten the dust. Phoebus Apollo turned the
mouths of all these rivers together and made them flow for nine
days against the wallwhile Jove rained the whole time that he
might wash it sooner into the sea. Neptune himselftrident in
handsurveyed the work and threw into the sea all the
foundations of beams and stones which the Achaeans had laid with
so much toil; he made all level by the mighty stream of the
Hellespontand then when he had swept the wall away he spread a
great beach of sand over the place where it had been. This done
he turned the rivers back into their old courses.

This was what Neptune and Apollo were to do in after time; but as
yet battle and turmoil were still raging round the wall till its
timbers rang under the blows that rained upon them. The Argives
cowed by the scourge of Jovewere hemmed in at their ships in
fear of Hector the mighty minister of Routwho as heretofore
fought with the force and fury of a whirlwind. As a lion or wild
boar turns fiercely on the dogs and men that attack himwhile
these form solid wall and shower their javelins as they face
him--his courage is all undauntedbut his high spirit will be
the death of him; many a time does he charge at his pursuers to
scatter themand they fall back as often as he does so--even so
did Hector go about among the host exhorting his menand
cheering them on to cross the trench.

But the horses dared not do soand stood neighing upon its
brinkfor the width frightened them. They could neither jump it
nor cross itfor it had overhanging banks all round upon either
sideabove which there were the sharp stakes that the sons of
the Achaeans had planted so close and strong as a defence against
all who would assail it; a horsethereforecould not get into
it and draw his chariot after himbut those who were on foot
kept trying their very utmost. Then Polydamas went up to Hector
and saidHector, and you other captains of the Trojans and
allies, it is madness for us to try and drive our horses across
the trench; it will be very hard to cross, for it is full of
sharp stakes, and beyond these there is the wall. Our horses
therefore cannot get down into it, and would be of no use if they
did; moreover it is a narrow place and we should come to harm.
If, indeed, great Jove is minded to help the Trojans, and in his
anger will utterly destroy the Achaeans, I would myself gladly
see them perish now and here far from Argos; but if they should
rally and we are driven back from the ships pell-mell into the
trench there will be not so much as a man get back to the city to
tell the tale. Now, therefore, let us all do as I say; let our
squires hold our horses by the trench, but let us follow Hector
in a body on foot, clad in full armour, and if the day of their
doom is at hand the Achaeans will not be able to withstand us.

Thus spoke Polydamas and his saying pleased Hectorwho sprang in
full armour to the groundand all the other Trojanswhen they
saw him do soalso left their chariots. Each man then gave his
horses over to his charioteer in charge to hold them ready for
him at the trench. Then they formed themselves into companies
made themselves readyand in five bodies followed their leaders.
Those that went with Hector and Polydamas were the bravest and


most in numberand the most determined to break through the wall
and fight at the ships. Cebriones was also joined with them as
third in commandfor Hector had left his chariot in charge of a
less valiant soldier. The next company was led by Paris
Alcathousand Agenor; the third by Helenus and Deiphobustwo
sons of Priamand with them was the hero Asius--Asiusthe son
of Hyrtacuswhose great black horses of the breed that comes
from the river Selleis had brought him from Arisbe. Aeneasthe
valiant son of Anchisesled the fourth; he and the two sons of
AntenorArchelochus and Acamasmen well versed in all the arts
of war. Sarpedon was captain over the alliesand took with him
Glaucus and Asteropaeus whom he deemed most valiant after
himself--for he was far the best man of them all. These helped to
array one another in their ox-hide shieldsand then charged
straight at the Danaansfor they felt sure that they would not
hold out longer and that they should themselves now fall upon the
ships.

The rest of the Trojans and their allies now followed the counsel
of Polydamas but Asiusson of Hyrtacuswould not leave his
horses and his esquire behind him; in his foolhardiness he took
them on with him towards the shipsnor did he fail to come by
his end in consequence. Nevermore was he to return to wind-beaten
Iliusexulting in his chariot and his horses; ere he could do
sodeath of ill-omened name had overshadowed him and he had
fallen by the spear of Idomeneus the noble son of Deucalion. He
had driven towards the left wing of the shipsby which way the
Achaeans used to return with their chariots and horses from the
plain. Hither he drove and found the gates with their doors
opened wideand the great bar down--for the gatemen kept them
open so as to let those of their comrades enter who might be
flying towards the ships. Hither of set purpose did he direct his
horsesand his men followed him with a loud cryfor they felt
sure that the Achaeans would not hold out longerand that they
should now fall upon the ships. Little did they know that at the
gates they should find two of the bravest chieftainsproud sons
of the fighting Lapithae--the onePolypoetesmighty son of
Pirithousand the other Leonteuspeer of murderous Mars. These
stood before the gates like two high oak trees upon the
mountainsthat tower from their wide-spreading rootsand year
after year battle with wind and rain--even so did these two men
await the onset of great Asius confidently and without flinching.
The Trojans led by him and by IamenusOrestesAdamas the son of
AsiusThoon and Oenomausraised a loud cry of battle and made
straight for the wallholding their shields of dry ox-hide above
their heads; for a while the two defenders remained inside and
cheered the Achaeans on to stand firm in the defence of their
ships; whenhoweverthey saw that the Trojans were attacking
the wallwhile the Danaans were crying out for help and being
routedthey rushed outside and fought in front of the gates like
two wild boars upon the mountains that abide the attack of men
and dogsand charging on either side break down the wood all
round them tearing it up by the rootsand one can hear the
clattering of their tuskstill some one hits them and makes an
end of them--even so did the gleaming bronze rattle about their
breastsas the weapons fell upon them; for they fought with
great furytrusting to their own prowess and to those who were
on the wall above them. These threw great stones at their
assailants in defence of themselves their tents and their ships.
The stones fell thick as the flakes of snow which some fierce
blast drives from the dark clouds and showers down in sheets upon
the earth--even so fell the weapons from the hands alike of
Trojans and Achaeans. Helmet and shield rang out as the great
stones rained upon themand Asiusthe son of Hyrtacusin his


dismay cried aloud and smote his two thighs. "Father Jove he
cried, of a truth you too are altogether given to lying. I made
sure the Argive heroes could not withstand uswhereas like
slim-waisted waspsor bees that have their nests in the rocks by
the wayside--they leave not the holes wherein they have built
undefendedbut fight for their little ones against all who would
take them--even so these menthough they be but twowill not be
driven from the gatesbut stand firm either to slay or be
slain."

He spokebut moved not the mind of Jovewhose counsel it then
was to give glory to Hector. Meanwhile the rest of the Trojans
were fighting about the other gates; Ihoweveram no god to be
able to tell about all these thingsfor the battle raged
everywhere about the stone wall as it were a fiery furnace. The
Argivesdiscomfited though they werewere forced to defend
their shipsand all the gods who were defending the Achaeans
were vexed in spirit; but the Lapithae kept on fighting with
might and main.

Thereon Polypoetesmighty son of Pirithoushit Damasus with a
spear upon his cheek-pierced helmet. The helmet did not protect
himfor the point of the spear went through itand broke the
boneso that the brain inside was scattered aboutand he died
fighting. He then slew Pylon and Ormenus. Leonteusof the race
of Marskilled Hippomachus the son of Antimachus by striking him
with his spear upon the girdle. He then drew his sword and sprang
first upon Antiphates whom he killed in combatand who fell face
upwards on the earth. After him he killed MenonIamenusand
Orestesand laid them low one after the other.

While they were busy stripping the armour from these heroesthe
youths who were led on by Polydamas and Hector (and these were
the greater part and the most valiant of those that were trying
to break through the wall and fire the ships) were still standing
by the trenchuncertain what they should do; for they had seen a
sign from heaven when they had essayed to cross it--a soaring
eagle that flew skirting the left wing of their hostwith a
monstrous blood-red snake in its talons still alive and
struggling to escape. The snake was still bent on revenge
wriggling and twisting itself backwards till it struck the bird
that held iton the neck and breast; whereon the bird being in
painlet it falldropping it into the middle of the hostand
then flew down the wind with a sharp cry. The Trojans were struck
with terror when they saw the snakeportent of aegis-bearing
Jovewrithing in the midst of themand Polydamas went up to
Hector and saidHector, at our councils of war you are ever
given to rebuke me, even when I speak wisely, as though it were
not well, forsooth, that one of the people should cross your will
either in the field or at the council board; you would have them
support you always: nevertheless I will say what I think will be
best; let us not now go on to fight the Danaans at their ships,
for I know what will happen if this soaring eagle which skirted
the left wing of our host with a monstrous blood-red snake in its
talons (the snake being still alive) was really sent as an omen
to the Trojans on their essaying to cross the trench. The eagle
let go her hold; she did not succeed in taking it home to her
little ones, and so will it be--with ourselves; even though by a
mighty effort we break through the gates and wall of the
Achaeans, and they give way before us, still we shall not return
in good order by the way we came, but shall leave many a man
behind us whom the Achaeans will do to death in defence of their
ships. Thus would any seer who was expert in these matters, and
was trusted by the people, read the portent.


Hector looked fiercely at him and saidPolydamas, I like not of
your reading. You can find a better saying than this if you will.
If, however, you have spoken in good earnest, then indeed has
heaven robbed you of your reason. You would have me pay no heed
to the counsels of Jove, nor to the promises he made me--and he
bowed his head in confirmation; you bid me be ruled rather by the
flight of wild-fowl. What care I whether they fly towards dawn or
dark, and whether they be on my right hand or on my left? Let us
put our trust rather in the counsel of great Jove, king of
mortals and immortals. There is one omen, and one only--that a
man should fight for his country. Why are you so fearful? Though
we be all of us slain at the ships of the Argives you are not
likely to be killed yourself, for you are not steadfast nor
courageous. If you will not fight, or would talk others over from
doing so, you shall fall forthwith before my spear.

With these words he led the wayand the others followed after
with a cry that rent the air. Then Jove the lord of thunder sent
the blast of a mighty wind from the mountains of Idathat bore
the dust down towards the ships; he thus lulled the Achaeans into
securityand gave victory to Hector and to the Trojanswho
trusting to their own might and to the signs he had shown them
essayed to break through the great wall of the Achaeans. They
tore down the breastworks from the wallsand overthrew the
battlements; they upheaved the buttresseswhich the Achaeans had
set in front of the wall in order to support it; when they had
pulled these down they made sure of breaking through the wall
but the Danaans still showed no sign of giving ground; they still
fenced the battlements with their shields of ox-hideand hurled
their missiles down upon the foe as soon as any came below the
wall.

The two Ajaxes went about everywhere on the walls cheering on the
Achaeansgiving fair words to some while they spoke sharply to
any one whom they saw to be remiss. "My friends they cried,
Argives one and all--good bad and indifferentfor there was
never fight yetin which all were of equal prowess--there is now
work enoughas you very well knowfor all of you. See that you
none of you turn in flight towards the shipsdaunted by the
shouting of the foebut press forward and keep one another in
heartif it may so be that Olympian Jove the lord of lightning
will vouchsafe us to repel our foesand drive them back towards
the city."

Thus did the two go about shouting and cheering the Achaeans on.
As the flakes that fall thick upon a winter's daywhen Jove is
minded to snow and to display these his arrows to mankind--he
lulls the wind to restand snows hour after hour till he has
buried the tops of the high mountainsthe headlands that jut
into the seathe grassy plainsand the tilled fields of men;
the snow lies deep upon the forelandsand havens of the grey
seabut the waves as they come rolling in stay it that it can
come no furtherthough all else is wrapped as with a mantleso
heavy are the heavens with snow--even thus thickly did the stones
fall on one side and on the othersome thrown at the Trojans
and some by the Trojans at the Achaeans; and the whole wall was
in an uproar.

Still the Trojans and brave Hector would not yet have broken down
the gates and the great barhad not Jove turned his son Sarpedon
against the Argives as a lion against a herd of horned cattle.
Before him he held his shield of hammered bronzethat the smith
had beaten so fair and roundand had lined with ox hides which


he had made fast with rivets of gold all round the shield; this
he held in front of himand brandishing his two spears came on
like some lion of the wildernesswho has been long famished for
want of meat and will dare break even into a well-fenced
homestead to try and get at the sheep. He may find the shepherds
keeping watch over their flocks with dogs and spearsbut he is
in no mind to be driven from the fold till he has had a try for
it; he will either spring on a sheep and carry it offor be hit
by a spear from some strong hand--even so was Sarpedon fain to
attack the wall and break down its battlements. Then he said to
Glaucus son of HippolochusGlaucus, why in Lycia do we receive
especial honour as regards our place at table? Why are the
choicest portions served us and our cups kept brimming, and why
do men look up to us as though we were gods? Moreover we hold a
large estate by the banks of the river Xanthus, fair with orchard
lawns and wheat-growing land; it becomes us, therefore, to take
our stand at the head of all the Lycians and bear the brunt of
the fight, that one may say to another, 'Our princes in Lycia eat
the fat of the land and drink best of wine, but they are fine
fellows; they fight well and are ever at the front in battle.' My
good friend, if, when we were once out of this fight, we could
escape old age and death thenceforward and forever, I should
neither press forward myself nor bid you do so, but death in ten
thousand shapes hangs ever over our heads, and no man can elude
him; therefore let us go forward and either win glory for
ourselves, or yield it to another.

Glaucus heeded his sayingand the pair forthwith led on the host
of Lycians. Menestheus son of Peteos was dismayed when he saw
themfor it was against his part of the wall that they came-bringing
destruction with them; he looked along the wall for some
chieftain to support his comrades and saw the two Ajaxesmen
ever eager for the frayand Teucerwho had just come from his
tentstanding near them; but he could not make his voice heard
by shouting to themso great an uproar was there from crashing
shields and helmets and the battering of gates with a din which
reached the skies. For all the gates had been closedand the
Trojans were hammering at them to try and break their way through
them. Menestheusthereforesent Thootes with a message to Ajax.
Run, good Thootes,he saidand call Ajax, or better still bid
both come, for it will be all over with us here directly; the
leaders of the Lycians are upon us, men who have ever fought
desperately heretofore. But if they have too much on their hands
to let them come, at any rate let Ajax son of Telamon do so, and
let Teucer, the famous bowman, come with him.

The messenger did as he was toldand set off running along the
wall of the Achaeans. When he reached the Ajaxes he said to them
Sirs, princes of the Argives, the son of noble Peteos bids you
come to him for a while and help him. You had better both come if
you can, or it will be all over with him directly; the leaders of
the Lycians are upon him, men who have ever fought desperately
heretofore; if you have too much on your hands to let both come,
at any rate let Ajax, son of Telamon, do so, and let Teucer, the
famous bowman, come with him.

Great Ajax son of Telamon heeded the messageand at once spoke
to the son of Oileus. "Ajax said he, do you twoyourself and
brave Lycomedesstay here and keep the Danaans in heart to fight
their hardest. I will go over yonderand bear my part in the
fraybut I will come back here at once as soon as I have given
them the help they need."

With thisAjax son of Telamon set offand Teucerhis brother


by the same fatherwent alsowith Pandion to carry Teucer's
bow. They went along inside the walland when they came to the
tower where Menestheus was (and hard pressed indeed did they find
him) the brave captains and leaders of the Lycians were storming
the battlements as it were a thick dark cloudfighting in close
quartersand raising the battle-cry aloud.

FirstAjax son of Telamon killed brave Epiclesa comrade of
Sarpedonhitting him with a jagged stone that lay by the
battlements at the very top of the wall. As men now areeven one
who is in the bloom of youth could hardly lift it with his two
handsbut Ajax raised it high aloft and flung it downsmashing
Epicles' four-crested helmet so that the bones of his head were
crushed to piecesand he fell from the high wall as though he
were divingwith no more life left in him. Then Teucer wounded
Glaucus the brave son of Hippolochus as he was coming on to
attack the wall. He saw his shoulder bare and aimed an arrow at
itwhich made Glaucus leave off fighting. Thereon he sprang
covertly down for fear some of the Achaeans might see that he was
wounded and taunt him. Sarpedon was stung with grief when he saw
Glaucus leave himstill he did not leave off fightingbut aimed
his spear at Alcmaon the son of Thestor and hit him. He drew his
spear back again and Alcmaon came down headlong after it with his
bronzed armour rattling round him. Then Sarpedon seized the
battlement in his strong handsand tugged at it till it all gave
way togetherand a breach was made through which many might
pass.

Ajax and Teucer then both of them attacked him. Teucer hit him
with an arrow on the band that bore the shield which covered his
bodybut Jove saved his son from destruction that he might not
fall by the ships' sterns. Meanwhile Ajax sprang on him and
pierced his shieldbut the spear did not go clean through
though it hustled him back that he could come on no further. He
therefore retired a little space from the battlementyet without
losing all his groundfor he still thought to cover himself with
glory. Then he turned round and shouted to the brave Lycians
sayingLycians, why do you thus fail me? For all my prowess I
cannot break through the wall and open a way to the ships
single-handed. Come close on behind me, for the more there are of
us the better.

The Lyciansshamed by his rebukepressed closer round him who
was their counsellor and their king. The Argives on their part
got their men in fighting order within the walland there was a
deadly struggle between them. The Lycians could not break through
the wall and force their way to the shipsnor could the Danaans
drive the Lycians from the wall now that they had once reached
it. As two menmeasuring-rods in handquarrel about their
boundaries in a field that they own in commonand stickle for
their rights though they be but in a mere stripeven so did the
battlements now serve as a bone of contentionand they beat one
another's round shields for their possession. Many a man's body
was wounded with the pitiless bronzeas he turned round and
bared his back to the foeand many were struck clean through
their shields; the wall and battlements were everywhere deluged
with the blood alike of Trojans and of Achaeans. But even so the
Trojans could not rout the Achaeanswho still held on; and as
some honest hard-working woman weighs wool in her balance and
sees that the scales be truefor she would gain some pitiful
earnings for her little oneseven so was the fight balanced
evenly between them till the time came when Jove gave the greater
glory to Hector son of Priamwho was first to spring towards the
wall of the Achaeans. When he had done sohe cried aloud to the


TrojansUp, Trojans, break the wall of the Argives, and fling
fire upon their ships.

Thus did he hound them onand in one body they rushed straight
at the wall as he had bidden themand scaled the battlements
with sharp spears in their hands. Hector laid hold of a stone
that lay just outside the gates and was thick at one end but
pointed at the other; two of the best men in a townas men now
arecould hardly raise it from the ground and put it on to a
waggonbut Hector lifted it quite easily by himselffor the son
of scheming Saturn made it light for him. As a shepherd picks up
a ram's fleece with one hand and finds it no burdenso easily
did Hector lift the great stone and drive it right at the doors
that closed the gates so strong and so firmly set. These doors
were double and highand were kept closed by two cross-bars to
which there was but one key. When he had got close up to them
Hector strode towards them that his blow might gain in force and
struck them in the middleleaning his whole weight against them.
He broke both hingesand the stone fell inside by reason of its
great weight. The portals re-echoed with the soundthe bars held
no longerand the doors flew openone one wayand the other
the otherthrough the force of the blow. Then brave Hector
leaped inside with a face as dark as that of flying night. The
gleaming bronze flashed fiercely about his body and he had two
spears in his hand. None but a god could have withstood him as he
flung himself into the gatewayand his eyes glared like fire.
Then he turned round towards the Trojans and called on them to
scale the walland they did as he bade them--some of them at
once climbing over the wallwhile others passed through the
gates. The Danaans then fled panic-stricken towards their ships
and all was uproar and confusion.

BOOK XIII

NOW when Jove had thus brought Hector and the Trojans to the
shipshe left them to their never-ending toiland turned his
keen eyes awaylooking elsewhither towards the horse-breeders of
Thracethe Mysiansfighters at close quartersthe noble
Hippemolgiwho live on milkand the Abiansjustest of mankind.
He no longer turned so much as a glance towards Troyfor he did
not think that any of the immortals would go and help either
Trojans or Danaans.

But King Neptune had kept no blind look-out; he had been looking
admiringly on the battle from his seat on the topmost crests of
wooded Samothracewhence he could see all Idawith the city of
Priam and the ships of the Achaeans. He had come from under the
sea and taken his place herefor he pitied the Achaeans who were
being overcome by the Trojans; and he was furiously angry with
Jove.

Presently he came down from his post on the mountain topand as
he strode swiftly onwards the high hills and the forest quaked
beneath the tread of his immortal feet. Three strides he took
and with the fourth he reached his goal--Aegaewhere is his
glittering golden palaceimperishablein the depths of the sea.
When he got therehe yoked his fleet brazen-footed steeds with
their manes of gold all flying in the wind; he clothed himself in
raiment of goldgrasped his gold whipand took his stand upon
his chariot. As he went his way over the waves the sea-monsters
left their lairsfor they knew their lordand came gambolling
round him from every quarter of the deepwhile the sea in her


gladness opened a path before his chariot. So lightly did the
horses fly that the bronze axle of the car was not even wet
beneath it; and thus his bounding steeds took him to the ships of
the Achaeans.

Now there is a certain huge cavern in the depths of the sea
midway between Tenedos and rocky Imbrus; here Neptune lord of the
earthquake stayed his horsesunyoked themand set before them
their ambrosial forage. He hobbled their feet with hobbles of
gold which none could either unloose or breakso that they might
stay there in that place until their lord should return. This
done he went his way to the host of the Achaeans.

Now the Trojans followed Hector son of Priam in close array like
a storm-cloud or flame of firefighting with might and main and
raising the cry battle; for they deemed that they should take the
ships of the Achaeans and kill all their chiefest heroes then and
there. Meanwhile earth-encircling Neptune lord of the earthquake
cheered on the Argivesfor he had come up out of the sea and had
assumed the form and voice of Calchas.

First he spoke to the two Ajaxeswho were doing their best
alreadyand saidAjaxes, you two can be the saving of the
Achaeans if you will put out all your strength and not let
yourselves be daunted. I am not afraid that the Trojans, who have
got over the wall in force, will be victorious in any other part,
for the Achaeans can hold all of them in check, but I much fear
that some evil will befall us here where furious Hector, who
boasts himself the son of great Jove himself, is leading them on
like a pillar of flame. May some god, then, put it into your
hearts to make a firm stand here, and to incite others to do the
like. In this case you will drive him from the ships even though
he be inspired by Jove himself.

As he spoke the earth-encircling lord of the earthquake struck
both of them with his sceptre and filled their hearts with
daring. He made their legs light and activeas also their hands
and their feet. Thenas the soaring falcon poises on the wing
high above some sheer rockand presently swoops down to chase
some bird over the plaineven so did Neptune lord of the
earthquake wing his flight into the air and leave them. Of the
twoswift Ajax son of Oileus was the first to know who it was
that had been speaking with themand said to Ajax son of
TelamonAjax, this is one of the gods that dwell on Olympus,
who in the likeness of the prophet is bidding us fight hard by
our ships. It was not Calchas the seer and diviner of omens; I
knew him at once by his feet and knees as he turned away, for the
gods are soon recognised. Moreover I feel the lust of battle burn
more fiercely within me, while my hands and my feet under me are
more eager for the fray.

And Ajax son of Telamon answeredI too feel my hands grasp my
spear more firmly; my strength is greater, and my feet more
nimble; I long, moreover, to meet furious Hector son of Priam,
even in single combat.

Thus did they converseexulting in the hunger after battle with
which the god had filled them. Meanwhile the earth-encircler
roused the Achaeanswho were resting in the rear by the ships
overcome at once by hard fighting and by grief at seeing that the
Trojans had got over the wall in force. Tears began falling from
their eyes as they beheld themfor they made sure that they
should not escape destruction; but the lord of the earthquake
passed lightly about among them and urged their battalions to the


front.

First he went up to Teucer and Leitusthe hero Peneleosand
Thoas and Deipyrus; Meriones also and Antilochusvaliant
warriors; all did he exhort. "Shame on you young Argives he
cried, it was on your prowess I relied for the saving of our
ships; if you fight not with might and mainthis very day will
see us overcome by the Trojans. Of a truth my eyes behold a great
and terrible portent which I had never thought to see--the
Trojans at our ships--theywho were heretofore like
panic-stricken hindsthe prey of jackals and wolves in a forest
with no strength but in flight for they cannot defend themselves.
Hitherto the Trojans dared not for one moment face the attack of
the Achaeansbut now they have sallied far from their city and
are fighting at our very ships through the cowardice of our
leader and the disaffection of the people themselveswho in
their discontent care not to fight in defence of the ships but
are being slaughtered near them. TrueKing Agamemnon son of
Atreus is the cause of our disaster by having insulted the son of
Peleusstill this is no reason why we should leave off fighting.
Let us be quick to healfor the hearts of the brave heal
quickly. You do ill to be thus remissyouwho are the finest
soldiers in our whole army. I blame no man for keeping out of
battle if he is a weaklingbut I am indignant with such men as
you are. My good friendsmatters will soon become even worse
through this slackness; thinkeach one of youof his own honour
and creditfor the hazard of the fight is extreme. Great Hector
is now fighting at our ships; he has broken through the gates and
the strong bolt that held them."

Thus did the earth-encircler address the Achaeans and urge them
on. Thereon round the two Ajaxes there gathered strong bands of
menof whom not even Mars nor Minervamarshaller of hosts could
make light if they went among themfor they were the picked men
of all those who were now awaiting the onset of Hector and the
Trojans. They made a living fencespear to spearshield to
shieldbuckler to bucklerhelmet to helmetand man to man. The
horse-hair crests on their gleaming helmets touched one another
as they nodded forwardso closely serried were they; the spears
they brandished in their strong hands were interlacedand their
hearts were set on battle.

The Trojans advanced in a dense bodywith Hector at their head
pressing right on as a rock that comes thundering down the side
of some mountain from whose brow the winter torrents have torn
it; the foundations of the dull thing have been loosened by
floods of rainand as it bounds headlong on its way it sets the
whole forest in an uproar; it swerves neither to right nor left
till it reaches level groundbut then for all its fury it can go
no further--even so easily did Hector for a while seem as though
he would career through the tents and ships of the Achaeans till
he had reached the sea in his murderous course; but the closely
serried battalions stayed him when he reached themfor the sons
of the Achaeans thrust at him with swords and spears pointed at
both endsand drove him from them so that he staggered and gave
ground; thereon he shouted to the TrojansTrojans, Lycians, and
Dardanians, fighters in close combat, stand firm: the Achaeans
have set themselves as a wall against me, but they will not check
me for long; they will give ground before me if the mightiest of
the gods, the thundering spouse of Juno, has indeed inspired my
onset.

With these words he put heart and soul into them all. Deiphobus
son of Priam went about among them intent on deeds of daring with


his round shield before himunder cover of which he strode
quickly forward. Meriones took aim at him with a spearnor did
he fail to hit the broad orb of ox-hide; but he was far from
piercing it for the spear broke in two pieces long ere he could
do so; moreover Deiphobus had seen it coming and had held his
shield well away from him. Meriones drew back under cover of his
comradesangry alike at having failed to vanquish Deiphobusand
having broken his spear. He turned therefore towards the ships
and tents to fetch a spear which he had left behind in his tent.

The others continued fightingand the cry of battle rose up into
the heavens. Teucer son of Telamon was the first to kill his man
to witthe warrior Imbriusson of Mentorrich in horses.
Until the Achaeans came he had lived in Pedaeumand had married
Medesicastea bastard daughter of Priam; but on the arrival of
the Danaan fleet he had gone back to Iliusand was a great man
among the Trojansdwelling near Priam himselfwho gave him like
honour with his own sons. The son of Telamon now struck him under
the ear with a spear which he then drew back againand Imbrius
fell headlong as an ash-tree when it is felled on the crest of
some high mountain beaconand its delicate green foliage comes
toppling down to the ground. Thus did he fall with his
bronze-dight armour ringing harshly round himand Teucer sprang
forward with intent to strip him of his armour; but as he was
doing soHector took aim at him with a spear. Teucer saw the
spear coming and swerved asidewhereon it hit Amphimachusson
of Cteatus son of Actorin the chest as he was coming into
battleand his armour rang rattling round him as he fell heavily
to the ground. Hector sprang forward to take Amphimachus's helmet
from off his templesand in a moment Ajax threw a spear at him
but did not wound himfor he was encased all over in his
terrible armour; nevertheless the spear struck the boss of his
shield with such force as to drive him back from the two corpses
which the Achaeans then drew off. Stichius and Menestheus
captains of the Atheniansbore away Amphimachus to the host of
the Achaeanswhile the two brave and impetuous Ajaxes did the
like by Imbrius. As two lions snatch a goat from the hounds that
have it in their fangsand bear it through thick brushwood high
above the ground in their jawsthus did the Ajaxes bear aloft
the body of Imbriusand strip it of its armour. Then the son of
Oileus severed the head from the neck in revenge for the death of
Amphimachusand sent it whirling over the crowd as though it had
been a balltill it fell in the dust at Hector's feet.

Neptune was exceedingly angry that his grandson Amphimachus
should have fallen; he therefore went to the tents and ships of
the Achaeans to urge the Danaans still furtherand to devise
evil for the Trojans. Idomeneus met himas he was taking leave
of a comradewho had just come to him from the fightwounded in
the knee. His fellow-soldiers bore him off the fieldand
Idomeneus having given orders to the physicians went on to his
tentfor he was still thirsting for battle. Neptune spoke in the
likeness and with the voice of Thoas son of Andraemon who ruled
the Aetolians of all Pleuron and high Calydonand was honoured
among his people as though he were a god. "Idomeneus said he,
lawgiver to the Cretanswhat has now become of the threats with
which the sons of the Achaeans used to threaten the Trojans?"

And Idomeneus chief among the Cretans answeredThoas, no one,
so far as I know, is in fault, for we can all fight. None are
held back neither by fear nor slackness, but it seems to be the
will of almighty Jove that the Achaeans should perish
ingloriously here far from Argos: you, Thoas, have been always
staunch, and you keep others in heart if you see any fail in


duty; be not then remiss now, but exhort all to do their utmost.

To this Neptune lord of the earthquake made answerIdomeneus,
may he never return from Troy, but remain here for dogs to batten
upon, who is this day wilfully slack in fighting. Get your armour
and go, we must make all haste together if we may be of any use,
though we are only two. Even cowards gain courage from
companionship, and we two can hold our own with the bravest.

Therewith the god went back into the thick of the fightand
Idomeneus when he had reached his tent donned his armourgrasped
his two spearsand sallied forth. As the lightning which the son
of Saturn brandishes from bright Olympus when he would show a
sign to mortalsand its gleam flashes far and wide--even so did
his armour gleam about him as he ran. Meriones his sturdy squire
met him while he was still near his tent (for he was going to
fetch his spear) and Idomeneus said:

Meriones, fleet son of Molus, best of comrades, why have you
left the field? Are you wounded, and is the point of the weapon
hurting you? or have you been sent to fetch me? I want no
fetching; I had far rather fight than stay in my tent.

Idomeneus,answered MerionesI come for a spear, if I can
find one in my tent; I have broken the one I had, in throwing it
at the shield of Deiphobus.

And Idomeneus captain of the Cretans answeredYou will find one
spear, or twenty if you so please, standing up against the end
wall of my tent. I have taken them from Trojans whom I have
killed, for I am not one to keep my enemy at arm's length;
therefore I have spears, bossed shields, helmets, and burnished
corslets.

Then Meriones saidI too in my tent and at my ship have spoils
taken from the Trojans, but they are not at hand. I have been at
all times valorous, and wherever there has been hard fighting
have held my own among the foremost. There may be those among the
Achaeans who do not know how I fight, but you know it well enough
yourself.

Idomeneus answeredI know you for a brave man: you need not
tell me. If the best men at the ships were being chosen to go on
an ambush--and there is nothing like this for showing what a man
is made of; it comes out then who is cowardly and who brave; the
coward will change colour at every touch and turn; he is full of
fears, and keeps shifting his weight first on one knee and then
on the other; his heart beats fast as he thinks of death, and one
can hear the chattering of his teeth; whereas the brave man will
not change colour nor be frightened on finding himself in ambush,
but is all the time longing to go into action--if the best men
were being chosen for such a service, no one could make light of
your courage nor feats of arms. If you were struck by a dart or
smitten in close combat, it would not be from behind, in your
neck nor back, but the weapon would hit you in the chest or belly
as you were pressing forward to a place in the front ranks. But
let us no longer stay here talking like children, lest we be ill
spoken of; go, fetch your spear from the tent at once.

On this Merionespeer of Marswent to the tent and got himself
a spear of bronze. He then followed after Idomeneusbig with
great deeds of valour. As when baneful Mars sallies forth to
battleand his son Panic so strong and dauntless goes with him
to strike terror even into the heart of a hero--the pair have


gone from Thrace to arm themselves among the Ephyri or the brave
Phlegyansbut they will not listen to both the contending hosts
and will give victory to one side or to the other--even so did
Meriones and Idomeneuscaptains of mengo out to battle clad in
their bronze armour. Meriones was first to speak. "Son of
Deucalion said he, where would you have us begin fighting? On
the right wing of the hostin the centreor on the left wing
where I take it the Achaeans will be weakest?"

Idomeneus answeredThere are others to defend the centre--the
two Ajaxes and Teucer, who is the finest archer of all the
Achaeans, and is good also in a hand-to-hand fight. These will
give Hector son of Priam enough to do; fight as he may, he will
find it hard to vanquish their indomitable fury, and fire the
ships, unless the son of Saturn fling a firebrand upon them with
his own hand. Great Ajax son of Telamon will yield to no man who
is in mortal mould and eats the grain of Ceres, if bronze and
great stones can overthrow him. He would not yield even to
Achilles in hand-to-hand fight, and in fleetness of foot there is
none to beat him; let us turn therefore towards the left wing,
that we may know forthwith whether we are to give glory to some
other, or he to us.

Merionespeer of fleet Marsthen led the way till they came to
the part of the host which Idomeneus had named.

Now when the Trojans saw Idomeneus coming on like a flame of
firehim and his squire clad in their richly wrought armour
they shouted and made towards him all in a bodyand a furious
hand-to-hand fight raged under the ships' sterns. Fierce as the
shrill winds that whistle upon a day when dust lies deep on the
roadsand the gusts raise it into a thick cloud--even such was
the fury of the combatand might and main did they hack at each
other with spear and sword throughout the host. The field
bristled with the long and deadly spears which they bore.
Dazzling was the sheen of their gleaming helmetstheir
fresh-burnished breastplatesand glittering shields as they
joined battle with one another. Iron indeed must be his courage
who could take pleasure in the sight of such a turmoiland look
on it without being dismayed.

Thus did the two mighty sons of Saturn devise evil for mortal
heroes. Jove was minded to give victory to the Trojans and to
Hectorso as to do honour to fleet Achillesnevertheless he did
not mean to utterly overthrow the Achaean host before Iliusand
only wanted to glorify Thetis and her valiant son. Neptune on the
other hand went about among the Argives to incite themhaving
come up from the grey sea in secretfor he was grieved at seeing
them vanquished by the Trojansand was furiously angry with
Jove. Both were of the same race and countrybut Jove was elder
born and knew moretherefore Neptune feared to defend the
Argives openlybut in the likeness of manhe kept on
encouraging them throughout their host. Thusthendid these two
devise a knot of war and battlethat none could unloose or
breakand set both sides tugging at itto the failing of men's
knees beneath them.

And now Idomeneusthough his hair was already flecked with grey
called loud on the Danaans and spread panic among the Trojans as
he leaped in among them. He slew Othryoneus from Cabesusa
sojournerwho had but lately come to take part in the war. He
sought Cassandrathe fairest of Priam's daughtersin marriage
but offered no gifts of wooingfor he promised a great thingto
witthat he would drive the sons of the Achaeans willy nilly


from Troy; old King Priam had given his consent and promised her
to himwhereon he fought on the strength of the promises thus
made to him. Idomeneus aimed a spearand hit him as he came
striding on. His cuirass of bronze did not protect himand the
spear stuck in his bellyso that he fell heavily to the ground.
Then Idomeneus vaunted over him sayingOthryoneus, there is no
one in the world whom I shall admire more than I do you, if you
indeed perform what you have promised Priam son of Dardanus in
return for his daughter. We too will make you an offer; we will
give you the loveliest daughter of the son of Atreus, and will
bring her from Argos for you to marry, if you will sack the
goodly city of Ilius in company with ourselves; so come along
with me, that we may make a covenant at the ships about the
marriage, and we will not be hard upon you about gifts of
wooing.

With this Idomeneus began dragging him by the foot through the
thick of the fightbut Asius came up to protect the bodyon
footin front of his horses which his esquire drove so close
behind him that he could feel their breath upon his shoulder. He
was longing to strike down Idomeneusbut ere he could do so
Idomeneus smote him with his spear in the throat under the chin
and the bronze point went clean through it. He fell as an oakor
poplaror pine which shipwrights have felled for ship's timber
upon the mountains with whetted axes--even thus did he lie full
length in front of his chariot and horsesgrinding his teeth and
clutching at the bloodstained dust. His charioteer was struck
with panic and did not dare turn his horses round and escape:
thereupon Antilochus hit him in the middle of his body with a
spear; his cuirass of bronze did not protect himand the spear
stuck in his belly. He fell gasping from his chariot and
Antilochusgreat Nestor's sondrove his horses from the Trojans
to the Achaeans.

Deiphobus then came close up to Idomeneus to avenge Asiusand
took aim at him with a spearbut Idomeneus was on the look-out
and avoided itfor he was covered by the round shield he always
bore--a shield of oxhide and bronze with two arm-rods on the
inside. He crouched under cover of thisand the spear flew over
himbut the shield rang out as the spear grazed itand the
weapon sped not in vain from the strong hand of Deiphobusfor it
struck Hypsenor son of Hippasusshepherd of his peoplein the
liver under the midriffand his limbs failed beneath him.
Deiphobus vaunted over him and cried with a loud voice saying
Of a truth Asius has not fallen unavenged; he will be glad even
while passing into the house of Hades, strong warden of the gate,
that I have sent some one to escort him.

Thus did he vauntand the Argives were stung by his saying.
Noble Antilochus was more angry than any onebut grief did not
make him forget his friend and comrade. He ran up to him
bestrode himand covered him with his shield; then two of his
staunch comradesMecisteus son of Echiusand Alastorstooped
downand bore him away groaning heavily to the ships. But
Idomeneus ceased not his fury. He kept on striving continually
either to enshroud some Trojan in the darkness of deathor
himself to fall while warding off the evil day from the Achaeans.
Then fell Alcathous son of noble Aesyetes; he was son-in-law to
Anchiseshaving married his eldest daughter Hippodameiawho was
the darling of her father and motherand excelled all her
generation in beautyaccomplishmentsand understanding
wherefore the bravest man in all Troy had taken her to wife--him
did Neptune lay low by the hand of Idomeneusblinding his bright
eyes and binding his strong limbs in fetters so that he could


neither go back nor to one sidebut stood stock still like
pillar or lofty tree when Idomeneus struck him with a spear in
the middle of his chest. The coat of mail that had hitherto
protected his body was now brokenand rang harshly as the spear
tore through it. He fell heavily to the groundand the spear
stuck in his heartwhich still beatand made the butt-end of
the spear quiver till dread Mars put an end to his life.
Idomeneus vaunted over him and cried with a loud voice saying
Deiphobus, since you are in a mood to vaunt, shall we cry quits
now that we have killed three men to your one? Nay, sir, stand in
fight with me yourself, that you may learn what manner of
Jove-begotten man am I that have come hither. Jove first begot
Minos, chief ruler in Crete, and Minos in his turn begot a son,
noble Deucalion. Deucalion begot me to be a ruler over many men
in Crete, and my ships have now brought me hither, to be the bane
of yourself, your father, and the Trojans.

Thus did he speakand Deiphobus was in two mindswhether to go
back and fetch some other Trojan to help himor to take up the
challenge single-handed. In the endhe deemed it best to go and
fetch Aeneaswhom he found standing in the rearfor he had long
been aggrieved with Priam because in spite of his brave deeds he
did not give him his due share of honour. Deiphobus went up to
him and saidAeneas, prince among the Trojans, if you know any
ties of kinship, help me now to defend the body of your sister's
husband; come with me to the rescue of Alcathous, who being
husband to your sister brought you up when you were a child in
his house, and now Idomeneus has slain him.

With these words he moved the heart of Aeneasand he went in
pursuit of Idomeneusbig with great deeds of valour; but
Idomeneus was not to be thus daunted as though he were a mere
child; he held his ground as a wild boar at bay upon the
mountainswho abides the coming of a great crowd of men in some
lonely place--the bristles stand upright on his backhis eyes
flash fireand he whets his tusks in his eagerness to defend
himself against hounds and men--even so did famed Idomeneus hold
his ground and budge not at the coming of Aeneas. He cried aloud
to his comrades looking towards AscalaphusAphareusDeipyrus
Merionesand Antilochusall of them brave soldiers--"Hither my
friends he cried, and leave me not single-handed--I go in
great fear by fleet Aeneaswho is coming against meand is a
redoubtable dispenser of death battle. Moreover he is in the
flower of youth when a man's strength is greatest; if I was of
the same age as he is and in my present mindeither he or I
should soon bear away the prize of victory."

On thisall of them as one man stood near himshield on
shoulder. Aeneas on the other side called to his comrades
looking towards DeiphobusParisand Agenorwho were leaders of
the Trojans along with himselfand the people followed them as
sheep follow the ram when they go down to drink after they have
been feedingand the heart of the shepherd is glad--even so was
the heart of Aeneas gladdened when he saw his people follow him.

Then they fought furiously in close combat about the body of
Alcathouswielding their long spears; and the bronze armour
about their bodies rang fearfully as they took aim at one another
in the press of the fightwhile the two heroes Aeneas and
Idomeneuspeers of Marsoutvied everyone in their desire to
hack at each other with sword and spear. Aeneas took aim first
but Idomeneus was on the lookout and avoided the spearso that
it sped from Aeneas' strong hand in vainand fell quivering in
the ground. Idomeneus meanwhile smote Oenomaus in the middle of


his bellyand broke the plate of his corsletwhereon his bowels
came gushing out and he clutched the earth in the palms of his
hands as he fell sprawling in the dust. Idomeneus drew his spear
out of the bodybut could not strip him of the rest of his
armour for the rain of darts that were showered upon him:
moreover his strength was now beginning to fail him so that he
could no longer chargeand could neither spring forward to
recover his own weapon nor swerve aside to avoid one that was
aimed at him; thereforethough he still defended himself in
hand-to-hand fighthis heavy feet could not bear him swiftly out
of the battle. Deiphobus aimed a spear at him as he was
retreating slowly from the fieldfor his bitterness against him
was as fierce as everbut again he missed himand hit
Ascalaphusthe son of Mars; the spear went through his shoulder
and he clutched the earth in the palms of his hands as he fell
sprawling in the dust.

Grim Mars of awful voice did not yet know that his son had
fallenfor he was sitting on the summits of Olympus under the
golden cloudsby command of Jovewhere the other gods were also
sittingforbidden to take part in the battle. Meanwhile men
fought furiously about the body. Deiphobus tore the helmet from
off his headbut Meriones sprang upon himand struck him on the
arm with a spear so that the visored helmet fell from his hand
and came ringing down upon the ground. Thereon Meriones sprang
upon him like a vulturedrew the spear from his shoulderand
fell back under cover of his men. Then Politesown brother of
Deiphobus passed his arms around his waistand bore him away
from the battle till he got to his horses that were standing in
the rear of the fight with the chariot and their driver. These
took him towards the city groaning and in great painwith the
blood flowing from his arm.

The others still fought onand the battle-cry rose to heaven
without ceasing. Aeneas sprang on Aphareus son of Caletorand
struck him with a spear in his throat which was turned towards
him; his head fell on one sidehis helmet and shield came down
along with himand deathlife's foewas shed around him.
Antilochus spied his chanceflew forward towards Thoonand
wounded him as he was turning round. He laid open the vein that
runs all the way up the back to the neck; he cut this vein clean
away throughout its whole courseand Thoon fell in the dust face
upwardsstretching out his hands imploringly towards his
comrades. Antilochus sprang upon him and stripped the armour from
his shouldersglaring round him fearfully as he did so. The
Trojans came about him on every side and struck his broad and
gleaming shieldbut could not wound his bodyfor Neptune stood
guard over the son of Nestorthough the darts fell thickly round
him. He was never clear of the foebut was always in the thick
of the fight; his spear was never idle; he poised and aimed it in
every directionso eager was he to hit someone from a distance
or to fight him hand to hand.

As he was thus aiming among the crowdhe was seen by Adamasson
of Asiuswho rushed towards him and struck him with a spear in
the middle of his shieldbut Neptune made its point without
effectfor he grudged him the life of Antilochus. One half
thereforeof the spear stuck fast like a charred stake in
Antilochus's shieldwhile the other lay on the ground. Adamas
then sought shelter under cover of his menbut Meriones followed
after and hit him with a spear midway between the private parts
and the navelwhere a wound is particualrly painful to wretched
mortals. There did Meriones transfix himand he writhed
convulsively about the spear as some bull whom mountain herdsmen


have bound with ropes of withes and are taking away perforce.
Even so did he move convulsively for a whilebut not for very
longtill Meriones came up and drew the spear out of his body
and his eyes were veiled in darkness.

Helenus then struck Deipyrus with a great Thracian swordhitting
him on the temple in close combat and tearing the helmet from his
head; the helmet fell to the groundand one of those who were
fighting on the Achaean side took charge of it as it rolled at
his feetbut the eyes of Deipyrus were closed in the darkness of
death.

On this Menelaus was grievedand made menacingly towards
Helenusbrandishing his spear; but Helenus drew his bowand the
two attacked one another at one and the same momentthe one with
his spearand the other with his bow and arrow. The son of Priam
hit the breastplate of Menelaus's corsletbut the arrow glanced
from off it. As black beans or pulse come pattering down on to a
threshing-floor from the broad winnowing-shovelblown by shrill
winds and shaken by the shovel--even so did the arrow glance off
and recoil from the shield of Menelauswho in his turn wounded
the hand with which Helenus carried his bow; the spear went right
through his hand and stuck in the bow itselfso that to his life
he retreated under cover of his menwith his hand dragging by
his side--for the spear weighed it down till Agenor drew it out
and bound the hand carefully up in a woollen sling which his
esquire had with him.

Pisander then made straight at Menelaus--his evil destiny luring
him on to his doomfor he was to fall in fight with youO
Menelaus. When the two were hard by one another the spear of the
son of Atreus turned aside and he missed his aim; Pisander then
struck the shield of brave Menelaus but could not pierce itfor
the shield stayed the spear and broke the shaft; nevertheless he
was glad and made sure of victory; forthwithhoweverthe son of
Atreus drew his sword and sprang upon him. Pisander then seized
the bronze battle-axewith its long and polished handle of olive
wood that hung by his side under his shieldand the two made at
one another. Pisander struck the peak of Menelaus's crested
helmet just under the crest itselfand Menelaus hit Pisander as
he was coming towards himon the foreheadjust at the rise of
his nose; the bones cracked and his two gore-bedrabbled eyes fell
by his feet in the dust. He fell backwards to the groundand
Menelaus set his heel upon himstripped him of his armourand
vaunted over him sayingEven thus shall you Trojans leave the
ships of the Achaeans, proud and insatiate of battle though you
be, nor shall you lack any of the disgrace and shame which you
have heaped upon myself. Cowardly she-wolves that you are, you
feared not the anger of dread Jove, avenger of violated
hospitality, who will one day destroy your city; you stole my
wedded wife and wickedly carried off much treasure when you were
her guest, and now you would fling fire upon our ships, and kill
our heroes. A day will come when, rage as you may, you shall be
stayed. O father Jove, you, who they say art above all, both gods
and men, in wisdom, and from whom all things that befall us do
proceed, how can you thus favour the Trojans--men so proud and
overweening, that they are never tired of fighting? All things
pall after a while--sleep, love, sweet song, and stately dance-still
these are things of which a man would surely have his fill
rather than of battle, whereas it is of battle that the Trojans
are insatiate.

So saying Menelaus stripped the blood-stained armour from the
body of Pisanderand handed it over to his men; then he again


ranged himself among those who were in the front of the fight.

Harpalion son of King Pylaemenes then sprang upon him; he had
come to fight at Troy along with his fatherbut he did not go
home again. He struck the middle of Menelaus's shield with his
spear but could not pierce itand to save his life drew back
under cover of his menlooking round him on every side lest he
should be wounded. But Meriones aimed a bronze-tipped arrow at
him as he was leaving the fieldand hit him on the right
buttock; the arrow pierced the bone through and throughand
penetrated the bladderso he sat down where he was and breathed
his last in the arms of his comradesstretched like a worm upon
the ground and watering the earth with the blood that flowed from
his wound. The brave Paphlagonians tended him with all due care;
they raised him into his chariotand bore him sadly off to the
city of Troy; his father went also with him weeping bitterlybut
there was no ransom that could bring his dead son to life again.

Paris was deeply grieved by the death of Harpalionwho was his
host when he went among the Paphlagonians; he aimed an arrow
thereforein order to avenge him. Now there was a certain man
named Euchenorson of Polyidus the propheta brave man and
wealthywhose home was in Corinth. This Euchenor had set sail
for Troy well knowing that it would be the death of himfor his
good old father Polyidus had often told him that he must either
stay at home and die of a terrible diseaseor go with the
Achaeans and perish at the hands of the Trojans; he chose
thereforeto avoid incurring the heavy fine the Achaeans would
have laid upon himand at the same time to escape the pain and
suffering of disease. Paris now smote him on the jaw under his
earwhereon the life went out of him and he was enshrouded in
the darkness of death.

Thus then did they fight as it were a flaming fire. But Hector
had not yet heardand did not know that the Argives were making
havoc of his men on the left wing of the battlewhere the
Achaeans ere long would have triumphed over themso vigorously
did Neptune cheer them on and help them. He therefore held on at
the point where he had first forced his way through the gates and
the wallafter breaking through the serried ranks of Danaan
warriors. It was here that the ships of Ajax and Protesilaus were
drawn up by the sea-shore; here the wall was at its lowestand
the fight both of man and horse raged most fiercely. The
Boeotians and the Ionians with their long tunicsthe Locrians
the men of Phthiaand the famous force of the Epeans could
hardly stay Hector as he rushed on towards the shipsnor could
they drive him from themfor he was as a wall of fire. The
chosen men of the Athenians were in the vanled by Menestheus
son of Peteoswith whom were also PheidasStichiusand
stalwart Bias; Meges son of PhyleusAmphionand Dracius
commanded the Epeanswhile Medon and staunch Podarces led the
men of Phthia. Of theseMedon was bastard son to Oileus and
brother of Ajaxbut he lived in Phylace away from his own
countryfor he had killed the brother of his stepmother Eriopis
the wife of Oileus; the otherPodarceswas the son of Iphiclus
son of Phylacus. These two stood in the van of the Phthiansand
defended the ships along with the Boeotians.

Ajax son of Oileusnever for a moment left the side of Ajaxson
of Telamonbut as two swart oxen both strain their utmost at the
plough which they are drawing in a fallow fieldand the sweat
steams upwards from about the roots of their horns--nothing but
the yoke divides them as they break up the ground till they reach
the end of the field--even so did the two Ajaxes stand shoulder


to shoulder by one another. Many and brave comrades followed the
son of Telamonto relieve him of his shield when he was overcome
with sweat and toilbut the Locrians did not follow so close
after the son of Oileusfor they could not hold their own in a
hand-to-hand fight. They had no bronze helmets with plumes of
horse-hairneither had they shields nor ashen spearsbut they
had come to Troy armed with bowsand with slings of twisted wool
from which they showered their missiles to break the ranks of the
Trojans. The othersthereforewith their heavy armour bore the
brunt of the fight with the Trojans and with Hectorwhile the
Locrians shot from behindunder their cover; and thus the
Trojans began to lose heartfor the arrows threw them into
confusion.

The Trojans would now have been driven in sorry plight from the
ships and tents back to windy Iliushad not Polydamas presently
said to HectorHector, there is no persuading you to take
advice. Because heaven has so richly endowed you with the arts of
war, you think that you must therefore excel others in counsel;
but you cannot thus claim preeminence in all things. Heaven has
made one man an excellent soldier; of another it has made a
dancer or a singer and player on the lyre; while yet in another
Jove has implanted a wise understanding of which men reap fruit
to the saving of many, and he himself knows more about it than
any one; therefore I will say what I think will be best. The
fight has hemmed you in as with a circle of fire, and even now
that the Trojans are within the wall some of them stand aloof in
full armour, while others are fighting scattered and outnumbered
near the ships. Draw back, therefore, and call your chieftains
round you, that we may advise together whether to fall now upon
the ships in the hope that heaven may vouchsafe us victory, or to
beat a retreat while we can yet safely do so. I greatly fear that
the Achaeans will pay us their debt of yesterday in full, for
there is one abiding at their ships who is never weary of battle,
and who will not hold aloof much longer.

Thus spoke Polydamasand his words pleased Hector well. He
sprang in full armour from his chariot and saidPolydamas,
gather the chieftains here; I will go yonder into the fight, but
will return at once when I have given them their orders.

He then sped onwardtowering like a snowy mountainand with a
loud cry flew through the ranks of the Trojans and their allies.
When they heard his voice they all hastened to gather round
Polydamasthe excellent son of Panthousbut Hector kept on
among the foremostlooking everywhere to find Deiphobus and
prince HelenusAdamas son of Asiusand Asius son of Hyrtacus;
livingindeedand scatheless he could no longer find themfor
the two last were lying by the sterns of the Achaean shipsslain
by the Argiveswhile the others had been also stricken and
wounded by them; but upon the left wing of the dread battle he
found Alexandrushusband of lovely Helencheering his men and
urging them on to fight. He went up to him and upbraided him.
Paris,said heevil-hearted Paris, fair to see but woman-mad
and false of tongue, where are Deiphobus and King Helenus? Where
are Adamas son of Asius, and Asius son of Hyrtacus? Where too is
Othryoneus? Ilius is undone and will now surely fall!

Alexandrus answeredHector, why find fault when there is no one
to find fault with? I should hold aloof from battle on any day
rather than this, for my mother bore me with nothing of the
coward about me. From the moment when you set our men fighting
about the ships we have been staying here and doing battle with
the Danaans. Our comrades about whom you ask me are dead;


Deiphobus and King Helenus alone have left the field, wounded
both of them in the hand, but the son of Saturn saved them alive.
Now, therefore, lead on where you would have us go, and we will
follow with right goodwill; you shall not find us fail you in so
far as our strength holds out, but no man can do more than in him
lies, no matter how willing he may be.

With these words he satisfied his brotherand the two went
towards the part of the battle where the fight was thickest
about Cebrionesbrave PolydamasPhalcesOrthaeusgodlike
PolyphetesPalmysAscaniusand Morys son of Hippotionwho had
come from fertile Ascania on the preceding day to relieve other
troops. Then Jove urged them on to fight. They flew forth like
the blasts of some fierce wind that strike earth in the van of a
thunderstorm--they buffet the salt sea into an uproar; many and
mighty are the great waves that come crashing in one after the
other upon the shore with their arching heads all crested with
foam--even so did rank behind rank of Trojans arrayed in gleaming
armour follow their leaders onward. The way was led by Hector son
of Priampeer of murderous Marswith his round shield before
him--his shield of ox-hides covered with plates of bronze--and
his gleaming helmet upon his temples. He kept stepping forward
under cover of his shield in every directionmaking trial of the
ranks to see if they would give way before himbut he could not
daunt the courage of the Achaeans. Ajax was the first to stride
out and challenge him. "Sir he cried, draw near; why do you
think thus vainly to dismay the Argives? We Achaeans are
excellent soldiersbut the scourge of Jove has fallen heavily
upon us. Your heartforsoothis set on destroying our ships
but we too have hands that can keep you at bayand your own fair
town shall be sooner taken and sacked by ourselves. The time is
near when you shall pray Jove and all the gods in your flight
that your steeds may be swifter than hawks as they raise the dust
on the plain and bear you back to your city."

As he was thus speaking a bird flew by upon his right handand
the host of the Achaeans shoutedfor they took heart at the
omen. But Hector answeredAjax, braggart and false of tongue,
would that I were as sure of being son for evermore to
aegis-bearing Jove, with Queen Juno for my mother, and of being
held in like honour with Minerva and Apollo, as I am that this
day is big with the destruction of the Achaeans; and you shall
fall among them if you dare abide my spear; it shall rend your
fair body and bid you glut our hounds and birds of prey with your
fat and your flesh, as you fall by the ships of the Achaeans.

With these words he led the way and the others followed after
with a cry that rent the airwhile the host shouted behind them.
The Argives on their part raised a shout likewisenor did they
forget their prowessbut stood firm against the onslaught of the
Trojan chieftainsand the cry from both the hosts rose up to
heaven and to the brightness of Jove's presence.

BOOK XIV

NESTOR was sitting over his winebut the cry of battle did not
escape himand he said to the son of AesculapiusWhat, noble
Machaon, is the meaning of all this? The shouts of men fighting
by our ships grow stronger and stronger; stay here, therefore,
and sit over your wine, while fair Hecamede heats you a bath and
washes the clotted blood from off you. I will go at once to the
look-out station and see what it is all about.


As he spoke he took up the shield of his son Thrasymedes that was
lying in his tentall gleaming with bronzefor Thrasymedes had
taken his father's shield; he grasped his redoubtable bronze-shod
spearand as soon as he was outside saw the disastrous rout of
the Achaeans whonow that their wall was overthrownwere flying
pell-mell before the Trojans. As when there is a heavy swell upon
the seabut the waves are dumb--they keep their eyes on the
watch for the quarter whence the fierce winds may spring upon
thembut they stay where they are and set neither this way nor
thattill some particular wind sweeps down from heaven to
determine them--even so did the old man ponder whether to make
for the crowd of Danaansor go in search of Agamemnon. In the
end he deemed it best to go to the son of Atreus; but meanwhile
the hosts were fighting and killing one anotherand the hard
bronze rattled on their bodiesas they thrust at one another
with their swords and spears.

The wounded kingsthe son of TydeusUlyssesand Agamemnon son
of Atreusfell in Nestor as they were coming up from their
ships--for theirs were drawn up some way from where the fighting
was going onbeing on the shore itself inasmuch as they had been
beached firstwhile the wall had been built behind the
hindermost. The stretch of the shorewide though it wasdid not
afford room for all the shipsand the host was cramped for
spacetherefore they had placed the ships in rows one behind the
otherand had filled the whole opening of the bay between the
two points that formed it. The kingsleaning on their spears
were coming out to survey the fightbeing in great anxietyand
when old Nestor met them they were filled with dismay. Then King
Agamemnon said to himNestor son of Neleus, honour to the
Achaean name, why have you left the battle to come hither? I fear
that what dread Hector said will come true, when he vaunted among
the Trojans saying that he would not return to Ilius till he had
fired our ships and killed us; this is what he said, and now it
is all coming true. Alas! others of the Achaeans, like Achilles,
are in anger with me that they refuse to fight by the sterns of
our ships.

Then Nestor knight of GereneansweredIt is indeed as you say;
it is all coming true at this moment, and even Jove who thunders
from on high cannot prevent it. Fallen is the wall on which we
relied as an impregnable bulwark both for us and our fleet. The
Trojans are fighting stubbornly and without ceasing at the ships;
look where you may you cannot see from what quarter the rout of
the Achaeans is coming; they are being killed in a confused mass
and the battle-cry ascends to heaven; let us think, if counsel
can be of any use, what we had better do; but I do not advise our
going into battle ourselves, for a man cannot fight when he is
wounded.

And King Agamemnon answeredNestor, if the Trojans are indeed
fighting at the rear of our ships, and neither the wall nor the
trench has served us--over which the Danaans toiled so hard, and
which they deemed would be an impregnable bulwark both for us and
our fleet--I see it must be the will of Jove that the Achaeans
should perish ingloriously here, far from Argos. I knew when Jove
was willing to defend us, and I know now that he is raising the
Trojans to like honour with the gods, while us, on the other
hand, he bas bound hand and foot. Now, therefore, let us all do
as I say; let us bring down the ships that are on the beach and
draw them into the water; let us make them fast to their
mooring-stones a little way out, against the fall of night--if
even by night the Trojans will desist from fighting; we may then


draw down the rest of the fleet. There is nothing wrong in flying
ruin even by night. It is better for a man that he should fly and
be saved than be caught and killed.

Ulysses looked fiercely at him and saidSon of Atreus, what are
you talking about? Wretch, you should have commanded some other
and baser army, and not been ruler over us to whom Jove has
allotted a life of hard fighting from youth to old age, till we
every one of us perish. Is it thus that you would quit the city
of Troy, to win which we have suffered so much hardship? Hold
your peace, lest some other of the Achaeans hear you say what no
man who knows how to give good counsel, no king over so great a
host as that of the Argives should ever have let fall from his
lips. I despise your judgement utterly for what you have been
saying. Would you, then, have us draw down our ships into the
water while the battle is raging, and thus play further into the
hands of the conquering Trojans? It would be ruin; the Achaeans
will not go on fighting when they see the ships being drawn into
the water, but will cease attacking and keep turning their eyes
towards them; your counsel, therefore, sir captain, would be our
destruction.

Agamemnon answeredUlysses, your rebuke has stung me to the
heart. I am not, however, ordering the Achaeans to draw their
ships into the sea whether they will or no. Someone, it may be,
old or young, can offer us better counsel which I shall rejoice
to hear.

Then said DiomedSuch an one is at hand; he is not far to seek,
if you will listen to me and not resent my speaking though I am
younger than any of you. I am by lineage son to a noble sire,
Tydeus, who lies buried at Thebes. For Portheus had three noble
sons, two of whom, Agrius and Melas, abode in Pleuron and rocky
Calydon. The third was the knight Oeneus, my father's father, and
he was the most valiant of them all. Oeneus remained in his own
country, but my father (as Jove and the other gods ordained it)
migrated to Argos. He married into the family of Adrastus, and
his house was one of great abundance, for he had large estates of
rich corn-growing land, with much orchard ground as well, and he
had many sheep; moreover he excelled all the Argives in the use
of the spear. You must yourselves have heard whether these things
are true or no; therefore when I say well despise not my words as
though I were a coward or of ignoble birth. I say, then, let us
go to the fight as we needs must, wounded though we be. When
there, we may keep out of the battle and beyond the range of the
spears lest we get fresh wounds in addition to what we have
already, but we can spur on others, who have been indulging their
spleen and holding aloof from battle hitherto.

Thus did he speak; whereon they did even as he had said and set
outKing Agamemnon leading the way.

Meanwhile Neptune had kept no blind look-outand came up to them
in the semblance of an old man. He took Agamemnon's right hand in
his own and saidSon of Atreus, I take it Achilles is glad now
that he sees the Achaeans routed and slain, for he is utterly
without remorse--may he come to a bad end and heaven confound
him. As for yourself, the blessed gods are not yet so bitterly
angry with you but that the princes and counsellors of the
Trojans shall again raise the dust upon the plain, and you shall
see them flying from the ships and tents towards their city.

With this he raised a mighty cry of battleand sped forward to
the plain. The voice that came from his deep chest was as that of


nine or ten thousand men when they are shouting in the thick of a
fightand it put fresh courage into the hearts of the Achaeans
to wage war and do battle without ceasing.

Juno of the golden throne looked down as she stood upon a peak of
Olympus and her heart was gladdened at the sight of him who was
at once her brother and her brother-in-lawhurrying hither and
thither amid the fighting. Then she turned her eyes to Jove as he
sat on the topmost crests of many-fountained Idaand loathed
him. She set herself to think how she might hoodwink himand in
the end she deemed that it would be best for her to go to Ida and
array herself in rich attirein the hope that Jove might become
enamoured of herand wish to embrace her. While he was thus
engaged a sweet and careless sleep might be made to steal over
his eyes and senses.

She wentthereforeto the room which her son Vulcan had made
herand the doors of which he had cunningly fastened by means of
a secret key so that no other god could open them. Here she
entered and closed the doors behind her. She cleansed all the
dirt from her fair body with ambrosiathen she anointed herself
with olive oilambrosialvery softand scented specially for
herself--if it were so much as shaken in the bronze-floored house
of Jovethe scent pervaded the universe of heaven and earth.
With this she anointed her delicate skinand then she plaited
the fair ambrosial locks that flowed in a stream of golden
tresses from her immortal head. She put on the wondrous robe
which Minerva had worked for her with consummate artand had
embroidered with manifold devices; she fastened it about her
bosom with golden claspsand she girded herself with a girdle
that had a hundred tassels: then she fastened her earringsthree
brilliant pendants that glistened most beautifullythrough the
pierced lobes of her earsand threw a lovely new veil over her
head. She bound her sandals on to her feetand when she had
arrayed herself perfectly to her satisfactionshe left her room
and called Venus to come aside and speak to her. "My dear child
said she, will you do what I am going to ask of youor will
refuse me because you are angry at my being on the Danaan side
while you are on the Trojan?"

Jove's daughter Venus answeredJuno, august queen of goddesses,
daughter of mighty Saturn, say what you want, and I will do it
for you at once, if I can, and if it can be done at all.

Then Juno told her a lying tale and saidI want you to endow me
with some of those fascinating charms, the spells of which bring
all things mortal and immortal to your feet. I am going to the
world's end to visit Oceanus (from whom all we gods proceed) and
mother Tethys: they received me in their house, took care of me,
and brought me up, having taken me over from Rhaea when Jove
imprisoned great Saturn in the depths that are under earth and
sea. I must go and see them that I may make peace between them;
they have been quarrelling, and are so angry that they have not
slept with one another this long while; if I can bring them round
and restore them to one another's embraces, they will be grateful
to me and love me for ever afterwards.

Thereon laughter-loving Venus saidI cannot and must not refuse
you, for you sleep in the arms of Jove who is our king.

As she spoke she loosed from her bosom the curiously embroidered
girdle into which all her charms had been wrought--lovedesire
and that sweet flattery which steals the judgement even of the
most prudent. She gave the girdle to Juno and saidTake this


girdle wherein all my charms reside and lay it in your bosom. If
you will wear it I promise you that your errand, be it what it
may, will not be bootless.

When she heard this Juno smiledand still smiling she laid the
girdle in her bosom.

Venus now went back into the house of Jovewhile Juno darted
down from the summits of Olympus. She passed over Pieria and fair
Emathiaand went on and on till she came to the snowy ranges of
the Thracian horsemenover whose topmost crests she sped without
ever setting foot to ground. When she came to Athos she went on
over thewaves of the sea till she reached Lemnosthe city of
noble Thoas. There she met Sleepown brother to Deathand
caught him by the handsayingSleep, you who lord it alike
over mortals and immortals, if you ever did me a service in times
past, do one for me now, and I shall be grateful to you ever
after. Close Jove's keen eyes for me in slumber while I hold him
clasped in my embrace, and I will give you a beautiful golden
seat, that can never fall to pieces; my clubfooted son Vulcan
shall make it for you, and he shall give it a footstool for you
to rest your fair feet upon when you are at table.

Then Sleep answeredJuno, great queen of goddesses, daughter of
mighty Saturn, I would lull any other of the gods to sleep
without compunction, not even excepting the waters of Oceanus
from whom all of them proceed, but I dare not go near Jove, nor
send him to sleep unless he bids me. I have had one lesson
already through doing what you asked me, on the day when Jove's
mighty son Hercules set sail from Ilius after having sacked the
city of the Trojans. At your bidding I suffused my sweet self
over the mind of aegis-bearing Jove, and laid him to rest;
meanwhile you hatched a plot against Hercules, and set the blasts
of the angry winds beating upon the sea, till you took him to the
goodly city of Cos, away from all his friends. Jove was furious
when he awoke, and began hurling the gods about all over the
house; he was looking more particularly for myself, and would
have flung me down through space into the sea where I should
never have been heard of any more, had not Night who cows both
men and gods protected me. I fled to her and Jove left off
looking for me in spite of his being so angry, for he did not
dare do anything to displease Night. And now you are again asking
me to do something on which I cannot venture.

And Juno saidSleep, why do you take such notions as those into
your head? Do you think Jove will be as anxious to help the
Trojans, as he was about his own son? Come, I will marry you to
one of the youngest of the Graces, and she shall be your own--
Pasithea, whom you have always wanted to marry.

Sleep was pleased when he heard thisand answeredThen swear
it to me by the dread waters of the river Styx; lay one hand on
the bounteous earth, and the other on the sheen of the sea, so
that all the gods who dwell down below with Saturn may be our
witnesses, and see that you really do give me one of the youngest
of the Graces--Pasithea, whom I have always wanted to marry.

Juno did as he had said. She sworeand invoked all the gods of
the nether worldwho are called Titansto witness. When she had
completed her oaththe two enshrouded themselves in a thick mist
and sped lightly forwardleaving Lemnos and Imbrus behind them.
Presently they reached many-fountained Idamother of wild
beastsand Lectum where they left the sea to go on by landand
the tops of the trees of the forest soughed under the going of


their feet. Here Sleep haltedand ere Jove caught sight of him
he climbed a lofty pine-tree--the tallest that reared its head
towards heaven on all Ida. He hid himself behind the branches and
sat there in the semblance of the sweet-singing bird that haunts
the mountains and is called Chalcis by the godsbut men call it
Cymindis. Juno then went to Gargarusthe topmost peak of Ida
and Jovedriver of the cloudsset eyes upon her. As soon as he
did so he became inflamed with the same passionate desire for her
that he had felt when they had first enjoyed each other's
embracesand slept with one another without their dear parents
knowing anything about it. He went up to her and saidWhat do
you want that you have come hither from Olympus--and that too
with neither chariot nor horses to convey you?

Then Juno told him a lying tale and saidI am going to the
world's end, to visit Oceanus, from whom all we gods proceed, and
mother Tethys; they received me into their house, took care of
me, and brought me up. I must go and see them that I may make
peace between them: they have been quarrelling, and are so angry
that they have not slept with one another this long time. The
horses that will take me over land and sea are stationed on the
lowermost spurs of many-fountained Ida, and I have come here from
Olympus on purpose to consult you. I was afraid you might be
angry with me later on, if I went to the house of Oceanus without
letting you know.

And Jove saidJuno, you can choose some other time for paying
your visit to Oceanus--for the present let us devote ourselves to
love and to the enjoyment of one another. Never yet have I been
so overpowered by passion neither for goddess nor mortal woman as
I am at this moment for yourself--not even when I was in love
with the wife of Ixion who bore me Pirithous, peer of gods in
counsel, nor yet with Danae the daintily-ancled daughter of
Acrisius, who bore me the famed hero Perseus. Then there was the
daughter of Phoenix, who bore me Minos and Rhadamanthus: there
was Semele, and Alcmena in Thebes by whom I begot my lion-hearted
son Hercules, while Semele became mother to Bacchus the comforter
of mankind. There was queen Ceres again, and lovely Leto, and
yourself--but with none of these was I ever so much enamoured as
I now am with you.

Juno again answered him with a lying tale. "Most dread son of
Saturn she exclaimed, what are you talking about? Would you
have us enjoy one another here on the top of Mount Idawhere
everything can be seen? What if one of the ever-living gods
should see us sleeping togetherand tell the others? It would be
such a scandal that when I had risen from your embraces I could
never show myself inside your house again; but if you are so
mindedthere is a room which your son Vulcan has made meand he
has given it good strong doors; if you would so have itlet us
go thither and lie down."

And Jove answeredJuno, you need not be afraid that either god
or man will see you, for I will enshroud both of us in such a
dense golden cloud, that the very sun for all his bright piercing
beams shall not see through it.

With this the son of Saturn caught his wife in his embrace;
whereon the earth sprouted them a cushion of young grasswith
dew-bespangled lotuscrocusand hyacinthso soft and thick
that it raised them well above the ground. Here they laid
themselves down and overhead they were covered by a fair cloud of
goldfrom which there fell glittering dew-drops.


Thusthendid the sire of all things repose peacefully on the
crest of Idaovercome at once by sleep and loveand he held his
spouse in his arms. Meanwhile Sleep made off to the ships of the
Achaeansto tell earth-encircling Neptunelord of the
earthquake. When he had found him he saidNow, Neptune, you can
help the Danaans with a will, and give them victory though it be
only for a short time while Jove is still sleeping. I have sent
him into a sweet slumber, and Juno has beguiled him into going to
bed with her.

Sleep now departed and went his ways to and fro among mankind
leaving Neptune more eager than ever to help the Danaans. He
darted forward among the first ranks and shouted saying
Argives, shall we let Hector son of Priam have the triumph of
taking our ships and covering himself with glory? This is what he
says that he shall now do, seeing that Achilles is still in
dudgeon at his ship; we shall get on very well without him if we
keep each other in heart and stand by one another. Now,
therefore, let us all do as I say. Let us each take the best and
largest shield we can lay hold of, put on our helmets, and sally
forth with our longest spears in our hands; I will lead you on,
and Hector son of Priam, rage as he may, will not dare to hold
out against us. If any good staunch soldier has only a small
shield, let him hand it over to a worse man, and take a larger
one for himself.

Thus did he speakand they did even as he had said. The son of
TydeusUlyssesand Agamemnonwounded though they wereset the
others in arrayand went about everywhere effecting the
exchanges of armour; the most valiant took the best armourand
gave the worse to the worse man. When they had donned their
bronze armour they marched on with Neptune at their head. In his
strong hand he grasped his terrible swordkeen of edge and
flashing like lightning; woe to him who comes across it in the
day of battle; all men quake for fear and keep away from it.

Hector on the other side set the Trojans in array. Thereon
Neptune and Hector waged fierce war on one another--Hector on the
Trojan and Neptune on the Argive side. Mighty was the uproar as
the two forces met; the sea came rolling in towards the ships and
tents of the Achaeansbut waves do not thunder on the shore more
loudly when driven before the blast of Boreasnor do the flames
of a forest fire roar more fiercely when it is well alight upon
the mountainsnor does the wind bellow with ruder music as it
tears on through the tops of when it is blowing its hardestthan
the terrible shout which the Trojans and Achaeans raised as they
sprang upon one another.

Hector first aimed his spear at Ajaxwho was turned full towards
himnor did he miss his aim. The spear struck him where two
bands passed over his chest--the band of his shield and that of
his silver-studded sword--and these protected his body. Hector
was angry that his spear should have been hurled in vainand
withdrew under cover of his men. As he was thus retreatingAjax
son of Telamonstruck him with a stoneof which there were many
lying about under the men's feet as they fought--brought there to
give support to the ships' sides as they lay on the shore. Ajax
caught up one of them and struck Hector above the rim of his
shield close to his neck; the blow made him spin round like a top
and reel in all directions. As an oak falls headlong when
uprooted by the lightning flash of father Joveand there is a
terrible smell of brimstone--no man can help being dismayed if he
is standing near itfor a thunderbolt is a very awful thing-even
so did Hector fall to earth and bite the dust. His spear


fell from his handbut his shield and helmet were made fast
about his bodyand his bronze armour rang about him.

The sons of the Achaeans came running with a loud cry towards
himhoping to drag him awayand they showered their darts on
the Trojansbut none of them could wound him before he was
surrounded and covered by the princes PolydamasAeneasAgenor
Sarpedon captain of the Lyciansand noble Glaucus. Of the
otherstoothere was not one who was unmindful of himand they
held their round shields over him to cover him. His comrades then
lifted him off the ground and bore him away from the battle to
the place where his horses stood waiting for him at the rear of
the fight with their driver and the chariot; these then took him
towards the city groaning and in great pain. When they reached
the ford of the fair stream of Xanthusbegotten of Immortal
Jovethey took him from off his chariot and laid him down on the
ground; they poured water over himand as they did so he
breathed again and opened his eyes. Then kneeling on his knees he
vomited bloodbut soon fell back on to the groundand his eyes
were again closed in darkness for he was still stunned by the
blow.

When the Argives saw Hector leaving the fieldthey took heart
and set upon the Trojans yet more furiously. Ajax fleet son of
Oileus began by springing on Satnius son of Enopsand wounding
him with his spear: a fair naiad nymph had borne him to Enops as
he was herding cattle by the banks of the river Satnioeis. The
son of Oileus came up to him and struck him in the flank so that
he felland a fierce fight between Trojans and Danaans raged
round his body. Polydamas son of Panthous drew near to avenge
himand wounded Prothoenor son of Areilycus on the right
shoulder; the terrible spear went right through his shoulderand
he clutched the earth as he fell in the dust. Polydamas vaunted
loudly over him sayingAgain I take it that the spear has not
sped in vain from the strong hand of the son of Panthous; an
Argive has caught it in his body, and it will serve him for a
staff as he goes down into the house of Hades.

The Argives were maddened by this boasting. Ajax son of Telamon
was more angry than anyfor the man had fallen close beside him;
so he aimed at Polydamas as he was retreatingbut Polydamas
saved himself by swerving aside and the spear struck Archelochus
son of Antenorfor heaven counselled his destruction; it struck
him where the head springs from the neck at the top joint of the
spineand severed both the tendons at the back of the head. His
headmouthand nostrils reached the ground long before his legs
and knees could do soand Ajax shouted to Polydamas saying
Think, Polydamas, and tell me truly whether this man is not as
well worth killing as Prothoenor was: he seems rich, and of rich
family, a brother, it may be, or son of the knight Antenor, for
he is very like him.

But he knew well who it wasand the Trojans were greatly
angered. Acamas then bestrode his brother's body and wounded
Promachus the Boeotian with his spearfor he was trying to drag
his brother's body away. Acamas vaunted loudly over him saying
Argive archers, braggarts that you are, toil and suffering shall
not be for us only, but some of you too shall fall here as well
as ourselves. See how Promachus now sleeps, vanquished by my
spear; payment for my brother's blood has not been long delayed;
a man, therefore, may well be thankful if he leaves a kinsman in
his house behind him to avenge his fall.

His taunts infuriated the Argivesand Peneleos was more enraged


than any of them. He sprang towards Acamasbut Acamas did not
stand his groundand he killed Ilioneus son of the rich
flock-master Phorbaswhom Mercury had favoured and endowed with
greater wealth than any other of the Trojans. Ilioneus was his
only sonand Peneleos now wounded him in the eye under his
eyebrowstearing the eye-ball from its socket: the spear went
right through the eye into the nape of the neckand he fell
stretching out both hands before him. Peneleos then drew his
sword and smote him on the neckso that both head and helmet
came tumbling down to the ground with the spear still sticking in
the eye; he then held up the headas though it had been a
poppy-headand showed it to the Trojansvaunting over them as
he did so. "Trojans he cried, bid the father and mother of
noble Ilioneus make moan for him in their housefor the wife
also of Promachus son of Alegenor will never be gladdened by the
coming of her dear husband--when we Argives return with our ships
from Troy."

As he spoke fear fell upon themand every man looked round about
to see whither he might fly for safety.

Tell me nowO Muses that dwell on Olympuswho was the first of
the Argives to bear away blood-stained spoils after Neptune lord
of the earthquake had turned the fortune of war. Ajax son of
Telamon was first to wound Hyrtius son of Gyrtiuscaptain of the
staunch Mysians. Antilochus killed Phalces and Mermeruswhile
Meriones slew Morys and HippotionTeucer also killed Prothoon
and Periphetes. The son of Atreus then wounded Hyperenor shepherd
of his peoplein the flankand the bronze point made his
entrails gush out as it tore in among them; on this his life came
hurrying out of him at the place where he had been woundedand
his eyes were closed in darkness. Ajax son of Oileus killed more
than any otherfor there was no man so fleet as he to pursue
flying foes when Jove had spread panic among them.

BOOK XV

BUT when their flight had taken them past the trench and the set
stakesand many had fallen by the hands of the Danaansthe
Trojans made a halt on reaching their chariotsrouted and pale
with fear. Jove now woke on the crests of Idawhere he was lying
with golden-throned Juno by his sideand starting to his feet he
saw the Trojans and Achaeansthe one thrown into confusionand
the others driving them pell-mell before them with King Neptune
in their midst. He saw Hector lying on the ground with his
comrades gathered round himgasping for breathwandering in
mind and vomiting bloodfor it was not the feeblest of the
Achaeans who struck him.

The sire of gods and men had pity on himand looked fiercely on
Juno. "I seeJuno said he, you mischief-making trickster
that your cunning has stayed Hector from fighting and has caused
the rout of his host. I am in half a mind to thrash youin which
case you will be the first to reap the fruits of your scurvy
knavery. Do you not remember how once upon a time I had you
hanged? I fastened two anvils on to your feetand bound your
hands in a chain of gold which none might breakand you hung in
mid-air among the clouds. All the gods in Olympus were in a fury
but they could not reach you to set you free; when I caught any
one of them I gripped him and hurled him from the heavenly
threshold till he came fainting down to earth; yet even this did
not relieve my mind from the incessant anxiety which I felt about


noble Hercules whom you and Boreas had spitefully conveyed beyond
the seas to Cosafter suborning the tempests; but I rescued him
and notwithstanding all his mighty labours I brought him back
again to Argos. I would remind you of this that you may learn to
leave off being so deceitfuland discover how much you are
likely to gain by the embraces out of which you have come here to
trick me."

Juno trembled as he spokeand saidMay heaven above and earth
below be my witnesses, with the waters of the river Styx--and
this is the most solemn oath that a blessed god can take--nay, I
swear also by your own almighty head and by our bridal bed-things
over which I could never possibly perjure myself--that
Neptune is not punishing Hector and the Trojans and helping the
Achaeans through any doing of mine; it is all of his own mere
motion because he was sorry to see the Achaeans hard pressed at
their ships: if I were advising him, I should tell him to do as
you bid him.

The sire of gods and men smiled and answeredIf you, Juno, were
always to support me when we sit in council of the gods, Neptune,
like it or no, would soon come round to your and my way of
thinking. If, then, you are speaking the truth and mean what you
say, go among the rank and file of the gods, and tell Iris and
Apollo lord of the bow, that I want them--Iris, that she may go
to the Achaean host and tell Neptune to leave off fighting and go
home, and Apollo, that he may send Hector again into battle and
give him fresh strength; he will thus forget his present
sufferings, and drive the Achaeans back in confusion till they
fall among the ships of Achilles son of Peleus. Achilles will
then send his comrade Patroclus into battle, and Hector will kill
him in front of Ilius after he has slain many warriors, and among
them my own noble son Sarpedon. Achilles will kill Hector to
avenge Patroclus, and from that time I will bring it about that
the Achaeans shall persistently drive the Trojans back till they
fulfil the counsels of Minerva and take Ilius. But I will not
stay my anger, nor permit any god to help the Danaans till I have
accomplished the desire of the son of Peleus, according to the
promise I made by bowing my head on the day when Thetis touched
my knees and besought me to give him honour.

Juno heeded his words and went from the heights of Ida to great
Olympus. Swift as the thought of one whose fancy carries him over
vast continentsand he says to himselfNow I will be here, or
there,and he would have all manner of things--even so swiftly
did Juno wing her way till she came to high Olympus and went in
among the gods who were gathered in the house of Jove. When they
saw her they all of them came up to herand held out their cups
to her by way of greeting. She let the others bebut took the
cup offered her by lovely Themiswho was first to come running
up to her. "Juno said she, why are you here? And you seem
troubled--has your husband the son of Saturn been frightening
you?"

And Juno answeredThemis, do not ask me about it. You know what
a proud and cruel disposition my husband has. Lead the gods to
table, where you and all the immortals can hear the wicked
designs which he has avowed. Many a one, mortal and immortal,
will be angered by them, however peaceably he may be feasting
now.

On this Juno sat downand the gods were troubled throughout the
house of Jove. Laughter sat on her lips but her brow was furrowed
with careand she spoke up in a rage. "Fools that we are she


cried, to be thus madly angry with Jove; we keep on wanting to
go up to him and stay him by force or by persuasionbut he sits
aloof and cares for nobodyfor he knows that he is much stronger
than any other of the immortals. Make the bestthereforeof
whatever ills he may choose to send each one of you; MarsI take
ithas had a taste of them alreadyfor his son Ascalaphus has
fallen in battle--the man whom of all others he loved most dearly
and whose father he owns himself to be."

When he heard this Mars smote his two sturdy thighs with the flat
of his handsand said in angerDo not blame me, you gods that
dwell in heaven, if I go to the ships of the Achaeans and avenge
the death of my son, even though it end in my being struck by
Jove's lightning and lying in blood and dust among the corpses.

As he spoke he gave orders to yoke his horses Panic and Rout
while he put on his armour. On thisJove would have been roused
to still more fierce and implacable enmity against the other
immortalshad not Minervaalarmed for the safety of the gods
sprung from her seat and hurried outside. She tore the helmet
from his head and the shield from his shouldersand she took the
bronze spear from his strong hand and set it on one side; then
she said to MarsMadman, you are undone; you have ears that
hear not, or you have lost all judgement and understanding; have
you not heard what Juno has said on coming straight from the
presence of Olympian Jove? Do you wish to go through all kinds of
suffering before you are brought back sick and sorry to Olympus,
after having caused infinite mischief to all us others? Jove
would instantly leave the Trojans and Achaeans to themselves; he
would come to Olympus to punish us, and would grip us up one
after another, guilty or not guilty. Therefore lay aside your
anger for the death of your son; better men than he have either
been killed already or will fall hereafter, and one cannot
protect every one's whole family.

With these words she took Mars back to his seat. Meanwhile Juno
called Apollo outsidewith Iris the messenger of the gods.
Jove,she said to themdesires you to go to him at once on
Mt. Ida; when you have seen him you are to do as he may then bid
you.

Thereon Juno left them and resumed her seat insidewhile Iris
and Apollo made all haste on their way. When they reached
many-fountained Idamother of wild beaststhey found Jove
seated on topmost Gargarus with a fragrant cloud encircling his
head as with a diadem. They stood before his presenceand he was
pleased with them for having been so quick in obeying the orders
his wife had given them.

He spoke to Iris first. "Go said he, fleet Iristell King
Neptune what I now bid you--and tell him true. Bid him leave off
fightingand either join the company of the godsor go down
into the sea. If he takes no heed and disobeys melet him
consider well whether he is strong enough to hold his own against
me if I attack him. I am older and much stronger than he is; yet
he is not afraid to set himself up as on a level with myselfof
whom all the other gods stand in awe."

Irisfleet as the windobeyed himand as the cold hail or
snowflakes that fly from out the clouds before the blast of
Boreaseven so did she wing her way till she came close up to
the great shaker of the earth. Then she saidI have come, O
dark-haired king that holds the world in his embrace, to bring
you a message from Jove. He bids you leave off fighting, and


either join the company of the gods or go down into the sea; if,
however, you take no heed and disobey him, he says he will come
down here and fight you. He would have you keep out of his reach,
for he is older and much stronger than you are, and yet you are
not afraid to set yourself up as on a level with himself, of whom
all the other gods stand in awe.

Neptune was very angry and saidGreat heavens! strong as Jove
may be, he has said more than he can do if he has threatened
violence against me, who am of like honour with himself. We were
three brothers whom Rhea bore to Saturn--Jove, myself, and Hades
who rules the world below. Heaven and earth were divided into
three parts, and each of us was to have an equal share. When we
cast lots, it fell to me to have my dwelling in the sea for
evermore; Hades took the darkness of the realms under the earth,
while air and sky and clouds were the portion that fell to Jove;
but earth and great Olympus are the common property of all.
Therefore I will not walk as Jove would have me. For all his
strength, let him keep to his own third share and be contented
without threatening to lay hands upon me as though I were nobody.
Let him keep his bragging talk for his own sons and daughters,
who must perforce obey him.

Iris fleet as the wind then answeredAm I really, Neptune, to
take this daring and unyielding message to Jove, or will you
reconsider your answer? Sensible people are open to argument, and
you know that the Erinyes always range themselves on the side of
the older person.

Neptune answeredGoddess Iris, your words have been spoken in
season. It is well when a messenger shows so much discretion.
Nevertheless it cuts me to the very heart that any one should
rebuke so angrily another who is his own peer, and of like empire
with himself. Now, however, I will give way in spite of my
displeasure; furthermore let me tell you, and I mean what I say-if
contrary to the desire of myself, Minerva driver of the spoil,
Juno, Mercury, and King Vulcan, Jove spares steep Ilius, and will
not let the Achaeans have the great triumph of sacking it, let
him understand that he will incur our implacable resentment.

Neptune now left the field to go down under the seaand sorely
did the Achaeans miss him. Then Jove said to ApolloGo, dear
Phoebus, to Hector, for Neptune who holds the earth in his
embrace has now gone down under the sea to avoid the severity of
my displeasure. Had he not done so those gods who are below with
Saturn would have come to hear of the fight between us. It is
better for both of us that he should have curbed his anger and
kept out of my reach, for I should have had much trouble with
him. Take, then, your tasselled aegis, and shake it furiously, so
as to set the Achaean heroes in a panic; take, moreover, brave
Hector, O Far-Darter, into your own care, and rouse him to deeds
of daring, till the Achaeans are sent flying back to their ships
and to the Hellespont. From that point I will think it well over,
how the Achaeans may have a respite from their troubles.

Apollo obeyed his father's sayingand left the crests of Ida
flying like a falconbane of doves and swiftest of all birds. He
found Hector no longer lying upon the groundbut sitting upfor
he had just come to himself again. He knew those who were about
himand the sweat and hard breathing had left him from the
moment when the will of aegis-bearing Jove had revived him.
Apollo stood beside him and saidHector son of Priam, why are
you so faint, and why are you here away from the others? Has any
mishap befallen you?


Hector in a weak voice answeredAnd which, kind sir, of the
gods are you, who now ask me thus? Do you not know that Ajax
struck me on the chest with a stone as I was killing his comrades
at the ships of the Achaeans, and compelled me to leave off
fighting? I made sure that this very day I should breathe my last
and go down into the house of Hades.

Then King Apollo said to himTake heart; the son of Saturn has
sent you a mighty helper from Ida to stand by you and defend you,
even me, Phoebus Apollo of the golden sword, who have been
guardian hitherto not only of yourself but of your city. Now,
therefore, order your horsemen to drive their chariots to the
ships in great multitudes. I will go before your horses to smooth
the way for them, and will turn the Achaeans in flight.

As he spoke he infused great strength into the shepherd of his
people. And as a horsestabled and full-fedbreaks loose and
gallops gloriously over the plain to the place where he is wont
to take his bath in the river--he tosses his headand his mane
streams over his shoulders as in all the pride of his strength he
flies full speed to the pastures where the mares are feeding-even
so Hectorwhen he heard what the god saidurged his
horsemen onand sped forward as fast as his limbs could take
him. As country peasants set their hounds on to a homed stag or
wild goat--he has taken shelter under rock or thicketand they
cannot find himbutloa bearded lion whom their shouts have
roused stands in their pathand they are in no further humour
for the chase--even so the Achaeans were still charging on in a
bodyusing their swords and spears pointed at both endsbut
when they saw Hector going about among his men they were afraid
and their hearts fell down into their feet.

Then spoke Thoas son of Andraemonleader of the Aetoliansa man
who could throw a good throwand who was staunch also in close
fightwhile few could surpass him in debate when opinions were
divided. He then with all sincerity and goodwill addressed them
thus: "Whatin heaven's namedo I now see? Is it not Hector
come to life again? Every one made sure he had been killed by
Ajax son of Telamonbut it seems that one of the gods has again
rescued him. He has killed many of us Danaans alreadyand I take
it will yet do sofor the hand of Jove must be with him or he
would never dare show himself so masterful in the forefront of
the battle. Nowthereforelet us all do as I say; let us order
the main body of our forces to fall back upon the shipsbut let
those of us who profess to be the flower of the army stand firm
and see whether we cannot hold Hector back at the point of our
spears as soon as he comes near us; I conceive that he will then
think better of it before he tries to charge into the press of
the Danaans."

Thus did he speakand they did even as he had said. Those who
were about Ajax and King Idomeneusthe followers moreover of
TeucerMerionesand Meges peer of Mars called all their best
men about them and sustained the fight against Hector and the
Trojansbut the main body fell back upon the ships of the
Achaeans.

The Trojans pressed forward in a dense bodywith Hector striding
on at their head. Before him went Phoebus Apollo shrouded in
cloud about his shoulders. He bore aloft the terrible aegis with
its shaggy fringewhich Vulcan the smith had given Jove to
strike terror into the hearts of men. With this in his hand he
led on the Trojans.


The Argives held together and stood their ground. The cry of
battle rose high from either sideand the arrows flew from the
bowstrings. Many a spear sped from strong hands and fastened in
the bodies of many a valiant warriorwhile others fell to earth
midwaybefore they could taste of man's fair flesh and glut
themselves with blood. So long as Phoebus Apollo held his aegis
quietly and without shaking itthe weapons on either side took
effect and the people fellbut when he shook it straight in the
face of the Danaans and raised his mighty battle-cry their hearts
fainted within them and they forgot their former prowess. As when
two wild beasts spring in the dead of night on a herd of cattle
or a large flock of sheep when the herdsman is not there--even so
were the Danaans struck helplessfor Apollo filled them with
panic and gave victory to Hector and the Trojans.

The fight then became more scattered and they killed one another
where they best could. Hector killed Stichius and Arcesilausthe
oneleader of the Boeotiansand the otherfriend and comrade
of Menestheus. Aeneas killed Medon and Iasus. The first was
bastard son to Oileusand brother to Ajaxbut he lived in
Phylace away from his own countryfor he had killed a mana
kinsman of his stepmother Eriopis whom Oileus had married. Iasus
had become a leader of the Atheniansand was son of Sphelus the
son of Boucolos. Polydamas killed Mecisteusand Polites Echius
in the front of the battlewhile Agenor slew Clonius. Paris
struck Deiochus from behind in the lower part of the shoulderas
he was flying among the foremostand the point of the spear went
clean through him.

While they were spoiling these heroes of their armourthe
Achaeans were flying pell-mell to the trench and the set stakes
and were forced back within their wall. Hector then cried out to
the TrojansForward to the ships, and let the spoils be. If I
see any man keeping back on the other side the wall away from the
ships I will have him killed: his kinsmen and kinswomen shall not
give him his dues of fire, but dogs shall tear him in pieces in
front of our city.

As he spoke he laid his whip about his horses' shoulders and
called to the Trojans throughout their ranks; the Trojans shouted
with a cry that rent the airand kept their horses neck and neck
with his own. Phoebus Apollo went beforeand kicked down the
banks of the deep trench into its middle so as to make a great
broad bridgeas broad as the throw of a spear when a man is
trying his strength. The Trojan battalions poured over the
bridgeand Apollo with his redoubtable aegis led the way. He
kicked down the wall of the Achaeans as easily as a child who
playing on the sea-shore has built a house of sand and then kicks
it down again and destroys it--even so did youO Apolloshed
toil and trouble upon the Argivesfilling them with panic and
confusion.

Thus then were the Achaeans hemmed in at their shipscalling out
to one another and raising their hands with loud cries every man
to heaven. Nestor of Gerenetower of strength to the Achaeans
lifted up his hands to the starry firmament of heavenand prayed
more fervently than any of them. "Father Jove said he, if ever
any one in wheat-growing Argos burned you fat thigh-bones of
sheep or heifer and prayed that he might return safely home
whereon you bowed your head to him in assentbear it in mind
nowand suffer not the Trojans to triumph thus over the
Achaeans."


All-counselling Jove thundered loudly in answer to the prayer of
the aged son of Neleus. When they heard Jove thunder they flung
themselves yet more fiercely on the Achaeans. As a wave breaking
over the bulwarks of a ship when the sea runs high before a
gale--for it is the force of the wind that makes the waves so
great--even so did the Trojans spring over the wall with a
shoutand drive their chariots onwards. The two sides fought
with their double-pointed spears in hand-to-hand encounter-the
Trojans from their chariotsand the Achaeans climbing up into
their ships and wielding the long pikes that were lying on the
decks ready for use in a sea-fightjointed and shod with bronze.

Now Patroclusso long as the Achaeans and Trojans were fighting
about the wallbut were not yet within it and at the ships
remained sitting in the tent of good Eurypylusentertaining him
with his conversation and spreading herbs over his wound to ease
his pain. Whenhoweverhe saw the Trojans swarming through the
breach in the wallwhile the Achaeans were clamouring and struck
with paniche cried aloudand smote his two thighs with the
flat of his hands. "Eurypylus said he in his dismay, I know
you want me badlybut I cannot stay with you any longerfor
there is hard fighting going on; a servant shall take care of you
nowfor I must make all speed to Achillesand induce him to
fight if I can; who knows but with heaven's help I may persuade
him. A man does well to listen to the advice of a friend."

When he had thus spoken he went his way. The Achaeans stood firm
and resisted the attack of the Trojansyet though these were
fewer in numberthey could not drive them back from the ships
neither could the Trojans break the Achaean ranks and make their
way in among the tents and ships. As a carpenter's line gives a
true edge to a piece of ship's timberin the hand of some
skilled workman whom Minerva has instructed in all kinds of
useful arts--even so level was the issue of the fight between the
two sidesas they fought some round one and some round another.

Hector made straight for Ajaxand the two fought fiercely about
the same ship. Hector could not force Ajax back and fire the
shipnor yet could Ajax drive Hector from the spot to which
heaven had brought him.

Then Ajax struck Caletor son of Clytius in the chest with a spear
as he was bringing fire towards the ship. He fell heavily to the
ground and the torch dropped from his hand. When Hector saw his
cousin fallen in front of the ship he shouted to the Trojans and
Lycians sayingTrojans, Lycians, and Dardanians good in close
fight, bate not a jot, but rescue the son of Clytius lest the
Achaeans strip him of his armour now that he has fallen.

He then aimed a spear at Ajaxand missed himbut he hit
Lycophron a follower of Ajaxwho came from Cytherabut was
living with Ajax inasmuch as he had killed a man among the
Cythereans. Hector's spear struck him on the head below the ear
and he fell headlong from the ship's prow on to the ground with
no life left in him. Ajax shook with rage and said to his
brotherTeucer, my good fellow, our trusty comrade the son of
Mastor has fallen, he came to live with us from Cythera and whom
we honoured as much as our own parents. Hector has just killed
him; fetch your deadly arrows at once and the bow which Phoebus
Apollo gave you.

Teucer heard him and hastened towards him with his bow and quiver
in his hands. Forthwith he showered his arrows on the Trojans
and hit Cleitus the son of Pisenorcomrade of Polydamas the


noble son of Panthouswith the reins in his hands as he was
attending to his horses; he was in the middle of the very
thickest part of the fightdoing good service to Hector and the
Trojansbut evil had now come upon himand not one of those who
were fain to do so could avert itfor the arrow struck him on
the back of the neck. He fell from his chariot and his horses
shook the empty car as they swerved aside. King Polydamas saw
what had happenedand was the first to come up to the horses; he
gave them in charge to Astynous son of Protiaonand ordered him
to look onand to keep the horses near at hand. He then went
back and took his place in the front ranks.

Teucer then aimed another arrow at Hectorand there would have
been no more fighting at the ships if he had hit him and killed
him then and there: Jovehoweverwho kept watch over Hector
had his eyes on Teucerand deprived him of his triumphby
breaking his bowstring for him just as he was drawing it and
about to take his aim; on this the arrow went astray and the bow
fell from his hands. Teucer shook with anger and said to his
brotherAlas, see how heaven thwarts us in all we do; it has
broken my bowstring and snatched the bow from my hand, though I
strung it this selfsame morning that it might serve me for many
an arrow.

Ajax son of Telamon answeredMy good fellow, let your bow and
your arrows be, for Jove has made them useless in order to spite
the Danaans. Take your spear, lay your shield upon your shoulder,
and both fight the Trojans yourself and urge others to do so.
They may be successful for the moment but if we fight as we ought
they will find it a hard matter to take the ships.

Teucer then took his bow and put it by in his tent. He hung a
shield four hides thick about his shouldersand on his comely
head he set his helmet well wrought with a crest of horse-hair
that nodded menacingly above it; he grasped his redoubtable
bronze-shod spearand forthwith he was by the side of Ajax.

When Hector saw that Teucer's bow was of no more use to himhe
shouted out to the Trojans and LyciansTrojans, Lycians, and
Dardanians good in close fight, be men, my friends, and show your
mettle here at the ships, for I see the weapon of one of their
chieftains made useless by the hand of Jove. It is easy to see
when Jove is helping people and means to help them still further,
or again when he is bringing them down and will do nothing for
them; he is now on our side, and is going against the Argives.
Therefore swarm round the ships and fight. If any of you is
struck by spear or sword and loses his life, let him die; he dies
with honour who dies fighting for his country; and he will leave
his wife and children safe behind him, with his house and
allotment unplundered if only the Achaeans can be driven back to
their own land, they and their ships.

With these words he put heart and soul into them all. Ajax on the
other side exhorted his comrades sayingShame on you Argives,
we are now utterly undone, unless we can save ourselves by
driving the enemy from our ships. Do you think, if Hector takes
them, that you will be able to get home by land? Can you not hear
him cheering on his whole host to fire our fleet, and bidding
them remember that they are not at a dance but in battle? Our
only course is to fight them with might and main; we had better
chance it, life or death, once for all, than fight long and
without issue hemmed in at our ships by worse men than
ourselves.


With these words he put life and soul into them all. Hector then
killed Schedius son of Perimedesleader of the Phoceansand
Ajax killed Laodamas captain of foot soldiers and son to Antenor.
Polydamas killed Otus of Cyllene a comrade of the son of Phyleus
and chief of the proud Epeans. When Meges saw this he sprang upon
himbut Polydamas crouched downand he missed himfor Apollo
would not suffer the son of Panthous to fall in battle; but the
spear hit Croesmus in the middle of his chestwhereon he fell
heavily to the groundand Meges stripped him of his armour. At
that moment the valiant soldier Dolops son of Lampus sprang upon
Lampus was son of Laomedon and for his valourwhile his son
Dolops was versed in all the ways of war. He then struck the
middle of the son of Phyleus' shield with his spearsetting on
him at close quartersbut his good corslet made with plates of
metal saved him; Phyleus had brought it from Ephyra and the river
Selleiswhere his hostKing Eupheteshad given it him to wear
in battle and protect him. It now served to save the life of his
son. Then Meges struck the topmost crest of Dolops's bronze
helmet with his spear and tore away its plume of horse-hairso
that all newly dyed with scarlet as it was it tumbled down into
the dust. While he was still fighting and confident of victory
Menelaus came up to help Megesand got by the side of Dolops
unperceived; he then speared him in the shoulderfrom behind
and the pointdriven so furiouslywent through into his chest
whereon he fell headlong. The two then made towards him to strip
him of his armourbut Hector called on all his brothers for
helpand he especially upbraided brave Melanippus son of
Hiketaonwho erewhile used to pasture his herds of cattle in
Percote before the war broke out; but when the ships of the
Danaans camehe went back to Iliuswhere he was eminent among
the Trojansand lived near Priam who treated him as one of his
own sons. Hector now rebuked him and saidWhy, Melanippus, are
we thus remiss? do you take no note of the death of your kinsman,
and do you not see how they are trying to take Dolops's armour?
Follow me; there must be no fighting the Argives from a distance
now, but we must do so in close combat till either we kill them
or they take the high wall of Ilius and slay her people.

He led on as he spokeand the hero Melanippus followed after.
Meanwhile Ajax son of Telamon was cheering on the Argives. "My
friends he cried, be menand fear dishonour; quit yourselves
in battle so as to win respect from one another. Men who respect
each other's good opinion are less likely to be killed than those
who do notbut in flight there is neither gain nor glory."

Thus did he exhort men who were already bent upon driving back
the Trojans. They laid his words to heart and hedged the ships as
with a wall of bronzewhile Jove urged on the Trojans. Menelaus
of the loud battle-cry urged Antilochus on. "Antilochus said
he, you are young and there is none of the Achaeans more fleet
of foot or more valiant than you are. See if you cannot spring
upon some Trojan and kill him."

He hurried away when he had thus spurred Antilochuswho at once
darted out from the front ranks and aimed a spearafter looking
carefully round him. The Trojans fell back as he threwand the
dart did not speed from his hand without effectfor it struck
Melanippus the proud son of Hiketaon in the breast by the nipple
as he was coming forwardand his armour rang rattling round him
as he fell heavily to the ground. Antilochus sprang upon him as a
dog springs on a fawn which a hunter has hit as it was breaking
away from its covertand killed it. Even soO Melanippusdid
stalwart Antilochus spring upon you to strip you of your armour;
but noble Hector marked himand came running up to him through


the thick of the battle. Antilochusbrave soldier though he was
would not stay to face himbut fled like some savage creature
which knows it has done wrongand flieswhen it has killed a
dog or a man who is herding his cattlebefore a body of men can
be gathered to attack it. Even so did the son of Nestor flyand
the Trojans and Hector with a cry that rent the air showered
their weapons after him; nor did he turn round and stay his
flight till he had reached his comrades.

The Trojansfierce as lionswere still rushing on towards the
ships in fulfilment of the behests of Jove who kept spurring them
on to new deeds of daringwhile he deadened the courage of the
Argives and defeated them by encouraging the Trojans. For he
meant giving glory to Hector son of Priamand letting him throw
fire upon the shipstill he had fulfilled the unrighteous prayer
that Thetis had made him; Jovethereforebided his time till he
should see the glare of a blazing ship. From that hour he was
about so to order that the Trojans should be driven back from the
ships and to vouchsafe glory to the Achaeans. With this purpose
he inspired Hector son of Priamwho was cager enough alreadyto
assail the ships. His fury was as that of Marsor as when a fire
is raging in the glades of some dense forest upon the mountains;
he foamed at the mouthhis eyes glared under his terrible
eye-browsand his helmet quivered on his temples by reason of
the fury with which he fought. Jove from heaven was with himand
though he was but one against manyvouchsafed him victory and
glory; for he was doomed to an early deathand already Pallas
Minerva was hurrying on the hour of his destruction at the hands
of the son of Peleus. Nowhoweverhe kept trying to break the
ranks of the enemy wherever he could see them thickestand in
the goodliest armour; but do what he might he could not break
through themfor they stood as a tower foursquareor as some
high cliff rising from the grey sea that braves the anger of the
galeand of the waves that thunder up against it. He fell upon
them like flames of fire from every quarter. As when a wave
raised mountain high by wind and stormbreaks over a ship and
covers it deep in foamthe fierce winds roar against the mast
the hearts of the sailors fail them for fearand they are saved
but by a very little from destruction--even so were the hearts of
the Achaeans fainting within them. Or as a savage lion attacking
a herd of cows while they are feeding by thousands in the
low-lying meadows by some wide-watered shore--the herdsman is at
his wit's end how to protect his herd and keeps going about now
in the van and now in the rear of his cattlewhile the lion
springs into the thick of them and fastens on a cow so that they
all tremble for fear--even so were the Achaeans utterly
panic-stricken by Hector and father Jove. Nevertheless Hector
only killed Periphetes of Mycenae; he was son of Copreus who was
wont to take the orders of King Eurystheus to mighty Hercules
but the son was a far better man than the father in every way; he
was fleet of foota valiant warriorand in understanding ranked
among the foremost men of Mycenae. He it was who then afforded
Hector a triumphfor as he was turning back he stumbled against
the rim of his shield which reached his feetand served to keep
the javelins off him. He tripped against this and fell face
upwardhis helmet ringing loudly about his head as he did so.
Hector saw him fall and ran up to him; he then thrust a spear
into his chestand killed him close to his own comrades. These
for all their sorrowcould not help him for they were themselves
terribly afraid of Hector.

They had now reached the ships and the prows of those that had
been drawn up first were on every side of thembut the Trojans
came pouring after them. The Argives were driven back from the


first row of shipsbut they made a stand by their tents without
being broken up and scattered; shame and fear restrained them.
They kept shouting incessantly to one anotherand Nestor of
Gerenetower of strength to the Achaeanswas loudest in
imploring every man by his parentsand beseeching him to stand
firm.

Be men, my friends,he criedand respect one another's good
opinion. Think, all of you, on your children, your wives, your
property, and your parents whether these be alive or dead. On
their behalf though they are not here, I implore you to stand
firm, and not to turn in flight.

With these words he put heart and soul into them all. Minerva
lifted the thick veil of darkness from their eyesand much light
fell upon themalike on the side of the ships and on that where
the fight was raging. They could see Hector and all his menboth
those in the rear who were taking no part in the battleand
those who were fighting by the ships.

Ajax could not bring himself to retreat along with the restbut
strode from deck to deck with a great sea-pike in his hands
twelve cubits long and jointed with rings. As a man skilled in
feats of horsemanship couples four horses together and comes
tearing full speed along the public way from the country into
some large town--many both men and women marvel as they see him
for he keeps all the time changing his horsespringing from one
to another without ever missing his feet while the horses are at
a gallop--even so did Ajax go striding from one ship's deck to
anotherand his voice went up into the heavens. He kept on
shouting his orders to the Danaans and exhorting them to defend
their ships and tents; neither did Hector remain within the main
body of the Trojan warriorsbut as a dun eagle swoops down upon
a flock of wild-fowl feeding near a river-geeseit may beor
cranesor long-necked swans--even so did Hector make straight
for a dark-prowed shiprushing right towards it; for Jove with
his mighty hand impelled him forwardand roused his people to
follow him.

And now the battle again raged furiously at the ships. You would
have thought the men were coming on fresh and unweariedso
fiercely did they fight; and this was the mind in which they
were--the Achaeans did not believe they should escape destruction
but thought themselves doomedwhile there was not a Trojan but
his heart beat high with the hope of firing the ships and putting
the Achaean heroes to the sword.

Thus were the two sides minded. Then Hector seized the stern of
the good ship that had brought Protesilaus to Troybut never
bore him back to his native land. Round this ship there raged a
close hand-to-hand fight between Danaans and Trojans. They did
not fight at a distance with bows and javelinsbut with one mind
hacked at one another in close combat with their mighty swords
and spears pointed at both ends; they fought moreover with keen
battle-axes and with hatchets. Many a good stout blade hilted and
scabbarded with ironfell from hand or shoulder as they fought
and the earth ran red with blood. Hectorwhen he had seized the
shipwould not loose his hold but held on to its curved stern
and shouted to the TrojansBring fire, and raise the battle-cry
all of you with a single voice. Now has Jove vouchsafed us a day
that will pay us for all the rest; this day we shall take the
ships which came hither against heaven's will, and which have
caused us such infinite suffering through the cowardice of our
councillors, who when I would have done battle at the ships held


me back and forbade the host to follow me; if Jove did then
indeed warp our judgements, himself now commands me and cheers me
on.

As he spoke thus the Trojans sprang yet more fiercely on the
Achaeansand Ajax no longer held his groundfor he was overcome
by the darts that were flung at himand made sure that he was
doomed. Therefore he left the raised deck at the sternand
stepped back on to the seven-foot bench of the oarsmen. Here he
stood on the look-outand with his spear held back Trojan whom
he saw bringing fire to the ships. All the time he kept on
shouting at the top of his voice and exhorting the Danaans. "My
friends he cried, Danaan heroesservants of Marsbe men my
friendsand fight with might and with main. Can we hope to find
helpers hereafteror a wall to shield us more surely than the
one we have? There is no strong city within reachwhence we may
draw fresh forces to turn the scales in our favour. We are on the
plain of the armed Trojans with the sea behind usand far from
our own country. Our salvationthereforeis in the might of our
hands and in hard fighting."

As he spoke he wielded his spear with still greater furyand
when any Trojan made towards the ships with fire at Hector's
biddinghe would be on the look-out for himand drive at him
with his long spear. Twelve men did he thus kill in hand-to-hand
fight before the ships.

BOOK XVI

THUS did they fight about the ship of Protesilaus. Then Patroclus
drew near to Achilles with tears welling from his eyesas from
some spring whose crystal stream falls over the ledges of a high
precipice. When Achilles saw him thus weeping he was sorry for
him and saidWhy, Patroclus, do you stand there weeping like
some silly child that comes running to her mother, and begs to be
taken up and carried--she catches hold of her mother's dress to
stay her though she is in a hurry, and looks tearfully up until
her mother carries her--even such tears, Patroclus, are you now
shedding. Have you anything to say to the Myrmidons or to myself?
or have you had news from Phthia which you alone know? They tell
me Menoetius son of Actor is still alive, as also Peleus son of
Aeacus, among the Myrmidons--men whose loss we two should
bitterly deplore; or are you grieving about the Argives and the
way in which they are being killed at the ships, through their
own high-handed doings? Do not hide anything from me but tell me
that both of us may know about it.

ThenO knight Patrocluswith a deep sigh you answered
Achilles, son of Peleus, foremost champion of the Achaeans, do
not be angry, but I weep for the disaster that has now befallen
the Argives. All those who have been their champions so far are
lying at the ships, wounded by sword or spear. Brave Diomed son
of Tydeus has been hit with a spear, while famed Ulysses and
Agamemnon have received sword-wounds; Eurypylus again has been
struck with an arrow in the thigh; skilled apothecaries are
attending to these heroes, and healing them of their wounds; are
you still, O Achilles, so inexorable? May it never be my lot to
nurse such a passion as you have done, to the baning of your own
good name. Who in future story will speak well of you unless you
now save the Argives from ruin? You know no pity; knight Peleus
was not your father nor Thetis your mother, but the grey sea bore
you and the sheer cliffs begot you, so cruel and remorseless are


you. If however you are kept back through knowledge of some
oracle, or if your mother Thetis has told you something from the
mouth of Jove, at least send me and the Myrmidons with me, if I
may bring deliverance to the Danaans. Let me moreover wear your
armour; the Trojans may thus mistake me for you and quit the
field, so that the hard-pressed sons of the Achaeans may have
breathing time--which while they are fighting may hardly be. We
who are fresh might soon drive tired men back from our ships and
tents to their own city.

He knew not what he was askingnor that he was suing for his own
destruction. Achilles was deeply moved and answeredWhat, noble
Patroclus, are you saying? I know no prophesyings which I am
heeding, nor has my mother told me anything from the mouth of
Jove, but I am cut to the very heart that one of my own rank
should dare to rob me because he is more powerful than I am.
This, after all that I have gone through, is more than I can
endure. The girl whom the sons of the Achaeans chose for me, whom
I won as the fruit of my spear on having sacked a city--her has
King Agamemnon taken from me as though I were some common
vagrant. Still, let bygones be bygones: no man may keep his anger
for ever; I said I would not relent till battle and the cry of
war had reached my own ships; nevertheless, now gird my armour
about your shoulders, and lead the Myrmidons to battle, for the
dark cloud of Trojans has burst furiously over our fleet; the
Argives are driven back on to the beach, cooped within a narrow
space, and the whole people of Troy has taken heart to sally out
against them, because they see not the visor of my helmet
gleaming near them. Had they seen this, there would not have been
a creek nor grip that had not been filled with their dead as they
fled back again. And so it would have been, if only King
Agamemnon had dealt fairly by me. As it is the Trojans have beset
our host. Diomed son of Tydeus no longer wields his spear to
defend the Danaans, neither have I heard the voice of the son of
Atreus coming from his hated head, whereas that of murderous
Hector rings in my cars as he gives orders to the Trojans, who
triumph over the Achaeans and fill the whole plain with their cry
of battle. But even so, Patroclus, fall upon them and save the
fleet, lest the Trojans fire it and prevent us from being able to
return. Do, however, as I now bid you, that you may win me great
honour from all the Danaans, and that they may restore the girl
to me again and give me rich gifts into the bargain. When you
have driven the Trojans from the ships, come back again. Though
Juno's thundering husband should put triumph within your reach,
do not fight the Trojans further in my absence, or you will rob
me of glory that should be mine. And do not for lust of battle go
on killing the Trojans nor lead the Achaeans on to Ilius, lest
one of the ever-living gods from Olympus attack you--for Phoebus
Apollo loves them well: return when you have freed the ships from
peril, and let others wage war upon the plain. Would, by father
Jove, Minerva, and Apollo, that not a single man of all the
Trojans might be left alive, nor yet of the Argives, but that we
two might be alone left to tear aside the mantle that veils the
brow of Troy.

Thus did they converse. But Ajax could no longer hold his ground
for the shower of darts that rained upon him; the will of Jove
and the javelins of the Trojans were too much for him; the helmet
that gleamed about his temples rang with the continuous clatter
of the missiles that kept pouring on to it and on to the
cheek-pieces that protected his face. Moreover his left shoulder
was tired with having held his shield so longyet for all this
let fly at him as they wouldthey could not make him give
ground. He could hardly draw his breaththe sweat rained from


every pore of his bodyhe had not a moment's respiteand on all
sides he was beset by danger upon danger.

And nowtell meO Muses that hold your mansions on Olympushow
fire was thrown upon the ships of the Achaeans. Hector came close
up and let drive with his great sword at the ashen spear of Ajax.
He cut it clean in two just behind where the point was fastened
on to the shaft of the spear. Ajaxthereforehad now nothing
but a headless spearwhile the bronze point flew some way off
and came ringing down on to the ground. Ajax knew the hand of
heaven in thisand was dismayed at seeing that Jove had now left
him utterly defenceless and was willing victory for the Trojans.
Therefore he drew backand the Trojans flung fire upon the ship
which was at once wrapped in flame.

The fire was now flaring about the ship's sternwhereon Achilles
smote his two thighs and said to PatroclusUp, noble knight,
for I see the glare of hostile fire at our fleet; up, lest they
destroy our ships, and there be no way by which we may retreat.
Gird on your armour at once while I call our people together.

As he spoke Patroclus put on his armour. First he greaved his
legs with greaves of good makeand fitted with ancle-clasps of
silver; after this he donned the cuirass of the son of Aeacus
richly inlaid and studded. He hung his silver-studded sword of
bronze about his shouldersand then his mighty shield. On his
comely head he set his helmetwell wroughtwith a crest of
horse-hair that nodded menacingly above it. He grasped two
redoubtable spears that suited his handsbut he did not take the
spear of noble Achillesso stout and strongfor none other of
the Achaeans could wield itthough Achilles could do so easily.
This was the ashen spear from Mount Pelionwhich Chiron had cut
upon a mountain top and had given to Peleuswherewith to deal
out death among heroes. He bade Automedon yoke his horses with
all speedfor he was the man whom he held in honour next after
Achillesand on whose support in battle he could rely most
firmly. Automedon therefore yoked the fleet horses Xanthus and
Baliussteeds that could fly like the wind: these were they whom
the harpy Podarge bore to the west windas she was grazing in a
meadow by the waters of the river Oceanus. In the side traces he
set the noble horse Pedasuswhom Achilles had brought away with
him when he sacked the city of Eetionand whomortal steed
though he wascould take his place along with those that were
immortal.

Meanwhile Achilles went about everywhere among the tentsand
bade his Myrmidons put on their armour. Even as fierce ravening
wolves that are feasting upon a homed stag which they have killed
upon the mountainsand their jaws are red with blood--they go in
a pack to lap water from the clear spring with their long thin
tongues; and they reek of blood and slaughter; they know not what
fear isfor it is hunger drives them--even so did the leaders
and counsellors of the Myrmidons gather round the good squire of
the fleet descendant of Aeacusand among them stood Achilles
himself cheering on both men and horses.

Fifty ships had noble Achilles brought to Troyand in each there
was a crew of fifty oarsmen. Over these he set five captains whom
he could trustwhile he was himself commander over them all.
Menesthius of the gleaming corsletson to the river Spercheius
that streams from heavenwas captain of the first company. Fair
Polydora daughter of Peleus bore him to ever-flowing
Spercheius--a woman mated with a god--but he was called son of
Borus son of Periereswith whom his mother was living as his


wedded wifeand who gave great wealth to gain her. The second
company was led by noble Eudorusson to an unwedded woman.
Polymeledaughter of Phylas the graceful dancerbore him; the
mighty slayer of Argos was enamoured of her as he saw her among
the singing women at a dance held in honour of Diana the rushing
huntress of the golden arrows; he therefore--Mercurygiver of
all good--went with her into an upper chamberand lay with her
in secretwhereon she bore him a noble son Eudorussingularly
fleet of foot and in fight valiant. When Ilithuia goddess of the
pains of child-birth brought him to the light of dayand he saw
the face of the sunmighty Echecles son of Actor took the mother
to wifeand gave great wealth to gain herbut her father Phylas
brought the child upand took care of himdoting as fondly upon
him as though he were his own son. The third company was led by
Pisander son of Maemalusthe finest spearman among all the
Myrmidons next to Achilles' own comrade Patroclus. The old knight
Phoenix was captain of the fourth companyand Alcimedonnoble
son of Laerceus of the fifth.

When Achilles had chosen his men and had stationed them all with
their captainshe charged them straitly sayingMyrmidons,
remember your threats against the Trojans while you were at the
ships in the time of my anger, and you were all complaining of
me. 'Cruel son of Peleus,' you would say, 'your mother must have
suckled you on gall, so ruthless are you. You keep us here at the
ships against our will; if you are so relentless it were better
we went home over the sea.' Often have you gathered and thus
chided with me. The hour is now come for those high feats of arms
that you have so long been pining for, therefore keep high hearts
each one of you to do battle with the Trojans.

With these words he put heart and soul into them alland they
serried their companies yet more closely when they heard the of
their king. As the stones which a builder sets in the wall of
some high house which is to give shelter from the winds--even so
closely were the helmets and bossed shields set against one
another. Shield pressed on shieldhelm on helmand man on man;
so close were they that the horse-hair plumes on the gleaming
ridges of their helmets touched each other as they bent their
heads.

In front of them all two men put on their armour--Patroclus and
Automedon--two menwith but one mind to lead the Myrmidons. Then
Achilles went inside his tent and opened the lid of the strong
chest which silver-footed Thetis had given him to take on board
shipand which she had filled with shirtscloaks to keep out
the coldand good thick rugs. In this chest he had a cup of rare
workmanshipfrom which no man but himself might drinknor would
he make offering from it to any other god save only to father
Jove. He took the cup from the chest and cleansed it with
sulphur; this done he rinsed it clean waterand after he had
washed his hands he drew wine. Then he stood in the middle of the
court and prayedlooking towards heavenand making his
drink-offering of wine; nor was he unseen of Jove whose joy is in
thunder. "King Jove he cried, lord of Dodonagod of the
Pelasgiwho dwellest afaryou who hold wintry Dodona in your
swaywhere your prophets the Selli dwell around you with their
feet unwashed and their couches made upon the ground--if you
heard me when I prayed to you aforetimeand did me honour while
you sent disaster on the Achaeansvouchsafe me now the
fulfilment of yet this further prayer. I shall stay here where my
ships are lyingbut I shall send my comrade into battle at the
head of many Myrmidons. GrantO all-seeing Jovethat victory
may go with him; put your courage into his heart that Hector may


learn whether my squire is man enough to fight aloneor whether
his might is only then so indomitable when I myself enter the
turmoil of war. Afterwards when he has chased the fight and the
cry of battle from the shipsgrant that he may return unharmed
with his armour and his comradesfighters in close combat."

Thus did he prayand all-counselling Jove heard his prayer.
Part of it he did indeed vouchsafe him--but not the whole. He
granted that Patroclus should thrust back war and battle from the
shipsbut refused to let him come safely out of the fight.

When he had made his drink-offering and had thus prayedAchilles
went inside his tent and put back the cup into his chest.

Then he again came outfor he still loved to look upon the
fierce fight that raged between the Trojans and Achaeans.

Meanwhile the armed band that was about Patroclus marched on till
they sprang high in hope upon the Trojans. They came swarming out
like wasps whose nests are by the roadsideand whom silly
children love to teasewhereon any one who happens to be passing
may get stung--or againif a wayfarer going along the road vexes
them by accidentevery wasp will come flying out in a fury to
defend his little ones--even with such rage and courage did the
Myrmidons swarm from their shipsand their cry of battle rose
heavenwards. Patroclus called out to his men at the top of his
voiceMyrmidons, followers of Achilles son of Peleus, be men my
friends, fight with might and with main, that we may win glory
for the son of Peleus, who is far the foremost man at the ships
of the Argives--he, and his close fighting followers. The son of
Atreus King Agamemnon will thus learn his folly in showing no
respect to the bravest of the Achaeans.

With these words he put heart and soul into them alland they
fell in a body upon the Trojans. The ships rang again with the
cry which the Achaeans raisedand when the Trojans saw the brave
son of Menoetius and his squire all gleaming in their armour
they were daunted and their battalions were thrown into
confusionfor they thought the fleet son of Peleus must now have
put aside his angerand have been reconciled to Agamemnon; every
onethereforelooked round about to see whither he might fly
for safety.

Patroclus first aimed a spear into the middle of the press where
men were packed most closelyby the stern of the ship of
Protesilaus. He hit Pyraechmes who had led his Paeonian horsemen
from the Amydon and the broad waters of the river Axius; the
spear struck him on the right shoulderand with a groan he fell
backwards in the dust; on this his men were thrown into
confusionfor by killing their leaderwho was the finest
soldier among themPatroclus struck panic into them all. He thus
drove them from the ship and quenched the fire that was then
blazing--leaving the half-burnt ship to lie where it was. The
Trojans were now driven back with a shout that rent the skies
while the Danaans poured after them from their shipsshouting
also without ceasing. As when Jovegatherer of the
thunder-cloudspreads a dense canopy on the top of some lofty
mountainand all the peaksthe jutting headlandsand forest
glades show out in the great light that flashes from the bursting
heavenseven so when the Danaans had now driven back the fire
from their shipsthey took breath for a little while; but the
fury of the fight was not yet overfor the Trojans were not
driven back in utter routbut still gave battleand were ousted
from their ground only by sheer fighting.


The fight then became more scatteredand the chieftains killed
one another when and how they could. The valiant son of Menoetius
first drove his spear into the thigh of Areilycus just as he was
turning round; the point went clean throughand broke the bone
so that he fell forward. Meanwhile Menelaus struck Thoas in the
chestwhere it was exposed near the rim of his shieldand he
fell dead. The son of Phyleus saw Amphiclus about to attack him
and ere he could do so took aim at the upper part of his thigh
where the muscles are thicker than in any other part; the spear
tore through all the sinews of the legand his eyes were closed
in darkness. Of the sons of Nestor oneAntilochusspeared
Atymniusdriving the point of the spear through his throatand
down he fell. Maris then sprang on Antilochus in hand-to-hand
fight to avenge his brotherand bestrode the body spear in hand;
but valiant Thrasymedes was too quick for himand in a moment
had struck him in the shoulder ere he could deal his blow; his
aim was trueand the spear severed all the muscles at the root
of his armand tore them right down to the boneso he fell
heavily to the ground and his eyes were closed in darkness. Thus
did these two noble comrades of Sarpedon go down to Erebus slain
by the two sons of Nestor; they were the warrior sons of
Amisodoruswho had reared the invincible Chimaerato the bane
of many. Ajax son of Oileus sprang on Cleobulus and took him
alive as he was entangled in the crush; but he killed him then
and there by a sword-blow on the neck. The sword reeked with his
bloodwhile dark death and the strong hand of fate gripped him
and closed his eyes.

Peneleos and Lycon now met in close fightfor they had missed
each other with their spears. They had both thrown without
effectso now they drew their swords. Lycon struck the plumed
crest of Peneleos' helmet but his sword broke at the hiltwhile
Peneleos smote Lycon on the neck under the ear. The blade sank so
deep that the head was held on by nothing but the skinand there
was no more life left in him. Meriones gave chase to Acamas on
foot and caught him up just as he was about to mount his chariot;
he drove a spear through his right shoulder so that he fell
headlong from the carand his eyes were closed in darkness.
Idomeneus speared Erymas in the mouth; the bronze point of the
spear went clean through it beneath the braincrashing in among
the white bones and smashing them up. His teeth were all of them
knocked out and the blood came gushing in a stream from both his
eyes; it also came gurgling up from his mouth and nostrilsand
the darkness of death enfolded him round about.

Thus did these chieftains of the Danaans each of them kill his
man. As ravening wolves seize on kids or lambsfastening on them
when they are alone on the hillsides and have strayed from the
main flock through the carelessness of the shepherd--and when the
wolves see this they pounce upon them at once because they cannot
defend themselves--even so did the Danaans now fall on the
Trojanswho fled with ill-omened cries in their panic and had no
more fight left in them.

Meanwhile great Ajax kept on trying to drive a spear into Hector
but Hector was so skilful that he held his broad shoulders well
under cover of his ox-hide shieldever on the look-out for the
whizzing of the arrows and the heavy thud of the spears. He well
knew that the fortunes of the day had changedbut still stood
his ground and tried to protect his comrades.

As when a cloud goes up into heaven from Olympusrising out of a
clear sky when Jove is brewing a gale--even with such panic


stricken rout did the Trojans now flyand there was no order in
their going. Hector's fleet horses bore him and his armour out of
the fightand he left the Trojan host penned in by the deep
trench against their will. Many a yoke of horses snapped the pole
of their chariots in the trench and left their master's car
behind them. Patroclus gave chasecalling impetuously on the
Danaans and full of fury against the Trojanswhobeing now no
longer in a bodyfilled all the ways with their cries of panic
and rout; the air was darkened with the clouds of dust they
raisedand the horses strained every nerve in their flight from
the tents and ships towards the city.

Patroclus kept on heading his horses wherever he saw most men
flying in confusioncheering on his men the while. Chariots were
being smashed in all directionsand many a man came tumbling
down from his own car to fall beneath the wheels of that of
Patrocluswhose immortal steedsgiven by the gods to Peleus
sprang over the trench at a bound as they sped onward. He was
intent on trying to get near Hectorfor he had set his heart on
spearing himbut Hector's horses were now hurrying him away. As
the whole dark earth bows before some tempest on an autumn day
when Jove rains his hardest to punish men for giving crooked
judgement in their courtsand arriving justice therefrom without
heed to the decrees of heaven--all the rivers run full and the
torrents tear many a new channel as they roar headlong from the
mountains to the dark seaand it fares ill with the works of
men--even such was the stress and strain of the Trojan horses in
their flight.

Patroclus now cut off the battalions that were nearest to him and
drove them back to the ships. They were doing their best to reach
the citybut he would not let themand bore down on them
between the river and the ships and wall. Many a fallen comrade
did he then avenge. First he hit Pronous with a spear on the
chest where it was exposed near the rim of his shieldand he
fell heavily to the ground. Next he sprang on Thestor son of
Enopswho was sitting all huddled up in his chariotfor he had
lost his head and the reins had been torn out of his hands.
Patroclus went up to him and drove a spear into his right jaw; he
thus hooked him by the teeth and the spear pulled him over the
rim of his caras one who sits at the end of some jutting rock
and draws a strong fish out of the sea with a hook and a line-even
so with his spear did he pull Thestor all gaping from his
chariot; he then threw him down on his face and he died while
falling. On thisas Erylaus was on to attack himhe struck him
full on the head with a stoneand his brains were all battered
inside his helmetwhereon he fell headlong to the ground and the
pangs of death took hold upon him. Then he laid lowone after
the otherErymasAmphoterusEpaltesTlepolemusEchius son of
DamastorPyrislpheusEuippus and Polymelus son of Argeas.

Now when Sarpedon saw his comradesmen who wore ungirdled
tunicsbeing overcome by Patroclus son of Menoetiushe rebuked
the Lycians saying. "Shame on youwhere are you flying to? Show
your mettle; I will myself meet this man in fight and learn who
it is that is so masterful; he has done us much hurtand has
stretched many a brave man upon the ground."

He sprang from his chariot as he spokeand Patrocluswhen he
saw thisleaped on to the ground also. The two then rushed at
one another with loud cries like eagle-beaked crook-taloned
vultures that scream and tear at one another in some high
mountain fastness.


The son of scheming Saturn looked down upon them in pity and said
to Juno who was his wife and sisterAlas, that it should be the
lot of Sarpedon whom I love so dearly to perish by the hand of
Patroclus. I am in two minds whether to catch him up out of the
fight and set him down safe and sound in the fertile land of
Lycia, or to let him now fall by the hand of the son of
Menoetius.

And Juno answeredMost dread son of Saturn, what is this that
you are saying? Would you snatch a mortal man, whose doom has
long been fated, out of the jaws of death? Do as you will, but we
shall not all of us be of your mind. I say further, and lay my
saying to your heart, that if you send Sarpedon safely to his own
home, some other of the gods will be also wanting to escort his
son out of battle, for there are many sons of gods fighting round
the city of Troy, and you will make every one jealous. If,
however, you are fond of him and pity him, let him indeed fall by
the hand of Patroclus, but as soon as the life is gone out of
him, send Death and sweet Sleep to bear him off the field and
take him to the broad lands of Lycia, where his brothers and his
kinsmen will bury him with mound and pillar, in due honour to the
dead.

The sire of gods and men assentedbut he shed a rain of blood
upon the earth in honour of his son whom Patroclus was about to
kill on the rich plain of Troy far from his home.

When they were now come close to one another Patroclus struck
Thrasydemusthe brave squire of Sarpedonin the lower part of
the bellyand killed him. Sarpedon then aimed a spear at
Patroclus and missed himbut he struck the horse Pedasus in the
right shoulderand it screamed aloud as it laygroaning in the
dust until the life went out of it. The other two horses began to
plunge; the pole of the chariot cracked and they got entangled in
the reins through the fall of the horse that was yoked along with
them; but Automedon knew what to do; without the loss of a moment
he drew the keen blade that hung by his sturdy thigh and cut the
third horse adrift; whereon the other two righted themselvesand
pulling hard at the reins again went together into battle.

Sarpedon now took a second aim at Patroclusand again missed
himthe point of the spear passed over his left shoulder without
hitting him. Patroclus then aimed in his turnand the spear sped
not from his hand in vainfor he hit Sarpedon just where the
midriff surrounds the ever-beating heart. He fell like some oak
or silver poplar or tall pine to which woodmen have laid their
axes upon the mountains to make timber for ship-building--even so
did he lie stretched at full length in front of his chariot and
horsesmoaning and clutching at the blood-stained dust. As when
a lion springs with a bound upon a herd of cattle and fastens on
a great black bull which dies bellowing in its clutches--even so
did the leader of the Lycian warriors struggle in death as he
fell by the hand of Patroclus. He called on his trusty comrade
and saidGlaucus, my brother, hero among heroes, put forth all
your strength, fight with might and main, now if ever quit
yourself like a valiant soldier. First go about among the Lycian
captains and bid them fight for Sarpedon; then yourself also do
battle to save my armour from being taken. My name will haunt you
henceforth and for ever if the Achaeans rob me of my armour now
that I have fallen at their ships. Do your very utmost and call
all my people together.

Death closed his eyes as he spoke. Patroclus planted his heel on
his breast and drew the spear from his bodywhereon his senses


came out along with itand he drew out both spear-point and
Sarpedon's soul at the same time. Hard by the Myrmidons held his
snorting steedswho were wild with panic at finding themselves
deserted by their lords.

Glaucus was overcome with grief when he heard what Sarpedon said
for he could not help him. He had to support his arm with his
other handbeing in great pain through the wound which Teucer's
arrow had given him when Teucer was defending the wall as he
Glaucuswas assailing it. Therefore he prayed to far-darting
Apollo sayingHear me O king from your seat, may be in the rich
land of Lycia, or may be in Troy, for in all places you can hear
the prayer of one who is in distress, as I now am. I have a
grievous wound; my hand is aching with pain, there is no
staunching the blood, and my whole arm drags by reason of my
hurt, so that I cannot grasp my sword nor go among my foes and
fight them, thou our prince, Jove's son Sarpedon, is slain. Jove
defended not his son, do you, therefore, O king, heal me of my
wound, ease my pain and grant me strength both to cheer on the
Lycians and to fight along with them round the body of him who
has fallen.

Thus did he prayand Apollo heard his prayer. He eased his pain
staunched the black blood from the woundand gave him new
strength. Glaucus perceived thisand was thankful that the
mighty god had answered his prayer; forthwiththereforehe went
among the Lycian captainsand bade them come to fight about the
body of Sarpedon. From these he strode on among the Trojans to
Polydamas son of Panthous and Agenor; he then went in search of
Aeneas and Hectorand when he had found them he saidHector,
you have utterly forgotten your allies, who languish here for
your sake far from friends and home while you do nothing to
support them. Sarpedon leader of the Lycian warriors has fallen-he
who was at once the right and might of Lycia; Mars has laid
him low by the spear of Patroclus. Stand by him, my friends, and
suffer not the Myrmidons to strip him of his armour, nor to treat
his body with contumely in revenge for all the Danaans whom we
have speared at the ships.

As he spoke the Trojans were plunged in extreme and ungovernable
grief; for Sarpedonalien though he washad been one of the
main stays of their cityboth as having much people with him
and himself the foremost among them all. Led by Hectorwho was
infuriated by the fall of Sarpedonthey made instantly for the
Danaans with all their mightwhile the undaunted spirit of
Patroclus son of Menoetius cheered on the Achaeans. First he
spoke to the two Ajaxesmen who needed no bidding. "Ajaxes
said he, may it now please you to show yourselves the men you
have always beenor even better--Sarpedon is fallen--he who was
first to overleap the wall of the Achaeans; let us take the body
and outrage it; let us strip the armour from his shouldersand
kill his comrades if they try to rescue his body."

He spoke to men who of themselves were full eager; both sides
thereforethe Trojans and Lycians on the one handand the
Myrmidons and Achaeans on the otherstrengthened their
battalionsand fought desperately about the body of Sarpedon
shouting fiercely the while. Mighty was the din of their armour
as they came togetherand Jove shed a thick darkness over the
fightto increase the toil of the battle over the body of his
son.

At first the Trojans made some headway against the Achaeansfor
one of the best men among the Myrmidons was killedEpeigeusson


of noble Agacles who had erewhile been king in the good city of
Budeum; but presentlyhaving killed a valiant kinsman of his
ownhe took refuge with Peleus and Thetiswho sent him to Ilius
the land of noble steeds to fight the Trojans under Achilles.
Hector now struck him on the head with a stone just as he had
caught hold of the bodyand his brains inside his helmet were
all battered inso that he fell face foremost upon the body of
Sarpedonand there died. Patroclus was enraged by the death of
his comradeand sped through the front ranks as swiftly as a
hawk that swoops down on a flock of daws or starlings. Even so
swiftlyO noble knight Patroclusdid you make straight for the
Lycians and Trojans to avenge your comrade. Forthwith he struck
Sthenelaus the son of Ithaemenes on the neck with a stoneand
broke the tendons that join it to the head and spine. On this
Hector and the front rank of his men gave ground. As far as a man
can throw a javelin when competing for some prizeor even in
battle--so far did the Trojans now retreat before the Achaeans.
Glaucuscaptain of the Lycianswas the first to rally themby
killing Bathycles son of Chalcon who lived in Hellas and was the
richest man among the Myrmidons. Glaucus turned round suddenly
just as Bathycles who was pursuing him was about to lay hold of
himand drove his spear right into the middle of his chest
whereon he fell heavily to the groundand the fall of so good a
man filled the Achaeans with dismaywhile the Trojans were
exultantand came up in a body round the corpse. Nevertheless
the Achaeansmindful of their prowessbore straight down upon
them.

Meriones then killed a helmed warrior of the TrojansLaogonus
son of Onetorwho was priest of Jove of Mt. Idaand was
honoured by the people as though he were a god. Meriones struck
him under the jaw and earso that life went out of him and the
darkness of death laid hold upon him. Aeneas then aimed a spear
at Merioneshoping to hit him under the shield as he was
advancingbut Meriones saw it coming and stooped forward to
avoid itwhereon the spear flew past him and the point stuck in
the groundwhile the butt-end went on quivering till Mars robbed
it of its force. The spearthereforesped from Aeneas's hand in
vain and fell quivering to the ground. Aeneas was angry and said
Meriones, you are a good dancer, but if I had hit you my spear
would soon have made an end of you.

And Meriones answeredAeneas, for all your bravery, you will
not be able to make an end of every one who comes against you.
You are only a mortal like myself, and if I were to hit you in
the middle of your shield with my spear, however strong and
self-confident you may be, I should soon vanquish you, and you
would yield your life to Hades of the noble steeds.

On this the son of Menoetius rebuked him and saidMeriones,
hero though you be, you should not speak thus; taunting speeches,
my good friend, will not make the Trojans draw away from the dead
body; some of them must go under ground first; blows for battle,
and words for council; fight, therefore, and say nothing.

He led the way as he spoke and the hero went forward with him.
As the sound of woodcutters in some forest glade upon the
mountains--and the thud of their axes is heard afar--even such a
din now rose from earth-clash of bronze armour and of good
ox-hide shieldsas men smote each other with their swords and
spears pointed at both ends. A man had need of good eyesight now
to know Sarpedonso covered was he from head to foot with spears
and blood and dust. Men swarmed about the bodyas flies that
buzz round the full milk-pails in spring when they are brimming


with milk--even so did they gather round Sarpedon; nor did Jove
turn his keen eyes away for one moment from the fightbut kept
looking at it all the timefor he was settling how best to kill
Patroclusand considering whether Hector should be allowed to
end him now in the fight round the body of Sarpedonand strip
him of his armouror whether he should let him give yet further
trouble to the Trojans. In the endhe deemed it best that the
brave squire of Achilles son of Peleus should drive Hector and
the Trojans back towards the city and take the lives of many.
Firstthereforehe made Hector turn faintheartedwhereon he
mounted his chariot and fledbidding the other Trojans fly also
for he saw that the scales of Jove had turned against him.
Neither would the brave Lycians stand firm; they were dismayed
when they saw their king lying struck to the heart amid a heap of
corpses--for when the son of Saturn made the fight wax hot many
had fallen above him. The Achaeanstherefore stripped the
gleaming armour from his shoulders and the brave son of Menoetius
gave it to his men to take to the ships. Then Jove lord of the
storm-cloud said to ApolloDear Phoebus, go, I pray you, and
take Sarpedon out of range of the weapons; cleanse the black
blood from off him, and then bear him a long way off where you
may wash him in the river, anoint him with ambrosia, and clothe
him in immortal raiment; this done, commit him to the arms of the
two fleet messengers, Death, and Sleep, who will carry him
straightway to the rich land of Lycia, where his brothers and
kinsmen will inter him, and will raise both mound and pillar to
his memory, in due honour to the dead.

Thus he spoke. Apollo obeyed his father's sayingand came down
from the heights of Ida into the thick of the fight; forthwith he
took Sarpedon out of range of the weaponsand then bore him a
long way offwhere he washed him in the riveranointed him with
ambrosia and clothed him in immortal raiment; this donehe
committed him to the arms of the two fleet messengersDeathand
Sleepwho presently set him down in the rich land of Lycia.

Meanwhile Patrocluswith many a shout to his horses and to
Automedonpursued the Trojans and Lycians in the pride and
foolishness of his heart. Had he but obeyed the bidding of the
son of Peleushe would haveescaped death and have been
scatheless; but the counsels of Jove pass man's understanding; he
will put even a brave man to flight and snatch victory from his
graspor again he will set him on to fightas he now did when
he put a high spirit into the heart of Patroclus.

Who then firstand who lastwas slain by youO Patrocluswhen
the gods had now called you to meet your doom? First Adrestus
AutonousEcheclusPerimus the son of MegasEpistor and
Melanippus; after these he killed ElasusMuliusand Pylartes.
These he slewbut the rest saved themselves by flight.

The sons of the Achaeans would now have taken Troy by the hands
of Patroclusfor his spear flew in all directionshad not
Phoebus Apollo taken his stand upon the wall to defeat his
purpose and to aid the Trojans. Thrice did Patroclus charge at an
angle of the high walland thrice did Apollo beat him back
striking his shield with his own immortal hands. When Patroclus
was coming on like a god for yet a fourth timeApollo shouted to
him with an awful voice and saidDraw back, noble Patroclus, it
is not your lot to sack the city of the Trojan chieftains, nor
yet will it be that of Achilles who is a far better man than you
are.On hearing thisPatroclus withdrew to some distance and
avoided the anger of Apollo.


Meanwhile Hector was waiting with his horses inside the Scaean
gatesin doubt whether to drive out again and go on fightingor
to call the army inside the gates. As he was thus doubting
Phoebus Apollo drew near him in the likeness of a young and lusty
warrior Asiuswho was Hector's unclebeing own brother to
Hecubaand son of Dymas who lived in Phrygia by the waters of
the river Sangarius; in his likeness Jove's son Apollo now spoke
to Hector sayingHector, why have you left off fighting? It is
ill done of you. If I were as much better a man than you, as I am
worse, you should soon rue your slackness. Drive straight towards
Patroclus, if so be that Apollo may grant you a triumph over him,
and you may rule him.

With this the god went back into the hurly-burlyand Hector bade
Cebriones drive again into the fight. Apollo passed in among
themand struck panic into the Argiveswhile he gave triumph to
Hector and the Trojans. Hector let the other Danaans alone and
killed no manbut drove straight at Patroclus. Patroclus then
sprang from his chariot to the groundwith a spear in his left
handand in his right a jagged stone as large as his hand could
hold. He stood still and threw itnor did it go far without
hitting some one; the cast was not in vainfor the stone struck
CebrionesHector's charioteera bastard son of Priamas he
held the reins in his hands. The stone hit him on the forehead
and drove his brows into his head for the bone was smashedand
his eyes fell to the ground at his feet. He dropped dead from his
chariot as though he were divingand there was no more life left
in him. Over him did you then vauntO knight Patroclussaying
Bless my heart, how active he is, and how well he dives. If we
had been at sea this fellow would have dived from the ship's side
and brought up as many oysters as the whole crew could stomach,
even in rough water, for he has dived beautifully off his chariot
on to the ground. It seems, then, that there are divers also
among the Trojans.

As he spoke he flung himself on Cebriones with the springas it
wereof a lion that while attacking a stockyard is himself
struck in the chestand his courage is his own bane--even so
furiouslyO Patroclusdid you then spring upon Cebriones.
Hector sprang also from his chariot to the ground. The pair then
fought over the body of Cebriones. As two lions fight fiercely on
some high mountain over the body of a stag that they have killed
even so did these two mighty warriorsPatroclus son of Menoetius
and brave Hectorhack and hew at one another over the corpse of
Cebriones. Hector would not let him go when he had once got him
by the headwhile Patroclus kept fast hold of his feetand a
fierce fight raged between the other Danaans and Trojans. As the
east and south wind buffet one another when they beat upon some
dense forest on the mountains--there is beech and ash and
spreading cornel; the top of the trees roar as they beat on one
anotherand one can hear the boughs cracking and breaking--even
so did the Trojans and Achaeans spring upon one another and lay
about each otherand neither side would give way. Many a pointed
spear fell to ground and many a winged arrow sped from its
bow-string about the body of Cebriones; many a great stone
moreoverbeat on many a shield as they fought around his body
but there he lay in the whirling clouds of dustall huge and
hugelyheedless of his driving now.

So long as the sun was still high in mid-heaven the weapons of
either side were alike deadlyand the people fell; but when he
went down towards the time when men loose their oxenthe
Achaeans proved to be beyond all forecast strongerso that they
drew Cebriones out of range of the darts and tumult of the


Trojansand stripped the armour from his shoulders. Then
Patroclus sprang like Mars with fierce intent and a terrific
shout upon the Trojansand thrice did he kill nine men; but as
he was coming on like a god for a timethenO Patrocluswas
the hour of your end approachingfor Phoebus fought you in fell
earnest. Patroclus did not see him as he moved about in the
crushfor he was enshrouded in thick darknessand the god
struck him from behind on his back and his broad shoulders with
the flat of his handso that his eyes turned dizzy. Phoebus
Apollo beat the helmet from off his headand it rolled rattling
off under the horses' feetwhere its horse-hair plumes were all
begrimed with dust and blood. Never indeed had that helmet fared
so beforefor it had served to protect the head and comely
forehead of the godlike hero Achilles. NowhoweverZeus
delivered it over to be worn by Hector. Nevertheless the end of
Hector also was near. The bronze-shod spearso great and so
strongwas broken in the hand of Patrocluswhile his shield
that covered him from head to foot fell to the ground as did also
the band that held itand Apollo undid the fastenings of his
corslet.

On this his mind became clouded; his limbs failed himand he
stood as one dazed; whereon Euphorbus son of Panthous a
Dardanianthe best spearman of his timeas also the finest
horseman and fleetest runnercame behind him and struck him in
the back with a spearmidway between the shoulders. This man as
soon as ever he had come up with his chariot had dismounted
twenty menso proficient was he in all the arts of war--he it
wasO knight Patroclusthat first drove a weapon into youbut
he did not quite overpower you. Euphorbus then ran back into the
crowdafter drawing his ashen spear out of the wound; he would
not stand firm and wait for Patroclusunarmed though he now was
to attack him; but Patroclus unnervedalike by the blow the god
had given him and by the spear-wounddrew back under cover of
his men in fear for his life. Hector on thisseeing him to be
wounded and giving groundforced his way through the ranksand
when close up with him struck him in the lower part of the belly
with a speardriving the bronze point right through itso that
he fell heavily to the ground to the great of the Achaeans. As
when a lion has fought some fierce wild-boar and worsted him--the
two fight furiously upon the mountains over some little fountain
at which they would both drinkand the lion has beaten the boar
till he can hardly breathe--even so did Hector son of Priam take
the life of the brave son of Menoetius who had killed so many
striking him from close at handand vaunting over him the while.
Patroclus,said heyou deemed that you should sack our city,
rob our Trojan women of their freedom, and carry them off in your
ships to your own country. Fool; Hector and his fleet horses were
ever straining their utmost to defend them. I am foremost of all
the Trojan warriors to stave the day of bondage from off them; as
for you, vultures shall devour you here. Poor wretch, Achilles
with all his bravery availed you nothing; and yet I ween when you
left him he charged you straitly saying, 'Come not back to the
ships, knight Patroclus, till you have rent the bloodstained
shirt of murderous Hector about his body. Thus I ween did he
charge you, and your fool's heart answered him 'yea' within you.

Thenas the life ebbed out of youyou answeredO knight
Patroclus: "Hectorvaunt as you willfor Jove the son of Saturn
and Apollo have vouchsafed you victory; it is they who have
vanquished me so easilyand they who have stripped the armour
from my shoulders; had twenty such men as you attacked meall of
them would have fallen before my spear. Fate and the son of Leto
have overpowered meand among mortal men Euphorbus; you are


yourself third only in the killing of me. I say furtherand lay
my saying to your heartyou too shall live but for a little
season; death and the day of your doom are close upon youand
they will lay you low by the hand of Achilles son of Aeacus."

When he had thus spoken his eyes were closed in deathhis soul
left his body and flitted down to the house of Hadesmourning
its sad fate and bidding farewell to the youth and vigor of its
manhood. Dead though he wasHector still spoke to him saying
Patroclus, why should you thus foretell my doom? Who knows but
Achilles, son of lovely Thetis, may be smitten by my spear and
die before me?

As he spoke he drew the bronze spear from the woundplanting his
foot upon the bodywhich he thrust off and let lie on its back.
He then went spear in hand after Automedonsquire of the fleet
descendant of Aeacusfor he longed to lay him lowbut the
immortal steeds which the gods had given as a rich gift to Peleus
bore him swiftly from the field.

BOOK XVII

BRAVE Menelaus son of Atreus now came to know that Patroclus had
fallenand made his way through the front ranks clad in full
armour to bestride him. As a cow stands lowing over her first
calfeven so did yellow-haired Menelaus bestride Patroclus. He
held his round shield and his spear in front of himresolute to
kill any who should dare face him. But the son of Panthous had
also noted the bodyand came up to Menelaus sayingMenelaus,
son of Atreus, draw back, leave the body, and let the
bloodstained spoils be. I was first of the Trojans and their
brave allies to drive my spear into Patroclus, let me, therefore,
have my full glory among the Trojans, or I will take aim and kill
you.

To this Menelaus answered in great anger "By father Jove
boasting is an ill thing. The pard is not more boldnor the lion
nor savage wild-boarwhich is fiercest and most dauntless of all
creaturesthan are the proud sons of Panthous. Yet Hyperenor did
not see out the days of his youth when he made light of me and
withstood medeeming me the meanest soldier among the Danaans.
His own feet never bore him back to gladden his wife and parents.
Even so shall I make an end of you tooif you withstand me; get
you back into the crowd and do not face meor it shall be worse
for you. Even a fool may be wise after the event."

Euphorbus would not listenand saidNow indeed, Menelaus,
shall you pay for the death of my brother over whom you vaunted,
and whose wife you widowed in her bridal chamber, while you
brought grief unspeakable on his parents. I shall comfort these
poor people if I bring your head and armour and place them in the
hands of Panthous and noble Phrontis. The time is come when this
matter shall be fought out and settled, for me or against me.

As he spoke he struck Menelaus full on the shieldbut the spear
did not go throughfor the shield turned its point. Menelaus
then took aimpraying to father Jove as he did so; Euphorbus was
drawing backand Menelaus struck him about the roots of his
throatleaning his whole weight on the spearso as to drive it
home. The point went clean through his neckand his armour rang
rattling round him as he fell heavily to the ground. His hair
which was like that of the Gracesand his locks so deftly bound


in bands of silver and goldwere all bedrabbled with blood. As
one who has grown a fine young olive tree in a clear space where
there is abundance of water--the plant is full of promiseand
though the winds beat upon it from every quarter it puts forth
its white blossoms till the blasts of some fierce hurricane sweep
down upon it and level it with the ground--even so did Menelaus
strip the fair youth Euphorbus of his armour after he had slain
him. Or as some fierce lion upon the mountains in the pride of
his strength fastens on the finest heifer in a herd as it is
feeding--first he breaks her neck with his strong jawsand then
gorges on her blood and entrails; dogs and shepherds raise a hue
and cry against himbut they stand aloof and will not come close
to himfor they are pale with fear--even so no one had the
courage to face valiant Menelaus. The son of Atreus would have
then carried off the armour of the son of Panthous with easehad
not Phoebus Apollo been angryand in the guise of Mentes chief
of the Cicons incited Hector to attack him. "Hector said he,
you are now going after the horses of the noble son of Aeacus
but you will not take them; they cannot be kept in hand and
driven by mortal mansave only by Achilleswho is son to an
immortal mother. Meanwhile Menelaus son of Atreus has bestridden
the body of Patroclus and killed the noblest of the Trojans
Euphorbus son of Panthousso that he can fight no more."

The god then went back into the toil and turmoilbut the soul of
Hector was darkened with a cloud of grief; he looked along the
ranks and saw Euphorbus lying on the ground with the blood still
flowing from his woundand Menelaus stripping him of his armour.
On this he made his way to the front like a flame of fireclad
in his gleaming armourand crying with a loud voice. When the
son of Atreus heard himhe said to himself in his dismayAlas!
what shall I do? I may not let the Trojans take the armour of
Patroclus who has fallen fighting on my behalf, lest some Danaan
who sees me should cry shame upon me. Still if for my honour's
sake I fight Hector and the Trojans single-handed, they will
prove too many for me, for Hector is bringing them up in force.
Why, however, should I thus hesitate? When a man fights in
despite of heaven with one whom a god befriends, he will soon rue
it. Let no Danaan think ill of me if I give place to Hector, for
the hand of heaven is with him. Yet, if I could find Ajax, the
two of us would fight Hector and heaven too, if we might only
save the body of Patroclus for Achilles son of Peleus. This, of
many evils would be the least.

While he was thus in two mindsthe Trojans came up to him with
Hector at their head; he therefore drew back and left the body
turning about like some bearded lion who is being chased by dogs
and men from a stockyard with spears and hue and crywhereon he
is daunted and slinks sulkily off--even so did Menelaus son of
Atreus turn and leave the body of Patroclus. When among the body
of his menhe looked around for mighty Ajax son of Telamonand
presently saw him on the extreme left of the fightcheering on
his men and exhorting them to keep on fightingfor Phoebus
Apollo had spread a great panic among them. He ran up to him and
saidAjax, my good friend, come with me at once to dead
Patroclus, if so be that we may take the body to Achilles--as for
his armour, Hector already has it.

These words stirred the heart of Ajaxand he made his way among
the front ranksMenelaus going with him. Hector had stripped
Patroclus of his armourand was dragging him away to cut off his
head and take the body to fling before the dogs of Troy. But Ajax
came up with his shield like wall before himon which Hector
withdrew under shelter of his menand sprang on to his chariot


giving the armour over to the Trojans to take to the cityas a
great trophy for himself; Ajaxthereforecovered the body of
Patroclus with his broad shield and bestrode him; as a lion
stands over his whelps if hunters have come upon him in a forest
when he is with his little ones--in the pride and fierceness of
his strength he draws his knit brows down till they cover his
eyes--even so did Ajax bestride the body of Patroclusand by his
side stood Menelaus son of Atreusnursing great sorrow in his
heart.

Then Glaucus son of Hippolochus looked fiercely at Hector and
rebuked him sternly. "Hector said he, you make a brave show
but in fight you are sadly wanting. A runaway like yourself has
no claim to so great a reputation. Think how you may now save
your town and citadel by the hands of your own people born in
Ilius; for you will get no Lycians to fight for youseeing what
thanks they have had for their incessant hardships. Are you
likelysirto do anything to help a man of less noteafter
leaving Sarpedonwho was at once your guest and comrade in arms
to be the spoil and prey of the Danaans? So long as he lived he
did good service both to your city and yourself; yet you had no
stomach to save his body from the dogs. If the Lycians will
listen to methey will go home and leave Troy to its fate. If
the Trojans had any of that daring fearless spirit which lays
hold of men who are fighting for their country and harassing
those who would attack itwe should soon bear off Patroclus into
Ilius. Could we get this dead man away and bring him into the
city of Priamthe Argives would readily give up the armour of
Sarpedonand we should get his body to boot. For he whose squire
has been now killed is the foremost man at the ships of the
Achaeans--he and his close-fighting followers. Nevertheless you
dared not make a stand against Ajaxnor face himeye to eye
with battle all round youfor he is a braver man than you are."

Hector scowled at him and answeredGlaucus, you should know
better. I have held you so far as a man of more understanding
than any in all Lycia, but now I despise you for saying that I am
afraid of Ajax. I fear neither battle nor the din of chariots,
but Jove's will is stronger than ours; Jove at one time makes
even a strong man draw back and snatches victory from his grasp,
while at another he will set him on to fight. Come hither then,
my friend, stand by me and see indeed whether I shall play the
coward the whole day through as you say, or whether I shall not
stay some even of the boldest Danaans from fighting round the
body of Patroclus.

As he spoke he called loudly on the Trojans sayingTrojans,
Lycians, and Dardanians, fighters in close combat, be men, my
friends, and fight might and main, while I put on the goodly
armour of Achilles, which I took when I killed Patroclus.

With this Hector left the fightand ran full speed after his men
who were taking the armour of Achilles to Troybut had not yet
got far. Standing for a while apart from the woeful fighthe
changed his armour. His own he sent to the strong city of Ilius
and to the Trojanswhile he put on the immortal armour of the
son of Peleuswhich the gods had given to Peleuswho in his age
gave it to his son; but the son did not grow old in his father's
armour.

When Jovelord of the storm-cloudsaw Hector standing aloof and
arming himself in the armour of the son of Peleushe wagged his
head and muttered to himself sayingA! poor wretch, you arm in
the armour of a hero, before whom many another trembles, and you


reck nothing of the doom that is already close upon you. You have
killed his comrade so brave and strong, but it was not well that
you should strip the armour from his head and shoulders. I do
indeed endow you with great might now, but as against this you
shall not return from battle to lay the armour of the son of
Peleus before Andromache.

The son of Saturn bowed his portentous browsand Hector fitted
the armour to his bodywhile terrible Mars entered into himand
filled his whole body with might and valour. With a shout he
strode in among the alliesand his armour flashed about him so
that he seemed to all of them like the great son of Peleus
himself. He went about among them and cheered them on--Mesthles
GlaucusMedonThersilochusAsteropaeusDeisenor and
HippothousPhorcysChromius and Ennomus the augur. All these
did he exhort sayingHear me, allies from other cities who are
here in your thousands, it was not in order to have a crowd about
me that I called you hither each from his several city, but that
with heart and soul you might defend the wives and little ones of
the Trojans from the fierce Achaeans. For this do I oppress my
people with your food and the presents that make you rich.
Therefore turn, and charge at the foe, to stand or fall as is the
game of war; whoever shall bring Patroclus, dead though he be,
into the hands of the Trojans, and shall make Ajax give way
before him, I will give him one half of the spoils while I keep
the other. He will thus share like honour with myself.

When he had thus spoken they charged full weight upon the Danaans
with their spears held out before themand the hopes of each ran
high that he should force Ajax son of Telamon to yield up the
body--fools that they werefor he was about to take the lives of
many. Then Ajax said to MenelausMy good friend Menelaus, you
and I shall hardly come out of this fight alive. I am less
concerned for the body of Patroclus, who will shortly become meat
for the dogs and vultures of Troy, than for the safety of my own
head and yours. Hector has wrapped us round in a storm of battle
from every quarter, and our destruction seems now certain. Call
then upon the princes of the Danaans if there is any who can hear
us.

Menelaus did as he saidand shouted to the Danaans for help at
the top of his voice. "My friends he cried, princes and
counsellors of the Argivesall you who with Agamemnon and
Menelaus drink at the public costand give orders each to his
own people as Jove vouchsafes him power and glorythe fight is
so thick about me that I cannot distinguish you severally; come
onthereforeevery man unbiddenand think it shame that
Patroclus should become meat and morsel for Trojan hounds."

Fleet Ajax son of Oileus heard him and was first to force his way
through the fight and run to help him. Next came Idomeneus and
Meriones his esquirepeer of murderous Mars. As for the others
that came into the fight after thesewho of his own self could
name them?

The Trojans with Hector at their head charged in a body. As a
great wave that comes thundering in at the mouth of some
heaven-born riverand the rocks that jut into the sea ring with
the roar of the breakers that beat and buffet them--even with
such a roar did the Trojans come on; but the Achaeans in
singleness of heart stood firm about the son of Menoetiusand
fenced him with their bronze shields. Jovemoreoverhid the
brightness of their helmets in a thick cloudfor he had borne no
grudge against the son of Menoetius while he was still alive and


squire to the descendant of Aeacus; therefore he was loth to let
him fall a prey to the dogs of his foes the Trojansand urged
his comrades on to defend him.

At first the Trojans drove the Achaeans backand they withdrew
from the dead man daunted. The Trojans did not succeed in killing
any onenevertheless they drew the body away. But the Achaeans
did not lose it longfor Ajaxforemost of all the Danaans after
the son of Peleus alike in stature and prowessquickly rallied
them and made towards the front like a wild boar upon the
mountains when he stands at bay in the forest glades and routs
the hounds and lusty youths that have attacked him--even so did
Ajax son of Telamon passing easily in among the phalanxes of the
Trojansdisperse those who had bestridden Patroclus and were
most bent on winning glory by dragging him off to their city. At
this moment Hippothous brave son of the Pelasgian Lethusin his
zeal for Hector and the Trojanswas dragging the body off by the
foot through the press of the fighthaving bound a strap round
the sinews near the ancle; but a mischief soon befell him from
which none of those could save him who would have gladly done so
for the son of Telamon sprang forward and smote him on his
bronze-cheeked helmet. The plumed headpiece broke about the point
of the weaponstruck at once by the spear and by the strong hand
of Ajaxso that the bloody brain came oozing out through the
crest-socket. His strength then failed him and he let Patroclus'
foot drop from his handas he fell full length dead upon the
body; thus he died far from the fertile land of Larissaand
never repaid his parents the cost of bringing him upfor his
life was cut short early by the spear of mighty Ajax. Hector then
took aim at Ajax with a spearbut he saw it coming and just
managed to avoid it; the spear passed on and struck Schedius son
of noble Iphituscaptain of the Phoceanswho dwelt in famed
Panopeus and reigned over much people; it struck him under the
middle of the collar-bone the bronze point went right through
himcoming out at the bottom of his shoulder-bladeand his
armour rang rattling round him as he fell heavily to the ground.
Ajax in his turn struck noble Phorcys son of Phaenops in the
middle of the belly as he was bestriding Hippothousand broke
the plate of his cuirass; whereon the spear tore out his entrails
and he clutched the ground in his palm as he fell to earth.
Hector and those who were in the front rank then gave ground
while the Argives raised a loud cry of triumphand drew off the
bodies of Phorcys and Hippothous which they stripped presently of
their armour.

The Trojans would now have been worsted by the brave Achaeans and
driven back to Ilius through their own cowardicewhile the
Argivesso great was their courage and endurancewould have
achieved a triumph even against the will of Joveif Apollo had
not roused Aeneasin the likeness of Periphas son of Epytusan
attendant who had grown old in the service of Aeneas' aged
fatherand was at all times devoted to him. In his likeness
thenApollo saidAeneas, can you not manage, even though
heaven be against us, to save high Ilius? I have known men, whose
numbers, courage, and self-reliance have saved their people in
spite of Jove, whereas in this case he would much rather give
victory to us than to the Danaans, if you would only fight
instead of being so terribly afraid.

Aeneas knew Apollo when he looked straight at himand shouted to
Hector sayingHector and all other Trojans and allies, shame on
us if we are beaten by the Achaeans and driven back to Ilius
through our own cowardice. A god has just come up to me and told
me that Jove the supreme disposer will be with us. Therefore let


us make for the Danaans, that it may go hard with them ere they
bear away dead Patroclus to the ships.

As he spoke he sprang out far in front of the otherswho then
rallied and again faced the Achaeans. Aeneas speared Leiocritus
son of Arisbasa valiant follower of Lycomedesand Lycomedes
was moved with pity as he saw him fall; he therefore went close
upand speared Apisaon son of Hippasus shepherd of his people in
the liver under the midriffso that he died; he had come from
fertile Paeonia and was the best man of them all after
Asteropaeus. Asteropaeus flew forward to avenge him and attack
the Danaansbut this might no longer beinasmuch as those about
Patroclus were well covered by their shieldsand held their
spears in front of themfor Ajax had given them strict orders
that no man was either to give groundor to stand out before the
othersbut all were to hold well together about the body and
fight hand to hand. Thus did huge Ajax bid themand the earth
ran red with blood as the corpses fell thick on one another alike
on the side of the Trojans and alliesand on that of the
Danaans; for these lasttoofought no bloodless fight though
many fewer of them perishedthrough the care they took to defend
and stand by one another.

Thus did they fight as it were a flaming fire; it seemed as
though it had gone hard even with the sun and moonfor they were
hidden over all that part where the bravest heroes were fighting
about the dead son of Menoetiuswhereas the other Danaans and
Achaeans fought at their ease in full daylight with brilliant
sunshine all round themand there was not a cloud to be seen
neither on plain nor mountain. These last moreover would rest for
a while and leave off fightingfor they were some distance apart
and beyond the range of one another's weaponswhereas those who
were in the thick of the fray suffered both from battle and
darkness. All the best of them were being worn out by the great
weight of their armourbut the two valiant heroesThrasymedes
and Antilochushad not yet heard of the death of Patroclusand
believed him to be still alive and leading the van against the
Trojans; they were keeping themselves in reserve against the
death or rout of their own comradesfor so Nestor had ordered
when he sent them from the ships into battle.

Thus through the livelong day did they wage fierce warand the
sweat of their toil rained ever on their legs under themand on
their hands and eyesas they fought over the squire of the fleet
son of Peleus. It was as when a man gives a great ox-hide all
drenched in fat to his menand bids them stretch it; whereon
they stand round it in a ring and tug till the moisture leaves
itand the fat soaks in for the many that pull at itand it is
well stretched--even so did the two sides tug the dead body
hither and thither within the compass of but a little space--the
Trojans steadfastly set on dragging it into Iliuswhile the
Achaeans were no less so on taking it to their ships; and fierce
was the fight between them. Not Mars himself the lord of hosts
nor yet Minervaeven in their fullest fury could make light of
such a battle.

Such fearful turmoil of men and horses did Jove on that day
ordain round the body of Patroclus. Meanwhile Achilles did not
know that he had fallenfor the fight was under the wall of Troy
a long way off the ships. He had no ideathereforethat
Patroclus was deadand deemed that he would return alive as soon
as he had gone close up to the gates. He knew that he was not to
sack the city neither with nor without himselffor his mother
had often told him this when he had sat alone with herand she


had informed him of the counsels of great Jove. Nowhowevershe
had not told him how great a disaster had befallen him in the
death of the one who was far dearest to him of all his comrades.

The others still kept on charging one another round the body with
their pointed spears and killing each other. Then would one say
My friends, we can never again show our faces at the ships-better,
and greatly better, that earth should open and swallow us
here in this place, than that we should let the Trojans have the
triumph of bearing off Patroclus to their city.

The Trojans also on their part spoke to one another saying
Friends, though we fall to a man beside this body, let none
shrink from fighting.With such words did they exhort each
other. They fought and foughtand an iron clank rose through the
void air to the brazen vault of heaven. The horses of the
descendant of Aeacus stood out of the fight and wept when they
heard that their driver had been laid low by the hand of
murderous Hector. Automedonvaliant son of Dioreslashed them
again and again; many a time did he speak kindly to themand
many a time did he upbraid thembut they would neither go back
to the ships by the waters of the broad Hellespontnor yet into
battle among the Achaeans; they stood with their chariot stock
stillas a pillar set over the tomb of some dead man or woman
and bowed their heads to the ground. Hot tears fell from their
eyes as they mourned the loss of their charioteerand their
noble manes drooped all wet from under the yokestraps on either
side the yoke.

The son of Saturn saw them and took pity upon their sorrow. He
wagged his headand muttered to himselfsayingPoor things,
why did we give you to King Peleus who is a mortal, while you are
yourselves ageless and immortal? Was it that you might share the
sorrows that befall mankind? for of all creatures that live and
move upon the earth there is none so pitiable as he is--still,
Hector son of Priam shall drive neither you nor your chariot. I
will not have it. It is enough that he should have the armour
over which he vaunts so vainly. Furthermore I will give you
strength of heart and limb to bear Automedon safely to the ships
from battle, for I shall let the Trojans triumph still further,
and go on killing till they reach the ships; whereon night shall
fall and darkness overshadow the land.

As he spoke he breathed heart and strength into the horses so
that they shook the dust from out of their manesand bore their
chariot swiftly into the fight that raged between Trojans and
Achaeans. Behind them fought Automedon full of sorrow for his
comradeas a vulture amid a flock of geese. In and outand here
and therefull speed he dashed amid the throng of the Trojans
but for all the fury of his pursuit he killed no manfor he
could not wield his spear and keep his horses in hand when alone
in the chariot; at lasthowevera comradeAlcimedonson of
Laerces son of Haemon caught sight of him and came up behind his
chariot. "Automedon said he, what god has put this folly into
your heart and robbed you of your right mindthat you fight the
Trojans in the front rank single-handed? He who was your comrade
is slainand Hector plumes himself on being armed in the armour
of the descendant of Aeacus."

Automedon son of Diores answeredAlcimedon, there is no one
else who can control and guide the immortal steeds so well as you
can, save only Patroclus--while he was alive--peer of gods in
counsel. Take then the whip and reins, while I go down from the
car and fight.


Alcimedon sprang on to the chariotand caught up the whip and
reinswhile Automedon leaped from off the car. When Hector saw
him he said to Aeneas who was near himAeneas, counsellor of
the mail-clad Trojans, I see the steeds of the fleet son of
Aeacus come into battle with weak hands to drive them. I am sure,
if you think well, that we might take them; they will not dare
face us if we both attack them.

The valiant son of Anchises was of the same mindand the pair
went right onwith their shoulders covered under shields of
tough dry ox-hideoverlaid with much bronze. Chromius and Aretus
went also with themand their hearts beat high with hope that
they might kill the men and capture the horses--fools that they
werefor they were not to return scatheless from their meeting
with Automedonwho prayed to father Jove and was forthwith
filled with courage and strength abounding. He turned to his
trusty comrade Alcimedon and saidAlcimedon, keep your horses
so close up that I may feel their breath upon my back; I doubt
that we shall not stay Hector son of Priam till he has killed us
and mounted behind the horses; he will then either spread panic
among the ranks of the Achaeans, or himself be killed among the
foremost.

On this he cried out to the two Ajaxes and MenelausAjaxes
captains of the Argives, and Menelaus, give the dead body over to
them that are best able to defend it, and come to the rescue of
us living; for Hector and Aeneas who are the two best men among
the Trojans, are pressing us hard in the full tide of war.
Nevertheless the issue lies on the lap of heaven, I will
therefore hurl my spear and leave the rest to Jove.

He poised and hurled as he spokewhereon the spear struck the
round shield of Aretusand went right through it for the shield
stayed it notso that it was driven through his belt into the
lower part of his belly. As when some sturdy youthaxe in hand
deals his blow behind the horns of an ox and severs the tendons
at the back of its neck so that it springs forward and then
dropseven so did Aretus give one bound and then fall on his
back the spear quivering in his body till it made an end of him.
Hector then aimed a spear at Automedon but he saw it coming and
stooped forward to avoid itso that it flew past him and the
point stuck in the groundwhile the butt-end went on quivering
till Mars robbed it of its force. They would then have fought
hand to hand with swords had not the two Ajaxes forced their way
through the crowd when they heard their comrade callingand
parted them for all their fury--for HectorAeneasand Chromius
were afraid and drew backleaving Aretus to lie there struck to
the heart. Automedonpeer of fleet Marsthen stripped him of
his armour and vaunted over him sayingI have done little to
assuage my sorrow for the son of Menoetius, for the man I have
killed is not so good as he was.

As he spoke he took the blood-stained spoils and laid them upon
his chariot; then he mounted the car with his hands and feet all
steeped in gore as a lion that has been gorging upon a bull.

And now the fierce groanful fight again raged about Patroclus
for Minerva came down from heaven and roused its fury by the
command of far-seeing Jovewho had changed his mind and sent her
to encourage the Danaans. As when Jove bends his bright bow in
heaven in token to mankind either of war or of the chill storms
that stay men from their labour and plague the flocks--even so
wrapped in such radiant raimentdid Minerva go in among the host


and speak man by man to each. First she took the form and voice
of Phoenix and spoke to Menelaus son of Atreuswho was standing
near her. "Menelaus said she, it will be shame and dishonour
to youif dogs tear the noble comrade of Achilles under the
walls of Troy. Therefore be staunchand urge your men to be so
also."

Menelaus answeredPhoenix, my good old friend, may Minerva
vouchsafe me strength and keep the darts from off me, for so
shall I stand by Patroclus and defend him; his death has gone to
my heart, but Hector is as a raging fire and deals his blows
without ceasing, for Jove is now granting him a time of triumph.

Minerva was pleased at his having named herself before any of the
other gods. Therefore she put strength into his knees and
shouldersand made him as bold as a flywhichthough driven
off will yet come again and bite if it canso dearly does it
love man's blood--even so bold as this did she make him as he
stood over Patroclus and threw his spear. Now there was among the
Trojans a man named Podesson of Eetionwho was both rich and
valiant. Hector held him in the highest honour for he was his
comrade and boon companion; the spear of Menelaus struck this man
in the girdle just as he had turned in flightand went right
through him. Whereon he fell heavily forwardand Menelaus son of
Atreus drew off his body from the Trojans into the ranks of his
own people.

Apollo then went up to Hector and spurred him on to fightin the
likeness of Phaenops son of Asius who lived in Abydos and was the
most favoured of all Hector's guests. In his likeness Apollo
saidHector, who of the Achaeans will fear you henceforward now
that you have quailed before Menelaus who has ever been rated
poorly as a soldier? Yet he has now got a corpse away from the
Trojans single-handed, and has slain your own true comrade, a man
brave among the foremost, Podes son of Eetion.

A dark cloud of grief fell upon Hector as he heardand he made
his way to the front clad in full armour. Thereon the son of
Saturn seized his bright tasselled aegisand veiled Ida in
cloud: he sent forth his lightnings and his thundersand as he
shook his aegis he gave victory to the Trojans and routed the
Achaeans.

The panic was begun by Peneleos the Boeotianfor while keeping
his face turned ever towards the foe he had been hit with a spear
on the upper part of the shoulder; a spear thrown by Polydamas
had grazed the top of the bonefor Polydamas had come up to him
and struck him from close at hand. Then Hector in close combat
struck Leitus son of noble Alectryon in the hand by the wrist
and disabled him from fighting further. He looked about him in
dismayknowing that never again should he wield spear in battle
with the Trojans. While Hector was in pursuit of Leitus
Idomeneus struck him on the breastplate over his chest near the
nipple; but the spear broke in the shaftand the Trojans cheered
aloud. Hector then aimed at Idomeneus son of Deucalion as he was
standing on his chariotand very narrowly missed himbut the
spear hit Coiranusa follower and charioteer of Meriones who had
come with him from Lyctus. Idomeneus had left the ships on foot
and would have afforded a great triumph to the Trojans if
Coiranus had not driven quickly up to himhe therefore brought
life and rescue to Idomeneusbut himself fell by the hand of
murderous Hector. For Hector hit him on the jaw under the ear;
the end of the spear drove out his teeth and cut his tongue in
two piecesso that he fell from his chariot and let the reins


fall to the ground. Meriones gathered them up from the ground and
took them into his own handsthen he said to IdomeneusLay on,
till you get back to the ships, for you must see that the day is
no longer ours.

On this Idomeneus lashed the horses to the shipsfor fear had
taken hold upon him.

Ajax and Menelaus noted how Jove had turned the scale in favour
of the Trojansand Ajax was first to speak. "Alas said he,
even a fool may see that father Jove is helping the Trojans. All
their weapons strike home; no matter whether it be a brave man or
a coward that hurls themJove speeds all alikewhereas ours
fall each one of them without effect. Whatthenwill be best
both as regards rescuing the bodyand our return to the joy of
our friends who will be grieving as they look hitherwards; for
they will make sure that nothing can now check the terrible hands
of Hectorand that he will fling himself upon our ships. I wish
that some one would go and tell the son of Peleus at oncefor I
do not think he can have yet heard the sad news that the dearest
of his friends has fallen. But I can see not a man among the
Achaeans to sendfor they and their chariots are alike hidden in
darkness. O father Jovelift this cloud from over the sons of
the Achaeans; make heaven sereneand let us see; if you will
that we perishlet us fall at any rate by daylight."

Father Jove heard him and had compassion upon his tears.
Forthwith he chased away the cloud of darknessso that the sun
shone out and all the fighting was revealed. Ajax then said to
MenelausLook, Menelaus, and if Antilochus son of Nestor be
still living, send him at once to tell Achilles that by far the
dearest to him of all his comrades has fallen.

Menelaus heeded his words and went his way as a lion from a
stockyard--the lion is tired of attacking the men and houndswho
keep watch the whole night through and will not let him feast on
the fat of their herd. In his lust of meat he makes straight at
them but in vainfor darts from strong hands assail himand
burning brands which daunt him for all his hungerso in the
morning he slinks sulkily away--even so did Menelaus sorely
against his will leave Patroclusin great fear lest the Achaeans
should be driven back in rout and let him fall into the hands of
the foe. He charged Meriones and the two Ajaxes straitly saying
Ajaxes and Meriones, leaders of the Argives, now indeed remember
how good Patroclus was; he was ever courteous while alive, bear
it in mind now that he is dead.

With this Menelaus left themlooking round him as keenly as an
eaglewhose sight they say is keener than that of any other
bird--however high he may be in the heavensnot a hare that runs
can escape him by crouching under bush or thicketfor he will
swoop down upon it and make an end of it--even soO Menelaus
did your keen eyes range round the mighty host of your followers
to see if you could find the son of Nestor still alive. Presently
Menelaus saw him on the extreme left of the battle cheering on
his men and exhorting them to fight boldly. Menelaus went up to
him and saidAntilochus, come here and listen to sad news,
which I would indeed were untrue. You must see with your own eyes
that heaven is heaping calamity upon the Danaans, and giving
victory to the Trojans. Patroclus has fallen, who was the bravest
of the Achaeans, and sorely will the Danaans miss him. Run
instantly to the ships and tell Achilles, that he may come to
rescue the body and bear it to the ships. As for the armour,
Hector already has it.


Antilochus was struck with horror. For a long time he was
speechless; his eyes filled with tears and he could find no
utterancebut he did as Menelaus had saidand set off running
as soon as he had given his armour to a comradeLaodocuswho
was wheeling his horses roundclose beside him.

Thusthendid he run weeping from the fieldto carry the bad
news to Achilles son of Peleus. Nor were youO Menelausminded
to succour his harassed comradeswhen Antilochus had left the
Pylians--and greatly did they miss him--but he sent them noble
Thrasymedesand himself went back to Patroclus. He came running
up to the two Ajaxes and saidI have sent Antilochus to the
ships to tell Achilles, but rage against Hector as he may, he
cannot come, for he cannot fight without armour. What then will
be our best plan both as regards rescuing the dead, and our own
escape from death amid the battle-cries of the Trojans?

Ajax answeredMenelaus, you have said well: do you, then, and
Meriones stoop down, raise the body, and bear it out of the fray,
while we two behind you keep off Hector and the Trojans, one in
heart as in name, and long used to fighting side by side with one
another.

On this Menelaus and Meriones took the dead man in their arms and
lifted him high aloft with a great effort. The Trojan host raised
a hue and cry behind them when they saw the Achaeans bearing the
body awayand flew after them like hounds attacking a wounded
boar at the loo of a band of young huntsmen. For a while the
hounds fly at him as though they would tear him in piecesbut
now and again he turns on them in a furyscaring and scattering
them in all directions--even so did the Trojans for a while
charge in a bodystriking with sword and with spears pointed ai
both the endsbut when the two Ajaxes faced them and stood at
baythey would turn pale and no man dared press on to fight
further about the dead.

In this wise did the two heroes strain every nerve to bear the
body to the ships out of the fight. The battle raged round them
like fierce flames that when once kindled spread like wildfire
over a cityand the houses fall in the glare of its burning-even
such was the roar and tramp of men and horses that pursued
them as they bore Patroclus from the field. Or as mules that put
forth all their strength to draw some beam or great piece of
ship's timber down a rough mountain-trackand they pant and
sweat as theygo even so did Menelaus and pant and sweat as they
bore the body of Patroclus. Behind them the two Ajaxes held
stoutly out. As some wooded mountain-spur that stretches across a
plain will turn water and check the flow even of a great river
nor is there any stream strong enough to break through it--even
so did the two Ajaxes face the Trojans and stem the tide of their
fighting though they kept pouring on towards them and foremost
among them all was Aeneas son of Anchises with valiant Hector. As
a flock of daws or starlings fall to screaming and chattering
when they see a falconfoe to all small birdscome soaring near
themeven so did the Achaean youth raise a babel of cries as
they fled before Aeneas and Hectorunmindful of their former
prowess. In the rout of the Danaans much goodly armour fell round
about the trenchand of fighting there was no end.

BOOK XVIII


THUS then did they fight as it were a flaming fire. Meanwhile the
fleet runner Antilochuswho had been sent as messengerreached
Achillesand found him sitting by his tall ships and boding that
which was indeed too surely true. "Alas said he to himself in
the heaviness of his heart, why are the Achaeans again scouring
the plain and flocking towards the ships? Heaven grant the gods
be not now bringing that sorrow upon me of which my mother Thetis
spokesaying that while I was yet alive the bravest of the
Myrmidons should fall before the Trojansand see the light of
the sun no longer. I fear the brave son of Menoetius has fallen
through his own daring and yet I bade him return to the ships as
soon as he had driven back those that were bringing fire against
themand not join battle with Hector."

As he was thus ponderingthe son of Nestor came up to him and
told his sad taleweeping bitterly the while. "Alas he cried,
son of noble PeleusI bring you bad tidingswould indeed that
they were untrue. Patroclus has fallenand a fight is raging
about his naked body--for Hector holds his armour."

A dark cloud of grief fell upon Achilles as he listened. He
filled both hands with dust from off the groundand poured it
over his headdisfiguring his comely faceand letting the
refuse settle over his shirt so fair and new. He flung himself
down all huge and hugely at full lengthand tore his hair with
his hands. The bondswomen whom Achilles and Patroclus had taken
captive screamed aloud for griefbeating their breastsand with
their limbs failing them for sorrow. Antilochus bent over him the
whileweeping and holding both his hands as he lay groaning for
he feared that he might plunge a knife into his own throat. Then
Achilles gave a loud cry and his mother heard him as she was
sitting in the depths of the sea by the old man her father
whereon she screamedand all the goddesses daughters of Nereus
that dwelt at the bottom of the seacame gathering round her.
There were GlauceThalia and CymodoceNesaiaSpeoThoe and
dark-eyed HalieCymothoeActaea and LimnoreaMeliteIaera
Amphithoe and AgaveDoto and ProtoPherusa and Dynamene
DexameneAmphinome and CallianeiraDorisPanopeand the
famous sea-nymph GalateaNemertesApseudes and Callianassa.
There were also ClymeneIaneira and IanassaMaeraOreithuia
and Amatheia of the lovely lockswith other Nereids who dwell in
the depths of the sea. The crystal cave was filled with their
multitude and they all beat their breasts while Thetis led them
in their lament.

Listen,she criedsisters, daughters of Nereus, that you may
hear the burden of my sorrows. Alas, woe is me, woe in that I
have borne the most glorious of offspring. I bore him fair and
strong, hero among heroes, and he shot up as a sapling; I tended
him as a plant in a goodly garden, and sent him with his ships to
Ilius to fight the Trojans, but never shall I welcome him back to
the house of Peleus. So long as he lives to look upon the light
of the sun he is in heaviness, and though I go to him I cannot
help him. Nevertheless I will go, that I may see my dear son and
learn what sorrow has befallen him though he is still holding
aloof from battle.

She left the cave as she spokewhile the others followed weeping
afterand the waves opened a path before them. When they reached
the rich plain of Troythey came up out of the sea in a long
line on to the sandsat the place where the ships of the
Myrmidons were drawn up in close order round the tents of
Achilles. His mother went up to him as he lay groaning; she laid
her hand upon his head and spoke piteouslysayingMy son, why


are you thus weeping? What sorrow has now befallen you? Tell me;
hide it not from me. Surely Jove has granted you the prayer you
made him, when you lifted up your hands and besought him that the
Achaeans might all of them be pent up at their ships, and rue it
bitterly in that you were no longer with them.

Achilles groaned and answeredMother, Olympian Jove has indeed
vouchsafed me the fulfilment of my prayer, but what boots it to
me, seeing that my dear comrade Patroclus has fallen--he whom I
valued more than all others, and loved as dearly as my own life?
I have lost him; aye, and Hector when he had killed him stripped
the wondrous armour, so glorious to behold, which the gods gave
to Peleus when they laid you in the couch of a mortal man. Would
that you were still dwelling among the immortal sea-nymphs, and
that Peleus had taken to himself some mortal bride. For now you
shall have grief infinite by reason of the death of that son whom
you can never welcome home--nay, I will not live nor go about
among mankind unless Hector fall by my spear, and thus pay me for
having slain Patroclus son of Menoetius.

Thetis wept and answeredThen, my son, is your end near at
hand--for your own death awaits you full soon after that of
Hector.

Then said Achilles in his great griefI would die here and now,
in that I could not save my comrade. He has fallen far from home,
and in his hour of need my hand was not there to help him. What
is there for me? Return to my own land I shall not, and I have
brought no saving neither to Patroclus nor to my other comrades
of whom so many have been slain by mighty Hector; I stay here by
my ships a bootless burden upon the earth, I, who in fight have
no peer among the Achaeans, though in council there are better
than I. Therefore, perish strife both from among gods and men,
and anger, wherein even a righteous man will harden his
heart--which rises up in the soul of a man like smoke, and the
taste thereof is sweeter than drops of honey. Even so has
Agamemnon angered me. And yet--so be it, for it is over; I will
force my soul into subjection as I needs must; I will go; I will
pursue Hector who has slain him whom I loved so dearly, and will
then abide my doom when it may please Jove and the other gods to
send it. Even Hercules, the best beloved of Jove--even he could
not escape the hand of death, but fate and Juno's fierce anger
laid him low, as I too shall lie when I am dead if a like doom
awaits me. Till then I will win fame, and will bid Trojan and
Dardanian women wring tears from their tender cheeks with both
their hands in the grievousness of their great sorrow; thus shall
they know that he who has held aloof so long will hold aloof no
longer. Hold me not back, therefore, in the love you bear me, for
you shall not move me.

Then silver-footed Thetis answeredMy son, what you have said
is true. It is well to save your comrades from destruction, but
your armour is in the hands of the Trojans; Hector bears it in
triumph upon his own shoulders. Full well I know that his vaunt
shall not be lasting, for his end is close at hand; go not,
however, into the press of battle till you see me return hither;
to-morrow at break of day I shall be here, and will bring you
goodly armour from King Vulcan.

On this she left her brave sonand as she turned away she said
to the sea-nymphs her sistersDive into the bosom of the sea
and go to the house of the old sea-god my father. Tell him
everything; as for me, I will go to the cunning workman Vulcan on
high Olympus, and ask him to provide my son with a suit of


splendid armour.

When she had so saidthey dived forthwith beneath the waves
while silver-footed Thetis went her way that she might bring the
armour for her son.

Thusthendid her feet bear the goddess to Olympusand
meanwhile the Achaeans were flying with loud cries before
murderous Hector till they reached the ships and the Hellespont
and they could not draw the body of Mars's servant Patroclus out
of reach of the weapons that were showered upon himfor Hector
son of Priam with his host and horsemen had again caught up to
him like the flame of a fiery furnace; thrice did brave Hector
seize him by the feetstriving with might and main to draw him
away and calling loudly on the Trojansand thrice did the two
Ajaxesclothed in valour as with a garmentbeat him from off
the body; but all undaunted he would now charge into the thick of
the fightand now again he would stand still and cry aloudbut
he would give no ground. As upland shepherds that cannot chase
some famished lion from a carcaseeven so could not the two
Ajaxes scare Hector son of Priam from the body of Patroclus.

And now he would even have dragged it off and have won
imperishable gloryhad not Iris fleet as the windwinged her
way as messenger from Olympus to the son of Peleus and bidden him
arm. She came secretly without the knowledge of Jove and of the
other godsfor Juno sent herand when she had got close to him
she saidUp, son of Peleus, mightiest of all mankind; rescue
Patroclus about whom this fearful fight is now raging by the
ships. Men are killing one another, the Danaans in defence of the
dead body, while the Trojans are trying to hale it away, and take
it to windy Ilius: Hector is the most furious of them all; he is
for cutting the head from the body and fixing it on the stakes of
the wall. Up, then, and bide here no longer; shrink from the
thought that Patroclus may become meat for the dogs of Troy.
Shame on you, should his body suffer any kind of outrage.

And Achilles saidIris, which of the gods was it that sent you
to me?

Iris answeredIt was Juno the royal spouse of Jove, but the son
of Saturn does not know of my coming, nor yet does any other of
the immortals who dwell on the snowy summits of Olympus.

Then fleet Achilles answered her sayingHow can I go up into
the battle? They have my armour. My mother forbade me to arm till
I should see her come, for she promised to bring me goodly armour
from Vulcan; I know no man whose arms I can put on, save only the
shield of Ajax son of Telamon, and he surely must be fighting in
the front rank and wielding his spear about the body of dead
Patroclus.

Iris saidWe know that your armour has been taken, but go as
you are; go to the deep trench and show yourself before the
Trojans, that they may fear you and cease fighting. Thus will the
fainting sons of the Achaeans gain some brief breathing-time,
which in battle may hardly be.

Iris left him when she had so spoken. But Achilles dear to Jove
aroseand Minerva flung her tasselled aegis round his strong
shoulders; she crowned his head with a halo of golden cloud from
which she kindled a glow of gleaming fire. As the smoke that goes
up into heaven from some city that is being beleaguered on an
island far out at sea--all day long do men sally from the city


and fight their hardestand at the going down of the sun the
line of beacon-fires blazes forthflaring high for those that
dwell near them to beholdif so be that they may come with their
ships and succour them--even so did the light flare from the head
of Achillesas he stood by the trenchgoing beyond the wall-but
he aid not join the Achaeans for he heeded the charge which
his mother laid upon him.

There did he stand and shout aloud. Minerva also raised her voice
from afarand spread terror unspeakable among the Trojans.
Ringing as the note of a trumpet that sounds alarm then the foe
is at the gates of a cityeven so brazen was the voice of the
son of Aeacusand when the Trojans heard its clarion tones they
were dismayed; the horses turned back with their chariots for
they boded mischiefand their drivers were awe-struck by the
steady flame which the grey-eyed goddess had kindled above the
head of the great son of Peleus.

Thrice did Achilles raise his loud cry as he stood by the trench
and thrice were the Trojans and their brave allies thrown into
confusion; whereon twelve of their noblest champions fell beneath
the wheels of their chariots and perished by their own spears.
The Achaeans to their great joy then drew Patroclus out of reach
of the weaponsand laid him on a litter: his comrades stood
mourning round himand among them fleet Achilles who wept
bitterly as he saw his true comrade lying dead upon his bier. He
had sent him out with horses and chariots into battlebut his
return he was not to welcome.

Then Juno sent the busy sunloth though he wasinto the waters
of Oceanus; so he setand the Achaeans had rest from the tug and
turmoil of war.

Now the Trojans when they had come out of the fightunyoked
their horses and gathered in assembly before preparing their
supper. They kept their feetnor would any dare to sit downfor
fear had fallen upon them all because Achilles had shown himself
after having held aloof so long from battle. Polydamas son of
Panthous was first to speaka man of judgementwho alone among
them could look both before and after. He was comrade to Hector
and they had been born upon the same night; with all sincerity
and goodwillthereforehe addressed them thus:-


Look to it well, my friends; I would urge you to go back now to
your city and not wait here by the ships till morning, for we are
far from our walls. So long as this man was at enmity with
Agamemnon the Achaeans were easier to deal with, and I would have
gladly camped by the ships in the hope of taking them; but now I
go in great fear of the fleet son of Peleus; he is so daring that
he will never bide here on the plain whereon the Trojans and
Achaeans fight with equal valour, but he will try to storm our
city and carry off our women. Do then as I say, and let us
retreat. For this is what will happen. The darkness of night will
for a time stay the son of Peleus, but if he find us here in the
morning when he sallies forth in full armour, we shall have
knowledge of him in good earnest. Glad indeed will he be who can
escape and get back to Ilius, and many a Trojan will become meat
for dogs and vultures may I never live to hear it. If we do as I
say, little though we may like it, we shall have strength in
counsel during the night, and the great gates with the doors that
close them will protect the city. At dawn we can arm and take our
stand on the walls; he will then rue it if he sallies from the
ships to fight us. He will go back when he has given his horses
their fill of being driven all whithers under our walls, and will


be in no mind to try and force his way into the city. Neither
will he ever sack it, dogs shall devour him ere he do so.

Hector looked fiercely at him and answeredPolydamas, your
words are not to my liking in that you bid us go back and be pent
within the city. Have you not had enough of being cooped up
behind walls? In the old-days the city of Priam was famous the
whole world over for its wealth of gold and bronze, but our
treasures are wasted out of our houses, and much goods have been
sold away to Phrygia and fair Meonia, for the hand of Jove has
been laid heavily upon us. Now, therefore, that the son of
scheming Saturn has vouchsafed me to win glory here and to hem
the Achaeans in at their ships, prate no more in this fool's wise
among the people. You will have no man with you; it shall not be;
do all of you as I now say;--take your suppers in your companies
throughout the host, and keep your watches and be wakeful every
man of you. If any Trojan is uneasy about his possessions, let
him gather them and give them out among the people. Better let
these, rather than the Achaeans, have them. At daybreak we will
arm and fight about the ships; granted that Achilles has again
come forward to defend them, let it be as he will, but it shall
go hard with him. I shall not shun him, but will fight him, to
fall or conquer. The god of war deals out like measure to all,
and the slayer may yet be slain.

Thus spoke Hector; and the Trojansfools that they wereshouted
in applausefor Pallas Minerva had robbed them of their
understanding. They gave ear to Hector with his evil counselbut
the wise words of Polydamas no man would heed. They took their
supper throughout the hostand meanwhile through the whole night
the Achaeans mourned Patroclusand the son of Peleus led them in
their lament. He laid his murderous hands upon the breast of his
comradegroaning again and again as a bearded lion when a man
who was chasing deer has robbed him of his young in some dense
forest; when the lion comes back he is furiousand searches
dingle and dell to track the hunter if he can find himfor he is
mad with rage--even so with many a sigh did Achilles speak among
the Myrmidons sayingAlas! vain were the words with which I
cheered the hero Menoetius in his own house; I said that I would
bring his brave son back again to Opoeis after he had sacked
Ilius and taken his share of the spoils--but Jove does not give
all men their heart's desire. The same soil shall be reddened
here at Troy by the blood of us both, for I too shall never be
welcomed home by the old knight Peleus, nor by my mother Thetis,
but even in this place shall the earth cover me. Nevertheless, O
Patroclus, now that I am left behind you, I will not bury you,
till I have brought hither the head and armour of mighty Hector
who has slain you. Twelve noble sons of Trojans will I behead
before your bier to avenge you; till I have done so you shall lie
as you are by the ships, and fair women of Troy and Dardanus,
whom we have taken with spear and strength of arm when we sacked
men's goodly cities, shall weep over you both night and day.

Then Achilles told his men to set a large tripod upon the fire
that they might wash the clotted gore from off Patroclus. Thereon
they set a tripod full of bath water on to a clear fire: they
threw sticks on to it to make it blazeand the water became hot
as the flame played about the belly of the tripod. When the water
in the cauldron was boiling they washed the bodyanointed it
with oiland closed its wounds with ointment that had been kept
nine years. Then they laid it on a bier and covered it with a
linen cloth from head to footand over this they laid a fair
white robe. Thus all night long did the Myrmidons gather round
Achilles to mourn Patroclus.


Then Jove said to Juno his sister-wifeSo, Queen Juno, you have
gained your end, and have roused fleet Achilles. One would think
that the Achaeans were of your own flesh and blood.

And Juno answeredDread son of Saturn, why should you say this
thing? May not a man though he be only mortal and knows less than
we do, do what he can for another person? And shall not I-foremost
of all goddesses both by descent and as wife to you who
reign in heaven--devise evil for the Trojans if I am angry with
them?

Thus did they converse. Meanwhile Thetis came to the house of
Vulcanimperishablestar-bespangledfairest of the abodes in
heavena house of bronze wrought by the lame god's own hands.
She found him busy with his bellowssweating and hard at work
for he was making twenty tripods that were to stand by the wall
of his houseand he set wheels of gold under them all that they
might go of their own selves to the assemblies of the godsand
come back again--marvels indeed to see. They were finished all
but the ears of cunning workmanship which yet remained to be
fixed to them: these he was now fixingand he was hammering at
the rivets. While he was thus at work silver-footed Thetis came
to the house. Charisof graceful head-dresswife to the
far-famed lame godcame towards her as soon as she saw herand
took her hand in her ownsayingWhy have you come to our
house, Thetis, honoured and ever welcome--for you do not visit us
often? Come inside and let me set refreshment before you.

The goddess led the way as she spokeand bade Thetis sit on a
richly decorated seat inlaid with silver; there was a footstool
also under her feet. Then she called Vulcan and saidVulcan,
come here, Thetis wants you; and the far-famed lame god
answeredThen it is indeed an august and honoured goddess who
has come here; she it was that took care of me when I was
suffering from the heavy fall which I had through my cruel
mother's anger--for she would have got rid of me because I was
lame. It would have gone hardly with me had not Eurynome,
daughter of the ever-encircling waters of Oceanus, and Thetis,
taken me to their bosom. Nine years did I stay with them, and
many beautiful works in bronze, brooches, spiral armlets, cups,
and chains, did I make for them in their cave, with the roaring
waters of Oceanus foaming as they rushed ever past it; and no one
knew, neither of gods nor men, save only Thetis and Eurynome who
took care of me. If, then, Thetis has come to my house I must
make her due requital for having saved me; entertain her,
therefore, with all hospitality, while I put by my bellows and
all my tools.

On this the mighty monster hobbled off from his anvilhis thin
legs plying lustily under him. He set the bellows away from the
fireand gathered his tools into a silver chest. Then he took a
sponge and washed his face and handshis shaggy chest and brawny
neck; he donned his shirtgrasped his strong staffand limped
towards the door. There were golden handmaids also who worked for
himand were like real young womenwith sense and reasonvoice
also and strengthand all the learning of the immortals; these
busied themselves as the king bade themwhile he drew near to
Thetisseated her upon a goodly seatand took her hand in his
ownsayingWhy have you come to our house, Thetis honoured and
ever welcome--for you do not visit us often? Say what you want,
and I will do it for you at once if I can, and if it can be done
at all.


Thetis wept and answeredVulcan, is there another goddess in
Olympus whom the son of Saturn has been pleased to try with so
much affliction as he has me? Me alone of the marine goddesses
did he make subject to a mortal husband, Peleus son of Aeacus,
and sorely against my will did I submit to the embraces of one
who was but mortal, and who now stays at home worn out with age.
Neither is this all. Heaven vouchsafed me a son, hero among
heroes, and he shot up as a sapling. I tended him as a plant in a
goodly garden and sent him with his ships to Ilius to fight the
Trojans, but never shall I welcome him back to the house of
Peleus. So long as he lives to look upon the light of the sun, he
is in heaviness, and though I go to him I cannot help him; King
Agamemnon has made him give up the maiden whom the sons of the
Achaeans had awarded him, and he wastes with sorrow for her sake.
Then the Trojans hemmed the Achaeans in at their ships' sterns
and would not let them come forth; the elders, therefore, of the
Argives besought Achilles and offered him great treasure, whereon
he refused to bring deliverance to them himself, but put his own
armour on Patroclus and sent him into the fight with much people
after him. All day long they fought by the Scaean gates and would
have taken the city there and then, had not Apollo vouchsafed
glory to Hector and slain the valiant son of Menoetius after he
had done the Trojans much evil. Therefore I am suppliant at your
knees if haply you may be pleased to provide my son, whose end is
near at hand, with helmet and shield, with goodly greaves fitted
with ancle-clasps, and with a breastplate, for he lost his own
when his true comrade fell at the hands of the Trojans, and he
now lies stretched on earth in the bitterness of his soul.

And Vulcan answeredTake heart, and be no more disquieted about
this matter; would that I could hide him from death's sight when
his hour is come, so surely as I can find him armour that shall
amaze the eyes of all who behold it.

When he had so said he left her and went to his bellowsturning
them towards the fire and bidding them do their office. Twenty
bellows blew upon the melting-potsand they blew blasts of every
kindsome fierce to help him when he had need of themand
others less strong as Vulcan willed it in the course of his work.
He threw tough copper into the fireand tinwith silver and
gold; he set his great anvil on its blockand with one hand
grasped his mighty hammer while he took the tongs in the other.

First he shaped the shield so great and strongadorning it all
over and binding it round with a gleaming circuit in three
layers; and the baldric was made of silver. He made the shield in
five thicknessesand with many a wonder did his cunning hand
enrich it.

He wrought the earththe heavensand the sea; the moon also at
her full and the untiring sunwith all the signs that glorify
the face of heaven--the Pleiadsthe Hyadshuge Orionand the
Bearwhich men also call the Wain and which turns round ever in
one placefacing. Orionand alone never dips into the stream of
Oceanus.

He wrought also two citiesfair to see and busy with the hum of
men. In the one were weddings and wedding-feastsand they were
going about the city with brides whom they were escorting by
torchlight from their chambers. Loud rose the cry of Hymenand
the youths danced to the music of flute and lyrewhile the women
stood each at her house door to see them.

Meanwhile the people were gathered in assemblyfor there was a


quarreland two men were wrangling about the blood-money for a
man who had been killedthe one saying before the people that he
had paid damages in fulland the other that he had not been
paid. Each was trying to make his own case goodand the people
took sideseach man backing the side that he had taken; but the
heralds kept them backand the elders sate on their seats of
stone in a solemn circleholding the staves which the heralds
had put into their hands. Then they rose and each in his turn
gave judgementand there were two talents laid downto be given
to him whose judgement should be deemed the fairest.

About the other city there lay encamped two hosts in gleaming
armourand they were divided whether to sack itor to spare it
and accept the half of what it contained. But the men of the city
would not yet consentand armed themselves for a surprise; their
wives and little children kept guard upon the wallsand with
them were the men who were past fighting through age; but the
others sallied forth with Mars and Pallas Minerva at their head-both
of them wrought in gold and clad in golden raimentgreat
and fair with their armour as befitting godswhile they that
followed were smaller. When they reached the place where they
would lay their ambushit was on a riverbed to which live stock
of all kinds would come from far and near to water; herethen
they lay concealedclad in full armour. Some way off them there
were two scouts who were on the look-out for the coming of sheep
or cattlewhich presently camefollowed by two shepherds who
were playing on their pipesand had not so much as a thought of
danger. When those who were in ambush saw thisthey cut off the
flocks and herds and killed the shepherds. Meanwhile the
besiegerswhen they heard much noise among the cattle as they
sat in councilsprang to their horsesand made with all speed
towards them; when they reached them they set battle in array by
the banks of the riverand the hosts aimed their bronze-shod
spears at one another. With them were Strife and Riotand fell
Fate who was dragging three men after herone with a fresh
woundand the other unwoundedwhile the third was deadand she
was dragging him along by his heel: and her robe was bedrabbled
in men's blood. They went in and out with one another and fought
as though they were living people haling away one another's dead.

He wrought also a fair fallow fieldlarge and thrice ploughed
already. Many men were working at the plough within itturning
their oxen to and frofurrow after furrow. Each time that they
turned on reaching the headland a man would come up to them and
give them a cup of wineand they would go back to their furrows
looking forward to the time when they should again reach the
headland. The part that they had ploughed was dark behind them
so that the fieldthough it was of goldstill looked as if it
were being ploughed--very curious to behold.

He wrought also a field of harvest cornand the reapers were
reaping with sharp sickles in their hands. Swathe after swathe
fell to the ground in a straight line behind themand the
binders bound them in bands of twisted straw. There were three
bindersand behind them there were boys who gathered the cut
corn in armfuls and kept on bringing them to be bound: among them
all the owner of the land stood by in silence and was glad. The
servants were getting a meal ready under an oakfor they had
sacrificed a great oxand were busy cutting him upwhile the
women were making a porridge of much white barley for the
labourers' dinner.

He wrought also a vineyardgolden and fair to seeand the vines
were loaded with grapes. The bunches overhead were blackbut the


vines were trained on poles of silver. He ran a ditch of dark
metal all round itand fenced it with a fence of tin; there was
only one path to itand by this the vintagers went when they
would gather the vintage. Youths and maidens all blithe and full
of gleecarried the luscious fruit in plaited baskets; and with
them there went a boy who made sweet music with his lyreand
sang the Linos-song with his clear boyish voice.

He wrought also a herd of horned cattle. He made the cows of gold
and tinand they lowed as they came full speed out of the yards
to go and feed among the waving reeds that grow by the banks of
the river. Along with the cattle there went four shepherdsall
of them in goldand their nine fleet dogs went with them. Two
terrible lions had fastened on a bellowing bull that was with the
foremost cowsand bellow as he might they haled himwhile the
dogs and men gave chase: the lions tore through the bull's thick
hide and were gorging on his blood and bowelsbut the herdsmen
were afraid to do anythingand only hounded on their dogs; the
dogs dared not fasten on the lions but stood by barking and
keeping out of harm's way.

The god wrought also a pasture in a fair mountain delland a
large flock of sheepwith a homestead and hutsand sheltered
sheepfolds.

Furthermore he wrought a greenlike that which Daedalus once
made in Cnossus for lovely Ariadne. Hereon there danced youths
and maidens whom all would woowith their hands on one another's
wrists. The maidens wore robes of light linenand the youths
well woven shirts that were slightly oiled. The girls were
crowned with garlandswhile the young men had daggers of gold
that hung by silver baldrics; sometimes they would dance deftly
in a ring with merry twinkling feetas it were a potter sitting
at his work and making trial of his wheel to see whether it will
runand sometimes they would go all in line with one another
and much people was gathered joyously about the green. There was
a bard also to sing to them and play his lyrewhile two tumblers
went about performing in the midst of them when the man struck up
with his tune.

All round the outermost rim of the shield he set the mighty
stream of the river Oceanus.

Then when he had fashioned the shield so great and stronghe
made a breastplate also that shone brighter than fire. He made a
helmetclose fitting to the browand richly workedwith a
golden plume overhanging it; and he made greaves also of beaten
tin.

Lastlywhen the famed lame god had made all the armourhe took
it and set it before the mother of Achilles; whereon she darted
like a falcon from the snowy summits of Olympus and bore away the
gleaming armour from the house of Vulcan.

BOOK XIX

NOW when Dawn in robe of saffron was hasting from the streams of
Oceanusto bring light to mortals and immortalsThetis reached
the ships with the armour that the god had given her. She found
her son fallen about the body of Patroclus and weeping bitterly.
Many also of his followers were weeping round himbut when the
goddess came among them she clasped his hand in her ownsaying


My son, grieve as we may we must let this man lie, for it is by
heaven's will that he has fallen; now, therefore, accept from
Vulcan this rich and goodly armour, which no man has ever yet
borne upon his shoulders.

As she spoke she set the armour before Achillesand it rang out
bravely as she did so. The Myrmidons were struck with aweand
none dared look full at itfor they were afraid; but Achilles
was roused to still greater furyand his eyes gleamed with a
fierce lightfor he was glad when he handled the splendid
present which the god had made him. Thenas soon as he had
satisfied himself with looking at ithe said to his mother
Mother, the god has given me armour, meet handiwork for an
immortal and such as no-one living could have fashioned; I will
now arm, but I much fear that flies will settle upon the son of
Menoetius and breed worms about his wounds, so that his body, now
he is dead, will be disfigured and the flesh will rot.

Silver-footed Thetis answeredMy son, be not disquieted about
this matter. I will find means to protect him from the swarms of
noisome flies that prey on the bodies of men who have been killed
in battle. He may lie for a whole year, and his flesh shall still
be as sound as ever, or even sounder. Call, therefore, the
Achaean heroes in assembly; unsay your anger against Agamemnon;
arm at once, and fight with might and main.

As she spoke she put strength and courage into his heartand she
then dropped ambrosia and red nectar into the wounds of
Patroclusthat his body might suffer no change.

Then Achilles went out upon the seashoreand with a loud cry
called on the Achaean heroes. On this even those who as yet had
stayed always at the shipsthe pilots and helmsmenand even the
stewards who were about the ships and served out rationsall
came to the place of assembly because Achilles had shown himself
after having held aloof so long from fighting. Two sons of Mars
Ulysses and the son of Tydeuscame limpingfor their wounds
still pained them; nevertheless they cameand took their seats
in the front row of the assembly. Last of all came Agamemnon
king of menhe too woundedfor Coon son of Antenor had struck
him with a spear in battle.

When the Achaeans were got together Achilles rose and saidSon
of Atreus, surely it would have been better alike for both you
and me, when we two were in such high anger about Briseis, surely
it would have been better, had Diana's arrow slain her at the
ships on the day when I took her after having sacked Lyrnessus.
For so, many an Achaean the less would have bitten dust before
the foe in the days of my anger. It has been well for Hector and
the Trojans, but the Achaeans will long indeed remember our
quarrel. Now, however, let it be, for it is over. If we have been
angry, necessity has schooled our anger. I put it from me: I dare
not nurse it for ever; therefore, bid the Achaeans arm forthwith
that I may go out against the Trojans, and learn whether they
will be in a mind to sleep by the ships or no. Glad, I ween, will
he be to rest his knees who may fly my spear when I wield it.

Thus did he speakand the Achaeans rejoiced in that he had put
away his anger.

Then Agamemnon spokerising in his placeand not going into the
middle of the assembly. "Danaan heroes said he, servants of
Marsit is well to listen when a man stands up to speakand it
is not seemly to interrupt himor it will go hard even with a


practised speaker. Who can either hear or speak in an uproar?
Even the finest orator will be disconcerted by it. I will expound
to the son of Peleusand do you other Achaeans heed me and mark
me well. Often have the Achaeans spoken to me of this matter and
upbraided mebut it was not I that did it: Joveand Fateand
Erinys that walks in darkness struck me mad when we were
assembled on the day that I took from Achilles the meed that had
been awarded to him. What could I do? All things are in the hand
of heavenand Follyeldest of Jove's daughtersshuts men's
eyes to their destruction. She walks delicatelynot on the solid
earthbut hovers over the heads of men to make them stumble or
to ensnare them.

Time was when she fooled Jove himself, who they say is greatest
whether of gods or men; for Juno, woman though she was, beguiled
him on the day when Alcmena was to bring forth mighty Hercules in
the fair city of Thebes. He told it out among the gods saying,
'Hear me, all gods and goddesses, that I may speak even as I am
minded; this day shall an Ilithuia, helper of women who are in
labour, bring a man child into the world who shall be lord over
all that dwell about him who are of my blood and lineage.' Then
said Juno all crafty and full of guile, 'You will play false, and
will not hold to your word. Swear me, O Olympian, swear me a
great oath, that he who shall this day fall between the feet of a
woman, shall be lord over all that dwell about him who are of
your blood and lineage.'

Thus she spokeand Jove suspected her notbut swore the great
oathto his much ruing thereafter. For Juno darted down from the
high summit of Olympusand went in haste to Achaean Argos where
she knew that the noble wife of Sthenelus son of Perseus then
was. She being with child and in her seventh monthJuno brought
the child to birth though there was a month still wantingbut
she stayed the offspring of Alcmenaand kept back the Ilithuiae.
Then she went to tell Jove the son of Saturnand said'Father
Jovelord of the lightning--I have a word for your ear. There is
a fine child born this dayEurystheusson to Sthenelus the son
of Perseus; he is of your lineage; it is wellthereforethat he
should reign over the Argives.'

On this Jove was stung to the very quick, and in his rage he
caught Folly by the hair, and swore a great oath that never
should she again invade starry heaven and Olympus, for she was
the bane of all. Then he whirled her round with a twist of his
hand, and flung her down from heaven so that she fell on to the
fields of mortal men; and he was ever angry with her when he saw
his son groaning under the cruel labours that Eurystheus laid
upon him. Even so did I grieve when mighty Hector was killing the
Argives at their ships, and all the time I kept thinking of Folly
who had so baned me. I was blind, and Jove robbed me of my
reason; I will now make atonement, and will add much treasure by
way of amends. Go, therefore, into battle, you and your people
with you. I will give you all that Ulysses offered you yesterday
in your tents: or if it so please you, wait, though you would
fain fight at once, and my squires shall bring the gifts from my
ship, that you may see whether what I give you is enough.

And Achilles answeredSon of Atreus, king of men Agamemnon, you
can give such gifts as you think proper, or you can withhold
them: it is in your own hands. Let us now set battle in array; it
is not well to tarry talking about trifles, for there is a deed
which is as yet to do. Achilles shall again be seen fighting
among the foremost, and laying low the ranks of the Trojans: bear
this in mind each one of you when he is fighting.


Then Ulysses saidAchilles, godlike and brave, send not the
Achaeans thus against Ilius to fight the Trojans fasting, for the
battle will be no brief one, when it is once begun, and heaven
has filled both sides with fury; bid them first take food both
bread and wine by the ships, for in this there is strength and
stay. No man can do battle the livelong day to the going down of
the sun if he is without food; however much he may want to fight
his strength will fail him before he knows it; hunger and thirst
will find him out, and his limbs will grow weary under him. But a
man can fight all day if he is full fed with meat and wine; his
heart beats high, and his strength will stay till he has routed
all his foes; therefore, send the people away and bid them
prepare their meal; King Agamemnon will bring out the gifts in
presence of the assembly, that all may see them and you may be
satisfied. Moreover let him swear an oath before the Argives that
he has never gone up into the couch of Briseis, nor been with her
after the manner of men and women; and do you, too, show yourself
of a gracious mind; let Agamemnon entertain you in his tents with
a feast of reconciliation, that so you may have had your dues in
full. As for you, son of Atreus, treat people more righteously in
future; it is no disgrace even to a king that he should make
amends if he was wrong in the first instance.

And King Agamemnon answeredSon of Laertes, your words please
me well, for throughout you have spoken wisely. I will swear as
you would have me do; I do so of my own free will, neither shall
I take the name of heaven in vain. Let, then, Achilles wait,
though he would fain fight at once, and do you others wait also,
till the gifts come from my tent and we ratify the oath with
sacrifice. Thus, then, do I charge you: take some noble young
Achaeans with you, and bring from my tents the gifts that I
promised yesterday to Achilles, and bring the women also;
furthermore let Talthybius find me a boar from those that are
with the host, and make it ready for sacrifice to Jove and to the
sun.

Then said AchillesSon of Atreus, king of men Agamemnon, see to
these matters at some other season, when there is breathing time
and when I am calmer. Would you have men eat while the bodies of
those whom Hector son of Priam slew are still lying mangled upon
the plain? Let the sons of the Achaeans, say I, fight fasting and
without food, till we have avenged them; afterwards at the going
down of the sun let them eat their fill. As for me, Patroclus is
lying dead in my tent, all hacked and hewn, with his feet to the
door, and his comrades are mourning round him. Therefore I can
take thought of nothing save only slaughter and blood and the
rattle in the throat of the dying.

Ulysses answeredAchilles, son of Peleus, mightiest of all the
Achaeans, in battle you are better than I, and that more than a
little, but in counsel I am much before you, for I am older and
of greater knowledge. Therefore be patient under my words.
Fighting is a thing of which men soon surfeit, and when Jove, who
is war's steward, weighs the upshot, it may well prove that the
straw which our sickles have reaped is far heavier than the
grain. It may not be that the Achaeans should mourn the dead with
their bellies; day by day men fall thick and threefold
continually; when should we have respite from our sorrow? Let us
mourn our dead for a day and bury them out of sight and mind, but
let those of us who are left eat and drink that we may arm and
fight our foes more fiercely. In that hour let no man hold back,
waiting for a second summons; such summons shall bode ill for him
who is found lagging behind at our ships; let us rather sally as


one man and loose the fury of war upon the Trojans.

When he had thus spoken he took with him the sons of Nestorwith
Meges son of PhyleusThoasMerionesLycomedes son of Creontes
and Melanippusand went to the tent of Agamemnon son of Atreus.
The word was not sooner said than the deed was done: they
brought out the seven tripods which Agamemnon had promisedwith
the twenty metal cauldrons and the twelve horses; they also
brought the women skilled in useful artsseven in numberwith
Briseiswhich made eight. Ulysses weighed out the ten talents of
gold and then led the way backwhile the young Achaeans brought
the rest of the giftsand laid them in the middle of the
assembly.

Agamemnon then roseand Talthybius whose voice was like that of
a god came to him with the boar. The son of Atreus drew the knife
which he wore by the scabbard of his mighty swordand began by
cutting off some bristles from the boarlifting up his hands in
prayer as he did so. The other Achaeans sat where they were all
silent and orderly to hear the kingand Agamemnon looked into
the vault of heaven and prayed sayingI call Jove the first and
mightiest of all gods to witness, I call also Earth and Sun and
the Erinyes who dwell below and take vengeance on him who shall
swear falsely, that I have laid no hand upon the girl Briseis,
neither to take her to my bed nor otherwise, but that she has
remained in my tents inviolate. If I swear falsely may heaven
visit me with all the penalties which it metes out to those who
perjure themselves.

He cut the boar's throat as he spokewhereon Talthybius whirled
it round his headand flung it into the wide sea to feed the
fishes. Then Achilles also rose and said to the ArgivesFather
Jove, of a truth you blind men's eyes and bane them. The son of
Atreus had not else stirred me to so fierce an anger, nor so
stubbornly taken Briseis from me against my will. Surely Jove
must have counselled the destruction of many an Argive. Go, now,
and take your food that we may begin fighting.

On this he broke up the assemblyand every man went back to his
own ship. The Myrmidons attended to the presents and took them
away to the ship of Achilles. They placed them in his tents
while the stable-men drove the horses in among the others.

Briseisfair as Venuswhen she saw the mangled body of
Patroclusflung herself upon it and cried aloudtearing her
breasther neckand her lovely face with both her hands.
Beautiful as a goddess she wept and saidPatroclus, dearest
friend, when I went hence I left you living; I return, O prince,
to find you dead; thus do fresh sorrows multiply upon me one
after the other. I saw him to whom my father and mother married
me, cut down before our city, and my three own dear brothers
perished with him on the self-same day; but you, Patroclus, even
when Achilles slew my husband and sacked the city of noble Mynes,
told me that I was not to weep, for you said you would make
Achilles marry me, and take me back with him to Phthia, we should
have a wedding feast among the Myrmidons. You were always kind to
me and I shall never cease to grieve for you.

She wept as she spokeand the women joined in her lament-making
as though their tears were for Patroclusbut in truth each was
weeping for her own sorrows. The elders of the Achaeans gathered
round Achilles and prayed him to take foodbut he groaned and
would not do so. "I pray you said he, if any comrade will hear
mebid me neither eat nor drinkfor I am in great heaviness


and will stay fasting even to the going down of the sun."

On this he sent the other princes awaysave only the two sons of
Atreus and UlyssesNestorIdomeneusand the knight Phoenix
who stayed behind and tried to comfort him in the bitterness of
his sorrow: but he would not be comforted till he should have
flung himself into the jaws of battleand he fetched sigh on
sighthinking ever of Patroclus. Then he said-


Hapless and dearest comrade, you it was who would get a good
dinner ready for me at once and without delay when the Achaeans
were hasting to fight the Trojans; now, therefore, though I have
meat and drink in my tents, yet will I fast for sorrow. Grief
greater than this I could not know, not even though I were to
hear of the death of my father, who is now in Phthia weeping for
the loss of me his son, who am here fighting the Trojans in a
strange land for the accursed sake of Helen, nor yet though I
should hear that my son is no more--he who is being brought up in
Scyros--if indeed Neoptolemus is still living. Till now I made
sure that I alone was to fall here at Troy away from Argos, while
you were to return to Phthia, bring back my son with you in your
own ship, and show him all my property, my bondsmen, and the
greatness of my house--for Peleus must surely be either dead, or
what little life remains to him is oppressed alike with the
infirmities of age and ever present fear lest he should hear the
sad tidings of my death.

He wept as he spokeand the elders sighed in concert as each
thought on what he had left at home behind him. The son of Saturn
looked down with pity upon themand said presently to Minerva
My child, you have quite deserted your hero; is he then gone so
clean out of your recollection? There he sits by the ships all
desolate for the loss of his dear comrade, and though the others
are gone to their dinner he will neither eat nor drink. Go then
and drop nectar and ambrosia into his breast, that he may know no
hunger.

With these words he urged Minervawho was already of the same
mind. She darted down from heaven into the air like some falcon
sailing on his broad wings and screaming. Meanwhile the Achaeans
were arming throughout the hostand when Minerva had dropped
nectar and ambrosia into Achilles so that no cruel hunger should
cause his limbs to fail himshe went back to the house of her
mighty father. Thick as the chill snow-flakes shed from the hand
of Jove and borne on the keen blasts of the north windeven so
thick did the gleaming helmetsthe bossed shieldsthe strongly
plated breastplatesand the ashen spears stream from the ships.
The sheen pierced the skythe whole land was radiant with their
flashing armourand the sound of the tramp of their treading
rose from under their feet. In the midst of them all Achilles put
on his armour; he gnashed his teethhis eyes gleamed like fire
for his grief was greater than he could bear. Thusthenfull of
fury against the Trojansdid he don the gift of the godthe
armour that Vulcan had made him.

First he put on the goodly greaves fitted with ancle-claspsand
next he did on the breastplate about his chest. He slung the
silver-studded sword of bronze about his shouldersand then took
up the shield so great and strong that shone afar with a
splendour as of the moon. As the light seen by sailors from out
at seawhen men have lit a fire in their homestead high up among
the mountainsbut the sailors are carried out to sea by wind and
storm far from the haven where they would be--even so did the
gleam of Achilles' wondrous shield strike up into the heavens. He


lifted the redoubtable helmetand set it upon his headfrom
whence it shone like a starand the golden plumes which Vulcan
had set thick about the ridge of the helmetwaved all around it.
Then Achilles made trial of himself in his armour to see whether
it fitted himso that his limbs could play freely under itand
it seemed to buoy him up as though it had been wings.

He also drew his father's spear out of the spear-standa spear
so great and heavy and strong that none of the Achaeans save only
Achilles had strength to wield it; this was the spear of Pelian
ash from the topmost ridges of Mt. Pelionwhich Chiron had once
given to Peleusfraught with the death of heroes. Automedon and
Alcimus busied themselves with the harnessing of his horses; they
made the bands fast about themand put the bit in their mouths
drawing the reins back towards the chariot. Automedonwhip in
handsprang up behind the horsesand after him Achilles mounted
in full armourresplendent as the sun-god Hyperion. Then with a
loud voice he chided with his father's horses sayingXanthus
and Balius, famed offspring of Podarge--this time when we have
done fighting be sure and bring your driver safely back to the
host of the Achaeans, and do not leave him dead on the plain as
you did Patroclus.

Then fleet Xanthus answered under the yoke--for white-armed Juno
had endowed him with human speech--and he bowed his head till his
mane touched the ground as it hung down from under the yoke-band.
Dread Achilles,said hewe will indeed save you now, but the
day of your death is near, and the blame will not be ours, for it
will be heaven and stern fate that will destroy you. Neither was
it through any sloth or slackness on our part that the Trojans
stripped Patroclus of his armour; it was the mighty god whom
lovely Leto bore that slew him as he fought among the foremost,
and vouchsafed a triumph to Hector. We two can fly as swiftly as
Zephyrus who they say is fleetest of all winds; nevertheless it
is your doom to fall by the hand of a man and of a god.

When he had thus said the Erinyes stayed his speechand Achilles
answered him in great sadnesssayingWhy, O Xanthus, do you
thus foretell my death? You need not do so, for I well know that
I am to fall here, far from my dear father and mother; none the
more, however, shall I stay my hand till I have given the Trojans
their fill of fighting.

So sayingwith a loud cry he drove his horses to the front.

BOOK XX

THUSthendid the Achaeans arm by their ships round youO son
of Peleuswho were hungering for battle; while the Trojans over
against them armed upon the rise of the plain.

Meanwhile Jove from the top of many-delled Olympusbade Themis
gather the gods in councilwhereon she went about and called
them to the house of Jove. There was not a river absent except
Oceanusnor a single one of the nymphs that haunt fair groves
or springs of rivers and meadows of green grass. When they
reached the house of cloud-compelling Jovethey took their seats
in the arcades of polished marble which Vulcan with his
consummate skill had made for father Jove.

In such wisethereforedid they gather in the house of Jove.
Neptune alsolord of the earthquakeobeyed the call of the


goddessand came up out of the sea to join them. Theresitting
in the midst of themhe asked what Jove's purpose might be.
Why,said hewielder of the lightning, have you called the
gods in council? Are you considering some matter that concerns
the Trojans and Achaeans--for the blaze of battle is on the point
of being kindled between them?

And Jove answeredYou know my purpose, shaker of earth, and
wherefore I have called you hither. I take thought for them even
in their destruction. For my own part I shall stay here seated on
Mt. Olympus and look on in peace, but do you others go about
among Trojans and Achaeans, and help either side as you may be
severally disposed. If Achilles fights the Trojans without
hindrance they will make no stand against him; they have ever
trembled at the sight of him, and now that he is roused to such
fury about his comrade, he will override fate itself and storm
their city.

Thus spoke Jove and gave the word for warwhereon the gods took
their several sides and went into battle. JunoPallas Minerva
earth-encircling NeptuneMercury bringer of good luck and
excellent in all cunning--all these joined the host that came
from the ships; with them also came Vulcan in all his glory
limpingbut yet with his thin legs plying lustily under him.
Mars of gleaming helmet joined the Trojansand with him Apollo
of locks unshornand the archer goddess DianaLetoXanthus
and laughter-loving Venus.

So long as the gods held themselves aloof from mortal warriors
the Achaeans were triumphantfor Achilles who had long refused
to fight was now with them. There was not a Trojan but his limbs
failed him for fear as he beheld the fleet son of Peleus all
glorious in his armourand looking like Mars himself. When
howeverthe Olympians came to take their part among men
forthwith uprose strong Striferouser of hostsand Minerva
raised her loud voicenow standing by the deep trench that ran
outside the walland now shouting with all her might upon the
shore of the sounding sea. Mars also bellowed out upon the other
sidedark as some black thunder-cloudand called on the Trojans
at the top of his voicenow from the acropolisand now speeding
up the side of the river Simois till he came to the hill
Callicolone.

Thus did the gods spur on both hosts to fightand rouse fierce
contention also among themselves. The sire of gods and men
thundered from heaven abovewhile from beneath Neptune shook the
vast earthand bade the high hills tremble. The spurs and crests
of many-fountained Ida quakedas also the city of the Trojans
and the ships of the Achaeans. Hadesking of the realms below
was struck with fear; he sprang panic-stricken from his throne
and cried aloud in terror lest Neptunelord of the earthquake
should crack the ground over his headand lay bare his mouldy
mansions to the sight of mortals and immortals--mansions so
ghastly grim that even the gods shudder to think of them. Such
was the uproar as the gods came together in battle. Apollo with
his arrows took his stand to face King Neptunewhile Minerva
took hers against the god of war; the archer-goddess Diana with
her golden arrowssister of far-darting Apollostood to face
Juno; Mercury the lusty bringer of good luck faced Letowhile
the mighty eddying river whom men can Scamanderbut gods
Xanthusmatched himself against Vulcan.

The godsthenwere thus ranged against one another. But the
heart of Achilles was set on meeting Hector son of Priamfor it


was with his blood that he longed above all things else to glut
the stubborn lord of battle. Meanwhile Apollo set Aeneas on to
attack the son of Peleusand put courage into his heart
speaking with the voice of Lycaon son of Priam. In his likeness
thereforehe said to AeneasAeneas, counsellor of the Trojans,
where are now the brave words with which you vaunted over your
wine before the Trojan princes, saying that you would fight
Achilles son of Peleus in single combat?

And Aeneas answeredWhy do you thus bid me fight the proud son
of Peleus, when I am in no mind to do so? Were I to face him now,
it would not be for the first time. His spear has already put me
to Right from Ida, when he attacked our cattle and sacked
Lyrnessus and Pedasus; Jove indeed saved me in that he vouchsafed
me strength to fly, else had the fallen by the hands of Achilles
and Minerva, who went before him to protect him and urged him to
fall upon the Lelegae and Trojans. No man may fight Achilles, for
one of the gods is always with him as his guardian angel, and
even were it not so, his weapon flies ever straight, and fails
not to pierce the flesh of him who is against him; if heaven
would let me fight him on even terms he should not soon overcome
me, though he boasts that he is made of bronze.

Then said King Apolloson to JoveNay, hero, pray to the
ever-living gods, for men say that you were born of Jove's
daughter Venus, whereas Achilles is son to a goddess of inferior
rank. Venus is child to Jove, while Thetis is but daughter to the
old man of the sea. Bring, therefore, your spear to bear upon
him, and let him not scare you with his taunts and menaces.

As he spoke he put courage into the heart of the shepherd of his
peopleand he strode in full armour among the ranks of the
foremost fighters. Nor did the son of Anchises escape the notice
of white-armed Junoas he went forth into the throng to meet
Achilles. She called the gods about herand saidLook to it,
you two, Neptune and Minerva, and consider how this shall be;
Phoebus Apollo has been sending Aeneas clad in full armour to
fight Achilles. Shall we turn him back at once, or shall one of
us stand by Achilles and endow him with strength so that his
heart fail not, and he may learn that the chiefs of the immortals
are on his side, while the others who have all along been
defending the Trojans are but vain helpers? Let us all come down
from Olympus and join in the fight, that this day he may take no
hurt at the hands of the Trojans. Hereafter let him suffer
whatever fate may have spun out for him when he was begotten and
his mother bore him. If Achilles be not thus assured by the voice
of a god, he may come to fear presently when one of us meets him
in battle, for the gods are terrible if they are seen face to
face.

Neptune lord of the earthquake answered her sayingJuno,
restrain your fury; it is not well; I am not in favour of forcing
the other gods to fight us, for the advantage is too greatly on
our own side; let us take our places on some hill out of the
beaten track, and let mortals fight it out among themselves. If
Mars or Phoebus Apollo begin fighting, or keep Achilles in check
so that he cannot fight, we too, will at once raise the cry of
battle, and in that case they will soon leave the field and go
back vanquished to Olympus among the other gods.

With these words the dark-haired god led the way to the high
earth-barrow of Herculesbuilt round solid masonryand made by
the Trojans and Pallas Minerva for him fly to when the
sea-monster was chasing him from the shore on to the plain. Here


Neptune and those that were with him took their seatswrapped in
a thick cloud of darkness; but the other gods seated themselves
on the brow of Callicolone round youO Phoebusand Mars the
waster of cities.

Thus did the gods sit apart and form their plansbut neither
side was willing to begin battle with the otherand Jove from
his seat on high was in command over them all. Meanwhile the
whole plain was alive with men and horsesand blazing with the
gleam of armour. The earth rang again under the tramp of their
feet as they rushed towards each otherand two championsby far
the foremost of them allmet between the hosts to fight--to wit
Aeneas son of Anchisesand noble Achilles.

Aeneas was first to stride forward in attackhis doughty helmet
tossing defiance as he came on. He held his strong shield before
his breastand brandished his bronze spear. The son of Peleus
from the other side sprang forth to meet himlike some fierce
lion that the whole country-side has met to hunt and kill--at
first he bodes no illbut when some daring youth has struck him
with a spearhe crouches openmouthedhis jaws foamhe roars
with furyhe lashes his tail from side to side about his ribs
and loinsand glares as he springs straight before himto find
out whether he is to slayor be slain among the foremost of his
foes--even with such fury did Achilles burn to spring upon
Aeneas.

When they were now close up with one another Achilles was first
to speak. "Aeneas said he, why do you stand thus out before
the host to fight me? Is it that you hope to reign over the
Trojans in the seat of Priam? Naythough you kill me Priam will
not hand his kingdom over to you. He is a man of sound judgement
and he has sons of his own. Or have the Trojans been allotting
you a demesne of passing richnessfair with orchard lawns and
corn landsif you should slay me? This you shall hardly do. I
have discomfited you once already. Have you forgotten how when
you were alone I chased you from your herds helter-skelter down
the slopes of Ida? You did not turn round to look behind you; you
took refuge in Lyrnessusbut I attacked the cityand with the
help of Minerva and father Jove I sacked it and carried its women
into captivitythough Jove and the other gods rescued you. You
think they will protect you nowbut they will not do so;
therefore I say go back into the hostand do not face meor you
will rue it. Even a fool may be wise after the event."

Then Aeneas answeredSon of Peleus, think not that your words
can scare me as though I were a child. I too, if I will, can brag
and talk unseemly. We know one another's race and parentage as
matters of common fame, though neither have you ever seen my
parents nor I yours. Men say that you are son to noble Peleus,
and that your mother is Thetis, fair-haired daughter of the sea.
I have noble Anchises for my father, and Venus for my mother; the
parents of one or other of us shall this day mourn a son, for it
will be more than silly talk that shall part us when the fight is
over. Learn, then, my lineage if you will--and it is known to
many.

In the beginning Dardanus was the son of Joveand founded
Dardaniafor Ilius was not yet stablished on the plain for men
to dwell inand her people still abode on the spurs of
many-fountained Ida. Dardanus had a sonking Erichthoniuswho
was wealthiest of all men living; he had three thousand mares
that fed by the water-meadowsthey and their foals with them.
Boreas was enamoured of them as they were feedingand covered


them in the semblance of a dark-maned stallion. Twelve filly
foals did they conceive and bear himand theseas they sped
over the rich plainwould go bounding on over the ripe ears of
corn and not break them; or again when they would disport
themselves on the broad back of Ocean they could gallop on the
crest of a breaker. Erichthonius begat Trosking of the Trojans
and Tros had three noble sonsIlusAssaracusand Ganymede who
was comeliest of mortal men; wherefore the gods carried him off
to be Jove's cupbearerfor his beauty's sakethat he might
dwell among the immortals. Ilus begat Laomedonand Laomedon
begat TithonusPriamLampusClytiusand Hiketaon of the stock
of Mars. But Assaracus was father to Capysand Capys to
Anchiseswho was my fatherwhile Hector is son to Priam.

Such do I declare my blood and lineage, but as for valour, Jove
gives it or takes it as he will, for he is lord of all. And now
let there be no more of this prating in mid-battle as though we
were children. We could fling taunts without end at one another;
a hundred-oared galley would not hold them. The tongue can run
all whithers and talk all wise; it can go here and there, and as
a man says, so shall he be gainsaid. What is the use of our
bandying hard like women who when they fall foul of one another
go out and wrangle in the streets, one half true and the other
lies, as rage inspires them? No words of yours shall turn me now
that I am fain to fight--therefore let us make trial of one
another with our spears.

As he spoke he drove his spear at the great and terrible shield
of Achilleswhich rang out as the point struck it. The son of
Peleus held the shield before him with his strong handand he
was afraidfor he deemed that Aeneas's spear would go through it
quite easilynot reflecting that the god's glorious gifts were
little likely to yield before the blows of mortal men; and indeed
Aeneas's spear did not pierce the shieldfor the layer of gold
gift of the godstayed the point. It went through two layers
but the god had made the shield in fivetwo of bronzethe two
innermost ones of tinand one of gold; it was in this that the
spear was stayed.

Achilles in his turn threwand struck the round shield of Aeneas
at the very edgewhere the bronze was thinnest; the spear of
Pelian ash went clean throughand the shield rang under the
blow; Aeneas was afraidand crouched backwardsholding the
shield away from him; the spearhoweverflew over his backand
stuck quivering in the groundafter having gone through both
circles of the sheltering shield. Aeneas though he had avoided
the spearstood stillblinded with fear and grief because the
weapon had gone so near him; then Achilles sprang furiously upon
himwith a cry as of death and with his keen blade drawnand
Aeneas seized a great stoneso huge that two menas men now
arewould be unable to lift itbut Aeneas wielded it quite
easily.

Aeneas would then have struck Achilles as he was springing
towards himeither on the helmetor on the shield that covered
himand Achilles would have closed with him and despatched him
with his swordhad not Neptune lord of the earthquake been quick
to markand said forthwith to the immortalsAlas, I am sorry
for great Aeneas, who will now go down to the house of Hades,
vanquished by the son of Peleus. Fool that he was to give ear to
the counsel of Apollo. Apollo will never save him from
destruction. Why should this man suffer when he is guiltless, to
no purpose, and in another's quarrel? Has he not at all times
offered acceptable sacrifice to the gods that dwell in heaven?


Let us then snatch him from death's jaws, lest the son of Saturn
be angry should Achilles slay him. It is fated, moreover, that he
should escape, and that the race of Dardanus, whom Jove loved
above all the sons born to him of mortal women, shall not perish
utterly without seed or sign. For now indeed has Jove hated the
blood of Priam, while Aeneas shall reign over the Trojans, he and
his children's children that shall be born hereafter.

Then answered JunoEarth-shaker, look to this matter yourself,
and consider concerning Aeneas, whether you will save him, or
suffer him, brave though he be, to fall by the hand of Achilles
son of Peleus. For of a truth we two, I and Pallas Minerva, have
sworn full many a time before all the immortals, that never would
we shield Trojans from destruction, not even when all Troy is
burning in the flames that the Achaeans shall kindle.

When earth-encircling Neptune heard this he went into the battle
amid the clash of spearsand came to the place where Achilles
and Aeneas were. Forthwith he shed a darkness before the eyes of
the son of Peleusdrew the bronze-headed ashen spear from the
shield of Aeneasand laid it at the feet of Achilles. Then he
lifted Aeneas on high from off the earth and hurried him away.
Over the heads of many a band of warriors both horse and foot did
he soar as the god's hand sped himtill he came to the very
fringe of the battle where the Cauconians were arming themselves
for fight. Neptuneshaker of the earththen came near to him
and saidAeneas, what god has egged you on to this folly in
fighting the son of Peleus, who is both a mightier man of valour
and more beloved of heaven than you are? Give way before him
whensoever you meet him, lest you go down to the house of Hades
even though fate would have it otherwise. When Achilles is dead
you may then fight among the foremost undaunted, for none other
of the Achaeans shall slay you.

The god left him when he had given him these instructionsand at
once removed the darkness from before the eyes of Achilleswho
opened them wide indeed and said in great angerAlas! what
marvel am I now beholding? Here is my spear upon the ground, but
I see not him whom I meant to kill when I hurled it. Of a truth
Aeneas also must be under heaven's protection, although I had
thought his boasting was idle. Let him go hang; he will be in no
mood to fight me further, seeing how narrowly he has missed being
killed. I will now give my orders to the Danaans and attack some
other of the Trojans.

He sprang forward along the line and cheered his men on as he did
so. "Let not the Trojans he cried, keep you at arm's length
Achaeansbut go for them and fight them man for man. However
valiant I may beI cannot give chase to so many and fight all of
them. Even Marswho is an immortalor Minervawould shrink
from flinging himself into the jaws of such a fight and laying
about him; neverthelessso far as in me lies I will show no
slackness of hand or foot nor want of endurancenot even for a
moment; I will utterly break their ranksand woe to the Trojan
who shall venture within reach of my spear."

Thus did he exhort them. Meanwhile Hector called upon the Trojans
and declared that he would fight Achilles. "Be not afraidproud
Trojans said he, to face the son of Peleus; I could fight gods
myself if the battle were one of words onlybut they would be
more than a match for meif we had to use our spears. Even so
the deed of Achilles will fall somewhat short of his word; he
will do in partand the other part he will clip short. I will go
up against him though his hands be as fire--though his hands be


fire and his strength iron."

Thus urged the Trojans lifted up their spears against the
Achaeansand raised the cry of battle as they flung themselves
into the midst of their ranks. But Phoebus Apollo came up to
Hector and saidHector, on no account must you challenge
Achilles to single combat; keep a lookout for him while you are
under cover of the others and away from the thick of the fight,
otherwise he will either hit you with a spear or cut you down at
close quarters.

Thus he spokeand Hector drew back within the crowdfor he was
afraid when he heard what the god had said to him. Achilles then
sprang upon the Trojans with a terrible cryclothed in valour as
with a garment. First he killed Iphition son of Otrynteusa
leader of much people whom a naiad nymph had borne to Otrynteus
waster of citiesin the land of Hyde under the snowy heights of
Mt. Tmolus. Achilles struck him full on the head as he was coming
on towards himand split it clean in two; whereon he fell
heavily to the ground and Achilles vaunted over him sayingYou
be low, son of Otrynteus, mighty hero; your death is here, but
your lineage is on the Gygaean lake where your father's estate
lies, by Hyllus, rich in fish, and the eddying waters of Hermus.

Thus did he vauntbut darkness closed the eyes of the other.
The chariots of the Achaeans cut him up as their wheels passed
over him in the front of the battleand after him Achilles
killed Demoleona valiant man of war and son to Antenor. He
struck him on the temple through his bronze-cheeked helmet. The
helmet did not stay the spearbut it went right oncrushing the
bone so that the brain inside was shed in all directionsand his
lust of fighting was ended. Then he struck Hippodamas in the
midriff as he was springing down from his chariot in front of
himand trying to escape. He breathed his lastbellowing like a
bull bellows when young men are dragging him to offer him in
sacrifice to the King of Heliceand the heart of the
earth-shaker is glad; even so did he bellow as he lay dying.
Achilles then went in pursuit of Polydorus son of Priamwhom his
father had always forbidden to fight because he was the youngest
of his sonsthe one he loved bestand the fastest runner. He
in his folly and showing off the fleetness of his feetwas
rushing about among front ranks until he lost his lifefor
Achilles struck him in the middle of the back as he was darting
past him: he struck him just at the golden fastenings of his belt
and where the two pieces of the double breastplate overlapped.
The point of the spear pierced him through and came out by the
navelwhereon he fell groaning on to his knees and a cloud of
darkness overshadowed him as he sank holding his entrails in his
hands.

When Hector saw his brother Polydorus with his entrails in his
hands and sinking down upon the grounda mist came over his
eyesand he could not bear to keep longer at a distance; he
therefore poised his spear and darted towards Achilles like a
flame of fire. When Achilles saw him he bounded forward and
vaunted sayingThis is he that has wounded my heart most deeply
and has slain my beloved comrade. Not for long shall we two quail
before one another on the highways of war.

He looked fiercely on Hector and saidDraw near, that you may
meet your doom the sooner.Hector feared him not and answered
Son of Peleus, think not that your words can scare me as though
I were a child; I too if I will can brag and talk unseemly; I
know that you are a mighty warrior, mightier by far than I,


nevertheless the issue lies in the lap of heaven whether I, worse
man though I be, may not slay you with my spear, for this too has
been found keen ere now.

He hurled his spear as he spokebut Minerva breathed upon it
and though she breathed but very lightly she turned it back from
going towards Achillesso that it returned to Hector and lay at
his feet in front of him. Achilles then sprang furiously on him
with a loud crybent on killing himbut Apollo caught him up
easily as a god canand hid him in a thick darkness. Thrice did
Achilles spring towards him spear in handand thrice did he
waste his blow upon the air. When he rushed forward for the
fourth time as though he were a godhe shouted aloud saying
Hound, this time too you have escaped death--but of a truth it
came exceedingly near you. Phoebus Apollo, to whom it seems you
pray before you go into battle, has again saved you; but if I too
have any friend among the gods I will surely make an end of you
when I come across you at some other time. Now, however, I will
pursue and overtake other Trojans.

On this he struck Dryops with his spearabout the middle of his
neckand he fell headlong at his feet. There he let him lie and
stayed Demouchus son of Philetora man both brave and of great
statureby hitting him on the knee with a spear; then he smote
him with his sword and killed him. After this he sprang on
Laogonus and Dardanussons of Biasand threw them from their
chariotthe one with a blow from a thrown spearwhile the other
he cut down in hand-to-hand fight. There was also Tros the son of
Alastor--he came up to Achilles and clasped his knees in the hope
that he would spare him and not kill him but let him gobecause
they were both of the same age. Foolhe might have known that he
should not prevail with himfor the man was in no mood for pity
or forbearance but was in grim earnest. Therefore when Tros laid
hold of his knees and sought a hearing for his prayersAchilles
drove his sword into his liverand the liver came rolling out
while his bosom was all covered with the black blood that welled
from the wound. Thus did death close his eyes as he lay lifeless.

Achilles then went up to Mulius and struck him on the ear with a
spearand the bronze spear-head came right out at the other ear.
He also struck Echeclus son of Agenor on the head with his sword
which became warm with the bloodwhile death and stern fate
closed the eyes of Echeclus. Next in order the bronze point of
his spear wounded Deucalion in the fore-arm where the sinews of
the elbow are unitedwhereon he waited Achilles' onset with his
arm hanging down and death staring him in the face. Achilles cut
his head off with a blow from his sword and flung it helmet and
all away from himand the marrow came oozing out of his backbone
as he lay. He then went in pursuit of Rhigmusnoble son of
Peireswho had come from fertile Thraceand struck him through
the middle with a spear which fixed itself in his bellyso that
he fell headlong from his chariot. He also speared Areithous
squire to Rhigmus in the back as he was turning his horses in
flightand thrust him from his chariotwhile the horses were
struck with panic.

As a fire raging in some mountain glen after long drought--and
the dense forest is in a blazewhile the wind carries great
tongues of fire in every direction--even so furiously did
Achilles ragewielding his spear as though he were a godand
giving chase to those whom he would slaytill the dark earth ran
with blood. Or as one who yokes broad-browed oxen that they may
tread barley in a threshing-floor--and it is soon bruised small
under the feet of the lowing cattle--even so did the horses of


Achilles trample on the shields and bodies of the slain. The axle
underneath and the railing that ran round the car were
bespattered with clots of blood thrown up by the horses' hoofs
and from the tyres of the wheels; but the son of Peleus pressed
on to win still further gloryand his hands were bedrabbled with
gore.

BOOK XXI

NOW when they came to the ford of the full-flowing river Xanthus
begotten of immortal JoveAchilles cut their forces in two: one
half he chased over the plain towards the city by the same way
that the Achaeans had taken when flying panic-stricken on the
preceding day with Hector in full triumph; this way did they fly
pell-melland Juno sent down a thick mist in front of them to
stay them. The other half were hemmed in by the deep
silver-eddying streamand fell into it with a great uproar. The
waters resoundedand the banks rang againas they swam hither
and thither with loud cries amid the whirling eddies. As locusts
flying to a river before the blast of a grass fire--the flame
comes on and on till at last it overtakes them and they huddle
into the water--even so was the eddying stream of Xanthus filled
with the uproar of men and horsesall struggling in confusion
before Achilles.

Forthwith the hero left his spear upon the bankleaning it
against a tamarisk bushand plunged into the river like a god
armed with his sword only. Fell was his purpose as he hewed the
Trojans down on every side. Their dying groans rose hideous as
the sword smote themand the river ran red with blood. As when
fish fly scared before a huge dolphinand fill every nook and
corner of some fair haven--for he is sure to eat all he can
catch--even so did the Trojans cower under the banks of the
mighty riverand when Achilles' arms grew weary with killing
themhe drew twelve youths alive out of the waterto sacrifice
in revenge for Patroclus son of Menoetius. He drew them out like
dazed fawnsbound their hands behind them with the girdles of
their own shirtsand gave them over to his men to take back to
the ships. Then he sprang into the riverthirsting for still
further blood.

There he found Lycaonson of Priam seed of Dardanusas he was
escaping out of the water; he it was whom he had once taken
prisoner when he was in his father's vineyardhaving set upon
him by nightas he was cutting young shoots from a wild fig-tree
to make the wicker sides of a chariot. Achilles then caught him
to his sorrow unawaresand sent him by sea to Lemnoswhere the
son of Jason bought him. But a guest-friendEetion of Imbros
freed him with a great sumand sent him to Arisbewhence he had
escaped and returned to his father's house. He had spent eleven
days happily with his friends after he had come from Lemnosbut
on the twelfth heaven again delivered him into the hands of
Achilleswho was to send him to the house of Hades sorely
against his will. He was unarmed when Achilles caught sight of
himand had neither helmet nor shield; nor yet had he any spear
for he had thrown all his armour from him on to the bankand was
sweating with his struggles to get out of the riverso that his
strength was now failing him.

Then Achilles said to himself in his surpriseWhat marvel do I
see here? If this man can come back alive after having been sold
over into Lemnos, I shall have the Trojans also whom I have slain


rising from the world below. Could not even the waters of the
grey sea imprison him, as they do many another whether he will or
no? This time let him taste my spear, that I may know for certain
whether mother earth who can keep even a strong man down, will be
able to hold him, or whether thence too he will return.

Thus did he pause and ponder. But Lycaon came up to him dazed and
trying hard to embrace his kneesfor he would fain livenot
die. Achilles thrust at him with his spearmeaning to kill him
but Lycaon ran crouching up to him and caught his kneeswhereby
the spear passed over his backand stuck in the ground
hungering though it was for blood. With one hand he caught
Achilles' knees as he besought himand with the other he
clutched the spear and would not let it go. Then he said
Achilles, have mercy upon me and spare me, for I am your
suppliant. It was in your tents that I first broke bread on the
day when you took me prisoner in the vineyard; after which you
sold me away to Lemnos far from my father and my friends, and I
brought you the price of a hundred oxen. I have paid three times
as much to gain my freedom; it is but twelve days that I have
come to Ilius after much suffering, and now cruel fate has again
thrown me into your hands. Surely father Jove must hate me, that
he has given me over to you a second time. Short of life indeed
did my mother Laothoe bear me, daughter of aged Altes--of Altes
who reigns over the warlike Lelegae and holds steep Pedasus on
the river Satnioeis. Priam married his daughter along with many
other women and two sons were born of her, both of whom you will
have slain. Your spear slew noble Polydorus as he was fighting in
the front ranks, and now evil will here befall me, for I fear
that I shall not escape you since heaven has delivered me over to
you. Furthermore I say, and lay my saying to your heart, spare
me, for I am not of the same womb as Hector who slew your brave
and noble comrade.

With such words did the princely son of Priam beseech Achilles;
but Achilles answered him sternly. "Idiot said he, talk not to
me of ransom. Until Patroclus fell I preferred to give the
Trojans quarterand sold beyond the sea many of those whom I had
taken alive; but now not a man shall live of those whom heaven
delivers into my hands before the city of Ilius--and of all
Trojans it shall fare hardest with the sons of Priam. Therefore
my friendyou too shall die. Why should you whine in this way?
Patroclus felland he was a better man than you are. I too--see
you not how I am great and goodly? I am son to a noble father
and have a goddess for my motherbut the hands of doom and death
overshadow me all as surely. The day will comeeither at dawn or
darkor at the noontidewhen one shall take my life also in
battleeither with his spearor with an arrow sped from his
bow."

Thus did he speakand Lycaon's heart sank within him. He loosed
his hold of the spearand held out both hands before him; but
Achilles drew his keen bladeand struck him by the collar-bone
on his neck; he plunged his two-edged sword into him to the very
hiltwhereon he lay at full length on the groundwith the dark
blood welling from him till the earth was soaked. Then Achilles
caught him by the foot and flung him into the river to go down
streamvaunting over him the whileand sayingLie there among
the fishes, who will lick the blood from your wound and gloat
over it; your mother shall not lay you on any bier to mourn you,
but the eddies of Scamander shall bear you into the broad bosom
of the sea. There shall the fishes feed on the fat of Lycaon as
they dart under the dark ripple of the waters--so perish all of
you till we reach the citadel of strong Ilius--you in flight, and


I following after to destroy you. The river with its broad silver
stream shall serve you in no stead, for all the bulls you offered
him and all the horses that you flung living into his waters.
None the less miserably shall you perish till there is not a man
of you but has paid in full for the death of Patroclus and the
havoc you wrought among the Achaeans whom you have slain while I
held aloof from battle.

So spoke Achillesbut the river grew more and more angryand
pondered within himself how he should stay the hand of Achilles
and save the Trojans from disaster. Meanwhile the son of Peleus
spear in handsprang upon Asteropaeus son of Pelegon to kill
him. He was son to the broad river Axius and Periboea eldest
daughter of Acessamenus; for the river had lain with her.
Asteropaeus stood up out of the water to face him with a spear in
either handand Xanthus filled him with couragebeing angry for
the death of the youths whom Achilles was slaying ruthlessly
within his waters. When they were close up with one another
Achilles was first to speak. "Who and whence are you said he,
who dare to face me? Woe to the parents whose son stands up
against me." And the son of Pelegon answeredGreat son of
Peleus, why should you ask my lineage. I am from the fertile land
of far Paeonia, captain of the Paeonians, and it is now eleven
days that I am at Ilius. I am of the blood of the river Axius--of
Axius that is the fairest of all rivers that run. He begot the
famed warrior Pelegon, whose son men call me. Let us now fight,
Achilles.

Thus did he defy himand Achilles raised his spear of Pelian
ash. Asteropaeus failed with both his spearsfor he could use
both hands alike; with the one spear he struck Achilles' shield
but did not pierce itfor the layer of goldgift of the god
stayed the point; with the other spear he grazed the elbow of
Achilles' right arm drawing dark bloodbut the spear itself went
by him and fixed itself in the groundfoiled of its bloody
banquet. Then Achillesfain to kill himhurled his spear at
Asteropaeusbut failed to hit him and struck the steep bank of
the riverdriving the spear half its length into the earth. The
son of Peleus then drew his sword and sprang furiously upon him.
Asteropaeus vainly tried to draw Achilles' spear out of the bank
by main force; thrice did he tug at ittrying with all his might
to draw it outand thrice he had to leave off trying; the fourth
time he tried to bend and break itbut ere he could do so
Achilles smote him with his sword and killed him. He struck him
in the belly near the navelso that all his bowels came gushing
out on to the groundand the darkness of death came over him as
he lay gasping. Then Achilles set his foot on his chest and
spoiled him of his armourvaunting over him and sayingLie
there--begotten of a river though you be, it is hard for you to
strive with the offspring of Saturn's son. You declare yourself
sprung from the blood of a broad river, but I am of the seed of
mighty Jove. My father is Peleus, son of Aeacus ruler over the
many Myrmidons, and Aeacus was the son of Jove. Therefore as Jove
is mightier than any river that flows into the sea, so are his
children stronger than those of any river whatsoever. Moreover
you have a great river hard by if he can be of any use to you,
but there is no fighting against Jove the son of Saturn, with
whom not even King Achelous can compare, nor the mighty stream of
deep-flowing Oceanus, from whom all rivers and seas with all
springs and deep wells proceed; even Oceanus fears the lightnings
of great Jove, and his thunder that comes crashing out of
heaven.

With this he drew his bronze spear out of the bankand now that


he had killed Asteropaeushe let him lie where he was on the
sandwith the dark water flowing over him and the eels and
fishes busy nibbling and gnawing the fat that was about his
kidneys. Then he went in chase of the Paeonianswho were flying
along the bank of the river in panic when they saw their leader
slain by the hands of the son of Peleus. Therein he slew
ThersilochusMydonAstypylusMnesusThrasiusOeneusand
Ophelestesand he would have slain yet othershad not the river
in anger taken human formand spoken to him from out the deep
waters sayingAchilles, if you excel all in strength, so do you
also in wickedness, for the gods are ever with you to protect
you: if, then, the son of Saturn has vouchsafed it to you to
destroy all the Trojans, at any rate drive them out of my stream,
and do your grim work on land. My fair waters are now filled with
corpses, nor can I find any channel by which I may pour myself
into the sea for I am choked with dead, and yet you go on
mercilessly slaying. I am in despair, therefore, O captain of
your host, trouble me no further.

Achilles answeredSo be it, Scamander, Jove-descended; but I
will never cease dealing out death among the Trojans, till I have
pent them up in their city, and made trial of Hector face to
face, that I may learn whether he is to vanquish me, or I him.

As he spoke he set upon the Trojans with a fury like that of the
gods. But the river said to ApolloSurely, son of Jove, lord of
the silver bow, you are not obeying the commands of Jove who
charged you straitly that you should stand by the Trojans and
defend them, till twilight fades, and darkness is over an the
earth.

Meanwhile Achilles sprang from the bank into mid-streamwhereon
the river raised a high wave and attacked him. He swelled his
stream into a torrentand swept away the many dead whom Achilles
had slain and left within his waters. These he cast out on to the
landbellowing like a bull the whilebut the living he saved
alivehiding them in his mighty eddies. The great and terrible
wave gathered about Achillesfalling upon him and beating on his
shieldso that he could not keep his feet; he caught hold of a
great elm-treebut it came up by the rootsand tore away the
bankdamming the stream with its thick branches and bridging it
all across; whereby Achilles struggled out of the streamand
fled full speed over the plainfor he was afraid.

But the mighty god ceased not in his pursuitand sprang upon him
with a dark-crested waveto stay his hands and save the Trojans
from destruction. The son of Peleus darted away a spear's throw
from him; swift as the swoop of a black hunter-eagle which is the
strongest and fleetest of all birdseven so did he spring
forwardand the armour rang loudly about his breast. He fled on
in frontbut the river with a loud roar came tearing after. As
one who would water his garden leads a stream from some fountain
over his plantsand all his ground-spade in hand he clears away
the dams to free the channelsand the little stones run rolling
round and round with the water as it goes merrily down the bank
faster than the man can follow--even so did the river keep
catching up with Achilles albeit he was a fleet runnerfor the
gods are stronger than men. As often as he would strive to stand
his groundand see whether or no all the gods in heaven were in
league against himso often would the mighty wave come beating
down upon his shouldersand be would have to keep flying on and
on in great dismay; for the angry flood was tiring him out as it
flowed past him and ate the ground from under his feet.


Then the son of Peleus lifted up his voice to heaven saying
Father Jove, is there none of the gods who will take pity upon
me, and save me from the river? I do not care what may happen to
me afterwards. I blame none of the other dwellers on Olympus so
severely as I do my dear mother, who has beguiled and tricked me.
She told me I was to fall under the walls of Troy by the flying
arrows of Apollo; would that Hector, the best man among the
Trojans, might there slay me; then should I fall a hero by the
hand of a hero; whereas now it seems that I shall come to a most
pitiable end, trapped in this river as though I were some
swineherd's boy, who gets carried down a torrent while trying to
cross it during a storm.

As soon as he had spoken thusNeptune and Minerva came up to him
in the likeness of two menand took him by the hand to reassure
him. Neptune spoke first. "Son of Peleus said he, be not so
exceeding fearful; we are two godscome with Jove's sanction to
assist youIand Pallas Minerva. It is not your fate to perish
in this river; he will abate presently as you will see; moreover
we strongly advise youif you will be guided by usnot to stay
your hand from fighting till you have pent the Trojan host within
the famed walls of Ilius--as many of them as may escape. Then
kill Hector and go back to the shipsfor we will vouchsafe you a
triumph over him."

When they had so said they went back to the other immortalsbut
Achilles strove onward over the plainencouraged by the charge
the gods had laid upon him. All was now covered with the flood of
watersand much goodly armour of the youths that had been slain
was rifting aboutas also many corpsesbut he forced his way
against the streamspeeding right onwardsnor could the broad
waters stay himfor Minerva had endowed him with great strength.
Nevertheless Scamander did not slacken in his pursuitbut was
still more furious with the son of Peleus. He lifted his waters
into a high crest and cried aloud to Simois sayingDear
brother, let the two of us unite to save this man, or he will
sack the mighty city of King Priam, and the Trojans will not hold
out against him. Help me at once; fill your streams with water
from their sources, rouse all your torrents to a fury; raise your
wave on high, and let snags and stones come thundering down you
that we may make an end of this savage creature who is now
lording it as though he were a god. Nothing shall serve him
longer, not strength nor comeliness, nor his fine armour, which
forsooth shall soon be lying low in the deep waters covered over
with mud. I will wrap him in sand, and pour tons of shingle round
him, so that the Achaeans shall not know how to gather his bones
for the silt in which I shall have hidden him, and when they
celebrate his funeral they need build no barrow.

On this he upraised his tumultuous flood high against Achilles
seething as it was with foam and blood and the bodies of the
dead. The dark waters of the river stood upright and would have
overwhelmed the son of Peleusbut Junotrembling lest Achilles
should be swept away in the mighty torrentlifted her voice on
high and called out to Vulcan her son. "Crook-foot she cried,
my childbe up and doingfor I deem it is with you that
Xanthus is fain to fight; help us at oncekindle a fierce fire;
I will then bring up the west and the white south wind in a
mighty hurricane from the seathat shall bear the flames against
the heads and armour of the Trojans and consume themwhile you
go along the banks of Xanthus burning his trees and wrapping him
round with fire. Let him not turn you back neither by fair words
nor fouland slacken not till I shout and tell you. Then you may
stay your flames."


On this Vulcan kindled a fierce firewhich broke out first upon
the plain and burned the many dead whom Achilles had killed and
whose bodies were lying about in great numbers; by this means the
plain was dried and the flood stayed. As the north windblowing
on an orchard that has been sodden with autumn rainsoon dries
itand the heart of the owner is glad--even so the whole plain
was dried and the dead bodies were consumed. Then he turned
tongues of fire on to the river. He burned the elms the willows
and the tamarisksthe lotus alsowith the rushes and marshy
herbage that grew abundantly by the banks of the river. The eels
and fishes that go darting about everywhere in the waterthese
toowere sorely harassed by the flames that cunning Vulcan had
kindledand the river himself was scaldedso that he spoke
sayingVulcan, there is no god can hold his own against you. I
cannot fight you when you flare out your flames in this way;
strive with me no longer. Let Achilles drive the Trojans out of
city immediately. What have I to do with quarrelling and helping
people?

He was boiling as he spokeand all his waters were seething. As
a cauldron upon a large fire boils when it is melting the lard of
some fatted hogand the lard keeps bubbling up all over when the
dry faggots blaze under it--even so were the goodly waters of
Xanthus heated with the fire till they were boiling. He could
flow no longer but stayed his streamso afflicted was he by the
blasts of fire which cunning Vulcan had raised. Then he prayed to
Juno and besought her sayingJuno, why should your son vex my
stream with such especial fury? I am not so much to blame as all
the others are who have been helping the Trojans. I will leave
off, since you so desire it, and let son leave off also.
Furthermore I swear never again will I do anything to save the
Trojans from destruction, not even when all Troy is burning in
the flames which the Achaeans will kindle.

As soon as Juno heard this she said to her son VulcanSon
Vulcan, hold now your flames; we ought not to use such violence
against a god for the sake of mortals.

When she had thus spoken Vulcan quenched his flamesand the
river went back once more into his own fair bed.

Xanthus was now beatenso these two left off fightingfor Juno
stayed them though she was still angry; but a furious quarrel
broke out among the other godsfor they were of divided
counsels. They fell on one another with a mighty uproar--earth
groanedand the spacious firmament rang out as with a blare of
trumpets. Jove heard as he was sitting on Olympusand laughed
for joy when he saw the gods coming to blows among themselves.
They were not long about beginningand Mars piercer of shields
opened the battle. Sword in hand he sprang at once upon Minerva
and reviled her. "Whyvixen said he, have you again set the
gods by the ears in the pride and haughtiness of your heart? Have
you forgotten how you set Diomed son of Tydeus on to wound me
and yourself took visible spear and drove it into me to the hurt
of my fair body? You shall now suffer for what you then did to
me."

As he spoke he struck her on the terrible tasselled aegis--so
terrible that not even can Jove's lightning pierce it. Here did
murderous Mars strike her with his great spear. She drew back and
with her strong hand seized a stone that was lying on the plain-great
and rugged and black--which men of old had set for the
boundary of a field. With this she struck Mars on the neckand


brought him down. Nine roods did he cover in his falland his
hair was all soiled in the dustwhile his armour rang rattling
round him. But Minerva laughed and vaunted over him saying
Idiot, have you not learned how far stronger I am than you, but
you must still match yourself against me? Thus do your mother's
curses now roost upon you, for she is angry and would do you
mischief because you have deserted the Achaeans and are helping
the Trojans.

She then turned her two piercing eyes elsewherewhereon Jove's
daughter Venus took Mars by the hand and led him away groaning
all the timefor it was only with great difficulty that he had
come to himself again. When Queen Juno saw hershe said to
MinervaLook, daughter of aegis-bearing Jove, unweariable, that
vixen Venus is again taking Mars through the crowd out of the
battle; go after her at once.

Thus she spoke. Minerva sped after Venus with a willand made at
herstriking her on the bosom with her strong hand so that she
fell fainting to the groundand there they both lay stretched at
full length. Then Minerva vaunted over her sayingMay all who
help the Trojans against the Argives prove just as redoubtable
and stalwart as Venus did when she came across me while she was
helping Mars. Had this been so, we should long since have ended
the war by sacking the strong city of Ilius.

Juno smiled as she listened. Meanwhile King Neptune turned to
Apollo sayingPhoebus, why should we keep each other at arm's
length? it is not well, now that the others have begun fighting;
it will be disgraceful to us if we return to Jove's
bronze-floored mansion on Olympus without having fought each
other; therefore come on, you are the younger of the two, and I
ought not to attack you, for I am older and have had more
experience. Idiot, you have no sense, and forget how we two alone
of all the gods fared hardly round about Ilius when we came from
Jove's house and worked for Laomedon a whole year at a stated
wage and he gave us his orders. I built the Trojans the wall
about their city, so wide and fair that it might be impregnable,
while you, Phoebus, herded cattle for him in the dales of many
valleyed Ida. When, however, the glad hours brought round the
time of payment, mighty Laomedon robbed us of all our hire and
sent us off with nothing but abuse. He threatened to bind us hand
and foot and sell us over into some distant island. He tried,
moreover, to cut off the ears of both of us, so we went away in a
rage, furious about the payment he had promised us, and yet
withheld; in spite of all this, you are now showing favour to his
people, and will not join us in compassing the utter ruin of the
proud Trojans with their wives and children.

And King Apollo answeredLord of the earthquake, you would have
no respect for me if I were to fight you about a pack of
miserable mortals, who come out like leaves in summer and eat the
fruit of the field, and presently fall lifeless to the ground.
Let us stay this fighting at once and let them settle it among
themselves.

He turned away as he spokefor he would lay no hand on the
brother of his own father. But his sister the huntress Diana
patroness of wild beastswas very angry with him and saidSo
you would fly, Far-Darter, and hand victory over to Neptune with
a cheap vaunt to boot. Baby, why keep your bow thus idle? Never
let me again hear you bragging in my father's house, as you have
often done in the presence of the immortals, that you would stand
up and fight with Neptune.


Apollo made her no answerbut Jove's august queen was angry and
upbraided her bitterly. "Bold vixen she cried, how dare you
cross me thus? For all your bow you will find it hard to hold
your own against me. Jove made you as a lion among womenand
lets you kill them whenever you choose. You will find it better
to chase wild beasts and deer upon the mountains than to fight
those who are stronger than you are. If you would try wardo so
and find out by pitting yourself against mehow far stronger I
am than you are."

She caught both Diana's wrists with her left hand as she spoke
and with her right she took the bow from her shouldersand
laughed as she beat her with it about the ears while Diana
wriggled and writhed under her blows. Her swift arrows were shed
upon the groundand she fled weeping from under Juno's hand as a
dove that flies before a falcon to the cleft of some hollow rock
when it is her good fortune to escape. Even so did she fly
weeping awayleaving her bow and arrows behind her.

Then the slayer of Argusguide and guardiansaid to Leto
Leto, I shall not fight you; it is ill to come to blows with any
of Jove's wives. Therefore boast as you will among the immortals
that you worsted me in fair fight.

Leto then gathered up Diana's bow and arrows that had fallen
about amid the whirling dustand when she had got them she made
all haste after her daughter. Diana had now reached Jove's
bronze-floored mansion on Olympusand sat herself down with many
tears on the knees of her fatherwhile her ambrosial raiment was
quivering all about her. The son of Saturn drew her towards him
and laughing pleasantly the while began to question her saying
Which of the heavenly beings, my dear child, has been treating
you in this cruel manner, as though you had been misconducting
yourself in the face of everybody?and the fair-crowned goddess
of the chase answeredIt was your wife Juno, father, who has
been beating me; it is always her doing when there is any
quarrelling among the immortals.

Thus did they converseand meanwhile Phoebus Apollo entered the
strong city of Iliusfor he was uneasy lest the wall should not
hold out and the Danaans should take the city then and there
before its hour had come; but the rest of the ever-living gods
went backsome angry and some triumphant to Olympuswhere they
took their seats beside Jove lord of the storm cloudwhile
Achilles still kept on dealing out death alike on the Trojans and
on their horses. As when the smoke from some burning city ascends
to heaven when the anger of the gods has kindled it--there is
then toil for alland sorrow for not a few--even so did Achilles
bring toil and sorrow on the Trojans.

Old King Priam stood on a high tower of the wall looking down on
huge Achilles as the Trojans fled panic-stricken before himand
there was none to help them. Presently he came down from off the
tower and with many a groan went along the wall to give orders to
the brave warders of the gate. "Keep the gates said he, wide
open till the people come flying into the cityfor Achilles is
hard by and is driving them in rout before him. I see we are in
great peril. As soon as our people are inside and in safety
close the strong gates for I fear lest that terrible man should
come bounding inside along with the others."

As he spoke they drew back the bolts and opened the gatesand
when these were opened there was a haven of refuge for the


Trojans. Apollo then came full speed out of the city to meet them
and protect them. Right for the city and the high wallparched
with thirst and grimy with duststill they fied onwith
Achilles wielding his spear furiously behind them. For he was as
one possessedand was thirsting after glory.

Then had the sons of the Achaeans taken the lofty gates of Troy
if Apollo had not spurred on Agenorvaliant and noble son to
Antenor. He put courage into his heartand stood by his side to
guard himleaning against a beech tree and shrouded in thick
darkness. When Agenor saw Achilles he stood still and his heart
was clouded with care. "Alas said he to himself in his dismay,
if I fly before mighty Achillesand go where all the others are
being driven in routhe will none the less catch me and kill me
for a coward. How would it be were I to let Achilles drive the
others before himand then fly from the wall to the plain that
is behind Ilius till I reach the spurs of Ida and can hide in the
underwood that is thereon? I could then wash the sweat from off
me in the river and in the evening return to Ilius. But why
commune with myself in this way? Like enough he would see me as I
am hurrying from the city over the plainand would speed after
me till he had caught me--I should stand no chance against him
for he is mightiest of all mankind. Whatthenif I go out and
meet him in front of the city? His flesh tooI take itcan be
pierced by pointed bronze. Life is the same in one and alland
men say that he is but mortal despite the triumph that Jove son
of Saturn vouchsafes him."

So saying he stood on his guard and awaited Achillesfor he was
now fain to fight him. As a leopardess that bounds from out a
thick covert to attack a hunter--she knows no fear and is not
dismayed by the baying of the hounds; even though the man be too
quick for her and wound her either with thrust or spearstill
though the spear has pierced her she will not give in till she
has either caught him in her grip or been killed outright--even
so did noble Agenor son of Antenor refuse to fly till he had made
trial of Achillesand took aim at him with his spearholding
his round shield before him and crying with a loud voice. "Of a
truth said he, noble Achillesyou deem that you shall this
day sack the city of the proud Trojans. Foolthere will be
trouble enough yet before itfor there is many a brave man of us
still inside who will stand in front of our dear parents with our
wives and childrento defend Ilius. Here thereforehuge and
mighty warrior though you behere shall you die."

As he spoke his strong hand hurled his javelin from himand the
spear struck Achilles on the leg beneath the knee; the greave of
newly wrought tin rang loudlybut the spear recoiled from the
body of him whom it had struckand did not pierce itfor the
gods gift stayed it. Achilles in his turn attacked noble Agenor
but Apollo would not vouchsafe him gloryfor he snatched Agenor
away and hid him in a thick mistsending him out of the battle
unmolested Then he craftily drew the son of Peleus away from
going after the hostfor he put on the semblance of Agenor and
stood in front of Achilleswho ran towards him to give him chase
and pursued him over the corn lands of the plainturning him
towards the deep waters of the river Scamander. Apollo ran but a
little way before him and beguiled Achilles by making him think
all the time that he was on the point of overtaking him.
Meanwhile the rabble of routed Trojans was thankful to crowd
within the city till their numbers thronged it; no longer did
they dare wait for one another outside the city wallsto learn
who had escaped and who were fallen in fightbut all whose feet
and knees could still carry them poured pell-mell into the town.


BOOK XXII

THUS the Trojans in the cityscared like fawnswiped the sweat
from off them and drank to quench their thirstleaning against
the goodly battlementswhile the Achaeans with their shields
laid upon their shoulders drew close up to the walls. But stern
fate bade Hector stay where he was before Ilius and the Scaean
gates. Then Phoebus Apollo spoke to the son of Peleus saying
Why, son of Peleus, do you, who are but man, give chase to me
who am immortal? Have you not yet found out that it is a god whom
you pursue so furiously? You did not harass the Trojans whom you
had routed, and now they are within their walls, while you have
been decoyed hither away from them. Me you cannot kill, for death
can take no hold upon me.

Achilles was greatly angered and saidYou have baulked me,
Far-Darter, most malicious of all gods, and have drawn me away
from the wall, where many another man would have bitten the dust
ere he got within Ilius; you have robbed me of great glory and
have saved the Trojans at no risk to yourself, for you have
nothing to fear, but I would indeed have my revenge if it were in
my power to do so.

On thiswith fell intent he made towards the cityand as the
winning horse in a chariot race strains every nerve when he is
flying over the plaineven so fast and furiously did the limbs
of Achilles bear him onwards. King Priam was first to note him as
he scoured the plainall radiant as the star which men call
Orion's Houndand whose beams blaze forth in time of harvest
more brilliantly than those of any other that shines by night;
brightest of them all though he behe yet bodes ill for mortals
for he brings fire and fever in his train--even so did Achilles'
armour gleam on his breast as he sped onwards. Priam raised a cry
and beat his head with his hands as he lifted them up and shouted
out to his dear sonimploring him to return; but Hector still
stayed before the gatesfor his heart was set upon doing battle
with Achilles. The old man reached out his arms towards him and
bade him for pity's sake come within the walls. "Hector he
cried, my sonstay not to face this man alone and unsupported
or you will meet death at the hands of the son of Peleusfor he
is mightier than you. Monster that he is; would indeed that the
gods loved him no better than I dofor sodogs and vultures
would soon devour him as he lay stretched on earthand a load of
grief would be lifted from my heartfor many a brave son has he
reft from meeither by killing them or selling them away in the
islands that are beyond the sea: even now I miss two sons from
among the Trojans who have thronged within the cityLycaon and
Polydoruswhom Laothoe peeress among women bore me. Should they
be still alive and in the hands of the Achaeanswe will ransom
them with gold and bronzeof which we have storefor the old
man Altes endowed his daughter richly; but if they are already
dead and in the house of Hadessorrow will it be to us two who
were their parents; albeit the grief of others will be more
short-lived unless you too perish at the hands of Achilles. Come
thenmy sonwithin the cityto be the guardian of Trojan men
and Trojan womenor you will both lose your own life and afford
a mighty triumph to the son of Peleus. Have pity also on your
unhappy father while life yet remains to him--on mewhom the son
of Saturn will destroy by a terrible doom on the threshold of old
ageafter I have seen my sons slain and my daughters haled away
as captivesmy bridal chambers pillagedlittle children dashed


to earth amid the rage of battleand my sons' wives dragged away
by the cruel hands of the Achaeans; in the end fierce hounds will
tear me in pieces at my own gates after some one has beaten the
life out of my body with sword or spear-hounds that I myself
reared and fed at my own table to guard my gatesbut who will
yet lap my blood and then lie all distraught at my doors. When a
young man falls by the sword in battlehe may lie where he is
and there is nothing unseemly; let what will be seenall is
honourable in deathbut when an old man is slain there is
nothing in this world more pitiable than that dogs should defile
his grey hair and beard and all that men hide for shame."

The old man tore his grey hair as he spokebut he moved not the
heart of Hector. His mother hard by wept and moaned aloud as she
bared her bosom and pointed to the breast which had suckled him.
Hector,she criedweeping bitterly the whileHector, my son,
spurn not this breast, but have pity upon me too: if I have ever
given you comfort from my own bosom, think on it now, dear son,
and come within the wall to protect us from this man; stand not
without to meet him. Should the wretch kill you, neither I nor
your richly dowered wife shall ever weep, dear offshoot of
myself, over the bed on which you lie, for dogs will devour you
at the ships of the Achaeans.

Thus did the two with many tears implore their sonbut they
moved not the heart of Hectorand he stood his ground awaiting
huge Achilles as he drew nearer towards him. As serpent in its
den upon the mountainsfull fed with deadly poisonswaits for
the approach of man--he is filled with fury and his eyes glare
terribly as he goes writhing round his den--even so Hector leaned
his shield against a tower that jutted out from the wall and
stood where he wasundaunted.

Alas,said he to himself in the heaviness of his heartif I
go within the gates, Polydamas will be the first to heap reproach
upon me, for it was he that urged me to lead the Trojans back to
the city on that awful night when Achilles again came forth
against us. I would not listen, but it would have been indeed
better if I had done so. Now that my folly has destroyed the
host, I dare not look Trojan men and Trojan women in the face,
lest a worse man should say, 'Hector has ruined us by his
self-confidence.' Surely it would be better for me to return
after having fought Achilles and slain him, or to die gloriously
here before the city. What, again, if I were to lay down my
shield and helmet, lean my spear against the wall and go straight
up to noble Achilles? What if I were to promise to give up Helen,
who was the fountainhead of all this war, and all the treasure
that Alexandrus brought with him in his ships to Troy, aye, and
to let the Achaeans divide the half of everything that the city
contains among themselves? I might make the Trojans, by the
mouths of their princes, take a solemn oath that they would hide
nothing, but would divide into two shares all that is within the
city--but why argue with myself in this way? Were I to go up to
him he would show me no kind of mercy; he would kill me then and
there as easily as though I were a woman, when I had off my
armour. There is no parleying with him from some rock or oak
tree as young men and maidens prattle with one another. Better
fight him at once, and learn to which of us Jove will vouchsafe
victory.

Thus did he stand and ponderbut Achilles came up to him as it
were Mars himselfplumed lord of battle. From his right shoulder
he brandished his terrible spear of Pelian ashand the bronze
gleamed around him like flashing fire or the rays of the rising


sun. Fear fell upon Hector as he beheld himand he dared not
stay longer where he was but fled in dismay from before the
gateswhile Achilles darted after him at his utmost speed. As a
mountain falconswiftest of all birdsswoops down upon some
cowering dove--the dove flies before him but the falcon with a
shrill scream follows close afterresolved to have her--even so
did Achilles make straight for Hector with all his mightwhile
Hector fled under the Trojan wall as fast as his limbs could take
him.

On they flew along the waggon-road that ran hard by under the
wallpast the lookout stationand past the weather-beaten wild
fig-treetill they came to two fair springs which feed the river
Scamander. One of these two springs is warmand steam rises from
it as smoke from a burning firebut the other even in summer is
as cold as hail or snowor the ice that forms on water. Here
hard by the springsare the goodly washing-troughs of stone
where in the time of peace before the coming of the Achaeans the
wives and fair daughters of the Trojans used to wash their
clothes. Past these did they flythe one in front and the other
giving chase behind him: good was the man that fledbut better
far was he that followed afterand swiftly indeed did they run
for the prize was no mere beast for sacrifice or bullock's hide
as it might be for a common foot-racebut they ran for the life
of Hector. As horses in a chariot race speed round the
turning-posts when they are running for some great prize--a
tripod or woman--at the games in honour of some dead heroso did
these two run full speed three times round the city of Priam. All
the gods watched themand the sire of gods and men was the first
to speak.

Alas,said hemy eyes behold a man who is dear to me being
pursued round the walls of Troy; my heart is full of pity for
Hector, who has burned the thigh-bones of many a heifer in my
honour, one while on the crests of many-valleyed Ida, and again
on the citadel of Troy; and now I see noble Achilles in full
pursuit of him round the city of Priam. What say you? Consider
among yourselves and decide whether we shall now save him or let
him fall, valiant though he be, before Achilles, son of Peleus.

Then Minerva saidFather, wielder of the lightning, lord of
cloud and storm, what mean you? Would you pluck this mortal whose
doom has long been decreed out of the jaws of death? Do as you
will, but we others shall not be of a mind with you.

And Jove answeredMy child, Trito-born, take heart. I did not
speak in full earnest, and I will let you have your way. Do
without let or hindrance as you are minded.

Thus did he urge Minerva who was already eagerand down she
darted from the topmost summits of Olympus.

Achilles was still in full pursuit of Hectoras a hound chasing
a fawn which he has started from its covert on the mountainsand
hunts through glade and thicket. The fawn may try to elude him by
crouching under cover of a bushbut he will scent her out and
follow her up until he gets her--even so there was no escape for
Hector from the fleet son of Peleus. Whenever he made a set to
get near the Dardanian gates and under the wallsthat his people
might help him by showering down weapons from aboveAchilles
would gain on him and head him back towards the plainkeeping
himself always on the city side. As a man in a dream who fails to
lay hands upon another whom he is pursuing--the one cannot escape
nor the other overtake--even so neither could Achilles come up


with Hectornor Hector break away from Achilles; nevertheless he
might even yet have escaped death had not the time come when
Apollowho thus far had sustained his strength and nerved his
runningwas now no longer to stay by him. Achilles made signs to
the Achaean hostand shook his head to show that no man was to
aim a dart at Hectorlest another might win the glory of having
hit him and he might himself come in second. Thenat lastas
they were nearing the fountains for the fourth timethe father
of all balanced his golden scales and placed a doom in each of
themone for Achilles and the other for Hector. As he held the
scales by the middlethe doom of Hector fell down deep into the
house of Hades--and then Phoebus Apollo left him. Thereon Minerva
went close up to the son of Peleus and saidNoble Achilles,
favoured of heaven, we two shall surely take back to the ships a
triumph for the Achaeans by slaying Hector, for all his lust of
battle. Do what Apollo may as he lies grovelling before his
father, aegis-bearing Jove, Hector cannot escape us longer. Stay
here and take breath, while I go up to him and persuade him to
make a stand and fight you.

Thus spoke Minerva. Achilles obeyed her gladlyand stood still
leaning on his bronze-pointed ashen spearwhile Minerva left him
and went after Hector in the form and with the voice of
Deiphobus. She came close up to him and saidDear brother, I
see you are hard pressed by Achilles who is chasing you at full
speed round the city of Priam, let us await his onset and stand
on our defence.

And Hector answeredDeiphobus, you have always been dearest to
me of all my brothers, children of Hecuba and Priam, but
henceforth I shall rate you yet more highly, inasmuch as you have
ventured outside the wall for my sake when all the others remain
inside.

Then Minerva saidDear brother, my father and mother went down
on their knees and implored me, as did all my comrades, to remain
inside, so great a fear has fallen upon them all; but I was in an
agony of grief when I beheld you; now, therefore, let us two make
a stand and fight, and let there be no keeping our spears in
reserve, that we may learn whether Achilles shall kill us and
bear off our spoils to the ships, or whether he shall fall before
you.

Thus did Minerva inveigle him by her cunningand when the two
were now close to one another great Hector was first to speak. "I
will-no longer fly youson of Peleus said he, as I have been
doing hitherto. Three times have I fled round the mighty city of
Priamwithout daring to withstand youbut nowlet me either
slay or be slainfor I am in the mind to face you. Let usthen
give pledges to one another by our godswho are the fittest
witnesses and guardians of all covenants; let it be agreed
between us that if Jove vouchsafes me the longer stay and I take
your lifeI am not to treat your dead body in any unseemly
fashionbut when I have stripped you of your armourI am to
give up your body to the Achaeans. And do you likewise."

Achilles glared at him and answeredFool, prate not to me about
covenants. There can be no covenants between men and lions,
wolves and lambs can never be of one mind, but hate each other
out and out an through. Therefore there can be no understanding
between you and me, nor may there be any covenants between us,
till one or other shall fall and glut grim Mars with his life's
blood. Put forth all your strength; you have need now to prove
yourself indeed a bold soldier and man of war. You have no more


chance, and Pallas Minerva will forthwith vanquish you by my
spear: you shall now pay me in full for the grief you have caused
me on account of my comrades whom you have killed in battle.

He poised his spear as he spoke and hurled it. Hector saw it
coming and avoided it; he watched it and crouched down so that it
flew over his head and stuck in the ground beyond; Minerva then
snatched it up and gave it back to Achilles without Hector's
seeing her; Hector thereon said to the son of PeleusYou have
missed your aim, Achilles, peer of the gods, and Jove has not yet
revealed to you the hour of my doom, though you made sure that he
had done so. You were a false-tongued liar when you deemed that I
should forget my valour and quail before you. You shall not drive
spear into the back of a runaway--drive it, should heaven so
grant you power, drive it into me as I make straight towards you;
and now for your own part avoid my spear if you can--would that
you might receive the whole of it into your body; if you were
once dead the Trojans would find the war an easier matter, for it
is you who have harmed them most.

He poised his spear as he spoke and hurled it. His aim was true
for he hit the middle of Achilles' shieldbut the spear
rebounded from itand did not pierce it. Hector was angry when
he saw that the weapon had sped from his hand in vainand stood
there in dismay for he had no second spear. With a loud cry he
called Deiphobus and asked him for onebut there was no man;
then he saw the truth and said to himselfAlas! the gods have
lured me on to my destruction. I deemed that the hero Deiphobus
was by my side, but he is within the wall, and Minerva has
inveigled me; death is now indeed exceedingly near at hand and
there is no way out of it--for so Jove and his son Apollo the
far-darter have willed it, though heretofore they have been ever
ready to protect me. My doom has come upon me; let me not then
die ingloriously and without a struggle, but let me first do some
great thing that shall be told among men hereafter.

As he spoke he drew the keen blade that hung so great and strong
by his sideand gathering himself together be sprang on Achilles
like a soaring eagle which swoops down from the clouds on to some
lamb or timid hare--even so did Hector brandish his sword and
spring upon Achilles. Achilles mad with rage darted towards him
with his wondrous shield before his breastand his gleaming
helmetmade with four layers of metalnodding fiercely forward.
The thick tresses of gold with which Vulcan had crested the
helmet floated round itand as the evening star that shines
brighter than all others through the stillness of nighteven
such was the gleam of the spear which Achilles poised in his
right handfraught with the death of noble Hector. He eyed his
fair flesh over and over to see where he could best wound itbut
all was protected by the goodly armour of which Hector had
spoiled Patroclus after he had slain himsave only the throat
where the collar-bones divide the neck from the shouldersand
this is a most deadly place: here then did Achilles strike him as
he was coming on towards himand the point of his spear went
right through the fleshy part of the neckbut it did not sever
his windpipe so that he could still speak. Hector fell headlong
and Achilles vaunted over him sayingHector, you deemed that
you should come off scatheless when you were spoiling Patroclus,
and recked not of myself who was not with him. Fool that you
were: for I, his comrade, mightier far than he, was still left
behind him at the ships, and now I have laid you low. The
Achaeans shall give him all due funeral rites, while dogs and
vultures shall work their will upon yourself.


Then Hector saidas the life ebbed out of himI pray you by
your life and knees, and by your parents, let not dogs devour me
at the ships of the Achaeans, but accept the rich treasure of
gold and bronze which my father and mother will offer you, and
send my body home, that the Trojans and their wives may give me
my dues of fire when I am dead.

Achilles glared at him and answeredDog, talk not to me neither
of knees nor parents; would that I could be as sure of being able
to cut your flesh into pieces and eat it raw, for the ill you
have done me, as I am that nothing shall save you from the
dogs--it shall not be, though they bring ten or twenty-fold
ransom and weigh it out for me on the spot, with promise of yet
more hereafter. Though Priam son of Dardanus should bid them
offer me your weight in gold, even so your mother shall never lay
you out and make lament over the son she bore, but dogs and
vultures shall eat you utterly up.

Hector with his dying breath then saidI know you what you are,
and was sure that I should not move you, for your heart is hard
as iron; look to it that I bring not heaven's anger upon you on
the day when Paris and Phoebus Apollo, valiant though you be,
shall slay you at the Scaean gates.

When he had thus said the shrouds of death enfolded himwhereon
his soul went out of him and flew down to the house of Hades
lamenting its sad fate that it should enjoy youth and strength no
longer. But Achilles saidspeaking to the dead bodyDie; for
my part I will accept my fate whensoever Jove and the other gods
see fit to send it.

As he spoke he drew his spear from the body and set it on one
side; then he stripped the blood-stained armour from Hector's
shoulders while the other Achaeans came running up to view his
wondrous strength and beauty; and no one came near him without
giving him a fresh wound. Then would one turn to his neighbour
and sayIt is easier to handle Hector now than when he was
flinging fire on to our shipsand as he spoke he would thrust
his spear into him anew.

When Achilles had done spoiling Hector of his armourhe stood
among the Argives and saidMy friends, princes and counsellors
of the Argives, now that heaven has vouchsafed us to overcome
this man, who has done us more hurt than all the others together,
consider whether we should not attack the city in force, and
discover in what mind the Trojans may be. We should thus learn
whether they will desert their city now that Hector has fallen,
or will still hold out even though he is no longer living. But
why argue with myself in this way, while Patroclus is still lying
at the ships unburied, and unmourned--he whom I can never forget
so long as I am alive and my strength fails not? Though men
forget their dead when once they are within the house of Hades,
yet not even there will I forget the comrade whom I have lost.
Now, therefore, Achaean youths, let us raise the song of victory
and go back to the ships taking this man along with us; for we
have achieved a mighty triumph and have slain noble Hector to
whom the Trojans prayed throughout their city as though he were a
god.

On this he treated the body of Hector with contumely: he pierced
the sinews at the back of both his feet from heel to ancle and
passed thongs of ox-hide through the slits he had made: thus he
made the body fast to his chariotletting the head trail upon
the ground. Then when he had put the goodly armour on the chariot


and had himself mountedhe lashed his horses on and they flew
forward nothing loth. The dust rose from Hector as he was being
dragged alonghis dark hair flew all abroadand his head once
so comely was laid low on earthfor Jove had now delivered him
into the hands of his foes to do him outrage in his own land.

Thus was the head of Hector being dishonoured in the dust. His
mother tore her hairand flung her veil from her with a loud cry
as she looked upon her son. His father made piteous moanand
throughout the city the people fell to weeping and wailing. It
was as though the whole of frowning Ilius was being smirched with
fire. Hardly could the people hold Priam back in his hot haste to
rush without the gates of the city. He grovelled in the mire and
besought themcalling each one of them by his name. "Let bemy
friends he cried, and for all your sorrowsuffer me to go
single-handed to the ships of the Achaeans. Let me beseech this
cruel and terrible manif maybe he will respect the feeling of
his fellow-menand have compassion on my old age. His own father
is even such another as myself--Peleuswho bred him and reared
him to be the bane of us Trojansand of myself more than of all
others. Many a son of mine has he slain in the flower of his
youthand yetgrieve for these as I mayI do so for one--
Hector--more than for them alland the bitterness of my sorrow
will bring me down to the house of Hades. Would that he had died
in my armsfor so both his ill-starred mother who bore himand
myselfshould have had the comfort of weeping and mourning over
him."

Thus did he speak with many tearsand all the people of the city
joined in his lament. Hecuba then raised the cry of wailing among
the Trojans. "Alasmy son she cried, what have I left to live
for now that you are no more? Night and day did I glory in you
throughout the cityfor you were a tower of strength to all in
Troyand both men and women alike hailed you as a god. So long
as you lived you were their pridebut now death and destruction
have fallen upon you."

Hector's wife had as yet heard nothingfor no one had come to
tell her that her husband had remained without the gates. She was
at her loom in an inner part of the houseweaving a double
purple weband embroidering it with many flowers. She told her
maids to set a large tripod on the fireso as to have a warm
bath ready for Hector when he came out of battle; poor womanshe
knew not that he was now beyond the reach of bathsand that
Minerva had laid him low by the hands of Achilles. She heard the
cry coming as from the walland trembled in every limb; the
shuttle fell from her handsand again she spoke to her
waiting-women. "Two of you she said, come with me that I may
learn what it is that has befallen; I heard the voice of my
husband's honoured mother; my own heart beats as though it would
come into my mouth and my limbs refuse to carry me; some great
misfortune for Priam's children must be at hand. May I never live
to hear itbut I greatly fear that Achilles has cut off the
retreat of brave Hector and has chased him on to the plain where
he was singlehanded; I fear he may have put an end to the
reckless daring which possessed my husbandwho would never
remain with the body of his menbut would dash on far in front
foremost of them all in valour."

Her heart beat fastand as she spoke she flew from the house
like a maniacwith her waiting-women following after. When she
reached the battlements and the crowd of peopleshe stood
looking out upon the walland saw Hector being borne away in
front of the city--the horses dragging him without heed or care


over the ground towards the ships of the Achaeans. Her eyes were
then shrouded as with the darkness of night and she fell fainting
backwards. She tore the attiring from her head and flung it from
herthe frontlet and net with its plaited bandand the veil
which golden Venus had given her on the day when Hector took her
with him from the house of Eetionafter having given countless
gifts of wooing for her sake. Her husband's sisters and the wives
of his brothers crowded round her and supported herfor she was
fain to die in her distraction; when she again presently breathed
and came to herselfshe sobbed and made lament among the Trojans
sayingWoe is me, O Hector; woe, indeed, that to share a common
lot we were born, you at Troy in the house of Priam, and I at
Thebes under the wooded mountain of Placus in the house of Eetion
who brought me up when I was a child--ill-starred sire of an
ill-starred daughter--would that he had never begotten me. You
are now going into the house of Hades under the secret places of
the earth, and you leave me a sorrowing widow in your house. The
child, of whom you and I are the unhappy parents, is as yet a
mere infant. Now that you are gone, O Hector, you can do nothing
for him nor he for you. Even though he escape the horrors of this
woeful war with the Achaeans, yet shall his life henceforth be
one of labour and sorrow, for others will seize his lands. The
day that robs a child of his parents severs him from his own
kind; his head is bowed, his cheeks are wet with tears, and he
will go about destitute among the friends of his father, plucking
one by the cloak and another by the shirt. Some one or other of
these may so far pity him as to hold the cup for a moment towards
him and let him moisten his lips, but he must not drink enough to
wet the roof of his mouth; then one whose parents are alive will
drive him from the table with blows and angry words. 'Out with
you,' he will say, 'you have no father here,' and the child will
go crying back to his widowed mother--he, Astyanax, who erewhile
would sit upon his father's knees, and have none but the
daintiest and choicest morsels set before him. When he had played
till he was tired and went to sleep, he would lie in a bed, in
the arms of his nurse, on a soft couch, knowing neither want nor
care, whereas now that he has lost his father his lot will be
full of hardship--he, whom the Trojans name Astyanax, because
you, O Hector, were the only defence of their gates and
battlements. The wriggling writhing worms will now eat you at the
ships, far from your parents, when the dogs have glutted
themselves upon you. You will lie naked, although in your house
you have fine and goodly raiment made by hands of women. This
will I now burn; it is of no use to you, for you can never again
wear it, and thus you will have respect shown you by the Trojans
both men and women.

In such wise did she cry aloud amid her tearsand the women
joined in her lament.

BOOK XXIII

THUS did they make their moan throughout the citywhile the
Achaeans when they reached the Hellespont went back every man to
his own ship. But Achilles would not let the Myrmidons goand
spoke to his brave comrades sayingMyrmidons, famed horsemen
and my own trusted friends, not yet, forsooth, let us unyoke, but
with horse and chariot draw near to the body and mourn Patroclus,
in due honour to the dead. When we have had full comfort of
lamentation we will unyoke our horses and take supper all of us
here.


On this they all joined in a cry of wailing and Achilles led them
in their lament. Thrice did they drive their chariots all
sorrowing round the bodyand Thetis stirred within them a still
deeper yearning. The sands of the seashore and the men's armour
were wet with their weepingso great a minister of fear was he
whom they had lost. Chief in all their mourning was the son of
Peleus: he laid his bloodstained hand on the breast of his
friend. "Fare well he cried, Patrocluseven in the house of
Hades. I will now do all that I erewhile promised you; I will
drag Hector hither and let dogs devour him raw; twelve noble sons
of Trojans will I also slay before your pyre to avenge you."

As he spoke he treated the body of noble Hector with contumely
laying it at full length in the dust beside the bier of
Patroclus. The others then put off every man his armourtook the
horses from their chariotsand seated themselves in great
multitude by the ship of the fleet descendant of Aeacuswho
thereon feasted them with an abundant funeral banquet. Many a
goodly oxwith many a sheep and bleating goat did they butcher
and cut up; many a tusked boar moreoverfat and well-feddid
they singe and set to roast in the flames of Vulcan; and rivulets
of blood flowed all round the place where the body was lying.

Then the princes of the Achaeans took the son of Peleus to
Agamemnonbut hardly could they persuade him to come with them
so wroth was he for the death of his comrade. As soon as they
reached Agamemnon's tent they told the serving-men to set a large
tripod over the fire in case they might persuade the son of
Peleus to wash the clotted gore from this bodybut he denied
them sternlyand swore it with a solemn oathsayingNay, by
King Jove, first and mightiest of all gods, it is not meet that
water should touch my body, till I have laid Patroclus on the
flames, have built him a barrow, and shaved my head--for so long
as I live no such second sorrow shall ever draw nigh me. Now,
therefore, let us do all that this sad festival demands, but at
break of day, King Agamemnon, bid your men bring wood, and
provide all else that the dead may duly take into the realm of
darkness; the fire shall thus burn him out of our sight the
sooner, and the people shall turn again to their own labours.

Thus did he speakand they did even as he had said. They made
haste to prepare the mealthey ateand every man had his full
share so that all were satisfied. As soon as they had had enough
to eat and drinkthe others went to their rest each in his own
tentbut the son of Peleus lay grieving among his Myrmidons by
the shore of the sounding seain an open place where the waves
came surging in one after another. Here a very deep slumber took
hold upon him and eased the burden of his sorrowsfor his limbs
were weary with chasing Hector round windy Ilius. Presently the
sad spirit of Patroclus drew near himlike what he had been in
staturevoiceand the light of his beaming eyescladtooas
he had been clad in life. The spirit hovered over his head and
said-


You sleep, Achilles, and have forgotten me; you loved me living,
but now that I am dead you think for me no further. Bury me with
all speed that I may pass the gates of Hades; the ghosts, vain
shadows of men that can labour no more, drive me away from them;
they will not yet suffer me to join those that are beyond the
river, and I wander all desolate by the wide gates of the house
of Hades. Give me now your hand I pray you, for when you have
once given me my dues of fire, never shall I again come forth out
of the house of Hades. Nevermore shall we sit apart and take
sweet counsel among the living; the cruel fate which was my


birth-right has yawned its wide jaws around me--nay, you too
Achilles, peer of gods, are doomed to die beneath the wall of the
noble Trojans.

One prayer more will I make youif you will grant it; let not
my bones be laid apart from yoursAchillesbut with them; even
as we were brought up together in your own homewhat time
Menoetius brought me to you as a child from Opoeis because by a
sad spite I had killed the son of Amphidamas--not of set purpose
but in childish quarrel over the dice. The knight Peleus took me
into his houseentreated me kindlyand named me to be your
squire; therefore let our bones lie in but a single urnthe
two-handled golden vase given to you by your mother."

And Achilles answeredWhy, true heart, are you come hither to
lay these charges upon me? will of my own self do all as you have
bidden me. Draw closer to me, let us once more throw our arms
around one another, and find sad comfort in the sharing of our
sorrows.

He opened his arms towards him as he spoke and would have clasped
him in thembut there was nothingand the spirit vanished as a
vapourgibbering and whining into the earth. Achilles sprang to
his feetsmote his two handsand made lamentation sayingOf a
truth even in the house of Hades there are ghosts and phantoms
that have no life in them; all night long the sad spirit of
Patroclus has hovered over head making piteous moan, telling me
what I am to do for him, and looking wondrously like himself.

Thus did he speak and his words set them all weeping and mourning
about the poor dumb deadtill rosy-fingered morn appeared. Then
King Agamemnon sent men and mules from all parts of the campto
bring woodand Merionessquire to Idomeneuswas in charge over
them. They went out with woodmen's axes and strong ropes in their
handsand before them went the mules. Up hill and down dale did
they goby straight ways and crookedand when they reached the
heights of many-fountained Idathey laid their axes to the roots
of many a tall branching oak that came thundering down as they
felled it. They split the trees and bound them behind the mules
which then wended their way as they best could through the thick
brushwood on to the plain. All who had been cutting wood bore
logsfor so Meriones squire to Idomeneus had bidden themand
they threw them down in a line upon the seashore at the place
where Achilles would make a mighty monument for Patroclus and for
himself.

When they had thrown down their great logs of wood over the whole
groundthey stayed all of them where they werebut Achilles
ordered his brave Myrmidons to gird on their armourand to yoke
each man his horses; they therefore rosegirded on their armour
and mounted each his chariot--they and their charioteers with
them. The chariots went beforeand they that were on foot
followed as a cloud in their tens of thousands after. In the
midst of them his comrades bore Patroclus and covered him with
the locks of their hair which they cut off and threw upon his
body. Last came Achilles with his head bowed for sorrowso noble
a comrade was he taking to the house of Hades.

When they came to the place of which Achilles had told them they
laid the body down and built up the wood. Achilles then bethought
him of another matter. He went a space away from the pyreand
cut off the yellow lock which he had let grow for the river
Spercheius. He looked all sorrowfully out upon the dark seaand
saidSpercheius, in vain did my father Peleus vow to you that


when I returned home to my loved native land I should cut off
this lock and offer you a holy hecatomb; fifty she-goats was I to
sacrifice to you there at your springs, where is your grove and
your altar fragrant with burnt-offerings. Thus did my father vow,
but you have not fulfilled his prayer; now, therefore, that I
shall see my home no more, I give this lock as a keepsake to the
hero Patroclus.

As he spoke he placed the lock in the hands of his dear comrade
and all who stood by were filled with yearning and lamentation.
The sun would have gone down upon their mourning had not Achilles
presently said to AgamemnonSon of Atreus, for it is to you
that the people will give ear, there is a time to mourn and a
time to cease from mourning; bid the people now leave the pyre
and set about getting their dinners: we, to whom the dead is
dearest, will see to what is wanted here, and let the other
princes also stay by me.

When King Agamemnon heard this he dismissed the people to their
shipsbut those who were about the dead heaped up wood and built
a pyre a hundred feet this way and that; then they laid the dead
all sorrowfully upon the top of it. They flayed and dressed many
fat sheep and oxen before the pyreand Achilles took fat from
all of them and wrapped the body therein from head to foot
heaping the flayed carcases all round it. Against the bier he
leaned two-handled jars of honey and unguents; four proud horses
did he then cast upon the pyregroaning the while he did so. The
dead hero had had house-dogs; two of them did Achilles slay and
threw upon the pyre; he also put twelve brave sons of noble
Trojans to the sword and laid them with the restfor he was full
of bitterness and fury. Then he committed all to the resistless
and devouring might of the fire; he groaned aloud and called on
his dead comrade by name. "Fare well he cried, Patrocluseven
in the house of Hades; I am now doing all that I have promised
you. Twelve brave sons of noble Trojans shall the flames consume
along with yourselfbut dogsnot fireshall devour the flesh
of Hector son of Priam."

Thus did he vauntbut the dogs came not about the body of
Hectorfor Jove's daughter Venus kept them off him night and
dayand anointed him with ambrosial oil of roses that his flesh
might not be torn when Achilles was dragging him about. Phoebus
Apollo moreover sent a dark cloud from heaven to earthwhich
gave shade to the whole place where Hector laythat the heat of
the sun might not parch his body.

Now the pyre about dead Patroclus would not kindle. Achilles
therefore bethought him of another matter; he went apart and
prayed to the two winds Boreas and Zephyrus vowing them goodly
offerings. He made them many drink-offerings from the golden cup
and besought them to come and help him that the wood might make
haste to kindle and the dead bodies be consumed. Fleet Iris heard
him praying and started off to fetch the winds. They were holding
high feast in the house of boisterous Zephyrus when Iris came
running up to the stone threshold of the house and stood there
but as soon as they set eyes on her they all came towards her and
each of them called her to himbut Iris would not sit down. "I
cannot stay she said, I must go back to the streams of Oceanus
and the land of the Ethiopians who are offering hecatombs to the
immortalsand I would have my share; but Achilles prays that
Boreas and shrill Zephyrus will come to himand he vows them
goodly offerings; he would have you blow upon the pyre of
Patroclus for whom all the Achaeans are lamenting."


With this she left themand the two winds rose with a cry that
rent the air and swept the clouds before them. They blew on and
on until they came to the seaand the waves rose high beneath
thembut when they reached Troy they fell upon the pyre till the
mighty flames roared under the blast that they blew. All night
long did they blow hard and beat upon the fireand all night
long did Achilles grasp his double cupdrawing wine from a
mixing-bowl of goldand calling upon the spirit of dead
Patroclus as he poured it upon the ground until the earth was
drenched. As a father mourns when he is burning the bones of his
bridegroom son whose death has wrung the hearts of his parents
even so did Achilles mourn while burning the body of his comrade
pacing round the bier with piteous groaning and lamentation.

At length as the Morning Star was beginning to herald the light
which saffron-mantled Dawn was soon to suffuse over the seathe
flames fell and the fire began to die. The winds then went home
beyond the Thracian seawhich roared and boiled as they swept
over it. The son of Peleus now turned away from the pyre and lay
downovercome with toiltill he fell into a sweet slumber.
Presently they who were about the son of Atreus drew near in a
bodyand roused him with the noise and tramp of their coming. He
sat upright and saidSon of Atreus, and all other princes of
the Achaeans, first pour red wine everywhere upon the fire and
quench it; let us then gather the bones of Patroclus son of
Menoetius, singling them out with care; they are easily found,
for they lie in the middle of the pyre, while all else, both men
and horses, has been thrown in a heap and burned at the outer
edge. We will lay the bones in a golden urn, in two layers of
fat, against the time when I shall myself go down into the house
of Hades. As for the barrow, labour not to raise a great one now,
but such as is reasonable. Afterwards, let those Achaeans who may
be left at the ships when I am gone, build it both broad and
high.

Thus he spoke and they obeyed the word of the son of Peleus.
First they poured red wine upon the thick layer of ashes and
quenched the fire. With many tears they singled out the whitened
bones of their loved comrade and laid them within a golden urn in
two layers of fat: they then covered the urn with a linen cloth
and took it inside the tent. They marked off the circle where the
barrow should bemade a foundation for it about the pyreand
forthwith heaped up the earth. When they had thus raised a mound
they were going awaybut Achilles stayed the people and made
them sit in assembly. He brought prizes from the
ships--cauldronstripodshorses and mulesnoble oxenwomen
with fair girdlesand swart iron.

The first prize he offered was for the chariot races--a woman
skilled in all useful artsand a three-legged cauldron that had
ears for handlesand would hold twenty-two measures. This was
for the man who came in first. For the second there was a
six-year old mareunbrokenand in foal to a he-ass; the third
was to have a goodly cauldron that had never yet been on the
fire; it was still bright as when it left the makerand would
hold four measures. The fourth prize was two talents of goldand
the fifth a two-handled urn as yet unsoiled by smoke. Then he
stood up and spoke among the Argives saying-


Son of Atreus, and all other Achaeans, these are the prizes that
lie waiting the winners of the chariot races. At any other time I
should carry off the first prize and take it to my own tent; you
know how far my steeds excel all others--for they are immortal;
Neptune gave them to my father Peleus, who in his turn gave them


to myself; but I shall hold aloof, I and my steeds that have lost
their brave and kind driver, who many a time has washed them in
clear water and anointed their manes with oil. See how they stand
weeping here, with their manes trailing on the ground in the
extremity of their sorrow. But do you others set yourselves in
order throughout the host, whosoever has confidence in his horses
and in the strength of his chariot.

Thus spoke the son of Peleus and the drivers of chariots
bestirred themselves. First among them all uprose Eumelusking
of menson of Admetusa man excellent in horsemanship. Next to
him rose mighty Diomed son of Tydeus; he yoked the Trojan horses
which he had taken from Aeneaswhen Apollo bore him out of the
fight. Next to himyellow-haired Menelaus son of Atreus rose and
yoked his fleet horsesAgamemnon's mare Aetheand his own horse
Podargus. The mare had been given to Agamemnon by Echepolus son
of Anchisesthat he might not have to follow him to Iliusbut
might stay at home and take his ease; for Jove had endowed him
with great wealth and he lived in spacious Sicyon. This mareall
eager for the racedid Menelaus put under the yoke.

Fourth in order Antilochusson to noble Nestor son of Neleus
made ready his horses. These were bred in Pylosand his father
came up to him to give him good advice of whichhoweverhe
stood in but little need. "Antilochus said Nestor, you are
youngbut Jove and Neptune have loved you welland have made
you an excellent horseman. I need not therefore say much by way
of instruction. You are skilful at wheeling your horses round the
postbut the horses themselves are very slowand it is this
that willI fearmar your chances. The other drivers know less
than you dobut their horses are fleeter; thereforemy dear
sonsee if you cannot hit upon some artifice whereby you may
insure that the prize shall not slip through your fingers. The
woodman does more by skill than by brute force; by skill the
pilot guides his storm-tossed barque over the seaand so by
skill one driver can beat another. If a man go wide in rounding
this way and thatwhereas a man who knows what he is doing may
have worse horsesbut he will keep them well in hand when he
sees the doubling-post; he knows the precise moment at which to
pull the reinand keeps his eye well on the man in front of him.
I will give you this certain token which cannot escape your
notice. There is a stump of a dead tree--oak or pine as it may
be--some six feet above the groundand not yet rotted away by
rain; it stands at the fork of the road; it has two white stones
set one on each sideand there is a clear course all round it.
It may have been a monument to some one long since deador it
may have been used as a doubling-post in days gone by; now
howeverit has been fixed on by Achilles as the mark round which
the chariots shall turn; hug it as close as you canbut as you
stand in your chariot lean over a little to the left; urge on
your right-hand horse with voice and lashand give him a loose
reinbut let the left-hand horse keep so close inthat the nave
of your wheel shall almost graze the post; but mind the stoneor
you will wound your horses and break your chariot in pieces
which would be sport for others but confusion for yourself.
Thereforemy dear sonmind well what you are aboutfor if you
can be first to round the post there is no chance of any one
giving you the go-by laternot even though you had Adrestus's
horse Arion behind you--a horse which is of divine race--or those
of Laomedonwhich are the noblest in this country."

When Nestor had made an end of counselling his son he sat down in
his placeand fifth in order Meriones got ready his horses.
They then all mounted their chariots and cast lots. Achilles


shook the helmetand the lot of Antilochus son of Nestor fell
out first; next came that of King Eumelusand after histhose
of Menelaus son of Atreus and of Meriones. The last place fell to
the lot of Diomed son of Tydeuswho was the best man of them
all. They took their places in line; Achilles showed them the
doubling-post round which they were to turnsome way off upon
the plain; here he stationed his father's follower Phoenix as
umpireto note the runningand report truly.

At the same instant they all of them lashed their horsesstruck
them with the reinsand shouted at them with all their might.
They flew full speed over the plain away from the shipsthe dust
rose from under them as it were a cloud or whirlwindand their
manes were all flying in the wind. At one moment the chariots
seemed to touch the groundand then again they bounded into the
air; the drivers stood erectand their hearts beat fast and
furious in their lust of victory. Each kept calling on his
horsesand the horses scoured the plain amid the clouds of dust
that they raised.

It was when they were doing the last part of the course on their
way back towards the sea that their pace was strained to the
utmost and it was seen what each could do. The horses of the
descendant of Pheres now took the leadand close behind them
came the Trojan stallions of Diomed. They seemed as if about to
mount Eumelus's chariotand he could feel their warm breath on
his back and on his broad shouldersfor their heads were close
to him as they flew over the course. Diomed would have now passed
himor there would have been a dead heatbut Phoebus Apollo to
spite him made him drop his whip. Tears of anger fell from his
eyes as he saw the mares going on faster than everwhile his own
horses lost ground through his having no whip. Minerva saw the
trick which Apollo had played the son of Tydeusso she brought
him his whip and put spirit into his horses; moreover she went
after the son of Admetus in a rage and broke his yoke for him;
the mares went one to one side of the courseand the other to
the otherand the pole was broken against the ground. Eumelus
was thrown from his chariot close to the wheel; his elbows
mouthand nostrils were all tornand his forehead was bruised
above his eyebrows; his eyes filled with tears and he could find
no utterance. But the son of Tydeus turned his horses aside and
shot far aheadfor Minerva put fresh strength into them and
covered Diomed himself with glory.

Menelaus son of Atreus came next behind himbut Antilochus
called to his father's horses. "On with you both he cried, and
do your very utmost. I do not bid you try to beat the steeds of
the son of Tydeusfor Minerva has put running into themand has
covered Diomed with glory; but you must overtake the horses of
the son of Atreus and not be left behindor Aethe who is so
fleet will taunt you. Whymy good fellowsare you lagging? I
tell youand it shall surely be--Nestor will keep neither of
youbut will put both of you to the swordif we win any the
worse a prize through your carelessness. Fly after them at your
utmost speed; I will hit on a plan for passing them in a narrow
part of the wayand it shall not fail me."

They feared the rebuke of their masterand for a short space
went quicker. Presently Antilochus saw a narrow place where the
road had sunk. The ground was brokenfor the winter's rain had
gathered and had worn the road so that the whole place was
deepened. Menelaus was making towards it so as to get there
firstfor fear of a foulbut Antilochus turned his horses out
of the wayand followed him a little on one side. The son of


Atreus was afraid and shouted outAntilochus, you are driving
recklessly; rein in your horses; the road is too narrow here, it
will be wider soon, and you can pass me then; if you foul my
chariot you may bring both of us to a mischief.

But Antilochus plied his whipand drove fasteras though he had
not heard him. They went side by side for about as far as a young
man can hurl a disc from his shoulder when he is trying his
strengthand then Menelaus's mares drew behindfor he left off
driving for fear the horses should foul one another and upset the
chariots; thuswhile pressing on in quest of victorythey might
both come headlong to the ground. Menelaus then upbraided
Antilochus and saidThere is no greater trickster living than
you are; go, and bad luck go with you; the Achaeans say not well
that you have understanding, and come what may you shall not bear
away the prize without sworn protest on my part.

Then he called on his horses and said to themKeep your pace,
and slacken not; the limbs of the other horses will weary sooner
than yours, for they are neither of them young.

The horses feared the rebuke of their masterand went fasterso
that they were soon nearly up with the others.

Meanwhile the Achaeans from their seats were watching how the
horses wentas they scoured the plain amid clouds of their own
dust. Idomeneus captain of the Cretans was first to make out the
runningfor he was not in the thick of the crowdbut stood on
the most commanding part of the ground. The driver was a long way
offbut Idomeneus could hear him shoutingand could see the
foremost horse quite plainly--a chestnut with a round white star
like the moonon its forehead. He stood up and said among the
ArgivesMy friends, princes and counsellors of the Argives, can
you see the running as well as I can? There seems to be another
pair in front now, and another driver; those that led off at the
start must have been disabled out on the plain. I saw them at
first making their way round the doubling-post, but now, though I
search the plain of Troy, I cannot find them. Perhaps the reins
fell from the driver's hand so that he lost command of his horses
at the doubling-post, and could not turn it. I suppose he must
have been thrown out there, and broken his chariot, while his
mares have left the course and gone off wildly in a panic. Come
up and see for yourselves, I cannot make out for certain, but the
driver seems an Aetolian by descent, ruler over the Argives,
brave Diomed the son of Tydeus.

Ajax the son of Oileus took him up rudely and saidIdomeneus,
why should you be in such a hurry to tell us all about it, when
the mares are still so far out upon the plain? You are none of
the youngest, nor your eyes none of the sharpest, but you are
always laying down the law. You have no right to do so, for there
are better men here than you are. Eumelus's horses are in front
now, as they always have been, and he is on the chariot holding
the reins.

The captain of the Cretans was angryand answeredAjax you are
an excellent railer, but you have no judgement, and are wanting
in much else as well, for you have a vile temper. I will wager
you a tripod or cauldron, and Agamemnon son of Atreus shall
decide whose horses are first. You will then know to your cost.

Ajax son of Oileus was for making him an angry answerand there
would have been yet further brawling between themhad not
Achilles risen in his place and saidCease your railing, Ajax


and Idomeneus; is it not you would be scandalised if you saw any
one else do the like: sit down and keep your eyes on the horses;
they are speeding towards the winning-post and will be bere
directly. You will then both of you know whose horses are first,
and whose come after.

As he was speakingthe son of Tydeus came driving inplying his
whip lustily from his shoulderand his horses stepping high as
they flew over the course. The sand and grit rained thick on the
driverand the chariot inlaid with gold and tin ran close behind
his fleet horses. There was little trace of wheel-marks in the
fine dustand the horses came flying in at their utmost speed.
Diomed stayed them in the middle of the crowdand the sweat from
their manes and chests fell in streams on to the ground.
Forthwith he sprang from his goodly chariotand leaned his whip
against his horses' yoke; brave Sthenelus now lost no timebut
at once brought on the prizeand gave the woman and the
ear-handled cauldron to his comrades to take away. Then he
unyoked the horses.

Next after him came in Antilochus of the race of Neleuswho had
passed Menelaus by a trick and not by the fleetness of his
horses; but even so Menelaus came in as close behind him as the
wheel is to the horse that draws both the chariot and its master.
The end hairs of a horse's tail touch the tyre of the wheeland
there is never much space between wheel and horse when the
chariot is going; Menelaus was no further than this behind
Antilochusthough at first he had been a full disc's throw
behind him. He had soon caught him up againfor Agamemnon's mare
Aethe kept pulling stronger and strongerso that if the course
had been longer he would have passed himand there would not
even have been a dead heat. Idomeneus's brave squire Meriones was
about a spear's cast behind Menelaus. His horses were slowest of
alland he was the worst driver. Last of them all came the son
of Admetusdragging his chariot and driving his horses on in
front. When Achilles saw him he was sorryand stood up among the
Argives sayingThe best man is coming in last. Let us give him
a prize for it is reasonable. He shall have the second, but the
first must go to the son of Tydeus.

Thus did he speak and the others all of them applauded his
sayingand were for doing as he had saidbut Nestor's son
Antilochus stood up and claimed his rights from the son of
Peleus. "Achilles said he, I shall take it much amiss if you
do this thing; you would rob me of my prizebecause you think
Eumelus's chariot and horses were thrown outand himself too
good man that he is. He should have prayed duly to the immortals;
he would not have come in last if he had done so. If you are
sorry for him and so chooseyou have much gold in your tents
with bronzesheepcattle and horses. Take something from this
store if you would have the Achaeans speak well of youand give
him a better prize even than that which you have now offered; but
I will not give up the mareand he that will fight me for her
let him come on."

Achilles smiled as he heard thisand was pleased with
Antilochuswho was one of his dearest comrades. So he said-


Antilochus, if you would have me find Eumelus another prize, I
will give him the bronze breastplate with a rim of tin running
all round it which I took from Asteropaeus. It will be worth much
money to him.

He bade his comrade Automedon bring the breastplate from his


tentand he did so. Achilles then gave it over to Eumeluswho
received it gladly.

But Menelaus got up in a ragefuriously angry with Antilochus.
An attendant placed his staff in his hands and bade the Argives
keep silence: the hero then addressed them. "Antilochus said
he, what is this from you who have been so far blameless? You
have made me cut a poor figure and baulked my horses by flinging
your own in front of themthough yours are much worse than mine
are; thereforeO princes and counsellors of the Argivesjudge
between us and show no favourlest one of the Achaeans say
'Menelaus has got the mare through lying and corruption; his
horses were far inferior to Antilochus'sbut he has greater
weight and influence.' NayI will determine the matter myself
and no man will blame mefor I shall do what is just. Come here
Antilochusand standas our custom iswhip in hand before your
chariot and horses; lay your hand on your steedsand swear by
earth-encircling Neptune that you did not purposely and
guilefully get in the way of my horses."

And Antilochus answeredForgive me; I am much younger, King
Menelaus, than you are; you stand higher than I do and are the
better man of the two; you know how easily young men are betrayed
into indiscretion; their tempers are more hasty and they have
less judgement; make due allowances therefore, and bear with me;
I will of my own accord give up the mare that I have won, and if
you claim any further chattel from my own possessions, I would
rather yield it to you, at once, than fall from your good graces
henceforth, and do wrong in the sight of heaven.

The son of Nestor then took the mare and gave her over to
Menelauswhose anger was thus appeased; as when dew falls upon a
field of ripening cornand the lands are bristling with the
harvest--even soO Menelauswas your heart made glad within
you. He turned to Antilochus and saidNow, Antilochus, angry
though I have been, I can give way to you of my own free will;
you have never been headstrong nor ill-disposed hitherto, but
this time your youth has got the better of your judgement; be
careful how you outwit your betters in future; no one else could
have brought me round so easily, but your good father, your
brother, and yourself have all of you had infinite trouble on my
behalf; I therefore yield to your entreaty, and will give up the
mare to you, mine though it indeed be; the people will thus see
that I am neither harsh nor vindictive.

With this he gave the mare over to Antilochus's comrade Noemon
and then took the cauldron. Merioneswho had come in fourth
carried off the two talents of goldand the fifth prizethe
two-handled urnbeing unawardedAchilles gave it to Nestor
going up to him among the assembled Argives and sayingTake
this, my good old friend, as an heirloom and memorial of the
funeral of Patroclus--for you shall see him no more among the
Argives. I give you this prize though you cannot win one; you can
now neither wrestle nor fight, and cannot enter for the
javelin-match nor foot-races, for the hand of age has been laid
heavily upon you.

So saying he gave the urn over to Nestorwho received it gladly
and answeredMy son, all that you have said is true; there is
no strength now in my legs and feet, nor can I hit out with my
hands from either shoulder. Would that I were still young and
strong as when the Epeans were burying King Amarynceus in
Buprasium, and his sons offered prizes in his honour. There was
then none that could vie with me neither of the Epeans nor the


Pylians themselves nor the Aetolians. In boxing I overcame
Clytomedes son of Enops, and in wrestling, Ancaeus of Pleuron who
had come forward against me. Iphiclus was a good runner, but I
beat him, and threw farther with my spear than either Phyleus or
Polydorus. In chariot-racing alone did the two sons of Actor
surpass me by crowding their horses in front of me, for they were
angry at the way victory had gone, and at the greater part of the
prizes remaining in the place in which they had been offered.
They were twins, and the one kept on holding the reins, and
holding the reins, while the other plied the whip. Such was I
then, but now I must leave these matters to younger men; I must
bow before the weight of years, but in those days I was eminent
among heroes. And now, sir, go on with the funeral contests in
honour of your comrade: gladly do I accept this urn, and my heart
rejoices that you do not forget me but are ever mindful of my
goodwill towards you, and of the respect due to me from the
Achaeans. For all which may the grace of heaven be vouchsafed you
in great abundance.

Thereon the son of Peleuswhen he had listened to all the thanks
of Nestorwent about among the concourse of the Achaeansand
presently offered prizes for skill in the painful art of boxing.
He brought out a strong muleand made it fast in the middle of
the crowd--a she-mule never yet brokenbut six years old--when
it is hardest of all to break them: this was for the victorand
for the vanquished he offered a double cup. Then he stood up and
said among the ArgivesSon of Atreus, and all other Achaeans, I
invite our two champion boxers to lay about them lustily and
compete for these prizes. He to whom Apollo vouchsafes the
greater endurance, and whom the Achaeans acknowledge as victor,
shall take the mule back with him to his own tent, while he that
is vanquished shall have the double cup.

As he spoke there stood up a champion both brave and great
staturea skilful boxerEpeusson of Panopeus. He laid his
hand on the mule and saidLet the man who is to have the cup
come hither, for none but myself will take the mule. I am the
best boxer of all here present, and none can beat me. Is it not
enough that I should fall short of you in actual fighting? Still,
no man can be good at everything. I tell you plainly, and it
shall come true; if any man will box with me I will bruise his
body and break his bones; therefore let his friends stay here in
a body and be at hand to take him away when I have done with
him.

They all held their peaceand no man rose save Euryalus son of
Mecisteuswho was son of Talaus. Mecisteus went once to Thebes
after the fall of Oedipusto attend his funeraland he beat all
the people of Cadmus. The son of Tydeus was Euryalus's second
cheering him on and hoping heartily that he would win. First he
put a waistband round him and then he gave him some well-cut
thongs of ox-hide; the two men being now girt went into the
middle of the ringand immediately fell to; heavily indeed did
they punish one another and lay about them with their brawny
fists. One could hear the horrid crashing of their jawsand they
sweated from every pore of their skin. Presently Epeus came on
and gave Euryalus a blow on the jaw as he was looking round;
Euryalus could not keep his legs; they gave way under him in a
moment and he sprang up with a boundas a fish leaps into the
air near some shore that is all bestrewn with sea-wrackwhen
Boreas furs the top of the wavesand then falls back into deep
water. But noble Epeus caught hold of him and raised him up; his
comrades also came round him and led him from the ringunsteady
in his gaithis head hanging on one sideand spitting great


clots of gore. They set him down in a swoon and then went to
fetch the double cup.

The son of Peleus now brought out the prizes for the third
contest and showed them to the Argives. These were for the
painful art of wrestling. For the winner there was a great tripod
ready for setting upon the fireand the Achaeans valued it among
themselves at twelve oxen. For the loser he brought out a woman
skilled in all manner of artsand they valued her at four oxen.
He rose and said among the ArgivesStand forward, you who will
essay this contest.

Forthwith uprose great Ajax the son of Telamonand crafty
Ulyssesfull of wilesrose also. The two girded themselves and
went into the middle of the ring. They gripped each other in
their strong hands like the rafters which some master-builder
frames for the roof of a high house to keep the wind out. Their
backbones cracked as they tugged at one another with their mighty
arms--and sweat rained from them in torrents. Many a bloody weal
sprang up on their sides and shouldersbut they kept on striving
with might and main for victory and to win the tripod. Ulysses
could not throw Ajaxnor Ajax him; Ulysses was too strong for
him; but when the Achaeans began to tire of watching themAjax
said to UlyssesUlysses, noble son of Laertes, you shall either
lift me, or I you, and let Jove settle it between us.

He lifted him from the ground as he spokebut Ulysses did not
forget his cunning. He hit Ajax in the hollow at back of his
kneeso that he could not keep his feetbut fell on his back
with Ulysses lying upon his chestand all who saw it marvelled.
Then Ulysses in turn lifted Ajax and stirred him a little from
the ground but could not lift him right off ithis knee sank
under himand the two fell side by side on the ground and were
all begrimed with dust. They now sprang towards one another and
were for wrestling yet a third timebut Achilles rose and stayed
them. "Put not each other further said he, to such cruel
suffering; the victory is with both aliketake each of you an
equal prizeand let the other Achaeans now compete."

Thus did he speak and they did even as he had saidand put on
their shirts again after wiping the dust from off their bodies.

The son of Peleus then offered prizes for speed in running--a
mixing-bowl beautifully wroughtof pure silver. It would hold
six measuresand far exceeded all others in the whole world for
beauty; it was the work of cunning artificers in Sidonand had
been brought into port by Phoenicians from beyond the seawho
had made a present of it to Thoas. Eueneus son of Jason had given
it to Patroclus in ransom of Priam's son Lycaonand Achilles now
offered it as a prize in honour of his comrade to him who should
be the swiftest runner. For the second prize he offered a large
oxwell fattenedwhile for the last there was to be half a
talent of gold. He then rose and said among the ArgivesStand
forward, you who will essay this contest.

Forthwith uprose fleet Ajax son of Oileuswith cunning Ulysses
and Nestor's son Antilochusthe fastest runner among all the
youth of his time. They stood side by side and Achilles showed
them the goal. The course was set out for them from the
starting-postand the son of Oileus took the lead at oncewith
Ulysses as close behind him as the shuttle is to a woman's bosom
when she throws the woof across the warp and holds it close up to
her; even so close behind him was Ulysses--treading in his
footprints before the dust could settle thereand Ajax could


feel his breath on the back of his head as he ran swiftly on. The
Achaeans all shouted applause as they saw him straining his
utmostand cheered him as he shot past them; but when they were
now nearing the end of the course Ulysses prayed inwardly to
Minerva. "Hear me he cried, and help my feetO goddess." Thus
did he prayand Pallas Minerva heard his prayer; she made his
hands and his feet feel lightand when the runners were at the
point of pouncing upon the prizeAjaxthrough Minerva's spite
slipped upon some offal that was lying there from the cattle
which Achilles had slaughtered in honour of Patroclusand his
mouth and nostrils were all filled with cow dung. Ulysses
therefore carried off the mixing-bowlfor he got before Ajax and
came in first. But Ajax took the ox and stood with his hand on
one of its hornsspitting the dung out of his mouth. Then he
said to the ArgivesAlas, the goddess has spoiled my running;
she watches over Ulysses and stands by him as though she were his
own mother.Thus did he speak and they all of them laughed
heartily.

Antilochus carried off the last prize and smiled as he said to
the bystandersYou all see, my friends, that now too the gods
have shown their respect for seniority. Ajax is somewhat older
than I am, and as for Ulysses, he belongs to an earlier
generation, but he is hale in spite of his years, and no man of
the Achaeans can run against him save only Achilles.

He said this to pay a compliment to the son of Peleusand
Achilles answeredAntilochus, you shall not have praised me to
no purpose; I shall give you an additional half talent of gold.
He then gave the half talent to Antilochuswho received it
gladly.

Then the son of Peleus brought out the spearhelmet and shield
that had been borne by Sarpedonand were taken from him by
Patroclus. He stood up and said among the ArgivesWe bid two
champions put on their armour, take their keen blades, and make
trial of one another in the presence of the multitude; whichever
of them can first wound the flesh of the other, cut through his
armour, and draw blood, to him will I give this goodly Thracian
sword inlaid with silver, which I took from Asteropaeus, but the
armour let both hold in partnership, and I will give each of them
a hearty meal in my own tent.

Forthwith uprose great Ajax the son of Telamonas also mighty
Diomed son of Tydeus. When they had put on their armour each on
his own side of the ringthey both went into the middle eager to
engageand with fire flashing from their eyes. The Achaeans
marvelled as they beheld themand when the two were now close up
with one anotherthrice did they spring forward and thrice try
to strike each other in close combat. Ajax pierced Diomed's round
shieldbut did not draw bloodfor the cuirass beneath the
shield protected him; thereon the son of Tydeus from over his
huge shield kept aiming continually at Ajax's neck with the point
of his spearand the Achaeans alarmed for his safety bade them
leave off fighting and divide the prize between them. Achilles
then gave the great sword to the son of Tydeuswith its
scabbardand the leathern belt with which to hang it.

Achilles next offered the massive iron quoit which mighty Eetion
had erewhile been used to hurluntil Achilles had slain him and
carried it off in his ships along with other spoils. He stood up
and said among the ArgivesStand forward, you who would essay
this contest. He who wins it will have a store of iron that will
last him five years as they go rolling round, and if his fair


fields lie far from a town his shepherd or ploughman will not
have to make a journey to buy iron, for he will have a stock of
it on his own premises.

Then uprose the two mighty men Polypoetes and Leonteuswith Ajax
son of Telamon and noble Epeus. They stood up one after the other
and Epeus took the quoitwhirled itand flung it from him
which set all the Achaeans laughing. After him threw Leonteus of
the race of Mars. Ajax son of Telamon threw thirdand sent the
quoit beyond any mark that had been made yetbut when mighty
Polypoetes took the quoit he hurled it as though it had been a
stockman's stick which he sends flying about among his cattle
when he is driving themso far did his throw out-distance those
of the others. All who saw it roared applauseand his comrades
carried the prize for him and set it on board his ship.

Achilles next offered a prize of iron for archery--ten
double-edged axes and ten with single edges: he set up a ship's
mastsome way off upon the sandsand with a fine string tied a
pigeon to it by the foot; this was what they were to aim at.
Whoever,he saidcan hit the pigeon shall have all the axes
and take them away with him; he who hits the string without
hitting the bird will have taken a worse aim and shall have the
single-edged axes.

Then uprose King Teucerand Meriones the stalwart squire of
Idomeneus rose alsoThey cast lots in a bronze helmet and the
lot of Teucer fell first. He let fly with his arrow forthwith
but he did not promise hecatombs of firstling lambs to King
Apolloand missed his birdfor Apollo foiled his aim; but he
hit the string with which the bird was tiednear its foot; the
arrow cut the string clean through so that it hung down towards
the groundwhile the bird flew up into the skyand the Achaeans
shouted applause. Merioneswho had his arrow ready while Teucer
was aimingsnatched the bow out of his handand at once
promised that he would sacrifice a hecatomb of firstling lambs to
Apollo lord of the bow; then espying the pigeon high up under the
cloudshe hit her in the middle of the wing as she was circling
upwards; the arrow went clean through the wing and fixed itself
in the ground at Meriones' feetbut the bird perched on the
ship's mast hanging her head and with all her feathers drooping;
the life went out of herand she fell heavily from the mast.
Merionesthereforetook all ten double-edged axeswhile Teucer
bore off the single-edged ones to his ships.

Then the son of Peleus brought in a spear and a cauldron that had
never been on the fire; it was worth an oxand was chased with a
pattern of flowers; and those that throw the javelin stood up--to
wit the son of Atreusking of men Agamemnonand Meriones
stalwart squire of Idomeneus. But Achilles spoke sayingSon of
Atreus, we know how far you excel all others both in power and in
throwing the javelin; take the cauldron back with you to your
ships, but if it so please you, let us give the spear to
Meriones; this at least is what I should myself wish.

King Agamemnon assented. So he gave the bronze spear to Meriones
and handed the goodly cauldron to Talthybius his esquire.

BOOK XXIV

THE assembly now broke up and the people went their ways each to
his own ship. There they made ready their supperand then


bethought them of the blessed boon of sleep; but Achilles still
wept for thinking of his dear comradeand sleepbefore whom all
things bowcould take no hold upon him. This way and that did he
turn as he yearned after the might and manfulness of Patroclus;
he thought of all they had done togetherand all they had gone
through both on the field of battle and on the waves of the weary
sea. As he dwelt on these things he wept bitterly and lay now on
his sidenow on his backand now face downwardstill at last
he rose and went out as one distraught to wander upon the
seashore. Thenwhen he saw dawn breaking over beach and seahe
yoked his horses to his chariotand bound the body of Hector
behind it that he might drag it about. Thrice did he drag it
round the tomb of the son of Menoetiusand then went back into
his tentleaving the body on the ground full length and with its
face downwards. But Apollo would not suffer it to be disfigured
for he pitied the mandead though he now was; therefore he
shielded him with his golden aegis continuallythat he might
take no hurt while Achilles was dragging him.

Thus shamefully did Achilles in his fury dishonour Hector; but
the blessed gods looked down in pity from heavenand urged
Mercuryslayer of Argusto steal the body. All were of this
mind save only JunoNeptuneand Jove's grey-eyed daughterwho
persisted in the hate which they had ever borne towards Ilius
with Priam and his people; for they forgave not the wrong done
them by Alexandrus in disdaining the goddesses who came to him
when he was in his sheepyardsand preferring her who had offered
him a wanton to his ruin.

Whenthereforethe morning of the twelfth day had now come
Phoebus Apollo spoke among the immortals sayingYou gods ought
to be ashamed of yourselves; you are cruel and hard-hearted. Did
not Hector burn you thigh-bones of heifers and of unblemished
goats? And now dare you not rescue even his dead body, for his
wife to look upon, with his mother and child, his father Priam,
and his people, who would forthwith commit him to the flames, and
give him his due funeral rites? So, then, you would all be on the
side of mad Achilles, who knows neither right nor ruth? He is
like some savage lion that in the pride of his great strength and
daring springs upon men's flocks and gorges on them. Even so has
Achilles flung aside all pity, and all that conscience which at
once so greatly banes yet greatly boons him that will heed it.
man may lose one far dearer than Achilles has lost--a son, it may
be, or a brother born from his own mother's womb; yet when he has
mourned him and wept over him he will let him bide, for it takes
much sorrow to kill a man; whereas Achilles, now that he has
slain noble Hector, drags him behind his chariot round the tomb
of his comrade. It were better of him, and for him, that he
should not do so, for brave though he be we gods may take it ill
that he should vent his fury upon dead clay.

Juno spoke up in a rage. "This were well she cried, O lord of
the silver bowif you would give like honour to Hector and to
Achilles; but Hector was mortal and suckled at a woman's breast
whereas Achilles is the offspring of a goddess whom I myself
reared and brought up. I married her to Peleuswho is above
measure dear to the immortals; you gods came all of you to her
wedding; you feasted along with them yourself and brought your
lyre--falseand fond of low companythat you have ever been."

Then said JoveJuno, be not so bitter. Their honour shall not
be equal, but of all that dwell in Ilius, Hector was dearest to
the gods, as also to myself, for his offerings never failed me.
Never was my altar stinted of its dues, nor of the


drink-offerings and savour of sacrifice which we claim of right.
I shall therefore permit the body of mighty Hector to be stolen;
and yet this may hardly be without Achilles coming to know it,
for his mother keeps night and day beside him. Let some one of
you, therefore, send Thetis to me, and I will impart my counsel
to her, namely that Achilles is to accept a ransom from Priam,
and give up the body.

On this Iris fleet as the wind went forth to carry his message.
Down she plunged into the dark sea midway between Samos and rocky
Imbrus; the waters hissed as they closed over herand she sank
into the bottom as the lead at the end of an ox-hornthat is
sped to carry death to fishes. She found Thetis sitting in a
great cave with the other sea-goddesses gathered round her; there
she sat in the midst of them weeping for her noble son who was to
fall far from his own landon the rich plains of Troy. Iris went
up to her and saidRise Thetis; Jove, whose counsels fail not,
bids you come to him.And Thetis answeredWhy does the mighty
god so bid me? I am in great grief, and shrink from going in and
out among the immortals. Still, I will go, and the word that he
may speak shall not be spoken in vain.

The goddess took her dark veilthan which there can be no robe
more sombreand went forth with fleet Iris leading the way
before her. The waves of the sea opened them a pathand when
they reached the shore they flew up into the heavenswhere they
found the all-seeing son of Saturn with the blessed gods that
live for ever assembled near him. Minerva gave up her seat to
herand she sat down by the side of father Jove. Juno then
placed a fair golden cup in her handand spoke to her in words
of comfortwhereon Thetis drank and gave her back the cup; and
the sire of gods and men was the first to speak.

So, goddess,said hefor all your sorrow, and the grief that
I well know reigns ever in your heart, you have come hither to
Olympus, and I will tell you why I have sent for you. This nine
days past the immortals have been quarrelling about Achilles
waster of cities and the body of Hector. The gods would have
Mercury slayer of Argus steal the body, but in furtherance of our
peace and amity henceforward, I will concede such honour to your
son as I will now tell you. Go, then, to the host and lay these
commands upon him; say that the gods are angry with him, and that
I am myself more angry than them all, in that he keeps Hector at
the ships and will not give him up. He may thus fear me and let
the body go. At the same time I will send Iris to great Priam to
bid him go to the ships of the Achaeans, and ransom his son,
taking with him such gifts for Achilles as may give him
satisfaction.

Silver-footed Thetis did as the god had told herand forthwith
down she darted from the topmost summits of Olympus. She went to
her son's tents where she found him grieving bitterlywhile his
trusty comrades round him were busy preparing their morning meal
for which they had killed a great woolly sheep. His mother sat
down beside him and caressed him with her hand sayingMy son,
how long will you keep on thus grieving and making moan? You are
gnawing at your own heart, and think neither of food nor of
woman's embraces; and yet these too were well, for you have no
long time to live, and death with the strong hand of fate are
already close beside you. Now, therefore, heed what I say, for I
come as a messenger from Jove; he says that the gods are angry
with you, and himself more angry than them all, in that you keep
Hector at the ships and will not give him up. Therefore let him
go, and accept a ransom for his body.


And Achilles answeredSo be it. If Olympian Jove of his own
motion thus commands me, let him that brings the ransom bear the
body away.

Thus did mother and son talk together at the ships in long
discourse with one another. Meanwhile the son of Saturn sent Iris
to the strong city of Ilius. "Go said he, fleet Irisfrom the
mansions of Olympusand tell King Priam in Iliusthat he is to
go to the ships of the Achaeans and free the body of his dear
son. He is to take such gifts with him as shall give satisfaction
to Achillesand he is to go alonewith no other Trojansave
only some honoured servant who may drive his mules and waggon
and bring back the body of him whom noble Achilles has slain. Let
him have no thought nor fear of death in his heartfor we will
send the slayer of Argus to escort himand bring him within the
tent of Achilles. Achilles will not kill him nor let another do
sofor he will take heed to his ways and sin notand he will
entreat a suppliant with all honourable courtesy."

On this Irisfleet as the windsped forth to deliver her
message. She went to Priam's houseand found weeping and
lamentation therein. His sons were seated round their father in
the outer courtyardand their raiment was wet with tears: the
old man sat in the midst of them with his mantle wrapped close
about his bodyand his head and neck all covered with the filth
which he had clutched as he lay grovelling in the mire. His
daughters and his sons' wives went wailing about the houseas
they thought of the many and brave men who lay deadslain by the
Argives. The messenger of Jove stood by Priam and spoke softly to
himbut fear fell upon him as she did so. "Take heart she
said, Priam offspring of Dardanustake heart and fear not. I
bring no evil tidingsbut am minded well towards you. I come as
a messenger from Jovewho though he be not neartakes thought
for you and pities you. The lord of Olympus bids you go and
ransom noble Hectorand take with you such gifts as shall give
satisfaction to Achilles. You are to go alonewith no Trojan
save only some honoured servant who may drive your mules and
waggonand bring back to the city the body of him whom noble
Achilles has slain. You are to have no thoughtnor fear of
deathfor Jove will send the slayer of Argus to escort you. When
he has brought you within Achilles' tentAchilles will not kill
you nor let another do sofor he will take heed to his ways and
sin notand he will entreat a suppliant with all honourable
courtesy."

Iris went her way when she had thus spokenand Priam told his
sons to get a mule-waggon readyand to make the body of the
waggon fast upon the top of its bed. Then he went down into his
fragrant store-roomhigh-vaultedand made of cedar-woodwhere
his many treasures were keptand he called Hecuba his wife.
Wife,said hea messenger has come to me from Olympus, and
has told me to go to the ships of the Achaeans to ransom my dear
son, taking with me such gifts as shall give satisfaction to
Achilles. What think you of this matter? for my own part I am
greatly moved to pass through the camps of the Achaeans and go to
their ships.

His wife cried aloud as she heard himand saidAlas, what has
become of that judgement for which you have been ever famous both
among strangers and your own people? How can you venture alone to
the ships of the Achaeans, and look into the face of him who has
slain so many of your brave sons? You must have iron courage, for
if the cruel savage sees you and lays hold on you, he will know


neither respect nor pity. Let us then weep Hector from afar here
in our own house, for when I gave him birth the threads of
overruling fate were spun for him that dogs should eat his flesh
far from his parents, in the house of that terrible man on whose
liver I would fain fasten and devour it. Thus would I avenge my
son, who showed no cowardice when Achilles slew him, and thought
neither of flight nor of avoiding battle as he stood in defence
of Trojan men and Trojan women.

Then Priam saidI would go, do not therefore stay me nor be as
a bird of ill omen in my house, for you will not move me. Had it
been some mortal man who had sent me some prophet or priest who
divines from sacrifice--I should have deemed him false and have
given him no heed; but now I have heard the goddess and seen her
face to face, therefore I will go and her saying shall not be in
vain. If it be my fate to die at the ships of the Achaeans even
so would I have it; let Achilles slay me, if I may but first have
taken my son in my arms and mourned him to my heart's
comforting.

So saying he lifted the lids of his chestsand took out twelve
goodly vestments. He took also twelve cloaks of single fold
twelve rugstwelve fair mantlesand an equal number of shirts.
He weighed out ten talents of goldand brought moreover two
burnished tripodsfour cauldronsand a very beautiful cup which
the Thracians had given him when he had gone to them on an
embassy; it was very preciousbut he grudged not even thisso
eager was he to ransom the body of his son. Then he chased all
the Trojans from the court and rebuked them with words of anger.
Out,he criedshame and disgrace to me that you are. Have you
no grief in your own homes that you are come to plague me here?
Is it a small thing, think you, that the son of Saturn has sent
this sorrow upon me, to lose the bravest of my sons? Nay, you
shall prove it in person, for now he is gone the Achaeans will
have easier work in killing you. As for me, let me go down within
the house of Hades, ere mine eyes behold the sacking and wasting
of the city.

He drove the men away with his staffand they went forth as the
old man sped them. Then he called to his sonsupbraiding
HelenusParisnoble AgathonPammonAntiphonusPolites of the
loud battle-cryDeiphobusHippothousand Dius. These nine did
the old man call near him. "Come to me at once he cried,
worthless sons who do me shame; would that you had all been
killed at the ships rather than Hector. Miserable man that I am
I have had the bravest sons in all Troy--noble NestorTroilus
the dauntless charioteerand Hector who was a god among menso
that one would have thought he was son to an immortal--yet there
is not one of them left. Mars has slain them and those of whom I
am ashamed are alone left me. Liarsand light of footheroes of
the dancerobbers of lambs and kids from your own peoplewhy do
you not get a waggon ready for me at onceand put all these
things upon it that I may set out on my way?"

Thus did he speakand they feared the rebuke of their father.
They brought out a strong mule-waggonnewly madeand set the
body of the waggon fast on its bed. They took the mule-yoke from
the peg on which it hunga yoke of boxwood with a knob on the
top of it and rings for the reins to go through. Then they
brought a yoke-band eleven cubits longto bind the yoke to the
pole; they bound it on at the far end of the poleand put the
ring over the upright pin making it fast with three turns of the
band on either side the knoband bending the thong of the yoke
beneath it. This donethey brought from the store-chamber the


rich ransom that was to purchase the body of Hectorand they set
it all orderly on the waggon; then they yoked the strong
harness-mules which the Mysians had on a time given as a goodly
present to Priam; but for Priam himself they yoked horses which
the old king had bredand kept for own use.

Thus heedfully did Priam and his servant see to the yolking of
their cars at the palace. Then Hecuba came to them all sorrowful
with a golden goblet of wine in her right handthat they might
make a drink-offering before they set out. She stood in front of
the horses and saidTake this, make a drink-offering to father
Jove, and since you are minded to go to the ships in spite of me,
pray that you may come safely back from the hands of your
enemies. Pray to the son of Saturn lord of the whirlwind, who
sits on Ida and looks down over all Troy, pray him to send his
swift messenger on your right hand, the bird of omen which is
strongest and most dear to him of all birds, that you may see it
with your own eyes and trust it as you go forth to the ships of
the Danaans. If all-seeing Jove will not send you this messenger,
however set upon it you may be, I would not have you go to the
ships of the Argives.

And Priam answeredWife, I will do as you desire me; it is well
to lift hands in prayer to Jove, if so be he may have mercy upon
me.

With this the old man bade the serving-woman pour pure water over
his handsand the woman camebearing the water in a bowl. He
washed his hands and took the cup from his wife; then he made the
drink-offering and prayedstanding in the middle of the
courtyard and turning his eyes to heaven. "Father Jove he said,
that rulest from Idamost glorious and most greatgrant that I
may be received kindly and compassionately in the tents of
Achilles; and send your swift messenger upon my right handthe
bird of omen which is strongest and most dear to you of all
birdsthat I may see it with my own eyes and trust it as I go
forth to the ships of the Danaans."

So did he prayand Jove the lord of counsel heard his prayer.
Forthwith he sent an eaglethe most unerring portent of all
birds that flythe dusky hunter that men also call the Black
Eagle. His wings were spread abroad on either side as wide as the
well-made and well-bolted door of a rich man's chamber. He came
to them flying over the city upon their right handsand when
they saw him they were glad and their hearts took comfort within
them. The old man made haste to mount his chariotand drove out
through the inner gateway and under the echoing gatehouse of the
outer court. Before him went the mules drawing the four-wheeled
waggonand driven by wise Idaeus; behind these were the horses
which the old man lashed with his whip and drove swiftly through
the citywhile his friends followed afterwailing and lamenting
for him as though he were on his road to death. As soon as they
had come down from the city and had reached the plainhis sons
and sons-in-law who had followed him went back to Ilius.

But Priam and Idaeus as they showed out upon the plain did not
escape the ken of all-seeing Jovewho looked down upon the old
man and pitied him; then he spoke to his son Mercury and said
Mercury, for it is you who are the most disposed to escort men
on their way, and to hear those whom you will hear, go, and so
conduct Priam to the ships of the Achaeans that no other of the
Danaans shall see him nor take note of him until he reach the son
of Peleus.


Thus he spoke and Mercuryguide and guardianslayer of Argus
did as he was told. Forthwith he bound on his glittering golden
sandals with which he could fly like the wind over land and sea;
he took the wand with which he seals men's eyes in sleepor
wakes them just as he pleasesand flew holding it in his hand
till he came to Troy and to the Hellespont. To look athe was
like a young man of noble birth in the hey-day of his youth and
beauty with the down just coming upon his face.

Now when Priam and Idaeus had driven past the great tomb of
Iliusthey stayed their mules and horses that they might drink
in the riverfor the shades of night were fallingwhen
thereforeIdaeus saw Mercury standing near them he said to
PriamTake heed, descendant of Dardanus; here is matter which
demands consideration. I see a man who I think will presently
fall upon us; let us fly with our horses, or at least embrace his
knees and implore him to take compassion upon us?

When he heard this the old man's heart failed himand he was in
great fear; he stayed where he was as one dazedand the hair
stood on end over his whole body; but the bringer of good luck
came up to him and took him by the handsayingWhither,
father, are you thus driving your mules and horses in the dead of
night when other men are asleep? Are you not afraid of the fierce
Achaeans who are hard by you, so cruel and relentless? Should
some one of them see you bearing so much treasure through the
darkness of the flying night, what would not your state then be?
You are no longer young, and he who is with you is too old to
protect you from those who would attack you. For myself, I will
do you no harm, and I will defend you from any one else, for you
remind me of my own father.

And Priam answeredIt is indeed as you say, my dear son;
nevertheless some god has held his hand over me, in that he has
sent such a wayfarer as yourself to meet me so opportunely; you
are so comely in mien and figure, and your judgement is so
excellent that you must come of blessed parents.

Then said the slayer of Argusguide and guardianSir, all that
you have said is right; but tell me and tell me true, are you
taking this rich treasure to send it to a foreign people where it
may be safe, or are you all leaving strong Ilius in dismay now
that your son has fallen who was the bravest man among you and
was never lacking in battle with the Achaeans?

And Priam saidWho are you, my friend, and who are your
parents, that you speak so truly about the fate of my unhappy
son?

The slayer of Argusguide and guardiananswered himSir, you
would prove me, that you question me about noble Hector. Many a
time have I set eyes upon him in battle when he was driving the
Argives to their ships and putting them to the sword. We stood
still and marvelled, for Achilles in his anger with the son of
Atreus suffered us not to fight. I am his squire, and came with
him in the same ship. I am a Myrmidon, and my father's name is
Polyctor: he is a rich man and about as old as you are; he has
six sons besides myself, and I am the seventh. We cast lots, and
it fell upon me to sail hither with Achilles. I am now come from
the ships on to the plain, for with daybreak the Achaeans will
set battle in array about the city. They chafe at doing nothing,
and are so eager that their princes cannot hold them back.

Then answered PriamIf you are indeed the squire of Achilles


son of Peleus, tell me now the whole truth. Is my son still at
the ships, or has Achilles hewn him limb from limb, and given him
to his hounds?

Sir,replied the slayer of Argusguide and guardianneither
hounds nor vultures have yet devoured him; he is still just lying
at the tents by the ship of Achilles, and though it is now twelve
days that he has lain there, his flesh is not wasted nor have the
worms eaten him although they feed on warriors. At daybreak
Achilles drags him cruelly round the sepulchre of his dear
comrade, but it does him no hurt. You should come yourself and
see how he lies fresh as dew, with the blood all washed away, and
his wounds every one of them closed though many pierced him with
their spears. Such care have the blessed gods taken of your brave
son, for he was dear to them beyond all measure.

The old man was comforted as he heard him and saidMy son, see
what a good thing it is to have made due offerings to the
immortals; for as sure as that he was born my son never forgot
the gods that hold Olympus, and now they requite it to him even
in death. Accept therefore at my hands this goodly chalice; guard
me and with heaven's help guide me till I come to the tent of the
son of Peleus.

Then answered the slayer of Argusguide and guardianSir, you
are tempting me and playing upon my youth, but you shall not move
me, for you are offering me presents without the knowledge of
Achilles whom I fear and hold it great guilt to defraud, lest
some evil presently befall me; but as your guide I would go with
you even to Argos itself, and would guard you so carefully
whether by sea or land, that no one should attack you through
making light of him who was with you.

The bringer of good luck then sprang on to the chariotand
seizing the whip and reins he breathed fresh spirit into the
mules and horses. When they reached the trench and the wall that
was before the shipsthose who were on guard had just been
getting their suppersand the slayer of Argus threw them all
into a deep sleep. Then he drew back the bolts to open the gates
and took Priam inside with the treasure he had upon his waggon.
Ere long they came to the lofty dwelling of the son of Peleus for
which the Myrmidons had cut pine and which they had built for
their king; when they had built it they thatched it with coarse
tussock-grass which they had mown out on the plainand all round
it they made a large courtyardwhich was fenced with stakes set
close together. The gate was barred with a single bolt of pine
which it took three men to force into its placeand three to
draw back so as to open the gatebut Achilles could draw it by
himself. Mercury opened the gate for the old manand brought in
the treasure that he was taking with him for the son of Peleus.
Then he sprang from the chariot on to the ground and saidSir,
it is I, immortal Mercury, that am come with you, for my father
sent me to escort you. I will now leave you, and will not enter
into the presence of Achilles, for it might anger him that a god
should befriend mortal men thus openly. Go you within, and
embrace the knees of the son of Peleus: beseech him by his
father, his lovely mother, and his son; thus you may move him.

With these words Mercury went back to high Olympus. Priam sprang
from his chariot to the groundleaving Idaeus where he wasin
charge of the mules and horses. The old man went straight into
the house where Achillesloved of the godswas sitting. There
he found him with his men seated at a distance from him: only
twothe hero Automedonand Alcimus of the race of Marswere


busy in attendance about his personfor he had but just done
eating and drinkingand the table was still there. King Priam
entered without their seeing himand going right up to Achilles
he clasped his knees and kissed the dread murderous hands that
had slain so many of his sons.

As when some cruel spite has befallen a man that he should have
killed some one in his own countryand must fly to a great man's
protection in a land of strangersand all marvel who see him
even so did Achilles marvel as he beheld Priam. The others looked
one to another and marvelled alsobut Priam besought Achilles
sayingThink of your father, O Achilles like unto the gods, who
is such even as I am, on the sad threshold of old age. It may be
that those who dwell near him harass him, and there is none to
keep war and ruin from him. Yet when he hears of you being still
alive, he is glad, and his days are full of hope that he shall
see his dear son come home to him from Troy; but I, wretched man
that I am, had the bravest in all Troy for my sons, and there is
not one of them left. I had fifty sons when the Achaeans came
here; nineteen of them were from a single womb, and the others
were borne to me by the women of my household. The greater part
of them has fierce Mars laid low, and Hector, him who was alone
left, him who was the guardian of the city and ourselves, him
have you lately slain; therefore I am now come to the ships of
the Achaeans to ransom his body from you with a great ransom.
Fear, O Achilles, the wrath of heaven; think on your own father
and have compassion upon me, who am the more pitiable, for I have
steeled myself as no man yet has ever steeled himself before me,
and have raised to my lips the hand of him who slew my son.

Thus spoke Priamand the heart of Achilles yearned as he
bethought him of his father. He took the old man's hand and moved
him gently away. The two wept bitterly--Priamas he lay at
Achilles' feetweeping for Hectorand Achilles now for his
father and now for Patrocloustill the house was filled with
their lamentation. But when Achilles was now sated with grief and
had unburthened the bitterness of his sorrowhe left his seat
and raised the old man by the handin pity for his white hair
and beard; then he saidUnhappy man, you have indeed been
greatly daring; how could you venture to come alone to the ships
of the Achaeans, and enter the presence of him who has slain so
many of your brave sons? You must have iron courage: sit now upon
this seat, and for all our grief we will hide our sorrows in our
hearts, for weeping will not avail us. The immortals know no
care, yet the lot they spin for man is full of sorrow; on the
floor of Jove's palace there stand two urns, the one filled with
evil gifts, and the other with good ones. He for whom Jove the
lord of thunder mixes the gifts he sends, will meet now with good
and now with evil fortune; but he to whom Jove sends none but
evil gifts will be pointed at by the finger of scorn, the hand of
famine will pursue him to the ends of the world, and he will go
up and down the face of the earth, respected neither by gods nor
men. Even so did it befall Peleus; the gods endowed him with all
good things from his birth upwards, for he reigned over the
Myrmidons excelling all men in prosperity and wealth, and mortal
though he was they gave him a goddess for his bride. But even on
him too did heaven send misfortune, for there is no race of royal
children born to him in his house, save one son who is doomed to
die all untimely; nor may I take care of him now that he is
growing old, for I must stay here at Troy to be the bane of you
and your children. And you too, O Priam, I have heard that you
were aforetime happy. They say that in wealth and plenitude of
offspring you surpassed all that is in Lesbos, the realm of Makar
to the northward, Phrygia that is more inland, and those that


dwell upon the great Hellespont; but from the day when the
dwellers in heaven sent this evil upon you, war and slaughter
have been about your city continually. Bear up against it, and
let there be some intervals in your sorrow. Mourn as you may for
your brave son, you will take nothing by it. You cannot raise him
from the dead, ere you do so yet another sorrow shall befall
you.

And Priam answeredO king, bid me not be seated, while Hector
is still lying uncared for in your tents, but accept the great
ransom which I have brought you, and give him to me at once that
I may look upon him. May you prosper with the ransom and reach
your own land in safety, seeing that you have suffered me to live
and to look upon the light of the sun.

Achilles looked at him sternly and saidVex me, sir, no longer;
I am of myself minded to give up the body of Hector. My mother,
daughter of the old man of the sea, came to me from Jove to bid
me deliver it to you. Moreover I know well, O Priam, and you
cannot hide it, that some god has brought you to the ships of the
Achaeans, for else, no man however strong and in his prime would
dare to come to our host; he could neither pass our guard unseen,
nor draw the bolt of my gates thus easily; therefore, provoke me
no further, lest I sin against the word of Jove, and suffer you
not, suppliant though you are, within my tents.

The old man feared him and obeyed. Then the son of Peleus sprang
like a lion through the door of his housenot alonebut with
him went his two squires Automedon and Alcimus who were closer to
him than any others of his comrades now that Patroclus was no
more. These unyoked the horses and mulesand bade Priam's herald
and attendant be seated within the house. They lifted the ransom
for Hector's body from the waggon. but they left two mantles and
a goodly shirtthat Achilles might wrap the body in them when he
gave it to be taken home. Then he called to his servants and
ordered them to wash the body and anoint itbut he first took it
to a place where Priam should not see itlest if he did sohe
should break out in the bitterness of his griefand enrage
Achilleswho might then kill him and sin against the word of
Jove. When the servants had washed the body and anointed itand
had wrapped it in a fair shirt and mantleAchilles himself
lifted it on to a bierand he and his men then laid it on the
waggon. He cried aloud as he did so and called on the name of his
dear comradeBe not angry with me, Patroclus,he saidif you
hear even in the house of Hades that I have given Hector to his
father for a ransom. It has been no unworthy one, and I will
share it equitably with you.

Achilles then went back into the tent and took his place on the
richly inlaid seat from which he had risenby the wall that was
at right angles to the one against which Priam was sitting.
Sir,he saidyour son is now laid upon his bier and is
ransomed according to desire; you shall look upon him when you
him away at daybreak; for the present let us prepare our supper.
Even lovely Niobe had to think about eating, though her twelve
children--six daughters and six lusty sons--had been all slain in
her house. Apollo killed the sons with arrows from his silver
bow, to punish Niobe, and Diana slew the daughters, because Niobe
had vaunted herself against Leto; she said Leto had borne two
children only, whereas she had herself borne many--whereon the
two killed the many. Nine days did they lie weltering, and there
was none to bury them, for the son of Saturn turned the people
into stone; but on the tenth day the gods in heaven themselves
buried them, and Niobe then took food, being worn out with


weeping. They say that somewhere among the rocks on the mountain
pastures of Sipylus, where the nymphs live that haunt the river
Achelous, there, they say, she lives in stone and still nurses
the sorrows sent upon her by the hand of heaven. Therefore, noble
sir, let us two now take food; you can weep for your dear son
hereafter as you are bearing him back to Ilius--and many a tear
will he cost you.

With this Achilles sprang from his seat and killed a sheep of
silvery whitenesswhich his followers skinned and made ready all
in due order. They cut the meat carefully up into smaller pieces
spitted themand drew them off again when they were well
roasted. Automedon brought bread in fair baskets and served it
round the tablewhile Achilles dealt out the meatand they laid
their hands on the good things that were before them. As soon as
they had had enough to eat and drinkPriamdescendant of
Dardanusmarvelled at the strength and beauty of Achilles for he
was as a god to seeand Achilles marvelled at Priam as he
listened to him and looked upon his noble presence. When they had
gazed their fill Priam spoke first. "And nowO king he said,
take me to my couch that we may lie down and enjoy the blessed
boon of sleep. Never once have my eyes been closed from the day
your hands took the life of my son; I have grovelled without
ceasing in the mire of my stable-yardmaking moan and brooding
over my countless sorrows. NowmoreoverI have eaten bread and
drunk wine; hitherto I have tasted nothing."

As he spoke Achilles told his men and the women-servants to set
beds in the room that was in the gatehouseand make them with
good red rugsand spread coverlets on the top of them with
woollen cloaks for Priam and Idaeus to wear. So the maids went
out carrying a torch and got the two beds ready in all haste.
Then Achilles said laughingly to PriamDear sir, you shall lie
outside, lest some counsellor of those who in due course keep
coming to advise with me should see you here in the darkness of
the flying night, and tell it to Agamemnon. This might cause
delay in the delivery of the body. And now tell me and tell me
true, for how many days would you celebrate the funeral rites of
noble Hector? Tell me, that I may hold aloof from war and
restrain the host.

And Priam answeredSince, then, you suffer me to bury my noble
son with all due rites, do thus, Achilles, and I shall be
grateful. You know how we are pent up within our city; it is far
for us to fetch wood from the mountain, and the people live in
fear. Nine days, therefore, will we mourn Hector in my house; on
the tenth day we will bury him and there shall be a public feast
in his honour; on the eleventh we will build a mound over his
ashes, and on the twelfth, if there be need, we will fight.

And Achilles answeredAll, King Priam, shall be as you have
said. I will stay our fighting for as long a time as you have
named.

As he spoke he laid his hand on the old man's right wristin
token that he should have no fear; thus then did Priam and his
attendant sleep there in the forecourtfull of thoughtwhile
Achilles lay in an inner room of the housewith fair Briseis by
his side.

And now both gods and mortals were fast asleep through the
livelong nightbut upon Mercury alonethe bringer of good luck
sleep could take no hold for he was thinking all the time how to
get King Priam away from the ships without his being seen by the


strong force of sentinels. He hovered therefore over Priam's head
and saidSir, now that Achilles has spared your life, you seem
to have no fear about sleeping in the thick of your foes. You
have paid a great ransom, and have received the body of your son;
were you still alive and a prisoner the sons whom you have left
at home would have to give three times as much to free you; and
so it would be if Agamemnon and the other Achaeans were to know
of your being here.

When he heard this the old man was afraid and roused his servant.
Mercury then yoked their horses and mulesand drove them quickly
through the host so that no man perceived them. When they came to
the ford of eddying Xanthusbegotten of immortal JoveMercury
went back to high Olympusand dawn in robe of saffron began to
break over all the land. Priam and Idaeus then drove on toward
the city lamenting and making moanand the mules drew the body
of Hector. No one neither man nor woman saw themtill Cassandra
fair as golden Venus standing on Pergamuscaught sight of her
dear father in his chariotand his servant that was the city's
herald with him. Then she saw him that was lying upon the bier
drawn by the mulesand with a loud cry she went about the city
sayingCome hither Trojans, men and women, and look on Hector;
if ever you rejoiced to see him coming from battle when he was
alive, look now on him that was the glory of our city and all our
people.

At this there was not man nor woman left in the cityso great a
sorrow had possessed them. Hard by the gates they met Priam as he
was bringing in the body. Hector's wife and his mother were the
first to mourn him: they flew towards the waggon and laid their
hands upon his headwhile the crowd stood weeping round them.
They would have stayed before the gatesweeping and lamenting
the livelong day to the going down of the sunhad not Priam
spoken to them from the chariot and saidMake way for the mules
to pass you. Afterwards when I have taken the body home you shall
have your fill of weeping.

On this the people stood asunderand made a way for the waggon.
When they had borne the body within the house they laid it upon a
bed and seated minstrels round it to lead the dirgewhereon the
women joined in the sad music of their lament. Foremost among
them all Andromache led their wailing as she clasped the head of
mighty Hector in her embrace. "Husband she cried, you have
died youngand leave me in your house a widow; he of whom we are
the ill-starred parents is still a mere childand I fear he may
not reach manhood. Ere he can do so our city will be razed and
overthrownfor you who watched over it are no more--you who were
its saviourthe guardian of our wives and children. Our women
will be carried away captives to the shipsand I among them;
while youmy childwho will be with me will be put to some
unseemly tasksworking for a cruel master. Ormay besome
Achaean will hurl you (O miserable death) from our wallsto
avenge some brothersonor father whom Hector slew; many of
them have indeed bitten the dust at his handsfor your father's
hand in battle was no light one. Therefore do the people mourn
him. You have leftO Hectorsorrow unutterable to your parents
and my own grief is greatest of allfor you did not stretch
forth your arms and embrace me as you lay dyingnor say to me
any words that might have lived with me in my tears night and day
for evermore."

Bitterly did she weep the whileand the women joined in her
lament. Hecuba in her turn took up the strains of woe. "Hector
she cried, dearest to me of all my children. So long as you were


alive the gods loved you welland even in death they have not
been utterly unmindful of you; for when Achilles took any other
of my sonshe would sell him beyond the seasto Samos Imbrus or
rugged Lemnos; and when he had slain you too with his swordmany
a time did he drag you round the sepulchre of his comrade--though
this could not give him life--yet here you lie all fresh as dew
and comely as one whom Apollo has slain with his painless
shafts."

Thus did she too speak through her tears with bitter moanand
then Helen for a third time took up the strain of lamentation.
Hector,said shedearest of all my brothers-in-law--for I am
wife to Alexandrus who brought me hither to Troy--would that I
had died ere he did so--twenty years are come and gone since I
left my home and came from over the sea, but I have never heard
one word of insult or unkindness from you. When another would
chide with me, as it might be one of your brothers or sisters or
of your brothers' wives, or my mother-in-law--for Priam was as
kind to me as though he were my own father--you would rebuke and
check them with words of gentleness and goodwill. Therefore my
tears flow both for you and for my unhappy self, for there is no
one else in Troy who is kind to me, but all shrink and shudder as
they go by me.

She wept as she spoke and the vast crowd that was gathered round
her joined in her lament. Then King Priam spoke to them saying
Bring wood, O Trojans, to the city, and fear no cunning ambush
of the Argives, for Achilles when he dismissed me from the ships
gave me his word that they should not attack us until the morning
of the twelfth day.

Forthwith they yoked their oxen and mules and gathered together
before the city. Nine days long did they bring in great heaps of
woodand on the morning of the tenth day with many tears they
took brave Hector forthlaid his dead body upon the summit of
the pileand set the fire thereto. Then when the child of
morningrosy-fingered dawnappeared on the eleventh daythe
people again assembledround the pyre of mighty Hector. When
they were got togetherthey first quenched the fire with wine
wherever it was burningand then his brothers and comrades with
many a bitter tear gathered his white boneswrapped them in soft
robes of purpleand laid them in a golden urnwhich they placed
in a grave and covered over with large stones set close together.
Then they built a barrow hurriedly over it keeping guard on every
side lest the Achaeans should attack them before they had
finished. When they had heaped up the barrow they went back again
into the cityand being well assembled they held high feast in
the house of Priam their king.

Thusthendid they celebrate the funeral of Hector tamer of
horses.