The Iliad of Homer (Buckley)/BOOK THE FIRST
THE ILIAD OF HOMER.
BOOK THE FIRST.
Sing, O goddess, the destructive wrath of Achilles, son of Peleus, which brought countless woes upon the Greeks, and hurled many valiant souls of heroes down to Hades, and made themselves a prey to dogs and to all birds [but the will of Jove was being accomplished], from the time when Atrides, king of men, and noble Achilles, first contending, were disunited.
Which, then, of the gods engaged these two in strife, so that they should fight? The son of Latona and Jove; for he, enraged with the king, stirred up an evil pestilence through the army [and the people kept perishing]; because the son of Atreus had dishonored the priest Chryses: for he came in the swift ships of the Greeks to ransom his daughter, and bringing invaluable ransoms, having in his hands the fillets of far-darting Apollo on his golden scepter. And he supplicated all the Greeks, but chiefly the two sons of Atreus, the leaders of the people:
"Ye sons of Atreus, and ye other well-greaved Greeks, to you indeed may the gods, possessing the heavenly dwellings, grant to destroy the city of Priam, and to return home safely but for me, liberate my beloved daughter, and accept the ransoms, reverencing the son of Jove, far-darting Apollo."
Upon this, all the other Greeks shouted assent, that the priest should be reverenced, and the splendid ransoms accepted; yet was it not pleasing in his mind to Agamemnon, son of Atreus; but he dismissed him evilly, and added a harsh mandate:
"Let me not find thee, old man, at the hollow barks, either now loitering, or hereafter returning, lest the staff and fillet of the god avail thee not. For her I will not set free; sooner shall old age come upon her, at home in Argos, far away from her native land, employed in offices of the loom, and preparing my bed. But away! irritate me not, that thou mayest return the safer."
Thus he spoke; but the old man was afraid, and obeyed the command. And he went in silence along the shore of the loud-resounding sea; but then, going apart, the aged man prayed much to king Apollo, whom fair-haired Latona bore:
"Hear me, god of the silver bow, who art wont to protect Chrysa and divine Cilla, and who mightily rulest over Tenedos: O Sminthius, if ever I have roofed thy graceful temple, or if, moreover, at any time I have burned to thee the fat thighs of bulls or of goats, accomplish this entreaty for me. Let the Greeks pay for my tears, by their arrows."
Thus he spoke praying: but to him Phœbus Apollo hearkened. And he descended from the summits of Olympus, enraged in heart, having upon his shoulders his bow and quiver covered on all sides. But as he moved, the shafts rattled forthwith upon the shoulders of him enraged; but he went along like unto the night. Then he sat down apart from the ships, and sent among them an arrow, and terrible arose the clang of the silver bow. First he attacked the mules, and the swift dogs; but afterward dispatching a pointed arrow against [the Greeks] themselves, he smote them, and frequent funeral-piles of the dead were continually burning. Nine days through the army went the arrows of the god; but on the tenth, Achilles called the people to an assembly; for to his mind the white-armed goddess Juno had suggested it; for she was anxious concerning the Greeks, because she saw them perishing. But when they accordingly were assembled, and were met together, swift-footed Achilles, rising up amid them, [thus] spoke:
"O son of Atreus! now do I think that we would consent to return, having been defeated in our purpose, if we should but escape death, since at the same time war and pestilence subdue the Greeks. But come now, let us consult some prophet, or priest, or even one who is informed by dreams (for dream also is from Jove), who would tell us on what account Phœbus Apollo is so much enraged with us: whether he blames us on account of a vow [unperformed], or a hecatomb [unoffered]; and whether haply he may be willing, having partaken of the savour of lambs and unblemished goats, to avert from us the pestilence."
He indeed, thus having spoken, sat down; but to them there arose by far the best of augurs, Calchas, son of Thestor, who knew the present, the future, and the past, and who guided the ships of the Greeks to Ilium, by his prophetic art, which Phœbus Apollo gave him, who, being well disposed, addressed them, and said:
"O Achilles, dear to Jove, thou biddest me to declare the wrath of Apollo, the far-darting king. Therefore will I declare it; but do thou on thy part covenant, and swear to me, that thou wilt promptly assist me in word and hand. For methinks I shall irritate a man who widely rules over all the Argives, and whom the Greeks obey. For a king is more powerful when he is enraged with an inferior man; for though he may repress his wrath for that same day, yet he afterwards retains his anger in his heart, until he accomplishes it; but do thou consider whether thou wilt protect me."
But him swift-footed Achilles, answering, addressed: "Taking full confidence, declare the divine oracle, whatsoever thou knowest. For, by Apollo, dear to Jove, to whom thou, praying, O Calchas, dost disclose predictions to the Greeks, no one of all the Greeks, while I am alive and have sight upon the earth, shall lay heavy hands upon thee at the hollow ships; not even if thou wast to name Agamemnon, who now boasts himself to be much the most powerful of the Greeks." And upon this, the blameless prophet then took confidence, and spoke: "Neither is he enraged on account of a vow [unperformed], nor of a hecatomb [unoffered], but on account of his priest, whom Agamemnon dishonoured; neither did he liberate his daughter, nor did he receive her ransom. Wherefore has the Far-darter given woes, and still will he give them; nor will he withhold his heavy hands from the pestilence, before that [Agamemnon] restore to her dear father the bright-eyed maid, unpurchased, unransomed, and conduct a sacred hecatomb to Chrysa; then, perhaps, having appeased, we might persuade him."
He indeed, having thus spoken, sat down. But to them arose the hero, the son of Atreus, wide-ruling Agamemnon, agitated; and his all-gloomy heart was greatly filled with wrath, and his eyes were like unto gleaming fire. Sternly regarding Calchas most of all, he addressed [him]:
"Prophet of ills, not at any time hast thou spoken anything good for me; but evils are always gratifying to thy soul to prophesy, and never yet hast thou offered one good word, nor accomplished [one]. And now, prophesying amongst the Greeks, thou haranguest that forsooth the Far-darter works griefs to them upon this account, because I was unwilling to accept the splendid ransom of the virgin daughter of Chryses, since I much prefer to have her at home; and my reason is, I prefer her even to Clytemnestra, my lawful wife; for she is not inferior to her, either in person, or in figure, or in mind, or by any means in accomplishments. But even thus I am willing to restore her, if it be better; for I wish the people to be safe rather than to perish. But do thou immediately prepare a prize for me, that I may not alone, of the Argives, be without a prize; since it is not fitting. For ye all see this, that my prize is going elsewhere."
But him swift-footed godlike Achilles then answered: "Most noble son of Atreus, most avaricious of all! for how shall the magnanimous Greeks assign thee a prize? Nor do we know of many common stores laid up anywhere. But what we plundered from the cities, these have been divided, and it is not fitting that the troops should collect these brought together again. But do thou now let her go to the god, and we Greeks will compensate thee thrice, or fourfold, if haply Jove grant to us to sack the well-fortified city of Troy."
But him answering, king Agamemnon addressed: "Do not thus, excellent though thou be, godlike Achilles, practise deceit in thy mind; since thou shalt not overreach, nor yet persuade me. Dost thou wish that thou thyself mayest have a prize, whilst I sit down idly, wanting one? And dost thou bid me to restore her? If, however, the magn, animous Greeks will give me a prizehaving suited it to my mind, so that it shall be an equivalent, [it is well]. But if they will not give it, then I myself coming, will seize your prize, or that of Ajax, or Ulysses, and will bear it away; and he to whom I may come shall have cause for anger. On these things, however, we will consult afterwards. But now come, let us, launch a sable ship into the boundless sea, and let us collect into it rowers in sufficient number, and place on board a hecatomb; and let us make the fair-cheeked daughter of Chryses to embark, and let some one noble man be commander, Ajax or Idomeneus, or divine Ulysses; or thyself, son of Peleus, most terrible of all men, that thou mayest appease for us the Far-darter, having offered sacrifices."
But him swift-footed Achilles sternly regarding, addressed: "Ha!. thou clad in impudence, thou bent on gain, how can any of the Greeks willingly obey thy orders, either to undertake a mission, or to fight bravely with men! For I did not come hither to fight on account of the warlike Trojans, seeing that they are blameless as respects me. Since they have never driven away my oxen, nor my horses either, nor ever injured my crops in fertile and populous Phthia; for very many shadowy mountains, and the resounding sea, are between us. But thee, O most shameless man, we follow, that thou mayest rejoice; seeking satisfaction from the Trojans for Menelaus, and for thy pleasure, shameless one! for which things thou hast neither respect nor care. And now thou hast threatened that thou wilt in person wrest from me my prize, for which I have toiled much, and which the sons of the Greeks have given me. Whenever the Greeks sacked a well-inhabited city of the Trojans, I never have had a prize equal to thine; although my hands perform the greater portion of the tumultuous conflict, yet when the division [of spoil] may come, a much greater prize is given to thee, while I come to my ships, when I am fatigued with fighting, having one small and agreeable. But now I will go to Phthia, for it is much better to return home with our curved ships; for I do not think that thou shalt amass wealth and treasures while I am dishonored here."
But him, the king of men, Agamemnon, then answered: "Fly, by all means, if thy mind urges thee; nor will I entreat thee to remain on my account: there are others with me who will honor me, but chiefly the all-wise Jove. For to me thou art the most odious of the Jove-nourished princes, forever is contention agreeable to thee, and wars and battles. If thou be very bold, why doubtless a deity has given this to thee. Going home with thy ships and thy companions, rule over the Myrmidons; for I do not regard thee, nor care for thee in thy wrath; but thus will I threaten thee: Since Phœbus Apollo is depriving me of the daughter of Chryses, her indeed I will send, with my own ship, and with my own friends; but I myself, going to thy tent, will lead away the fair-cheeked daughter of Brises, thy prize; that thou mayest well know how much more powerful I am than thou, and that another may dread to pronounce himself equal to me, and to liken himself openly [to me]."
Thus he spoke, and grief arose to the son of Peleus, and the heart within, in his hairy breast, was pondering upon two courses; whether, drawing his sharp sword from his thigh, he should dismiss them and should kill the son of Atreus, or should put a stop to his wrath, and restrain his passion. While he was thus pondering in his heart and soul, and was drawing his mighty sword from the scabbard, came Minerva from heaven; for her the white-armed goddess Juno had sent forward, equally loving and regarding both from her soul. And she stood behind, and caught the son of Peleus by his yellow hair, appearing to him alone; but none of the others beheld her. But Achilles was amazed, and turned himself round, and immediately recognized Pallas Minerva; and awe-inspiring her eyes appeared to him. And addressing her, he spoke winged words:
"Why, O offspring of ægis-bearing Jove, hast thou come hither? Is it that thou mayest witness the insolence of Agamemnon, the son of Atreus? But I tell thee, what I think will be accomplished, that he will probably soon lose his life by his haughtiness."
But him in turn the azure-eyed goddess Minerva addressed: "I came from heaven to assuage thy wrath, if thou wilt obey me; for the white-armed goddess Juno sent me forward, equally loving and regarding both from her soul. But come, cease from strife, nor draw the sword with thine hand. But reproach by words, as the occasion may suggest; for thus I declare, and it shall be accomplished, that thrice as many splendid gifts shall be presented to thee, because of this insolent act; only restrain thyself, and obey us."
But her answering, swift-footed Achilles addressed: "It behooves me to observe the command of you both, O goddess, although much enraged in my soul; for so it is better. Whosoever obeys the gods, to him they hearken propitiously."
He spoke, and held still his heavy hand upon the silvery hilt, and thrust back the great sword into the scabbard, nor did he disobey the mandate of Minerva; but she had gone to Olympus, to the mansions of ægis-bearing Jove, among the other deities. But the son of Peleus again addressed Atrides with injurious words, nor as yet ceased from anger:
"Wine-bibber, having the countenance of a dog, but the heart of a stag, never hast thou at any time dared in soul to arm thyself with the people for war, nor to go to ambuscade with the chiefs of the Greeks; for this always appears to thee to be death. Certainly it is much better through the wide army of the Achæans, to take away the rewards of whoever may speak against thee. A people-devouring king [art thou], since thou rulest over fellows of no account; for assuredly, son of Atreus, thou [otherwise] wouldst have insulted now for the last time. But I will tell thee, and I will further swear a great oath: yea, by this scepter which will never bear leaves and branches, nor will bud again, after it has once left its trunk on the mountains; for the ax has lopped it all around of its leaves and bark; but now the sons of the Greeks, the judges, they who protect the laws [received] from Jove, bear it in their hands; and this will be a great oath to thee; surely will a longing desire for Achilles come upon all the sons of the Achæans at some future day, and thou, although much grieved, wilt be unable to assist them, when many dying shall fall by the hand of man-slaying Hector. Then enraged, wilt thou inwardly fret thy soul, that thou didst in no way honor the bravest of the Greeks."
Thus spoke the son of Peleus; and he cast upon the earth his scepter studded with golden nails, and sat down. But on the other hand, the son of Atreus was enraged; therefore to them arose the sweet-voiced Nestor, the harmonious orator of the Pylians, from whose tongue flowed language sweeter than honey. During his life two generations of articulately-speaking men had become extinct, who, formerly, were reared and lived with him in divine Pylus, but he was now ruling over the third; who, wisely counseling, addressed them, and said:
"O gods ! surely a great sorrow comes upon the Grecian land. Verily, Priam, would exult, and the sons of Priam, and the other Trojans, would greatly rejoice in their souls, if they were to hear these things of you twain contending: you who in council and in fighting surpass the Greeks. But be persuaded; for ye are both younger than I am. For already, in former times, I have associated with men braver than you, and they never disdained me. I never saw, nor shall I see, such men as Pirithous, and Dryas, shepherd of the people, and Cæneus, and Exadius, and god-like Polyphemus, and Theseus, the son of Ægeus, like unto the immortals. Bravest indeed were they trained up of earthly men; bravest they were, and they fought with the bravest Centaurs of the mountain caves, and terribly slew them. With these was I conversant, coming from Pylus, far from the Apian land; for they invited me, and I fought to the best of my power; but with them none of these who now are mortals upon the earth could fight. And even they heard my counsels, and obeyed my words. But do ye also obey, since it is better to be obedient; nor do thou, although being powerful, take away the maid from him, but leave it so, seeing that the sons of the Greeks first gave [her as] a prize on him. Nor do thou, O son of Peleus, feel inclined to contend against the king; since never yet has any scepter-bearing king, to whom Jove has given glory, been allotted an equal share of dignity. But though thou he of superior strength, and a goddess-mother has given thee birth, yet he is superior in power, inasmuch as he rules more people. Do thou, son of Atreus, repress thine anger; for it is I that entreat thee to forego thy resentment on behalf of Achilles, who is the great bulwark of destructive war to all the Achæans."
But him king Agamemnon answering addressed: " Of a truth thou hast said all these things, old man, according to what is right. But this man is desirous to be above all other men; he wishes to have the mastery, and lord it over all, and to prescribe to all; with which his desires I think some one will not comply. But if the ever-existing gods have made him a warrior, do they therefore give him the right to utter insults?"
But him noble Achilles interruptingly answered: "Yea, forsooth, I may be called a coward and a man of no worth, if now I yield to thee in every thing, whatever thou mayest say. Enjoin these things to other men; for dictate not to me, for I think that I shall no longer obey thee. But another thing will I tell thee, and do thou store it in thy mind: I will not contend with my hands, neither with thee, nor with others, on account of this maid, since ye, the donors, take her away. But of the other effects, which I have at my swift black ship, of those thou shalt not remove one, taking them away, I being unwilling. But if [thou wilt], come, make trial, that these also may know: quickly shall thy black blood flow around my lance."
Thus these twain, striving with contrary words, arose, and they broke up the assembly at the ships of the Greeks. The son of Peleus on his part repaired to his tents and well-proportioned ships, with the son of Menœtius, and his companions. But the son of Atreus launched his swift ship into the sea, and selected and put into it twenty rowers, and embarked a hecatomb for the god. And he led the fair daughter of Chryses and placed her on board, and the very wise Ulysses embarked as conductor. They then embarking, sailed over the watery paths. But the son of Atreus ordered the armies to purify themselves; and they were purified, and cast forth the ablutions into the sea. And they sacrificed to Apollo perfect hecatombs of bulls and goats, along the shore of the barren sea; and the savor involved in smoke ascended to heaven. Thus were they employed in these things through the army. Nor did Agamemnon cease from the contention which at first he threatened against Achilles, But he thus addressed Talthybius and Eurybates, who were his heralds and zealous attendants:
"Going to the tent of Achilles, the son of Peleus, lead away fair Brisëis, having taken her by the hand; but if he will not give her, then I myself, coming with great numbers, will take her, and this will be more grevious to him."
Thus speaking, he dispatched them, having added a harsh command. But they reluctantly went along the shore of the barren sea, and came to the tents and ships of the Myrmidons. And they found him sitting at his tent and his black ship: nor did Achilles, seeing them, rejoice. But they, confused, and reverencing the king, stood still, nor addressed him at all, nor spoke [their bidding]. But he perceived [it] in his mind, and said:
"Hail, heralds, messengers of Jove, and also of men, come near, for ye are not blamable to me in the least, but Agamemnon, who has sent you on account of the maid Brisëis. However, come, noble Patroclus, lead forth the maid, and give her to them to conduct; but let these be witnesses [of the insult offered me], both before the blessed gods, and before mortal men, and before the merciless king. But if ever again there shall be need of me to avert unseemly destruction from the rest, [appeal to me shall be in vain], for surely he rages with an infatuated mind, nor knows at all how to view the future and the past, in order that the Greeks may fight in safety at their ships."
Thus he spoke. And Patroclus obeyed his dear companion, and led forth fair-cheeked Brisëis from the tent, and gave her to them to conduct; and they returned along by the ships of the Greeks. But the woman went with them reluctantly, while Achilles, weeping, immediately sat down, removed apart from his companions, upon the shore of the hoary sea, gazing on the darkling main; and much he besought his dear mother, stretching forth his hands:
"O mother, since thou hast borne me, to be but shortlived, at least then ought high-thundering Olympian Jove to have vouchsafed honor to me; but now he has not honored me ever so little; for the son of Atreus, wide-ruling Agamemnon, has dishonored me; for he, taking away my prize, possesses it, himself having wrested it [from me]."
Thus he spoke, weeping. But to him his venerable mother hearkened, sitting in the depths of the ocean beside her aged sire. And immediately she rose up from the hoary deep, like a mist. And then she sat before him, weeping, and soothed him with her hand, and addressed him, and spoke aloud:
"Son, why weepest thou—on account of what has grief come upon thy mind? Declare it, nor hide it in thy soul, that we both may know it."
But her, sighing deeply, swift-footed Achilles addressed: 'Thou knowest; why should I tell all these things to thee, already knowing [them]? We went against Thebe, the sacred city of Eëtion; and this we plundered, and brought hither all [the spoil]. And these things indeed the sons of the Greeks fairly divided among themselves, and selected for Agamemnon the fair-cheeked daughter of Chryses. But Chryses, priest of the far-darting Apollo, came afterward to the fleet ships of the brazen-mailed Greeks, about to ransom his daughter, and bringing invaluable ransoms, having in his hand the fillets of far-darting Apollo, on his golden scepter. And he supplicated all the Greeks, but chiefly the two sons of Atreus, the leaders of the people. Upon this all the other Greeks shouted assent, that the priest should be reverenced, and the splendid ransoms accepted; yet it was not pleasing to Agamemnon, son of Atreus, in his mind; but he dismissed him evilly, and added a harsh mandate. The old man therefore went back enraged; but Apollo hearkened to him praying, for he was very dear to him. And he sent a destructive arrow against the Greeks; and the forces were now dying one upon another, and the shafts of the god went on all sides through the wide army of the Greeks. But to us the skillful seer unfolded the divine will of the Far-darter. Straightway I first exhorted that we should appease the god; but then rage seized upon the son of Atreus, and instantly rising, he uttered a threatening speech, which is now accomplished; for the rolling-eyed Greeks attend her to Chrysa with a swift bark, and bring presents to the king; but the heralds have just now gone from my tent, conducting the virgin daughter of Brisëis, whom the sons of the Greeks gave to me. But do thou, if thou art able, aid thy son. Going to Olympus, supplicate Jove, if ever thou didst delight the heart of Jove as to any thing by word or deed; for I frequently heard thee boasting in the palaces of my sire, when thou saidest that thou alone, among the immortals, didst avert unworthy destruction from the cloud-collecting son of Saturn, when the other Olympian inhabitants, Juno and Neptune, and Pallas Minerva, wished to bind him. But thou, O goddess, having approached, freed him from his chains, having quickly summoned to lofty Olympus, the hundred-handed, whom the gods call Briareus, and all men Ægeon, because he was superior to his father in strength, who then sat by the son of Saturn, exulting in renown. Him then the blessed gods dreaded, nor did they bind [Jove]. Of these things now reminding him, sit beside him, and embrace his knees, if in any wise he may consent to aid the Trojans, and hem in at their ships, and along the sea, the Greeks [while they get] slaughtered, that all may enjoy their king, and that the son of Atreus, wide-ruling Agamemnon may know his baleful folly, when he in no wise honored the bravest of the Greeks."
But him Thetis then answered, shedding down a tear: "Alas! my son, wherefore have I reared thee, having brought thee forth in an evil hour. "Would that thou wert seated at the ships tearless and uninjured; for thy destined life is but for a very short period, nor very long; but now art thou both swift-fated and wretched above all mortals; therefore have I brought thee forth in my palace under an evil fate. However, to tell thy words to thunder-delighting Jove, I myself will go to snow-clad Olympus, if by chance he will be persuaded. But do thou, now sitting at the swift ships, wage resentment against the Greeks, and totally abstain from war. For yesterday Jove went to Oceanus, to the blameless Æthiopians, to a banquet, and with him went all the gods. But on the twelfth day he will return to Olympus; and then will I go to the brazen-floored palace of Jove, and suppliantly embrace his knees, and I think that he will be persuaded."
Thus having said, she departed, and left him there wrathful in his soul for his well-girded maid, whom they had taken from him against his will. But Ulysses, meantime, came to Chrysa, bringing the sacred hecatomb. But they, when they had entered the deep haven, first furled their sails, and stowed them in the sable bark; they next brought the mast to its receptacle, lowering it quickly by its stays, and they rowed the vessel forward with oars into its moorage; they heaved out the sleepers, and tied the hawsers. They themselves then went forth on the breakers of the sea, and disembarked the hecatomb to far-darting Apollo, and then they made the daughter of Chryses descend from the sea-traversing bark. Then wise Ulysses, leading her to the altar, placed her in the hands of her dear father, and addressed him:
"O Chryses, Agamemnon, king of men, sent me forth to conduct to thee thy daughter, and to sacrifice a sacred hecatomb to Phœbus for the Greeks, that we may appease the king, who now has sent evils fraught with groanings upon the Argives."
Thus having spoken, he placed her in his hands; but he rejoicing received his beloved daughter. Then they immediately placed in order the splendid hecatomb for the god around the well-built altar. After that they washed their hands, and held up the pounded barley. But for them, Chryses, uplifting his hands, prayed with loud voice:
"Hear me, O thou of the silver bow, who art wont to protect Chrysa and divine Cilla, and who mightily rulest over Tenedos! already indeed at a former time didst thou hear me praying, and didst honor me, and didst very much afflict the people of the Greeks, now also accomplish for me this further request: even now avert from the Greeks this unseemly pestilence."
Thus he spoke praying, and him Phœbus Apollo heard. But after they had prayed, and sprinkled the pounded barley, they first bent back [the neck of the victims], killed them, and flayed them, and cut out the thighs, and wrapped them round with the fat, having arranged it in double folds; then laid the raw flesh upon them. Then the old man burned them on billets, and poured sparkling wine upon them; and near him the youths held five-pronged spits in their hands. But after the thighs were roasted, and they had tasted the entrials, they then cut the rest of them into small pieces, and fixed them on spits, and roasted them skillfully, and drew all the viands [off the spits].
But when they had ceased from their labor, and had prepared the banquet, they feasted; nor did their soul in anywise lack a due allowance of the feast; but when they had dismissed the desire of drink and food, the youths on the one hand filled the goblets with wine to the brim, and handed round the wine to all, having poured the first of the wine into the cups. But the Grecian youths throughout the day were appeasing the god by song, chanting the joyous Pæan, hymning the Far-darter, aud he was delighted in his mind as he listened. But when the sun had set, and darkness came on, then they slept near the hawsers of their ships. But when the mother of dawn rosy-fingered morning, appeared, straightway then they set sail for the spacious camp of the Achæans, and to them far-darting Apollo sent a favorable gale. But they erected the mast and expanded the white sails. The wind streamed into the bosom of the sail; and as the vessel briskly ran, the dark wave roared loudly around the keel; but she scudded through the wave, holding on her way. But when they reached the wide armament of the Greeks, they drew up the black ship on the continent, far upon the sand, and stretched long props under it; but they dispersed themselves through their tents and ships.
But the Jove-sprung son of Peleus, swift-footed Achilles, continued his wrath, sitting at his swift ships, nor ever did he frequent the assembly of noble heroes, nor the fight, but he pined away his dear heart, remaining there, although he longed for the din and the battle.
Now when the twelfth morning from that time arose, then indeed all the gods who are forever went together to Olympus, but Jupiter preceded. But Thetis was not forgetful of the charges of her son, but she emerged from the wave of the sea, and at dawn ascended lofty heaven and Olympus;  and she found the far-seeing son of Saturn sitting apart from the others, on the highest summit of many-peaked Olympus, and then she sat down before him, and embraced his knees with her left hand, but with the right taking him by the chin, imploring, she thus addressed king Jove, the son of Saturn:
"O father Jove, if ever I have aided thee among the immortals, either in word or deed, accomplish for me this desire: honor my son, who is the most short-lived of others; for now indeed Agamemnon, the king of men, has disgraced him; for he possesses his prize, he himself having borne it away. Do thou at least, Olympian Jove all counseling, honor him; and so long grant victory to the Trojans, until the Greeks shall reverence my son, and shall advance him in honor."
Thus she spoke; but cloud-compelling Jove answered her nothing, but sat silent for a long time. And as Thetis seized his knees, fast clinging she held them, and thus again entreated: "Do but now promise to me explicitly, and grant or refuse (for in thee there is no dread), that I may well know how far I am the most dishonored goddess among all."
But her cloud-compelling Jove, deeply moved, addressed: "Truly now this [will be] a grievous matter, since thou wilt cause me to give offense to Juno, when she. shall irritate me with reproachful words. For, even without reason, she is perpetually chiding me among the immortal gods, and also says that I aid the Trojans in battle. But do thou on thy part now depart, lest Juno behold thee; but these things shall be my care, until I perform them. But if [thou wilt have it thus], so be it; I will nod to thee with my head, that thou mayest feel confidence. For this from me is the greatest pledge among the immortals; for my pledge, even whatsoever I shall sanction by nod, is not to, be retracted, neither fallacious nor unfulfilled."
The son of Saturn spoke, and nodded thereupon with his dark eyebrows. And then the ambrosial locks of the king were shaken over him from his immortal head; and he made mighty Olympus tremble. Thus having conferred, they separated. She at once plunged from splendid Olympus into the profound sea. But Jove on the other hand [returned] to his palace. But all the gods rose up together from their seats to meet their sire; nor did any dare to await him approaching, but all rose in his presence. Thus indeed he sat there on his throne; nor was Juno unconscious, having seen that silver-footed Thetis, the daughter of the marine old man, had joined in deliberation with him. Forthwith with reproaches she accosted Saturnian Jove:
"Which of the gods again, O deceitful one, has been concerting measures with thee? Ever is it agreeable to thee, being apart from me, plotting secret things, to decide thereon, nor hast thou ever yet deigned willingly to tell me one word of what thou dost meditate."
To her then replied the father of men and gods: "O Juno, build up no hopes of knowing all my counsels; difficult would they be for thee, although thou art my consort. But whatever it may be fit for thee to hear, none then either of gods or men shall know it before thee: but whatever I wish to consider apart from the gods, do thou neither inquire into any of these things, nor investigate them."
But him the large-eyed, venerable Juno then answered: "Most dread son of Saturn, what a word hast thou spoken? Heretofore have I ever questioned thee much, nor pryed [into thy secrets]; but thou mayest very quietly deliberate on those things which thou desirest. But at present I greatly fear in my soul lest silver-footed Thetis, the daughter of the marine old man, may have influenced thee: for at dawn she sat by thee and embraced thy knees: to her I suspect thou didst plainly promise that thou wouldst honor Achilles, and destroy many at the ships of the Greeks."
But her answering, cloud-compelling Jove addressed: "Perverse one! thou art always suspecting, nor do I escape thee. Nevertheless thou shalt produce no effect at all, but thou shalt be further from my heart: and this will be more bitter to thee. But granted this be so, it appears to be my pleasure. But sit down in peace, and obey my mandate, lest as many deities as are in Olympus avail thee not against me, I drawing near, when I shall lay my resistless hands upon thee."
Thus he spoke: but venerable, large-eyed Juno feared, and sat down silent, having bent her heart to submission. But the heavenly gods murmured throughout the palace of Jove. And the renowned artificer, Vulcan, began to harangue them, doing kind offices to his beloved mother, white-armed Juno:
"Truly now these will be grievous matters, and no longer tolerable, if ye twain contend thus on account of mortals, and excite uproar among the deities. Nor will there be any enjoyment in the delightful banquet, since the worse things prevail. But to my mother I advise, she herself being intelligent, to gratify my dear father Jove, lest my sire may again reprove her, and disturb our banquet. For if the Olympian Thunderer wishes to hurl [us] from our seats—for he is much the most powerful. But do thou soothe him with gentle words; then will the Olympian king straightway be propitious to us."
Thus then he spoke, and rising, he placed the double cup in the hand of his dear mother, and addressed her:
"Be patient, my mother, and restrain thyself, although grieved, lest with my own eyes I behold thee beaten, being very dear to me; nor then indeed should I be able, though full of grief, to assist thee; for Olympian Jove is difficult to be opposed. For heretofore, having seized me by the foot, he cast me, desiring at one time to assist you, down from the heavenly threshold. All day I was carried down through the air, and I fell on Lemnos with the setting sun: and but little life was in me by that time. There the Sintian men forthwith received and tended me, having fallen."
Thus he spoke: but the white-armed goddess Juno smiled; and smiling she received the cup from the hand of her son. But he, beginning from left to right, kept pouring out for all the other gods, drawing nectar from the goblet. And then inextinguishable laughter arose among the immortal gods, when they saw Vulcan bustling about through the mansion.
Thus, then, they feasted the entire day till the setting sun; nor did the soul want any thing of the equal feast, nor of the beautiful harp, which Apollo held, nor of the Muses, who accompanied him, responding in turn, with delicious voice.
But when the splendid light of the sun was sunk, they retired to repose, each one to his home, where renowned Vulcan, lame of both legs, with cunning skill had built a house for each. But the Olympian thunderer Jove went to his couch, where he lay before, when sweet sleep came upon him. There, having ascended, he lay down to rest, and beside him golden-throned Juno.
- Although, as Ernesti observes, the verb προίαψεν does not necessarily oontain the idea of premature death, yet the ancient interpreters are almost unanimous in understanding it so. Thus Eustathius, p. 13, ed. Bas.: μετὰ βλάβης εἰς Ἅιδην πρὸ τοῦ δέοντος ἔπεμψεν, ὡς τῆς προθέσεως (i. e. προ) καιρκόν τι δηλούσης, ἢ ἀπλως ἓπεμψεν, ὡς πλεοναζούσης τῆς προθέσεως. Hesych. t. ii. p. 1029, s. v.: προίαψεν—δήλοῖ δὲ διὰ τῆς λέξεως τὴν μετ' ὀδύνης αὐτῶν ἀπώλειαν. Cf. Virg. Æn. xii. 952: "Vitaque cum gemitu fugit indignata sub umbras," where Servius well observes, "quia discedebat a juvene : nam volunt philosophi, invitam animam discedere a corpore, cum quo adhuc habitare legibus naturæ poterat." I have, however, followed Ernesti, with the later commentators.
- i. e., their bodies. Cf. Æ. i. 44, vi. 362, where there is a similar use of the pronoun.
- But see Anthon.
- Observe the full force of the imperfect tense.
- Of χραισμεῑν Buttmann, Lexil. p. 546, observes that "it is never found in a positive sense, but remained in ancient usage in negative sentences only; as, 'it is of no use to thee', or, 'it helps thee not,' and similar expressions."
- The old mistake of construing ἀντιόωσαν "sharing," which still clings to the translations, is exploded by Buttm. Lex. p. 144. Eust and Heysch. both give εὐτρεπίζουσαν as one of the interpretations; and that such is the right one is evident from the collateral phrase πορσύνειν λέχος in Od. iii. 403.
- Ἀμφιβέβηκας is the perfect tense. but with the force of the present.
- An epithet derived from σμίνθος, the Phrygian name for a mouse; either because Apollo had put an end to a plague of mice among that people, or because a mouse was thought emblematical of augury. Grote. Hist. of Greece, vol. i p. 68, observes that this "worship of Sminthian Apollo, in various parts of the Troad and its neighboring territory, dates before the earliest period of Æolic colonization. On the Homeric description of Apollo, see Müller, Dorians, vol i. p. 315.
- Not "crowned," as Heyne says; for this was a later custom.—See Anthon and Arnold.
- The force of ἄρα is noticed by Nägelsbach.
- Or "white." Hesych. ταχεῑς, λευκούς.
- Ammionius, p. 14, foolishly supposes that ὁμοῦ here denotes place, ἐν Τροία. Valckenaer justly supports the ordinary interpretation.
- Cf. Flin. Ep. i. 18, and Duport, Gnom. Hom. p 3, sq.
- A common formula in the ancient poets to express the eternity of things. Empedocles apud Pseud. Arist. de Mundo: Πάνθ' ὅσα τ' ἡν, ὁσα τ' ἐστὶ, καὶ ὅσσα τε ἕσται ὀπίσσω. Virg. Georg. iv. 392: "Novit manque omniavates, Quæ sint, quæ fuerint, quæ mox ventura trahantur".
- See Abresch. on Æschyl. p. 287. Ernesti.
- ἀγανακτοῦσι γὰρ διὰ τὴν ὑπεροχήν.—Arist. Rhet. ii. 2, quoting this verse.
- Lit. "digest his dile." Homer's distinction between χόλος and κότος is observed by Nemesius, de Nat. Hom. § 21.
- I have used "Greeks" wherever the whole army is evidently meant. In other instances I have restrained the specific names of the different confederate nations.
- See Arnold.
- "In the assembly of the people, as in the courts of justice, the nobles alone speak, advise, and decide, whilst the people merely listen to their ordinances and decisions, in order to regulate their own conduct accordingly; being suffered, indeed, to follow the natural impulse of evincing, to a certain extent, their approbation or disapprobation of their superior, but without any legal means of giving validity to their opinion." Müller, Gk. Lit. p. 30.
- But we must not join μαντεύεσθαι with κακά.—Nägelsbach.
- More closely: "took from the cities, when we destroyed them."
- Buttmann would take αὔτως as=frustra.
- Laodice, daughter of Cycnus.
- See my note on Od. i. p. 2, n. 11.
- Astynome. Cf. Eustath. fol. 58.
- The princes assembled.
- Columna on Ennius, p. 17, ed. Hessel., compares "Ollei respondet Rex Albai longai," and "Ollei respondet suavis sonus Egeriäi," observing that this formula was probably as common in the heroic annals of Ennius, as τὸν δ' ἀπαμειβόμενος is in Homer.
- Epimerism. Hom. in Cramer's Anecdott. vol. i. p. 24. ἀταρτηρός, ἢ παρὰ τὴν ἄτην, ὁ σημαίνει τὴν βλάβην, ἀτηρός.—Hesych. βλαβερὸς, ἀτηρός.
- I must refer the reader to a most happy sketch of Nestor's exploits and character in Grote's Hist. of Greece, vol. i. p. 153.
- A prince of the Lapithæ, not the Cyclops.
- See Anthon, who has well remarked the force of the particles.
- Properly elliptical—I have done right; for, etc.—Crusius.
- Equal on both sides, so as to preserve a balance. But Blomfield, Obs. on Matth. Gr. § 124, prefers to render it "ships of due size," as δαἴς ἐίση, verse 468, "an equalized meal."
- So Anthon, comparing verse 142.
- Not a mere medicinal measure, but a symbolical putting away of the guilt, which, through Agamemnon's transgression, was brought upon the army also.—Wolf.
- Not about the smoke, but in the smoke; for περὶ denotes also the staying within the compass of an object.—Nagelsbach.
- Θεράπων is a voluntaiy servant, as opposed to δοῦλος.—See Arnold.
- Hesych. ῥίγιον, φοβερώτεον, χαλεπώτερον.
- "Misit eos, minaci jusso dato."—Heyne.
- So called from their inviolability—ἄσυλον γὰρ καὶ θεῖον τὸ γένος τῶν κηρύκων—Schol. Καὶ ἐξῆν αὐτοῖς πανταχόσε ἀδεῶς ἰέναι.—Pollux, viii. They were properly sacred to Mercury (id. iv. 9. Cf. Feith, Antiq. Homer, iv. 1), but are called the messengers of Jove, as being under his special protection, with a reference to the supporting of regal authority.
- Observe the aposiopesis.
- Not for the loss of Brisëis, but on account of tho affront.
- Thebe was situated on the border of Mysia, on the mountain Placus, in the district afterward called Adramyttium. The inhabitants were Cilicians.—See Heyne, and De Pinedo on Steph. Byz. s. v. p. 307, n. 58.
- There is some doubt whether Homer considered Briareus as the son of Neptune or of Uranus and Terra.—See Arnold. The fable is ridiculed by Minucius Felix, § 22.
- See Buttm. Lexil. pp. 257, 261, Fishlake's translation.
- The idea of infatuation is not, however, necessarily implied in ἄτη. See Buttm. Lex. p. 5, sq.
- According to Homer, the earth is a circular plane, and Oceanus is an immense stream encircling it, from which the different rivers run inward.
- "Salted barley meal,"—Anthon; "whole barley,"—Voss; but Buttmann, Lexil. p. 454, in a highly amusing note, observes, "no supposition of a regular and constant distinction between the Greeks and Romans, the one using barley whole and the other coarsely ground, possible as the thing may be in itself, is to be entertained without the express testimony of the ancients."
- See Buttm. Lexil. p. 291, sqq. The custom of crowning the goblets with flowers was of later origin.
- See Buttm. p. 168. The customary libation is meant.
- On the Pæan, see Müller, Gk. Lit. iii. § 4, and Dorians, vol. i. p. 370.
- See Loewe on Odyss. ii. 1, and my translation. Kennedy renders it "ushering in the dawn."
- See Buttm. p. 484. I am partly indebted to Anthon in rendering this expression.
- Cf. verse 425.
- Ούρανός is here the upper clear region of air— the ether, into which Olympus soared up.—Voss.
- Heyne supplies "sedendo."
- i. e., say that what you suspect is correct; well then, such is my will.
- I prefer taking ἴονθ' for ἴοντα, not for ἴοντε, as Buttman wished.—See Anthon.
- Cf. Duport, Gnom. Hom. p. 9. The saying is almost proverbial.
- An aposiopesis; understand, "he can easily do so."
- See my note on Od. iii. p. 30, n. 13. It was "a double cup with a common bottom in the middle."—Crusius.
- Hercules having sacked Troy, was, on his return, driven to Cos by a storm raised by Juno, who was hostile to him, and who had contrived to cast Jupiter into a sleep, that he might not interrupt her purpose. Jupiter awaking, in resentment of the artifice practiced upon him, bound her feet to iron anvils, which Vulcan attempting to loose, was cast headlong down to Lemnos by his enraged sire.
- A race of robbers, of Tyrrhenian origin (according to Müller), and the ancient inhabitants of Lemnos. This island was ever after sacred to Vulcan. Cf. Lactant. i. 15; Milton, Paradise Lost, i. 740, sqq
- See Arnold.
- This meaning of ἐνδέξια is due to Buttmann.
- See Buttmann, Lexil. p. 481.
- "The gods formed a sort of political community of their own, which had its hierarchy, its distribution of ranks and duties, its contentions for power and occasional revolutions, its public meetings in the agora of Olympus, and its multitudinous banquets or festivals."—Grote, vol. i. p. 463. Cf. Müller, Gk. Lit. ii. § 2.