The Iliad of Homer (Buckley)/BOOK THE THIRTEENTH

The Iliad of Homer  (1860)  by Homer, translated by Theodore Alois Buckley
BOOK THE THIRTEENTH

BOOK THE THIRTEENTH.

ARGUMENT.

Neptune engages on the Grecian side, and the battle proceeds. Deïphobus is repulsed by Meriones. Teucer kills Imbrius, and Hector Amphimachus. Neptune, assuming the likeness of Thoas, exhorts Idomeneus, who goes forth with Meriones to battle, when the former slays Othryoneus and Asius. Deïphobus attacks Idomeneus, but misses him, and slays Hypsenor. Idomeneus slays Alcathous, over whose body a sharp contest ensues.

But after Jove, then, had brought the Trojans and Hector near the ships, he left them to endure labor and toil at them incessantly; but he himself turned back his shining eyes apart, looking toward the land of the equestrian Thracians and the close-fighting Mysians, and the illustrious Hippomolgi, milk-nourished simple in living, and most just men.[1] But to Troy he no longer now turned his bright eyes; for he did not suppose in his mind that any one of the immortals, going, would aid either the Trojans or the Greeks.

Nor did king Neptune keep a vain watch; for he sat aloft upon the highest summit of the woody Thracian Samos, admiring the war and the battle. For from thence all Ida was visible, and the city of Priam was visible, and the ships of the Greeks. Then coming out of the sea, he sat down, and he pitied the Greeks, subdued by the Trojans, and was very indignant with Jove. But presently he descended down from the rugged mountain, rapidly advancing on foot, and the high hills and woods trembled beneath the immortal feet of Neptune, advancing. Thrice indeed he strode, advancing, and with the fourth step he reached Ægæ, his destined goal. There distinguished mansions, golden, glittering, ever incorruptible, were erected to him in the depths of the sea. Coming thither, he yoked beneath his chariot the brazen-footed steeds, swiftly flying, crested with golden manes. But he himself placed gold around his person, took his golden lash, well wrought, and ascended his chariot. He proceeded to drive over the billows, and the monsters of the deep[2] sported beneath him on all sides from their recesses, nor were ignorant of their king. For joy the sea separated; and they flew very rapidly, nor was the brazen axle moist beneath. And his well-bounding steeds bore him to the ships of the Greeks.

Now there is an ample cave[3] in the recesses of the deep sea, between Tenedos and rugged Imbrus. There earth-shaking Neptune stopped his horses, loosing them from the chariot, and cast beside [them] ambrosial fodder to eat. And round their feet he threw golden fetters, irrefragable, indissoluble, that they might there steadily await their king returning, but he departed toward the army of the Greeks.

The Trojans, however, in crowds, like unto a flame or a whirlwind, followed Hector, the son of Priam, with insatiable ardor, shouting loudly, and exclaiming; for they hoped to capture the ships of the Greeks, and slay all the Greeks beside them. But earth-ruling, earth-shaking Neptune, coming from the deep sea, aroused the Greeks, assimilating his person and indefatigable voice to Calchas. The Ajaces he first addressed, though themselves were earnest:

"Ye Ajaces, ye indeed, mindful of valor, not of direful flight, will preserve the people of the Greeks. For in any other place, indeed, I do not dread the audacious hands of the Trojans, who in great numbers have surmounted the great wall, because the well-greaved Greeks will sustain them all. But in that place I grievously fear lest we suffer any thing, where infuriated Hector, like unto a flame, leads on, who boasts to be the son of almighty Jove. But may some of the gods thus put it in your minds, that ye stand firmly yourselves, and exhort others; thus may ye drive him, although impetuous, from the swift-sailing ships, even if Jove himself excites him."

He said, and earth-ruling Neptune, striking both with his scepter, filled them with violent might, and made their limbs light and their feet and hands above. But he, like as a swift-winged hawk is impelled to fly, which, lifted up from a rugged, lofty rock, has hastened to pursue another bird over the plain; so darted earth-shaking Neptune from them. But fleet Ajax, the son of Oïleus, recognized him first of the two, and straightway addressed Ajax, the son of Telamon:

"O Ajax, since some one of the gods, who possess Olympus, likening himself to the soothsayer, exhorts us to fight beside the ships (neither is this Calchas, the prophesying augur; for I readily recognized the traces of his feet and legs when departing; for the gods are easily distinguished), even to myself, the soul within my bosom is more incited to war and the fight, and my feet beneath and hands above eagerly desire it."

But him Telamonian Ajax answering addressed: "So also to me are my strong hands upon my spear eager, and my courage is aroused, and I am hurried along by both my feet under me; and I eagerly long, even, alone, to combat with Hector, the son of Priam, insatiably raging."

Thus they addressed these words to each other, joyful in the desire of battle[4] which the god had infused into their minds. In the meanwhile the Earth-ruler (Neptune) aroused the Achæns in the rear, who were recruiting their spirit at the swift ships; whose limbs were at the same time relaxed with toilsome labor, and grief was arising in their minds, beholding the Trojans, who with a tumult had surmounted the vast wall. But beholding them, they poured forth tears from beneath their eyebrows, for they expected not to escape destruction: but the Earth-shaker intervening, easily aroused the brave phalanxes. To Teucer and Leius he first came, exhorting them, and to the hero Peneleus, and Thoas, and Deipyrus, and to Meriones and Antilochus, skillful in war. These he encouraging, spoke winged words:

"O shame! Argives, young men, I trust that our ships will be preserved by your fighting; but if ye be remiss in the destructive battle, the day is now come [for us] to be subdued by the Trojans. Ye gods, surely I behold with my eyes a great marvel, terrible, which I never expected would be brought to pass, that the Trojans should approach our ships; who formerly, like unto timid stags, which through the wood are the prey of lynxes, pards, and wolves, foolishly straying about, weak, not fit for combat: so the Trojans formerly would not stand even for a little against the might and prowess of the Greeks. But now, far away from the city, they combat at the hollow ships, through the perverseness of our general, and the indifference of the troops; who, disputing with him, are unwilling to defend the swift ships, but are slain among them. Yet although in reality the hero, the son of Atreus, wide-ruling Agamemnon, be altogether in fault, in that he hath dishonored the swift-footed son of Peleus, still it is by no means our duty to be remiss in battle, but let us the sooner repair [the mischief];[5] the minds of the brave are easily appeased. But they by no means honorably remit your impetuous valor, being all the bravest in the army: I indeed would not quarrel with a man who should desist from combat, being unwarlike; but with you I am indignant from my heart. O soft ones! surely will ye soon create some greater evil by this inertness: but do each of you in his mind ponder on the shame and reproach; for certainly a mighty contest hath arisen. Now indeed brave Hector, good in the din of war, combats at the ships, and hath burst through the gates and the long bar."

Thus then Neptune, exhorting, aroused the Greeks. But round the two Ajaces firm phalanxes stood, which not even Mars, coming among them, would have found fault with, nor Minerva, the confounder of armies; for the bravest selected awaited the Trojans and noble Hector; knitting spear with spear, shield with shield,[6] one upon another,[7] so that shield pressed upon shield, helmet upon helmet, and man upon man. And the horse-haired helmets of them, nodding, touched each other with their splendid ridges,[8] so closely stood they to one another; and spears in the act of being hurled, were brandishing from their daring hands, while they wished [to go] straight [against the enemy], and were eager to fight. But the combined Trojans first made the attack, and impetuous Hector first rushed against them: as a destructively-rolling stone from a rock, which a wintery torrent drives down the brow, having burst with a mighty shower the stays of the rugged rock, and bounding along, it rolls, and the forest resounds beneath it: but straightway it runs on uninterruptedly until it reach the plain, but then it rolls no longer, though impelled; so Hector for awhile threatened that he would easily come as far as the sea, to the tents and ships of the Greeks, slaughtering. But when now he met the firm phalanxes, he stopped, being come into close contact; and the sons of the Greeks, opposing, repulsed him from them, striking him with their swords and two-edged spears; but retiring, he was compelled to withdraw; and he cried out shouting audibly to the Trojans:

"Ye Trojans and Lycians, and close-fighting Dardanians, stand firm. Not long will the Greeks withstand me, although they have drawn themselves up in very dense array.[9] But I conceive, they will retire from my spear, if in truth the most powerful of the gods, the high-thundering husband of Juno, hath urged me on."

So saying, he aroused the might and courage of each. But Deïphobus, the son of Priam, walked among them, high-minded, and he held his shield equal on all sides before him, proceeding with light step, and advancing under protection of his shield. Then Meriones took aim with his shining spear, and struck him (nor did he miss) upon the bull's hide shield, equal on all sides, which he did not pierce; for the long spear, far before was broken at the socket. But Deïphobus held his bull's hide shield far from him, for he dreaded in his mind the spear of warlike Meriones; but that hero fell back into the column of his companions, for he was grievously enraged on both accounts, both for [the loss] of the victory, and of the spear which he had broken. Accordingly he proceeded to pass by the tents and ships of the Greeks, to bring a long spear which had been left in his tent; while the others fought, and a mighty tumult arose.

Then Telamonian Teucer first slew a hero, the warrior Imbrius, son of Mentor, rich in steeds; and he dwelt at Pedæum before the sons of the Greeks arrived, and had married Medesicaste, the illegitimate drughter of Priam. But when the equally-plied ships of the Greeks arrived, he came back to Ilium, and excelled among the Trojans; and dwelt with Priam, who honored him equally with his sons. Him the son of Telamon smote under the ear with his long javelin, and plucked out the spear; but he indeed fell, like an ash, which, on the summit of a mountain conspicuous from afar, cut down with a brazen ax, strews its tender foliage on the earth. Thus he fell, and his armor, variegated with brass, rang about him. Then Teucer rushed on, eager to strip him of his armor; but Hector hurled his shining spear at him, hastening. He, however, seeing it from the opposite side, avoided, by a small pace, the brazen spear; and [Hector] wounded with his javelin, on the breast, Amphimachus, son of Cteas, the son of Actor, advancing to the battle; and, falling, he gave a crash, and his arms rang upon him. Then Hector rushed to tear from the head of magnanimous Amphimachus the helmet fitted to his temple, but Ajax hurled with his shining spear at Hector, rushing on. Yet it never reached his body, for he was protected all over with terrible brass; but he smote him upon the boss of the shield, and repulsed him with great violence; and he retired from both bodies, and the Greeks drew them away. Then Stichius and noble Menestheus, the leaders of the Athenians, carried Amphimachus to the army of the Greeks, but the two Ajaces, eager for impetuous combat, [carried] Imbrius. As two lions bear a goat through the thick copse-wood, snatching it from the sharp-toothed dogs, holding it high above the earth in their jaws; so the two warriors, the Ajaces, holding him [Imbrius] aloft, stripped off his armor; but the son of Oïleus, enraged on account of Amphimachus, severed his head from his tender neck, and sent it rolling like a ball through the crowd; but it fell before the feet of Hector in the dust.

Then indeed was Neptune grieved at heart for his grandson, slain in the grievous fight; and he proceeded to go along the tents and ships of the Greeks, exhorting the Greeks, and prepared disasters for the Trojans. But spear-renowned Idomeneus then met him, returning from a companion who had lately come to him from the battle, wounded in the ham with the sharp brass, whom his comrades had carried in, and he, having given directions to the surgeons, was returning from his tent; for he still desired to participate in the fight. Him king Neptune addressed, assimilating himself, as to his voice, to Thoas, son of Andræmon, who governed the Ætolians throughout all Pleuron and lofty Calydon, and who was honored by the people as a god:

"Idomeneus, thou counselor of the Cretans, where indeed are the threats gone, with which the sons of the Greeks threatened the Trojans?" Whom again in return, Idomeneus, the leader of the Cretans, addressed: "No man, O Thoas, as far as I know, is at present to blame; for we are all skilled in warring. Neither does disheartening fear detain any one, nor does any one, yielding to sloth, shirk evil strife; but thus, doubtless, it will be agreeable to the all-powerful son of Saturn, that here, far away from Argos, the Greeks shall perish inglorious. But, Thoas—for formerly thou wast warlike, and urged on others when thou didst behold them negligent—so now desist not thyself, but exhort each man."

But him earth-shaking Neptune then answered: "Never may that man, O Idomeneus, return from Troy, but let him here be the sport of the dogs, whosoever voluntarily this day shall relax from fighting. But come, taking up arms, advance hither; for it behooves us to hasten these things, if we may be of any service, although but two; for useful is the valor of men, even the very pusillanimous, if combined, whereas we both understand how to fight even with the brave."

So saying, the god departed again to the toil of heroes. But Idomeneus, when now he had reached his well-made tent, put on his rich armor around his body, and seized two spears, and hastened to go, like unto the lightning, which the son of Saturn, seizing in his hand, brandishes from glittering Olympus, showing a sign to mortals; and brilliant are its rays: so shone the brass around the breast of him running. Then Meriones, his good attendant, met him yet near the tent—for he was going to fetch a brazen spear; and the strength of Idomeneus addressed him:

"Meriones, son of Molus, swift of foot, dearest of my companions, why comest thou thus, quitting the war and the contest? Art thou at all wounded, and does the point of a spear afflict thee? Or comest thou to me on any message? For I myself am not desirous to sit within my tent, but to fight."

But him prudent Meriones in turn answered: "Idomeneus, thou counselor of the brazen-mailed Cretans, I come, if there be any spear left within thy tents, to take it: because I indeed have broken that which I formerly had, having struck the shield of ferocious Deïphobus." Whom again in turn Idomeneus, leader of the Cretans, addressed: "Thou wilt find, if thou desirest [to select from them], one-and-twenty spears standing in my tent against the shining walls, which I have taken from the slain Trojans; for I affirm that I do not fight with hostile men, standing at a distance from them. Hence I have both spears, and bossy shields, and helmets, and corselets, brightly polished."

But him again prudent Meriones addressed in turn: "At my tent also and black ship are there many spoils of the Trojans; but they are not near, so that I might take them. For neither do I conceive that I am forgetful of valor, but I stand among the foremost in glory-giving battle, whenever the contest of war has arisen. I am rather unobserved perhaps, when fighting by some other of the brazen-mailed Greeks; but I think that thou knowest me."

Whom again Idomeneus, leader of the Cretans, addressed in turn: "I know what thou art as to valor: what necessity is there for thee to enumerate these things? For if now all we the bravest at the ships should be selected for an ambuscade, where the courage of men is especially distinguished, where both the coward as well as the brave man is made apparent—for the complexion of the coward on the one hand is changed from this to that, nor is his heart calm within his bosom, so that he can rest without trembling, but he shifts his position, and sits upon both his feet, while his heart greatly palpitates within his breast, as he is expecting death; and a chattering of his teeth arises. But neither is the complexion of the brave man changed, nor is he at all disturbed, after he first sits down in the ambush of heroes; but he burns to be mingled with all haste in direful fight—[no one], in that case, would find fault with thy courage and might. For if, laboring [in the battle], thou wert wounded from a distance, or smitten in close fight, the weapon would not fall upon thy neck behind, nor upon thy back; but it would pierce through either thy breast, or thy stomach, as thou wast rushing forward amid the conflict[10] of foremost combatants. But come, no longer let us speak of these things, standing like infatuated persons, lest perhaps some one chide us inordinately; but do thou, going to the tent, take a strong spear."

Thus he spake, and Meriones, equal to swift Mars, quickly took from the tent a brazen spear; and he went along with Idomeneus, very eager for war. But as man-destroying Mars enters the battle—with whom Terror, his dear son, at the same time powerful and undismayed, follows, who strikes fear into the warrior even of resolute soul: these indeed are armed from Thrace, along with the Ephyri or with the magnanimous Phlegyans; neither do they hear both, but they give glory to one or the other—so Meriones and Idomeneus, leaders of heroes, advanced to battle equipped with helmets of glittering brass; and Meriones first addressed him in these words:

"Son of Deucalion, where dost thou meditate to enter the throng? To the right of all the army, or at the center, or upon the left? Since nowhere [else][11] in the battle do I conceive that the long-haired Greeks so much require support."

But him Idomeneus, the leader of the Cretans, in turn addressed: "Among the center ships indeed there are others to aid them, both the Ajaces and Teucer, who is the most skillful of the Greeks in archery, and brave also in standing fight; who will sufficiently harass, even to satiety, Hector, the son of Priam, although most urgent of battle, and although being very gallant. Hard will it be for him, although very desirous of fighting, having overpowered their strength and invincible hands, to fire the ships, unless the son of Saturn himself cast a flaming torch upon the swift ships. Nor indeed will mighty Telamonian Ajax yield to any man who may be a mortal, and who may eat the fruit of Ceres, who is vulnerable by brass and by large stones. Not even to warlike Achilles would he give way, at least in standing fight; but in speed he is by no means able to contend with him. Guide us, therefore, to the left of the army, that we may quickly know whether we shall alford glory to any one, or any one to us."

Thus he spoke. But Meriones, equal to rapid Mars, began to proceed, until he came to [that part of] the army whither he had ordered him. But they, when they beheld Idomeneus, like unto a flame in might, both him and his attendant, in variously-wrought armor, they all, exhorting one another along the crowd, advanced against him, and an equal contest arose at the sterns of their ships. And as when storms sweep along, [driven] by the shrill winds, on a day when the dust around the roads [is] very abundant, and they at the same time raise up a large cloud of dust; so came on the battle of these together, and they were eager in their minds to slaughter one another throughout the throng with the sharp brass. And the mortal-destroying combat bristles with the long spears which they held, flesh-rending; and the brazen-splendor from the gleaming helmets, the newly-burnished corselets, and the shining shields, coming together, dazzled their eyes. Very brave-hearted would he be who, when beholding their toil, could have rejoiced, and would not be disturbed.

But the two powerful sons of Saturn, favoring different sides, planned grievous toils for the heroes. On the one hand, Jove willed victory to the Trojans and to Hector, glorifying swift-footed Achilles; yet he desired not entirely to destroy the Grecian people before Ilium, but was honoring Thetis and her magnanimous son. On the other hand, Neptune, coming among them, encouraged the Greeks, having secretly emerged from the hoary deep; for he grieved that they should be subdued by the Trojans, and he was greatly indignant with Jove. The same race indeed was to both, and the same lineage, but Jove was born first,[12] and knew more. For this reason [Neptune] avoided aiding them openly, but always kept privately inciting them through the army, assimilated to a man. They indeed alternately stretched even both the cord of vehement contest and equally destructive war, irrefragable and indissoluble, which relaxed the knees of many. Then, although half hoary Idomeneus, encouraging the Greeks, rushing upon the Trojans, created flight; for he slew Othryoneus, who had come from Cabesus, staying within [Priam's house].[13] He had lately come after the rumor of the war, and demanded Cassandra, the most beautiful in form of the daughters of Priam, without a dowry; and he had promised a mighty deed, to repulse in spite of themselves the sons of the Greeks from Troy. But to him aged Priam had promised her, and pledged himself[14] to give her; therefore he fought, trusting in these promises. But Idomeneus took aim at him with his shining spear, and hurling it, struck him, strutting proudly; nor did the brazen corselet which he wore resist it, but he fixed it in the middle of his stomach. And falling, he gave a crash, and [the other] boasted and said:

"Othryoneus! above all men indeed do I praise thee, if thou wilt now in truth accomplish all which thou hast undertaken for Dardanian Priam: but he also promised thee his daughter. We likewise, promising these things, will acomplish them to thee. We will give thee the most beautiful in form of the daughters of the son of Atreus to wed, bringing her from Argos, if along with us thou wilt destroy the well-inhabited city of Ilium. But follow, that we may treat with thee respecting the marriage of the sea-traversing ships; since we are by no means bad brothers-in-law."

So saying, the hero Idomeneus dragged him by the foot through the brisk battle. But to him Asius came as an avenger, on foot, before his steeds; which his attendant charioteer always kept breathing over his shoulders;[15] and in his mind he longed to strike Idomeneus, but he (Idomeneus) anticipating him, smote him with his spear in the throat, below the chin, and drove the brass quite through. And he fell, as when some oak falls, or white poplar,[16] or towering[17] pine, which timber-workers have cut down upon the mountains with lately-whetted axes, to become ship timber. So he lay, stretched out before his horses and chariot, gnashing his teeth, grasping the bloody dust. But the charioteer was deprived of the senses which he previously had, nor dared he turn back the horses that he might escape from the hands of the enemy: but him warlike Antilochus, striking, transfixed in the middle with his spear; nor did the brazen corselet which he wore resist, but he fixed it in the center of his stomach. Then, panting, he fell from the well-made chariot-seat, and Antilochus, the son of magnanimous Nestor, drove away the horses from the Trojans to the well-armed Greeks. But Deïphobus, enraged on account of Asius, drew very near to Idomeneus, and hurled with his shining spear. Idomeneus, however, having perceived it opposite, avoided the brazen spear, for he was concealed behind his shield equal on all sides, which he bore, constructed of the hides of bulls, and glittering brass, fitted with two handles. Behind this he collected himself entirely, and the brazen spear flew over him. But the shield returned a dry[18] sound, the spear grazing it obliquely. Yet he (Deïphobus) sent it not in vain from his heavy hand, but he struck Hypsenor, sou of Hippasus, the shepherd of the people, upon the liver, below the breast, and straightway relaxed his knees under him. But Deïphobus vainly boasted over him, loudly exclaiming:

"Surely not unavenged lies Asius; I rather think that he will rejoice in his mind, though going into the strong-gated, massy [dwelling] of Hades, since I have given him a guide."

Thus he spoke; but grief came upon the Greeks at his boasting, and it particularly agitated the mind of warlike Antilochus. Yet, grieved as he was, he neglected not his companion, but running, he protected him, and covered him over with his shield. Him then his two dear companions, Mecisteus, son of Echius, and noble Alastor, supporting, bore to the hollow ships, deeply groaning. In the mean time Idomeneus ceased not his mighty valor; but always burned either, to cover some of the Trojans with pitchy night,[19] or himself to fall with a crash, repelling destruction from the Greeks. Then the hero Alcathous, the beloved son of Æsyetas (and he was the son-in-law of Anchises, for he had married Hippodamia, the eldest of his daughters, whom her father and venerable mother loved from their hearts, while in their home, because she excelled all of her age in beauty, in accomplishments, and prudence, for which reason also the most distinguished man in wide Troy had wedded her), him Neptune subdued under Idomeneus, having dimmed his shining eyes, and fettered his fair limbs. For he was able neither to fly back nor to turn aside, but him, standing motionless, like a pillar or lofty-branching tree, the hero Idomeneus wounded with his spear in the middle of the breast, and burst the brazen coat around him, which formerly warded off destruction from his body: but then it sent forth a dry sound, severed by the spear. Falling, he gave a crash, and the spear was fixed in his heart, which, palpitating, shook even the extremity of the spear; and there at length the impetuous Mars[20] spent its force. But Idomeneus boasted prodigiously over him, loudly exclaiming:

"Deïphobus! do we judge rightly that it is a fair return, that three should be slain for one, since thus thou boastest? But do thou thyself also, wretch, stand against me, that thou mayest know of what nature I am, who have come hither the offspring of Jove, who first begat Minos, the guardian of Crete. Minos again begat Deucalion, his blameless son, and Deucalion begat me, king over many men in wide Crete. But now the ships have brought me hither, an evil both to thee and to thy father, and the other Trojans."

Thus he spoke, but Deïphobus hesitated between two opinions, whether, falling back, he should join to himself some one of the magnanimous Trojans, or make trial although alone. But to him, thus deliberating, it appeared preferable to go in search of Æneas; whom he found standing at the rear of the army, for he was ever indignant with noble Priam, because he by no means honored him, though being valiant among heroes. And, standing near, he addressed to him winged words:

"Æneas, thou counselor of the Trojans, now does it greatly behoove thee to aid thy brother-in-law, if indeed any regard reaches thee. But follow, let us bring aid to Alcathous, who, being thy brother-in-law, nourished thee while very young, in his palace, and whom spear-famed Idomeneus hath slain."

Thus he spoke, and roused the courage in his breast, and he, greatly desirous of battle, went to meet Idomeneus. Yet fear seized not Idomeneus like a tender boy, but he stood still, like a boar in the mountains, confident in his prowess, and who abides the mighty din of men advancing against him, in a desert place,[21] and bristles up his back; his eyes, too, gleam with fire, and he whets his teeth, eager to keep at bay both dogs and men. So spear-renowned Idomeneus awaited Æneas, swift in the battle-din, coming against him, nor retired; but he shouted to his companions, looking to Ascalaphus, and Aphareus, and Deïpyrus, and Meriones, and Antilochus, skillful in fight. Exhorting these, he addressed to them winged words:

"Hither, my friends and aid me alone, for I greatly dread swift-footed Æneas, rushing on, who is coming upon me; who is very powerful to slay men in battle, and possesses the bloom of youth, which is the greatest strength. For if we were of the same age, with the spirit that I now possess, quickly would either he bear off great glory, or I would."

Thus he spoke; but they all, having one determination in their minds, stood near him, inclining their shields upon their shoulders. Æneas, on the other hand, animated his companions, looking toward Deïphobus, Paris, and noble Agenor, who, together with himself, were leaders of the Trojans. These also the people followed, as sheep follow from their pasture after the ram in order to drink; and the shepherd then is rejoiced in his mind. So was the soul of Æneas gladdened in his breast, when he beheld a body of troops following himself. These therefore engaged in close fight round Alcathous with long spears, while the brass resounded horribly on the breasts of them, aiming at each other through the crowd. But two warlike men, conspicuous among the rest, Æneas and Idomeneus, equal to Mars, longed to lacerate each other's flesh with the ruthless brass. But Æneas first hurled his javelin at Idomeneus; but he, perceiving it opposite, avoided the brazen spear; and the spear of Æneas sank quivering into the earth; for it fled in vain from his sturdy hand. Idomeneus next smote Œnomaus in the middle of the stomach, and the spear burst the cavity of his corselet, and penetrating, drank his entrails through; but falling amid the dust, he grasped the earth with the hollow of his hand. Then Idomeneus plucked out the long spear from his body, but was unable to tear off the other rich armor from his shoulders, for he was pressed hard by weapons. For no longer were the sinews of his feet firm as he rushed, either to hasten on after his own dart,[22] or avoid [that of another]. Wherefore also in standing fight, he warded off the fatal day, nor did his feet any longer bear him with ease in retreating from the battle. But against him, gradually retiring, Deïphobus took aim with his glittering spear, for he ever had a rooted hatred toward him. But then too he missed, and struck with his javelin Ascalaphus, the son of Mars, and drove the stout spear through his shoulder; and falling amid the dust, he grasped the earth with his hand. Not yet, however, had loudly-roaring,[23] impetuous Mars heard that his son had fallen in the violent fight; but he sat upon the summit of Olympus, beneath golden clouds, excluded [from the battle] by the will of Jove, where also the other immortal gods were restrained from the war. In the mean time they engaged in close fight round Ascalaphus. Deïphobus indeed tore the shining helmet from Ascalaphus; and Meriones, equal to swift Mars, springing [upon him], smote [him] with his spear in the arm, and the crested[24] casque, falling from his hand, rang upon the earth. Immediately Meriones, leaping upon him like a vulture, plucked out the tough spear from the lower part of his arm, and retired back again into the crowd of his comrades. But him Polites, his own brother, throwing his hands round his waist, carried out of the dread-sounding battle, till he reached his fleet steeds, which awaited him in the rear of the combat and the war, having both a charioteer and a variegated car; which then carried him toward the city, groaning heavily [and] afflicted; and the blood flowed from his recently-wounded hand: but the others kept fighting, and an unquenchable clamor arose. Then Æneas rushing upon Aphareus, the son of Caletor, smote him with his sharp spear upon the throat, when turned toward him. And his head was bent to one side, then his shield clung to him, and his helmet; and around him life-destroying death was spread. Antilochus, however, observing Thoas turning around, attacking, wounded him; and cut away all the vein, which, running quite along the back, reaches to the neck. All this he cut off; but he fell on his back in the dust, stretching out both hands to his beloved companions. Then Antilochus sprang upon him, and stripped the armor from his shoulders, looking around; for the Trojans surrounding him, struck his wide and ornamented shield with their darts, nor were they able to graze with the dire brass the tender body of Antilochus within it; because earth-shaking Neptune protected the son of Nestor all round, even among many weapons. For never indeed was he apart from the enemy, but he turned himself about among them: nor did he hold his spear without motion, but continually moving, it was whirled about; and he prepared within his mind, either to hurl it at some one afar off, or to rush upon some one close at hand. But meditating these things amid the throng, he escaped not the notice of Adamas, the son of Asias, who smote him in the middle of his shield with the sharp brass, attacking him in close combat; but azure-haired Neptune weakened the spear, grudging[25] him the life [of Antilochus]. Part of it remained there like a stake burned in the fire,[26] in the shield of Antilochus, and the other half lay upon the ground; while he gave backward into the crowd of his companions, shunning death. Meriones, however, following him departing, smote him with his spear between the private parts and the navel, where a wound[27] is particularly painful to miserable mortals. There he fixed the spear in him; and he falling, struggled panting around the spear, as an ox, when cowherds in the mountains, forcibly binding him with twisted cords, lead [him] away unwilling. So he, wounded, throbbed, though but for a short time, and not very long, until the hero Meriones coming near, plucked the spear from his body; and darkness vailed his eyes. But Helenus, close at hand, struck Deïpyrus upon the temple with his huge Thracian sword, and cut away the three-coned helmet; which, being dashed off, fell upon the ground; and some one of the combating Greeks lifted it up, having rolled between his feet; while dim night enveloped his eyes. Then grief seized the son of Atreus, Menelaus, brave in the din of battle, and he advanced, threatening the hero, king Helenus; brandishing his sharp spear, while the other drew the horn of his bow. Together then they darted, the one eager to lanch his fir-tree spear, and the other an arrow from the string. Then indeed the son of Priam smote him in the breast with an arrow, on the cavity of the corselet, hut the bitter shaft rebounded. As when from the broad winnowing-fan in a large thrashing-floor, the black-coated beans or vetches leap at the shrill blast, and the force of the winnower; so, strongly repulsed by the corselet of glorious Menelaus, the bitter arrow flew afar. But Menelaus, the son of Atreus, brave in the din of battle, smote him upon the hand which held his well-polished bow; and in the bow the brazen spear was fixed from the opposite side, through his hand. Then he retired back into the crowd of his companions, avoiding death, hanging down his hand at his side, but the ashen spear was trailed along with him. And then magnanimous Agenor extracted it from his hand, and bound [the hand] itself sling-ways in well-twisted sheep's wool, which his attendant carried for the shepherd of the people.

But Pisander went direct against glorious Menelaus, because evil Fate led him toward the end of death, to be subdued by thee, O Menelaus, in the dire battle. When therefore they were near, advancing against each other, the son of Atreus indeed missed, and his spear was turned aside from him; but Pisander smote the shield of glorious Menelaus, nor could he drive the spear quite through; because the broad shield kept it off, and the spear was broken at the extremity: still he rejoiced in his mind, and hoped for victory. The son of Atreus, however, drawing his silver-studded sword, sprang upon Pisander; but he drew from beneath his shield a handsome battle-ax of well-wrought brass, fixed upon either side of an olive handle, long, well-polished; and at once they struck each other. Then he (Pisander) cut away the cone of the helmet, thick with horse-hair, under the very crest, but (Menelaus smote) him, approaching, upon the forehead, above the root of the nose. And the bones crashed, and his blood-stained eyes fell at his feet upon the ground in the dust: and falling, he writhed. Then he (Menelaus) placing his heel upon his breast, despoiled him of his armor, and boasting, spoke [this] speech:

" Thus,[28] then, shall ye abandon the ships of the Greeks, who possess swift steeds, ye treaty-breaking Trojans, insatiate of dire battle. Of other injury and disgrace ye indeed lack nothing with which ye have injured me, vile dogs, nor have ye at all dreaded in your minds the heavy wrath of high- thundering hospitable Jove, who will yet destroy for you your lofty city; ye who unprovoked departed, carrying off my virgin spouse, and much wealth, after ye had been hospitably received by her. Now again do ye eagerly desire to hurl destructive fire upon the sea-traversing ships, and to slay the Grecian heroes. But ye shall yet be restrained, impetuous as ye be, from war. O father Jove, assuredly they say that thou excellest all others, men and gods, in prudence, yet from thee do all these things proceed. How much dost thou gratify these insolent Trojan men, whose violence is ever pernicious, and who can not be satisfied with war, equally destructive to all! Of all things is there satiety—of sleep, of love, of sweet singing, and of faultless dancing, with which one would much more readily satisfy his desire, than with war; but the Trojans are insatiate of battle."

So saying, having stripped the bloody armor from the body, illustrious Menelaus gave it to his companions, while he, advancing, was again mixed with the foremost combatants. Then Harpalion, the son of king Pylæmenes, who had then followed his dear father to wage war at Troy, leaped upon him; nor returned he back to his native land. [He it was] who then, close at hand, struck the middle of Atrides's shield with his lance, nor was he able to drive quite through the brass; but he retired back into the crowd of his companions, avoiding death, looking around on all sides, lest any one should touch his body[29] with a spear. Meriones, however, shot a brazen-pointed arrow at him retreating, and struck him upon the right hip, and the arrow penetrated to the other side, through the bladder, below the bone. Sinking down, therefore, in the same place, breathing out his life in the arms of his beloved companions, like a worm, he lay stretched upon the ground, while his black blood flowed, and moistened the earth. Around him the magnanimous Paphlagonians were employed, and, lifting him upon a chariot, they bore him to sacred Ilium, grieving; and with them went his father, shedding tears: but no vengeance was taken for his dead son.

But Paris was greatly enraged in his soul on account of his being slain, for he had been his guest among many Paphlagonians; wherefore, enraged on his account, he sent forth a brazen arrow. Now there was one Euchenor, son of the diviner Polyïdus, wealthy and brave, inhabiting a dwelling at Corinth, who, well knowing his fatal destiny, had arrived in a ship. For often had Polyïdus, good old man, told him, that he would perish in his halls of a grievous disease, or be subdued by the Trojans among the ships of the Greeks; wherefore he avoided at once the severe mulct[30] of the Achæans, and odious disease, that he might not suffer sorrows in his mind. Him he (Paris) smote below the jaw and the ear; and his spirit quickly departed from his members, and hateful darkness seized him.

Thus indeed they fought like[31] unto a burning fire. But Hector, dear to Jove, had not learned, nor knew at all, how at the left of the ships his people were being slaughtered by the Greeks; for the victory was on the point of being the Grecians'; so much did earth-shaking Neptune encourage the Greeks, and moreover himself assisted with his strength; but he (Hector) pressed on where first he had sprung within the gates and wall, breaking the thick ranks of the shielded Greeks. There were the ships of Ajax and Protesilaus, drawn up upon the shore of the hoary sea; but above[32] them the wall was built very low; there themselves and their horses were most impetuous in the combat. There[33] the Bœotians and long-robed Iaonians, the Locrians, the Phthians, and the illustrious Epeans, restrained him from the ships fiercely rushing on; but were unable to drive away from them noble Hector, like unto a flame. The chosen men of the Athenians stood in the van; among whom Menestheus, son of Peteus, had the command; and with him followed Phidas, Stichius, and brave Bias, Meges, the son of Phyleus, Amphion, and Dracius, led the Epeans, and over the Phthians, were Medon and Podarces, steady in fight (Medon indeed was the spurious offspring of godlike Oïleus and the brother of Ajax; but he dwelt at Phylace, away from his native country,[34] having slain a man, the brother of his stepmother Eriopis, whom Oïleus had married. But the other was the son of Iphiclus, of Phylace). These in arms before the magnanimous Phthians, fought among the Bœotians, defending the ships.

But Ajax, the swift son of Oïleus, never separated from Telamonian Ajax, not even for a little time: but as in a fallow-field two black bullocks possessing equal spirit, draw a well-joined plow—but meanwhile copious sweat breaks forth around the roots of their horns; and them the well-polished yoke alone separates on either side, advancing along the furrows, and [the plow] cuts[35] up the bottom of the soil; so they twain, joined together, stood very near to each other. And then many and brave troops followed the son of Telamon as companions, who received from him his shield, whenever fatigue and sweat came upon his limbs. But the Locrians followed not the great-souled son of Oïleus, for their heart remained not firm to them in the standing fight, because they had not brazen helmets crested with horse-hair, nor had they well-orbed shields and ashen spears; but they followed along with him to Ilium, trusting in the bows and the well-twisted sheep's wool, with which, frequently hurling, they broke the phalanxes of the Trojans. At that time indeed these (the Ajaces) in the van, with their variously-wrought armor, fought against the Trojans and brazen-armed Hector, while (the Locrians) shooting from the rear, lay concealed; nor were the Trojans any longer mindful of combat, for the arrows put them in confusion.

Then surely would the Trojans have retreated with loss from the ships and tents to lofty Ilium, had not Polydamas, standing near, addressed bold Hector:

"Hector, thou art impossible to be persuaded by advice.[36] Because indeed a god hath given thee, above others, warlike deeds, for this reason dost thou also desire to be more skilled than others in counsel? But by no means canst thou thyself obtain all things at once.[37] To one indeed hath the deity given warlike deeds; to another dancing; and to another the harp and singing. To another again far-sounding Jove implants a prudent mind in his bosom, of which many men reap the advantage, as it (prudence) even preserves cities; and he himself (who possesses it) especially knows (its value). Yet will I speak as appears to me best; because the encircling host[38] of war burns round thee on all sides, and the magnanimous Trojans, since they have crossed the walls, some indeed stand apart with their arms, and others fight, the fewer against the greater number, scattered among the ships. But retiring back, summon hither all the chiefs. And then we can better discuss the whole plan; whether we shall enter upon the many-benched ships, if indeed the deity will give us victory; or depart uninjured from the barks; because of a truth I fear lest the Greeks repay their debt of yesterday, since a man, insatiate in war, still remains at the ships, who I conceive will no longer abstain entirely from battle." Thus spoke Polydamas, but the faultless advice pleased Hector; and immediately he leaped with his armor from his chariot to the ground, and, addressing him, spoke winged words:

"Polydamas, do thou retain here all the bravest, while I will come back again immediately after I have given proper orders to the [troops]." He said, and shouting, he rushed on, like unto a snowy mountain, and flew through the Trojans and the allies. But they all crowded round valor-loving Polydamas, the son of Panthous, as soon as they heard the voice of Hector. He, however, ranged through the foremost combatants, seeking if he could any where find Deïphobus, the might of king Helenus, and Adamas, the son of Asias, and Asius, the son of Hyrtacus. Some he found no longer quite unhurt, nor yet destroyed, while others again lay at the sterns of the ships of the Greeks, having lost their lives by the hands of the Greeks; and others were stricken or wounded within the wall. But he quickly found noble Alexander, the husband of fair-haired Helen, on the left of the lamentable battle, cheering on his companions, and encouraging them to fight; and, standing near, he addressed him with reproachful words:

"Accursed Paris, fine only in person, woman-mad, seducer, where are Deïphobus and the might of king Helenus, and Adamas, the son of Asias, and Asius, the son of Hyrtacus? Where also is Othryoneus? Now lofty Ilium all perishes from its summit,[39] now is its final destruction certain."

But him godlike Alexander in turn addressed: "Hector, since it is thy intention to find fault with me when innocent, at some other time perhaps, I may be more neglectful of the fight; [but not now], since neither did my mother bear me altogether unwarlike. For from the time when thou didst stir up the battle of thy companions at the ships, from that time, remaining here, have we engaged incessantly with the Greeks; and those comrades are dead for whom thou inquirest. Deïphobus and the might of king Helenus alone have withdrawn, both wounded in the hand with long spears; but the son of Saturn hath warded off death [from them]. But now lead on, wheresoever thy heart and soul urge thee; and we will follow with determined minds, nor do I think that thou wilt be at all in want of valor, as much strength as is in us. It is not possible even for one, although keenly desirous, to fight beyond his strength."

So saying, the hero persuaded the mind of his brother, and they hastened to advance toward that place where especially was the battle and contest; round Cebriones and excellent Polydamas, Phalces and Orthæus, and godlike Polyphœtes, and Palmys, and Ascanius and Morys, the sons of Hippotion, who the day before had come as a relief-guard[40] from fertile Ascania: and Jove then urged them to fight. But they marched like unto the blast of boisterous winds, which rushes down to the plain, urged by the thunder of father Jove, and with a dreadful tumult[41] is mingled with the ocean; and in it [rise] many boiling billows of the much-resounding sea, swollen, whitened with foam, first indeed some and then others following.

So the Trojans, first indeed some in battle array, and then others glittering in brass, followed along with their leaders. But Hector, the son of Priam, equal to man-slaughtering Mars, led the van, and held before him his shield, equal on all sides, thick with skin; and much brass was laid over it; and round his temples his gleaming helmet was shaken. Stepping forward, he tried the phalanxes around on every side, if perchance they would give way to him, advancing under cover of his shield. Yet he disturbed not the courage of the Greeks in their breasts: but Ajax, far-striding, first challenged him:

"O noble Sir, draw nearer: why dost thou thus frighten the Greeks? We Greeks are by no means unskillful in battle, although we are subdued by the evil scourge[42] of Jove. Thy soul, forsooth, hopes, I suppose, to plunder the ships; but we also have hands ready to repulse thee immediately. Assuredly, long before shall thy well-inhabited city be taken and destroyed by our hands. But to thee thyself, I say, the time draws near, when, flying, thou shalt pray to father Jove and the other immortals, that thy fair-maned steeds, which shall bear thee to the city, raising dust over the plain, may become swifter than hawks."

While he was thus speaking, a bird flew over him on the right—a lofty-flying eagle; upon which the people of the Greeks shouted, encouraged by the omen; but illustrious Hector replied:

"O babbling and vain-boasting Ajax, what hast thou said? Would that I were as sure of becoming forever the child of ægis-bearing Jove, that the venerable Juno had borne me, and that I were honored as Minerva and Apollo are honored, as that this day now certainly brings destruction upon all the Greeks; and among others thou shalt be slain, if thou wilt dare to abide my long spear, which shall tear for thee thy dainty person, and thou shalt satiate the dogs and birds of the Trojans with thy fat and flesh, falling at the ships of the Greeks."

Thus then having spoken, he led on; and they followed along with him with a mighty shout, and the troops likewise shouted in the rear. The Greeks, on the other side, raised a shout, nor were they forgetful of their valor, but they awaited the bravest of the Trojans, assaulting. But the clamor of both reached to the æther and the shining splendor[43] of Jove.


  1. Arrian, Exp. Alex. iv. p. 239, referring to this passage of Homer, observes, οἰκοῦσι δὲ ἐν τῇ Ἀσίᾳ οὗτοι αὐτόνομοι, οὐχ ἥκιστα διὰ πενίαν τε καὶ δικαιότητα. Dionysius, Perieg. 309, seems, as Hill observes, to consider the name ἱππημολγοί as applicable not to one single clan, but to the whole of the Sarmatian nomads, milk being one of the principal articles of their diet, as among the Suevi (Cæsar, B. G. iv. 1), and the ancient Germans (id. vi. 22). Callimachus, Hymn iii., applies the epithet to the Cimmerians. The epithet ἀβίων (or ἀβιῶν=bowless, not living by archery: cf. Alberti on Hesych. t. i. pp. 17, 794) is involved in doubt, and the ancients themselves were uncertain whether to regard it as a proper name or an epithet. (Cf. Steph. Byz. s. v., p. 7, ed. Pined.; Villois on Apoll. Lex. p. 14; Duport, Gnom. Hom. p. 74, sqq.) It seems best to understand with Strabo. vii. p. 460, nations ἀπ' ὀλίγων εὐτελῶς ζῶντας. Knight wished to throw out these verses altogether, alleging that allusion is made in them to the disciphne of Zamolxis, with which Homer must have been wholly unacquainted.
  2. So I have ventured to render κήτεα. Nonius Marcell. v. Cetarii—"cete in mari majora sunt piscium genera." Thus Quintus Calaber, v. 94, imitating this passage, has δελφῖνες, and Hesychius defines κητῶν by θύννων φορά. the word evidently meaning any hugh fish. Cf. Buttm. Lexil. p. 378, sq.
  3. Compare the description of the cave of Nereus, in Apoll. Rhod. iv. 771, sqq., and of the river Peneus, in Virg. Georg. iv. 359, sqq., with my note on Æsch. Prom. p. 11.
  4. See Heyne, who compares the Latin gestire. Hesych.: Χάρμη, ἡ μετὰ χαρᾶς μάχη.
  5. Τὸ γεγονός ἀμάρτημα: Schol. For the metaphorical use of ἀκεσταί, cf. Soph. Ant. 1026. Ὅστις ἐς κακὸν Πεσὼν ἀκεῖται μηδ' ἀκίνητος πέλει. So εὐιατότερος διὰ τὸ μεταπεισθῆναι ἄν, Aristot. Eth. vii. 2.
  6. See the learned remarks of Duport, p. 76, sq. To quote parellel passages would be endless.
  7. Literally, "from the roots." So οἴχεται—προθέλυμνα, Tryphiodor. 388. Cf. Alberti on Hesych. t. ii. p. 1029; Apoll. Lex. p. 676.
  8. See Buttm. Lexil. p. 523. The φάλος formed a socket for the plume.
  9. Lit. "tower-wise," forming a solid square.
  10. Hesych. Ὀαριστὺν· μάχην. Etym. M. fol. 131, B. 2. Ἀντὶ τοῦ ἐν τῇ τῶν τρωταγωνιστῶν ὁμιλίᾳ (which is its proper meaning, as derived from ὄαρ) καὶ συναναστροφῆ.
  11. i. e., nowhere so much as on the left.
  12. Heyne compares xiv. 204. The Erinnys were supposed to avenge any disrespect offered to an elder brother by a younger.
  13. Literally, "being within from Cabesus."
  14. Lit. "bowed assent."
  15. i. e., close by Asius (κατ' ὤμων), he having descended for the purpose of rescuing the body of Othryoneus.—Kennedy.
  16. Ἡ λεύκη, populus alba."—Heyne.
  17. Αλωθρὸς is connected with βλώσκω, as βληχρὸς with βλίττω. See Buttm. Lexil. p. 194. Hesych.: Βλωθρή· εὐαυξής, ἡ προβαίνουσα καὶ ἄνω θρώσκουσα. Schol. on Apoll. Rhod. i. 322: Πίτυν βλωθρὴν Ὅμηρος, τὴν ἄχρι αἰθέρος μολίσκουσαν.
  18. So v. 441: αὖον ἄυσεν. So "aridus sonus," in Lucret. vi. 118: "aridus fragor," Virg. Georg. I. 357, noticed by Quintil. I. O. viii. 3. A dry, grating, half-crackling sound is meant.
  19. i. e., death.
  20. Here put for the weapon.
  21. Or, "in the sheep-pasture."
  22. So as to recover it.
  23. Βριήπυος=ἐρίγδουπος. The Schol. on Apoll. Rh. iii. 860, observes: Βρί, ἐπιτάσεος ἐστὶν, ὡς τὸ Βριήπυος.
  24. The meaning of αὐλῶπις is rather uncertain. According to the Schol. and Hesychius, it means a helmet that has the openings for the eyes oblong {παραμήκκεις ἔχουσα τὰς τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν ὀπάς), or a helmet with a long crest {ἐκτεταμένον λόψον).
  25. Φθονήσας Ἀδάμαντι, μὴ τὸν βίον Ἀντιλόχου ἀφέληται.
  26. The "præustæ sudes" of Cæsar, B. G. v. 40. These were among the rustic weapons of antiquity, as may be seen from Virg. Æn. vii. 523.

    "Non jam certamine agresti
    Stipitibus duris agitur, sudibusve præustis;
    Sed ferro ancipiti decernunt."

  27. Cf vs. 444.
  28. i. e., by being slain one after another.
  29. As the usual construction of ἐπαυρεῖν is with a genitive, Heyne would supply μή τις ἐπαυρῃ αὐτοῦ κατὰ χρόα.
  30. As Corinth was under the authority of Agamemnon, he would have been compelled to pay a fine for refusing the service. Compare the ἀτιμία τῆς ἀστρατείας at Athens. See Potter, Antiq. i. 23.
  31. Cf. xi. 595, with the note.
  32. i. e., before them.
  33. i. e., where Hector broke in.
  34. See my note on ii. p. 42, n. 2.
  35. Τέμει refers to ἄροτρον in v. 103, not to ζυγόν.
  36. Put for ἀμμήχανόν ἐστι πείθειν σε.
  37. A favorite proverb. Cf. Duport, Gnom. p. 81.
  38. So "corona," in Latin.
  39. The Latin "a culmine," as in Virg. Æn. ii. 290, 603. So Æsch. Choeph. 679: Κατ' ἄκρας ἐνθάδ' ὡς πορθούμεθα. Soph. Ant. 206: Ἠθέλησε μὲν πυρὶ πρῆσαι κατ' ἄκρας. Eurip. Phœn. 1191: Κατ' ἄκρων περγάμων ἑλεῖν πόλιν.
  40. Πολέμου διάδοχοι, τοῖς προτέροις ἶσοι.—Eustathius.
  41. See Buttm. Lexil. p. 358.
  42. See note on xii. 37.
  43. Cf. Pind. Ol. iii. 43; Αὐγαῖς ἁλίου. So "auras ætherias," Virg. Georg. ii. 291. Lucret. i. 208, "Dias—luminis auras."—Kennedy.