The Iliad of Homer (Buckley)/BOOK THE TWENTY-FIRST

The Iliad of Homer  (1860)  by Homer, translated by Theodore Alois Buckley
BOOK THE TWENTY-FIRST

BOOK THE TWENTY-FIRST.

ARGUMENT.

Having divided the Trojan army, Achilles drives one part toward the city, and the other into the Xanthus, where he takes twelve youths alive, in order to sacrifice them at the tomb of Patroclus. He then slays Lycaon and Asteropæus, deriding the river-god, Xanthus, as unable to aid his friends. The river endeavors to overwhelm him by the aid of Simoïs, but Vulcan defends him from the danger. Single combats of the gods then follow, but they afterward retire to Olympus. Apollo then leads Achilles away, assuming the form of Agenor, and the Trojans are thus enabied to regain the city.

But when they at last reached the course of the fairly-flowing river, the eddying Xanthus, which immortal Jove begat; there separating them, he pursued some indeed through the plain toward the city, by the [same] way that the Greeks, on the preceding day, being astounded, had fled, when illustrious Hector raged. By that way were they poured forth terrified; but Juno expanded a dense cloud before them, to check them: but the other half were rolled into the deep-flowing river, with silver eddies. But they fell in with a great noise; and the deep streams resounded, and the banks around murmured; but they, with clamor, swam here and there, whirled about in the eddies.[1] As when locusts, driven by the force of fire, fly into the air, to escape to a river, but the indefatigable fire, suddenly kindled, blazes, and they fall, through terror into the water: thus, by Achilles, was the resounding river of deep-eddied Xanthus filled promiscuously with horses and men. But the Jove-sprung [hero] left his spear upon the banks, leaning against a tamarisk; and he leaped in, like unte a god, having only his sword, and meditated destructive deeds in his mind. And he smote on all sides, and a shocking lamentation arose of those who were stricken by the sword, and the water was reddened with blood. And, as when the other fish, flying from a mighty dolphin, fill the inmost recesses of a safe-anchoring harbor, frightened; for he totally devours whatever he can catch; so the Trojans hid themselves in caves along the streams of the terrible river. But he, when he was wearied as to his hands, slaying, chose twelve youths alive out of the river, a penalty for dead Patroclus, the son of Menœtius. These he led out [of the river], stupefied, like fawns. And he bound their hands behind them[2] with well-cut straps, which they themselves bore upon their twisted tunics; and gave them to his companions to conduct to their hollow ships. But he rushed on again, desiring to slay.

Then did he encounter the son of Dardaniam Priam, Lycaon, escaping from the river, whom he himself had formerly led away, taking him unwilling from his father's farm, having come upon him by night: but he, with the sharp brass, was trimming a wild fig-tree of its tender branches, that they might become the cinctures of a chariot. But upon him came noble Achilles, an unexpected evil; and then, conveying him in his ships, he sold him into well-inhabited Lemnos; but the son of Jason gave his price.[3] And from thence his guest, Imbrian Eëtion, ransomed him, and gave him many things, and sent him to noble Arisbe; whence, secretly escaping, he reached his father's house. Returning from Lemnos, for eleven days he was delighted in his soul, with his friends; but on the twelfth the deity again placed him in the hands of Achilles, who was about to send him into the [habitation] of Hades, although not willing to go. But when swift-footed, noble Achilles perceived him naked, without helmet and shield, neither had he a spear, for all these, indeed, he had thrown to the ground; for the sweat overcame him, flying from the river, and fatigue subdued his limbs beneath; but [Achilles] indignant, thus addressed his own great-hearted soul:

"O gods! surely I perceive this, a great marvel, with mine eyes. Doubtless the magnanimous Trojans whom I have slain will rise again from the murky darkness, as now this man has returned, escaping the merciless day, having been sold in sacred Lemnos; nor has the depth of the sea restrained him, which restrains many against their will. But come now, he shall taste the point of my spear, that I may know in my mind, and learn, whether he will in like manner return thence, or whether the fruitful earth will detain him, which detains even the mighty."

Thus he pondered, remaining still; but near him came Lycaon, in consternation, anxious to touch his knees; for he very much wished in his mind to escape evil death and black fate. Meanwhile noble Achilles raised his long spear, desiring to wound him; but he ran in under it, and, stooping, seized his knees, but the spear stuck fixed in the earth over his back, eager to be satiated with human flesh. But he, having grasped his knees with one hand, supplicated him, and with the other held the sharp spear, nor did he let it go; and, supplicating, addressed to him winged words:

"O Achilles, embracing thy knees, I supplicate thee; but do thou respect and pity me. I am to thee in place of a suppliant, to be revered, O Jove-nurtured one! For with thee I first tasted the fruit of Ceres on that day when thou tookest me in the well-cultivated field, and didst sell[4] me, leading me away from my father and friends, to sacred Lemnos; and I brought thee the price of a hundred oxen. But now will I redeem myself, giving thrice as many. This is already the twelfth morning to me since I came to Troy, having suffered much, and now again pernicious fate has placed me in thy hands. Certainly I must be hated by father Jove, who has again given me to thee. For my mother Laothoë, the daughter of aged Altes, brought forth short-lived me, of Altes, who rules over the warlike Lelegans, possessing lofty Padasus, near the Satnio: and Priam possessed his daughter, as well as many others; but from her we two were born, but thou wilt slay both. Him, godlike Polydorus, thou hast subdued already among the foremost infantry, when thou smotest him with the sharp spear, and now will evil be to me here; for I do not think that I shall escape thy hands, since a deity has brought me near thee. Yet another thing will I tell thee, and do thou store it in thy mind. Do not slay me, for I am not of the same womb with Hector, who killed thy companion, both gentle and brave." Thus then, indeed, the noble son of Priam addressed him, supplicating with words; but he heard a stern reply.

"Fool, talk not to me of ransom, nor, indeed, mention it. Before Patroclus fulfilled the fatal day, so long to me was it more agreeable in my mind to spare the Trojans, and many I took alive and sold. But now there is not [one] of all the Trojans, whom the deity shall put into my hands before Ilium, who shall escape death; but above all of the sons of Priam. But die thou also, my friend; why weepest thou thus? Patroclus likewise died, who was much better than thou. Seest thou not how great I am? both fair and great; and I am from a noble sire, and a goddess mother bore me; but Death and violent Fate will come upon thee and me, whether [it be] morning, evening, or mid-day;[5] whenever any one shall take away my life with a weapon, either wounding me with a spear, or with an arrow from the string."

Thus he spoke; but his knees and dear heart were relaxed. He let go the spear, indeed, and sat down, stretching out both hands. But Achilles, drawing his sharp sword, smote [him] at the clavicle, near the neck. The two-edged sword penetrated totally, and he, prone upon the ground, lay stretched out, but the black blood flowed out, and moistened the earth. Then Achilles, seizing him by the foot, threw him into the river, to be carried along, and, boasting, spoke winged words:

"Lie there now with the fishes,[6] which, without concern, will lap the blood of thy wound; nor shall thy mother[7] weep, placing thee upon the funeral couch, but the eddying Scamander shall bear thee into the wide bosom of the ocean, Some fish, bounding through the wave, will escape to the dark ripple,[8] in order that he may devour the white fat of Lycaon. Perish [ye Trojans], till we attain to the city of sacred Ilium, you flying, and I slaughtering in the rear: nor shall the wide-flowing, silver-eddying river, profit you, to which ye have already sacrificed many bulls, and cast solid-hoofed steeds alive into its eddies. But even thus shall ye die an evil death, until ye all atone for the death of Patroclus, and the slaughter of the Greeks, whom ye have killed at the swift ships, I being absent."

Thus he spoke; but the River was the more enraged at heart, and revolved in his mind how he might make noble Achilles cease from labor, and avert destruction from the Trojans. But meanwhile the son of Peleus, holding his long-shadowed spear, leaped upon Asteropæus, son of Pelegon, desirous to kill him whom the wide-flowing Axius begat, and Peribœa, eldest of the daughters of Accessamenus; for with her had the deep-eddying river been mingled. Against him Achilles rushed; but he, [emerging] from the river, stood opposite, holding two spears; for Xanthus had placed courage in his mind, because he was enraged on account of the youths slain in battle, whom Achilles had slain in the stream, nor pitied them. But when they were now near, advancing toward each other, him first swift-footed, noble Achilles addressed:

"Who, and whence art thou of men, thou who darest to come against me? Truly they are the sons of unhappy men who encounter my might," Him again the illustrious son of Pelegon addressed: "O magnanimous son of Peleus, why dost thou ask my race? I am from fruitful Pæonia, being far off, leading the long-speared Pæonian heroes; and this is now the eleventh morning to me since I came to Troy. But my descent is from the wide-flowing Axius, who pours the fairest flood upon the earth, he who begat Pelegon, renowned for the spear; who, men say, begat me. But now, O illustrious Achilles, let us fight."

Thus he spake, threatening: but noble Achilles raised the Pelian ash; but the hero Asteropæus [took aim] with both spears at the same time,[9] for he was ambidexter.[10] With the one spear he struck the shield, nor did it pierce the shield completely through; for the gold restrained it, the gift of a god; and the other slightly wounded him upon the elbow of the right arm; and the black blood gushed out: but the [spear passing] over him, was fixed in the earth, longing to satiate itself with his body. But second Achilles hurled his straight-flying ashen spear at Asteropæus, anxiously desiring to slay him. From him indeed he erred, and struck the lofty bank, and drove the ashen spear up to the middle in the bank. Then the son of Peleus, drawing his sharp sword from his thigh, eagerly leaped upon him; but he was not able to pluck out, with his strong hand, the ashen spear of Achilles, from the bank. Thrice, indeed, he shook it, desiring to pluck it out, and thrice he failed in strength. And the fourth time he had determined in his mind, bending, to snap the ashen spear of Æacides; but Achilles first, close at hand, took away his life with the sword; for he smote him upon the belly at the naval, and all his bowels were poured out upon the ground, and darkness vailed him, dying, as to his eyes. Then Achilles, leaping upon his breast, despoiled him of his arms, and boasting, spoke:

"Lie so: it is a difficult thing for thee, though descended from a River, to contend with the sons of the most mighty Saturnian [Jove]. Thou said thou wert of the race of a wide-flowing River, but I boast myself to be of the race of mighty Jove. The hero ruling over many Myrmidons begat me, Peleus, son of Æacus; but Æacus was from Jove; wherefore Jove is more powerful than Rivers flowing into the sea, and the race of Jove again is more powerful than that of a river. Besides, a very great River is at hand to thee, if it can aught defend thee; but it is not lawful to fight with Jove, the son of Saturn. With him neither does king Acheloüs vie, nor the mighty strength of deep-flowing Oceanus, from which flow all rivers, and every sea, and all fountains, and deep wells; but even he dreads the bolt of the great Jove, and the dreadful thunder, when it bellows from heaven."

He said, and plucked his brazen spear from the bank. But him he left there, after he had taken away his life, lying in the sand, and the dark water laved him. About him, indeed, the eels and fishes were busied, eating [and] nibbling the fat around his kidneys. But he (Achilles) hastened to go against the Pæonian equestrian warriors, who were already turned to flight beside the eddying river, when they saw the bravest in the violent conflict bravely subdued by the hands and sword of the son of Peleus. Then he slew Thersilochus, Mydon, Astypylus, Mnesus, Thrasius, Ænius, and Ophelestes. And now had swift Achilles slain even more Pæonians, had not the deep-eddying River, enraged, addressed him, likening itself to a man, and uttered a voice from its deep vortex:

"O Achilles, thou excellest, it is true, in strength, but thou doest unworthy acts above [others], for the gods themselves always aid thee. If indeed the son of Saturn has granted to thee to destroy all the Trojans, at least having driven them from me, perform these arduous enterprises along the plain. For now are my agreeable streams full of dead bodies, nor can I any longer pour my tide into the vast sea, choked up by the dead; while thou slayest unsparingly. But come, even cease—a stupor seizes me—O chieftain of the people."

But him swift-footed Achilles, answering, addressed:

"These things shall be as thou desirest, O Jove-nurtured Scamander. But I will not cease slaughtering the treaty-breaking[11] Trojans, before that I inclose them in the city, and make trial of Hector, face to face, whether he shall slay me, or I him."

Thus speaking, he rushed upon the Trojans like unto a god; and the deep-eddying River then addressed Apollo:

"Alas! O god of the silver bow, child of Jove, thou has not observed the counsels of Jove, who very much enjoined thee to stand by and aid the Trojans, till the late setting evening[12] sun should come, and overshadow the fruitful earth."

He spoke, and spear-renowned Achilles leaped into the midst, rushing down from the bank. But he (the River) rushed on, raging with a swollen flood, and, turbid, excited all his waves. And it pushed along the numerous corpses, which were in him[13] in abundance, whom Achilles had slain. These he cast out, roaring like a bull, upon the shore; but the living he preserved in his fair streams, concealing them among his mighty deep gulfs. And terrible around Achilles stood the disturbed wave, and the stream, falling upon his shield, oppressed him, nor could he stand steady on his feet. But he seized with his hands a thriving, large elm; and it, falling from its roots, dislodged the whole bank, and interrupted the beautiful streams with its thick branches, and bridged over the river itself,[14] falling completely in. Then leaping up from the gulf, he hastened to fly over the plain on his rapid feet, terrified. Nor yet did the mighty god desist, but rushed after him, blackening on the surface, that he might make noble Achilles cease from toil, and avert destruction from the Trojans. But the son of Peleus leaped back as far as is the cast of a spear, having the impetuosity of a dark eagle, a hunter, which is at once the strongest and the swiftest of birds. Like unto it he rushed, but the brass clanked dreadfully upon his breast; but he, inclining obliquely, fled from it, and it, flowing from behind, followed with a mighty noise. As when a ditch-worker leads a stream of water from a black-flowing fountain through plantations and gardens, holding a spade in his hands, and throwing out the obstructions from the channel; all the pebbles beneath are agitated as it flows along, and, rapidly descending, it murmurs down a sloping declivity, and outstrips even him who directs it: so the water of the river always overtook Achilles, though being nimble; for the gods are more powerful than mortals. As often as swift-footed, noble Achilles attempted to oppose it, and to know whether all the immortals who possess the wide heaven put him to flight, so often did a great billow of the river, flowing from Jove, lave his shoulders from above; while he leaped up with his feet, sad in mind, and the rapid stream subdued his knees under him, and withdrew the sand from beneath his feet. But Pelides groaned, looking toward the wide heaven:

"O father Jove, how does none of the gods undertake to save me, miserable, from the river! Hereafter, indeed, I would suffer any thing.[15] But no other of the heavenly inhabitants is so culpable to me as my mother, who soothed me with falsehoods, and said that I should perish by the fleet arrows of Apollo, under the wall of the armed Trojans. Would that Hector had slain me, who here was nurtured the bravest; then a brave man would he have slain, and have despoiled a brave man. But now it is decreed that I be destroyed by an inglorious death, overwhelmed in a mighty river, like a swineherd's boy, whom, as he is fording it, the torrent overwhelms in wintery weather."

Thus he spoke; but Neptune and Minerva, very quickly advancing, stood near him (but in body they had likened themselves to men), and, taking his hand in their hands, strengthened him with words. But to them earth-shaking Neptune began discourse:

"O son of Peleus, neither now greatly fear, nor yet be at all dismayed; so great allies from among the gods are we to thee, Jove approving it, I and Pallas Minerva, so that it is not decreed that thou shouldst be overcome by a river. It, indeed, shall soon cease, and thou thyself shalt see it. But let us prudently suggest, if thou be obedient, not to stop thy hands from equally destructive war, before thou shalt have inclosed the Trojan army within the renowned walls of Troy, whoever, indeed, can escape; but do thou, having taken away the life of Hector, return again to the ships: for we grant to thee to bear away glory."

They indeed having thus spoken, departed to the immortals. But he proceeded toward the plain (for the command of the gods strongly impelled him, and it was all filled with the overflowed water. Much beautiful armor and corpses of youths slain in battle, floated along; but his knees bounded up against the course of it rushing straight forward; for Minerva had put great strength into him. Nor did Scamander remit his strength, but was the more enraged with the son of Peleus. And he swelled the wave of the stream, and, shouting, animated Simoïs:

"O dear brother, let us both, at least, restrain the force of the man, since he will quickly destroy the great city of king Priam, for the Trojans resist him not in battle. But aid me very quickly, and fill thy streams of water from thy fountains, and rouse all thy rivulets, raise a great wave, and stir up a mighty confusion of stems and stones, that we may restrain this furious man, who now already is victorious, and is bent on deeds equal to the gods. For I think that neither his strength will defend him, nor his beauty at all, nor those beautiful arms, which shall lie every where in the very bottom of my gulf, covered with mud. Himself also will I involve in sand, pouring vast abundant silt around him; nor shall the Greeks know where to gather his bones, so much slime will I spread over him. And there forthwith shall be[16] his tomb, nor shall there be any want to him of entombing, when the Greeks perform his obsequies."

He spoke, and raging aloft, turbid, he rushed upon Achilles, murmuring with foam, with blood, and with dead bodies. Immediately the purple water of the Jove-descended river being raised up, stood, and seized the son of Peleus. But Juno cried aloud, fearing for Achilles, lest the mighty deep-eddying river should sweep him away; and immediately addressed Vulcan, her beloved son:

"Arise, Vulcan, my son; for we supposed that eddying Xanthus was equally matched in battle against thee; but give aid with all haste, and exhibit thy abundant flame. But I will go to excite a severe storm of Zephyrus, and rapid Notus from the sea, which bearing a destructive conflagration, may consume the heads and armor of the Trojans. Do thou, therefore, burn the trees upon the banks of Xanthus, and hurl at himself with fire, nor let him at all avert thee by kind words or threats: neither do thou previously restrain thy might; but when I, shouting, shall give the signal, then restrain thy indefatigable fire."

Thus she spoke; but Vulcan darted forth his fierce-burning fire. First, indeed, he kindled a fire in the plain, and burned many dead bodies, which were in abundance, over it, whom Achilles had slain; so that the whole plain was dried up, and the clear water restrained. And as when an autumnal north wind immediately dries a newly-watered garden, and gratifies him whoever cultivates it, so was the whole plain dried, and it consumed the dead; whereupon he turned his all-resplendent flame against the river. The elms were burned up, and the willows and tamarisks; the lotus was consumed, and the rushes and reeds, which grew in great abundance round the beautiful streams of the river. Harassed were the eels and the fishes, which through the whirlpools, [and] which through the fair streams dived here and there, exhausted by the breath of the various artificer Vulcan. The might of the river was burnt up, and he spoke, and addressed him.

"None of the gods, O Vulcan, can oppose thee on equal terms, nor can I contend with thee, thus burning with fire. Cease from combat, and let noble Achilles instantly expel the Trojans from their city; what have I to do with contest and assistance?"

He spoke, scorched; and his fair streams boiled up. As a caldron pressed by much fire, glows, bubbling up within on all sides, while melting the fat of a delicately-fed sow, while the dry wood lies beneath it; so were his fair streams dried up with fire, and the water boiled; nor could he flow on, but was restrained, and the vapor [raised] by the might of crafty Vulcan harassed him. At length, supplicating much, he addressed to Juno winged words:

"O Juno, why does thy son press upon my stream, to annoy [me] beyond others? nor truly am I so much to blame as all the others, as many as are assistants to the Trojans. But I will, however, desist, if thou biddest it; and let him also cease; and I moreover will swear this, that I never will avert the evil day from the Trojans, not even when all burning Troy shall be consumed with destructive fire, and the warlike sons of the Greeks shall burn it."

But when the white-armed goddess Juno heard this, she straightway addressed her beloved son Vulcan: "Vulcan, my illustrious son, abstain; for it is not fitting thus to persecute an immortal god for the sake of mortals."

Thus she spoke; and Vulcan extinguished his glowing fire, and the refluent water immediately lowered its fair streams. But when the might of Xanthus was subdued, then indeed they rested; for Juno restrained herself, though enraged.

Among the other gods, however, grievous, troublesome contention fell out, and the inclination in their minds was borne in opposite directions. They engaged with a great tumult, and the wide earth re-echoed, and the mighty heaven resounded around. And Jove heard it, sitting upon Olympus, and his heart laughed with joy, when he beheld the gods engaging in contest. Then they did not long stand apart; for shield-piercing Mars began, and rushed first against Minerva, holding his brazen spear, and uttered an opprobrious speech:

"Why thus, O most impudent, having boundless audacity, dost thou join the gods in battle? Has thy great soul incited thee? Dost thou not remember when thou didst urge Diomede, the son of Tydeus, to strike me? And taking the spear thyself, thou didst direct it right against me, and didst lacerate my fair flesh. Now, therefore, I think that I will chastise thee, for all that thou hast done against me."

So saying, he struck [her] on the fringed ægis, horrible, which not even the thunderbolt of Jove will subdue; on it gore-tainted Mars smote her with the long spear. But she, retiring, seized in her stout hand a stone lying on the plain, black, rugged, and great, which men of former days had set to be the boundary of a field.[17] With this she struck fierce Mars upon the neck, and relaxed his knees. Seven acres he covered, falling; as to his hair he was defiled with dust; and his armor rang around him. But Pallas Minerva laughed, and, boasting over him, addressed to him winged words:

"Fool, hast thou not yet perceivcd how much I boast myself to be superior, that thou opposest thy strength to me? Thus indeed dost thou expiate the Erinnys of thy mother, who designs mischiefs against thee, enraged because thou hast deserted the Greeks, and dost aid the treaty-breaking Trojans."

Thus having spoken, she turned back her bright eyes. But Venus, the daughter of Jove, taking him by the hand, led him away, groaning very frequently; but he with difficulty collected his spirits. But when the white-armed goddess Juno perceived him, immediately to Minerva she addressed winged words:

"Alas! O child of ægis-bearing Jove, invincible, see how again she, most impudent, leads man-slaughtering Mars through the tumult, from the glowing battle. But follow."

Thus she spoke; and Minerva rushed after, and rejoiced in her mind; and springing upon her, smote her with her stout hand on the breast, and dissolved her knees and dear heart. Then both of them lay upon the fruitful earth; but she, boasting over them, spoke winged words:

"Would that all, as many as are allies to the Trojans, when they fight against the armed Greeks, were so bold and daring, as Venus came an assistant to Mars, to oppose my strength; then had we long since ceased from battle, having overthrown the well-built city of Ilium."

Thus she spoke; but the white-armed goddess Juno smiled. And the earth-shaking king addressed Apollo:

"Phœbus, why do we two stand apart? Nor is it becoming, since the others have begun. This would be disgraceful, if we return without fight to Olympus, and to the brazen-floored mansion of Jove. Commence, for thou art younger by birth; for it would not be proper for me, since I am elder, and know more things. Fool, since thou possessest a senseless heart; nor dost at all remember those things, how many evils we suffered round Ilium, when we alone of the gods, coming from Jove to haughty Laomedon, labored for a year for a stipulated hire, and he, commanding, gave orders? I indeed built a city and wall for the Trojans, extensive and very beautiful, that the city might be impregnable; while thou, O Phœbus, didst feed his stamping-footed, curved-horned oxen, among the lawns of many-valed, woody Ida.[18] But when now the jocund Hours had brought round the period of payment, then did violent Laomedon forcibly defraud us both of all reward, and having threatened, dismissed us. And beside,[19] he threatened that he would bind our feet and hands from above, and sell us into distant islands; and affirmed that he would cut off the ears of both with the brass; but we immediately returned back with indignant mind, enraged on account of the rewards which, having promised, he did not make good. Is it for this thou dost now gratify the people? Why dost thou not strive along with us, that the treaty-breaking Trojans may basely perish from the root, with their children and modest[20] wives?"

But him the far-darting king, Apollo, in turn addressed:

"O Neptune, thou wouldst not say that I am prudent, if I should now contend with thee, for the sake of miserable mortals, who, like the leaves, are at one time very blooming, feeding on the fruit of the soil, and at another again, perish without life. Rather let us cease from combat as soon as possible; and let them decide the matter themselves."

Thus having spoken, he turned himself back; for he was afraid to come to strife of hands with his uncle. But him his sister, rustic Diana, the mistress of wild beasts, harshly rebuked, and uttered this upbraiding speech:

"Fliest thou, Far-darter? and hast thou yielded the whole victory to Neptune? and dost thou give easy glory to him? O Fool, why in vain dost thou hold an useless bow? No longer now shall I hear thee boasting in the hall of our sire, as formerly among the immortal gods, that thou wouldst fight in opposition to Neptune."

Thus she spoke; but her the far-darting Apollo by no means addressed. But the venerable spouse of Jove, enraged, rebuked [her] who rejoices in arrows, with reproaching words:

"How darest thou now, fearless wretch, stand against me? A difficult match am I for thee to be opposed to my strength, although thou art a bow-bearer; for Jove has made thee a lioness among women, and suffered thee to kill whatever woman thou wilt. Certainly it is better to slay wild beasts among the mountains, or rustic stags, than to fight bravely with thy betters. But if thou desirest to have a knowledge of battle, come on, that thou mayest well know how much the better I am; since thou opposest strength to me."

She spoke, and with her left hand seized both her (Diana's) hands at the wrist, and with her right plucked the bow[21] from her shoulders. Smiling, she beat her about the ears with it, while she writhed herself; and the fleet arrows fell out [of her quiver, as she moved]. Then the goddess fled, weeping, like a dove which flies from a hawk to a hollow rock, her hiding-place (for neither was it fated that she should be taken by it); so she fled, weeping, and left her arrows there.

But the messenger (Mercury), the slayer of Argos, addressed Latona:

"O Latona, I will by no means fight with thee; for difficult indeed would it be to combat with the wives of cloud-compelling Jove; but rather, very forward among the immortal gods, boast that thou hast conquered me by violent force."

Thus indeed he spoke; but Latona collected together the bent bow and the arrows[22] which had fallen here and there amid the whirl of dust. She, having taken the arrows, followed her daughter. But the daughter had arrived at Olympus, and at the brazen-floored palace of Jove, and had sat down at the knees of her father, weeping, while her ambrosial robe trembled around; and her the Saturnian father drew toward him, and, sweetly smiling, interrogated her:

"Which now of the heavenly inhabitants, my dear child, has rashly done such things to thee, as if having done some evil openly?"

But him the fair-crowned mistress of the chase[23] addressed in turn: "Thy spouse, the white-armed Juno, has injured me, O father, from whom contention and strife await[24] the immortals."

Thus they indeed spoke such things with one another. But Phœbus Apollo came to sacred Ilium; for the wall of the well-built city was a care to him, lest the Greeks, contrary to fate, should overthrow it that day. The other ever-existing gods, however, repaired to Olympus, some indeed indignant, but others greatly boasting. And they sat down beside their father, the collector of dark clouds: but Achilles slew at once the Trojans themselves, and their solid-hoofed steeds. And as when a smoke, ascending from a burning city, reaches the wide heaven, but the wrath of the gods has excited it; it creates toil to all, and sends griefs upon many; so did Achilles cause toil and griefs to the Trojans.

Meanwhile aged Priam stood upon a lofty tower, and observed huge Achilles; but by him the routed Trojans were easily thrown into confusion, nor was there any might in them. Then groaning, he descended from the tower to the ground, in order to direct the illustrious guards at the gates along the wall:

"Hold the gates open in your hands until the people, flying, come into the city, for Achilles is at hand routing them. Now I think that destructive deeds will be. But, as soon as they revive, hemmed in within the wall, put to again the well-fitted doors, for I tremble lest this destructive man rush within the wall."

Thus he spoke; but they opened the gates and pushed back the bolts; and they being opened, afforded safety. But Apollo leaped out to meet them, that he might avert destruction from the Trojans. Then they, parched with thirst, and covered with dust, fled from the plain directly toward the city and the lofty wall; but he furiously pursued with his spear; for fierce madness constantly possessed his heart, and he burned to bear away glory. Then indeed the sons of the Greeks had taken lofty-gated Troy, had not Phœbus Apollo excited noble Agenor, a hero, the son of Antenor, both blameless and brave. And into his heart he threw courage, and he himself stood beside him, leaning against a beech-tree, that he might avert the heavy hands of death; but he was overshadowed by much darkness. But he, when he perceived Achilles, the destroyer of cities, stood still, and much his heart was darkened[25] as he remained; and sighing, he thus addressed his own great-hearted soul:

"Alas, me! if indeed I fly from terrible Achilles, in the way by which the others, routed, are flying, even thus will he seize me, and will slay me unwarlike; but if I suffer these to be thrown into confusion by Achilles, the son of Peleus, and fly in another direction on my feet from the wall through the Ilian plain, until I reach the lawns of Ida, and enter its thickets; then indeed, having bathed myself at evening in the river, I may return back to Troy, cleansed from sweat. But why does my mind commune these things? Truly he may observe me departing from the city toward the plain, and, quickly pursuing, may overtake me on his swift feet; then will it no longer be possible to escape Death and Fate: for he is very powerful beyond all men. But if I go against him in front of the city—for his body also is without doubt vulnerable by the sharp brass, there is one soul in it, and men say that he is mortal; although Jove, the son of Saturn, affords him glory."

So saying, gathering himself up,[26] he awaited Achilles; and his valiant heart within him burned to combat and to fight. As a panther advances from a deep thicket against a huntsman,[27] nor is aught troubled in mind, nor put to flight, although it hears the yelling; and although anticipating it, he may have wounded, or stricken it, nevertheless, although pierced with a spear, it desists not from the combat, till either it be engaged in close fight, or be subdued. Thus noble Agenor, the son of renowned Antenor, would not fly till he had made trial of Achilles; but, on the contrary, held before him his shield, equal on all sides, and took aim at him with his spear, and shouted aloud:

"Certainly now thou art great in hopes in thy mind, O illustrious Achilles, that thou wilt this day devastate the city of the magnanimous Trojans. Fool! certainly many griefs will be effected over it, for in it we are numerous and valiant men, who will defend Ilium for our beloved parents, our wives, and our children. But thou shalt here fulfill thy destiny, although being so terrible, and a daring warrior."

He spoke, and hurled the sharp javelin from his heavy hand, and struck him in the shin below the knee, nor missed: but the greave of newly- wrought tin around [it] horribly resounded; and the brazen weapon recoiled from it stricken, nor penetrated: for the gifts of the god prevented it. Then the son of Peleus next attacked godlike Agenor; nor did Apollo permit him to obtain glory; but snatched him away, and covered him with much haze; and sent him to return peacefully from the battle.

But he by a stratagem averted the son of Peleus from the people; for the Far-darter, having likened himself in every respect to Agenor, stood before his feet; and he hastened to pursue him with his feet. While he was pursuing him, running before at a small interval, over the corn-bearing plain, turned toward the deep-eddying river Scamander; (for Apollo beguiled him by deceit, so that he always expected to overtake him on his feet;) meanwhile the other Trojans being routed, came delighted in a crowd to the city; and the city was full of them shut in. Nor did they any longer dare to wait for each other without the city and the wall, and to inquire who had escaped, and who had fallen in the battle; but gladly they were poured into the city, whomsoever of them the feet and knees preserved.


  1. Virg. Æn. i. 118: "Apparent rari nantes in gurgite vasto." With the following description maybe compared Æsch. Ag. 670: Ὁρῶμεν ἀνθοῦν πέλαγος Αἰγαῖον νεκρῶν ἀνδρῶν Ἀχαίων ναυτικῶν τ' ἐρειπίων. Aristid. Panath. p. 142. Ώς δὲ ἑώρα τὴν θάλατταν αἵματι καὶ ῥοθίῳ ῥέουσαν, καὶ πάντα νέκρων καὶ ναυαγίων μεστά.
  2. As was customary with captives. Cf. Virg. Æn. ii. 57, and Moll. on Longus, ii. 9.
  3. i. e., purchase him as a slave.
  4. Hesych. Πέρασας· εἰς τὸ πέρας τῆς θαλάσσης διαπέρασας, ἐπώλησας. See Schol. on verse 40.
  5. See Kennedy.
  6. Cf. Virg. Æn. x. 555, sqq.; Longus, ii. 20: Ἀλλὰ βορὰν [ὑμᾶς] ἰχθύων θήσω καταδύσας.
  7. Cf. Soph. Electr. 1138, sqq. with my note.
  8. i. e., the surface.
  9. Ἁμαρτῇ is here an adverb.
  10. Symmachus, Epist. ix. 105: "Pari nitore atque gravitate senatorias actiones et Romanæ rei monumenta limasti, ut plane Homerica appellatione περιδέξιον, id est, æquimanum, te esse pronunciem."
  11. Although this meaning of ὑπερφίαλος is well suited to this passage, yet Buttmann, Lexil. p. 616, § 6, is against any such particular explanation of the word. See his whole dissertation.
  12. Δείελος has been shown by Buttmann to be really the afternoon; but he observes, p. 223, that in the present passage, "it is not the Attic δείλη ὀψία, with which it has been compared, but by the force of δύων, the actual sunset of evening. The ὀψέ is, therefore, strictly speaking, redundant, and appears to be used with reference only to the time past, something in this way: 'Thou shouldst assist the Trojans until the sun sinks late in the west.'"
  13. i. e., in the river. One translator absurdly renders it "through him," i. e., through Achilles.
  14. "The circumference of a fallen tree, which is by Homer described as reaching from one of its banks to the other, affords a very just idea of the breadth of the Scamander at the season when we saw it."—Wood on Homer, p. 328.
  15. i. e., grant that I may but escape a disgraceful death by drowning, and I care not how I perish afterward. The Scholiast compares the prayer of Ajax in ρ. 647: Ἐν δὲ φάει καὶ ὄλεσσον. Cf. Æn. i. 100, sqq.; Æsch. Choeph. 340; Eur. Andr. 1184.
  16. Observe the force of τετεύξεται.
  17. The student will find some rude representations of these boundary-stones at page 212, sqq. of Van Goes' edition of the Rei Agrimensoriæ Scriptores.
  18. On this slavery of Apollo, see my note, p. 43, n. 2. Longus, Past. iv. 10: Εἴποτε Ἀπόλλων Λαομέδοντι θητεύων ἐβούκολησε, τοιόσδε ἦν, οἰος τότε ἐφάνθη Δάφνις.
  19. Σὺν μὲν. I almost prefer σοὶ μὲν, with other MSS. and Clarke.
  20. Perhaps intended as a covert sneer at Helen.
  21. I have followed Kennedy, who says: "The preferable meaning of τόξα is arcus. This Juno employs as an instrument of chastisement, to avoid the infliction of which, her antagonist turns from side to side, and while thus shifting her position lets fall her arrows, ὀϊστοί, verse 492." Others by τόξα understood both bow and arrows.
  22. Τόξα here means both bow and arrows.
  23. A more literal version would be, "the fair-crowned mistress of the cry," i. e., the hunting cry.
  24. Ἐφῆπται, "immitti solet."—Heyne. See D'Orville on Chariton, vii. 5, p. 582, ed. Lips.
  25. Cf. Donalson on Soph. Antig. 20, where there is a similar use of καλχαίνειν. The present metaphor is taken from the troubled and darkling aspect of the sea before a storm.
  26. Cf. xvi. 403, 714.
  27. This pleonasm of ἀνὴρ is very common; ii. 474, ἄνδρες αἴπολοι; iv 187, ἄνδρες χαλκῆες. Cf. iii. 170; xii. 41. So ἄνδρες πολῖται, Phlegon. Trall. p. 26. Ἄνδρες δημόται, Aristoph. Plut. 254. Ἀνὴρ βασιλεὺς, Palæphatus, 39. Ἀνὴρ οἰκονόμος, Manetho, iv. 610.