offering sacrifice every man to one or other of the gods, and praying each one of them that he might live to come out of the fight. Agamemnon, king of men, sacrificed a fat five-year-old bull to the mighty son of Kronos, and invited the princes and elders of his host.
First he asked Nestor and King Idomeneus, then the two Ajaxes and the son of Tydeus, and sixthly Odysseus, peer of gods in counsel; but Menelaos came of his own accord, for he knew how busy his brother then was.
They stood round the bull with the barley-meal in their hands, and Agamemnon prayed, saying, "Zeus, most glorious, supreme, you who dwell in heaven, and ride upon the storm-cloud, grant that the sun may not go down, nor the night fall, till the palace of Priam is laid low,
and its gates are consumed with fire. Grant that my sword may pierce the shirt of Hektor about his heart, and that full many of his comrades may bite the dust as they fall dying round him." Thus he prayed, but the son of Kronos would not fulfill his prayer.
He accepted the sacrifice, yet none the less increased their toil [ponos] continually. When they had done praying and sprinkling the barley-meal upon the victim, they drew back its head, killed it, and then flayed it. They cut out the thigh-bones, wrapped them round in two layers of fat, and set pieces of raw meat on the top of them.
These they burned upon the split logs of firewood, but they spitted the inward meats, and held them in the flames to cook. When the thigh-bones were burned, and they had tasted the inward meats, they cut the rest up small, put the pieces upon spits, roasted them till they were done, and drew them off;
then, when they had finished their work [ponos] and the feast was ready, they ate it, and every man had his full share, so that all were satisfied. As soon as they had had enough to eat and drink, Nestor, horseman of Gerene, began to speak. "King Agamemnon," said he,
"let us not stay talking here, nor be slack in the work that heaven has put into our hands. Let the heralds summon the people to gather at their several ships; we will then go about among the host,