book 2

2.15
with Hermione, and Asine upon the gulf; Trozen, Eionae, and the vineyard lands of Epidaurus; the Achaean youths, moreover, who came from Aegina and Mases; these were led by Diomedes of the loud battle-cry, and Sthenelos son of famed Kapaneus.
With them in command was Euryalos, son of king Mekisteus, son of Talaos; but Diomedes was chief over them all. With these there came eighty ships. Those who held the strong city of Mycenae,
rich Corinth and Cleonae; Orneae, Araethyrea, and Licyon, where Adrastos reigned of old; Hyperesia, high Gonoessa, and Pellene; Aegium
and all the coast-land round about Helike; these sent a hundred ships under the command of King Agamemnon, son of Atreus. His force was far both finest and most numerous, and in their midst was the king himself, all glorious in his armor of gleaming bronze - foremost among the heroes,
for he was the greatest king, and had most men under him. And those that dwelt in Lacedaemon, lying low among the hills, Pharis, Sparta, with Messe the haunt of doves; Bryseae, Augeae, Amyclae, and Helos upon the sea;
Laas, moreover, and Oetylus; these were led by Menelaos of the loud battle-cry, brother to Agamemnon, and of them there were sixty ships, drawn up apart from the others. Among them went Menelaos himself, strong in zeal, urging his men to fight; for he longed to
avenge the toil and sorrow that he had suffered for the sake of Helen. The men of Pylos and Arene, and Thryum where is the ford of the river Alpheus; strong Aipy, Cyparisseis, and Amphigenea; Pteleum, Helos, and Dorium, where the Muses
met Thamyris, and stilled his minstrelsy for ever. He was returning from Oechalia, where Eurytos lived and reigned, and boasted that he would surpass even the Muses, daughters of aegis-bearing Zeus, if they should sing against him; whereon they were angry, and maimed him.
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2.16
They robbed him of his divine power of song, and thenceforth he could strike the lyre no more. These were commanded by Nestor, horseman of Gerene, and with him there came ninety ships. And those that held Arcadia, under the high mountain of Cyllene, near the tomb of Aipytos, where the people fight hand to hand;
the men of Pheneus also, and Orkhomenos rich in flocks; of Rhipae, Stratie, and bleak Enispe; of Tegea and fair Mantinea; of Stymphelus and Parrhasia; of these King Agapenor son of Ankaios was commander,
and they had sixty ships. Many Arcadians, good warriors, came in each one of them, but Agamemnon found them the ships in which to cross the sea [pontos], for they were not a people that occupied their business upon the waters.
The men, moreover, of Bouprasion and of Elis, so much of it as is enclosed between Hyrmine, Myrsinus upon the sea-shore, the rock Olene and Alesium. These had four leaders, and each of them had ten ships, with many Epeans on board.
Their leaders were Amphimakhos and Thalpios - the one, son of Kteatos, and the other, of Eurytos - both of the race of Aktor. The two others were Diores, son of Amarynkes, and Polyxenos, son of King Agasthenes, son of Augeas.
And those of Dulichium with the sacred Echinean islands, who dwelt beyond the sea off Elis; these were led by Meges, peer of Ares, and the son of valiant Phyleus, dear to Zeus, who quarreled with his father, and went to settle in Dulichium.
With him there came forty ships. Odysseus led the brave Cephallenians, who held Ithaca, Neritum with its forests, Crocylea, rugged Aegilips, Samos and Zacynthus,
with the mainland also that was over against the islands. These were led by Odysseus, peer of Zeus in counsel, and with him there came twelve ships. Thoas, son of Andraimon, commanded the Aetolians, who dwelt in Pleuron, Olenus, Pylene,
2.17
Khalkis by the sea, and rocky Calydon, for the great king Oeneus had now no sons living, and was himself dead, as was also golden-haired Meleager, who had been set over the Aetolians to be their king. And with Thoas there came forty ships.
The famous spearsman Idomeneus led the Cretans, who held Knossos, and the well-walled city of Gortys; Lyktos also, Miletus and Lykastos that lies upon the chalk; the populous towns of Phaistos and Rhytium, with the other peoples that dwelt in the hundred cities of Crete.
All these were led by Idomeneus, and by Meriones, peer of murderous Ares. And with these there came eighty ships. Tlepolemos, son of Herakles, a man both brave and large of stature, brought nine ships of lordly warriors from Rhodes.
These dwelt in Rhodes which is divided among the three cities of Lindos, Ialysos, and Kameiros, that lies upon the chalk. These were commanded by Tlepolemos, son of mighty Herakles and born of Astyochea, whom he had carried off from Ephyra, on the river Selleis,
after sacking many cities of valiant warriors. When Tlepolemos grew up, he killed his father's uncle Likymnios, who had been a famous warrior in his time, but was then grown old. On this he built himself a fleet, gathered a great following,
and fled beyond the sea [pontos], for he was menaced by the other sons and grandsons of Herakles. After a voyage. during which he suffered great hardship, he came to Rhodes, where the people divided into three communities, according to their tribes, and were dearly loved by Zeus, the lord, of gods and men;
wherefore the son of Kronos showered down great riches upon them. And Nireus brought three ships from Syme - Nireus, who was the handsomest man that came up under Ilion of all the Danaans after the son of Peleus -
but he was a man of no substance, and had but a small following. And those that held Nisyrus, Carpathus, and Casus, with Cos, the city of Eurypylos, and the Calydnian islands, these were commanded by Pheidippos and Antiphos, two sons of King Thessalos the son of Herakles.
2.18
And with them there came thirty ships. Those again who held Pelasgian Argos, Alos, Alope, and Trachis; and those of Phthia and Hellas the land of fair women, who were called Myrmidons, Hellenes, and Achaeans;
these had fifty ships, over which Achilles was in command. But they now took no part in the war, inasmuch as there was no one to marshal them; for Achilles stayed by his ships, furious about the loss of the girl Briseis, whom he had taken from Lyrnessos at his own great peril,
when he had sacked Lyrnessos and Thebe, and had overthrown Mynes and Epistrophos, sons of king Euenor, son of Selepus. For her sake Achilles was still in grief [akhos], but ere long he was again to join them.
And those that held Phylake and the flowery meadows of Pyrasus, sanctuary of Demeter ; Iton, the mother of sheep; Antrum upon the sea, and Pteleum that lies upon the grass lands. Of these brave Protesilaos had been leader while he was yet alive, but he was now lying under the earth.
He had left a wife behind him in Phylake to tear her cheeks in sorrow, and his house was only half finished, for he was slain by a Dardanian warrior while leaping foremost of the Achaeans upon the soil of Troy. Still, though his people mourned their chieftain, they were not without a leader, for Podarkes, of the race of Ares, marshaled them;
he was son of Iphiklos, rich in sheep, who was the son of Phylakos, and he was own brother to Protesilaos, only younger, Protesilaos being at once the elder and the more valiant. So the people were not without a leader, though they mourned him whom they had lost.
With him there came forty ships. And those that held Pherai by the Boebean lake, with Boebe, Glaphyrae, and the populous city of Iolkos, these with their eleven ships were led by Eumelos, son of Admetos,
whom Alcestis bore to him, loveliest of the daughters of Pelias. And those that held Methone and Thaumacia, with Meliboia and rugged Olizon, these were led by the skillful archer Philoctetes, and they had seven ships, each with fifty oarsmen
2.19
all of them good archers; but Philoctetes was lying in great pain in the Island of Lemnos, where the sons of the Achaeans left him, for he had been bitten by a poisonous water snake. There he lay sick and in grief [akhos],
and full soon did the Argives come to miss him. But his people, though they felt his loss were not leaderless, for Medon, the bastard son of Oileus by Rhene, set them in array. Those, again, of Tricca and the stony region of Ithome,
and they that held Oechalia, the city of Oechalian Eurytos, these were commanded by the two sons of Asklepios, skilled in the art of healing, Podaleirios and Machaon. And with them there came thirty ships. The men, moreover, of Ormenios, and by the fountain of Hypereia,
with those that held Asterios, and the white crests of Titanus, these were led by Eurypylos, the son of Euaemon, and with them there came forty ships. Those that held Argissa and Gyrtone, Orthe, Elone, and the white city of Oloosson,
of these brave Polypoites was leader. He was son of Peirithoos, who was son of Zeus himself, for Hippodameia bore him to Peirithoos on the day when he took his revenge on the shaggy mountain savages and drove them from Mount Pelion to the Aithikes.
But Polypoites was not sole in command, for with him was Leonteus, of the race of Ares, who was son of Koronos, the son of Kaineus. And with these there came forty ships. Guneus brought two and twenty ships from Cyphus, and he was followed by the Enienes and the valiant Peraebi,
who dwelt about wintry Dodona, and held the lands round the lovely river Titaresios, which sends its waters into the Peneus. They do not mingle with the silver eddies of the Peneus, but flow on the top of them like oil;
for the Titaresios is a branch of dread Orcus and of the river Styx. Of the Magnetes, Prothoos son of Tenthredon was commander. They were they that dwelt about the river Peneus and Mount Pelion. Prothoos, fleet of foot, was their leader, and with him there came forty ships.
2.20
Such were the chiefs and princes of the Danaans. Who, then, O Muse, was the foremost, whether man or horse, among those that followed after the sons of Atreus? Of the horses, those of the son of Pheres were by far the finest. They were driven by Eumelos, and were as fleet as birds.
They were of the same age and color, and perfectly matched in height. Apollo, of the silver bow, had bred them in Perea - both of them mares, and terrible as Ares in battle. Of the men, Ajax, son of Telamon, was much the foremost so long as Achilles' anger lasted, for Achilles excelled him greatly
and he had also better horses; but Achilles was now holding aloof at his ships by reason of his quarrel with Agamemnon, and his people passed their time upon the sea shore, throwing discs or aiming with spears at a mark,
and in archery. Their horses stood each by his own chariot, champing lotus and wild celery. The chariots were housed under cover, but their owners, for lack of leadership, wandered hither and thither about the host and went not forth to fight.
Thus marched the host like a consuming fire, and the earth groaned beneath them when the lord of thunder is angry and lashes the land about Typhoeus among the Arimi, where they say Typhoeus lies. Even so did the earth groan beneath them
as they sped over the plain. And now Iris, fleet as the wind, was sent by Zeus to tell the bad news among the Trojans. They were gathered in assembly, old and young, at Priam's gates,
and Iris came close up to Priam, speaking with the voice of Priam's son Polites, who, being fleet of foot, was stationed as watchman for the Trojans on the tomb of old Aisyetes, to look out for any sally of the Achaeans.
In his likeness Iris spoke, saying, "Old man, you talk idly, as in time of peace, while war is at hand. I have been in many a battle, but never yet saw such a host as is now advancing. They are crossing the plain to attack the city as
2.21
thick as leaves or as the sands of the sea. Hektor, I charge you above all others, do as I say. There are many allies dispersed about the city of Priam from distant places and speaking divers tongues.
Therefore, let each chief give orders to his own people, setting them severally in array and leading them forth to battle." Thus she spoke, but Hektor knew that it was the goddess, and at once broke up the assembly. The men flew to arms; all the gates were opened, and the people thronged through them,
horse and foot, with the tramp as of a great multitude. Now there is a high mound before the city, rising by itself upon the plain. Men call it Batieia, but the gods know that it is the tomb [sêma] of lithe Myrrhine.
Here the Trojans and their allies divided their forces. Priam's son, great Hektor of the gleaming helmet, commanded the Trojans, and with him were arrayed by far the greater number and most valiant of those who were longing for the fray. The Dardanians were led by brave
Aeneas, whom Aphrodite bore to Anchises, when she, goddess though she was, had lain with him upon the mountain slopes of Ida. He was not alone, for with him were the two sons of Antenor, Archilokhos and Akamas, both skilled in all the arts of war. They that dwelt in Telea under the lowest spurs of Mount Ida,
men of substance, who drink the limpid waters of the Aesepos, and are of Trojan blood - these were led by Pandaros son of Lykaon, whom Apollo had taught to use the bow. They that held Adrasteia and the district [dêmos] of Apaesus, with Pityeia, and the high mountain of Tereia -
these were led by Adrastos and Amphios, whose breastplate was of linen. These were the sons of Merops of Perkote, who excelled in all kinds of divination. He told them not to take part in the war, but they gave him no heed, for fate lured them to destruction.
They that dwelt about Perkote and Praktios, with Sestos, Abydos, and Arisbe - these were led by Asios, son of Hyrtakos, a brave commander - Asios, the son of Hyrtakos, whom his powerful dark bay steeds, of the breed that comes from the river Selleis, had brought from Arisbe.
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Hippothoos led the tribes of Pelasgian spearsmen, who dwelt in fertile Larissa - Hippothoos, and Pylaios of the race of Ares, two sons of the Pelasgian Lethus, son of Teutamus. Akamas and the warrior Peirous commanded the Thracians
and those that came from beyond the mighty stream of the Hellespont. Euphemos, son of Troizenos, the son of Ceos, was leader of the Ciconian spearsmen. Pyraikhmes led the Paeonian archers from distant Amydon, by the broad waters of the river Axios,
the fairest that flow upon the earth. The Paphlagonians were commanded by stout-hearted Pylaimenes from Enetae, where the mules run wild in herds. These were they that held Cytorus and the country round Sesamus, with the cities by the river Parthenios,
Cromna, Aigialos, and lofty Erithinoi. Odios and Epistrophos were leaders over the Halizoni from distant Alybe, where there are mines of silver. Chromis, and Ennomos the augur, led the Mysians, but his skill in augury availed not to save him from destruction,
for he fell by the hand of the fleet descendant of Aiakos in the river, where he slew others also of the Trojans. Phorkys, again, and noble Askanios led the Phrygians from the far country of Askania, and both were eager for the fray. Mesthles and Antiphos commanded the Meonians,
sons of Talaimenes, born to him of the Gygaean lake. These led the Meonians, who dwelt under Mount Tmolos. Nastes led the Carians, men of a strange speech. These held Miletus and the wooded mountain of Phthires, with the water of the river Maeander and the lofty crests of Mount Mycale.
These were commanded by Nastes and Amphimakhos, the brave sons of Nomion. He came into the fight with gold about him, like a girl; fool that he was, his gold was of no avail to save him, for he fell in the river by the hand of the fleet descendant of Aiakos,
and Achilles bore away his gold. Sarpedon and Glaukos led the Lycians from their distant land, by the eddying waters of the Xanthos.

book 3

3.1
When the companies were thus arrayed, each under its own leader, the Trojans advanced as a flight of wild fowl or cranes that scream overhead when rain and winter drive them over the flowing waters of Okeanos to bring death and destruction on the Pygmies, and they wrangle in the air as they fly; but the Achaeans marched silently, in high heart, and minded to stand by one another.
As when the south wind spreads a curtain of mist upon the mountain tops, bad for shepherds but better than night for thieves, and a man can see no further than he can throw a stone, even so rose the dust from under their feet as they made all speed over the plain.
When they were close up with one another, Alexander came forward as champion on the Trojan side. On his shoulders he bore the skin of a panther, his bow, and his sword, and he brandished two spears shod with bronze as a challenge to the bravest of the Achaeans to meet him in single fight. Menelaos saw him thus stride out before the ranks, and was glad as a hungry lion that lights on the carcass of some goat or horned stag, and devours it there and then, though dogs and youths set upon him. Even thus was Menelaos glad when his eyes caught sight of Alexander, for he deemed that now he should be revenged.
He sprang, therefore, from his chariot, clad in his suit of armor.
Alexander quailed as he saw Menelaos come forward, and shrank in fear of his life under cover of his men. As one who starts back affrighted, trembling and pale, when he comes suddenly upon a serpent in some mountain glade, even so did Alexander plunge into the throng of Trojan warriors, terror-stricken at the sight of the son Atreus.
Then Hektor upbraided him. "Paris," said he, "evil-hearted Paris, fair to see, but woman-mad, and false of tongue, would that you had never been born, or that you had died unwed. Better so, than live to be disgraced and looked askance at. Will not the Achaeans mock at us and say that we have sent one to champion us who is fair to see but who has neither wit nor force [biê]? Did you not, such as you are, get your following together and sail beyond the seas [pontos]? Did you not from your a far country carry off a lovely woman wedded among a people of warriors - to bring sorrow upon your father, your city, and your whole district [dêmos], but joy to your enemies, and hang-dog shamefacedness to yourself? And now can you not dare face Menelaos and learn what manner of man he is whose wife you have stolen? Where indeed would be your lyre and your love-tricks, your comely locks and your fair favor, when you were lying in the dust before him? The Trojans are a weak-kneed people, or ere this you would have had a shirt of stones for the wrongs you have done them."
And Alexander answered, "Hektor, your rebuke is just. You are hard as the axe which a shipwright wields at his work, and cleaves the timber to his liking. As the axe in his hand, so keen is the edge of your mind [noos]. Still, taunt me not with the gifts that golden Aphrodite has given me; they are precious; let not a man disdain them, for the gods give them where they are minded, and none can have them for the asking. If you would have me do battle with Menelaos, bid the Trojans and Achaeans take their seats, while he and I fight in their midst for Helen and all her wealth.
Let him who shall be victorious and prove to be the better man take the woman and all she has, to bear them to his home, but let the rest swear to a solemn covenant of peace whereby you Trojans shall stay here in Troy, while the others go home to Argos and the land of the Achaeans."
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3.2
When Hektor heard this he was glad, and went about among the Trojan ranks holding his spear by the middle to keep them back, and they all sat down at his bidding: but the Achaeans still aimed at him with stones and arrows, till Agamemnon shouted to them saying, "Hold, Argives, shoot not, sons of the Achaeans; Hektor desires to speak."
They ceased taking aim and were still, whereon Hektor spoke. "Hear from my mouth," said he, "Trojans and Achaeans, the saying of Alexander, through whom this quarrel has come about. He bids the Trojans and Achaeans lay their armor upon the ground, while he and Menelaos fight in the midst of you for Helen and all her wealth. Let him who shall be victorious and prove to be the better man take the woman and all she has, to bear them to his own home, but let the rest swear to a solemn covenant of peace."
Thus he spoke, and they all held their peace, till Menelaos of the loud battle-cry addressed them. "And now," he said, "hear me too, for it is I who am the most aggrieved. I deem that the parting of Achaeans and Trojans is at hand, as well it may be, seeing how much have suffered for my quarrel with Alexander and the wrong he did me. Let him who shall die, die, and let the others fight no more. Bring, then, two lambs, a white ram and a black ewe, for Earth and Sun, and we will bring a third for Zeus. Moreover, you shall bid mighty Priam come, that he may swear to the covenant himself; for his sons are high-handed and ill to trust, and the oaths of Zeus must not be transgressed or taken in vain. Young men's minds are light as air, but when an old man comes he looks before and after, deeming that which shall be fairest upon both sides."
The Trojans and Achaeans were glad when they heard this, for they thought that they should now have rest. They backed their chariots toward the ranks, got out of them, and put off their armor, laying it down upon the ground; and the hosts were near to one another with a little space between them. Hektor sent two messengers to the city to bring the lambs and to bid Priam come, while Agamemnon told Talthybios to fetch the other lamb from the ships, and he did as Agamemnon had said.
Meanwhile Iris went to Helen in the form of her sister-in-law, wife of the son of Antenor, for Helikaon, son of Antenor, had married Laodike, the fairest of Priam's daughters. She found her in her own room, working at a great web of purple linen, on which she was embroidering the struggles [athloi] between Trojans and Achaeans, that Ares had made them fight for her sake. Iris then came close up to her and said, "Come hither, child, and see the strange doings of the Trojans and Achaeans till now they have been warring upon the plain, mad with lust of battle, but now they have left off fighting, and are leaning upon their shields, sitting still with their spears planted beside them. Alexander and Menelaos are going to fight about yourself, and you are to the wife of him who is the victor."
Thus spoke the goddess, and Helen's heart yearned after her former husband, her city, and her parents. She threw a white mantle over her head, and hurried from her room, weeping as she went, not alone, but attended by two of her handmaids, Aithra, daughter of Pittheus, and Klymene. And straightway they were at the Scaean gates.
The two sages, Ucalegon and Antenor, elders of the people, were seated by the Scaean gates, with Priam, Panthoos, Thymoetes, Lampos, Klytios, and Hiketaon of the race of Ares. These were too old to fight, but they were fluent orators, and sat on the tower like cicadas that chirrup delicately from the boughs of some high tree in a wood. When they saw Helen coming towards the tower,
they said softly to one another, "No wonder the Trojans and Achaeans endure so much and so long, for the sake of a woman so marvelously and divinely lovely. There is no sense of nemesis here. Still, fair though she be, let them take her and go, or she will breed sorrow for us and for our children after us."
3.3
But Priam bade her draw nigh. "My child," said he, "take your seat in front of me that you may see your former husband, your kinsmen and your friends. I lay no responsibility [aitia] upon you, it is the gods, not you who are responsible [aitioi]. It is they that have brought about this terrible war with the Achaeans. Tell me, then, who is yonder huge hero so great and goodly? I have seen men taller by a head, but none so comely and so royal. Surely he must be a king."
"Sir," answered Helen, "father of my husband, dear and reverend in my eyes, would that I had chosen death rather than to have come here with your son, far from my bridal chamber, my friends, my darling daughter, and all the companions of my girlhood. But it was not to be, and my lot is one of tears and sorrow. As for your question, the hero of whom you ask is Agamemnon, son of Atreus, a good king and a brave warrior, brother-in-law as surely as that he lives, to my abhorred and miserable self."
The old man marveled at him and said, "Happy son of Atreus, child of good fortune. I see that the Achaeans are subject to you in great multitudes. When I was in Phrygia I saw much horsemen, the people of Otreus and of Mygdon, who were camping upon the banks of the river Sangarios; I was their ally, and with them when the Amazons, peers of men, came up against them, but even they were not so many as the Achaeans."
The old man next looked upon Odysseus; "Tell me," he said, "who is that other, shorter by a head than Agamemnon, but broader across the chest and shoulders? His armor is laid upon the ground, and he stalks in front of the ranks as it were some great woolly ram ordering his ewes."
And Helen answered, "He is Odysseus, a man of great craft, son of Laertes. He was born in the district [dêmos] of rugged Ithaca, and excels in all manner of stratagems and subtle cunning."
On this Antenor said, "my lady, you have spoken truly. Odysseus once came here as envoy about yourself, and Menelaos with him. I received them in my own house, and therefore know both of them by sight and conversation. When they stood up in presence of the assembled Trojans, Menelaos was the broader shouldered, but when both were seated Odysseus had the more royal presence. After a time they delivered their message, and the speech of Menelaos ran trippingly on the tongue; he did not say much, for he was a man of few words, but he spoke very clearly and to the point, though he was the younger man of the two; Odysseus, on the other hand, when he rose to speak, was at first silent and kept his eyes fixed upon the ground. There was no play nor graceful movement of his scepter; he kept it straight and stiff like a man unpracticed in oratory - one might have taken him for a mere churl or simpleton; but when he raised his voice, and the words came driving from his deep chest like winter snow before the wind, then there was none to touch him, and no man thought further of what he looked like."
Priam then caught sight of Ajax and asked, "Who is that great and goodly warrior whose head and broad shoulders tower above the rest of the Argives?"
"That," answered Helen, "is huge Ajax, bulwark of the Achaeans, and on the other side of him, among the Cretans, stands Idomeneus looking like a god, and with the leaders of the Cretans round him. Often did Menelaos receive him as a guest in our house when he came visiting us from Crete. I see, moreover, many other Achaeans whose names I could tell you, but there are two whom I can nowhere find, Castor, breaker of horses, and Pollux the mighty boxer; they are children of my mother, and own brothers to myself. Either they have not left Lacedaemon, or else, though they have brought their ships, they will not show themselves in battle for the shame and disgrace that I have brought upon them."
3.4
She knew not that both these heroes were already lying under the earth in their own land of Lacedaemon.
Meanwhile the heralds were bringing the holy oath-offerings through the city - two lambs and a goatskin of wine, the gift of earth; and Idaios brought the mixing bowl and the cups of gold. He went up to Priam and said, "Son of Laomedon, the princes of the Trojans and Achaeans bid you come down on to the plain and swear to a solemn covenant. Alexander and Menelaos are to fight for Helen in single combat, that she and all her wealth may go with him who is the victor. We are to swear to a solemn covenant of peace whereby we others shall dwell here in Troy, while the Achaeans return to Argos and the land of the Achaeans."
The old man trembled as he heard, but bade his followers yoke the horses, and they made all haste to do so. He mounted the chariot, gathered the reins in his hand, and Antenor took his seat beside him; they then drove through the Scaean gates on to the plain. When they reached the ranks of the Trojans and Achaeans they left the chariot, and with measured pace advanced into the space between the hosts.
Agamemnon and Odysseus both rose to meet them. The attendants brought on the oath-offerings and mixed the wine in the mixing-bowls; they poured water over the hands of the chieftains, and the son of Atreus drew the dagger that hung by his sword, and cut wool from the lambs' heads; this the men-servants gave about among the Trojan and Achaean princes, and the son of Atreus lifted up his hands in prayer. "Father Zeus," he cried, "you who rule in Ida, most glorious in power, and you O Sun, who see and give ear to all things, Earth and Rivers, and you who in the realms below chastise those mortals who have broken their oath, witness these rites and guard them, that they be not vain. If Alexander kills Menelaos, let him keep Helen and all her wealth, while we sail home with our ships; but if Menelaos kills Alexander, let the Trojans give back Helen and all that she has; let them moreover pay such fine [timê] to the Achaeans as shall be agreed upon, in testimony among those that shall be born hereafter.
And if Priam and his sons refuse such fine [timê] when Alexander has fallen, then will I stay here and fight on till the war reaches its completion [telos]. "
As he spoke he drew his knife across the throats of the victims, and laid them down gasping and dying upon the ground, for the knife had reft them of their strength. Then they poured wine from the mixing-bowl into the cups, and prayed to the everlasting gods, saying, Trojans and Achaeans among one another, "Zeus, most great and glorious, and you other everlasting gods, grant that the brains of them who shall first violate their oaths - of them and their children - may be shed upon the ground even as this wine, and let their wives become the slaves of strangers."
Thus they prayed, but not as yet would Zeus grant them their prayer. Then Priam, descendant of Dardanos, spoke, saying, "Hear me, Trojans and Achaeans, I will now go back to the wind-beaten city of Ilion: I dare not with my own eyes witness this fight between my son and Menelaos, for Zeus and the other immortals alone know which of the two is doomed to undergo the outcome of death."
On this he laid the two lambs on his chariot and took his seat. He gathered the reins in his hand, and Antenor sat beside him; the two then went back to Ilion. Hektor and Odysseus measured the ground, and cast lots from a helmet of bronze to see which should take aim first. Meanwhile the two hosts lifted up their hands and prayed saying, "Father Zeus, you who rule from Ida, most glorious in power, grant that he who first brought about this war between us may die, and enter the house of Hades, while we others remain at peace and abide by our oaths."
3.5
Great Hektor now turned his head aside while he shook the helmet, and the lot of Paris flew out first. The others took their several stations, each by his horses and the place where his arms were lying, while Alexander, husband of lovely Helen, put on his goodly armor.
First he greaved his legs with greaves of good make and fitted with ankle-clasps of silver; after this he donned the cuirass of his brother Lykaon, and fitted it to his own body; he hung his silver-studded sword of bronze about his shoulders, and then his mighty shield. On his comely head he set his helmet, well-wrought, with a crest of horse-hair that nodded menacingly above it, and he grasped a redoubtable spear that suited his hands. In like fashion Menelaos also put on his armor.
When they had thus armed, each amid his own people, they strode fierce of aspect into the open space, and both Trojans and Achaeans were struck with awe as they beheld them. They stood near one another on the measured ground, brandishing their spears, and each furious against the other. Alexander aimed first, and struck the round shield of the son of Atreus, but the spear did not pierce it, for the shield turned its point. Menelaos next took aim, praying to Father Zeus as he did so. "King Zeus," he said, "grant me revenge on Alexander who has wronged me; subdue him under my hand that in ages yet to come a man may shrink from doing ill deeds in the house of his host."
He poised his spear as he spoke, and hurled it at the shield of Alexander. Through shield and cuirass it went, and tore the shirt by his flank, but Alexander swerved aside, and thus saved his life. Then the son of Atreus drew his sword, and drove at the projecting part of his helmet, but the sword fell shivered in three or four pieces from his hand, and he cried, looking towards Heaven, "Father Zeus, of all gods you are the most spiteful; I made sure of my revenge, but the sword has broken in my hand, my spear has been hurled in vain, and I have not killed him."
With this he flew at Alexander, caught him by the horsehair plume of his helmet, and began dragging him towards the Achaeans. The strap of the helmet that went under his chin was choking him, and Menelaos would have dragged him off to his own great glory had not Zeus' daughter Aphrodite been quick to mark and to break the strap of oxhide, so that the empty helmet came away in his hand. This he flung to his comrades among the Achaeans, and was again springing upon Alexander to run him through with a spear, but Aphrodite snatched him up in a moment (as a god can do), hid him under a cloud of darkness, and conveyed him to his own bedchamber.
Then she went to call Helen, and found her on a high tower with the Trojan women crowding round her. She took the form of an old woman who used to dress wool for her when she was still in Lacedaemon, and of whom she was very fond. Thus disguised she plucked her by perfumed robe and said, "Come hither; Alexander says you are to go to the house; he is on his bed in his own room, radiant with beauty and dressed in gorgeous apparel. No one would think he had just come from fighting, but rather that he was going to a dance [khoros], or had done dancing [khoros] and was sitting down."
With these words she moved the heart of Helen to anger. When she marked the beautiful neck of the goddess, her lovely bosom, and sparkling eyes, she marveled at her and said, "Goddess, why do you thus beguile me? Are you going to send me afield still further to some man whom you have taken up in Phrygia or fair Meonia? Menelaos has just vanquished Alexander, and is to take my hateful self back with him. You are come here to betray me. Go sit with Alexander yourself; henceforth be goddess no longer; never let your feet carry you back to Olympus; worry about him and look after him till he make you his wife, or, for the matter of that, his slave - but me? I shall not go; I can garnish his bed no longer; I should be a by-word among all the women of Troy. Besides, I have trouble [akhos] on my mind."
Aphrodite was very angry, and said, "Bold hussy, do not provoke me; if you do, I shall leave you to your fate and hate you as much as I have loved you. I will stir up fierce hatred between Trojans and Achaeans, and you shall come to a bad end."
3.6
At this Helen was frightened. She wrapped her mantle about her and went in silence, following the divinity [daimôn] and unnoticed by the Trojan women.
When they came to the house of Alexander the maid-servants set about their work, but Helen went into her own room, and the laughter-loving goddess took a seat and set it for her facing Alexander. On this Helen, daughter of aegis-bearing Zeus, sat down, and with eyes askance began to upbraid her husband.
"So you are come from the fight," said she; "would that you had fallen rather by the hand of that brave man who was my husband. You used to brag that you were a better man with might [biê] of hands and spear than Menelaos. Go, then, and challenge him again - but I would advise you not to do so, for if you are foolish enough to meet him in single combat, you will soon fall by his spear."
And Paris answered, "Woman, do not vex me with your reproaches. This time, with the help of Athena, Menelaos has vanquished me; another time I may myself be victor, for I too have gods that will stand by me. Come, let us lie down together and make friends. Never yet was I so passionately enamored of you as at this moment - not even when I first carried you off from Lacedaemon and sailed away with you - not even when I had converse with you upon the couch of love in the island of Cranae was I so enthralled by desire of you as now." On this he led her towards the bed, and his wife went with him.
Thus they laid themselves on the bed together; but the son of Atreus strode among the throng, looking everywhere for Alexander, and no man, neither of the Trojans nor of the allies, could find him. If they had seen him they were in no mind to hide him, for they all of them hated him as they did death itself. Then Agamemnon, king of men,
spoke, saying, "Hear me, Trojans, Dardanians, and allies. The victory has been with Menelaos; therefore give back Helen with all her wealth, and pay such fine [timê] as shall be agreed upon, in testimony among them that shall be born hereafter."
Thus spoke the son of Atreus, and the Achaeans shouted in approval.

book 4

4.1
Now the gods were sitting with Zeus in council upon the golden floor while Hebe went round pouring out nectar for them to drink, and as they pledged one another in their cups of gold they looked down upon the town of Troy. The son of Kronos then began to tease Hera, talking at her so as to provoke her. "Menelaos," said he, "has two good friends among the goddesses, Hera of Argos, and Athena of Alalkomene, but they only sit still and look on, while Aphrodite keeps ever by Alexander's side to defend him in any danger; indeed she has just rescued him when he made sure that it was all over with him - for the victory really did lie with Menelaos. We must consider what we shall do about all this; shall we set them fighting anew or make peace between them? If you will agree to this last Menelaos can take back Helen and the city of Priam may remain still inhabited."
Athena and Hera muttered their discontent as they sat side by side hatching mischief for the Trojans. Athena scowled at her father, for she was in a furious passion with him, and said nothing, but Hera could not contain herself. "Dread son of Kronos," said she, "what, pray, is the meaning of all this? Is my trouble [ponos], then, to go for nothing,
and the sweat that I have sweated, to say nothing of my horses, while getting the people together against Priam and his children? Do as you will, but we other gods shall not all of us approve your counsel."
Zeus was angry and answered, "My dear, what harm have Priam and his sons done you that you are so hotly bent on sacking the city of Ilion? Will nothing do for you but you must within their walls and eat Priam raw, with his sons and all the other Trojans to boot? Have it your own way then; for I would not have this matter become a bone of contention between us. I say further, and lay my saying to your heart, if ever I want to sack a city belonging to friends of yours, you must not try to stop me; you will have to let me do it, for I am giving in to you sorely against my will. Of all inhabited cities under the sun and stars of heaven, there was none that I so much respected as Ilion with Priam and his whole people. Equitable feasts were never wanting about my altar, nor the savor of burning fat, which is honor due to ourselves."
"My own three favorite cities," answered Hera, "are Argos, Sparta, and Mycenae. Sack them whenever you may be displeased with them. I shall not defend them and I shall not care. Even if I did, and tried to stay you, I should take nothing by it, for you are much stronger than I am, but I will not have my own work wasted. I too am a god and of the same race with yourself. I am Kronos' eldest daughter, and am honorable not on this ground only, but also because I am your wife, and you are king over the gods. Let it be a case, then, of give-and-take between us, and the rest of the gods will follow our lead. Tell Athena to go and take part in the fight at once, and let her contrive that the Trojans shall be the first to break their oaths and set upon the Achaeans."
The sire of gods and men heeded her words, and said to Athena, "Go at once into the Trojan and Achaean hosts, and contrive that the Trojans shall be the first to break their oaths and set upon the Achaeans."
This was what Athena was already eager to do, so down she darted from the topmost summits of Olympus. She shot through the sky as some brilliant meteor which the son of scheming Kronos has sent as a sign to mariners or to some great army, and a fiery train of light follows in its wake. The Trojans and Achaeans were struck with awe as they beheld, and one would turn to his neighbor, saying, "Either we shall again have war and din of combat, or Zeus the lord of battle will now make peace between us."
Thus did they converse. Then Athena took the form of Laodokos, son of Antenor, and went through the ranks of the Trojans to find Pandaros, the redoubtable son of Lykaon. She found him standing among the stalwart heroes who had followed him from the banks of the Aesepos, so she went close up to him and said, "Brave son of Lykaon, will you do as I tell you? If you dare send an arrow at Menelaos you will win honor and thanks [kharis] from all the Trojans, and especially from prince Alexander - he would be the first to requite you very handsomely if he could see Menelaos mount his funeral pyre, slain by an arrow from your hand. Take your home aim then, and pray to Lycian Apollo, the famous archer; vow that when you get home to your strong city of Zelea you will offer a hecatomb of firstling lambs in his honor."
1
4.2
His fool's heart was persuaded, and he took his bow from its case. This bow was made from the horns of a wild ibex which he had killed as it was bounding from a rock; he had stalked it, and it had fallen as the arrow struck it to the heart. Its horns were sixteen palms long, and a worker in horn had made them into a bow, smoothing them well down, and giving them tips of gold. When Pandaros had strung his bow he laid it carefully on the ground, and his brave followers held their shields before him lest the Achaeans should set upon him before he had shot Menelaos. Then he opened the lid of his quiver and took out a winged arrow that had yet been shot, fraught with the pangs of death.
He laid the arrow on the string and prayed to Lycian Apollo, the famous archer, vowing that when he got home to his strong city of Zelea he would offer a hecatomb of firstling lambs in his honor. He laid the notch of the arrow on the oxhide bowstring, and drew both notch and string to his breast till the arrow-head was near the bow; then when the bow was arched into a half-circle he let fly, and the bow twanged, and the string sang as the arrow flew gladly on over the heads of the throng.
But the blessed gods did not forget you, O Menelaos, and Zeus' daughter, driver of the spoil, was the first to stand before you and ward off the piercing arrow. She turned it from his skin as a mother whisks a fly from off her child when it is sleeping sweetly; she guided it to the part where the golden buckles of the belt that passed over his double cuirass were fastened, so the arrow struck the belt that went tightly round him. It went right through this and through the cuirass of cunning workmanship; it also pierced the belt beneath it, which he wore next his skin to keep out darts or arrows; it was this that served him in the best stead, nevertheless the arrow went through it and grazed the top of the skin, so that blood began flowing from the wound.
As when some woman of Meonia or Caria strains purple dye on to a piece of ivory that is to be the cheek-piece of a horse, and is to be laid up in a treasure house - many a horseman is fain to bear it, but the king keeps it as an ornament [kosmos] of which both horse and driver may be proud - even so, O Menelaos, were your shapely thighs and your legs down to your fair ankles stained with blood.
When King Agamemnon saw the blood flowing from the wound he was afraid, and so was brave Menelaos himself till he saw that the barbs of the arrow and the thread that bound the arrow-head to the shaft were still outside the wound. Then he took heart, but Agamemnon heaved a deep sigh as he held Menelaos' hand in his own, and his comrades made moan in concert.
"Dear brother, "he cried, "I have been the death of you in pledging this covenant and letting you come forward as our champion. The Trojans have trampled on their oaths and have wounded you; nevertheless the oath, the blood of lambs, the drink-offerings and the right hands of fellowship in which have put our trust shall not be vain. If he that rules Olympus fulfill it not here and now, he. will yet fulfill it hereafter, and they shall pay dearly with their lives and with their wives and children. The day will surely come when mighty Ilion shall be laid low, with Priam and Priam's people, when the son of Kronos from his high throne shall overshadow them with his awful aegis in punishment of their present treachery. This shall surely be; but how, Menelaos, shall I feel grief [akhos] for you, if it be your lot now to die? I should return to Argos as a by-word, for the Achaeans will at once go home. We shall leave Priam and the Trojans the glory of still keeping Helen, and the earth will rot your bones as you lie here at Troy with your purpose not fulfilled. Then shall some braggart Trojan leap upon your tomb and say, ‘Ever thus may Agamemnon wreak his vengeance; he brought his army in vain; he is gone home to his own land with empty ships, and has left Menelaos behind him.’ Thus will one of them say, and may the earth then swallow me."
But Menelaos reassured him and said, "Take heart, and do not alarm the people; the arrow has not struck me in a mortal part, for my outer belt of burnished metal first stayed it, and under this my cuirass and the belt of mail which the bronze-smiths made me."
And Agamemnon answered, "I trust, dear Menelaos, that it may be even so, but the surgeon shall examine your wound and lay herbs upon it to relieve your pain."
4.3
He then said to Talthybios, "Talthybios, tell Machaon, son to the great physician, Asklepios, to come and see Menelaos immediately. Some Trojan or Lycian archer has wounded him with an arrow to our dismay [penthos], and to his own great glory [kleos]."
Talthybios did as he was told, and went about the host trying to find Machaon. Presently he found standing amid the brave warriors who had followed him from Tricca; thereon he went up to him and said, "Son of Asklepios, King Agamemnon says you are to come and see Menelaos immediately. Some Trojan or Lycian archer has wounded him with an arrow to our dismay [penthos] and to his own great glory [kleos]."
Thus did he speak, and Machaon was moved to go. They passed through the spreading host of the Achaeans and went on till they came to the place where Menelaos had been wounded and was lying with the chieftains gathered in a circle round him. Machaon passed into the middle of the ring and at once drew the arrow from the belt, bending its barbs back through the force with which he pulled it out. He undid the burnished belt, and beneath this the cuirass and the belt of mail which the bronze-smiths had made; then, when he had seen the wound, he wiped away the blood and applied some soothing drugs which Chiron had given to Asklepios out of the good will he bore him.
While they were thus busy about Menelaos, the Trojans came forward against them, for they had put on their armor, and now renewed the fight.
You would not have then found Agamemnon asleep nor cowardly and unwilling to fight, but eager rather for the fray. He left his chariot rich with bronze and his panting steeds in charge of the squire [therapôn] Eurymedon, son of Ptolemaios the son of Peiraios, and bade him hold them in readiness against the time his limbs should weary of going about and giving orders to so many, for he went among the ranks on foot. When he saw men hastening to the front he stood by them and cheered them on. "Argives," said he, "slacken not one whit in your onset; father Zeus will be no helper of liars;
the Trojans have been the first to break their oaths and to attack us; therefore they shall be devoured of vultures; we shall take their city and carry off their wives and children in our ships."
But he angrily rebuked those whom he saw shirking and disinclined to fight. "Argives," he cried, "cowardly miserable creatures, have you no shame to stand here like frightened fawns who, when they can no longer scud over the plain, huddle together, but show no fight? You are as dazed and spiritless as deer. Would you wait till the Trojans reach the sterns of our ships as they lie on the shore, to see, whether the son of Kronos will hold his hand over you to protect you?"
Thus did he go about giving his orders among the ranks. Passing through the crowd, he came presently on the Cretans, arming round Idomeneus, who was at their head, fierce as a wild boar, while Meriones was bringing up the battalions that were in the rear. Agamemnon was glad when he saw him, and spoke him fairly. "Idomeneus," said he, "I treat you with greater distinction than I do any others of the Achaeans, whether in war or in other things, or at table. When the princes are mixing my choicest wines in the mixing-bowls, they have each of them a fixed allowance, but your cup is kept always full like my own, that you may drink whenever you are minded. Go, therefore, into battle, and show yourself the man you have been always proud to be."
4.4
Idomeneus answered, "I will be a trusty comrade, as I promised you from the first I would be. Urge on the other Achaeans, that we may join battle at once, for the Trojans have trampled upon their covenants. Death and destruction shall be theirs, seeing they have been the first to break their oaths and to attack us."
The son of Atreus went on, glad at heart, till he came upon the two Ajaxes arming themselves amid a host of foot-soldiers. As when a goat-herd from some high post watches a storm drive over the deep [pontos] before the west wind
- black as pitch is the offing and a mighty whirlwind draws towards him, so that he is afraid and drives his flock into a cave - even thus did the ranks of stalwart youths move in a dark mass to battle under the Ajaxes, horrid with shield and spear. Glad was King Agamemnon when he saw them. "No need," he cried, "to give orders to such leaders of the Argives as you are, for of your own selves you spur your men on to fight with might and main. Would, by father Zeus, Athena, and Apollo that all were so minded as you are, for the city of Priam would then soon fall beneath our hands, and we should sack it."
With this he left them and went onward to Nestor, the facile speaker of the Pylians, who was marshaling his men and urging them on, in company with Pelagon, Alastor, Chromios, Haimon, and Bias shepherd of his people. He placed his horsemen with their chariots and horses in the front rank, while the foot-soldiers, brave men and many, whom he could trust, were in the rear. The cowards he drove into the middle, that they might fight whether they would or no. He gave his orders to the horsemen first, bidding them hold their horses well in hand, so as to avoid confusion. "Let no man," he said, "relying on his strength or horsemanship, get before the others and engage singly with the Trojans, nor yet let him lag behind or you will weaken your attack; but let each when he meets an enemy's chariot throw his spear from his own; this be much the best; this is how the men of old took towns and strongholds; in this wise was their thinking [noos]."
Thus did the old man charge them, for he had been in many a fight, and King Agamemnon was glad. "I wish," he said to him, that your limbs were as supple and your strength [biê] as sure as your judgment is; but age, the common enemy of humankind, has laid his hand upon you; would that it had fallen upon some other, and that you were still young."
And Nestor, horseman of Gerene, answered, "Son of Atreus, I too would gladly be the man I was when I slew mighty Ereuthalion; but the gods will not give us everything at one and the same time. I was then young, and now I am old;
still I can go with my horsemen and give them that counsel which old men have a right to give. The wielding of the spear I leave to those who are younger and has more force [biê] than myself."
Agamemnon went his way rejoicing, and presently found Menestheus, son of Peteos, tarrying in his place, and with him were the Athenians loud of tongue in battle. Near him also tarried cunning Odysseus, with his sturdy Cephallenians round him; they had not yet heard the battle-cry, for the ranks of Trojans and Achaeans had only just begun to move, so they were standing still, waiting for some other columns of the Achaeans to attack the Trojans and begin the fighting. When he saw this Agamemnon rebuked them and said, "Son of Peteos, and you other, steeped in cunning, heart of guile, why stand you here cowering and waiting on others? You two should be of all men foremost when there is hard fighting to be done, for you are ever foremost to accept my invitation when we councilors of the Achaeans are holding feast. You are glad enough then to take your fill of roast meats and to drink wine as long as you please, whereas now you would not care though you saw ten columns of Achaeans engage the enemy in front of you."
4.5
Odysseus glared at him and answered, "Son of Atreus, what are you talking about? How can you say that we are slack? When the Achaeans are in full fight with the Trojans, you shall see, if you care to do so, that the father of Telemakhos will join battle with the foremost of them. You are talking idly."
When Agamemnon saw that Odysseus was angry, he smiled pleasantly at him and withdrew his words. "Odysseus," said he, "noble son of Laertes, excellent in all good counsel, I have neither fault to find nor orders to give you, for I know your heart is right, and that you and I are of a mind. Enough; I will make you amends for what I have said, and if any ill has now been spoken may the gods bring it to nothing."
He then left them and went on to others. Presently he saw the son of Tydeus, noble Diomedes, standing by his chariot and horses, with Sthenelos the son of Kapaneus beside him; whereon he began to upbraid him. "Son of Tydeus," he said, "why stand you cowering here upon the brink of battle? Tydeus did not shrink thus, but was ever ahead of his men when leading them on against the foe - so, at least, say they that saw him in battle, for I never set eyes upon him myself. They say that there was no man like him. He came once to Mycenae, not as an enemy but as a guest, in company with Polyneikes to recruit his forces, for they were levying war against the strong city of Thebes, and prayed our people for a body of picked men to help them. The men of Mycenae were willing to let them have one, but Zeus dissuaded them by showing them unfavorable omens [sêmata]. Tydeus, therefore, and Polyneikes went their way. When they had got as far the deep-meadowed and rush-grown banks of the Aesepos, the Achaeans sent Tydeus as their envoy, and he found the Cadmeans gathered in great numbers to a banquet in the house of Eteokles. Stranger though he was, he knew no fear on finding himself single-handed among so many, but challenged them to contests of all kinds, and in each one of them was at once victorious, so mightily did Athena help him. The Cadmeans were incensed at his success, and set a force of fifty youths with two leaders - the godlike hero Maion, son of Haimon, and Polyphontes, son of Autophonos - at their head, to lie in wait for him on his return journey; but Tydeus slew every man of them, save only Maion, whom he let go in obedience to heaven's omens. Such was Tydeus of Aetolia. His son can talk more glibly, but he cannot fight as his father did."
Diomedes made no answer, for he was shamed by the rebuke of Agamemnon; but the son of Kapaneus took up his words and said, "Son of Atreus, tell no lies, for you can speak truth if you will.
We boast ourselves as even better men than our fathers; we took seven-gated Thebes, though the wall was stronger and our men were fewer in number, for we trusted in the omens of the gods and in the help of Zeus, whereas they perished through their own sheer folly; hold not, then, our fathers in like honor [timê] with us."
Diomedes looked sternly at him and said, "Hold your peace, my friend, as I bid you. It is not amiss that Agamemnon should urge the Achaeans forward, for the glory will be his if we take the city, and his the grief [penthos] if we are vanquished. Therefore let us acquit ourselves with valor."
As he spoke he sprang from his chariot, and his armor rang so fiercely about his body that even a brave man might well have been scared to hear it.
As when some mighty wave that thunders on the beach when the west wind has lashed it into fury at sea [pontos]- it has reared its head afar and now comes crashing down on the shore; it bows its arching crest high over the jagged rocks and spews its salt foam in all directions - even so did the serried phalanxes of the Danaans march steadfastly to battle. The chiefs gave orders each to his own people, but the men said never a word; no man would think it, for huge as the host was, it seemed as though there was not a tongue among them, so silent were they in their obedience; and as they marched the armor about their bodies glistened in the sun. But the clamor of the Trojan ranks was as that of many thousand ewes that stand waiting to be milked in the yards of some rich flockmaster, and bleat incessantly in answer to the bleating of their lambs; for they had not one speech nor language, but their tongues were diverse, and they came from many different places. These were inspired of Ares, but the others by Athena - and with them came Panic, Rout, and Strife whose fury never tires, sister and friend of murderous Ares, who, from being at first but low in stature, grows till she uprears her head to heaven, though her feet are still on earth. She it was that went about among them and flung down discord to the waxing of sorrow with even hand between them.
4.6
When they were got together in one place shield clashed with shield and spear with spear in the rage of battle. The bossed shields beat one upon another, and there was a tramp as of a great multitude - death-cry and shout of triumph of slain and slayers, and the earth ran red with blood. As torrents swollen with rain course madly down their deep channels till the angry floods meet in some gorge, and the shepherd the hillside hears their roaring from afar - even such was the toil [ponos] and uproar of the hosts as they joined in battle.
First Antilokhos slew an armed warrior of the Trojans, Ekhepolos, son of Thalysios, fighting in the foremost ranks. He struck at the projecting part of his helmet and drove the spear into his brow; the point of bronze pierced the bone, and darkness veiled his eyes; headlong as a tower he fell amid the press of the fight, and as he dropped King Elephenor, son of Khalkodon and leader of the proud Abantes began dragging him out of reach of the darts that were falling around him, in haste to strip him of his armor. But his purpose was not for long; Agenor saw him haling the body away, and smote him in the side with his bronze-shod spear - for as he stooped his side was left unprotected by his shield - and thus he perished. Then the fight between Trojans and Achaeans grew furious over his body, and they flew upon each other like wolves, man and man crushing one upon the other.
Forthwith Ajax, son of Telamon, slew the fair youth Simoeisios, son of Anthemion, whom his mother bore by the banks of the Simoeis, as she was coming down from Mount Ida, where she had been with her parents to see their flocks. Therefore he was named Simoeisios, but he did not live to pay his parents for his rearing, for he was cut off untimely by the spear of mighty Ajax, who struck him in the breast by the right nipple as he was coming on among the foremost fighters;
the spear went right through his shoulder, and he fell as a poplar that has grown straight and tall in a meadow by some mere, and its top is thick with branches. Then the wheelwright lays his axe to its roots that he may fashion a felloe for the wheel of some goodly chariot, and it lies seasoning by the waterside. In such wise did Ajax fell to earth Simoeisios, son of Anthemion. Thereon Antiphos of the gleaming corselet, son of Priam, hurled a spear at Ajax from amid the crowd and missed him, but he hit Leukos, the brave comrade of Odysseus, in the groin, as he was dragging the body of Simoeisios over to the other side; so he fell upon the body and loosed his hold upon it. Odysseus was furious when he saw Leukos slain, and strode in full armor through the front ranks till he was quite close; then he glared round about him and took aim, and the Trojans fell back as he did so. His dart was not sped in vain, for it struck Demokoön, the bastard son of Priam, who had come to him from Abydos, where he had charge of his father's mares. Odysseus, infuriated by the death of his comrade, hit him with his spear on one temple, and the bronze point came through on the other side of his forehead. Thereon darkness veiled his eyes, and his armor rang rattling round him as he fell heavily to the ground. Hektor, and they that were in front, then gave round while the Argives raised a shout and drew off the dead, pressing further forward as they did so. But Apollo looked down from Pergamos and called aloud to the Trojans, for he was displeased. "Trojans," he cried, "rush on the foe, and do not let yourselves be thus beaten by the Argives. Their skins are not stone nor iron that when hit them you do them no harm. Moreover, Achilles, the son of lovely Thetis, is not fighting, but is nursing his anger at the ships."
Thus spoke the mighty god, crying to them from the city, while Zeus' redoubtable daughter, the Trito-born, went about among the host of the Achaeans, and urged them forward whenever she beheld them slackening.
Then fate fell upon Diores, son of Amarynkeus, for he was struck by a jagged stone near the ankle of his right leg. He that hurled it was Peirous, son of Imbrasos, leader of the Thracians, who had come from Ainos; the bones and both the tendons were crushed by the pitiless stone. He fell to the ground on his back, and in his death throes stretched out his hands towards his comrades. But Peirous, who had wounded him, sprang on him and thrust a spear into his belly, so that his bowels came gushing out upon the ground, and darkness veiled his eyes. As he was leaving the body, Thoas of Aetolia struck him in the chest near the nipple, and the point fixed itself in his lungs. Thoas came close up to him, pulled the spear out of his chest, and then drawing his sword, smote him in the middle of the belly so that he died; but he did not strip him of his armor, for his Thracian comrades, men who wear their hair in a tuft at the top of their heads, stood round the body and kept him off with their long spears for all his great stature and valor; so he was driven back. Thus the two corpses lay stretched on earth near to one another, the one leader of the Thracians and the other of the Epeans; and many another fell round them.
And now no man would have made light of the fighting if he could have gone about among it scatheless and unwounded, with Athena leading him by the hand, and protecting him from the storm of spears and arrows. For many Trojans and Achaeans on that day lay stretched side by side face downwards upon the earth.

book 5

5.1
Then Pallas Athena put valor into the heart of Diomedes, son of Tydeus, that he might excel all the other Argives, and cover himself with glory [kleos]. She made a stream of fire flare from his shield and helmet like the star that shines most brilliantly in summer after its bath in the waters of Okeanos - even such a fire did she kindle upon his head and shoulders as she bade him speed into the thickest uproar of the fight.
Now there was a certain rich and honorable man among the Trojans, priest of Hephaistos, and his name was Dares. He had two sons, Phegeus and Idaios, both of them skilled in all the arts of war. These two came forward from the main body of Trojans, and set upon Diomedes, he being on foot, while they fought from their chariot. When they were close up to one another, Phegeus took aim first, but his spear went over Diomedes ‘s left shoulder without hitting him. Diomedes then threw, and his spear sped not in vain, for it hit Phegeus on the breast near the nipple, and he fell from his chariot. Idaios did not dare to bestride his brother's body, but sprang from the chariot and took to flight, or he would have shared his brother's fate;
whereon Hephaistos saved him by wrapping him in a cloud of darkness, that his old father might not be utterly overwhelmed with grief; but the son of Tydeus drove off with the horses, and bade his followers take them to the ships. The Trojans were scared when they saw the two sons of Dares, one of them in fright and the other lying dead by his chariot. Athena, therefore, took Ares by the hand and said, "Ares, Ares, bane of men, bloodstained stormer of cities, may we not now leave the Trojans and Achaeans to fight it out, and see to which of the two Zeus will grant the victory? Let us go away, and thus avoid his anger [mênis]."
So saying, she drew Ares out of the battle, and set him down upon the steep banks of the Skamandros. Upon this the Danaans drove the Trojans back, and each one of their chieftains killed his man. First King Agamemnon flung mighty Odios, leader of the Halizonoi, from his chariot. The spear of Agamemnon caught him on the broad of his back, just as he was turning in flight; it struck him between the shoulders and went right through his chest, and his armor rang rattling round him as he fell heavily to the ground.
Then Idomeneus killed Phaesus, son of Boros the Meonian, who had come from Varne. Mighty Idomeneus speared him on the right shoulder as he was mounting his chariot, and the darkness of death enshrouded him as he fell heavily from the car.
The squires [therapontes] of Idomeneus spoiled him of his armor, while Menelaos, son of Atreus, killed Skamandrios the son of Strophios, a mighty huntsman and keen lover of the chase. Artemis herself had taught him how to kill every kind of wild creature that is bred in mountain forests, but neither she nor his famed skill in archery could now save him, for the spear of Menelaos struck him in the back as he was fleeing; it struck him between the shoulders and went right through his chest, so that he fell headlong and his armor rang rattling round him.
Meriones then killed Phereklos the son of Tekton, who was the son of Harmon, a man whose hand was skilled in all manner of cunning workmanship, for Pallas Athena had dearly loved him. He it was that made the ships for Alexander, which were the beginning of all mischief, and brought evil alike both on the Trojans and on Alexander himself; for he heeded not the decrees of heaven. Meriones overtook him as he was fleeing, and struck him on the right buttock. The point of the spear went through the bone into the bladder, and death came upon him as he cried aloud and fell forward on his knees.
Meges, moreover, slew Pedaios, son of Antenor, who, though he was a bastard, had been brought up by Theano as one of her own children, for the love she bore her husband. The son of Phyleus got close up to him and drove a spear into the nape of his neck: it went under his tongue all among his teeth, so he bit the cold bronze, and fell
dead in the dust.
And Eurypylos, son of Euaemon, killed Hypsenor, the son of noble Dolopion, who had been made priest of the river Skamandros, and was honored in the dêmos as though he were a god. Eurypylos gave him chase as he was fleeing before him, smote him with his sword upon the arm, and lopped his strong hand from off it. The bloody hand fell to the ground, and the shades of death, with fate that no man can withstand, came over his eyes.
Thus furiously did the battle rage between them. As for the son of Tydeus, you could not say whether he was more among the Achaeans or the Trojans. He rushed across the plain like a winter torrent that has burst its barrier in full flood; no dikes, no walls of fruitful vineyards can embank it when it is swollen with rain from heaven, but in a moment it comes tearing onward, and lays many a field waste that many a strong man hand has reclaimed - even so were the dense phalanxes of the Trojans driven in rout by the son of Tydeus, and many though they were, they dared not abide his onslaught.
Now when the son of Lykaon saw him scouring the plain and driving the Trojans pell-mell before him, he aimed an arrow and hit the front part of his cuirass near the shoulder: the arrow went right through the metal and pierced the flesh, so that the cuirass was covered with blood. On this the son of Lykaon shouted in triumph, "Horsemen Trojans, come on; the bravest of the Achaeans is wounded, and he will not hold out much longer if King Apollo was indeed with me when I sped from Lycia hither."
1
5.2
Thus did he vaunt; but his arrow had not killed Diomedes, who withdrew and made for the chariot and horses of Sthenelos, the son of Kapaneus. "Dear son of Kapaneus," said he, "come down from your chariot, and draw the arrow out of my shoulder."
Sthenelos sprang from his chariot, and drew the arrow from the wound, whereon the blood came spouting out through the hole that had been made in his shirt. Then Diomedes prayed, saying, "Hear me, daughter of aegis-bearing Zeus, unweariable, if ever you loved my father well and stood by him in the thick of a fight, do the like now by me; grant me to come within a spear's throw of that man and kill him. He has been too quick for me and has wounded me; and now he is boasting that I shall not see the light of the sun much longer."
Thus he prayed, and Pallas Athena heard him; she made his limbs supple and quickened his hands and his feet. Then she went up close to him and said, "Fear not, Diomedes, to do battle with the Trojans, for I have set in your heart the spirit of your father, the horseman Tydeus. Moreover, I have withdrawn the veil from your eyes, that you know gods and men apart. If, then, any other god comes here and offers you battle, do not fight him; but should Zeus' daughter Aphrodite come, strike her with your spear and wound her."
When she had said this Athena went away, and the son of Tydeus again took his place among the foremost fighters, three times more fierce even than he had been before. He was like a lion that some mountain shepherd has wounded, but not killed, as he is springing over the wall of a sheep-yard to attack the sheep.
The shepherd has roused the brute to fury but cannot defend his flock, so he takes shelter under cover of the buildings, while the sheep, panic-stricken on being deserted, are smothered in heaps one on top of the other, and the angry lion leaps out over the sheep-yard wall. Even thus did Diomedes go furiously about among the Trojans.
He killed Astynoos, and shepherd of his people, the one with a thrust of his spear, which struck him above the nipple, the other with a sword - cut on the collar-bone, that severed his shoulder from his neck and back. He let both of them lie, and went in pursuit of Abas and Polyidos, sons of the old man who read [krinô] dreams, Eurydamas: they never came back for him to read them any more dreams, for mighty Diomedes made an end of them. He then gave chase to Xanthos and Thoon, the two sons of Phainops, both of them very dear to him, for he was now worn out with age, and begat no more sons to inherit his possessions. But Diomedes took both their lives and left their father sorrowing bitterly, for he nevermore saw them come home from battle alive, and his kinsmen divided his wealth among themselves.
Then he came upon two sons of Priam, Echemmon and Chromios, as they were both in one chariot. He sprang upon them as a lion fastens on the neck of some cow or heifer when the herd is feeding in a coppice. For all their vain struggles he flung them both from their chariot and stripped the armor from their bodies. Then he gave their horses to his comrades to take them back to the ships.
When Aeneas saw him thus making havoc among the ranks, he went through the fight amid the rain of spears to see if he could find Pandaros. When he had found the brave son of Lykaon he said, "Pandaros, where is now your bow, your winged arrows, and your renown [kleos] as an archer, in respect of which no man here can rival you nor is there any in Lycia that can beat you? Lift then your hands to Zeus and send an arrow at this man who is going so masterfully about,
1
5.3
and has done such deadly work among the Trojans. He has killed many a brave man - unless indeed he is some god who is angry with the Trojans about their sacrifices, and has set his hand against them in his anger [mênis]."
And the son of Lykaon answered, "Aeneas, I take him for none other than the son of Tydeus. I know him by his shield, the visor of his helmet, and by his horses. It is possible that he may be a god, but if he is the man I say he is, he is not making all this havoc without heaven's help, but has some god by his side who is shrouded in a cloud of darkness, and who turned my arrow aside when it had hit him. I have taken aim at him already and hit him on the right shoulder; my arrow went through the breastplate of his cuirass; and I made sure I should send him hurrying to the world below, but it seems that I have not killed him. There must be a god who is angry with me. Moreover I have neither horse nor chariot. In my father's stables there are eleven excellent chariots, fresh from the builder, quite new, with cloths spread over them; and by each of them there stand a pair of horses, champing barley and rye; my old father Lykaon urged me again and again when I was at home and on the point of starting, to take chariots and horses with me that I might lead the Trojans in battle, but I would not listen to him; it would have been much better if I had done so, but I was thinking about the horses, which had been used to eat their fill, and I was afraid that in such a great gathering of men they might be ill-fed, so I left them at home and came on foot to Ilion armed only with my bow and arrows. These it seems, are of no use, for I have already hit two chieftains, the sons of Atreus and of Tydeus, and though I drew blood surely enough, I have only made them still more furious. I did ill to take my bow down from its peg on the day I led my band of Trojans to Ilion as a favor [kharis] to Hektor, and if ever
I get home again to set eyes on my native place, my wife, and the greatness of my house, may some one cut my head off then and there if I do not break the bow and set it on a hot fire - such pranks as it plays me."
Aeneas answered, "Say no more. Things will not mend till we two go against this man with chariot and horses and bring him to a trial of arms. Mount my chariot, and note how cleverly the horses of Tros can speed hither and thither over the plain in pursuit or flight. If Zeus again grants glory to the son of Tydeus they will carry us safely back to the city. Take hold, then, of the whip and reins while I stand upon the car to fight, or else do you wait this man's onset while I look after the horses."
"Aeneas." replied the son of Lykaon, "take the reins and drive; if we have to flee before the son of Tydeus the horses will go better for their own driver. If they miss the sound of your voice when they expect it they may be frightened, and refuse to take us out of the fight. The son of Tydeus will then kill both of us and take the horses. Therefore drive them yourself and I will be ready for him with my spear."
They then mounted the chariot and drove full-speed towards the son of Tydeus. Sthenelos, son of Kapaneus, saw them coming and said to Diomedes, "Diomedes, son of Tydeus, man after my own heart, I see two heroes speeding towards you, both of them men of might the one a skillful archer, Pandaros son of Lykaon, the other, Aeneas, whose sire is Anchises, while his mother is Aphrodite. Mount the chariot and let us retreat. Do not, I pray you, press so furiously forward, or you may get killed."
Diomedes looked angrily at him and answered: "Talk not of flight, for I shall not listen to you: I am of a race that knows neither flight nor fear, and my limbs are as yet unwearied. I am in no mind to mount, but will go against them even as I am; Pallas Athena bids me be afraid of no man, and even though one of them escape, their steeds shall not take both back again. I say further,
and lay my saying to your heart - if Athena sees fit to grant me the glory of killing both, stay your horses here and make the reins fast to the rim of the chariot; then be sure you spring Aeneas' horses and drive them from the Trojan to the Achaean ranks. They are of the stock that great Zeus gave to Tros in payment for his son Ganymede, and are the finest that live and move under the sun. King Anchises stole the blood by putting his mares to them without Laomedon's knowledge, and they bore him six foals. Four are still in his stables, but he gave the other two to Aeneas. We shall win great glory [kleos] if we can take them."
5.4
Thus did they converse, but the other two had now driven close up to them, and the son of Lykaon spoke first. "Great and mighty son," said he, "of noble Tydeus, my arrow failed to lay you low, so I will now try with my spear."
He poised his spear as he spoke and hurled it from him. It struck the shield of the son of Tydeus; the bronze point pierced it and passed on till it reached the breastplate. Thereon the son of Lykaon shouted out and said, "You are hit clean through the belly; you will not stand out for long, and the glory of the fight is mine."
But Diomedes all undismayed made answer, "You have missed, not hit, and before you two see the end of this matter one or other of you shall glut tough-shielded Ares with his blood."
With this he hurled his spear, and Athena guided it on to Pandaros' nose near the eye. It went crashing in among his white teeth; the bronze point cut through the root of his to tongue, coming out under his chin, and his glistening armor rang rattling round him as he fell heavily to the ground. The horses started aside for fear, and he was reft of life [psukhê] and strength [menos].
Aeneas sprang from his chariot armed with shield and spear, fearing lest the Achaeans should carry off the body. He bestrode it as a lion in the pride of strength, with shield and on spear before him and a cry of battle on his lips resolute to kill the first that should dare face him. But the son of Tydeus caught up a mighty stone, so huge and great that as men now are it would take two to lift it; nevertheless he bore it aloft with ease unaided, and with this he struck Aeneas on the groin where the hip turns in the joint that is called the "cup-bone." The stone crushed this joint, and broke both the sinews, while its jagged edges tore away all the flesh. The hero fell on his knees, and propped himself with his hand resting on the ground till the darkness of night fell upon his eyes. And now Aeneas, king of men, would have perished then and there, had not his mother, Zeus' daughter Aphrodite, who had conceived him by Anchises when he was herding cattle, been quick to mark, and thrown her two white arms about the body of her dear son. She protected him by covering him with a fold of her own fair garment, lest some Danaan should drive a spear into his breast and kill him.
Thus, then, did she bear her dear son out of the fight. But the son of Kapaneus was not unmindful of the orders that Diomedes had given him. He made his own horses fast, away from the struggle, by binding the reins to the rim of the chariot. Then he sprang upon Aeneas' horses and drove them from the Trojan to the Achaean ranks. When he had so done he gave them over to his chosen comrade Deipylos, whom he valued above all others as the one who was most like-minded with himself, to take them on to the ships. He then remounted his own chariot, seized the reins, and drove with all speed in search of the son of Tydeus.
Now the son of Tydeus was in pursuit of the Cyprian goddess, spear in hand, for he knew her to be feeble and not one of those goddesses that can lord it among men in battle like Athena or Enyo the waster of cities, and when at last after a long chase he caught her up,
he flew at her and thrust his spear into the flesh of her delicate hand. The point tore through the ambrosial robe which the Graces [kharites] had woven for her, and pierced the skin between her wrist and the palm of her hand, so that the immortal blood, or ichor, that flows in the veins of the blessed gods, came pouring from the wound; for the gods do not eat bread nor drink wine, hence they have no blood such as ours, and are immortal. Aphrodite screamed aloud, and let her son fall, but Phoebus Apollo caught him in his arms, and hid him in a cloud of darkness, lest some Danaan should drive a spear into his breast and kill him; and Diomedes shouted out as he left her, "Daughter of Zeus, leave war and battle alone, can you not be contented with beguiling silly women? If you meddle with fighting you will get what will make you shudder at the very name of war."
5.5
The goddess went dazed and discomfited away, and Iris, fleet as the wind, drew her from the throng, in pain and with her fair skin all besmirched. She found fierce Ares waiting on the left of the battle, with his spear and his two fleet steeds resting on a cloud; whereon she fell on her knees before her brother and implored him to let her have his horses. "Dear brother," she cried, "save me, and give me your horses to take me to Olympus where the gods dwell. I am badly wounded by a mortal, the son of Tydeus, who would now fight even with father Zeus."
Thus she spoke, and Ares gave her his gold-bedizened steeds. She mounted the chariot sick and sorry at heart, while Iris sat beside her and took the reins in her hand. She lashed her horses on and they flew forward nothing loath, till in a trice they were at high Olympus, where the gods have their dwelling. There she stayed them, unloosed them from the chariot, and gave them their ambrosial forage; but Aphrodite flung herself on to the lap of her mother Dione, who threw her arms about her and caressed her, saying, "Which of the heavenly beings has been treating you in this way, as though you had been doing something wrong in the face of day?"
And laughter-loving Aphrodite answered, "Proud Diomedes, the son of Tydeus, wounded me because I was bearing my dear son Aeneas, whom I love best of all humankind, out of the fight. The war is no longer one between Trojans and Achaeans, for the Danaans have now taken to fighting with the immortals."
"Bear it, my child," replied Dione, "and make the best of it. We dwellers in Olympus have to put up with much at the hands of men, and we lay much suffering on one another. Ares had to suffer when Otos and Ephialtes, children of Aloeus, bound him in cruel bonds, so that he lay thirteen months imprisoned in a vessel of bronze. Ares would have then perished had not fair Eeriboia, stepmother to the sons of Aloeus, told Hermes, who stole him away when he was already well-nigh worn out by the severity of his bondage. Hera, again, suffered when the mighty son of Amphitryon wounded her on the right breast with a three-barbed arrow, and nothing could assuage her pain. So, also, did huge Hades, when this same man, the son of aegis-bearing Zeus, hit him with an arrow even at the gates of Hades, and hurt him badly. Thereon Hades went to the house of Zeus on great Olympus, angry and full of pain [akhos]; and the arrow in his brawny shoulder caused him great anguish till Paieon healed him by spreading soothing herbs on the wound, for Hades was not of mortal mold. Daring, head-strong, evildoer who recked not of his evil deed in shooting the gods that dwell in Olympus. And now Athena has egged this son of Tydeus on against yourself, fool that he is for not reflecting that no man who fights with gods will live long or hear his children prattling about his knees when he returns from battle. Let, then, the son of Tydeus see that he does not have to fight with one who is stronger than you are.
Then shall his brave wife Aigialeia, daughter of Adrastos, rouse her whole house from sleep, wailing for the loss of her wedded lord, Diomedes the bravest of the Achaeans."
So saying, she wiped the ichor from the wrist of her daughter with both hands, whereon the pain left her, and her hand was healed. But Athena and Hera, who were looking on, began to taunt Zeus with their mocking talk, and Athena was first to speak. "Father Zeus," said she, "do not be angry with me, but I think the Cyprian must have been persuading some one of the Achaean women to go with the Trojans of whom she is so very fond, and while caressing one or other of them she must have torn her delicate hand with the gold pin of the woman's brooch."
The sire of gods and men smiled, and called golden Aphrodite to his side. "My child," said he, "it has not been given you to be a warrior. Attend, henceforth, to your own delightful matrimonial duties, and leave all this fighting to Ares and to Athena."
Thus did they converse. But Diomedes sprang upon Aeneas, though he knew him to be in the very arms of Apollo. Not one whit did he fear the mighty god, so set was he on killing Aeneas and stripping him of his armor. Thrice did he spring forward with might and main to slay him, and thrice did Apollo beat back his gleaming shield. When he was coming on for the fourth time, equal to a daimôn, Apollo shouted to him with an awful voice and said, "Take heed, son of Tydeus, and draw off; think not to match yourself against gods, for men that walk the earth cannot hold their own with the immortals."
5.6
The son of Tydeus then gave way for a little space, to avoid the anger [mênis] of the god, while Apollo took Aeneas out of the crowd and set him in sacred Pergamos, where his temple stood. There, within the mighty sanctuary, Leto and Artemis healed him and made him glorious to behold, while Apollo of the silver bow fashioned a wraith in the likeness of Aeneas, and armed as he was. Round this the Trojans and Achaeans hacked at the bucklers about one another's breasts, hewing each other's round shields and light hide-covered targets. Then Phoebus Apollo said to Ares, "Ares, Ares, bane of men, blood-stained stormer of cities, can you not go to this man, the son of Tydeus, who would now fight even with father Zeus, and draw him out of the battle? He first went up to the Cyprian and wounded her in the hand near her wrist, and afterwards sprang upon me too, equal to a daimôn."
He then took his seat on the top of Pergamos, while murderous Ares went about among the ranks of the Trojans, cheering them on, in the likeness of fleet Akamas chief of the Thracians. "Sons of Priam," said he, "how long will you let your people be thus slaughtered by the Achaeans? Would you wait till they are at the walls of Troy? Aeneas the son of Anchises has fallen, he whom we held in as high honor as Hektor himself. Help me, then, to rescue our brave comrade from the stress of the fight."
With these words he put heart and soul into them all. Then Sarpedon rebuked Hektor very sternly. "Hektor," said he, "where is your prowess now? You used to say that though you had neither people nor allies you could hold the town alone with your brothers and brothers-in-law. I see not one of them here; they cower as hounds before a lion; it is we, your allies, who bear the brunt of the battle. I have come from afar, even from Lycia and the banks of the river Xanthos, where I have left my wife, my infant son, and much wealth to tempt whoever is needy; nevertheless, I head my Lycian warriors and stand my ground against any who would fight me though I have nothing here for the Achaeans to plunder, while you look on, without even bidding your men stand firm in defense of their wives. See that you fall not into the hands of your foes as men caught in the meshes of a net, and they sack your fair city forthwith. Keep this before your mind night and day, and beseech the leaders of your allies to hold on without flinching, and thus put away their reproaches from you."
So spoke Sarpedon, and Hektor smarted under his words. He sprang from his chariot clad in his suit of armor, and went about among the host brandishing his two spears, exhorting the men to fight and raising the terrible cry of battle. Then they rallied and again faced the Achaeans, but the Argives stood compact and firm, and were not driven back. As the breezes sport with the chaff upon some goodly threshing-floor, when men are winnowing - while yellow Demeter blows with the wind to sift [krinô] the chaff from the grain, and the chaff- heaps grow whiter and whiter - even so did the Achaeans whiten in the dust which the horses' hoofs raised to the firmament of heaven, as their drivers turned them back to battle, and they bore down with might upon the foe. Fierce Ares, to help the Trojans, covered them in a veil of darkness, and went about everywhere among them, inasmuch as Phoebus Apollo had told him that when he saw Pallas, Athena leave the fray he was to put courage into the hearts of the Trojans - for it was she who was helping the Danaans. Then Apollo sent Aeneas forth from his rich sanctuary, and filled his heart with valor, whereon he took his place among his comrades, who were overjoyed at seeing him alive, sound, and of a good courage; but they could not ask him how it had all happened, for they had too much pain [ponos] with the turmoil raised by Ares and by Strife, who raged insatiably in their midst.
The two Ajaxes, Odysseus and Diomedes, cheered the Danaans on, fearless of the fury and onset of the Trojans. They stood as still as clouds which the son of Kronos has spread upon the mountain tops when there is no air and fierce Boreas sleeps with the other boisterous winds whose shrill blasts scatter the clouds in all directions - even so did the Danaans stand firm and unflinching against the Trojans. The son of Atreus went about among them and exhorted them. "My friends," said he, "quit yourselves like brave men, and shun dishonor in one another's eyes amid the stress of battle. They that shun dishonor more often live than get killed, but they that flee save neither life nor name [kleos]."
As he spoke he hurled his spear and hit one of those who were in the front rank, the comrade of Aeneas, Deikoön son of Pergasus, whom the Trojans held in no less honor than the sons of Priam, for he was ever quick to place himself among the foremost. The spear of King Agamemnon struck his shield and went right through it, for the shield stayed it not. It drove through his belt into the lower part of his belly, and his armor rang rattling round him as he fell heavily to the ground.
Then Aeneas killed two champions of the Danaans, Crethon and Orsilokhos. Their father was a rich man who lived in the strong city of Phere and was descended from the river Alpheus, whose broad stream flows through the land of the Pylians. The river begat Orsilokhos, who ruled over many people and was father to Diokles, who in his turn begat twin sons, Crethon and Orsilokhos, well skilled in all the arts of war. These, when they grew up, went to Ilion with the Argive fleet in honor [timê] of Menelaos and Agamemnon sons of Atreus, and there they both of them reached the final outcome [telos]. As two lions whom their dam has reared in the depths of some mountain forest to plunder homesteads and carry off sheep and cattle till they get killed by the hand of man, so were these two vanquished by Aeneas, and fell like high pine-trees to the ground.
Brave Menelaos pitied them in their fall, and made his way to the front, clad in gleaming bronze and brandishing his spear, for Ares egged him on to do so with intent that he should be killed by Aeneas; but Antilokhos the son of Nestor saw him and sprang forward, fearing that the king might come to harm and thus bring all their labor [ponos] to nothing; when, therefore Aeneas and Menelaos were setting their hands and spears against one another eager to do battle, Antilokhos placed himself by the side of Menelaos.
5.7
Aeneas, bold though he was, drew back on seeing the two heroes side by side in front of him, so they drew the bodies of Crethon and Orsilokhos to the ranks of the Achaeans and committed the two poor men into the hands of their comrades. They then turned back and fought in the front ranks.
They killed Pylaimenes peer of Ares, leader of the Paphlagonian warriors. Menelaos struck him on the collar-bone as he was standing on his chariot, while Antilokhos hit his charioteer and squire [therapôn] Mydon, the son of Atymnios, who was turning his horses in flight. He hit him with a stone upon the elbow, and the reins, enriched with white ivory, fell from his hands into the dust. Antilokhos rushed towards him and struck him on the temples with his sword, whereon he fell head first from the chariot to the ground. There he stood for a while with his head and shoulders buried deep in the dust - for he had fallen on sandy soil till his horses kicked him and laid him flat on the ground, as Antilokhos lashed them and drove them off to the host of the Achaeans.
But Hektor marked them from across the ranks, and with a loud cry rushed towards them, followed by the strong battalions of the Trojans. Ares and dread Enyo led them on, she fraught with ruthless turmoil of battle, while Ares wielded a monstrous spear, and went about, now in front of Hektor and now behind him.
Diomedes shook with passion as he saw them. As a man crossing a wide plain is dismayed to find himself on the brink of some great river rolling swiftly to the sea - he sees its boiling waters and starts back in fear - even so did the son of Tydeus give ground. Then he said to his men, "My friends, how can we wonder that Hektor wields the spear so well? Some god is ever by his side to protect him, and now Ares is with him in the likeness of mortal man. Keep your faces therefore towards the Trojans, but give ground backwards, for we dare not fight with gods."
As he spoke the Trojans drew close up, and Hektor killed two men, both in one chariot, Menesthes and Anchialos, heroes well versed in war. Ajax son of Telamon pitied them in their fall; he came close up and hurled his spear, hitting Amphios the son of Selagus, a man of great wealth who lived in Paesus and owned much grain-growing land, but his lot had led him to come to the aid of Priam and his sons. Ajax struck him in the belt; the spear pierced the lower part of his belly, and he fell heavily to the ground. Then Ajax ran towards him to strip him of his armor, but the Trojans rained spears upon him, many of which fell upon his shield. He planted his heel upon the body and drew out his spear, but the darts pressed so heavily upon him that he could not strip the goodly armor from his shoulders. The Trojan chieftains, moreover, many and valiant, came about him with their spears, so that he dared not stay; great, brave and valiant though he was, they drove him from them and he was beaten back.
Thus, then, did the battle rage between them. Presently the strong hand of fate impelled Tlepolemos, the son of Herakles, a man both brave and of great stature, to fight Sarpedon; so the two, son and grandson of great Zeus, drew near to one another, and Tlepolemos spoke first. "Sarpedon," said he, "councilor of the Lycians, why should you come skulking here you who are a man of peace? They lie who call you son of aegis-bearing Zeus, for you are little like those who were of old his children. Far other was Herakles, my own brave and lion-hearted father, who came here for the horses of Laomedon, and though he had six ships only, and few men to follow him, sacked the city of Ilion and made a wilderness of her highways. You are a coward, and your people are falling from you. For all your strength, and all your coming from Lycia, you will be no help to the Trojans but will pass the gates of Hades vanquished by my hand."
And Sarpedon, leader of the Lycians, answered, "Tlepolemos, your father overthrew Ilion by reason of Laomedon's folly in refusing payment to one who had served him well. He would not give your father the horses which he had come so far to fetch. As for yourself, you shall meet death by my spear. You shall yield glory to myself, and your soul [psukhê] to Hades of the noble steeds."
Thus spoke Sarpedon, and Tlepolemos upraised his spear. They threw at the same moment, and Sarpedon struck his foe in the middle of his throat; the spear went right through, and the darkness of death fell upon his eyes. Tlepolemos' spear struck Sarpedon on the left thigh with such force that it tore through the flesh and grazed the bone, but his father as yet warded off destruction from him.
5.8
His comrades bore Sarpedon out of the fight, in great pain by the weight of the spear that was dragging from his wound. They were in such haste and stress [ponos] as they bore him that no one thought of drawing the spear from his thigh so as to let him walk uprightly. Meanwhile the Achaeans carried off the body of Tlepolemos, whereon Odysseus was moved to pity, and panted for the fray as he beheld them. He doubted whether to pursue the son of Zeus, or to make slaughter of the Lycian rank and file; it was not decreed, however, that he should slay the son of Zeus; Athena, therefore, turned him against the main body of the Lycians. He killed Koiranos, Alastor, Chromios, Alkandros, Halios, Noemon, and Prytanis, and would have slain yet more, had not great Hektor marked him, and sped to the front of the fight clad in his suit of mail, filling the Danaans with terror. Sarpedon was glad when he saw him coming, and besought him, saying, "Son of Priam, let me not he here to fall into the hands of the Danaans. Help me, and since I may not return home to gladden the hearts of my wife and of my infant son, let me die within the walls of your city."
Hektor made him no answer, but rushed onward to fall at once upon the Achaeans and. kill many among them. His comrades then bore Sarpedon away and laid him beneath Zeus' spreading oak tree. Pelagon, his friend and comrade drew the spear out of his thigh, but Sarpedon lost his life-breath [psukhê], and a mist came over his eyes. Presently he came to again, for the breath of the north wind as it played upon him gave him new life, and brought him out of the deep swoon into which he had fallen.
Meanwhile the Argives were neither driven towards their ships by Ares and Hektor, nor yet did they attack them; when they knew that Ares was with the Trojans they retreated, but kept their faces still turned towards the foe. Who, then, was first and who last to be slain by Ares and Hektor? They were valiant Teuthras, and Orestes the renowned charioteer, Trechos the Aetolian warrior, Oinomaos, Helenos the son of Oinops, and Oresbios of the gleaming belt, who was possessed of great wealth, and dwelt by the Cephisian lake with the other Boeotians who lived near him, owners of a fertile district [dêmos].
Now when the goddess Hera saw the Argives thus falling, she said to Athena, "Alas, daughter of aegis-bearing Zeus, unweariable, the promise we made Menelaos that he should not return till he had sacked the city of Ilion will be of none effect if we let Ares rage thus furiously. Let us go into the fray at once."
Athena did not gainsay her. Thereon the august goddess, daughter of great Kronos, began to harness her gold-bedizened steeds. Hebe with all speed fitted on the eight-spoked wheels of bronze that were on either side of the iron axle-tree. The felloes of the wheels were of gold, imperishable, and over these there was a tire of bronze, wondrous to behold. The naves of the wheels were silver, turning round the axle upon either side. The car itself was made with plaited bands of gold and silver, and it had a double top-rail running all round it. From the body of the car there went a pole of silver, on to the end of which she bound the golden yoke, with the bands of gold that were to go under the necks of the horses Then Hera put her steeds under the yoke, eager for battle and the war-cry.
Meanwhile Athena flung her richly embroidered vesture, made with her own hands, on to her father's threshold, and donned the shirt of Zeus, arming herself for battle. She threw her tasseled aegis about. her shoulders, wreathed round with Rout as with a fringe, and on it were Strife, and Strength, and Panic whose blood runs cold; moreover there was the head of the dread monster Gorgon,, grim and awful to behold, portent of aegis-bearing Zeus. On her head she set her helmet of gold, with four plumes, and coming to a peak both in front and behind - decked with the emblems of a hundred cities; then she stepped into her flaming chariot and grasped the spear, so stout and sturdy and strong, with which she quells the ranks of heroes who have displeased her. Hera lashed the horses on, and the gates of heaven bellowed as they flew open of their own accord -gates over which the flours preside, in whose hands are Heaven and Olympus, either to open the dense cloud that hides them, or to close it. Through these the goddesses drove their obedient steeds, and found the son of Kronos sitting all alone on the topmost ridges of Olympus. There Hera stayed her horses, and spoke to Zeus the son of Kronos, lord of all. "Father Zeus," said she, "are you not angry with Ares for these high doings? how great and goodly a host of the Achaeans he has destroyed to my great grief [akhos], in violation of the order [kosmos] of things, while the Cyprian and Apollo are enjoying it all at their ease and setting this unrighteous madman on to keep on doing things that are not right [themis]. I hope, Father Zeus, that you will not be angry if I hit Ares hard, and chase him out of the battle."
And Zeus answered, "Set Athena on to him, for she punishes him more often than any one else does."
Hera did as he had said. She lashed her horses, and they flew forward nothing loath midway betwixt earth and sky. As far as a man can see when he looks out upon the sea [pontos] from some high beacon, so far can the loud-neighing horses of the gods spring at a single bound. When they reached Troy and the place where its two flowing streams Simoeis and Skamandros meet, there Hera stayed them and took them from the chariot. She hid them in a thick cloud, and Simoeis made ambrosia spring up for them to eat; the two goddesses then went on, flying like turtledoves in their eagerness to help the Argives. When they came to the part where the bravest and most in number were gathered about mighty Diomedes, fighting like lions or wild boars of great strength and endurance, there Hera stood still and raised a shout like that of brazen-voiced Stentor, whose cry was as loud as that of fifty men together. "Argives," she cried; "shame [aidôs] on cowardly creatures, brave in semblance only; as long as Achilles was fighting, his spear was so deadly that the Trojans dared not show themselves outside the Dardanian gates, but now they sally far from the city and fight even at your ships."
5.9
With these words she put heart and soul into them all, while Athena sprang to the side of the son of Tydeus, whom she found near his chariot and horses, cooling the wound that Pandaros had given him. For the sweat caused by the hand that bore the weight of his shield irritated the hurt: his arm was weary with pain, and he was lifting up the strap to wipe away the blood. The goddess laid her hand on the yoke of his horses and said, "The son of Tydeus is not such another as his father. Tydeus was a little man, but he could fight, and rushed madly into the fray even when I told him not to do so. When he went all unattended as envoy to the city of Thebes among the Cadmeans, I bade him feast in their houses and be at peace; but with that high spirit which was ever present with him, he challenged the youth of the Cadmeans, and at once beat them in all that he attempted, so mightily did I help him. I stand by you too to protect you, and I bid you be instant in fighting the Trojans; but either you are tired out, or you are afraid and out of heart, and in that case I say that you are no true son of Tydeus the son of Oeneus."
Diomedes answered, "I know you, goddess, daughter of aegis-bearing Zeus, and will hide nothing from you. I am not afraid nor out of heart, nor is there any slackness in me. I am only following your own instructions; you told me not to fight any of the blessed gods; but if Zeus' daughter Aphrodite came into battle I was to wound her with my spear. Therefore I am retreating, and bidding the other Argives gather in this place, for I know that Ares is now lording it in the field." "Diomedes, son of Tydeus," replied Athena, "man after my own heart, fear neither Ares nor any other of the immortals, for I will befriend you. Nay, drive straight at Ares, and smite him in close combat; fear not this raging madman, villain incarnate, first on one side and then on the other. But now he was holding talk with Hera and myself, saying he would help the Argives and attack the Trojans; nevertheless he is with the Trojans, and has forgotten the Argives."
With this she caught hold of Sthenelos and lifted him off the chariot on to the ground. In a second he was on the ground, whereupon the goddess mounted the car and placed herself by the side of Diomedes. The oaken axle groaned aloud under the burden of the awful goddess and the hero; Pallas Athena took the whip and reins, and drove straight at Ares. He was in the act of stripping huge Periphas, son of Ochesios and bravest of the Aetolians. Bloody Ares was stripping him of his armor, and Athena donned the helmet of Hades, that he might not see her; when, therefore, he saw Diomedes, he made straight for him and let Periphas lie where he had fallen. As soon as they were at close quarters he let fly with his bronze spear over the reins and yoke, thinking to take the life of Diomedes, but Athena caught the spear in her hand and made it fly harmlessly over the chariot. Diomedes then threw, and Pallas Athena drove the spear into the pit of Ares' stomach where his under-belt went round him. There Diomedes wounded him, tearing his fair flesh and then drawing his spear out again. Ares roared as loudly as nine or ten thousand men in the thick of a fight, and the Achaeans and Trojans were struck with panic, so terrible was the cry he raised.
As a dark cloud in the sky when it comes on to blow after heat, even so did Diomedes son of Tydeus see Ares ascend into the broad heavens. With all speed he reached high Olympus, home of the gods, and in great pain sat down beside Zeus the son of Kronos. He showed Zeus the immortal blood that was flowing from his wound, and spoke piteously, saying, "Father Zeus, are you not angered by such doings? We gods are continually suffering in the most cruel manner at one another's hands while doing a favor [kharis] for mortals; and we all owe you a grudge for having begotten that mad termagant of a daughter, who is always committing outrage of some kind. We other gods must all do as you bid us, but her you neither scold nor punish; you encourage her because the pestilent creature is your daughter. See how she has been inciting proud Diomedes to vent his rage on the immortal gods. First he went up to the Cyprian and wounded her in the hand near her wrist, and then he sprang upon me too, equal to a daimôn. Had I not run for it I must either have lain there for long enough in torments among the ghastly corpses, or have been eaten alive with spears till I had no more strength left in me."
Zeus looked angrily at him and said, "Do not come whining here, Sir Facing-bothways. I hate you worst of all the gods in Olympus, for you are ever fighting and making mischief. You have the intolerable and stubborn spirit of your mother Hera: it is all I can do to manage her, and it is her doing that you are now in this plight: still, I cannot let you remain longer in such great pain; you are my own off-spring, and it was by me that your mother conceived you; if, however, you had been the son of any other god, you are so destructive that by this time you should have been lying lower than the Titans."
He then bade Paieon heal him, whereon Paieon spread pain-killing herbs upon his wound and cured him, for he was not of mortal mold. As the juice of the fig-tree curdles milk, and thickens it in a moment though it is liquid, even so instantly did Paieon cure fierce Ares. Then Hebe washed him, and clothed him in goodly raiment, and he took his seat by his father Zeus all glorious to behold.
But Hera of Argos and Athena of Alalkomene, now that they had put a stop to the murderous doings of Ares, went back again to the house of Zeus.
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book 6

6.1
The fight between Trojans and Achaeans was now left to rage as it would, and the tide of war surged hither and thither over the plain as they aimed their bronze-shod spears at one another between the streams of Simoeis and Xanthos.
First, Ajax son of Telamon, tower of strength to the Achaeans, broke a phalanx of the Trojans, and came to the assistance of his comrades by killing Akamas son of Eussoros, the best man among the Thracians, being both brave and of great stature. The spear struck the projecting peak of his helmet: its bronze point then went through his forehead into the brain, and darkness veiled his eyes.
Then Diomedes killed Axylos son of Teuthranos, a rich man who lived in the strong city of Arisbe, and was beloved by all men; for he had a house by the roadside, and entertained every one who passed; howbeit not one of his guests stood before him to save his life, and Diomedes killed both him and his squire [therapôn] Kalesios, who was then his charioteer - so the pair passed beneath the earth.
Euryalos killed Dresus and Opheltios, and then went in pursuit of Aesepos and Pedasos, whom the naiad nymph Abarbarea had borne to noble Bucolion. Bucolion was eldest son to Laomedon, but he was a bastard. While tending his sheep he had converse with the nymph, and she conceived twin sons; these the son of Mekisteus now slew, and he stripped the armor from their shoulders. Polypoites then killed Astyalos, Odysseus Pidytes of Perkote, and Teucer Aretaon. Ablerus fell by the spear of Nestor's son Antilokhos, and Agamemnon, king of men, killed Elatus who dwelt in Pedasos by the banks of the river Satnioeis. Leitos killed Phylakos as he was fleeing, and Eurypylos slew Melanthos. Then Menelaos of the loud war-cry took Adrastos alive, for his horses ran into a tamarisk bush, as they were flying wildly over the plain, and broke the pole from the car; they went on towards the city along with the others in full flight, but Adrastos rolled out, and fell in the dust flat on his face by the wheel of his chariot; Menelaos came up to him spear in hand, but Adrastos caught him by the knees begging for his life. "Take me alive," he cried, "son of Atreus, and you shall have a full ransom for me: my father is rich and has much treasure of gold, bronze, and wrought iron laid by in his house. From this store he will give you a large ransom should he hear of my being alive and at the ships of the Achaeans."
Thus did he plead, and Menelaos was for yielding and giving him to a squire [therapôn] to take to the ships of the Achaeans, but Agamemnon came running up to him and rebuked him. "My good Menelaos," said he, "this is no time for giving quarter. Has, then, your house fared so well at the hands of the Trojans? Let us not spare a single one of them - not even the child unborn and in its mother's womb; let not a man of them be left alive, but let all in Ilion perish, unheeded and forgotten."
Thus did he speak, and his brother was persuaded by him, for his words were just. Menelaos, therefore, thrust Adrastos from him, whereon King Agamemnon struck him in the flank, and he fell: then the son of Atreus planted his foot upon his breast to draw his spear from the body.
Meanwhile Nestor shouted to the Argives, saying, "My friends, Danaan warriors, squires [therapontes] of Ares, let no man lag that he may spoil the dead, and bring back much booty to the ships. Let us kill as many as we can; the bodies will lie upon the plain, and you can despoil them later at your leisure."
With these words he put heart and soul into them all. And now the Trojans would have been routed and driven back into Ilion, had not Priam's son Helenos, wisest of augurs, said to Hektor and Aeneas, "Hektor and Aeneas, the labors of you two make you the mainstays of the Trojans and Lycians, for you are foremost at all times, alike in fight and counsel; hold your ground here, and go about among the host to rally them in front of the gates, or they will fling themselves into the arms of their wives, to the great joy of our foes. Then, when you have put heart into all our companies, we will stand firm here and fight the Danaans however hard they press us, for there is nothing else to be done. Meanwhile do you, Hektor, go to the city and tell our mother what is happening. Tell her to bid the matrons gather at the temple of Athena in the acropolis; let her then take her key and open the doors of the sacred building; there, upon the knees of Athena, let her lay the largest, fairest robe she has in her house - the one she sets most store by; let her, moreover, promise to sacrifice twelve yearling heifers that have never yet felt the goad, in the temple of the goddess, if she will take pity on the town, with the wives and little ones of the Trojans, and keep the son of Tydeus from falling on the goodly city of Ilion; for he fights with fury and fills men's souls with panic. I hold him mightiest of them all; we did not fear even their great champion Achilles, son of a goddess though he be, as we do this man: his rage is beyond all bounds, and there is none can vie with him in prowess"
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