Niobe (page 536 lower)

Chapter 15: The Line of Tantalos

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Il 24.602-17 – Homer, Iliad

For even the fair-haired Niobe bethought her of meat, albeit twelve children perished in her halls, six daughters and six lusty sons. [605] The sons Apollo slew with shafts from his silver bow, being wroth against Niobe, and the daughters the archer Artemis, for that Niobe had matched her with fair-cheeked Leto, saying that the goddess had borne but twain, while herself was mother to many; wherefore they, for all they were but twain, destroyed them all. [610] For nine days’ space they lay in their blood, nor was there any to bury them, for the son of Cronos turned the folk to stones; howbeit on the tenth day the gods of heaven buried them; and Niobe bethought her of meat, for she was wearied with the shedding of tears. And now somewhere amid the rocks, on the lonely mountains, [615] on Sipylus, where, men say, are the couching-places of goddesses, even of the nymphs that range swiftly in the dance about Achelous, there, albeit a stone, she broodeth over her woes sent by the gods.  Greek Text

Il 9.529-99 – Homer, Iliad

The Curetes on a time were fighting and the Aetolians staunch in battle [530] around the city of Calydon, and were slaying one another, the Aetolians defending lovely Calydon and the Curetes fain to waste it utterly in war. For upon their folk had Artemis of the golden throne sent a plague in wrath that Oeneus offered not to her the first-fruits of the harvest in his rich orchard land; [535] whereas the other gods feasted on hecatombs, and it was to the daughter of great Zeus alone that he offered not, whether haply he forgat, or marked it not; and he was greatly blinded in heart.  Thereat the Archer-goddess, the child of Zeus, waxed wroth and sent against him a fierce wild boar, white of tusk, [540] that wrought much evil, wasting the orchard land of Oeneus; many a tall tree did he uproot and cast upon the ground, aye, root and apple blossom therewith. But the boar did Meleager, son of Oeneus, slay, when he had gathered out of many cities huntsmen [545] and hounds; for not of few men could the boar have been slain, so huge was he; and many a man set he upon the grievous pyre. But about his body the goddess brought to pass much clamour and shouting concerning his head and shaggy hide, between the Curetes and the great-souled Aetolians. [550] Now so long as Meleager, dear to Ares, warred, so long went it ill with the Curetes, nor might they abide without their wall, for all they were very many. But when wrath entered into Meleager, wrath that maketh the heart to swell in the breasts also of others, even though they be wise, [555] he then, wroth at heart against his dear mother Althaea, abode beside his wedded wife, the fair Cleopatra, daughter of Marpessa of the fair ankles, child of Evenus, and of Idas that was mightiest of men that were then upon the face of earth; who also took his bow to face the king [560] Phoebus Apollo for the sake of the fair-ankled maid.  Continue Reading  Greek Text

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Literary sources edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, March 2024.

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