The Events of the Iliad (page 611)

Chapter 16, The Trojan War

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Il Book 2 – Homer, Iliad

[1] Now all the other gods and men, lords of chariots, slumbered the whole night through, but Zeus was not holden of sweet sleep, for he was pondering in his heart how he might do honour to Achilles and lay many low beside the ships of the Achaeans. And this plan seemed to his mind the best, [5] to send to Agamemnon, son of Atreus, a baneful dream. So he spake, and addressed him with winged words: “Up, go, thou baneful Dream, unto the swift ships of the Achaeans, and when thou art come to the hut of Agamemnon, son of Atreus, [10] tell him all my word truly, even as I charge thee. Bid him arm the long-haired Achaeans with all speed, since now he may take the broad-wayed city of the Trojans. For the immortals, that have homes upon Olympus, are no longer divided in counsel, [15] since Hera hath Vent the minds of all by her supplication, and over the Trojans hang woes.” So spake he, and the Dream went his way, when he had heard this saying. Forthwith he came to the swift ships of the Achaeans, and went his way to Agamemnon, son of Atreus, and found him sleeping in his hut, and over him was shed ambrosial slumber. [20] So he took his stand above his head, in the likeness of the son of Neleus, even Nestor, whom above all the elders Agamemnon held in honour; likening himself to him, the Dream from heaven spake, saying:“Thou sleepest, son of wise-hearted Atreus, the tamer of horses. To sleep the whole night through beseemeth not a man that is a counsellor, [25] to whom a host is entrusted, and upon whom rest so many cares. But now, hearken thou quickly unto me, for I am a messenger to thee from Zeus, who, far away though he be, hath exceeding care for thee and pity. He biddeth thee arm the long-haired Achaeans with all speed, since now thou mayest take the broad-wayed city of the Trojans. [30] For the immortals that have homes upon Olympus are no longer divided in counsel, since Hera hath bent the minds of all by her supplication, and over the Trojans hang woes by the will of Zeus. But do thou keep this in thy heart, nor let forgetfulness lay hold of thee, whenso honey-hearted sleep shall let thee go.”  Continue Reading  Greek Text

Il Book 3 – Homer, Iliad

[1] Now when they were marshalled, the several companies with their captains, the Trojans came on with clamour and with a cry like birds, even as the clamour of cranes ariseth before the face of heaven, when they flee from wintry storms and measureless rain, [5] and with clamour fly toward the streams of Ocean, bearing slaughter and death to Pigmy men, and in the early dawn they offer evil battle. But the Achaeans came on in silence, breathing fury, eager at heart to bear aid each man to his fellow. [10] Even as when the South Wind sheddeth a mist over the peaks of a mountain, a mist that the shepherd loveth not, but that to the robber is better than night, and a man can see only so far as he casteth a stone; even in such wise rose the dense dust-cloud from beneath their feet as they went; and full swiftly did they speed across the plain. [15] Now when they were come near, as they advanced one host against the other, among the Trojans there stood forth as champion godlike Alexander, bearing upon his shoulders a panther skin and his curved bow, and his sword; and brandishing two spears tipped with bronze he challenged all the best of Argives [20] to fight with him face to face in dread combat. But when Menelaus, dear to Ares, was ware of him as he came forth before the throng with long strides, then even as a lion is glad when he lighteth on a great carcase, having found a horned stag or a wild goat [25] when he is hungry; for greedily doth he devour it, even though swift dogs and lusty youths set upon him: even so was Menelaus glad when his eyes beheld godlike Alexander; for he thought that he had gotten him vengeance on the sinner. And forthwith he leapt in his armour from his chariot to the ground. [30] But when godlike Alexander was ware of him as he appeared among the champions, his heart was smitten, and back he shrank into the throng of his comrades, avoiding fate. And even as a man at sight of a snake in the glades of a mountain starteth back, and trembling seizeth his limbs beneath him, [35] and he withdraweth back again and pallor layeth hold of his cheeks; even so did godlike Alexander, seized with fear of Atreus’ son, shrink back into the throng of the lordly Trojans.  Continue Reading  Greek Text

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Edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, January 2023

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